top of page

Ithalternative's Latest: Billie Eilish's major milestone, 'Gloria' climbs to #1 on Rock Airway, etc.

Ithalternative's Latest will be back on the airwaves next week at 5pm when Talk of the Town returns, but that doesn't mean we can't give you an online rundown of what went down in the alt. industry this week. Let's get into it!

Weekly Highlights

  • Billie Eilish Becomes Third Solo Woman to Reach Alternative Songs Top 10 With First Three Hits

  • The Lumineers' 'Gloria' Hits No. 1 On Rock Airplay, Alternative Songs Charts

  • Deeper Dive: The Punk-Rock Movement

  • Local Performances

  • The Top 10 on the Charts


Billie Eilish Becomes Third Solo Woman to Reach Alternative Songs Top 10 With First Three Hits

The "Book of Dreams" singer accomplished a major industry feat! Earlier this week, Billboard reported that each of Eilish's first three entries has now hit the Alternative Songs top 10. That's a feat achieved by just two other solo women since the chart began in 1988, and one not earned in over two decades until this week.

Eilish's debut Alternative Songs entry, "You Should See Me in a Crown," hit No. 7 in December 2018. Her first leader, "Bury a Friend," ruled the list for two weeks beginning May 25, followed by the ascent of "Bad Guy." Should Eilish's next entrant reach the top 10, she'll make history as the first solo woman to send her first four charted songs to the top 10.

One could imagine that Billie Eilish would be both honored and humbled by her accomplishments. After all, she is slowly but surely becoming the face of a new generation of "punks" and of outcasts to the norm. But according to Eilish, she has one wish in her pursuit to realize the full potential of her talent and her career, and that is not to be labeled as "the face of pop." In an interview for Vogue Australia, Eilish admits that "As grateful as I am for the appreciation and the love, honestly, I’ve become numb to it." She goes on to explain her frustration with the media and their obsession with labeling artists as "the It Girl," "the New Superstar" or anything along those lines.

In a way, her outward discomfort with mainstream media trying to box her into a certain category and define her adds to her image as the face of the next generation of alternative music. The manner in which she values the message she's sending out over the trends, and the matter in which she rejects the status quo of mainstream pop creates an alternative music scene that then becomes a subculture for her fanbase.

We'll be looking into the top 10's toward the end of this article to see how Billie Eilish is doing on the charts, congratulations to her for accomplishing an extraordinary feat and for inspiring an upcoming generation of music lovers.


The Lumineers' 'Gloria' Hits No. 1 On Rock Airplay, Alternative Songs Charts

For the third consecutive week, the The Lumineers' "Gloria" reaches No. 1 on both the Rock Airplay and Alternative Songs rankings dated June 22, as reported by Billboard earlier this week. It also leads Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart for a third week. "Gloria" is the lead single from III (due Sept. 13), The Lumineers' third studio album and first since 2016's Cleopatra. It's The Lumineers' second song to triple up atop Rock Airplay, Adult Alternative Songs and Alternative Songs charts and their first to dominate all three lists simultaneously.

"Gloria" rises 2-1 on Alternative Songs, becoming the folk rock act's fourth leader and first since "Cleopatra," which led for two weeks in March 2017.

This major feat for the band is also a victory that can be celebrated by many fans of folk rock music. Folk rock is a hybrid music genre combining elements of folk music and rock music, which arose in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in the mid-1960s.

From Britannica's article on folk rock: "As the American folk music revival gathered momentum in the 1950s and ’60s, it was inevitable that a high-minded movement that prided itself on the purity of its acoustic instrumentation and its separation from the commercial pop mainstream would be overtaken and transformed by pop music’s rapidly evolving technology. Rock music was also transformed by its intersection with folk. Although rock previously had been perceived and created almost exclusively as entertainment, it now began to take on folk music’s self-conscious seriousness of intent."

For many, The Lumineers' music represents a reincarnation of this genre, which the mainstream media has, for ages, boasted about overtaking. It continues to resemble it's punk resilience of the old days.

We'll update you about The Lumineers' tenure at number one over the next few weeks.


Deeper Dive: The Punk-Rock Movement

In this deeper dive into the all-encompassing alt. culture, which transcends across multiple genres, we will be looking into the anthropology behind the Punk-Rock movement.

In our Westernized, Educated, Industrial, Rich and Democratic ("W.E.I.R.D") societies, and largely in the mainstream media, punk rock is depicted as a phase of teenage angst and moral crises. In truth, much of the punk-rock culture serves as a form of peaceful protest against the status quo. 

Dewar MacLeod highlights the state of multimedia representation of punk-rock in "Social Distortion" from The Rise of Suburban Punk Rock in Los Angeles when he argues that "by developing a mythology of the mass media conversion of subcultural signs into "mass-produced objects," punks and their first chroniclers have attempted to freeze a moment of pure punk, of the true punk identity or experience. In doing so, they embrace a definition of punk which suits their purposes and simply inverts how the mass media, in particular the tabloids, presented punk in terms of a moral panic." Here, MacLeod makes an important point about how the media molds an image of punk to the public as an attempt to repress that culture and prevent it from becoming popular. Because they see it as an aversion of the norm which aims to overthrow the social structure that keeps the media in power, they depict it as a mode of instability in an attempt to make it seem less appealing.

An interesting thing about the punk-rock movement is that although there is a widespread misconception of what punk-rock represents, the idea of being a peaceful act of rebellion against mainstream content has a widespread influence. Mongolian Punk-Rock band The HU is an example of a group of artists that promote using cultural and modernized western influences to create a meaningful commentary of the state of our society's social structure.

Spitboy is another interesting example of an artist who uses punk-rock music as an outlet to highlight some common, real issues that happens to members of our society---issues which the mainstream media fears to speak into existence. Drummer and author Michelle Cruz Gonzales is particularly adamant about taking a stand against the manner in which Westernized societies exacerbate inequality through her voice and her craft.

Although puck rock is a major alternative music scene with a deeply rooted past, punk as a whole is, in its essence, the definition of alternative. Its major objective in the music scene is to rebel against the status quo and use music as a device to speak to an audience that the mainstream media tries (unsuccessfully) to reach.

There are many local Ithacan punk acts that dare to jump into this scene: IthacaMusic has them all lined up for, so check out some local artists that you can support.


Upcoming Local Performances

It's officially summer, which means that it is officially concert season! Here are all the places to be for this upcoming week:


The Top 10 on the Charts

  1. "Gloria" - The Lumineers

  2. "Trampoline" - SHAED

  3. "Longshot" - Catfish and the Bottlemen

  4. "Hurt" - Oliver Tree

  5. "100 Bad Days" - AJR

  6. "Missed Connection" - The Head and the Heart

  7. "Alligator" - Of Monsters and Men

  8. "High Hopes" - Panic! at the Disco

  9. "still feel." - half alive

  10. "Bad Guy" - Billie Eilish


Join us on Talk of the Town next Saturday at 5pm, when "Ithalternative's Latest" returns to the airways.


bottom of page