All posts by Amelia Eskenazi

Unpredictable February Weather Playlist

 

  • Humans Become Machines by Aristophanes

Aristophanes is a Taiwanese rapper best known for her collaborations with Grimes. However, in 2017 she is planning on releasing music independently of the collaborations. This is the first of many releases of the year.

 

  • Tummy Ache by Diet Cig

Tummy Ache is the single released off of Diet Cig’s upcoming full-length coming out in April. Compared to their last 7” Tummy Ache is a little less punk and a bit more alt rock. Nevertheless, Diet Cig’s guitarist Alex Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman keep the energy high, keeping fans tied over until the full album release later this spring.

  • Told You I’d Be With the Guys by Cherry Glazerr

Although this is less lo-fi than some of Cherry Glazerr’s prior work, the upbeat tempo ties the song together for me. Good song to walk to class to in the unpredictable February weather.

  • Nighttime (feat Izzy True) by Sammus

Nighttime is a track off of NY rapper Sammus’ 2016 album “Pieces in Space.” Her work deals with topics such as sexuality, race, and womanhood as well as references to the digital age, mentioning Netflix, Siri, and Nintendo. Definitely an artist to keep your eye on in 2017.

  • Inside Edition by Sneaks

The newest single released by Sneaks as part of her upcoming album in March. In this single, Sneaks maintains her lo-fi sound while adding a much more prominent house tempo. Although only a minute in length, this song stands on its own. You will probably want to replay this song after your first listen.

  • Human by Sevdaliza

Sevdaliza’s work is reminiscent of that of Fka Twigs, with an experimental eerie overtone. 94% chance this song will put you into a daze.

  • Tomboy by Princess Nokia

Tomboy is a single off of Princess Nokia’s (Destiny Frasqueri) 2016 album 1992. This song like most others on her album is one of self-proclamation and power. The album as a whole serves as a celebration women of color, witchcraft, and the Harlem/Bronx community. If you haven’t already listened to all of 1992, I would highly recommend going to her Soundcloud page and doing so right now.

  • Good as Hell by Lizzo

Although this song was released in 2016, Lizzo is not an artist to look past. This song will give you the pick me up you’ve needed every day since the election in November.

SONG OF THE DAY: Them Are Us Too-“False Moon”

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Oakland fire this week and listening to this band constantly. One of the members of the Them Are Us Too duo, Cash Askew, died in this fire. Askew was a vibrant member of the queer & trans community as well as the music scene in California. My song of the day is dedicated to Cash and all of the other vibrant humans whose life of creation was ended too soon. “False Moon” is a song off of Them Are Us Too’s first album Remain.

SONG OF THE DAY: RAVYN LENAE- BLOSSOM DEARIE

Ravyn Lenae hails from the Chicago music scene. She has already collaborated with Noname and Mick Jenkins and is part of the Zero Fatigue collective in Chicago. In “Blossom Dearie,” Lenae’s lyrics pulsate through the song as her ad-libs guide the listener & various sounds loop in the background.  “Blossom Dearie” is featured on Lenae’s most recent EP, Moon Shoes.

 

 

 

CONCERT REVIEW: PWR BTTM

5 things you need prior to a PWR BTTM concert

  1. Glitter
  2. A good lipstick shade
  3. An outfit that is comprised of funky patterns, bright colors, and/or anything mesh
  4. Shoes to dance in
  5. More glitter

Since Sunday night I have showered three times and my hair is still shedding silver and gold glitter. My sheets are spotted with the remnants of the blue mascara that was covering my eyebrows approximately 48 hours ago. It’s hard to convey the magic that occurs at a PWR BTTM concert. Starting with the name of the band, the shows are unapologetically queer, but I think the importance of PWR BTTM concerts lie in the safe spaces that they create. At every concert venue, the bathrooms are turned into gender-neutral bathrooms for the night, allowing individuals to focus on the music being played rather than gendering themselves while they go pee.

The authenticity found at PWR BTTM concerts is rare with other bands. Liv and Ben, two trans-feminine members of the band write their music about queerness. In “I Wanna Boi, they sing “I wanna boi who thinks its sexy when my lipstick bleeds/I wanna boi who can go all night without stopping/I wanna boi who knows exactly what he needs.” In “Serving Goffman” they sing “I want to put the whole world in drag/But I’m starting to realize it’s already like that.”  At every show, Liv wears incredible shades of lipstick while Ben’s face is covered in multiple layers of glitter. Everything about the band is interconnected with Liv and Ben’s identities as queer and trans individuals. On Sunday, between bars and lyrics, vocalist Ben talked about how they wished the Apple store sold weed (and how they wished they could buy the weed in exchange for a blowjob). Liv told a story about hooking up with a boy from Grindr and spoke about the process of shaving as a Jewish trans-feminine individual.

When looking through the crowd, 99% of the audience was shimmering—quite literally. There was glitter everywhere. Everyone’s make up was on point. For a band to create a space that people feel comfortable enough to express themselves so authentically without fear is rare. When Liv and Ben begin “I Wanna Boi,” everyone is singing along. Fans know every word. They relate to the words being sung. This is not to say that going to PWR BTTM concerts with make up on or dressed up exists without fear. In fact, for many, the only safe space in the entire process is the actual show. The process of getting to and from the venue incites fear due to larger societal expectations of the ways in which people should express themselves. But as PWR BTTM reminds fans: queer is invincible.

Ever since my first PWR BTTM concert a few months ago, I have gone to other concerts hoping for the same unapologetic sense of self from both the artist and the crowd members. Most of the time, I leave impressed with the artist’s talent, but feeling like I am missing something as an audience member. Why is talking about love so acceptable in the music industry, but explicit queerness almost always seems to be missing? If queerness is discussed, it is oftentimes in code or vague. With the rise in PWR BTTM’s fame,  I worry that these queer spaces wont be as accessible. Both PWR BTTM shows that I have attended were 16+ and at a small venue in Denver. However, within the last month or so, they’ve received coverage from sites like AV Club and NYLON. What happens when ticket prices go up? Will they start being booked at 21+ venues? What will happen to the 16 year old queer high school fans that feel like they can authentically express themselves at PWR BTTM concerts? This is not to say that PWR BTTM’s rise to fame is not well deserved, but I do wonder what will happen as they continue to gain traction in the current music scene. But for now, I try to remind myself that queer is invincible, even within the capitalist heteronormative music scene.

 

 

SONG OF THE DAY: DOWNTOWN BOYS-“Dancing In The Dark”

Downtown Boys are a self-proclaimed “bi bilingual party from providence.” Although they released this song last year, I listen to it quite often. It’s the perfect song for a mid-day dance break. You can scream, jump up and down, and run around in circles…basically anything but the shopping cart dance move.

 

PLAYLIST-MOD POD BLOCK 2

I have a love hate relationship with the mod pod. I love the bright orange exterior because it is so ridiculous. I hate the bright orange exterior because it is also TOO much to look at most days. But when you spend 16+ hours in the mod pod in a single day during fourth week because the library is closed, you just need some good music to listen to. Below is your very own mod pod playlist for block 2. Enjoy!

 

“Making Breakfast” by Twin Peaks

Besides my blatant affinity towards punk rock bands, I am also quite sick of the classic “all male identified rock band because it’s cool and hip” vibe that has been a constant trend since forever. Nevertheless, this song is an exception to my feelings towards these bands. I love how this song builds up in volume. It’s a perfect song to begin your trek to the mod pod to, where you will inevitably do your homework, an activity that most are not fond of.

“Healthy Punk” by Chastity Belt

This is a fantastic song to bike, walk, or listen to while strolling into the mod pod. 10/10 would recommend. The tempo also makes you feel like a badass. You know?

“Coat of Shellac” by Ava Luna

This song gives me the vibes of Courtney Barnett combined with  “buckle down because you really need to do your homework now.” If there were a song written so that you would feel the need to take your notebook and reading out of your backpack, this would be it. The beat is also low key enough that you can also start the very reading you pulled out of your bag while finishing the rest of the song.

“E.V.P.” by Blood Orange

When I listen to this song, I want to get shit done. Every song on this album, Freetown Sound, is incredible. Dev Hynes is a genius and brilliant artist. So if you need a playlist longer than 20 minutes for your trip to the mod pod (which you probably do unless you’re just going for the printer), put this whole album on your queued list for the afternoon.

“Phenomenal Woman” by Laura Mvula

Ok so you’ve made it through one Blood Orange song or the entire new album and now you’re starting to get antsy but still need to finish your work. Good thing Laura Mvula exists. This song will make you want to kick ass in every way.

“Loner” by Mykki Blanco

So now you need the actual last push to finish your work. Good thing Mykki Blanco just released a new album too. This album inspires speed-reading like no other. Get out of this bright orange trailer. If you need more, the whole 13-song album is on Spotify.

 

“Bitch” by Lolawolf

You finished your homework and/or just decided that it was time to leave the mod pod. Congrats! You are a badass bitch. Just listen to Zoe Kravitz as you stroll out of the mod pod feeling better than ever whether you finished all of your homework or only did 5 pages of reading in 2 hours. Pay attention to the chorus. Trust me.