Category Archives: Music

DJ curated music blog featuring new music, old music, good music, weird music, your music, my music, or whatever.

Song Of The Day: Kohinoorgasm- “Azaadi Is Freedom Is Fate”

My friend from KALX Berkeley impulsively took a bus to Colorado Springs, surprising me on this stressful start to the fourth week. We’ve spent most of the day sitting on my couch showing each other songs we’ve been into lately. Aside from the classic “Caught In A Butt Sandwich” by The Mangfather Bob Katz, the best song she showed me happened to be by a kickass multiracial artist named Kohinoorgasm. Kohinoorgasm is a bay area artist that used to DJ at KALX, now working as a solo artist. She strives to empower people of color through her music. The music video of “Azaadi Is Freedom Is Fate”  has an evident motif of hair, which Kohinoorgasm notes as a “distinct issue for femmes of color.” The song itself is an exploration of the concept of freedom, Azaadi meaning freedom in multiple levels. As a multiracial woman who identifies strongly with my Indian culture, I find Kohinoorgasm to be an empowering presence in the DIY music scene.

 

SONG OF THE DAY: Elenore –– The Turtles

Over Thanksgiving break, I was at home (in England) visiting a friend at her university in Sheffield. The classic way to spend your Saturday night in England if you’re college-aged, is to go to a club; and so we did. I was ready to be disappointed –– personally, I don’t really find much enjoyment in being in the middle of a crowded dark sweaty room of wasted strangers and subpar house music –– but then this song came on. Immediately, there was a sense of unity in the room; everyone stopped trying to impress the other drunk messes on either sides of themselves and started dancing, in whatever way they could. The club turned into a poorly-lit karaoke. I believe, with 97% certainty, that this song will make you want to sing with it.

 

 

ALBUM REVIEW: Seal Eggs – “Sunday Will Be Snow”

https://sealeggsmusic.bandcamp.com/album/sunday-will-be-snow

Gwen Wolfenbarger is behind one of Colorado College’s most unique sounds. Also known as Seal Eggs, her new album Sunday Will be Snow is a beautifully ethereal collection of layered and looped tracks, she describes as “drinking Sleepytime Vanilla tea….” that truly “sounds like winter.”

I remember the first time I saw Gwen perform in Cornerstone last year, I was brought to tears during her performance of “One Day”, which is featured on the new album. She drew on many inspirations during the composition process, one of the most important being the journey of understanding her transition, which expresses itself thematically through the development of the tracks. Gwen describes the progression of the tracks to reflect her transition: “begins hopefully, kind of sinks into depression through the middle, and then ends on another positive note…I think the most depressing part is dysphoria”.”

Gwen’s process of composing, recording and performance is extremely unique. During composition, Gwen describes the process as a “snowball effect”. Sound-layer upon layer build up after long periods of improvisation, to produce a sound she didn’t plan out. Because of the complexity of her tracks, I am dumbfounded at her ability to reproduce this in live performance. During performance, she describes her experience: “I forget that I’m even performing for anyone, and so its incredibly jarring when at the end there’s an applause…I am extremely vulnerable to the memories and experience of the transition.” She describes getting lost in the music and the performance; music is her form of escape. The songs themselves are intimate and exposed, and this is clear through Gwen’s raw emotion. It is a beautiful experience just to witness a Seal Eggs performance.

I asked Gwen about what music means to her and what she thinks it could do for others. Of course this is a big question, but she comments on how music has always been the biggest and most important part of her life. Even before she could play any instruments (which she plays many and if she doesn’t, could learn in an unfair amount of time) baby Gwen was found chewing on her family’s upright piano. To this day music envelops her life, “I don’t even know where I would be without it, music is my best friend.” There are clear resonances of Gwen’s musical background in choir throughout Sunday Will Be Snow. Music frames Gwen’s experiences of the world and in terms of her new album; music has been a very healing experience. It was not only a healing experience for Gwen, but as a huge fan of her music, a restorative experience for all listeners.

Catching up with Gwen on her new album also led to some entertaining responses about Sunday Will be Snow:

Q: “If you could collaborate with any musical artist who would they be?”

A: “One of my big influences, Grouper. She’s a drone singer and guitarist from Portland who uses a lot of tape loops…. A lot of it sounds like it’s underwater.”

Q: “What colors and shapes embody the essence of this album for you?”

A: “Powdery blue and pink definitely, I mean those are the trans flag colors. Also warm colors like burgundy. Shapes would be spirals and circles.”

 

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: Jim James – “In the Moment”

Some songs come to you via Spotify recommendations, and some come to you by fate alone. A few weeks back, I was browsing the wine selection at a store up in Denver when I heard Jim James’ new album playing over the speakers. As I stood there pretending to make an educated decision about whether the 2014 or 2012 cab sav would be a better choice, I listened to the smooth psych-fold in awe.

Never before have I been compelled to actually ask a cashier what music they were playing until that moment. Turns out, Jim James, frontman for My Morning Jacket, had released his fourth solo album just hours earlier. Fast forward to now and it’s already become a staple of my recent listening habits.

SONG OF THE DAY: Czarface – “Ka-Bang!” ft. MF Doom

MF DOOM is consistently one of the most overlooked and underrated rappers in the world of hip-hop. Czarface also joins MF DOOM in the leagues of underappreciated rap talent. The duo link up on Ka-Bang for an energetic and dynamic song. MF DOOM is a highlight of the song with his distinctive baritone and unique flow. Unlike some of the younger hip-hop talent out at the moment, MF DOOM has an endless catalogue and countless albums and EPs for enthusiasts to explore.

Song of the Day: Vashti Bunyan- “I’d Like To Walk Around In Your Mind”

Vashti Bunyan is for slow, cold Sundays like today. “I’d Like To Walk Around In Your Mind” moves in that strange flow of time that occurs this moment in the week. Vashti’s tender voice and introspective lyrics are reminiscent of lonely, reflective Sunday thoughts, but leave you warmed by the fuzzy psych-folk instrumentals that wash over them.

SONG OF THE DAY: BONOBO – “STAY THE SAME”

 

This song has drawn me into a whole new genre of music. Distinct jazz influences are a mainstay of this song, especially the prominent saxophone. With more prominent percussion as well, this song is a great mix of new and old. It is a great example of acid jazz style music. I’ve been jamming to all kinds of jazz-based music since someone showed me this song a little while ago and I’ve really been enjoying it.

Song of the day: Kendrick Lamar- “Alright”

It’s been easy to feel powerless as I hear about friends and family who have already faced racially fueled harassment as consequence to this election.  As a person of color processing events that have transpired these past few days, music has been a necessary tool in reaffirming my worth and power. “Alright” is an anthem of persistence and revolt, and Kendrick’s words are a source of reassurance and solidarity in a time that feels hopeless to many.

Song of the Day: R.E.M. – “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake. An escalator, actually. “President-elect Donald J. Trump?” Christ. Well, at least Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Because he’s dead, presumably. Don’t misserve your own needs. Seems a little late for that.

Reporters baffled, trumped, tethered, cropped. TRUMPED. What in the fuck, Michael Stipe. What a prophetic line.  Except who the fuck saw this coming? But while you and I are freaking the fuck out, the vitriolic and patriotic sure are feelin’ pretty psyched.

Six o’clock, TV hour, don’t get caught in Trump Tower. A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies. No shit. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline. Sounds like a quote you’d see in gilded letters on a wall in Donald’s office.

Is it really the end of the world as we know it? I guess we’ll see.
But I’m pretty fucking scared regardless.

Also R.E.M. is a good band listen to them.