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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Changing it up from his Pearl Jam days, Eddie Vedder’s Into The Wild Soundtrack is some of his finest work. Ever since I read the book and watched the movie, I’ve been obsessed with this soundtrack. It captures everything I love about being in the outdoors. “Society” is definitely the highlight of the album for me. It is both my go-to adventure stoke song and my song for a good Sunday night existential crisis.