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Erin’s Prime Slice (11/25-12/1): Speedy Ortiz

Since this week will be cut short by Thanksgiving, I only had one prime slice pick; Speedy Ortiz’s newest album Twerp Verse. Although beginning the recording process all the way back in the fall of 2016, the band decided to rethink a lot after election day (for obvious reasons). As a band that prides themselves on releasing politically driven music from their very first project, Speedy Ortiz felt that they couldn’t release some of the tracks that had focused on more frivolous topics. The title “Twerp Verse” is a phrase coined by front woman Sade Dupius to describe “when a musician guests on a track and says something totally outlandish – like a Lil Wayne verse – but it becomes the most crucial part”. This album acts as one big “Twerp Verse” for Speedy Ortiz, holding some pretty substantial messages about the struggles faced in the current, skewed world we live in.

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (11/18 – 11/24) Moving Panoramas, Theia

 Moving Panoramas – Baby Blues [single]  – (indie rock)

This week, indie rock band Moving Panoramas caught my attention with their incredibly groovy new single, “Baby Blues.” It has a great energy that reminds me of bands like Soccer Mommy and The History Of Apple Pie. This is the first single from the highly anticipated sophomore album In Two and if this is what’s to be expected, I can’t wait either. The compressed bass and drums together give the song a very driving feeling that really makes you wanna tap your feet. The melody and lyrics compliment each other nicely and get stuck in your head pretty fast. Give it a listen!

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Erin’s Prime Slices (11/18-11/24): Rose Droll, Maiah Manser

 Rose Droll – Your Dog (singer-songwriter)

The only reason I classified this album as “singer-songwriter” is because I could not think of a single other way to fully encapsulate all that I was hearing. It begins with a bass line reminiscent of Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side,” accompanied by a looping drum machine and breathy background vocals. The second track, “Hush” completely caught me by surprise by opening with a line from “This Little Light of Mine,” followed by some seriously cutting rap verses spoken in an almost whisper. This album is seriously unique and, to top it all off, Rose played every single instrument on the record. The lyrics are complex and completely honest, but definitely require a few listens to fully unpack.

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Show Review: EZI at the Sinclair – 11/7

Filing in from around both sides of the sidewalk were mostly young girls excitedly anticipating the show at the Sinclair last Wednesday, November 7. Although I think the hype in the air was mainly for the headliner, MAX (best known for his song “Lights Down Low”), I was there to see the first opener, EZI. EZI is a younger artist who just released her first EP, Afraid of the Dark, this year. She is a former Nickelodeon star that rebranded herself after being selected as the very first artist signed to Steve Madden’s 5Towns Record label, and she’s been putting out some pretty awesome tunes ever since.

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (11/11 – 11/17): Poppy, Y La Bamba

Poppy – Am I A Girl? – (future pop)

Probably one of the more memorable albums of this year is Poppy’s second album Am I A Girl?. After the first record it was hard to tell where she would go stylistically and the answer is heavier and even more strange. Going track by track, each one has a distinct theme, whether it be poking fun at pop culture or even herself, they’re all adding to the robotic character that is Poppy. The Song “Time Is Up (feat. Diplo)” describes her waking up in the factory she was made in and finding herself in a dying world she doesn’t understand; eventually saying there’s no going back and that humankind will inevitably be erased. The title track then talks about her programming not being able to process whether she’s a boy or a girl despite everyone saying she’s a girl. Now, as far as genre, the album is pretty consistent. That is until the last two songs. Continue reading “Curtis’ Prime Slices (11/11 – 11/17): Poppy, Y La Bamba”

Erin’s Prime Slices (11/11 – 11/17): Joji, Charles Bradley

Joji – BALLADS 1 (dark electro pop)

After receiving this album in my inbox, I suddenly started seeing a ton of Spotify video ads promoting Joji. Although I had already given each track a brief listen, like any good millennial, I decided to revisit the album after realizing people online thought it was a big deal. And it totally is! BALLADS 1 opens alternating between a simple piano line and distorted heavy bass in its first track “ATTENTION” grabs just that from the listener. “CAN’T GET OVER YOU (feat. Clams Casino)” is super unique, relatable lyrically, and probably one of my favorite tracks off of the album. Definitely check out Joji and keep up with him as I am sure this is not the last we will hear from him. Besides, when is the last time you listened to an album with song titles in all caps that didn’t turn out to be a complete success??

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Video: Aisha Burns Plays BIRN Alive

Folk-rock violinist, vocalist, and songwriter Aisha Burns stopped by the BIRN studios recently for a live performance and interview.

Burns was raised in Texas and is now based in Massachusetts. She began her journey in the folk-rock world in 2005 and was touring and recording by 2006. Aisha released Life in the Midwater, her debut album, in 2013, and this May released Argonauta. NPR points out the “delicate intimacy” of her music while Dazed Magazine describes the works in Life in the Midwater as “twisting, ethereal, and arresting.”

BIRN Alive is home to great live performances and insightful conversation every Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EST on BIRN1.

 

Video: Gina Chavez Performance on BIRN Alive

Multi-ethnic Latin pop/folk singer Gina Chavez stopped by the BIRN studios recently for a live performance and interview.

Chavez is known for blending the sounds of her many influences seamlessly. She has had a great deal of success in her career, hitting the top of the Amazon and Latin iTunes charts after her national feature on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” In 2015, Chavez performed with her band on NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts, making the top 15 of Tiny Desk performances that year. Chavez also won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2014 with her Spanish anthem, “Siete-D.”

BIRN Alive is home to great live performances and insightful conversation every Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EST on BIRN1.

 

Curtis’ Prime Slices (11/4 – 11/10): WAAX, Mike Molnar

   WAAX – Wild & Weak EP – (Hard Rock)

On Tuesday, female fronted hard rock band WAAX gave me a good start to my shift with their new EP, Wild & Weak. I got that excited feeling that happens when you first listen to something really good. And it happened for every song. The release holds so much energy in each track that it feels like you’re listening to a live show. The drums are well rounded and sound full, the guitars are punchy and tight, and the vocals are raw and in your face. None of these songs sound out of place or thrown in. they sound like they’ve been shedding these tunes for awhile and needless to say, it’s paid off.

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