Featured Interview: BIRN Visual Media Director Isabel Kret

Isabel Kret is the visual media director at the BIRN, and in her last semester at Berklee. She is from Washington, D.C., and majors in MP&E and Professional Music, with focuses in music technology and songwriting, and minors in commercial record production. She has been surrounded by musicians and artists her whole life and comes from an extremely artistic family. Her mother used to tell her that she literally “breathed music” when she was little. At just six years old Isabel began playing classical piano and then continued to expand her musical interests in the guitar, flute, Celtic flute, and penny whistle. She grew an interest in writing pop and rock music after she wrote her first song at ten years old.

In high school, she also became really interested in heavy metal guitar, and started working at a studio and recording her songs. Working in the studio struck up her interest for production, and from then on she has had a passion for producing and engineering. In addition to her many musical talents, Isabel also has a strong passion for photography and design, and she started working in a dark room in high school, and then went on to be the editor of her high school literary art magazine. Continue reading “Featured Interview: BIRN Visual Media Director Isabel Kret”

Bella’s Prime Slices (12/1 – 12/7): Holiday Edition

 

PJ Morton – Christmas with PJ Morton – (R&B)

PJ Morton unleashes a festive helping of New Orleans-styled carols on his first-ever holiday album, Christmas with PJ. The eight-track stocking stuffer is engrossed in the signature sounds of NOLA like jazz, Creole, and Cajun music. Although Morton decorates Christmas with PJ with his bluesy hometown traditions, the talented musician makes sure to keep the spirit of Christmas alive through each rendition. He also invites guest stars Yolanda Adams, Stokley and Hasizzle for the sleigh-ride. Continue reading “Bella’s Prime Slices (12/1 – 12/7): Holiday Edition”

Win tickets to See HAERTS Play at Great Scott!

The BIRN would like you to win tickets to see Arts & Crafts recording artists (and Berklee alumni) HAERTS live at Great Scott on Thursday, December 6. The band is touring in support of their brand new release New Compassion and has racked up over 275,000 monthly streams on Spotify.

Email your name and contact information to HAERTSLive@thebirn.com for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show. The deadline to enter is December 5 at 11:59 p.m. Good luck!!

Show Review: Speedy Ortiz at the Sinclair – 11/27

I was really happy to catch this performance Tuesday night at the Sinclair. I got there early enough to hear the very first openers, Halfsour, a three piece classic indie rock band.  Front woman, Zoë Wyner, doubled on vocals and bass, speaking for the band but making it clear that talking in between songs was her least favorite part of being on stage. They were a pretty quirky little trio and had a great set, but their level of quirk was nothing in comparison to the next band, Palberta.

Palberta was peculiar and off beat, but completely on brand. All three members switched instruments multiple times which kept the audience on the edge of their seats (in a general admission standing room). They conversed with the audience like they were making weird small talk with a stranger in an elevator, but everyone laughed through the uncomfortableness and seemed to enjoy the bands personality and overall sound. Continue reading “Show Review: Speedy Ortiz at the Sinclair – 11/27”

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.

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

Erin’s Prime Slices (11/4 – 11/10): Boygenius (Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus), Tasha

Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy DacusBoygenius (indie / contemporary folk)

The moment I heard that all three of these incredible indie gals would be collaborating on an album, the world just seemed to make a little bit more sense. Lucy Dacus begins the six track project  with her rich, ever smooth lead vocals on “Bite The Hand,” the clear fan favorite of the album. The blend of tones during the chorus when all three artists join in harmony makes me want these women to form a permanent trio and release music forever. A close second in terms of my personal favorite tracks would be “Salt In The World,” again because of the euphoric blend of harmony. Check out this album and buy some tickets to their show in Boston this Thursday, 11/8 at the Orpheum Theater before they are sold out!

Continue reading “Erin’s Prime Slices (11/4 – 11/10): Boygenius (Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus), Tasha”

Featured Interview: BIRN Station Manager, Pooja Aggarwal

Pooja Aggarwal is a Professional Music major at Berklee and the current station manager at the BIRN. She is in her last semester of Berklee and graduating in December. I got the chance to sit down with Pooja a couple of weeks ago and asked her a few questions about her time at Berklee, her goals, and her post-grad plans.

Pooja is from Montville, New Jersey and is a voice principal. She has been singing all of her life, and always knew singing was something she was passionate about. Her parents signed her up for voice lessons when she was eight, and after that, she continued to sing and perform all throughout middle and high school. She was in her school’s theatre program and both a cappella and choir groups in high school.

Berklee actually wasn’t Pooja’s first choice for after high school, she started off her college experience at Boston University studying nutrition. Soon after arriving at BU she realized that she missed having music in her life and that studying nutrition wasn’t what she was most passionate about. Pooja then applied to Berklee as her only transfer option and got accepted. She transferred to Berklee during her second year in college. Continue reading “Featured Interview: BIRN Station Manager, Pooja Aggarwal”

Curtis’ Prime Slices (10/28 – 11/3) Big Bliss, Carbonas

     Big Bliss – At Middle Distance – (Post Punk)

Sliding into my DM’s this afternoon was Post Punk band Big Bliss. I seriously haven’t heard a band who nails this genre quite like they do since Interpol’s, Turn On The Bright Light’s. This being the bands first album release after only one EP and two singles, I’d say they’re at a pretty good place musically. There’s songs like “Conscious Being” that turn you into a human bobblehead and others such as “Richard Race” that make you want to aimlessly sway back and forth. Each song throws something different at you yet their sound still stays in it’s place. Straight ahead with reverb that makes it sound like an arena. Rarely does a new band strike me like this so definitely check them out.

    Carbonas – Your Moral Superiors – (Punk)

Released just yesterday is a big compilation of singles and rarities from Carbonas. It’s just under a half hour but don’t worry because there’s a total of 37 tracks on this thing! Again this is the first time i’ve listened to this band and they too absolutely kill it in the genre. These guys sound like they belong in the 70’s/80’s punk scene but their first release wasn’t till 2003. Although Punk is considered a very simplistic style, I can only agree so much. Anyone can play 3 chords but it’s the emotion, anger, and attitude that’s inside the 3 chords that a lot of musicians can’t convey whatsoever. Carbonas on record, sound exactly how they would live. Raw, unapologetic, and spitting in your face.