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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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!

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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.