On episode 10 of BTRtoday‘s When We See Each Other, I chatted with the politically conscious rapper, Billy Dean Thomas. We talked about everything, from the elections to what book they are currently reading. Billy Dean just recently dropped their album, For Better or Worse, which is available everywhere. I highly recommend checking it out! It was a real pleasure talking with Billy Dean, and listening back to the convo gave me hope for the future. You can check out the interview HERE.
On this episode of BTRtoday‘s When We See Each Other, I interviewed Black queer, gender-nonconforming femme, soul music artist NYALLAH. We chatted about their debut album, Reflections, and how much it is a look back at the past and journeying into a healing future. We also talked about their experience in the indie music scene as a Black queer, GNC, femme. Check it out HERE or anywhere you get your podcasts!
On this week’s of BTRtoday‘s When We See Each Other, I interview Black trans artist Anjimile. His album, Giver Taker, is scheduled to be released on September 18th, under the record label Father/Daugther Records. His gorgeous single, Maker which delves into gender/Trans identity and coming out, is so generous in sound and movement that you must listen, and mark the date for the rest of the album! It’s definitely going to be memorable! Also on this episode, there is music from R&B rising star TruVonne, and the contemplative track by composer Shannon Sea. You can listen to the interview and entire episode HERE!
I haven’t been posting as regularly as I use too… Things change, again and again, but anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to:
With its complex guitar melodies, and thunderous drumming, Magnetic Island’s self-titled album has revolutionized the Riot Grrl sound of the 90s and taken it to higher heights. Because of the Riot Grrl movement we have such great women fronted bands like Magnetic Island, who thereupon help propel the genre further by fusing punk, experimental rock, etc. taking us deeper than simple chords and or fills.
Magnetic Island, under the direction of one of indie rocks best female guitarist, Lisa Liu shows her aptitude to not only play the guitar extremely well, but also demonstrates qualities of a brilliant composer. This brilliance is manifested in part by the fact that Liu, a new comer to the drums, played all of the percussion parts for the album, in addition to guitar, vocals, bass and Rhodespiano.
The time is now, blaze the drums, but not in an overbearing manner, Liu’s drumming is clear and precise and works with each song, complimenting every accent of the guitar and vocals. A sense of equilibrium reigns throughout the album as each instrument is well arranged to benefit the overall sound. The songs are driven by the guitar and drums, with bandmate SMV’s vocals and undercurrent melodies on the keyboard. Nothing is accidental or by chance, and every layering of sound has a purpose, and successfully fulfills its positioning, making Magnetic Island one of the most well composed albums that will surely be a contender for best of 2012.
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything substantial, but I’m still here. Thinking about writing and not having enough time. Anyway, I will be on the air this coming Wednesday, June 29 at 8:00pm for my radio show Broad Strokes on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR). With me this month will be the alternative/folk band Holy Moly.
I saw these guys at one of NYC’s best DIY spots Fort Useless awhile back and they are truly amazing.
Last month’s Playlist:
Cannons by Little Scream
Wish I knew by Magnetic Island
Night Nurse by Gregory Isaacs
Calgary by Bon Iver
Zebra by Beach House
Amnesia by Blu
Where Will I Be by Emmylou Harris
The Sparrow Looks Up at the Machine by The Flaming Lips
In a Strangeland by Talk Normal
Drinking Again by Aretha Franklin
Over You by Raphael Saadiq
Ribbon by She Keeps Bees
Holy Holy by Wye Oak
Cyrstalised by The xx
Bringing you stories, live events, and much more, WHFR tries and remains independent of any corporate sponsorship. So, if you like what WHFR is doing, you can donate by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. DIY forever baby!
Also, if you’re in a band or know someone who is, and would like to be on the show, please email me at email@example.com.
Bad audio… But I’m still obsessed… You should be too.
Recorded on HTC EVO phone.
Listen HERE to a song I wrote on the steelpan for a very special woman I met recently. The song is called FEVER TO TOUCH and there’s a poem that goes with it as well that I wrote awhile back called Everyone Should Know This. I’m hoping to turn the poem into lyrics for the song.
As you can tell, this woman had a huge impact on my senses, enough so that I’m still grieving over the loss of not getting to know her in the way I envisioned.
I’m still thankful to have shared those moments that were gifts of kindness, an awakening… I felt like I could love, and be loved again. Maybe that was the point of our encounter, who knows. But I’ll keep the joy I felt close at hand as I walk these streets of uncertainty.
Can’t keep anything
Can’t keep you and your mind
Can’t keep your love, our love alive
Can’t keep the ghosts of unbelieving outside
Can’t keep you, as you’d want to be kept.
Not nobody can give you a proof of love as holy?
Not nobody can come up with a proof that love exist?
With it’s meant to be absolute? With it matrices
struggling to breathe as conditional decides
for us when we do unfold, gathering care for you
revealing silent songs of secret desires, desire
that rest with our bones, a ghost, we build
but never forget the wasted never leave mes.
Not nobody, I hear your song stories
please play your impressions again
as I keep hearing you dear, keeping you dear to me…
Live Wednesday, February 23 at 8:00 p.m. on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR)‘s Broad Strokes, Calypso Sally will have special guest, Mindy Abovitz, Editor-in-Chief, and founder of TOM TOM Magazine, a magazine about female drummers.
Broad Strokes streams live off the web every last Wednesday of the month at 8:00pm. I, Calypso Sally, that’s me, try to play a broad range of genres, stretching from indie rock, pop, alternative, noise rock, hip hop, reggae, dance hall, metal, calypso, funk etc. It’s sort of a mixed bag. I also have live acoustic performances. But this month I have media extraordinaire Mindy Abovitz in the house.
She’s going to talk to me about TOM TOM Magazine, women taking over the drum world, the music scene in NYC versus abroad, and how open the media has been with a woman taking on a predominantly male environment. Full throttle, however, she is wiping out the old school mentality!
Mindy Abovitz is a musician and media maker from South Florida currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and a Masters in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research. She has been playing drums for 11 years and has taught at Rock Camp for Girls and Vibe Songmakers. Before starting Tom Tom Magazine, Mindy was an engineer at East Village Radio, worked at Main Drag Music, threw music shows at her loft The Woodser, and played drums for Taigaa, More Teeth, The Good Good, and other Brooklyn bands. In 2009 she started Tom Tom Magazine: A Magazine About Female Drummers because there wasn’t one and media representation of female drummers was poor. She has since put out 5 issues of Tom Tom and plans on putting women musicians in the front and center of the media because that is where they belong. She currently drums for Chica Vas.
I’ve been working with Magnetic Island, an exprimental, indie rock band based in NYC, on the single Subterfuge.
Not only did I play the drums, and the steelpan on the single, I also sang!
It was so great being back in the recording studio, and playing in general. Even though at times it was a challenge, I learned so much from the experience.
Working with Magnetic Island was really refreshing as the sound is completely different from my band Telenovela Star.
I think the difference is that I was more focused on percision rather than power. Less concerned with trying to prove how fast I can play or how much agility I have, but more concerned with how to bring out the song, make it tell the story that it’s dying to say.
Working with these guys also gave me the opportunity to break out my steelpan, which has been sitting in my closet for sometime now, and as well as to sing. Being brought back to my first instruments, my voice and the steelpan, reminded me of why I desired to be a musician. I was blown away. I didn’t realize that I was capable of expressing myself through these other mediums, especially singing. I realized that I can do more than carry a tune. I have a voice. I can sing.
All in all this was an eye opening experience for me, and I’m thankful to have had the chance to work with such talented, and genuinely remarkable musicians. They brought out a side of me that was starving to be explored.
Here are some shots of us in The Fort recording studio:
If you missed my show, Broad Strokes, on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR), here’s your chance to listen. I think this was probably one of my best mixes so far. I’ll be back streaming live off the web on Wednesday, October 28th at 9:00pm. And if you know a band or you’re in one, send me a shout out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Up – Washed Out
Die Slow – Health
Elemental (Featuring Sputnik Brown) – DJ Spinna
Plaster Casts of Everything – Liars
Kathmandu Dub – Mad Professor
Che Sara Sara – King Britt
Left Handy Man Handle – Helms Alee
Murder – The Big Sleep
K.I.S. Compatible – Tony Allen
Slugs In the Shrubs – Les Savy Fav
Lock Picker – Proton Proton
The Dirty Dirty – Tapes ‘n Tapes
Gringo Dread – Mad Professor
Go Ghost – Ex Lion Tamer
Stranded Pearl – Giant Sand
If you missed my other persona, Calypso Sally, on the radio, you can listen to the broadcast here (it takes awhile to start). The next show is Wednesday, September 30 at 9:00pm. Check it out!
Everyone is Guilty Akron/Family
Big Bang Swati
What About Us? Mr. Lif
Dirty Loop Onra
Hey There Girl Yo! Majesty
Song 57 Goes Cube
Part Bloodhound Susu
Your Mouth Telefon Tel Aviv
Hold the Line Featuring Mr. Lex & Santigold Major Lazer
The Under Over Rob Sonic
Talking About Money Wye Oak
Winner Telenovela Star
High Road Deradoorian
Down In The Park Kirb & Chris
Fangela Here We Go Magic
Waiting for the Sun to Rise Lightning Dust
If you’re in a band or know someone in a band, and you’d like to be on the show, just email email@example.com.
This is a video that Maggie, the guitarist from my band, created. We were jamming in Jeff Byrd‘s living room, which was totally awesome. It’s the weekend we recorded a couple of songs up in Gilboa.
Recently, I did a radio show on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR) and it was a blast. I’ve been a guest reader for a WHFR event (see and listen here), but now I will be dj-ing every last Wednesday of the month at 9:00pm (streaming live off the web) as Calypso Sally and the name of my program is Broad Strokes, Yay!.
Why Broad Strokes? Well, I’ve never been the type to pigeonhole myself into one particular genre, so I thought what better way to express my eclectic taste but by playing different types of music. I’m always looking for something new to listen to. So if you’re in a band (or you know someone in a band ) send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can listen to the show here: Broad Strokes
The Reeling Passion Pit
Still Dope Feat. Empress Starhh Doom
Clumsy Coyote Eyes
Caterpillar Playground The Nurses
My Girls Animal Collective
Cannibal Resource Dirty Projectors
BDF – German Hardcore The Netherlands
Quiet Dog Mos Def
Three Decades The Horrors
Black Hearted Love PJ Harvery & John Parish
Sleep Over Beethoven Ungdomskulen
Youth Her Vanished Grace
Adulthood is an illusion. It is an uncomfortable suit of clothes which makes us stiff and complex and at odds with life which is fluid and simple and wondrous. Paul Squires
I’ve been somewhat neglecting the music out there. With everything that’s been going on, tracking down bands seemed pretty juvenile, but then again, you need music in your life, especially now (see previous music posts here).
So in no particular order here are some talented artists that are neither an illusion nor juvenile:
Renminbi’s Surface. It’s pronounced REN-MIN-BEE (rénmínbì; literally means “people’s currency”), and they are an experimental, post punk rock band from NYC. Their EP Surface just dropped and it’s amazing. Produced by Don Fleming who agreed to work with the band after a myspace message (I’d like to see a copy of that myspace message!), the album makes you want to curl up with your headphones on and zone out into your own world. These guys are currently on tour. Faves: Honestly, I love every single one of these songs.
PJ Harvey and John Parish’s A Woman A Man Walked By. I’m a sucker for PJ Harvey, because it seems like she can never do any musicial wrong. Every album is a new sound, a different story. Some may find this album daunting, but I find it very gutsy and courageous. In this album she teams up with John Parish and you hear a less restricted, a more free PJ Harvey, as she manipulates her voice to different vocal styles. There’s actual screaming in this album! Faves: Black Hearted Love, The Chair, The Solider, Passionless Pointless.
The Horrors’ Primary Colours. The Horrors is a British five-piece garage band that I discovered on emusic. They combine the punk with the expriemental, sometimes reminiscent of Joy Division. Faves: Mirror’s Image, Three Decades, Who Can Say, Scarlet Fields, Primary Colours.
Ungdomskulen’s Bisexual. For the life of me I can’t pronounce their name right, and it’s embarrassing because I’m always like, “OMG you have to listen to Ung…!” Ungdomskulen is a three piece Norwegian rock band. They combine a very satisfying mixture of new wave, prog rock and jazz. With solid syncopated beats, gritty guitars, phat baselines to move your hips to, and infectious vocals that sound familar, but I can’t put my finger on (if only the IPhone would come out with an app for that), I’m always drenched with sweat dancing to my interpretation of their songs. Faves: Sleep Over Beethoven, I Dunno, Osaka, Only In Novels, Teenage Tritonus.
White Rabbits It’s Frightening. The White Rabbits is a six-piece indie New York band. I must admit at first I wasn’t that into the White Rabbits because for some reason them having two drummers annoyed the shit out of me, but on their latest album, this annoyance seems to be fading. On It’s Frightening , they sound a little Spoon-ish, no surprise there since Spoon’s lead singer and guitarist Britt Daniel produced the album. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Faves: Percussion Gun, They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong, Company I keep, Right Where They Left.
Passion Pit’s Manners because I couldn’t resist the catchy lyrics, and 80s pop synthesizers mixed with a touch of R&B and house music. Definitely songs to dance to. Faves: Little Secrets, The Reeling.
Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion. Animal Collective is just that, a musical collective based out of Baltimore, Maryland. I love their music because it’s not pretenious, not over the top, but takes the kind of risks that I appreicate in a band. The title of this album is homage to one of the best outdoor venues in the Maryland/DC area. Faves: Summertime Clothes, My Girls, Daily Routine, Bluish