Creating Change for the Better

By pcsanchez7505

Chicano Batman is one of many bands to cast a stone in political waters. Their 2017 release, ‘Freedom is Free’ includes songs that advocate for equal treatment of all human beings and some that give criticism on capitol greed.

This is not a political blog, and I never intended to be a political person. Unfortunately, that is a luxury long gone.

Americans have a decision to make, and it’s a pressing one. We can choose to band together to promote the values intrinsic to making our country worth living in, values such as freedom of speech, equality and the absolute intolerance of hate, bigotry and racism. Or we can perpetuate the troubling events happening in this country. Inaction serves to promote the latter, and silence will only allow hatred to breed.

What happened in Charlottesville, Virginia this month cannot pass by without full condemnation, and we cannot let senseless violence to continue. The President refuses to sincerely condemn those who participated in the white nationalist/neo-nazi rally, so we must condemn it to our fullest extent.

Beyond our ethnicities, cultures, religions/non-religion and skin color, we are the same. We are people born to love, and when people are persecuted unjustly, we should stand up for them.

With that in mind, I’d like to share a few songs that promote love, acceptance and unity, and a few that give strong commentary on bigotry and racism.

7. “Brown Girl”:

This song from Aaradhna speaks to those who have ever felt different or been mistreated because of their skin color. In it, Aaradhna asserts her beauty within and without despite what others have said or assumed about her because of her skin color. Her song is a lovely reminder that beauty comes from who a person is, not what color his or her skin is.

6. “Same Love”:

Now, whether you like this style of music or not, “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis is at the very least a beautiful tribute to the testament of love felt by two human beings. Its prose is simple and message even simpler; love is love.

5. “One Day”:

Matisyahu’s music speaks to the good in us all. Whether you are religious or not, his music is always inspiring. “One Day” calls for courage in the face of hate. Even in days in confusion and darkness, there is a bigger picture to fight for, a better world that could be ours if we persevere.

4. “The Power of Equality”:

L.A. band Red Hot Chili Peppers have never shied away from controversy or sharing their opinions on everything from politics and injustice to sex and drugs. Their 1991 song “The Power of Equality” follows suit and is not apologetic or ambiguous in its criticism on racial tension and police brutality.

“Whatever happened to humanity?” singer Anthony Kiedis sings in the song’s closing chorus.

While this song may require some parental supervision, it lends its voice to the plight for social justice.

3. “Call It What It Is”:

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals do not mince words in his recent album and song “Call It What It Is” that reflects on police brutality and racism. The song is a chilling reminder that while the United States has made progress, there is still a long journey ahead on the road to equality.

2. “This Land is Your Land”:

I can’t recommend this cover enough. East L.A. band Chicano Batman takes Woody Guthrie’s iconic folk song and gives it a powerful Chicano-soul flare while singer Bardo Martinez weaves in new lyrics in Spanish. The band’s cover not only gives the song a modern twist, they give new purpose to the song originally written in 1940.

“No existe nadie, que puede pararme por el camino de libertad/ no one exists who can stop me from the road to freedom,” sings Martinez.

1. “Man in the Mirror”:

The only way to create change or to promote justice is to first look within. That doesn’t mean to take personal responsibility for everything, but to stand up and create the change we want to see. Using our strengths to work together to stand up for others and ourselves is the only way to preserve our fundamental rights. Leave it to the late Michael Jackson and his powerful song “Man in the Mirror” to remind us that we all have the power to promote goodness in the world.

Source:: Creating Change for the Better

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Four Upcoming Shows to Catch in L.A.

By pcsanchez7505

While summer is winding down, there are still several shows coming up before we hit fall. From newcomers to veteran musicians, the next 30 days will bring a lot of great music to Southern California including local favorites and longtime acts from around the world. Just in case, you need a few suggestions, here are four shows to catch within the next few weeks.

1. Sylvan Esso

On Aug. 25 Sylvan Esso will make a stop at the Hollywood Palladium. The electro-indie due released their sophomore album ‘What Now?’ earlier this year. Sylvan Esso incorporate raw vocals (the band stresses the absence of autotune) and a variety of artificial sound to create interesting pop-inspired music. Visit Sylvan Esso’s website for more information.

2. Fitz and the Tantrums:

Local L.A. band Fitz and the Tantrums will perform at the Forum on Aug. 31. A Fitz and the Tantrums show is always a high energy, inclusive and exciting experience for fans. The band’s discography is full of up tune hits that are easily enjoyed by people of all ages, and each member of the band gives 100 percent of themselves on stage. For more information, visit the band’s website.

3. Thee Oh Sees:

If you’re looking for something a little edgier, Thee Oh Sees will be playing at the Teragram Ballroom on Aug. 31. The Teragram is one of L.A.’s newest venues located just outside of downtown. Thee Oh Sees create a high energy, high-impact collision of sound that propels fans to move in a similar fashion. Visit Thee Oh Sees’ website for ticket information.

4. Together Pangea:

This band is relatively young, but already has three albums under their belt and are on the cusp of releasing a new album at the end of this month. From singles like “Better Find Out” to “Money On It,” the band has a Strokes vibe with a hint of punk. Together Pangea will bring their young, fresh energy to the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on Sept. 15. Visit Together Pangea’s website for ticket info and more music.

Source:: Four Upcoming Shows to Catch in L.A.

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Bedouine Breaks Through with Debut Release

By pcsanchez7505

Azniz Korkejian performing in Hollywood

It’s hard to believe Azniv Korkejian’s latest release is also her first. The young artist uses her debut album to pack in a breathtaking amount of perspective and wide-eyed wonderment. Love, wanderlust and solitude dominate this retrofitted folk album, and after hearing Korkejian’s debut work, it’s easy to understand why she chose to name her album and musical project Bedouine.

Korkejian is in fact, a nomadic songwriter, taking on the world with an untethered feminine psyche. In her travels and music, she seems to have found experience, safety and purpose.

Although she’s now taken up roots in the vibrant music community of Echo Park (minutes from downtown Los Angeles), her music remains borderless, free to wander, to explore, and even to divulge little tidbits of wisdom.

‘Bedouine’ reflects a modest contentment between the artist and her world that is indicative of Korkejian’s heroine journey.

Our introduction to her music starts off quiet, nice and quiet. Her opening track greets us with soft spoken and shy lyrics brimming with an understated confidence. “Nice and Quiet” moves us past the surface of white noise and ushers us into a consciousness that is undisturbed and serene.

Her follow up track, “One of These Days,” oozes with all the potential of a breakthrough single. It’s a little faster, a little more direct, and highlights Bedouine’s propensity to craft clever prose.

“If I’m talking sweet to you, you know I’d like to hear it too. It’s funny honey, to think it’s a passing phase.”

In “Back to You,” she gives us a peak into her nomadic past. It’s an objective, yet personal account of odd cultural or colloquial factions that shift from one place to another.

The album is filled with these bittersweet moments. From honey in her tea to “dusty eyes” that captivate her, there is a sentimentality in her work that reveals both inexperience and maturity; a prevalent duality that discloses a separation between her age and demeanor.

By the time you get to “Solitary Daughter,” you aren’t surprised to find it reads more like poetry than lyrics. It’s a track full of descriptive verses and metaphors set in motion by subtle guitar riffs. As Korkejian gains momentum, the song becomes as light as air; an expression of solitary exuberance.

“I don’t want your pity, concern or your scorn. I’m calm by my lonesome. I feel right at home. And when the wind blows, I get to dancing. My fun is the rhythm of air when it’s prancing,” Bedouine sings.

The album’s tone breaks away momentarily to include a haunting commentary on current events. “Summer Cold,” a protest song is a lamentation written in reaction to Syrian terrorists using American made weapons. Born in Aleppo, Syria, Korkejian expresses her sorrow and frustration with breathtaking grace.

“Is this the end? I don’t want anything, ever, to do with them …”

“Summer Cold” is an outlier though, and the rest of the album remains sentimental, if not nostalgic. ‘Bedouine’ ends with “Skyline,” a captivating song that ends the album with a soothing punctuation mark.

Her musical prowess shines through in the form of delicate guitar picking and nurturing instrumentals including rolling drums and softened horns. These instrumentals fill up the background while Korkejian woos us with charming vocals.

Korkejian easily becomes the heroine of your wanderlust saga as she invite you into her thoughts. Her music reflects a shifting perspective catalyzed by travel and personal growth where the pace of the music is as steady as her lyrics.

In ‘Bedouine,’ Korkejian doesn’t reinvent the singer/songwriter wheel, but she does smooth the path it travels on.

Source:: Bedouine Breaks Through with Debut Release

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Alexandra Savior Captures a Mood

By pcsanchez7505

When you grow up feeling out of place, you can either run and hide or find a way to stand out.

Singer/songwriter Alexandra Savior has chosen the latter, starting her music career early. By the time she was 17, she had caught the attention of established musicians and professionals including one Courtney Love.

After signing with Columbia records Savior set out to record her debut album. She teamed up with Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and producer James Ford to create a dusty, slinky slew of an album.

‘Belladonna of Sadness,’ was quietly released in April, and is a moody and brooding collection of work not to be ignored.

Now, it’s important to note Turner’s influence in Savior’s breakout album is very apparent. Heavy bass and haunting chord progressions can be found a plenty in this album, and there are several lyrics that would feel right at home in an Arctic Monkeys or even Last Shadow Puppets (another Turner collaboration) song.

This isn’t to say the album is bad or even familiar. Rather it comes across as a side project of someone else, as opposed to the debut album of a new face. That being said, ‘Belladonna of Sadness’ is a fun and twisted ride. Turner’s cleverness and influence guides the album into a stage of maturity, while Savior’s alluring vocals add an air of mystique.

“Mirage,” the opening track, ushers us into a kaleidoscopic view, one where fragmented shapes and bursts of light shift across our subconscious.

She follows with “Bones,” a sensual breath of fresh air, and one of several standout tracks that reflects Savior’s influence on her own album. The song is slow and understated, and fascination, desperation and desire are all wrapped neatly into a spiraling tune.

Opposite to the almost innocent feel of “Bones” is “Shades,” an aloof observation of how one feels when they know their actions aren’t the best.

“I sort of wish that is was raining, so that I could pull the hood up on my coat/I’m always happy to be leaving/Must be the company I’m keeping,” sings Savior.

“Shades” is the perfect song the change your perspective; as the day goes on, walking home after a night out provides the best time to reflect … if only you could find your damn shades.

The next few songs in the album, “Girlie,” “Frankie,” and “M.T.M.E” sort of blend together as a twisted ode to Los Angeles and the people you find; some you were looking for and others who just appeared.

Throughout the album, Savior finds ways to separate herself from her mentor’s influence. “Cupid,” “Till Your Mine” and “Mystery Girl” all ooze with a sensual, feminine perspective. In these tracks, mesmerizing vocals pull you in as abstract lyrics paint an eerie picture, one that mirrors the set of your favorite horror movie. Savior herself notes she was aiming for a slightly “murderous” feel as well as flashes of a feminine voice.

Overall, ‘Belladonna’ of Sadness’ is just as it is; a collection of hazy desert-rock with a feminine perspective and rambling man sort of vibe. If you’re a fan of Turner, or like music that sounds at home in a mature Halloween playlist, Savior’s debut album is worth a listen.

For more information about Savior and ‘Belladonna of Sadness,’ visit Saviors website.

Source:: Alexandra Savior Captures a Mood

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Cataldo: The Band You’d Be Proud of

By pcsanchez7505

After releasing his latest LP, Cataldo’s frontman Eric Anderson took his new songs and some old friends on the road for a west coast tour. The band landed in L.A. last week to play an intimate show at the Resident in downtown’s Arts District.

The Seattle musicians seemed right at home in the small, well-lit bar nestled between small cafes and artist co-op stores, and the chilly weather was just right for Cataldo’s discography, a collection of work cultivated in the cloudy Pacific Northwest.

The night started out with local bands Cassandra Violet and Preston Graves who gave a short, but fun performance. Cataldo followed suit and serenaded a small but mighty crowd for a late night performance.

Anderson began the night with singles off the band’s newest release, opening with “Room Without a Flame” and “Little Heartbeat.” Both singles, left fans in a cheerful mood.

“I can’t help but love this damn song,” said a smiling fan as Anderson dove into an all too innocent and sweet love song.

The night’s set comprised mostly of songs from the band’s newest album ‘Keepers,’ but Anderson made sure to sprinkle in favorites from the past. “Gilded Oldies,” “My Heart is Calling” and “Other Side” were all on the bill.

Throughout the night Anderson and Co. built a rapport with fans that made you feel like you were in a room surrounded by old friend. The crowd was captivated by Cataldo’s music, and Anderson led the way to help create a unique moment for his supporters.

After following his music career for several years, Cataldo’s performance felt like a rare peek into the scope of Anderson’s talent as a lyricist and song composer. Almost every song was accompanied by insight, and not once did anyone lose interest in what Anderson had to say, or how he performed each tune.

DSC_9481Anderson’s bandmates were equally as impressive. Each member brought their own interpretation, their own spark to Anderson’s music.

On stage Anderson composed himself with a diligent hospitality and quiet candor. And though their performance was small, Anderson showcased his ability to connect with people through his music.

Cataldo’s stop at the Resident was a reunion long overdue. Friends and longtime supporters congregated over stories and experiences, and the band’s honest and quirky stage presence left none dissatisfied.

Anderson ended the night with a solo performance of “Signal Flare,” off his first album. The single was a soft and sincere token of appreciation to everyone in attendance.

“We’re just guys in our 30s doing our best,” Anderson joked.

While I have a feeling Cataldo won’t be back in Southern California for some time, I hope we continue to hear more from the band, and I look forward to the next time our paths cross. For more information about Cataldo’s music, visit their bandcamp page.

Source:: Cataldo: The Band You’d Be Proud of

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Chicano Batman Leaves Pomona with Good Vibes

By pcsanchez7505

It’s not hard to appreciate a band who gives their all on stage, a band who sweeps you up in its insatiable energy. And when that band is Chicano Batman, you find yourself moving to every song hoping that at the end of each tune, there is another to follow.

After a two weekend stint at a dusty desert music festival (AKA Coachella), Chicano Batman made one last stop in Southern California. The band, whose new album continues to make waves among fans and critics, played a sold out show at the Pomona Glass House.

The four-piece group from east Los Angeles is one that doesn’t seem to believe in barriers. On stage, they are a spiraling whirlwind, a dervish of moving parts that sweep through a venue with ease.

Lead singer Bardo Martinez never loses his smile or intensity and plays his keyboard and guitar with a frantic, passionate energy. Guitarist Carlos Arévalo and bass player Eduardo Arenas are more collective on stage but jump into action at a moment’s notice. Gabriel Villa’s drumbeats are at the center of it all, the furnace that fuels the fire.

The band’s show in Pomona was nothing short of spectacular. Along with opening bands Brainstory and Slipping Into Darkness, Chicano Batman felt at home in front of an eclectic audience. They swam between albums and moved fans of all ages, pulling them into a soul-soothing consciousness.

Throughout the night, the band never lost momentum, but they did make room for a few important moments. Before the band played “La Jura” Martinez solemnly addressed the crowd. April 29, he noted, marked the 25th memorial of the L.A. Riots, an event spurned from fear, misunderstanding and a lack of trust between communities and the police force. Martinez acknowledged the sad event, and hoped to press forward from it.

Other moments were just as powerful including a rousing chant from the audience as the band played “Freedom is Free,” the title track off their new album.

‘Freedom is Free’ is beautiful and poignant collection of songs the band started writing in 2015. Drummer Gabriel Villa said the album’s conception was cemented before there was any real tension in the 2016 presidential election, and was focused more on people, not politics.

“We didn’t know what was going to happen,” Villa said. “We just saw some real issues we wanted to address, you know? Bardo is a real great lyricist. He writes the music and has a message he wants to deliver.”

Villa said current events such as the riots in Ferguson fueled the band’s album with ideas.

“At the time when we started writing a lot of the songs there was a lot of tension going on, you had [movements] like Black Lives Matter which is why we wrote songs like ‘La Jura’ and ‘Freedom is Free,’” Villa said. “There are so many people trying to tell you what freedom is … trying to make you believe you’re not free. But you are.”

‘Freedom is Free’ pulls mostly from soul influences, and Villa said the band really focused on writing a cohesive album, one with lyrics as strong as the melody.

“We started tapping into soul a long time ago … we all grew up listening to oldies and we all listened to [radio DJ] Art Laboe and he influenced not only us but many people in California,” Villa said.

The band’s interest in soul and Latino music creates a melting pot of sounds that is reflective in the band’s performances. Each show, including their stop at the Glass House, is a beautiful expression of the band’s commitment to staying fluid and open-minded as musicians and as people.

“Soul I think is one of the music styles that really taps into your heart. We explore different rhythms,” Villa said. “We all come from like different places with different influences. We like to celebrate that.”

For more information about Chicano Batman and their music, visit their website. The band will continue to play more festivals and shows this year including the FYF festival in Los Angeles.

Click to view slideshow.

Source:: Chicano Batman Leaves Pomona with Good Vibes

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Spring Bloom: New Singles and Songs

By pcsanchez7505


Wake Child is one of many artists with new music out.

New music this year continues to bloom, and from a diverse array of artists. Some cultivate music by drawing inspiration from the past while others aspire to create something completely new. Whatever the case, each artist on this song list is worth exploring.

5. “Kick Jump Twist” by Sylvan Esso

Kick Jump Twist” is one of many great songs off Sylvan Esso’s newest album ‘What Now.’ “Kick Jump Twist” is the most electronic sounding single on the album, melding together singer Amelia Meath’s mighty vocals and Nick Sanborn’s skills to combine the right electronic sounds.

4. “In the End” by Wake Child

Wake Child, a band cultured through several home states, has only been around for a little while, but their new single “In the End,” is a good opening statement to their future work. “In the End” is a psychedelic R&B mix that seamlessly weaves the two genres together. Band members Danny Silberstein, Terrell Hines and Austin Max hail from California, Georgia and Tennessee respectively, blend together their hometown sounds to create something warm and velvety.

3. “Ya Veran” by Quitapenas

Under the Californian sun band Quitapenas grew to become just like the light that provided them with inspiration. That band, whose name means “to remove worries,” is Quitapenas, an Afro-Latin inspired ensemble bringing smiles to all its listeners. “Ya Veran” is the band’s latest single, a toe-tapping, hip swinging number you could find at any reputable dance club or playing in the background at Abuelita’s house. Through the band’s diverse backgrounds, Quitapenas is a melting pot of sounds and influences that appeal to anyone with a lively side.

2. “Andromeda” by Gorillaz

“Andromeda” is one of four singles that prelude Gorillaz newest studio album, out April 28. The single features D.R.A.M. and is a retrofitted disco dreamland. The song is sharp, groovy and perfectly calculated to make you move. As a band that has been around for nearly two decades, “Andromeda” is the starry-eyed anomaly you’d expect from Gorillaz.

1. “Shine on Me” by Dan Auerbach

“Shine On Me” is the newest single for Dan Auerbach. Auerbach has a few years of solo work under his belt after co-founding The Black Keys and other musical projects, and “Shine On Me” is a sunny uptempo tune forecasting a bright new album for Auerbach, out in June. Also included, is a goofy music video playing up the song’s carefree tone.

Source:: Spring Bloom: New Singles and Songs

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Cataldo Reflects on Youth in New Album

By pcsanchez7505

Forget previous notions about the complexities of life. You won’t need them, or at least, you won’t be thinking of them while listening to ‘Keepers,’ Cataldo’s fifth album.

The album is never too complicated or out of reach, even when it does evolve into something less carefree. And it’s a different direction for the Seattle based band, a changing suit of players led by singer/songwriter Eric Anderson.

Listening to ‘Keepers’ is like taking a trip back to the innocence of youth. It’s bright, warm and new. It’s sweet and inviting, like the embrace of a new love.

Anderson’s previous work is laced with long-winded lyrics and existentialism, a staple for the introspective indie sound Anderson usually subscribes to. It’s never been a stretch for him to deconstruct love like the human anatomy or turn depression into vegetation that dwindles and grows.

‘Keepers’ is a different beast altogether, and it tries to assert none of the above. Instead, we find moments of inexperience and a confidence only the young can sincerely execute.

Anderson still gives us the perfect and unlikely comparison, but he does so in a less complicated way. ‘Keepers’ embraces naïveté and grows from it, creating something new and organic.

Just think of the first time you met someone who became really important to you. Think about the spark that came to life and the darkness before it. That’s what Cataldo asks us to do in “Room Without a Flame,” the album’s opening track.

In “Photograph” we’re given a pastel colored snapshot of inhibition. Anderson paints a simple, yet evocative picture that peels back the proverbial curtains of youth to capture everyday joys. The song is bright and shiny, a perfect retrofit of an 80s pop song.

“Little Heartbeat” is the most indulgent track on the album, but not in a bad way. Cataldo dispels any complications more experienced individuals tack on to love and brings us back to more innocent days. The band sits back, lets the beat go and gives into the silly and sweet side of love; a side that is careless and unrestrained. It’s a side we can understand immediately, and Anderson sums up the feel of the album in just a few lines.

“On the night when I met you, feeling barely 17,” Anderson sings.

There’s a youthfulness in “Keepers” that finds a sweet and tender groove in between growing up and remaining young.

In “Person You’d Be Proud Of,” Anderson goes back, at least lyrically, to his earlier discography. The lyrics are pensive in a way he can’t control, and there is a mix of emotions radiating through the subtle tune. It’s hopeful, but self-aware of its own good fortune, trying somehow to earn it.

Somewhere between falling in love and learning to be self-aware, ‘Keepers’ grows into itself. Youthfulness arrives on the cusp of adulthood, and there’s a slight hesitation to step over the line.

“But I’m not ready to leave, so enjoy the show, not sure how long it’ll be,” Anderson sings in “Between You and Me.”

“A Short Goodbye to No One in Particular” shifts from inhibition into self-awareness. There are memories, and ideas about who we were or who we thought we’d be. Scenes of happiness and sadness flash by, and people become nothing more than the potential of who they could be to us. It’s a little isolating, but without regret, we let them go and move on.

“America, Goodnight” is the punctuation to it all. It’s a final resting point for our youth, where music, friendship and love stay simple and pure.

‘Keepers,’ out April 28, is a beautiful and wistful collection of sound that never strays too far from being a pleasant, if not nostalgic, experience.

You can pre-order the album online. Cataldo will be in Los Angeles May 10 at the Resident. For tickets, visit the band’s website.

Source:: Cataldo Reflects on Youth in New Album

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Songs for the Likeminded and Empowered: A Women’s Month Playlist

By pcsanchez7505

March is a special time for me, not just because it’s my birthday month, but also because it’s the national month to celebrate women’s history. Throughout the years, women have fought for the right to vote, the right to work and receive equal pay and the right to be treated equally in society. So, in honor of all the women who rock at what they do, here is an empowering playlist full of amazing female musicians.

15. “When We Were Young” by Adele: Adele is always classy, always radiant and always honest. In “When We Were Young” Adele pours her heart out a thousand times over and takes us along for the ride.

14. “Self Portrait Beneath Women’s Mask” by Moon Honey: Ethereal and unearthly, Moon Honey has a unique quality that’s hard to place. From retro guitar riffs to lead singer Jessica Ramsey’s intriguing vocals, the band has a grit and charm ready to sooth and unnerve all at the same time.

13. “Daddy Lessons” by Beyonce: Love or hate her (though most love), you can’t talk about contemporary music without noting Beyonce’s impact on black culture and feminism. ‘Lemonade’ won me over last year, and “Daddy Lessons” is a great testament to Beyonce’s versatility.

12. “Things We Never Say” by Bad Bad Hats: What is womanhood without a little sensitivity. The female perspective is something often overlooked in music culture. That is, sometimes we’re afraid of saying what’s on our mind because we don’t want to seem weak or emotional. Bad Bad Hats’ singer Kerry Alexander doesn’t shy away from her emotional prowess, rather she embraces it with honest songs such as “Things We Never Say.”

11. “Atomic Number by” Case/Lang/Verse: Women are unique and wonderful creatures with qualities that come together in the best of ways. We are strong, sensitive, powerful and worth every ounce of respect. “Atomic Number” by Neko Case, k.d. Lang and Laura Veirs highlights the intrinsic values that make us who we are.

10. “Play it Cool” by Feels: The world needs more women (and men) like the no holds barred members that make up Feels. Their rowdy punk sound and can-do attitude can be felt in every song and performance.

9. “Leather Jacket” by Thunderb****: What could be more hardcore than a band whose name I can’t spell in print singing about how it feels to put on a leather jacket for the first time? Probably nothing. “Leather Jacket” is a bluesy, gritty tune that will have you purchasing your first motorcycle duds in the very near future.

8. “Tu Si Sabes Quererme” by Natalia LaFourcada: Mexican singer Natalia LaFourcada just released this new single about love, and there’s so much to love about the Hispanic singer’s sultry vocals and playful guitar riffs.

7. “Tears Dry on Their Own” by Amy Winehouse: Through many scandals, questionable decisions and a tragic end, Amy Winehouse’s talent and honesty was never challenged. Though her death is a sad reminder and cautionary tale about the dangers of alcohol and untreated mental illness, her music is a beautiful testament to her charisma and raw talent.

6. “Strangers” by Lucius: Lucius is the perfect embodiment of creativity and quirkiness. Even when the band is covering a song, such as The Kinks’ “Strangers,” they find a way to do it in a new and innovative way. Their live performance of the song is captivating, and the band engages with the audience in a beautiful way. From their strange, fun and evocative music videos to their colorful dress on stage, Lucius shares their creativity in everything they do.

5. “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” by Selena Quintanilla: Over a decade ago my brother, then 4, heard “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” blasting through the speakers of Disneyworld’s Epcot amusement park. He had never heard the song before, nor did he know about Tejana music artist Selena Quintanilla. That didn’t matter though. He immediately started dancing, and in a moment, my brother had unknowingly entangled himself in a love affair with Quintanilla and her music — a love that is just as strong today. Now, there is a soft spot in my heart for Quintanilla, partly because of my baby brother and partly because of my Hispanic heritage. But, personal preference aside, there are so many reasons why Quintanilla embodies the spirit of feminism. While her music wasn’t necessarily political or controversial, Quintanilla understood the power she held as a woman and the potential to break into the world of Tejano music, a predominately male genre at the time. Quintanilla didn’t just break the glass ceiling, she twirled and twisted through it as if it weren’t even there. Quintanilla’s charisma and vocal talent led her to stardom, but she also understood the benefit of being hands on with her music career and overall image. Her music had the ability to bring people and cultures together. After cementing a strong presence in Tejano music, her crossover album made waves in America. She crossed borders and languages as if they weren’t there, and was adored by many for her bubbly and welcoming personality. And, after her untimely death, Quintanilla’s music still moves even the most unlikely souls.

4. “Die Young” by Sylvan Esso: Sometimes the most empowering thing is finding out how much you can be moved by others. Feeling independent doesn’t always mean being alone or not caring about others. Sylvan Esso’s “Die Young” tells an intriguing story in the most unconventional way, one that submits to love and humanity. Sylvan Esso itself is a band that intrigues and captivates listeners with an electronic sound that undeniably speaks to the heart.

3. “Shades” by Alexandra Savior: Now, I feel like mentioning that I should have discovered Alexandra Savior much earlier than I did. The Los Angeles based singer not only has a unique voice and point of view, but she also has some powerful backings with the likes of Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys). Turner and Savior met by happenstance, decided to throw a few songs together and have even performed together at a few small L.A. venues. The duo gained more steam when Turner called on Arctic Monkeys’ producer James Ford to get involved. The result is a gritty, dark and all too alluring project set to make waves, that is if you don’t mind swimming in choppy waters. Savior’s music seems to establish a feminist perspective with a “rambling man” sort of vibe.

2. “Gimme All Your Love” by Alabama Shakes: When Brittany Howard opens her mouth, there’s no mistaking her intent. Her vocals never beg, never question. They never waver, nor do they falter. No, Howard never questions, rather, she demands, each note delivering an unmistakable confidence. “Gimme All Your Love” is just one example of Alabama Shakes’ talent. Watching Howard on stage is like witnessing ecstasy in motion. It’s raw, powerful and truly humbling. And when you learn that Howard went from working in a mail room to fronting one of the best alternative bands this decade, you realize how determined and hard-working she and her band are.

1. “Respect” by Aretha Franklin: In a playlist about empowering female artists, no one could forget Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” The powerful, motown song struck a chord in the psyche of women everywhere 50 years ago, and its message still resonates with us today. As we celebrate National Women’s Month, we remember the wonderful, brave women who came before us and fought for a simple, yet important ideal: respect.

BONUS: A photo album of some rocking females taken by yours truly.

Source:: Songs for the Likeminded and Empowered: A Women’s Month Playlist

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Country, Pop and Rock Oh My!

By pcsanchez7505

It’s hard to contain my enthusiasm when some of my favorite bands and musicians are on the cusp of releasing new work. Willie Nelson, Cataldo and Spoon are among the many talented artists releasing music over the next few months. Preceding the new releases are toe tapping new singles.

5. “Sit Next to Me” and “Hot Thoughts” by Spoon

Austin based band Spoon will release ‘Hot Thoughts’ March 17, but preceding the album are two new singles. If the singles are any indication to the album’s sound, we’re in for one funky collection. “Can I Sit Next To You” is a fun adventure that begs its listeners to move, while “Hot Thoughts” revs up like a sidewinding locomotive pulling into an introspective station. It’s a song that moves in unusual ways and makes sense in the most unconventional way.

4. “My One and Only Love” by Bob Dylan

In his younger days, Bob Dylan was an eager, outspoken individual who wrote politically charged and socially critical folk songs that left no stone unturned. He was not afraid to reinvent himself, sometimes to the dismay of his fans, and now Dylan has found inspiration not in new work, but in classic American tunes. ‘Triplicate’ out March 31, finds Dylan rediscovering and reinventing old tunes, and “My One and Only” is the first single, a beautiful and pleasant track.

3. “Velvet Gloves and Spit” by Timber Timbre

Timber Timbre may have some unusual, if not questionable, song titles, but their smooth and easy sound is always reliable. “Velvet Gloves and Spit” sounds absolutely beautiful contrary to its title. It’s slow, wading in a steady pace, and Taylor Kirk’s vocals are downright soothing. Timber Timbre’s new album ‘Sincerely, Future Pollution’ comes out April 7.

2. “A Woman’s Love” by Willie Nelson:

Seasoned raconteur Willie Nelson continues to be one of the top singer/songwriters of the ages. His craft spans decades, and this year he will release ‘God’s Problem Child’ on April 28. “A Woman’s Love” precedes his new album, and it’s a slow and somber tune with thoughtful and careful lyrics. Nelson has always gracefully captured the male and female perspective on love and life.“A Woman’s Love” seems to capture both perspectives in one tidy tune.

1. “Photograph” by Cataldo:

Probably the least known band out of the group is Seattle based Cataldo. The Indie band may be small, but they are mighty with a unique sound that captures the wistful, yet existentially prone, normalities of youth. In their new single “Photograph” lyricist and singer Eric Anderson peels back to proverbial curtains of young individuals to reveal something straightforward and concrete. From photographs capturing everyday joys to road trips across the Pacific Northwest, Cataldo paints a simple, yet profound picture, one that sticks to pastel color patterns and wispy strokes. Cataldo’s new album ‘Keepers’ is out April 28.

Source:: Country, Pop and Rock Oh My!

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