Music

  Sonic Youth is known for plenty of musical hits, but “Kool Thing”, featuring lead-singer Kim Gordon’s gorgeously deadpan, anti-patriarchal monologue, is a song that is drilled into the brainfolds of anyone who came of age in, or just before, the riotgrrrl era.  “Hey cool thing,” Gordon purrs, backed by a driving drum beat. “There’s something I gotta ask you. I just wanna know—what are you gonna do for me? I mean, are you gonna liberate us girls from male, white, corporate oppression?” And now, on Erica Dawn...
  If you haven’t heard of Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna, you’re missing out on life. Since moving to America at 23, the Muslim singer has worked hard to carve out her own lane in the world of r&b and fashion while also staying true to herself. This is evident in the work she creates, like 2016 smash single “Crush” featuring Usher. A smooth and sexy track describing the the excitement of burgeoning desire, the black & white video features Yuna and Usher singing longingly while a montage...
Pompeii (Mexican Summer) No one wields isolation more beautifully than Cate Le Bon, whose acclaimed 2019 album, Reward, was created during a solitary year of furniture building. Following the more recent, compulsory period of isolation, Le Bon returns with a follow up as intricately surreal and elegantly introspective as its predecessor. Opener “Dirt on the Bed” is oddly compelling, with atonal strumming an drooping horns, but second track “Moderation” sets Pompeii’s tone with a dexterous bass groove under a hazy, striking melody. There’s an aching pop forwardness throughout...
HAPPENING Co-written and directed by Audrey Diwan Out May 6 Happening is set in France in 1963, but without the period-appropriate costumes, it would be hard to distinguish it from present-day America—or plenty of other anti-choice countries around the world. Based on Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical novel of the same name, this award-winning drama follows a young student named Anne (Anamaria Vartolomei) as she attempts to end the unexpected pregnancy that threatens to derail her promising academic future. This was no easy feat at the time, as abortion was illegal in France until...
Nilüfer Yanya describes Painless as “a record about emotion.” The London-based singer/song-writer’s zany, jazz-pop debut, Miss Universe, certainly wasn’t emotionless, but her sophomore album is more direct, as well as more instinctive. Unafraid of unpretty truths, Yanya shows us exactly where it hurts, and we feel it. The tracks remain dancey, but with heavier thuds and piping-hot tears dropping straight to the chest. Guitars bend, bellow, and quiver; her breathy alt-rock vocals paint everything in midnight blue. Electronically sharp and approachably nihilistic, there’s an “evergreen grimness” reminiscent of...
  At first glance, it might seem like a stretch to compare Jewel to Patti Smith. Jewel Kilcher, after all, is a blonde-haired Alaskan in her 40s, best known by many people for ballads like “Who Will Save Your Soul,” “You Were Meant for Me” and “Hands.” Smith, by contrast, is a septuagenarian who grew up mainly in New Jersey and who is a rocker at heart. Where Jewel’s work can sometimes verge on Hallmark-style sentiments, Smith is not averse to using “fuck” or even the...
SHILPA RAY “PORTRAIT OF A LADY” (Northern Spy Records) Dynamic Brooklyn based singer-songwriter and musician, Shilpa Ray, returns with her fifth full length release Portrait Of A Lady. Written in the wake of the #metoo movement and the weathering years of the Trump administration - Ms. Ray is candidly revealing her views about these situtations and then some. Ray has such a wide musical and vocal range from which she draws which always keeps the listener fully engaged. Ray’s singing can be in your face with an...
“Energy never dies, it just transforms.”-Left Eye 20 years ago today, on April 25, 2002, the world lost rapper, singer, and hip-hop legend, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. 1/3 of TLC, the best-selling American girl group of all time, Left Eye was just as known for her playful and introspective lyrics as she was for her style, creativity, and fiery personality. Left Eye’s unique sound, delivery, and charisma elevated any track she was featured on. On the anniversary of her passing, we remember her legacy. Rest well, Queen.  header...
DIANE COFFEE “WITH PEOPLE” (Polyvinly Record Co.) Shaun Fleming is back under the Diane Coffee moniker with his fourth full length release WIth People. Like many artists Fleming was no doubt affected and influeneced by the isolation during Covid pandemic. This is evident resulting in his most introspective and personal offering yet. Once again Fleming shifts musical gears from his previous album, Internet Arms’ soulful Synth Pop sound to an jangly Folk Rock, Dream Pop vibe with a touch of Glam Rock. “Corrina From Colina,” “Hollywood,” and “Forever You &...
 THE LINDA LINDAS Growing Up (Epitaph) Tween/teen Asian/Latinx band the Linda Lindas exploded into notoriety after appearing in Amy Poehler’s movie Moxie. And a performance of their song “Racist, Sexist Boy” went viral last spring, instantly resonating across ages and identities. “Growing up isn’t something you can make happen when you want it to,” guitarist/vocalist Lucia de la Garza points out on the title track of the band's first full-length. Yet the foursome intuitively employs punk rock to make headway on these growing pains throughout the album. The...