Curtis’ Prime Slices (4/6 – 4/12): The Chats, Stef Chura

The Chats – “Pub Feed” – (punk)

This band of Aussies blew up big time when they released their hilariously catchy debut single “Smoko,” accompanied by a video that now has over 6 million views. If you haven’t seen it yet I suggest you do that ASAP. Anyway, after a year, they’ve finally released another song that is just what was expected to follow up. Following the foot steps of “Smoko,” which is slang in Australia for a smoke break, “Pub Feed” is another term for havin’ a pint with your steak, gravy, and chips at the local pub. This group a lads really know how to write good, simple punk songs that are super catchy and funny at the same time. They’ve been packing venues in Australia and are doing a small North American tour this month in only a few cities so if you’re nearby one of them you better buy a ticket!

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Q&A with Danielle Ponder

Singer-songwriter and vocal powerhouse from Rochester, NY, Danielle Ponder was kind enough to answer some questions we had for her. She, along with Nick Hakim is a featured artist at this spring’s edition of birnCORE Live on Friday, April 19 at 8:00 p.m. She will also be joining us on Saturday, April 20 for BIRN Alive at 4:00 p.m. for an exclusive interview and live set.

Interview by Liv Field

Being a strong female performing artist, what advice would you give to other aspiring female musicians when it comes to commanding a room, and not being underestimated?

D: I never think I can’t command a room I never think I am not strong. Being a woman is powerful and I carry all of that power with me on stage. I’ve never doubted it. I looks at those who came before me, Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Big Mama Thornton, there was nothing small about their presence

What are some of the foundational values that help you in the music industry?

D: Always create to inspire. Always create from an authentic place. Worry not about the industry just keep creating. No one can do what you do, no one.

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Liv’s Prime Slices (3/30 – 4/5): Weyes Blood, The Foreign Resort, MorMor

Weyes Blood – “Movies” – Indie

Weyes Blood (a.k.a. Natalie Mering) is soon to release a full album called Titanic Rising. She dropped a 3 track EP to raise hype for the full-length album, which includes the tracks “Movies,” “Everyday,” and “Andromeda.” This collection of songs is a beautiful sandwich of conversational songwriting that takes a different turn to pop music, commanding your mind to a broader musical realm. My favorite track is “Movies,” which starts with an arpeggiated and hypnotic scale, moving up and down followed by the haunting yet clear sound of Mering’s choral voice. Each song brings a different idea but ties together with the same foreground of the sound Mering has so meticulously claimed as her own. Her video for the track “Movies” is out now, and her full length album will be released April 5th.

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (3/30 – 4/5): Field Medic, White Denim

Field Medic – “used 2 be a romantic” – (indie folk)

First up this week we have a brand new single from indie-folker Field Medic. “used 2 be a romantic” is a very personal song about the realities of his musical career. The opening lines set the mood pretty quickly “I need a cigarette, those f***ers talked over my whole set, but I don’t have any time to reflect, I gotta sell some shirts to try and make the rent.” The lyrics have a little something for everyone to relate to with themes of un-appreciation, alcoholism, and financial struggles. The song thrives in its simplicity and gets you with its really hooky chorus. His new album fade into the dawn is set to release on April 19th and it’s shaping up to be a another successful one. Give it a listen!

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April 19: birnCORE Live featuring Nick Hakim with Danielle Ponder

ATO recording artist and Berklee alumnus Nick Hakim is the featured artist at the spring 2019 edition of birnCORE Live, a live music series that presents some of the most creative, cutting edge performers working in the industry today. Prior shows have featured Taylor Mcferrin, Kaki King and Margaret Glaspy.

This semester’s birnCORE Live takes place on Friday, April 19 at the Red Room at Cafe 939. Hakim blends experimentation and psychedelia with classic soul, and his solo debut album, Green Twins, was praised by Pitchfork as “full of life and energy, often operating at a fever pitch.”

Hakim is joined by Rochester, New York’s Danielle Ponder, a vocalist and songwriter whose voice ranks with the best working in the industry today.

Student tickets are $15 to this must see show and you can get them here. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

Click here to listen to birnCORE!

Curtis’ Prime Slices (3/23 -3/29): Daniel Norgren, GRiZ

Daniel Norgren – “Let Love Run The Game” – (soul/blues rock)

Waiting to be heard today was this little gem of a song by Daniel Norgren. I knew I had to feature it the moment it started playing. At first it sounds like something that came straight out of Fats Domino’s repertoire, but soon transforms into this anthemic, soulful, and bluesy rock tune. The song sounds like it was recorded live in the same room as you pretty much feel like you’re there with them, which gives off that very ’50s recording sound.  The lyrics are simple and find a place in your head after your first listen. The music video, which is a collection of videos taken by the band during various tours and gigs, solidifies the tune’s sentimentality. It’s a real feel-good song that’ll hopefully get you ready for another week of hittin’ the books. Take a listen!

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Liv’s Prime Slices (3/16 – 3/22): Lucy Rose, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, The Coathangers

Lucy Rose – No Words Left – (singer-songwriter)

This enchanting and truthful collection of songs by Lucy Rose, called No Words Left, is one for the books. It is rare to find a new and upcoming singer-songwriter who writes songs that you feel are coming straight from the heart, not trying to be something they’re not, and not trying to put off a facade. Rose truly captures the beauty of simplicity, with each lyric and melody she shines through her charming voice, accompanied by her piano and guitar playing. This album is a refreshing splash in the face of realization that there still are great songwriters in 2019. I had never heard of Lucy Rose until recently, but now I find myself listening to her song “Solo(w)” in the mornings when I wake up or before I go to bed, repeating the line “But I can’t help it, when I’m solo.” With a beautiful walk down melody, you can’t help but sing along every time. Lucy Rose is most definitely now on my list of favorite songwriters, and I’m looking forward to see how she changes others lives with the music she creates and the growth of her fan base.

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (3/16 – 3/22): Sego, CHAI

Sego – “Shame” – (indie punk rock)

For some reason I completely forgot about this song until I went to write these prime slices today. It’s odd since this is definitely my favorite song that’s come in thus far this year. Sego is a four piece from Los Angeles with a really fun, zany, and thumping sound. The vocalist’s style reminds me a lot of Beck but thankfully not in the rip off kinda way. The song is really entertaining throughout and hits hard with the chorus, making it such a good ear worm. This is the first single off their upcoming album Sego Sucks, coming out April 5th on Roll Call Records. It also comes with an awesome music video that pairs with the song really well. Check ’em out!

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Show Review: Lily & Madeleine

Following the recent release of their fourth full-length album titled Canterbury Girls, Lily & Madeleine finished up their East Coast tour right here in Boston at Cafe 939 on Saturday, March 9th. The sister duo has been writing and performing together since they were in high school, and started their career by uploading home videos of them singing and playing to YouTube. They were discovered from one of their videos by producer Paul Mahern and invited to record their first album in his studio. They have been developing their sound and growing their fanbase ever since.

At the young ages of only 22 and 24, Lily & Madeleine have already released four full-length albums and wrote and produced their most recent album with Grammy-winning producer Ian Fitchuck. The two took the stage with a four piece all female band. It was empowering to watch, to say the least. The connection between all four women was quite evident, as they were perfectly in sync at every moment.

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