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.

Continue reading “Curtis’ Prime Slices (11/4 – 11/10): WAAX, Mike Molnar”

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.

Erin’s Prime Slices (10/28-11/3): Valley Maker, Ian Sweet

Valley Maker – Rhododendron (indie / folk rock)

This album is lyrically intricate while also maintaining an airy atmosphere that is easy to listen to casually. Austin Crane, the man behind Valley Maker, named the album after “the common plant which springs up in both Crane’s native south and his current home in Washington” –  a metaphor that is very central to the overall theme of each song and transition. It is honestly hard to pick favorites on this one, so just chill out and listen to the whole album whenever you get the chance.

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birnCORE Live featuring Margaret Glaspy at the Red Room on 10/20

Tickets are now on sale for birnCORE Live featuring ATO recording artist, Margaret Glaspy! birnCORE Live is the BIRN’s annual live music party hosted at the Red Room at Cafe 939. Past artists have included Kaki King, and Taylor McFerrin.

Glaspy will perform an intimate solo show in support of her latest EP, Born Yesterday. The new EP, is a bookend to her lauded 2016 debut LP, Emotions and Math (ATO Records). Emotions and Math was featured on many year-end lists from prominent publications when it was released in 2016, including the New York Times, NPR Music, Billboard, Mother Jones, and more. Glaspy toured the record intensely, playing countless shows throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

Touring was the catalyst that led to the writing of the new songs. “I wrote these songs on the road, in my hotel, on the plane, and at soundcheck,” said Glaspy. “They were the product of the little time that I had to myself—three songs about different sides of love: love gone wrong, love gone right, and love at a distance.” Glaspy self-produced the EP, which frames these love stories in catchy choruses, dark harmony, and her ever-evolving sense of the electric guitar. Her finely tuned ear for production and tone shine on Born Yesterday.

birnCORE Live takes place on Saturday, October 20 at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $20, with student discounts available, and can be purchased here.

Erin’s Prime Slices (9/20): Tirzah, Odesza

Tirzah – Devotion (synth, British R&B)

Repetitive yet entirely unpredictable, Devotion is a wild ride from start to finish. Tirzah’s vocals are raw and soulful amidst some seriously hypnotic synthesizers. While tracks like “Say When” feature a simple repeated arpeggiated piano line beneath solo vocals, others such as “Holding On” involve a bit more production and moving parts. Overall, a very interesting listen I would recommend anyone try out.

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The Roots Roadshow Live from the Red Room, Featuring Paul Rishell and Annie Raines

Tune in to birnCORE on Tuesday, September 25 at 8:00 p.m. for the first Roots Roadshow broadcast of the semester, live from the Red Room at Cafe 939.

The Roots Roadshow series, presented by the American Roots Music Program, is a showcase that explores and celebrates America’s rich musical heritage. Each month, the series presents a variety show of student bands and ensembles performing styles such as country blues, old-time, bluegrass, new acoustic, Celtic, classic country, and Western swing. Whether it is a faculty-led ensemble, new student project, or band making its name in the Boston scene, you never know what will happen at a Roots Roadshow. Continue reading “The Roots Roadshow Live from the Red Room, Featuring Paul Rishell and Annie Raines”