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.
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.
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!
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”
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.
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.
Tune in to BIRN1 on Saturday, September 15 at 4:00 p.m. EDT for the first BIRN Alive session of the fall semester featuring singer-songwriter Aizhou.
Beijing-born and Shanghai-raised, Aizhou grew up in a richly multicultural environment, impacting her outlook and the music she produces. She started classical training in piano at 5, but her musical journey truly began when she discovered Western punk and pop rock in her teens. Inspired by these genres and her traditional Chinese music roots, Aizhou started writing her own songs and taught herself to play guitar. At 17, she founded a rock band and went on to represent her high school in local showcases and events.
OHMME is an experiment in voice and sound by Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart. Inspired by the free improvisational music scene in Chicago and influenced by avant-garde rock their music draws comparisons to PJ Harvey, Nirvana, and Kate Bush.
Miette Hope is a singer-songwriter and independent artist attending Berklee College of Music on the first ever Vans Off The Wall Scholarship. Her style features emotional, honest lyrics over spatially rhythmic grooves. Hope plays with a five-piece band.
Tune in to birnCORE this Thursday, May 3rd at 8 PM EST for a live broadcast from The Red Room @ Cafe 939 featuring Manu Delago.
When Delago first discovered the Hang, an enchanting musical instrument manufactured by PANArt in Switzerland he discovered a passion for writing music.
His Hang solo piece “Mono Desire” has become the most popular Hang video on the internet and was featured in the top 30 music videos on YouTube. His music is incredibly unique, atmospheric, and beautiful.
He has released several albums with his band, and has collaborated with artists such as Björk, Anoushka Shankar, Joss Stone, Andreya Triana, and Bugge Wesseltoft.
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