Goes West – William Tyler

February 11, 2019

“William Tyler is drawn to instrumental music that takes inspiration from distinct historical events, he once explained, ‘like Hiroshima or the crucifixion of Jesus.’ Goes West feels less conceptually united than any of his work—more inspired by the contemplation of history than history itself—but this searching quality adds to its honest, meditative power.

The Crossing – Alejandro Escovedo with Don Antonio

January 15, 2019

Alejandro Escovedo, the son of Mexican immigrants, and Antonio Gramentieri spin a new human story about the old American dream for “The Crossing,” a concept album released in September by Hillsborough-based label, Yep Roc Records. Gramentieri joins him on the album, and the tour, under the name Don Antonio. The tour stops at the Cat’s Cradle Jan.

The Pains of Growing – Alessia Cara

January 15, 2019

“Every day I get messages. It’s such a beautifully jarring thing to just make a song because you feel something, and then have real-life people, one on one, tell you that it’s changed their life to the point that they love themselves in a new way, or to the point that they were able to come out to their family.

Thanks Be

November 22, 2018

Happy Holidays — yes they are upon us! Thanksgiving is my favorite — friends, framily, no pressure but to gather and celebrate one another, unless of course you are the one with the bird…my best wishes to you.

If I’m being honest, holidays, even my favorite ones, are hard. They come with strings attached, ghosts of seasons passed: the missing, the lack, the not enough, the no longer.

Go O.F.F.

November 5, 2018

We first heard Mama Sol at Women’s March Conference in Detroit last fall and we can’t stop listening to her. Mama Sol embodies what it means to be a true artivist. She is a teacher, mother, humanitarian, lyricist, survivor. We’re going back to 2016 for this week’s record, cause we need some truth to get us through Election Day.

East Nashville Get Out The Vote

October 3, 2018

“There’s a great Rodney Crowell song called ‘Ignorance Is the Enemy,’ and I find that to be true,” Worsham tells Rolling Stone Country. “I believe that ignorance and apathy are the greatest threats to American democracy today. Voting is the perfect antidote. If you inform yourself and cast your vote, you are fighting ignorance and apathy.

I’m a Dream – Seinabo Sey

September 15, 2018

Seinabo Sey, the daughter of Gambian musician Maudo Sey, lost her father in 2013. She dedicated a 2015 EP to him, and I’m a Dream includes “Never Get Used To,” a song about how grief hollows out everything around the mourner, from inside out. “I sing because you told me to, and then I stop because it sounds just like you,” she sings, and you really do hear their shared cadences.

Live At Fillmore West – Aretha Franklin

August 24, 2018

“All right?” Aretha Franklin asks. “Are we moving in the right direction?” The answer, supplied immediately by several members of the crowd and preserved for all eternity, is yes. Scratch that – the answer is “YES!!!!” Those fans’ entire lives have been moving in the very rightest of directions to put them in that room, on that night, in shouting distance of Aretha singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

It’s March 5th, 1971, a Friday night in San Francisco.

To The Sunset – Amanda Shires

August 9, 2018

“During the #MeToo moment, much emphasis has been rightly placed on the need for women to guard themselves against the unrestrained appetites of male perpetrators. Maintaining that vigilance and devoting necessary energy and attention to confronting and correcting not only sexual wrongdoing but warped thinking can be all-consuming. While Shires might not have set out to make an album that reminds us of the power of women pursuing their own impulses, desires and ambitions with abandon, that perspective enlivens this bracing 10-song set.” – Jewly Hight, NPR

I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions – Santigold

August 1, 2018

“If you want people to hear your message, you have to be in the race, you have to play the game. If you want to talk about it, then make it fun, make it playful, and make it art…The reason I make music is so that I can influence people and inspire people, but I also want to make music that I feel happy about and that I feel is good.

Hive Mind – The Internet

July 24, 2018

Hive mind – a notional entity consisting of a large number of people who share their knowledge or opinions with one another, regarded as producing either uncritical conformity or collective intelligence. We prefer to think the latter is in play on The Internet’s new LP, Hive Mind. 

“This egalitarian spirit and anti-hierarchical approach to song-making fuel the sleekest, most robust music of their career.” – Sheldon Pierce, Pitchfork 

Heaven and Earth – Kamasi Washington

July 16, 2018

“You can always say no,” Washington added. “If Trump pushes the nuclear button, the pilot with the missile can say no.”

Jazz has always been radical in its deconstructions of form and forceful assertions of black identity. Washington took pains to note that this album is political music, even at its most oblique, in the sense that it taps into and tries to understand the primal forces that animate our attitudes and choices.