SOCC DJ Profile: Hannah Bollen

DJ Cowgirl Pervert (AKA Hannah Bollen) moved out here to the Wild West from Nashville, TN. She’s studying Economics with a minor in Art History. As a senior this year, she’s been managing the SOCC radio DJs. Every Monday from 7-8, you can tune in to her show “Hoppy, Crisp, and Fizzy” to hear some indie tunes.

This weekend, I got the chance to sit down with her in the drawing studio and interrogate her for 40 minutes! So read on to find out what she had to say about the music in her life J

Mimi: Who’s your favorite artist from your hometown?

Hannah: Probably Sun Seeker. Although, can I have multiple? Have you ever heard of R. Stevie Moore? He’s from Nashville and has collaborated with Ariel Pink and he’s been doing lo-fi, weird music for like forever. I only found out about him a few years ago, but he’s so cool.

M: When did you first get into music?

H: Well, I played in band from 6th grade through high school and I think that playing an instrument really lead me to develop a love for listening to music. I played in the jazz band in high school, and I think people are like “Oh, band is such a geeky thing to do,” but it was so cool. I really miss playing – I played the alto saxophone and think I might join the jazz band next semester. Anyways, in terms of listening to music, growing up my dad would always have cool CDs in the car we would listen to. One was a band called Everything But the Girl, and he had a lot of Smashing Pumpkins in the car which I didn’t really appreciate when I was younger – I was always like “Eh this is just kind of annoying” but now I definitely appreciate it more. We’d always have a David Bowie CD in the car too. But I didn’t really have good music taste until late high school. I think one of the first artists I got really into was Fleetwood Mac.

M: How would you describe your show?

H: Well, I usually just put whatever songs I’ve been listening to in a given week and play from that. I feel like I like to think that my taste is somewhat eclectic, but then when you look at it, it’s really just not that eclectic, you know. It’s usually just a lot of indie and non-mainstream artists.

M: Do you ever talk about the songs you play?

H: Yeah, I like to give context to them. Sometimes I like to come up with a theme like “these are all songs that are special to me” and for each one I’d say why. For one of my shows that I did recently, I remembered what song was playing when I drove for the first time and it was “China Girl” by David Bowie. I also like to encourage people to say something in the DJ chatroom, that’s like my favorite thing about the show is when people participate.

M: What’s your favorite show you’ve ever done?

H: Well, last year I had a Tinder date on my show, so that was fun.

M: Do you have any famous DJs you look up to?

H: Peggy Gou. She does live house music… well I think you’d call it house music. Maybe club music. She’s so f—cking cool. Like look up a picture of her, she’s just so cool. And she has five songs on Spotify but there are a ton of remixes of them.

M: What were some of your favorite albums of 2018?

H: One of my favorite albums of the year was Sam Evian’s album You Forever. He’s really good, it’s kind of like ethereal but country-twangy a little bit. Also Sugar Candy Mountain’s Do It Right was a really good album – a lot more pop-y than their older stuff. Oh also Jerry Paper’s new album too, that was very good.

M: What were some of your most played artists and songs of 2018?

H: According to the Spotify Wrapped thing, Ariel Pink was my #1, which was not surprising at all to me. Then I think Sugar Candy Mountain, Sam Evian, Jerry Paper, and R. Stevie Moore. I think I’ve already mentioned them all before. Anyways, my top songs were:

“Pink Litmas Paper Strip” by R. Stevie Moore

“Hand It Over” by MGMT

“Sweet VA Breeze” by DRAM

“This Time Around” by Sugar Candy Mountain

“Escalator” by Good Morning

And I listened for 25,575 minutes!

M: What are your desert island albums?

H: Hmm, my immediate thought is Jim Sullivan’s album UFO. Ariel Pink’s album Before Today. And maybe a Steely Dan album, but I can’t decide which one. And ooh maybe an Amy Winehouse album – Back to Black I guess.

M: Do you have any favorite movie soundtracks?

H: Oooh, Napolean Dynamite. Elf, hahaha. And Boyhood. We grew up with the Elf and Napolean Dynamite soundtracks in my mom’s car. And in between each song, they’re like thirty seconds, there’s a quote from the movie. So yeah I think I can do the whole movie by now, haha. And the Elf soundtrack is definitely the best Christmas music soundtrack.

M: Do you think you’ll try to continue music in any way after college?

H: Yeah… I’m trying to figure out in what capacity I can, but one thing I want to do is join a local band, like a community jazz band or something. If there is a college radio station like KRCC or something nearby and they have volunteer DJ slots I would totally do that. On the more business side of it, I’ve looked into applying for some music analyst jobs that I’ve seen, but I’m not really sure.

M: Do you have a favorite music blog or any favorite music writers?

H: Have you ever watched Anthony Fantano videos on YouTube? He’s not my favorite, but I watch a lot of his stuff. He’s really annoying but I do watch his stuff all the time. Other than that, maybe like Consequence of Sound but not any particular writer.

M: How do you discover new music?

H: By stalking all of my friends, but stalking cool friends. Strictly cool friends, hahaha. And also just keeping my ears peeled wherever I go. And Discover Weekly on Spotify. Some people just poo-poo that because it just gives you more music that’s similar to your own stuff, but I find a lot of music that way that I wouldn’t otherwise know about. I also go down rabbit holes on Spotify and find a lot of stuff like that.

M: Where’s your favorite place to listen to music?

H: I think walking around campus and walking to class in the morning. I think when I’m listening to music at home a lot of the time I’m on my computer and not focusing on the music, but when I’m walking I’m not doing anything or talking to anyone, just walking and listening.

M: What’s the best show you’ve ever seen?

H: I keep bringing up Ariel Pink, but honestly he played such a good show last year in October in Denver. Afterwards, “I was like that’s the best concert I’ve ever seen.” Freshman year I saw Father John Misty in Denver and I don’t know if it was the orchestra hall but it was a really big, airy venue and it was really good. He’s such a good show person and all of the lights were timed perfectly. Oh, also Chicano Batman played in Nashville in 2017. They are so well practiced and they hit every note just right. That was a great show.

M: Okay, last question. Do you have any guilty pleasure music that you listen to?

H: “thank u, next.” Such a f—king good song. Although I don’t feel guilty about it. It’s so catchy. And then, well I also don’t feel guilty about this, but I think 80’s pop music is so cool. And early 2000s middle school songs. Like “Fire Burning” by Sean Kingston. I mean, that’s a great song too.

SONG OF THE WEEK(END): Mike Clark & the Sugar Sounds- “Burn You Up”

Mike Clark & the Sugar Sounds performing at Globe Hall in 2016. Image Credit: Nikki A. Rae

This song has haunted me all week. From the deep, deliberate drum beat at the song’s beginning to the singer crooning, “You know it’s gonna burn you alive…burn you up, burn you up” at the bridge, listening to this track transforms me into a more melancholic version of myself. “Burn You Up” reminds me of a failed relationship and lost love I’ve never even felt nor experienced before. However, the song isn’t overwhelmingly sad. It’s tinged with sweetness, present in the way the guitar chords are somewhat reminiscent of bells ringing, the way the lead singer draws out certain words while keeping others short, and also for the way the lyrics “you called me darling when you broke my heart” are sung- simply, tenderly, and truthfully.

The simplest way I could explain this song to my friends in hopes they would add it to their Spotify queues went along the lines of, “Oh my god, it’s SO good. It goes through, like, three vibes during the song.” For lack of better phrasing, “Burn You Up” does go through multiple vibes. The song’s cyclical nature takes the listener through different technical and emotional sections of the song, only to return you exactly where you started. Listening to it feels somewhat like recounting a dream when you wake, sometimes the details are fuzzy, it might have been strange (but seemed totally normal), and you always end up back at the beginning.

Of all the tracks on the one album Mike Clark & the Sugar Sounds have on Spotify, “Burn You Up” stands out, for me, as one of their most dynamic, and more emotional, songs. This song, though not too good at hyping anyone up for Winter Break, still serves as a good, chill listen as we near the end of fourth Block. Happy studying, procrastinating, and listening. Hopefully you enjoy the bittersweet “Burn You Up” as much I do!


You can listen to “Burn You Up” on Spotify with the link below:

Concert Review: Kamasi Washington at the Buckhead Theater on Nov. 17

As the lights dimmed in Atlanta’s Buckhead Theater, James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing” played overhead and members of Kamasi Washington’s band walked on stage and received a warm welcome from the audience.

Once Kamasi stepped on stage, we were all transfixed by his presence – immense, towering, powerful. The audience yelled and hollered and even I, being relatively new to his music, felt I was in the presence of a real demigod. In fact, Washington has been referred to as the “savior of jazz,” but he’s always been too humble to accept the accolade.

Photo credit: Krists Luhaers, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:POS17_@Kristsll-409_(35194970423).jpg

FlyLo and Thundercat have made a name for themselves as more electronic musicians, but Washington doesn’t feel the need to stray too far from traditional jazz. He’s emulated and expanded upon the music of his jazz heroes and proved that he can do it bigger and better than perhaps any other jazz musician at the moment.

I was blown away by the power and energy that Washington packed into his performance. I was expecting a relatively mellow night, but Washington and his band delivered super funky bass jams, an epic drum-off between his two drummers, and soaring vocals from his vocalist Patrice Quinn that got the entire theater dancing.

After a few songs, he introduced Quinn by saying “Patrice is one of the best singers I know. You can tell some people are good by the way they talk, but Patrice, she sounds amazing even when she’s cursing at you.”

After Washington introduced Quinn, she launched into the most powerful song of the set: “Malcolm’s Theme,” from Washington’s debut album, The Epic. The songs lyrics come directly from Ossie Davis’ eulogy for civil rights icon Malcolm X. The moving lyrics, paired with Quinn’s emotional, powerful, and beautiful delivery gave everyone goosebumps.

My favorite part of the set was when Washington’s stand-up bass player, Miles Mosley, played his incredible funk epic “Abraham.” I was blown away by Mosley’s ability to create such otherworldly and groovy sounds. Here is a link to a performance of Mosley’s playing “Abraham” that I suggest you all watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c73NCDr5ACo (skip to 3:30 if you’re limited for time).

After being mesmerized by Washington for almost two hours of free-jazz digressions and thoughtful, intricate pieces, I felt like I’d been to a different universe and back. Just like the legendary Pharaoh Sanders who I had the chance to see earlier this year, Washington’s music transcended all of us to another realm of experiencing. Washington confirmed that jazz can be as lively, engaging, and fascinating as any other genre, if not more so.

ALBUM REVIEW: Khalid- “Suncity”

 

Khalid’s rise to fame has been slow and steady. His smooth sound and relatable lyrics make for versatile, chill music for a variety of settings.  But apart from being solid background music, his most recent album, Suncity, shares some words of wisdom about his journey to stardom as well as the unpredictability of life that we can all relate to.

Unlike his first album, American Teen, which centered on Khalid’s relationships and teenage experiences with catchy but simple songs like “Saved” and “Young, Dumb and Broke,” Suncity’s abstract feel is more of a focus on instrumentals. Apart from “Saturday Nights,” with the chorus “all the things that I know, that your parents don’t” which echoes the angsty teen of Khalid’s previous album, Suncity tackles life’s obstacles in a way that all age groups can relate to.

Suncity begins with “9.13,” a short instrumental which concludes in Khalid being given the key to his hometown of El Paso, Texas, or as he calls it in American Teen, the city of the 915. In “Vertigo,” Khalid reflects on his rise to prominence in the music industry among other accomplishments in a whimsical, dubious way. After going back to his roots with the somber, moody teen passion in “Saturday Nights,” he returns to a more reflective vibe with “Salem’s Interlude.” “Salem’s Interlude” revolves around life’s obstacles that we all face as well as the struggle of which path to take. Through the interlude, Khalid invites listeners to step back and contemplate their direction and goals in the craziness that is life. “Motion,” my personal favorite song on the album, is the most unique and has a dreamlike quality. The album ends with a note of pop in both “Better” and “Suncity,” definitely the most radio friendly of the album. “Better” is catchy, romantic and overall average. “Suncity,” featuring Empress Of, expresses Khalid’s tie to El Paso and the community he grew up in, ending back where he began in an upbeat, refreshing tone.

All in all, “Suncity” is both a continuation of Khalid’s style and an example of his progression into a variety of lyrical and instrumental genres. After being featured in songs with artists from Halsey to H.E.R., I was pleasantly surprised to see Khalid’s old style and growth reflected in Suncity.

See what you think!

Listen to Suncity here:

Jerry Paper October 10th Lost Lake Lounge

JERRY PAPER – Photo by Joe Leavenworth for Fader

As the season’s first snow fell in Denver, I made the trek to the capital’s Lost Lake Lounge to see Jerry Paper. It was my second time at Lost Lake; the staff were just as friendly as I remembered, the venue just as intimate. I came just in time for the last opener, Kiefer. Although a bit bummed to miss his predecessors, Prophet and Stimulator Jones, I easily got carried away with Kiefer’s rhythmic, floating keyboard-and-drum kit melodies. Citing J Dilla, and covering him once, Kiefer swayed his shoulders, letting his eyes close and his head fall back, as he grooved with the crowd. At the end of his set, he slipped off stage and stuck around to chat and enjoy the rest of the show.

I had seen Jerry Paper once before at a converted Free Mason lodge in Los Angeles this past summer. Then, the band had just finished recording Like a Baby, their newest and most accessible record. They were just introducing it to a live audience. Now, two days before the worldwide release of Like a Baby, the band had grown into the new songs. On the record and in concert, they had traded in synthetic instrumentals and muffled vocals to explore a funkier, organic sound that matches well with Jerry Paper’s jovial, live crooning.

Now, in Denver for the first time, wearing a purple t-shirt, Nathan Lucas, the songwriter, producer, and bodily vessel through which Jerry Paper is experienced, strolled and spoke with concertgoers. Minutes later, he was on stage, this time wearing a silky green dress. Joined by a tight, able five-piece backing band, Jerry began to do what he came there to do. If you’ve never been to a Jerry Paper show, it’s a sight to see. Jerry dances with a looseness and a focus like no one else. I would be hard pressed to find a performer whose enjoyment is more contagious.

The set was largely new material. For me, that was wonderful. The new songs feel made to be enjoyed live. It’s almost like the energy Jerry brings in every step and swing was transcribed into a song. However, his lyrics don’t come from his hips but from a deep, scary place in his head. On Grey Area, he sings: “Grey area come and find me/ In the cereal aisle/ Which corporate mascot/ Will bring me joy or paste me up a smile?”. Jerry’s newest songs are nihilistic anxieties of consumerism, society, and the afterlife, and, when you listen closely, the messages are every bit as contagious as his joy. But Jerry didn’t come to make anyone ponder their existence. He just wants people to get lost for one night.

“Right now, you’re experiencing pleasure and ecstasy. It’s what I do for you with my little song and dance”, he reminded the crowd. “Hope you like it”.

The crowd did like it, and the band seemed to like us. By the end of the show, Jerry was comfortable enough to ask the crowd at-large if he could use anyone’s shower.

“No funny business”, he warned. “I just feel dirty and live in a bus”.

After a beautiful rendition of “Reprogram Ourselves”, Jerry appeased the crowd with an uncharacteristic encore.

“Personally, I hate encores, but we’re never here”, he told the crowd.

With great songs, a fantastic band, and a truly lovable leader, I had a wonderful night. Jerry, you’re welcome in Denver anytime!

NEW PLAYLIST: Sad Boyz Snow Falling

https://open.spotify.com/user/fionakherzig/playlist/4Q864k007a81NFjVQpueWE?si=7Pwgs4P2R2q3pBNZFewGxw

Sadboy hour is an essential part of my week. Watching snowflakes spiral slowly down to cover the once beautiful green lawn and listening to sad songs is the best way to welcome the winter season.

A playlist that includes both Bob Dylan and Drake is bound to be as confusing as snow in October.  I hope through the various vibes present in this playlist you can find one that aligns with your reaction to the early snow.

Click on the link above to listen! And happy snow watching! Or rather, sad snow watching!

Photo credit: Weeping Willow Photography

SONG REVIEW: Roky Erickson’s Cryptic “I Think of Demons”

Roky Erickson is considered an undeniable pioneer of psychedelic rock. He’s mostly known for fronting The 13thFloor Elevators, a group out of Texas that many argue to be the first psychedelic band. More than ever, The Elevators’ sound can be heard in modern psychedelic garage rock like Oh Sees, The Black Angels, and Ty Segall. “I Think of Demons,” however, is less psychedelic sonically than it is psychedelic in its strange, surreal lyrics. Put out in 1980 under Roky’s solo project, the song is more similar to a stereotypical hard rock song; the melody itself isn’t that innovative and it’s more so a feel-good, familiar classic rock groove. The simple melody lets Roky’s lyrics shine.

I, I, I think of demons
They never kill
I, I, I think of demons
They never will

They don’t need to
They’ll scare it’s true
I think of demons for you

Roky describes a demon he “reads,” a demon with fangs in dazed moonlight and “blood that never touches [his] lips.” I always feel emotionally hit by this song, the idea of being able to “read” demons and thinking of demons for someone else. Maybe it’s because I know Roky’s difficult history with drugs and mental health that I read into “I think of demons for you” as a declaration of the forced martyrdom he endures psychically. His personal context aside,  this sentiment serves as a perverse love song and an acknowledgment of monstrosity and inferno. “I Think of Demons” is one of the less cartoonish songs in the context of The Evil One, an album rife with vampires, zombies, two-headed dogs, and other monsters. While this could very well just be a goofy rock song about demons with my own projections running wild, I think there’s something mystic about the lyrics of this song. It continues to be something I keep with me and turn over and over.

Here’s the song below, and here’s a link to the full lyrics:

Interview with Seal Eggs

Recently I did an interview with Gwen Wolfenbarger, more commonly known in the music community under her alias, Seal Eggs. She is incredible and the interview helped me learn a lot about her process; if you think you might want to do so too, listen to it here: http://krcc.org/post/exploring-disembodiment-and-human-voice-experimental-musician-seal-eggs

Concert Review: BROCKHAMPTON is redefining what we mean when we say “underdog.”

Brockhampton proves that in 2018, you don’t need a record deal to become a household name. Formed in 2015 in San Marcos, Texas, the rap collective is essentially a crew of fifteen friends who work together to write and record music, shoot videos, and promote their brand. The first members actually met in the comments of a Kanye West fan forum. Now, Brockhampton lives together in Los Angeles and churns out albums faster than you can squeak an ad-lib.

Over the course of 2017, Brockhampton produced three LPs to comprise the SATURATION trilogy, each release more dialed than the last. Their sound is fresh but familiar, like a sonic lovechild of Missy Elliot and Dr. Dre. The group’s six rapping members cover a great deal of lyrical ground, touching on themes like faith, drug use and homosexuality. Their latest tour wrapped up last night with a show in Phoenix, AZ.

When I first saw the title of Brockhampton’s latest tour – Love Your Parents: A Live Experience by BROCKHAMPTON – I assumed it was some kind of inside joke. Almost everything the group had put out to date had been tinged with mockery, like the fishy announcement that Saturation III was “Brockhampton’s final studio album.” Loving one’s parents is by no means an offensive practice to promote, but the lyrics of songs like “JUNKY” suggest a bit of tongue-in-cheek there. Calling it “A Live Experience” seemed like a similar stunt to the announcement that the group’s “last studio album” announcement: an act of facetious grandeur.

Brockhampton’s visit to Denver’s Ogden Theater on February 22nd was no gimmick. The show was sold out weeks in advance, with scalpers peddling their wares in the triple digits. The “live experience” had no opener, and so by showtime the venue as packed with anxious fans. The atmosphere before the show was not unlike that of other boybands – anxious fans rushing to get past the security metal detectors, people standing on their tiptoes to see any Brockhampton members lurking in the wings. Every time a sound guy crossed the stage, the crowd erupted into cheers. Some enthusiastic fans in the front tried to summon the boyband three separate times with a “BROCK-HAMP-TON!” chant.

Suddenly, the house went dark. A pedestrian crossing light shone brightly on one end of the stage, and a stoplight illuminated the other. There was a moment of tense silence and anticipation; the calm before the storm. No music just yet. Then, the main lights came up to reveal the makings of a living room – sofa, some chairs, and an ambiguously vintage television set – inhabited by America’s Favorite Boyband, all in matching orange jumpsuits.

Image courtesy of @daddys.shotgun on Instagram

Unsurprisingly, Brockhampton opened with “BOOGIE”, a track that marked a sharp upturn in their popularity. Each verse brought a new member downstage, until all but one were in full formation. By the end of the song, each member was downstage and fully vertical – except for Bearface, who spent the entirety of the show lounging in various positions on the furniture.

Kevin Abstract, the group’s leader, did not give the audience much time to breathe after their raucous introduction. For the next hour and a half, Brockhampton blasted through what seemed like all of the Saturation trilogy. The kept small talk between songs to a minimum, but that’s not to say Brockhampton shirked the crowd. Kevin was the primary voice of the group between songs, and he thanked and taunted the crowd. There was even a point in which Kevin engaged the audience in a call-and-response cheer of “I’m gay!”

At one notable moment, they played Star. After Kevin’s verse, he stopped and had the entire crowd rap the lyrics back to him. A bold decision, yet somehow everyone knew all the words. The show maintained its energy on the audience’s knowledge alone. This wasn’t just a hit-song phenomenon, either. Audience members were consistently rapping along to every word. Hilariously, everyone screamed the loudest during the parts with lyrics referencing Kevin’s gayness. Hearing the audience of a sold-out venue shout about giving men oral sex was a special experience indeed.

About an hour into the show, Kevin shut down the party to host a brief Q&A. This lead to a divine moment in which a girl in the crowd held the mic and earnestly asked Matt Champion if he would like to hit her JUUL–he politely declined. Another audience member asked about a certain synth line, which briefly brought DJ Romil into the spotlight. An intergral part of Brockhampton’s music, Romil was the silent hero of the night. He nailed the live autotuning, and made sure there wasn’t a moment of dead air to spoil the energy.

Image courtesy of @bearfacington on Instagram.

The show came to a close with a soulful solo performance of Waste by Bearface, who had remained draped across the living room set up until that point. Naturally, the performance wasn’t really the end of the show, and it was obvious that the boyband was simply baiting the audience for an encore. Upon Bearface’s exit, the stage went dark. For about ten hopeful minutes the crowd chanted and churned. Kevin took a mic from backstage and teased the crowd with lines from various songs, taunting his fans with a vast portfolio of potential reprises. Finally, the lights came up and Brockhampton came out to perform the pleasant pop track “HOTTIE”.

Brockhampton’s show at The Ogden proves that there is strength in numbers. With six spitters to cover every dropped syllable, the group enjoyed a large margin for error. The group dynamic is forgiving. It doesn’t matter that no single member could carry a performance like that on their own – that’s just part of the deal. They wear the same orange jumpsuits and often paint their faces blue, a cheeky nod to the fact that Brockhampton is totally a team effort.

Brockhampton’s achievements over the last six months could be enough to satisfy a young rap group’s ambitions, but America’s Favorite Boyband is nowhere near slowing down. Now that the “Love Your Parents” tour has come to a close, Brockhampton will return home to Los Angeles for a few months, before playing major festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo and Reading & Leeds. I tremble for any act who has to follow them.

Watch the video for “SWEET” below:

 

Song of the Week: Valentine – Soloq ft. Clairo

Soloq is a go-getter. This 17-year-old chillwave producer sells beats for money in addition to working on his own stuff, and while he’s not exactly widely established yet, he’s already got some dank collaborations on lock . Soloq’s latest project features a track with vocals by Clairo, the bedroom pop internet darling that everyone seems to love. The lovely tune is full of satisfying pops and guitar strums, the perfect soundtrack to an early spring day. Listen below.