Staff Picks : August 2018 *Summer Nostalgia*

August 2018

Summer is never really over. Just believe in it and it’ll linger. While labor day weekends are like a last hooray the summer memories stay forever and for this months picks the ZUMIX Staff have dug far into their minds to embrace those. Take a listen below to hear them flow back out in the form of music with a mix of Aretha Franklin, Skabetty, Sly & the Family Stone and Porches. Enjoy!

“Don’t Tell” by Eleanor Elektra

“I listened to this album a lot during my commute to work and this song was one of my favorites.” – Jireh Calo, ZUMIX Play It Forward Instructor

“I’m Still In Love” by Marcia Aitken

“Every track off the Jonny Greenwood is the Controller album (+Draw Your Brakes by Scotty) evokes nostalgia from every summer I’ve had since 2007 when I was introduced to it. Radiohead’s guitarist Jonny Greenwood made a compilation of his favorite reggae selects, some more known than others. My connection with “I’m Still in Love” goes back further to being on summer vacation and dancing with my mom to a live band’s cover. The joy I saw across her face during that makes this song dear to me and deeply nostalgic. I also vividly remember the feeling of being 15 with my best friends, blaring the rest of album outside on a hot summer day by the pool. It’s the perfect soundtrack to span the range of summer emotions, from carefree chilling, summer romance, ongoing reality of world issues and the potency of life when the weather is hot. Other favorite tracks are Dread is the Controller, Let Me Down Easy, This Life Makes Me Wonder, Dreader Locks… actually every song is my favorite.” – Jacob Gilman, Events Coordinator

“Young Blood” by Naked and Famous

“This song was released the summer I fell in love with my partner in life and love. Every time I listen to it, I go right back to the beautiful feeling that everything is vibrant and beautiful, which comes with the excitement and possibility that falling in love brings.” – Kimberly Dawson, Director of Advancement

“I Never Loved A Man (The Way That I Love You)” by Aretha Franklin

“Every song by Aretha Franklin makes me feel lots of strong emotions, but this is one of the first ones I put on repeat in college when I was experiencing unrequited love, so that’s why it’s my “Summer Nostalgia” pick. Queen Aretha forever!” – Ali McGuirk, ZUMIX Play It Forward Instructor

“Saturdays” by De La Soul

“This song hits the summer nostalgia hot spot, It talks about love, work, play and anything else you could do on a saturday during the summer. it also has a funky beat thats perfect to set the mood “mr.sprinkler mr.sprinkler” always makes we want to tap the fire hydrant” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Mass of the Fermenting Dregs” by Skabetty

“While this song doesn’t bring me back to a specific Summer in my life, I did discover this song this Summer and the general warmness of the song makes me yearn for something happy that never truly existed.” – Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Manager

“Daylight” by Matt and Kim

“This song is the embodiment of many outdoor summer memories, and was solidified as one of the most glorious summer songs after seeing it performed live in 2013. Kim put her trust in the audience, and “crowd surfed” standing (with multiple people holding her feet and ankles) while doing a little dance. What a summer rockstar!” – Nikala Peroni, Development & Communications Associate

“Hot Fun in the Summertime” by Sly & The Family Stone

“A nice warm, nostalgic hit with a just a hint of musk — A classic by the first truly racially and gender integrated American band.” – Mr Ed, Teaching Artist

“Good Good” by Saweetie

“The vibe on ‘Good Good’ evoked so many memories for me of college travesuras, running around on hot summer nights shooting music videos, evading mosquito bites and getting lost in thunderstorms. ” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

“Ce Jeu” by Yelle

“This song brings me back to summers in high school, yell-singing while jumping around my room in my PJs or driving to the beach with a car full of my friends. It gives me that young, butterfly feeling of playing silly hard-to-get games with a crush. Very summer nostalgia :)” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Goodbye” by Porches

“Melancholy & maudlin. Languid & lavish. Fresh, free, and fervent. Makes me want to cry as much as this summer has.” – Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

Listen to the playlist on Spotify by clicking this link:

‘Careers for Years’ explores tech jobs

Hi! My name is Keneisha from Careers for Years!

Before ‘Careers in Tech,’ I thought anyone who majored in the tech field had to be good at math. When I had heard about internet researchers, I thought they spent all day googling things. Thankfully, when this season got started, I got some new ideas about careers in tech!


Our Guests:

  • Alex Dorsk, Coder

“If you like puzzles then you also probably like programming…” — Alex Dorsk

In this conversation, I learned that when you code, you begin to have a different approach to problems themselves. You learn how to break them down into different parts. You also become more open to the concept that there’s more than one way to do anything.  I also learned how important it is to use our technological abilities for the best.

  • Jenna Sherman and Nikki Bourassa, Internet Researchers

“It is also from the angle of who is creating this data, who is creating the algorithms being used in these technologies … I try and think about it from an empowering narrative how we can use and create these technologies for the social good.” — Jenna Sherman

One of my favorite things I learned is that you don’t need to be a computer scientist in order to work in the tech field.  For instance, Jenna and Nikki are internet researchers, who majored in health research and political science in college.

  • Sasha Costanza-Chock, Associate Professor of Civic Media

“Follow your heart … it’s not a linear path necessarily. For me, the entry point was around my own experience and music!” — Sasha Costanza-Chock

Not all paths are straight ones!

  • Ethan Zuckerman, Director of Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab

“I totally think it’s possible. I think that smart young people following what they want to do and then taking advantage of sort of the doors that open along the way… yeah.” — Ethan Zuckerman

It was great to explore the humble beginnings of the fulfilling lives of these inspiring people! I’d have to say that one of my favorite things throughout this series has been learning that tech isn’t all about math. If listeners like me hadn’t heard that, then those who aren’t sensational at math (me) might have been discouraged. If you listen to the whole series, you’ll realize this is a recurring theme, but a favorite one nonetheless. Thanks for reading.

‘Hello It’s Me’ Radio Class – August 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

‘I liked writing the story because it’s a way to use my creative juice. I’m like a car. My creativity is the gas and the car is my pen. Every move I make is the story I write.’ – Geana

‘Hello, It’s Me’ was a audio production class at ZUMIX during the summer of 2018. In the class students played ice breakers, wrote free writes and created a story. The participants of the class were given complete freedom to write a script and produce it. Take a listen to there audio dramas right here!

‘As co-facilitator of the class I had a lot of fun. The student were not only eager to write scripts but were easy to open up. Ideas were shared but also jokes. In all the experience was entertaining, while Rene and I led the class it felt less like instructing but more like hanging out.’ – Jasmine

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Staff Picks : July 2018 *Karaoke* Edition


Karaoke is simultaneously embarrassing and super fun; singing into a blaring PA system alongside shiny lights and friends. Karaoke brings people together to celebrate and let loose and this month the ZUMIX staff have made their picks and who knows maybe under the right circumstances you might see us belt these tracks out in public but for now you can check out the picks below!

“You Know I’m No Good (Remix)” by Amy Winehouse & Ghostface Killer

“I find a person who can sing the Amy part and the crowd never expects me to come in with the rhymes, this joint always turns the party out” –Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi

“I mean, it doesn’t get much more 80s hair band than this…and who doesn’t love an 80s hair band for karaoke.” –Kimberly Dawson, Director of Advancement

“Golden Years” by David Bowie

“Not the easiest song to sing but it sits well in my vocal range, chest voice, head voice, and break(!) fun to navigate—especially if I’m ‘warmed up’ and lubricated.” –Mr Ed, Teaching Artist

“Mr. Brightside” by The Killers

“This was actually the first song (and the last) I ever sang at a public karaoke bar. I did a duet and we nailed it. The song’s melody is easy to remember and all of the long drawn out words in the chorus and outro make it the perfect karaoke track.” – Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Manager

“I Will Always Love you” by Whitney Houston

“Has a better, more powerful or more nostalgic song ever been written? I think not.” –Ali McGuirk, ZUMIX Play It Forward Instructor

“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

“Because this might be the funnest song ever and I like to sing like Freddy.” –Jenny Shulman, Director of Operations

“Genie in A Bottle” by Christina Aguilera

“Struggling with self-discipline, contemplating hedonism, and prioritizing self-respect and enthusiastic participation when the opportunity presents itself? Come on– it’s the pre-2000’s empowered pop star ballad of my dreams. I’ll sing this song like I wrote it.” –Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

“One Way or Another” by Blondie

“Fun driving vocals, with modulation – yay!” – Madeleine Steczynski, Co-Founder & Executive Director

“You Learn” by Alanis Morissette

“It’s hard to pick just one from this album, and if I could go sing karaoke thirteen weekends in a row, I’d pick a different ‘Jagged Little Pill’ track each time I step to the mic. ‘You Learn’ is just a great message to belt out with a bunch of people as your backup singers in a crowded room. ” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

“Freak On a Leash” by Korn

“Last time I did karaoke this was the easiest song for me to get through and it also made people leave the room. Which makes it very clear that my high school days of listening to Nu-Metal has left it’s mark on me that is beautiful, kinda ridiculous and at times a bit scary” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

Listen on Spotify:

Staff Picks : June 2018 *Joy Ride* Edition

June 2018

Joy rides are great especially when it’s nice out, you’re in good company and the music is on point. At ZUMIX this month we picked our jams for the long drives, the beach trips and the cross country road trips. If you’re enjoying the summer vibes and are looking for some new tunes to play in the car, we’ve got you covered! Check out this months picks below.

“One Day” by Matisyahu

“No matter what, when I put on this song it makes me happy and hopeful…plus, my daughter and I love to sing it together in the car :)” –Kimberly Dawson, Director of Advancement

“Biggy” by Warpaint

“Aside from having one of the grooviest contemporary rock drummers, Stella Mozgawa, Warpaint’s tunes are big favorites of mine for blasting on long summer drives with the windows down because I feel like I’m swimming in their ethereal sounds!” –Nicole Pompei, Teaching Artist

“Not For Radio” by Nas

“So much truth in 1 track. NAS is truly a poet and master with words, his delivery is straight forward and unapologetic. Its refreshing to hear such raw reality from one of the greatest to do it.” –Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“If It Feels Good” by Leon Bridges

“This track makes me think of my friend Caroline, who introduced me to Leon Bridges on a summer night when he covered Ginuwine’s Pony in front of a bunch of screaming fans. It embraces being mysterious and low-key, and is best when turned way up — all qualities of a good joy ride.” –Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

“Sunshine” by Atmosphere

“A classic. This song perfectly emulates the mellow joy that can come from a slow drive on a sunny day, singing along to your favorite song (which just so happens to be this one).” –Nikala Peroni, Development & Communications Associate

“Strange Mercy” by St. Vincent

“This is one of those songs that brings me right to a specific moment every time I hear it… Road tripping from California to Montana in the summer of 2011 – windows down, rolling hills, endless blue sky.” –Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Evergreen” by YEBBA

“I love this song, this singer and her arrangement – it makes me so excited about music and life!” –Ali McGuirk, ZUMIX Play It Forward Instructor

“Hunnybee” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

“This is what the wind sounded like as it flew by me in my imaginary baby blue hatchback the day before I got my license whispering lil summer vibes into my dreams. This song is so sweet, its lovely to hear over and over again.” –Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

“Glowed Up” by Kaytranada feat. Anderson .Paak

“Super fun “celebration of life going well” song and Andy brings the high vibrations!” -Jake Gilman, Events Coordinator.

“Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” by Crystal Waters

“I’d hop in a car and drive for miles just to hear this song blast good vibes at me a couple times. But don’t sleep on those socially-conscious lyrics; homelessness can happen to anyone. In that condition, our title woman still considers herself beautiful as she busks on the street after losing her job. Confronted with extreme loss, what would you preserve to live on proudly?” –Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

“Ride On Shooting Star” by The Pillows

“I first heard of The Pillows, as did many people, from the anime FLCL (Fooly Cooly) which released in America in 2003. The story revolves around a 12 year old boy and a ‘Vespa-riding maniac’ woman from outer space. The Pillows did the soundtrack to the short 6-episode anime and I was a young 10 year old kid with no real music taste. However, this specific song was the credits sequence track to each episode and I actually would sit through each episode’s credits sequence just so that I could listen to this song. I think it’s where my love for alt-rock and j-rock was subconsciously being bred. The credits featured a montage of one of the main characters riding around on her vespa… which may be why I associate it with joy riding!” – Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Manager

Listen to the playlist here on Spotify:

Staff Picks : May 2018 *Spring is Here!* Edition

May 2018-3

It’s springtime! Here at ZUMIX we’ve been wrapping up classes with graduations and performances over the last couple weeks and we’ve been bumping music to get us going in this shift over to springtime. Take a listen to the music below and see what ZUMIX Staff picked to highlight as their jam to groove to.

“This is America” by Childish Gambino

“This song is one thing and then the video takes it to another level. I love how this piece brings up questions, dialog and feeling about content, race, media and our country.” –Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Como Siempre Soñé” by Javiera Mena

“Spring is perfect for dreamy electro pop that gives you that soft, falling asleep next to your crush feeling.” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Good Kisser” by Lake Street Dive

“Nope it’s not Usher, it’s Lake Street Dive with a recent release that screams new beginnings! Video director Bianca Giaever is a master of quirky and fun, and she shows us all the ways we could be delivering messages in this playful al maximo video, beyond the realm of the phone. ” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

“Colors” by Beck

“It’s retro, it’s futuristic, it’s serious, it’s fun, it’s mindless pop, it’s intellectual psychedelic pastiche. While we could criticize Beck for some questionable choices on this album (rapping over a trap beat for example), there is no doubt he is one of the most versatile, fearless, and prolific songwriters of the last 25 years.” – Daniel Fox, Director of Creative Media & Technology

“Hoo La Hoop” by System Band

“What an amazing horn arrangement! ” – Brian Paulding, Brass Instructor

“Year Round” by HighKey Random

“For me everything goes into slow motion when this bumps; mosh pit shoves, ice cream drips, hair in the wind, running for the train, flashing lights.” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

“It Was Not Natural” by Wye Oak

“Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack (the duo behind Wye Oak) are not only incredibly skilled musicians and highly knowledgeable about music production/music tech, they were a true pleasure to meet and share the stage with at Brooklyn Steel. Wye Oak tunes are some of the grooviest out there — perfect for blasting during long spring bike rides!” –Nicole Pompei, Teaching Artist

“Lion’s Jaws” by Neko Case

“This song reminds me of both the comfort and discomfort of Springtime and it has a cool 50’s vibe to it.” – Jenny Shulman, Director of Operations

“Maria Tambien” by Khruangbin

“I just like it. The guitar player gets cool sounds out of the instrument.” – Omar Sosa, Administrative Assistant and Teaching Artist

“El Jornalero/”El Hijo de Tuta” by Lisandro Meza

“¡Wepaaaaa!” – Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

Listen to the playlist here on Spotify:


Staff Picks : April 2018 *Walk Up Song* Edition

April 2018.png

This April we’re holding our biggest community-driven fundraiser of the year, the Walk for Music! So in honor of this special event we’re celebrating with the start of themed staff picks and this month it’s the epic ‘Walk Up Song’. Those songs you hear when a baseball player gets up to bat or an athlete enters the arena, Have you ever wanted your own anthem to start the day? We did and you can listen to all the tracks below!

“Good” by STL GLD

“I had the pleasure of having Moe Pope from this band STL GLD visit my high school classes this week and it was amazing. I feel like his energy, skills and vibe comes across in this song very well. I would be honored to use this as my WALK OUT song cause it goes as hard as I do” –Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Homebody” by Nai Palm

“This is a non-traditional vibe for a walk-up song, but lyrically it makes me want to hit a metaphorical home run in my life. Also, can I just be a fire juggler in this video?” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

“Venus Fly” by Grimes ft. Janelle Monáe

“Man, there are so many good options for a Walk Up song… But how could I not feel ready to take on the world when I’m listening to two kick-butt females sing about reclaiming the dance floor from creeps? ” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Wake Up” by Arcade Fire

“Its a call to arms: Go Weapons of Mass Percussion! And it has a great double-time coda!” – Mr. Ed, Teaching Artist

“Groove Is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite

“This is my walk up song because I dare you to NOT dance when you hear this. ” – Jenny Shulman, Director of Operations

“Back in the New York Groove” by KISS

“This song has always been on my “walking around the city” playlist. Great for strutting down the street or on the subway…or walking up to the plate ;)” –Kimberly Dawson, Director of Advancement

“I Want to Take You Higher” by Sly & the Family Stone

“Can you feel the heat?!” – Avi Salloway, Z-Tech Live Sound Coordinator

“Fergalicious” by Fergie

“In 7th grade, my best friend could do all of Kevin G’s rap from Mean Girls, and I could do all of Fergie’s “rap” from Fergalicious, and those were our things. If I’m really telling myself that I’m now too cool to get down or walk up to this song, I’m simply lying to myself.” – Nikala Peroni, Development & Communications Associate

“Righteous Woman” by TORRES

“This song is a reminder that as a queer woman, I don’t need to shrink myself down and allow the men around me to consume all of the space, that I should be able to consume the same amount of ‘manspreading’ space.” – Nicole Pompei, Teaching Artist

“Raggamuffin (Real Rock Riddim)” by Koffee & Chronixx

“This 17 year old has the most interesting flow I’ve heard in a long time. Backed by the best modern reggae band around, the result is pure fire.” – Brian Paulding, Brass Instructor

“I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan

I am obsessed with Chaka Khan and I appreciate the role she and this song have played in female empowerment. – Ali McGuirk, ZUMIX Play It Forward Instructor

“King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar

“I’m mad, but I ain’t stressin’!!” – Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

Listen to the playlist here on Spotify: