Staff Picks: October 2017

Oct 2017

ZUMIX is buzzing with music suggestions! October has been a busy month here at the firehouse and the music is flowing, from local music and new music to classic tracks. Here it is, take a listen and enjoy the vibes!

“Beggin & Pleadin” by Brandy

“It sounds like trap, country gospel” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Noise” by Messy Hearts

“This is the newest most electronic sounding track from a friend, Dora, who I used to waitress alongside. I imagine this song would be the soundtrack of the scene where we carry heavy trays around in our coming-of-age movie.” – – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

“Show You the Way” by Thundercat

“This is modern Yacht Rock, and There some uniquely inspiring bass lines and incredible production on this track.” – Joel Edinberg, Z-Tech Mentor

“Simply Falling” by Iyeoka

“I heard Iyeoka perform a poetry set in Colorado, and then learned she was also from Boston. I bought her album expecting more poetry, and found instead this sultry, jazzy collection of songs that I haven’t been able to stop listening to!” – Anni Leff, Development & Communications Associate

“Tinariwen” by Tiwayyen

“Release yourself to the spirit and sound of the Tenere (the desert)! Tinariwen are a band of Tuareg musicians from Azawad (Mali/Algeria). They survivors of colonization, oppression, desertification, war, and famine. The music rises above adversity, transcends boundaries and carries us forward!”– Avi Salloway, Z-Tech Live Sound Coordinator

“Sleep Gets Your Ghost” by Buke and Gase

“I was obsessed with this album when it came out in 2010, and have recently rediscovered how much I love Buke and Gase. They play with modified instruments — an electric 6-string ukulele (buke), and a guitar/bass hybrid (gase). The duo also plays percussion with their feet, creating super interesting melodies and polyrhythms. And Arone Dyer’s voice is ridiculously beautiful.”  – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“If You Met Her” by Palehound

“Palehound are amazing musicians and people who make really raw, genuine, and honest music, and “A Place I’ll Always Go’ is a perfect soundtrack for the fall.” Nicole Pompei, Teaching Artist

“Ooh Child” by The Five Stairsteps

“It doesn’t matter how down I’m feeling, this song never fails to lift my spirits.” Scott Mizrachi, Community Engagement Coordinator

“What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?” by Washington Phillips

“So haunting. So beautiful.”  – Brian Paulding, Brass Instructor

“Hold Your Head High” by Heartless Bastards

“I love this song – Its an exercise in resiliency. There is one lyric in particular that really gets me: “You see I’ve got this fascination with the wrong ways to go… I get lost even in the places that I know” I feel like there is so much beauty in that phrase. Oftentimes thats how you find the best places but there will always be a level of anxiety and struggle that goes hand in hand with getting lost. This song reminds me that its ok to feel lost and that “this too, shall pass.” ”  -Jenny Shulman, Director of Operations

“Lovely Thing Suite: Conversations” by Watsky

“Watksy has a such an incredible grasp on storytelling, using lyricism to water the ideas he wants to grow and impart; Part 1 is a heartfelt look at our mortality, life’s big questions & the relationships we build” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

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Staff Picks: September 2017

Sept 2017

September is coming to a close and we want to keep rocking those summer vibes. So this is it the last hooray before Fall makes its way in the house and hangs out on the couch. ZUMIX has been bumping music all month and we wanna share these vibes with you. So if you’re on your way to bio class or to a weekly meeting take a second & listen to this months picks, feel the good vibes and who knows you might find your favorite new artist!

“Kirby” by Aesop Rock

“Aesop got a kitten and wrote this song about it. enjoy!” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

My Type” by Saint Motel

“This is just my type of song.” – Nikala Peroni, Development & Communications Associate

Runaway” by Del Shannon

“Steve showed me this song the last time we played together at 154 Maverick -it’s been stuck in my head ever since…” – Scott Mizrachi, Community Engagement Coordinator

Sticky Situation ft Syd” by Quiñ

“Cotton Candy vibes, feels airy and light but with a dark undertone perfect to vibe out to on a late night cruise through the city.” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

Dang Me” by Roger Miller

“This quirky tune from 1964 makes me smile every time I hear it. What a lyrical and musical sense of humor.” – Brian Paulding, Brass Instructor

giver taker” by Anjimile

“I think the best way to describe Anjimile’s music is to say it’s aggressively tender. All of their lyrics are haunting, loving, entirely relatable, and contain a certain type of honest vulnerability that totally knocks you on your butt. I had a hard time picking just one song for this months edition of staff picks, but I went with “giver taker”. It has really resonated with me after recently losing a family member — the sadness of goodbye, the pain of remembrance, the calm of accepting that all things come to an end.”  – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

 

Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

“In those super hectic times of life where you feel like you’re running at 60 miles an hour, blasting Queen from your crappy car speakers with the windows down is just what you need to get through the day!” – Anni Leff, Development & Communications Associate

House where nobody lives” by Tom Waits

“Tom Waits is one of my all-time favorite artists. His lyrics are always haunting and beautiful. I especially like the story this song tells and the message it conveys. It also has that type of sad Autumn rainy day feel to it where you just want to curl up in a soft blanket.” – Jenny Shulman, Director of Operations

Baybee” by Jay Som

“This song/video makes me want to do swirly dance moves in a snow suit. I got to see Jay Som live in Boston and they are the definition of fun on stage. Seeing how much they love their music makes me love it more.” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

 

 

Tech and Space Camp: ZUMIX Summer Radio Workshop

A lot of different motivations bring people through the old firehouse at ZUMIX. Parents bring their kids for a robust after school education; young-at-heart community members drop in to broadcast from the radio station; youth go in to learn, yes, but also to be young people. And that sometimes implies that, when you are given the power to choose the theme for the summer programs, you decide it is all going to be about space camp.

What brought Mariel through those doors this summer is the long-standing question of how we can use our existing windows into youth’s lives to promote critical thinking about the technologies in their everyday lives. What brings Brittany is the feeling of exploration that happens everyday in the radio studio, which she imagines to be similar to what Armstrong felt on the moon. But the beautiful thing about youth development is that it’s not about one or two forces dictating the path.

Some think that creating educational experiences is about choosing the wackiest ice breaker and pushing people through the right number of post-it brainstorms. But really, curriculum building is closer to juggling, pulling a vast number of elements into a symphony; facilitating is about encouraging a process of group thinking and learning process that fits within a larger pathway.
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Youth media literacy curriculum work tends to juggle three main components: technical skills, conceptual and analytical skills, and collaborative skills. In terms of ZUMIX radio workshops, the technical part involves learning the ins and outs of a radio studio, the software, the ZOOM recorder, and then the radio formats; conceptually, it’s about developing a grasp of the topic of choice — in our case, inner and outer space, and the technologies connecting them — and the ability to communicate those themes to each other and an audience; collaboratively, our youth practiced ways of working together to make a unified show, exploring the space camp theme selected by the ZUMIX Teen Council.

What this meant in practice for our summer radio program with youth, ages 13 to 17:

  • In terms of radio formats, we focused on the vox pop (meaning ‘the voice of the people’ — our link to outer space) to promote understanding of others’ perspectives; radio diaries (one person’s audio documentary of their day — our link to inner space) to promote richer reflections on the topic at stake. To explore the ‘colors’ of radio, we also designed a produced show introduction and sonic IDs.
  • In terms of the topic of analysis, we promoted tech reflection through exercises like ‘A Day in our Musical Lives’, critical discussions of app features like the Snapchat map and Jukedeck, best and worst case scenario exploration, and the interpretation of youth and adult tech perspectives from our ‘Tech Spectrogram’. From these exercises, our youth chose two topics, Snapchat and music technology, as the frames for each of their two radio shows.
  • In terms of radio communications skills, youth set goals for their own learning, through critical listening of their recorded radio work. The goals they determined after the recording of their first show were: improve the natural flow between the inner space and outer space segments, minimize ‘awkward silences’ and dead air, and practice voice tones and volumes.

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The broader youth development approach of the program (and ZUMIX as an organization) had an impact on different levels of the process. Our own co-facilitation involved Ana, a 14-year-old MLK intern at ZUMIX, who mastered ice breakers and her own radio production skills to facilitate the process for the group. The improvement of radio work was all based on the group’s own assessment and their own goals. And a lot of the class time was about creating opportunities for listening and talking about the portions of our lives that otherwise would not get discussed.

And then it’s about how all of this fits into a pathway; how this workshop builds on skills that youth have already developed in school and in other ZUMIX programs, and also crafting the steps that follow. We are happy for the launch of The Firehouse — a new daily radio program at ZUMIX, with collaborative themes and music curation, that aims to bridge the gap between the introductory course and independent youth-produced shows.

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In the end, helping youth realize their potential and their actuality implies connecting their pathway to a broader community. Youth media literacy work is about learning to communicate with others, from the ability to interview Nate Matias about Snapchat and Alexander Dorsk about music technology, to creating content that addresses community needs.

Despite this juggling of infinite elements, the intro radio program at ZUMIX is about creating empathy for your co-hosts on a radio show, and gratitude for the beautiful window radio provides into our communities. And if as an educator you are wondering about radio as an outlet to see this transformation happen, give it a try — wait until you see their faces when they listen to their own recordings on air.

You can find the curriculum for this program here.

You can also listen to ZUMIX radio, and see some tweets and other photos from the process.

Take a listen to an episode of Intergalactic Intersection!

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ZUMIX Radio Interviews IBA Youth

Last week, ZUMIX Radio host Dawry opened the studio doors to a bold a bright group of young people from the sound art program at Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA). This summer was the group’s first time experimenting with audio – writing commentaries and interviewing friends to create radio pieces on topics of their chooding. The pieces aimed to show that, big or small, our passions keep us moving.

Broadcast live on 94.9FM, IBA‘s show featured eight radio stories and brief interviews about the inspiration behind them.  Check out the recording below to hear more about the young people’s thoughts on net neutrality, their dominican identity, the importance of art-making, and dreams of becoming a pilot, to name a few.  Thanks so much to Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion and their dedicated instructor, Crystal Wegner, who led these youth through their first audio projects. We hope these are the first of many stories.

Staff Picks: August 2017

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It’s back-to-school season! We aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to summer but until one of us finds a time-turner we don’t have much of a say in the matter. The best way to head into a new school-year (or season for those of us not heading back to the classroom) is with new jams. ZUMIX has got you covered there, look no further! Strap on your backpack, pop on some headphones, and with this playlist in tow – you’re ready to face the day. Happy listening!

“Blue Boss” by Sampa The Great


“I love this song because I can listen to it and feel empowered while doing anything.” – Nikala Peroni, Development & Communications Associate

“Doomed” by Banana

“Banana is a really great local band with a distinctive sound- highly recommend checking out one of their upcoming shows!” – Kelly Baker, Director of Development

“Woman” by Kesha (feat. The Dap-Kings Horns)


“This song is a female empowerment anthem and a reminder to all listeners that women are stronger and more independent than society likes to believe!” – Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

“Temporary Tattoos (last forever) 2” by sourcreamqueen

“All of her music is such a big inspiration on me and I love the attitude she brings to the table with each and every song!!!” – Gabi Barroso, ZUMIX Teen Council

“Strawberry Letter 23” by The Brothers Johnson


“Unadulterated Funk with a side of psychedelic soul. Don’t worry, there’s enough for seconds…” – Scott Mizrachi, Community Engagement Coordinator

“Had Ten Dollaz” by Cherry Glazerr


“Cherry Glazerr is killing it on the festival circuit domestically and internationally and channels riot grrrl vibes wherever they go. The group is fronted by Clementine Creevy who just turned 20 years old, a fact that most stories written about them can’t leave out. If there’s one thing that we know at ZUMIX, it’s that talent is not correlative to age, maybe sometime the headlines will too. You go, Clementine!” – Jeeyoon Kim, Events Associate

“Room” by Palehound


“I’m just going to use a quote for this one: ‘This song celebrates queer love and the joy of finding a healthy relationship after a long time of heartbreak and shame,’ Ellen Kempner told The FADER via email. ‘For the majority of my life I saw my queerness as a curse and I have recently come to see it for what it is: a huge gift and a source of immeasurable love and happiness for me.’ And also, the art for this video is too beautiful.” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Shame” by Rachel Baiman


“I love that she’s confronting the stigma of ‘shame,’ as a woman in a music genre that tends to disproportionately highlight male voices. Especially in bluegrass music, which can often slant a little more traditional, it’s really refreshing to hear an artist overtly challenging those norms.” – Anni Leff, Development & Communications Associate

“Caroline” by Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers


“Steve Martin is brilliant. Feels so nice to relish in this fun tune and witness his unending passion for storytelling and humor.”  – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

“1-800-273-8255” by Logic Ft. Alessia Cara, Khalid


“Strong song and video. The discussion of identity now-a-days and suicide prevention seems to be a hot topic, Logic finds a very creative way to start the conversation here.” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Stay Happy” by Broken Social Scene


“So many diverse musical elements come together to make this song both infectious and refreshing – a great track for listeners who are digging into this band for the first time or who are seasoned fans of the group.” – Magdalena Abrego, Teaching Artist

“Pa’ Respirar” by Bomba Estereo


“It’s a meditation, and it reminds us to breathe in the good and breathe out the bad. Plus the mountain filming and acoustic guitars alone are a like a deep breath.” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Stefan Maryniak

 

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Do you know Stefan Maryniak? While he is deeply beloved by many in our community, the true extent of his involvement could easily have slipped under the radar…until now!

Beginning with his first foray into the ZUMIX Songwriting & Performance programs as a volunteer with the Write Rhythm in Spring of 2016, Stefan brought a level of expertise that was almost as impressive as his level of modesty about it. Having a rich background of experiences in music composition, production, and performance, it was clear from the start that there would be ample opportunities for Stefan to support ZUMIX programs in a thoughtful, inventive way. After that semester, Stefan expressed an interest in working with advanced songwriters to hone their craft, and since became an integral part of with Wild Painting’s monumental Boston Landmarks Orchestra collaboration, guiding the group in songwriting and orchestration. As if all of that wasn’t enough, he even provided a database management consultation with our administration team, drawing from his professional experience in software development!
Here’s what Wild Painting’s Angelina Botticelli has to say about working with Stefan:
“I got the privilege to work very closely with Stefan when Wild Painting started writing for the Landmarks Orchestra collaboration. We started off as strangers and 6 months later, he’s not only super close to me, but to everyone in the band. He knows our inside jokes and he’s become someone we look to for insight and advice. He’s one of the nicest, coolest, most down to earth people I’ve ever gotten to work with/meet & his British accent makes it even better.” 
Stefan, from all of us here at ZUMIX, thank you for making a difference in our community through your love of music and support of talented young people. You totally rock!

Boston Landmarks Orchestra & ZUMIX: Anthems of the World

By, Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

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On August 9th, ZUMIX youth band Wild Painting performed with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Memorial Shell! ZUMIX has been partners with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra for the past two years, and this year the theme was Anthems of the World. The performance was one of six that night, along with performances from the Boston String Academy and music from composers such as Amy Beach.

Wild Painting’s “Views”, written and produced with the help of Gonzalo Grau specifically for this performance, is raw and emotional, and described as “an anthem of youth culture”. It features three main components that are meant to describe three aspects of life many youth today experience: pressure, passion/production, and activism. The transitions between the three parts were flawless; going from upbeat, to more emotional and intense, then back to upbeat. The lyrics were breathtaking and honest, featuring lines such as “the pressures getting around and pulling me down”, “music is flowing and growing seeds in the ground”, and “if we’re taught to be conscious consumers are knowledge and our loving is what brought us here”.

 

Not only were the lyrics amazing, but the combination of the band’s instruments and vocals with the orchestra’s instruments were so powerful and uninhibited that you could not help but be moved. The performance was astounding, and a perfect example of the greatness that can be created when youth are allowed to be creative and true to themselves. Wild Painting broke barriers with their performance, and there is no doubt that they, and other youth as well, will continue to do so in the very near future.

 

Listen to and download Wild Painting’s first album, Emotions, here: http://www.nimbitmusic.com/zumix/

Follow them on their social medias to keep up to date:

Instagram: wildpainting.band

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wildpainting.band/