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

 

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Staff Picks: July 2017

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It’s the last week of July, which means it’s time for some monthly staff picks! This month has been a busy one with new music, concerts every Sunday, album release parties, and the start of summer programs. We caught up with ZUMIX staff members and asked them about their favorite songs they listened to this month to keep sane during the hustle and bustle of everyday life at ZUMIX – and they delivered! So sit down, put on some headphones, and jam along!

“This Must Be The Place (Talking Heads cover)” by Kishi Bashi


“I’m singing this at a friend’s wedding later this month, so all I can think about when I hear it is a summer night on a Wisconsin farm. Plus, if all of pop music was reset to string quartets, I think I’d be pretty much at my happiness max.” – Anni Leff, Development Associate

“Ojos Del Sol” by Y La Bamba


“Tender and raw, at once rooted in traditional Mexican folk and in their own original sound, this song by Y La Bamba totally melts me. I can’t get it off repeat.” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato


“This is the perfect song about post-breakup glow and simultaneously makes me want to dance because of the upbeat tempo and strong base as well as cry because of her out-of-this-world vocals that I could never even imagine having” – Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

“Another Story Told” by Sam Amidon


“The vibes, the beat, the freedom and exploration, the friendship!” – Avi Salloway, Z-Tech Live Sound Coordinator

“Cryin’ in the Sheets” by Zeshan B


“Sometimes you just gotta get into that Soul, enjoy” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“One Day Too Late” by Skillet


“One sentence on why you love it: I feel that this song sends a great message to people of all ages that every moment lived shouldn’t be taken for granted and that people should come together to help each other and make the world a better place while they can.” – Kaylene Sheran, Pathways Intern

“Slusher” by Tredici Bacci

“Paying tribute to the great film score composer Ennio Morricone, the Italian Pop Orchestra, Tredici Bacci teams up with Brattleboro folk legend Ruth Garbus for a sonic journey of tropical delight.” – Scott Mizrachi, Volunteer Coordinator

“Mexican Chef” by Xenia Rubinos


“Who knew the revolution would have such a catchy anthem?” – Kelly Baker, Director of Development

“Diving Woman” by Japanese Breakfast


“I’ll let the artist, Michelle Zauner explain as she told NPR: ‘There’s an island in South Korea called Jeju that’s famous for its female divers, [who are called] haenyeo. With each dive, many haenyeo can plunge up to 30 meters and hold their breath for over three minutes. They collect abalone, conch, sea urchins and oysters and sell them at the marketplace. I really admire the haenyeo — that lifestyle, of regimen and endurance.’” – Jeeyoon Kim, Events Associate

“Heavy” by Oh Wonder


“It’s funky, it’s dance-y, it’s everything you want it to be!” – Juan Gutierrez, Assistant Rock Ed Coordinator

Staff Picks: June 2017

Staff Picks - June 2017

Summer is in full swing here at ZUMIX. In anticipation for the inevitable barbecues you will be at tomorrow for the 4th, here are some suggestions for additions to that backyard playlist courtesy of your friends at ZUMIX. These are the tracks we were digging over the past month including Roxbury-based artist, Vintage Lee, who has been hailed as Next Wave of Boston Rap.” Sit back, press play, and dive right on in. The water is fine!

“How Can I” by Laura Marling


“I’ve been traveling a lot recently and have discovered that there is absolutely no better sunset plane ride music than Laura Marling.” – Anni Leff, Development Associate

“Free Room” by Raven Lanae Ft. Appleby


“It’s finally summer! And right now, this song feels like a celebration of the sunshine.” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Bless You” by Vintage Lee


“Chill summer vibes, posted up at Popeyes. I think the catchiness of the track and the visuals made me hit repeat.” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

“Neighbors” by J. Cole


“Neighbors called the police because a lot of people were going in and out of this house. They assumed cause they looked like thugs that drugs were being sold here. Police then raided the house only to find a recording studio where artists rent out to record. Inspiring this song by J. Cole with live footage in the video of the raid. Thats what I call real.” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Yes We Can” by Lee Dorsey


“Recently discovered the treasure chest of funky soul grooves that comprise the catalogue of Lee Dorsey. With a positive message, a voice that drips melody like tupelo honey, and New Orleans’ very own the Meters as his backing band, what more could you possibly ask for?” – Scott Mizrachi, Volunteer Coordinator

“Farmer In The City” by Scott Walker


“I love it because: I’m a farmer in the city.” – Ed Meradith, Teaching Artist

“Toe Toes” by Palm

“The mesmerizing drum and bass combo lets me drift away while the jarring guitar tones and rhythm keep me alert. It’s a very refreshing take on syncopation with interesting melody, noise, and chord choices.” – Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Manager

“Blood Muscle Skin & Bone” by Brandi Carlile


“This song always gets me through hard days and reminds me to ask for help when I need it!” – Kelly Baker, Director of Development

“Guilty” by Lady Wray


“All month I have been fixated on Charles Bradley, affectionately known as the screaming eagle of soul. This is not Charles Bradley but an algorithm at Spotify told me that I would also dig this track. Turns out I do!” – Jeeyoon Kim, Events Associate

“Lately” by Polica


“This is a love song whose meaning I’ve repurposed to be about trust and truth in all kinds of relationships. If it’s good it’s gonna stay.” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

 

 

Staff Picks: May 2017

Staff Picks - May 2017

They say April showers bring May flowers but we seem to be running a bit behind schedule here in the dreary rain-filled past few weeks. Time to ditch those clouds and let this month’s staff picks from your friends at ZUMIX brighten up your days. Check out picks below including: Sharon Jones, Soundgarden, Ian Sweet, and more (p.s. We even snuck in a podcast there….)!

“If You’re Crying” by Ian Sweet


“Because sometimes I’m a sad girl and it feels good to listen to other sad girls be sad.” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“100 Days, 100 Nights” by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings


“Powerful and thematically relevant – 100 days down – 1,360 to go!” – Madeleine Steczynski, Co-Founder & Executive Director

“The World Is Mind”  by KRS-One


“A new album from the teacher KRS-One. he took this popular folk story and turned into a great hip hop song with the message. Enjoy!” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Politically Re-Active” by Hari Kondabolu and W Kamau Bell
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“I know I’m cheating in that this isn’t a song but I can’t stop listening to this hilarious and thought-provoking podcast. Sometimes you just need to laugh while you’re listening to people talk about politics in America!” – Anni Leff, Development Associate

“Get on the Bus” by Peace, Loving

“That first day of school, when you get abducted by aliens.” – Scott Mizrachi, Volunteer Coordinator

“Trail Of Tears” by The Budos Band


“They’re super funky and epic. These are also some of the best recordings I’ve heard so shoutout to Daptone Records.” – Mario Jarjour, ZUMIX Teen Council Member

“Little River” by Loamlands

“Beautiful summer song with protest roots.” – Kelly Baker, Director of Development

“Switch Opens” by Soundgarden 


“While I have been listening to many things in the past months, I believe this takes precedence. Chris Cornell, the vocalist/guitarist/songwriter of Soundgarden, passed away Thursday, May 18th. The band taught me a lot about what it meant to be inventive songwriter as I first listened to them in the 9th grade while also starting to play guitar. Chris and his bandmate Kim Thayil inspired me to be thoughtful, a careful listener, and to really care about what my guitar sounds like. This song embodies a lot of what I love and what I aspire to be.” – Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Manager

“The First Hippie On The Moon, PT. II” by Cuddle Magic

“I love this song! The beautiful and haunting melody, the motivic development that circles the same melodic line in a few different keys, seamlessly, the poignant lyrics “heroes give up, zeros add up, and the margins fill the page”, the fat synth that drops half way through, that groove! Plus the band are good friends of mine which adds to the whole experience – Cuddle Magic!” – Avi Salloway, Live Sound Coordinator

“Different” by Gideon Pigeon

“Joe was my roommate when he conceived of this and I got to be the fly on the wall while he was writing, playing, and recording on an old 4-track tape recorder. I’m so proud of him and grateful I got to witness this creative process!” – Jenny Shulman, Director of Operations

“How To Boil An Egg” by Courtney Barnett


“Courtney Barnett used to play this song constantly live when she was 21. Now at age 30 she recorded the track for the very first time, forever immortilizing it into her catalogue. It’s common for artists to do exactly the opposite, delete old demos and discard old works to preserve a brand. There’s a beauty to openly and publicly showcasing your former self and as always I am thankful for another A+ song title.” – Jeeyoon Kim, Events Associate

Staff Picks: April 2017

Staff Picks - Apr 2017All month long, the team here at ZUMIX has been campaigning for our annual Walk For Music! Before the end of this month, we need to get to $40,000 to keep our teen programs free and low-cost for Boston youth. Our work s imply isn’t possible without support from individuals like you – will you support us?

No good campaign is without a soundtrack. Check out this month’s edition of staff picks that have been keeping us going all month long.

“Good Lava” by Esperanza Spalding


“I can’t get enough of this song; the background vocals at the end, especially, are so energizing!” – Anni Leff, Development Associate 

“Christine” by Martha

“Gritty & romantic pop punk at its finest.” – Kelly Baker, Development & Communications Manager

“DNA” by Kendrick Lamar


“He just dropped an album that I have to take some time to think about it. It’s deep.” – Corey DePina, Songwriting & Youth Development Manager

“Sweet Life” by Frank Ocean


“This song is just one of those things that never gets old & vibes with you the right way everytime you listen. As an artist, I appreciate the musicality and musicianship that’s put into this song not only by Frank but everyone who worked on it. Definitely my fave from the album.” – Angelina Botticelli, Events Intern

“Celebrate” by Little Dragon

“You can dance to it but its also experimental and makes you think. Little Dragon channels Prince across time with a loop machine. Thats the only way I can describe it.” – Jenny Shulman, Program Director

“I Was Around” by The Craters

“Astral projection//somewhere between the bedroom and the garage.” – Scott Mizrachi, Volunteer Coordinator

“Land Of The Free” by Joey Bada$$


“This song is a very accurate in portraying the state of America at this moment in time, specifically for African Americans and other minorities.” – Dawry Ruiz, Communications Intern

“Indecision” by Sampha

“Sampha has been my running artist lately, particularly this track – ‘Indecision’ – whose title I find relatable and whose piano chords make me want to throw my hands up and scream ‘the world is beautiful!'” – Brittany Thomas, ZUMIX Radio Station Manager

“Chanel” by Frank Ocean
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“This song is so smooth and catchy, I love singing along.” – Mario Jarjour, ZUMIX Teen Council

“Comin’ Undone” by Sarah Jarosz


“This song grooves so hard despite the absence of drums, and the lyrics are a motivational reminder to just keep pushing.” – Brian Paulding, Teaching Artist

“Adult Diversion” by Alvvays


“The happiest song about being sad.” – Gabi Barroso, ZUMIX Teen Council

“You’re Welcome” from the Moana Soundtrack 


“I’ve been listening to this song a lot because it’s a really fun song to dance to and so up-beat. I love the entire soundtrack, but this song is my brother’s favorite so I play it the most.” – Janna Ramadan, Development Intern

Join us on April 30 for our annual Walk For Music! Find all the details here.

Staff Picks – March 2017

Staff Picks - Mar 2017

Anyone else feel like time is speeding up on us this month? Whether you’re training for the Boston Marathon, hyped up over March Madness, or just trying to play catchup now that DST stole an hour from us – take refuge in music for some grounding. Check out the latest selections curated by the ZUMIX staff for some inspiration. Happy listening!

“Cops Come Looking” by Spirit of the Beehive


“This song has a solid grasp on creative song writing and dynamics that allows me to never feel bored. This song is not cyclical. There is no verse, there is no chorus. It is a long midnight drive headed nowhere.” – Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Coordinator & Business Administrator

“Me and Magdalena” by The Monkees 


“A beautiful song, and a name nod to our newest AIM teacher, Magdalena. This was written by Benjamin Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) for the first manufactured ‘boy’ band that bit the hand that fed…from 2016’s Good Times.” – Ed Meradith, Teaching Artist

“Leave Me Alone (ft. Manu Chao)” by Calypso Rose


“A great modern calypso song by a legendary calypsonian who, well into her 70’s, is putting out hits with some of today’s biggest artists.” – Brian Paulding, Teaching Artist

“For Light” by Jay Som


“I haven’t stopped listening to this album since it started streaming online, I can’t stop. Everybody Works is full of comfort songs, and this album closer is perfect for exhaling.” – Jeeyoon Kim, Community Arts & Events Coordinator

“Them Changes (featuring Flying Lotus & Kamasi Washington)” by  Thundercat


“I love the production on this song, it’s a very cool arrangement, I can’t get the bass line out of my head, and I really like Kamasi Washington.” – Joel Edinberg, Z-Tech Mentor

“On + Off” by Maggie Rogers

“Because it makes me want to dance in a sad kind of way. And there’s one part with a syncopated rhythm that always gets me.” – Brittany Thomas, ZUMIX Radio Station Manager

“Apple Trees” by Blitzen Trapper 


“This is what happens when country bumpkins use analog synthesizers.” – Scott Mizrachi, Volunteer Coordinator

“Honeycomb” by Kadhja Bonet


“Featuring artful lyrics and a soulful groove, this track manages to transcend genre boundaries in the best way possible.” – Magdalena Abrego, Teaching Artist

“Clandestino” by Manu Chao


“Manu Chao brings the fire and raises the voices of the migrants who are pushed to the margins. ‘Soy una raya en el mar!'” – Avi Salloway, Live Sound Coordinator

“Baptized in Fire” by Kid Cudi


“This song is my definition of “mildly lit”. It has a very passionate flow to it, and the song gets you just get into the lyrics.” – Dawry Ruiz, Communications Intern

“Remember The Rain” by Kadhja Bonet


“Listening to this album makes me think about gardening, and I don’t even like gardening, but this album makes me want to sit in one.” – Anni Leff, Development Associate

“Largam da mon” by Jenifer Solidade


“Got to spend a few days with her in Cape Verde and she was so humble. sweet and talented.” – Corey DePina, Youth Development & Performance Manager

“WITNESS/WEAKNESS” by Bad Boys Club

“I’ve been listening to this song a lot while walking around Somerville on sunny late winter days, and really appreciate how it layers on top of my experience of life, enhancing what I’m looking at. Like I’ll listen to this song and everything around me is more beautiful. That’s kind of a magical thing.” – Kelly Baker, Development & Communications Manager

Stay tuned for next month’s playlist!

Staff Picks – February 2017

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February vacation is right around the corner – what a perfect time to put some headphones on and melt into new music. Check out this month’s edition of musical selections that our team has stamped off with a seal of approval. Missed January’s picks? Check them out here.

“In Two” by Mini Dresses

“Mellow dreamy lofi popsong.” -Scott Mizrachi, Volunteer Coordinator 

“Drop” by Chloe x Halle 

“Haunting. Original. This sister-duo act (signed to Beyonce’s label!) is incredible.” -Kelly Baker, Development & Communications Manager

“Genius” by Sammus

“Sammus’s lyrics are raw and real, and I love her flow. I’ve been so into this whole album lately.” -Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Paradise Fell” by Kaia Kater

“Just a woman, her banjo, and a handful of activist ballads- what more could you want?” -Anni Leff, Development Associate 

“No Crying in Baseball” by Mothers

“Strength and vulnerability are not mutually exclusive. I am still learning to not apologize for and instead embrace my own sensitivity – Mothers was just able to put a soundtrack to it first.” -Jeeyoon Kim, Community Arts & Events Coordinator

“Wander” by Icebird (RJD2 and Aaron Livingston)

“This entire album makes me dance.” –Kramer Gibson, Teaching Artist

“Good Morning” by Peter Ram

“This is my favorite soca song from the 2017 Carnival season. It was a big tune in Trinidad and Tobago’s annual Panorama competition, and it has been really fun to hear arrangements and performances of it by some of the world’s best steel pan ensembles.” -Brian Paulding, Teaching Artist

“Back Pocket” by Vulfpeck

“The moment the ooey-gooey vocal harmonies of the chorus come in, I can’t help but sway back and forth and tell myself, ‘life is good.'” –Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Coordinator/Business Administrator

“Sister” by Angel Olsen

“This almost-eight minute anthem — introspective and yearning — unveils a journey through quiet realizations that swell into a wailing guitar solo and echoing exit line: ‘All my life I thought I’d change.'” -Sophie Kazis, ZUMIX Radio Program Coordinator