examining erasure and groundbreaking art in searching for augusta savage

examining erasure and groundbreaking art in searching for augusta savage

As more nostalgia topics have cropped up since the beginning of the – let’s admit it at this point – ongoing pandemic, PBS has been top of mind for so many people who were able to grow up – or raise their children – with its expanse of knowledge ringing throughout their homes. Having educational experiences accessible to many different demographics – and on public access television – is an important resource for many.

Searching for Augusta Savage is the first film in a new series from PBS called American Masters Shorts. Augusta Savage was a Harlem Renaissance sculptor and art educator, whose work largely reflected the joy and expression in the Black community. She overcame numerous obstacles to further her own education and get her work seen. She captivated audiences long before her death, and her art stood to progress the inclusion of Black artists in spaces they had otherwise been excluded from.

A curious thing is that many pieces of Augusta’s work have gone missing, and her name is not as well-known as it once was, or should be. Why is that? Why has her legacy not been salvaged and taught as widely as other artists of her time?

This 22-minute episode is a deep dive into what history can tell us about this incredible black artist’s life and work.

Augusta’s work is included in a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism through July.

cole gallagher’s the confluence is a mellifluous and stunning, yet understated, collection of tracks perfect for the change in season

cole gallagher’s the confluence is a mellifluous and stunning, yet understated, collection of tracks perfect for the change in season

The song “Lines in the Sky”, which starts Cole Gallagher’s EP, The Confluence, has a soft sound. It makes you feel like you are at the beach, as he compares the person in his song to the sea. Emotions of excitement flow through the song, expressed through high notes. He is truly enjoying a fun time with this person at the sea.

As I contemplate more, I realize the sea is also a metaphor for his dreams being as vast as the sea when he is with this person, as they make him believe he can do anything he wishes. He is living in a world that is twisted, expressed through his voice. Deep and raspy, it captures emotions of anger, freedom, and pain, in a melody that flows smoothly and makes you feel like you releasing all of your emotions into the world. As he lets go of all his pain and anger, he finds that freedom is hard when you do not have the person you relied on to encourage you to see your dreams as vast as the sea. 

As Gallagher sings the song “Stumbling in the Dark”, he goes through emotions of struggling to impress the person he is singing about. He believes he cannot live up to their expectations of how to act, and who to be. Despite feeling he cannot be his true self, he follows this person because he loves them too intensely to emotionally leave them. She is the only girl he will ever truly love. He is desperately searching for her so he can look into her eyes again. He is unsure how to show her that he cares about her forever and he hopes that her life is free of pain and worries, as he expresses by singing that he hopes the skies are blue for her. 

During “Delilah”, the listener discovers the name of the person the lyrics to his EP has been flowing about. Delilah’s joy is his joy too, because her emotions are connected to how he feels. They are like a string, so when he or Delilah gets pulled or twisted a certain way, they are impacted by each other’s emotions. As expressed in his lyrics, his heart is open to her eyes, because he is open to looking deep into her soul and understanding life from her perspective. His heart will beat to her emotions and what she goes through in life. 

In Cole’s song “Chatting Through Steal”, he struggles that his dreams have been packed up by people refusing to believe in him, and rejecting him. It is melancholic and contemplative, stirring pause in its listener.

In “Sugarland”, the melody intertwines as words enter this song, with emotions of helplessness. He wonders about what it would be like to see beyond the fields he lives in. Loneliness overwhelms him and he feels trapped in the fields. Hope fills his soul as he watches the bluebirds flying in the sky and “the flames rise up,” as articulated through these descriptive lyrics. 

“The Ocarins of the Tennessee” starts with a slow, calming melody. As he is floating away, he continues to keep the attachment of this person whom he loves in his heart, vowing to never forget the sound of their voice. The sound of this person’s voice brings him both comfort and grief. He compares this person’s voice to the sounds of the sea because the sea is where he has had many memories with them. His heart is floating away with this person in his mind and away from this person in reality. At the end of this song, his high notes repeat in a steady flow in a pattern, capturing the emotions of being content with this person at the sea and the pain of losing them. 

milky chance enliven the crowd on an unseasonably temperate night in kansas city

milky chance enliven the crowd on an unseasonably temperate night in kansas city

There were warnings of storms looming all day on Saturday, July 1st in Kansas City, Missouri. At any moment, a pop-up shower could leave any part of the metropolitan area drenched. And it did. Multiple times.

But not that night.

Not that evening when German rock band – and Midwest fav – Milky Chance opened for Young The Giant at the gorgeous Starlight Theatre. They dazzled the crowd with eye-catching style, serotonin-boosting tunes, and envious hair (according to pretty much everyone there). Here are some beautiful moments from the opening of the show.

‘Only Murders In The Building: A Season 1 Recap Of This Feisty Murder Mystery

‘Only Murders In The Building: A Season 1 Recap Of This Feisty Murder Mystery

It’s been 10 months since the first episode of “Only Murders in the Building” premiered on Hulu. This week, our beloved trio of geriatric-minded comedians – and we would argue that Selena Gomez, at times, takes the cake for seeming the most mature – is back on the small screen with the season 2 premiere.

What is all the hype about?

Take two legendary comedians (Steve Martin and Martin Short) and one millennial who has always had a dry sense of humor and comedic timing like no other (Selena Gomez) and put them in a room together. Add in a murder mystery storyline set in Manhattan for some east coast flare, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Vibrant, nuanced, twisted. Audiences rated it a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes while critics gave it a glowing 100%. Dad jokes, slapstick, and sarcasm. “Only Murders in the Building” has it all.

What happened in Season 1?

In a situation of happenstance, Charles-Haden Savage (Martin), Oliver Putnam (Short), and Mabel Mora (Gomez) meet in a diner during an evacuation of their apartment building, The Arconia. Conversation strikes when they realize they are all trying to catch up on the latest installment of a true-crime podcast.

But the evacuation in their building was for more than just a standard fire drill. The three new friends find out that one of their neighbors has been murdered. With their shared, vested interest in the case, they decide to create a podcast around the killing–effectively getting to the bottom of a case the police can’t seem to crack.

Tim Kono’s (Julian Cihi) murder isn’t as cut and dry as our protagonists wanted to believe. First, there’s the neighbor with a cat who doesn’t really like anyone in the building. There’s the fact that Mabel and Tim were childhood friends, something she hides for several episodes. (Why?) Plus, there is someone else who knew their childhood friend group–Theo (James Caverly)–living in the building with his father (Nathan Lane).

But his rich father couldn’t possibly know anything. He sponsors the podcast.

While their sleuthing leads them to one red herring after another, the tension and fear for their safety builds. Mabel is seemingly stalked and attacked by a man that turns out to be another member of their friend group, fresh out of prison for a murder he didn’t commit. (Or did he?)

Savage’s new girlfriend – another tenant named Jan played by Amy Ryan — is stabbed and left to die just inside her apartment door. Nosy, annoyed neighbors begin to throw obstacles in their mystery-solving path. But is it because the podcast seemingly blows up overnight, making the entrance at The Arconia a busy mess of fans? Or is it because one of these neighbors is the murderer?

Spoiler Alert

While there were certainly moments of clarity throughout the season, the uncovering of the murderer in the last two episodes and the way she spirals is a bit of a shock to the viewer. Jan, the oboist girlfriend of Savage, was Tim’s unexpected lover and murderer.

Case closed, right?

Well, the last episode unveiled a fresh murder. And now Mabel is being framed.

Season 2 is Here

Today is your lucky day. As of midnight on June 28, 2022, the first two episodes of Only Murders in the Building season 2 went live on Hulu.

insightful hilarity and inspiration drawn from the atlanta season 3 premiere and panel| sxsw 2022

insightful hilarity and inspiration drawn from the atlanta season 3 premiere and panel| sxsw 2022

SXSW 2022 – as we have established – was such a welcoming and wonderful experience. With 2020 being canceled and 2021 being an all-digital event, coming back into a hybrid in-person/digital setting was everything we could have hoped for. This year, the film/television panels and events were spread out further into the week than years past, and we were thrilled at the thought of trying to get a glimpse of Donald Glover and the Atlanta team on the red carpet on Saturday, March 19th, at the Paramount. Not expecting to get a chance to actually step foot into the theater, we were shocked when we got into the premiere with no issue as secondary music badge holders. Viewers were promised the first episode followed by an extended Q&A. We got that PLUS the second episode! 

“We like to under promise and over deliver.” – Show creator, Donald Glover.

If you love Atlanta already? You will be pleased right out the gate. If you didn’t love Atlanta already? It’s absolutely time to give it a try! 

Without any big spoilers: The first episode is a reimagining of real events. Because there are plenty of things that happen in this real world – in our individual lives – where you just think: that could have happened differently. One of the things the cast revealed in the Q&A was that, in putting together these final two seasons of Atlanta – If you didn’t know, now you know. Seasons 3 and 4 have been filmed, and they will be the show’s last – they spent a lot of time watching other amazing shows like Succession while asking themselves: What is something these shows CAN’T do that we can?

And with the preview of just the first two episodes? This team can do a LOT that others can’t!

During the first season, the writers and cast genuinely felt like they were trying too hard – and, upon reflection, they can still feel it in the work itself. During season 2, they were trying hard to prove that season one wasn’t a fluke. They earned that success, and they did a brilliant job. In these final two seasons? They’ve grown up, survived 2 years of a pandemic, some even have growing families that they didn’t have before. Admits Donald of how he writes post-children: “Kids make you soft as butt.”

The consensus this time around? “We’re just trying to have fun.” 

And, when the Q&A host asked if some of the subject matters in the first two episodes were based in truth (including instances of black face and euthanasia), show writer (and show creator Donald Glover’s brother) Stephen Glover said: “That shit is just funny”.

“We’re just fucked up people,” Donald added. “It came from us.” He went on to explain the correlation between fear and comedy, which are both massively present in Atlanta. “Fear and comedy are closely related, they’re always touching each other. They’re very connected. That’s why we’re trying to do that.”

From a viewing perspective? This show has always hit the tough, societal, human notes right alongside the wacky, weird, hilarious, bizarre WTF moments.

The panelists revealed that their writer’s room has been a physical location – but also a group text thread filled with memes and videos. Which, in hindsight, is made crystal clear in season 2, episode 6 with the character of Teddy Perkins (IYKYK). Donald Glover revealed that the character and episode were inspired by a photo of Michael Jackson ducking and covering, and the follow-up question: “What if you were being chased by that version of Michael?”

After this theatre viewing, we can admit it’s OUTSTANDING to watch alongside other fans, but just as hilarious, poignant, and effective when watching alone. Starting this season, you can watch it on Hulu the day after the episode airs on FX. And if the rest of the series continues with the cadence of the first two episodes of the 3rd season? You will not want to miss a single second.

The insight during the panel revealed self-awareness and an all-encompassing relatability to the content. With everything I learned about the creative process behind Atlanta, with its text thread writer’s room, I am feeling inspired to start my own writer’s room text thread. Because, my friends and I are SURELY clever enough to create our own epic, highly anticipated show, right?

On second thought, I think I’ll leave it to the pros. I already miss you, Atlanta crew!

Episode 1 of the 3rd season drops tomorrow, March 24th on FX. (Available on Hulu starting March 25th!)
Keep up with our continuing coverage of SXSW here.

autumnal funk | a soundtrack for the season created by the indelible miles francis

autumnal funk | a soundtrack for the season created by the indelible miles francis

As the weather gets crisper and we snuggle up under more layers, there is a specific kind of music we yearn for. Nostalgia, warmth, fun. Luckily for us, polymathic artist Miles Francis gives us a run for our money with a curated playlist that provides a little boost of energy to keep us going through the cold winter months.

“breezy bass lines and smooth rhythms to keep it hot as the temp falls.”

Keep up with this stunning artist here.

dreamy lyrics carry new track release by vulnerable singer-songwriter duo lowertown – “seaface” – to another level

dreamy lyrics carry new track release by vulnerable singer-songwriter duo lowertown – “seaface” – to another level

Lowertown, the duo comprised of Olivia Osby and Avsha Weinberg, are excited to release their new single “Seaface”. This is the first song from their upcoming EP The Gaping Mouth. Osby and Weinberg spent time in London recording the EP “that they call their most honest, interesting, and mature work to date”. “Seaface” is a tune that combines dreamy lyrics with music that builds from a single guitar to a full mix.

Pick what you want to be,
It can be anything.
If you close your eyes,
It’s fun to imagine 
Another body, another life.

Despite the constraints of the pandemic, 2020 proved to be a productive time for the pair of 19-year-olds – they graduated high school (where they met in math class), signed to label Dirty Hit and released their EP Honeycomb, Bedbug. 2021 looks like it could be as big a year for Lowertown.

little galaxies take things underwater with “waking sea” video

little galaxies take things underwater with “waking sea” video

If you’re looking for a psychedelic escape – visually and audibly – might I suggest getting lost in the music video for Venice Beach-based Little Galaxies’ “Waking Sea,” which debuted just today? Through a beautiful haze, the band performs the edgy, dynamic track. And while many music videos fall short of supporting such incredible artistry, this one only adds emphasis to the importance of its accompanying single. Frenetic, the video is filled with gorgeous landscapes, blank backgrounds highlighted with jewel tones, and confusion that gives way to surrender in a beautiful, artful way.

Explains lead singer Fournier: “The song is about finding peace in the wreckage. It was inspired by a car accident and my awakening in the years to follow as I healed from injuries and learned to accept my fate by surrendering to the pain to heal and transcend from it.”

Take a gander below, and consider bringing this track with you into your weekend festivities.

Directed & Filmed by Sara Alessandrini
Edited by Jeanna Fournier, Amir Eshraghi, and Sara Alessandrini
Produced by Amir Eshraghi and Jeanna Fournier
Colorist: Polaris Castillo

“Waking Sea” is a single off Little Galaxies’ upcoming sophomore album, “One with the Waking Sea”, coming Summer 2021. Keep up with the band here.

lizzie loveless addresses a moment of soul-searching in new track “window”

lizzie loveless addresses a moment of soul-searching in new track “window”

Fiona Apple fans, rejoice! Within the first 9 seconds of Lizzie Loveless’ new track “Window,” you can feel a familiarity in the vocals that absolutely trace back to Apple. Plus, the instrumental composition the song transitions into by the 58-second mark is absolutely reminiscent of some of our 90s favorites. And yet, the melancholy you can feel in the track is still somehow all Loveless’ own. Coming from an entirely vulnerable space, the song bursts forth with an energy that is both magnetic and intrinsically sorrowful at the same time. Explains Loveless of the track:

I wrote “Window” a few years ago. The song was first written when I knew my relationship at the time had ended. He had gone for a walk to take some space and I was waiting for him to come back, looking out the window. But I could feel a shift. I knew what was coming. I knew when I looked at him, he had already left. It was as if in a single moment his face had changed and I no longer knew him.

So, I was thinking, then what? What comes next? Essentially all you can do is wait, wait for the heartache to pass. This song definitely captures a chapter in my life, a painful ending… I’m thankful it’s in the past. 

For those going through a rough time, you may have found your match in this track. Enjoy a listen (or five) to “Window” below.

Synths: Lizzie Lieberson
Bass: Josh Werner
Drums, Drum Programming: Daniel Schlett
Produced by: Lizzie Lieberson and Daniel Schlett
Engineering: Miles Francis and Daniel Schlett
Assistant Engineering: Garret De Block
Mixed by Daniel Schlett
Mastered by Alex Deturk at Strange Weather Studio and The Bunker Studio (Brooklyn, NY)
Recorded at Cornelia Street Studio (Greenwich Village NY), Strange Weather Studio (Brooklyn NY), Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) and Ellen’s house (Halifax, NS)

Keep up with Lizzie Loveless here.