april how could i’ve worn inappropriate clothing? | april 2021

april how could i’ve worn inappropriate clothing? | april 2021

April is normally one of our favorite months of the year. Springtime is really kicking into high gear, it’s kitten season, it’s my birthday… This year is truly no exception, however obstacle after obstacle has been throwing itself into our realm. So, let’s take some time to relax with new releases from April 2021. Featuring music from REI AMI, Last Minte, Zuli Jr., and more, we will be adding new artists on a daily basis throughout the rest of the month. Check back frequently, and let us know what artists YOU love!

twyla moves | sxsw 2021

twyla moves | sxsw 2021

Twyla Moves, the documentary story of the life and career of Twyla Tharp, had its world premiere at SXSW on March 17th. Steven Cantor, Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmaker, crafts a piece using archival and current day footage to give us a look into the life of the acclaimed dancer, choreographer and director.

Twyla Moves opens in April, 2020 with Twyla Tharp creating a dance via zoom with four dancers in four separate locations after the pandemic necessitated quarantine. Herman Cornejo, Maria Khoreva, Benjamin Buza, and Misty Copeland all answered the challenge. As she was choreographing this dance, we are treated to the earliest film of Tharp dancing with her own voice as the narration, as well as taped interviews. Twyla Moves toggles seamlessly between the early days and the current times to show us the evolution of her dance which mixes modern dance and ballet. Although she began dancing in New York after college in 1963 – living in a Franklin Street ‘loft’ for $50 a month – it wasn’t until 1965 when she formed her first dance company that she began to get the kind of attention that would propel her to greater heights. That first company, Twyla Tharp Dance, was all women “because we didn’t want to be told what to do”. 

In 1973, Robert Joffrey asked Tharp to choreograph a dance for the Joffrey Ballet and this is where the real combination of modern dance with ballet occurred. Over the ensuing decades, she would go on to choreograph more that 160 works, including Broadway shows, movies, figure skating and television specials in addition to ballets.

In a particular montage from 2020 early in the movie, the 79-year-old Tharp does warm-up exercises in preparation to dance herself. I was exhausted just watching her move. Twyla Tharp continues to have an infinite well of energy as she plots the next stop in her creative journey. As Misty Copeland said, “Even in this stage of her career and her life, she’s setting the standard for where dance is evolving to.”

I found this to be a fascinating documentary and I really enjoyed Cantor’s storytelling choice to interweave the old and new footage. I discovered that Twyla Tharp’s creativity and fearlessness have been the keys to her long career in dance. I can only hope to be like her when I grow up!

Twyla Moves is streaming on PBS until April 23, 2021 as part of the American Masters series.

sweetlove, goodnight, lover

sweetlove, goodnight, lover

Sweetlove’s origin story isn’t anything reminiscent of a meet-cute. The work that seems to burst and pour from the seams of this artist has resulted from a long road littered with several intense personal battles. 6 magical tracks come at us today with the release of her EP Goodnight, Lover.

Goodnight, Lover is packed with the self-discovery that comes along with growing into your skin. “Devil on Your Shoulder” should be more sinister, but as Sweetlove implores that it “feels good when you’re living free,” there’s less of a negative connotation to the aforementioned idea of anyone playing devil’s advocate in your court. The title track slows the pace of the project down a bit, a twangy love ballad that will bring you right back to your boots. (Er, roots.) It throws feelings of all-encompassing passion out into the ether, preparing you for the slow, sincere beauty of third track “The House.”

“Did You Even Know” comes rolling in with Garth Brooks-esque momentum, a song that calls for appreciation in the now. Circling back to the theme of devils, “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead” comes in with the soft, assuring instrumentals of a light, summer song from our youth. The soundscape is simplified, a sense of loss, a beautiful song that allows you to mourn as you sing “it will get better.” “Things I Didn’t Say” perfectly rounds out the established feelings of loss through a lens nothing short of bittersweet. It’s the perfect testament to a love experienced to the fullest.

We highly encourage a glass of whiskey or wine and a night on the patio under the stars with this new collection from Sweetlove. It will help you tap into feelings you won’t recognize, and many you simply haven’t felt for a hot minute. Check it out in its entirety below.

photo by Anna Azarov

charlie treat, the comet

charlie treat, the comet

For a rip-roarin’ good time, country singer/songwriter Charlie Treat’s new album is the perfect answer to your prayers. Beginning with the amped-up energy of “I Ain’t Gonna Be The One To Do It,” he finds a way to lure the audience in with wit and a bite of nostalgia in the instrumentals. Even the slow down of pace with the second track “Drink With Me” holds lengthy, rhythmic lines, with (what appears to me to be) clear nods to The Black Crowes. (“Hard To Handle,” specifically, for those of you asking. And yes, it did take me calling the insanely talented music journalist Elizabeth Schneider to pinpoint the exact sound. Kudos to her.) Just those two tracks will have your mind spinning, but there are ten more inspired songs left to enjoy past that with this new release.

“The Two Best People” really brings the energy down, while singing of “bringing each other down.” Bluesy, beautiful energy to launch you into a light, airy “Tune As Pretty As You.” “Steamshovel Blues” brings the pace up again, but “So Much Better” lulls us back into that slow, glittering, 70’s sound. “Rain Again” comes at you with an edge off the bat, with some quick bongos and even quicker lyrics.

“Drive My Blues Away” is the most melancholic track we have yet to experience on this collection. The vocals seem very inspired, at times Springsteen, and at others Steven Tyler. The piano and whirring guitar solo make the whole thing feel like it could have been recorded in the 90s.

Thank goodness “Dollar For Dollar” brings the pace back up, as the subject matter isn’t entirely something to celebrate. However, the idea of rallying for the working man is something we can all relate to, especially after the trials the last year has presented us with. “Dancing At The Bar (The Quarantine Song)” starts out with glittering synth, and honestly we could see this track being performed alongside anything by ABBA. (Can you hear it?) “Candi” plays with dissonance before the first vocals hit, making it feel almost calmer as the lyrics set in. The whole album is rounded out quite well with “Biggest Fool,” which somehow blendsseveral of the aforementioned genres into one song. (Is that sitar? Are we in a 70’s music video? Where did that trumpet come from?)

One thing is for certain. Charlie Treat has chops. His ability to write lyrics that somehow perfectly complement each instrumental, creating new sounds that simultaneously pay homage to genre-spanning predecessors, is actually quite unique and very appreciated. The Comet should be approached as an adventure and a very appreciated leap into nostalgia.

The Comet is out on March 26.

made for love intrigues at sxsw 2021

made for love intrigues at sxsw 2021

If you’re into intricate storytelling that involves a technological future that doubles as a dystopian society, then MADE FOR LOVE is made for you. Lucky enough to view the first few episodes of this upcoming HBO Max gem, this shit kicked off our SXSW 2021 in some type of crazy headspace.

Imagine: A scattered, confusing beginning as a woman hoists herself out of the ground, sopping wet as she splays out on a dry, dusty desertscape. She has escaped a cluster of shiny buildings, which you can see in the background.

Cut to a different time. What looks to be routine morning escapades with the most pretentious man you know, followed by watching him swimming laps with a dolphin in his pool. The man? Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen), the owner of a tech company that is pronounced astoundingly familiarly. His advancements in technology seem to be changing the dating landscape, on top of many other big accomplishments in his career. But his empathy, his ability to communicate healthily, is obviously insufficient. Early on, you see a crazy in his eyes that makes you feel like this escape from reality might hit a little closer to our technological home than planned.

But the entirety of that first episode is dedicated to understanding this woman. Who is she? How did she get here? Why is she subject to invasive questions by a creepy algorithm? Why is her life being determined by someone that isn’t her? Why does everything feel cold in this strange, structured world?

The first episode of MADE FOR LOVE will throw you back and forth over a short window of time, a fun way to create mystery in the storyline. I was initially drawn to view the show by the listed cast. How I Met Your Mother fans will rejoice in the knowledge that Cristin Milioti is top-billed as the protagonist, Hazel Green (a naming choice that does not entirely evade us).

And when Ray Romano is introduced as Hazel’s father in a flashback? The unexpected (and somehow necessary) marriage of two favorite moments in pop culture united to create what we are sure will be our favorite television father/daughter duo of all time.

If the last scene of that first episode is any indication, things could get even weirder, too.

Our thoughts? Don’t miss the premiere of Made For Love, April 1 on HBO Max.

atria, “jazz cigarette”

atria, “jazz cigarette”

Though Travis Atria has been engaged in creative endeavors for years – he is the frontman of pop-rock collective Morningbell, he co-wrote Curtis Mayfield’s official biography, and has authored other projects – his new project Atria has been gaining traction as of late. Good news, since its debut LP is set to release early next month. With the success of the project’s first two singles – “Lucky” and “Love Theme” – there seem to be nothing but blue skies ahead for this solo endeavor.

Today, we have the exclusive premiere of the third single leading into next week’s album release. “Jazz Cigarette” is a timely piece on global warming, relayed in a way that strangely calms your anxieties. While the “Temperature’s always rising / Ocean’s acidifying” (Hello, rhythmic lyricism!), he finds peace in an object. In a way, Atrias is letting us all bum a stress-reducing “Jazz Cigarette” off of him, to reduce the overwhelm of our responsibility to the planet and our future.

The accompanying video is a solid collection of city views around New York that romanticize the passing cars and gorgeous architecture. With Atrias’ soothing vocals playing over it all, it feels like a love letter to Manhattan. We dig.

Moonbrain is out Friday, April 2, on Gold Robot Records.