As moderator Olivia Shalhoup, Founder and Director at Amethyst Collab, set us up for a chat about the Future of Women in Music, she dived right into the nitty gritty with her first question:
“Why do you think women have been so historically underrepresented in music business?”
You would think that in 2021, at a conference in a progressive city that labels itself as diverse and inclusive, is so largely attended by women, and so incredibly funded by the music industry, this question would be beneath us. You would look at the money women make for the industry – hand over foot, year after year – as both superstar talent and innovative project hires and assume that their role in the industry is far too substantial to warrant underrepresentation. Unfortunately, my friend, you would be incorrect.
“There’s this [idea] of [men] being decision-makers. Strong, dominant, powerful. Those are considered to be valuable traits to work in a competitive field,” explained Margaux Grober, Director of A&R at Arista Records. “That’s great, but I think men have a tendency to hire men because of those reasons even though women have shown that they can also be dominant, powerful, authoritative along with also being really intuitive and mindful and empathetic.”
Last fall, 45% of female business leaders admitted that it’s hard to get a word in edgewise in virtual meetings, specifically with their male counterparts. Even women who have broken through the metaphorical glass ceiling into integral roles within the industry often feel like they don’t have the advantage they should. Panelist Sammye-Ruth Scott, Director of A&R at Atlantic Records, elaborated, “It’s almost an uphill battle, even when we’re in the room. You almost get shut out of the conversation because [men] think your statement is invalid. We have to fight that much harder, work that much harder, and get in people’s face a little bit more in an assertive way to prove ourselves.”
Although the #MeToo movement technically originated with a statement in 2006, you would think that conversations around workplace equity would have gotten us farther since it ramped up in 2017. An industry so heavily focused on in the media with so much influence on generations of people could easily lead the way in inclusion. But it’s not. In fact, it continues to perpetuate gender bias in a way that almost encourages it.
This SXSW chat was a clear reminder that change starts from the top. People in positions of power need to be advocating for diversity in the industry, and throughout every career field. Bringing more women into positions of power will allow those key voices to place more women and people of color into careers across the industry. “I feel it will change as time goes on and we make a really concerted effort to bring more women in,” explained Grober. “But I don’t think it should just be on us to do that.” Women will champion the fight, but they need support from people who do not identify as women too.
If you have a creative project coming up, consider working with an array of diverse voices. Music projects often require videographers, editors, photographers, marketing-minded helpers, and other methods of support. Women exist in all of these spaces, and elevating their work is important. As we’ve already seen, a gainful future for women in music will, in turn, provide more opportunity for marginalized voices and people with less resources to find their artistic platform.
The first day of SXSW was filled with films for me. One in particular that caught my eye from the moment I saw the lineup was a short – 10 minutes – film namedThe Beauty President.
Director Whitney Skauge has told a true story that most people may not be aware of – the 1992 bid for the White House by a write-in candidate. Not just any write-in candidate, but drag queen Joan Jett Blakk, an openly queer candidate. In referring to Ronald Reagan, she reminded us that “If a bad actor can be elected president, what about a good drag queen?”
At the height of the AIDS crisis in America, Joan Jett Blakk ran on a platform of health care for all and education – in fact, she wanted to switch the budget for the military with the budget spent on education. The healthcare was especially important in a time during our history when people were dying of AIDS at an alarming rate and antiretroviral drugs had yet to be developed to combat the HIV infection.
Although not considered a political threat, Joan Jett Blakk was an officially registered candidate. In video from the convention, we see that she even made it to the convention floor. Skauge used footage from the era and current interviews with Terence Alan Smith (the man behind Joan Jett Blakk) to convey a moment in history. I only wish it was longer than 10 minutes – I wanted to hear more of Smith’s story and I wanted Whitney Skauge to commit it to film.
Just ahead of Acid Tongue‘s October full-length release Babies, the highly entertaining musical duo of Guy Keltner and Ian Cunningham – who are often joined by “friends” and operate out of New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle – has been busy, busy, busy. First premiering their track “If I Really Loved Her” via All Things Go, which boasted that “the band demonstrate both instrumental prowess and respect for their musical heritage as the sons of psychedelic forebears,” and they’re not wrong. These guys have got a handle on crooning, beautiful, psych sounds that could really drive the way you see your autumn if you choose to partake in some listening pleasure.
But we don’t just have the inside scoop on the album release. (Friday October 13th, mark your calendars.) We also have a little more insight on some of the tracks, their feelings on the music industry, and snacks in this quick (and fun) interview with Guy Keltner that happened in honor of their upcoming album release. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out!
What is the first song or album you ever remember hearing, and who introduced it to you? Probably my mom playing Bob Marley or the Cranberries to us as kids. We had one of those old Technics sound systems with the tall boxy speaker cabinets. I’m sure we danced like goofy little kids to that stuff.
Was there a moment that it struck you and you realized you were going to pursue music, or did it kind of slowly evolve? I used to think I was going to be an astronaut. I started playing piano at five, but I wasn’t exactly keen on scheduled lessons and the homework that came with it. I finally got a guitar when I was 11 and I think that’s when everything clicked. I mostly just banged on it for the first year or so, but my parents set me up with this great teacher, an old session musician from Seattle named Al Kaatz. He’s really into soul, classic R&B and reggae, and helped shape my taste and how I approach music to date.
And did you choose the “post-menopausal” life, or did it choose you? (Referencing their “genre” categorization on Facebook.) Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a awhile, you could miss it.
“If I Really Loved Her” has such a beautiful sentiment behind it. Can we expect more of the same emotion behind the rest of Babies? The entire album is full of little easter eggs, relatable songs about daily life, but with a much deeper meaning to them. I’m not always just signing about the good stuff, either. There’s a lot of odes to life’s minutiae, thoughts on how mundane things can get. I don’t think people always want to hear about breakups and star-crossed lovers. There’s something beautiful about eating top ramen and being broke with your friends, talking about nothing and killing time.
“Talking In Your Sleep” struck our fancy with its title, and it’s one of our favorites off the release. Is this a love letter to a certain someone, or does it pull from many places? This song is about charisma. The type of people who spin webs and can turn a boring story into something compelling. We all have friends or co-workers or family that do this.
“Accidental Drug Use” threw us for a loop, one of those “well, that escalated quickly” songs when it comes to lyrics. It’s amazing. How was this one to work on in studio? That song was actually written the night Bowie died. I don’t usually get upset when one of these aging rockers passes away. They’ve lived epic lives, and lot of that generation is pretty old and has seen their best days already. Bowie’s new record was surprisingly great, though, and I felt this new excitement for his music after that. KEXP in Seattle did a Bowie day, a tribute to his tunes, right after that record dropped. A few days later, I’m hearing Bowie all day again and wondering “what the hell?”. When I heard he had passed, I was absolutely crushed and this song just spilled out.
Did you choose Friday the 13th as release date for any particular reason? Sometimes things just work out that way.
Do either of you have a favorite song off of Babies, or is that feeling applied to the entire work, since it’s your first release? I’m torn between “Humpty Dumpty” and “If I Really Loved Her”. Both of those fell into place so perfectly during the sessions, and they are such strange tunes in general. Ian is partial to “Accidental Drug Use” though. I really dig the way his drums turned out.
What has been your favorite memory together as a band so far? We did a short run in the Northwest recently, opening for De La Soul, playing Upstream Festival in Seattle, and generally having a blast with our friends when we were home visiting. Our bassist, Alessio, is from Italy and lives in Paris now. It was his first time in that part of the country and it’s such a different vibe than the rest of the US. We started laying down the tracks for our next LP, the follow-up to Babies. Just a really perfect trip.
How do you imagine people listening to this album? Everywhere. It’d be so cool to just have this be one of those LPs that synonymous with rock & roll during our era. One of those things you hear at dive bars, coffee shops, taxi cabs, wherever.
Guilty pleasure snack. Go! Chopped cheese.
What is your opinion of the modern music industry? It’s amazing that I have access to literally everything I could want to listen to in the palm of my hand. I’m a huge fan of Spotify and I think this is a cool era, we just have to slug it out and be persistent to make any money from our art.
Anything else you’d like to add? Go out and buy/steal/stream Babies as soon as you can. The vinyl looks really cool, too.
Babies is out October 13th. Keep up with Acid Tongue here.
I know that Macaulay Culkin turned 40 in August, and yes, it makes me feel old. Happy Late Birthday Macaulay Culkin!
The best holiday movie memory I have? Watching Home Alone for the first time with my three-year-old twins and my 84-year-old grandmother.
When Home Alone was released in 1990 in theaters, I completely missed it. To be honest, I missed most things in 1990. After having twins in April, our family made a major move from Missouri to California in August, and we moved into a house the first part of December. I had heard about cultural touchstones in my periphery – I do remember that 1990 brought us Milli Vanilli’s “Best New Artist” Grammy. Most everything else was a blur. How could I have predicted that I would miss the movie that held the record for the highest-grossing live action comedy? A record it held until 2011! What could be so mesmerizing about a movie with such a simple concept?
I found out in November of 1993. At three years old, the girls were mobile, could dress themselves and feed themselves, and had fun personalities. My grandmother had come to visit for the Thanksgiving holiday and Home Alone was going to have its broadcast world premiere on one of the networks. We were set for Thanksgiving night entertainment.
I have never heard anyone laugh so often at a movie than my grandmother. I had parental angst when I saw the plane ticket go in the trash with the paper towels in the kitchen. I felt tense when the kids were counted and the neighbor kid gets counted by mistake. I am not a fan of slapstick, but when the hijinx started with the Wet Bandits, I started to loosen up and really root for Kevin.
My grandmother had a ball. The kids were laughing at all the things Kevin did and tried to guess what would happen next. Watching the three of them, at two ends of the age spectrum, see something for the first time, really made me appreciate this movie with a simple concept. My husband and I were seeing it for the first time as well, but we really were seeing it through their eyes. Since we were in our living room, the kids could run around, laugh with abandon, and talk without any editing.
The next day brought a trip to San Francisco where I took pictures of my grandmother with her great-granddaughters at the Golden Gate Bridge. Wonderful shots, but I treasure the ones on Thanksgiving night just as much.
Because Home Alone was released on VHS for the Christmas season of 1993, we bought it, and each subsequent media iteration thereafter. It became a tradition to watch this Christmas movie on Thanksgiving for many years after. Even though we all know how it will end, I still feel angst when the plane ticket goes in the trash and I still feel tense when the kids are counted incorrectly.
And now, after all of these years, I still cheer for Kevin.
I have sent letters. I have donated to organizations. I have studied the issues. I have had discussions. I have listened. I have voted. I have worn a mask and socially distanced since March 15th.
Now, I will listen to music. On room speakers, not my earbuds. Albums, CD’s and downloads. Recorded live music and acoustic. Artists I have just discovered and artists that I have loved forever. R & B, folk, rap, heavy metal, dance, rock and roll. I will sing all the words that I know and hum the ones I don’t. I will dance, regardless of the genre. I will remember all of the incredible live shows I have attended and anticipate the shows to come.
Music is not a panacea for all the problems that we face. But today, it will help me through the day.
Monday through Friday at 6PM PST over on indie-pop band TWIN XL’s instagram, viewers will find a themed live stream. TWIN XL, is a three piece from Los Angeles, consisting of brothers and former members of The Summer Set John Gomez and Stephen Gomez, and Cameron Walker.
These weekday live streams allow for the band to stay connected to fans during these uncertain times. Each day follows a different theme ranging from Q&A’s, talks about the making of one of their songs, games, and play music.
On Monday March 30, John Gomez and Walker tuned into Instagram for one hour to play songs per request of the audience.
Starting off the stream, Cameron played an unreleased song of the band that they have played at shows called “Melt”, mentioning the possibility of the track being released soon. After that, Gomez and Walker would read the chat in the stream taking song suggestions. Some songs they played included “Hands Down” by Dashboard Confessional, “Love Like Woe” by The Ready Set, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie. Gomez even pulled out an oldie and played “Chelsea” from his former band The Summer Set.
The whole stream felt like a jam session between friends. The two did come to the stream with a song they wanted to perform but the rest was up to the fans. As the stream started Walker joked by saying “we are going to ruin your favorite songs”. From the start it was clear that this stream was about having fun, and that is exactly what the stream was, fun.
TWIN XL set up these weekday live streams that have happened consistently for the last two weeks, to give fans one hour a day for some fun and stay connected. As concerts are being postponed or cancelled, bands are trying to find ways to stay connected with their fans, and provide them with some form of content in lieu of a concert.
Andrew Hozier-Byrne, better known across the globe simply as Hozier, has been an active participant in the live-stream concert trend that is sweeping the globe. The music industry enigma’s most recent endeavor took place on Friday via Billboard Live’s facebook page in an effort to raise money for the Downtown Women’s Center in LA, which focuses on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women. While in his previous livestreams Hozier has been accompanied by bandmate Alex Ryan, he buckled down in his bedroom by himself for this one due to intensification of the lockdown, joined only by his acoustic guitar. After talking a little about the Women’s Center, Hozier jumped into material from his massively successful 2014 self-titled debut, which birthed chart-toppers like “Take Me to Church” and launched him into wide-spread fame.
The Irish musician started off with an acoustic rendition of “To Be Alone”, a bluesy rock number off of his first album. Even without the driving electric guitar and hard-hitting percussion of the original track, Hozier kept all of his power with his soulful vocals and guitar-playing. He then invited fans to send in requests, humbly stating that he could “try and God knows that’s the best I can do” (Yeah, okay Hozier *insert eye-roll here*) before moving into a soft-spoken version of fan-favorite “From Eden”. The beautiful number was accompanied by bright slide-guitar and whispered falsetto brushed across the tops of the airy track’s high notes. “Cool.” Hozier breezily said before diving into some questions from the stream’s viewers.
“What are you some of the ways you’ve been keeping busy during these times?” He read aloud from the comments and questions streaming in at real time. Hozier took the moment to speak of the effect that the pandemic has had on the live event industry and of his own plans for the year. “I’m very very fortunate that I didn’t have touring plans this year. So a lot of musicians and in particular independent musicians, freelancers, anybody involved in event management or gigging….” He trailed off in thought before coming back, restating “I’ve been very very fortunate”. Hozier shared that his plans have not been heavily affected by the pandemic, a fact not all that surprising for a man who’s infamous among fans for backing out of the spotlight for years at a time when he’s not touring to work on his music without the constant pressure typically forced on artists by labels and the public. He did share what he’s been up to though: reading, writing, and walking “at safe distances from other people”.
Hozier spoke a little more about the Women’s Center and encouraged viewers to donate if they could before cutting off his own thoughts. “And- Yeah. What are we doing? I suppose I’ll sing a song” he said with a grin. “That’s what I do”. He spoke on as he tweaked his guitar. “Today was a sad day, sadder than normal. Bill Withers passed away, who I’m sure you’re familiar with, and it’s an absolute tragedy”. He then spoke of Withers influence on him personally before paying tribute to him with a haunting cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine”, one of Withers’ classics. Not surprisingly, he did the soulful track justice, effortlessly building the intensity with his impassioned playing and singing before pulling back to let the last section breathe. “Isn’t that a beautiful song?” He mused.
Hozier followed the heartfelt cover with “Cherry Wine”, one of the most beautiful and patient songs from his debut. Seeing that the album version is a live recording with just acoustic guitar as well, his livestream edition sounded eerily similar and was charged with nostalgia for longtime fans. The world stood still for a couple moments as the musician’s remarkable ability to make everything feel alright washed over like a wave of cool and calm, serving as a personal reminder that if Hozier told me to jump into a volcano he’d probably ask in such a way that I’d not only oblige but think it was a fantastic idea. Remarkable.
There seems to be a tendency among musicians who had a giant breakout hit like Hozier did with “Take Me to Church” to avoid playing these hits when they don’t have to, so I was a bit surprised when he busted out the song that launched him into mainstream popularity back in 2014 to close the set. But Hozier, ever a man of the people (even if he hides from them in the woods for years at a time) brought back the hit for his last song of the night.
“I have not played this song on guitar for um, many moon now, for years I would say”. Hozier teased with a coy smile as he tuned his guitar. “There was a time when I’d play it 3 times a day. So hopefully that will sustain in this first time I’ve played it in years”. Hozier thanked his viewers and Billboard before reminding everyone to donate to the Women’s center one final time.
Not shockingly, he followed that intro with a perfect rendition of the dark and soulful tune, reminding everyone of why we fell in love with his music in the first place.
“Or something to that effect” Hozier said before signing off and returning to his preferred state of anonymity, presumably “In the Woods Somewhere” (Hah, Hozier puns) where he belongs.
“And wash them hands,” Hozier said as he waved his way off the air. Your wish is my command, Hozier.
Erin P.S. Zimmerman has not only the memory of an elephant and the rhythm of one of Destiny’s children, but she’s the twin sister of our Editor, so she’s an absolute magnet for pop culture. She took a side road and grabbed us a large quantity of songs for a playlist that easily covers the entire decade. We’re sure it was inspired by her Spotify plays, as well as a deep dive into each year and her own iTunes library. But this girl’s got some gems. So read em, listen to em, and celebrate 2020 with the sounds of the past!
Dick in a Box – Lonely Island ft Justin Timberlake One of the first times I realized that my mom has a wicked dirty sense of humor. In 2011, we requested this one at a piano bar “for our mom”. They pulled her on stage to sing and dance…and boy, did she!
I’m on a Boat – The Lonely Island Everyone seemed to know this one, and it brought us all togethe
Water Landing – Third Eye Blind Favorite TEB song. My new bf at the time – now my husband – made me a mix CD when we started dating, and this was the first song.
Boom Boom Pow – The Black Eyed Peas “You’re so two thousand and LATE!” – Also, my sorority formal date’s “THIS IS MY JAM!”
Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects Our anthem for all the bullshit left behind in high school.
Use Somebody – Kings of Leon Favorite moment of my study abroad trip to London: a packed room at a bar singing this to a live band playing a cover.
Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus There is no physical possibility she could walk off the plane at LAX, hop in her cab and look to the right to see the Hollywood sign.
Battlefield – Jordin Sparks Why DOES love always feel like a battlefield?
Fireflies – Owl City Why did we like this one so much??
I Love College – Asher Roth This is the given on the soundtrack of someone who was in college in 2009 or any year after.
Breakeven – The Script This introduced me to The Script. Which became part of the soundtrack to my summer.
Lines, Vines, and Trying Times – Jonas Brothers YES, this is the whole album. Because I loved about 4/5ths of it. And it was the magical soundtrack to exploring London and Los Angeles.
Cooler Than Me – Mike Posner Someone told me they thought of me every time they hear this song because I probably think I’m cooler than them. I am.
Billionaire – Travie McCoy ft Bruno Mars Heard this one for the first time driving around Los Angeles with some friends. And I could picture myself as a billionaire VERY clearly – and still do every time I hear it!
Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida ft. David Guetta Always blasted in my dorm with my roommates. Always never at the club…because it can’t handle me right now.
Whataya Want from Me – Adam Lambert I felt like I had his vocal range. Spoiler alert: I didn’t. Also: what I sang in my head every time someone from high school reached out to me…
If I Die Young – The Band Perry My co-worker’s young daughter loved this song. And creepily sang every word as she stared deep into my eyes. I lived to tell the tale.
Shout It Out – Hanson Yes, it’s another boy band album. I truly love all of the upbeat music on this, and it’s great for running through the sprinklers and then enjoying a bomb pop on a summer day (or upbeat music for your NYE)!
Under the Mistletoe – Justin Bieber My sister received a video invitation to a Christmas party in Manhattan, New York that featured this song. And it was original and funny and I can’t help but love the song now.
Rolling in the Deep – Adele Power ballad and my introduction to Adele [insert heart eyes]
Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO My little bro learned the dance. We made the gold box head from the video for him. This was his anthem.
Raise Your Glass – P!nk Underdogs. Weirdos. Dirty little freaks. I’ve never felt so seen…
F**kin’ Perfect – P!nk NOW I feel seen.
Look At Me Now – Chris Brown ft Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes I spent an entire week vacationing in San Diego practicing rapping to Busta’s verse. I got most of it, performed it at my 21st birthday party, and retired from the rap game.
Good Life – OneRepublic Upbeat. Meaningful. Nostalgic. Perfect for a party!
Pretty Girl Rock – Keri Hilson Because, of course.
Jessie J’s entire album: Who You Are Spent the summer – and fall and winter and spring – driving around with my twin sis rockin’ out to this one! Daddio’s favorite is Price Tag
Threw it on the Ground – The Lonely Island Makes me giggle. Referenced often to this day.
Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye Just one of those songs from 2012 that defined the year…because it was played non-stop on every radio station. So, everyone knows it.
We Are Young – Fun Another one of those anthems for people of all ages about going out and painting the town red – or setting it on fire, whatever
Ni**as in Paris – Jay Z and Kanye West A fun one that made at least SOMETHING in Blades of Glory funny.
Birthday Cake – Rihanna ft Chris Brown Super weird collaboration following his assaulting her and the romantic breakup that followed 3 years prior…but a super catchy – albeit sometimes annoying – track.
Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Who didn’t love this song, and then become a complete thrift shop junkie? It took me years to get back to thrifting and getting anything good!
Flawless – Beyonce Empowerment anthem OF THE DECADE. And, most days? I DID wake up like this.
Mirrors – Justin Timberlake Cried. Sang it with the windows down driving up the 101. Made my bridal party do a dance to it. There is video evidence.
Royals – Lorde I had somehow forgotten this song. It played in perpetuity from 2013-the KC Royals 2015 World Series Championship. Now I can’t get it out of my head…
Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus An ode to Miley’s breakup, breakdown and ripping off the bandaid that was her Disney persona. And you, too, can get a skin for your MacBook that turns your Apple logo into the wrecking ball in question.
Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys ANOTHER empowerment anthem? We will take all of them we can get!
You and I – John Legend Hell, really I just mean all of the album “Love in the Future”. Best of 2013.
Happy – Pharrell Williams Who doesn’t want a feel-good song to take you from down in the dumps, to dancing on the hood of your car? Or the bar? Or the table or the street?
All of Me – John Legend Bawled. Became first dance at wedding. Years later, I told John Legend to his face that he only makes music to purposefully make me cry. And he guaranteed tears at his concert. And he delivered. Damn him.
Turn Down for What – DJ Snake and Lil Jon Only video I took at my wedding: Dance off in the foreground between 5 VERY white boys to this song. In the background? Family friend Russian kicking my 9-year-old niece into 2016.
Chandelier – Sia I DO want to swing from the chandeli-here!
The Man – Aloe Blacc Best basketball warm up song. Best slideshow music for the graduating seniors of the St. Pius X high school basketball team.
Partition – Beyonce This one just has me feelin’ myself, no matter what mood I was in before! In fact, I’m going to go listen to it, now!
See You Again – Wiz Khalifa ft Charlie Puth First death of a friend my age. This played on a slideshow. He’s all I think of when I hear it and I cry. Which means I cried while watching Fast and the Furious. But not because of Fast and the Furious.
Take Me to Church – Hozier The year I really STOPPED going to church. But his voice more than made up for it!
Elastic Heart – Sia Two words: Shia. Labeouf.
Outlaws – Alessia Cara I felt like this was the anthem for myself and my fellow entrepreneurs as we retreated in the mountains and built our businesses and white-water rafted and had a jolly ole time.
House Party – Sam Hunt How the twin and I have always lived our lives: entertaining from the comfort of our own homes.
Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
Sorry – Justin Bieber OK, let’s be honest. The whole damn album. I’m not embarrassed. I danced my way through 2016 to JB.
Work from Home – Fifth Harmony I had just started working from home as a full-time freelancer when this one came out. So, it was constantly in my head – and is a fun one to dance to, as well!
Just Like Fire – P!nk Apparently, I am drawn to fire. I believe it’s the Aries in me…
One Call Away – Charlie Puth Sister broke up with her boyfriend. I rallied the troops and had friends and family from across the US lip sync on video and put it together as a breakup gift. And a perpetual reminder.
Sit Still, Look Pretty – Daya Calling society in to question. While being catchy and easy to dance to? Yes, please and thank you! Because smashing the patriarchy can and should feel a hell of a lot more fun!
Lost Boy – Ruth B Haunting, gender-bending, put into question how we see ourselves vs. how we are seen.
I know, deep, right?
HUMBLE – Kendrick Lamar I saw this one as a challenge for me to be less humble and take up space, while also singing along loudly in the direction of folx who need to sit the f*** down, shut up and listen.
Say You Won’t Let Go – James Arthur Does anyone else see Jane and Rafael from Jane the Virgin when they listen to this song? No? Just me?
Redbone – Childish Gambino A range and style no one expected, but everyone needed.
Slow Hands – Niall Horan Sexy from a former One Directioner…I should have seen it coming.
Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato Hate the saying. LOVE the song.
DNA – Kendrick Lamar The BEST song to lift heavy weights and smash a bag around to! TRY to tell me differently!
Better Life – P!nk Sad and beautiful. It helps me to stop and take inventory and answer P!nk’s question for myself.
Younger Now – Miley Cyrus How I feel with each passing year…
Bastards – Kesha First song on her 2017 album. “Don’t let the bastards get you down” (America’s official slogan since, what, 2016?)
Everybody Lost Somebody – Bleachers Bleachers makes depression fun by helping folx find commonalities in one another. YOU are not alone!
Finesse – Bruno Mars and Cardi B LOVE the throwback late 80s/early 90s sound. MORE PLEASE!
All The Stars – Kendrick Lamar & SZA Black Panther. Entire Marvel/Disney soundtrack produced by Kendrick Lamar. My mom is friends with SZA’s mom.
This is America – Childish Gambino Calling us out. Poignant. This IS America. Always and still.
God is a Woman – Ariana Grande Finally. Someone got it right.
Shape of You – Ed Sheeran I’m still trying to hate it. But every time it comes on – and it still does a LOT – my foot just gets a’tappin’!
Thank U, Next – Ariana Grande I find myself singing this at my husband of 5+ years. Gotta keep um on their toes!
Hey Look Ma, I Made It – Pan!c at the Disco Haven’t heard much from Pan!c since the mid 2000s…and now they are back and better than ever! In fact: theirs was my favorite show of 2019 (and Elizabeth’s! Check out her review here: http://imperfectfifth.com/elizabeths-favorite-shows-of-2019-dont-threaten-me-with-a-good-time/)
7 Rings – Ariana Grande Sound of Music is my favorite. And so are my bitches (though, I don’t have 6 of them…probably)
Old Town Road – Lil Nas X ft Billy Ray Cyrus Lil Nas X became a role model, THEN came out (and became an even BIGGER role model), all while trolling us with this annoyingly catchy – but really bad – anthem of 2019.
Bad Guy – Billie Eilish Hate to say it…I love it. Because, well, I don’t always want to be the nice guy!
I Don’t Care – Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber This is literally how I feel about everyone and everything. Except for my family. Sometimes. Other times, it’s exactly how I feel about all humans except myself.
Homecoming: The Live Album – Beyonce Watching it live. Listening to it in its entirety. Tears to my eyes and over a decade of music and emotions.