Small Tapes Series

In hopes to find more hobbies this summer, I am going to try my hand at blogging a little… I was thinking that “I would gently take care of two birds with one birdhouse,” by attaching some written words with the posting of my playlists. I have determined that my second Small Tape should be of established artists who released music in the last 5-6ish weeks. As I go forward I will be trying to highlight newer artists but in hopes of garnering some sort of audience, I thought it is prudent to cast a wider net hence the big name artists featured on this mix.

All that aside these songs bang! Gorillaz new album has been a blast to listen to the last few weeks, I keep finding myself slipping back into the hour long album. The song “She’s My Collar” feat. Kali Uchis bumpy synth hits hard throughout the track and Damon Albarn vocals hug the bounce. I am also amped with the following track off of Cashmere Cat’s debut album. The Kacy Hill feature it perfect to help promote her new album Like a Woman. Out June 30 via G.O.O.D Music/Def Jam, and is executive produced by Kanye West. Finally, The National, The War On Drugs, LCD Soundsystem are all back with some new music! All these bands are personal favorites and I can not wait until the full LPs are all release. I actually got a chance to buy Thinking of Places 12” on Record Store Day this year.

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Record Store Day 2017!

Here are my top picks for this year’s Record Store Day (4/22)

Go out and support your local record store!

The Doors – Live at the Matrix ’67

Lou Reed Perfect Night: Live in London 2 x LP

The Smiths – The Boy With The Thorn In His Side 7″

Spoon – Hot Thoughts (Record Store Day) Matador 12″

Animal Collective – Meeting of the Waters

Dave Matthews Band – Live At Red Rocks 8.15.09

Wes Montgomery / Wynton Kelly Trio Smokin’ In Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (1966)

Opinion: The Beauty of Track Order

Seeing as I have listened to Radiohead’s -‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ on repeat for the last 24 hours I am currently hearing it without headphones, so I might be going a tad nuts, what follows is a little disjointed.

In a time where musicians create albums just as a vehicle for their hit singles *cough VIEWS*. Here you have a band who has sculpted each of their albums with such care.

They saved this song for 21 years until it got a studio recording. Ending the album perfectly ‘True Love Waits’ is gut punching when taken with the rest of the album. That would not have been the case if the song was released at the back end of any other Radiohead album.

Sitting at just under an hour the album feels as grand as 3-hour symphony at points, but with Thom Yorke’s minimalist and dark and strange lyrics (that are his most human and relatable to date) it feels constrained under a common feeling/sounds/vibes/theme *cough lacking in music today.*

Just wanted to say I was in awe at this track, in particular, it fit so perfect as the ending of this album and that the band had the patience to save it for such an emotionally charged album just makes it that much more satisfying for music lovers.

Upcoming Artist Profile: Kacy Hill

Upcoming Artist Profile: Kacy Hill of Kanye’s G.O.O.D Music label

In September of last year, Kacy Hill, former American Apparel model hailing from Phoenix, left performing as a back-up dancer on Kanye West’s Yeezus tour to begin pursuing her music career. Soon after leaving the tour, she released her first single “Experience” a dreamy up-tempo electronic beat accompanied by Hill’s dark and sensual vocals locking the listener in from beginning to end. Coming off the buzz of that release, the previous employer Kanye signed her to his G.O.O.D Music label.

Now 21 and recently contributing a vocal feature on fellow G.O.O.D Music artist Travis Scott’s well-reviewed debut album Rodeo this year, Hill released her first project Bloo -EP earlier this week. Consisting of three new tacks and two remixes from DJ’s Yung Gud and Bodhi, Hill described the collection in a recent Fader interview as “a calm introduction to what I would like to accomplish musically.”

Fans of artists like James Blake, FKA Twigs, and CHVRCHES will find many similarities in production on the track “Foreign Fields” with a stripped back rework of Blake’s “Wilhelm Scream”. Vocally, Hill softly weaves deceivingly simple lyrics throughout the rise and fall of a haunting synth. The highlight of the project is “Arm’s length”, a powerfully empowering ballet where Hill sings from the point of view of a lover who is fed up from being strung along in a relationship. She delivers each line of the chorus with such force that it leaves the lyrics ringing in the listeners’ ears “You can’t love me this way/You can’t keep me in chains.”  

If you are looking for a new and upcoming female artist, give Kacy Hill a listen. You can find a download and stream of Bloo – EP on her website



Curation and hurt feelings

As the newsroom shrinks and the role of the media is being downplayed to the public, curation journalism is an important tool for a journalist to tell their narratives.

“the organizing of information filed by reporters into a deliverable package for readers.” – Barbara Iverson

When you gather all the fragments of the news into one space it allows people to better understand the content in a specialized and important order. We live in a truly global world where there is no more isolation of events/stories that go on in other countries. A reporter could tell a story about a small town in Egypt while writing it in Boston. With all these stories being told constantly from all over the world reports have a responsibility to curate public info and “media” it from the source to their readers. But who can help story telling journalism shift into a more curation mindset?

Those in big newsrooms should turn to their sport writers for help with curation. Where sport reports still pursue larger narrative stories, a big part of their job is to summarize how games play out. They have been packaging curated media for years. When someone missed their favorite team play, hearing the score isn’t enough they look to sites like Bleacher Report & House of Highlights , to see the big plays and a deeper score breakdown. When readers are in a rush, they what to understand the narrative of a story without having to dig through the full story and piecing it together themselves.

In curation journalism that is the role the journalist must take. However, if there is one thing that journalists should look out for when curating the media is to stay unbiased. It can be really easy while summarizing important events to give more coverage to one side then another. This should be avoided, the common thread between curators is that they are viewed as trustworthy sources of information and they can not jeopardize that trust.




Post 3 (Week 13): Find an ethics controversy in media work and write an opinion piece about it.


In November 2014 Rolling Stone published a story of an alleged rape on the UVA campus. Many issues came forward by the way it was handled including; poor fact checked and reporting, general issues in the reporting of rape and sexual assault. Individuals accused were never interviewed. Friends of the victim Jackie where never interviewed. The fraternity accused denied hosting a party. E-mails have show the university challenged Rolling Stone‘s claims before publication.

In my opinion journalist need to identify sources whenever possible, the public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ to have some reliability. Always question sources motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Most of all reports should keep promises. As the associated press says,

“It means we always strive to identify all the sources of our information, shielding them with anonymity only when they insist upon it and when they provide vital information — not opinion or speculation; when there is no other way to that information; and when we know the source is knowledgeable and reliable.”

It is also important for reporters to understand the impact of their false writing at UVA for instance; when this article came out University suspended all Greek life on campus, Charlottesville Police Department begins to investigate fraternity members, and in July 29, 2015 former UVA fraternity members sued Rolling Stone.

It is also important to also keep in mind this quote about affirmation of bias as a reader,

“You should be critical, in the best sense of that word,” about stories that just confirm your own biases.” Said Richard Bradley (George magazine)

In my opinion, I would have followed the journalistic method in this situation and have done what the AP recommended. I would have interviews many more people and looked for facts, instead of using poor interviews to use as duct-tape to fix poor misleading quotes.

As a reporter, you can’t be a true advocate and support a story and listen to it and think everything is true and then report on it without trying to figure out if it’s true. I would have again made sure to take everything I learned and double-checked to the best of my ability, which was clearly over looked in this situation.

Pitchfork Media – Dream Job

Post 1 (Week 5): Remember what you said your dream job was in Week 1, Lab 2? Find an example of someone doing your dream job (yes, you may update your dream job), or something close to it.

Having an educated discussion on music has always been a passion of mine. All my close friends know not to get me started on ‘the best albums of the year’ or ‘who should win the Grammy for best sound mixing.’ So it should come as no surprise that my dream job would be with Pitchfork Media (link below), an online music magazine, writing reviews. I have always loved the site when I start to lose focus in the middle of my two-hour lecture I open Pitchfork to read the new batch of album reviews. The piece I selected is by Brandon Soderberg (link below) a former writer for Pitchfork, who sheds some light on what I’d be getting into at my dream job.

In this behind the scene piece, Soderberg does not sugar coat his time at the Pitchfork offices and shares a story that led him to leave the company. He discusses; album scores, fights among reviews, and the slowly growing conflict between the writers and their editors.

The post got me hooked because I wanted to see how the Pitchfork team gave the albums they review a score. But I stayed, for the first-hand perspective this post gave and the insight into the field of professional journalism and my dream job. What I gained from reading his post is that the balance between the direction you want to take your work and the goal of the outlet you are working for may conflict, this is an important concept. As much as a writer wants free reign in what they write, (especially so in the case of opinionated reviews) there is a trade-off when working within a bigger outlet that has to shape the image of the publication as a whole. For any budding journalist, this poses a challenge, in an age where social media allows such ease of expression it might be hard to keep to publications expectations of their writers. The post also taught me that rating at Pitchfork album needs to be a democratic process amongst the staff. Just being assigned an album or a movie review does not mean that you get to be the only voice heard in the rating or review.

This story really stuck with me, when you think of your dream job you normally only picture it as being plated in gold. So it was very refreshing to read something that helped me balance the good and the bad. I highly recommend giving this post a read if you are at all interested in the writing about music.