By Chloe Smith

On July 16, 2021, Netflix added the films from the Twilight franchise to its library. In the week since, the five films have dominated Netflix’s Top 10 movies ranking. It feels like I can’t scroll more than 10 videos on my TikTok For You Page without encountering a post inspired by the books or the movies — the Twilight hashtag on the app has over 7.5 billion views. In high school, I had the movie soundtracks on my iPod nano, and the recent resurgence of its popularity has brought many of the film’s iconic songs to the mainstream once again.


By Chloe Smith

Djesse Vol. 2 by Jacob Collier, Hajanga Records (2019)

Today’s album review is the first in our Flashback Friday series, where we pull out an older album to review instead of a new release. This past Monday, July 19, 2021, marked the two year anniversary of the release of Jacob Collier’s Djesse Volume 2. It’s one of my personal favorite records, and even now two years later, I find myself listening to it often.

Jacob Collier and the Djesse Project

Jacob Collier is a 26-year-old, self-taught, London-born composer and multi-instrumentalist who got his start on Youtube with viral split-screen harmonies.

“Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” by Stevie Wonder, Jacob Collier cover, 2013.

Collier has…


By Anna Williams

from The Kennedy Center’s Guide to the Orchestra

Imagine you are attending a symphony concert. You arrive early, take your seat, and look through the program while waiting for the music to begin. The program is for the entire season and lists several different concert programs within it. These concerts feature the works of composers such as Brahms, Beethoven, Dvorak, Mahler, Copland, and several other men. As you look out onto the stage, you observe a sea of tuxedos and only a handful of women. There are a few women scattered throughout the string section, one flautist, and one harp player. …


By Chloe Smith

The Magic City, Sun Ra. El Saturn Records, 1965.

By 1965, Sun Ra was long gone from Birmingham, Alabama. In a previous post, I’ve talked about his life in Birmingham and the following rejection of his hometown. During his early career, Sun Ra wanted nothing to do with the Southern city and lied to interviewers about where he was from. Why then did he record an album about Birmingham titled The Magic City in 1965? In this blog post, I’ll get into the music of Sun Ra and its relationship to Birmingham in this groundbreaking album.

Why 1965?

To understand The Magic City’s historical context, we have to back up to…


By Chloe Smith

“Mood Valiant “— Hiatus Kaiyote, 2021

Hiatus Kaiyote is an Australian band made up of lead singer and guitarist Naomi “Nai Palm” Saalfield, bass player Paul Bender, keyboard player Simon Mavin, and drummer Perrin Moss. The band’s sound might be described as funk or jazz, but it has elements of psychedelic, electronic, R&B, and soul genres as well. In an interview with Ghina Sabrina with the whiteboard journal, Mavin said about the band’s fluctuating genre:

“There’s a massive palette that everyone’s influenced by. Everyone’s got their own love, their own specific music that they’re really passionate about and I think that’s kind of…


By Anna Williams

Nothing can get a group of online music lovers arguing as quickly as asking the question: what is emo music? Online music communities can be especially harsh in defending their chosen definition of the genre, but the problem is that there is no set definition. Additionally, there is very little scholarly work about emo in existence. There are a handful of books about rock that briefly discuss emo, but as of right now, there is only one book written about emo.

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Nothing_Feels_Good/Wi7HJI_f23EC?hl=en&gbpv=1&printsec=frontcover

Andy Greenwald’s book Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo is the current authority on…


By Anna Williams

If you like rap, then Tyler, the Creator has released the perfect soundtrack for your summer travels. Call Me If You Get Lost is Tyler’s return to rap after the fusion-filled Igor. Based on comments he has made in the past, there was speculation that he would never release another rap album, so it is no secret that — since the rap-filled album teasers Tyler dropped a few days before the album’s release — fans have been beyond excited. This album hearkens back to the time of mixtapes, leaning heavily on collaboration and the sharing of ideas and sounds. Tyler…


By Chloe Smith

In my last blog post, I shared the story of Birmingham music educator John “Fess” Whatley and accounts of discrimination his Black students faced as young jazz musicians in the “the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States,” according to Martin Luther King, Jr. Many of Whatley’s students became quite successful, and the scrapbooks in the Birmingham Public Library archives share their achievements. However, one of Whatley’s most successful students is conspicuously absent from that archive box: the jazz artist known as Sun Ra. …


by Anna Williams

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54901083

I LOVE social media and the internet. I spend copious amounts of time on the internet, and yet, even at only twenty-four years old, I often feel out of touch with internet trends and the best ways to use each social media platform. I can only imagine how older generations must feel! However, even if we are feeling overwhelmed or out of touch with the internet, we shouldn’t discount these platforms and their trends, nor should we look down on those who use the internet to make their careers. …

Apt. 6/8

Apt. 6/8 is the work of Chloe Smith and Anna Williams, who are current graduate students studying musicology at Yale and Arizona State respectively.

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