Archive for ‘Fasman’s Finds’

January 14, 2021

Fasman’s Finds – Alexander Hawkins & Tomeka Reid

Fasman’s Finds is our column from Rebecca Fasman (intrepid record nerd, DJ, and curator at the Kinsey Institute) in which she shares what she’s listening to and why. 

Sometimes I listen to certain songs or albums to make me feel a type of way, we know what kind of mood we want to get/stay in, and we can have music be our guide. I listen to M.O.P. to feel ready to fight, aka whenever I leave my house, and I listen to whale sounds when I need to zone out (more about that in the coming weeks). This past week I needed my brain to be taken on a journey, away from specific moods or vocals. I turned on Tomeka Reid and Alexander Hawkins‘ album Shards and Constellations. The entire album is majestic, and feels like the two musicians somehow made a soundtrack to brainwaves. I kept replaying “Peace on You.” It’s almost 10 minutes long, achingly beautiful, and with enough structure and surprises to take your brain away from reality and into itself for a little bit. 

January 7, 2021

Fasman’s Finds – Oly

Fasman’s Finds is our column from Rebecca Fasman (intrepid record nerd, DJ, and curator at the Kinsey Institute) in which she shares what she’s listening to and why. 

I’ve been listening to Oly‘s new EP Shy Passions non-stop for weeks. Oly is a first-generation Mexican-American musician and artist based in Miami who, amongst many other things, also co-founded a record label, Public Works. Her 5 song EP came out on Public Works in December and I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

You should buy and listen to the entire EP, but for a single song selection I chose “Cottonwood.” Oly said that it was written during the Kavanaugh hearings and you can hear it in lyrics like “you can’t correct, you can’t ignore, you can’t even the score”, and in the spoken word intro, which made my brain immediately go to the Shangri-La’s and teenage tragedy songs. Bubblegum pop this is not (not that there’s anything wrong with bubblegum pop!). This is dreamy, dark, hazy, synthy pop that (in the best possible way) makes me feel like I’m listening from the bottom of a dirty pool. 

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December 31, 2020

Fasman’s Finds – Kelsey Lu

Fasman’s Finds is our column from Rebecca Fasman (intrepid record nerd, DJ, and curator at the Kinsey Institute) in which she shares what she’s listening to and why. 

Bright-spots-of-2020 musicians Kelsey Lu and Yves Tumor (along with composer/pianist Kelly Moran and composer/producer/drummer Moses Boyd) released a new song on Christmas this year, called “let all the poisons that lurk in the mud seep out”. Kelsey left a major label recently and said about this new track that “…this song also marks an evolution since my departure from a major label, and the work I’ve done between then and now that’s been deconstructing the poisons that ever brought me any kind of doubt as to the power that lies within my artistry and killing it.  

The song opens and closes with layers of piano, voice, and strings rising and falling, sonically creating a sense of putting broken pieces back together again. In the middle, there is a beautiful and dare I say hopeful nugget of stretching and swaying percussive joy, perhaps made even more special because of the buttressing on either side by this woven tapestry of sonic and emotional fragmentation. In a year when we have all been so broken in so many ways, this song, which is ultimately about piecing ourselves back together again, is optimistic and exciting in ways I haven’t felt in a very long time. 

December 17, 2020

Fasman’s Finds – Nicolas Jaar

Fasman’s Finds is our column from Rebecca Fasman (intrepid record nerd, DJ, and curator at the Kinsey Institute) in which she shares what she’s listening to and why. 

I listen to a lot of ambient music. I spend at least part of each work day writing and prefer to have music on but get distracted by most lyrics. I was listening to Nicolas Jaar’s album Cenizas recently. If you haven’t heard it yet, it’s a weird and beautiful record, full of surprises. I’ve been listening to it on a fine, albeit a little bass-heavy, Bose speaker. Recently I listened on my headphones, and felt like I was hearing a totally new album. It was like looking at something just with your eyes and then using a microscope and seeing so much more dimensionality and texture. Since then I’ve mostly been listening to it either on headphones or with the speaker next to my ear (I know, I know). I love how deeply varied and rich this record is, not just in emotionality and types of sounds you hear, but in the ambiguous sonic landscape Jaar created. There is a joy in discovering new ways to listen to something you’ve heard before, and in that way Cenizas feels like a welcome and magical portal. 

December 10, 2020

Fasman’s Finds – D’Angelo

Fasman’s Finds is our column from Rebecca Fasman (intrepid record nerd, DJ, and curator at the Kinsey Institute) in which she shares what she’s listening to and why. 

This column has quickly become a sort of diary for me, so thank you and I’m sorry and you’re welcome. Not sure if anyone else’s week is going this way, but my week is full of THE MOST bullshit, on top of an already obviously difficult time. So many meetings and questions and zoom and Hanukkah (which is great but still stressful) and presents and sick family and anxiety and and and…I started thinking about what music I listen to help calm me down. I turned on Voodoo by D’Angelo, which turned 20 years old this year, and which, contrary to the title of this column, I most certainly did not “find”. For the past 20 years this album has been consistently in my rotation (possibly/hopefully in yours too) and I am so deeply grateful for it and for how sweetly and instantly happy it makes me. I still need my SSRI pills, but when I am feeling frantic and frustrated, as I have been this week, I love that this record has always come through and mellowed me out. It is, to quote all therapists, “a tool in your toolbox”. The entire album is perfect so picking one song is arbitrary. Listen to the whole thing and if you’re like me, the listening itself becomes a type of meditation, a way to get present, remember your body, and find some respite from the unrelenting bullshit. 

December 3, 2020

Fasman’s Finds – Nina Simone

Fasman’s Finds is our column from Rebecca Fasman (intrepid record nerd, DJ, and curator at the Kinsey Institute) in which she shares what she’s listening to and why. 

This week I am feeling sweet and sentimental and so I want to tell you about one of my favorite Nina Simone songs. It’s called “It Be’s That Way Sometime”, and it’s written and composed by Nina’s brother, Sam Waymon, who’s a wonderful writer and musician in his own right. Among many other projects, Sam did the music for the movie Ganja and Hess, which, if you haven’t seen, you should, and you should absolutely listen to the soundtrack. Back to “It Be’s That Way Sometime” – I first heard the song when my brother Ben played it for me. I loved the song – it’s a weirdly happy song about accepting that sometimes, shit doesn’t go your way, and that when shit doesn’t go your way, you have the opportunity to change to make things better for yourself. It is a kind and generous song that acknowledges sadness and heartbreak but doesn’t indulge in it. Ultimately, it’s about our inherent worth and agency. This is, essentially, what our loved ones SHOULD be telling us when we’re down, and I can’t get over how sweet the song/advice is generally, but that it’s specifically written by a brother for his sister makes my heart do a Grinch and grow three sizes. 

November 26, 2020

Fasman’s Finds – Hiroshi Yoshimura

Fasman’s Finds is our new column from Rebecca Fasman (intrepid record nerd, DJ, and curator at the Kinsey Institute) in which she shares what she’s listening to and why. 

Did you know that digestion involves NINE organs? Did you also know that anxiety can hinder digestion? It’s Thanksgiving week, and I was contemplating posting one of my favorite songs about food for this holiday offering, but I couldn’t decide between “Ham ‘N’ Eggs” by A Tribe Called Quest and every/any song on MM…FOOD by MF Doom. And then I realized that the majority of the holiday isn’t actually spent eating, but digesting. Your body is going to be working HARD. So this week I am including a song from one of my favorite albums of all time, which Light in the Attic just rereleased, called Green by Hiroshi Yoshimura. This album is perfect in every way. Put this track on (but really listen to the whole album), recline somewhere, relax, take deep breaths, and be nice to your body while it turns the delicious food you just ate into poop. (For real though, I do hope that everyone stays safe and healthy this week.)

November 19, 2020

Fasman’s Finds – SAULT

Fasman’s Finds is our new column from Rebecca Fasman (intrepid record nerd, DJ, and curator at the Kinsey Institute) in which she shares what she’s listening to and why. 

Do you like joy? Me neither, mostly. But what do we do when we find ourselves in what feels like a never-ending cycle of frustration, anxiety, and grief? We turn to creative people to help us get out of our own heads and remember the magic that is being alive, even while we are in pain. The album Untitled (Rise) by SAULT walks (or dances, if you are me) us through a beautiful, fraught, emotional musical landscape that I cannot recommend highly enough. It is a masterpiece of contemporary R&B, disco, funk, and boogie that somehow doesn’t feel retro or dated at all, it feels fresh and forward-looking. I find myself turning to the song “Son Shine” often these days, which makes me realize two things: first, I love boogie, which is not a new realization but always a fun one to remember, and two, it is important to try, as frequently as possible, to cultivate moments of joy for ourselves. 

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