One half and front-woman of the internationally renowned duo AlunaGeorge, the critically acclaimed singer, songwriter and performer has stepped out on her own having inked a global deal with Los Angeles based record label Mad Decent. On stepping out solo, the British born, Los Angeles based artist shares: “In the past when performing on the stages of my white male peers, I always felt like a visitor being one of the few Black women I could see, so it never fully occurred to me to claim dance music as my music, as an artist, even though it was at the heart of my connection to music.” She continues. “Then I looked at the history of dance music and saw how, for example, Chicago House, known as the invention of house music, was pioneered in the Black and Latino LGTBQ+ communities which gave me inspiration to stake my flag in the ground as a Black woman in dance music by taking control of production and songwriting with my own vibe.” https://www.aluna.site/
Aluna is performing her debut solo album Renaissance live from Compton Cowboys Ranch. Guest DJ sets from Aluna’s friends & collaborators include: BAMBII, GuiltyBeatz, UNIIQU3, Lady Bee, Kiddy Smile, and Austin Millz.
The 43rd Annual Denver Film Festival is having 3 unique Drive-In Screenings at Red Rocks. These 3 films are Nomadland, Nine Days and Ammonite. Red Rocks will serve as the backdrop for these red carpet films.
“Throughout this season’s Film On the Rocks Drive-In series, we have watched and shared the joy of audiences getting out of their homes and engaging in big-screen film entertainment,” said Festival Director, Britta Erickson. “While we’re excited to pivot to a virtual experience for the majority of this year’s Festival, and to reach new audiences through that opportunity, we are grateful to our film industry partners, the City of Denver, and of course, our amazing audiences to be able to deliver three unique film experiences — Nomadland, Nine Days and Ammonite — under the stars at beautiful Red Rocks Park. And the truth is, I can’t think of a better, more appropriate way to experience all three of these films – and Nomadland in particular – than in your car, surrounded by beautiful Western vistas.”
“Despite the challenges that 2020 has thrown at us, and the belief that we would have to be 100% virtual for this year’s Festival, we’re thrilled to be able to present these three Red Carpet Drive-In experiences and provide our audiences with some select in-person screening opportunities at DFF43,” said Director of Marketing and Partnerships, Kevin Smith. “These very special screenings would not be possible without the partnership and support of the City of Denver, Arts & Venues, and event partners including Red Bull and Waterloo Sparkling Water.”
Opening Night October 22, 2020 at 7pm
NOMADLAND will receive DFF43’s Rare Pearl Award which will be accepted by director, Chloé Zhao, in a video presentation before the film screening. Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad.
October 24, 2020 at 7pm
Will (Winston Duke) spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live Point of View (POV) on TV’s of people going about their lives, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates — unborn souls — arrive at Will’s to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma (Zazie Beetz), a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life.
October 29, 2020 at 7pm
In the 1840s, acclaimed self-taught paleontologist Mary Anning works alone on the wild and brutal Southern English coastline of Lyme Regis. The days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now hunts for common fossils to sell to rich tourists to support herself and her ailing widowed mother. When one such tourist, Roderick Murchison, arrives in Lyme on the first leg of a European tour, he entrusts Mary with the care of his young wife Charlotte, who is recuperating from a personal tragedy. Mary, whose life is a daily struggle on the poverty line, cannot afford to turn him down but, proud and relentlessly passionate about her work, she clashes with her unwanted guest. They are two women from utterly different worlds. Yet despite the chasm between their social spheres and personalities, Mary and Charlotte discover they can each offer what the other has been searching for: the realization that they are not alone. It is the beginning of a passionate and all-consuming love affair that will defy all social bounds and alter the course of both lives irrevocably.
PLANET AFROPUNK – the theme and destination of this year’s Black cultural explosion is taking place on October 23-25. AFROPUNK’S 2020 festival pays homage to the reality that the upheavals experienced over the course of the year are far from novel; they have been central to the Black experience across space and time, which is recognized in this year’s theme, “PLANET AFROPUNK: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE IS BLACK.”
As a result of our unique partnerships, PLANET AFROPUNK will be a completely free virtual experience for its entire global audience, made solely possible by its brand partners. Festival-goers will be given an option to donate money to organizations including Black Futures Lab, Color of Change, Movement for Black Lives, Equal Justice Initiative, Fair Count, and The Bail Project among others.
Nichelle Sanders, Strategic Advisor at AFROPUNK, said: “Being Black on planet earth is like science fiction. With the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others, we have seen the pain and trauma of the past resurrected, and all while suffering through a global pandemic. But, as Black people, our unity and creativity are our greatest weapon against oppression and adversity. To convene a global family reunion at this moment in time is therefore essential.
“Now more than ever we need the resilience and creativity of our community to keep our culture alive and thriving. In creating PLANET AFROPUNK we’ve designed a safe space for our community to celebrate and inspire, cry and shout, and to heal and motivate one another. AFROPUNK’s approach to activism and fighting oppression has always been to celebrate Black music, art and culture – and ultimately Black joy. The AFROPUNK community is global, and we’ve built this planet to connect seamlessly. All across the world we are connecting in sameness and in difference to discover the joy in our Blackness, but also in the visual and musical artists and authors. And this is what AFROPUNK enables.
“We can’t wait to see the faces, hear the voices and connect the AFROPUNK community – as unique, expressive and unapologetic as it is – to each other. Welcome to PLANET AFROPUNK!”
The line-up for the weekend is huge and includes:
Larissa Luz & Carlinhos Brown
Meshell N’Dege Ocello
Sampa the Great
And many more. In addition, there will be added experiences at:
Ideaville, powered by Target, will be one of the most exciting and anticipated destinations at PLANET AFROPUNK. With keynote speakers, AFROPUNK Solution Sessions and luminary interviews, Ideaville will empower connections between people, ideas and solutions. With AFROPUNK, Target will spotlight Black voices and stories, while creating a safe space for all of AFROPUNK’s communities, featuring a Black Queer Town Hall and community soap box. Target has partnered with Penguin Random House to uplift Black voices by featuring a selection of NY-Times best-selling authors in our Rock N’ Read Bookstore and powering author readings and conversations.
Bites&Beats will return this year delivered by Grubhub, which will be offering virtual festival-goers access to exclusive experiences and Perks from restaurants across North America. CÎROC VODKA and CROWN ROYAL REGAL APPLE have partnered with Ghetto Gastro to bring Planet AFROPUNK lively and delicious conversations about culture through cuisine in Bites & Beats. The Queen of Bounce, Big Freedia joins Planet AFROPUNK to share one of her favorite recipes: Booty Poppin Potatoes and shows us how to make a Red Bull Tropical Tequila cocktail.
Art & Times will create an immersive gallery experience, celebrating hand-picked work from South African artists in collaboration with Esprit, showcasing how unusual and original combinations create something truly unique.
Hair & Beauty Village will explore all of the facets of Black hair through the eyes of creators, innovators, visionaries and artists to manifest conversations, creativity and community. Hair plays a central role in the identity, self-concept and political consciousness of Black people, and Maui Moisture will be powering important conversations on-platform for festival-goers.
Activism Row will generate discussions on criminal justice reform, the failings of the criminal legal system and the systemic racism and segregation plaguing the public school system. Ben & Jerry’s will highlight how partner organizations like The Advancement Project National Office, Close the Workhouse Coalition, and Power U work to eliminate injustices in Black communities nation-wide. Non-profit organization AARP will also be celebrating Black roots and activism through a video tribute and encouraging voter engagement.
Spinthrift Market will feature a curated selection of Black owned vendors from around the world. Guests will discover makers and creators across many different product areas including beauty, fashion, wellness, gifts, services and more.
The Denver Film Festival is virtual this year. It has over a 100 films, short films, student shorts, music videos, and episodic content. DFF has a number of programs that are part of the festival, and also run content at Denver Film yearlong including: CineLatinnX, CinemaQ, J’Adore, Women + Film & SeriesFest. DFF also has featured this year the Colorado Dragon Film Festival, Culinary Cinema, Italian Showcase, Spotlight on UK/Ireland Cinema, Colorado Spotlight, Contemporary World Cinema and a Spotlight on Social Justice.
“The DFF43 program befits the complexities and opportunities presented to us in 2020 — a balance of thought provoking, issue-driven films addressing our challenging times, along with inspirational, charming, and life-affirming fare,” said Denver Film Festival Artistic Director, Matthew Campbell. “The program is an expansive, yet focused, sampling of international, U.S., and local films; with the goal of offering something for all tastes. Though we might not be able to convene in person this year, we hope these films connect Colorado cinema lovers in a way we’ve never before achieved.”
Here are suggestions of what to watch:
Atlantis – A surrealist film set in a future Eastern Ukraine where Sergiy and Katya meet while exhuming war corpses. Nominated for Krzysztof Kieślowski Award for Best Feature Film
I Am Greta – A documentary about Greta Thunberg with never before seen footage
Little Fish – Newlyweds find themselves in a world with a different pandemic. One that causes its victims to lose their memories
Women In Blue – A documentary about Minneapolis’ first female police chief Janee Harteau filmed between 2017-2019
The 8th – The 8th traces Ireland’s campaign to remove the 8th Amendment – a constitutional ban on abortion.
People gather outside Iran embassy in France on June 13, 2019 to support Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and demand her release. – Sotoudeh has been sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison over a case with seven charges, but she is to only serve the longest sentence, 12 years imposed for “encouraging corruption and debauchery”. She has also been convicted of espionage. Sotoudeh has also been sentenced to a total of 148 lashes for appearing in court without the hijab Islamic head covering and for another offence. (Photo by FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP)
Nasrin – A portrait of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights activist and political prisoner through the eyes of Iran’s women’s right movement.
Nevia – Nevia is 17 and lives in the suburbs of Naples with her beloved little sister Enza, their aunt Lucia and their grandmother Nana. She is a stubborn teenager, determined to get from life much more than fate has planned for her, but it’s hard to be a girl in a place where only men can make the rules and apparently there are no options but make ends meet with little illegal jobs. Until one day, a circus comes to town, changing everything in Nevia’s life and giving her a new hope…
2019 Berlin Als sie eines Tages von ihrem Freund (Jacob Matschenz) wegen einer anderen Frau verlassen wird, blüht ihr das ähnliche Schicksal wie der gleichnamigen griechischen Sagenfigur: sie muss ihren Ex umbringen und ins Wasser zurückkehren. Doch Undine wehrt sich gegen diesen Fluch. Da taucht der Industrietaucher Christoph (Franz Rogowski) auf, in den sich Undine verliebt. Die beiden verbringen eine glückliche Zeit miteinander, doch als Christoph spürt, dass Undine vor etwas davonzulaufen scheint, muss sie sich entscheiden.
Undine – A dark fantasy where a Berlin historian is forced to kill the man who betrays her. Nominated for Krzysztof Kieślowski Award for Best Feature Film
Shiva Baby – A near college graduate, Danielle, gets paid by her sugar daddy and rushes to meet her neurotic parents at a family shiva. Nominated for American Independent Award
Nadia, Butterfly – While young and in her prime, Nadia decides to retire from pro swimming after the Olympic Games to escape a rigid life of sacrifice. Nominated for Krzysztof Kieślowski Award for Best Feature Film
For the last eight years, Panache has hosted Valentine’s Day concerts across the country to raise money and awareness for Planned Parenthood. Earlier this year, The Village of Love Benefit Series raised over $40,000 through performances in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Miami. Now, Panache is thrilled to be joining forces with their friends at Like Management and Live.ly to organize Village of Love’s online debut.
This year’s event features Angel Olsen, Brittany Howard, Deep Sea Diver, Phoebe Bridgers, Kathleen Hanna, Margo Price, Soko, Weyes Blood and more. Tickets are only $15.
Since COVID-19 began our local independent music venues have been suffering. In reaction the National Independent Venue Association was born. NIVA has been lobbying congress to get relief money so we don’t lose our independent venues. It has created a coalition of over 3000 member venues across the US in the music, comedy and arts sector.
The festival will be hosted by Reggie Watts and feature performances from 35 artists recorded live from more than 25 independent concert venues across the United States. These artists join YouTube and NIVA to amplify the message of NIVA’s Save Our Stages advocacy efforts and raise funds for its nationwide, need-based grant program to provide relief to these important members of the independent music, comedy and arts community.
The artists in the festival include:
Little Big Town
And many more. Fans can watch the festival on NIVA’s YouTube Channel and on the individual artist’s YouTube Channel. Fans can donate directly to the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund at https://www.nivassoc.org/erf
In celebrating 20 years of UMS this year, things are changing a lot. In the past UMS has been a 4 day, then 3-day music festival including national, regional, and local acts. This year in the shadow of COVID-19 it is a new event entirely.
This year it is a 3-hour virtual music festival, variety show, and telethon to benefit the Colorado Music Relief Fund. The Colorado Music Relief Fund was created to support all of those who help bring music to our lives — host of talented and dedicated individuals, crews, and businesses working on stage and behind the scenes. https://www.comusicrelief.org/home
Hosted by Christie Buchele and Sam Tellent, UMS will include live performances broadcast from the Hi-Dive, and music video premieres. This year’s lineup includes the following local woman acts:
Diet Cig, the hyper-duo of Alex Luciano & Noah Bowman are back with a new single after a hiatus after their LP Swear I’m Good at This. Luciano how the track came about
“This song centers around my very real and frequent experiences with night terrors and other bizarre sleep activity. If we’re close enough to have ever shared a room, you know what I’m talking about. This song goes out to you.
The idea of night terrors also represents the fact that no matter how hard I try to curate a specific and perfect version of myself, the embarrassing, weird, unlikable parts are always going to be there too. The people I’m closest with will always end up seeing them when they inevitably come hurling out of me like my night terrors in the middle of the night. This song’s about holding onto that hope that the real ones will like me even with all my weird freaky stuff underneath. Even when I’m screaming at them in my sleep from across the hotel room.”
Poppy returns with her new album I Disagree which drives into metal and industrial territory while still keeping Poppy’s unique vocal style. Her latest single is “Anything Like Me” which is about how people think they know you…when they don’t
Her previous single was “Fill the Crown”
I Disagree is Poppy’s final work Titanic Sinclair and follows their work on her debut album Am I A Girl?I Disagree marks Poppy’s new relationship with Sumerian Records. Poppy is known for being prescient on pop culture both good and bad. Her songs strike to the heart of social media. Be prepared for a visual and audio feast of music. She is currently on a worldwide tour.
FEMMUSIC once again previews Australian Music Week. This 3 day festival includes 150 artists and a conference bringing the topics of the industry. The festival includes veterans like Petra Caswell & Jackie Marshall mixed with newcomers like Jess Spajr. Here are some of our top picks of artists to see:
Ange – From Barcelona to Australia, Ange brings a refreshing R & B pop sound. She is working on her debut EP. https://www.angmusica.com/
Arna Georgia – Georgia released her debut EP Midnight Carousel in 2017. She is a country singer-songwriter with quick wit and imaginative lyrics. https://www.arnageorgia.com/
Mardi Wilson – Wilson is a Brisbane Alt Folk musician. She has been touring and is now working on recording new material https://www.mardiwilson.com/
Rebel Fox – Rebel Fox recently released “Perfect Storm” the first song off their upcoming EP. This duo is folk country heading somewhere between Civil Wars & Shovels & Rope. https://www.rebel-fox.net/
Tiali Eliza – Eliza comes from the Central Coast and has a mix of alternative rock mixed with jazz. It is something that is revolutionary. https://www.tialieliza.com/
Mondo Music & Tech Conference, Finnish Tech Design & Art (FTDA), Guild of Music Supervisors, Nordic Culture Fund, Business Finland present 3 Finnish Arts as part of the IGNITE VULNERABILITY: Empower Yourself & Be The Change. The artists are:
No Voice Hush’d is a night of music and art. It features music by What Would Tilda Swinton Do, Irrevery, Water Gh0st, Cherry, Crowd the Airwaves, and more.
There is art by Lillian Sthereva, Gwaldys Le Roy, Domenica Garcia, Luisa Muhr and others. A complete listing can be found on the webpage.
According to recent studies, female-identified persons represent about a third of all gallery-represented artists globally; in the songwriting world this number goes down to a little more than a tenth. In the NYC rock/punk scene in particular, female-identifying musicians must fight several orders of magnitude harder than their male peers for their voices to be heard.
No voice hush’d is a representation of our method to rectify this, starting here in NYC through the uniting of female-identified artists across disciplines. Art videos, paintings, installations and more share a literal and figurative stage with the performers and poets performing that night, their works united by their creation from a non-male perspective. Muchmore’s, the venue for the night, is a Brooklyn space with DIY tendencies known for its inclusiveness in programming.
No voice hush’d focuses on the artistic power of this group, providing for them a platform of support and a spotlight for their work.
Reflecting upon current political circumstances, all proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) to support the fight against abortion restriction.
Grace VanderWaal has sold out the Bluebird with her “Ur So Beautiful” Tour. This star who first came to fame on America’s Got Talent now has millions of followers and two full length albums to her name. She has a line of Fender Ukulele’s, and a non-profit called Little Miracles. At age 15 VanderWaal brings a bedroom pop sound with a majestic quality to her music. Her latest singles include “Ur So Beautiful” and “Waste My Time”
The title track of Dog Party’s latest album is a pop-heavy blast about a relationship gone wrong called “Hit and Run.” This California sister duo glides easily from punk to surf in a tight set. Lucy is on drums and Gwendolyn is on guitar. The sisters are not bound to their instruments and switch often.
Dog Party is prolific. They have 6 albums dating from 2009. They are professional touring artists. They recently finished touring with Bad Cop Bad Cop and are opening tonight for CJ Ramone.
This all-ages show is a collection of the best of the best. The Turn It Up House Band includes Abby Travis, Beck Wreck, Blare Bitch, Bere Fennelly & Sharon Needles. The guest vocalists is the all-star lineup of Alice Bag, Nina Diaz, Lisa Kekaula, Kristine Nevrose & Drew Arriola Sands.
That’s just the house band. There will also be performances by Solve J Schou, Phranc, The Groans and much more. This is a feminist catalog of music from the past 20 years, and the next 20 to come.
If you haven’t heard of Shaed recently you haven’t been listening. Their song “Trampoline” has been rocketing up the charts after being featured in an Apple MacBook Air commercial. The band’s recent release is the Melt EP and includes songs like “Thunder”
Shaed is coming to the 25th Anniversary Westword Music Showcase on June 29, 2019. This showcase is filled with local bands, as well as national and international headliners including CHVCHES.
FEMMUSIC had a recent e-mail interview with Chelsea Lee about the band’s amazing journey.
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Melt?
CL: I think one of the biggest challenges was choosing what songs made the most sense to release for this chapter of our careers. We had written so many songs for Melt and wanted to make sure we were creating a cohesive EP. We ended up choosing the songs that best reflected our musical journey at the time.
FEMMUSIC: How did you approach making Melt differently from Just Wanna See?
CL: Just Wanna See was a collection of some of the first songs we had written together – we weren’t living with each other at the time so the songwriting process was a bit all over the place. Max and Spencer would send me tracks, or bits and pieces of songs, and I would try to contribute in whatever way I could from afar. Now we all live in a house right outside of DC with a studio, so it makes writing so much more fun and convenient. Obviously, our songwriting has grown and evolved over the years as well.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about “Trampoline.” How did the song form in the band? How has the song’s breakout from Apple changed your lives?
Trampoline was the second song we wrote in our house. It started with us watching old home videos of Max and Spencer and there was one clip of them where they are about 3 or 4 jumping on a trampoline. This sparked the first lyric – “I’ve been having dreams, jumping on a trampoline” and from there we tried to create an ethereal song about embracing your fears.
Apple was a huge, huge blessing for us – the commercial was seen all over the world, so it definitely expanded our audience. The commercial has opened so many doors for us – “Trampoline” is doing really well at alternative and pop radio and we’re playing almost every single festival this year, including Summer Sonic in Japan, so it has been amazing.
FEMMUSIC: I’ve heard you’ve been working with various producers lately. Who would be your ideal choice of a producer to work with? Why?
CL: This is such a tough question because there are so many incredible musicians, producers, mixers, etc. in this industry that we would die to work with. A big one for us is Mark Ronson, because everything he touches is gold.
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
CL: Our songwriting is super collaborative. We generally wake up in the morning, have breakfast, and then walk into our studio to write. We generally try to write songs organically with an acoustic guitar or piano and then build out a track from there.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
CL: Again we have been influenced by so many people – Frank Sinatra, HER, Radio Head to name the tiniest few.
FEMMUSIC: What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the music industry? And how did you overcome them?
CL: To be honest, I don’t see many challenges. I feel like being a female in this industry is super empowering for me. Being on stage, singing songs that we’ve written together is such an amazing feeling and makes me feel like super woman. I just want to encourage young girls and women to follow their dreams… as corny as that sounds.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
CL: Right now – SZA. Her latest album was on repeat for weeks and was so incredibly inspiring.
FEMMUSIC: What’s one thing would you like to change about the music industry?