TDP Recommends: “Across the Universe”

Today’s morning music selection, “Across the Universe” by The Beatles, goes out to everyone struggling with the recent events impacting our global world. From terrorist attacks to climate agreements, we are currently living in a world of uncertainty. This song by The Beatles helps remind us to hold on to the constants that give us meaning and joy, to remember that “limitless, undying love…shines around [us] like a million suns,” and that we can maintain control of who we are and what we mean in the universe.

TDP Recommends: “Feel it Still”

Trying to “stay woke” isn’t easy, especially when there’s so much to stay on top of these days. There’s no doubt, you gotta be informed and keep your eyes open. Working to find information, evaluate your sources, get out of your echo chamber, and be an engaged citizen is pretty exhausting. And, while being informed is necessary, so is being energized. Lucky for us, Portugal.The Man’s video for their new single, “Feel it Still,” keeps us on track.

The song, a super catchy pscyh-pop jam, calls out the sort of hipster “rebel” whose in the fight “just for kicks” while reminding us that there’s something real to fight for. The “feel” of resistance is more than just a social justice vibe, a slogan for your new graphic t-shirt, or a reason to argue with your uncle at family gatherings. Injustice is real. This swinging song reminds us that music still has an important role in serving social justice, just as it did in 1966 (as the song suggests).

In the past couple of years, a lot of musicians have used their music to comment on social and political issues. PTM is not unique in that way. They are, as always, bringing innovation to the latest music movement, however. In the video for “Feel it Still,” their first release since their 2013 album Evil Friends, PTM provides 30 ways to fight the power, so to speak. As the press release for their new interactive video states: while watching, viewers are “encouraged to find hidden Easter eggs designed to help #theresistance movement.” These “eggs”  include a direct dial to the White House, donation sites for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, and a whole bunch of suggestions for actions of “resistance.” To experience the interactive version, “fight apathy” and “find the tools to resist,” head to their official site. If you’re more into the music than the message and just want to see some cool cars ready for demo while a guy dances through the junkyard, check out the version below.

This song is going to be in your head ALL DAY LONG. You’re welcome, Devils!

If you like bands like Cage the Elephant, Grouplove, and Modest Mouse, give Portugal.The Man a try. We think you’ll love them. They’ll be at the House of Blues on June 1st if you want to catch them live.

TDP Event: BHS Lip Sync Battle

We are teaming up with Poetic Ramblings to host the BHS Lip Sync Battle! Pull up your playlists and start searching for the perfect song to perform on stage. Grab your friends and break out some choreography. Encourage your teachers to sign up for the battle. What’s a school spirit week event without teacher participation? Get into the competitive spirit before heading to the pep rally. It’s going to be epic!

Date: Thursday, November 22nd

TIME: 7:00 – 9:00

Place: The BHS Auditorium

Cost: $5.00 (for participants and audience members)

Prize: $100.00 for the winning student performance. (Teachers will compete for glory.)

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Participants must choose a song, and identify a one minute segment of that song to “perform” for the audience. Songs are subject to advisor approval.
  • Partner/Group performances are welcome (the more the merrier).
  • Costumes are not required, but they are encouraged.
  • Deadline for registration is Monday, November 14th.

REGISTER HERE: Lip Sync Sign Up.

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TDP Recommends: Soy Yo

This morning’s Music Monday selection, “Soy Yo” by Bomba Estéreo is a perfect way to start the week. As described by the Feminist List and Bust Magazine, the song is an “ode to Latina girls everywhere.” It seems like contemporary female artists are really trying hard to create the latest feminist anthem, and with varied levels of success. This song, much more subtle than the recent feminist rally cries we are seeing in modern music, finds success in its images of accessible and universal empowerment. Also, the video is AMAZING!!!

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TDP Review: The Weeknd’s New Singles

This past Saturday night, October 1st, marked the 42nd season premiere of SNL, hosted by Margo Robbie with musical guest the Weeknd. While the main focus of the episode was on the week in politics as the show unveiled their new Trump, played by Alec Baldwin, the real star was the Weeknd. He performed the first two singles from his latest album, Starboy, scheduled to drop on November 25th. Starting with he acclaimed titular track “Starboy,” and finishing with  his latest dance floor noir song “False Alarm,” The Weeknd did not disappoint. Both recently released songs have gained some traction and certainly suggest that there’s a lot to look forward to in Starboy‘s release.

After Abél Makkonen Tesfaye, the musician known as The Weeknd, was so successful with his Billboard topping “Can’t Feel My Face,” Grammy Award-winning “The Hills,” and Academy Award-nominated “Earned It,” he truly is a Starboy. So, it’s no surprise that the title track of his upcoming album is about his huge and rapid rise to fame. As the song says, The Weeknd “took the [last] year like a bandit.” The lyrics, more typical of today’s hip hop songs, taut his accomplishments; brag about the multiple beautiful women he spends his time with; and reference drugs, money, cribs, and cars. The difference is that the song has a rather dark tone, typical of the artist . “Look what you done,” a line prominent in the song’s refrain, carries dual meanings: acknowledge these amazing accomplishments, AND look at the aftermath of success. While the song catalogs evidence of American success, it also seems to be criticizing these definitions of success. Regardless of the artist’s intent here, the song is unquestionably fun. With the dark thoughts of Tesfaye paired with Daft Punk’s subtle dance sounds, it’s a track you will sing along to in the car.

While the somber lyrics of “False Alarm” focus on a superficial and emotionally unavailable woman drawn in by drugs and alcohol and money and jewelry (typical subject matter for the artist), the sound is high energy. This track simultaneously throws back to early 2000’s dance-punk and brings listeners to today with the creative ambient sounds, especially in the intro and outro, and injections of passion most clearly noted in the scream preceding the song’s hook. Whether you are a fan of Abél Makkonen Tesfaye’s music or not, whether you prefer your dance music more authentic or not, this single will get you moving.  That’s the real point, isn’t it?

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Ally Week Playlist

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Logo by Mr. Mistler

It’s Ally Week! BHS is participating in this national event designed to encourage allyship and dialogue about how to become better allies to LGBTQ youth. The Devils’ Playlist is a proud ally group, and we plan to spend some time today thinking about all the musicians who have used their art and talent to show their allyship and encourage their fans to support and celebrate the LGBTQ community. Check out our ALLY WEEK PLAYLIST on Spotify, which highlights some of these artists. Blare some music to celebrate your peers. Stop by Spectrum’s table outside the cafeteria for information on what actions you can take to be an ally. Happy Ally Week, BHS!

 

TDP Playlists: Freedom Friday

Happy Spirit Week, BHS! In honor of Freedom Friday-the annual day BHS comes together to celebrate the American values of freedom, unity, and acceptance – we’ve put together a playlist of songs that reflect those values.

99754f39eaf8751d717b2fcb1f34b0e5_lg“AMERICA” by Neil Diamond: This song, originally released on the Jazz Singer soundtrack in 1980, is one that lauds America as a home to wearied immigrants. It serves as a reminder of the values that have defined America since its beginning. The image of immigrants “huddl[ing] close, hang[ing] on to a dream” is iconically American, and one that is in the forefront of many Americans’ minds in the recent days of chaos, tragedy, and struggle.

bob-marley-redemption-song-101700977“REDEMPTION SONG” by Bob Marley and the Wailers: This empathetic and socially-driven song, which was the last on Marley’s final album with the Wailers (Uprising, 1980), expresses truths about both persecution and emancipation. Two of our favorite lines from the piece, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery / None but ourselves can free our mind,” which he paraphrased from a speech by Civil Rights activist Marcus Garvey, suggests that we all have the means within us to break through bonds of captivity and to progress humanity.

2012-music-topic-en-vogue“FREE YOUR MIND” by En Vogue: This song, by popular ’90s R&B/Soul girl group En Vogue,  addresses prejudice, specifically the discrimination African American women face, and proudly dismantles the social constructs and stereotypes associated with topics ranging from clothes, to music, to hair. Its chorus, “Free your mind and the rest will follow,” serves as both effective advice to those who subconsciously believe the stereotypes they outline in the song, and a battle cry for those who are subject to them.

u2-pride-in-the-name-of-love-1984-7“PRIDE (in the Name of Love)” by U2:  This song, which is a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., draws attention to the tragic loss of many who speak up and preach equality. It’s about the pride people have when they live their lives in a way that is motivated by honoring the dignity of all human life.

 

 

 

“FREEDOM! ’90” by George Michael: Michael’s very personal album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. I, was released to the world through this hit single. The song Gmfreedomserves as a proud re-introduction of himself to his fans, this time as an openly gay man. In the lyrics, Michael combines bravery and vulnerability to create a personal anthem full of positive messages. While he declares the truth about himself, he also pleads to his fans to maintain their support and not disregard their appreciation of his music simply because he has redefined how they view him. His words, “So please don’t give me up/Cuz I would really, really love to stick around,” echo the thoughts of many who embrace the freedom to express their authentic self.

 

Sharon Jones live photo credit John Carrico“THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND” by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings: This soulful cover of Woody Guthrie’s folk song reflects the sense of shared ownership and pride Americans have in their country. The lyrics reinforce the idea of unity and connection. Jones’s adaptation of the song injects a a new vitality into the language of the song.

 

SoupDragons_Hotwired“I’M FREE” by The Soup Dragons: This number was in seriously heavy rotation on  alternative and dance radio stations throughout the U.S. and U.K. in early 1990. The brazen statement of personal freedom, and the sing-a-long quality of the lyrics made this song hugely popular. The message and sound still stand today.

 

Pharrell-Williams-Freedom“FREEDOM!” by Pharrell Williams: As one of the most influential musicians of our time, Pharrell Williams has unquestionable power. He used that power for good in “Freedom,” by departing from the more lighthearted focus typical of his songs to create this political, social, and environmentally-driven piece. View the video for the song to get a sense of his intention in this contemporary anthem.

HAPPY SPIRIT WEEK!!!

image1(1)BHS Students (from left to right) Sam Poulin, Elise Cimino, Nicole Scola, Emily Sheridan, Isabella Morgan, Caleigh Hickox, Nikki Dellemonico)

TDP Shout Out: Students Taking the AP World Exam

Ms. Fishel and Ms. Brumby, the amazing teachers of AP World History, would like to wish their students the best of luck on today’s AP exam. This song is for you…

Good luck, AP World Students!

TDP Presents: Throwback Thursday Throw-down

THE DEVILS’ PLAYLIST WANTS YOU

TO COME TO TONIGHT’s THROWBACK THURSDAY THROW-DOWN!

UnknownCome, listen to some great tunes, participate in or cheer on your peers in the lip sync battles and dance contests, have some pizza and milkshakes, and let loose before vacation. The event is a fundraiser for the newly formed BHS Slam Team, which is heading to the Louder Than a Bomb teen poetry slam and the Stories Live teen story slam. It’s going to be a great time.

Be there! 6:00 – 8:00 at the BHS cafeteria. $5.00 admission.

TDP Contest: Playlist Poem Challenge

PLAYLIST POEM CHALLENGE

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In honor of National Poetry Month, we are challenging all Devils to a PLAYLIST POEM BATTLE. To enter, write a poem that is composed primarily of song titles and/or song lyrics. Submit your poem to Mrs. Janovitz  (janovitz@bpsk12.org) by Tuesday, April 28th. A group of English teachers and poetry club members will serve as judges. The top three poems will be published here, and the winning author will receive a $20.00 gift card to Newbury Comics. Get writing, Devils! Remember, POETRY IS METAL!