New Devil Profile: Ms. Eshelman

BHS has quite a few new teachers and staff members this year. What better way to get to know them than to learn about what music they love? We asked each new faculty and staff member a series of questions to find out a little bit about who they are and what they listen to. We’ll be posting them throughout the next few weeks. Our first New Devil Profile highlights one of the new members of the English Department: Sarah Eshelman.


Ms. Eshelman teaches Introduction to Literature II, American Literature, aScreen Shot 2017-11-02 at 8.52.18 PMnd Journalism. She also serves as the advisor for The Devil’s Advocate, the BHS newspaper. Here’s what she had to say about her connection to music:

What are you currently listening to? Usually whatever is on 88.9 WERS, but generally I enjoy listening to my Spotify playlists, like “80sMusic” (featuring Billy Idol, David Bowie, and Cyndi Lauper) or “GirlMusic” (female-led acts like Robyn, Chvrches, and LP).

What are you always listening go? The entire Hamilton musical soundtrack and Mumford & Sons (namely the first two albums: Sigh No More and Babel). I also will always have a soft spot for RelientK, a band I loved way back in middle school.

What are your psych-up songs?  “My Shot” (Hamilton), “Tightrope” (Janelle Monae), or “Little Secrets” (Passion Pit).

What are your cool-down songs? I don’t have too many cool-down songs, specifically; I usually just put on the Classical Music station.

What is your relationship with music? What do you love about it? I love how it both energizes and focuses me – I usually put it on if I need to focus on something like cleaning, cooking, or grading. Music is always with. I tend to hum random songs or otherwise have a song stuck in my head at all times.

What’s your theme song? No idea! Maybe “Drumming Song” by Florence + The Machine.

Thanks for sharing, Ms. Eshelman. Now, get pscyhed up because we’re making our next morning music song “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae!

TDP Recommends: Mondo Cozmo

This post is the first in our Teacher’s Dig Music series. Stay tuned to read more about what your teachers are listening to.

Mondo Cozmo is my new favorite! LA-based musician Josh Ostrander’s latest project has become my late summer obsession. It could be that he is clearly influenced by musicians who populated my playlists from just about every step in my musical discovery journey so far, or it could be that his songs have an energy I need right now. It doesn’t matter the reason, I am loving listening.

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 11.29.20 PM.pngHis genre-bending sound moves from nostalgic to innovative, from folk to to Britrock, from Dylan to Spiritualized – and it does so seamlessly. I haven’t been this excited about a musician in a while. Ostrander has been kicking around in some relatively obscure indie groups on the music scene since he founded the alt-rock band Laguardia in 2000. I am hopeful that with Mondo Cozmo’s debut album Plastic Soul, he will shift from obscurity to recognition. Though you likely won’t hear this stuff over the loudspeaker for Music Mondays anytime soon, you just might catch it on your Discover Weekly.

Here is my  favorite track from the album, “Hold On To Me.” Dig it, Devils!

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: 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!!!




Ally Week Playlist


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!


Four Year Strong Fall tour 2015 review


Worcester-based pop punk band Four Year Strong has always held a special place in my heart. With their poppy choruses, sing-alongs, and unique easycore breakdowns, they are a band to crowd surf to, while you cry and sing your heart angsty little heart out. I was more than excited when they announced their fall 2015 tour, especially because they were taking fellow massachusetts based hardcore band, Defeater with them. I knew immediately that the opportunity to see two bands I love in a small intimate setting was something I could not miss. I knew things would be close, packed, and personal for this show. Awesome.

I do happen to be good at attending shows, but definitely not getting myself to them. After a traffic filled stop-and-go drive down to Cambridge, I actually missed Elder Brother and Superheaven (the first two bands), but I can still boast about how awesome the last two were. First off was Defeater. All I can say is “wow.” With an entire discography telling the story of a dysfunctional family in the 1940s-50’s that was affected by death, betrayal, and alcoholism, every note of every one of their songs has meaning. Seeing their fans scream along with the lyrics with tears in their eyes was truly moving. For a melodic hardcore band, their performance was heart-wrenchingly emotional. Frontman Derek was the star of the show, and he blew me away. His face, covered in sweat and beet red the entire set, showed how much he puts into his performance. It was my first time seeing them, and after being so emotionally moved after their set, I know I will definitely be seeing them again.

After Defeater’s stellar performance, it was time for Four Year Strong. The bearded pop-punk masters of Worcester finally took the stage, opening up with “We all Float Down Here,” the first single off of their new self-titled album. They shredded through their setlist of old songs, new songs, and songs in between. Some highlights were “It Must Really Suck to be Four Year Strong Right Now,” “Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die,” and “Find my Way Back.” With all the energy they put out, the mosh pit was crazy all night.People joyfully singing along with every lyric whole pushing, flailing, and jumping around made it a strangely happy environment. Four Year Strong definitely knows how to get their fans together as one big family. Everyone in the venue was more than happy to be there, and were ecstatic to be sharing the night with like-minded fans. Ending the night with their hit, “Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)”, they didn’t hold back. Being back home in MA, it was the last night of the tour too. The emotion in the room played between the band and the audience beautifully. Up until the last note rang as they left the stage, they gave it their all, while the fans returned the favor in feedback and energy.

Everytime I see them, Four Year Strong just get better and better, which is why I’ll be attending their annual Christmas show in Worcester this December for the second year in a row. Expect a review on that, because these guys rock.

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.


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: BHS Seniors (from Mrs. Ford)

Today’s Teacher Tuesday song, “Stay Positve” by The Hold Steady, goes out to all the BHS seniors from Mrs. Ford. It’s a musical reminder to be as positive as you can as you move forward through life. Mrs. Ford hopes you all have positive experiences in your bright futures, and that you remember to tap into your jubilant and exuberant spirits. Be mindful of Robert Browning’s words: “the best is yet to be…” (though Ford’s House is forever!)

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!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, Devils Faculty!

sayings5296We would like to take this opportunity, on the last day of teacher appreciation week, to thank the amazing BHS faculty and staff for their encouragement and support. It has been so much fun to learn about the music you love, share our favorite songs with you, and work together to celebrate music in our BHS community. In addition to all the work you do for us on a daily basis – planning, grading, discussing, sharing, coaching, presenting, engaging, inspiring – you find time in your lives to talk to us about something so near and dear to our hearts. We are truly grateful for all the work that you do, for seeing us through the hard times and the good. It’s time to” celebrate you…to praise you like [we] should.”

Thank you Devils Faculty! We LOVE you.