Feminist America Won’t Let Planned Parenthood Go Without a Fight
April 19, 2017 12:10 pm

At 21, I walked a childhood friend into Planned Parenthood when she feared she might be pregnant. With our shaky hands intertwined—hers seeking support and mine offering it—we walked inside, straight into the place we knew would have the answers should her fears be confirmed.

On April 13, President Donald Trump approved a bill giving states the legal right to withhold funding for Planned Parenthoods clinics should they choose. For men and women in more conservative territories, their means of receiving a free and reduced price yearly physicals, pap smears, mammograms, condoms abortion services have been taken away.  In the name of “religious freedom”, their access to affordable reproductive healthcare is gone.

Planned Parenthood de-funding

It’s a move many of Americans who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016’s election feared would become a reality. While every Republican isn’t anti-pro-choice, the President has proven himself to be staunchly anti-pro-choice. As well as also being an advocate for “family values”—which, by action and not words, means homophobic, transphobic, and against feminism—and one who has displayed sexist, classist, and rape culture-sympathetic behavior, Trump at the helm of the country’s operations spells danger for women.

President Trump’s witch hunt against Planned Parenthood and feminist adjacent aides to female healthcare, despite what his cabinet insists isn’t true, is, in fact, a war on women. When he proposed keeping the organization’s funding in place as long as they got rid of abortion services, it was the latest battle waged in this war. Taking services and entire organizations that directly assist women’s healthcare and cut them because they don’t fit the narrative of “family values” is why advocates are rising up.

Musical artists from Best Coast to Katy Perry, actors like American Ferrera and Scarlett Johansson, and political figures like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are among the most vocal advocates for the continued funding of Planned Parenthood clinics in the U.S. They know the importance of having condoms, breast exams, STD and STI tests and treatments, and yes, abortion services, available to those who need them.

Because personal judgments shouldn’t interfere with the health of your fellow man and woman.

So what can we as a people do now that the war is on?

We can donate to Planned Parenthood. You can sign petitions and advocate with groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign. You can volunteer at your local Planned Parenthood clinic or attend an appointment there. You can use the hashtag #WeWontGoBack to spread the organization’s message on social media, and/or speak with family and friends (this guide is handy all year round!) about the benefits of Planned Parenthood and the current government’s involvement.

Even though my childhood friend wasn’t pregnant all those years ago, she knew that Planned Parenthood had her back if push came to shove. She knew that the state of her health was important to them. President Trump can’t take away what the American people put up a fight to protect. Planned Parenthood is a savior for so many, and we’re not backing down to save it.

Check out our playlist that is filled with badass songs about empowering women and giving us the right to choose what we do with our bodies.

Artists Fight For The National Endowment for the Arts
April 17, 2017 4:24 pm

President Donald Trump is not the most popular person in the U.S., which is funny considering how he won the presidency.

Nevertheless, he is the president, and the president gets to make a budget to float to Congress. Just last month, Trump floated a budget that would completely cut funding to the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, a notion that hasn’t been spoken about since LBJ. The NEA budget is $150 million, which factors out to every American being charged $0.46 as a result. It’s a small piece of the overall big picture and would kill art projects across the country.

Many of these cuts would have direct impacts on various TV and radio mainstays like PBS and NPR, in addition to the many shows that have loyal fan bases across America, like the beloved “Sesame Street”.

There have been multiple musicians and artists that have been vocal about their distaste for funding cuts; like us, they would love to see the annual budget increase, not decrease. We would like to showcase these musicians and artists and stand toe-to-toe with them in the fight against cutting any funding for these great programs that have driven art projects across America.

We ask the question “What is more American than the freedom to show the world how you feel about being American?” At ATYPICAL SOUNDS, we say fuck that shit, and so do many others in the arts community.


David Byrne

Byrne is the charismatic frontman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-inducted band Talking Heads. He is a powerful voice in the music community and has also extended his influence well into other sectors of the arts. Byrne has been one of the most vocal against the cuts, attending a rally at New York’s City Hall in protest. Byrne also penned a wonderful essay entitled “What Good Are the Arts?” on his website adding that killing the economy in the arts sector is “completely stupid”. He continues “It’s probably the best investment the government makes—as far as a means of generating jobs, growth and social good […]”.

David Bryne protesting for the NEA

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis is a Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musician and composer. He is also the co-artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marsalis recently took to “CBS This Morning” to speak out against the funding. Marsalis said that the proposed cuts to arts education and funding are “preparing the public to become more ignorant”. Marsalis expanded on this, stating: “When we tell people our arts are not important, we’re preparing our public to be more ignorant so that we can exploit them more.”

Wynton Marsalis speaks out against NEA defunding

Robert Redford

Redford, an Oscar-winning director and Oscar-nominated actor, cited the NEA as playing a fundamental role in the creation of the Sundance Institute. The NEA has made significant contributions to the Institute, including the grant to help launch its first labs for independent filmmaking. He also credited the NEA with launching the Sundance Film Festival, which has, in turn, become a mainstay for launching the careers of a variety of filmmakers across the world. In an open letter posted on the Sundance Institute’s website, found here, Redford passionately writes about the funding cuts occurring at the wrong time and how “more than dollars, the NEA represents a civilization that values critical and creative thought.”

The St. Louis Symphony

The St. Louis Symphony is a hallmark of the Midwest. Founded in 1880, it is the second-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States. The symphony asked their board members to call their elected officials and let them know why cutting funding was important. Chief Executive of the symphony, Marie-Helene Bernard, joined other symphonies across the country, including the Metropolitan Opera, to voice opposition to the cuts. Bernard also urged its board members to contact members of their elected officials to oppose addition cuts under the Trump administration.

Julie Andrews

Listen, when Julie Andrews speaks, you fucking listen. Andrews recently co-authored an article on CNN with her daughter Emma Walton with regards to children’s participation in the arts. The screen and stage legend speaks to how arts budget cuts are a “huge mistake and enrich kids lives through community and culture sharing.” They highlight the importance of the arts by drawing on history, stating that “decades worth of research attests to the fact that the arts are among the most profoundly important and valuable ways to improve learning and promote success, from early childhood through adulthood.” The two then invite readers to view the positive statistics in a linked study published by the NEA, showing the long-term academic achievements for children involved in the arts. Their article can be read in its entirety here.

Julie Andrews speaks out against N

Ode to Songs from Leonard Cohen
November 11, 2016 2:10 pm

In the days since we’ve begun grieving over the results of the 2016 Presidential election, it’s a wonder if this year is worth it altogether. Various news outlets confirmed on November 10 that Canadian music legend Leonard Cohen had died at age of 82, leaving behind family, friends and his latest album, October’s “You Want It Darker“.

Leonard Cohen You Want It Darker

His deep, rugged vocals and a beautifully realized heaviness to delivery adds depths with a sludgy and distilled aftermath on his final work.

Cohen was an inspiration for many artists and it’s easy to hear this influence in artists like Jeff Buckley and Josh Ritter. His infamous song “Hallelujah” has been covered by music’s biggest names at least once in their careers. Cohen’s musical themes range from religion to sex and one can turn to many of his songs in French for a beautiful spin on things. His artistry and talent made him Canada’s equivalent to Bob Dylan or Paul Simon, but with the experimental off the cuff of Tom Waits.

Cohen possessed an impressive catalog outside of “Hallelujah”. His debut album “Songs from Leonard Cohen” was released in 1967 and released shortly after was “Songs from a Room” in 1969, featuring the beautiful “Bird on a Wire“. These are two greatly influential albums for me, although I loved to see him progress to the force he became at the end of an eighteen album run. I love the minimalist style he kept throughout those albums and consider them my keepsakes.


Cohen was also known for his poetry and the otherworldly way he crafted language. I imagine a lot of it had to do with his open mind and vast love for experiencing the world. In 1992 he released “The Future”, an album with a dark political tone; I wonder if Cohen knew something we didn’t. Lyrics like “I’ve seen the future brother: it is murder” shows that he didn’t just write songs and poems without thought; he wrote in a way that highlighted his eloquent coordination of words.

In a 2014 interview with Q Magazine, he explained how “Canadians are very involved in our country. We are on the edge of America and we watch America the way women watch men,” before pausing with perfect comic timing and stating “Very, very carefully! So when there’s this continual cultural and political challenge right on the edge of your lives, it develops a sense of solidarity. So yes, it is a very important element in my life.”

America has watched Leonard Cohen “like women watch men”, evident in our own Bob Dylan. It is these types of artists with blind aesthetic brilliance that we savor and hold to elucidate our own lives and trials. We will miss you Leonard; you were a Beast of a lyricist and a lover of all things. Thank you for your legacy.


October 28, 2016 4:20 am

So, here’s the thing. I’m supposed to write a serious music review, and I totally could, except it’s 2AM on a Friday and I’m watching Pineapple Express on TNT (We Know Drama). I should really be sleeping. That’s what a sensible person would be doing. They’d be sleeping there all numbly-bumbly thinking how sweet it is being asleep safe and sound right as rain, all cozied up gaining valuable, usable energy for the strenuous day that may or may not be ahead of them, I don’t know, I don’t know who we’re talking about. But I cherish that thought, that sleepy paradise. I want it so bad. Dammit if I could only just produce some content first lickety split. And also dammit because this is a great movie. I will, without a doubt, watch this entire thing right now instead of sleeping. Can’t leave Dale and Saul hanging.


This soundtrack too though, this is a work of art. This is the real winner, all the way through til the end. This is a content goldmine staring me square in the face screaming “Hey what’s up let me just turn your whole world upside down for a second here thanks.” I’ve been thinking about this all wrong, what am I doing?! Well I guess about to review this movie soundtrack, that’s what I’m doing. Buckle up.

Okay first we have Paper Planes, duh. Gotta be first on the list. M.I.A. blew up that year, not saying all because of this movie, but hey I’m not saying otherwise neither. That was a great year for everybody. Stay woke. The song isn’t actually in the movie, but I mean everyone remembers that trailer, right? Fuck this is a good movie.

The real headliner is Electric Avenue from Dale’s sweet opening “you’ve been served” montage. Instant classic. The scene, not the song. It’s an old song. Eddy Grant was already “classic.” But the movie really brought him to the forefront, at least for me, and I’ll always be thankful for that. We need to focus on the good things in life. “Out in the streets!” That’s what he says in the song, and it’s pretty good, because it’s a song about a street. Pure genius.

Next up is the most dopety-dope song ever, and by “next” I don’t mean chronologically next, but rather in terms of my vaunted quality-assessment hierarchy, determined through my capacity as self-proclaimed official movie-soundtrack reviewer. I’m talking of course about Poison by Bel Biv Devoe, and if you don’t know that then you don’t know jack. Wake up. Your world is not as it seems. What a seriously good song, mad props to Pineapple Express. They really nailed it with this whole soundtrack. Jeez Louise!


Uh oh, look out, we got a piping hot track coming fresh out the oven–Public Enemy‘s Lost At Birth. I like this scene because he says “melon farmers,” which is what they say instead of motherfuckers on TNT (We Know Drama). You’re not allowed to swear on television. Wow, Public Enemy really ties this whole scene together. Somebody did their job real good when they picked that song for this scene. What a sick nasty awesome so fucking sick movie soundtrack.

Damn there’s a lotta reggae on this mix. Wanted Dread and Alive (see what they did there? With the dread?! Cuz they have dreads!), a Bob Marley deep cut (well obviously), a reeeal laid-back Ring Of Fire cover (like Johnny Cash but way chiller). See, the movie is named after a kind of marijuana from the movie, and there’s a lot of people who sometimes associate reggae music with marijuana usage for some reason. So when a movie gets made about a hairy Mary Jane strain, they’re gonna mix up a little reggae in there. That’s just the world we live in. We didn’t choose it, we were born into it. Forced from the warmths of prebirth out into the cruel, unforgiving hellscape we inhabit every waking hour of our lives. I mean it’s just monstrous out here.

Well, that’s all the time we have for today. The movie is over so I’ve now fully exhausted my content resource. Thanks to all who participated, especially you still reading this and also the good people over at TNT (We Know Drama). Let it be known that this is a can’t-miss, won’t-disappoint, doesn’t-even-flinch-as-it-knocks-you-out-of-your-socks kinda flick, and if you haven’t seen it, well why did you read this entire review of a soundtrack for a movie you’ve never seen? Yeah, that’s what I thought, you’ve definitely seen Pineapple Express. It has a pretty awesome soundtrack. I know, right? Cool, glad we’re on the same page. Let’s be sure to always stay positive in the face of any near-universal suffering we might encounter on a regular basis. Okay bye!

October 25, 2016 9:49 am

It’s been thirteen long years since Elliott Smith took his own life on October 21st,e 2003. He battled demons a majority of his short life and his music brought so many people the harsh reality of that struggle into the words we could tangibly use to forget our own aches for a few moments, or for an entire album. In my opinion he is one of the most underrated geniuses in modern music.

A group of other musicians apparently felt the same way when they decided to get together and create a tribute album for Smith titled Say Yes! as released by American Laundromat Records. It features bands such as Yuck, Waxatachee and artists like J. Mascis and Julien Baker. A wide array of sludgy rock to intensely acoustic indie artists. I think my favorite from the album is the Yuck version of “Bled White, which is also an all time favorite Elliott song of mine.

I’ve personally covered one Smith song during a live performance “The Biggest Lie”. While I enjoyed singing my heart out, Elliott’s songs are a force to be reckoned with. A tantrum of eloquence and equally as dark currents raging inside of a drowning man. It’s nearly impossible to recreate the feelings Smith captured in his music.

Honestly, I was pretty giddy at first and while I wholeheartedly appreciate these artists showing their influence by Smith, it was almost a little hard to hear the songs without Elliott. The fact that 13 years after I find him, he is no longer putting out new material is a heart wrenching realization for me. There just isn’t a way for other artists to recreate something so personal, and the despair he felt daily triggered the wild agony in his songs. These things made them what they are, and it is a travesty to deny that.

However, these songs are a tribute and we can not look into them as if Elliott is there, but more so that he was inspiration to them.

Songs you can find on this album include but are not limited to, “Waltz #2 done by J. Mascis, “Easy way out” done by Wild Sun, and “Division Day done by Lou Barlow. Yuck’s upbeat version of “Bled White” got me pretty pumped up for the album as the first song I heard with its punchy drums and rock version of a song always adored. In J. Mascis’ version of Waltz #2, he seemingly chose specific parts of the song to use, and it’s very eerily pasted together with slow vocals and droning guitar and drums, at first I wasn’t even sure it was the same song.

We may have lost a very valuable and pivotal force in indie, acoustic and rock and roll music thirteen years ago, but his music transcends time and is not fleeting by any means of the word. Elliott had an unwavering ability to create classic music that would punch you in the gut every time you listen. There is no simplicity, paper thin vocals, shuttering harmonies, both clean and distorted guitar riffs in all the right places, so much Beatles influence you’ll be humming “The Two of Us” or “Helter Skelter” without even knowing why after checking out Figure 8 or From a Basement on a Hill.

Take a listen to this new tribute album, and if you haven’t yet listen to Elliott’s albums front to back in memory of 13 years without him in the physical realm, go and do that too. He’s always here in the musical realm, hats off to you Elliott Smith.


October 19, 2016 11:23 am

“When I was a young boy, my father took me to the city, to see a marching band…”

This line of lyric is so universally known by the rock world that no one can hear this song and not feel some strong attachment to it. My Chemical Romance‘s immersive album The Black Parade was part epic, part tragedy filled with soaring highs and wallowing lows. Rock Sound magazine is celebrating the 10th anniversary of this legendary album with the story of the creation and life of The Black Parade and an incredible amount of content.

9390352-368-k802450A decade is a long time, in 2006, the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii came out, Casino Royal and Cars debuted, Justin Timberlake was bringing “Sexyback, Shakira’s hips didn’t lie and Daniel Powter was still having his bad days. This was a year of strong movement in pop culture and punk rock was being redefined. My Chemical Romance way making one of the biggest movements because of their raw style of music, fashion and tone in their genre defining The Black Parade.

Rock Sound’s October edition is an essential for any punk, emo, rock or ska fan. There is a beautifully told story of MCR’s creative process of The Black Parade and its life and impact it had on the band. It is filled with a lot of funny small stories and interesting insights on why the band took a break and how they dealt with all of these changes.

However, the part of this edition that seems more interesting and gripping is the cover album that accompanies the issue. Rock Sound gathered a grand collection of artists deep in the indie rock world to cover each song on The Black Parade giving each track new life while saluting them with praise and honor at the same time. From Escape the Fate‘s similar and powerful rendition of “Dead!” to Twenty One Pilot‘s heart breaking performance of Cancer and Against the Current‘s different take on Teenagers, this album brings new life to The Black Parade while reminding you how truly amazing this album was and still is.

I would recommend anyone and everyone who is a fan of MCR, The Black Parade, punk, rock, indie, ska, heavy metal or good music in general to pick up this epic issue of Rock Sound with the additional tribute album. MCR is also celebrating this 10th anniversary with a special deluxe edition that any fan NEEDS to get, you can’t miss this. The Black Parade is amazing in both forms and may their music and memory carry on.

October 12, 2016 5:35 pm

Her name is Banks and she should be on your your radar by now. If not, no worries we have you covered—you won’t lose any indie points yet.

Jillian Rose Banks, known by her fans as BANKS, started gaining buzz in 2013 when she toured internationally with The Weekend. Since then she’s performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and has been featured on Grey’s Anatomy and the Divergent soundtrack.

BANKS makes beautifully haunting pop music that is intricate and witchy (check out tracks titled Haunt and Poltergeist). If you’re a fan of Halsey, you’ll definitely vibe with banks, as they both deliver the edginess mainstream pop needs.

She doesn’t shy away from talking about serious issues like depression and emotion in her lyrics, which is an important for a mainstream artist to address.

I think there’s this stigma and this fear. I’ve experienced it in business as a woman; people call you emotional when you’re just saying what you want. It’s actually not emotional, it’s just factual. And I think people kind of put this projection onto women like they’re being hysterical, bitchy or like a diva when they’re just working and being strong. I think it’s not only important to be connected to your emotions, but also to not feel like you’re being emotional when you’re not. [Learning] that has actually really helped me to feel empowered,” as told to ID magazine

On her newest release, The Altar, she belts out assertive, sneering lyrics on the lead single, “Fuck With Myself,” that just might prove her edginess the key to her longevity.

Her name is Banks and she’s on her way to becoming a bonafide pop icon, so you’d better not forget her name.

October 7, 2016 12:58 pm

MeLo-X  is traveling at warp speed. Pedal to the metal. The Brooklyn-based multimedia artist has a boundless artistic vision that rejects the conventional division lines between sight and sound.

Although best known for his collaborations with Beyoncé—the free-spirited rapper and hip-hop producer has also directed and scored films, designed art installations that they have at the MoMA and Guggenheim, is a trending fashion tastemaker and an advocate for staying grounded and true to your roots.

It would be difficult to find an artist in Brooklyn with a more varied palette than MeLo-X, and that’s saying a lot.


The self-proclaimed Renaissance man—born Sean Rhoden—got his first big break in 2014 following the release of Beyoncé’s self-titled surprise album. MeLo-X released an unauthorized collection of remixes titled Yoncé-X EP  which when picked up speed and went viral, eventually catching the attention of Queen B herself.

And there’s no one more powerful, more influential in the music biz than Beyoncé.

Pop artists are often treated as gods living among mortals—transcending human existence and amassing devout worship. If ever there was a pop artist that fits—if not demands this treatment from her fans—it would be Beyoncé Knowles.


So when MeLo-X was asked to co-direct the accompanying film scores to Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On the Run Tour, he jumped at the opportunity and didn’t look back.

Soon he was flying out to LA to help Beyoncé co-write and co-produce tracks “Hold Up” and “Sorry” off her 2016 album Lemonade.

Keep in mind, producing a Beyoncé album isn’t a typical of the industry. Rather, to visualize the scale of such a project, it’s easier to liken the undertaking to that of a Hollywood blockbuster—dozens of writers and producers converge on each track to produce the most immaculate, pungent production possible. But that’s exactly where MeLo-X excels—collaboration.

His sparse productions, often centered around spaced-out percolating frequencies, give a dark, spatial depth to the music he touches—his voice is understated yet distinct at the same time.


Both his overall aesthetic as well as his affinity for collaboration are in full view on his 2015 solo CURATE EP which features music from buzzing hip-hop artists Little SimzKilo Kish, and Raury—he also released an interactive app to accompany the EP allowing fans to create their own remixes.

2016 has been nothing short of a whirlwind for MeLo-X. He hit the year off with another remix collection, titled Adele-X, centering yet again on the music of a pop music enigma as his subject.

MeLo-X  also recently released a track with glitch-centric electronic artist Machinedrum called “Angel Voice”—as well as helping produce track “Cleopatra” for up-and-comer Queens-via-Bengal hip-hop buzz magnet Anik Khan.  While it might be impossible to tell what MeLo-X will take on next, it’s certain he won’t be slowing down his pace anytime soon.

September 28, 2016 11:18 am

Vibble, for all intensive purposes, is your personal mix board. With transitions, samples, and faders, Vibble gives you the sense of being a DJ while cutting out the complications. It is stylistic, easy and fun to play with, a for sure download for someone who asks always wants the AUX cord in the car. However, the app is pretty minimal and would need a lot of updates and expansions to amount to something of real substance.

The App runs with Sound Cloud. You can search Sound Cloud through this app very smoothly and very fast and add the song you want to a simple playlist. You can play a number of different samples right over the tracks adding air horns, drum beats, and vinyl scratches to whatever you like on Sound Cloud.

I love Sound Cloud as much as the next person, but the fact that this app only uses Sound Cloud is pretty limiting. Even artists like Flume or Porter Robinson which have a strong presence there, don’t show up with any music inside the app. So unless you know a whole mess of small time artists off the top of your head, it’ll be difficult finding anything worth mixing and fooling with. I’m not a pro with this app either, so I might be missing how to use certain parts like saving music playlists or bookmarking artists, but as of now I haven’t found a way to retain any mixes or set-lists that I’ve made.

With all this said, it doesn’t mean the app is great in concept. The accessible fading and samples are refreshing, the design of the app is bright and fun, and the potential for greatness is there. I can’t wait to see this app a couple of months from now, it’ll be the new way to listen to your Sound Cloud favorites.


September 27, 2016 6:02 pm

As  I’m looking over the life of the VCR, I realize that DVDs aren’t that far from become an obsolete part of the technology spectrum just like VHS tapes. The tech world is evolving expeditiously faster every year and the last VHS has been produced this past summer.

I remember those fuzzy scratchy Disney movies with fat plastic cases. The big trilogy sets of Star Wars and rewinding videos right after watching them. I was never cool enough to have the super reminder machine that did it for you, but the wishing noise of the whirling tape and finishing click takes me back 20 years.

In Japan, the Funai Electric Company has still been producing VCRs up until August of this year. This really marks an end to an era, not just of the VCR, VHS and other tape recorded products, but that we are official past the analog age and well into a digital world.

Between Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and many more, we really have no need for and physical copies of any of our media anyways, Blu-Rays and DVDs are used less and less. Digital can be taken anywhere through either hard copies , cloud storage or streaming. I’ve spent all my college years without any physical copies of any of my papers, except when the teacher asks for them. I keep it all in my accounts online.

With this shift to digital media, a lot of people still buy physical items for nostalgia and because it’s nice to be able to actually hold something with your two hands. Physical CD albums, vinyls and DVD/Blu Ray collections are becoming more popular, but unfortunately it seems pretty certain that the VHS and VCR have seen there last days and it’s time to find a digital converter for them or just throw them out. Goodbye rewinding noise, goodbye Aladdin in crappy VHS quality and good night to the age of VCR.