Mood Music for Today

If you’re like me, today’s political and social climates may have made you feel angry, resigned, or wishing to rise above and become better. You’ve gone to protests. You tried to find truth and reason in the news as to why U.S. citizens have done what they have, and instead come back with more questions. You’ve looked inside and found that because these feelings are so new, you need to develop new ways to cope. Music can be a great help here. In discovering new music, we can find new perspectives on old thoughts or find inspiration and encouragement when we need it most. Through my friends and my own curiosity I’ve found these bands whose music does for me all of these things. I present to you Stay Wild, Wicked Bears, and Uvluv.

Stay Wild

Art by Stay Wild

Stay Wild is a hardcore/punk band with a strong, progressive message. Their most recent single, “Stay Pissed“, embodies the need to continue to fight for change in our world. The song reminds us why we fight, what makes us mad and why we are justified in this feeling. Stay Wild also actively promotes social causes, including advocating for a feminist viewpoint through their lyrics on other E.P.s, and offering charitable merchandise to give profits to the Rainbow Railroad to grant relief to LGBTQ+ people persecuted in Chechnya.

Wicked Bears

Photo by John Barkiple

Wicked Bears is maybe the most existential music I’ve heard. Lyrics from their songs present a sort of optimistic nihilism. Their song “2049” offers the view that, while in the large scale of things our problems are insignificant, they matter to us. It offers a nice solution to the chaos and seeming lack of reason or morality we see so blatantly today: nothing actually means anything, so we just have ourselves and what entertains us (like death metal).

Uvluv

Photo by Uvluv

Uvluv, a local progressive rock band with soulful elements, presents instrumentals that keep your attention in their variance while the lyrics offer encouragement and paths of thought for reflection and self-improvement. “Rise In Love“, for example, tells you that pain from heartbreak can be turned into ultimately finding yourself. The vocals are wonderful purely in how they sound and the comforting lyrics are a bonus. They recently released a new album, Afterglow, which capitalizes on their progressive sound, and focuses on the difficult emotions that come from the passing of a loved one. It’s a fantastic representation of emotional intelligence, shattering the notion that we should ever repress emotion.

 

Music can provide outlets for a wide range of emotions, and it’s good to keep a variety stocked in your listening libraries. Hopefully you find this new music as cathartic as I have. Enjoy!

Skalloween 2018

Neighbors have decorated their houses and lawns with skeletons and ghosts. Stores have candy stocked constantly. Horror movies are being released in theaters left and right. The Tower is playing Rocky Horror Picture Show! All of this means Halloween season is upon us, and in full swing! But you’re a music fan at heart. Where’s your Halloween hallmark? Don’t fear the reaper, because Skalloween has you covered!

Skalloween

…is an annual concert featuring four local Ska Punk bands — The Gringos, Scheming Thieves, The Anchorage, and Show Me Island. Each captures the sounds of ska, from jazz to reggae to rock, in their own way. The Gringos vocals evoke the scratchy sounds of jazz lounge singers. Scheming Thieves embody Ska music’s early 2000s pop-punk influences. The Anchorage brings the moody sounds of hard rock and emo to their wonderful brass. Last but certainly not least, Show Me Island is for the classic Ska fans. Their walking bass lines, composition, and lyrics will remind you of your first time listening to Madness or The Specials, but with a female vocalist!

The bands dress up too!

At Skalloween, everyone dresses in costume, dance and mosh together for a night of trumpet and bass-fueled fun. If you love Ska music, this is absolutely your place to be. You’ll be right at home in Skalloween’s pits that are full of moshing and skanking. Almost everyone there is dressed in costume, so if you’re looking to display yours before halloween, you’ll fit right in. Even if you’ve never heard of Ska, you’ll probably still love it because everyone else is having so much fun. Ever since I was introduced to this show, it’s been my favorite concert every year. I think every music fan should make it a tradition to go to this concert.

Skalloween takes place this year on Oct. 20 at the Beehive (666 S. State Street) @ 7:00 p.m, $7 at the door. I’ll be there, and I hope to see you too! Dress up and bring all your friends!

Mosh Pit Etiquette

Mosh pits may seem like total chaos, and for the most part they are! But mosh pits can also be lot of fun. Moshing is a good way to let loose, if you know how to behave. Behind the flailing flesh and dancing denizens of the pit is a set of guidelines which are in place to make sure everyone has a good time while throwing their bodies around. Hopefully, this guide will get you started on the right path so you can enjoy the most popular form of consensual violence.

It’s your choice to get in the pit

Don’t shove people into the pit. Putting a person in a mosh pit is signing them up for something without their consent, which is uncool. Once you’re in a pit it can be difficult to get out, so make sure everyone in the mosh pit wants to be there.

If someone doesn’t want to be there, they won’t go all out. This is less fun for everyone because they’ll get thrown around but won’t return what you’ve given them. Don’t feel like you have to put yourself in a mosh pit unless you want to match the kind of movement of the pit. Once you’re in, keep giving it everything you got and whatever happens, good or bad, know you’re there because you chose to be.

Help one another

Just because someone is in a mosh pit doesn’t mean they’re there to hurt each other.

Josh Sisk – Special to the Baltimore Sun

Sometimes, someone drops their glasses or phone, or falls over themselves. When something like this happens, you need to help that person get up or get their items off of the ground. Nothing ruins a mosh pit like someone losing their sight or literally getting stomped on. If someone calls out after losing their phone/wallet/keys/glasses, help them look! The sooner they have their things the sooner you can get back to moshing. If someone falls, make some room! It’s hard to get back up with thrashing bodies all over you.

Mosh with everyone

Hitting people can be fine, but don’t start fights. Moshing is about connecting with others. If someone hits you don’t single them out. Everyone is equal in the pit, and equally deserving of bumps and hits! If someone pushes you, maybe change where you’re being pushed so you run into somebody else. If it goes right, that motion gets amplified and energizes the pit even more!

There are several kinds of mosh pits. You’ll find them at everything from EDM festivals to metal concerts. Some are so crowded that all you can do is pogo. Other pits (like circle pits) have more space for you to throw yourself into others, and vice versa, giving everyone more room to be reckless and let loose. The point is to embrace it, and be considerate of others. Remember, you want to get along after all that moshing!

Ted Van Pelt – Flickr