Blog Music News and Interviews

Some New, Magical Tracks by DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ

What is it about DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ that gets me excited to pour through her entire discography? Is it the hypnotic dance tracks that fill my body with an overwhelming electric buzz, or is it the insane premise that the soundbytes used to create this music is from the TV show “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”?

While I am still trying to figure those questions out, I can enjoy these three new tracks DJ Sabrina released this year:

Under Your Spell

While I didn’t find this track to be the most glamorous or explorative track that DJ Sabrina released this year, it does have the consistency of her previous work. DJ Sabrina mixes beautiful beats that get me hyped to dance and the cold hitting lines from “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”.

Call You

This song is one of the longer mixes where DJ Sabrina captures the entirety of my attention. It has a playtime of 8 minutes and 35 seconds, and starts out muted and slow. Then, the beats start bumping. I am still bopping my head up and down writing this because that is how intoxicating this track is. 

“Daddy Didn’t Want Me To Sing (DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ Remixes)”

This remix of Sandy Hawkins’ song “Daddy Didn’t Want Me To Sing” is pretty fun. I like when DJ Sabrina is able to branch out from taking audio clips from TV and apply her skills to remix other artists’ work. I think this is a prime example of how powerful DJ Sabrina’s beats are. 

There is definitely something witchy happening behind the scenes of DJ Sabrina’s music production. I am enchanted by the beats and feel-good tunes that appear magically when I need them most. I cannot wait to stuff myself with whatever DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ serves up next.


The Movies and Music

Music and film have been able to evolve together over the past 100-ish years to create more beauty out of these arts than any artist could probably have imagined. Obviously music has been around for a longer time than movies, but the profound affects the two have on each other led them both to feed each other’s creative capabilities. 

First There Was Silence

Before there were movies with sound, we had the silent era of film. I have not seen many films from that era, but I do know how popular Charlie Chaplin’s films were and still are today. His film, “The Kid” features a comedic fight scene that has no sound, but honestly doesn’t need it. 

Chaplin was able to take visual arts and impact millions of people without a sound, which inspired generations of filmmakers to come. Chaplin wasn’t the only silent film influence on the world, but he made big strides toward the future with his techniques

Then Came the Music

When sound came to film, there became so much more room to explore within the medium. People could have conversations without being interrupted by dialogue cards, fights that sounded real and thrilling and the sounds of music could be heard by the audience. 

One of my favorite scenes from “RRR”,  a movie that came out this year, incorporates music, choreography and cinematography beautifully. You can watch it here:

Naacho Naacho from “RRR” released in 2022. Video uploaded by T-Series.

The colors and costumes in this exciting action film aren’t even the best part. The music and choreographed scenes add more to the movie’s strengths than the dialogue or plot. 

“La La Land” and “Sound of Music” are another two films that blow me away in their use of music in film. They, like “RRR”, have scenes throughout the film that are choreographed and feel separate from the film universe around them. Whenever I see an amazing musical-ish movie like “La La Land” I do enjoy it, but it often feels less plot oriented and less emotionally impactful than narrative films. 

Synthesizing the Worlds

The films above are absolutely fantastic and I have nothing bad to say about them, but the way these next couple of films use sound and music creates more emotional connection and tension. Instead of separating scenes into dialogue and music, the directors of these movies have incorporated music and rhythm directly into the cinematography of the entire film. 

In the opening scene of “Sound of Metal”, the camera is focused solely on Ruben about to launch into his drum routine live on stage. We see his reactions and actions to the sounds and stimuli around him, and we learn this movie is more character driven than anything else.  

The music of that scene adds to Ruben’s character rather than existing as a nice emotional piece of music. It is the background and platform to understand his current state of emotional affairs. Music is part of Ruben’s world and throughout the film, music and sound are used as character development rather than emotional stimulation. 

Also, in movies by Edgar Wright, like “Shaun of the Dead” and “Baby Driver”, action scenes are synched to a musical rhythm like Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”. It is a lot like a choreographed dance, but instead of relying on dance to show the rhythm, the scenes are able to use violent action synched to a beat. The characters also rely on music to express themselves to the people they love around them. 


I have found movies that are able to synthesize music with the narrative flow and cinematography often create a more emotionally influential piece of art. Music hits our ears at the same time we see a story unfolding and pictures moving with the sound of the film. 


“Boiling Point” – Movie Review

After watching “Uncut Gems” a fair share of times, I gained an appreciation for a masterfully done dramatic thriller film. That is exactly what “Boiling Point” is. This film was released in 2021, and was directed by Philip Barantini. 

This movie is shot in a single take, like “1917”, and uses this technique to drive your heart into your throat. I was choking out of anticipation by the last minutes of the film. It has a run time of 92 minutes, which feels incredibly short while watching it. 

This is Barantini’s second feature length film and it is his most successful. The main actors are Stephen Graham, who plays Andy Jones, Vinette Robinson, who plays Carly and Alice May Feetham, who plays Beth. The movie is set in a London restaurant focused on head chef, And Jones’ ability to handle the heat of his personal life and kitchen life in a single night. 

This movie is quite intense and uses extreme language as it is set in the high seas of a foul mouthed kitchen. 

Quick Synopsis:

I don’t want to talk too much about the plot of this movie because that is the driving force behind the tensions and heart pounding story. Basically, Andy Jones comes into his restaurant and immediately faces barrages of inquiries that make him feel overwhelmed. 

His front of house (FOH) manager, Beth, is already up in his business when he walks in the door, which makes it hard for Andy to even have a calm moment to prepare for the busy night. Also, his sous chef, Carly tells Andy about issues and new trainees that are happening while he deals with management issues from Beth. 

I always start to perspire when I think about how long of a night this kitchen staff has after the closing of a restaurant. Platter after platter of drama piles up, and by the end of the film it feels like there is no way for Andy to resolve the mess he has gotten himself into. 

A Review:

Having this film be shot in a single take is astounding to me. Not only does every single actor have to be sharp and attentive for the entirety of the film, but the crew has to be prepared too. Plates of food are brought out and fires extinguished constantly. Barantini really does make you feel like you’re in a kitchen with a time bomb strapped to it. 

Having sweat slide down my forehead while sitting and watching a movie is never something I thought I would recommend, but the ache in my heart from anxiety I got watching the film was intoxicating. 

Stephen Graham and Vinette Robinson are also fantastic throughout the entire film. I could absolutely believe them in their roles. Carly and Andy play off each other so well, it feels like real kitchen experiences I’ve had myself. 


The more I thought about this film as a representation of kitchen life and stress, the more I began to enjoy it. Films and directors that are able to focus on a few key emotions instead of a spectrum of feelings, keep me involved and invested during and after the viewing. I feel like I learn something about someone’s life perspectives by taking in their sights, sounds and frustrations with their world around them, which is exactly what “Boiling Point” does. 

Keep eatin’

– DJ Chef

Classic Album Review

“Acquainted with Night” by Lael Neale Album Review

ALBUM: “Acquainted with Night” by Lael Neale


LABEL: Sub Pop Records

RATING: 9/10

BEST TRACKS: “How Far Is It to the Grave”, “For No One Now”,  “Some Sunny Day”

FCC: None

Lael Neale is a Virginia native and current L.A. resident. “Acquainted with Night” is her second album she has released, with “I’ll Be Your Man” being released back in 2015. She made all the music for “Acquainted with Night” in California and all of the videos in her hometown in Virginia, as stated on her Bandcamp page.

The album mainly consists of her airy, wispy vocals and the Omnichord, which she picked up to create “Acquainted with Night”. I would consider the tracks to fall into the lo-fi indie pop genre for the most part, as we can hear the crackle of the recording instruments often. All the tracks are filled with existential questioning and beautiful imagery. 

Favorite Bits:

How Far Is It to the Grave” is easily one of the most unique tracks on the album. The twinkling of Neale’s Omnichord brings me immediately into the light of the moon. The track is filled with the ponderings of an assortment of characters, who all question how much time they have left in their lives. In its eerie beauty, Neale responds, “It’s only a life dear friend, dear friend”. 

In “For No One Now”, Neale leads us on a positive journey. Forget everything that makes you worry and take whatever you desire in life. This anthem shines bright in the lonely, sunny mornings. This song is hope and love jumbled together, which celebrates the best of days in all their glory. 

My third favorite track is “Some Sunny Day”. The Omnichord’s ever-present hum of a few simple notes helps highlight Lale Neale’s vocals and lyricism. Also, a rare guitar appearance for this album is present, which adds a pleasant vibration. This track looks towards the future and holds the present in a melancholic state. Neale again looks to hope and destiny as her savior.

The Other Bits:

Now, the rest of this album is also extremely enjoyable, but some tracks aren’t nearly as distinct and loveable as the three songs mentioned above. For example I lump “Sliding Doors & Warm Summer Roses”, “Third Floor Window” and “Let Me Live Down by the Side of the Road” into a ball of comfort. I like listening to these songs, but it’s hard for me to pick them apart from each other. 

I didn’t want to include too many songs in my favorites section, but some honorable mentions are “Every Star Shivers in the Dark”, “Blue Vein” and the title track “Acquainted with Night”. Each of these songs are gorgeous, but don’t strike me the same as my picks above. 


Overall, this album is a great set of tunes to listen to in the morning or late in the evening as the sun is setting, especially for all you lo-fi lovers out there. I personally love to put on “Some Sunny Day” while I water my plants. This album reminds me why I like the lo-fi genre’s simplicity. It feels so welcoming and homely that I can snuggle up and enjoy hot coffee or tea and watch pretty white clouds float on by in peace. 

Lael Neale released a new song earlier this year, “Hotline”, which you can check out on her Bandcamp, if you feel so inclined. I am excited to see where her career ends up next, and I hope my love of this album can inspire y’all to enjoy her music too. 

Keep eatin’

DJ chef


“How to Survive a Plague” – A Look at Activism during the AIDS and HIV Epidemic

How to Survive a Plague” is a documentary that shines a blindingly direct spotlight on the activism during the AIDS and HIV epidemic from the late 1980’s until the late 1990’s period. This film is not a happy one, but the director, David France, created a documentary that has given a clear perspective of the AIDS and HIV virus from the eyes of the groups ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and TAG (Treatment Action Group). 

David France has a rocky relationship within the film community and other social spheres because of his ignorance and greed when he stole the story of Marsha P. Johnson from creator Tourmaline, as stated in their Instagram post. I absolutely do not support what France has done with his Marsha P. Johnson documentary, and any person that decides they have the right to steal art should have everything they create be critically examined for plagiarism.

That being said, I think France has still made an extremely powerful documentary in “How to Survive a Plague”. France’s boyfriend died from AIDS in 1991, as mentioned in this IndieWire article, and I think that assists in validating his voice for this documentary. This film does accurately report on the lives of ACT UP and TAG members by primarily using archival footage and exclusive interviews done in 2012.

There are a few notable people highlighted in this documentary like Larry Kramer, Anthony Fauci, and Jim Eigo. More important members of both activist groups play key roles in the history of this film. 


To appreciate and understand the impact of this film, some history is required before watching. I will be pulling some timeline information from the HIV government website and this timeline from PEPFAR. 

The HIV and AIDS epidemic first started getting attention from the media and communities in 1981, so the beginning of this documentary really starts in the middle of the epidemic, which makes it difficult to follow at some points. 

The HIV virus was almost immediately linked to the LGBTQ+ community, which caused the immediate and further ostracization of these community members. It wasn’t until 1989 that AIDS cases reached 100,000 reported infections as stated by this CDC article. After that, the numbers grew even faster. 

“ACT UP, or AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, was founded in NYC in 1987 as a political action group in response to the AIDS crisis. The group’s first action, in spring 1987, was a march on Wall St. to protest the high cost and lack of availability of HIV treatment.” 

This quote is directly from ACT UP’s website.

ACT UP successfully started the campaign of getting more attention and action to the epidemic. The documentary goes into great detail about theirs and TAG’s foundation, so I won’t go into detail about it here. 

In October of 1995, the CDC reported 500,000 cases of AIDS in the United States, and from 1990 to 1995 there were just under 1,000,000 AIDS related deaths in the world, which you can see in this graph.

My little history report does not go into nearly enough detail about the atrocities committed by those in power who prevented and stalled research, funding and support for this epidemic. The documentary, however, does do this. 


The acquired film and interviews that David France used are synthesized in a way to emphasize the emotions and stories that are weaved together. One of my favorite techniques utilized in the documentary is how well peoples’ faces are highlighted. You can see their betrayal, anguish and hunger for life all in their eyes through the framing done by cinematographers.

“How to Survive a Plague” overwhelmingly succeeds in showing the impact of raising concerns and actively participating in the world around us. The collected films show people on their deathbeds participating in research and activism because they want to live. Not only do they want to live, but they want other people with their afflictions to live. 

France did an alright job collecting clips from the voices in the community, but he still leaves out many voices that deserved to be heard. A CDC report from October 6, 1986 states that Black and Latinx communities were disproportionately contracting AIDS and HIV in comparison to white people. I would have loved to have seen interviews or footage from these community members rather than solely the leaders focused upon in this film. 

One last thing I want to note about this film is how well it uses the death toll from the virus throughout the film. We see the numbers start around 100,000 deaths, and then they grow. 

These statistics are like bookmarks in time. Each growth correlates to the inaction of those in charge, and the flattening of the curve shows the success of ACT UP and TAG.


As I stated in the beginning of this review, this film is not easy to watch, but I highly recommend seeing it once. The HIV and AIDS epidemic that swept through the world (and still affects millions of lives today as you can see on this graph) is still not talked about enough today. 

The inaction from the US government and governments around the world has robbed the LGBTQ+ community of strong leaders and activists that could have supported the new, younger generations today. Millions of young people could have been supported by a strong community, but were instead left with a fragile support system that still continues to struggle under oppression from those against the LGBTQ+ community. 

Just remember, “Silence = Death”.

-DJ chef

Classic Album Review

“Over the Edge” by Wipers Album Review

ALBUM: “Over the Edge” by Wipers


LABEL: Brain Eater / Trap

RATING: 8/10

BEST TRACKS: “Doom Town”, “Romeo”, “No One Wants an Alien”

FCC: None


Kurt Cobain has deliberately name-dropped Wipers as his and Nirvana’s inspiration for their sound (as stated by this Rolling Stones article). I am not the biggest Nirvana fan, but Kurt Cobain’s legendary status in pop culture history helps his comment carry a bit more weight. 

Wipers was a Seattle based punk band that formed in late 1978 (so says their tiny bio). The founding members were Greg Sage, Dave Koupal and Sam Henry, but the latter two members weren’t a part of the band for the creation of “Over the Edge”.  

“Over the Edge” has Greg Sage on vocals, writing and guitar. There is no credit given to any other band members, so let’s get into this release. 


The title track, “Over the Edge”, of course is a great song, but to me the highlight track of this album is “Doom Town”. The longer periods of instrumentals in this song highlight Sage’s ability to bring the right amount of noise and vocals to his music. This song is not happy. “Doom Town” puts hundreds of pounds of pressure on our ears with the inescapable feeling of being trapped in a dead city, and I love how well it conveys this feeling. 

“Romeo” is one of the band’s more popular tracks, and rightfully so. Stumbling about in the hazy dark, you burst into an adrenaline fueled sprint. You don’t know why, but you’re searching for something. This foggy rush is my best interpretation of “Romeo”. I have no clue what we are searching for in this track, but I have to keep looking. 

No one wants to feel ostracized, but at some point we all feel this barrier from a social circle keeping us out. “No One Wants an Alien” expresses this feeling beautifully. Sage knows outcasts and uses his stage to shove them into the light like so many punk rockers, metalheads, and really all musicians. Sage takes the weird, new sounds (for 1983) and fuses them to create a twang-y, punk anthem that is this track. 


I keep returning to this album and Wipers in general to hear the roots of punk. With this album I can gain a broader perspective of the journey music makes just to reach our ears. Greg Sage’s ability to let his dreams be heard is remarkable and I will continue to appreciate his writing as I sink into his sounds. 

Keep eatin’

-DJ chef


A Farmers Market Playlist

What’s better than listening to your favorite comforting tunes in the heat of the Summer? Listening to your favorites and eating fresh produce from the North Carolina State Farmers Market, of course. 

I have cultivated a few tracks that can take you through the stalls and smells of fresh veggies and fruits. If you want to listen along, you can check out the playlist on Spotify.

“Kibun” by Fishmans

This song brings the beat and happiness that is the farmers market straight to your ears. It is a bit more electronic and twang-y than the rest of the tracks, but it brings a smile to my face like I am sorting through a vendor’s prized blueberries. 

“Starman” by Seu Jorge

Another funky track, but this cover brings a homely sound to David Bowie’s “Starman”. Seu Jorge’s ability to capture the essence of Bowie with an acoustic guitar is beautiful, and I think it creates that comforting hum of people moving through the produce stalls. 

“Lazy River” by Chet Atkins and Les Paul

The simplicity of the movement in this song makes me feel like I am floating on a syrupy, summer breeze. I can lose myself in the smells the wind gives me at the farmers market, and “Lazy River” brings those emotions to my head immediately. 

“The Bug Collector” by Haley Henderickx

A bit slower of a track, but Henderickx creates a wonderful feeling of digging through the dirt with a hot sun baking the cold wet dirt into your skin. I love the way this song adds the trumpet with a slow build into the melody.

“Homegrown Tomatoes” by Blue Dogs

Okay, so this song is pretty ridiculous and very country, but I think this playlist would be missing out if I didn’t include it. There sure ain’t nothin’ better than ice cold, homegrown ‘maters.

“Pet Carrot” by Palehound

I just started listening to Palehound, and I love the way Kempner’s vocals descend while her instrument tempo increases in this track. The mix of slow and fast adds a nice dizzying effect, which I can kind of relate to trying to pick the perfect carrots for a stew.

“Lighthouse” by Adrianne Lenker

The uptempo guitar chords and always gorgeous vocals by Adrianne Lenker bring companionship to this playlist. The love sung about in this track adds a feeling of personal comfort for me. It’s almost as if I have someone with me wandering around the stalls gasping at all the delicious peppers to choose from. 

I hope y’all enjoy the tunes and can appreciate some delicious produce this summer.

Keep eatin’ 

-DJ chef

Band/Artist Profile

Ganser – Band Spotlight

One thing I love about music is the constant stream of new ideas and art that musicians release to the world. There is so much to explore that it can be overwhelming, but when you find a band or artist that clicks, the wading through that stream feels worth it. That’s what makes me appreciate Ganser.

Ganser was formed in Chicago, Illinois and is still based there. Their music falls under the post-punk genre with heavy guitar, bass, and reflective vocals. Alicia Gaines (bass and vocals), Nadia Garofalo (keyboard and vocals), Brian Cundiff (drums) and Charlie Landsman (guitar) make up the band.

Each person brings their own distinct sound and perspective to Ganser, and all of their perspectives synthesize really well. Gaines and Garofalo’s vocals mix together in tracks like “Told You So” to create a healthy blend of airy-ness and down-to-earth sounds that are accompanied by thick guitar riffs and piercing drums. 

I have found their music to be an interesting variation to modern post-punk. Having two women be the front of the band adds a lot of character and distinctiveness from the rest of the punks out there.

I’ve been digging bands that have their bassists be lead vocals for the past few months, and Gaines does a great job of leading the songs and blending her instrument into the core of all the tracks. 

Right now their discography is limited, but that’s only because they are just getting started. Their first LP, “Odd Talk”, released in 2018, and it has some of their more accessible tracks if you’re not into the grime-y riffs that take root in their second LP. 

Just Look At That Sky” was released two years ago, and I have found that this album represents what the band hopes to sound like for the foreseeable future. Gaines’ vocals mix with a more distinct blend of instrumental sounds that emphasize each of the member’s talents they bring along to the band. 

They are releasing a new album this year called “Nothing You Do Matters” as stated by their website. Ganser has released one track so far “People Watching”, and it makes me excited to listen to the whole project in a few months. 

Here is a list of some of my favorite tracks so you can get listening:

Also, here’s a cool interview with Alicia Gaines about “Just Look At That Sky”.

Keep eatin’

-DJ chef


“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” by Ocean Vuong – Book Review

“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” is a letter dedicated to Ocean Vuong’s mother, in which the speaker of the novel explores his intimate past, beauty in the aftermath of hate and desperation and cultural identity.

Ocean Vuong was born in Saigon, Vietnam and at the age of 2 came to America with his family to be raised in Hartford, Connecticut. He graduated from Brooklyn College with a BA in Nineteenth Century American Literature, and later graduated from NYU with a MFA in Poetry as stated by his website.

“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” has an outstanding number of accolades attributed to Vuong and his words. This book is Vuong’s first published novel. He has two published poetry collections, “Night Sky with Exit Wounds” and “Time is a Mother”, both of which I now have a strong desire to read. 


I am a big hater of novels and stories that are in a letter format. Books like “Dracula” and stories that have clippings of information usually take away from the personality a book can offer, but Ocean Vuong puts so much of his voice into this novel.

Little Dog, the narrator and speaker of the novel, is an immigrant from Vietnam who takes us through his family’s past, his own sense of love and what family means to him. The scars the narrator presents us are deep, but Vuong is able to explore their divots with a perspective of beauty and hope rather than solely pain and sorrow. 

Each word of this letter carries the emotion of someone who has lost so many people they have loved, hated and feared. The story weaves in and out of the present and past. Actually, the letter rarely focuses on a central time frame. Instead of being centered around a moment in space, it centralizes itself around the various feelings that stem from love. 

We read through neighborhood myths and stories of war crimes separated only by a few spaces. The novel flows impeccably. Vuong threads emotion throughout all the memories that resurface in the letter. 

Despite the unimportance of chronology in this book, it is a journey for Little Dog. He comes to terms with losses in his family, and he must learn the importance of loving people deeply. What makes this book so great is in attempting to write about it, I am utterly failing to convey the appropriate amount of grace and insight that can be gleaned from a single page.


Good art makes you appreciate how other forms of art shape the way we experience the moments and people around us. “On This Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” is a tremendous novel on its own, but adding its perspective to the multitude of words, eyes and lips that exist in the modern artist leaves me wanting more art and beauty to devour. 

I cannot wait to see where Ocean Vuong will take language in his writing, and I hope he provides the best inspiration for the future of voices and language.

Keep eatin’

-DJ chef

Classic Album Review

“Drive My Car” Soundtrack Appreciation

“Drive My Car” has an outstanding list of accolades that would blow most films (besides “Parasite”) out of the water. Most of the achievements of the film are focused on acting, cinematography and best foreign film, but not nearly enough give love and credit to the composition of music that flows so beautifully with the pictures on the screen. 

The director, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, and screenplay writer, Takamas Oe, adapted this film from a collection of short stories by Haruki Murakami. The collection, in my opinion, features some of Murakami’s best works, so I was naturally excited to see this film introduced to the world. 

Eiko Ishibashi, the composer of this film and independent musician, has a prolific career collaborating with different artists to make “acclaimed singer-songwriter albums to film scores for film and television to improvised music settings” according to her website.  

In this film, Ishibashi conjures emotions with simple, soft sounds. One of the benefits of movies with softer soundtracks is how unaware the audience is that music (in combination with cinematography) feeds into their emotional attachment to a scene. 

The track, “Drive My Car”, has light pianos and strings to allow viewers to take in the scenery and picturesque beauty of the film rather than watch an awkward silence encompass two people talking to each other. The soundtrack itself has sounds from the movie recorded in it, so the film is inescapably part of the soundtrack.

One note about the OST is that almost every song’s name is a different version of the original. By that I mean each song is a variation of its predecessor, which I think is a neat way to make a soundtrack. Each song is noticeably different, but every variation still holds true to their original. 

One more track that I hold dear is “We’ll live through the long, long days and through the long nights (SAAB 900)”. I consider this track the ode to the gorgeous car, the SAAB 900:

Red 1983 SAAB 900 GL on a street with shrubbery behind it.
Photo by Niels de Wit of a 1983 SAAB 900 GL. Creative Commons license.

The song has the heartbeat of a car, and makes me feel like I am driving with smells of old leather and sunbaked seatbelts. I love how Ishibashi made this car into a song. Usually, I don’t care for cars, but the combination of the film and music made me fall in love with this machine. 

If you haven’t seen this film or heard the music, make sure to check it out if you feel inspired to. 

Keep eatin’

-DJ chef