FriensGiving: Music For Meals
Mixtape featuring a musically diverse group of Los Angeles artists is raising money for local food programs
The FriensGiving Mixtape came to me via the IG feed of the mighty Jimetta Rose, whose been a vocal force in Los Angeles music for about a decade. (See various Sa-Ra-related jams, Dexter Story’s last album, a Kamasi Washington credit I totally missed before fact-checking this, and on-on-on; she also leads a choir called The Voices of Creation.). In short, Jimetta’s presence is a mark of must-listen. So her participation in a project with other musicians whose artistic talents and community heart may be greater than their commercial brand — a project which happens to be a great local-music comp, whose proceeds fund specific, important community actions — is the easiest, most selfish good-deed you can do today.
The good deed is a food initiative that partners with Chef Kat Williams’ Mutual Aid and Hugh Augustine (of LA’s Hugh’s Hot Bowls) to feed the members of the local community experiencing food insecurity. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this Mixtape are going to food distribution. Moreover, the text on Def Sound’s Bandcamp page reads: “As we know, Thanksgiving is some colonizer shit anyway and we all know the last Thursday of November isn't the only day folx are hungry, so on 12.5 we will work with these chefs in collaboration to anonymously distribute food to those experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic.”
Need more? FriensGiving runs the musical gamut that’s indicative of LA’s diverse music community and of its radio institution Dublab (on which many of these folks regularly appear). Which means that musically it’s all over the map. Here’s a breakdown of some Dada Strain favorites.
Picks: Jimetta’s “Wake Up World!” is a great contemporary gospel-disco joint that mutates into something tougher on the verses — dig that bass synth. // Def Sound’s “Stuff I Eat” is a funny-serious rap tune that’s also a paean to vegan cooking (s/o Bryan Terry’s cookbook, which has helped my family unit eat healthy in quarantine). // Suzi Analogue’s “Way Outta” is a an incredible example of deep electronics songwriting — a broad soft-tone techno bed underneath the New York-based singer-producer’s soulful delivery which carries the song’s melody. It’s techno-pop bliss. // Qua’ran Shaheed’s “Playing Through the Jitters” is a solo piano rhapsody that at times sounds like its channeling pipa-played Chinese folk melodies, before taking an abrupt turn…elsewhere. // Jess Joy’s “Pretty Penny” is a wonderful folk-pop marriage of the singer’s Kate Bush-like octave-leaping voice to catchy progressive rock bits. // Shruti Kumar’s “Knocked For Six” is a wistful short composition for piano, synths, percussion and malets that rises to meet samples of last summer’s #BLM protests. 2020 Wordless Music! // Matthewdavid’s “jillin” is an unfolding bit of synth-heavy new age ambiance in keeping with one side of the producer’s Leaving Records aesthetic. // Samora Pinderhughes’ “Transformation” is the opening track of the pianist/composer’s 2016 opus, The Transformations Suite, a softly intense and open spiritual jazz piece. // Annabelle Maginis, TwoLips & Jess Joy’s “Meditation” closes the album with a more forceful multi-part ambient epic, moving from drones and funereal percussion to distorted echoing voices and mournful strings, before leaving as space-age sonancy for the morning after.
But the whole thing is a joy! And it’s a good deed. Click the buy button.