#982 – February 22, 2023 Playlist

Wednesday MidDay Medley
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning
90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio
TEN to NOON Wednesdays – Streaming at KKFI.org

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Guest Producer Fally Afani

WMM welcomes back to the show, Fally Afani as our special “Guest Producer.”

Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning nearly 39 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, and magazines. She has received several Kansas Association of Broadcasters awards as well as an Edward R. Murrow award for her online work in journalism. Fally lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where she reports on local & touring musicians and is the editor & founder of, I Heart Local Music a comprehensive website providing info and place for music lovers in Lawrence to gather. It was started out of a deep love & appreciation for the local music scene. And has grown to produce a quarterly printed magazine. Fally is also the recipient of the Rocket Grant Award, which helped develop live music events for her community. As a straight ally she has almost single handedly resurrected Lawrence Pride and helped make it an institution. In 2015, a video she made detailing one second of her life every day gained national attention after it was featured on BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post. Fally Afani works as Communications Coordinator of The University of Kansas School of Music. She is married with two children. Fally’s family immigrated to the United States from Palestine. Fally Afani received her M.S. in Digital Content Strategy, University of Kansas, in 2021, and her B.S. in Journalism, University of Kansas, in 2003. For more information you can visit: http://www.iheartlocalmusic.com

  1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
    from: Orig. Motion Picture Soundtrack All That Jazz / Casablanca / December 20, 1979
    [WMM’s Adopted Theme Song]
  1. Flash Floods – “I Don’t Wanna Know”
    from: Halfway To Anywhere / Flash Floods / December 23, 2022
    [Flash Floods call their trio a “y’allternative” band. The Lawrence, Kansas based band, Flash Floods released “I Don’t Wanna Know” as a single on August 26, 2022. Fally Afani writes in I Heart Local Music “One of our favorite acts to watch in 2022 is ending it in style. After releasing the very catchy “I Don’t Wanna Know,” Flash Floods has just leaked a second track off their upcoming release called “Don’t Take Advice.” // Flash Floods played an album release show at the Bottleneck, on December 23, with Christina Graves and Tyler Gregory. // Flash Floods has consistently been one of I Heart Local Music’s favorite live acts over the past year. “Their live presence is peppy and entirely likable, a bit of a stark contrast from the laid back and good-natured demeanor of their sound. In a world of noise and rising tensions, Flash Floods is the calming breath we need in our day.”]
  1. The Roseline – “Paper Plane”
    from: Constancy / RPH Records / November 5, 2021
    [“Paper Plane” was the third single from The Roseline’s 8th album, CONSTANCY released August 6, 2021. “This song is arguably the most epic and ambitious thing we’ve attempted. It’s almost seven minutes long and bookended by spacey guitar loops, so it’s pretty decidedly anti-single. I just wanted to write a really propulsive heartland rocker. Lyrically, it’s a fictional narrative about a person escaping a dead-end town. We’re all pretty stoked about how it came out.” – Colin Halliburton (lead singer/songwriter). / Colin Halliburton on acoustic guitar, vocals, aux percussion; Bradley McKellip on 12-string acoustic guitar, electric guitars; Colin Jones on bass; Jim Piller on drums; Heidi Gluck on backup vocals; Chase Horseman on synth; Joel Nanos – engineer, production, mix, mastered, recorded and produced by Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studios in Kansas City, Missouri. // The Roseline are an alt-country, Americana, rock band, formed by Colin Halliburton with friends in 2005. The Roseline released their 6th album GOOD / GRIEF on April 3, 2021. The Roseline released BLOOD on September 29, 2017; and TOWNIE on June 19, 2015. The band has toured the US and Halliburton has completed two European solo tours thus far, taking him through Poland, Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands. Colin Halliburton joined us on WMM on March 25, 2020. More info at: https://roselinemusic.com%5D
  1. Unfit Wives – “Dreamin'”
    from: LIVE & UNFIT / Lost Cowgirl Records / September 17, 2021
    [Unfit Wives bring their hard-driving bluegrass originals to Kansas City and surrounding areas with hot licks, lyrics, and feisty four-part harmonies. Unfit Wives are: Jenna Rae on guitar & vocals, Shannon O’Shea on fiddle & vocals, Monica Greenwood on mandolin & vocals, Kahlen Mitchell on upright bass & vocals, and Reagan Zagan on banjo & vocals. Unfit Wives have performed in a variety of settings from bars, wineries, festivals and private events, to larger listening rooms including Knuckleheads Saloon, Liberty Hall, and The Granada Theater in Emporia, KS. No matter the size of the stage (or if there even is one), these ladies bring hot licks, humorous song-writing, feisty harmonies and a high-spirited performance to every show. Their original songs incorporate honest emotions of Unfit Wives, a name that was birthed with from the band’s drive to question society’s standards for women, live unapologetically, and celebrate everyone’s “unfit”-ness. Some of their influences include Wanda Jackson, Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris, Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, The Chicks, Bill Monroe, and Split Lip Rayfield. Info: http://www.unfitwives.com http://www.thelostcowgirl.com]
  1. Carswell & Hope – “Lo/Behold”
    from: Sign Of The Times / Silly Goose Records / August 30, 2022
    [Recorded and produced by Jason Slote and Nick Carswell. Mixed and mastered by Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studios. Lawrence KS based 5-piece band formed June 25, 2012. The band is: Nick Carswell, Jason Slote, Austin Quick, Chris Handley, and Jordan Tucker. Songwriter Nick Carswell is originally from Ireland and has found a new home on the plains of Kansas.Songwriter Nick Carswell is originally from Limerick, Ireland, Nick Carswell has been living in Lawrence, KS since 2011. He formed Carswell & Hope in late 2012. The band released their debut album in 2014, coinciding with a two week Irish tour. Nick also plays bass in the electro-pop band Pink Royal and is the force behind Silly Goose Records and the annual Mix-Master music conference, now part of the Crossroads Music Festival. http://www.carswellandhope.bandcamp.com]
  1. LYXE – “Wave”
    from: Everything You Could Ever Want / LYXE / September 15, 2022
    [LYXE is a new band from Lawrence, Kansas, formed in 2019 that played locally until Covid forced the band into a two year hiatus. Recently reformed, the band has had a successful string of shows in 2022 and released their first EP, Everything You Could Ever Want on September 15, 2022. Lead by frontman Ryan Wise of The Sluts, the debut single “Wave” showcases the band’s fun pop rock sensibility. We experience a different side of Wise’s songwriting with crooning vocals and vintage guitar sounds. Accompanied by drummer Jimmy Girod and bassist AJ Knudson, LYXE creates hip shaking rhythms reminiscent of classic 80’s and 90’s sounds.“Wave” is the ideal first taste of what this band can accomplish.]

10:32 – Underwriting

  1. The Creepy Jingles – “Cardinal Cinnabon”
    from: TAKE ME AY MY WORDPLAY / High Dive Records / March 25, 2022
    [From band’s 11-track, full-length debut, TAKE ME AT MY WORD PLAY. The Creepy Jingles are a Kansas City based, 4-piece rock and roll band that both honors and defies convention. Led by singer / song-writer Jocelyn Olivia Nixon, a transgender wordsmith who charms with razor wit and dazzles with her lyrical acrobatics. Nick Robertson on drums, Travis McKenzie on guitar, and Andrew Woody on bass guitar bring first class musicianship and creativity, helping Nixon paint the perfect picture of colors and sounds that don’t stay in the lines. Their new album, “Take Me at My Wordplay” is an eclectic blend of catchy Brit-Pop melodies that dance around the landscape of surf, NY garage rock, psychedelia and folk music. Paired up with lyrics centering on themes of identity, strained relationships, social media madness, meme magic, pandemic paranoia, paid off political pundits, backyard bullies and barking up the wrong tree. Everything and the kitchen sink or swim. No stoner left unturned. The Creepy Jingles released their Debut EP on High Dive Records on May 3, 2019. The release was in the top ten of WMM’s 119 Best Recordings of 2019. The Creepy Jingles released their Debut EP on High Dive Records on May 3, 2019.]
  1. Radkey – “Romance Dawn”
    from: Delicious Rock Noise / Another Century / November 11, 2016
    [This album came after the band was signed to Another Century Records who reissued their critically acclaimed debut full length album, Dark Black Makeup from 2015, and renamed it, Delicious Rock Noise, and added two new songs, both inspired by the band’s love of comic books. Radkey is a trio originally I 2010 from St. Joesph, Missouri, and now based in Kansas City, made up of brothers Darrion, Isaiah, and Solomon. Their influences include The Who and Nirvana. The band has toured Europe several times and all over North American and at multiple festivals. Most recently Radkey released the single, “Better Than This” ontheir own label Little Man Records on September 23, 2022. Radkey also released the single “Games (Tonight)”: on January 28, 2022 on Little Man Records. Isaiah, Dee, and Solomon Radke of the critically acclaimed rock trio Radkey joined us live in our 90.1 FM studios on September 5, 2018. The band has released multiple full-length recordings. In 2021 Radkey was featured in Dave Grohl’s van-touring documentary film, WHAT DRIVES US. Radkey released GREEN ROOM on Little Man Records on November 27, 2020.On Green Room the band serve as their own producers. Radkey released DARK BLACK MAKE UP in 2015 and DELICIOUS ROCK NOISE in 2016 — plus multiple EPs and singles, and were part of a MasterCard advertising campaign on digital billboards in NYC along with a national television commercial that aired during the 2018 Grammy Awards that brought the band to the attention of Jack White who asked the band to tour with him. In 2018 the band went back on the road with The Damned throughout the United States. In December they went back into the studio to record with producer Bill Stevenson of the California punk rock group Descendents. In early 2019 they played shows in Amsterdam and Stockholm. In 2018 the band released “Basement,” “St. Elwood,” “Rock & Roll Homeschool,” as well as several other singles. On February 22, 2019, Radkey released “No Strange Cats…P.A.W.” a 7-song EP is essentially a collection of the band’s most recent singles. It comes after the January 11, 2019 release of No Strange cats…Spiders – EP a 6 song EP of several new songs mixed with several singles from late 2018.]
Photos by Fally Afani
  1. Vedettes – “Sick Of”
    from: EPHEMERAL / Vedettes / March 1, 2019
    [Five studio-recorded and mastered tunes, recorded and mixed by Paul Malinowski from May to December 2018 at Massive Sound in Shawnee, Kansas.This Lawrence, Kansas based 4-piece band was formed in 2015 with Heather Lofflin on lead vocals & guitar; Lizz Weiler on bass, & backup vocals; Ben White on lead guitar & backup vocals. More informatin at: http://www.vedettes.com]
  1. Serene Fiend – “Unto Myself”
    from: Elegies and Effigies / Joel Bonner / August 25, 2022
    [Serene Fiend is an artist from Lawrence, KS whose sounds focus on industrial and pop but dabble in heavy metal, ambient, and minimalist sub-genres. // Serene Fiend’s long overdue first full-length album, Elegies and Effigies exists on a continuum ranging from industrial to pop with sprinkles of death metal and glam mixed in – “industrial death pop” for short. // The track list explores topics of introspection, self-destruction, grief, resilience, and self-betterment. Over its course, the album references itself melodically and lyrically through motifs and evolving context, benefiting repeat listens and granular focus. It is a bleak album, but centers around a thread of hope and optimism. // Written, performed, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Joel Bonner. // Synthesizer solo on “Unto Myself” written and performed by Daniel Glascock. // Guitar solo on “Don’t Want To Die” written and performed by Sam Piper. // “Something About Us” originally written and recorded by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo // Artwork by Joel Bonner . Info at http://www.serenefiend.bandcamp.com]
  1. Pure xtc – “Shadow”
    from: Shed My Skin EP / Taylor Hughes / November 18, 2022
    [Shed My Skin EP follows the Pure XTC single “Get Lost“ released September 9, 2022, and “Shadow” released June 1, 2022. Pure xtc released the EP Nobody’s Home on November 12, 2021. Pure xtc is the musical project of Kansas City based Taylor Hughes. Taylor is also the drummer for the band EXNATIONS who are on hiatus. The idea of pure xtc was formed during an extremely isolating time for multi-instrumentalist, Hughes. Living truly on her own for the first time, she moved to the NYC metro in 2019. Time was spent crying on subways, climbing new rooftops, meeting new people, avoiding new people, feeling extremely fulfilled to feeling like a hollow empty shell. “Ghost” was produced & mixed by Walter Kazmier of Silk City Grooves Studio and mastered by Mike Piacentini of Sony Entertainment’s Battery studios. http://www.purextcmusic.com] [Pure XTC aka Taylor Hughes was our guest on WMM July 14, 2021. And November 10, 2021. and November 16, 2022]

11:03 – Station ID

  1. Stephonne – “Sweet Tooth”
    from: SIS: Side A – EP/ Stephonne Singleton / August 7, 2020
    [Co-produced by, Justin Mantooth, and recorded at Westend Recording Studios. Johnny Hamil on bass, Ben Byard on guitar and Adam McKee on drums. Stephonne grew up in KCK. He has performed in multiple shows for Late Night Theatre. Stephonne told John Long of Camp Magazine “I was surrounded by records, and my parents always had music on.” A special video for “Want Me” was released in 2020. On June 24, 2022 Stephonne released SIS: Side B [EP] Co-produced by, Justin Mantooth, and recorded at Westend Recording Studios. Johnny Hamil on bass, and Adam McKee on drums. Stephonne released the single, “Cross My Heart (Sexy M.F.) on June 3, 2022. Stephonne released the single, “Deja Vu” with Shilow and Regina Del Carmen on May 9, 2022. Stephonne released the single “The King’s Gambit” on July 28, 2021. Stephonne was part of the single, “Elephant Man (feat. Stephonne)” from Lee Walter Redding & Stephonne, released April 9, 2021. Stephonne released the single “Beautiful Life (Acoustic)” on January 15, 2021. Stephonne released SIS: Side A on August 7, 2020. The 4 song EP contained the song “Want Me” that was also made into a video featuring body painting on to Stephonne’s body from artist Ryan Wilks. Stephonne released his debut album, “Caged Bird Sings Songs About Red Beard.” The album was one of WMM’s 118 Best Recordings of 2018. Stephonne was born and raised in Wyandotte Cou, Kansas. Stephonne grew up in KCK. ]

[Charlotte Street announced on Monday, February 13, 2023 that the recipients of the 2023 Generative Performing Artist Awards are Stephonne Singleton and Tiara Nicole. This year, Charlotte Street’s Visual Artist Awards were given to Ruben Castillo, Sean Nash and SunYoung Park. Congratulations to them all! Much deserved!!!! Bravo!!!]

  1. Cuee – “See You Tonight”
    from: With Love (3-song) – Single / Cuee / February 14, 2023
    [Cuee most recently released the (3-song Single “Coming Out” on June 24, 2022. Lawrence based hip-hop artist Cuee is a rapper with a Master’s Degree. Cuee received his Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas. Cuee is also a graduate of Artist Inc. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Cuee has wowed audiences in Lawrence and KC with exciting live performances. And since 2017 Cue has released several critically acclaimed albums, an EP, multiple singles. We last talked with Cuee on March 3, 2021 and on May 5, 2021 and before that, on August 12, 2020, when he released the single “Who’s Back.” and before that on May 29, 2019. Cuee released the single: “Ain’t Goin Backon May 7, 2021, “Gravity (Feat: Lindsey Alderman)” on April 29, 2021 and part of GOSPEL the album. In 2020 Cuee’ track, “Shook” landed on an official Spotify playlist dedicated to transgender, non-binary and gender-fluid musicians across the globe including Kim Petras and Lex Allen. Spotify sent out a note said, “Hey Cuee you hit a high note this month.” Cuee said he didn’t even know what that meant, and he looked up to discover he had over 24,000 listener during the month of June on Spotify. I was trying to figure out what happened. I did a little research, I logged onto my instagram account, I was starting to get a flood of followers. I was just tracing it back and I landed on a Spotify playlist, it was an editorial playlist so he couldn’t find out who put him on there. “Someone found me.” Cuee made three trips home to Chicago to record the record. For the new album GOSPEL Cuee explained that this term can have biblical connections but it also means ‘the truth.” The video for “Ain’t Going Back” takes place in a church, and is a declaration of freedom, and identity, while also paying respect. Cuee talked us about how the track was created in the studio and translating the song into a video that was shot in a church. Last time we talked with Cuee he shared his thoughts about ‘”Queerness in a church,” Cuee said, “you know, is very…different, I mean I wanted to bring that into that space, and freedom into that space, allow that space to be seen and heard by other people who traditionally wont take up that space.” Originally from Chicago, Illinois. 27 year old Lawrence based hip-hop artist emcee, and educator. Cuee has gained fans over the last six years in Lawrence and Kansas City for his critically acclaimed musical releases and live performances. Along with getting his Master’s Degree, Cuee has released around 30 different musical tracks, legally changed his name, and has transitioned physically and vocally. The song “Ain’t Going Back” features Cuee’s friend Joel Leoj who is originally from Florida, but after moving to Chicago, became friends with Cuee in school, and recently moved to Lawrence to make music and collaborate on recordings with Cuee. Cuee explained that they have known each other since high school, that they “started a Hip Hop culture club in our high school, to bring music, kinda having a place to chill after school, write music together as a community. That’s how we started.” “I moved out here to Kansas, to go to school, he stayed back in Miami, and then we kind of connected back, maybe about two years ago, and hit it off really strong. We decided we wanted to pursue this music thing together. We decided let’s just do this. So he said he was going to move to Lawrence. I didn’t believe him at first, until he showed up on my doorstep, and I was like, Wow, you are here, let’s do this.” Joel Leoj released the album, JOEY IN WONDERLAND on January 31, 2021. Cuee is a featured guest emcee on the tracks “Eden” and “No Debate.” More info at: http://www.officialcuee.com]
  1. Vicman – “Lust (Radio Ready)”
    from: The VCMN Project / Vicman / May 13, 2022
    [Vicman is also known as VCMN. They released their debut album entitled “The VCMN Project” on Friday, May 13, 2022. VCMN is an American singer-songwriter duo who’s artistry is shaped by way of edgy, alternative R&B, Pop, and Rock. Victoria and Emmanuel “Manny” Cable—aka the “Vic” and “Man” of VCMN. Victoria grew up in the Bethel International Center of Worship church in Kansas City, Kansas, where her father, Cleveland Drone, was a pastor. From the ages of 10-19, she toured across the country singing gospel music. Manny came to performance via a different path: ballet and modern dance. They’ve been working it out with the rhythms and the rhymes for years now. VCMN Project was first birthed into existence when they were still dating; the album was finished after they were married. It all began on their living room sofa. The VCMN Project is just as much a party as it is a beautifully written love story. The 10-track “The VCMN Project” encompasses a song from every top 40 music genre. R&B, Rap, Pop, Alternative Rock, Ballad, Country, Hip Hop, and Dance Pop. VCMN played Lawrence Gay Pride, presented by I Heart Local Music. Fri. June 24, 2022 at Lucia, 1016 Massachusetts St. with Cuee & Friends. More info at: http://www.vcmnofficial.com]
  1. Making Movies – “Cuna De Vida”
    from: A La Deriva / Independent / December 21, 2012
    [For this recording: Enrique Chi (guitar/lead vox), Brendan Culp (drums), Diego Chi (bass), Juan-Carlos Chaurand (percussion /keyboard).] [Most recently Making Movies released XOPA through Cosmica Artists on June 17, 2022. XOPA and was recorded in Memphis, produced by Ben Yonas and mixed by Tchad Blake. More info at: http://www.makingmovies.world. Making Movies is a KCbased 4-piece band and made up of : Enrique Chi on guitar and lead vocals; Diego Chi on bass & vocals; Juan-Carlos Chaurand on percussion & keyboards; and Duncan Burnett on drums. The band draws their influences from the origins of their families: Santiago, Panama, and KC Missouri, and Guadalajara, Mexico. Making Movies released the 5-song EP, EN VIVO (SIN APLAUSO) on February 4, 2022. Prior to that, Making Movies released the 6-track EP BORING BITS, on May 7, 2021, which includes their single “La Marcha.” On February 5, the band released a sneak peek of the new music they’ve been working on. The 7-song, La Cuarentena EP includes a brand new version of the first Making Movies song, “La Marcha” and the lullaby “Could You?” (both mixed by Jim Eno of Spoon and tracked at Memphis Magnetic studio), and the love ballad “Una Vida.” The EP was ranked #25 inWMM’s 120 Best Recordings of 2021. The EP also includes: covers of Talking Heads and Tears for Fears classics, plus bonus live acoustic tracks. This EP was made available on BandCamp for only three days on February 5 through February 7, 2021. Since then it has been made private, an is not available anywhere. Making Movies released their single “Could You” on January 12, 2021. About “Could You” lead singer Enrique Javier Chi wrote, “I was thinking about what to share for “Could You?” and I just go back to the fact that Memphis is a profound place… it is a place where you can feel what America truly is and where it comes from. I think you see and feel the reality that so much of this nation was built from exploiting people. You can see that our pop culture is driven by the Black community and yet that community is still the most oppressed in the nation. Things are still so messed up. // Memphis is the place where Elvis started singing black music with a country twang and where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. It’s a beautiful place, it’s a charming place, it feels at times downtrodden and it’s a place that reminds me of home (both KC and Panamá in different ways. Our experiences going to Memphis gave us the context to create “Could You?” It was filmed originally for AMERI’KANA TV..” Making Movies released their critically acclaimed album ameri’kana through 3/2 Recordings on May 24, 2019. This was #1 on WMM’s 119 Best Recordings of 2019. Produced by Steve Berlin and Ben Yonas. The notes for this album read: “ameri’kana is a canary in a coal mine, the watchman at the tower. It is a desire to remember where we come from and assure that we better ourselves in every step along our journey. Every chapter is an example, a reason to not be silent and not accept corrupt leaders as something inevitable. ameri’kana is based on faith, faith that every person on this continent carries within themselves the ability to grow, to awaken their consciousness and merits of the same rights. We were accomplices to get ourselves to this point so we will have to be accomplices in the solutions.” This was the band’s follow up release to their critically acclaimed, I Am Another You, released May 26, 2017. The quartet has toured with Arcade Fire, Thievery Corporation, Cold War Kids, Los Lobos, Ozomatli, Tennis, Sergio Mendoza of Calexico, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Hurray for the Riff Raff. Enrique Chi joined WMM on May 19, 2021.]
  1. Maria The Mexican – “El Cascabel”
    from: Moon Colored Jade / Independent / Oct. 18, 2013
    [Most recently Maria The Mexican released the single, “Bottle of Wine” on July 17, 2022, On March 11, 2016, Maria The Mexican released their album, South of The Border Moonlight. In 2013 Maria The Mexican released their debut full length, Moon Colored Jade. Influenced by traditional Mariachi music, Maria The Mexican is a hybrid of Mexican folklore and Rock. For over ten years, Teresa and Maria Elena Cuevas have performed with Marachi Estrella founded by their grandmother Teresa Cuevas in 1970. As one of the first all female mariachi bands in the country, Maria Teresa Alonzo Cuevas is a pioneer in the Hispanic musical community. Her band flourished in the 80s but was struck by tragedy when four of the seven members were killed in the Hyatt Skywalk collapse in 1981. Once Teresa recovered she began teaching her grandchildren Mariachi music. In 2000, Teresa and Maria began exploring other genres of music while simultaneously co-directing Mariachi Estrella. Today the fusion of Maria The Mexican is mixed with a touch of blues, soul, funk, and rock n’ roll enhanced by the musical knowledge and sounds of Garrett Nordstrom.]
  1. Turnstile – “Mystery”
    from: GLOW ON / Roadrunner Records / August 27, 2022
    [Turnstile are an American hardcore punk band from Baltimore, Maryland, formed in 2010. They have released five EPs and three studio albums. The band’s third album Glow On was released in 2021 to critical and commercial success; the songs “Holiday” and “Blackout” earned the band three nominations at the 65th Grammy Awards. // Turnstile was formed in 2010 and grew out of Baltimore’s emerging hardcore scene. They released their debut EP, Pressure to Succeed, in 2011 and their second EP, Step 2 Rhythm, in 2013, both via Reaper Records. On January 13, 2015, Turnstile released their debut full-length album, Nonstop Feeling, on the same label. The album was recorded at Salad Days Studios with producer Brian McTernan. Supporting the release of the album, Turnstile went on both an East Coast and a West Coast tour with Superheaven, titled the Nonstop Feeling Tour. They also supported New Found Glory on their Spring 2015 tour. Following this tour, their guitarist Sean Coo stepped down, and a replacement was found in Pat McCrory of fellow Maryland-based hardcore band Angel Du$t.// On September 16, 2016, Turnstile released their third EP, titled Move Thru Me. The record charted at No. 14 on the Billboard Heatseekers Album Chart and No. 19 on the Hard Rock Albums chart. The band embarked on the Move Thru Me Tour across the U.S. with support from Angel Du$t, Big Bite, Crimewatch, Fury and Lock on select dates in the fall of 2016. The band began recording for their second album under Roadrunner Records in the fall of 2017, completing recording in early 2018. The record was produced by Will Yip at his Studio 4 recording studio. On February 23, 2018, the band released the album, titled Time & Space – their first release under a major label. This was followed by the band embarking across the U.S. on the Time & Space Tour with support from Touché Amoré, Culture Abuse and Razorbumps. A European leg followed this with support from Fury, a South Korean and Southeast Asia leg, and a U.K. leg with support from Wicca Phase Springs Eternal and Big Cheese. Three of the album’s tracks were reworked with DJ and producer Mall Grab and released as an EP, titled Share A View, in January 2020. // On June 27, 2021, the band released their fifth EP, Turnstile Love Connection, alongside an accompanying short film directed by Yates. On July 15, 2021, the band announced the release of another album, Glow On. The first single from the album, “Alien Love Call”, was released and featured British musician Blood Orange.// On July 27, 2021, it was announced by the Suicideboys on social media that they would be one of the performers for their Grey Day Tour that ran from September 25, 2021 to November 16 the same year, along with the other G59 artists, like Night Lovell, Ramirez, Germ, Shakewell, and Chetta. Other performers, like Slowthai, Chief Keef, and Yung Gravy were also present within some dates of the tour. // On August 27, 2021, the band’s third full-length album, Glow On, was released, debuting at No. 30 on the Billboard 200. The album was met with universal acclaim from critics, and Rolling Stone listed Glow On at No. 8 on its list of The Best 50 Albums of 2021. // In March 2022, it was announced that the band would support My Chemical Romance on select dates of their North American Reunion Tour. // On August 12, 2022, the band announced via Instagram that they had parted ways with guitarist Brady Ebert, a couple of months ahead of their fall headlining tour.[16] Before this, Ebert had notably been absent from the band’s tours, and had been replaced by Greg Cerwonka of Take Offense. // On October 11, 2022, it was announced that the band would support Blink-182 on the North American leg of their upcoming 2023 global tour. // On November 15, 2022, it was announced that Turnstile was nominated for three Grammy Awards: “Holiday” was nominated for Best Rock Performance, and “Blackout” was nominated for both Best Rock Song and Best Metal Performance. // Critics and journalists have categorised Turnstile’s music as hardcore punk, melodic hardcore, alternative rock and nu metal. In interviews, the members describe their own music as hardcore. // Current members: Daniel Fang on drums, programming (2010–present), Brendan Yates on lead vocals, percussion (2010–present), “Freaky” Franz Lyons on bass, percussion, backing and lead vocals (2010–present), Pat McCrory on rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2016–present).]
  1. THICK – “Your Mom”
    from: 5 Years Behind / Epitaph / March 6, 2020
    [Since first forming in 2014, New York trio THICK have triumphed at turning the harshest truths into wildly exhilarating punk songs. On their second album Happy Now, vocalist/guitarist Nikki Sisti, vocalist/bassist Kate Black, and vocalist/drummer Shari Page deliver their most complex and confessional work yet, exploring everything from self-sabotage and insecurity to victim-blaming and destructive relationships. Raw, irreverent, and brutally honest, Happy Now ultimately offers both joyful catharsis and much-needed instruction for living well in turbulent times. // “Most of our songs lean toward optimism, even when there’s a lot of pain in them,” says Sisti, who refers to THICK’s output as a “living diary.” “It’s not about toxic positivity or trying to force yourself into happiness; it’s about recognizing that it’s okay to feel a whole spectrum of emotions, and then getting to the other side and really growing from your experiences.” // The follow-up to 5 Years Behind (a 2020 release praised by Under the Rader as a “dazzling debut album…laced with anger, humor, killer guitar riffs, and soaring punk melodies”), Happy Now finds THICK working again with producer Joel Hamilton (Iggy Pop, Juiceboxxx) and recording at Studio G Brooklyn. In a profound evolution of their previous work, the 11-track album encompasses sharper arrangements and stickier hooks and a more explosive energy—an effect often achieved through the sheer force of their three voices singing in unstoppable unison. // Kicking off with a glorious bang, Happy Now opens on the frenetic urgency of “Happiness”: a dizzying yet incisive track that sets THICK’s self-reflection to a fantastically breakneck rhythm. “That song’s about the different ways we seek validation, and how whether you look for it externally or internally, it’s never an easy process,” says Black. “In the end, it’s about being more aware of where we’re trying to find happiness.” With its brilliant back-and-forth between riotous shouting and impossibly sweet harmonies, “Loser” arrives as a thrilling celebration of hopeless imperfection, cleverly twisting its closing lyric into an unlikely mantra (“I’ll always be a loser”). “Especially in music, it’s so easy to feel like a loser and a fuck-up,” says Page. “We want people to know that it’s okay to mess up and that everyone’s a loser sometimes. It’s really the best way to live, instead of trying to be number-one all the time.” And on “Tell Myself,” Happy Now slips into a wistful mood as THICK tenderly impart insight to their younger selves. “As you get older, you sometimes look at your little-kid self and wish you could give them a hug and tell them everything’s going to be okay,” says Black. “It’s not about minimizing life experiences, but a reminder that you’re stronger than you think and that—despite what it feels like in the moment—there is a light at the end of the tunnel.” // True to the egalitarian spirit of the band, THICK take a highly collaborative approach to their songwriting without ever sacrificing the intimacy of their lyrics. In the writing of the heavy-hearted “Disappear,” for instance, Sisti lifted directly from her journal in telling the story of “loving someone who gets lost in their own head, and how painful that can be.” Meanwhile, on “Her Chapstick,” Page opens up about a struggle in her own relationship. “It has to do with the experience of a partner seeking external affection,” she says. “It’s about navigating the feelings of why a partner is sharing themselves with someone else when you are right there.” // All New York State natives, THICK’s three members first crossed paths through shows at Brooklyn’s DIY/all-ages spaces and soon became a mainstay in that very scene. Since signing to Epitaph in 2018—and making their label debut with their self-titled third EP the following year—the band has dramatically expanded their reach and toured all over the country, including a 2021 run with punk legends Flogging Molly and Violent Femmes. But even as their fanbase grows exponentially, THICK thrive on forging an uncommonly close connection with their audience. “Getting to share our songs with new people and build community in places we’ve never been before has been the most fulfilling experience for us,” says Black. “We want to leave everyone smiling from ear to ear and get them moving around and hopefully look up at us and say, ‘Oh, I can do that. I’m gonna start my own band now.’”]
  1. The Mars Volta – “Vigil”
    from: The Mars Volta / Clouds Hill / September 16, 2022
    [7th studio album by American progressive rock band the Mars Volta, Produced by guitarist, songwriter and musical director Omar Rodríguez-López, the album was preceded by the singles “Blacklight Shine”, “Graveyard Love” and “Vigil”. // Self-titled to mark a “clean slate” in the band’s history, it is the band’s first studio album in over ten years, following their 2012 album, Noctourniquet, and subsequent break-up. After reuniting in secret in 2019, band leaders Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala made a conscious effort to break from their previous progressive rock sound and record a pop-influenced album, with Bixler-Zavala directly addressing his family’s recent struggles with the Church of Scientology in his lyrics. // Founding bass guitarist Eva Gardner and longtime keyboardist and percussionist Marcel Rodríguez-López returned to the band during the recording process, recording their parts in New York alongside session drummer Willy Rodriguez Quiñones. Jazz pianist Leo Genovese contributed to the recording process, eventually joining the band on a full-time basis for the album’s accompanying tour, alongside new drummer Linda-Philomène Tsoungui. // In late 2012, following the release of the Mars Volta’s sixth studio album, Noctourniquet, core members Cedric Bixler-Zavala (vocals) and Omar Rodríguez-López (guitar, production) disbanded the group after a falling out between the pair. Writing on his personal Twitter account in early 2013, Bixler-Zavala stated: “I can’t sit here and pretend any more. I no longer am a member of Mars Volta. For the record I tried my hardest to get a full scale North American tour going for Noctourniquet but Omar did not want to.” Reflecting on this in 2022, Bixler-Zavala noted: “I was in a really impatient place when I left the band, very immaturely, in a loud way on social media. It was just sort of being a brat.” At this time, Bixler-Zavala had joined the Church of Scientology, creating tension between himself and Rodríguez-López and resulting in the pair growing apart. // Within two years of the falling-out, the pair had reconciled, subsequently forming the supergroup Antemasque and working on the At the Drive-In album, In•ter a•li•a (2017), before regrouping as the Mars Volta in secret in 2019. Remarking on the differences between At the Drive-In and the Mars Volta, Rodríguez-López noted: “The At the Drive-In thing was a very finite thing. It was partly nostalgia and the past, and where we come from and our roots. There’s a certain expectation and a certain thing that you have to give there, and the parameters are very much set. With the Mars Volta, it always goes back to the idea of, ‘Is it exciting, does it move me? Is what I’m hearing coming back out of the speakers just something that makes me dance?’” // A press release for the album stated that the album contains only “two tracks longer than four minutes”,]
  1. Cannons – “Bad Dream”
    from: Fever Dream / Coplumbia Records / March 25, 2022
    [Cannons is an American indie pop band formed in 2013 in Los Angeles. The band consists of lead vocalist Michelle Joy, guitarist Ryan Clapham, and keyboardist and bassist Paul Davis. // Ryan Clapham and Paul Davis, who have been friends since childhood, began composing music together in their teenage years. In 2013, Joy posted an advertisement on Craigslist seeking a band looking for a singer. Clapham and Davis connected with Joy, and she was recruited as Cannons’ frontwoman. // Cannons issued their first EP Up All Night in 2014. The band then released their debut album Night Drive in 2017, as well as a second EP, In a Heartbeat, the following year. Shadows, Cannons’ second album, was released in 2019 by AntiFragile Music. “Fire for You”, the first single from Shadows, gained significant commercial traction after being featured in a 2020 episode of the comedy-drama TV series Never Have I Ever. The band subsequently signed to Columbia Records. In early 2021, “Fire for You” reached number one on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart.]

11:32 – Underwriting

  1. Amr Diab – “Nour El Ain”
    from: Tea in Marrakech / Stern’s Music / April 15, 2021
    [Nour El Ain (English: “Light of The Eye”) is Egyptian singer Amr Diab’s most successful album. It was released in January 1996 and became a tremendous success not only in the Middle East but worldwide. The album was recognized at the World Music Awards for the best-selling album in the Middle East for 1996. // The title track and its English version “Habibi”, was an international phenomenon, becoming a crossover hit in Pakistan, India, Brazil, Iran, Argentina, Chile, France, and South Africa. The song was remixed by several European arrangers and has become a big pull on the dance floors of Europe. The video clip, also produced by Alam El Phan for the song “Nour El Ain”, was one of the most lavish and expensive productions in Egyptian pop music at the time. “Nour El Ain” was at the time the best selling album ever released by a Middle Eastern artist. // Amr Diab was born on 11 October 1961) is an Egyptian singer, composer and actor. He has established himself as a globally acclaimed recording artist and author. He is a Guinness World Record holder, the best selling Middle Eastern artist, a seven-times winner of World Music Awards and five-times winner of Platinum Records. // Diab was born as Amr Abdel Basset Abdel Azeez Diab on October 11, 1961 in Port Said to a middle-class Muslim family from the Egyptian countryside of Menia Elamh, in Sharqia Governorate, Egypt. Diab graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music from the Cairo Academy of Arts in 1986. // Diab released his first album entitled Ya Tareeq in 1983. Diab’s second album, Ghanny Men Albak (1984), was the first of a series of records he released with Delta Sound; including Hala Hala (1986), Khalseen (1987), and Mayyal (1988), with the title track becoming one of the top 10 songs in the world at the time[citation needed]. His later releases include Shawa’na (1989), Matkhafesh (1990), Habibi (1991), Ayyamna (1992), Ya Omrena (1993), Weylomony (1994), and Rag’een (1995). // By 1992, he became the first Egyptian and Middle Eastern artist to start making high-tech music videos. // In 1996, Diab released his first album with Alam El Phan entitled Nour El Ain, and he won the World Music Award for the first time, which proved an international success and gained Diab recognition beyond the Arabic-speaking world. Diab recorded four more albums with Alam El Phan, including Amarain (1999). Diab also collaborated with Khaled (on the song “Alby”) and with Angela Dimitriou (on the song “Bahebak Aktar”). // According to research by Michael Frishkopf, he has created a style in the song “Nour El Ain”, termed as “Mediterranean music”, a blend of Western and Egyptian rhythms. // In the summer of 2004, Diab, having left Alam El Phan, released his first album with Rotana Records, Leily Nahary, which he followed up with the hugely successful Kammel Kalamak (2005), and El Lilady (2007). // Wayah was released for sale on the internet on 27 June 2009; however, the album was leaked online and was downloaded illegally amid complaints of slow download speed on the official site. Diab’s fans initiated a massive boycott of the sites with the illegal copies. // On October 18, 2009, Diab won four 2009 African Music Awards in the categories of best artist, album, vocalist and song for “Wayah”; Diab had been nominated by the Big Apple Music Awards. // In February 2011, Diab released his hit single Masr Allet (“Egypt spoke”), followed by the release of his album Banadeek Taala in September, produced by Rotana. In 2012, Diab hosted the first Google Hangout in the Middle East during his performance in Dubai. In October 2014, Diab released his album Shoft El Ayam, which topped his last album El Leila and again became the best-selling album in Egypt on iTunes. In July 2015, Diab released a music video for his song “Gamalo” from his album Shoft El Ayam. In March 2016, he released Ahla w Ahla, his first album since he left Rotana Music. The album was produced by the record label Nay For Media. His new album Maadi el Nas was released in July 2017 with Nay Records. // His 2014 album Shoft El Ayam peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard World Albums Charts, making him the first Egyptian and Middle Eastern performer to accomplish such a feat. // In October 2018, he released a new album called Kol Hayaty. In 2019, he released a mini-album, Ana Gheir, and in February 2020 he released his 35th album, Sahran, which included 16 songs. // In February 2022, Anghami announced an exclusive partnership that will see the Diab’s entire Nay Label audio and video catalogue and future releases available only on Anghami. // Diab is known as the “father of Mediterranean music According to author Michael Frishkopf, Diab has produced a new concept of Mediterranean music, especially with his international hit, “Nour El Ain”. Moreover, Diab is known as a composer, having composed more than 97 of his own songs. // Diab is one of the first singers to popularize music videos in the whole MENA region and is the first Egyptian singer to appear in music videos. // Diab’s fame in the music industry has led him to experiment with other forms of media, such as film. Diab played himself in his first film, El Afareet, which was released in 1989. It also starred Madiha Kamel. His second film was Hussein El-Imam’s production Ice Cream in Gleam (Ays Krim fi Glym), in which Diab starred in 1992, was chosen as one of the best five Egyptian musical films by the University of California, Los Angeles (ULCA) School of Theater, Film and Television. The film was featured in the UCLA Film and Television Archive’s new program “Music on the Nile: Fifty Years of Egyptian Musical Films” at James Bridges Theater at UCLA on 6, 8 and 10 April 1999. David Chute of the LA Weekly termed it “observant” and “a big leap”. His third movie was released in 1993, and was named Deahk We La’ab (Laughter and Fun). The film premiered in the Egyptian Film Festival in 1993. Diab played alongside international Egyptian movie star Omar Sharif (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago) and Yousra. Overall, Diab did not experience the same level of success in film that he had with his music career. Since 1993, Diab has focused on his singing career. // During the 2011 uprising, some protesters criticized Diab for staying silent, and for fleeing Egypt for London. A few days after former President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, Diab composed and sang a memorial song, “Masr A’let” (Egypt Said), and released it in conjunction with a music video showing pictures of the martyrs who died in the uprising. He initiated a charity campaign “Masry Begad” (“Truly Egyptian”).[citation needed] His online radio station Diab FM often presents talks and discussions about what the Diab FM team can offer to the community as well as applying it practically by being present in different sites across Egypt with a new humanitarian project each week. // Diab has an elder daughter from his first marriage to Egyptian actress Shereen Reda. In 1994, he was married to Saudi businesswoman Zeina Ashour. They have three children. In 2018, he went on to marry Egyptian actress, Dina El Sherbiny, after his relationship with Ashour ended. Diab and El Sherbiny separated in late 2020.]
  1. Nancy Ajram – “Badna Nwalee El Jaw”
    from: “Badna Nwalee El Jaw” – Single / In2Musica / September 7, 2018
    [Nancy Nabil Ajram was born May 16, 1983) is a Lebanese singer, television personality and businesswoman, dubbed by Spotify as the “Queen of Arab Pop”.[1] With the support of her father, she began performing as a child and appeared on several television shows in her early years. By the age of 15, Ajram signed a recording contract with EMI and released her debut studio album Mihtagalak (1998). In spite of being under the legal age, Ajram was exceptionally accepted to the Syndicate of Professional Artists in Lebanon. The following year, she released her second album Sheel Oyoonak Anni (2001). // Her breakthrough occurred with the start of her collaboration with well-known Lebanese producer Jiji Lamara, when she released her controversial smash hit single “Akhasmak Ah”; created by Egyptian composer Mohamed Saad, and third studio album Ya Salam (2003) in which she adopted a public image as a sex symbol while reinventing her music. Ajram’s fourth album Ah W Noss (2004) was another commercial success, spawning the chart-topping singles “Ah W Noss”, “Lawn Ouyounak”, “Oul Tani Keda” and “Inta Eyh”, at which point she had established pop icon status in the Middle East.[5] In 2007, Ajram released her first children’s album, Shakhbat Shakhabit, which was the most notable and successful work for children at the time. Betfakkar Fi Eih (2008), her sixth album produced seven singles including the commercially successful Egyptian hits, “Betfakkar Fi Eih”, “Min Dally Nseek” and the Lebanese single “Mashi Haddi”, won Ajram’s first World Music Award as world’s best-selling Middle Eastern artist, the youngest Arab WMA winner to date. // Having sold over 30 million records worldwide as of 2007, Ajram is one of the best-selling Middle Eastern music artists.[6] By 2010 she was announced the best-selling Middle Eastern female singer of the decade (2000–2009). Throughout her career, Ajram has released eleven studio albums to date (including two dedicated for children) and numerous chart toppers such as “Yay”, “Ya Tabtab”, “Moegaba”, “Ehsas Jdeed”, “Ibn El Giran”, “Fi Hagat”, “Ya Kether”, “Ma Tegi Hena” and “Badna Nwalee El Jaw”. Ajram is the first and only female spokesperson of Coca-Cola in the Arab world, releasing several promotional Coke anthems that became instant smash-hits, such as “Oul Tani Keda”, “El Dounya Helwa”, “Noss El Kawn” and “Shaggaa Bi Alamak”. Ajram has made the list of Most Powerful Arabs on Arabian Business several times, and was similarly listed by Newsweek as one of the most influential Arab singers. // She has also featured in patriotic songs for her country Lebanon, and has also dedicated seven patriotic songs to Egypt; a country she’s widely popular in thanks to her Egyptian hits such as “Akhasmak Ah” and “Ah we Noss”. // Between 2013 and 2017, Ajram served as a judge on MBC’s reality talent show Arab Idol. She also began serving as a coach on The Voice Kids Arabia in 2016. In 2020, Nancy was the most-streamed Arab female artist on Spotify, achieving more than 100 million plays of her songs, followed by Lebanese icon Fairuz with 67 million plays. // On September 28, 2009, The Oprah Winfrey Show aired an episode titled “Fame Around the World” that talked about the most famous celebrities around the globe in brief reports. Representing the Middle East region and Arab world, Ajram appeared in a report featured on the show and was described by Oprah as “the Britney Spears of the Middle East”. Ajram is the first and only Middle-Eastern artist ever mentioned on the show. // In September 2014, Ajram returned as a judge on the third season of Arab Idol. Three of the four judges, including her, returned with Ragheb Alama being replaced, after two consecutive seasons, by another well-known Lebanese singer, Wael Kfoury. A month later, October 2, 2014, Huawei announced Ajram as its Middle East and North Africa Brand Ambassador at the launch of the Ascend Mate 7 smartphone in Dubai.[47] A day before, the TV commercial came out on Ajram’s official Facebook page featured her hit “Nam Bi Albi” from Nancy 8 album, which was filmed with Lebanese director Said El Marouk and produced by Oliver Ojeil under the label of his production company Chiaroscuro Films. 48 hours later, the TVC reached 1 Million views.]

Nancy Ajram Discography

Mihtagalak (1998)
Sheel Oyoonak Anni (2001)
Ya Salam (2003)
Ah W Noss (2004)
Ya Tabtab…Wa Dallaa (2006)
Shakhbat Shakhabit (2007)
Betfakkar Fi Eih (2008)
Nancy 7 (2010)
Super Nancy (2012)
Nancy 8 (2014)
Nancy 9 (Hassa Beek) (2017)
Nancy 10 (2021)

  1. DAM – “Emta Njawzak Yamma”
    from: Ben Haana Wa Maana / Cooking Vinyl Limited / June 7, 2019
    [DAM’s third studio album. DAM fuse traditional Middle Eastern sounds, rhythm and intonation of Arabic-language rap and the unmistakably hip-hop attitude. Formed in 1999 DAM were one of the first acts to popularise rapping in Arabic (although they also rap in English and Hebrew) and have since become renowned for their unique fusion of East and West which combines Arabic percussion rhythms, Middle Eastern melodies and urban hip-hop. Their first single Min Irhabi (‘Who’s the terrorist?’) racked up over 1 million downloads and brought the group to the attention of young people across the Middle East for both their distinctive musical style and the political and humanitarian subtext.]
  1. Mohammad Assaf – “Dammi Falastini”
    from: Muntasib Alqamah Amshi – EP / Mohammad Assaf / October 19, 2015
    [Mohammad Jaber Abdul Rahman Assaf was born Sept. 1 1989, He is a Palestinian pop singer well known for being the winner of the 22nd season of Arab Idol, broadcast by the MBC network. His victory received worldwide coverage from the media and was welcomed with joy by Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world. In 2013, Assaf was named a goodwill ambassador for peace by The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). He was also named ambassador of culture & arts by the Palestinian government and was offered a position with “diplomatic standing” by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Assaf’s story is the basis of the 2015 film The Idol, directed by Hany Abu-Assad. After Arab Idol, Assaf has gone on to enjoy huge popularity in the Arab World and the Arab diaspora and has released two albums and a great number of singles and collaborations. Most of his music is sung in the Iraqi and Gulf dialects. // He was born in Misrata, Libya to Palestinian parents. He lived there until he was 4 years old, when his parents moved back to Gaza, he grew up in Khan Younis refugee camp with a middle class couple where he attended UNRWA elementary school. His mother’s family hails from the village of Bayt Daras, which was captured and depopulated by the nascent IDF in 1948 and his father’s family is from Beersheba. Assaf’s parents moved to Khan Yunis Refugee Camp when he was 4 years old. He is one of six siblings, three of whom, including Assaf, have been involved in performing live music. Assaf’s mother Intisar, a mathematics teacher, has stated that Assaf began singing at the age of five and “had a voice of someone who was much, much older.” Before his role on the television show he was attending Gaza City’s Palestine University majoring in media and public relations. Assaf did not have professional training as a singer; he started his career singing at weddings and other private events. He entered the public view in 2000 during a popular local television program where he called in and sung a nationalist song to the host’s praise. Afterward, he was frequently offered contracts with local record companies. Sometime after his first performance, he sang in a local event in Gaza attended by late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat. // Mohammad Assaf travelled from Gaza Strip to Egypt to audition for Arab Idol. It took him two days to reach Egypt by car due to complications on the border. At the beginning, he had to convince the Egyptian security at the border crossing, where he was stuck for two days, to leave Gaza. Once he reached the hotel where the auditions were taking place, the doors were closed in which they did not accept anymore auditions so he jumped over the wall. After he jumped over the wall, he couldn’t get a number to audition; he sat hopelessly in the hall where other contestants were waiting for their turn. He started singing to the contestants, and a Palestinian contestant, Ramadan Abu Nahel, who was waiting to audition heard him and gave him his number saying, “I know I won’t reach the finals but you will.”// He was given the nickname Asaroukh (“The Rocket”) by Lebanese singer and Arab Idol judge Ragheb Alama. Assaf was acclaimed by the jury and the public. His voice and appearance have drawn comparisons to Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez, which has garnered Assaf both fame and controversy. Fans merged part of Hafez’s name with Assaf’s, as in Assaf Hilm Falastine (“Assaf Palestine’s Dream”). Assaf’s final performance was his own song that was well known before his rise to fame “Ali al-kuffiyeh” (“Raise The Kuffiyeh”), a Palestinian song that called on Palestinians to raise their kuffiyehs (a traditional Arab headdress that has become a Palestinian nationalist symbol) and to unite, in light of the split between the two major Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had tuned in to watch his performance. On June 22, Assaf was declared the winner of Arab Idol, winning the most votes and coming ahead of two other competitors, Ahmed Gamal and Farah Youssef, from Egypt and Syria, respectively. Massive celebrations by Palestinians ensued after the announcement of his victory, including festivities held on the streets of Gaza City, East Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Khan Yunis, Nazareth, Lebanon and Jordan, And when his professional career as an artist began after the title of Arab Idol, he was accompanied by Awtar Band led by The Maestro Yacoub Al-Atrash in Arab and international festivals since then. // While Assaf has normally avoided politics on the show, he has stated “I can’t differentiate between my art and my patriotic attitude.” Assaf condemned the ongoing Israeli occupation of West Bank and the poor living conditions in the Gaza Strip. He also stated that Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi’s long-term hunger strike protest had inspired him. He frequently performed donning the checkered keffiyeh popularly associated with Palestinian nationalism. // He is highly popular in the Palestinian territories, where the Washington Post notes that the “streets of Gaza empty out” when the show goes on air on Fridays and Saturdays. Throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, large posters promoting Assaf have been hung on residences and shops. A source of pride, Assaf has been able to unite Palestinians’ sympathies in a way that Palestinian political factions have not been able. // Some Palestinian politicians have showed their support for the singer who has been creating a sense of unity among Palestinians, regardless of differing political beliefs. Salam Fayyad, former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, called on all Palestinians to support Assaf. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had also called for Palestinians everywhere, including the diaspora, to vote for Assaf. Assaf also won support from the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s daughter, Zahwa, who encouraged viewers to vote for him. // Although prior to his participation in Arab Idol, Assaf stated he had been briefly detained by the security forces of the conservative Hamas party and paramilitary group—which maintains de facto control over Gaza—on over 20 different occasions in an effort to dissuade him from singing, the group has not suppressed Palestinian support for Assaf or viewership of the show. Signaling a shift in attitude, a Gaza-based Hamas MP, Yahya Mousa, lauded Assaf and referred to him the “ambassador for Palestinian art.”]
  1. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
    from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Fally Afani Thank you for being out Guest Producer on Wednesday MidDay Medley. Fally Afani is the editor & founder of, I Heart Local Music a comprehensive website providing info and place for music lovers in Lawrence to gather. It was started out of a deep love & appreciation for the local music scene. Info at: http://www.iheartlocalmusic.com

Next week on March 1, WMM plays more New & MidCoastal Releases PLUS we talk with internationally known Performance Artist Tim Miller who is coming to the University of Missouri at Columbia for a performance residency on February 26 through March 5, 2023. But before that he is performing In Lawrence, Kansas at The University of Kansas on Friday, February 24. AND… We also talk with Aisha Kahlil of Sweet Honey inThe Rock who play The Folly Theatre, 300 West 12th Street, KCMO, Friday, March 3, at 8:00 PM. More info at: http://www.follytheater.org]

THANK YOU to all of our wonderful listeners and friends who generously and thoughtfully donated to support KKFI 90.1 FM – Kansas City Community Radio during our Wednesday MidDay Medley Winter Fund Drive broadcast/ Through the airwaves, and through social media, a total of 54 people donated a total of $3149.00 to allow us to continue our mission.

Our Script/Playlist is a “cut and paste” of information.
Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios, wikipedia.org

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Show #982