Welcome to Boss Ladies, the review column written by members for members! In this edition, Lizabeth Yandel reviews Melanie Medina's new single, “Millennial Love Dance," available today on streaming platforms.
If you’re feeling like you could use a little comic relief in this possibly-apocalyptic, so-dramatic-it-would-be-funny-except-that-it’s-real time of coronavirus and quarantine, Melanie Medina’s new single “Millennial Love Dance” may be just the witty kind of medicine you need. It’s a track that so many of us can relate to in our current virtually-charged dating world. The playfulness of the music, combined with the hilarity of cringingly relevant lyrics like “baby, I’m consenting affirmatively,” give millennials of all stripes the chance to laugh at our ridiculous selves while also singing along (and not crying, you’re crying).
The lyrics stand on their own. Medina had been “pretty fed up with overly sentimental love songs full of imagery cliches.” The response that came from her frustration is a string of super specific, well-drawn images that vividly paint an everyday coffee-shop scene that might just be love. “I stop for coffee on my latest walk of shame, and there I find you standing so astute, in vegan leather boots,” she sings, with such a sweetness in her voice that one could easily miss the cynicism and comedy of the actual words. But Medina assures us that she wasn’t trying to paint the current dating world in an “entirely cynical” light.
“I wanted to write something really topical and flippant as a middle finger to, well, romanticizing romance,” she said.
The track was first written in a basement practice room at San Diego State University, where Medina completed her degree in music. Since that first rendition, the song has gone through a few revamps.
“I had to update the references a few times,” she explained. “It originally contained lines about vegan lattes and a beard that was ‘on fleek’. Yikes”.
Medina cut the final track, with references so current it’s almost embarrassing for all of us, with her producer Shandon Campbell in Campbell’s home studio. The track features Sean Hicke on bass, Abran Gurrola on drums, and Melanie Medina’s own killer guitar chops and wonderfully mellow vocals.
Medina’s hope for “Millennial Love Dance” is that, “we can all just have a good laugh about being basically living in a Black Mirror episode.”
Although the theme of the tune might speak to a general disappointment we all feel in the dating world right now, this fresh, clever song with its sprinkles of jazz harmonies and “liberal propaganda” (as Medina puts it) will absolutely not disappoint!
“I've been writing a LOT during the quarantine,” Medina says, adding that she has more singles scheduled to drop in the coming months. Be sure to stream or download “Millennial Love Dance” and keep your eyes wide for more singles from this rad emerging artist soon!
There are so many wonderful opportunities to show up for your creative community this month! Here are your official Marching orders. (We like puns, deal with it).
Thursday, March 5 - Queer Folx Making Music at Gossip Grill in Hillcrest
This new curated quarterly series includes queer acts from San Diego to Iowa representing a multitude of genres . Performers include Mandi Jo (R&B/NeoSoul), Khalil Bleux (R&B/Soul), Tori Roze (NeoSoul/Jazz), Girlboy (Soul-Hop), and Rika-Rai (Inspirational/Soul). $5 Cover, 21+, 7-10pm. More info
Saturday, March 7 - Lady Brain Presents Flim Flam Revue Takeover at Whistle Stop in South Park
This edition of Grampadrew's Flim Flam Revue is gonna be one for the books! Julia Sage hosts the first ever Lady Brain Presents Flim Flam Takeover, and these ladies are gonna bring the house down! Scheduled performers include Chloe Lou, Astra Kelly, Karina Frost, Stacey Barnett, Lisa Brackmann, Tori Roze, Mary Hamer, Alexis Tia, Marie Haddad, Jules Stewart, Marcia Claire, Donna Larsen, Melanie Medina, Amy Day, Marlo Smith, and more! A portion of bar proceeds will go to benefit RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. No cover, 21+, 5-8pm. More info
Friday, March 13 - Calamity at Grand Ole BBQ Flinn Springs in El Cajon
Three sets of fun and original folk rock music with Calamity! No cover, all ages, 5-8pm. More info
Tuesday, March 17 - SDMA Showcase ft. Lindsay White at The Merrow in Hillcrest
Join Lindsay White as she celebrates her San Diego Music Award nomination for Best Pop Album with a full band performance (including Jules Stewart on drums) at this nominee showcase. Also on the bill are Evan Diamond and Kimmi Bitter. 21+, 8pm-Midnight More info
Thursday, March 19 - SDMA Showcase ft. The Spiritual Motels and Gaby Aparicio at Humphrey's Backstage Live in Point Loma
San Diego Music Awards Nominee Showcase at Humphrey's Backstage Live, featuring Lady Brain Collective members Gaby Aparicio and The Spiritual Motels (Amy Day), plus Berkley Hart, Trouble in the Wind, Mohavi Soul, and the Johnny Tarr Quintet. $10 Cover, 21+, 6-10pm. More info
Monday, March 23 - San Diego Music Awards at House of Blues Downtown
We know, we know, this guitar-playing astronaut is getting a lot of love in this particular edition of the Brain Candy blog! Here's the main event! Tickets are on sale now for the 29th annual San Diego Music Awards. We're very proud of our nominated members and can't wait to hang with them on this fun night supporting the Guitars for Schools Program. $36-75, Doors 6pm, Showtime 7:15pm. More info
Thursday, March 26 - Whitney Shay Album Release at Belly Up in Solana Beach
Celebrate the release of Whitney Shay's new album Stand Up! with The 44s and Anthony Cullins. $18 Advanced / $21 Day of Show / $32 Reserved. Doors 7pm, Showtime 7:30pm. 21+. More info
Attention Business Owners: Advertise Your Company on the Brain Candy Blog!
Rather than spend your advertising dollars on sponsored Facebook/Instagram ads and seemingly fake engagement, our advertising partnership offers genuine organic engagement increases your company's visibility as well as its reputation for supporting the community and empowering local womxn creatives. More info
Welcome to Boss Ladies, the review column written by members for members! In this edition, Jules Stewart reviews “Recently," the debut single from Melanie Medina.
Let me set the scene for you: you’re out catching some live music at your favorite spot, and someone is ripping out artful solos, perfect rhythms, and riffs that float like fog around the rest of the band. You’re feeling the music and so is everyone around you. You look up to find out who’s on guitar and it’s Melanie Medina. It’s always Melanie Medina. Melanie has a degree in Jazz Guitar and gigs extensively around San Diego, but not everyone has had the chance to hear her original music or her sweet, smooth vocals. In her debut single, “Recently," she comes out swinging with a feel-good bop that manages to provide plenty of fun for casual listeners and studied musicians alike. With its syncopated vocal rhythms and funky hits, this song made me smile right off the bat. Conceptually, “Recently" playfully explores the sometimes overwhelming highs that come from adoring someone: lost sleep, studying every attribute, and the deep desire to truly know them.
It’s a terribly difficult thing to orchestrate musical complexity into a finished product that smacks a listener with simple joy. Writing a happy love song that stays away from the trite or cliche is also no small feat. “Recently" manages both. Melanie’s full, layered bed of guitar rhythms and her ultra-melodic solo are woven seamlessly with keys (from Shandon Campbell, who also produced the track) and snazzy trombone and saxophone lines (by Kevin Urzua and Juan Gonzales, respectively). As a drummer myself, I usually have a hard time hearing anything other than drums and bass on my first few times listening to a track, but the parts of this one fit so well together that what struck me first was the feel of “Recently." The relaxed, bouncy groove laid down by Abran Gurrola on drums and Sean Hicke is perfection; it feels just as central to the theme of the song as the lyrics.
You know how animated movies notoriously contain “easter eggs,” or hidden gems that are placed there just for the careful watcher to find? Melanie managed to nestle in a handful of little jokes and puns for jazz-lovers in the same way. They’re worked in so smoothly that I was almost mad at myself when I recognized them, just like I was when someone pointed out the fact Lightning McQueen races with Lightyear tires in Cars. Oh, you thought I was going to point those jazz jokes out? No dice, find them yourself.
All in all, “Recently" is an impossibly great debut single from a musician who is just starting to explore what it’s like to take a lead role in her own musical project. I’m looking forward to the next two singles which are set to be released later this year.
Stream/Download “Recently" Online
Thank you to members who attended yesterday's workshop on DIY publicity! Shout out to Amy Day for hosting us at her house. It was great to see some first-timers in the mix and also to welcome several types of creators. This month, we talked about DIY Publicity. Lindsay White shared some tips and tricks for securing media placements when you don't have a budget to hire a publicist. Afterward, we opened the discussion up to the group about best practices for promotion. It was helpful to hear so many different ideas and perspectives. Lots of great info!
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