Tag Archives: Tica Douglas

Artist Reflections: Tica Douglas on Using Music to Rediscover Our Humanity in 2017

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How music can help us process the world around us.

The day after the election, I was scheduled for a shift at Mary House, the Catholic Worker house where I was volunteering. Catholic Worker was started by Dorothy Day in the 1940s, with a dual purpose: political resistance to empire, in a very lefty way, through voluntary poverty, distributism, and hospitality—serving those right around you. New York’s Mary House is a kind of ramshackle building on the Lower East Side, where some people live and others volunteer. They provide lunch, clothing, and showers to women in the area who need them. So on the train downtown the morning after the election, many people were crying, outright—everyone was understandably visibly upset. I got to Mary House feeling the weight of the world crashing down. I was imagining how much this would affect everyone there. But when I arrived, it was business as usual—”We’ve got to make lunch, we’re serving in an hour.” And the idea was, “Yeah, this is terrible. But things have been terrible. Our neighbors are hungry. We’ve got work to do.”

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Biggest Ups: Over 40 Artists Share Their Favorite Albums of 2017

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Bandcamp artists pick their favorite albums of the year.

One of the features on Bandcamp Daily that generates the greatest amount of enthusiasm is Big Ups. The concept is simple: we ask artists who used Bandcamp to recommend their favorite Bandcamp discoveries. So, in honor of our Best of 2017 coverage, we decided to take Big Ups and super-size it. Here, more than 40 artists to tell us their favorite albums of the year.

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The Best Albums of 2017: #20 – 1

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The wait is over. These are the 20 Best Albums of the year.

Last year, the Bandcamp Daily staff put together our first “Best Albums of the Year List,” 100 albums we felt defined 2016 for us. At the time I remember thinking, “This is tough, but it will probably get easier as the years go on.” Now, one year later, I’m realizing that I was wrong. The truth is, the world of Bandcamp is enormous, and it contains artists from all over the world, in every conceivable genre (including a few who exist in genres of their own invention), and at every stage of their career. The fact of the matter is, any list like this is going to fall short because, on Bandcamp, there is always more to discover. Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available. The albums that made this list, though, were the ones that stayed with us long after they were released—the ones we returned to again and again and found their pleasures undimmed, and their songs still rewarding. These are Bandcamp’s Best Albums of 2017.

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The Best Albums of Spring 2017

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Every three months, the Bandcamp Daily editorial staff combs through the stacks to present our favorite records of the year to date. This edition runs the stylistic spectrum, everything from jazz to pop to gospel to everything in between. And if you want to see our picks for the first three months of 2017, you can check them out here.

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Tica Douglas’s Theology of Uncertainty

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Tica Douglas begins Our Lady Star of the Sea, Help and Protect Usa parallel exploration of Christian theology and gender identity, at a book reading. The atmosphere is tense: “I went to your reading last week,” Douglas sings in their tiny, whispery voice, “All your exes were there.” Just as Douglas begins to make awkward small talk, the scene melts away, dreamlike, and the setting suddenly changes: It’s mid-afternoon, and the conversation has shifted to spiritual matters. Douglas’s friend is asking them about the afterlife: “I know you’ve been asking those questions we ask,” Douglas sings, “of the dead when they go / Like ‘What did you leave here, for me to believe?’” Before Douglas can answer, the scene shifts again, and this time the subject moves from the spiritual to the personal: “Now that you love someone, you love me again,” they sing. “I think that’s beautiful baby / You love me because you love him.” The net effect of the three sequences is enigmatic and unsettling: Are the events of the song a dream? A memory? Some middle ground between the two? The only thing that is certain is that in a brief three minutes, Douglas has shifted from the concrete to the ephemeral to the emotional, and has invested all of them with equal weight and value, asking questions that may not have answers.

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