LISTEN: Banks releases new single “Underdog”

Banks is no stranger to sultry, albumless singles

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Banks is no stranger to sultry, albumless singles. Earlier this year she put out a single titled “Crowded Places” to commemorate the last season of HBO’s Girls. In 2015 she released the sinister and demanding “Better.”

Two days before the one-year anniversary of her sophomore effort, The Altar, the LA songstress released a new track called “Underdog.” It’s slick and synth-heavy, abnormally upbeat compared to the rest of her discography. In less than a week it garnered nearly 1.5 million streams.

During the premiere of the track on Beats 1, Banks explained where the song came from: “There’s a beast inside of me that I haven’t let out fully. And I still haven’t, but I’m allowing it to poke its head above the water a bit more.”

Listen below.

Nonfiction Excerpt

Carmeltucky: Like Kentucky but Worse

I’m taking a nonfiction class this semester, and this is an except from my first graded assignment about the town I grew up in and where I still currently reside. It’s titled, “Carmeltucky: Like Kentucky but Worse”

One Thursday afternoon after school my mom reminded me of the fact that Goodwill was supposed to pick up garbage bags full of clothing donations, and she sent me to our front porch to see if they had made their journey down our driveway and seized our bags in the same manner a pigeon would a french fry: swoop in and leave with it immediately. I checked the porch only to see that the bags were still there, piled on top of each other like nesting bowls. I told my mom and she opened her address book to find their number.

She tucked the phone between her shoulder and ear. “You didn’t pick up my donations!” she exclaimed, followed by “I live in Carmel.” She stood there in silence as the person on the other end spoke.

When she hung up the phone I asked, “what happened?”

“They said they picked up our donations,” she said, staring at me, her face washed blank with confusion. But there was a moment when her confusion turned to shock, completely cadaver-like, simply lifeless and pale. “Oh my god. Goodwill took our garbage.”

I imagined the workers ripping open the bags of putrescible waste masquerading as clothing. Fermenting liquids warmed up from the morning sun amid banana peels, cat litter, curdled milk. Every time someone would enter the area they’d be gunned down by waves of nauseating stink, acrid smells. They’d curse, maybe search the surrounding donations for a gas mask. Our local Goodwill no longer accepts our donations.

With love, Alyssa

*Featured Image was taken from my living room on a rainy day, and is of the park built behind my house

An Ache, Exploded

An Ache, Exploded

 

Smutty, sweet, exploiting heart

planted an olive tree in me that

 

won’t die until we’re one-thousand & nineteen

Pray for verticillium wilt when

 

a whipping disorientation festers, a sickness

climbs into my hippocampus

 

You persevered like a seed against

my visceral doubt & so the personal decayed

 

Now I wake up feeling ugly, skin

like boils redder than dawn

 

It shrivels up like wet band-aids

where prehensile fingers commandeered

 

Lacerated to the bone

Toss me neosporin, a tourniquet

 

Lick your lips when you’re finished &

perch on the backbone of no-woman’s land—

 

—a landscape of sulfur, eddied around grass,

the blades piercing me hot

 

He told me to

think the whole thing null,

 

make a martyr proud.

 

With love, Alyssa

Guided Writing Portrait

Insegnami a Volare translates to he/she/they (singular) taught me how to fly. I’ve just finished intermediate classes for the language, no biggie.

I’ve just finished up my sophomore year of college (all A’s!) and have finished up the class necessary to take in order to work in the writing center. In that class, my professor introduced several ways to guide ones writing for our projects on literary sponsorship. My guided writing portrait–

Assignment: Choose someone who appears in your literacy narrative draft and write portrait about them. One paragraph. Based off the directions given in class.

Insegnami a Volare

We had been seeing each other after school on Thursdays for a few weeks straight. Each session I brought my Italian text book, Amici, that she adored thumbing through, the cover striped to mimic the flag: red, white, green. We bonded over Italian hand gestures, signaling we both had a bloodline relationship with Italy that water couldn’t loosen. Both of our ties to the country were as strong as steel, and together we fleshed out each other’s stories about heritage and the language itself. It was on these Thursday’s that we’d sit down in a classroom on the fifth floor, adjacent her office, and remind ourselves of basic and complex words, cultural experiences that occur in Italy, and of the sights we were set to see. It gave her a Mediterranean smile. A wide smile, wide like her wingspan, which slightly stretched the neckline of whatever dress-shirt she wore. We had a lot of laughs during our session and I often find myself wishing we could meet after school every day to click more and more. It wasn’t hard for me to feel this way, in fact one Thursday we spent an entire half hour talking about the cats that roam freely in the colosseum in Rome. We made mountains out of molehills in terms of meliorism of the language.

Soon enough, our sessions finished, we were on the plane to Italy and were adjusting to Rome. Days later she and I sat on stairs in Venice that overlooked murky, dark blue water—the smell of the Old Rock Cafe a yard from us was of potent cigarettes. She was like a guardian angel, I realized the first night in Rome, after I was sick and she waited outside the bathroom for me with a stick of gum. Fantastico. She taught me to fly abroad—insegnarmi a volare.

With love, Alyssa

Open Mic Night in which I Took Gold Out on a Date

My bio (to announce me) was: “Alyssa Vigorito is a sophomore majoring in English and minoring in Digital Journalism, who writes with the purpose of unsettling the mind. She is a chicken noodle soup enthusiast and your good friend. Her poem “Take Gold Out On a Date” is about a whimsical nothing.”

Yesterday night  I was one of several speakers at the English Honor Society’s (Sigma Tau Delta, or ‘STD’. I can’t wait to be part of STD haha) open mic event, in which students could share poems or prose. I designed the poster for the event as well.

This’ll be brief, no anecdotes or anything, as I have to read and write a critique on submissions for my publishing class. Here’s what I wrote and read:


Take gold out on a date

 

take gold out on a date;

don’t ask him why fools are on his tail,

attached like parasites sucking golden

blood through their silver tongues;

do ask him when he turned to Midas—

a compliment;

buy gold a $14 mojito

empty bottle requiem

another round;

kiss gold in the Penn Station Auntie Anne’s

golden pretzels twisted like our

lives—a Jenga masterpiece

cadence of the footsteps

another round;

plan a tattoo about how he’s all you see;

fall in love with gold in the same manner

we shower: what was once claustrophobic

is an act we wish to

savor—

in torrential downpour or

remaining drops

With love, Alyssa

(The) Lorde’s Second Coming

We can’t get enough of Lorde

We can’t get enough of Lorde.

“Those rumors, they have big teeth—hope they bite you” she snarls on new single “Green Light.” Teeth are a common occurrence in her music, having appeared on “Royals” “White Teeth Teens” and “400 Lux” from her debut album. In a tweet to a fan she revealed that she sees teeth as “a big aging motif.”

And aged she has. Though she emerged a prodigy, in due time her work became a considerable feat of the music industry. This first taste of her sophomore album, Melodrama, is catnip for listeners Lorde wants to share her past two, “fluorescent years” with.

While Lorde’s quirky and imaginatively odd lyrics are present, “Green Light” is more upbeat, explosive, and anthemic than her 10-track debut or her Hunger Games masterpiece “Yellow Flicker Beat.” This single, while about a break-up, is liberating nonetheless — it’s a declaration of the change and rebuilding that comes as a result of a difficult history.

Melodrama’s strange little sister, “Liability,” was released without warning nor promo on March 9th. It exhibits how Lorde has lost strength in her numbers and becomes exposed, alienated, and apologetic for being a burden.

Lorde’s sophomore effort is set to be released on June 16th.

Text Message Poem

A poem composed of texts I have received or sent, all from different people.

Texts With Friends

 

Another leaf tucked behind my ear

Will he see that at 48 Duncan?

 

there’s no one behind me

Mom is sleeping.

 

I’ll take a dark and stormy if they have

 

Jail break…

Are you crazy?

I’ll drive some of them over the bridge

How opposed to riding in the trunk of a car are you?

text-message-poem

With love, Alyssa

New Ed Sheeran Music to Ring in the New Year

2017 is already off to a good start

After a year-long hiatus, Ed Sheeran is set to release his third LP album, Divide.

The announcement of new music came as a surprise to fans when Sheeran posted the same video of him holding a sign that said “new music coming Friday!!” on several social media platforms on New Years Day. A day after, Sheeran posted a 10 second video of the album artwork and reaffirmed a release date of January 6th.

6th January 5am GMT | midnight ET x

A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on

 

The inner-workings of this album can be dated back to 2014 when Sheeran supposedly leaked the album title. A fan on twitter tweeted a photo of what was meant to be the tracklist of Sheeran’s sophomore album, Multiply, on iTunes, but disclosed the title for Sheeran’s third LP:

Interestingly enough, the third and 12th tracks, “My Love” and “The Hills of Aberfeidy” respectively, under Multiply weren’t on the released album. Fans are left to wonder whether those two tracks were switched out from the songs under the playlist titled DIVIDE, and why they didn’t make the final cut.

Sheeran didn’t specify whether Friday’s release consists of just one song or a whole album, but after a year of radio silence, new music of any kind is better than no new music at all.

Before the hiatus, Sheeran took to social media platforms to proclaim that he’s already begun working on his third album, and it’s “the best thing I have made thus far.”

Holiday Writing Prompts!!

My favorite part about the holiday’s this time of year is all the stories you get from actual experiences. I’m all about writing from experience, and am currently working on a story derived from an event that happened a few Christmas’ ago.

Here, as the title suggests, are some writing prompts that follow the theme of the holiday season, all derived from my experiences or experiences of friends and family:

  1. You and a neighbor are in a silent competition of who can decorate the exterior of their house better.
  2. Dad says you can’t celebrate Christmas anymore if you continue playing with a dreidel.
  3. Mom starts to make a pie until she realizes the brown sugar is too hard to bake with. She sends you out to get more.
  4. The nativity scene at the Catholic college you attend has a baby Jesus that students like to steal. As a result, the department of public safety has put a tracker in the baby Jesus statue. Tell the story on how you stole baby Jesus and are being hunted down by DPS.
  5. You’re on the hunt for the perfect outfit that says “I may be emo but I still love Christmas”
  6. Not to be dramatic, but New Years Eve/Day is cancelled until something good happens this year.
  7. This year, Christmas Eve and Hanukkah fall on the same day. Talk about all the chain texts you receive, and the aftermath of them.
  8. Fabricate your own holiday song and track its success (or lack thereof) among peers.
  9. Consider this twist to a classic fairy tale, you’ll know the one: A brother and sister battle a witch who uses fruit cake and roasted chestnuts to lure teenagers into her home.
  10. Christmas caroling except you’re standing outside your ex’s house yelling obscenities.

Enjoy!

With love, Alyssa