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What Music Means To Me: Ky O'Connor

Core member of local band, Steve., Ky O’Conner has been apart of the music scene for as long as I can remember. An advocate for marginalized groups, and a human who asks tough questions, I’ve always admired them as someone who has no fear in speaking their mind and inciting important change. Especially in local DIY scenes in which we still harbor people who have done bad things, or those who have not been confronted about extremely dangerous topics & issues including sexual assault, and white privilege. They were one of the first that came to mind when this project was incepted, and I’ve never been more excited to read why someone was into music than Ky!

Check out what they had to say down below!

Ky (Musician/Advocate):

”Music helps me speak. I'm a very open person, and I feel my music reflects that. I like to tell my stories in ways that convey emotion, which is why I think I gravitated towards playing punk rock. Punk, to me, is unfiltered passion. Through music I found a voice that's loud and unapologetic. I listen to all kinds of music, so it's hard to define what shapes my creativity. I can pull apart any one of my songs and find subtle nods to the vocal melodies of Tammi Terrell, or the overall wordiness of my lyrics, something that I stole from Elvis Costello. I'm typically a first draft kind of person. I'm a big fan of letting whatever comes out be the entire song, so sometimes they're short, sometimes they're even shorter - I don't really care. I’m not a great songwriter. I think that is reflected in what I create, and I’m totally fine with being mediocre.

I love hearing anything new. When I find a new artist’s music, I listen for the rhythm, and if I like it enough, I'll come back to it and focus more on the lyrics if there are any. Both elements of a song exist to tell the story and that's the part that I really want to find. Through the vast community of DIY across the country I've found friends that I love as people and as artists. We share stories that bring us closer, build friendships outside of shows, and in DIY establishing out of state contacts is necessary if you want to keep going. The community allows me to see parts of the country I would otherwise never go to. It's thrilling for me to hear a lyric in a friend's song and be able to understand the reference, or catch a little guitar part I’ve heard them noodling around with for the past year.

Don't Be a Stranger by Nervous Dater is an absolute bop. It's a record that covers all the bases for me: good riffs, killer choruses, carefully crafted chord progressions, etc. When I heard the line, “I love in small doses...” from the song “Vominos” for the first time I cried because of how intense the build up is to that lyric, and it feels incredibly relatable for me.”

Check out Nervous Dater’s “Don’t Be A Stranger” streaming down below!

Emily's Top 5 Songs For Feeling Spooky

It’s important to feel spooky during the spooky season - so we’re here to help.

October is a time for many things - pumpkins, ghosts, saying you like scary movies but still having to sleep with your roommate after watching The Conjuring, and the like! We’ve created a playlist that’s sure to make you feel extra creepy crawly as you go about your day!

Gods & Monsters - Lana Del Rey

An oldie, but a goodie. I included this one for two reasons - Lana Del Rey is one spooky ass bitch who I would like to kiss, and also her voice lends itself to spooky season in basically all of her discography, so if you don’t like this song, feel free to choose any other one and it’ll have the same effect. With a cameo in American Horror Story: Freak Show, the spooky levels are confirmed by Hollywood. With Lana’s vintage style & sultry, pepper voice it’s easy to get lost in “Gods & Monsters.”


Holding On - Jenn Champion

This is one of the most recent tracks on the list, having been released earlier this year. The track is indie bliss - and Champion’s voice is eerie and soothing all at once. The track is off of her 2018 album Single Rider, and outlines being in a relationship with someone who definitely isn’t the right fit; and, while unlike any of the other tracks on this spooky list, (because it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with anything spooky), the tracks aesthetic and mood fits in perfectly with this list - plus, feelings are pretty scary, so.


Halloween - Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth is, arguably, always creepy. So, we just straight up chose “Halloween” for this playlist because, ha ha, it says Halloween in the name! Of course, we also chose this song simply because it “slaps” as the kids say. The ethereal, ghost-like sound of Sonic Youth lends itself perfectly to prepping for that Haunted House you’re going to, or prepping for trick or treating with friends.


Cannibal - Ke$ha

An old school classic about eating the hearts of men by our Lord & Savior, Ke$ha. A perfect Halloween bop for getting ready for a party, making out with your ‘BOO’ for the night. We love the empowerment of femme folx, and we love pop so what isn’t there to love about “Cannibal.” The track is an easy listen, and a classic from the “Tik ToK” era - and for feeling spooky, this will get you there!


Rattlin’ Bones - Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Do ya like jazz? Well, we’ve got some spooky jazz for you. We feel it’s important to keep the list as objective as possible, and this rendition of “Rattlin’ Bones” is sure to make you feel some type of spooky way.

We want to give a special shout out to literally any song called “Halloween” and also to everyone who said that the list wasn’t valid unless The Misfits were on it (hah, they aren’t).