Martin Luther King III attends a meeting hosted by United States President Joe Biden with organizers of the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington at the White House on Monday, August 28, 2023

Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI/Shutterstock

On August 28, 1963, The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom drew a quarter of a million people to the nation’s capital in order to protest racial discrimination and advocate for equal rights and opportunities for Black citizens. It is rightly considered a milestone in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and remains a perpetual source of inspiration and courage. It also led to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which the U.S. Department of Labor describes as prohibiting “discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.”

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Film Reviews

Jeffrey Wright Interview: American Fiction Review

“This is important. This is cool. This is funny. And I want to be there.”

39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival - Montecito Award - Honoree Jeffrey Wright

Courtesy of SBIFF / Photographer: Becky Sapp

It feels like Jeffrey Wright is in everything these days. His versatility has taken him from character acting in the likes of The French Dispatch and Westworld to his recent Oscar-nominated turn in the dark comedy American Fiction.

What’s American Fiction about? Summary of this Best Picture-nominated feature:

In American Fiction, Jeffrey Wright plays a jaded writer who finally finds success by jokingly writing a “Black” book — aka a book that caters to the white liberal imagintion. Wright’s character, Thelonious Ellison — or “Monk” — wrestles with the professional consequences of his newfound success while grappling with grief and shifting personal dynamics.

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Kanye West

By Ovidiu Hrubaru

Kanye West has finally deigned to release his long awaited new album, Jesus is King.

After multiple missed release dates and increasingly bizarre tweets and statements from the MAGA hat-wearing husband of Kim Kardashian, fans got an album that, while entertaining, is nothing new. Sure, it's radically different from anything Kanye has released in the past, and while it has its moments (if you can overlook the often off-putting preachy content of the album) it's a pretty classically-styled gospel album. But Kanye wouldn't be Kanye if he gave any credit to the icons of the genre whose work undoubtedly influenced "Jesus is King." Instead, Kanye is acting like he invented gospel music.

Instead of streaming "Jesus is King" and giving money and attention to a mentally ill zealot with problematic and damaging opinions, stream these 5 classic gospel albums.

Cold World by Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens

Naomi Shelton has been singing gospel music since the 1950s, and this album makes it clear she's an authority on the genre. "Bound for the Promised Land" is a stirring, ultimately hopeful look at the state of the world.

Music Lists

How to Heal Yourself with Music

Listen to our playlist of healing songs while reading this (linked at the bottom) for optimal effect.

Singing Bowls

Photo by Magic Bowls on Unsplash

Anyone who's ever loved a song or cried to a great album knows: Music can be truly healing.

There's actually a scientific basis for that feeling of euphoria and comfort you get from listening to certain music. Music can do a ton of extraordinary things—it can increase our dopamine levels, can affect breathing and heart rate, and can even transport us back in time by triggering our emotional memory.

Because of its unique capabilities, music has long been a popular form of healing across the world. Many ancient religions believed the world was a collection of vibrations, and "good vibrations," or harmonious sounds, could promote healing and balance, while jarring vibrations could lead to physical and mental disturbances. "In Vedic teachings, the science of the influence of sound and music is known as Gandharva Veda. Through this practice, the music of nature is used to restore balance to your mind and body," writes Vedic educator Adam Brady. "Using specific pieces of music or melodies, vibratory coherence can be strengthened, assisting with healing and helping to settle the mind."

Earth's Vibrational Frequency - Schumann Resonance Healing Music With Binaural Beats

Good Vibrations

In the modern world, music therapists are still being utilized everywhere from psychiatric facilities to nurseries to corporate retreats and beyond. In general, music therapists are trained to play specific kinds of music to evoke certain responses. Often, their work goes beyond emotions and treats physiological ailments. In some recent clinical studies, music has been able to restore lost speech, reduce side effects of cancer therapy, relieve pain, and improve life for dementia patients. It can improve symptoms for schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, and can even increase empathy. In other studies, music has literally changed the shape and increased the resiliency of human blood cells, possibly increasing the human lifespan.

This healing happens in all different ways. Sometimes, music and sound therapists use specific frequencies and sounds to target very specific ailments. Other times, lyrics play a stronger role, either motivating patients or inspiring them or making them feel less alone. Sometimes music therapy even involves teaching patients to play their own instruments and to write their own songs. Music has also long been used in social movements, with songs like "We Shall Overcome" and "Turn, Turn, Turn" playing integral roles in tying protests together. So if you've ever heard a song and felt like it changed your life, you're probably not alone—music can do a lot more than change your mood: It can also change the world.

We Shall Over Come - Mahalia Jackson

If you're dealing with mental health issues or are simply seeking inspiration, finding a music therapist might be a great alternative to traditional talk therapy. But there are also some easy ways to also incorporate music into your self-care practice.

How to Use Music to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

If you want to use music to help with anxiety, one study from Stanford University found that three types of music reduce stress best:

  • Native American, Celtic, Indian stringed-instrments, drums and flutes
  • Sounds of rain, thunder, and nature
  • Light jazz, classical, and easy listening

You can also participate in a healing sound bath or a sound meditation, which are widely available on streaming platforms like Spotify and YouTube. Here are a bunch to listen to, via the University of Nevada. (Try "Echoes of Time," a Native American flute music piece, or "Weightless," a composition by Marconi Union designed to reduce blood pressure and lower levels of cortisol stress hormone).

Marconi Union - Weightless (Official Video)

You can also try listening to recordings of Tibetan singing bowls, which are specially designed to fill your body with healing resonance.

Quick 11 min. Chakra Tune-up with Himalayan Singing Bowls HD

The Beatles - Hey Jude

In general, positive-sounding and peaceful compositions will get the job done, though of course sad songs can also offer necessary catharsis.

For an optimal stress-reducing experience, make sure you drop everything and allow yourself to listen to the music. Don't use your phone or do work while listening; instead, throw on a pair of your best headphones, lock yourself in a dark room and let the sound waves wash the rest of the world away, bringing you into a magical realm of peace and harmony. This can bring your brain into an "alpha state," which is "that relaxed but alert feeling you get when activity ceases and you have a moment to reflect and recharge," according to Dr. Frank Lipman.

Use Music to Raise Your Mood

On a basic level, happy music can make you happy—though of course it doesn't always work out that way. Still, since music has such a strong effect on memory, if you're looking to raise your mood, you might seek out songs that remind you of truly happy moments.

You can even preemptively design a playlist of music that will make you happy during tough times. The next time you're about to do something fun or are feeling content, make a playlist of songs that you listen to exclusively during that experience. Listen to it over and over, and then when you're feeling nostalgic, cue up that playlist and let the memories live on.

According to a Stanford University study, upbeat, energetic, and rhythmic selections can (unsurprisingly) raise one's mood most effectively. Compositions like Duke Ellington's "Take the A Train" and upbeat Beatles tunes were specifically effective in raising subjects' moods. In addition, dancing along to music can raise endorphins, and the combination of auditory stimulation and movement that comes from dancing to music can help improve your mood even more.

Binaural beats can also help raise your mood and can lower anxiety. This semi-experimental treatment uses tones at lower than 1000 Hz, and plays different frequencies in each ear. According to proponents of this therapy, the brain independently balances out the different frequencies, creating a sense of calm.

Music can also help out with insomnia. Mike Rowland's "The Fairy Ring" and G. F. Handel's "Water Music" were effective in helping patients sleep.

Regardless of what you listen to, most music therapists suggest that you spend at least 15-20 minutes giving your full attention to your music selection.

Music Lists

Circa Waves Go Gospel: New Releases to Listen to Now

Plus new music from Cat Burns, Ocean Alley, Moving Panoramas and more.

Circa Waves - Times Won't Change Me (Official Video)

RELEASE RADAR is here to give you the breakdown of the top singles, albums, and videos of the week, so you can head into your weekend with a new list of killer tunes.


Cat Burns | "Cheater"

In her latest single, British pop singer Cat Burns fires back at some of the more dishonest uses of social media. "Two boys messaged me on the same night, even though on their social media it was obvious they had �significant others�," she explained. "I was initially hurt for both me and the girls because of the disrespect, this hurt then turned into anger."

You Might Also Like: Eloise, Mahalia, Jaz Caris

Follow Cat Burns on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

FINNEAS | "Claudia"

FINNEAS wrote his latest single for his girlfriend. It's heartfelt but not sappy, full of texture and an honest take on love at first sight.

You Might Also Like: Christian Leave, Oliver Riot, girl in red

Follow FINNEAS on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Casey Lowry | "Roam"

Casey Lowry spent the last year perfecting his signature sound, and he shows off all that hard work on his latest single. "Roam is a song about freedom. Everyone experiences that differently, but for me it�s being sat on a random beach somewhere in the world with a beer in my hand," he said. "I wrote this song to encourage others to be bold enough to take the steps they need to in order to find their own freedom.�"

You Might Also Like: Youth Club, Only Sun, Dancing On Tables

Follow Casey Lowry on Facebook | Spotify | Instagram


Ady Suleiman | Strange Roses

Ady Suleiman - Strange Roses (Official Video)

Ady Suleiman's latest track is raw and candid, and the accompanying video plays up just that. "'Strange Roses' is about a relationship that is falling apart. The romance within the relationship feels disingenuous, analogised as 'roses feel strange,' he noted. "There is however a plea for hope that there is a way out of the 'groundhog' scenario that they seem to be stuck in."

You Might Also Like: Elli Ingram, Joy Crookes, Dan Caplen

Follow Ady Suleiman on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Ocean Alley | Stained Glass


Australian surf rock outfit Ocean Alley is back with a psychedelic new video for their track, "Stained Glass." The bluesy influences slowly creep up on you as you're lost in a sea of shapes and colors.

You Might Also Like: Gang of Youths, Cub Sport, The Rubens

Follow Ocean Alley on Facebook | Twitter | Spotify

Circa Waves | Times Won't Change Me

Circa Waves - Times Won't Change Me (Official Video)

For the single off their third album, Circa Waves tried something a bit different: a gospel led, piano heavy anthem. "There's a thing with bands being scared of that big epic song, but on your third album, you can afford to be more open," said singer Kieran Shudall. "The pop will not hurt you, it'll set you free!"

You Might Also Like: Blossoms, Viola Beach, The Night Cafe

Follow Circa Waves on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Moving Panoramas | In Two

Breezy indie rock has never sounded so… Texas. The sophomore album from Austin's Moving Panoramas is light, dreamy, and expansive--like a wide open plain.

You Might Also Like: Darkbird, Shy Beast, Sweet Spirit

Follow Moving Panoramas on Facebook | Twitter | Spotify

Allie Delyanis is an award-winning and losing freelance journalist based in New York City. She likes bands, books, breakfast food, and would love to be David Sedaris when she grows up. You can find more of her work on

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