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Special Interest La Blues

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Special Interest La Blues

New Orleans D.I.Y. scenesters Special Interest signed with Rough Trade after making a splash with a pair of raw and outspoken, often grooving albums that combined styles ranging from no wave, post-punk, and alternative dance to pure, venting punk rock. On their Rough Trade debut, Endure, they expand even further upon this wide-ranging sonic territory to dip their toes into more refined funk and arty dance-rock (think the B-52s et al.) while smoothing rough edges a little -- but just a little. (The self-produced album was mixed by Collin Dupuis, known for working with Lana Del Rey, Angel Olsen, the Black Keys, Yves Tumor, and many more.) Fueled by the pandemic outbreak and political uprisings of 2020, Endure is the type of album that would decompress with friends at the club after burning down the police station. With quartet member Ruth Mascelli on synthesizers and drum machines, opener "Cherry Blue Intention" begins with an unnerving, rapid-fire closed-hi-hat pattern, which is soon joined by pulsing, drum'n'bass-inspired beats, a squeal of feedback, and murky bass and lead guitar riffs (by Nathan Cassiani and Maria Elena, respectively) that, altogether, sound something like a siren going off in a packed club. Meanwhile, snarling vocalist/lyricist Alli Logout delivers lines like "Enigmatic super psycho/I can be whoever you want/Just for the night though." Later on, they opt for a dissonant, angular post-punk on working-class anthem "Foul" ("Minimum-balance savings-account blues!") before embracing a smooth four-on-the-floor groove on the sultry, R&B-tinged "Midnight Legend," which features an appearance by rapper/poet Mykki Blanco. The group get louder and angrier on songs like "Impulse Control" and "Concern Peace," whose title refers to Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, an examination of the harmful psychological effects of colonization. Endure eventually closes with the surprising instrumental "Interlude," which acts as a deep breath leading into the eight-minute, midtempo (for Special Interest) "LA Blues" ("LA" meaning Louisiana), whose lyrical vignettes act as a record of a certain time and place in New Orleans, and which tells people what they can do if they don't like it. By the end, the album both feels like an inevitable destination from prior albums and represents an excellent entry point for the uninitiated.

If you think you may be suffering from SAD, talk to your health care provider or a mental health specialist about your concerns. They may have you fill out specific questionnaires to determine if your symptoms meet the criteria for SAD.

SAD is more common in people with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, especially bipolar II disorder, which is associated with recurrent depressive and hypomanic episodes (less severe than the full-blown manic episodes typical of bipolar I disorder). Additionally, people with SAD tend to have other mental disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, an eating disorder, an anxiety disorder, or panic disorder. Learn more about these disorders by visiting the NIMH Mental Health Information page.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy aimed at helping people learn how to cope with difficult situations; CBT also has been adapted for people with SAD (CBT-SAD). It is typically conducted in two weekly group sessions for 6 weeks and focuses on replacing negative thoughts related to the winter season (e.g., about the darkness of winter) with more positive thoughts. CBT-SAD also uses a process called behavioral activation, which helps individuals identify and schedule pleasant, engaging indoor or outdoor activities to combat the loss of interest they typically experience in the winter.

To use light therapy or phototherapy, you purchase a special lamp. It has white fluorescent light tubes covered with a plastic screen to block ultraviolet rays. The light is about 20 times brighter than regular indoor light. The intensity of light emitted should be 10,000 lux.

Don't brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the "winter blues" or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.

It's normal to have some days when you feel down. But if you feel down for days at a time and you can't get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, see your health care provider. This is especially important if your sleep patterns and appetite have changed, you turn to alcohol for comfort or relaxation, or you feel hopeless or think about suicide.

There's no known way to prevent the development of seasonal affective disorder. However, if you take steps early on to manage symptoms, you may be able to prevent them from getting worse over time. You may be able to head off serious changes in mood, appetite and energy levels, as you can predict the time of the year in which these symptoms may start. Treatment can help prevent complications, especially if SAD is diagnosed and treated before symptoms get bad.

The BMI Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1985 to support the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, commissions and grants. Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation come primarily from songwriters, composers and publishers, BMI employees and members of the public with a special interest in music. Because both the Foundation staff and the distinguished members of the Advisory Panel serve without compensation, over 95% of all donations and income are used for charitable grants.

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