7-inches for Planned Parenthood

UPDATE, 4/28/17: The 7-inches for Planned Parenthood boxset is now available for pre-order. You’ll find more information here. You can also watch a video for the collection’s first single, a new live version of Chvrches’ “Down Side of Me.” It was directed by Kristen Stewart.

Today Planned Parenthood announces 7-inches for Planned Parenthood, a boxset of 7” singles. There’s more info here. It will be released digitally in batches in the coming weeks and will be made available for pre-order in its entirety as a vinyl box set. All proceeds go to Planned Parenthood.

This announcement is the beginning in some ways, but it’s also the culmination of a collaboration that’s been going on for a few months. As far as the real start, a good guy named Brandon Reid called a good guy named Matt Berninger in November and suggested they pull together people for a series of 7” vinyl records benefiting progressive institutions. Planned Parenthood was their first choice. A few days later Brandon Reid met with Planned Parenthood in D.C. and that’s when Matt contacted me.

Matt wrote and asked if I’d be interested in curating a 7” series for Planned Parenthood, something that reflected TCI’s aesthetic, combining musicians, writers, comedians, poets, and other thinkers with visual artists. It would be a series in which each element of the package mattered. I, of course, said yes.

When I accepted the offer, I became part of the team, a team that included me as one curator (music, art), along with Emily Alexander (literary) and Mark “Flanny” Flanagan (comedy). I came up with the pairings and sequencing, which was a lot of fun. Everyone involved was a curator in some way, though, as well as a logistical magician and marathon runner. I spent a lot of time emailing and phoning and meeting with Brandon Reid, Grant Manship, Matt Bernigner, Carin Besser, Gillian Bar, John Solimine, Brandon Minow and Elizabeth Bawol of Planned Parenthood, Kate Jackson, Dana Erickson, Shaun Gibson, and Tara Beadine. Now, almost six months later, we have a finished collection.

You learn a lot about a person in a collaboration, and it was an amazing process getting to know all these people. Now, it’ll be good for other people to hear what we made together.

I wanted to give 7-inches for Planned Parenthood some context, and to thank everyone who donated their work for the project. These people all contributed sounds: Aparna Nancherla, Björk, Bon Iver, Arca, Bryce Dessner, Chvrches, Common, Dr. Willie Parker, Dream Hampton, Elliott Smith, Estelle, Feist, Foo Fighters, Heather McGhee, Helado Negro, Walter Martin, Janeane Garofalo, Jenny Slate, John Legend, Pete Holmes, Laurie Anderson, Margaret Atwood, Margaret Cho, Mary J Blige, Mary Lattimore, Meg Baird, Mitski, Nico Muhly, Sarah Silverman, Sharon Van Etten, Sleater-Kinney, St. Vincent, Tig Notaro, and Zach Galifanakis. These people all contributed images: Angela Pilgrim, Azar Kazimir, Domonique Echeverria, Hisham Akira Bharoocha, Jacqui Oakley, James Merry, Mark Fox, Megan Tatem, Molly Schiot, Penelope Gazin, Rashid Johnson, Kristen Stewart, Shepard Fairey, and William Villalongo.

We got an amazing response from the artistic community, I think, because people know how important Planned Parenthood is, and how much every bit helps, especially when its very existence is being questioned and put in jeopardy.

Today on TCI I spoke a bit to one of our contributors, Heather McGhee, about her optimistic view of the future, how to create dialogues between people who don’t agree with each other, and the importance of creativity in politics.

As far as this project, she said: “This collaboration really shows what great work can happen when people who care about other people from lots of different walks of life and modes of expression get together for a purpose.”

As another of our contributors, dream hampton put it, “Sometimes you gotta go on the record.” Which is what we all did.

— Brandon Stosuy