By Sam Potrykus
5 min read
Introducing… PLATFORMS our new monthly column featuring the best culture platforms of Boston. Get In Those PLATFORMS.
For this first edition of PLATFORMS we will start with our top favorites of each category of the 2021 and include honorable mentions. The purpose of this article is to help the public find their new favorite artists + inspiration by accessing the ones who know best - the creatives who volunteer their time to create platforms for other creatives, with no corporate influence. This is not about ranking/popularity or competition. We here at BCN choose to take an approach of ABUNDANCE in this regard; This column will only ever be the tip of the iceberg of what Boston has to offer, not just because new platforms are always popping up but because as a volunteer run effort ourselves we simply lack the capacity to cover everyone. So enjoy the first and stay tuned for more platforms featured monthly in print and online here.
2021 PODCASTS OTY - This category is first because it is the most incendiary. It's also a dope platform you can get on all streaming sites and is otherwise really accessible to all regardless of location. This category is dominated by Boston area Hip Hop artists and we are fine with that.
Bad For The Community @bftcpodcast
Choose What The Future Brings @cwtfbradio
Its Lit Boston @itslitboston
2021 ZINES OTY - Zines hold a special place in our heart as our newspaper/blog platform began as a zine, but also because this is a critical platform of the underground for nearly 100 years. Beginning primarily in science and sci-fi culture in the 30s, zines were perhaps THE platform for punk and hip hop culture beginning in the early 80s next to radio and mixtapes.
This years zines
The Negro Flowers Zine @q__shabazz
Fuck Your Dreams @fuckyourdreamszine
Pleasure Pie @pleasurepie
2021 VLOGS OTY - Ah the VLOG, leveling up the classic blog platform with VIDEO content. This is definitely a competitive category, even more so than blogs these days but as this is our first column our top picks for 2021 definitely take into consideration the longevity and consistency of the following bloggers. In other words these folks ain't new and if you don't know these particular platforms you really need to. Also this category has a lot of crossover potential with other platforms like radio, podcast and retail so dig into all these top picks have to offer. They ain't JUST a vlog.
The Museum TV - @themuseumtv
Inside The Maze - @_insidethemaze
2021 NEWSPAPERS OTY - Mmmmm you know we love a good newspaper. Something about it. Maybe we love it BECAUSE it's not for everyone? Either way the selections for Newspapers OTY will be familiar and should be consulted regularly because they are the top and will remain among the top unless a new player emerges in one of the most difficult-to-maintain media arenas out there. And we sincerely hope they do! Bring it!
Bay State Banner - @baystatebanner
Dig Boston - @digbos
Workers World Party - workers.org
2021 RADIO PLATFORMS OTY - Similar to the VLOG category RADIO is a crucial platform of the culture that has lots of crossover with other mediums. For years we have been supporting and loving and will continue to love the likes of WMBR and WZBC which feature curated music on your FM dial 24/7 but college radio is not all that's out there! That's why for our 2021 RADIO Platforms OTY we have left college behind to focus on three of the best in the business who have their finger on the pulse of the artists that matter and exclusively feature them. Behold and invest in some better headphones.
LFOD Radio @lfodradio
New England Mic Check @newenglandmiccheck
2021 POP-UPs OTY - This here platform is the lifeline of the independent organizers. Even our own space at DAP wouldn't have been possible without the years of experience organizing POP UP events at dozens of venues in the Greater Boston area. This is how we cut our teeth and we aren't alone. Below are some of the dopest to do it ever without a brick and mortar. We don't have the word count to get into much detail but peep the following POP-UP platforms and yes these are also event organizers! Platforms don't care about our categorizations anyway. Event organizers ended up more as concert/show throwers leaving these folks below to art, vendor and experience events but chill, crossover is beautiful.
Thrill - @enjoythethrill
SIDE Presents - @sidepresents
Back Against The Wall - @batwbos
2Fruits Wellness - Melanin Owned Business Market @2fruits_wellness
2021 BLOGS OTY - Blogs are still the wave. It’s an underappreciated grind in this day and age but it's still how true heads find their people. Take the following Bloggers for example, these folks range from new to storied and I think best represent why everyone should have their own blog - because as hard as it may be to produce behind the scenes the curation with one dedicated tastemaker at the helm is the type of stuff we live for.
MiixTapeChiick.com - @miixtapechiickdotcom
MassCult617.com - @dignifiedandold
Farenheighttv.com - @farenheighttv
2021 EVENTS ORGANIZER OTY - Let’s face it, events got weird in 2020. But the top pics for the EVENTS category of POTY are steadfast stalwarts of the Boston community. Mind you, these are not venues. These organizers are more aligned with pop-up culture in that way and thank goodness because they spend all their energy and tireless effort on curation, artist cultivation and promotions. Be sure to follow the following and get ready to get back outside when it is safe to do so
Good Music Showcase - @goodmusicshowcaseseries
Boston Got Next - @bostongotnext
Content Brakes - @content_brakes
Non-Event - @noneventseries
2021 STOREFRONTS OTY - A funny one that includes both retail and activism the storefronts category features brick and mortar spaces of the culture. We felt “storefronts” was more succinct. Regardless of their purpose please look into and support these crucial platforms of the culture and all they have to offer from zero-waste stores to meeting and community space we had to go with 5 picks for this one.
The Muse - @themuse336 - 336 Blue Hill Ave
Boston Liberation Center - @bostonpsl - 194 Blue Hill Ave
UVIDA Boston Plastic Free Shop - @uvidashop - 28 Atlantic Ave Boston
Cleenland - @cleenland - 89A Norfolk Street Cambridge
SCOPE - @scopeapparel 484B Centre Street
Podcasts, Zines, Blogs, Vlogs, Newspapers, Books,
Radio, Events, Photography, Actions, Pop-Ups, Retail & More
Got a platform to submit? STEP TO IT! firstname.lastname@example.org
Criteria: Content, Consistency, Style
Books, Photography and Actions will be featured in 2022 we just ran out of room. Peep all the 2021 picks above and GET IN THOSE PLATFORMS.
*Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #142 January 2022