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Last week, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center announced La Niña conditions have developed and there was an 87% chance of La Niña in December through February. 

When these conditions appear, southern states experience milder weather conditions with warmer temperatures. Conversely, northern states see higher than average snowfall and colder temperatures. Anchorage will be chiller this winter.

In an article published earlier this year in the International Journal of Circumpolar Health, nearly one-fifth of Alaskans surveyed had symptoms consistent with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) and another 44% revealed symptoms of the milder Subsyndromal S.A.D., also known as the winter blues.

As daylight dwindles and snow flurries emerge, each of us living here in Anchorage will need a dose of positivity on an ongoing basis. To bring auditory joy to your ears and body movement, I share five eclectic bands that radiate positive energy. These recommendations may not alleviate all of the signs of S.A.D. but it will brighten your spirit and bring a smile to your face when you need it most.

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 This Brooklyn-based band’s music is self-proclaimed as the “merging of hard driving North Indian bhangra with elements of hip-hop, jazz and raw punk energy.” Check out their appearance on NPR Tiny Desk in 2017 for an introduction.  Be ready for their unbridled energy and enthusiasm.


 As they say, Fanfare Ciocarlia “are a 24-legged brass beast whose eastern funk groove has torn up halls and festivals across the planet. Their energy and ingenuity having won them fans from Melbourne to Memphis, Tokyo to Toulouse.” To get your heart pumping and your toes tapping, search for and start with viewing their 2014 performance on NPR Tiny Desk.

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 The trio states that “If any band is a poster child for turning the power of positive thoughts and intentions into reality, it’s the explosive horn-and-percussion trio Moon Hooch.” This environmentally conscious trio has the reputation for leaving a city they perform in better than when they arrived. And, they invite their fans to join them in river clean-ups and tree planting. See more about their Permacutlure Action Days and tree planting facilitation on their website. Start with Moon Hooch’s self-titled song, Moon Hooch, for an introduction to their unique sound.  



The Ottawa-based band, formerly known as a Tribe Called Red, consists of indigenous DJs who fuse First Nations vocal chanting and drumming with dubstep, reggae, hip hop, and moombahton. A few months ago, I was reminded how much I enjoy listening to The Halluci Nation. While waiting at a red light in Anchorage, I received an unexpected auditory gift as a biker pulled up beside me on his motorcycle with Electric Pow Wow streaming from his speakers. For a great introduction, search for their performance at the CBC Music Festival in 2018. This 14-minute 44-second introduction will offer the first course as you peruse the banquet of sound. Their latest album, One More Saturday Night, dropped a few months ago and is playable on Spotify. Tanokumbia and Land Back are solid options to sample the new album.



 Coming together in a steel mill parking lot in 2004, the 30-member band was born in Chicago. Mucca Pazza bills itself as a “marching band with rock and roll sensibilities” and they don’t disappoint. Don’t miss an opportunity to witness their “an unparalleled eccentric, frenetic visual presence and genre-bending original compositions.”  For an appetizer, to whet your musical appetite, start with watching the Boss Taurus video on their website. Then for the main meal order up Borino Ono for a taste of what they have to offer.

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