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Category Archives: Music
I wrote this piece for the amazingly entertaining website Narratively, which tells the most interesting stories in New York City. If you enjoy it, do me the favor of “liking” it via the wee Facebook button on Narratively’s page and/or sharing it with your friends. Grazie!
I emerge from the L at the Montrose stop along with several other people. The sidewalk is busy, plenty of cars pass. But as soon as I take a right down a side street, I’m alone. Squatting on either side of my route are warehouses, their windows dark and their brick walls tagged with graffiti.
I scan the locked doors as I hurry down the lonely street, looking for a certain address that was emailed to me in the middle of the week. I wonder what the chances are that the party got cancelled and if I’m here for nothing. Then I spot the man ahead of me, standing by himself. He’s big, and he looks bored. Bingo.
As I get closer, I hear the bass thudding. “You here for the party?” he asks me. “I’ll need to see your I.D., but we can check it inside.” He opens the door, checks my I.D. and directs me up the concrete-and-metal staircase with lime green walls, toward the deep bass and down-tempo of minimal house music.
Read the rest on Narrative.ly.
Certain things make green life worth living. Here’s what I’m loving this week and want to share with every single person in my life:
About maybe a year and a half ago, suddenly, there was argan oil.
It started showing up in product roundups of celeb favorites, and now it’s in all these random products from various mainstream companies–it’s like the acai of beauty products, except without the weird pyramid scheme.
You have proof that it works the first time you smooth it over your hair. It’s got an appealing, musky scent, and leaves your hair kick-ass shiny while fortifying it. Plus, if you get it from the right place, it’s organic and benefits female workers in Morocco. Do. not. get. knock-offs.
If you’re like me (or thousands of other New Yorkers), you enjoy a good mixed cocktail from the likes of Apotheke, Death & Company or PDT. Well, when I picked up A Perfume Organic to test at ABC Home, the rich, spicy scents actually reminded me of a hand-crafted cocktail from one of these establishments. I’m not saying I want to smell like alcohol … I’m just saying this USDA organic and vegan perfume smells delicious. If you’re not sure which scent to get, do like I did and buy a sampler first.
Tired of eating your quinoa salad style? Make it a little naughty by frying it up into crunchy quinoa patties. Damn, are these things good. And every time I reheat them for lunch, somebody (a coworker, a dog) follows be back to my desk to ask me what I’m eating because that smells so good. (Well, the dog just stared at me while I ate it. That would never happen with a quinoa salad.) I suggest being generous with the olive oil in the pan–the patties hold together better that way.
Find the recipe by Heidi Swanson at Epicurious
Don’t Go, by Justin Martin
This weekend I was supposed to meet up with friends on Saturday night. But because I got ready so slow and couldn’t find a cab (don’t hate me, there is no good way to get from 24th Street to Meatpacking) they were already inside Le Bain.
I really didn’t want to stand in line by myself. So I marched right up to the bouncers on the non-line side. They were in the middle of telling a pair of girls that they couldn’t get in if they weren’t on the list. “Hi, my party is already inside,” I said, and name-dropped a meaningless name. The bouncers exchanged a glance, took a look at my vintage 90s peekaboo dress and ushered me inside. “Sorry ladies,” one of them told the girls. “She’s on a list.”
There is never a list.
Anyway, this song played at some point during the night and I liked it. A lot.
Is it a form of cheating to play a song that one boy introduced to you while you kiss another?
It feels like it to me. When I press play on “Another Girl” by Jacques Greene or especially Nina Kraviz’s “Turn on the Radio”, it’s like walking into the bedroom wearing a lacy set that another man gave you. Sure, your own assets are the important part (roll with me on this metaphor: assets being good musical taste and an acumen for playing the right song at the right moment) but you’re using somebody else’s gift to show it off.
Then again, perhaps only musicheads experience this. We gift each other songs with a special passion and pride, because we know the right track can turn someone’s day or week around and become part and parcel of their emotional state, a soundtrack for their deepest hopes and fears and that particular moment in their life. But most girls only come as close to this emotional ownership as having a special song with their boyfriends. Everything they listen to belongs to 250 million other people as well. (Gotye anyone? Ugh.)
Once, when a song I particularly loved came on, I realized with a sickening feeling that the boy wasn’t worthy of it. I was despoiling its pure transcendence with a so-so makeout. So I showed him the door. In fact, if I make fun of your musical taste, you can be sure the relationship is doomed from the start. If you don’t realize how important it is to have something, anything with a bass box hooked up to your laptop so that you can get the full range and feeling of music, we will probably never build anything meaningful together. (Don’t fret, ladies, his rule does not apply to friendships, just romantic relationships.)
My starred playlist on Spotify is a history of my social life, and since one of my past times is dating, many of the tracks are tied to certain relationships. (Perhaps this is why I have a yen for DJs? One such guy is responsible for almost an hour’s worth of songs.) When I play Lana del Rey, cooing “You’re no good for me, baby you’re no good for me, but I want you, I want you,” I think of the short, intense and ill-advised relationship last summer I had with a guy who sent me the song, saying, “This is so true.”
Every time XX comes on, I can’t help thinking of the guy who said he and his friend called it, “closing music.” As in, take a girl home, put it on and she’ll melt all over you. He’s right.
(This is a remix so it’s more intense than regular XX. Love it though for yoga, though.)
Death Cab’s “Summer Skin” was the bittersweet song for summers between college when I knew I would leave my high school sweetheart behind soon.
For a while this summer, I listened to a remix of Above and Beyond’s “On the Beach” on repeat, because a guy who spends what seems like four days out of every week on the beach sent it to me, teasing me with its lyrics:
Everyday would pave the way for endless nights and dancing
And every night will fire our minds and liberate our souls
There’s nothing like you and me
On a beach
Moving with the waves in the sea
There’s nothing like you me
Out of reach
On the beach
There’s nothing like you and me
And now my current obsessions is “Set me Free” by Dato. The guy in question was showing me one song he loves while we sat on the High Line watching New York traffic slide by, sipping chilled wine from Solo cups and sharing earbuds like teenagers. But when the track switched into “Set Me Free,” I wanted that song for myself and made him send it to me the next day. It’s an anthem of possibilities for where this relationship could go. “In a state of mind/tease me/one of a kind/please me/only you can set me free/can set me freeee yeah.”
You see, music is an intensely personal, sustainable–free–gift that just keeps giving, for weeks or even years. I don’t want your jewelry. I’ll exclaim over it and toss it in a drawer. Nice dinners are delicious and then forgotten. But play me a beautiful song I’ve never heard and will never hear anywhere else and you have me. (Except take-me-back songs. Sending over a sad sack song after a breakup has never worked in the history of the world for any guy.)
Even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll know that years from now I’ll be thinking of you while I lay on the beach, get ready to go out, and maybe even with a wry smile while I cuddle with someone else on the couch. He doesn’t have to know.
How many times have you shown up at a music festival, equipped with suitable-for-mud shoes, your special outfit (neon for elecronic music, hippie stuff for Coachella et al.) and your reusable water bottle, only to have the security peeps make you pour it out at the entrance.
“Where can I refill it?” you might have asked, worrying about both the planet and your thin wallet. Usually the answer is vague. Like, a couple weekends ago at the polo match, when I was told “There are water fountains, but they’re kind of hard to find … ”
Of course! Why would they provide free water for hoards of people who not only are jumping up and down in the hot sunshine, but probably drinking and eating all sorts of dehydrating substances? Then they might not be able to charge $4, $5, even $7 per precious water bottle!
Not so at the Governor’s Ball Music Festival this weekend. CamelBak will have two giant water stations (that look a lot like beer tents), each with eight spigots gushing delicious NYC water. Check out these figures:
2.52 million: The number of water bottles CamelBak estimates it will save from being purchased and thrown away this weekend.
$32-$56: A rough estimate of how much you would spend if you purchased all the water you needed to stay hydrated during the festival. (That’s eight water bottles I’m estimating you’ll drink over two days.)
$15: The projected cost of a CamelBak Eddy water bottle, which will be for sale this weekend. An embroidered backpack will also be for sale. Obviously, CamelBak knows their target market, because CamelBacks are genius for music festivals.
FREE: The cost of the CamelBak Eddy water bottle I’m giving away to one lucky reader! Just comment below with the first awesome place or event you’ll bring your new CamelBak water bottle. I’ll choose a winner Wednesday at 7pm. Make sure to put in your real email address in the email field when you comment, or else I’ll have no way to contact you!
Alliteration. Copious references to summer. Delicious chillwave tracks that melt into one another like a scoops of ice cream on a hot day. These are the things that a perfect 2012 summer playlist is made of.
When my sister asked me to do her a “favor” and make her a playlist for her pool party this weekend. I was like, “Sure!” And when she said, “And, um, it needs to be long. Like, really long.” I was like, “No problemo, sister. I’ve got you covered.” Even better, she has no requests and trusts my judgement.
36 hours later I leaned back into my couch and surveyed the finished product: 9 hours of pool party perfection that will be popular everywhere from NYC to Annapolis. It starts with classic rock favorites, then goes into some fun 80′s rock tracks, then a few nostalgic 90s songs and old school hip-hop interspersed with 2011 and 2012 mashups, before dropping into current indie hits, then fading into some beachy chillwave right around dusk before jumping–around when everyone is ten beers deep–into cheesy pop hits that everyone loves to sing along to, before finally ending in excellent dance music.
My friend IMed me today at work saying he’s building a playlist for the Hamptons and did I have any recommendations. Setting aside the fact that he isn’t actually inviting me and is just asking for my song recos, I was like, “
I’m way too busy for this obviously, I’m not getting any work done for the next half hour. Hold on, here are twenty songs you should add.” Yeah. I love music.
I’ve shared the list on Spotify here:
However, there area bunch a tracks you can’t find on Spotify and have to download. Plus, not everyone has Spotify. So I’ve listed all the tracks for you below.
If the song title is linked, you need to listen to it/download it from SoundCloud to experience it. It’s worth it, I promise. The rest are available on Spotify and probably iTunes.
Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival
I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops
For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
Volunteers – Jefferson Airplane
Joy to the World – Three Dog Night
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
I Get Around – The Beach Boys
California Girls – The Beach Boys
Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
Jumpin’ Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones
Take on Me – a-ha
Paradise City – Guns n Roses
Jump in the Line – Harry Belafonte
American Girl – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
Ramble On – Led Zeppelin
Song of the South – Alabama
Glory Days – Bruce Springsteen
Your Love – The Outfield
Centerfold – J. Geils Band
Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
You Make My Dreams – Daryl Hall & John Oates
Maneater – Daryl Hall & John Oates
Black or White – Michael Jackson
Heaven Is a Place on Earth – Belinda Carlisle
Young Turks – Rod Stewart
Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Walking on Broken Glass – Annie Lennox
Semi-Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind
Lovefool – The Cardigans
Summertime – Sublime
Summer Girls – LFO
Soak Up the Sun – Sheryl Crow
Miami – Will Smith
Cold Beverage – G. Love & Special Sauce
Feel-Good Hip Hop and Mashups
Feels So Good – Mase
Keepin’ the Faith – De La Soul
Body Movin’ – Beastie Boys
Dutchie Courage – Star Slinger
Sunshine – Atmosphere
The Good Life – Chiddy Bang
Summertime – Will Smith
The Way You Move – Outkast
Candyman – Cornershop
Hip Hop Hooray – Naughty By Nature
Tupac – Do for Love – Vodka & Milk
Runnin (Philippians RMX) – The Pharcyde
History Town – Mos Dub
Midnight Life – The White Panda
Dancing With the DJ (Chiddy Bang) – The Knocks
God of Joy (Dionysus) – Anthem
Foreign Exchange Student – XV
Stage Dive – Sol
Current Indie Hits and Songs That Should Be Hits
New in Town – Little Boots
Around the Bend – The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Kids – MGMT
Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Now We Can See – The Thermals
Daylight – Matt & Kim
Lisztomania – Phoenix
Shuffle – Bombay Bicycle Club
Burn It All Down – VHS or Beta
Houdini – Foster the People
Don’t Stop – Foster the People
Bombay – El Guincho
Rain of Gold – Young Empires
Nobody Lost, Nobody Found – Cut Copy
Show Me – Mint Royale
Lights & Music – Cut Copy
Pumped up Kicks – Foster the People
Hearts on Fire – Cut Copy
Remixes and Mashups
Don’t Move – Phantogram
Flowers – Teeth
Golden Cage (Fred Falke Remix) – Whitest Boy Alive
Sunshine (Justin Faust Remix) – Picture Book
Polish Girl – Neon Indian
Passion Pit – Sleepyhead Remix – Streetlab
Diet Mtn. Dew [the original, not album version] – Lana Del Rey
Breathe – Capital Cities ft Tupac Shakur
Chill(ish) Wave (Like, Not Strictly but Close)
Brooklyn Sunburn – Teen Daze
Just Another Day – Stori
License to Drive – Work Drugs
Lovers Carvings (Bruno Be & Eddie M Remix) – Bibio
Untitled – Interpol
Myth – Beachhouse
You Can Be the Boss – Lana Del Rey
Under the Kicks – Ellie Goulding vs Foster the People
I Wanna Go – Summer Heart
Fifteen – Goldroom
Luv Deluxe – Cinnamon Chasers
Too Young for Love – Superhumanoids
Learn to Fly – The Knocks
More Fun Remixes
We Found Love (Star Slinger Remix) – Rihanna
Hollywood Featuring Penguin Prison – RAC
The Night Out – Martin Solveig
Reasons ft. Andrew Allen (Kiely Rich Remix) – Project 46
Your Body – Gigamesh
FACT mix 327 – Disclosure
Paper Planes – M.I.A.
Gucci Gucci – Kreayshawn
We Found Love – Rihanna, Calvin Harris
Call me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepson
Last Friday Night – Katy Perry
Party in the U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus
California Gurls – Katy Perry
Friday – Rebecca Black
Firework – Katy Perry
I’m on a Boat – The Lonely Island
Super Bass – Nicki Minaj
TiK ToK – Ke$ha
You Make Me Feel – Cobra Starship
Blow – Ke$ha
Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
In the Dark – DEV
Memories – David Guetta, Kid Cudi
Give me Everything – Pitbull
Like a G6 – Far East Movement
We R Who We R – Ke$ha
Image credit: iamliam on Flickr