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People Should Be Performing for Each Other More

We don’t perform for each other enough.

Think about that for a second, we go out to be entertained, we turn on a television to share someone else’s expression yet when was the last time you put on a show for someone close to you, someone you love? Over the holiday I went to visit my family in the Dominican Republic and that’s literally what our parties were about. My brother suddenly opened up and became the life of the show, my sister up and dancing, cousins singing karaoke serenading each other, all performing for the people they love. I’ve been a performer my whole life but mostly for strangers and it never dawned upon me how little people perform for each other in their personal lives but what a crime against creation that is. To clarify, performance can be anything and it doesn’t have to be on a stage. It can be walking a certain way, dressing up, just doing something to enhance the norm.

93% of all day communication is non verbal. Studies have shown how difficult it is to lie to a deaf person simply because of how attuned they are to people’s body language. What does that really mean? We’re taught to think presentation and looks are superficial but how can that be true if an overwhelming majority of our communication has nothing to do with what we say? For example, I think of a beautiful women, I think of great posture, attention to detail, elegance, style and a non-verbal level of communication that let’s me know her mind and ability to create is as strong as her illusion. Let’s get one thing straight, all matter is nothing but an illusion, the world you see is obsolete, it’s a lie so why not make it the most beautiful illusion it can be?

Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.” – Albert Einstein

Close your eyes for a second and think about what you see. Nothing. Open your eyes again and in front of you is an illusion so beautiful, manifested solely from the vibrations of you and people just like you over history. Don’t knock the illusion off as superficial because reality is but a concept or rather a child of our creative power. So perform, dance, sing, be erotic, jump around, turn up and express every ounce of your creativity and paint the perfect picture. Don’t wait to see a street performer to get inspired, don’t let her watch a romantic movie to feel love, don’t let him watch porn to suppress his deep sexuality, put on your own show! Not only will you make your life better but you’ll create this exciting world for those around you and that give and take is what it’s all about. Enjoy.

Song: “Perfect Picture” by I Know Leopard


SoHo Blond

zee2

We shared a cigarette somewhere.”

I walked into Mercer Kitchen at about 8:15PM on a cold winter night. I was meeting Jordan and Alberto downstairs for drinks, but of course I was the first one to arrive. At the bar there was only one seat open, so I squeezed my way in and the bartender instantly tossed me a menu. I ordered an Old Fashioned and tossed him back a twenty. On my left there was a slim blond with a white fur vest who I didn’t know was also alone and waiting for friends. As I reached for a paper napkin that was over towards her side and in front of her she grabbed my hand, smacked it lightly and said: “Here, let me get that for you”. Taken aback, I looked over at her as she smiled cheekily at me and said: “Here you go, love.” As you can imagine, I was already in love and her gorgeous smile sealed the deal for me right away.

About 20 minutes later after some witty banter between us, a ton of laughter and some slight flirty touching, Jordan arrived. Of course, he immediately fell in love with her too, I mean, who wouldn’t? She was a stunner. As her friends arrived and Alberto joined us she asked me to join her outside for a cigarette, so I went. No, I don’t smoke, but when a pretty girl asks you to go outside for a cigarette you just go, right? There, we shared a kiss that she initiated, and suddenly that cold Winter night turned into a steamy Summer escape that I will never forget.

Rome by Phoenix is about the fascination that French boys have with Rome and love. Lead singer, Thomas Mars compares it to how Americans feel about Paris. Anyway, remixer Zee does an incredible job of taking the original and Space Aging it with some super cool sounds. He speeds up the vibe, adds a powerfully thumping bassline underneath some spacey synths, and reworks the verses in his own order placing the second verse first. The remix actually feels much more tropical than the original and it all works perfectly to bless us with a touch of that Breakbot-esque sound we all love vibin’ to.

Always and forevermore
I call to say I’m on the way”

As for the blond and her friends? We joined them for dinner that night, and we all laughed our asses off, smiled a lot, kissed some and ended up partying until the early morning all over Chinatown, Williamsburg and then back at some loft in SoHo til the sun came up. A few weeks later she took off for Australia and we never kept in touch after that.

That’s N.Y.C. for ya. Anyone up for a dance?


And #TIDALforALL?

attom

No disrespect we just on different sides of the wave
I’m providing the wave you just riding the wave, bounce” —fabolous

About two weeks ago I decided to sign up for a free trial of the new HiFi streaming service that Jay Z is pushing today known as Tidal. The service does what Spotify has nearly perfected and nothing more, but it also offers a premium package for double the price in which you are supposed to hear music played back in Lossless form. Lossless is audio that does not lose quality. The issue that I have with Tidal is that unless you have an audiophile setup at home and in your car then the difference between Spotify’s $9.99 and Tidal’s $19.99 is not noticeable considering that most people are listening to music through their laptops these days, or through headphones connected to their mobile devices.

How did I test this? Using Jay Z’s own hit record Hard Knock Life because that song itself has an incredible sound to it; from the hard-knocking (no pun intended) bottom ends mixed by Duro, to the crisp, in-your-face vocals by Hovito himself. I also tested it out with several other songs spanning several other genres, using several pairs of headphones, and what I found was that the headphones also mattered in the songs that you actually could hear any difference in. Was it all enough music to get me to pay more for something the average ear could really appreciate? No. At $240 a year plus the cost of an excellent pair of headphones, I find Jay Z to be a little bit out of touch with the 99%.

Digressing now to smoother sailing oceans, I came across a really lovely tune today by a DJ named Attom. The title: “Cruise” is exactly what this medley of sounds becomes as you listen along. It’s a smooth cruise down a beautiful body of water on a perfectly sunny day; bikinied beauties being sun-kissed as they lay nearly motionless on this space aged yacht only moving to sip champagne with nothing but the sounds of the ocean for hundreds of miles all around.

Look, I respect Jay Z as a businessman and have nothing against one of my favorite rappers of all time embodying the American Dream. I just feel that for all of the influence a man like him has, that he could use it to hype up the sheep in more productive ways towards helping mankind instead of  continuing to assist in separating the haves and the have nots in our country. By all means, if you have the money for Tidal then go for it, I mean, I’m not here to tell you how to spend you dollars. But for me, the answer is clear because neither Spotify nor Tidal help struggling artists get found and listened to; artists with incredible music that will sound just as incredible, if not more incredible, than any of the greatest albums in history. It’s really Jay Z and his industry friends using their influence by bullying the masses to promote their products for free.

The real value isn’t in the ventures of these music magnates, it’s in the masses that can help to change things when we unite.

Y es que en el mundo traidor
nada es verdad ni mentira:
‘todo es según el color
del cristal con que se mira”—Ramón de Campoamor


Our Country Tis of Thee, Most Irresponsible Media in the World

It’s unfortunate that when we feel a storm
We can roll ourselves over ’cause we’re uncomfortable”

More and more the media in The States has been allowed to run wild with the way they report “news”. They no longer wait for the facts to report just that, but instead, like a scorned guy or girl who has a feeling of being cheated on by their lover, they run amuck and speculate and assume the wildest theories even before tragedies have settled.

Take the recent Germanwings tragedy in which it is now believed that the copilot deliberately crashed the plane. Just hours after the crash CNN had all sorts of analysts breaking down what could have happened, and at one point even blaming a brokenhearted copilot who just split with his girlfriend for crashing the plane. I mean, we don’t yet know the reasons, and that could very well be it, but why drag out a story for 5 days for just the ratings?

Dear American Media,

We can see what you are doing and aside from it being despicable it is simply irresponsible. There are other more humane and locally significant newsworthy issues happening that some of the airtime used to speculate on a tragedy should be used on. There are news stories that have still yet to be uncovered like: how is it that just a decade or so ago the MTA reported a surplus, and ever since then they have not, and fare hikes keep happening? Or, Why is it that more than a million homeless kids in this country have been discounted from official homeless estimates and we still have an all time high of child homelessness in the U.S. without them? 

We’re too busy worrying about a depressed lunatic across the world that killed 149 people because tragedies make for better news than a bunch of starving babies on our own lawns…

Wake up everybody. Start holding your local news stations, and especially the National ones (CNN, FOX) accountable for underreporting the real tragedies that America is still dealing with.

Someone told me yesterday that there are only two kinds of people on Wall Street: the criminals that get caught, and the criminals that get away with it. Why don’t we do some more reporting on the failed science of Economics in this country, or, the origins of all financial thievery since the beginning of this grand nation that have led to the highest levels of inequality ever seen in history?

Zeds Dead remix of Massive Attack’s Paradice Circus has very little to do with the subject matter at hand, and just a lot to do with the visceral affect it has on me. It’s me just watching the world around me die slowly while the media created hype and chaos happen around it. The foundation is stripped and a bunch of polished tumultuous imagery is presented to us on a silver platter that the older generations still eat up because the younger generations know much better.

At the core, the song relates to the private hell we seem to be stuck in with a media system that can not accomplish anything real or of change on their own, yet we are confined to continue watching.

Change must come.


Robert Delong — Long Way Down (Sean Glass Remix)

Here is a tune that reminds me so much of L.A. the second it begins to play. It has a cool and slightly mellow energy that doesn’t have to try hard at all to be super chill. The vocals are so nonintrusive that even when they begin their louder chants they still manage to maintain a steady coolness to them that reels you in to the song’s vibe even deeper. The beat itself? It reminds me of driving all over L.A. in that beautiful weather that it has year round, day or night. Party in The Hills? No problem. 1OAK on Sunset? Sure, we’ll be right there. Low-key Penthouse party in Downtown LA? We’re already on the 101; see you soon.

I’ve been fuckin’ around while you’ve been saving the world
I’ve been out of my mind
I’ve been dreaming things and scheming things
I’ve been smoking the poison
You’ve been slinging your anecdotes
I’ve been fuckin’ around while you were saving the world
From Nothing”

Sean Glass’s remix of Robert Delong’s “Long Way Down” is the perfect tune for a Thursday evening pre-game moment. It’s how you should start off your evening of debaucherous celebrations on this night because it’s not so mellow that it will put you to bed, and it isn’t so turnt that it will give you a headache instead of putting you in that place—you know?, that place you got to in which the night symbolizes the only space full of limitless possibilities in your everyday world.

So take it in don’t hold your breath
The bottom’s all I’ve found
We can’t get higher than we get
On the Long Way Down”

Listen to it at work after lunch, and then queue it up for tonight as your driving to your next epic moment, Uber-ing to your next salacious encounter, or simply enjoying an unplanned night on the town with energies that you love being around, and whom love being around you.

For me? Well, I imagine the vampires from The Lost Boys film gathering together and heading to some bonfire party on Venice Beach to this song playing in the background as they fly high above the City of Angels with not a single worry in the unrelenting air.

Fly.

The End, the end
Things will never go our way
In the end, the end
Things will never go”


Astronauts, etc. — I Know

There’s been a quiet debate over the past couple of years on whether NYC has lost its art. Some people believe that it has because the city has become a place where only the wealthy can afford to live. They believe that art began dying once children glorified money, and that NYC was at the forefront of that glorification through Wall Street and its glamorized hedge funds. The theory is that once children started to realize that working for a hedge fund was the surest and fastest route to becoming filthy rich, that most kids decided to follow that path in college as opposed to any of the creative ones. And so, a generation of non-creative rich snobs took over NYC, and in the process all of their friends came along for the ride. Long died the days when people moved here knowing that it would be a struggle to live here, but also knowing that there was nowhere else they wanted to be, and along came the posers, wannabes and followers instead who simply wanted to be where all of the action was.

On the one hand, being born and raised in this city, I can see that this theory of the hedge fund employees isn’t too far fetched, but then on the other hand I have to believe that there are true creatives out here like me that The City never stops inspiring.

I can tell you firsthand that the inspiration that comes from New York City these days is a hell of a lot different than the inspirations that came to me just a decade or two back, but nonetheless there is beauty to be found in them, and every once in a while a gem that has never been discovered shows its face.

I can also tell you that those people that have left this city for warmer pastures or even calmer ones only use the excuse that art is dead in NYC in order to convince themselves that they made the right decision. I can say that to you because still, to this day, there is no other city or place in the world with the kind of energy that NYC has. Sure, some of these expatriated New Yorkers will try to make you believe that NYC is a city obsessed with success and only those seeking it, but I know an entire subculture of New Yorkers that create daily for the love of the art they live and never for the money. Their books never go unread or unwritten because they are constantly finding something new within NYC, whether it is after thirty years of living here, or just five, and these continuous findings are constantly inspiring them.

Anyway, Astronauts, etc. have created this 70’s inspired production that sits somewhere in those thoughts of the NYC art scene that I just found myself pondering about. It illustrates, sonically, how art has to change in accordance with the times. In the 1970’s music had to be recorded through tape using live bands and analog gear, and so it carried this warmth to it that it was able to maintain on playback which came from the transient sounds found in these recordings that evidently tape is able to hold onto much better than today’s digital alternatives. These are the factors that made it feel more organic to our ears and bodies than what we have today, but that is not to say that what we have today is less creative because it isn’t.

People often ask where the NYC that Warhol knew exists is, and often I find myself telling them that it was only in his mind that it truly existed because it was his own personal vantage point of NYC. My NYC? To me, it is probably more organic, more raw and much more beautiful than his could ever have been, but that is only because we came from two entirely different versions of NYC, and not because either of them were anymore creative or less tragic than the other.

Fine, NYC might seem like it’s becoming that version of The Matrix where everyone crossing the street is dressed in the same bluish/gray hues heading to work, but there is still a band of unplugged hackers running around attempting to save the city from what it is becoming, unplugging minds through their art.


SOAK – B a noBody

SXSW was interesting this year. McDonalds made its first appearance, YouTube Music was there, Samsung was back selling TV’s after its music service Milk failed to catch on last year, Fader Fort had a surprise performance by Miley Cyrus, Marlboro was on hand trying to make cigarettes cool, and all sorts of fun corporation culture vulture shit was going on. I say that with no hate, just the facts.

Don’t get me wrong though, through the endless array of brand-approved bands there was a sliver of humanity shining through and her name was SOAK. The 18-year-old from Ireland came on stage with just a guitar, closed eyes and some of the purest music I’ve heard in a long time. She captured an energy that was the exact opposite of almost everything going on in Austin. Opening her set with ‘B a noBody,’ an entire room full of drunk partiers became silent and overwhelmed with the angelic sound of her voice and the raw exposed emotions coming from this teenager…

The teenage heart is an unguarded dart
We’re trying hard to make something of what we are 
We’ll never amount to anything  

Come on, come on Come on, come on Be just like me
Come on, come on B a noBody”

This song is an expression of the pressures our society puts on us being busy bee’s, doing a bunch of useless work just to be able to buy shit that will probably do nothing to further our cause. This song is about an adolescent exploring the difference between: being, rather than: becoming. It’s no revolutionary concept, but sometimes music is all about timing and that’s a powerful message right now…

In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

We are everything we want to become but marketing is getting better and better at telling us what else we need to get there. I love this beautiful rebellion against the concept, I love the humanity penetrating and overwhelming the branding. Nothing is as powerful as our creativity and expression and that’s something we should all find comforting in these rapidly changing times. SOAK was a beautiful reminder that your benevolence is always greater than brands. Enjoy.


Rod Ladgrove — Lift

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Another tune worthy of a good pair of headphones. Go get them and put them on for this one, and trust me, it will be worth the minor trouble.

Writing without inspiration might as well be like painting or sculpting without any, as well. In your mind, you’ve created a masterpiece, yet to anyone else with any real smarts, you just finished compiling a huge load of shit. I found that out this weekend. I found that if life isn’t inspiring us every single moment of the day, then what we write about begins to become redundant and stale. The material dries up and the novelty of it all fades. So what do we do to avoid a lack of inspiration? We take things slow, we meditate and reflect daily, and we continue to progress positively in our every day lives.

I decided that I’m going to have to change something about me this weekend. That after tonight a huge part of my life for the last 20 years has to go, and that I’m not afraid to see what a life without it will be like because it will be an entirely new experience. That’s what I’m learning: that if we want to constantly experience new things then we must look for them within us and do them for ourselves. Does that make any sense?

Doing something new and attempting to master it are the same thing no matter what the subject matter or field. It is simply training yourself daily. Steve Jobs believed in being able to train his own brain through Zen mindfulness meditation. He knew that once we could silence the minds within our mind and then control our surroundings, that we could allow time to move slower and see more of the beauty happening in the moment than anywhere else we are not in.

Change is good. I want to change for the better because I have things and people that I love that deserve it. I have people in my life that need to experience the happiest, sharpest, wisest, most supportive, and the funniest version of me, and in order for me to give them that then I will have to change. That’s it.

Lift by Rod Ladgrove is the inspiration I was looking for today to understand why life needs to be slowed down sometimes in order for us to experience the most amazing versions of it.

Rod Ladgrove — Lift

 


Bearcubs — Paper Walls

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Last night I dreamt about a time long gone. Last night I dreamt about a girl that once loved me and whom I once adored. When I woke up, I didn’t look for her because I knew it had to be a dream, but I didn’t wake up in a nightmare again either. Instead, I woke up in another wonderful dream with a pair of beautiful souls next to me…

Sometimes it’s very hard for us to put ourselves in the shoes of others. We really can never know, even if they try to tell us or explain to us, what others have been through. I have an ex of mine who went through one of the most historic massacres in our recent history back in the 90’s. They were executing men and boys, and raping the women and girls. Her father decided to send his wife and son to California from this Eastern European state, and then my ex and her dad stood behind dodging death and destruction for two years before they were able to join the rest of their family in California. I never knew exactly what that must have been like because we only touched on it once, but I could feel that it had changed her perspective of a once fairytale like world.

Paper Walls by Bearcubs supplies the perfect mood to this morning’s reflection of moments in my past now long gone. It’s a mellow and very intimate sonic breeze that lifts you up with it and takes you away so gently. In the interim, it’s a ride full of alluring harmonies captivated by gingerly mixed echoes and velvety synths that keep you at peace.

If we cannot put ourselves in the shoes of others, then maybe it is best to keep these people, and ourselves, happy in the present. What good do we keep doing to ourselves by continuing to have beautiful dreams of times long gone if we are waking up to current nightmares that seem to have zero escape?


Buraka Som Sistema – Kalemba (Wegue Wegue)

I meant to go home early last Friday to get this track up and give the Space Age a little something for the weekend, instead ended up in a mansion somewhere in Los Feliz doing an impromptu DJing till about 4 in the morning. I’ve been making a lot of new friends lately and going on these magical and sometimes weird LA adventures, “I can’t complain but sometimes I still do.” – Joe Walsh

These days I’m infatuated with tropical music, so much so that when I go to parties it’s the only thing I want to play, hear and dance to and it turns other people like it to. The party was pretty tame as the hosts were playing the typical fair of trap, hip hop and dance. It’s funny how even the edgy stuff is safe these days. Anyways, I love all that but I’ve come to realize that the purpose of my life is to go around offering something new so when my new friend suggested I DJ, I didn’t say no. Like I said, I’m an island boy infatuated with tropical so I played a set of all Kuduro, Baile Funk, Zouk and Dembow that as the kids say got shit ‘turnt up.’ It started with Kalemba which is a track from 2008 that sounds like it’s going to be released in 2017. I wasn’t sure what to expect since it’s aggressive, in Portuguese, sounds future ghetto and is nothing close to the shit people are used to but once the beat hit there was a dance circle around the bon fire and the rest is history. It was a beautiful thing but to think that I could go to a party in Los Feliz and play a Caribbean set was so inspiring, LA might need that kind of party and I may just start DJing again, we’ll see.

I love where music is, I love how exposed and open we are to new sounds. I love that I could bring the Dominican Republic, Portugal, Martinique and Brazil to Los Feliz and no one missed a beat, welcome to the Space Age. I know most of you are still in the office so play this with caution, unless you’re ready to start jumping up and down in your seat. Best to save it for the gym or weekend, you will lose your inhibitions and want to move, you’ve been warned.

Buraka Som Sistema – Kalemba (Wegue Wegue)