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Givers & Takers – Start The Morning

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If you’re a sucker for soulful basslines, smooth vocals and a swig of your morning coffee or a hit of that morning cigarette, “Start The Morning” by Givers & Takers will become an instant favorite.

Morning routines become ritual. It’s the one of the few times of the day where we are left alone with our thoughts. At least for me, that’s why I love starting my mornings dark and early, before the sun has even come up. I get to be alone with all of my craziest thoughts while reading all of the craziest news the world has to offer. I can pass judgement on everyone without anyone knowing. I get to shake my head in disgust at the political policies and current happenings of other countries. I’m able to yell my loudest (on the inside) at our own country of hypocritical rules, regulations, agendas and ideas. The most empathetic moments in my life have been at the times where I can be the most alone with my thoughts.

It’s rare that anyone enjoys to be disrupted in their rituals by anything, so this track will be happily and warmly accepted and embraced on this Thursday morning. Whatever your morning rituals are, late or extra early, you are most likely to enjoy the smooth sounds your about to hear. In fact, do yourself a favor and put it on repeat if you have some of that assembly type work to get out of your “Things To Do List”.

No matter where you are this morning, East Coast in NYC, Boston or Philly; West Coast in LA, Portland or Seattle, “Start The Morning” is the perfect tune to begin another full day of life to live.

Come a long, long way
For you to show me.
Just how long it takes,
To clean the pipes
And start the morning.”

Enjoy.


Midweek Mini Mix – January 2016

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One of my hidden treasures whenever I’m back in NYC is a hidden Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side named Regional. It’s on Broadway and 100th St., and it keeps evolving fast in front of my face. I’ve walked in there and seen Prince Harry, Cristiano Ronaldo and Irina Shayk, Matt Damon and Al Pacino, but what’s more important than that, is that the staff here may have not even noticed any of them. I love that. A place where no one else matters more than any other human being. A place where the energy is good, the food is fantastic and the crowd is always pleasing.

I wanted to make a mix for today that represented a wider variety of tunes than some of us may be used to. Sort of like the wide variety of people that I keep encountering over at Regional every time I stop by. Columbia Students, Celebrities, Ultra Rich and Ultra Hip, models, writers, soccer moms and dad coaches. Variety, in life, is not as evil as some would say.

I started with only songs received within the past day that had great sound to them. A good friend of mine just wrote a piece for Headliner Magazine that argues, very convincingly, that great quality music has all the value when it comes to the business of music. I tend to agree, so I sifted through the pile of organized submissions (shout out to submithub.com) and handpicked all the songs with exemplary sound. Music that will sound phenomenal on any platform you choose playback from.

This little mini mix definitely houses a certain vibe to it. It’s probably just a chill, work-mode sound that ironically helps the rest of today go by just a little faster. A little smoother; a bit softer and a lot less tense than everything else happening around us these days. I’m in that mode. That sort of mood some of us get into when it’s raining outside and the sound of raindrops hitting the roof or ledge begin to rockabye us to sleep.

Here’s to not listening to a song we’ve already heard a thousand times before, ever again. Cheers.


Art – Inside Raymond Pettibon & Marcel Dzama’s Drawing Collaboration

We will ride into the sunset.”

I love controversy in art.  If you cannot make the majority squirm then what exactly are you creating…the norm?!  And nobody really wants that.  Most people who have adopted the 2016 mentality expect something that is going to make headlines and bring in army’s of haters that are secretly in love and salivating quietly.  Let’s face it aren’t we all secretly in love with the things that we hate and vice versa?

It’s all a mind fuck!

“Read” about this mind blowing, epic collaboration that came from years of pure admiration, a mentality more of us should adopt.


Jasmine Thompson – Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better) Acoustic

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A few years back, I was stuck in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival for work. My heart, however, was thousands of miles away, across the pond and in London.

As I watched all the snow come down from the windows in our suite at the Mountainside Marriott, I couldn’t help but to feel helpless. Earlier that morning I had thought about saying: ‘fuck work!’, and grabbing the next flight out from Vegas to Heathrow. As I was just contemplating that decision, that’s when the snow began coming down, and so I took that as I sign that I should just stay.

I’ve been waiting for you.
It’s been so long.
I knew just what I would do
When I heard your song.”

As that long ass day went by, we had a full schedule of commitments. Photo ops, coordinated encounters with other artists and celebrities, even our food selections were pre-made and totally orchestrated. From where we sat to what angles the photographers could get. The entire time my heart was nowhere near. Head pounding, waiting for time to pass and that weekend to end, so I could get back to her.

Captured effortlessly,
That’s the way it was.
Happened so naturally,
I did not know it was love.”

Making our way back to our hotel to get ready for dinner, I remember wishing that I could call out sick for that night. If only I had the kind of job where all I had to do was dial a number, tell them that I’m sick and not coming in, and go about my way. But that just wouldn’t have been possible, so I sucked it up and put myself back into work mode.

Stepping out of the taxi I remember it being the first time I saw heated roads and sidewalks. All the massive amounts of snow that were  still falling with absolutely zero chances of letting up didn’t affect our hotel in the least. I recall looking down on the steam coming from the heated street as a familiar pair of boots stepped out of the taxi next to ours.

First you put your arms around me.
Then you put your charms around me.”

We both suffered from the same feeling of emptiness without one another. Had I flown in her direction earlier that day, I would have missed her. Only a higher power could have sent those extra large snowflakes flying down as a sign for me to stay.

And now we’re flyin’ through the stars
I hope this night will last forever.”

That night would turn out to be the best night in memory for a very long time. It was as if someone had written it in a storybook once and it was happening for real right in front of me; right to me. A real princess coming to save me from a heart that was barely breathing, broken apart by distance and choked by agony.

It’s funny how just one factor can change the colors of the world right in front of us, in an instant. How one tiny moment can flip your world upside down or right side up.

You filled my heart with a kiss
Gave me freedon.
You knew I could not resist,
I needed someone.”


Model Man – Idol

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Walk with me as I throw on my headphones and hit play on this newest Model Man track, titled: “Idol”. 

Snow boots on, I come down the three steps outside of my building. I make a left to head towards Broadway where I make another left and head to the train station: 103rd St. The 1 train is always 2 minutes away this early. It’s usually packed with people heading to work and kids heading to school. It’s not so packed this a.m. I get off at the next stop, 96th St., and cross over to the express train. The 2 train arrives. Two stops later we arrive at the Times Square station where I grab an R train heading downtown.

At Prince St, I get off and head up the stairs. I make a right onto Broadway and head downtown towards Spring. At Spring, I make a left and then walk until I arrive at Joe & The Juice. I put my bag down and set up shop to do some writing for the day. I go to the counter and order a black coffee.

Hours go by and I mostly people watch. Cool girls in the latest fashions come in and out. Some alone, some with coworkers, some just visiting looking lost, but mesmerized by our great town. I see all different kinds of people from various walks of life. If I snapped photos of just hats all day, it would probably capture what I see best.

Noon arrives and I head back to midtown. R train back to Times Square. 40th Street staircase up to Broadway. I think to myself: ‘Broadway revolves around my life. Maybe I just revolve around its’. 

I meet Elizabeth for a drink at The Setai. We flirt, but nothing more. We pay our tabs and I head back downtown to Tribeca. There’s a restaurant there which I am programming the dinner music for. It’s a beautiful place with humongous windows. The snow-filled streets outside look gorgeous. It’s chillier now than the rest of the day, and I think: ‘What a beautiful city this is; what a beautiful place to be’. 

All of that and the night isn’t even close by.

You were born in the city
Concrete under your feet
It’s in your moves, it’s in your blood
You’re a man of the street. Glenn Frey


Viola Beach – Boys That Sing

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A little while ago I briefly fell in love with the kind of girl that I should have fallen in love with in high school and married right after college. You know the type. Homegrown girl next door. Loves beer, loves football, loves local dive bars and local pizzerias in Queens better than Michelin rated restaurants and hotel bars in the sky. I fell in love with her simplicity. It was something so different than what I normally ended up with and chased after my entire life. We would only last a few short months, but she left an impression in my spirit that will most likely last a few lifetimes.

She’s a weirdo, and a little
She’s a beer girl, and she’s cheerful
Singing woah-oh-oh-oh, what do they know”

I think what I loved most about being in love with this girl, was that life while I was with her was so different than what I had been used to for so long. No pretentious balls to attend and throw tuxedos on for, no private planes across oceans to see one another in, no operas, no glass towers or helicopter landings onto private yachts. None of that. All I needed when I was with her was whatever I woke up in, air to breath and a thirst for laughter. There was never anything more, and never anything less. It was perfect in the barest ways. It was what I remember puppy love to be like. All you cared about was seeing the other person’s face. Everything after that was simply extra fat.

And she said that together we could take on the world
And she told me that I’ll never find another girl like her”

Boys That Sing” is that girl, to me. I sit here and I listen to this song and all of our time together comes racing back into my mind, as if she were here right next to me, waiting for me to finish this post so she could kiss me and smile. Waiting to kiss me and smile so we could head off into some beer garden in Williamsburgh and laugh all afternoon, evening, and late into the night.

Maybe if we met in High School, somehow, I wouldn’t be right where I am now, writing this. Maybe I’d be at home with her and our three kids, watching our favorite show together with a bottle of wine as our children slipped into a coma from a full day of family fun in the snow. And maybe, after I did finish writing this, I would turn my head from my desk to a surprise kiss from her and that smile that felt like everything a good home should feel like.

And she said that together we could do anything
And she told me that she loves a boy who knows how to sing, so I learnt how to sing”

Instead, here I am at home, still learning how to sing.


Lemaitre – Nishio 2 feat. Giraffage

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I used to spend my time wondering about loves that never made it. I never once thought about all the loves that have never been. Stolen glances on the train or across train station platforms. Revealing glazes coming in and out of bathrooms at dance clubs. Banter and shared laughs at brunch. I am a victim of love and falling in love. I do it every five minutes, especially whenever I’m in NYC. It’s so easy there. But I never thought about how much heartbreak I would have endured if anything more than whatever took place came out of these micro-loves that only occurred in my head. It’s one thing to go out into the world and fall in love with every step you take. It’s another to fall in love, make it yours and then have it ripped right out of your hands to never see it again, all within a matter of seconds.

I’m so happy I never met you.
Our time together would be too short inside.”

Lemaitre partners up with producer Giraffage on this new classic titled “Nishio 2″, and it’s magic. It’s reminiscent of something we would have heard from Madeon just a few years ago, and to me, it gets deeper as a wild blend of Justice and Hermitude played loudly at some cool underground fashion show where only the true creatives are in attendance, as it marks the start of the show. Beautiful models dressed in their everyday wear hopping and skipping down the runway as if they were young pop stars with brushes in their hands mimicking microphones and wild hairdos molded to their craziest bed-head hairstyles from memories of their youth.

Lemaitre plays an alluring pair of loops that feature another pair of ambient interludes, all like the show it hands us as the audience to this sonic showcase of aural fashions. The electro feel intertwined with the 8-bit sounds of Giraffage‘s production come together beautifully to make us dance, listen and vibe out.

A perfect tune for a weekend that’s promising to be pretty uneventful in terms of socializing.

Here’s to the loves that never got a chance of being. The beautiful boys and girls two platforms away on the subway, headed in the opposite direction. The lovely smile zooming by on an express train that you were only able catch a micro-glimpse of, but are sure was probably the most gorgeous smile you have ever seen.

Stay Warm New York.


Show Clothes – Pool Party ft. Gavriella

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The crew is out at an office party at Bounce on 21st Street, right now. Tonight’s the kind of frozen winter night in NYC where you throw on your latest wool knit, your dopest pair of new gloves and you head out knowing that the word: “sexy”, in the dictionary, will have a photo of you right next to it.

It’s the kind of New York City night that many of you came here for in the first fucking place, and, the sort of night that the other half of the population only gets to dream of. Heck, even when they’re dreaming of that kind of life, and those kind of nights, there’s still something inside of them that wonders if legendary nights like that even exist at all.

I can tell you that these epic nights happen way more often than they should; way more often that they need to..

Dance with me, into the night—alright.”

This seductive tune by Chi-town producer Show Clothes is exactly what these nights entail. Quite simply, it’s got a racy bassline that mimics the way these sort of evenings beat. Topped off by sensual vocals that provoke that feeling of sexiness everyone imagines happens when you hit up one of NYC’s hottest spots on a Tuesday late at night (‘while the blue collars and freshly implanted residents try to stay warm’), Gavriella adds the final touches like sparklers in the distance that pave the way to your space for everyone else to see, letting the world know that she has now arrived, too.

Oh, there’s plenty of heat where we’re going, but it ain’t for everyone. Noit sure ain’t for everyone.

If ya wanna party like me we don’t play cool in the VIP
Walk in the club don’t pay no fee
walk to the back door who needs ID.” —David Rush

If you’re up and getting ready to run out into this frigid darkness that’s taken over the city tonight, just hit play and remember why you’re not staying at home just netflix & chillin’ it. I mean, in order to experience epic moments you sure as hell can’t do so from your bed or your couch, right? You already know exactly what happens there anyway, and is that really what you’re living in this great town for? Couldn’t you just ship that bed or mattress somewhere else and do the same things there?

Anyway, I’ll see you on the dance-floor later tonight. Where we end up, only this magical metropolis seems to know.


The Zolas – Get Dark

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Over the summer of 2006, I met a girl who was nothing like I had ever known before. She was sweet, innocent and full of love. She’d hold me tight whenever she was blinded by bright lights inside the clubs we would go dance at, and she’d whisper sweet nothings into my ears after just two drinks telling me how she thought of me in the daytime when we had to be apart, and how she would talk about me all day with her cousins in anticipation of seeing me later. I saw her every single day that summer.

On the weekends, when she could escape from her father’s clutch and tell him that she was going over to one of her cousin’s houses, we’d spend the entire day on the boat. We’d leave the docks at 8AM into the Long Island Sound and spend the whole day diving, sun-bathing, dancing and drinking, docking at Bracco’s for lunch and Paddy McGee’s for their sunset party. We’d spend the day in one another’s arms, locked deeply in each others gazes. The summer of ’06 was magical. It was one of those summers that someone, somewhere, writes a movie about. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, and by the time the summer ends so does the relationship because: college..

I recall being sick to my stomach for two weeks after that summer ended. Her, back in Georgia, me somewhere in the skies finishing my check rides. There were days where all I wanted to do was throw my instructor out of those planes and fly straight down there, to her.

And as time goes by, so do the memories, so I wrote her one last letter explaining why that summer, and her, meant everything to me.

As we approached the runway, my flight instructor yelled at me to slow down. My head was still in the clouds, but I had to snapback into reality. I walked away from the hangar and my blackberry’s ringer went off. It was her, and she was balling like I had never heard her cry before. She had just read my letter in an email I sent, and she said it was the most beautiful thing she had ever read. A couple of hours later, as I arrived back into the city, I pulled into my parking lot and just sat inside my car wondering if I would ever have that love we just spend three months developing, again.

Down for getting dark ’cause the dark gets me
and all the other lovers make it so heavy.
Takes a little emptiness to feel complete
when crowds come ever-thicker and liquor it comes free.”

It’s funny. That night, as I sat in that car, I knew that it was over. I knew that we would never have any of that again. Somehow, something told me that we both had known that our forbidden love would never again be. I died a little in feeling all of that. A part of me went numb.

The mind tends to do this thing where it runs through every beautiful moment and memory of a relationship the second it knows that it is over. That happened to me then. That also just happened to me when I hit play right now on this “Get Dark” tune by The Zolas. The only difference between then and now is that I am no longer devastated about the whole thing. In fact, I think that that particular story was one of the most beautiful ones I have ever lived, and I am beyond happy and grateful to have lived it.

Many times I’d roll my eyes at those people who would spit that stupid fucking cliche out of their filthy mouths, about how it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, until I finally understood it all with that one, short-lived relationship. And now I too have become one of those moronic fools embracing lost loves instead of the ones that never happened.

Drums loop in my head.
Feel most alive when my phone is dead.”


The Swoops – Into The Atmosphere

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My boy Troy (also my best friend) received his cases of rum a couple of nights ago and I rolled out with him last night as he hustled it away. He dropped off a bottle to his friend that happens to be the C.O.O. of Gansevoort. We dropped of a couple of bottles to Hugo as he dined at La Esquina on Kenmare. He came up and out to grab them, we said hello and jetted off over to DBGB on Bowery and Houston to see another friend of ours, also named Troy. He’s the head mixologist there and has a great clientele. A great move for anyone launching their spirit (in this case: rum) because not only does Troy make a killer cocktail, but he can also influence his client’s decisions and what they’ll be drinking for the night, and maybe even for the next few months. In fact, he directly influences their drink/spirit choices. He also happens to be one of the nicest people I have ever encountered in NYC. He gets so much love for that. Definitely a class act in his own rite.

My favorite cocktail that Troy made for us last night using the rum was the Old-Fashioned. It was smooth. It was delicious.

We then ran off in an Uber to Stage 48 to see another friend who bartends there. She introduced him to the owner and he said he would definitely try the rum out. We then sat at a table and sort of celebrated the success of finally having his own rum in his hands. Bottle, design, product. It’s a real thing for him. I’m proud of that guy, man.

I’ve definitely lost my affinity for all things New York City, but I can’t even front: there’s no other place in the world as magical as it.

“Into The Atmosphere” by The Swoops is what last night felt like for me, in retrospect. An awesome ride that felt good the entire way and  left me yearning for more nights like it.