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Episode — Hold On (Salda Remix)

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The world is full of people that just don’t know how to listen to the words of others. Eventually, these people find themselves in relationships with other human beings, and within those relationships they tend to find themselves in trouble. Not the kind of trouble that is unfixable, just the kind that starts fights or creates resentment within those unions. The reason always reverts back to the simple fact that they just don’t know how to listen.

Last week my friend Erv came over to my place to talk about some issues in his latest relationship. He couldn’t grasp why it seemed that his partner was steering clear of him more and more as the days went by. During the evening I discovered that he was rude to her and even compared her to his ex, which is a no-no. I mean, why bring up someone from your past and compare them to someone from your now when it’s completely pointless and irrelevant, right? Anyway, that was just one part of something we found while scratching the surface. His problems ran a little deeper.

Erv had taken his girl to dinner the night before. He spend a total of $300, and when they got home she fell asleep on him. He felt a bit annoyed because he assumed and had anticipated having some sex. His frustration made him question her love. Aside from the obvious issues of putting a price tag on some ass, and then getting frustrated by it, his problem came from not listening to what she wanted. Many times she has asked him to do small things for her. For example, whenever she goes out to the grocery store or the supermarket she brings him back a little gift. Usually it’s a small container of his favorite ice cream, or a six pack of his favorite beer; something that he will love and appreciate. Does he do the same with her? You guessed it: No. Instead he figured that one $300 meal would make up for all those times that he did not come home with a $10 trinket…

And it’s drivin’ me crazy, but what more can I do?
I am so fed up losin’ sleep ova you”

All we have to do sometimes is listen to exactly what our significant others tell us. We cannot go out and do extravagant and unexpected things for them because we want something out of it; that is when we will get frustrated and annoyed. Why do something for someone else in the first place if the reason your are doing it for is for your own gains? What’s the point really. Instead, we need to learn to communicate and discuss things so that we are never caught under the assumptions that things will last forever, or that who you planned to live with for the rest of your life changes on you. Holding on to these ideas that we ourselves have put into our own minds without any merit is merely unhealthy for you and everyone else around you. It shows that your fantasies are lived selfishly and supremely entitled, and that will come around one day to slap you in the face right when you least expect it or want it.

Why are we becoming something different?
Than what I predicted?
Holding on to nothing
I’m holding on to you”

I guess the point of it all is that relationships are a puzzle to be figured out, and that if you don’t allow yourself to see the proper pieces to the puzzle then you will NEVER ever figure it out. Sometimes, in order to see all of the pieces of a puzzle in their proper form, all we need to do is listen.


Falcon Punch – Silk

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Every night, before I go to sleep, I lay in bed in complete silence. More often than not, a figurative gnat starts buzzing in my ear or a faint police siren goes off.

That’s what living with Tinnitus is like, and it truly sucks. I think Tinnitus–a ringing in your ears–is a bigger threat to our youth than any amount of ecstasy powder.

I’ve touched on the topic here in the past, but for 10+ years, I didn’t wear ear plugs to shows nor did I even consider the level of irreparable damage I was doing to the one body part you can not fix with surgery.

My right ear is gone, and I don’t think it will ever truly come back to what it once was.But I deal with it and live through it despite the sadness–missing shows, not DJing–that comes with it.

One way I cope with Tinnitus is, ironically, through music. You see, when there’s sound in the background–preferable ambient or soothings sounds–the White Noise from Tinnitus goes away.

As much as I’d like to constantly have music on, silence is something that I (and all of us) must deal with or else I would probably lose my mind. But for the 8-10 hours a day during which music allows me to get through the day, these are the types of tracks that soothe the ears and the soul.

Falcon Punch, who should need no introduction in these parts anymore, did what he does best: extracted a very sweet and small sample and turned it into a lush piece of balearic bliss.


Mocki — Weekend (Jai Wolf Remix)

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The weekend begins tonight for me and I plan on taking it by the horns. I have a ton of shit to do this weekend, so I’m planning out the next 48 hours and making sure that I get in some time for basketball on Sunday morning and, of course, writing. 

Lately I’ve been spreading myself thin between revenue streams and passion projects. My passion projects seem to be taking up most of time these days, and I kind of like it that way. It used to be that I would drill my passion projects to the core and not really value the final product because they felt more like jobs. These days, I don’t seem to have that problem whatsoever. Where I once felt the pressure of deadlines, I now feel the glory of seeing these little projects take off on their own and grow into behemoths.

Anyway, let this weekend be all about getting yourself organized and together for 2015. January has a way of feeling like a vacation month, and we often find ourselves trying to catch up for the rest of the year as another one slips away from our grasps, so instead gather your thoughts, do a little bit of planning, and breathe slowly.

Enjoy the weekend and this tune.


Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc. (Harmonimix)

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Released under his Harmonimix alias, James Blake’s rework of the Gorillaz classic “Feel Good Inc.”, hit a spot I didn’t know existed. Damn, bass chakras. Eerie in the best way possible, this track feels like a dirge through space: so sinister, so satisfying. Gritty textures evoke an air of gloom that echoes through the deeper recesses of mind, rendering a hypnotic effect. “Ha-ha-ha-ha”

Sometimes an occasional descent into darkness can be the most illuminating anyway.


Skizzy Mars — Be Lazy

Sometimes these chilly winters in NYC make us not want to step outside into the unpredictable nights that all New Yorkers come to know New York City for. It is those unbelievably magical unpredictable nights that we get to know that keep us intoxicated with this town, but at times, we can all trade one in on a cold ass night for a lazy evening of Netflix, chinese food, maybe a hit of some good greenery and just some overall relaxation on top of your comfy mattress and underneath your cozy comforter.

Be Lazy by Skizzy Mars is an ode to just that. It’s a Hip Pop track filled with Hip Hop drums, R&B/Pop claps and a catchy hook that all sound like they came out of the Universal Records’ “Make-A-Hit” kit. Don’t bother googling or searching for that because it doesn’t exist, but once you press play on this track you will completely get what I mean. Still, the song is good enough to give it some love, relatable enough to listen to through until the end, and friendly enough to play again and share it with a few people, if you dig it.

Now as some of you prepare to Be Lazy for the night on this Hump Day, I’m at home typing this away watching reruns of Money and Violence on youtube in the background, and pre-gaming for another epically unpredictable New York City night.

My destination for the evening? Milk Studios.The DJ? Questlove. The performance? Kid Sister, aka Jane Jupiter. The agenda? Live.

Enjoy this night, no matter what it has in store for you.


The Preatures – Is This How You Feel?

 

Do you ever put on a song and immediately start jigging? That’s how it is when I press play on The Preatures’ “Is This How You Feel?”. The bass & guitar mesh well together in a Fleetwood Mac-esque sound. The male singer, Gideon, has a verse sandwiched between lead female vocalist Isabella’s, who takes the spotlight throughout the song. The pair balance really well together; she slides her way back into the verse seamlessly. I hardly noticed her takeover until writing this post!

The content of this song is simple.. we’ve all been there. Liking someone and being in the dark about how they feel toward you. Part of the mystery is fun, but the unknown brings on an uneasy feeling- a feeling of something that needs to burst open. Hey how about you sing this song to your crush and see how she/he reacts? Joking of course, but how about you take the plunge and just ASK!

Shake it right tonight”

The sound of the Australian band sounds rather like a pop tribute to the 70’s scenario of dance house-based compositions. Along with Fleetwood Mac, their sound is very reminiscent of HAIM, so if you’re into singing along to something upbeat, you’ll take a liking to this track. As a child who grew up with music-centric parents, I can definitely empathize with the sound of this track. Might you?

The band’s style varies tremendously song-by-song. You’ll notice this on their EP titled “Is This How You Feel”, released back in 2013. Also be sure to check out their latest album: “Blue Planet Eyes”.


Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime (The Reflex & The Scrumfrog Rework)

I spent my last week of 2014 smoking joints on the top of St. John, sipping Red Stripes on a beach, and reflecting on the last year of my life. 2014 was probably the best year of my “adult life”, and looking back on it, I feel like I accomplished maybe a quarter of the goals I set for myself. I made some money and found a new home in Colorado.

I’m living in the future, where weed is legal and I can grow a few plants without worrying about jail. And I love it.

But I also lost some friends, people I thought I could trust and turned out to be snakes–partially because I made mistakes and partially because most people are not trustworthy. I also partied far too hard at times, and as a result, became scared that, at 27, I was trending towards the Jim Morrison path.

Since then, I’ve reigned it in, gotten back on track, and feel more confident and driven than I have since I have in a long time.

I don’t think I’ve become the person I ultimately want to be, and as I near 30 and see my friends getting engaged, I’m scared I’m not making the moves that will put me where I want to be when I am indeed 30.

As Hec inspiringly wrote the other day, it’s important to never forget the past–to remember your victories, your losses, the good and the bad times. But when you’re not day-dreaming about nostalgic memories, it’s more important to live in the moment, to set goals, look forward and get harder, better, faster, stronger.

Because as my late, wise grandfather once told me, “Only an asshole looks backward.” You can’t change the mistakes you’ve made or the people that have come and gone throughout your life. But you can use that knowledge to make yourself more impervious the fakers, the haters, and the people who will bring you down.

As I set goals for 2015, I know what I want. I want ownership. I want power. I want stability. I want the Knicks to get the #1 draft pick. I want good people in my life. I want to eliminate the bullshit. I want to perfect my craft. I want to be in complete control. And most importantly, I want to be the person I know I’m not, but that I will be.

You have one lifetime, and what you make of that lifetime is only up to you.

My friend showed me this remix in The Scrumfrog’s Burning Man Set, which has immediately (along with Tycho’s mix) made me want to make the voyage to burn:


Laszlo – Interstellar

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I don’t know if any of you remember Newton’s First Law of Motion, pretty much the first thing you learned in 1st grade  physics. Well if you don’t it goes like this –

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

That first grade shit is so damn profound and is applicable to much more than physical objects . It’s the secret, motion that is…

Last night I went out with this beautiful Parisian; a traveled actress and cultured world explorer with wonderful style, taste and intellect. We spent a good amount of time talking about how wonderful Rome is, the vibrancy of Paris and all the beauty and culture of Europe. Everything about her looked great on paper but when we eventually went back to my place the energy was off. I’m very particular and she seemed disappointed in my lack of interest but I explained all was well. In my old days I would have said goodbye and never thought about it again, these days I’m much nicer so we spent the night chatting it up, another good friend made. I wanted to like her so that was disappointing on my end but the one thing on my mind the whole time was Newton’s Law, it’s becoming my obsession – an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon. How can I possibly be bothered by a situation that doesn’t work out if I’m in motion pursuing one that does?

A person actively trying to do something about their circumstances will eventually get momentum on their side and get exactly what they’re after. Disappointment, rejection, worry and most of the details therefore become inconsequential. Now on the other hand, if I sit in my home dwelling on details, wondering why and all the other trappings of becoming a slave to your mind, I will literally create a different world and limited perspective where rest only creates rest.

Time keeps on moving, the world keeps on turning, the moment is constantly changing and as they say, you can never go back home. We tend to look at life this concrete thing – we say that’s life. However, life is nothing but a lot of moments put together. That means you can essentially time travel between things, jump in and out of worm holes to change circumstances. We can be interstellar with our own thoughts, progress and emotions. The compound effect will either be working with you or against you but where you are now does not define where you can be but you have to get on the offensive right now. Life is often like riding a bicycle, all you have to do to maintain your balance is keep moving, enjoy.


Et Musique Pour Tous Presents: Les Auteurs — Cyrus Pavel | Winter 2015

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Take a quick ride with me today. Press play on this playlist and let it play all the way through. I’ll explain why.

“Cinnamon Apple” is the Brooklyn native, Fabolous‘ work, off of his latest album (released: Christmas 2014) The Young OG Project. Cinnamon Apple is about a 7th-grade fling that felt more like a lifetime together to Fab. It’s something that will probably continue to exist for eons to come in terms of a classic love-story scenario. It maybe represents the end of one relationship, which is something many people are doing in the New Year as well—starting fresh, starting new.

“You Made Us Change” is by Ephemerals, whose name randomly means: to last a very short time. Going from Fab’s ‘forever love” wishes to things that last only for very short moments, this song represents our last few cries of letting the past go, once and for all.

Memories” by Waldeck is like the “wanting to stay high all the time” line by Tove Lo. It represents the jazziness of NYC along with the ways we sometimes drink to cope with memories long gone.

and then,

Ryde or Die, B****” by L.O.X., Drag-On & Eve is life after you let those pasts go. Yes, pasts, as in plural because each love story is an individual past—like: books, per say. Let this year become your Ride or Die. Get what I mean?

“Anything” by Jay Z is a personal favorite of mine. Not only is my friend Duro the mix engineer on this, and if you are familiar with his work you know he also mixed “Hard Knock Life” for Hov, and won a grammy for it, but it reminds me of driving around NYC in the Winter.

Life behind a windshield can be pretty incredible in this town, but the perfect tunes can give so much music and life to scenes that would probably be mute anyway, since most likely your windows are up in the car and the heat is on. Anyhow, this song made many neighborhoods from Brooklyn to the boonies Upstate look like a music video to me when it dropped. The bottom end gives the road under your feet some life, and the hook brings out your inner child, who is incidentally the only person capable of painting vivid pictures in their minds, and the best of your imagination. At least it did for me, so if you happen to catch this on a drive then all the better.

“Jump Hi” by LION BABE & Childish Gambino is a simply another feel-good record that fits seamlessly into most of the cooler playlists today. It’s high-energy, awesome vocals, and has a great bounce to it so that we can all: feel it, embrace it, and dance.

Thanks for listening.


D’Angelo – Ain’t That Easy

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Take a toke of smoke from me as you dream inside
Let your days slip away come with me and ride…

He’s back. I know I’m about a month late on this one, but if you haven’t yet taken the time to listen to D’Angelo’s third album I am here to tell you that it is actually imperative you do so. Right now. Black Messiah marks his first release in 14 years. Oh, the anticipation. He knows how to build suspense, draw you in and keep you asking for more and he couldn’t have chosen a more culturally and politically appropriate time to drop this shit. D’Angelo explains that the title Black Messiah is “…about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and in every place where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. … It’s not about praising one charismatic leader, but celebrating thousands of them.” Thank you D’Angelo, for your good vibes and unapologetic funk.

This track in particular is a winner. I was hooked from the start; the jutting bass line is super reminiscent of George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. And his lyrics are just so on point:

Ever hit with a choice that you can’t decide?
Which direction left or right
Shut your mouth off and focus on what you feel inside
(See y’all know I’ma go with my vibe)
You won’t believe all the things you have to sacrifice
Just to get peace of mind

He hits the nail on the head– indecision is a bitch. As these lyrics so eloquently suggest, maybe sometimes the best antidote to uncertainty is to shut your mouth and turn inward. Listen to what’s going on inside. Making choices isn’t easy, but it is an inevitable part of this existence. Instead of fostering anxiety about the infinite directions you can take in any given situation, maybe shut off the nagging voice in your head and allow new inspiration to filter through. It will, if you just allow it.