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oF Verona — It’s Dark In My Imagination (Salda Remix)

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Salda’s remix of “Dark In My Imagination” by of Verona is the spring killer. Fuck June 21st because Salda has declared that the Summer is here now, and this remix is actually a forecast for the entire season.

A smooth buildup throughout the duration of the song that comes with a sexier version of the original’s vocals, the tempo fluctuates subtly throughout the rework allowing us to take a ride on some chill waves under a sonic yacht headed for the ports of paradise. It’s a four minute ride through summery beach days and late city nights that get danced away until more champagne gets served at brunch, because what’s the point of sleeping when all you’ve been doing is waiting for the summer to get here all year long?

Whatever you have planned for this summer season, just be sure to pack this heavenly gem in your bags too and hit play whenever you are ready to make another epic summer day happen. It will relieve you instantly of all stresses and put you in the proper headspace to kick back, relax and ride whatever waves the oceans decide to give.

Enjoy.


The Bad Years — Beautiful Liar

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You say you are happy
I know better than that”

For anyone that lives in West Hollywood or North Hollywood (NoHo), picture the Andaz Hotel on Sunset across the street from The Mondrian and The Standard in WeHo. Now, picture walking up Sunset to Laurel and walking over Laurel Canyon all the way over the hill and then straight to Lankershim. On Lankershim you make a left and then walk over to the NoHo14 building, which is directly across the street from the North Hollywood train station. Bit of a trek, no? Well, I made the journey one drunken night out of anger and rage while stupidly thinking I was somehow back here in NYC.

Caroline told me to come see her perform that evening, so I got dressed and grabbed an Uber over the hill from NoHo. That night we ended up at Playhouse and then some secret basement party under what looked like an old repair shop. Afterwards, she asked me to come back to her room at The Andaz, and of course I went. There, we lit a j up and began talking about life, our journeys and music. Music had always been our connection. I remember the first time she took me to Hermosa Beach and the entire ride we discussed bands, cool new songs we had just heard, and exchanged a list of cool new jams & bands we thought each other should check out. That ride seemed like it had only lasted about six seconds, but it’s the memory of it all that is going to last me a lifetime.

Driving around this town all night
Wondering how you’ll get back”

Anyway, I’m reminiscing about Caroline because this song reminds me of her in the best ways. It takes me back to the many unforgettable moments under the sunrises and sunsets of LA we shared.

Caroline was a beautiful blonde headed girl with hazel eyes. Her smile was like staring at the stars from atop Runyon Canyon and her sex was like basking naked in the sun on our own private beach in Malibu, just baking under its rays and on its wet sand as the water covers your legs each time its waves kiss the sand. Her scent was like the summer, and her energy easiest defined as a  beautiful clear blue day. Our love affair would last about seven or eight months, but the way she showed me Los Angeles is the way everyone needs to see it. She showed me the underground music scene in the most secluded corners and cafes of the city. She took me to backyard performances, impromptu shows on random apartment building rooftops, and simply the coolest places LA has probably still ever seen. She made LA a magical dream that felt like one long and surreal mushroom trip. Not that I have ever had a mushroom, but if I did, this is what I imagine it to be and feel like.

Back at The Andaz that night, we got into a fight after a passionate fuck session. We always had the most explosive sex, as if our bodies had been handcrafted by God himself precisely for one another, and I guess that’s what she wanted. She asked me to become exclusive to her, and that even though she knew my heart was with someone else, that she didn’t care because she would erase those thoughts from my heart. Thing is, thoughts and memories embedded into one’s heart can never be erased or replaced. They stay there and become part of your heart’s DNA, and they help to make a good heart even better. She would then ask me if I had been sleeping with anyone else to which I replied: “Do you truly want me to answer that?’. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and that’s the point where things came flying fast and with brutal force right at my head. I had never imagined that this chilled out hippy/gypsy girl who taught me patience and how to soak up the moments in front of me could ever lose her cool, but that’s exactly what happened.

Oh, my god! Yes, you are a beautiful liar!
Oh, my god! Yes, you are a beautiful liar!”

I was at the crossroad in my life were I had chosen to stop lying to myself, and others, about what I wanted out of life. I no longer needed to be in parties that bored me around people that made me nauseous because I had figured out that this was the reward for honesty. She wanted to know more details, and so I told her about the girl whose heart I had just broken a few days ago back in NYC, on some random street in SoHo, and then I began to explain why. When she asked me if it was her who had my heart, I answered ‘no”.  

I walked that walk that night, foolishly thinking I could hail a taxi as if I were anywhere near New York, but I learned so much in essence. I would learn that emotions will always somehow become involved in passionate relationships, no matter what we tell ourselves we will and we won’t do. I learned that hearts want something very different than our bodies do sometimes, and that even though that is ok, that we must always make sure to know that every kiss we plant on another pair of lips is the biggest contradiction. I guess I learned to not play with peoples hearts because they too can be as frail and as fragile as mine.


Be Honest

_Be Honest_

I want to say that we are on the corner of Spring and Broadway turning towards Mercer, but I can’t even recall. I do remember that it was dark and the light rain seemed to have come out of nowhere, as if knowing what was about to take place and setting up the mood for us. All she wanted was for me to give her what she needed, which somehow was something that I just did not have to give at that very moment—my heart. You see, my heart belonged to someone else at the time, and there was just no room in it for anyone else. I would tell myself that I needed someone to pass the time with until I could see the one with my heart again, but I knew somewhere deep down inside that this was just another daydream I was convincing myself that would happen, and that this girl I was “just passing the time” with was nothing and meant nothing to me.

I wanna say that I didn’t know
Couldn’t tell or couldn’t show
I wanna say it’s natural
We did it to avoid the ending”

She cried and begged me to just love her the way we all want the things we can’t have the most or the people that don’t seem to want us back. At that moment, I felt disgusted by how pathetic she seemed, and I was so mean about it. I thrusted her grip off of my arm and told her to fuck off. She just looked at me the way puppies do when they look sad, or the way little children look when they’re about to cry. I’ll never forget that look in her eyes because even till this day it hurts me. I did love her, more than I let on, but somehow I felt guilty about it all. Guilty about cheating on the one that truly had my heart but was nowhere to be seen, and guilty about not being able to give this one, that I was just passing time with, more of my love and completely being a selfish prick about it.

Eventually she moved on with her life, I moved on with mine, and my missing link moved on with hers. Eventually, we all found better built-for-us loves and adventures around the corner. But had I only been able to be honest with myself, and essentially with the one in front of me, I think that something beautiful may have come out of it. I guess those become our hells to live: the situations that we fuck up from a lack of being honest in and then sit here and ponder about years later. And maybe, in those same moments in which we are pondering, those that we hurt are living life lusciously by laughing and smiling and forgetting who we even were. That would probably be justice.

Once in a while I run into her, and although when she looks at me I can still see the pain in her eyes, it’s her laughter and dancing that make it better because I know that someone is giving her way more than I ever could. I only wish that I could have been honest with myself about how much I really did love her because then maybe I wouldn’t be sitting her missing moments once at the grasp of my will.

If I’m being honest…
this has nothing to do with you.
If we’re being honest….
I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout it more than I want to!”


A Flower Is Not Better When It Blooms

When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice it is small, but we do not criticize it as “rootless and stemless.” We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed.

When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don’t condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; we do not criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place, and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development.

The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change: Yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.

A flower is not better when it blooms than when it is merely a bud; at each stage it is the same thing . . . a flower in the process of expressing its potential.” – Timothy Gallway


twin hidden — A Berry Bursts

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I’m learning that love is more than an idea—it’s really a way of life. You see, love isn’t something that you can lose, yet how many times has someone “lost” their love for you, or, vice versa? No, that’s not love. Love takes a lifetime of understanding, patience and working the kinks out between two people. It’s the process of learning to appreciate someone else’s mind and heart, and realizing that where they come from shapes who they are right now. Love is listening. It is hearing all the stories that your partner has to tell you without you watching TV, playing with your ipad or iphone 6, and also growing together from these stories. Love is sharing, and the willingness and wanting to share of all the parts of you that you once thought you could never dare share. Love is an adventure.

Roads turn to rivers and I’m lost out there
I’m chasing a moment that we should have shared.”

If you asked me three years ago what I thought love was, I would have told you that love is when you can’t breathe without the person you adore. I would have said that love is wanting to die when the person you love so much is not around, and I probably would have said that love is caring for someone more than caring for yourself.

Today, my definitions of love sound so different than those from three years ago. Today, I would tell you that love is not having to be without the person that you love because they love you back the same and could never be without you too, so there is no such thing as not breathing. I would tell you that you could never feel like dying because the person you love would never allow you to feel that way since they love you the same too, and, that in true and real love there are no caring meters to measure who loves who more because the love is always seamlessly reciprocated from the most selfless places.

I’m still learning more and more about love, but I am forgetting those silly little-boy fantasies I was once mistakenly taught about it and figuring out how real men love. I hope to one day teach my future children how to love the right way, and that just because people will use the word freely, that they are not to blame for the wrong ideas they were taught of what love is “supposed” to be, because love isn’t supposed anything but love. 


Holy Models – Lessons (Falcon Punch Remix)

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We *suffered* through about three weeks of incessant rain in Colorado until the calendar turned to June. The whole vibe of the city was unusually bleak and low-key (yes even more chill than usual).

No one was motivated to do much, and everyone I spoke to was just down in the dumps. Then June came, the sun decided to pop out, and instantly girls traded their rain coats for skirts and stopped wearing bras while guys traded pants for shorts and sandals.

Needless to say, Denver both feels and looks a whole lot better right now and the vibe is getting moist at the right time. When this spring/summer convergence hits, there’s nothing like a slice of smooth, yacht music.

And the Holy Models, an Australian outfit that produces balearic pop, has the sound of this season. Our old bud Falcon Punch placed his usual ethereal vibe on top of the original, and the result is a topless dream:


Keep Going

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Being back in LA a feeling of nostalgia has overtaken me fully. Within that nostalgia I found myself in a place where dreams go to live after you’d forgotten them, and now, I find myself in a space where they somehow always seem to get seamlessly blurred right into reality.

Being back here makes me realize how much I’ve grown and how much smaller Hollywood seems to have become. It shows me that only through the growth and progression of one’s self are we able to see those items that are missing within us that will lead us to success. Of course, success for each and every one of us is so different, but in the long run we still need to identify what our characters as human beings are missing in order to fulfill those spaces with precisely the ingredients we need to in order to make it.

We do the best we can with the lives we are given. We do the best we can with what we are taught. But somewhere down the line we have to realize that we don’t know it all, and that in order to get to where we want to be there are things that need to get done because that is the order of things on this earth; you have to do what the guidelines tell you to do, and you must fulfill whatever they tell you the prerequisites are. It is only when we are accepted and in it that we can change things from the inside.

I’ve been fake, and I’ve been free
I’ve been you and I’ve been me, 

But now I stand up tall for what I believe.”

“Keep Going” by The Revivalists is a rock song that reminds us to never give up. I mean, what good has ever come out of giving up on the things you want the most? We sit there in regret half the time, and the other half we brood over it within depression. So I ask again, why don’t we just keep going? Why not move straight ahead in full pursuit of what we want? I guess the only thing I am saying differently is that we have to learn what it’s going to take us to get to where we need to be, and then redistribute and reteach the pieces within us in order to find the best ways to get there.

Keep Going” has the tempo, the harmonies and the strong vocals needed to get you off of your ass today and stick with following your dreams; especially if you were second guessing your paths.

No one’s leaving just yet.
We all want that make-believe.”


The Power of Visualization

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Life is but a dream. Or so they say it is, and I’m beginning to believe it.

Being on the Entourage movie premiere red carpet just a few nights ago, and chatting with Mark Walhberg, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Dillon for most of the night, along with hanging with Wale, Wiz and B.O.B. for most of that evening’s after party, my life felt like a movie that one could only dream of. Everything that happened felt so surreal, from Jane’s Addiction popping up out of thin air to play for a crowd of Hollywood’s finest, to bumping head on into Nina Agdal as we were both too busy staring into our smartphones while walking around to look at where we were headed, both stupidly stumbling away and apologizing as we did.. I didn’t realize it was her until after the fact.

Today, as I make my way down Sunset Blvd to catch up with friends, Hollywood seems like yet another dream. It’s smaller than I remember it, and somehow because of all the glamour and glitz that I guess I was enveloped in two nights ago it seems more attainable than ever. What I guess I mean is that the dream seems like it’s meant to become a reality for me, and all I have to do is literally reach out to get it.

They say that if you can visualize where you want your life to go, that you can get there by seeing the end line and following the path(s) to that end line. I never imagined that daydreams could become real, but then isn’t that exactly what a daydream is? Visualizing glamorous things that you wish to happen in your life? It is only when they are happening that we realize how much we do actually daydream.

This Coucheron remix of Noonie Bao’s song, “I’m In Love”, somehow puts me in that mood, where everything I can dream up can soon become the world that is taking place in front of me, right now. It makes me feel that if life feels like a dream then it’s because that is where destiny has always tried to tell you that you would be, and that if destiny has always fulfilled itself in your life in ways that make it feel super surreal, then maybe it’s because you are meant to do more with this life than you original even thought.

I don’t know what life has in store for me, but I am starting to visualize exactly where I want it to go, and being able to navigate my own daydreams is a power in itself that I am just beginning to unfold. You can do it too.


We Can Do This

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Today’s sunny day LA vibes are brought to you by the Entourage film premiere that I’m here for, and this four-day old Jean Tonique jam titled “What You Wanna Do” featuring Dirty Radio.

Being back in LA is a lesson in several things, for me. First, there’s a lesson that I needed to learn that was served to me yesterday by someone I respect a whole lot. That lesson was simple: ‘I’m not a kid anymore’. I won’t get into the specifics of how that lesson came to be, but I will tell you that I am disappointed in myself for my very own lack of control over my emotions, and, the lack of control over things that I know have the capabilities of affecting me negatively.

Sometimes, precisely when we are practicing our every day mantra of living-in-the-moments, we tend to take things overboard because we are so desperately trying to stay within that particular moment. We somehow convince ourselves that in order to stick with that moment we must continue doing whatever it is that we were doing when we got there, or, whatever we believe got us there in the first place. Sure, I could be talking about drugs and alcohol, and I most likely am, but it could also be attributed to so many other things. The reason that I dismiss the drugs and alcohol is because I happen to know that our minds are stronger than those things, and that with full control of one’s self, those “x” factors/variables become irrelevant and insignificant.

Anyway, lesson #1 was served and served as a real wake me up to me, in turn, making me question: who I am, where my life is going, and what I want to be.

Who I am? A passionate, very loving soul who is shy when you are getting to know him, but always positive once you do; someone who adores life and its treasures, wants and wishes the best for everyone, especially those he cares for, and who loves love. 

Where am I going? I’m about to embark in the journey of fatherhood in a few weeks, and for that reason it is more important than ever for me to become the most excellent and exemplary version of me that I can become. Maybe that’s why I went overboard a few days ago and partied hard into the way night under those urban stars of my beloved New York City. Maybe it was a tribute to who I have been all these years and maybe it was me letting go of that version of myself in order to let the new one in.

And finally, What do I want to be? I want to be the best dad ever, and I want to be one of the nicest human beings ever. I want to change the world for the better, and I want everyone to have the ability to see all of the beautiful things in this world that God has allowed me to see, if not so many more. Not that they are much, but I have seen enough to know that God is very real, and enough to know that we owe our lives, as human beings, way more respect than we give to them.

Being back here, in Beverly Hills right now, reminds me that my life has been awesome regardless of how bad it had ever been. It reminds me that a little boy’s daydreams can become a strong man’s reality, and, it reminds me of how much the sun truly brightens up the day.

Sometimes, when I want to apologize to the people that I love and respect, I get stuck in trying to figure out the right words to write or say to them that will let them know how badly I mean it. I type a few words down and then erase them because in my mind they still don’t convey the emotions I feel on the inside and in my chest. I guess as a writer, that has always been a consistent dilemma: finding the words that will let the person reading them feel exactly what I am feeling. I don’t know if that’s possible or if it will ever be because what I feel inside is always twenty to two hundred times more powerful than the words I write and read back to myself.

I am hoping to figure it all out soon, and to never let anyone else that I respect or love, or both, down again.

I know I can do it, and if I can then so can you.


For No Reason

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There’s an empty city that reminds me of Burbank. Picture that little city, empty if you can. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a thousand people appear on the streets, at the crosswalk. They’re all dressed the same, in black suits with white shirts and black ties on. The light changes and they start walking towards one another, and somehow you and I are caught in the middle of it all. We don’t know how we got here, but we are the only ones wearing different colors. We walk the same way with no idea as to why, but we keep walking, and no one else looks over to us because they’re similar to robots.

Sometimes I walk around this city feeling that way, as if everyone around me are robots that are programmed to act alive whenever I am awake. I think that somehow, when I get home and fall asleep, they all shut off. I put my headphones on and walk through the city and can almost calculate what everyone else is going to do because nothing is original. Truck driver honks his horn, cyclist flicks off a cabbie that pulled over to let a passenger off in the bike lane, crackhead is begging for money and picking tourists pockets, Fed Ex driver is waiting for a signature at the door. They say that nothing is ever the same, but is it really never the same?

Days go by and hours feel like seconds. The sun rises and the sun sets and sometimes it all feels so rehearsed, as if I have lived this fantasy a thousand times before. I sometimes think that love is the same way. Is it a coincidence that whenever we fall in love we feel like we’ve known the other person for more than an eternity? Maybe we do, right?

The game is to find out what you are doing here, but very rarely are we told that we have a say in deciding that, at any given point in our lifetimes. Why are you here? Do you know?

Life is too short to dance with people that you don’t want to have a dance with. It’s too short to kiss frogs in hopes that one might turn into the princess or prince of your dreams. It is too short to fight and too short to thrive off of the negative. It’s too short for drama and not long enough for true change.

Just thinking out loud on a Saturday…