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Grace Mitchell – Jitter


A new lady on the scene who can rap and sing better than you.

Lyrics punching through the song which has this danceable production and sexy French somethings littered throughout. It is a song for Fridays and middle fingers if you ask me. The track was sent in from the artists as she launches her first album that promises tracks of similar caliber with angst and flow.

The title track from the album, Jitter, is a ride for sure. The vocals and how this track was mixed gives you that anxiousness, go feeling like a line of blow. My only regret is not having my good headphones at work so I can get in the full base. Part trap, part 80’s, all good.

It couldn’t have come at a better time really, if you are younger or older or whatever, it actually doesn’t matter. You will have that moment when you realize your body hurts for the first time, you get your first judging eye from some kid. It’s coming or it came. Getting older is inevitable, aging gracefully is a choice, aging is not. How you handle that is up to you.

Grace, “I like what you got going on.”

Throw this on as you step up, step out with a new dance.

Years & Years – Memo

I realised too late I love you, but I am not in love with you. I feel so deeply for you I cannot hurt you, but in return I am slowing dying next to you. I am half of who I used to be and I don’t recognise myself anymore. I catch myself talking out load alone because it’s easier than talking to you.

I left my life and let you lead only to end up in a world I created that I no longer see myself in. I look back and I have disappeared from my old life, so you see—the path I yearn for doesn’t exist anymore. My options are to stay or leave. Stay here? Leave where? Would I try and find myself and my place, and hurt you and hurt me? It will hurt me, but there is nothing that hurts more than thinking I am wasting away here in a life and path with no track. I am overworked and bored. I call out to you and you ignore me sitting there next to you. I feel pathetic and then you look at me with your eyes and give me a wink letting me know you heard me, but clearly wasn’t worth an answer. A wink like the cheap date at the end of the bar. Like the person you intend to fuck but not listen to their pre-planned morning after pitch. 

Looking back at where I came from which has now vanished, no spot for me. I am walking along and the path before me is slowly forming around yours and my previously walked path is crumbling under my heels.  I made the world I live in and feel it implode around me. I feed in to you manipulating me in to feeling bad for being mad at you for being mean to me. Now I am left feeling guilty for you being mean and apologising and I don’t remember where this circle started. No, it started with you being a fuck. That in turn turned in to me being one. So fuck you. And fuck me.

Don’t get full of yourself. I have been here before. You are not the first person I fucked up for. You are not the first to talk me in to it. To take your hand. “Come on babe, what do we have to lose? I love you, remember?

I have been called worse. I felt worse. I have seen my lowest and even if I don’t like it here, and there is no place for me looking back, I am still never going back down. I didn’t give you my number in the first place and now we share a password to a world and account we made together, and I can’t breath. I can’t breath. And I can leave if I can afford it. It’s worth it and I am too. 

I’ll be seeing you. Let me know what to pick up for dinner.

PS. Years & Years, unreal. Such beautiful, complex music. The album is streamed at that link. I am patiently waiting to see them in concert and have him give me a hug as we talk about how much we hurt while we laugh at the same time.

Gang Starr – Above the Clouds


I got in to a rather heated debate with a man named Mayhem.

We were in the smoking area standing drenched and wet in the early morning hours of the DJ Premier show at the Forum in London. The conversation was about who has had the most influential impact on female vocals, ever.

This guy Mayhem and myself were heated in a debate over Etta James and Aretha Franklin. Our conversation started as he was pushing a CD on us he was slinging to the hip-hop crowd in attendance. I couldn’t tell you how the exact moment came about, but we both knew there was no real right or wrong here after about 20 minutes of solid arguments for both.

I argued for the point of Etta James. It was one of the first times a female vocalist reached the populous of music. She sang about being sad and making it sound beautiful, like a pain we all live with that is somehow turned in to something lovely even when it bleeds from the lyrics and bounds in her powerful vocals. She is a healer, a visionary.

Mayhem was dead set on Aretha Franklin. His argument is she was empowering with her bravado. She demands respect. She did it in a way you sung along with her as you gave it up, not that you had a choice. She was a symbol for all women to unite under. She is a karaoke anthem, a female battle cry. She was, I dare say, the first “Yonce” figure. She made it sexy to be powerful and feminine.

The best is subjective, as always, in music. Aside from DJ Premier, he is the best. The show had DJ Premier playing with a live band which as a follower and fan, was an experience to see a trumpet and trombone in harmony with drums, a base, and Preemo on stage. The layers of the most iconic hip-hop sounds on stage with one of the most iconic producers in hip-hop.

The argument felt right to have on that rainy, wet, early night as I needed a reminder that the best is in the taste of whoever is consuming it. And I was getting a chance to consumer this night and this music and that rhythm.

Sara Lov – The Sharpest Knife (featuring Hauschka)

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You don’t know me and
You don’t get to
I really believed that I loved you”

What is a love that is “meant to be“, anyway? Is that not defined as loves that feel the same way about one another?

When two energies collide into one another, get up from the ground to shake themselves off from the impact and then happen to lock eyes, falling madly in love, is that not love? And so what that it doesn’t last another seven decades until the two of you grow old and one of you passes away and then the other just a few hours, days, weeks, months or years later. Who ever said that it had to be all of that?

Love that happens is love that was meant to be. Why is it that we must place limits and rules and regulations on something no one in the world has ever understood? I mean, how can you limit something when you don’t even know what it’s capable of? That’s not even logical when you think of it that way, right?

For some, these loves that happen in an instant and die within seconds of those instants have to be tragic, and it seems here, tonight, that both Hauschka (Volker Bertelmann) with his relaxing, yet tad creepy piano-playing, reminiscent of “Quiet Slumber”, and, Sara Lov with her saddened tone, exhausted exhales and anguished lyrics have perfectly illustrated a tragedy that once was into a musical memory that now is.

Why do always seasons come
And why do they never wait til I’m done.”

If you need to reminisce tonight and cry and ask yourself all of the same ole questions that they will never manage to answer, well then, here you go:

Moushumi — Stay


I didn’t think that I would ever catch my breath again the day she left. I foolishly, childishly and pathetically begged her to stay. I shed tears that I tried desperately to hold back, and I fell to my knees as if God snatched the ground from underneath me away.

She would tell me that this was what was best for the both of us. She would tell me that she would always love me and that I would never leave her mind, but who do these people think they’re fooling when they say such things?

I asked for one last hug and held on for way too long. I left tears on her shoulder to dry and I tried every plea I could think of to get her not to leave through those doors. Maybe if she had just told me the truth then it would have been easier. Maybe if I hadn’t fantasized so much about our future together while she was asleep I could have seen what was actually happening while we were awake.

So stay, even though you don’t want to.
Just stay, even though you say you don’t care.”

Since those days I have learned to really see what’s right in front of me. I’ve learned that if someone wants to kiss you then they will, just the same and as easy as someone who wants to be with you will make that known. I’ve learned that when something is real then there is no questioning it. I’ve learned that both men and women are simple in this same way, and that the “it’s complicated” excuse is the lie we tell ourselves to squeeze out another night and another day with something we so selfishly want to hold on to. I say “selfishly” because it is. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t choose to ignore every sign we see in front of us that tells us that this thing we love isn’t for us. Instead we ignore the signs hoping that something we say or do suddenly fixes everything. But that never comes nor does it ever happen. Only the inevitable eventually occurs, and then we are back at square one—in pain. And then in retrospect we come to realize that we actually experienced way more pain in that situation than happiness, and then little by little, we learn to see.

I no longer shed those kinds of tears for love because I have learned that real love doesn’t allow tears in its presence. It finds that kind of thing completely unacceptable. I no longer hold on to loves for longer than I should because love isn’t a thing to be held, and because hearts are incapable of being detained. Instead, I love one day at a time and one moment at a second. Instead, I find my own self incapable of staying anywhere—for now.

Robbie Basho – Redwood Ramble

So this is not a space age song, not even close, but I was in Big Sur a couple of weeks ago and I was reintroduced to this album in a very serendipitous way. And how many times do those moments happen?

Robbie Basho is not a very well known musician. You’ve probably never heard of him unless you too love obscure folk. I was introduced to him by one of my coworkers when I worked at my college library. We were both always too shy and soft-spoken to get to know each other well, but I always loved the way he’d come in and throw on something interesting on the turntable. It was almost always thought provoking and nothing that I’d ever heard of and I’d love it in this slow way that music can grow on you. I never said it, but thank you for that Tommy.

Here I am years later in another library all the way in Big Sur when I come across this same album in the bins. There are many things about my stay that stand out in my mind, but this moment, in a house in the middle of the woods faced with a reminder of how shared music is always the best music, stays with me the most.

Even if folk music is not your thing, I hope that there’s something about the intricate way that Robbie Basho plucks at his 12-string acoustic guitar that takes you someplace positive, and I hope that you remember to share.

Jack Garrett – The Love You’re Given


When you think of your favourite song or one that really resonates with you, you usually feel something in it like it has spoken directly to your situation and life. Like someone heard your story and made it palatable and into a harmony instead of the dilapidated state you saw it as, a hole in your chest or a dark corner of your closet.

Jack Garrett does something else with this tune, The Love You’Re Given. I feel for him, you hear this song and you feel empathy. Most people are no stranger to feelings for someone who is not interested and who cannot be bothered with your love. Like it is a lesser love. But he is not asking for it here. This is a plea and you feel for him in this. Like watching a little bird try and outrun the cat. The cat doesn’t give a shit. It could just be for sport, but the bird may not fly again after this.

But your ego won’t let you love
And your fear is your downfall
If you won’t take the love you’re given
Then at least let me go”

I heard this song for the first time as he played this in a dusk filled, light-pierced tent at a hot, substance soaked festival in London. He plays the whole thing, layering sounds, emotions one after the other to create the etherial sound and heavy hearted lyrical journey.

The songs do that, it is emotionally taxing in the best way possible. It is a story you have heard or felt. People understand this state as much as the state of someone loving you or grief when someone dies, we also know this is much worse. It is the state of limbo in love with no solid ground. It is a place in your head which is worse than the shaken grounds of love or a foundation of something. It is only worse because the end is not definite.

I’ve been trying to give you my love
But you won’t let me, won’t let me
I’ve been trying to give you some space
But you won’t let me, won’t let me
I’ve been trying to save you the trouble
But you won’t let me, won’t let me
I’ve been trying to give you my love
But you won’t let me, won’t let me”

If you have not had the pleasure, look up his next show. It is transcendently moving and content all the same.

Doe Paoro — Nostalgia (RAC Mix)

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It’s a place where taxi cabs get catcalled at all day and even the umbrellas are sexy. A town where barely anyone belongs to and everyone is from. It’s the place where magic happens and dreams come true and romance has come to still live on.

#NYFW is upon us, at last. Models rushing out of their Ubers, tired from the endless partying around town and overflowing glasses of limitless champagne. Glam squads sweating as if every execution completed were a heart transplant done, and designers just crossing their fingers together hoping that the tireless months of planning “every tiny detail to” fall seamlessly in place. This is the time of year when NYC is at its liveliest, and how can anyone just not love it?

The Rac collective has once again come through in a clutch with another perfect remix for today’s state of affairs: a dance/disco remix of Nostalgia by Doe Paoro and it’s delicious in every sense of the word.

From the sultry whispered vocals of the verses to their anthemic chants on the hook, Rac managed to make them better and take them to a whole other place by adding their golden sonic touch with the production. Not that the original isn’t cool, but it’s certainly not this journey of a remix that your feet and body are simultaneously about to embark on thanks to its classic four-on-the-floor.

Anyway, hit play and hope that some cool ass DJ out there playing at one of the multitude of #NYFW after parties rocks this one out too tonight, because tunes like this are exactly what we hope to hear in the backdrop of Fall Fashion Week’s aesthetic when it comes to sexy partying under the classic bright lights of New York City.

Oh, and repeat after Doe with your champagne hand raised high later on tonight as you weave through the crowd on the dance floor:

I wish you could see
Your history is chaining you
We could let go and never lose
Nostalgia is killing us

JEĀN CLĀUDE — Tongue Tied


When I was younger I thought that I knew every single thing that I wanted out of this life, but now as I get older I realize that I’m not so sure anymore about what I actually need out of it because some of the most beautiful things I have experienced are the ones I didn’t even know existed.

I guess I can now say that it is only through living life that I understand that knowing what you want out of it is o.k., but it’s really figuring out what the things that you don’t want out of it are, by experiencing them.

I’m at a crossroad in my life because one path leads me to a world of unknown, which I tend to gravitate to anyway, but with the unknown factor(s) there is another energy attached to it that doesn’t seem to contemplate me so well. That energy is the complete opposite of who I am. It’s darker, it can be too negative at times, grim and a tad too selfish for how I, myself, am with others. It doesn’t seem to appreciate or respect my time, and it doesn’t seem to want to change because I have enabled it and made it way too easy for it to continue on with its entitled ways.

And then there is the other path. The one where I stay behind, back in this fishbowl that seems to have been custom made just for me. Right here in the city that I was born in, with the air that I have always breathed and the streets that I have memorized every name of. It’s a path that I probably know too well because I have helped to shape it, and though it always brings me much excitement, happiness and love, it’s a path that my soul feels it needs to let go of in order to create my biggest masterpieces yet, as a writer.

So which way do I go? I press play on Tongue Tied by JEĀN CLĀUDE and decide to let the music just take me there, the same as it normally does and has dozens of times before.

On one side, there is me and NYC. There’s no one around and I am walking down Broadway from 69th Street heading to Columbus Circle. The day is a solid grey with hints of blue tint glowing off the buildings. A sheet of newspaper goes flying across the boulevard in front of me from East to West towards an empty Lincoln Center. I follow the sheet until it lands on the stairs and stops flying, and then I focus my gaze back downtown as I continue my walk. I pass the Time Warner Center and make a right back onto Broadway and walk towards Times Square. The streets are still empty and it’s the middle of the day, and not a car or another soul are around. I look at all the buildings that I have looked at with extreme detail hundreds of times before, and although they have always spoken so much to me before, they say absolutely nothing today.

I open my eyes and look down the other path, and I see a little boy running on the sand away from me laughing. I see him look up at me and smile in a way that melts my heart completely, and I see him hold me so tightly simply because he appreciates that I am right there, with and for him. And then I look outside at all that I have in front of me and realize that maybe it is I who have been just a little too selfish in my life this entire time. And I know, immediately, which path I have to go on.

And maybe life is simply about finding our Yangs.

UPDATE: We pick songs based on how they speak to us, and although i didn’t expect this one to talk to me the way it did, it honestly just helped me make a huge decision in life.

Tink – Million

His ears were ringing from the other side of the world.

I found myself in a place I knew he would love and a setting he would have done well in. I was with a guy who reminded me of him even. So much in his mannerisms and charm and temper and my uneasiness all were so familiar in this foreign place.

I look down on those who get addicted to drugs. How you could let that happen, just do it for a night and quit. Too expensive. I run out of chat at 4AM. But I am a worse culprit. I was addicted to his love. I found a part of it in someone else and I have held on to it. For years. Just for a ghost of him to be around. I wanted it for the years in between and knew if I went back I would have died in it. That was not an option either. I couldn’t tell when I had enough and it was the kind of too much that can kill you. I would have had a pulse but it wasn’t me. I don’t recognise the girl from years ago. Hollow, how low.

I was on the other side of the world and I looked down at my phone moments after releasing our story to an open ear. The love, the drugs, the lust, the hate, the broken window, the broken hearts, the broken people we were that couldn’t live together and cannot breath apart.

I am in remission from you, but I have my methadone. I have a replacement. I cheated. Not like you did. I cheated to get the feeling again. The fire back. He has a temper but not one that breaks windows. He ignores me to work on his own stuff but that is fine because I love more than this and us and our situation. I love myself now, partially, I am working on it. I control the blinds so, so I control the light in my life and you are no longer welcome with your darkness. I imagine even the sun misses the moon at night. Opposite sides of the world always, for the better.

The difference now is I know I can walk away. I know what real addiction is to someone. In the veins, poisoning the mind, the kind you would lie and steal for. You would live in your car for, run away from home for. Now, the other side of the world isn’t far enough.

If you have not heard the soulfulness and hard-hitting Tink as of yet, it is a good time to start. Here is Millions, pulling from Aaliyah’s One In A Million and adds in her original hip-hop tied in.

Check out this banger for the lovers and the addicts. And this one after. This song actually deserves a separate write-up, but feel like a pick-up is needed after this one.  That beat though.