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The Avener – Fade Out Lines

The song is instantly sexy. It is tangled in it like long legs on the bed.

The Avener has a sound that evokes a feeling sexuality, calmness and one where dancing is inevitable to it.

Tristan of The Avener described the tune as  “hard to define. It’s blues with jazz, folk and funk influences, and electronic instruments. It has feelings, emotion and nostalgia, but a lot of energy, too.”

This tune hits on so many levels of interesting sounds that are reminiscent of the late ’60’s sort of Jim Morrison talking poetry over the song and it weaves itself in seamlessly. Lyrics are always something that attract me to a song. Like poetry the words here just play in your mouth and you can slowly let them slip from your lips and hips.

It’s everywhere I look
From Las Vegas to right here
Under your dresser
Right by your ear
It’s creeping in sweetly
It’s definitely here
There’s nothing more deadly
Than slow growing fear
Life was full and fruitful
And you could take a real bite
The juice poring well over
Your skins delight
But the shadow it grows
And takes the depth away
Leaving broken down pieces
To this priceless ballet

I like this song because for me, it feels like I am free in it. Independent. The bits of my heart move to it and feel less guilt for staying and less afraid of wanting to say “I need a break. I want a rest.” Interesting statistic, 91% of women say they would like independence in a relationship compared to the 80% of men. Is the want to move alone or be alone so wrong? Talking to a friend who had similar thoughts, I couldn’t tell if I even felt guilty because I genuinely felt that, or if it was because I knew most people would say I should feel guilty. But we are stuck in the middle at times in the race of it, defining the lines of what feels right and what we are committed to. But who’s life and rules are we committing to? Where is the line drawn?

Beshken ft. Soraya – Right Time

Santa Monica-based producer Ben Shirken AKA Beshken, partnered up with Soraya for this simply enjoyable song, “Right Time”. It starts off slowly, with only Soraya’s voice softly caressing our ear drums alongside a keyboard, after which melds with an uptempo medley of drums and organ sounds. Occasional manipulation of vocals, and breaks in tempo add character to the song. The R&B mixed with electronic elements has me keen. I often have ADD with music, so to find a concoction like this is refreshing and intriguing. It helps that I’m a huge fan of female vocalists with the smooth characteristics that Soraya’s voice holds.

The layers that make up this song are organic and complementary; no-one is overbearing over the others. Because of this, the listener is invited to envelop himself, yet the song won’t consume him wholly. It can easily be the smooth background music in a social setting. Right now I’m picturing a couple, sitting in a dimly-lit room, getting to know each other. Is this the right time for [……….]? I can’t quite figure out what the song is alluding to, but I can infer it’s a significant moment for something to happen. What do you think?


Gil Scott-Heron – Home Is Where The Hatred Is

Something very powerful dawned on me yesterday and it’s the fact that we’ve been taught to be afraid of our imagination. For example, if someone came into the spotlight and said ‘the world is nothing but a projection, nothing you see is actually here, it’s just a collective visualization,’ most people would say that person is crazy.  Now do we really think he or she is crazy or are we just afraid of the fact that something like that could be possible? There was a time when it was a ‘fact’ that the world was flat. Picture humans in the year 2514, what ‘fact’ or ‘truth’ that we believe now will be totally inaccurate. Now picture humans 1000 years from that point, what will be turned upside down then? What if we as a collective tried to look at things like that? Would we make incremental leaps in our awareness and emotional capacity or would we make quantum leaps and be somewhere in the cosmos by now?

It should come at no surprise to no one that the world is in the midst of a massive paradigm shift. With technology as the driving force people are challenging age-old institutions like never before. Whenever you hear a politician say something “threatens our values” or is going to ‘destroy our institutions’ you can assure you’re self that they’re about upholding the consensus trance. Old power hides behind ideals and institution in order to maintain order, anything that will make people look at things in a new way, outside of these ‘noble’ ideals is immediately detrimental. Will technology outpace old power and permanently change things for the better? I think that’s up to us.

Old power is held like a currency, new power works like a current.
Old power is held by a few, new power is made by many.
Old power is all about download, new power is about uploads.
Old power commands, new power shares.
Old power is leader-driven, new power is peer-driven.
Old power is closed, new power is open.”

Times are definitely changing but old power still rules and has an iron grip on our minds.  So here we are in this collective trance made up of our culture, rules, status quo’s and ‘reality.’ Instead spending our time diving deep into the power of our imagination, we spend it working hard to buy things. Grinding, hustling, getting it! Our natural state, our mental homes, are housing projects created by a system. We go home to each other with the same limited frames of mind, we argue about love from the confines of this limited perspective, we feel inadequate because we don’t have this or that. Our most vulnerable state is in the comfort of our homes, the place where one lives permanently. But what if this home isn’t allowing us to dream or flourish to our full potential. If our mental homes are the products of old power thinking and control…

It might not be such a bad idea if I never went again…”

Home Is Where the Hatred Is by Gil Scott-Heron on Grooveshark

Champions — Roaming In Paris

Feeling like a prince when the wine is on
Waiting on the Metro, sucking your tongue

There’s something about forbidden love that attracts me more than any other kinds of loves that exist out there. Maybe it’s my natural resistance to rules, regulations and laws, or maybe it’s just that on the inside I have always been a very bad boy. Still, there is something about whisking someone away in a city where so many people know the two of you, and where everything in those moments seems like a sultry game of catch me if you can. Kisses get snuck, sensual touches remain under tables and behind taxicab dividers, and glances, when in the presence of those that shouldn’t know, become lustful glares.

I’d love you in the hallway
I’d lay you on a golden tray
I’d do you on the night train
If it wasn’t wrong”

Roaming In Paris by Champions is that ride for me for some reason. It’s dreamy, fun, smooth, sexy and before you notice it is over.

I have come to learn that love is all about the story that a person wants to be told and live out. For some, love is a series of short stories that they have written in their minds or fantasized about in their heads. To be able to make these fantasies a reality is a gift for both the giver, and the receiver. The giver because he/she is in tune with humans, and the receiver because a fantasy that becomes a reality is nothing more than a dream come true, and not everyone in this life gets to see their dreams become reality. For me, love is about the moments, so why not give them what they want in-the-moment, if only the moments are the things that really matter? No yesterday, no tomorrow, just here, right now.

Nas — It Ain’t Hard To Tell (From the Leafs Remix)

Because nobody ever gets mad about Nas, right?

This is my: ‘fuck you and all your bullshit‘ tune for today. It’s a classy remix of Nas‘ classic “It Ain’t Hard To Tell” that’s perfect for a classy Friday. Tonight I shall be wining and dining with a gorgeous girl in one of the city’s swankier setups and painting the town red with her heels. I can already picture the entire night with this tune as the soundtrack to its dope backdrop. Cabs, kisses, delicious glasses of red vino and the cold crisp NYC winter air that makes men and women more beautiful with furs and long topcoats, shiny diamond earrings, elegant evening gloves, suspenders and sneakers, and bright city lights.

This  From the Leafs Remix presents a jazzy take on the legendary lyricist’s street poetry and it’s quite the perfect tune for a perfectly freezing NYC day.

I leave ‘em froze like her-on in your nose
Nas’ll rock well, it ain’t hard to tell”

Hit play below, sit back and enjoy as you work, get dressed for dinner, or just wind down from a long week at the office.

Charles Bradley – Why Is It So Hard (live on KEXP)


Then I moved to Brooklyn, New York
Had hard times…But sometimes I hold on…

Some days I feel pretty weary; there’s only so much a human can do for other people before she breaks. Grown up responsibilities got me down this week. Not enough time for the work I love and for the brain stretching I require on a daily basis. Sure, 3+ freelance gigs got me feeling a bit more confident in my ability to ‘make a living’, but there’s something soul crushing about the exhaustion that results from mind numbing and / or passionless work. It’s not that I’m ungrateful— it’s good to feel like I’m contributing to society and helping others yadda yadda altruism blah blah pay my taxes bullshit yeah, but it ain’t nothing compared to the renewable exhaustion that arises after having allowed myself to indulge in a full day of doing the work I love— I’m talking about the kind of shit that defines me as a creative being kicking it on a pretty blue dot in space; out of the body & into the ether where time ceases to exist and the spark is unremitting. Cause disguise the limit, and that’s where you’ll find me. Eventually. For now, I take solace in the words of Walt Whitman: “these are the days that must happen to you.” Gotta keep on keepin’ on and maybe listen to this song. Ladies and gents, Charles Bradley. 

TEEMID & Joie Tan – Crazy (Gnarls Barkley Cover)

There was something so pleasant about that place

Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” is one of the most memorable songs of my teenage years. I first discovered it as a freshman in high school. I went to visit my childhood best friend in England and she had just bought “St. Elsewhere”. So we listened to it incessantly and had a great laugh dancing along to the energetic tracks. “Crazy” stuck out the most though, and even today when I hear the original it makes me think of that weekend at Jenny’s.

I love that about music… how it can transport you through time- to your past self. Even listening to the TEEMID & Joie Tan cover brought my mind back to Jenny. The weird thing is, when I first listened to this cover, I was in an entirely different mindset. I was in the beginning stages of a relationship, and this song was the first piece of music we discussed. I asked him if his friends thought he was crazy (for coming to visit me, someone he barely knew), and I just happened to be listening to this song. Little occurrences of coincidence give me a kick! So, every time this song pops up on my iPod, my mind wanders to this guy, this conversation, and ultimately what didn’t sprout from his visit. Maybe we were crazy to be so brash… but when has love ever played by the rules?

Whatever this song conjures up in your mind, this version will probably lead your mind down another path than the original. It’s mellow, and Joie Tan’s voice adds to the delicate atmosphere. The repetition of vocals alongside the rising momentum of the instrumentals transport me to a soothing place. Next time you’re driving alone, put this on. Road rage? Not possible when this is playing. I’ve also found it a good prompt for introspection on a long drive.

Mos Def – Umi Says

Sometimes I find myself with little to no desire to be a functioning bolt in the money machine that rules in the 3rd dimension. Sometimes I just want to be an artist, fully engaged in the place the mind goes to when listening to an amazing song, when writing poetry, when emerged in romance, when overtaken by the power of nature. Sometimes I want to be a scientist or a business man, seeing all details, executing, making and developing. Sometimes I want to zone out in meditation, sometimes I want to be with someone, sometimes I want to be alone. Sometimes I want to hear a song and cry, indifferent to how my expression is perceived. Sometimes I want to be myself without having to explain myself…

A flower instinctively goes toward the light. It doesn’t spend time worrying if people will mistake it for a weed or if it’s taking too much sun. It wisely and simply follows it’s primal flower gut instincts to attain it’s highest level of flowerosity.”

Sometimes I don’t want to feel like my capacity to love should be limited to one thing or one person, sometimes I feel like everything is everything and there’s no distinction between anything, sometimes I can’t see the distinction between a person and a tree. Sometimes I want to see reality beyond physical form. Sometimes I want to put my heart into something just because, sometimes I don’t need a reason, I don’t need a reward, I don’t need expectations. Sometimes I think history isn’t what we know, sometimes I think everything that’s happened in the world, our entire lineage, all the knowledge of the world is written and passed down not by books or stories but in our DNA. Sometimes I wanna be a kid riding my BMX like a madman through SoHo, a man curating the sounds of the world, a son learning from his father, a father teaching his children, all at the same damn time. Sometimes I wanna be formless, free from this body, a timeless time-traveler. Sometimes I want to be more than me, sometimes I don’t want to know what me means, what “I” means, what self means, what anything means. Sometimes I just wanna feel, sometimes just I wanna tell you how I feel…

Made In Heights — Murakami

It’s just a story though
Is it a story though?
I can’t tell if it happened cause it felt impossible
Don’t know whether it was real or a dream
Imagination playing tricks on me”

For a while after the divorce of my last relationship, I could feel those exact words that you just read above in quotes as if Made In Heights read my own mind and created these lyrics from it. I lost a girl from my dreams and one of the greatest loves of my life to severe depression. No, she did not pass away or commit suicide, but to be honest it felt as if she had.

We tried living on the Amalfi Coast for a while because ‘why would heaven on earth not be able to cure anyone?’, I thought. But it was as if I was living there by myself with a ghost most of the time. The girl that once gave me back my inspiration was gone, and there was nothing that I could say or do to pull her out of it. I knew, after some time, that there was no room in her broken heart for me. She was mourning and grieving the death of a parent that she loved more than life itself, and I had to either just wait for her to get over it while myself dying slowly in the process, or, I had to leave her be.

Back in NYC I had to learn to breathe on my own again. You see, in my culture it is taboo to speak about your problems to others, especially because everyone else has their own problems to deal with, and why should we so selfishly burden others. We don’t seek therapy in other people who don’t know much better than us, no. We seek the answers to our problems within ourselves, and so that’s what I did. I decided to figure out what else life has in store for me, and slowly, I moved on.

I hear the bells I hear the wind
I hear a song in my heart again
In the tenderness moves all things
Like a poltergeist in the streets”

Today I realize that life is truly a gift, and that wasting away that gift doing anything else but enjoying the moment is an assumption about life that I’m not willing to bet on because I really don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I do know that love will always follow me, and that those loves will always continue to be of the best kinds. I do still catch glimpses of her in my dreams which all feel very real, but my heart started cranking up again and spinning so profoundly that I just can’t afford to let it die once more.

What’s the difference in my love or scheme?
The difference in what you say what you mean?
What you mean you don’t really know?
I’m losing touch with the physical
I’m showing up in the future like I’ve been here before
Ain’t that a story though?
Like you ain’t even know
Somebody switching the digits up on my Casio
Don’t know whether this is real or a dream
Imagination playing tricks on me”

The 2 Bears – The Night is Young

Multi-tasking is no easy task. I’m trying to do five things at once right now and I feel like I’m stuck in a bubble going up a hill. It takes patience, know-how, confidence, and of course, time. Sometimes, it feel easier to just give up on them all and rip my bong. At other times, I try to do all five at once. Neither strategy works.

So artists with two successful and innovative projects amaze me. The ability to create diverse musical sounds with diverse amounts of people is a skill I imagine you’re born with. It’s not easy being Clark Kent one minute and throwing on the cape a minute later.

And by day, Joe Goddard is best known for his efforts in Hot Chip. By night, Joe Goddard is half of The 2 Bears. The dude has skills.

Goddard’s day job (of which I’m minimally acquainted) comes with more critical acclaim and renown, but it’s the latter project’s time to shine. And with all due respect to Hot ChipThe 2 Bears’ sound offers far more intrigue and range, at least for me.

If you’re into genres, you can describe The 2 Bears sound as “Comfort House” to your friends. At its core, Goddard and partner Raf Rundell deliver relaxing house music–“house” with a knowing soul and a kind backbone. It’s a sound that’s increasingly difficult to find when discussing “electronic dance music” or as we once called it: House.

Two weeks ago, they released The Night is Young, and it doesn’t seem like enough people have noticed the stellar follow-up to Be Strong (also very nice). That’s probably because like the men behind the album, The Night is Young features a ton of exciting artists you won’t see on billboards and likely have never heard of.

It also probably definitely lacks a hardcore, major ($$$) marketing campaign from a mainstream label, as it’s out on the independent but always stellar Southern Fried Records.

But as noted earlier, this album has got what a lot of today’s electronic music lacks: roots and passion. Goddard and Rundell will take you to the wild jungle one song, the tranquil train station the next, and then to an enclaved beach party.

The iTunes description for the album notes African roots, and it’s obvious these guys draw from a wide variety of influences, from the tribal to the funky to the all-out housey.

And that’s fitting for a duo that formed as an homage to the godfathers of house.

Despite the “Bears” image portrayed, both Goddard and Rundell are heterosexual. The name honors house music’s gay roots, of which “Bear” is an associated term.

With an effort like this, you have to think the house lords like Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles (both openly gay) are smiling down upon this effort as they bop their heads in heaven.

I’m kind of amazing the title track doesn’t have more plays. Pure balearic melody and musical melatonin, it deserves your attention and more of the internet’s:

This modern reggae interpretation may be the coolest track on the album:

“Not This Time” is the catchiest tune on the album and perhaps the oddest music video you’ll see all year.