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Kanye West – Touch the Sky (Jean-Michel Remix)

It is Friday.

I am not sure how you all run the day, but this song is sure to set the right tone for the day you should have.

The funk revival happening in music lately is what seems to have been missing in recent music and is much appreciated. It is the spirit that says “We are here to get in to it”. Using the beat from “Downtown” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, this new edit just take a modern classic and makes an instant throwback sound with it.

There is something about the ‘power songs’ that give you your swag to walk down the street, to move on the dance floor. By day, I work with brands in figuring out how to make their films better or more meaningful and it nearly always comes down to that personal moment of feeling like you connect with the content and it makes you feel stronger, emotional or the music in it. Well, I feel strongly emotionally pumped to break out of my cubicle and funky dance out with this track on as my anthem.

I wish there was something more insightful here to say, but also feel like there is something in just the simple love of this track. That goodness a track can give you. Much of the writing I produce here can be described as “manic and emotional” so when there is a track that literally just makes me dance in my chair, bob my head around, and love the last few minutes of work before play, it is also worth a share and write-up.

What’s that funky goodness you hear?! It’s just Friday kicking off.


Ta-ku – American Girl (Ft. Wafia)

Ta-ku shows his musical excellence soundly here. Vocals, taking a modern classic and just stripping it naked and vulnerable sounding but with power and soul intact.

If there was a way to say ‘listen to this song with your eyes closed’ and not sound cheesy, I would say that here.

I am trying to pin-point the feeling I have listening to this and it is as exciting and rousing as the track to figure out. It’s feeling hopeful and also like the plastic bag in the wind in American Beauty.

It is the animalistic want of another human and the control to contain and suppress the draw you feel so it slowly, melodically seeps out out of you like a perfume attracting those within range to the metallic scent.

I have listened to this track about three times on repeat (I assume this is what we all do when we find that song that does it for you when you need it). It reminds me I’m foreign in a place far away. And finding a place in the rhythm of the city. It’s the tireless smile to make new friends and the restraint needed when I don’t want to be eager. We made it this far.

You understand this feeling though?

Happy nights. The end of this song can only be described as ecstasy. Like listening to the Garden State soundtrack for the first time. We all did and loved it.


Pat Lok ft. Dirty Radio – Your Lips

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Better than living something that you can’t remember baby”

I’m in love with my new life, and this right here is the soundtrack to it.

A little over two weeks ago I moved back out to LA. I was bicoastal for some time a few years back and always dug this town’s magical natural energy, but this time around LA seems much better than when I left it. Maybe it’s also because I have as many people here that I care about as I do back home. When you have an endless rolodex of real friends who ride or die for you, life itself is much, much easier.

These day you can catch me on the westside of this town though, tucked somewhere between Marina Del Rey and Venice, stealthily surfing the waves from Redondo to Malibu. The last time I was here I resided in West and then North Hollywood, and although I loved those places too, I always knew the beach is right where I needed to be. I mean, come on, if you’re going to move from thee greatest city in the world, then why not move to a place that is nothing like it. West and even North Hollywood still hold too many of the essences from back home for me, so the only move to be made had to be by the sand. I love it.

As I was saying, I’m in love with my new life because it made a complete 720 degree change. I find myself with two beautiful energies that I love endlessly around me all day and night. I have a pair of lips that I’ve been in love with from the moment I saw them all to myself, and I am endlessly being sun-kissed by this beautiful town that I am growing to adore. I want to dance all the time, and swim, and just smile as I walk from boardwalk to boardwalk, soaking up all of the magic that I once could not see.

That’s it. Life is beautiful, this song rocks and kisses should be the one thing in this world that we are never starved of.

Grab that pair of lips you love, kiss them and enjoy this tune.


Ballerino – Wet

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East Coast, West Coast, left coast, right. Slacks, sweats, tie, snapback. Office, coffee shop, windows or mac. Java or decaf, muffin or croissant. MetroCard or E-Z Pass, Downtown LA or Downtown Manhattan. Gas or electric, wingtips or chucks.

Lunch.

Burger or salad, green juice or diet soda. French fries or hummus, milkshake or bottled water.

Mashable or TechCrunch. Huff Post or NY Post, Gothamist, Laist, Urbandaddy or Thrillist?

Home.

Fox, CBS, Netflix, Hulu, Prime. Quinoa or mashed potatoes, salmon, turkey, tofu. House, techno, pop or rap. The decisions have been made for you, now all you have to do is pick and do it all over again tomorrow, but play this now.


Arrow Benjamin – Look At Me

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Controlling the future is hard work. These days I find myself making less and less rash decisions in order to create a future without the sort of consequences that I have grown to hate. Simple things like turning down that extra shot of tequila right now in order to not have a hangover tomorrow (a.k.a el futuro, folks). That’s how that shit works. You control the future by positioning yourself properly today so that tomorrow’s outcome is exactly what you wanted it to be. Does that make any sense, padawans?

We all know that the past is gone, and until real life versions of Doc Brown and Marty McFly come stumbling our way that’s all there will ever be to it. That’s where sadness and regret breed anyway, and yet here I am, giving you the key to controlling tomorrow because of my own past; because of my own mistakes and episodes of sadness and regrets that chewed away at my moments in-the-now. Moments that in retrospect could have been awesome memories were spent as more grim and dark moments fueled by other grim and dark moments that had already gone away. Do you see that? Did you catch the cycle?

It’s good to know what tomorrow is going to bring. All that shit that you were taught about not worrying about the future is bullshit. I mean, sure, don’t fret about moments that may not arrive, but whether they get here or not makes zero difference once you know what the outcome will be. You see, by controlling tomorrow just the way you want it, it means that right now, in-the-moment, you are living life just the way you need to be living it. Controlling the future gives us balance that way. It helps us measure what we can handle versus what we uncontrollably never could. It allows us the sort of responsibility to our minds, bodies and souls that even most of our elders and ancestors could never achieve. That’s what makes it all so dope. It’s not that you are such a master of the universe that you have this superior power to control the future like they do in comic books. Nah, it ain’t that crazy. All it is, is recognizing the roads that you have already been on and maybe making a left turn or a right turn somewhere different than you ever have all those times before.

I’m not sure why this dope-as-fuck Arrow Benjamin tune inspired this in me today. Maybe it was the song’s intro which sounds like it’s transporting us into some other dimension before his John Legend/Outkast-like vocal drops. Maybe it’s the way the overall vibe and groove of Arrow’s hymn feels like it just uprooted us from our seats onto the Soul Train Line back in the 70’s, even though none of us here could possibly know what that felt or sounded like. Or maybe it’s just that taking some of the good parts of production techniques & styles from the past to place them here in “Look At Me”, will allow for it to be the hit record that it will become—tomorrow.

Banger.


Lily & Madeleine – Come to Me (Ofenbach Remix)

We were sitting on the roof of our temporary studio in Tokyo. The familiar sense of unfamiliar places kept our senses high although the Japanese whisky worked to dull it simultaneously. The white noise of the city was the backdrop to our conversation about conventional love and what it means. One girl with a story of a relationship she is in only to meet a man who turned her world around in a night, leaving her straddling the two lovers she had on demand and the one she pined for. A decision she had to make for a spark or a commitment.

Another talked about her failed relationship and budding new one with someone drunk on love and reading, although she wanted to avoid intensity but feel connections at the same time. She wanted to love and be able to love her life separately from the confines of a relationship. Is that so bad? Can we be intense and still be free? Do we always have to claim someone because we find them to be our match?

I listened in as the bottles emptied and the words were overflowing from everyone. Advise, tears, heartache, realisations from our worlds we escaped to meet each other across the world. We used the borrowed time of our rendesvous as we would in any other city, talking about boys and work and fears and sadness and mentalities. Sifting through and unearthing things that only close friends and whisky can do in a night.

Love no longer means: married with children, white wedding, die holding hands. Once you have realisation that death is as personal as it is consistent then you realise you should choose who fills in the time until then. Does it need to be one? Can you love people for different reasons? Can they all be in your life? Have we evolved enough to accept this as the new way of living and loving?

We sat and talked for hours and days until we had to say goodbye and go back to our corners of the world. Tokyo giving the perfect platform to meet and to find each other again. To go through our lives in the safety of our circle. Our soul mates we found in each other.

When I die, I want them to be there as I go through it alone. I want them to hold my hand and share the whisky and hope we find each other in a new corner of the world many time before then. Somewhere we can talk again. Somewhere we can be safe in the world we created, in our hidden escape we seek when we need it. In the loves we found or lost. In the sanity we hold or have lost at times.

The most powerful love you have is in the friends who see all of your dimensions in the light of the Tokyo stars.


Gnash – I Hate U I Love U (Feat. Olivia O’Brien)

“Lie to me lie with me, get your fucking fix. Now all my thoughts and all my drinks all fucking mixed.”

My feelings for you feel like sin. The worst possible person to fall for. Best friends with the one I put my head down to at night.

I remember the night I met him. I went to find you. You ignored me as you usually did. You didn’t look over at me looking for you. His gaze burned a hole in my arms and my neck. Although I sat in flames, I kept my gaze on you—glazed and malaise.

Months turned us in to strangers and he and I in to lovers.

Only then did you finally look and grab my hand and fuck me up. Give the look that there is a chance. You could finally see me too. You were the one I wanted and then I built a world next to yours just so I could still see in your window. See you be happy. See you with her. How you looked through her too.

Throwing rocks at my window now is mean. I went out to find you again last night. Despite my pillow and where it lies at night and who is next to it. I did you spite you. Despite him.

I danced with them all and saw your gaze. I left with them trailing and you saw. I could feel you finally feel what it feels like to be drugged and drug along the sticky, beer soaked floor.

Why do we do this to people? When you feel for someone you just want them to know what it feels like for you. You don’t have to love me back. It wouldn’t have worked out anyway. But we all want someone to realise I loved you this much. I wanted it this much. And two ships passed in the night. In the dance hall. In the hallway. We kept walking different directions. But we all find each other at the bottom of the sea. Despite our anchors we hold on to as we sail along.

“All alone I watch you watch her. Like she’s the only girl you’ve ever seen. You don’t care you never did. You don’t give a damn about me. Yeah all alone I watch you watch her. How is it you never notice, That you are slowly killing me.”

There is a reason we are all in love with songs like this right now. The Weeknd singing songs about detachment and side pieces. Tove Lo with ways we can fill the holes we create and live with like potholes in our journey. It is human and for those of the underworld. Those who can sit in a great situation and still look for the thrills of life of the dark nights in the dance halls and the skeletons we pile in the closet. When do we slow down and when do we need to leave it all one more time to fill the need of one another? Regret is a fate worse than death.


Holy Oysters – Take Me For A Ride

The land of familiarity belongs to the dead.”

Damnit man, did you or did you not just read that mother fu$%ing quote up there?

How are you still sitting in your damn seat, at your damn job or whatever it is you do, and not freaking out!? I know we’re all semi-zombies these days, but if that doesn’t rock your world just a little, I don’t know what will man. I mean bro, do you even live? Are you understanding the severity of familiarity? You’re walking dead! We’re talking about the essence of progress here, none of the shit your spoiled ass takes for granted would exist if the trailblazing boss who made it for you was living in a comfort zone satisfied with what they knew. Empires fall, companies lose their touch; the attitude you have, you’re walking on a thin line man. Look, I’m not going to go on an inspirational rant about it, but get your shit together folk, this isn’t something you want to take lightly.

Thank God this Holy Oyster‘s song came into my life right now because the truth is that I’m having a hard time relating to you. I’d rather listen to some music that vibes with what I’m saying…

Take me for a ride…”

It’s that simple and these Holy Oyster‘s dudes get it man. Have you even heard someone say: “holy shit that was a fucking ride“, about something familiar and safe? Hell no!, you lying ass fuccboi. People only say that when they break out of their shell, something out of the ordinary happens, when fear is overcome, when you rise up to a challenge and so on.

Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman, them boys up to something…” – Drake & Future

You don’t become Michael Jordan by ever being comfortable with what you know, inspirational icons don’t get made like that. We don’t all want to be MJ, but we do want to be the best versions of ourselves, but that’s not a passive process, you have do something about it!

In this song the ride ends in the magical place where you find your zone; they’re inviting someone else to take them with them on their own ride. Getting there alone is near impossible, so I love their take on it—I knew I liked these Oyster dudes.

But the hard truth is the ride you’re going to tell stories about is going to require bumps and bruises, hits and misses, wins and fails. There’s really no mitigating the risk, that’s fear talking. To get to that place you’re going to have to push, you’re gonna have to go on the mother fu$%ing ride of your life; enjoy.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”― Theodore Roosevelt

 

 


Nielk – Light

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I’ve been in search of something out there that is more beautiful than love, but I still haven’t found anything that even comes close. I guess it’s because love, in all its craziness, can put us through every single emotion there is within minutes—heck, maybe even seconds. And I guess that’s what makes love so fantastic to us, right? That one moment we are numb to the pains of the world because our endorphins have us on a love-high, and then the very next millisecond we are left grasping our hearts for air. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that most of us love the kind of masochism involved in riding roller coasters at theme parks.

Should have waited for someone else
I wasn’t happy with loneliness
praying by my bed”

“Light” by Nielk feels awfully similar to those roller coasters of love we enjoy riding, to me. It’s a smooth, chill ride with a tender vocal delivered throughout it, yet some aspect of that delivery seems to inject a heavily melancholic emotion directly into my soul. I’m not sure that this was how it was intended to be, but that’s what it does for me, and I don’t mind it. I guess it goes back to us loving the way something can slap us with several emotions at once. The way we’re attracted to the extremes that love has to offer.

I’ve realized that we take the bad with the good because the good feels great and the bad eventually becomes the only way to get to the good. I think deep inside, all of us “hopeless romantics” here crave the pains of love just as much as we crave its tenderness. I believe that a part of being a hopeless romantic is that hopeless romantics never find boredom.

They say that hell is a bad place where everything goes wrong, and that heaven is a good place where everything goes right. If that is true, then how can love, the way you and I are used to experiencing it, exist in either place?

Then I saw you in the morning light
and it left me dying in shame
but I’m calling out your name again
now baby, in the morning light”


TMPL – All We Are Featuring Terrell Morris

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Becoming bored with something is nothing like growing tired or frustrated with how things are. There’s a huge difference, for me. I expect anyone I spend my time with to also acknowledge the things I love the way I make it my point to acknowledge what they love. Life is about balance, and if you are going to spend any parts of your life with someone, regardless of how much time that will be, then finding a good balance will lead to having great moments with one another. I guess that isn’t so easy for some people to get. I guess some people need you to draw out diagrams on the blackboard as if we’re in fucking school, and quite frankly, I don’t want to be anyone’s teacher. I mean, how can I teach anything to anyone when there is still so much I myself don’t know?

I’m humble in many ways. For one, whenever an argument ensues with a loved one I tend not to take the hurtful words that come out of their mouths to heart. Of course, hurtful words hurt, but we learn overtime that some people need to do this in order to release anger or frustrations, so we let those slide as we get older because we know that they are empty words. It’s when you don’t learn about yourself progressively and we find ourselves in the same sort of arguments with the same sort of words spewn at one another that we begin to have issues. Number one, we start with you just not learning from your past mistakes, and number two is the redundancy of your words that begins to bore me. At least come up with new words or phrases. Better yet, learn to control your mouth and just listen better.

We all hope to find the one partner that gets us completely. Sometimes we do, but for whatever the reasons shit just didn’t work out. Sometimes we don’t find perfection in our partners, but they learn what we love, and they do their best to make our lives as happy as we try to make theirs. When that balance begins to shift and become more negative than positive, that’s when you have to start asking yourself if everything that you are sacrificing for is worth your peace of mind.

Peace of mind is how we thrive as human beings. Without the mind the body cannot exist. It’s how we live long and prosperous lives, and it’s how the world becomes a better place. The opposite only brings war, pain, suffering and more hell. I don’t want to live in hell. I didn’t sign up for that.