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Music

Active Child – 1999

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This song came on the other day and I started crying for no real reason. Then I started thinking: it was because I was genuinely happy for the first time in a really long time, and it took hearing this song to awaken that emotion and kind of realize that my life is actually pretty good.

The power of music to awaken such emotions never ceases to astound me, and while I typically utilize music for its healing and energizing power, this experience was more like a revelation.

I’m the type of person that has notoriously bad luck and a notorious negative outlook on life. People call me a hater, but my job, as a critic, is to call it like I see it.

One of my favorite books ever is “Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me“, a modern Odysseus tale infused with much drugs and realizations on a college campus (it’s about Cornell in the 60’s and worth so long).

For the last nearly five years since graduating college, I’ve been very lost at times. The identity that I clung to for four years and my friendships that soon dissipated (the real ones lasted) threw me into the shitter. And then, towards the end of last year (‘and I can thank real friends like Hec for this’), a trigger went off in me. Less talk, more walk. Meet anyone you can, soak every bit of knowledge you can, and immerse yourself in life.

I was crying because for the first time in my life I genuinely feel like I’ve reached a modicum of success, and, through my own will. Success is a weird feeling, and one I was unfamiliar with for so long. I forget what it feels like for everything to feel “right”.

I’m not a millionaire. I’m by no means a made man. But for the first time in my life, everything looks up.

When life throws endless curveballs and a stream of seemingly endless negative vibes your way, you start to forget about the little things in life. Music brings me back to that.

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Categories
Music

Giorgio Oehlers – I Rise

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Woah is me. It’s been a tumultuous week of seemingly endless petty obstructions… e.g., hello, transformation. I can truthfully say that I’m learning to embrace these heightened cortisol levels and the wonders they do for my creativity. I roar in the face of calamity and acknowledge the adversity— after all, you either own it or it owns you (at least on a subconscious level). Embrace it or abandon it, there is no middle ground. You’re either fighting the good fight or you’re not. On that note, Thursday evening vibes via one of my favorite labels these days, Darker Than Wax

Categories
Music

Alicia Keys – Fallin’ (starRo Remix)

I always imagined time travel would be more like a dream – just a little different than you remember, just a little slower than real time. Travel with me back to 2001. Napster gets shut down. Alicia Keys spends six weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 with Fallin’. Oh, and the first iPod is released.

Fallin’ is just one of those tracks you never forget. It’s just the right amount of all the right ingredients – soul, rhythm and truth. But then we add in a little starRo, and he hits it just right. He flys in with this helicopter-esque syncopation but maintains this downtempo groove that builds in intensity and complexity. The beat pauses only to accentuate Keys’ most vulnerable vocal moments, killing it mainly at 2:15.

starRo is Shinya Mizoguchi in real time and real life, but his music is this escape into an alternate reality. It doesn’t really matter where or what it is. Just know that it exists.

Alicia Keys – Fallin’ (starRo Remix)