Allen Toussaint – Night People (MermaidS Edit)

dr john toussaint

Pictured: Toussaint with Dr. John

Most people want to achieve something in life that they’re remembered for. We want to be stars on the Hollywood walk and we want our names to ring bells.

But sometimes, the quietest stars and the people in the background are the most influential ones. These are the people who make an impact without the surrounding noise.

You may not have heard of Allen Toussaint, but you’ve certainly heard Allen Toussaint. Toussaint is the heart of New Orleans and its rhythm, blues, jazz, and soul scene.

Composing and producing for over 50 years, Toussaint’s beats still permeate through New Orleans. His music has been an inspiration for decades, as the Foo Fighters detail in an episode of HBO’s Sonic Highways.

Without Toussaint, there would be no Lady Marmalade. Boz Scaggs, John Mayall, Dr. John, The Yardbirds. Those are just a few of the artists Toussaint has collaborated with.

Without Toussaint, New Orleans probably wouldn’t be the funky New Orleans we know it as.

Toussaint, 76, has understandably slowed down his production the last couple of decades. But he’s remained a mentor and an inspiration for musics all over the world.

Toussaint’s reach extends all the way to Glasgow, Scotland, where the MermaidS, a very dope production outfit that you probably haven’t heard of, have re-interpreted one of Toussaint’s classics: Night People.

I had never heard the original or really grasped Toussaint’s importance until stumbling across this edit a few days ago. It’s a worthy tribute, and just another way that the legend of Toussaint will continue to live on:

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Angus & Julia Stone – Grizzly Bear (Lakechild Edit)

There is a shift in many of the psyches of this, our, younger generation. It is not cool to be elitist. It is frowned upon to judge others, to act a class above or oblivious to the cultures of our fellow humans. Arguably due to the accessibility of information, the ease of traveling now to places far away or making friends or following people across the world.

I am blessed with a job that allows me to travel and nearly forces us to submerge ourselves in the culture, to talk to everyone we meet and to experience the places we visit so we become not only a source there, but build connections here. But even after multiple trips to these places and people, I am still always surprised by the people and how similar we all really are. Currently in India, I had that moment again and again. Here, there is a more recent shift from the arranged marriages we all see in film and TV that, from a western perspective, seems archaic still. Which had me thinking about love.

I was in a cab and the driver asked me about my love. His first question was “is it a love marriage or a set marriage”. I explained about my love (leaving out the back story of meeting in a pub over a beer and football on Halloween) but he was very concerned about this arrangement I was in. What would my parents think? How could I be with someone my family hadn’t met? I hadn’t been home in a long time and my parents meeting my boyfriend was not a big deal, but I felt judged in it. I felt what we had put out there for so long. This was a normal situation of love to be in in my mind, but saying it out loud here felt like I was in a lesser love for a moment. And I could see there are places in the world where this not normal. This is irresponsible love. That we are still different in many ways.

A few days later, I met up with a girlfriend. Oddly, I found myself drinking wine in a Mexican restaurant listening to a country music song covered in a very thick, Indian accent over candlelight in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. I can’t explain this situation other than it was a twilight zone sort of moment where I just laughed at it. Everything was a juxtaposition here to everything in the room. The conversation turned in to talking about boys. What else do 26 year old girls talk about. And it was then I realized that we are not really different at all. The things she worried about in her relationship where what I did in mine. Are we going anywhere? Where do we want to end up? And then after more wine, we reminisced about the first time we met our significant others. And again, the stories were similar. Nervous, attraction, long talks, and how much we adored them immediately.

Underneath all of this and between the decades and centuries of cultural divides, we now have understanding and can see the common grounds. I realized we all feel butterflies when we meet them, when we talk about love, we are nervous and excited, we get set up or we meet by chance.

It is a fun, exciting time to be alive and to experience people and have those conversations in dark bars in India over Mexican food listening to Sam Smith and Tim McGraw cover songs, because somehow, we are all human.

This song reminds me of the bar talks. Of the butterflies and being blissfully taken far away with a stranger who knows you all too well.

Angus & Julia Stone – Grizzly Bear (Lakechild Edit)


Sade – When Am I Going To Make A Living (Poolside’s Tons of Drums Edit)

Futuristic people, that’s what interest me these days, nothing else.

Look at how insanely fast technology is advancing. Don’t take your iPhone for granted man, that thing is nothing short of a miracle. My question though is how can we be getting so sophisticated in terms of tech and be a such a snail pace culturally?

I’ve never had much of an interest for tradition. I mean how much sense does it make to follow something that was established hundreds of years before, for reasons only relevant to the people who made them and could easily serve no practical purpose for the reality were a part of. If there is a better way to do something would we ignore it simply because of tradition, establishment or comfort?
Sergy Brin came out yesterday saying he wants to end individual car ownership & Travis Kalanick of Uber has been saying the same thing. I don’t know if you guys realize but for CEO’s of two of the most influential companies in the world to say those things is basically like declaring war on the car industry. The car industry represents what I was referring to earlier, systems so massive and established that it’s hard to see a world without them in it, good or bad. Remember those bailouts? The car industry was one of the biggest recipients.
Serge and Travis’s views are so forward thinking that 90% of people will actually side with the car industry and say that not owning your own car would be ludicrous. I represent the Space Age so my view is with the CEOs, self-driving cars and systems like Uber are more efficient in a multitude of ways and individual car ownership is unnecessary. It may be hard to see that now because the solutions aren’t available to the public but whether we like it or not that will be the future.
These type of changes make me think about life in general and how many cultural staples are just as outdated and in need of either being completely eliminated or totally renovated. The first thing that comes to mind is our perception of success and it’s relation to material things…

Haven’t I told you before
We’re hungry for a life we can’t afford?…

I won’t get too into this topic because its way to complicated but those lyrics capture it perfectly. Our definition of success is based on marketing and because of that we spend our entire lives working within someone else’s idea of what life is supposed to be.

When am I gonna make a living?
It’s gonna take a while before I give in, yes it is
I’m sick and tired of scratching a living
I am hungry but I’m not gonna give in, no

Without going into the mountains, swearing off civilization and meditating for days on end to unlearn the programming of the matrix it’s impossible to be immune to the power of marketing. Everything is a sell and they’re getting better and better at knowing what makes us tick and what will get us to buy. So they create this hunger within us, we don’t know why we want that car, why we care so much about a phone, why we’ll spend ridiculous amount of money on coffee etc but the hunger is real. I always wondered why I equally loved and hated the things that motivated me and this Sade song, in all it’s smooth and elegant glory explained it perfectly…

I am hungry but I’m not gonna give in, no.”

Music Remixes

Shirley Ellis – The Clapping Song (Coconuts Beat Club New Orleans Bounce Edit)

There’s a reason I’ve never really dabbled in the bounce genre. It has a lot to do with my being intimidated by the amount of movement that is required of the listener. Now, I’m someone who loves nothing more than dancing at any point in the day. I’ll always find an excuse. So it does come as a surprise to myself, and probably to you, when I say that this song is so much fun that it tired me out. I need to go to New Orleans and see how they do it over there, because there’s probably a matter of pacing that I just don’t get. I’m all out all the time with the moves, and all out moves to this song will leave you breathy.

Needless to say, this is your perfect Thursday pump-up jam. If you are the character that needs no excuse to start busting a move in the middle of the subway platform, then this is your song. I will admit, the fact that we’re dealing with Shirley Ellis and such a classic track had me a little nervous before listening to this song in its entirety, but just allow it to happen. It’s the kind of track that has me whipping my hair in circles then flipping it over my shoulder just in time to put my hands on my hips and stomp in place, booty movements galore.

May your Thursday be filled with bounce and sass.

Shirley Ellis – The Clapping Song (Coconuts Beat Club New Orleans Bounce Edit)