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Mixtape Music Writing

Et Musique Pour Tous Presents: Les Auteurs — Samantha Sanders

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Welcome to another installment of Et Musique Pour Tous Presents: Les Auteurs. I took me a while to decide on a theme, and as it goes, my theme is a non-theme! I simply want to capture the ephemerality of moods.

The relationship between mood and music is important to me, and I’m a big proponent of using music in all facets of my life.Other than purely listening for pleasure, playing music is either to elevate my current mood or redirect my emotions to put myself in a different state of mind. Music is with me everywhere- to jazz me up in the morning when I realllly don’t want to get out of bed; to ride along with on my bike to get me up those hills (using only one earbud for safety!); to motivate me to get that laundry done; to calm me down when my mind is in a tizzy; to DANCE along to when I want to expend some energy! It permeates through my entire lifestyle. I love that music can move you, both mentally and physically.

Music is a great companion, and has been a big part of my life since high school. The music blogs of the internet were the best thing I could have discovered during that time. I was the “new girl” most of my childhood and as a result of sporadic seclusion, I always found things to engross myself in outside of school and athletics. In 7th grade it was breakdancing, in 8th I had a mild obsession with soccer ball juggling and foot tricks, in 9th I landed on music and stuck with it. Believe me, it was a better fit than breakdancing.

So in high school I would scour the web for music to fit my eclectic taste; I liked the idea of listening to outlandish things, to things I thought my peers had never heard of. I liked introducing my friends and family to interesting sounds. These sounds were so diverse I noticed I had almost a mood library on my computer, not just songs. I began to learn how to create aesthetics based solely on music, and I also learned how a disconnect between situation and sound can alter perceptions of a situation. Go ahead, put that Big Freedia vinyl on the turntable while hosting a quaint dinner party and see how your guests react. Hopefully your current mood is captured by at least one of the songs in this playlist. Enjoy!

– Samantha

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Mixtape Music

Et Musique Pour Tous Presents: Les Auteurs — Ashley Jordan Lane

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Whereever you go, there you’ll be.”

My ex-boyfriend’s mom told me that. After four years I was leaving, and this was the message I took with me. After you leave once, it is easier to spot exits in life. Constantly trying to hop to the next place, avoiding the feeling of quicksand in the present time. When you have the urge for change, to travel, to leave, the only thing harder than leaving is staying there. But we do what you are not supposed to do in quicksand, which I gather from Indiana Jones and Blazing Saddles, which is to hold very still. And breath.

This is a mix about travelling. Not “The Best Roadtrip Mix Ever”. This is the short story about the cliffs and valleys of the wanderers.  We are all familiar with the phrase “not all wanderers are lost” and this is the playlist for those wanderers.  They are using looking for someone, generally themselves.

Enjoy the ride.

Bob Dylan-Subterranean Homesick Blues: I digress. This is the perfect roadtrip song. This song should start all of your trips. The roots of the song coming from his Beats influence. The conflict of the straight and square. The contract between what is expected and where you are going.

Parov Stelar – The Sun (Featuring Graham Candy): This track is the moment you are on your first traveller’s high. Either mentally or otherwise. You got your footing in a new place. Confidence has come back to you after fumbling languages, upsidedown maps and seeing the same road twice. Swaying to the heavy base set down by Parov Stelar and the raspy vocals of Graham Candy, you glide.

Joăo Gilberto – Bim Bom: This is a song for landing on your feet. I found this song on an album in the kitchen of the Airbnb I stayed in in Rome. The homeowner left espresso and this CD in the player to listen to. It was warped and scratched as it had been listened to so much. I asked him about the CD when I was checking out which was titled Songs of Brasil. He had always wanted to go to Brazil and live there. He listened to this CD every day. I listented to it every morning and I felt like I was home in his little kitchen with his little espresso maker and this song playing through the little player. The song sounds like the OM sound for travelling. The perfect balance sound. Comfortable on your feet on new soil.

Tom Odell – Another Love (Zwette Edit) : This is a recent release. And the song is a release. Tom Odell has the vocals you want to hear from your lovers and friends. It’s hopeful, dreamy. “And I wanna kiss you, make you feel alright | I’m just so tired to share my nights | I wanna cry and I wanna love | But all my tears have been used up.”  The highlight, the nectars of travelling are the kisses and deep talks with strangers and those intense connections you make quickly and deeply with all of your being. Sharing secrets with people who you will never see again. It is amazing, the secrets you share with strangers you will never see again. This track is for the beer at the bar with your new lovers and friends. For the quick, deep cuts and connections you get on a trip. The ones that leave scars you look at lovingly in a year or five. Still able to taste the memory on your palette.

Frank Ocean – Super Rich Kids: Depending on where you go, you will come across the rich kids. We all are when we travel. You save up so you can be stupid. Be reckless. No one is there watching. The freedom to be the new person you want to be. Any status. From anywhere you want. Trying out accents and zip codes and seeing what fits. This is the creation of you for the moment. The confident, newfound you. And Frank Ocean should be on all travelling mixes.

Milky Chance – Stolen Dance (Radio Edit): The thing about wandering is you need to be comfortable with yourself. This is the time you get in to your head. Why did you leave in the first place for? This song from Milky Chance is the song that comes on at the first hard spot of a trip. Knees are scuffed. When you first fall, the contents of what you were caring around with you spills out and you have to pick it all up, one by one and pick yourself up. We need to look at all of this stuff you cary with out and choose to let some things go.

Caribou – I Can’t Do Without You: When wandering, there is a time you will get home sick. You will miss someone or something or familiarity. It is that sinking feeling in your stomach and usually has bad timing. This song. This song has  that feeling. The opening just has the repeating line “I can’t do without you”  which explodes into the  rest of the music and sound. The beginning acting more like that voice in your head. Not able to shake it, just have to let yourself acknowledge that. This track is from the new Caribou album Our Love.

We are not wondering lost forever. We have wander lust, forever.

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Music

Et Musique Pour Tous presents Les Auteurs – Nicky DePaul

Today I am excited to offer the second entry into EMPT’s “Les Auteurs” playlist series, in which our writers share playlists built around a theme of their choosing. The design of the EMPT is not condusive to author recognition, and we devised this series as a way for our loyal (unpaid) writers to put a name to the voices you know and love.

In the first “Les Auteurs” entry, Ashley H. (yes, there are multiple Ashleys!) shared an Indie Shuffle playlist built around the broad theme of love, and constructed to lead listeners through the phases of a romantic relationship. This week will be, well, different.

See, I have a love affair going on in my life. It’s been going on for a while now, and after a few years on and off, I’m glad were finally able to be together again. Whenever I find a spare moment, I’m running in my love’s direction, eager to bury myself in the wetness that awaits.

I admit it: I’m head over heels in love with the beach.

My youth was spent in a coastal community in West Los Angeles abutting Venice, considered the home of modern American skate and surf culture. The beach was a regular presence. My friends and I would bike or skate the few miles to the sand and post all day, surfing, flirting and growing up. Though I was undoubtebly the “Squid” of the group (I never could get the hang of that balance thing…), I found that the beach, and coastal settings in general, became the preferred haven for my soul. I’m a nature guy, an ecologist and climate scientist by training, and am absolute Wild (in the Thoreau-ian sense) addict. Nothing is more wild on this planet than the ocean, and I embrace the mysterious deep as my church. We could dive deep into naturalistic mysticism, but that’s for another day.

My “Les Auteurs” entry is entitled “BYOBeach,” and it’s sculpted to bring the ‘tude and feeling of a summer beach day to your earholes, wherever you may be physically located. Beach culture exists across the world in different forms, and I’m not trying to provide a comprehensive survey. “BOYBeach” mixes the haze and liberation of Australian psychedelic rock, the rebellious voice of long-haired teenagers at war with everyone, the prophetic calls of reggae forebears, and the ebullient promise of a life spent in the salt and sun.

Some of the tracks are retro classics. No beach playlist would be complete without The Beach Boys (“Catch A Wave”), Bob Marley and the Wailers (an incomparably great early recording of “Lively Up Yourself”) and Toots and the Maytals (“Sweet & Dandy” off the album that brought reggae music out of the Caribbean, “The Harder They Come (OST)”).

Others are brand new and laregely unknown. Howler (“Beach Sluts”), the brainchild of singer/songwriter Jordan Gatesmith is pure beach punk out of distinctly not-beachy Minneapolis. Elliphant (“Music Is Life”) aka Ellinor Olovsdotter, is another rising Swedish pop sensation who pays tribute to dancehall and reggae in her own unique fashion (look for her at the Mad Decent Block Party concert series this summer). And, because I’m obsessed withKevin Parker (of Tame Impala fame), I included tracks from two of this other projects: Melody’s Echo Chamber, where he serves as the producer for the brilliant French singer Melody Prochet, and Pond, where he plays drums.

Rounding out the playlist, we have tracks by The Babies, Superhumanoids (with whom I conducted an EMPT exclusive interview a few months back), Liam Lynch, Pete Rodriguez (you don’t know him, but you know the song), and reggae toaster Anthony B.

I selected “Danca Ma Mi Criola” by Tito Paris, out of Cape Verde. This song was on a random compilation album of music from island communities across the world I listened to as a child. It truly encapsulates what The Beach, for me, is all about: peace, relaxation and mutual communion through a shared love of the miracle of life.

Please listen to the playlist in it’s established order, as if an LP. It is structured to lead you through a full day at the beach, leading off hot and heavy, and letting you down gently as the final grains of sand fall from your towel.

Categories
Mixtape Music

Et Musique Pour Tous Presents: Les Auteurs — Ashley Hefnawy

We love the trials and tribulations of relationships. If you’re a regular reader of EMPT, you probably already know that. We love love. It’s a complex, difficult, struggling aspect of life, and yet, it’s so easy to rant about. I personally appreciate it because I am not currently in love. Because of that, I geekily analyze every song that even mentions love. All of it is intriguing to me, the beginning, the plot line, the plateau, and the eventual decline. In some rare instances, we find ourselves in situations of “everlasting love.” If you’re in one of those situations at the moment, then you have that extra level of faith that it will continue for you, and you know that it will never falter, no matter your circumstances. I believe I’ve experienced a love like that with people in my life, not necessarily intimate, and I cherish that.

So when Indie Shuffle came to us and asked us to build a themed playlist, I relished the notion of creating a themed playlist that could be about anything I wanted. For the record, every fabulous EMPT writer will have the chance to put together and publish a playlist using Indie Shuffle’s “collections” — which is basically, internet technology that allows you to make playlists and share them with others on your blogs. It’s a beautiful thing.

In this first edition, you’ll notice that the song titles are particularly specific to certain levels of a relationship. The beginning, for me at least, is the friendship that you don’t realize, is turning into something more. It’s the surprise, the moment you go to one of your friends and question, “Is it possible that he likes me? He’s been hitting me up a lot more than usual lately, I honestly thought we were just friends…But he’s so sweet.” Without even realizing, things begin to fall into your lap, and all of a sudden, you’re in blissful love. You stare at each other in parks as if there’s no one around; you know every fleck of brown and orange and yellow in their green/blue eyes. Your heart is on the verge of heart attack every time an intimate moment occurs. It’s easyOne day you wake up and your world is dictated by someone else — how did this happen? You’re so New York City independent, you foxy woman, you. You have your own life, your own friends, and your own weekend plans — but all of a sudden, you don’t. You want to know what they’re doing before you even know what you’re doing. And that scares the shit out of you, causing to look at life with a fearful eye — you’re afraid. And you tell them. But they respond with fear, too, and you both embrace it. If you’re going to fall into this hole, you’re going to fall down together. So you bask in this lavish glory, one of you treats the other like a precious diamond and you go out to expensive dinners and wear expensive shoes. Your life is suddenly wild and you have no idea how it happened.

And then one day you wake up next to this person and you don’t even know who they are. Life’s caught up to you and you’re disgusted by yourself. Or, alternatively, they have that realization about you. Either way, you just wish things could stay like they were before. You want to go back to the park on the water, where you both admitted fear and love all at once. Where you cried because it was overwhelming. You want them to stay. And like that, you’re attempting to move on. It’s over and you’re trying to heal your heart, trying to heal the universe that’s been built around you. You want to get better, but you don’t know how. So you numb the pain. And it turns you into this uptight alternate version of yourself. Or sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes, it just makes you into this seemingly carefree human, devoid of emotion, wanting to “experience it all.” You’re trying to embody the idea of a twenty-something.

But deep deep down, you know the environment in which your heart belongs. You just don’t know who should hold it.

This mix is for the love-missers. Hell, I know I miss it. Yeah, I love different people in my life. I allow that emotion to embody different moments of my days, and sometimes, I’m so overwhelmed by it, that I cry. But I never cry in the way that I do when I’m in love with just one person in just one way. And that’s what I miss. I think we all miss that.

Without further ado, please enjoy this first edition of Les Auteurs. And thank you, Indie Shuffle, for giving us this awesome opportunity to tell a story with a playlist.