Archive | April, 2011

Upcoming Shows: Green Velvet, Shomi Noise, & More!

28 Apr

Soo many great events this weekend! In a trend I have noticed in recent months, all the really good shows are happening at the end of the month. Luckily, I saved up my energy and will be partying down. Here’s a mini-guide:

Friday:

Classixx + Nancy Whang @ Webster Hall

Lil Ray @ Crave Wine Bar (check out DJ KrunkPony there on Saturday too!)

Green Velvet & Jamie Jones @ Good Units

Saturday:

A-Trak & Kid Sister @ Terminal 5

Shomi Noise (The Wretched Party! launch!) @ East River Bar, Brooklyn

and if you’re in. . .

Berlin

or Rio

or Ontario

or Amsterdam

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I Love Mondays: Post-Lunch Slump

25 Apr

Mowgli

Today, I woke up with an insane headache and a nose so clogged that I felt like I needed to take a swig of Drano. Call it allergies or maybe it was just the rain, but something was keeping me down. I needed a little music to help me up. But my brain didn’t really come alive until about 12, and I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to share a great mix with you all to help your day.

This mix was in my spam box, and I unfortunately didn’t see it until about a week later than its release. Nevertheless, I say enjoy something, no matter it’s date or origin. Music is music and 11 days won’t kill a good thing. This house-filled mix is by Mowgli, the uber-talented Michele Savasta, who manages to infuse samples from pop anthem “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas with deeper 90s-style dance tracks and soul.

This mix is great for the post-lunch slump (for those of you in office environments, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about), so press play and get ready to start your day over the right way :- )

Mowgli – April 2011 Mixtape 

(click to play; click the small arrow on the right to download)

tracklist after the jump

RECLOOSE – Dust
FREAKS, ROBERT OWENS – Right Now ( Silver City Space Dub )
WHO MADE WHO – Every Minute Alone ( Tale of Us, Seth Troxler Dub Edit )
ADAM PORT – Corrosive Love
VEITENGRUBER – Junk
FRIVOLOUS – Cryin’
WILL SAUL, TAM COOPER – Hi-Lo
GENNY G – Chicago Trust
GEMINI – Where Do I Go ( 1997 mix )
TODD EDWARDS, THE MESSENGER – Main Vibe
MOODYMANC – Black Paint ( Larry Heard’s After Dark mix )
DJ T. , KHAN – Leavin Me
FREAKS, 012 – Conscious of my Conscience
SOUL CLAP, CHARLIE LEVINE – Lonely C

Handheld Social Life: Ignoring the Real for the Virtual

20 Apr

I want to just create a club in which you MUST check your cell phone at the front – or at least one that bans any cell phones, PDAs (unless they’re the type borne of lustful couplings), and anything digital with the exception of the DJ’s gear. I didn’t always feel that way, but after a few years of clubbing until the passed the generation that came to be my dancefloor peers, I’ve changed my mind.

I’m not the only one, either. According to the New York Times, cell phone use in social situations can not only be awkward, but just plain rude. A recent article entitled “Ahem! Are You Talking to Me? (Or Texting?)” opens:

YOU are at a party and the person in front of you is not really listening to you. Yes, she is murmuring occasional assent to your remarks, or nodding at appropriate junctures, but for the most part she is looking beyond you, scanning in search of something or someone more compelling.

Here’s the funny part: If she is looking over your shoulder at a room full of potentially more interesting people, she is ill-mannered. If, however, she is not looking over your shoulder, but into a smartphone in her hand, she is not only well within modern social norms, but is also a wired, well-put-together person.

Add one more achievement to the digital revolution: It has made it fashionable to be rude.

But when I take a moment to observe the people around me at clubs and bars, I don’t think they’re trying to be rude. I’ve come to realize that about 99% of them are incredibly socially inept. Some say that it’s ADD that keeps them tied to their handheld devices like baby bottles, but I insist that it’s a simple case of shyness – or fear, even – that prohibits them from putting their crackberries down. They just don’t seem to understand how to interact with others beyond the screen in front of them.

And it’s sad.

David Carr, the author of the Times piece quoted above noted a similar phenomenon while at a South by Southwest afterparty:

At the conference, I saw people who waited 90 minutes to get into a party with a very tough door, peering into their phones the whole while, only to breach the door finally and resume staring into the same screen and only occasionally glancing up.

. . . We were adjacent but essentially alone, texting and talking our way through what should have been a great chance to engage flesh-and-blood human beings.

It paints a strangely “meta” scene. You have people who have taken the time to buy clothing, put on makeup, do their hair, spend money both commuting to the event and buying the alcohol that it supposed to help make them less awkward and more relaxed in order to meet others, only to hug their cell phones all night, reporting their activities (which involve little else than texting or posting that very message in a dark corner alone) on facebook, twitter, or in succinct messages to friends:

“At _____ bar”

“DJ _____ spinning”

“So drunk!”

It seems as if they only exist to text/post and only text/post in order to exist. In a world where everything seems increasingly more temporary, so then too are our social lives. Ephemeral and empty, a night at a party is simply time spent in order to end up in pictures you will attempt to delete the next morning. Beyond that, it seems there is little other motivation.

I still dance when I go out and talk to my friends during the process. I go out to have fun and share my free time with the people I love. I go to hear a DJ whom I find talented and committed to his or her craft. But all in all, I think my optimism and enthusiasm in this entire process is simply my showing my age, and one that places me in an entirely different generation.

– Retail DJ

Mix On Tap: Coasting

16 Apr

I’ll admit it: every now and then, I get stuck on NYC. Sure, I have days that I hate it, but I also know that I probably would go nuts if I went out west. And YET, I am sure that there are many lovely things about Cali, despite their clubs closing early, and one of them is that the folks out there sure love to drink! Ok, maybe that’s the whole United States, but considering they have so much sun and fruit to their disposal, the weather  at night plus the alcohol must make for a nice combo.

But alcohol also goes quite well with the right music, so there’s no harm in playing the good stuff while you prepare the latter. For this week’s Mix On Tap, I’ve included a smooth mix by Sweden’s La Fleur. It’s entitled the “Planting Seeds Mix,” but it saves as “What French People Play.” This fits in well with what’ll be flowing – none other than vino (What French People Drink?). The drink this week is a “remix” of the classic Sangria, but with a California kick.

Enjoy this Mix On Tap, and have a great night out!

The Mix: 

La Fleur – Planting Seeds Mix

(click to play; click the small arrow on the right to download)

The Drink:

California Martini

3 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Red Wine
1 tbsp. Dark Rum
4 dash(es) Orange Bitters

Shake with cracked ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
– Retail DJ

Gratuitous Dance Mix: Noob

15 Apr

Noob

Known in the States primarily for his collaborative work with Brodinski, it’s nice to know that Noob’s got quite the “voice” of his own. Though the Bordeaux-born DJ and producer began as “Wobo,” his present moniker “Noob” (in English, short for “newbie,” in French, no idea) isn’t indicative of his presence on the scene as he’s been working behind it for years. His mix style is a bit indescribable, but I am going to try. It’s experimental, jacking and bass-heavy, wobbly almost, but nowhere close to dubstep. It reminds me of what would happen if Green Velvet and Bok Bok had a baby. The tracks he’s chosen for this mix can’t really be categorized, but they were heavy enough to make me listen to it about 4 times, trying to piece together exactly what it was about the mix that made me love it so much. But finally, I just gave in.

It’s just good, and there’s nothing wrong with saying that sans florid adjectives. Anyway, I’ll let you be the judge of this fabulousness. My tip: listen to it if you need a hint of aggression.

Noob – April 2011 Mix for Discobelle

click to play; right click + save as to download

tracklist after the jump

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Get Dressed To This: Bruised

14 Apr

More Courtney Love than Retail DJ?

Do you ever come home covered in bruises and have no idea why? I do…

Wait, that sounds kinda bad. I am not in a fight club, nor do I get drunk to the point of passing out or falling down. But sometimes, I come home with all these mysterious purple marks whose respective origins remain unknown. And then it hits me!

It’s the music. Or better, the dancing.

Not that I am an arms-out flailing type of anything, but sometimes, the music is just so good that you dance until it hurts, until you literally hit things and forget that it even happened because the good sounds are so distracting. It’s been quite some time that the music I have heard while out has sent me into such a frenzy, but there are still mixes that come across my “desk” that make it happen. This week, such a mix comes to us by way of Idiotproof, whose latest mix for the Jackmode podcast is so energetic that I can’t help but give it the recognition it deserves. Every.single.track on the mix is hard-hitting and might serve up a post-dance punishment for those of you who get as into the music as I.

But in between all the dancing, hopefully you’ll have some time to get dressed. To go along with the intense music, I’ve decided to put together an outfit that has a hard exterior, but a few whimsical notes to welcome you. A mix of vintage, new, and handcrafted items, this outfit is full of conversation pieces. That is, if you have any time for that between all the moves you’ll be doing.

But enough of me. Time for the music. Press play and take a bit to Get Dressed To This . . .

The Music:

Idiotproof – Jackmode April 2011 Podcast

(click to play; click the small arrow on the right to download)

tracklist (below) after the jump

The Outfit:

(click the photos for purchasing & additional photos)

1. Smock Dress by In God We Trust, Beacon’s Closet, $35 USD

In God We Trust Dress, Beacons Closet

2. Mr Mustache Ring by AngelInChina, Etsy, $33 USD

Mr. Mustache Ring, Etsy

3. Flick Flack Clutch Bag, Irregular Choice (UK), £ 35 GBP

Flick Flack Clutch, Irregular Choice

5. Roxy Body Harness by SultryAffair, Etsy, $45 USD

Roxy Body Harness, Etsy

6. Patchuli II Wedges, Melissa, R$ 160 BRL

Patchuli II, Melissa Brasil

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New Piece On Racialicious

13 Apr

Check out my new piece over at Racialicious, my former stomping ground before I “retired” from the race game and set my sights on music coverage.

Here’s a preview of “It’s Complicated: DJs, Appropriation, and a Whole Host of Other Ish”

. . . Despite Diplo’s humble upbringing, which he cites in his twitter fight (and quite often when his extracting of foreign music is questioned), his whiteness still lends itself to fortifying his legitimacy as an ambassador in the music world. But it also begs the question of whether or not his methods would be scrutinized at all were he from a different country, a person of color, or from a more visibly marginalized community? Much like any other art culture, is the DJ community subject to the same values as other mainstream industries, particularly as electronic music and it many subgenres gain increasing popularity in the US, despite its rogue beginnings?

– Retail DJ

 

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