Archive | June, 2012

On the Road…to Sampa!

28 Jun

this is not my bus, but it looks like this 🙂

written at 12:49 am….

At times, I wonder if I am completely strange. I say this because I like certain things that most people abhor beyond belief, one of them being long trips. I write this as I am traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo…by bus. Most people would have opted to take the quick flight that only costs about $20 more and takes a 7th of the travel time. But again, maybe I am strange. I love long bus rides, particularly those in Brazil where buses are clean, safe, air conditioned, and not sketchy in the least. This is no Greyhound trip, folks. This is a cushy, 6- hour journey that gives me a view of the smooth and ever-so-scenic southern Brazilian interstate.

The things I see along the way are always interesting. Most entertaining are the titles of love motels that line the hours of endless pavement and the strange juxtaposition of favela-laden + rural landscapes. Another interesting feature is the large set of warehouses and factories for chain stores like Carrefoure and Walmart (yes, they have Walmart here!), a sight that always makes me feel more like I am in my hometown of Memphis and not in between big cities that are home to over millions of people.

Though I will only be in Sao Paulo for five days, I intend on filling with lots of activities, many academically motivated of course. I am here on a research trip afterall. But I will certainly be taking the time to “aproveitar” (take advantage of) my time here in my most favorite Brazilian city. Complete with its long stretches of asphalt, unbeatable nightlife, and a whole of things to do, Sao Paulo will always have a special place in my heart as my home away from home when I am here in the B. What that means for you as readers is that a new set of posts dedicated to my beloved Sampa are coming up. Be on the lookout.

– Retail DJ


Music I Can Count On

21 Jun

I do a lot of walking here in Rio because a) I am trying to save money and b) because I’m within walking distance from most of the research institutions. In NYC, I am plugged into my ipod at all times, but here, it’s a bit trickier. First and foremost, it’s not safe to take out your ipod on the street, even if just to do a quick song change, and secondly, none of the research institutions I do work in allow mp3 players. So for a large portion of my day, I’m sans music, or if not completely without it, limited in my choices of what to listen to while in transit. Thus mixes have a special place in my daily travels. I have to pick one that works well for my day and that I know I love the whole way through and don’t tire of at the 15-minute mark.

These are not the newest mixes I’ve heard, nor are they the full of flashy tracks, but they are reliable, interesting, and amazing for walking. Every day, they provide a little hidden joy as I travel from one place to the next with my ipod stashed deeply in my pocket and my headphone cord tucked under my clothing. So tonight, I’m sharing these tracks with you! The first two are MIA, so if you want a direct download, shoot me an email. The last is available via the Data Transmission podcast (which is phenomenal; definitely subscribe).

Van Rivers – Mars Mixxx

Immuzikation – Strangers No More

Ante Perry – Data Transmission Mix no. 228


– Retail DJ

I Love Mondays: Para One . . . Para Todos

10 Jun

Para One

It’s officially been a week (+ a few days) here in Rio, and so many adventures have already occurred that I hardly have room here to account for them all. They’ve involved the usual run of typical Brazilian hyper-bureaucracy mixed with a bit of dancing, funk carioca, and long waits in grocery store lines…but all together, positive! No matter how busy I am or how frustrated I get dealing with certain things, Brazil always reminds me to be a human being first . . . to take time for myself . . . to use the silent moments to listen to what’s happening inside.

Interestingly enough, one of my favorite music artists has a similar effect on me. Para One, the magnificent French producer/genius behind countless tracks that took me to places I never knew existed, has done a mix for UK outfit Data Transmission! This mix unites many a vintage track with newer pieces that remind its listeners that not all has been lost in the world of the electronic music. Para One reminds us of his raw electronic origins all the while incorporating smooth old school house bits that make it quite an enjoyable hour and seven minutes.

It’s also worth adding that this mix satiated my craving for deeper electronica (which is a bit hard to find here in Rio…especially now that Dama de Ferro has closed up shop after a 10-year run…RIP). My only hope is that it feeds a hunger for all of you as well…be it to chill or simply to make Monday more tolerable.

Para One – Data Transmission Mix 229

(follow the link to stream/download)

tracklist after the jump

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The Shop Is Open!

2 Jun

I like to think of Retail DJ a bit like one of those ateliers that only opens during certain seasons or when displaying new lines. You may have to wait for weeks or months to get access to the goods, but once inside, you’re overwhelmed, surprised, relieved even to have such great things at your disposal. Now that school is out for a few months, I’m ready to “re-open the shop,” as they say. And not only will I be back to writing, but I’ll be posting from a brand new place: Rio de Janeiro.

That’s right, folks. I am in the “Cidade Maravilhosa” (“Marvelous City”) for the next two months. Though I am being a total nerd and conducting research while I am here, I’ll be sure to add regular posts here at Retail DJ, including a few with info on the local music scene and, if I’m lucky, funk carioca parties (“bailes”). I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

In the meantime, get ready for new interviews as well, including one with a very very special guest artist many of you love.

But it’s “tchau” for now. The sun has burnt a few of my brain cells, and this little blogger needs to take a rest.


Retail DJ

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