Friday, July 31, 2009

Once upon a time...

When record label execs lived like kings, they would throw lavish multi-million dollar parties, press 1000s of 12" singles on vinyl just to give away to DJs, hand out all types of branded product, sign any artist that had potential, but if those artists didn't or stopped selling, they would shelve them or drop them, and as these 'kings' may have believed that those artists were collecting dust, these artists never got old, and though they may not have made millions, their sound was always fresh, their songs were never played out, and unlike those label execs, the music of those artists lived forever in eternal greatness.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Funk N' Bubble Gum

I am finally posting my first DJ mix to this blog. I made this mix about a year ago. Whenever I record a mix, I am usually in my living room and thinking about whatever it is that is on my mind at the time, and of course I record all of my mixes live.

Just click the "play" button on the pink boom box and expect the unexpected.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Breath and Beats

I had the opportunity to take a private yoga lesson last week and I have recently found myself focusing on aligning my breath with my body, mind and soul. This exercise is almost like the practice of creating the perfect (DJ) mix: the beat keeps moving, through a series of different vessels. The same consistency and alignment we seek into each breath is the same that we (DJs) seek into each beat.

Friday, July 24, 2009

From Dylan to Mozart

Everybody has nursed a broken heart. I remember the first time I had my heart broken, I was in HS, and I thought the world was ending. Of course it wasn't the last time I cried over a boy... but it wasn't until my father died that I had experienced the deepest heart break, an experience that was and is simply unparalleled to any other loss of love. At first, I actually treated his death like a "break up", I established a time frame, I believed that if I 'allowed' myself to fall apart for X amount of days, then I'll get over it. I deleted all of his emails, VMs, and removed everything in my immediate circumference that reminded me of him (I didn't throw anything meaningful away, I just put them away). I continued my life, and I waited, I tried to feel better, I tried to forget and the harder I tried, the worse it became. I started to think, how I had seen him only a few months ago, what is it going to be like after not seeing him for years? Finally I succumbed to my emotions and accepted the fact that I was never getting over this. I don't want to get over him, I don't want to forget him. The love I have for him, is never going to die.

My father was a musician and if it wasn't for him, and my mother too:) I don't believe I could possibly of learned to love and appreciate all music the way that I do. I remember when I was little, my father would listen to classical music, I thought it was really boring, and I didn't understand why he loved it so much. I realize now, as with most music, the only way anyone can feel feel and appreciate music, is when they have lived and loved.

To celebrate my father's Birthday, his life and all of my memories of him, I created a playlist of some of his favorite music from Mozart to Dylan.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

That's 'Funked' Up

I'll never forget watching the documentary "Standing In the Shadows of Motown" Which told the story of the "Funk Brothers", the nick name for the in-house studio band for Motown Records from the 1950s-1970s. According to the documentary The Funk Brothers "played on more number-one records than The Beatles, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, and The Beach Boys combined". Furthermore (and this has been disputed) The Funk Brothers even co-wrote some of the music and were never accredited or properly compensated. They got paid $5 a song, and we all know most of those songs have made millions.

Either way, I found this cool recording:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

E.97th Street

My first NYC apt was on E.97th street between Park and Madison. I lived there during some of the most colorful years of my life. I remember during the summer, old men would play chess in the middle of the sidewalk and there would always be a small crowd buzzing outside the corner bodega. Actually that bodega was probably the most authentic NYC bodega I ever knew. I lived within walking distance of Central Park and some of the best museums in the world. The most notable museum was the Spanish Harlem 'HALL of FAME' on 106th street and Park (the actual block not the show).

The hall of fame is a basketball court, rich with colorful art, painted and sprayed by some of the best graffiti artists in the world.

I miss Spanish Harlem.......

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Bell Cafe

I am debating whether or not I should head down to Battery Park tonight to check out the Karsh Kale show. I'm a sucker for out door concerts but I can also be a wimp in the rain.

The first time I heard Karsh Kale perform was in the 90s at this tiny, smoky coffee shop/bar called the Bell Cafe, down on Spring Street. This spot was literally a 'hole in the wall' but every Sunday night a group of incredible musicians would sit in the middle of a densley packed crowd and just Jam. Kale was one of many musicians that came through to let loose.

In midst of writing this post I came across a myspace link, those musicians actually formed a band called the "Bell Cafe Band" and released an album. At the time I don't think they were that organized. I use to think that The Bell Cafe must of been what the Village Vanguard was like back in the 60s. Raw, unpolished music performed by some of the greatest musicians of all time.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Get Your 'Makossa' On!

Personally my favorite part of MJ's 'Wanna Be Starting Something' is the infamous break at the end when the beat drops and MJ starts singing:

Ma Ma Se,
Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma ko Sa
Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa,
Ma Ma ko Sa

A few people already know that the the original inspiration for that break was from 'Soul Makoussa', a song by an incredible African (Cameroonian) Saxaphone artist named Manu Dibango. Most people might not know who he is, but have heard the song 'Soul Makossa' which was originally a B-side but slowly became a club and radio anthem in the 70s.

Makossa means Dance in Duala a Cameroonian language.

Michael Jackson was not the only artist that drew inspiration from the concept of 'Soul Makossa'. A tribe called Quest, Jay-Z and Rihanna have also been inspired by the 'Soul Mokassa' too.

This song has clearly had a very deep influence over some incredible artists, as it has an incredibly festive and celebratory affect on the dance floor.

Check it out:)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hotter than...

There are a few things in life that one can never have too much, tolerance, patience, compassion, wisdom and.....Stevie Wonder...who's music actually encompasses all of the above;)

Here are some of my Stevie favorites (at the moment).


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sonic Chocolate

I think it might be safe to say that I actually own the first 12" record that Nickodemus released, I think it was a collaboration with a another producer. If I had known that (very young) and humble DJ would evolve into a true legendary producer and nightlife visionary, I would of had him sign it....though I suppose it's never too late to ask. Check out his latest...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's Good?

A Couple of years ago, I was rocking a hot mix when I dropped 'Wanna Be Starting Something'. In midst of the song, a young women requested I play "that Michael Jackson song from the Free Willy soundtrack". I respectfully told her I did not have the song, but in all honestly I laughed it off and I had never even heard of the song. When Free Willy came out, I was too old for kid movies, too young to have kids, and to be frank, I was even too cool for an MJ song released after the 80s.

When Jennifer Hudson performed at MJ's funeral service, I was really moved by her performance, but I was also 'taken back' by this great sounding MJ song that I never heard of, sure enough after some research, I found "that Michael Jackson song from the Free Willy Soundtrack". The truth is, I might of heard it, and wrote it off because it was too..... cheesy? I don't know, but I can't get over how DJs can get so caught up on what's "cool" that we sometimes loose an ear for what's "good"...even with some cheese:)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Now that I'm looking in retrospect.....

"I just wanted to take you back to the summer of 94 when the beastie boys still had talent, when the Fugees released their first album, when ‘Soul Kitchen’ was at tramps, when the Rock steady anniversary was still at Rock steady park, when all of the summer stage concerts were still free, when that whole 'cracked out' Kate moss look was chic, when the Rangers won the cup, when the Knicks were in the playoffs, when we got into clubs for free and thought we were the sh** and when we drank peach Snapple Ice tea like it was going out of style."

The above was post I wrote ( a while a go) on a really good friend's facebook wall. Yes, me and her go way back...The summer of 94' was probably my last summer of innocence, and 'innocence' takes a whole new meaning when you're born and raised in New York City. Sometimes I believe the city adds 10 years to your soul (in a good way;)


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sunshine in the Rain

Several years ago, I was attending a Roy Ayers concert at Central Park's summer stage. There was a beautiful crowd, the weather was beautiful and yes, the music and energy was beautiful too. Of course as all artists do, Ayers waited to preform his hit song "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" until the very end. As he was introducing the song, it was really peculiar because the clouds started to roll, and the sky went grey. It was a long time ago but I assure you I couldn't distinct the difference between the thunder and the percussionist's long deep intro to the song, and sure enough just as he sang 'everybody loves the started to pour. Hm..the irony. But what really made the concert so unique is people started to cheer twice as loud as they were before, granted there was a handful of people who ran under trees or for any type of shelter, but the majority of the crowd was getting drenched, singing along and having a blast. I suppose the sun can still shines in the rain:)


Friday, July 10, 2009

Is it time for a digital diet?

I remember a time, not too long ago when I use to listen to the radio or watch MTV in hopes that it would play my favorite song (at the time). In some cases I would be able to buy the cassette/CD single at tower records or I could cough up the $15 to buy the entire CD, or I could borrow the album from a friend and record the song onto a cassette tape.

When I eventually had my own copy of the song, I would savor the moment and cherish the song with all of my heart. Today, I can pretty much listen to any song I want at any time even if I don't own a copy of that song. Oddly enough there is apart of me, that misses the rewarding experience of listening to a song I worked to obtain.

Is it possible that we have or might start taking music for granted?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Music Anonymous

After watching Confessions of a Shopaholic (which is a very cute flick btw), I found myself coming to terms with some of my own addictions. I use to have many 'vices' but I quit smoking, I don't do any drugs and I don't drink much either.....

Though I do have a small problem with peanut butter, caffeine, hand sanitizer and is (and has always been) my 'drug of choice'. Sometimes I get really hooked on certain songs and I listen to them over and over again. I remember when I was a little girl, I would actually make a tape of a song I loved and record it several times in row and fill up a full 90min tape!
Here's one of them:)


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Got Umph?

I'm feeling a bit dehydrated, as I spent a lot of time in the sun today, and this past week was super busy. Earlier today I tried (about 4 cans of) that starbucks energy drink with espresso, vitamin b and ginseng...whoa..I only got two hours of sleep last night, yet I am and have been totally wired all day. That stuff definitely works;)

I know I am going to be feeling it tomorrow, on top of 'post holiday weekend lethargy syndrome'


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Grilling a Sonic Feast

I took a moment to gather up a few sexy and summery tunes for your BBQ this weekend. My overall objective was to keep it familiar and fun, with out being too predictable, besides that is what the radio is for:)

haaa...I love the summer!

A Girls Guide to DJaying