Morning Coffee Playlist ft. Woman’s Hour, Empress Of, Ta-Ku, Banks and More


Sunday mornings should move slowly. Soothing cups of coffee match perfectly with warm pajamas. And in this vein, the music we listen to should coddle this Sunday ease, gently guiding us through our routines, and maybe–help you get dressed.

From up and comer Clare Maguire’s sultry voice (reminiscent of Lana Del Ray), to the hollow bass thud of Ta-ku’s “Miss You,” this morning mix is a cool blend of downtempo, trip hop with movements into indie rock tracks and dusty folk rock with tracks by Empress Of and Shakey Graves.

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Listen to Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks – Sugarfoot Stomp (Pete Rock Remix)



Building the anticipation for a fourth season of Boardwalk Empire, eager fans can expect a series of tantalizing jucking and jiving tunes from the likes of Pete Rock, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Om’Mas Keith, Shafiq Husayn, JayCeeOh & B-Sides and Tall Black Guy.

The source for this compilation is from projects almost a century old. In the vein of hip hop and EDM remix culture, each track will merge the old-time roots music in a modern form. The remixes will feature samples from prohibition-era legends Eva Taylor & Clarence Williams’ Blue Five, Ethel Waters, Lloyd Scott & His Orchestra, Jim Jackson and Charlie Johnson’s Paradise Ten Orchestra, breathing new life into their songs for the gangsters, heroes, and club-denizens of today.

Below you can hear Pete Rock’s remix of Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks “Sugarfoot Stomp.”

The Red Flag of the VMAs: Should We Help Miley Cyrus?



“What is happening?” That’s what the Smith family was thinking as Miley Cyrus lewdly paraded around in a leotard with a teddy bear face. Many of us, including our posses of stuffed animals, probably felt violated after her VMA performance. Even if you were aware that Cyrus promised a ‘crazier’ show than 2003′s VMA kiss between Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Madonna, you couldn’t have anticipate this (right, Billy Ray?). Before stripping down to nude-colored panties, Cyrus had already stuck her tongue out more frequently than Jordan would have in a 40 minute game, slapped one of her dancer’s ass, and repeatedly gyrated while grabbing her crotch–all while supported by a group of giant teddy bears.

True to her words, Miley’s performance was something beyond Madonna’s. Read More


Getting “Closer” and Getting Through Outside Lands Day 2 + 3


Day 2:

I could have never anticipated that while listening to NIN play “Closer,” curiously trying to gauge the crowd’s excitement, I’d look straight into the eyes of a random girl as she sang “I want to fuck you like an animal.” Well it happened–and I’m writing about it because in addition to saying “I saw Paul McCartney,” I can now say I saw NIN and a girl sang to me “I want to fuck you like an animal.” Drops the keyboard and walks away…

Outside Lands always seems to attract musicians five years or more from their pinnacle, and NIN and Jurassic 5 are no exception. Typically, this trip down Nostalgia Lane is short for me, but with the aforementioned performances, it was a pleasant surprise. From “Quality Control” to “Concrete Schoolyard,” I had forgotten how many underground hits Jurassic 5 had. Each track was flawlessly performed, avoiding the sometimes-pitfall of larger hip hop groups that vie for vocal recognition (not sure what that means?). Similarly, while I was never an avid NIN fan, I was quickly taken back to my days as an angsty teenager staring blankly while the world failed to understand the ‘complex’ troubles from all my ‘responsibilities.’ Live, Reznor is clearly a perfectionist. He didn’t fill songs with banter. He played intently, eyes closed with a sneer sometimes crossing his face as he finished singing progressions (as though unknowingly expressing “yes, I just fucking killed that line”).

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Day 1 of Outside Lands Music Festival Review Not About Paul McCartney


This Day 1 of Outside Lands Music Festival review will not be about Paul McCartney. Okay, well beyond the next two sentences–this overview will not be about the legendary Beatles seventy years old singer because I didn’t have to see him. After thirty minutes of his set,  his sullen cheekbones and pop contrived chord progressions we’re enough for me to get the gist: the man is a legend, but I wasn’t sticking around for “Hey Jude.” By the time he mentioned the “strange smell” (come’on Paul–it’s called ‘marijuana,’ Sajay Gupta was just talking about it on CNN) I was back tracking towards the food trucks.

Because food, wine, micro-beers and the chance to catch some premiering U.K. singers at 3pm on a Friday afternoon is why I attended Day 1 of Outside Lands. With The Heavy and Jessie Ware, fans were treated to a taste of some bigger name bands overseas getting their footing in the U.S. It wasn’t until The Heavy played “How You Like Me Now” the title track from the film The Fighter that the crowd began to bob their heads and dance in acknowledgement “Oh these guys!” But with Jessie Ware the dispersed crowd packed closer in. Her gentle rise to popularity seemed to lift off after A$AP Rocky remixed her “Wildest Moments.” Eager fans were treated to a fun and engaging set, as the singer joked with the crowd between songs and seemed honestly excited by her warm reception. Midway through a song, a beach ball drifted increasingly closer to the stage before being directed away. “I was going to kick that shit,” Ware joked as the song concluded. “I was going to hit it on the beat too!”

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