On the brink of a birthday, I’ve resolved to run more. Not more frequently, but longer. Since my daughter was born, I’ve become all too accustomed to runs more apt to be measured in blocks than miles. 15 months in, it’s time to shelve the excuses and stretch it out in search of endorphins.
If recent past is any prologue, I’m going to need some help.
Unceremoniously entitled “Don’t Bonk,” this playlist is meant to get me going. Its running time clocks in at an optimistic hour and a half, and it spans a wide range of genres in search of an extra gear.
1. Avicii, “Wake Me Up”– Fair warning: this mix isn’t above the somewhat cheesy use of situation-specific lyrics. But if you’ve just hauled yourself out of bed early, you’re not above someone encouraging you to wake up.
2. Kanye West, “Power” (Swizz Beatz remix)– You’re now awake enough to be registering the inevitable inconvenience of the first mile. A little swagger will help.
3. Lil’ Wayne, “6 Foot 7 Foot”– Let’s double up on that dose of swagger.
4. Diplo & GTA, “Boy Oh Boy”– Putting some topspin on a beat from Missy and Tim, we’re looking to find a bit of a groove here.
5. TVOTR, “Will Do” (XXXChange Dancehall Mix)– If I’m going to see the second half of this playlist, I’m going to have to settle the pace a bit.
In the months leading up to having my first child, I got more advice from more people than I have at any point in my life. Family, friends, and strangers alike reached out from every angle with a well-intentioned blizzard of best wishes.
The funny thing is, new parents aren’t equipped to understand most of the advice until it’s too late. When that lady in the grocery store urged me to stockpile sleep, I smiled and figured it would suffice to set my alarm an hour later for the following morning. Once a Dad, and once again awake at 3:27am, I was vowing that if I were to do it all again I would hibernate in ways that would make black bears seem sprightly.
So, a bit over four months into the wonderful adventure of parenthood, here’s my bit of unsolicited advice for to-be parents everywhere: find a travel guide.
I don’t mean travel in the traditional sense; you’re not going anywhere for a while. Instead, I urge you to find a musical travel guide who will be able to take the slivers of your free time and take you to places you’ll never otherwise have the time to find.
For your travel guide, I recommend Diplo. Though music snobs everywhere will mutter that Diplo is exactly the producer that a 30-something Dad would recommend, Diplo has consistently distinguished himself as the jet-setter of the popular producer set.
Back in 2005, Diplo headed to Brazil and brought favela funk into the headphones of hipsters everywhere.
And now, seven years later, Diplo continues his polyglot production by traveling into the world of Psychedelic Southern Gospel. Will this become your favorite song? That’s not the point. It’s songs like these that will allow you (and by you, I mean us) to travel the world of new music during naptime.
If this blog is about any one thing, it’s about the power of music: to help us transform, transport, evoke, excite, remember, or forget.
So it’s with this truth in mind that I’m going to try a new experiment: The Thirty Words of Music. Inspired by the 30 Days of Music meme from a while back, I’m going to take the next month or so to write about words and songs that bring to life a certain aspect of the power of music.
Because the posts will be inspired by a particular word, I think it’ll be inspiration for me to dig a bit deeper into my music collection than I might otherwise. It’ll probably also draw me away from hip-hop more often and into a range of other genres. I think I just heard you applaud, Tracy. And Tish. And Sara.
Introducing Munchi: a Rotterdam DJ who is being hailed by some as the next Diplo.
In a world where it’s sometimes debatable when someone has officially made it, when folk start referring to you as “the next _____”, things get real official really fast. Even if you’re 17 years old.
Much like an aspiring painter working his way through the old masters, Munchi has spent the last few years (presumably in between driver’s ed and school mixers) crafting his take on recently-popular musical genres. He’s worked his way through baile funk, b-more, dubstep, and most recently moombahton.
First up: Munchi takes on b-more, and in so doing gets Mya back out on the dance floor.
To take it down a notch, here’s one of his baile funk tracks. Given Diplo’s prominence in popularizing baile funk a while back, you can hear the musical equivalent of a basketball player practicing Jordan’s fall-away jumper in the driveway.
As we continue our on-again/off-again flirtation with warmth, I thought I would share a beginning of summer mix from back in the day. Listening to it for the first time in a while, I was reminded that it’s one of my favorites. Dire Straits-inflected remixes, a crazy Prince/Jet mash-up, Eleanor Rigby through a steel drum, Outkast meets Queen, Jay-Z and Punjabi MC, it goes on from there. It’s just plain fun. Continue reading →