We’re 8 days into May and I’m finally getting my April playlist up. One of my longest playlists to date. I’ve always been a music fan, there are examples of it all over this blog, but this past month I leaned on music in a way I haven’t experienced since my late teens.
Is the uncertainty of the time bringing me back to the simple escapism of a good tune — possibly (probably).
Apparently the Spotify link and embed code are not communicating with the WordPress right now. So, you’ll just have to check out the February playlist on Spotify. However, I do like this new format that was formed because of a technical glitch.
Interview with musician Dev Ray, a genuinely disarming gemini.
“It changes all the time. Lately, it’s been humming into a voice recorder while driving, not very safe but sometimes necessary.”
Dev Ray is a genuinely disarming Gemini. Not that I find most Gemini’s terribly intimidating. But I like how that sounded, and Dev really is a refreshingly genuine person. To me, there is no pretense to him as a person or his music. He possesses a quality that is similar to the dreamscapes of Michel Gondry’s Science of Sleep and creates a sense of familiarity like you could have gone to elementary school together. His new tune, “Can’t Hide” out on Dangerbird Records reflects the ray of morning sunshine that Dev Ray embodies. The songs upbeat melody would soundtrack the speed up footage of a night with friends which is carried out until the sun rises over the horizon, feet in the sand and holding hands.
Find out more about this awesome person’s musical ambitions and adventuresome discoveries in my interview with Dev Ray below.
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Favorite Color: Oh, this is a hard one. I feel like people judge you the most off this. If I say blue I’m boring, if I say green people will think all I care about is money and if I say purple they just won’t believe anything I say! Seriously though, I feel like it changes all the time. As you get older you discover new colors like chartreuse or azure. This is my very frustrating way of answering this question!
Childhood Hero: Oh, another tough one. I guess I would say, Pee-Wee Herman. I was obsessed with The Movie and his playhouse show. I think his zany humor made it into my personality somehow. Him or Mr. Rogers. I always liked how he changed his sweater and shoes when he got home, I do the same thing.
Super bummed to have missed the show at Dangerbird. How did it go? What do you feel like before a show – do you have any rituals.
The show was great! I was really nervous and overwhelmed at first! A lot of people showed up! The Dangerbird backyard was packed. When I made it on stage though I felt alright. I guess I like being on stage, ha! I was actually influenced by a post that Cecilia from the band Gothic Tropic made where she did a pre-show dance ritual when she was touring for Beck, I assume she does it for her shows too. I was inspired and love dancing anyway so I danced around a little bit before the show in front of the audience and it alleviated a lot of my nerves.
Loving the material available on Spotify, the single “Can’t Hide” and your super silky rendition of “So Excited.” What is your approach to developing songs and melodies – do you hum a tune into a voice reminder and build it out or just start strumming out notes. For those with no musical talent (ie: me) what’s the breakdown in approaching an original song and/vs a redux?
It changes all the time. Lately, it’s been humming into a voice recorder while driving, not very safe but sometimes necessary. I think I wrote “Can’t Hide” a few years ago on my old Yamaha keyboard. It was originally a slow disco song with slide guitar and a weird key change. I changed it up and was gonna use it for another band I was in called Dr. Fadeaway. The drummer Sal suggested a more upbeat drumbeat he borrowed from The Cure. I took the song back and used it for Dev Ray! “I’m So Excited” started when I jokingly sang it out loud at work in a very monotone, blasé way. I later realized after playing the chords on the organ that it actually would work slow and the chord progression is just so beautiful.
Is there a full EP or album on the horizon?
I hope so! I definitely have enough songs for an album. If Dangerbird likes me enough and these singles do okay then hopefully they will let me do a full album and release it for me!
Best “hole in the wall____” you’ve discovered? (it can be bar, restaurant, store, club etc…)
Best hole in the wall restaurant is Thai Pepper in Hollywood. I lived in Franklin Village for a while and was always on a budget. This place just west of Franklin Village by the 101 is so affordable and this little old lady with a hunchback runs the whole damn place herself.
Favorite comfort food, is it homemade or at a certain place?
hmmmmm…waffles, cereal, mashed potatoes.
Do you have an awesome book or documentary recommendation to share?
You’ve done a tour or two in your lifetime – what is an “on the road” story that comes to mind and makes you laugh or smile?
Touring with Nima from So Many Wizards is always a riot! I was especially making him crack up a lot during our last little desert tour. We were sitting in the back of the van together most of the time. On my first ever tour with So Many Wizards, we played SXSW 2013 alongside the band Social Studies. I made out with the lead singer/keyboard player Natalia and that always brings a smile to my face.
If you had the opportunity to Matrix download one subject (this includes the entire scope of said subject) into your brain – what would it be and why?
Tap dancing or ballroom dancing. I eventually want to learn every social dance there is.
Last three artists played on your preferred form of music consumption. (Spotify, iTunes, soundcloud, record player etc… )
Phoenix – Ti Amo, Deerhunter – Fading Frontier, Peter Gabriel – So, all CD’s in my car!
Wise parting words
You can put sunflower seeds in your yogurt, cereal, and sandwiches.
It’s been a minute. It always is. My blog is like my 10th friend. I rotate it into my life like the coffee and cocktail dates I try and schedule with my IRL human relationships. Now, that I’m in the 100-day countdown to getting hitched, I really don’t expect this to be any easier, but I can always hope. The game plan? Eat healthily, secure six hours of sleep a night, avoid alcohol, and take my supplements. Sadly, although I had a playlist created in May I never published it. So, I’ve combined May and June into one 2 hour dreamscape of cool hits for hot days 😉.
The first month of 2017 is in the books, and I feel like I’ve had a great start to the year. I’ve been buzzing off the fresh start a new year brings, and it has energized my creative efforts. I’m sure I’ve said this before, like every summer camp counselor remarking on their cabin of kids, but I think this is my favorite playlist yet. It’s filled with musicians and bands I’ve never listened to before and includes a few solid favorites, like Car Seat Headrest. I hope you enjoy my Fresh Start playlist and I’d love to know a band you’ve discovered this past month.
“Bondi’s Dead” by Lower Plenty was the first song Dan and I listened to in the new year.
It’s my tradition to note the first song of the year!
TOP THREE SONGS ARE HIGHLIGHTED
Fresh Start Playlist: 1hr and 22mins | “Bondi’s Dead” – Lower Plenty / “Everything is Free” – Gillian Welch / “Twin Thing” – Pixie Geldof / “Lose the Baby” – Lost Animal / “I Want Wind to Blow” – The Microphones / “Cosmic Hero” – Car Seat Headrest / “Green Eyes” – Wavves / “I’m Alright” – Silver Rose / ” I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” – Lucy Dacus / “Overboard” – Babygirl / “Diana” – FRIGS / “Kick Rocks” – And The Kids / “Vaguely Mystical” – Dada Plan / “Me and Your Mama” – Childish Gambino / “Railway Lines” – Anthonie Tonnon / “Kids in a Coma” – Eric Copeland / “Hey! Little Child” – Alex Chilton / “Antabus” – Makthaverskan / “Wilder Than Me” – Fletcher C Johnson
April was intense! Most of the month was spent working till 1am in the morning whether that was in front of my computer or on a polo field. We, Bowerbird and I, worked the Coachella Record Store again this year; but the twist was I had to put in all the new inventory into the record system before the festival. So in addition to my normal freelance work and getting ahead of my absence, I had the record store project on my plate. With stress at an all time high, my immune system flipped me the bird and I got pretty sick. By April 18th I was popping Dayquil and Nyquil like Judy Garland on the set of the Wizard of Oz – hence the title of this month’s playlist. My mixtape is a mixture of new music I discovered, remixes of old loves, and a sprinkling of Coachella. Everyone needs to listen to Mint Fields and Tei Shi – get on it!
“Let Me Sing You Love Songs” – Rachel Fannan, Brandon Intelligator / “How the Might Have Fallen” – Margo Price / “Fools Rush In” – Peggy Sue / “A Dot Running for the Dust” – Helvetia / “Two Hands” – Twin Fires / “Genevieve” – Lucius / “Brief Pause” – On Planets / “Sparks” – Beach House / “This Is How We Walk On The Moon” – Arthur Russell / “Go Slow” – Tei Shi / “Anesthetic” – Into It Over It / “Petty Box” – MINT FIELD / “Two For The Road” – Henry Mancini
Get all my mixtapes in one place and follow me on Spotify!
With your understanding, I’m going to be putting out mixtapes only once a month. Instead of a collection of songs I’ve been listening to that week or every two weeks, I want to do a collection of songs I’ve been listening to that month. Personally, I enjoy listening to longer playlists I can get lost in while cleaning or buckling down on a project. I’m no longer feeling my 30minutes spurts of musical curation and would like to develop more robust playlists. When I was first making the playlists I’d try to theme them, but recently I’ve noticed the playlists end up creating their own story as many of the songs reflect a mood or sound I’m yearning for. I’d like to nurture this organic curation instead of trying to find songs that go together on purpose.
So without further ado, here is March’s playlist, Mixtape : Matcha Green Tea – named after the beverage I’m currently enjoying as I put this post together.
I have a whole list of incomplete “themed” playlist that just feel really contrived. So instead I’m just going to post mixtapes that were made the week prior, sort of like a “hey this is what peaked my interest last week”. It might make sense, they might be all over the place. Like when you had one cassette that housed all your favorite songs from the radio. Yes, I am a part the last generation to remember recording music on a cassette from the radio. Quick hit record, be quite, pray Mom doesn’t come inside your room to ask a question.
‘Back to the Middle’ – Deerhunter / ‘Modern Art’ – Black Lips / ‘Virgina Plain’ – Roxy Music / ‘Ca Plane Pour Moi’ – Plastic Bertrand / ‘Pedestrian at Best’ – Courtney Barnett / ‘Party Police” – Alvvays / ‘Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth – Parquet Courts/ ‘She’s Not Me’ – Jenny Lewis / ‘California Nights’ – Best Coast/ ‘Dreaming’ – Seapony