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Song of the Day #172: L$D

A$AP Rocky – L$D

This is a single from Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky’s second full-length album release, and one of my favorite songs that he has recorded. It’s unusually striking for a rap music video, being a psychedelic interpretation of Tokyo set atop a lackadaisical rhythm that is devoid of actual rapping. For the first time that I’ve heard, A$AP Rocky sings on the entire song. There are no hooks, and no guest features on this song, which is refreshing.

The album that this song comes from goes back to A$AP Rocky’s original roots of making music that is not radio friendly. There’s a noticeable lack of catchy, simple and upbeat songs which the mainstream loves. It’s good to see someone be at the top of their game and reject artistic compromises to increase the commercial potential of album sales (Kendrick Lamar has smartly done the same thing with his last album, To Pimp a Butterfly). The production on this album is tremendous, and the best I’ve heard from an A$AP release: it’s as heavy and hazy as his original 2011 mixtape, with glittery synths, slow rhythms, and and glitchy samples. Overall a very good album that I will enjoy continuing to listen to. It joins the other amazing albums within the hip hop universe that have been released in 2015.

As a side note, this music video was co-directed by A$AP Rocky.

Check out A$AP Rocky – AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP on Spotify

Published on May 27, 2015

Photos from Instinct, Chongqing

I went to Chongqing last weekend to perform at Instinct for the second time this year. It was really fun and it’s been great to see Chongqing’s underground nightlife scene develop over the last year. Here are a few photos:

Chongqing Instinct

Chongqing Instinct

Chongqing Instinct

Published on May 13, 2015

White Trash Hamburger

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From White Trash Fast Food in Berlin. White Trash is a kitsch restaurant, club, and tattoo parlor. It’s decorated like a Mad Max set. This is what the entrance looks like:

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Published on May 8, 2015

Photos from Berlin

A few photos from my recent trip to Berlin, separate from the Berlin Street Art Photos page. Below these few images is a link to the rest of the photos.

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See more photos from Berlin: April, 2015
Published on May 8, 2015

Berlin Street Art

Two weeks ago I was in Berlin for 6 days and had the opportunity to check out some amazing street art. Here are a few of those photos, with a link to more below.

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See more photos of Berlin Street Art
Published on May 8, 2015

My Map of Favorite Places to Visit in Berlin

I just returned from my second visit to Berlin in the last few years, and this time I went with a list. A list of places that I most want to visit in the city. This is a collection of historical sites, shops, nightlife venues, and cultural and historical sites in the city.

My intention when creating this map was to list all of my intended destinations onto a Google map, and then walk or cycle around the city hitting places that are in proximity to my current location. While hitting these spots though, I noticed that Google Maps on iPhone does not support custom maps like this, so I had to use Google Maps through Safari on my iPhone. So if you are in Berlin and referring to this custom map, save yourself some time and access the map through Safari and not through Google Maps.

Below is a list of places on this map, which were mostly recommended to me by friends who are local to Berlin. It includes some tourist sites, like Badeschiff, the Reichstag building, Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Zoo.

More Info on These Places

There are 35 places listed in total, divided into four different categories which are color-coded:

  • Historical sites: yellow
  • Local culture sites: green
  • Nightlife: blue
  • Shops: orange

Dr Pong

A ping pong bar located in Prenzlauer Berg, in Northcentral Berlin. Started by an American guy named Oliver from Sante Fe, New Mexico almost 15 years ago. Grungy atmosphere and a round-table style of ping pong play, featuring a DJ on most nights, many of which who only play vinyl. Official website

Berghain

One of the most famous clubs in the world, and notoriously difficult to get into. 2/3 of people who will queue at this club for hours will be turned away by the bouncers, who are famously strict about who is allowed inside. The club is located in an industrial region of the city and is made out of a former power plant in Friedrichshain, near the Berlin Ostbahnhof railway station. This place hosts 72-hour long parties and is known as one of the hearts of debauchery in Berlin nightlife. Judgement of any kind is sternly frowned upon in Berghain. Look at your cell phone inside Berghain and you risk being ejected. Take a photo and you will certainly be removed. Features mostly techno music, which is the foundational bedrock of the German electronic music scene. Official website

Computer Game Museum

Opened several years ago, the Computer Game Museum pays tribute to the last three decades of interactive gaming. The museum features every console you can imagine and tells the story behind the creators of PC and console games, from the original Sim City to Street Fighter II and Starcraft. The museum features small, curated “rooms” which emulate retro game settings, like a 1990’s teenagers bedroom with beanbags, a CRT television, and an original Playstation with Crash Bandicoot. You can sit down, chill out, and play these old games in these carefully curated environments, which have things like Nirvana and Madonna posters on the wall. Entrance is 8 euros. Official website

White Trash Fast Food

A greasy spoon American-style restaurant built out of a carefully created Mad Max-like environment. The restaurant is half indoor and half outdoor, and the entrance goes through an old and rusted school bus. Everything about the restaurant is designed to offend you, like the Fuck You French Fries and signs which say “Everything is dirtier than it looks”. Has the best hamburgers in Berlin and features a drink called the Radler, which is locally brewed beer mixed with Sprite in a beer stein, garnished with a lemon slice. Official website

This is my first time making a map like this of my favorite destinations in a city, but I think I’ll do this again. Perhaps in Seattle or London, which I hope to visit within the next few months.

Published on April 29, 2015