Day to day life, recorded in Chengdu, Beijing, D.C., and N.Y.C.
Format Archives: Video
Part of an amazing album that I recently discovered by Muramasa titled Soundtrack to a Death. Been listening to this a lot recently. Link to the album on Spotify below.
On the surface, the meaning of this song seems obvious, but read the lyrics and you will find otherwise: “Hidin’ like thieves in the night from life, Illusions of oasis makin’ you look twice.”
Black Star is a musical project of Talib Kweli and and Mos Def, centered around a social movement within the African-American community in New York City. Inspired by Marcus Garvey, Black Star is a member of Native Tongues, along with A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Common, and others. Unlike a lot of hip hop, the lyrics to their music are important and worth reading.
I played this on Saturday at NASA, the entire playlist for that show is available here: Thuggin’ Playlist. It was an amazing event, that I did along with Jovian and PLGRM, who provided incredible live visuals.
Recently I’ve had more interest in hosting thematic events. Like approaching mixtape projects, I find that creating boundaries forces me to do more preparation and carefully curate an experience for the night, rather than allow it to go anywhere. We have hours of footage and I will post the final edited version here in the upcoming weeks.
This most recent event was themed similarly to a mixtape that I recorded years ago called Marked 4 Death, which is available here.
Check out Black Star on Spotify
I didn’t know about Panda Bear until he was heavily featured on Doin’ It Right, the #2 single on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories from the summer of 2013. Dubbed an experimental musician specializing in “neo-psychedelia”, he is a founder of the band called Animal Collective. Very interesting music video that captures the ethereal quality of his music production style.
This Thursday we are hosting a listening party for the latest Panda Bear album, which (aside from this song) I have not heard.
Joe Rogan delivers an inspirational and important message. If you haven’t heard his podcast, it’s one that I frequently recommend to friends: The Joe Rogan Experience. This video reminds me of another that I posted here a few years ago called The Grind about the value of persistence and the fleeting satisfaction of comfort.
Moments ago I published the latest episode of the Chengdu Living Podcast, where we used this song, Same Dream China, as both the intro and outro. Gold Panda is outstanding, regardless of the China connection, but this was simply too good a fit to not use in the podcast. What makes it so great is that it has clear and distinct Chinese influence without being overly oriental-sounding, which would sound cliche as intro music to a China-themed podcast.
Since this song has no official music video, I used one of the several fan-made music videos for this song available on Youtube. This one’s particularly great because it features so many great shots of China.
Check out Gold Panda on Spotify.
You’ve probably heard Chilly Gonzalez without knowing it: he appeared as a guest artist on last years’ Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories, which was awarded a Grammy for Best Album of 2014. He has a band with Boyz Noise called Octave Minds (which feature some really neat music videos). And he’s a solo artist, along with other collaborations including Domogenesis and his Berlin-based hip hop group Puppetmastaz.
But recently I’ve been listening to his 2004 self-explanatory album titled Solo Piano. It’s fantastic background music that provides just enough atmosphere without getting in the way. I appreciate jazz music greatly, but it’s often a little too noisy for background music.
The song above is from the sequel to his solo piano album, logically titled Solo Piano 2. Filmed in what he calls “Pianovision”.
Check out Chilly Gonzalez on Spotify.
GEMS is a relatively little-known dream pop duo out of Washington D.C. that has existed since 2012. Although they have a very small catalog of material available, what they have is very good. The hallmarks of their distinctly dream-like sound are the sultry vocals of Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John Usher. Next time I’m in D.C. I would love to catch one of their shows.
Check out GEMS on Spotify.