Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My New Mixtape


Just because the powers-that-be have declared Summer over doesn’t mean it really, truly, actually has to be. Consider this mixtape a throwback to the Summer of 2014* and a look forward to the music you’ll be hearing in the Fall of 2014. There’s also some exclusive remixes in this joint because I, the Music Director for Aritzia, made them special just for this.

Love, Ultragrrrl

* Ok, so Supergrass starts this off with a song that’s 20 years old, but when is “Alright” ever NOT the song of the Summer?

Supergrass - Alright
The Kooks - Around Town
Broods - Bridges (Penguin Prison Remix)
Zola Jesus - Dangerous Days
Robyn & Röyksopp - Do It Again
Karin Park - Shine
Haim - Falling (Stil & Bense Remix)
Iggy Azalea Feat. Charli XCX - Fancy (Ultragrrrl Remix)
Tove Lo - Habits (Ultragrrrl Remix)
Betty Who - Heartbreak Dream (Ultragrrrl Remix)
Yelle - Jeune Fille Garnement (Ultragrrrl Remix)
La Roux - Let Me Down Gently (George Fitzgerald Remix)
deadmau5 - Seeya (feat. Colleen D'Agostino) (Ultragrrrl Edit)
Little Daylight - Overdose (Chainsmokers Remix)
Ed Sheeran - Sing (Syn Cole Remix)
Kiesza - Giant In My Heart
Sam Smith - Stay With Me (Wilfred Giroux Remix)
Lykke Li - No Rest For The Wicked (Klangkarussell Remix)
CHVRCHES - Science/Visions
London Grammar - Hey Now (Zero 7 Remix)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Haert Melting

I love Haerts a lot.

I even produced a music video for their video "All The Days" through Aritzia (where I am employed as the Music Director). The video was directed by Bridget Palardy and is stupidly stunning.



They have a new song. It reminds me of "Lady In Red" and I'm ok with that.


If you're able to, check them out while on tour with the equally amazing London Grammar:

HAERTS On Tour:
4/3 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theatre *
4/4 – Chicago, IL – Metro *
4/5 – Detroit, MI – The Shelter *
4/7 – Toronto, ON – Shelter *
4/9 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza *
4/11 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club *
4/12 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts *
4/14 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club *
5/8 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall (Sweetlife Festival Kickoff Party)
5/10 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl (Neon Gold & Governors Ball Present Popshop Brooklyn)
6/6-8 – New York, NY – Governors Ball NYC Music Festival
6/12-15 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
6/19-22 – Dover, DE – Firefly Music Festival
7/19 – Toronto, ON – Time Music Festival

* w/ London Grammar

Monday, March 24, 2014

I'm Kind Of Obsessed


CONWAY - "BIG TALK"

I'm on listen 3023432 for today on this song "Big Talk" by Conway. It's been out since last Summer or Fall, and I liked it then, but it came back into memory this weekend when I heard someone say "big talk." Now I can't stop replaying it:


TOVE LO - "HABITS"
This song and video is basically me in the mid 2000s circa many, many, many heartbreaks... well, crushed hearts when crushes didn't crush back:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Change Your Mind



Everyone thinks I'm one of those people that worships at the feet of Julian Casablancas, but I'm not. Sure, I loved Hard To Explain when I first heard the EP. I liked it a lot. I thought it was incredibly refreshing and sexy and punk and it made me want to dance around my bedroom in Tenafly, NJ in my undies (which i did).

My friend Daniel Davis sent it to me (btw, he's ALWAYS on top of his music game), and I was just so stoked that there was another band I could add to my list as proof of the already growing music scene in NYC that was in much need of attention. I didn't think they'd be the cultural phenomenon that brought eyes onto the Lower East Side - but they were.

To me, that should've been Interpol.



Everyone talked about how sexy The Strokes were live... and how Julian was just something not to be reckoned with. They were a great live band, constantly lacking flaws in their live sets and charming enough off stage, but they just didn't connect with me the way other bands of the scene did.

For me, the band I connected with was Interpol.



The Strokes had the catchy songs that the rest of their peers didn't. They had an accessible and marketable style that people (like myself) could emulate. Seeing them live meant that you'd run into all your friends back stage - and this one made out with that one, that one made out with this one. We'd pile into a cab and head down to the Slipper Room, or the Dark Room, or Lit and smoke some joints and get shit faced, eventually pouring beer all over each other while our caloric intakes rose and rose and rose until we'd become carb-faced versions of our former selves. Or that was just me.

They were the reason why people from all over the world cared about this blog or any other blog written by cute girls living in the city who either shared an apartment with me or slept on my couch for extended periods of time.

Really, that should've been Interpol.

Ok, Ok, I loved the Strokes. I did. I didn't worship at the feet of JC, but I did stare endlessly at photos of Nick Valensi and wonder how on Earth he got so damn good looking.

My brother and I invented a nickname for boys who'd bop around the lower east side donning curly locks: Fauxbrizio. But we also had a better name for stick thin boys with severe black haircuts and finely tailored suits: Bizarrlos. BIZARRLOS! I mean, COME ON. It was sooo good, but in the fate of the NYC music scene that was (in my mind, and my mind only) Interpol Vs. The Strokes, the Strokes won that one as well. Fauxbrizio was top notch.



Interpol wrote only one song that you could hear on the dance floors - and I believe that in the early days it was either called "punk song" or "Smiths song" ...  i remember seeing a setlist, but forget which one it was actually called and which one i called it myself - but you know of it as "Say Hello To the Angels." That song remains brilliant and timeless to me.

The Walkmen's dancefloor hit, "The Rat," was a stunning example of what happens when you give the reins to your fucking incredible drummer and let him show off with all his majestic skills. Matt Barrick, in my mind, is one of the most underrated drummers of the past 20 years.

Stellastarr* reigned supreme when it came to the hipster dance floors, their self-titled debut album had their song, "My Coco," that sounded like it was made specifically for TisWas. I actually think it was. I had the pleasure of managing them in 2001/2002 while I was managing My Chemical Romance, and if I had to place bets on who would become the next big thing, it was stellastarr*. Not that MCR didn't have the chops, but it was NYC and emo was hardly a glimmer.

The Strokes had an album full of songs that you could play on the dancefloor. I DJed at least every song from Is This It? at some point in 2001-2014. Not only were they undeniable songs, but kids were coming into downtown clubs and parties in droves to dance to that stuff. If you needed to fill a dance floor, you would go with that. It'd be followed by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, because Karen O taught us how to dance to their songs every time she performed them. There was never a moment of wonder where anyone thought "can I actually dance to 'Date With the Night?'" You can and you did because Karen O showed you that you could. And then you'd find yourself covered in beer again while Nick Zinner stood in the corner looking like Nick Cave and never aging. Ever.

For my morning hangovers, which were every day, I'd listen to Interpol. Gddamn, that shit is great hangover music. You put your headphones on and there isn't a single damn thing that sounds any better than that poetry that Paul Banks mumbles into your ears. There isn't a single better vision to imagine than Carlos D. playing his bass. But ugh, that poetry! That's what NYC should've been made of! We were so lucky to have them in our lifetime.

Anyway, the only reason i went on this tangent is because last week I saw SKATERS live at Bowery Ballroom and it reminded me (and probably 100% of the crowd, wheather they wanted to admit it or not) of seeing The Strokes for the first time. Obviously, they sound like the Strokes, that's a given (due to the comparison), but the energy and excitement and the chemistry the band had for each other and the audience was such a breath of fresh air in comparison to so many bands I've seen lately. They didn't feel awkward or uncomfortable. They performed as if their best friends were their biggest fans (or vice versa... and totally likely), and best of all, they covered the Smiths and Nirvana. It was like a buffet of awesome for my aging ears.



Their album, Manhattan, leaves nothing to be desired. It's perfectly crafted with songs that you want to dance to and drunkenly fall in love to with someone you shouldn't.

I submit for evidence: "Miss Teen Massachusetts":

After the above rant, I really don't know where to go from here. I guess that as an elder statesman now, i can say this to any youths reading this because they googled "SKATERS":

  1. Don't drink beer - switch to vodka soda. Don't even do vodka cranberry. Beer and cranberry juice has calories up the wazoo. You will regret this, trust me.
  2. Keep your toilet bowls - and everything surrounding your toilet bowls - clean. Like, ocd clean. You will be puking in it many times in your 20s and possibly into your 30s and you will be thankful I told you this. 
  3. You get drunker faster when you eat less, which can be a blessing and a curse.
  4. If you want to be friends with people in bands, always have some weed on you. White drugs might be more appreciated these days, but I think herb still does fine. Maybe even adderall.
  5. Be nice to every person you ever meet. Treat everyone like they're to be revered. You are forever, a nobody.
  6. Don't expect your party friends to be your long-term friends, but if that happens, you will be really stoked and often say to each other through the years: "remember when..."
  7. Become friends with whomever is the 2014 version of Moby. He will know about all the good parties. If you don't know what a person like Moby embodies it's as follows: someone recognizable who will always be invited to every party and invite your friend who will then invite you. 
  8. Become even better friends with the 2014 version of Thomas Onorato - the greatest door guy in the history of doorguys who would let me and my haphazard friends skip the lines of any and every single party, no matter how chic or VIP... AND WE'D GET COMPED!
  9. Are VJs still popular? Regardless, find your own Gideon Yago. Someone really good looking, super smart, with great taste in music, who will go with you to rock shows and DJ with you. It doesn't hurt if your mom is in love with him but complains that he lives in the Brooklyn equivalent of Gaza when she goes to drop you off in her car and then demands that he come down stairs to talk to her so she can beg him to move. Not that that happened to me... more than once.
  10. See every band you have the energy to see, dance as much as you can, and make out with as many people as you can get your lips onto.

That doesn't cover everything, but it covers most of it.

Until next time...



SIRENS Debuts Tonight on USA



Never one to shy away from giving props and attention to the blue collared folks that serve and protect and save, the new Denis Leary produced comedy, SIRENS, is premiering on USA tonight at 10/9c (I'm only mentioning the central timing since the show is based in Chicago and so therefore, in central time).

The Trailer is above, but USA also posted a full episode (that's 3rd or 4th i think in the season): Rachel McAdams Topless.

I don't know what i'm going to do with my life now that PSYCH is over (people who follow my twitter know how in love i am with that show), but this might be the answer.


BTW, i'm going to start updating this blog more with TV, Tech, Movie, etc., content... like pop-culture in general, because i watch so much tv these days and play with so many gadgets. it seems like i'm doing myself a disservice to write only about music. Though, i will be flooding your earholes with that as well.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

THE BEST MUSIC OF 2013 ... IMHO

Top Ten Albums:
  1. Kanye West - Yeezus
  2. CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe
  3. Charli XCX – True Romance
  4. St. Lucia – When The Night
  5. Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks
  6. Savages – Silence Yourself
  7. Sky Ferriera – Night Time, My Time
  8. Lorde – Pure Heroine
  9. Arcade Fire – Reflektor
  10. Disclosure – Settle
** for people asking - the reason Haim isn't on the list is because i haven't spent enough time with their record. I want to be honest with my decisions and that takes time. Maybe in a week my selection will be different.

Top 20 Tracks of 2013: 

  1. CHVRCHES – Gun (Honorable Mention: Recover, Lies, The Mother We Share, Science/Vision, Under the Table)
  2. HAERTS – Wings
  3. Kanye West – Black Skinhead
  4. Charli XCX – You (Ha Ha Ha)
  5. Placebo – Loud Like Love
  6. Arcade Fire – Reflektor
  7. Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
  8. Iggy Azaela - Work
  9. Alex Winston – 101 Vultures
  10. Savages – Marshal Dear
  11. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Sacrilege
  12. Empire of the Sun – Alive
  13. Nine Inch Nails – Copy of A
  14. Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais - Summertime Sadness [Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais] [Cedric Gervais Remix]
  15. St. Lucia – Too Close
  16. Disclosure – When a Fire Starts to Burn
  17. Pet Shop Boys – Axis
  18. Zedd feat. Foxes – Clarity
  19. Daft Punk – Get Lucky
  20. Foals - Bad Habit (alex metric remix) 
A not-so-complete playlist of thse songs: 


Thursday, March 7, 2013

when in doubt: blur - "ambulance"




I ain't got
Nothing to be scared of,
No I ain't got
Nothing to be scared of
No I ain't got
Anything to be scared of
'Cos I love you 
I was born out of love
It's the only way to come into this world
I know I'm not all there
But I'm getting, getting, getting there
If you let me live my life
I'll stay with you to the end
And I know, lord
I'm nearly there
I want to tell you this

I ain't got
Nothing to be scared of, no
No I ain't got
Nothing to be scared of, no
No I ain't got
Anything to be scared
Cause I love you
I ain't got
Nothing to be scared of
No ain't got
Nothing to be scared of 


Thursday, September 22, 2011

ARJAN WRITES AND TINIE TEMPAH



My buddy, Arjan Writes, had the most unique opportunity to talk to rising British hip hop star, Tinie Tempah for an event in partnership with HP who demonstrated Beats Audio technology (check it out here).

Not only do I love Arjan, but I kind of am freaking out over Tinie and think he's someone that's going to be taking the US by storm pretty soon. I was so bummed that I missed this event, but thankfully, Arjan's got a bunch of photos and a video up so I can kind of pretend that I was there. Sorta. And so can you.


Tinie Tempah "ARTIST #TALK" Interview by arjanwrites