Iggor Cavalera is a friend first, but also someone I respect for his musical career. He just released his new album with Mixhell, the act where along with Laima Leyton he fuses elements of electronic music with rock in a a way he only does. Rock is also where Iggor comes from. I actually knew him first, and as a fan, as the drummer of Brazilian’s supergroup Sepultura with whom he had already experienced playing for huge crowds and touring non stop at a very early age. The following are tracks that meant something to Iggor when growing up and you know it’s a good and personal list when you don’t recognize most of the titles!
[DL] Sweet Sixteen 009 – Iggor Cavalera (ZIP FILE)
Here are 16 tracks that I call revolutionary in many ways, or that changed my view on music or simply blew my mind! So, Remember Kids, Keep Music Evil!
Sabbath with the help of Rick Wakeman goin deep in prog darkness.
The pioneers of industrial show that Chicago is more than house music.
This is what i call gangsta techno music with tons of soul
Punk rock never been so groovy and ready to dance
So much power in a few minutes of music, it’s unbelievable ”
Boston native Juan is one of my faves of all time…dance floor pure gold!
Minor threat’s Ian Mcaye meets Nine inch nails’s Trent = super powers!
Industrial dance music at is finest! (And a must in our dj sets)
It’s all about the drums and….FIRE!
The last scary album that kids had fear to bring home to their parents.
Brazilian genius Chico at his best moment
These guys define what punk rock is to me.
The biggest metal band in the world of hip hop! (btw there is sample of slayer on this tune)
Coolest couple ever together with Johnny and June.
Daft punk my ass, this guys been proving to the world that electronic music can be done by humans…forever
Acid House at is finest moment!
More Info on Iggor Cavalera:
What is Sweet Sixteen? Read more about the series here.]]>
Guru Singh is a legend – in both the literal, and Australian senses of the word. I came to know of him about 5 years ago when he started working with Switch. All these mutual friends would be speaking highly of Guru, who I think came to know Dave first as a neighbor. Once we met, I understood; Guru has that aura around him that is just fun to be near. I learned more – that he was an accomplished actor who starred in NBC’s ‘Outsourced‘ as Ajeet, a giant, seemingly menacing, call center employee who never spoke, but said so much with his face. And recently, I think every friend we share was absolutely geeked that Guru appeared in the new season of Arrested Development. First and foremost, to me at least, Guru is a man of music, and we love to feature those in interesting positions who really know whats up, musically. I don’t have many regrets, but one of them was last year in Miami when I opted for sleep instead of another night out. Their night ended up at Diddy’s mansion, where Guru got his gardener on and watered the plants. I don’t think Diddy was too happy about it. I wasnt either when I heard about it the next monrning..but I am however very happy Guru took this time to break down a time and place in his life for us.
[DL] Sweet Sixteen 008 – Guru Singh (ZIP FILE)
This is a sample of my music life in my 20’s. I can say that I have listened to each one of these songs at least 5,000 times because I am in love with each one. Only after I worked on this playlist was I able to figure out that my musical tastes during my 20’s can be lumped into 3 categories: 1) Indie rock 2)Dance Rock 3) Amazing drummers in amazing bands. I am such a simpleton…. Enjoy In My 20’s
I have listened to this song at least 10000 times. For me this track summed up so much of what was going on in the early 2000’s and with all the shit music coming out. The fact that there is no peaks and that its just 1 verse, 1 chorus, 1 verse, 1 chorus, then it ends. These guys were amazing at how simple and perfect this song is.
This song is 45 seconds and says so much more then many other songs can say in 4 min. What Jack White was doing in the early 2000’s was revolutionary for how a rock band sounds. He makes sooo many mistakes in the album, there is terrible distortion and audio errors throughout the entire album. However, each mistake is amazing and genius. It is the attitude that Jack has which makes the noise turn into music. He is always ahead of his time and I’m glad that now he is recognized for the genius that he is.
I am a big fan of an album with a real good first track. And Roscoe is an amazing first track. The melodies are so mesmerizing and will stay in your head on repeat. I will just start singing this melody after a year of not hearing the track, its so weird when that happens. Also, i love that there is no peak to this song. I dont know why, but that simplicity is something that sticks with me.
It took me some time to really understand the album Pinkerton when it came out. But when it started processing and i really heard the entire album, I was blown away at how amazing the sound had progressed. The album, Pinkerton, a series of 10 tracks, it is actually one extended 34 minute song. Tired of Sex is this is the beginning of an amazing 34-minute track. The way you can determine a great album is that you can listen to from start to finish and think that you are listening to one song.
This song makes me happy. I just can hear the melody and i think of happy things. I think I just like the sound of the arpeggio in the background. it just so light and bubbly. Its a testament to the awesomeness of Stereolab and how they are timeless.
This track is the exact moment that I started appreciating dance music and listening to dance music to the fullest. When Maya says “MIA is coming back with power power!”. And that bass drops!!! WHOOAA! That is the exact moment that changed my thoughts on how a Electronic producer can do everything that a band can do with just a computer. Sure I loved to listen to Daft Punk and yes I thought all DJ Shadow mixes were amazing. It wasn’t until this MIA album came out to where I really listened to electronic producers as all encompassing artists and musicians.
Around the same time as the MIA album came out, I was really listening to Vitalic. This was some OG French dance music that is very palatable for the masses. each song has a verse, chorus with a beginning middle and end. So its easy for someone who loves bands to appreciate Vitalic because he creates these hooks and melodies and does not overdue it and have the hook on repeat.
I was going to school in Austin when this band was getting big and they are from Austin. The power of Aaron singing as he takes control of the track is amazing. All you can do when you hear/see Ghostland is watch/listen to Aaron. He carries so much strength and presence. All Ghostland tracks make me move!
The first time that you hear that sweet voice on this track, you know that you are coming in contact with a star. When i heard this for the first time, i knew i was listening to something that I would be listening to over and over because its an instant classic. When Beth starts whaling away (and i use that term lightly) in the middle of the song, I literally was blown away. I have listened to her over and over since i was introduced and I can easily rate The Gossip / Beth on my top 10 list.
I would consider the live recording at the BBC of this track to be better than the original studio version. I think there’s so much more soul in this life performance brought out by every person. John Bonham is one of the best musicians ever created. I just have to state that for the record. You can just feel the depth and dynamics that John and Jimmy convey during their live set. I challenge anyone to listen to the original and then listen to this live version and tell me otherwise.
I think this band is one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen. When the debut album came out it was like drinking a cold glass of water on a hot day. After the breakup of At The Drive-In, it was really good to hear that they started Mars Volta so i could get more music from Omar (guitarist). Also, this is the first time I really heard John Theodore on the drums. Once again, you remember the feeling the first time you hear an artist that you eventually follow for the rest of your life. I felt that with Omar and I felt that with John.
The exponential rise that the Arctic Monkeys had when they released their debut album was cool to see. Everyone was analyzing their music and picking apart what these teenagers were saying and doing. It was an interesting time to say the least. When i heard this track, I really felt sure of their talent and how good that they really were as musician. The fact that they have abnormal song structures that this track is very technical and it sets it apart from any other music. and they ONLY 17-18 years old when they made it!!! WTF!!!!!
I never heard this band unitl I saw them live during SXSW. I was blown away and immediately turned into a superfan after seeing them play only one song! This was when Jerry Fuchs was still living with us and he was an amazing…… amazing drummer. I felt that he literally carried the band throughout their entire set with his unstoppable beats. the man is a god when it comes to drumming and his playing in Turing Machine was the definition of his talents. Not to second guess the guitar as the is a talent second to none.
Very epic and expansive instrumental rock band. I think that this band is completely underrated and if I had my way they would be playing large Stadiums. Their songs are stories. The guitar melodies have a beginning middle and end. its amazing to hear instrumental rock that is a song without any words. Each segment of a song sounds like nothing else they have played and it keeps moving. DAVE IS ONE OF THE BEST DRUMMERS OF OUR TIME!
This band has such a technical and energetic feeling that it drives their sound. The abstracts of the drummer is so great. he is so experimental and he does nothing the same. He does nothing that is to be expected of what a drummer does and it amazes me every bar that he plays
This is an anthem to sing to and play drums to. When you hear what this guy is doing on the drums, its blows me away. and on top of that, it is not physically possible to play this fast for that long. The song as well have such a furiosity and intensity that you have to sing along every time you hear it.
More Info on Guru Singh:
What is Sweet Sixteen? Read more about the series here.]]>
The Slow Waves are one of the principle reasons I wanted to start Main Course. My good friend Matty C was making amazing music that I wanted everyone to hear. He’s a bit of an enigma, in terms of musical identity: An established international Drum & Bass producer in the late 90s. A versatile party rock DJ in the late 2000s, playing all sorts of bottle service clubs, and one of the coolest house & electro nights in Vancouver ‘Fast Life, where we really got to know eachother. That ultimately lead to us creating and defining the White Light Mixes series together. A real conduit in the Vancouver scene, an undeniable talent and student of music, which this playlist really illustrates. To me, it seems like The Slow Waves is a reflection of life; its changes and challenges, and it ‘hit’ me at the right time too. I was struck, and moved. There are so many great originals, remixes and releases set to come together that we can’t wait to share with the world. I hope this Sweet Sixteen helps provide some insight into the mind of Matty C and The Slow Waves.
[DL] Sweet Sixteen 007 – The Slow Waves (ZIP FILE)
One of the great things about writing music is that it allows you to dabble in multiple personality disorder if that’s what interests you. What you create one day might be drastically different to what came the day before or after. Sometimes, after a while, certain moments can achieve a cohesiveness that can turn into an artist’s “sound” or “______ period”. I’ve always been interested in making multiple styles of music, but right now The Slow Waves sound is what resonates most in my head. This is a sort of audio scrap-book of influences that I was listening to around the time I “came of age”, and 15/20 years later I still draw inspiration from these songs, they immediately take me back to youth and the spirit of the unknown, when I had life a little less figured out and alot to learn. This is.. Route 403
Loveless came out around the same time I started getting on a bus from the suburbs and riding it downtown any chance I could get. It timed perfectly with the journey and climaxed with “Soon” coming on around the same time as the bus would cross a bridge with the most incredible cityscape views. But my favourite part of the trip was the beginning, I’d get on, pay my fare, turn and hit play on my walkman – the feeling as the bus drove away combined with walking down the aisle as those first snares and guitar chords hit . . .
I love melody, but it’s the drums that usually make or break a song for me. This is one of the saddest songs, but with just the toughest beat underneath, the rhythm is lazy and urgent at the same time. And that guitar stab that drops once in awhile, it’s like it just sweeps the ground out from under your feet. Plus it’s lyrically super-minimal, which I like. Probably because I’m terrible at remembering the words to songs.
So let’s put on an instrumental and just get swept away
This is like a whirlpool of guitars that spins so fast that at some point things appear motionless then start to go in reverse. I wasn’t old enough to get into clubs the first time Slowdive came to town, so I sat in a bookstore below the concert hall they played and listened to muffled feedback come thru the walls for 2 hours.
The first sampler I bought was an Akai S3000. I was listening to a lot of drum n bass at the time, really heavily influenced by the Virus camp – I still don’t think you can touch 97-99 tech-y dnb, so many production and engineering boundaries were thrown out the window during that time, and many of the artists putting out stuff around then I followed for years. But this record was different, it was really unique, and it was the only thing the guy ever did – put out one record and was gone. Beautiful.
Before I knew I wanted to DJ or produce, I asked for a Realistic mixer from Radio Shack for Xmas one year. I made tape loops of crowd noise from Depeche Mode’s 101 that I’d overlap over albums and would sell as shady bootleg “live” tapes at school. One of the best I ever did was blend The Cure’s “In Orange” live VHS with the studio version of Disintegration. The solo bass at the end of “The Forest” from that live videotape could loop forever and I would not mind.
It’s hard to imagine this song without thinking about all the shitty vanilla covers that have been done, but it’s really special. “Got to kick at the darkness til it bleeds daylight” is my second favourite lyric ever . . .
I find it impossible to write any list without including some New Order. Seriously, it’s like “milk, eggs, Ceremony, bread, Thieves Like Us.” Temptation is an obvious choice, but I could include anything off of Substance, that was the soundtrack to junior high. People are used to it now but I remember thinking as a kid how wild it was that the bass was the lead instrument and the synths were used as the rhythm section. That was probably biggest lesson I ever learned musically, that anything can be used for everything and vice versa.
Ohhh boy the break in this song is still so crisp, 20+ years later. And those pianos. Wow. And it was made start to finish in under 2 hours. Producers tend to over-think things so much these days, especially with everyone trying to engineer things louder and harder than their peers. It’s as though they forget sometimes how much impact a really simply arrangement with minimal parts can have if it all comes together in a quick fit of inspiration.
What can you say about this song really? Like the title alludes to, it really is symphonic, the strings were recorded at Abbey Road! I’m also a sucker for a well-done diva vocal and Shara Davis nailed it on this one. Blue Lines is another record that changed the game when it came out, again re-defining what was “dance” music or just simply “music”.
Modern soul music. 4 Hero ran Reinforced records, a label that was a cornerstone of the early UK breakbeat/jungle sound. Say what you will about ‘ardcore, it’s one of the most important musical movements in history and changed the way people made and listened to dance music. I could go on and on about all the genres that spawned out of early 90s British rave music but what I love about this song is it’s the complete opposite of that raw, guttural sound that Reinforced was pushing back then. It oozes class. I mean what’s up with the drums at the end, are they programmed? Are they live? They’re perfection for bars and bars. I could listen to just the drums in this song a million times and still hear something new each time.
Dirt road anthem. What was so great about Screamadelica was it had so may sides to it. It was a rock album, a dance album and a downtempo album all wrapped up in one but made total sense. I love the lazy guitar solo in this song, it just doesn’t care if it’s late or early, it’s running on it’s own clock.
I seem to have included alot of covers, or tunes that would later be covered in this collection of music. I guess it’s true when they say a great song should be able to stand alone with just a voice and maybe an acoustic guitar or piano or minimal rhythm section. I guess it also helps if it’s recorded in a beautiful old church too.
I was the tallest kid in my high school stage band and got stuck playing the baritone sax. It was the worst, but I kept telling myself, “well at least it’s the bass of the saxophones”. Then a couple years later Spiritualized put out Lazer Guided Melodies and all of a sudden bari sax and playing the triangle were cool. The sax solo outro on this is just gold. If I ever decide it to have a grand ol rock-n-roll heroin O.D it will be to that album.
… and my first favourite lyric ever is: “would you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage”. I included this cause it’s the earliest I can remember listening to a record where the songs blend into each other and are part of a bigger whole, and that’s something I always aspire to musically – for songs to be good in their own right but even better as part of something more ambitious, conceptual.
So here we are, we made it out of the city and into the country and we’re parked and lying on a blanket on the hood and staring up at the big open sky and this song is playing. Good night … or good morning
More Info on The Slow Waves:
Main Course Profile
What is Sweet Sixteen? Read more about the series here.]]>
I’m really happy to have met Marlon. We used to go to the same hip hop shows back in the day, and were both big backpack rap nerds. We didn’t really know each other then, but he knew my crew (shouts to the Boozehounds). We crossed paths years later, after he had finished school in Vancouver and headed to Seattle. He’d come up to Vancouver for shows and we got to kickin it. Then I found out we shared all this past rap experience, which was a trip. He was always making tracks, but then he started making house, and it took a while before he’d up and send them to me. When he did, I really heard something I liked, something that really complimented my tastes. One of the first tracks he sent, Playhouse, I really dug, and popped it into Ableton and added a few things to it I thought finished it off. That sat around for a couple years pretty much, and Marlon kept sending me more tracks, each one better than the last. I had been helping assemble releases for my Finnish crew at Top Billin, and sent my favourite ones for them to hear. The rest, as they say, is history, and Mar’s “Y’all Know” EP was released by the label last year (including Playhouse). Before that, and since we’ve been cold chillin whenever possible. Workin and bouncin ideas of eachother, and plottin schemes for releases. I had to ask him to join us at Main Course, as an artist, A&R and partner. He’s in touch with the music I love, and he also shares a similar encyclopedic knowledge of all types of music. There is no one in the world who’d come close to beating me at a game of ‘name that tune’, but he’d come damn close. Proud to call him a friend!
[DL] Sweet Sixteen 006 – Astronomar (ZIP FILE)
Although this list doesn’t accurately portray all of the musical phases i’ve been through, its almost more representative of moments or stages of my life. And of course some random stuff that stuck with me along the way. I give you..As The Days Go By
This one takes me back to the glorious days of Napster; the musical scavenger hunt was new & unending. My good friend Inua & I spent many school nights downloading users’ entire libraries, practicing bubbles letters in our black books while mp3s trickled through the download cue.
Whenever I hear this song, I think about the happiest moments in my childhood. Being on a fishing boat with my dad & brother, family parties, etc.. I’m just thankful the CD was still around my mom’s house for me to rip it.
Primo was so on point with this project; and Supa Dupa Star was the on the b-side. best 12″ ever???
The first piece of music i ever owned was the cassette single for Dee-Lite’s “Groove is in the Heart”. After a while i wore out the single and my mom bought me the album. Not only was a faced with this bizarre dance music at the age of 5, but I was also faced with the question “What is Love?”.
There is something victorious about those synths in the intro. makes you feels as if you have just conquered an army and now marching home for a 7 course meal.
I love everything about this song. The phrasing, arrangement, sonic qualities… I need to start playing this more.
Yeah yeah… I had a metal phase.
This is another gem from the Napster era.
What is a Sweet 16 song list without some weird Indie band in the mix for good measure?
I was introduced to this song while I was working in a snowboard warehouse, and my supervisor was playing this one day. It gave me memories I’ve never had.
This is hands down favorite song in the world; my kareoke “go to”, and the album that it was packaged with (Aja,1977 ABC Records) is a fucking studio masterpiece. Probably my favorite album of all time. Learn to work the saxophone.
Nothing wrong with a bit of filtery fun that makes you want to fall in love with someone
Smoking weed & skateboarding used to be a big part of my life, and this song is representative of my peak in both areas. My best friend had a Suburban, and we would pick up all the homies and drive to different skate spots smoking out of metal pipes bumping this on repeat on blown subs.
My reintroduction to electronic music! I borrowed Dig Your Own Hole from the cool goth chick in my 8th grader class and was addicted to this song.
Another souvenir from my weed smoke & tagging days.
I’d rather explain this one to friends in person if they would like to know its significance.
Those reversed drums get me every time!! This song is charming on so many levels. The ratchet intro, the dude singing off-key on the hook, and the brag-laden crescendos in the verses form like a knock-off Voltron to bounce & swang through the nearest neighborhood.
More Info on Astronomar:
What is Sweet Sixteen? Read more about the series here.]]>
Wow, what can I say about GMAN. First off, he’s an absolute pillar of the Vancouver scene. Back in the day, all I hoped to accomplish was playing a gig for him. It was a real honor when that happened. He asked me to take part in the Redbull 3 style too, which was huge for me. As we got to know eachother better, I realized everything I knew about him was true, but there was so much more to him. His work ethic, and the way he treats people really inspires me, I don’t know anyone that works as hard. His ear for talent is always way ahead of the curve, you’ve never seen a wack DJ at GMAN’s parties. And it’s not just parties. He owns Timebomb, who distribute the best brands across Canada. Plus Livestock! And now Fortune Sound, Vancouvers best club, both for sound and bookings. How he does it all, with family and everything, I have no idea. He’s done so much for me, and everyone else in Vancouver over the years that I can’t even recap it in proper form. He was a big supporter of White Light series from the start, and even sponsored us to press copies of the first 20 mixes! I’m really thankful that we’ve grown to be good friends; it was great to spend a few days with him in Berlin and show him around my new city. Every time I head back to Vancouver, Fortune is my first stop. He was such an obvious choice to feature in Sweet Sixteen. I’ll never stop signing the praises for Garret Louie!
[DL] Sweet Sixteen 005 – Garret ‘GMAN’ Louie (ZIP FILE)
It’s virtually impossible to have ’16 favourite tracks of all time’ , but I tried to put 16 tracks down where each one represents a ton of other songs in a stage of my life. It’s a little journey in chronological order of when I can remember the start of my love for music until now. I tried to think of more timeless classics that I would listen to forever rather than music that I just dig now and maybe not 10 years from now. I give you..
Time Flies, Airplanes Crash
I went to a unique small school where songs like Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Peter Tosh and Jimi Hendrix were the top requests at the high school dance. Frank Zappa was huge for us and this song & Frank for that matter is genius.
This track reminds me of how big I was into reggae & dancehall music. Just some mellow roots shit. The sound track that this song came from is one of those records that is from top to bottom amazing.
After reggae music for me came punk rock & hardcore. Bad Brains just blew me away when I heard them. A bunch of black dude rastas ripping this hard? Sign me up. One of my all time favourite bands and before I die I vow to bring them to Vancouver.
I really could have picked any Devo song. When you listen to their music now even, they were so far ahead of their time.
The Smiths are on rotation for life.
Dibby dibby dj, dibby dibby dj. The song comes in so hard. Oh what? A hip-hop beat mixed with dancehall? Dope. After Cutty Ranks it was all about Supercat, Papa San, Jamalski etc…
One of my all time favourite hip-hop groups. Id say this and the rest of the Def Jam artists is what really got me into hip-hop. I 1st heard this song when the Beastie Boys gave an award at the Grammys, and before they gave the award they played this song from their ghetto blaster and started dancing around like the rap goofs that they were. I had to find that song and this is it. Side note…my distribution is called Timebomb.
This song could have been Aly Us Follow Me, Frankie Knuckles, Fingers Inc etc etc… This song reminds me of when I started promoting in old abandon warehouses and sick spaces. Everything was new, exciting and fresh.
My step father was a professional jazz guitarist and this was one of the records that I raided from his collection. Such an ill tune with probably the most famous sample being Ghostfaces Daytona 500, but there was really over a dozen hip-hop artists that have sampled from this song (Pete Rock, Run DMC, Murs, Ultramagnetic MCs, Jeru The Damaja, Eric B & Rakim, Jazzy Jeff to name a few). I really started digging for rare grooves and got off on finding samples for a pretty long period of my life. Then re-issues and the internet came around which really took the fun out of the hunt.
Stevie will go down as one of the best concerts I have ever seen. Well Im sure you would have to be a Stevie fan like me, but if you ever get a chance to see him, do it! Bucket list that one.
There was a big R&B era for me. When this song came out, it wasnt a massive deal to me, but I recently revisited this as started to really appreciate it allot. Sick beat, stupid lyrics…nothing to serious. Maybe I just like the name.
Sade is just timeless and classic and this song is one of many of hers that is amazing.
I dunno. Quite possibly my favourite r&b song of all time? How can you not just sing along when you hear it?
I dont know what the hell the he is saying but I dig it. The video enhances the whole song for me. YouTube it and make sure you see the non clean version.
This song just brings me to a happy place and reminds me of summer. Or in Vancouver when its mostly not summer, I can at least pretend that its summer.
Some Canadian content. We had the pleasure of having Grimes perform in the club and it sounded mad tight on the Funktion-One. Im a fan and I hope she blows the f%*k up
More Info on Garret ‘GMAN’ Louie:
Fortune Sound Cloud
GMAN & RIZK
What is Sweet Sixteen? Read more about the series here.]]>
I met Brendan rather randomly outside of a club a couple of years ago. He was in Vancouver shooting the AMC show “The Killing”; I was hopping around to gigs and parties with friends. They wondered where to go, we showed them the way. Then I found out he was an accomplished actor, which was cool. Even cooler though was his very apparent love and knowledge of music. He knew some of the people I knew in LA, and, growing up in NY in the mid 90s, had impeccable taste in Hip Hop. We’d hang out in Vancouver, and when I headed to LA he’d be at the parties. We did the Tall Tales podcast together, to rather hilarious results. He told me stories about a 13 year old Lil Wayne playing lookout on the block. Plus he was working on an unofficial video for RPA & The United Nations of Sound. Sadly, that video never came together, but it remains one of the tracks Brendan put me onto. It’s so appreciated, and incredibly rare that anyone sends me music I didn’t previously know about. Most of this playlist was new to me, and it absolutely floored me. I’ve played it so many times, it sounds like an album. In fact, when he sent me this, the idea for Sweet Sixteen came to me. We had to showcase the Main Course crew first, but I was certain his would be the first guest playlist we offered. I hope you love it as much as I do. And, for the record, I certainly realise and appreciate the beautiful irony of having “the kid caught stealing records” from Empire Records now returning the favour to the world with this amazing playlist. Take it away Brendan!
[DL] Sweet Sixteen 004 Brendan Sexton III (ZIP FILE)
This is the part of the blog where I knowingly take up too much of your time, but like MJ, I can’t help it if I wanted to. This is my opportunity to over-explain my song choices and potentially reduce their majesty to rubble via excessive left-brain focus.
In the summer of 2010, I wrote a screenplay for a short film about a down on his luck hopeless romantic creep that steals flowers from a cemetery for financial and romantic gain. This playlist was first designed in 2010 as a tone-piece, or mood-setter for that short. A year later in the spring of 2011 the playlist was complete and by chance just happened to be 16 songs. In all its Armand Van Helden-inspired glory, I give you, Like A Flower
Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip covering a Paul McCartney disco jam. For The Win.
I love the lo-fi, acoustic nature of this version. The Oblivians’ original is probably better, but not appropriate for these here purposes.
First three tracks: all covers. I think Alex Chilton had just passed away when I made this mix, so the inclusion of this was appropriate. After playing this for a friend once he said, “You can’t out-heroin Lou Reed.” but Alex Chilton on this take gets pretty damn close.
A friend of mine who I’ve known since ’98 emailed this to me one late-night. Ala Method Man: He know my steeeeez.
Here’s an unnecessarily long story: Some good friends tried to hook me up with a girl I had a crush on from afar, but up close I lost interest. With the mindset of practice making progress, I decided to (clumsily) pursue it anyway. We hung out five or six times and I eventually started to catch feelings. After I expressed those feelings she decided she wasn’t interested. We both dodged one when we decided – that with our mutual love of doo wop and appreciation for the the bigger questions of life – to just be friends. In the early days of our friendship-phase she left town, but not before handing me a mix containing this song. Go her.
A gem. On first listen, it reminded me of Love On A Real Train. I knew upon hearing this I had to have it in my short-film and I finally got Stephen Ruiz from The S.O.F. on the phone and we made it happen. One of my prouder moments in watching the short is seeing how this song recurs almost like a theme, as if it was score. With this track in the whip on CD-R I just couldn’t stop thinking in montage, picturing wet asphalt and streaking lights as I drove around in my car nicknamed Orlando; a great sight. (Yes, I named my car after a dude – long story)
Stephen and I might start a band together. If it comes into fruition I want it to be a surprise, so I won’t leak any other details. Stay tuned.
I know, post-Brian Eno Roxy Music; so uncool. Wrong; this song is tough. Folks are more inclined to reference a tune like TalkTalk’s “It’s My Life” while I feel like this has way more morose-dream-pop-crossover appeal. Maybe this song gets lost in the pantheon of 80’s dream-popish hits because all the covers of (more than) this sucked palm tree nuts, but it deserves its due.
Ending with a two-minute instrumental, this. Song. Is. Hard. The only pop song I can think of that does something similar is “Lady” by D’Angelo (and Raphael Saadiq). The last few minutes of both are just straight sex, no music just sex. I mean straight as in on point as opposed to hetero. In the studio I can see Saadiq turn to the engineer, “Do you mind turning up the sex?”
A friend of mine put me on to this. Bobby Gillespie’s lyrics of forgiveness and acceptance paint a beautiful picture of what it’s like to finally be “clean” and free and moving on, while they simultaneously are a love-letter to shooting junk and wanting to escape the pressures of life. While from Primal Scream’s very popular, Xtrmntr, I feel like this song too doesn’t get enough burn. Folks are more quick to reference the political, but musically boring single, “Swastika Eyes” – belch. This is so well-composed and richly produced. Life is absurd.
A banger. I’ve yet to hear this dropped at any Joy Division/New Order/Factory Records night. Maybe because this song is from when they were on London? Doesn’t matter, this song bangs. I’m sure there’s a dope remix of this somewhere. The artwork on this album cover kills and reminds me of a certain someone – we shared a crush, but did nothing with it. One summer I went on a serious “Electronic” bender, but that’s another story. Bernard Sumner – he kinda wins.
I saw Girls one year at Coachella and was surprised to find Ryan Lynch on stage playing guitar – I geeked out. Later that night I met a founder of True Panther Sounds and talked his ear off about Ryan and although he previewed me some of the Dominant Legs EP, dude was not amused. This lo-fi version has always been my favorite.
I think this song had been on the blogs two weeks when I played this for a girl in my car, driving up the California coast. She was hip to it; Points. A few days later I saw said girl’s breasts.
This song made a friend of mine want to play music, meaning this song moves mountains. I always want to cry when I hear this song, but never do. Perfect come-down music. Peep the Lou Reed-inspired strings at the end. Jim O’Rourke on production.
When my best friend first emailed me this song it was (mistakenly?) titled “hellhole retrace” with an e. Around this time I was listening to a lot of “Africa” by D’Angelo because my car stereo doesn’t handle ‘bottoms’ very well and I just loved the way the song would fuzz from the backseat. Same with Hellhole.
I never met a problem an ex-girlfriend couldn’t fix. I was talking to an ex on the phone and she told me to follow my heart and go after a girl, so I did. Worst. Advice. Ever. I kid, but not really. This song is Tough.
Third D’angelo reference in this post. This is a song about pining for the touch of your estranged lover’s lips for yet another “first” kiss. It’s about that ache and thirst.
A young woman I know from LA emailed me a link to this song in the spring of 2011 when I was working in Vancouver. During that Canadian-spring I was trying to convince Peter Scanavino (one of my favorite young actors) to be in my film right around the release of this single. This playlist was made to help set an emotional tone for people working on the film and this jam seemed so appropriate, as this song very quickly became one of those that I listened to repeatedly for months on end, so I attached it to the end of the CD-R I sent Peter, thus we have 16 tracks. Happy Sweet Sixteen and thank you for your time; you’re beautiful and I love you.
More Info on Brendan Sexton III:
What is Sweet Sixteen? Read more about the series here.]]>
Bot is Andrea Fratangelo. An Italian gentleman living in London, formerly one half of popular production group Crookers, and now apart of this thing we call Main Course. He’s also a good friend, and a man behind the scenes of sorts for Main Course. I had no idea what to expect with this playlist, but I love the approach, and the result. Enjoy!
[DL] Sweet Sixteen 003 – Bot (ZIP FILE)
The approach I took with this Sweet Sixteen was trying to remember my personal charts while growing up, rather than recreating them according to what i now think of those bands and tracks. I present to you,
I still know all the lyrics to this one, they somehow resembled how i felt towards my mother, who i saw as a master of puppets, who was twisting my mind and smashing my dreams. That’s how i saw it in my early teenage years anyway , turns out my mother is great. Going back to the song it was a particularly powerful one, and the distorted guitars had bass, not just high-pitched solos but powerchords, fat ones with its release stopped, yeah!
Kaiowas was more a journey into the amazon rather than the usual metal track. I remember thinking of the jungle and of Indios playing huge drums every time i listened to this song, which by the way was from my favourite band at the time, Sepultura.
I have to say, this is a metal track that is pretty funky when compared to its genres standards, but that’s not why i liked, it would probably have been a reason to dislike it at the time. The reason I liked it was because of its sonic violence reached the climax in my eyes, and it also meant i would never go that deep into extreme metal again.
This song, and that whole album, got me so excited at the time. i still feel some of the same emotions when listening to it now. I was listening to Rage Against The Machine too at the time, but to be honest Downset won between the two back then. They wouldn’t win over Rage now though.
This song was my gateway drug into hip hop, and it changed my life way more than other ones. It meant Rap and Graffiti writing, the two things that would take over my life after that for years.
I discovered this song a few years after it was originally released but i got obsessed with it, it had the happiest chorus around even if I had no idea what they were saying. It sounded like a party, one that I wanted to join badly.
When I decided to start practicing turntablism and bought my first pair of decks, the guy who sold them to me also gave me a box full of Strictly Rhythm’s and lots of old deep house records, which resulted in me never learning anything about turntablism, but falling in love with house music. I like it to this day and I believe it has a modern attitude towards house with some bastard elements, it’s not pure and classic and that’s how I like it.
This song sounded like something from the future to me, very clean and high tech yet so groovy and just great. It came out at a time when funk sampled based house was big and it helped me having an even more broad vision of what you could do with club music that had its roots in house, which is pretty much everything.
Three notes is what it takes to start the journey, and I have one each time I listen to this track, it’s almost impossible not to, it just flows perfectly. Carl Craig is a Zen master with this one, the timing is magically perfect and elements come in and leave when they have to, not a bar later. It was the first time I understood how important it is and how much work I had to do to reach this goal, and still have to. I must admit I’m very jealous of this talent.
This song felt like a nuclear music factory exploded and two guys managed to make sense out of it, and they managed beautifully. I was blown away, I had never experienced so many different elements and changes in a song with a house beat, huge influence.
This one is too personal.
This one somehow brought back the fun in what I was listening to at the moment. Big, bold and somehow melodic synths were at the forefront of the track, something that I would replicate in many productions. The synth came out of the closet and did not need to hide its presence and melody under a bigger groove anymore.
My definition of epic. Epic with style, and a ton of it.
When I started discovering the Velvet Underground I was surprised that this was my favourite song of theirs. I liked all the more famous ones too but it always came back to re-listening to the first part of this song again and again…and again.
Pharrell mastered the art of doing a sick beat with just a few elements and I was deeply amazed by it. It was his moment, and with this track it felt that everything he was going to do would work.
One of those tracks when someone just does something else. It’s like there are steps missing that lead to doing a track like this, it just came from Switch’s mind. Once again I was blown away and motivated to experiment outside the genres comfort zone.
More Info on Bot:
What is Sweet Sixteen? Read more about the series here.]]>
Zia Hirji is a great friend from Vancouver. For years now he’s been involved in the Vancouver music scene, DJing, throwing parties, and doing his radio show ‘Inside Out’ on CITR. We wanted to feature the Main Course crew first before we branch out to others. With that said, take it away Zeeaa!
[DL] Sweet Sixteen 002 – Zeeaa (ZIP FILE)
With my Sweet 16 I wanted to put together a bunch of songs that serve as a sampling of what I listen to day to day. Some of these songs are personal favorites, others are just good tunes I listen to on a regular basis. The first bit starts off pretty sexy and R&B tinged basically music to get sexy to, then we get into rad post punk tunes, and there is a Coke Boys song at the end. I present..
I’m Sorry, I Can’t, Dont Hate Me
My favorite Bobby Caldwell song and a great way to open a mixtape. How his vocals and the piano work together is really amazing and super powerful.
Light some candles, invite a lady over and play this song. Thank me later.
Same thing I said for the last song goes for this one. Remember the whole Neo-Soul thing? It was really the best.
Big DJ Quik fan here. This is my go to summer jam, even though I’m from Vancouver and we get like 2 months of sun I put this song on and pretend.
“I want to dance tonight, I want to toast tonight, I’ll spend my money tonight, I want to get freaky tonight” – what are you guys doing tonight?
This is one of those tunes you put on and you just cant help but moving your body to it.
Juan Atkins does G Funk, and its pretty decent.
This is the part of the mix where I got into some of my most adored post punk records. The Sound is a band that is painfully overlooked, if you like Joy Division or any of their contemporaries you will dig this.
Another great post punk record.
My friend Tyler Fedchuk who does Radio Zero and a bunch of nights around town does a Post Punk night and played this and I immediately freaked out and had one of those WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS moments.
Ladyhawk is from Vancouver and I saw them play in 2007 in a random warehouse and the minute they played Dugout I was instantly sold. This song basically captures what Vancouver felt like to me from 2007-2008.
I’ve never been that up on Punk rock or whatever the kids call it these days, but I stumbled upon this record and it instantaneously caught my ear, the pop sensibilities of this song are unparalleled.
I had to put an ESG song on here, and this one is the hardest out.
I was at the airport in Houston at some random airport bar and started talking to this guy who looked vaguely familiar. Finally i placed him and called the guy on it and it turned out it was Quincy Jones. After talking about his jazz carreer and working with michael jackson for hours he finally had to leave for his flight and left me with A FUCKING $200 bill. Fuck that guy he owes me money…this song still rules though.
I really wanted to put Master Jam – Dancing All Night on here but I couldn’t find a digital version of it, and I really like Sound Stream so two birds with one stone I guess?
Guys, French Montana isn’t a geographical place or the French part of Montana – HE’S THE HARDEST SHIT OUT. Seriously I listen to a lot of Rap Music but didn’t put much on this list this so you have a French Montana track. “I MADE A MIL- I FUCKED IT UP”-French Montana being honest. THIS IS POWERFUL MUSIC MAN.
More Info on Zeeaa:
Inside Out Radio
What is Sweet Sixteen? Read more about the series here.]]>
[DL] Sweet Sixteen 001 – Neoteric (ZIP FILE)
I could make a dozen of these lists, and I just might have to, because theres no way I can make just one. I wanted to put a bit of everything on here. Some of them are a bit obvious. Some of them perhaps you haven’t heard, but these are songs that have really stuck with me in a big way…I give you:
What Is Life?
This intro signifies to me something good is about to happen. When I was 12, for some reason my mom wouldn’t trust me to babysit my brother and sister, so in true player fashion, I convinced her to hire my girlfriend at the time, who was exactly the same age. We’d put my brother and sister to sleep and put on this Bobby Brown CD, or Janet Jackson’s ‘Janet’ and make out for hours on end. Until our faces were red and raw. Each heavy make out session started with this, and I learned so much during the way, which has shaped my prerogative. I also started a proper mix with this for Nicky Digital back in 2009, which covers many more important songs from my teenage years.
If I had to, at gunpoint, name the best song ever, this would be the one for me. It’s so real. It can help relate life, love and so many other feelings. The scene in Goodfellas this is used in is amazing, probably the best example of music MAKING a scene even realer. This is my song for when things get a bit crazy, and I need a reality check. Or when I need to storm through the kitchen of a busy restaurant while trying to sell guns.
This is more a message to myself. Learning to live for the day, not stressing about the future, or my never ending “to-do” list. I love the haunting vocals. They certainly don’t make music like this any more. You know that 10 disc Time Life Flower Power Collection Peter Fonda sells on TV? I got that…and LOVE IT!
For a few years, I was listening to nothing but rap, was big into Solesides, Quannum and all that. This came out on one of the labels, and I let the Poets of Rhythm ‘in’. It sounds like an old sample record I digged up, but it had some charming modern qualities about it too.
This also represents a move out of my backpack hip hop years. RJD2’s album Deadringer was a big album in my life, and I admittedly thought this album was soft at first – what is all this singing bullshit?? But it ultimately grew on me, when I decided to let it in.
This is a really new track, and I didn’t want to include anything too new, but this has so many of the qualities I look for in a timeless track, I knew I had to include this one. This sounds like freedom. And it sounds like moving on. But more importantly I can yell this at the top of my lungs, with a big smile on my face, and feel much better after doing so.
This one reminds me of my first years of touring. 6 guys in a shitty van, hitting every city across Canaada, playing for $200 a night, sleeping on floors with no blankets, barely covering gas costs, and eating whatever was on McDonalds dollar menu. Driving 8 hours to get to the next city, get wasted, and do it all again. Around this time, my friend Factor released this project with Kirby Dominant, and it was quite a departure from what all our crews were doing at the moment. Listening to this in a Van on my headphones heading from city to city will be a memory that never leaves me.
This might be the country boy in me coming out. I grew up in a town of 500 people in rural Ontario, and certain songs always pull strings. I can’t really put out a specific memory tied to this one, but it’s always been a really uplifting track to me. I’m a bit of a romantic, and this one always spoke to me.
I didn’t want to put anything too clubby here, but this remix just happens to be uptempo. The original is amazing, and I love the simple touches Boy 8 Bit added. Such a classy way to update a classic. Holding you / Couldn’t be alone / Loving you / Couldn’t be alone / Kissing you..
I think this song stuck its teeth into me when I travelled around South East Asia in 2005. About that time I also got really into Elliott Smith (check out this Best of Elliott Smith Mix I made). But back to this track, his voice and the music are pretty powerful. It also contains one of my favourite lyrics of all time “We were born to fuck each other, one way or another”. So true.
One of my go-to zone out favourite albums is Illinois by Sufjan Stevens. I picked this one from a newer album just cuz. I think any of these lists might have some Sufjan on it. I don’t really know why I like this one so much. Write up fail – I guess this is one I hope others haven’t heard before, but fall in love with.
I admit I wasn’t a massive Dilla fan while he was alive. There was a lot of music out there vying for my attention. Plus I was a huge Tribe fan and thought at the time The Love Movement was a big fall off. Key words, at the time! I was really blown away by Donuts, but there wasn’t one stand out song over another, it worked together so well as an entire package. But this track from Ruff Draft, and it’s great video blew me away. Ok, ok, another love song. This one is so uniquely beautiful. I could listen forever. The staggered delivery is so fucking real. What more can I say, its a perfect song.
Another really new song, and I had to put it next to the Dilla, as it shares some obvious commonalities. The swing and the snares, the feel. This one one of those songs that you can’t copy, or duplicate if you tried to. Moments of brilliance. I’m back and I want what is mine!
This is the most amazing ‘last song’ of the night ever, whenever possible I’d drop this as the lights come on. Yet another love song. And I’ll be honest, I’m not really a lyrics guy, or a song meanings kind of person, I really just love melodies. This untouchable remix happens to be another love song. Just remember to fall in love, there’s nothing else. There’s nothing else. Best advice ever.
Another moody song from the mid 60’s. It was such a cool time for music. It switches moods so effortlessly. Haunting vocals. At first, I meant for this to be the last song of the compilation, and then I remembered…
Wow, what can I say about this song. I’ve always loved it. But I got my first car in 2002 I think. I flew from Vancouver to London, Ontario to co-sign a loan for my dad. Yeah, ironic. But as part of the deal, I got his old car, which had 400,000 kms on it, and I had to drive it back to Vancouver. I couldn’t have given a single fuck less though, I HAD MY OWN CAR!! So the night before I left at 6am, I burned a CD for the car, and this song was repeated so many times through that ride. Down through Michigan, west through North Dakota, Idaho, and Montana. The weather was some of the craziest I have ever driven through. I stopped just one night to sleep at a motel. I played slot machines and ate shitty steaks at the worst smalltown eateries. But this song would come on, and I would scream out the chorus at the top of my lungs, in some kind of exact key that would fit with the singer. It was really powerful. Which sounds ridiculous, but it was such an honest and real moment each time. I hope you burn this CD for a road trip, and feel the same way about one of these songs. Thanks for listening!
More Info on Neoteric:
White Light Mixes
What is Sweet Sixteen? Read more about the series here.]]>