In My House :: New Mix

I just can't leave that disco house alone! Always my go to for good times. On that note, here is th latest installment of jazzy, funky disco-y dance music for your late nights, day parties, and living room dance offs.


Featuring James Curd, Nickodemus, Harvey Sutherland and Session Victim

https://www.mixcloud.com/laurenli01/in-my-house/

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lord echo: harmonies

I love an album that feels at home in many different environments... Lord Echo's latest works for me in the sunshine, with a glass of wine in hand late night, or unwinding on the train after work. Dub reggae rhythms, motown horns, and 70s- style flute solos all create a distinctly nostalgic vibe, but somehow it never feels dated. The first release 'Just Do You' features a silky smooth vocal from Mara TK (of Electric Wire Hustle) and a bassline that brings to mind Curtis Mayfield. My favorite track, though,  may be 'Low to the Street', thanks to the island vibe and sunny horns. Something very soothing about the sounds here - a collision of musical souls in a giddy mix of groove and creativity. My favorite line from the official release notes:

"The Lord has returned from the wilderness with a bounty for his followers”

Check it out posthaste!

Bandcamp

Youtube

Just when you thought downtempo was dead...

... both Thievery Corporation and Tosca dropped new albums last month. Both duos have been making music together since the mid 90s and both certainly have a distinctive sound. It's a good thing I like that sound because neither veered far from their trademarks in these releases.

The Temple of I&I by Thievery Corporation

The production duo of Eric Hilton and Rob Garza have long relied on electronic elements, live instruments and strong vocals and this album is no different. The dub reggae influence is more consistent and the roots reggae feel permeates throughout. I look forward to listening with a cool drink on a warm beach sometime soon. The only "ding" on the album is that is sounds so reminiscent of previous work as to feel a bit anonymous. Is that a bad thing if you like the prevous work? I can't decide... give it a listen and decide for yourself.

Going Going Going by Tosca

It's something about the bass and guitar that makes a Tosca song instantly recognizable. The Austrian duo released their 8th full length album in February and it's quite lovely, if a little anonymous. Similar to the Thievery album, I was just expecting more. The phrase that comes to mind is "anonymous ambience". I like the keys, the guitar chords and the mid tempo rhythms, I really do.... it just feels like I've heard it all before. That said, when the sun finally comes out, this album has my backyard's name all over it.

 https://open.spotify.com/album/7cy4KhZaRKDNQGoAAZBRox

https://open.spotify.com/album/7cy4KhZaRKDNQGoAAZBRox

Make You Wanna Do Right :: Mix

I don't know about you, but I need music right now. Things just went to another level of bizarre in this country and I have to take breaks from figuring out what the heck to do about it.

It all comes back to love, right?

The power of love

Make you do right, love'll make you do wrong

Make you want to dance

Love and happiness

So... let's put on the headphones, dance around the living room and cheer each other up.

xx lp

Not My First Rodeo :: DJ Interview Series :: Mike Lewis

We're not old, just experienced! And, like fine wines... we keep getting better ;)

This is the first in a series of posts comprised of Q&A with long time music lovers and DJs. We've all had to find balance over the years, but music will always be a priority! 

DJ Mike Lewis

Mike is a multi-genre DJ that gets people moving all across the Bay Area. In addition to a full time job and THREE daughters, he somehow manages to play out weekly. With almost 20 years of slangin tracks under his belt, I wanted to find out what keeps him going....

When did you get interested in music?
My interest in music originates from car rides.  My family moved across the country when I was 9 years old and we had several road trips back and forth.  The DJ was my dad.  He loves Motown, MJ, Classical and the best from the 60's, 70's and 80's.  And, he would create several mix tapes (actual tapes for our tape deck!) for our time on the road.

When did you start DJing - and what or who were your early passions and influences?
By the time I was a Senior in High School, the word got around in my family that I was really into music.  When I was in High School, hip hop was emerging and I was on top of all the great artists that came out during the late 80's and early 90's.  A couple of close family members were graduating from college at the time and they asked me to DJ their commencement party.  So, I used a combination of CD and tape players to make the party rock.  That following summer, I met a "real DJ" while playing basketball.  We became friends, I bought a mixer and he showed me the basics of turntable-ism and rocking my first parties (well, they were actually strip clubs in Portland, OR).

What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
The answer to this question ultimately depends on the venue and who hired me because I will want to keep both in mind as I prepare.  My preparation work usually kicks off with building new playlists or adding to playlists in my iTunes (my preferred way of staying organized).  I've got tons of them, probably in the hundreds, for all sorts of occasions and past clients/gigs.  Because you don't need to reinvent the wheel for each and every DJ gig, I recycle as much as possible.  

Beyond creating playlists before a gig, I will be ready to select songs on the fly that feel right. My goal is to have the music project the right vibe and energy for the situation.  For instance, early party music is setting up what comes later.  And, once you have the dance floor moving it's your duty as the DJ to keep turning it up until they turn on the lights and kick everybody out!

Do you believe in the possibility of "reading an audience" – and how do you put it into practice?
My short answer is "yes", you can read an audience.  However, I believe that the best DJs have a plan before each gig and execute on it.    
With that said, you can easily read all the non-verbal and verbal signals you get.  Examples of non-verbal appreciation are toe tapping, head nodding, lip syncing, etc. in the crowd.  Verbal examples are easy to appreciate when you hear exclamations like, "oooooh, this is my jam", "YES", or "what's the name of this track/artist?". Putting together a plan for your DJ set is a bit of an art or skill.  In general, you want to think about when it will be the right time for the party to be all the way up (i.e., crescendo) and build your set towards that point when your hottest song is going to drop.  To get there, you will need to build the energy and appeal to as many heads as you can along the way.  
Lastly, don't take any issue with the person who asks you to play the hottest song out at the moment just as you begin your DJ set.  Just keep them at bay and assure them that you will drop the song when the moment is right.  What's the point of wasting your best song when the room isn't there yet?

What's the record you've played the most over the years?
It's hard to say exactly.  But, I would guess it's a Tribe Called Quest, Too Short or a Masters at Work record.

What's your favorite place to play and why?
I'm a really lucky DJ in that I've been able to play parties in all sorts of genres.  My favorite place to play is always at the party where I was hired!  Of parties where I've been hired to play through a promoter, my favorite parties have been daytime parties held in San Francisco and LA on Sundays or holiday weekends.
I also hold in high regards all of the weddings that I get to play at.  It's such a big deal to my clients and their families, so I take pride in making sure they all have a fun and memorable time.
With that said, I currently love to play THE MOST at a monthly event that I both promote and DJ at in San Francisco on second Saturdays called #LIFESTYLE.  I basically play hip hop party shit with classics, RnB, a little pop and dancehall.

Do you still buy vinyl today?
Yes, but my music budget is mostly spent on digital these days.  When I travel or come across a stack of records in a small shop or on the street, I have to stop and look.  Inevitably, the time spent results in a purchase of some rare vinyl gem (or a few) that I want for my personal stacks.

How do you incorporate music into your day to day life that is now also filled with family, day jobs, etc.?
Music is life!  I live it while commuting, relaxing at home, and in the wee hours of the morning as I prepare for my next gig. 

Thanks, Mike! More old school fools coming up soon....

 

 


 

Beats For Boobs

So proud to join the Beats for Boobs team this year!

I'll be playing the first set from 7-8:30, so come through early for some deep house and funky basslines. Doors open at 7 - see you there!

http://www.beatsforboobs.org/

Art. Fashion. Food. Music. Education.

Come join us to celebrate, honor and remember those impacted by breast cancer.

As the beats drop, together we will rise!

Dazzling DJs on the decks, an inspiring and radiant fashion show, exquisite live performances, brilliant art and delectable culinary delights.

This year, Beats for Boobs takes our inspiration from the moon and the sun as we rise.Together, stronger than before, with the ashes of those we have lost, and the fire of those who are still battling, we will release an unwavering surge of love and support. Beats for Boobs will illuminate the night with energy to invigorate your passion to make a greater positive impact in our community.  Spread your wings and take flight with us as we rise up to show that support surrounds, and love abounds.

 

 

bring on the night...

A reference to one of my all time favorite Police songs - Bring on the night, I couldn't stand another hour of daylight. 

This mix has my usual disco/funk influences, but also pulls in some of my favorite classics. Good for daytime, too :)

Listen to Bring on the Night

Fouk :: Heavy on the Bacon

Luke Solomon/Jonny Rock :: Groovin to LA

Lil Louis :: Club Lonely

Stee Downes/Lovebirds :: Love's Like Dancing

Fresh and Low :: Love Capsule Deluxe

Mood II Swing :: Do it Your Way

Lovebirds :: Feel the Bern

Mr V :: Riddims

Sandy Turnbull :: Lifted

Santa Maria Tri Trip Recipe

Guest post from Chris....

Santa Maria Tri Tip - Poor man's filet mignon!

I first got excited about Tri Tip on the Big Green Egg after listening to my colleague Matt expound on their delicious virtues.  Easy to prep, quick cook times, satisfied family.  Sounds great right? 

The exact origin of the cut is disputed, but everyone agrees it came from Santa Maria, CA in the 1950s. After several really successful cooks it seemed a no-brainer for an awesome July 4th feast.

Here are the details:

Ingredients:

1 Tri Tip steak

Garlic salt

Montreal Steak seasoning - coarsely ground black and red peppers salt and garlic

Olive oil

Rinse the steak and dry with paper towels.  Rub with oil to help the spices stick.  Sprinkle on the spices- garlic first followed by the steak seasoning.  Apply liberally, no need to measure as after thinly slicing each slice will only have a small amount.

Let the steak sit for 30-60 minutes while you prep and light your Egg… this has a dry brining effect as the salt dissolves and is absorbed.Now that the prep is done, let's talk about the grilling process.  Authentic Santa Maria Tri Tips are cooked over red oak coals.  I only had Lazardi mesquite lump but wasn't going to let that get in the way of the 4th!

 

I've had great luck with the forward sear approach.  Get the egg to 600-650 degrees, direct.  6 minutes, flip for another 5.  You want to get a nice, dark sear.  Sides too.

At this point the tip is about 95degrees.  Perfect.  It's now time to add the placesetter.  It's a bit of a juggling act but the silicon gloves really help.  The temp should've dropped below 400 degrees… target is 350.  Give it another 10-15 and then test with the Thermapen.

I like to pull it at 130 or 135, cover and let rest for another 20minutes or so.

 

Slice correctly (a topic for another post :D) and enjoy!  
 

Served with grilled corn on the cob, cabbage slaw and a Williams Selyem 2013 Pinot.