Category Archives: music

Favorite Music of 2016

It would be laughable to present a “Best of 2016” list, given my nodding acquaintance with most new music. Instead, here are 15 songs that looped through my headphones and dreams this past year. Enjoy.






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A Summer 2016 Playlist

If I had a Jeep Wrangler, these are the songs I’d blast out of it while cruising the neighborhood.

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A Summer Playlist

As we head into the July 4th weekend, what better time to create a summer playlist? (Besides a month ago.)

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A Summer Playlist, Why Not

Is mid-July too late for a summer playlist? I hope not.


The sequence is meant for a picnic or dinner party, with the tracks gathering steam as the sangria takes hold. Some of the songs, like “Do You” and “Problem,” are included simply because they’re addictive as hell. After the boozy, hectic midpoint, around “22 Grand Job”–the all-time best pop song about low wages, even if it is in British pounds–things slow down to encourage a laid-back, flirtatious vibe.

Oh, and a hat tip to the bartender at Skylark for introducing me to “Pass the Hatchet.”

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When Intel and Google Replaced MTV

Let’s say you’re in the world’s most acclaimed indie band. You’re on a cool label like Merge, your debut record sold a million copies, and, like Spike Jonze, your success hasn’t tarnished or strained your credibility. So how do you get the word out about your next LP?

If you’re the Arcade Fire, you enlist two tech giants to promote you on their behalf. is a Chrome-based music video that interfaces with your webcam and smartphone. You could argue it’s a product demo for the web browser, much like the band’s “Wilderness Downtown” project was itself a showcase for Chrome and HTML5.

Similarly, “Here Comes the Night Time” is a 22min. showcase directed by music video veteran Roman Coppola with a guest list straight out of the Approval Matrix‘s Lowbrow/Brilliant quadrant: Ben Stiller, Aziz Ansari, James Franco, Zach Galifianakis… even fucking Bono.

The whole thing aired on NBC immediately after the band’s SNL appearance. Was this an insane media buy for Merge Records, some kind of marketing moonshot? Not at all. They weren’t footing the bill: Intel and Vice were. Continue reading

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Labor Day / Summer’s Not Over Playlist

Mid-August is about the time everyone looks at their Summer To-Do list, panics, tells the boss they have mono, and decamps for beaches and BBQs. Here’s a playlist to go along with all that

A little of something for everyone. Play it sequentially and you’ll start with some classic Brazilian and reggae, then add a little funk, maybe some Brit-rock and House, then it basically becomes really schizophrenic. In a good way.


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The Mingle III, a Musical Preview

Get your best shirt pressed, your high heels polished, and your conversational bon mots ready: The Mingle is this Thursday at the Tribeca Grand. (RSVP at Flavorpill.) Jason Diamond and I will be playing our favorite summer songs and Atavist Books will be providing (some of) the drinks. A little preview:

A special thanks to Halimah & Ben from Electric Literature. They’re like Lenten cardinals, but instead of vespers they dispense 100% PARTY VIBES.

See you there.

The Mingle III
Thursday, July 25th / 6pm @ The Tribeca Grand
2 Avenue of the Americas between White & Walker

Presented by Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Flavorpill, & Electric Lit

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