Have Yourself a Merry A Little Playlist – Top Songs for Christmas

DJ Glenniest - Groovy Gifts

I hope Santa doesn’t put me down on his naughty list for this statement, but: CHRISTMAS MUSIC MAKES ME WANT TO ROAST MYSELF ON AN OPEN FIRE.

I DJed several holiday-time festivities this year and knew I’d have to add some appropriately holiday-time festive tracks to my virtual crates. So I had to find some stuff that didn’t make me want to drown myself in egg nog.

For a brief moment, I considered buying Now That’s What I Call Christmas. Oh (rein)dear.

Because Christmas is the season of giving, here’s my stash of groovy gifties just for you! Spiked egg nog drowning optional.

1. Holiday Lounge – The Christmas Remixes
A sleighful of completely listenable, legit remixes of holiday classics. The producers behind these remixes include Dan the Automator and Kaskade. Get the whole thing.

2. “Christmas in Hollis” – RUN DMC

This is no news flash. No holiday party mix is complete without this Christmastime tune from the winter wonderland of Hollis Queens. Here’s a YouTube of this holiday classic translated as emoji. (p.s. This vid is from a few years back. Man, I miss this iOS.)

3. “Santa Baby” (Alexkid & DJ Sleep Remix) – Eartha Kitt
How did I never notice the lyrics to this before? This woman has her mind on her money and her money on her mind:

“Santa honey, one little thing I really need
The deed to a platinum mine

Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with the duplex and checks
Sign your ‘x’ on the line
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight”

Yes, Santa, hurry up with this stuff pls.


4. “White Christmas” (Kaskade Remix) – Bing Crosby
This one is included on the Holiday Lounge compilation above, but I thought I’d call it out on its own, too. Kaskade posted it to his Soundcloud as a free download. We like FREE.

In the track notes, Kaskade says, “I only had the 2 track to work with so I had to get tricky but it’s fun and I got to put my slant on this classic, enjoy!”


5. “Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto” – James Brown
Santa Claus, go straight to the ghetto. And tell ’em James Brown sent ya.

6. “Wonderful Christmastime” – Paul McCartney
Whoa. The video is rad for this one. Space age.

7. “The Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth” – Bing Crosby & David Bowie
Speaking of space age. I thought I was in outerspace watching Bing Crosby and David Bowie in their dapper duds and all this pa-rum-pum-pum business.

And you can’t watch the original without following it up with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly’s parody version. So weird and wonderful.

8. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey, The Roots, and Jimmy Fallon
I nearly passed out the other day when I realized the original Mariah classic version of this is 20 years old. Oh well, so what if it makes me feel old — white beards are really popular this time of year.

Here’s the best rendition evaaa of this song, filmed for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon a couple years ago. With classroom instruments. And The Roots. And Mariah Carey with stars on her nips???

9. “Christmas Rappin'” – Kurtis Blow
Another wow video. Kurtis Blow kilt it in this “Top of the Pops” performance of “Christmas Rappin'” from 1980. Did you know this song was the first rap song released on a major label (Mercury Records)? I didn’t. But now I do.

10. “Last Christmas” – Wham!
I know you’ve probably already heard this one too many times as you wandered around the aisles of CVS, but here it is again. I like to really consider the lyrics:
“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
The very next day, you gave it away.”

The very next day?! Sucks.

This year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special.

Merry xmas, strangers. Stay safe, stay warm, stay away from shopping malls.

Interview with DZSTRKRFT re: his new EP “Cut, Paste, Destroy”

DZSTRKRFT - Cut, Paste, Destroy

Come come, strangers. Let’s all get on board the DZSTRKRFT submarine on its maiden voyage and dive into the percussive depths, leaving behind a little trail of noise bubbles.

Today, you get 4 #free songs and an interview with one of my vurry best friends, Roycifer, who has just released his first EP independently under the moniker DZSTRKRFT. Which is pronounced disaster-craft. And what a finely crafted disasterpiece it is.

I chatted electronically with the man behind DZSTRKRFT and his debut release Cut, Paste, Destroy, and here’s what he had to say for himself:

ASs: What was your creative process for making Cut, Paste, Destroy? Or did we just answer our own question?

DZSTRKRFT: indeed you did. the sounds you hear on the EP are the sounds that have been swirling in nebulous forms in my head for almost a lifetime but i was only now able to assemble into a complete idea. i was very explicitly after something utilizing breakbeats, sub-bass, slow tempos, and cut-up and glitchy. “cut, paste, destroy” is entirely sample-based which allowed me to capture those sounds (cut/paste) and then scramble it all up (destroy). as explicitly stated in the vocal sample in “the creative process/swartz dub”, “everything is built on something else”.

ASs: How would you define your sound? We are frothing for a good genre name.

DZSTRKRFT: this is hard for me to answer because i can only offer the things that inspired me but its hard to describe the final output objectively. “electronic” is too broad, “glitch” or “dub(step)” are too narrow, “post-digital” is wonderfully meaningless. so suggestions for a good, hashtag-able genre name are welcome.

ASs: Who are we hearing in the vocal samples throughout the EP?

DZSTRKRFT: the vocal samples are lifted from interviews with the late aaron swartz, who was one of the inventors of RSS, a cofounder of reddit, and eventual internet “hacktivist” with greater political aspirations. his understanding of the power of the internet and being able to see through institutionalized thinking are things that resonate greatly with me. i never intended on utilizing vocals of any kind, but a film about aaron’s life, “the internet’s own boy“, came out around the time i started working on the tracks which sent me down a youtube hole where i found some awesome interviews with aaron. the sound bites about everything being built on something else and questioning everything fit perfectly with the “cut, paste, destroy” concept.

ASs: What do you want strangers to know about you and your music?

DZSTRKRFT: i just want people to listen to my music and share it if they like it. music is made to be heard.

ASs: Tell us more about your cat.

DZSTRKRFT: my cat likes to sit atop a brita. her name is dita. she is also into destruction. cat, pet, destroy.

DZSTRKRFT's disaster cat, Dita

Playlist for your listening ease below. And a link to the DZSTRKRFT Bandcamp where you can download the EP in one tidy little zip.

DZSTRKRFT - Cut, Paste, Destroy

Sunday Session – Soundcloud Playlist w/Chris Malinchak, Disclosure, Stevie Wonder, SBTRKT, SNBRN

Skeleton Opens The Door and Dances GIF

Knock knock who’s there. Just a skeleton dancing to a sunny Sunday soundtrack, without a punchline or a pun. Or a hashtag.

Here are some tracks I’ve been listening to this week whilst running around Hampstead Heath and staring out the window on the C2 bus.

Some free downloads in there for you, too.

Dolly Parton at Glastonbury + Free Kygo Edit of “Jolene”

Dolly Parton at Glastonbury - Photo from BBC

On Sunday, June 29, I watched Dolly Parton perform on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury (well, via my TV in my Kentishtown flat). Dolly is amazing. It was otherwise a completely dreary, damp day… but Dolly was up there in her perfect white rhinestoned getup and perfectly coiffed blond hair. Flawless.

Such a pro with her stage banter and energy and gratitude, she inspires me.

I couldn’t believe how absolutely NUTS the crowd was going when she sang “9-5,” with a lot of the Glastonburiers (correct term?) in blond wigs and stuffed bras singing along to every word. Then she started talking about the Lawd and how she loved the Bon Jovi song “Lay Your Hands On Me” — so much so that she called up Jon Bon Jovi and asked if they could rewrite the lyrics a bit to make it more of a gospel tune. And then guess what: Richie Sambora joined her on stage and they performed it. Now, “Lay Your Hands On Me” has never been one of my favorite BJ tracks, but this was a very hype moment. Even after Dolly left the stage and the cameras were idly broadcasting the huge crowd from afar, you could hear them all singing “Lay Your Hands On Me.”

Another thing that was amazing: the BBC’s coverage of Glastonbury. I did not actually have to be out there in the dreary, damp among 175,000 festival goers to watch this whole Dolly moment unfold. I was in a comfy chair in our flat, watching on the telly. Even more amazing, if I pushed the red button on my remote control, I could choose from any of the stages to watch live. Man, we really need to step it up in the US. This blew me away.

Since it’s #Friday, here’s your free song: Dolly Parton – “Jolene” (Kygo Edit).

Jolene. Jolene. Jolene. JoLEEEEEEEEEENE.

This is my absolute favorite Dolly song, remixed in Kygo‘s chilled out tropical house signature style.

Download it from Kygo’s Facebook page for free here.

Free Song Fridays – Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” remixes from Lorde, Dimond Saints, Just A Gent, The Golden Pony

Welcome to your life. There’s no turning back.

Tears for Fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World Lorde - Everybody Wants To Rule The World (Dimond Saints Remix)

Attractive Strangers has temporarily relocated to London for the summer. It’s like summer camp. So I’m going to dig up some bangers and mashups (surely someone has used this lame pun before) for you strangers while I’m out here, and see what trouble I can get into and blog about.

In honour of my arrival in the UK and my new surplus of free time, I’m not only resurrecting Free Song Fridays, but I’m dedicating the first installment to one of my fave English duo’s from back in the day. Tears for Fears time, y’all. Three free songs for your Friday.

Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (Just A Gent Remix)
A fresh new remix just a couple days old from Just A Gent… who, mind you, is just a kid. He’s 17 years old. WHAT. That’s right. Do the math. Tears for Fears released the original song in 1985, but Just a Gent wasn’t born for another ~12 years. Gahhhh. Time to start making arrangements for my retirement village in Fla.
Free download link!

Lorde “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (Dimond Saints Remix)
Royal. Here’s a dark, crunk version of EWTRTW by everybody’s favorite lady voice of late: Lorde.
Free download link!

Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (The Golden Pony Remix)
The Golden Pony made a “Golden Classics” remix collection of nostalgic rock tunes — including a particularly odd one of “The Sound of Silence.” Never thought to give that one a chill acid house remix for the dance floor before. Here’s their remix of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.”
Free download link!