Booze and Beats: Your 4th of July Playlist for a Perfect Weekend of Festivities

Happy 4th of July from the nation's capital!

Happy 4th of July from the nation’s capital!

The smell of juicy burgers sizzling on the grill, cheerful bursts of laughter as friends catch up, and buzzed feeling of joy from a few too many beers — ah, yes, it’s the annual celebration of America’s birthday! A day of partying and indulgence that should only be fueled by the best summer tunes.

Though I’m still not entirely sure how I’ll be celebrating over the holiday weekend (hopefully by a pool sipping an endless supply of mojitos) I expect to be happy, buzzed, and listening to great tunes. And since it’s ALWAYS a bad idea to assume the music will be good at a party, I’ve created a nifty little Fourth of July mix that I will stealthily be trying to play anywhere I go — and you should too.

This party playlist starts out with some upbeat tropical/funk house/future house vibes and gets more progressive as it unravels. There are some definitive songs of summer on this mix as well as some lesser-known tracks. No matter what you vibe, there’s something for everyone here!

Have a happy, safe, and vibin’ Fourth of July, everyone! xx

Weekly Mix Vol. 23 Plus Eric Prydz sets and Klingande tracks

Eric Prydz at Echostage in DC

Eric Prydz at Echostage in DC

Last Friday night my friends and I went on a musical journey. After weeks of anticipation, we finally got to bask in the glory of a three-hour Eric Prydz set at Echostage in DC. I’m in no way exaggerating when I say that I listened to his ENTIRE Soundcloud musical catalogue, including live sets, leading up to the show. And Prydz did not disappoint. Time seemed to just evaporate as we danced to his perfectly paced set. As my friends continuously pointed out that night, I was “all smiles” throughout the show.

You can’t listen to just one Eric Prydz track to appreciate him as an artist. His sets are where he truly shines. Not that many people can keep you interested and dancing for three hours, but this is a guy who has truly mastered his genre. That being said, here are my two favorite Prydz mixes for your enjoyment:

After spending all day Saturday recovering from Prydz’s amazing set, I geared up to head to the 9:30 club to see Klingande with the same crew as the previous evening. I didn’t think Klingande’s show could rival Prydz’s, but in many ways it was better. Klingande’s tropical vibe and incorporation of live instruments differs immensely from the progressive house Prydz has mastered. Prydz has years and years of experience under his belt, he knows how to control the crowd and can make three notes sound interesting. Klingande isn’t there yet, but his set was pure, joyful fun.

Klingande at the 9:30 Club in DC

Klingande at the 9:30 Club in DC

You can hear the various musical influences that have helped Klingande achieve his unique sound in each of his songs and remixes. The best way that I can describe his vibe is ‘summer beach vacation’ — and who doesn’t like that?

Anyway! Enough of the older material. Let’s get to this week’s tunes. There are plenty more upbeat summer vibes to discover in this week’s playlist. Listen here:

Happy rest of the week!

Weekly Mix Vol. 20: New Disclosure, Fehrplay, Zed’s Dead, and More

There was so much rich new music released in the past week that it was hard for me to pick just ten tracks, so I didn’t!

Dance the day away with dope new music from Disclosure, Fehrplay, Zed’s Dead, Leno, Jody Wisternoff, and JKAY. Plus, there’s a new Grum remix out — which is kind of heaven on earth.

Happy Tuesday!

 

Turn Up Tuesdays Vol. 19: New Tensnake, Kito, and More to Get You Through the Week

This weekend I did something I haven’t done in quite some time: hit up back to back shows on a Friday and Saturday night. When I woke up Monday morning I severely felt the repercussions of the fun I had, but it was totally worth it for What So Not and Duke Dumont. There’s nothing like spending the evening dancing your woes away surrounded by friends.

Needless to say, the weekend put me in the mood to find some great new tunes for this week’s playlist!

You know what to do — headphones, play, dance.

Happy Tuesday!

Turn Up Tuesdays Vol.15: From Trap to Deep House, It’s All Here

When I heard the Flosstradamus remix of O.T. Genesis’ unexpected hit song “CoCo,” I almost had a small seizure sitting on the bus. This track is an absolute banger, which is why I deemed it the perfect intro for this week’s playlist.

As the tracks progress, this compilation flows into some groovy deep house to finish things up.

Happy rest of the week : )

Turn Up Tuesdays Vol.14: New Miguel Migs, Du Tonc, and Plenty of Sweet Remixes

Get in the groove of the workweek with these dope tracks! Happy listening!


 

Unrelated to the turn up, if you have yet to listen to Kendrick Lamar’s new Album “To Pimp A Butterfly” I recommend you take the next hour and twenty minutes out of your day to do so. It’s a complex mix of musical influences that aren’t necessarily easy to listen to, or digest, but Lamar’s lyrical work is brilliant as always. I was underwhelmed after my first listen, but halfway through the second run at it, realized I was very wrong.

Your New Year’s Eve 2014 Playlists, Courtesy of Leather & Bourbon

As my mom putters around the house, enthusiastically planning every detail of tonight’s festivities, I’ve been thinking about all the effort that goes into planning a great party. Table decor, floral arrangements, food, champagne, champagne, champagne — there’s a lot to think about if you want to throw a memorable New Year’s Eve bash. But no matter how much effort goes into party planning, it’s a universal fact that a party will tank if the music isn’t on point.

It doesn’t matter if weeks went into the menu and Veuve Clicquot flows like a river, in the end it’s all about the tunes.

It took me a while to sort through all of the tracks I loved this year. Sometimes it takes revisiting your entire SoundCloud history to realize just how much amazing music was released over the past 12 months. The Spotify playlist is a mix of hip-hop, dance, pop, and house; The SoundCloud compilation is remix heavy, with an emphasis on genre-fusing songs as well as big anthem tracks that filled festival stages all summer long.

I already got emotional about New Year’s Eve in my last post, so I will leave this as is. I hope you enjoy these playlists as much as I do!

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL xx

 

Fashion Friday: The First Date (You too, Dudes!) & Weekend Mini Mix

A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriends and I were talking about the simultaneous excitement and anxiety that accompanies the anticipation of a first date. Staring into her closet, Nicole contemplated outfit options as I sat on her bed eating pita chips supporting or vetoing the items. We couldn’t stop cracking each other up as we revisited tales of dating trial and tribulation, which got progressively more comical as the wine bottle diminished. She was hitting the town to meet up with a cutie and, as always, the question of “what do I wear?” was of utmost importance.

It was at this moment that I confessed the very point of this post to Nicole: I’ve worn the same outfit, with minor tweaks based on seasonality, on almost every single date I’ve had the honor or horror to attend. “You only need one!” I insisted, “It’s not like future suitors will be alerted.” She laughed at my explanation, but I stand by my philosophy! Either you’ll go out with someone again and change it up, or you’ll never hear from him/her again and the next guy/girl will have absolutely no way of knowing you’re in a first date uniform. Fact. So why drive yourself crazy planning or buying something new? Tried and true is always best.

There are many reasons I stand by this way of thinking. Primarily that it eliminates the stress associated with the question “what should I wear?” because you’ll know exactly what you’re going to sport and that you look amazing in it. But also because it eliminates the potential for Doing the Most. It’s a phrase you’ve probably heard thrown around a lot, but in this context it’s of extreme importance. Why? Because trying too hard (i.e. Doing the Most) is frowned upon on a first date. And if you don’t frown upon it, you may want to reconsider your point of view. Ideally, you want to convey a sense of  great personal style without the perception that it’s extensively crafted. Doing the Most propels an image of insecurity and overcompensation. Neither of which is attractive to a relative stranger. Refined simplicity will help you proudly present yourself to someone for the first time.

Whether you’re meeting the girl you met at your favorite bar last weekend or the guy who prompted you to “swipe right” and won you over with a clever pun, you want your clothes to convey who you are without becoming the focal point of your personality, because that’s what the art of conversation is for. Striking that balance can feel challenging, which is why I’m sharing my date uniform template as a great starting point for putting yours together.

Date Night: Women

                         
The beauty of this outfit is in its simplicity. From coffee dates to drinks to dinner, this ensemble is perfect for most first date occasions. You can’t go wrong with a sexy flowing blouse over a pair of jeans that fit just right. Give yourself a little height with a pair of booties, but try to stay away from an extreme stiletto heel unless you’re going somewhere upscale. Incorporate a statement piece like your favorite necklace, big earrings, or a fab scarf to inject your personal style into the look.  It’s effortlessly cool without sacrificing a fierce sense of style. Don’t forget to throw your favorite essentials into your bag — signature scent and lip color, mandatory!
Date Night: Gents
     
Men, there is no excuse for laziness! Especially since it’s so easy for you to look put together. Impress your date with a pair of perfectly-cut jeans like these from Rag & Bone. Don’t be afraid of a straight leg silhouette, they flatter your legs (and butt!) more than boot cut and look more dapper. There’s nothing more important than fit, so go the extra mile to find pants that are actually the correct size! Ditch sneakers or boat shoes for a pair of leather desert boots. Keep it simple up top with a button-down/sweater combo — but add some visual interest with a pattern, a plain sweater is a little too boring. Fun socks are always a plus in my book, so don’t be shy about adding a pop of color to the ensemble.

Got an exciting date planned for this weekend? Here’s a mini mix to rock out to: