Mix Tape Monday: Last of the Summer Sun

This Labor Day send summer off with a bang with these dance inducing tracks. They’re perfect for that last summer bash. Let’s get hot in here (while its still hot out)!


Magic System – Magic in the Air. All the songs from this Ivory Coast quartet embody the idea of “joie de vivre” and their song Magic in the Air will put you in the spirit of celebration. For some bubbly sweetness listen to their cover Sweet Fanta Diallo and for their classic zouglou throwback track listen to Zouglou Dance.

Roy (film) – Sooraj Dooba Hai Yaaron. You can’t have a dance party without Bollywood and this soaring harmonic dance hall track will having you letting go on the dance floor (or beach).

Kendji Girac – Conmigo. This Catalan crooner…ahem…French singer, mixes French and Spanish (both language and musical styles) in his tracks. He’s the winner of the French Voice and while are his lyrics aren’t particularly deep but their damn catchy and just plain fun. For more dancable tracks listen to Color Gitano and Andalouse.

LOONA – Vamos a la Playa. Yes, I went there. Listen to Dutch singer LOONA and get yourself to the playa while there’s still time. That’s all I have to say.

Zion.T and HAHA – $ponsor. Ok, you got me, I’m on a major Zion.T kick at the moment, I confess. Play this Korean chill funk track to slow it down and to show off those slow jam moves one last time before the night ends. For more groovy awesomeness try Click Me and See Through.

Enjoy the last of the summer sun everyone! For the playlist click here.


Mix Tape Monday: (It’s) Electric Mix


From the new Amazon Echo to Google Glasses it’s a digital world out there! In celebration of the inner cyborg in us all this week’s mix tape will bring you some electronic beats from across the globe. So plug yourself in to the closest outlet, USB port, or headphone jack and enjoy.

Idiotape – 0805. Need to get pumped? Whether it be for your next run or the commute to work power up with this Korean electric band. Listen to Melodie and Toad Song for more.

C2C – The Cell. I love French group C2C’s use of diverse sounds. The Cell uses flute and choral elements while their song Arcades brings in some baroque harpsichord action. That’s right, I said  harpsichord.

Satoshi Tomiie – Thursday, 2am. Not all electronic is about an adrenaline rush listen to this atmospheric track from Japanese DJ’s latest album for the smoother side of a turntable.

Crystal Castles – Lovers Who Uncover. This Canadian duo delivers ethereal electric pop (official terminology here, guys) that’s hard to say no to. Listen to Crimewave.

Benny Benassi – No Matter What You Do. For all you horror film fans out there here’s a track by Italian DJ Ben Benassi to help you cultivate a healthy paranoia concerning your computer and psychological studies. For a less menace play Cinema.


Listen to all in a playlist here! And let me know about other artists in the comments below.

Mix Tape Monday: Spitfire Rap

Hi all! Is it Tuesday already? Yikes! Here’s my second mixtape featuring rappers and poets from all over the world (for the first one click here.) Better late than never right?

Flávio Renegado – Minha Tribo é o Mundo. This rap has an addictive, groove worthy sound that conjures up good feelings. Watch him rap with a slight smile on his face and start planning your next trip to Brazil.

Diams – Ma France à Moi. Infamous French rapper challenges stereotypical images of France. The video is haunting and powerful but to get a better sense of the continuous flow of the track listen here. Also check our her Confessions Nocturnes for some throw back girl power.

Beenzino – Dali, Van, Picasso. Need some sophistication in your life? How about some Korean chill hop with jazz piano? Because Beenzino’s track comparing to rap to art is just what the the doctor ordered. Continue the haute culture chill session with Aquaman.

Stromae – Dodo. Wait, this isn’t a rap? Is it? Belgian rap/pop artist takes the familiar tune of a lullaby and transforms it into a song about a child growing up in a family with domestic abuse. Yeah…its heart breakingly incredible. Watch Formidable and Le Rap C’est Simple.

What else? Add to my list  and share your favorite international rappers below. Or listen to the mix tape playlist here.



Mix Tape Monday: Best Served Cold


My roommates are constantly amazed (or afraid) of my imperviousness to the summer heat. Yep, I’m one of those crazy people that wears long pants and drinks hot tea on a midsummer day. But just to prove I’m not actually a vampire…..here’s my secret list of chill and slow jams (of all genres) for your listening pleasure. Trust me these artists are way too cool to ever break a sweat. For maximum effect keep chilled and serve over ice.

Zion.T – Eat. Everything about Zion.T pretty much defines cool. The lyrics, the instrumentation, the music video all ooze a clever craftsmanship and class. Figure out why his glasses are cracked you’ll know what I mean. Can’t get enough? I can’t blame you. Listen to Two Melodies, Babay, and Zero Gravity.

Pompeya – 90. Stop standing in front of the open freezer and let the cool dreamy sounds of this song (by Russian indie band Pompeya) wash over you instead. Continue the arctic chill with Slow and Power.

Boy – We Were Here. This Swiss and German duo create some icy ethereal harmonies (complete with poetic lyrics and some sly use of cards) that will transport you to Alpine state of mind. I also adore their track Little Numbers.

MC Solaar – Caroline. Heartbreak should always be served cold and this Senegalese giant rapper delivers with this ill fated love story. “Life is a game of cards, Paris a casino, I play reds…hearts, Caro.” Nouveau Western and his humorous Victime de la Mode are both studies in prowess.

Thornapple – Don’t be deceived by the psychedelic rock intro, this song soon settles into gentle yet haunting lullaby but be ready for more twists and turns! My love for this Korean band knows no bounds try 남극 and …시퍼런 봄.


Any other songs you know that are the definition of cool? Post them below!

Be sure to check out the Mixtape Monday playlist to listen to all the tracks I’ve posted.

Mix Tape Mondays: Never Too Cool for Old School

Do you have a case of the feels? Nostalgia hitting you hard? Do you just need a break from cut throat modernity? This week’s mix tape is a journey back to some of my favorite romantic oldies around the globe. Who needs time travel when we’ve got music?

Cleo 5 à 7 – Sans Toi. Ha! You thought Edith Piaf would be on this list, didn’t you? In place of the celebrated Edith I bring you Sans Toi a French song about heart ache that would do Edith proud.

Getz and Gilberto – Corcovado.  Step away from The Girl from Ipanema and listen to this song by the same Brazilian duo instead. It perfectly evokes the peace and pensive solitude of a quiet night of quiet stars.

Shim Eun Kyung – Raindrop. Alright this may be cheating…ok it is cheating. From what I gather Raindrop is a modern Korean song (from the movie Miss Granny) made to sound like a classic (but correct me if I’m wrong!). However it’s pretty darn beautiful so on the list it goes!

Fairouz – Habbeytak Bessayf. According to my Arabic teacher Lebanese singer Fairouz is the queen of the Arabic music world (however, she is Lebanese soooo they may be some bias here). Though I have to admit no one croons like Fairouz.


Jacques Dutronc – Il est cinq heures Paris s’éveille. This love song to Paris conjures vivid scenes as you take a ride through Paris as she wakes.

Have other favorite classics? Post them below!


Mix Tape Monday: Avante Garde

For this week’s mix tape I bring you some tracks that are a little off the wall. They might not be your average pop, rock, or rap but that is the beauty of mixing things up! So this week put your headphones on and take a walk on the wild side. You might like what you find.

Yelle – Je veux te voir. Don’t be fooled by the sugary pop sound of this track. The lyrics are down right dirty. Yelle does not shy away from visual innuendo…and her lyrics, well, they are anything but coy.

Jambinai 잠비나이 – A time of extinction. Does the combination of heavy metal plus and traditional Korean music seem like an unlikely pair? Take one listen to this and you’ll find that its a duo that totally makes sense. Like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches… like apple pickle sandwiches this is an unusual combo that’s just meant to be.

Wang Rong Rollin– Chick. For all you fans of What Does the Fox Say? this video takes it to whole new level. Chinese girl group Wang Rong Rollin presents a barnyard fairy tale (note the fairy godmother in the beginning) and a song that actually sounds like chickens. Do I know what’s going on? No. But I don’t think I need to.

Tanya Tagaq – Umingmak. This amazing Inuit throat singer from northern Canada initially caught my eye in this year’s SXSW line up. I have no words to describe her music besides that it lies utterly outside the traditional western traditional concept of singing. Listen to her describe the way she sings here.

Any other cool and unusual suspects we should hear in the realms of international music below? Is there the next Lady Gaga that I missed? Add them below?


Mix Tape Monday: Once You (K) Pop the Fun Don’t Stop

Guys I’m moving. Yup, moving to a new apartment and two cats to snuggle. What does this mean? Stress! (no, not because of the cats, obviously). I don’t know why I have to turn it into a mild form of existential crisis, but I do.

What do I call upon in these (semi) dark and (self-induced) dramatic times? Music. What kind of music? The kind that makes me well, want to move. I call upon none other than the fantastic, glittery, over the top power of Kpop (Kpop for the uninitiated is short hand for korean pop). There is a lot of visual stimuli here. These videos will hypnotize your mind into state of fascination in which no external stress can exist. I’d recommend watching each video once and then listening to the song on its own to avoid overload.

This is but a mere drop of the ocean that is kpop. There are plenty more songs I love but I figured we’d ease into this one.


Disclaimer: Just know that once you start listening to kpop there is no going back. It has strange voodoo powers. You might think you don’t like it then suddenly 2 months later its on your phone, your computer, and in your brain.

So what will it be? The red pill or the blue pill?

Good! I’m glad to see you joined us.

At the risk of receiving laser eyes from fanguys and gals everywhere I’d say if there was one group to know in kpop it would be BigBang. Honestly this whole mix tape could be made up of their songs but I will limit myself to three.

BigBang – Fantastic Baby. This was the first kpop song I ever heard (thanks Mallory!) so it goes straight to the top of my list.  Get ready for lots of costume changes and colored hair. My intro song and by far still one of their most glamorous. You will never be able to say just “wow” after this.

BigBang – Bang Bang Bang. This song is from their newest set of releases and I wasn’t sure I loved the chorus but now I can’t stop singing it. This track is about guerrilla music with lots of references to militarization and the music industry. All the while they are slaying you with the bullets of their beats. And for all you freedom fighters out there, in case you didn’t realize it but magenta is the color for rebellion.

BigBang – Lies. A glimpse of toned down BigBang in their earlier and more emotional years. The costumes aren’t as fabulous but its a great song and MV. The obvious message to take from this is that real men can sing on rollerskates, which is more than I can do.

Brown Eyed Girls – Abracadabra. The understated hip sway in this girl group’s dance is so iconic PSY paid to use it in his song Gentleman (which is hilarious, by the way.)

Orange Caramel – My Copycat. At first I thought I wouldn’t like this song with its high-pitched, candy coated girly trot sound…but…guys the music video is a game of Spot the Difference and Where’s Waldo…and the chorus is pretty darn catchy. How could resist?

SHINee – Lucifer. I have mentioned this before in my dance mix tape and it’s still my favorite SHINee song and favorite dance in kpop-dom. When I hear it in the Hmart I start grooving to my grocery shopping.

Rain – 30sexy. Yes, I promise he is saying 30 sexy (not dirty sexy) that’s the official story and I’m sticking with it. The lyrics of this one aren’t deep but hey, try to get the back beat out of your head. If you can resist this inevitable earworm your Jedi powers are stronger than mine.

2NE1 – I am the best.  This girl’s group name is pronounced twenty-one and you will probably be hearing about them very soon since they are working with will.i.a.m. Also Lady gaga and these ladies really need to collaborate because the results would be epic. Who doesn’t love evil Bond Villain fashion?

There’s tons more Kpop to love post your favorite songs below! Any song that make you want to move? Add em! If you like these songs check out the 8tracks playlist I made for more. And of course these songs will be added to the Mix Tape Monday Youtube Playlist.


Mix Tape Monday: Summer Lovin’

We all need a little sunshine.

Bomba Estereo -‘Mar. This song is pretty much made of gentle waves of sunshine and appropriate for any situation….naps in hammocks, swinging on swings, dancing down cobblestone streets, splashing at the beach…the applications are endless!

The Solutions – Love You Dear. What’s summer without a feel good pop-rock anthem? Nothing I say nothing (darn you music industry crafting my seasonal music cravings). Anyway! the video is going to make you want to run around Seoul spreading summertime sweetness with your band. (Or is that just me? I gotta find a band quick!)

Yuna – Recue. Wonderful, Malaysian artist Yuna is part musician and part motivational speaker. Her song is a summery pep-talk. The sun is out and we all got life in our veins and we are ok!

Indochine – Alice & June. We had our Korean pop-rock anthem now its time for some throwback upbeat French punk. That’s right, for all you extreme athletes out there this song delivers some serious octane (just look at how fast everyone is running!).

G-Dragon and TOP (feat Park Bom) – Oh Yeah. As Sandy and Danny will tell you all summer days turn into summer nights (that demand appropriate musical accompaniment) and these Korean BFFs of Big Bang fame are the ones to transition you from day to night.

Be sure to check out the videos in continual playlist format here! Also, tell me what your international summer anthems are below!


Mix Tape Monday: Monday Blues

When the heat gets you down these blues will cool you off and ease any of that heartache you may have. Grab a spot on the porch, pour yourself a glass of sweet tea or grab a brew, and enjoy these soulful blues-rock artists from around globe.

Songhoy Blues – Soubour. I’ve already mentioned this Malian band’s song Irganda. But mentioning them once is not enough! Especially when they have songs this good. For all you  Black Keys fans Songhoy Blues will definitely float your boat. And if you don’t like the Black Keys, then well you will probably still like this. I mean come on this guitar work is hot.

Jack Savoretti – Written in the Scars. I was really intrigued by Jack’s unique and raspy voice. It’s a sound that gets easily overlooked these days. Go Italia!

Tinariwen – This Tuareg band also comes from Mali but this time the northern region and while Songhoy Blues is rich and earthy, the guitar notes laid down by Tinariwen’s musicians are as bone dry as the Sahara they play in and just as beautiful.

Lowdown 30 – Asphalt (feat. Joosuc). This song by South Korean trio is as rough as it’s name and trust me that’s a good thing. Get ready for a hard blues-rock back beat with edgy electric elements with a rap solo thrown in. All together its a combo that will make you feel so hardcore.

Hozier – Work Song. Thank you Ireland for delivering Delta Blues perfection clad in plaid and topped with a man-bun into the world. Hail Hozier. This is all. Actually go listen to Arsonist’s Lullaby and It Will Come Back. What are you still doing here? Go!

Any soulful blues we need to hear? Post them below!

Mix Tape Monday: Chill Summer Days

I don’t know if y’all have noticed but….it’s summer!!!

Here are some new songs to cool you off in this new found heat. In the spirit of the season I’ve paired each song with an appropriate summer adventure. Take a listen and see if you’ll add these to your summer routine.

San E, Raina(산이, 레이나) – A Midsummer Night’s Sweetness (한여름밤의 꿀). Yes, I like to pick appropriately titled songs for mix tapes (guilty as charged). But this Korean collaboration has slow beats that are a perfect pairing with lazy summer nights and beers. Who says hanging with friends can’t be an adventure? Cheers!

Paus – Deixa-me Ser. Roadtrip! This Portuguese track is best served alongside close friends, run-down cars, questionable gas station snack choices, and unknown destinations. Time to hit the open road.

Farao – The Hours. Need some alone time? I’d recommend listening to this Norwegian track for a spin while stargazing. It will cleanse your palate and set the tone for a bout of self-reflection and meditating on your place in the universe. 

Hannah Schneider – Me vs I. This is an early morning song. So grab your cup of coffee and watch a sun rise (over the ocean if possible) while imagining new beginnings to this Danish song. Hey, its summer anything is possible!

Koala Liu – Oh Let It Be. Are you an urban dweller? Then this is your people-watching-downtown-while-eating-alfresco song. What? That’s totally a song genre. And this Chinese songstress nailed it.

Here’s the link to the Mix Tape Monday YouTube Playlist with all the old songs and the new ones added. Check it out!

Any quintessential summer songs I missed? Or can you think of a better song-to-adventure pairing? Share your thoughts below!