New Mix: Uptempo Indie Gems

Some mixes come together very easily. Others take a lot of effort. This one was a labor of love. It all came together organically, which usually for me means it takes time … a lot of time.  

The songs and vibe on this mix are really close to my heart, and when that’s the case I try to make it perfect, often to a fault. For evidence, I have hours of mixes dying in my work-in-progress folder that’ll never see the light of day. In literal terms, the actual mix took more than ten takes and five months to complete, but it’s been on my mind a lot longer than that. 

So where did this one start? I have no idea to be honest, but it all fits together in some way. That’s literally the story of my DJ career, too.

Maybe it was a few months back on a painfully mundane Covid-era Saturday-night when I watched the Netflix Song Exploder episode about “When You Were Young,” the in-your-face anthem from The Killers’ sophomore album Sam’s Town? I loved how the band acknowledged the Springsteen-esque breakdown in the middle of the song. I never considered a bridge between the Boss and Brandon Flowers before. What a beautiful connection to make, and discovering those levels of synchronicity are why I love to DJ. I want to open those pathways and share them. 

Maybe it was 15 years ago when I first heard Arcade Fire? I was crashing on my buddy’s couch in college. He had the original Coachella DVD where the Canadian indie-rock icons played an impassioned take of “Rebellion (Lies).” I loved how exposed and polished the band seemed at the same time. There’s a fine line between the two, and somehow they navigate it with equal parts brute force and finesse. 

Maybe it was the first time I tuned the radio dial to 88.9 WERS? I was heavy on this station from 2009-2012 (and still am to some extent today). It was the first place I heard a lot of fun bands I still love: Foster the People, The Temper Trap, M83, Tegan and Sara, Miike Snow, Phoenix and the ilk. Guess what? They all find a home on this mix. 

Maybe it was the time I heard my good friend and DJ colleague Ryan Brown play “Hello” by Martin Sloveig and Dragonette at Loco on a Southie Sunday? I’d like to act like I didn’t Shazam that song at the moment (I should’ve already known it). That song hits on another level when the vibe is right. I immediately added that one to the crates. Thanks RB for that gem. 

Maybe it was the time I learned about DJ AM and the Banana Split party? I’m bummed I missed out on the era when DJs could play Justice and Duck Sauce at peak hour. These days, if I can get away with playing three records in this vein in a four-hour night of sleepy hip hop I’m a happy DJ. 

This mix is called “Moving Out.” I recently moved out of my home of nearly a decade, which in my adult life was the longest I’ve lived in one spot. When I first moved in, I wasn’t a DJ. I didn’t own a set of turntables. It’s amazing how things just seem to happen when you’re driven by the music.

I always tell people I became a DJ by accident. The more I think about it, that’s not right. I’ve always been listening and sharing my love for music with the people who mean a lot to me … and now that it’s become my career, I share it with complete strangers, too. It’s a beautiful thing. 

When I look at it that way, it’s no accident that I became a DJ. 

Full Tracklist:

“Rebellion (Lies)” – The Arcade Fire
“When You Were Young” – The Killers
“Shooting Stars” – Bag Raiders
“Praise You” – Purple Disco Machine (J-Wall Rework)
“Crave You” – Flight Facilities
“Animal” (Treasure Fingers RMX) – Miike Snow
“Sweet Disposition” (Morgan Page RMX) – The Temper Trap
“Don’t Stop” (Oliver Remix) – Foster The People
“Midnight City” (Alcala RMX) – M83
“Half Mast” (Slight Return) – Empire Of The Sun
“Tony The Beat” (Tommie Sunshine’s Brooklyn Fire Remix) – The Sounds
“Body Funk” – (Dom Dolla RMX / YXES Hype Bootleg) – Purple Disco Machine
“The Party” (LA Riots Remix) Justice feat. Uffie
“We Are Your Friends” (Scottie B, King Tutt, and Samir Remix) – Justice vs. Simian
“Closer” (The Knocks RMX) – Tegan & Sara
“1901” (Mike Balance Re-Rub) – Phoenix
“Hello” – Martin Solveig ft Dragonette
“Smiley Face” – Duck Sauce”Ain’t Nuthin But a Party” (Nick Bike Quick Hitter) – Swivel Hips
“You Don’t Know Me” (J. Casablanca Remix) – Armand Van Helden ft Duane Harden
“Help I’m Alive” (The Twelves RMX) – Metric
“Expressing What Matters” – Disclosure
“When Doves Cry x Body Funk” (Dom de Sousa Bootleg) – Prince vs Purple Disco Machine
“Tonite” – LCD Soundsystem
“The Hand That Feeds” (DFA Remix) – Nine Inch Nails
“Digital Love” (Boris Dlugosh Remix) – Daft Punk
“Work It Out” – A-Trak
“Home” – LCD Soundsystem
“Suite Judy Blue Eyes” (Break) – Crosby Stills Nash & Young vs. Four Color Zack
Uptight Maggie (Bootleg) Stevie Wonder vs Rod Stewart
“Easy (Like Sunday Mornings)” – The Commodores