New Mixtape: My 2013

My 2013 by Iddopop on Mixcloud

my 2013This year I bought my first turntable in years, so every few weeks I was able to have the record store experience: walking in, taking off my earplugs, examining all the vinyls I wished I had, examining some records I have never heard of and finally finding one I must own.

I am a bit late to the vinyl nostalgia club, but 2013 was a great year to join. So many albums that came out this year didn’t have one distinctive hit. I found myself often going back to the same Spottily playlists, listing to the same albums from beginning to end and learning to appreciate them more with each listen. Even my mixtapes this year, often featured the same artists/albums. It was a good year for music.

On a personal level, it’s been a really great year. “Solid” is probably the best word to describe it. 2013 didn’t have the crazy turns of past years, but it did include professional growth, new experiences, old friends, fun shows and awesome cocktails. Solid.

So here it is – My 2013:

Have a great 2014!



New Mixtape: Fugitives

Fugitives by Iddopop on Mixcloud

FugitivesIt’s been an emotional week. I finally watched Miley’s new video. It had a major impact, which was amplified by the expressive director’s cut. Then Glee said goodbye to Cory in a dark episode that left me speechless (all I could do was retweet Molly Butterfield:  “If your watching glee right now and not crying.. Your heartless and I hate you”).

Listening to Fugitives now, I can see how all these raw emotions found their way to this new mixtape. What was supposed to be a lighthearted piece of pop morphed into a chunk of emo.

Or maybe it’s just a reflektor?



New Mixtape: Greenwich Time

Greenwich Time by Iddopop on Mixcloud

Greenwich TimeIt’s been a great summer. Other than one week, Manhattan was never too hot or too humid. Most days were just perfect and the city felt luscious and youthful. Luckily, I was able to take it all in every day when I walked to the office from my East Village sublet. The urban jungle composed of the homeless, tourists, students, party people, Jivamukti yogis and Middle Eastern refugees gave this mixtape its aroma. Some romantic comedies that I’ve enjoyed lately (Drinking Buddies!) helped with the final touches. Enjoy!


New Mixtape: Sunglasses

Sunglasses2013 has a been a fairly slow mixtapes year so far. I had published only one but I actually created two more. One of them was titled “Black Box” and it was supposed to be the down-to-earth sequel to the optimistic “How Black Nail Polish Changed My Life“. However, after I completed version 1.0, I uploaded Black Box to my phone and listened to it too many times. Just like relationships and sandwiches, if you don’t change things up or move on  – mixtapes become stale. Sadly, Black Box was no different.

But historically summer has always  been a good mixtapes season for me. The art of pop music is so much easier and natural when you can drive around with your car windows rolled down. Even though I haven’t owned a car in years, I remember well that any summer mixtape listening experience will never be complete without the sun in my eyes and the wind in my hair.

This mixtape was also made possible due to my favorite band of the moment – Saturday Looks Good to Me. They have a new album out and it’s great. It’s like Nico teamed up with Belle and Sebastian (with a guest appearance by Damon Albarn). Yes, that good.




Saturday Looks Good to Me:

Old Mixtape: Yogi’s Choice

IMG_0760You may have noticed that I take the mixtape business quite seriously. I’ve been making mixes since 1995 and it is one of my favorite ways to communicate to others around me how I feel.

More than anything, three books influenced the way I think about life and music and people and how music ties them all together. The first two were written by Nick Hornby: High Fidelity and Songbook. The third is Love is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield. What I loved the most about those pieces was the notion that music can deeply touch our souls and alter our state of mind. Unlike books and films, music is always around us – like radio waves. So it could really transform the most random moments in our lives and also change the most random relationships.

That’s why a mixtape is a powerful tool in the tricky game called love. Hornby and Sheffield spent quite a lot of time describing how music can help make a girl fall in love with you (or at least go out with you a few more times). I have a few tricks myself and one day I may share them with you. However, Yogi’s Choice is a reminder that mixtapes can also create misunderstandings and seriously screw up healthy (platonic) relationships.

ebay_images_Onitsuka Tiger_Onitsuka-Mexico-66-yellow-blk1I first started practicing yoga in LA in December 2009. Shakti Box in Los Feliz, on the cross streets of Vermont and Franklin, is a place that has changed my life forever. I didn’t immediately get into yoga. I was never too flexible and always tried avoiding situations in which there was a strong likelihood of breaking my neck (which is to this day my #1 yoga fear). So in the first few months, what kept me going again and again was the awesome music. Some of my greatest moments with The XX, Arcade Fire, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Moby and others were in Shakti Box. I felt and loved those songs like never before while I was there on my mat.

My favorite teacher/DJ was Stephanie. She had yellow Onitsuka by Asics sneakers and passion for indie music. She taught Fridays afternoon and by the end of her classes the sun would be going down and Griffith Observatory was changing colors in front of my sweaty face. It was magical.

In the following couple of weeks I started assembling a mixtape for Stephanie. Now, believe me, this was nothing romantic. She had a boyfriend and I knew that. I just wanted to give her something back after all she had given me.

When I gave the mixtape to her – it was awkward. The following week I walked in to class, assuming she would tell me the mixtape was great (maybe the best mixtape she has ever heard. Maybe). But Stephanie said nothing. She hardly looked at me. Awkwardness. Finally, I stopped going to her classes.

When I listen to this mixtape today, I can not blame her. It does include the word “love” over and over again. Also, the line “come hide you lovers underneath the covers” in Arcade Fire’s Rebellion (Lies) – doesn’t help. In my twisted head I can hear this now as an open invitation to Stephanie to run away with me in her yellow sneakers. Perhaps that’s how it sounded to her too.

Yogi’s Choice is proof that mixtaps are powerful and can work in both ways. And just like Darth Vader and the force – if you use it, make sure not to abuse it.

Yogi’s Choice (February 2009). Stream it here:

New Mixtpae: How Black Nail Polish Changed My Life

How Black Nail Polish Changed My Life CoverThis is an organic mix, which has been in the works for a few months, ever since I listened to Bob Dylan’s She Belongs to Me on a cold New York night. It struck me as a beautiful song that moved me even though I was busy rushing, trying not to hit the mob of people on 14th st., while adjusting my headphones and texting. There’s always texting.


I took a moment to create a new Spotify playlist. For lack of a better name, I titled it “Nicole”. And so Nicole became a work-in-progress.  I populated it slowly, whenever I heard a song that penetrated the intense routine.

When I had about 20 songs, I was ready to mix. This one formulized quite quickly, but I still had the name to figure out. For a few hours “Nicole” became “Laura” and then I watched Laura on YouTube and she slipped me the answer.