Golden Silvers

Some of the best combination of sounds ever put together on this earth since God first gave people ears and made noise.

The Ting Tings - Hang It Up (Shook Remix)

Grouplove - Tongue Tied (Gigamesh Remix)

Nikki & The Dove - Mother Protect (Goldroom Remix)

The Triumphant Shuffler

The mark of a truly great song is when it can withstand the repetition onslaught on my ipod and still be enjoyable for the months that follow. Some might call this an affliction, others may dub it my obsession. But, one thing is for sure. These tuned torpedos will shake dance floors around the globe with spring in our sights.

Get up, get down like James Brown

Audio Lynch - Heartache Joy Don't Go [Freemasons, Yazoo, Livin' Joy, Fatboy Slim]

Freemasons - Watchin' 2006

Freemasons - Watchin' feat. Amanda Wilson (Alex Gaudino Remix)

Bob Marley - Sun Is Shining (Funkstar De Luxe Remix)

Socks Off

If I was leaving earth, going on a lifelong journey through space and could only bring one album with me, this would be it.

Built Like A Pro

A very small man can cast a very large shadow.

Trujillo - Distance (The C90s Remix)

Made For The Night

I don't know what's in the water down in Australia but someone needs to bottle it up and share it with the rest of humanity. As far as I can tell, every group to emerge from the Land Down under arrives with a superhuman ability to turn simple rhythms into hypercharged, gravity-defying megabeats. 

Even this undersells Dr. Don Don. Neo-disco, hip-hop, and wrenching emotion tend to fall into mutually exclusive camps, but the doctor stunningly blows apart this divide. Don had me questioning every law of dance I've taken for granted my whole life. 

Happy Feet

Iceland's Apparat is the only organ quartet in the world with five members. Their strangely unique and modern sound is entirely hand played on an "extensive collection of Jurassic analog machinery". On February 27th, the group released their second album, Pólyfónía, and included a remix from Montreal-based Robotaki, who needs no introduction. The melodic piano riffs and uplifting bouncy synths compliment the original organ work well and represents a shift from Robotaki's usual funk style.

Give them more than one listen if it tickles your fancy.

Apparat Organ Quartet - 123 Forever (Robotaki Remix)

Meet Me At the Pool at Midnight, 2012

Once upon a time, life was not better. it was different. Once upon a time everything was optimism because nothing was bad for you. 
The 1960s and the 1970s? Sexy as the sun. A jet set utopianism was unleashed like Icarus; one convenience or invention after the next came at you at a dizzying pace. Never mind color televisions and instant oatmeal, consider the revolutionary effects on social life when the pill was approved for contraceptive use in 1960. Back in the day, it seemed the only sexually transmitted anything was broken hearts. 

What to wear? Well, the song "Itsy-Bitsy Teenie-Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" was the summer hit that year, and retailers could not meet the demand for the famously French two-piece swimsuits. Suntans, once a signifier of manual labor, had become a status symbol. Now, while the working classes toiled inside factories and offices, the leisured classes were unbound. Bronzage was the ultimate jet set souvenir. SPF? Isn't that the name of the autostrada that takes you from Rome to Naples?

Thirsty? In 1964, The New Yorker reported that Frenchman, Fernand Petiot had "initiated the Bloody Mary of today," adding all the spices, the black and cayenne peppers, the celery, and the Worcestershire sauce that went down so well with the Beautiful People. Bottoms up, tops off! Eating too much? A diet pill nicknamed "the little black beauty" makes you smaller. Feeling hungover, anxious? Hoffmann-La Roche has just introduced Valium, mother's little helper and daddy's, too. 

The triumphs of World War II were being parlayed into extraordinary social advantages, especially for the rich. By 1958, Pan American World Airways' Boeing 707 Mayflower was making nonstop flights to Paris. Now more than a twinkle in tycoons' eyes, the first Learjet flew in October 1963. "People started traveling like crazy," recalls the bon vivant jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane. "In this milieu, we don't commit adultery, we travel," is how a jet-setter once explained this life to the British style arbiter Stephen Bayley. Never mind "I love you" --- from here on out the nicest thing you will ever hear is, "Hold on, sweetie, while I get you the tail number."

For tycoons building global business, jet-setting also had its financial rewards. "The tax system, which is so designed everywhere that it affects the middle incomes more than the high ones, is responsible for the remarkable crescendo of nomads who simply cannot afford to be residents anywhere. If they stay beyond a certain period, they automatically becomes residents, and then the Internal Revenue agents pounce on them like lions on helpless zebras," said the society chronicler Lanfranco Rasponi. 

It was Igor Cassini, writing as the society columnist Cholly Knickerbocker, who invented the term "jet set" in the late 1950s. Cassini, brother of fashion designer Oleg, said, "It was the only name for any gang because it succinctly conveyed, technology willing, a style that was new. Jets were glamorous them, and speeding across the glob, snafus apart, gave a sense of luxury and power. The expense guaranteed exclusivity and the fillip of unexpected encounters with friends in the VIP lounge. Mass tourism had yet to be organized. The energy crisis did not exist."

Jet set utopianism promised not just jet set commitment -- free sex, playboys like Warren Beauty and Hugh Heffner, and a new breed of debutantes and models -- even widowed Jacqueline Kennedy was globetrotting during and after grief -- but also jet set attitudes: interior decoration with lighter, more comfortable furniture; an international cuisine that brought quiche to Grosse Point, cappuccino to Palm Springs, cheeseburgers to Cap Ferrat; shorter skirts and no more bras for the ladies, open collars and no neckties for the gentlemen; and constant diversions, such as backgammon, a few close friends, inevitably a couple of spouses, children away at boarding school, lovers flying in, and hundreds of new acquaintances one could look up wherever one alighted in the world. In other words, the jet set, a special set of easy breezy chums united, well, united just because it was fashionable to know one another. "In the sixties," Marilyn Bender observed, "fashion stopped being clothes and became a value, a tool, a way of life, a kind of symbolism. It became human packaging."

Missionaries around the world have their ceremonial props, the jet set their houses and swimming pools. Drawing rooms are so old-century; the locus of every respectable place in the sun is now the swimming pool. Always favoring natural light to shoot in, here is where Slim Aaroms, "the photo laureate of the upper classes," as the Times of London dubbed him, did some of his best and sexiest work -- poolside, glorious poolside, exposures extraordinaire both public and private. 

For the uninitiated, George Allen "Slim" Aarons, who died at the age of eighty-nine in 2006, was an army photographer. During World War II, he photographed enough gore and guts to decide, when the war was over, that he would concentrate exclusively on chronicling the good life. "What the hell did we fight in the war for if it wasn't to make the world a better place to liven in and occasionally enjoy?" he explained if asked how he became a society photojournalist. "From now on, I'm going to walk on the sunny side of the street. I'm going to have fun photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places and maybe take some attractive photographs as well.."

Slim always said he belied in fairy tales, and the jet set utopia was his magical kingdom. Although he had been awarded the Purple Heart, he said the only beach worth landing on was "decorated with beautiful, seminude girls tanning in a tranquil sun."

Of course, the rich and their waters have had a racy past. We don't know for sure, but probably the apple did fall far from the pool in the Garden of Eden, and just picture what fun the Greeks and Romans got up to in their baths. It was no dull affair, that ancient Roman-style bathhouse Catherine the Great built at her palace in St. Petersburg, where she retreated to talk politics and receive her lovers. Potemkin, it was said, would come to Catherine wearing nothing but his dressing gown, untied, and a pink bandana. 

Until the early twentieth center, the typical country-house pool was a moss-covered man-made pond where one cooled oneself on hot summer days. The great blue pools of today began with the new millionaires in Hollywood. Emulating the Neptune pool at Hearst Castle or the celebrated pool at Pickfair, the home of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, the 1920s studio chiefs and movie stars, like Narcissus to water, built pools in their backyards. It was a publicist's stroke of genius that started the trend of having the stars pose for publicity photographs at home poolside, oozing sex appeal in their bathing suits, but wholesome and domestic at the same time. Pools became the jewel in the crown of mid-twentieth-century home design, status, and social life. 

Close your eyes. Where is Slim Aarons taking you today? 

What is it like here, a typical jet set day?

First, let me tell you what it isn't. It is not like any music video you have seen where the men are living large, music blasting, cursing, yelling, and squirting champagne right from the bottle over Energizer-Bunny women lap-dancing near the caviar. 

No. Listen. 

The birds. The bougainvillea. Nature's stillness. Sweet jasmine. The glittering pool. A slow honeybee. What you will notice and remember most is the exquisite quiet of the rich. 

It is your typical jet set day. You wake up around ten and have breakfast in your room, brought to you on a tray; or if you are a morning sort you go down to the tarrace overlooking the pool. By eleven you are sitting at the pool with your host, rehashing what happened last night: the romances, the wine, the faux pas, any amusing bon mot. You don't have a cell phone, a laptop, or an iPod -- they haven't been invented yet -- so before you've come down to the pooll you have made your calls efficiently so as not to tie up your host's phone line, calling your wife, your lover, your children, your trust officer, your pharmacist (see Valium above)…

If you haven't done so already in your room, before the morning advances too far you might look at the International Herald Tribune in case anyone -- your host is always inviting neighbords and their houseguests for lunch and dinner -- brings up any front page news. 

By noon you are lying in the sun, just you and the other guests and the little lizards that dart about… don't be frightened, no one else is. Reverse Dorothy, the lizards mean you are, finallynot in Kansas anymore. You have had your first swim of the day and your first Bloody Mary or Bellini (champagne with fresh peach juice). Champagne is considered medicinal, a trusted jet set mood elevator, the bubbles and the sugar a divine pick me up, especially between eleven and noon, that tricky hour when whole days, if not entire years, have been known to go astray

At some point  between the drinks, you may not be able to keep up with the conversation, now a crescendo of foreign tongues. French dissolves into Spanish, becomes Italien, swoons back to English, and someone is always complaining about the help in Portuguese. The only thing that brings this intoxicating babble to a halt is when someone says something stern in German (remember the War is not yet fifty years old). Never mind, just keep smiling, and with the occasional, world-weary je ne sais quoi shrug you will be invited again next year. 

Cocktails are served on the terrace or by the pool around then, followed by dinner at about ten or half past. Your host probably has arranged for local musicians to play during dinner and for dancing later. Have a few spins on the terrace with your hosts, then slip out and go giggling to the disco in the tow. By two or three or four or five, certainly by size, okay, seven, in the morning you are asleep with at least one of the cute people you were flirting with at dinner. After all, what is the point of retreating early to your room. In a good resort, the night is always young. Besides, before houses were centrally air-conditioned, your room, dependent on the direction of the nearest sea breeze, was often too hot to spend any time in. The only way to cool it down was to make it hotter, if you know what I mean. 

What happened to the jet set? You know what happened. 

Certainly a few of the great resorts, the families, their houses and pools remain. However, once upon a time, the rich were different, and now they are just richer, but somehow poorer, pursuing their oases as if in a drought, never enough, never arriving.

Money insulates, but it does not protect. You know what happened. On a more superficial level, here is your famous skin doctor warning against the sun; your internist is talking about twelve steps, but they're not the ones leading to the pool; and your pediatrician is blaming pollution for the childcare's asthma. This is just a bit of what happened to the jet set.

More profound is AIDS, which cut the jet set ranks like a knife. Then September 11, of course, and people are scared, horrible things now happen on the sunniest days. Still angry, chronic vulnerability will do that. So the rich isolate themselves in fortresses called McMansions, they drive about in oversized SUV coaches with blackened, tinted windows so you cannot possible see them doing not-sure-exactly-what inside -- agitating about getting their kids into good nursey schools, I suppose. Or they sail the seas in huge yachts that are like grotesque dragons under armor. Puff the carbon footprint.

But if you believe in fairy tales like my friend Slim Aarons did, then clap your hands. Honeysuckle glorious, somewhere, somehow -- maybe if we just meet at the pool at midnight -- there will be a place in the sun for all of us again. 

-William Norwich

The Isley Brothers - Who's That Lady

The Searchers - Sugar & Spice (Hey Champ Edit)

The Iglu Ordinance

The Satin Jacket's dark, smokey music is driven by pillow soft arpeggios that lend the tracks to a nervous energy. Much like Milk, it only does the body good.

Satin Jackets & Rocco Raimundo - This Is The Love (Unreleased)

The Brand New Heavies - Dream On Dreamer (Satin Jackets Reconstruction)

Toto - Georgy Porgy (Satin Jackets & Chris Jylkke re-Edit)

Street Sweeper

This second by second blockbuster enthralls speakers in a brawny grip - perhaps floating or falling from some exalted place of inexpressible peace and promise. Madeon's music innovation turns hit monopoly songs into modern antiques in a matter of minutes.

Madeon - Pop Culture

Nothing To Lose

Treasure Fingers' new tracks may actually hep increase your serotonin levels. If you haven't heard of him by now, you're no friend of mine.

Foster The People - Call It What You Want (Treasure Fingers Pre-Party Radio Edit)

Treasure Fingers - Take My Hand