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It’s coming close to the end of this project with NJOY and I gotta admit, successfully quitting smoking is the product of a relevatory decision. One day, you just gotta say “nope, that’s enough. Done.”

Trying to make the transition with the e-cig was helpful in reducing the frequency of my smoking urges. I drastically reduced my spending on smokes and actually bought stuff with that extra money that I needed. By my calculations, going from 7 packs a week (1 a day if you needed the explanation) at Manhattan prices is $98/week. A week. Seriously. So in the last month I’ve gone down to a pack a week, filling in the morning smoke, the insomnia smokes and the bar breaks, the after dinner smokes, most of the entrenched rituals with a few pulls on the NJOY vaporizer. From $98 to $14/week ain’t bad. That’s $300/mo to spend on all sorts of other bad habits (or groceries, travel, dinners, savings (hahaha) and other stuff.) Whatever you spend the extra cash on, at least it’s not directly funding your early death.

All the sober stuff aside, I promised you some more links to some good music happening right now. I scored an exclusive video premiere from Natalia Clavier of Thievery Corporation, whose new album Lumen dropped last month to great reviews. She brings a lot of pop influences from her Argentine base but employs dub tones, classic American and Asian pop tropes throughout. Check out her new single “Adios” below.

 

 

Weekend – Now this shit has been killing me. Somewhere between The Cure and A Place to Bury Strangers, Weekend brings late 80’s alt rock god bass lines in contact with some swirly/noisy guitars from their contemporaneous setting. Jinx, their new album just dropped recently. Their live shows are amazing. The drummer gets on it like whoa.

The Rotaries – My friend Jillian, one of the most tenacious publicists I know, guilt trips me and/or bribes me with liquor me to check out her bands. She got me with The Rotaries though. These kids (seriously, they’re minors) flesh out a track with real songcraft chops even if you may have to squint to figure out you’re not listening to a new Strokes cut. Since when is that a bad thing though?

Rush Midnight – Russell and I hang out sometimes. We met at SXSW. I booked him through my buddy Jake Bernstein at Bond Music Group. He’s cultivated this casual cool to his noddy/dancey, synth-driven dreampop that’s infectious at the very least. This video for his track “Crush” gets me too. I love these hat-and-pole tricks kids on the train. Only in NY. Is that saying trademarked? That needs to be a t-shirt.

Team Spirit – So Ayad Al Adhamy leaves Passion Pit and starts Team Spirit, a band so dissimilar that there’s no point in drawing the connection other than for name-droppiness.  Team Spirit is high energy Brooklyn garage that sounds happier than the lyrics suggest the song should. Laughing through frustration never sounded more fun.

Parquet Courts – Insousciant. Pure Brooklyn punk flippancy reminiscent of Richard Hell or Jonathan Richman’s speaky/story lyric delivery. I saw these dudes at the $Knots Festival where it became obvious their star is quickly rising. Just a few months ago they were a new scent on the air. It seems they’ve achieved full stink in record time.

Belle Mare – My buddy and entrepreneur extraordinaire Eric Weiner of The Wild Honey Pie represents this band and it turns out Amelia Bushell, Belle Mare’s singer, lives in my hood and hangs out at the same local French restaurant/bar (with the soul of a dive bar,) Mominette, that I take up space at pretty frequently. Their “The Boat of the Fragile Mind” is as pretty and dark as the title suggests and worth a self-indulgent listen.

I could seriously do this all day but unfortunately I have a thousand other things to do. So I leave you with this. Go see some music happen and don’t smoke!

 

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