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Hey! Another check in with you. Hope all is well. It’s nice to re-blog and connecting you in a medium that dates back to the days of when I first got involved in this thing we call the “blogosphere”. I had a lunch with an old friend, I, Ced. Ced is someone I admire cause he risked it all to pursue music. There was a point when he was living in his car, chasing his dreams, gigging at night, rehearsals and sessions around the clock. He’s still on the grind.
Today we were talking about knowing your worth. And It takes time to perhaps hit a point where you can realize what you contribute and understanding how that translates into money or time. But since realizing my worth, its been easy to step away from projects and dj residencies. There is a fear for most artists (including myself) that if you step away no one will be around the corner willing to scoop you up. 25 years of countless clubs, parties, various radio gigs on college + public radio, I can say once you make that jump and safely land, its liberation. It’s one of the best feelings.
Ced then flipped it in a way that I never looked at it. He explained how race plays a factor. Ced has personal experiences where certain folks who differ from his color tend to make more money. I’m happy to see him understand his worth, jump ship and see him off to London to work on music this month and not haver to deal with these social complexities.
I wish I could say something magical that would connect with you but the truth is you just have to make it happen. Im still far from my goals but I know my worth and its liberating. And fun.
Hey. Been a minute since I checked in. Like really checked in. Seems like the old world of blogging has since faded. Everything is instant w/ Instagram, Twitter and FB. Ive used my blog to house my KCRW playlists and have eased up on the photos. I wanted to share visuals and thoughts on here but instead continue to pay absurd prices to maintain this blog since I love the way my playlists look on here versus the radio site. Weird right?
A lot has changed, I think Ive changed in the past 5 years. I’ve learned to pick my battles and ease up my schedule, maybe speak my mind more in spreading praise of others. I’ve also been more aware of my time on this planet. Im thinking of health and my role in this giant thing we call life. I’ve always enjoyed the little things in life. Happiness in little things get my by. Re-evaluting myself and my past I realize I gave little battles so much of my energy. 60 years from now, those battles will not matter.
Ive always kept my circles small, accepted I’m a groggy individual who loves to avoid large groups of people. One of my most recent discoveries is how espresso coffee has changed that. Ive also learned that taking on too much really prevents you from doing your best. In 2018 I would love to cut down on all the extra stuff. Just do the things that keep me happy.
Time is everything. Although a stranger for most of my life, seeing my mother off into the next word has really impacted me. It’s one of those things I try to not talk about, but it’s slammed solid perspective of our limited time on this wonderful circle we call Earth. So make the most of it. You come, you smile, cry, live, love and then next thing you know you are shitting in diapers at an old person’s home.
Yesterday I walked Smedley (my pup) and really caught myself in that moment. The sun painted the sky red, the weather was perfect and there I was, walking my 4 legged little buddy. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Have a great day! More to come!
I welcome your feedback
Thanks to Christine Mai Nguyen for chance to talk about music discovery among other things. Peep her youtube channel tho! Muy fuego!
Read the review here.
Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Valadez moved to Venice almost exactly eight years ago. “I moved in the day before Barack Obama got elected,” he recalls, as he takes his dog Smedley for his daily walk. “My first meal here, Obama got elected, and the place was cheering super loud. This is Venice. I like it. Eight years. It flies by.”
Known for his shows on KCRW and Fuse TV, Valadez doesn’t often release his own music. He’s more recognized for interviewing artists about their music than he is for being interviewed about his. But after dealing with the deaths of his mother and grandmother over the past two years, it was time for a release of his own.
“I wanted a proper release with a good label, and I wanted it to sound nice, and good, and cohesive. Kinda like a diary,” Valadez says of his new album, Fade Away, which is out now via Plug Research. “All these things that were happening in my life while I was recording I wanted to put into this cohesive project, and I wanted it to get heard, most importantly. “
As its title implies, Fade Away explores the idea of letting go of different things, people and emotions. “It fades away several things. It’s just how people come and go in our lives,” Valadez explains. “And I think recording, I just had a few people in my family pass away that were monumental to some degree.”
Losing his grandmother last year and his mother two years ago inspired him to make this album. “We were never close, but it was still sad,” says Valadez, who was raised by his grandfather, who passed away in 2001. “That feminine element that puts you in the world is no longer here. When that womb is gone it really makes you look at things differently.”
Recording Fade Away was therapeutic for Valadez, but not in the way he initially intended for it to be. At first, putting all his energy into the music was mainly a distraction. “There were unresolved issues” with his mother and grandmother, he admits. “So maybe to avoid dealing with that, I just kinda worked on music.”
But after a while, it became hard for Valadez to overlook the impact that losing these relatives had on him. The music itself, the instrumentation, reminded him of their influence on his life. He was forced to deal with the very thing he wanted to avoid.
“For some reason, there’s a lot of strings on this album,” he says. “I’ve grown up appreciating strings and I’ve always wanted to make an album that would make me feel a certain way. I’d send a track to people who were performing the strings, and I’m like, ‘I need this song to cry.’”
Valadez’s love of strings started when he was five years old and he heard Diana Ross’ “Theme From Mahogany” for the first time. “There’s a crazy string section in that song. And I’ve always wanted to replicate that because strings move me,” he explains. “And so, when I had access to all these string players, I knew that I wanted to do that on this album. I wanna make people feel the way I did when I was five.”
To make the video for Fade Away track, “Onward Solo Samba” (premiered above), Valadez and his friend Holly Gable took to the streets of L.A. and Long Beach to echo the concept on the album on camera. “The video is about fading away,” Valadez explains. “Fading away into the streets. Fading away into one another or with one another. Fading away across L..A, and finally into the ocean.”
In the end, that’s what Fade Away is about: savoring each passing moment, then releasing it to make room for new moments and experiences. It’s not about death or loss, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be sad or depressing, either. It’s about waking up to take Smedley for a walk as the sun rises and the waves come and go. It’s about letting go of the old you and embracing the new.
“As you grow older you react differently to things, you develop new sides to yourself that you didn’t know existed,” Valadez says. “Where does the old you go? It just fades away.”
This week’s guest is on my Dash Radio program is Rob Roy. Easily one of my favorites in general. His latest project is entitled Johnny. We discuss the creative process, inspirations and discuss Werner Herzog, Jodeci and working odd jobs as a source influence.
Mood Swings airs every Tuesday night from 8pm – 9 pm (PST) on Dash Radio.
Love this dude!
Follow me on Instagram if you wish. You really don’t have to but I must say in the past 5 weeks my life has become a roller coaster. My snapshots have become my therapy to keep me sane. I find myself in random moments asking myself “Can this be real?” and then I snap that moment! Anyhoo, hope you dig!
Images, videos can best describe my past 24 hours. And it continues tonight! Swing through at the SLS in Vegas. I’ll be back behind the turntables. Would love to see you.
Sometimes I truly can’t tell if I am a weirdo or a genius. You decide. Watch below! And follow me on Instagram!
So good to see so many homies in the latest Flaunt Magazine | The Selfie Issue. Honored to be part of the KCRW team of selfies. I managed to snap a good one of my riding my Sole through Venice one afternoon somewhere on Brooks Ave. Go pick it up! It’s a pretty cool issue but page Pg. 79 lower right hand side is where the party is at!
Thanks to the folks at GOPRO for the cameras. I have been documenting my journey as a person who ends up in the most random places. This past week I was in New Mexico working on a new video for my new record in addition to playing out across LA. I wanted to capture some of that magic in a new series of Vlogs. Big up to Monday night KCRW favorite Sly5thAve for the music!
My next album is set for March 18th on Plug Research! Here is the tracklist, artwork and featured guests on the new record. Obviously there are many many artists I would love to have collaborated but I’m happy with this bunch. These are artists who I respect and have featured either on my blog or radio show. You can pre order the record via I tunes or pick up a copy via the kind folks at Daylight Curfew and pick up an ANTVALA shirt! Below is the album’s first single! I am looking forward to sharing these amazing songs with you that we recorded over the course of a year. I am proud of this record.
Here it is! My top 10 albums of 2013 pulled from the KCRW site! I wanted to go a little deeper and reflect as to why these albums made my list. Some of these might not have had major impact on radio or sales but they survived the test of time in my car and headphones. These albums moved me all year and stayed in nonstop rotation on my radio show or simply while doing my every day errands. These lists are always are always hard to compile but It’s great to see Chance The Rapper drop a free album and make the list. I’m also glad to see indie artists like Sango and Skin Town make music that is not flavor of the moment but rather albums that make me excited about music again. Okay! The List!
1. Toro Y Moi – Anything In Return
I can tell you the exact moment I popped this cd in and hit play. I was en route to grab dinner and track after track I was moved by every song! I made it to track 6 before grabbing food then jumped back in the car and continued through the rest of the album. Toro Y Moi kills with the drums and synths on Anything In Return even bringing in piano rave elements with vocals. One of the best elements in this album is hearing it explore different feelings and textures. It does not remain in anyone one element or genre. It travels! “Cola” is one of my favorite tracks! Its a free download!
2. Pusha T – My Name Is My Name
Many years in the game since his days with the Clipse and still sounding hungry as ever! Something happens to rappers and lyricists when they grow a little older. We hear the hunger fade. Pusha T sounds fresh and displays skills in top form! Tracks like “Numbers On the Board”, “Nosetalgia” and “King Push” hit me in a place unlike most artists. Production is tight as well that allow Pusha to breathe and deliver each rhyme with ease.
3. King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath The Moon
Real talk. I was not feeling this album upon first listening other than Neptune Estate. After a few late night listens after dj gigs this album began to sink in. Soon the guitars began to connect with me and Archie’s hieroglyphic lyrics began to parallel a mood or feeling I was experiencing. And soon I could not wait to take those long late night drives with 6 Feet Beneath The Moon on play. It’s a wonderful album with guitars being super lush with massive reverb over vocals and instruments that take you into another world.
4. Jose James – No Beginning No End
With Jose you never know if your going to get a straight up jazz album, an electronic fused record or a soul cut. This is one of the qualities that I love about his appreciation for the wide musical spectrum! This time around Jose James steps up the plate and hits it out of the park with amazing musicianship backing him up. With hint’s of D’Angelo’s Voodoo blended into the mix fused with Jose’s wonderful voice it’s super easy to throw this one in my top 10 of 2013
5. Chance The Rapper
Fresh out of Chi Town Chance drops this self release with out the backing of a record company. It’s a free download that is not your average album. It pushes elements of Juke/footwork while letting Chance be free of the constraints of most rappers. Production if flawless and lets discuss Chance’s unique flow and vocal delivery!? In some ways he has drawn comparisons to the likes of The Pharcyde and it’s a valid point. But it’s 2013 when an single emcee can bridge 1993 and 2013 and own it then he get’s my kudos!
6. Maylee Todd – Escapology
I have been a fan of this artist’s work for some time now and it totally messed with my head when I found out in September that she had released this amazing record in April! Once I saw it, I grabbed it, hit play and bumped it nonstop! “Baby’s Got It” fuses that hard 4 on the floor channeling her inner Donna Summers but it’s “I Can’t Stand It” that haunt me every time I hit play. This album is a musical journey and perfect for a long drive. Maylee Todd was also a guest on my podcast. Get to know her!
7. Skin Town – The Room
Another previous guest on my podcast! I saw them when opening up for Tiny Hearts and fell in love with their sound. Heavy synths and drum patterns that accompany Grace’s vocals. Tracks like “Ride” and “Ice Crystal Palace” hit hard but the stand out track for me is “Midnight Lover” that is one of my favorite songs of the year. Excellent melodies and production from Nick Turco (Zola Jesus) that channel the 1990’s R&B, The Weeknd, The Dream but in a form that is it’s own.
8. Sango – North
North is a journey! It’s what I call a mood record. Vocals come in when they need to. Grooves pop on the next track that let you digest what you just heard. It’s a well sequenced record from start to finish and the most mature records on the Soulection label that will stand the test of time. Sango swung by the basement for a chat and it was great to learn the process of creating this wonderful album. “Middle Of Things, Beautiful Wife” is still one of the best songs I have heard in the past 5 years.
9. John Wizards – John Wizards
This album is one of those obscure records that you can’t help bobbing your head to. Cape Town goes electronica on this self titled release. It’s a timeless record that explores many sounds. John Wizards is almost like Vampire Weekend making love to Four Tet while in the Jacuzzi! Word is bond.
10. Bonobo – The North Borders
It’s Bonobo! Another artist who’s wide range of aresnal on the musical front is unlike no other! This album was on repeat at the station and especially on my show which is perfect after midnight record to drop anytime during my dj sets. Even in the clubs I had folks asking for the new Bonobo! I got to chat with Bonobo at SXSW earlier in the year and we discussed the process of making this record. Black Sands (his previous release) was a bit hard to top but somehow he pulls it off with tracks such as “Emkay”, “Cirrus” and “Heaven For the Sinner”
Nick Rosen and I have a project we do under the moniker of LOS GIRLS. We have been working on new material since our last EP on Plug Research. Along the way we knocked out this cool rework of Cola by Toro Y Moi. In between sessions we would layer in drums, cello plucks and anything else that would complement this re work. Hope you dig! You can pick up our EP here. Also you can preview Anthony Valadez’s new EP which drops Tuesday on I Tunes. Take a listen.
Turntables // Sequencing // Keys : Anthony Valadez
Cello // Strings // Synths : Nick Rosen
Additional : Shaunte Palmer
It’s amazing what a little photoshop and i phone app madness can do to our pictures. Every Tuesday or Wednesday I tune into East Village radio and peep Bobbito’s show or Chillin’ Island and just geek out on photoshop working on my weekly email blasts.
I love recording these KCRW Guest Dj projects. Sometimes I sit there with these amazing and talented folks and talk music. I can’t think of anything else I would rather do. From architects to actors, comedians to community artists, it never gets old. A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting with funny man Nick Offerman of NBC’s Park And Recreations. We discuss songs that have inspired him over the years as part of the Guest Dj Project. Hope you enjoy! Click here to listen!
1. How’m I Doin’? Hey Hey! – Mills Brothers
2. Lucky Day – Tom Waits
3. Thrasher – Neil Young
4. Danny Boy – Megan Mullally
5. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan