DJ Merc, Makin' You Werk
I’ve always been a sucker for the Beat. My parents had a prodigious record collection and a great love of music, so whether it was the Beatles, Bowie or the Bee Gees, our turntable was always spinning. I loved the ebony mystery of our wall-to-wall vinyl, stacked alphabetically left to right like 2-D dominos tilting along our living room floor. And although I could appreciate the rawness and rock of Creedence Clearwater Revival, my fingers would linger two letters further until I found Earth, Wind and Fire. Aw, yeah, that got my toddler booty shaking.
In the early Eighties, I was a die-hard competitive gymnast and my coaches called me the “musical one”, the gymnast who could also dance well – a nice enough compliment, but that also meant I was uncontrollably lanky and couldn’t power over the vault to save my life (damn you, horse!). But with a natural understanding of basic gymnastic requirements and a grasp of rhythm, space, structure, and timing, I began assisting my coaches in choreographing floor routines for the other gymnasts on my team. I was eleven.
I’ve gone through many self-iterations: skinny gymnast, stormy Goth club kid, San Francisco Raver, undergraduate theatre major, professional dancer, Pilates instructor, DVD workout choreographer, business owner. And through it all, music has been a constant presence, making life richer, deeper, more rhythmic, more visceral.
Here are my top picks for places where you can discover the best music being made today:
KCRW is a listener-supported radio station run out of a basement studio at Santa Monica City College. It is also SoCal’s NPR station, so a good portion of the day is devoted to news. But their music program is insane, with never-before heard tracks from artists from all over the world. My favorite programs are The Drop with Liza Richardson and Metropolis with Jason Bentley. Start by listening to their streaming music channel, or download KCRW’s app. You'll never again miss out on the magical discoveries at the edge of the musical frontier.
SomaFm is a listener-supported, underground/alternative radio broadcasting station, with music hand-picked by award-winning DJs and music directors, and it has something for every musical taste. If you’ve got a paper to write, a kitchen to clean or a magazine to read, put on one of their 20 unique channels and go to work. Some of my favorites: Space Station, Underground Eighties, Suburbs of Goa.
If you’re a fan of our Mercury Method playlists, you’re in luck! I’ve created my own Spotify account called ListentoLara and have downloaded all our workout soundtracks for your enjoyment. Each soundtrack is approximately 60 minutes, perfect for a hard muscle conditioning session or a beat-fueled run through the streets of your town. Guaranteed you’ll feel stronger, tougher, cooler, faster with these soundtracks at your back - just look for the moniker MERCURY METHOD. Here’s a new track I discovered (while to listening to KCRW, of course), coming soon to a ListentoLara playlist near you:
Isn’t life more fun set to a soundtrack? I invite you to explore the most human of artistic expressions – music from the voice, from the hands, from the heart. As it always has for me, finding the right music for who you are today gives you the gift of context, memory, emotion, inspiration. There is a beat out there that will help best express the vast and malleable roles we play, a sonic throughline of rhythm.
I’ll be adding playlists to Spotify, so be sure to follow me, I promise to keep it real…
REAL GOOD, that is!