This set marked the debut of Kristin A/B and the first time either of us DJ’d using vinyl. It was an honour to play at Discography, a club night at The Baltimore House that we’re both huge fans and supporters of. Thank you so much to DJ Mark and Andy Inglis for having us be part of the night, and special thanks to Mark for showing us the ropes and letting us practice on his solid gold turntables!
We had so much fun compiling our set from both of our small (but growing!) record collections. For Valentine’s weekend, and being the debut of this female duo, the theme for this set was girl power. We wanted feisty songs about love and relationships. The set is an introduction to Kristin A/B – but we have even more ideas in store for next time! Catch us back at Discography on April 5th! Here’s our rundown of the inaugural set.
KA: Along with song selection, of course, we also put a lot of thought into what to wear. I have a loose-fitting, long black t-shirt with a giant pink heart on it from H&M, so I suggested we go with a black and pink theme (with leather jackets!).
KB: I knew Kristin was wearing a black and pink shirt, so I picked up a few shirts at H&M that would match. One was a loose-fitted hot pink and black tee, and the other was a pink spandex ballet leotard. Who knew that dance clothes went so well with jeans (Levi’s from Girl on the Wing) and a leather jacket?
Sam Smith – Restart
KA: We went to see Sam Smith in concert in January in Toronto and it was incredible! We originally wanted a strictly female set, but especially after seeing him live, we knew we had to include him.
KB: Sam Smith snuck into the beginning of our set even though it broke our cardinal rule of female-only tracks – and sin has never been sweeter. He was such a sweetheart when we saw him at the ACC, totally fits our Valentine’s Day vibes.
Carole King – I Feel The Earth Move
KA: My mom had this Tapestry record and it was passed onto me – I remember seeing it as a kid. It was also neat timing that Glee just paid tribute to the album in a recent episode in their final season (I’m a huge Gleek).
KB: Classic album. I also included a record passed down from my mother later in our set – super cool to pay homage to the ladies (the moms and the musicians) who raised us.
First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining
KA: I became such a fan of this Swedish sister duo after hearing their second album Stay Gold. This song was a nice chill one for the beginning of our set.
KB: Totally new to me when Kristin A pulled this album out while we were working on our playlist. This song reminds me of discovering old Dolly Parton cassettes when I was in highschool, and also of that Lykke Li album Youth Novels.
Jenny Lewis – Love U Forever
KA: I was new to Jenny Lewis’ album, The Voyager, but this track suited our set so well. Plus, we love her style (and bangs!).
KB: I became a huge Rilo Kiley fan when Under The Blacklight was released and have followed Jenny Lewis ever since. Fact: She wore the dreamy white and rainbow suit from the cover of this album to the Grammys this year and ended up on both a best dressed AND worst dressed list.
Belle & Sebastian – Perfect Couples
KA: This was another album that Kristin B introduced me to and I love the disco vibes going on in this song. It was another perfect song lyrically as well.
KB: Last month, a friend of mine surprised me at work with this record four days before it was meant to be released. He knows I’m so excited to see Belle & Sebastian at Massey Hall this spring that I can hardly think about anything else – I actually forgot half of the album on my turntable at home on the day of our first practice because it’s all I’ve been listening to.
Donna Summer – Bad Girls
KA: This track was off a Donna Summer Greatest Hits record that I had from my mom. Kristin B and I joked that this was a “self DJing record” because the disco tracks just flow from one into the next!
KB: Definitely glad this song was one of the tracks I got to play – it was super easy to blend in and out of Kristin A’s.
Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody
KA: This song is obviously a classic!
KB: We tried to use most of our own records for our debut set, but we borrowed this album from our pal Melissa because it was way too perfect for our Valentine’s/Galentine’s Day theme – and it’s impossible not to dance when this song comes on.
Madonna – Lucky Star
KA: It wouldn’t be a girl power night without some Madonna, and this was another good one for our retro mini-set.
KB: We found this song on an old MTV Rock ’N Roll To Go compilation album that I picked up at a flea market somewhere – check out the graphic art from 1985.
Lowell – I Love You Money
KA: We went to see Lowell at The Casbah together in January and both bought her debut We Loved Her Dearly on vinyl. Lowell even took the time to draw a cute picture on each of our records. We love this song and were really excited to play it. One of our favourites in the set.
KB: Also have to shout out the new video for this song, because it’s badass. Lowell is such a boss. Or as Kristin A would say, “so sassy”!
Habibi – I Got The Moves
KA: When we had our first DJ lesson from DJ Mark at Dr. Disc, this album was one of first records we practiced with. Habibi was new to us but we liked it so much that Kristin B bought the album and we knew we had to include it.
KB: Mark offered to lend us this album after we practiced with it and fell in love, but I’m so happy I found it at Dr. Disc and picked up the last copy. The name “Habibi” means “my love” – kind of perfect.
Kate Nash – Death Proof
KA: Kate Nash is one of my favourite artists and is one of my biggest inspirations when it comes to girl power (check out her Girl Gang TV). I was really excited to play a track off Girl Talk. I love this mini set of Habibi/Kate Nash/Alvvays/Stella Ella Ola – one of my favourite moments in the set.
KB: The poster for this Discography session was also a photo of a heart-shaped Kate Nash single that Kristin A and Mark put together. I also can’t help but wish we had Lily Allen’s album Alright, Still to mix with this song!
Alvvays – Adult Diversion
KA: Another concert highlight for us – we saw Alvvays live back in August at one of their sold-out shows at The Horseshoe in Toronto.
KB: That was such a lovely show. They are also opening for The Decemberists at Massey Hall this month, I can’t wait for that!
Stella Ella Ola – Summerette
KA: I was stoked to book Stella Ella Ola at Baltimore House in October for their first Hamilton show. I’m so excited to have them back there on March 27th! I love their sound and they were fun to include.
KB: A friend of mine invited me to the I Heart Hamilton show in October featuring Stella Ella Ola so I checked out a few of their songs before I went, and “Summerette” was an instant favourite… as it turns out, the band is also as sweet as their tunes.
Haim – Don’t Save Me
KA: We also both saw Haim in concert back in May 2013 in Toronto at Kool Haus. They are so fantastic live and are one of my favourite bands. I know Days Are Gone will always be a classic album for me.
KB: This was the only 45 LP we had in the set, so we were both nervous about screwing that up, like I did in practice more than once. Tennis opened for Haim at that show we went to in May – it was magical. Haim ended with a drum circle, what else can I say?
Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
KA: I loved the idea of pairing Haim and Fleetwood Mac. In a set about love and relationships, a song off Rumours had to be included.
KB: What Kristin A said. I also think the crowd appreciated it when we played this song too – everyone in the room was singing along at the top of their lungs.
Feist – Sealion
KA: I can’t get enough of this beat!
KB: This song always gets me thinking about the hot summer heat. I think it’s because I saw Feist like 10 years ago on Toronto Island at one of those Olympic Island Festival shows. Remember those?
Adele – Rumour Has It
KA: This is one of my favourite Adele songs – so feisty. We thought it would pair well with a Motown jam.
KB: So much respect to Adele for making such a beautiful album out of her worst heartbreak.
The Supremes – You Keep Me Hangin’ On
KA: It would be so fun to do an all-Motown set one day. The Supremes are essential.
KB: It was so hard to pick just one song from this album. I would love to see what Andy would think of an all-Motown Kristin A/B set!
Blondie – One Way Or Another
KA: When this song started, people started singing along with the chorus so loudly, it really surprised us! It was probably our biggest crowd-pleaser song, which was so unexpected.
KB: Total shocker. I love that the lyrics to this song are kind of creepy and ominous, and everyone was shouting them.
Pat Benatar – Heartbreaker
KA: Just a classic female rock jam.
KB: Totally. Pat Benatar is the ultimate MTV/rock’n’roll babe – I also imagine channeling her every time I wear spandex, like I did the night we played this.
Florence and the Machine – Kiss With A Fist
KA: Florence’s debut album Lungs is a big one for both of us which was a neat fact to learn when we were putting this set together. I can’t wait to hear her new album, out in June.
KB: Yeah, that album helped me make some tough decisions in both my relationship and my career during a pivotal point a few years ago. Also, she has a beautiful new video out, sort of a teaser for her next album.
The Balconies – Do It In The Dark
KA: The Balconies’ Fast Motions was the first official record of my collection, given to me as a gift. Lead singer Jacquie Neville is another big girl power inspiration for me.
KB: I saw The Balconies by accident last year when I worked at The Casbah – and Kristin A is right, Jacquie is absolutely relentless on stage. I also have a soft spot for Toronto. I think it’s the coolest.
Sky Ferreira – I Will
KA: Sky’s album was another new one for me and I was digging it.
KB: I was (and kind of still am) *obsessed* with this album and also Sky’s Ghost EP. This album was an RSD14 release that I picked up at Dr. Disc, a super cool 180 gram vinyl picture disc.
CHVRCHES – We Sink
KA: We both love Chvrches and this song is my favourite off their album The Bones Of What You Believe.
KB: I don’t even think I could pick a favourite song from this album, but this was definitely a highlight when they played at The Danforth last year.
Jessy Lanza – Keep Moving
KA: Pull My Hair Back was a last minute buy for me, but an essential one for the collection. It was awesome to include a local artist and this track is also a Discography staple at this point.
KB: I bought the Habibi album for our set, so Kristin A picked up this one. Essential is definitely the right word. When you think of Hamilton, girl power, and music, you think of Jessy Lanza – and she also guest DJed at Discography Session 21 at Baltimore House in April of 2014.
Gloria Gaynor – Never Can Say Goodbye
KA: We really loved playing disco tracks!
KB: Kristin A’s favourite mini-set was up near the beginning, but this Gloria Gaynor song from my mom’s old Disco Party album (fully inscribed with her maiden name) finishes my favourite run of songs – Sky Ferreira/CHVRCHES/Jessy Lanza.
Chromeo – Come Alive
KA: This was just a really fun note to end on.
KB: Super fun song, also the only 45-inch single of the set. Mirrors the Sam Smith at the beginning, and also features Toro Y Moi – Chaz Bundick is a staple of my favourite Hamilton-based radio show, Superconnected, hosted by Lucas from Extreme Nonchalance, Monday nights from 9-11pm on 101.5 The Hawk.
KA: We’re super thankful for the chance to DJ at Discography – thank you again to Mark for showing us how it’s done, to Andy for his enthusiasm and encouragement as well, and to The Baltimore House for being the coolest. We have so many ideas up our sleeves for future gigs. And it was awesome to become such close friends with Kristin B through this – we’re so in sync!
KB: Had the best time nerding out with my gal Kristin A about all of our favourite songs/bands/shows while we put this Valentine’s Day playlist together. Special thanks to Andy Inglis & Mark at Dr. Disc for their infinite wisdom and patience! Can’t wait for April 5th – and not just because I’m tired of winter.