I remember, vaguely, the talk in Hanover High School when it became known that Ben Ruttner, a couple years younger than I, had found success as a DJ. Christened in the music world “B-Roc,” there was talk of opening for DJ Shadow and Beyonce. But these were the days of punk rock and Biggie and I turned my attention to more saccharine diversions. Flash forward to now: you can imagine my happy surprise when I discovered that Mr. Ruttner, along with James “JPatt” Patterson, was one of the two core members of the DJ duo the Knocks. He’s also the CEO of HeavyRoc music, which produced, among other successes, College’s “A Real Hero” from Drive. Between gold medalist Hannah Kearney and B-Roc, it should be clear that Hanover, NH has something good in the water.
Marc Ronson & The Business International’s 2010 LP, Record Collection, largely flew under the mainstream music biz’s radar. This is a shame and a surprise – to begin with, Ronson was the mastermind behind Amy Winehouse’s success with Back To Black. He’s also an objectively top-notch producer. You can see his influence on Winehouse when you compare her raw, unrefined footage to what came out of the studio: she wrote the music and the lyrics, but many argue that he was just as responsible for the retro-soul Amy Winehouse “sound” so many people fell in love with.
Some people have ventured to call me lazy. Natasha once responded to such an accusation by saying “I’m not lazy, I’m Brazilian.” As a Brazilian, I understand the strategy of this response; I use it to defend my general friskiness. Friskiness, after all, is a biological necessity. These accusations of laziness, however, must be intellectualized. Instead of deconstructing “laziness”, I want to use it as a launching pad for something completely different.
The first time I heard the song was a foggy October day in Massachusetts, junior year. I walked from my dorm aimlessly, past the homecoming football game, through a path in the woods with the leaves scattered across the road. The air had that unmistakable New England crispness; it evoked Vermont Septembers past – elementary school, soccer practice.