Pick Your Tunes #15
Christina Gubala, perhaps better known as DJ Lady C, is a record selector and radio personality from Los Angeles. She has been involved with various radio stations including KCHUNGradio.org, where she hosted a basketball talk show called Slam Dunx From The Free Throw Line, and dublab, where she currently hosts a music program entitled Rare Air. She is a contributing writer for LA Record, through which has had the privilege of conducting a series of interviews with legends like Martin Rev, Harold Budd, Yeofi Andoh and more. When not flipping through dusty record bins and procrastinating on writing record reviews, she can be caught DJing around Los Angeles at various bars, art galleries, museums, and when lucky, weddings and proms. She is a Libra who loves 808s, philodendrons, ceramics, old Jamaican vinyl, and the color green.
1. What’s your favorite tune to cruise at night?
Loose Ends – “Nights Of Pleasure” (1986)
This track is blessed with an unflappable, invincible air of pacific romance. Its lush swirls and sparkles sound like fireflies on an early summer evening and its circular melody creates an illusion of eternity, without any pressure except to keep the groove going (which is why I recommend cross fading it directly into Suga Free’s “DoeDoe & Da Skunk”, an equally serene 90’s west coast floater that samples the elegant synth of “Nights of Pleasure”).
2. What’s your favorite tune to chill?
A Vision Of Panorama – “Cloud Two” (2017)
Any Vision of Panorama song can chill me right out regardless of the turntable speed at which it is played, but there is something particularly relaxing about the aptly named “Cloud Two” of their 2017 self titled release on Chit Chat. V.O.P. is an antidote to the modern information inundation that feels increasingly difficult to escape, somehow confident in the peace it conveys through a seamless cocktail of synths and distinctly without edge.
3.What’s your favorite tune for a romantic evening?
Luther Vandross – “The Night I Fell In Love‘” (1985)
Skip the wine, the candles, the satin sheets. This track is the entire package in and of itself. There’s probably not much I can say about Luther that hasn’t already been sung to the heavens in the decades since which he has finally become appreciated, but is it ever enough? Lord knows it’s never too much. It is tender romance distilled into a slinky, sultry memoir of the very first night, a smokey tryst and its glowing embers, and it’s perfect (true to Luther’s exacting form).
4. What’s your favorite tune to shake your body down to the ground?
Change- “The Glow Of Love” (1980)
Luther’s second appearance on this list, and in his own words, “the most beautiful song he ever heard.” It’s familiar yet fresh, a classic disco banger with a vocal performance so soulful it feels like every positive emotion at once, a celebration of all that’s “new and true and gay.” The way Luther cries “Honey, I LOVE you” has come to define the way love feels to me – vibrating with pitch-perfect abandon on a warm summer breeze. This track is why god invented dancing.
5. What’s the tune that gives you instant nostalgia?
Rick James – “Dance Wit’ Me” (1982)
Courtesy of MTV and early 90’s radio, the berets and mom jeans, a cross pendant or earring and Lisa’s rouge alto are the sketches of womanhood I cobbled together from a distance. She was profoundly more understandable, more achievable to me than the supermodels of George Michael videos and the vamping ubiquity of Madonna. Her patient way of walking through the the track’s chorus, “We just got to let it ouuuuuut” seemed so mature to me in an era where pop stardom allowed for grown ass people to sound like grown ass people. In our current age where even in adulthood I feel trapped with my peers in an endless ennui of millennial arrested development, “You Can’t Deny It” transports me back to an era where adulthood seemed to carry a sexy dignity.