About a decade ago, Alix Browna canny and kittenish 39-year-old bassist from Atlanta, parlayed her obsession with obscure music and her playful ’60s “It-girl” person into a career as a DJ She spins at special events for fashion labels like Chanel, Fendi and Armani and has honed the signature sound for the Soho Grand Hotel and the Roxy Hotel in New York.
despues de years playing in bands like Daisy Glaze The Femme, golden triangle and Angry Angles, Ms. Brown is focusing on work as a music supervisor for films. She finds songs that enhance the movie’s tone and negotiates rights clearance with both songwriters and record labels.
Ms. Brown lives on the Upper East Side with her partner, Michele Civetta, 47, a film director.
THE EARLY BIRD I wake up pretty early naturally — usually like 6:30, 7 in the morning. I DJ a lot, but I don’t DJ super late-night things anymore. But even when I did, I could never sleep in for some reason.
I usually go into the living room and lie on the couch and meditate for 15 or 20 minutes, and then I’ll put on a record, something really chill. Lately I’ve been spinning Lou Donaldson’s “Alligator Boogaloo,” Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes’ “Visions of a New World” and Astrud Gilberto’s “Look to the Rainbow.” I’ll do some stretches, some yoga. And then I’ll get into the coffee. Usually our coffee pot starts brewing at around 8 am, so that’s when I’ll have my first cup. Around 9, Michele gets up.
SUNDAY TRADITIONS My biggest routine that I’ve been doing since I was a kid is watching “CBS Sunday Morning.” When I was growing up, my mom would cook a lot of breakfast and we would sit and watch it together. It’s funny because we kind of still do. I’ll put it on at 9. She’ll text me, and she’ll be like: “Oh, did you watch this segment? What did you think of this?” Or I’ll call her. They have the best news stories and interviews with regular people. And it’s not overly politicized. I try to talk to my mom every day.
PLAYLIST TESTING I do a little power walk along the East River, listening to some playlists I’ve made to make sure the songs are cohesive and flow together. Then I’ll walk over to Agata & Valentina to go food shopping with Michele.
BOOKS AND RECORDS I moved here in 2007 and worked at Academy Records for a couple of years. It was my first job in New York. I love to go by and see them and see what records they have. I’m always looking for tunes, old and new. The last film I did music supervision for used a lot of modern bands. The one I’m working on now is using a lot of punk music and ’60s and ’70s rock ‘n’ roll.
Then I usually walk through Tompkins [Square Park] to go by Master Books. Michele will meet me there. They have great new, used and rare books and ephemera. They have so many books there I can’t even afford, but it’s nice to just look at them.
(PAS) AU HASARD Maybe I’ll meet Michele or my friend Illyse Singerthe director of Roxy Cinema, for brunch at Balthazar. I get the salade niçoise or the steak frites. Depending on how I’m feeling, maybe I’ll have a glass of champagne.
And then after that, I go to Roxy Cinema for a movie. It’s in the Roxy Hotel. I’ve been working with them for over 11 years. It used to be the Tribeca Grand back in the day. I started as a DJ, and then when they renovated the rooms and made it the Roxy, I was the musical director there. I started making all their playlists. They put record players in the suites, so I started a curated vinyl collection in those rooms. There are 10 records in each suite, and the penthouse has a bigger selection, 20 or 30 records.
CONNECTING THE DOTS I’m really into Italian music and soundtracks. Michele’s father is Italian, and they spend their time between the US and Italy. We were in Italy for most of the pandemic, so that’s how I got really into it.
I’ve also been working with an Italian record label called CAM Sugar that’s been around since 1959. They’ve been doing Italian and French reissues of movie soundtracks, so I’m hosting some screenings at Roxy Cinema with them. “We just did”La Planète Sauvage,” the animated French movie from the ’70s. It has a sexy, psychedelic jazz soundtrack that’s pretty important because a lot of rappers sampled from it, so I was thinking: Instead of doing listening parties, it’d be great to do screenings. And we’re screening Ennio Morricone films for his birthday. They’re putting out some of his unreleased works from soundtracks that he did.
ITALIAN SUNDAYS If it’s a special occasion, we’ll go to Antonucci, my favorite restaurant uptown. They have amazing art on the walls and amazing pasta. The duck tortelli is insane.
But we love to cook! If it’s just a casual, lazy Sunday, we’ll make a simple pasta, like spaghetti alle vongole, my favorite. We’ll usually put on a jazz, soundtrack or library record or an amazing Italian playlist I made or sometimes even a movie in the background. Maybe I’ll throw in tomatoes or zucchini blossoms if they’re in season. I like to eat it with Calabrian chiles. And then we probably watch something else and chill, and maybe eat some ice cream or gelato.
EVERYTHING IS RESEARCH You’ve got to keep up with what’s going on with film, the film world, streaming and all these things, and after the pandemic and the change in how people watch movies, you have to see what people are watching now, and ask, why is this show so popular?
Depending on what we’re watching, how tired I am and who chose what to watch, I’ll go to bed between 10 and 11 — midnight if something really has my attention.
I’m always connecting, always on the hunt, always taking in new information.
Sunday Routine readers can follow Alix Brown on Instagram @alix_brown.