Tag Archives: music

EDM Festival Tips From an Adult Who Shouldn’t Be There

5 Nov

edm showHide Your Crippling Self Awareness– You remember that dude at the party when you were growing up who you would periodically look at out of the corner of your eye and think, “What the hell is this guy doing here? He’s like, 40. Go home old man!” The average age for these things is I think 12 years old, so just know you are teetering on that brink. Don’t be afraid to embrace your age, and enjoy things the way you would, which means…

Don’t Wax your Chest– These festivals are populated by little ripped raver boys who apparently have a lifetime gym membership and supply of nair. Go ahead and take your shirt off, but you better be confident in those love handles and beer guts cause everyone else is on the Deadmau5 diet.

Don’t Wear a Costume– You’re already in one once you enter thru the gates. You’re an adult. By default you are one of the weirdest looking people there. No fuzzy boots, body paint, animal hat or pacifier can make your existence more enticing. Be comfortable in your Levis and hoody and marvel at the small Asian girls in booty shorts.

Don’t Dance Like Them– Goose stepping, jimmy hopping, bean bopping, ground stomping. I have no idea what the dance is called, but everyone knows what I’m talking about. Whatever it is, it’s for the kids. There is nothing less appealing than a grown man gasping for breath as he tries to herk and jerk his creaky frame to heavy bass. A two-step and some shooter Mcgavins will do just fine.

asian edmDo Hydrate and Stretch– Don’t let the youth dissuade you from being limber. They know nothing of failing arch support, slightly torn menisci and lower Lombard issues. Sip that water and stretch it out.

Do Smile and Be Happy– Whether you’ve popped the molly and sweated or not, there is generally a happy vibe and good community at these events. Be open and take the time to talk to a few people. They might give you a funny story; a high five, hug, massage or crazy ass kaleidoscope glasses that almost made me shit my pants. That scare was worth the ticket price alone.

I went to Phish and Kind of Had Fun

14 Aug

phishPhish is many things to many people. No wait; Phish is a couple things to a select group of white people. They seem to be either a quirky group of talented musicians who have jammed and improvised their way to cult status, or they are an aging group of cornball rockers who write lyrics about lasagna and shit. While I can’t disprove the first statement, the latter must not be overlooked in understanding their popularity. They are huge dorks, and not in the Zooey Deschanel “adorkable” New Girl kind of way. The only cool thing about them is Ben and Jerry’s kind of named a flavor after them in 1997, yet last week the Hollywood Bowl was packed to see these goobers jam face and melt minds the only way four old hippies from Vermont can.

While trying to find my seat, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia. I never listened to jam bands in college, but I did live in the dorms freshmen year and experienced the uncomfortable wardrobe choices that were somehow deemed acceptable. If you ever wondered what happened to the guy who wore baggy cargo shorts, airwalks and was always pretty high, worry not my friend, he is 35 now and he’s at the Phish show. The female fishies were slightly more put together, but still nothing you would want to holler at. If you look past the faded tie-dye and dank weasels, however, there is a palpable energy and enthusiasm that doesn’t always exist at other shows. Whether it was someone’s 106th time, or first like mine, everyone was anxious to see what was going to happen.

Make no mistake haters, it was a show. It was a downright spectacle of trippy lights, good vibes, glitter, and glow sticks. I’ll admit I got swept up in the hype and dare I say…gulp.had fun. One phish head behind me kept muttering, “Tour!” either as some kind of rallying cry, or a reminder that Phish was indeed on tour. He made his allegiance well known when during an improvised light sequence he shouted, “2001!” indicating this wasn’t his first Tour! Another wide-eyed bro was in awe at every pluck of Trey’s guitar strings. He would frequently turn to others around him and high five and shake his head in disbelief. He later told me he has seen Phish over 50 times and that I should have been there for Tahoe night two when they jammed a 36-minute tweezer. I later confirmed this was a 36-minute rendition of a song about the device used to remove splinters. This sounds like my personal hell, but it was in the words of many others, “face-melting.”

This is where my love affair ends. I appreciate different tastes in music and always try to keep an open mind, but I just can’t get down with the Phish sound. They are by all accounts competent musicians. I’ve even heard that Trey is actually a ‘pretty sick guitarist,’ but to me their music is indiscernible nonsense. After the show a friend asked me which songs I liked. I had to think very hard before I remembered that none of the songs had hooks or any real beginning or end. I vaguely recall one song being about pumpkins and destiny and another one where someone had a knife. Other than that I was pretty much staring at the lights and watching the freaks flip their shit.

I came into the experience ready to enjoy Phish ironically, from an outsider’s holier than thou pulpit. I was ready to smile at the weirdos, not with them. Many of us believe our musical tastes are far too sophisticated for this granola goobcore (yes I just coined that impressively accurate phrase), and we might be right, but for one night I was let in to a special community. Phish is a phenomenon, but the band will always play second fiddle to the legion of strange whites that follow them around the country. It’s hard not to love something that is loved so intensely by those around you. I won’t be going back anytime soon, but I can think of several reasons why you should give it a try. Tour!

Give Yourself to Love, Whiskey and Riverball

9 Jul

wavy gravyThe Kate Wolf Festival, A.K.A. The Crunchy Man’s Coachella, A.K.A. Old People Can Still Have Fun Too 2013, is a beautiful breeding ground for foot-stomping folk music, whiskey swigging jam sessions, and aging white liberals dancing off beat. I had the pleasure of spending four days as a guest and volunteer on Wavy Gravy’s Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, CA. Here is what happened.

Thursday: Arrive at check in. Immediately met with small town sass and sarcasm regarding paperwork. I load my retort only to be thwarted by dry mouth, vicious back sweat and the realization that picking a fight with an old sassy hippy isn’t the way I want to start my festi. GIVE YOURSELF TO LOVE DAWG!

It takes about two hours before a full-fledged sing-along at my campsite breaks out, complete with electric bass, mandolins and a moon puff. I don’t know what the record is, but this seems quick. I barely drove in the steaks of my tent before someone started expertly finger picking the beginning of a song I didn’t know. Jesus this is serious. I soon realize how few songs I know the lyrics to. Damn you Pac and Mac Dre! You are making me look bad in front of my folk friends!

Friday: Start my first volunteer shift at the Kid Zone. The director informs us that we will have to be on our game this year as two children last year contracted hand, foot and mouth disease from playing in the bird seed naked. Quick excerpt from that pep talk:

“Okay guys, due to the hand, foot and mouth snafu of last year, lets just try our best to keep the children…you know, clothed to the best of our abilities…and really you know, just have a good time out there.”

After orientation it becomes very apparent Kid Zone is going to be wacky. Let’s review other Kid Zone highlights.

Kids Open Mic– One kid got on the mic and dropped these rare jewels. “Jussss—tiinnn- BIEBER! Heeeeeeee swimmmmss innnn theeeee WATER!” On repeat for about 10 minutes. Another slobbery youth just yelled for about 5 minutes. No show time at the Apollo cane here. The Kid Zone is about freedom of expression and a director who naps in the shade tent.

Sequoia – “Hi, I’m Sequoia. My online boyfriend cheated on me and got Chlamydia.” After quickly googling to make sure one can’t contract an STD online, I continued down the frightening rabbit hole. I have never been so baffled and frightened talking to a 14 year old before. Her mom flew her out to this dude’s 16th B day in Chicago, but also called the FBI on her first online boyfriend who turned out to be a sex predator. Jeez Mom, maybe install a firewall, cancel Comcast for a couple months? Love your child? I felt obligated to give her some kind of advice, but all I could muster was, “Sequoia, you cray.”

That hay looks familiar...

That hay looks familiar…

Saturday: This will be a choose your own adventure. I will give you two scenarios and you can guess which is more applicable to my actual Saturday.

Scenario 1: Stayed well hydrated, applied requisite amounts of sunscreen, sang old folk songs, ate a healthy dinner, listened politely to some great music while sipping a high end beer and slept like a baby in my tent.

Scenario 2: Got ripped off tequila and whiskey, applied little to no sun screen while playing rings on hot rocks, reggae scatted about getting my balls licked, whipped myself into a frenzy and “danced” with girls while demanding sips from any and all nearby refreshments and maybe, just maybe ate too many samosas and passed out in a hay bale.

Sunday: RIVERBALL! While my sporting nature yearns for a more competitive game, you can’t really go wrong with playing a huge game of baseball in a river with your friends. There are few things like it. Maybe a game of softball in a lake would come close, but regardless it’s a special and awesome activity that signifies the home stretch of the festi.

Clang! Cling! Clang! That can only mean one thing. Rings! I probably spent half my time at Kate Wolf trying to toss industrial sized washers into a hole 15 feet away from me, and although I was whipped rather thoroughly, my obsession grew, and I vow to all those who bested me that I shall return stronger and with more arc on my throws!

The festival ended with what else but a group sing-along. It was difficult, but after relaxing river dips, drinking with friends, and camping under a beautiful sky, I finally gave myself to love. As soon as I left I got stuck in traffic in Willits and had to give myself back to hate, but there is always next year.

Educational Hip-Hop Lyrics

10 Apr

Ok Cupid Profile Pic

Ok Cupid Profile Pic

1. DJ Quick “First you get the power, then you get the money, then you get the pussy, fool don’t be no dummy.”

After the 50th text off to nowhere and first date that does nothing for your mind or boner, I often put on DJ Quick’s “Hand and Hand” to try and inspire myself and gain some clarity. While Quick was probably not referring to his own online dating failures in the song, it serves as a reminder that while sex, romance and companionship are all worthy pursuits, they often come more naturally while pursuing other things. Power corrupts, and money is the root of all evil, but bitches love that shit, and plus, the song wouldn’t be nearly as good with a hook like, “First you nurture your career, then you handle your finances, then you put the penis in vagina! Don’t be foolish young man!”

1000 bucks for a weekend of pelvic thrusts

1000 bucks for a weekend of pelvic thrusts

2. E-40 “ Sometimes its cool to floss, but don’t buy an $80,000 car before you buy a house.”

While I can’t afford a moped or even a birdhouse, E-40’s slangy down-bay twang resonates. He is a man of priorities and is offering sound fiduciary advice. As most of us are not ambassadors to the Bay, balliticians or iconic rappers, let’s make the scenario more millennial appropriate. “Sometimes it’s cool to floss, but don’t buy tickets to Coachella before you pay rent!”

She digs it

She digs it

3. Next “Baby when we’re grinding, I get so excited, oohhh how I like it, I try but I can’t fight it.”

This is a song about a guy getting an erection while dancing with a girl. The guy claims that if they continue dancing that way, he will be compelled to have sex with her right there on the dance floor. Wow. I wasn’t cool enough to have sex in public with girls at 13, but I was popping boners seemingly to every song I danced to. Between school dances, birthday parties and bar mitzvahs I estimate over 3000 boners popped during 7th grade, and I was embarrassed about it until Next taught me that is was OK. It is OK to get an erection while dancing and if the girl doesn’t like it, then she’s neither public sex nor take home to mom material.

Almost there buddy!

Almost there buddy!

4. Freak Nasty Ho “ I put my hand up on your hip, when I dip you dip we dip…”

If you’ve danced with me, you know I have formidable moves. Girls are often left saying things like, “Wow, what moves.” Psst. I will let you in on a little secret. Step 1. Put your hand up on her hip. Step 2. Dip. Step 3. Hopefully she takes the hint and dips too. Step 4. Simultaneous dipping. Step 5. Dip down low and roll and grind.

DJ Battles Ruining Parties

10 Jan

I know.  That shit sucks.

I know. That shit sucks.

My freshmen year drug dealer once awkwardly sang, “One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.” Bob Marley and this idiot have clearly never been to a modern day house party where every fuckchuckler with an apple product fancies himself the resident Skrillex.

Generally speaking, there are three pillars to a good party: Booze, ratios, and music. Sometimes there is nothing you can do about the lack of females, but if the ratios are there and the BL Limes are flowing, there is no reason the party should not be cracking. Oh wait, there is some thinly dressed fellow plugging in his iphone and choosing…Sigur Ros!? And oh wait; he’s followed by an eager nymph who intends to move hips by throwing on some early Lykke Li?! What the hell is wrong with everyone? These people make good music in their own right, but did Dre and Snoop teach us nothing? They made songs that made even the staunchest feminist shake her ass and scream about getting cummed on. We all must realize, especially those whose thumbs are about to push play that there is music for listening and then there is music for sweating profusely, biting your shirt and grinding up on people.

Only you want to dance to rare flute music.

Only you want to dance to rare flute music.

This message is for real DJ’s too. I have been to one too many warehouse parties and hep shindiggeries where the DJ and their friends are seemingly just trying to entertain one another. “I wonder what will happen if I put on this avant-garde flute record from the 1940’s?” Everyone will hate you. That’s what will happen. I honestly think there needs to be a school for DJ’s. Bartenders usually have to pass a course, why not DJ’s? If 50% of people aren’t dancing on any given night, your suratos are revoked until you learn the basics.

Ziggy Marley once said, “A party which never realizes its full potential due to faulty musical choices was never really a party at all.” Powerful stuff Ziggy. Let’s remember these wise words and be mindful of each other’s good time.

Wise man.

Wise man.

Thoughts from an Indie Show

31 Oct

1,2 and ya don’t stop…literally.

Sound check– If you aren’t a famous headlining band; keep that shit to a minimum. I watched an unknown group of idiots say, “1, 2” into a microphone while gesturing to some shadowy hipster in the back for over 25 minutes. This is unacceptable. Do you know how much negative anticipation is built? How awesome you have to be to justify 25 minutes of nonsense with waning arch support in my hep shoes? Pretty damn awesome, and they fell short. I was gone after the first song.

I want to start a group called The Soundchecks where all we do is dress in skinnies and swooping v’s and check the levels on stage, never actually playing more than a few chords in no particular progression. Most in the audience will detest our existence, but one scruffy shitgoat with an influential blog will coin us the Andy Kaufmanns of the indie music scene making us the hottest shit in Echo Park for a month. We will all date cute, malnourished women with pale skin and ride our iconoclastic status until we are pressured to finally release an actual song, which will be terrible, and eventually our lack of musical talent will force the group to take a break and reassess the merits of law school.

Rumpy Chaplin

Weird Chicks– Unlike clubs, bars and parties where women generally choose clothes that accentuate parts of their body, women at concerts around these parts tend to look like… Fill in the whoride.

– Indiana Jone’s understudy
– Your 5th grade production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest
– Punky Brewster’s foreign cousin, Rumpy Mooster
– Someone who collects recycling for a living
– An evil sustainable farmer
– Charlie Chaplin in less modern clothes
– An extra from a yet to be released indie film, “We’re Fucking Cooler Than You.”

I’ve seen girls wearing shorts that give them wedgies. Some wear things called rompers, which make it look like they have pooped themselves. Other times they wear something on their arm that looks like an androgynous skeletor…oops, that’s your boyfriend? My bad.

How dare you small girl!

The Ambience – This is of course contingent on the venue, but if I don’t have arch support, a good amount of booze and an exit strategy you better believe there will be some low-key freaking out on my part. One of the worst feelings in life is to be trapped in a crowd where everyone is more fucked up than you. It is intolerable. Every shoulder bump, foot smash, small girl’s aggressive elbow to your back is an affront to your humanity. Even the cute little white Pocahontas’ with their feather headdresses and adorable prancing get on your nerves. Call me square or close-minded, but I can’t just will myself to dance if I have no connection to the music or group. People who freely gangle about to any sequence of chords frighten me. All I ask for is beer under 7 bucks, a few attractive girls who aren’t completely fried and a bus route nearby if case The Soundchecks go on too long.

My Favorite Foreign Music Videos

24 Aug

PSY- Gangnam Style

For a stout South Korean he sure has a lot of pep in his step. No, the catchy hook does not say, “bang her condom style,” although that would be a wonderfully effective safe sex campaign. This video has been hitting the internets hard and deservedly so. It’s a fun song with a lot of humor. Here is my top 3 moments

0:48- PSY wrapped in childish towel resting his head on another man, watching another man pop and lock.

1:39- PSY screaming at the girl in blue shorts. We have all felt like this. Some times a booty presents itself that is so indescribably dope that we must release a bit of carnal rage.

1:50- 2:05– Dance off! Are we supposed to know the dude in yellow? Is it a sly shout out for Korean music fans? Why does that man in the elevator make me so uncomfortable? Best part for me is after the dude in yellow clearly loses the dance off; he gets back in his Mercedes and throws up the deuces like he won.

Major Lazer- Pon De Floor

I recently found out that Eric Warheim of Tim and Eric fame directed this gem. That sheds a little more light on why this is so fucking weird, but it is really hard to properly deconstruct a cartoon orgy. Again, what makes this so great is the inventive theme combined with a great song.

0:10– Why does bizzaro Wesley Snipes look so sketchy? You know damn well that your friends are already in the house acting like perved out sex fiends, and you can’t wait to join them. Quit looking around all suspicious like.

2:08- Bizzaro Snipes showcases some serious pommel horse type moves on, over and around one of the haggard’s formidable behinds. If the fat booty pommel horse were an event at the Olympics, this dude would be in the running for gold. Let’s make this happen for Rio 2016!

2:29- I could have gone with Bizzaro Snipes jumping off the top rung of the ladder with his pants falling down onto a large woman, but let’s take time to enjoy one of his sketchy friends who impressed me with his lightning quick crab walk, which he then combos perfectly into a slow and sensual grind of a fat. Brought tears to my eyes.

Benny Lava- Take it Easy Policy

This video is bizarre, funny, dangerous, and features some of the greatest dancing I’ve seen in some time. The top comment of YouTube is, “Michael Jackson is the American Benny Lava” and it’s easy to see why. This malnourished pelvic thruster busts some crazy moves. My favorite sequence comes at the 3:09-3:25 mark.

0:45– Classic shoulder tap trick which introduces us to one of the strangest sidekicks of all time. He looks like he goes for the kiss, stops, and then I’m not sure if it was an editing gaffe but his breezay puts up her hand and he kisses that? Wacky.

1:44– Dear god, please take time to watch and re-watch every one of the faces/dances that these men are throwing down on top of the bus. Fun fact: This video is fucking dangerous. Half the scenes are complicated dance sequences on top of moving objects or in streets that have clearly not been shut down.

2:40– Is Benny preventing a suicide here? This just got deep, but the music stays light and fun so I don’t care too much. Is the sidekick mad because he has been rejected so many times that he thinks life is not worth living anymore? What did Benny tell his friend in two seconds that changed his mind and brought him down from the edge? High drama and high praise!

Genki Sudo- Boy Meets Girl

I feel like I could hang out with these guys. This is a strange romp and look into Japanese nightlife as it follows the synchronized escapades of 7 dudes in suits hollering at girls. Can’t really go wrong with the premise, although the novelty and charm of the robotic synchronization wears eventually. Still very entertaining.

1:00– Japanese robotic pelvic beer thrusts!

1:42– Three-man touch off beer pyramid handhold?

Quick note: How do none of these guys have Asian glow? They are going hard on the pints and Saki.

1:04- You think for a second that they might walk by the sweet ladies but NO!!! They make like a Nokia snake and wrap around back to the table to holler in unison. I will definitely use this technique soon.

Osmani Garcia- Chupi Chupi

Nothing like a 7-minute video featuring 17 rappers that talks about lollipops and pussy. This is a very chaotic yet entertaining look inside the world of… Puerto Rican space? Apparently they are in space and huge candy and infectious dance routines play a major role.

0:00- 0:48– Wait, how many people are going to be rapping in this video? 9000? Ok, just checking. I’m sure every one of you has an interesting take on sex, clothes and money.

1:48- Cue the black mailman. Or maybe he has a laptop bag. Is he meant to be in the video or was he just passing by and the director was like, “You know what we don’t have enough of in this video? People rapping.”

3:40- Cue the hipster lesbian. I can’t really believe I watched this far despite the catchy hook, but this girl provides the most interesting verse. No need to watch past this. Chupi Chupi is repeated for several minutes as the various rappers in Oakley’s stunt for the 7D.

Fun Fact: I don’t really like this video that much, but it is colorful and after I watched it I found myself doing the dance and yelling chupi chupi in the bathroom mirror, so clearly there is some magnetism here.

Gringotone- Muevelo Sexy

Whoa, who are these guys?!?! Shot on the top of the line Canon T3i, this masterpiece of cinema debuted in March of this year, and while it didn’t get the views it deserved, it sparked a revolution is filmmaking, acting, directing and musicianship. Film professors at NYU, Ridley Scott, Roger Ebert and hella bitches have praised this trail blazing bilingual duo for their uncanny resemblances to Jason Statham and Ryan Gosling, their other worldly utilization of the Meisner method and their next level understanding of Final Cut. Just great work all around.!!!