Monthly Archives: May 2015

[The Audiofiles] We Don’t Dance, We Woogie All Weekend Long!

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Woogie Weekend 48 Hour sale

Over a decade after their first renegade stage at Coachella and the inaugural installment of California festival favorite Lightning in a Bottle, the esteemed production hub the Do LaB is gracing us with the latest and greatest in festival weekends featuring one of the main attractions of LIB – the Woogie!

Anyone who’s been to Lightning can tell you – the Woogie is a special place to play during the day and dance your blues away at night. There’s some people who don’t ever leave the Woogie, and who could blame them?! Day in and day out, you’re led on a whimsical adventure down the auditory rabbit hole of bouncy, deep, playful and body bumping music. So it’s only right that we’re finally getting a whole weekend dedicated to it.

Taking place at Lightning in a Bottle’s old stomping grounds in Silverado’s Oak Canyon Park, the Do LaB proudly presents Woogie Weekend spanning from July 17 to July 19, 2015. Keeping with the LIB ethos, Woogie Weekend is a ‘Leave it Better, Leave it Beautiful’ event that promotes conscious living within a collaborative, creative community. However, in deviation from LIB this event will be strictly 18+.  The 48 flash pre-sale ends tomorrow morning at 10AM , so don’t sleep – Woogie your way to your tickets right now and be part of this extra special weekend.

For more details on Woogie Weekend, head to their website and for more information on the Do LaB – check out their socials:

Website |Facebook| Twitter.

Cross Published on The DJ List

[The Audiofiles] Losing a Laptop and Facing the Music

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I should preface this by saying this is not the recap article I was planning on writing. When we had the opportunity to cover Lightning in a Bottle for the second year in a row, Danny and I didn’t even have to bat an eye before conferring on an answer. Yes, yes, unequivocally yes.  Since the time I heard of Lightning in a Bottle several years ago, I knew deep down in my heart that there was something so intrinsically special and important about this festival.  Our lives, our friendships and our relationship all revolve around live music.  From concerts and clubs to raves and multi day music festivals, we eat, sleep and breathe music and dance like every cell in our body is affected.  It’s something that we can both experience individually, communally and romantically all within the same moment.

Two years ago, we said ‘I Love You’ for the first time at Lightning in a Bottle.  Last year, we conquered our first major festival as contributors to The DJ List and this year, we were back for the third time – for him, to cover the festival as a photographer for The DJ List and for myself, working on the Press Team with The Confluence – one of the hardest working, boutique PR firms on the West Coast.

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We had an amazing weekend and met dozens of warm hearted, life loving, amazing individuals.  Unfortunately, those memories are now marred.  On Monday morning while we were packing, we noticed that things weren’t right.  First, we noticed that our 13″ Apple MacBook Air was stolen.  Then, we realized that other trivial things like an Apple Lightning Cord + Phone Charger were gone…and so was our favorite pillow. After putting 2 and 2 together to make 4, we’ve come to the conclusion that we’d been watched all weekend.  The two of us had gone back and forth to the tent from the Press Area with our gear several times, and over the course of the week – someone must have been watching.  We weren’t just robbed, we were targeted.  They didn’t just take from us, we were violated. And, this isn’t just a laptop – this is Danny’s photo laptop.

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This is where he’s edited pics from Lucent Dossier, HARD Day of the Dead, Gem and Jam Festival (one of which was featured in the Huffington Post!), Desert Hearts and Sea of Dreams; not to mention, artists like EOTO, Russ Liquid, Paper Diamond, Dreamlyfe, Seven Lions, Bassnectar, Krewella, Cosmic Gate, Armin van Buuren, Markus Schulz, Zion I, G Jones, RL Grime and so much more.  He’s also working as a live theater photographer and has deliverables to turn in weekly.  The stolen laptop is more than an inconvenience, it’s a monetary drain and is putting his work – his AMAZING work – on hold.

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What’s personally disappointing is that this is billed as a transformational festival; this is a supposedly safe place where we can be free, vulnerable and open – with our hearts, our homes, our minds and our belongings.  The fact of the matter is that this could’ve happened to anyone – but it happened to us; just because we had to learn a difficult lesson, doesn’t mean you need to learn one yourself. We’ve thought of a few tips and tricks for you guys so regardless of if you’re a photographer, videographer or simple a festival freak who enjoys enjoying themselves – take some notes, be safe and let’s make sure we keep our ever evolving community in check.

  •  Apply for Car Camping!  When your car’s locked, it’s just a giant lock box.  If you can manage to keep your car next to your campsite, you’ll be set the entire weekend.
  •  If Car Camping isn’t available, see if you can get back to your car easily every night to put things in a safe place.
  •  Check with the Press Team and see if Lockers are available.  Bring your own lock.
  •  Minimize expensive equipment.  You don’t need your entire closet of cables, computers and camera gear – just bring your bare necessities.
  •  Always close your tent completely; lock it if you have a lock
  •  Never rush through camp – make sure you cover your equipment and retrace your steps.
  •  Keep your gear on your person as much as possible
  •  Back up your data on a portable hard drive or on the cloud
  •  Download ‘Find My Phone’ to keep tabs on your gear
  •  Stay sober-ish.  I’m not saying have fun, but an inebriated mind isn’t the best judge of character or equipment safety.

All of the pictures used in this post wouldn’t have been possible without the gear we’ve had, and I’m crossing my fingers that we don’t have to miss amazing opportunities and coverage because someone decided to be selfish and horrible.

With the immense amount of support I’ve gotten – my friends have told me to make a Go Fund Me page – so here we are.

–> Go Fund Me: Let’s Replace Danny’s Laptop <–

If you’d like to donate, even if it’s only $5 – anything helps! I don’t care if we make all of the money back for a new computer, I don’t even care if we only make half – I just want us to continue doing what we love doing, because covering live music and being part of this community is something that both of us are so passionate about.

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Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

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Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

[The Audiofiles] Party With a Purpose as Daybreaker Teams Up With Generation Philanthropy

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unnamed-1What started out as a dream and a whisper, has catapulted into an international dance craze that’s waking and shaking conscious party people from San Francisco to Los Angeles and New York City to London. Daybreaker is the perfect way to rise and grind, featuring a menagerie of music, performance art, yoga and pure, unabashed dancing with peers from across your city. Instead of shots of tequila, they’re taking shots of wheatgrass and forging real connections with the young professional circuit within the dance music community. Everyone in the room has some pep in their step, a smile on their face – and real world responsibilities for the day; we’re not going to an after party after this, we’re going to work!

The recent bout of earthquakes that are wreaking havoc across Nepal are both unfortunate and terrible. In the past few weeks, 7.5 and 7.4 quakes have devastated the area – the good news is that you can help! The Daybreaker Team has joined forces with Generation Philanthropy to party with a purpose – and since we’re taking this one to the Pacific Ocean, you might be partying with some porpoises as well!

Next Tuesday morning, get your groove thing down to Marina Del Rey to ride the Hornblower as DJ Eric Sharp gets your body moving. Proceeds from each ticket sold will go directly to Nepal’s Communities as they try to recover from the recent tragedy.

“Boarding begins at 6 am, cast-off at 6:30 am SHARP. Everyday is an adventure and for this particular one, we will dance across the high seas with some of the best people around. As always there will be enough snacks and beverages to start your day off right. So dust off those dancing shoes and join us for a morning that will surely be one for the books. “

Details

When // Tuesday, May 19th 6.00am – 8.30am
Where // Hornblower Cruise — 13755 Fiji Way, Marina Del Ray, CA 90292
With // DJ Eric Sharp, Amazing live musicians and surprise performance artists with complimentary breakfast treats and drinks


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Purchase tickets here and make sure you stay up to date with Daybreaker through their socials, they might be coming to a city near you!

Can’t make it to the party? You can help anyways – head to the Red Cross’s site right here

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud

Originally posted on The DJ List

[Self Discovery] Seven Paths to Successful Stress Relief

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“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
Lao Tzu
Some days, I feel calm and collected – almost like I rolled into the right side of the world, where stop lights shift in synchronicity while birds chirp in time.  Other days, which as of late have been more and more frequent, I seem to wake up wired for awkwardness at every turn. A misstep here, can’t find my flip flops there, where did I ever misplace my keys – laptop – headphones – charger – brain, how did I end up on this side of town.  Let’s be honest, those last few can become a never-ending, choose your misadventure tale where I invariably end up with a good story but never a dull moment.  But, isn’t that the point of life: to smell roses on walkways that you’d never intended to be on.

My step-mom always said ‘Everything in it’s place and a place for everything’ – but I don’t think she was speaking to my mental faculties.  You know those friends that keep a ridiculous amount of tabs open on their web browser?  That’s basically what the inside of my brain feels like on the daily.  Lists for this, that and the other thing; and potentially even a list of lists I need to make which is usually followed by a general onslaught of compounded, potentially circular, curiosities.

It might not frequent you as often as it frequents me, but stress has invariably become a part of my everyday routine. I’ll be the first to admit that most of it is self sustained, which walks that thin line between stress and anxiety.  Whether it’s stress that I’m underperforming at work, or not pulling my weight in a friendship, the fear of fumbling at the most basic of tasks, not spending time with the right people and not focusing on the right passions and pursuits – let me tell you, my mind flips on it’s head nearly a thousand times a day.

Just because stress exists in the periphery of your life (and trust me, it will!), there’s no need to internalize it!  Often referred to as the ‘silent killer‘, people who mismanage their stress levels can suffer from crippling complications that go far beyond social scenarios. Stomach problems like ulcers, illness, raised blood pressure, cluster headaches, insomnia and depression are all indicators that your cortisol levels are through the roof. Sometimes you’re the bug, and sometimes you’re the windshield – but I want you to be the 409 that cleans up the mess and makes it crystal clear for the driver; namely: you. So, when life gives you lemons, find a friend with vodka and have a drink.  And then read these surefire stress tips, set to calm your nerves and soothe your shaken and stirred soul.

Meditation

I didn’t fully grasp the power of meditation until I ventured out to Arkansas for a work trip a few years ago.  Yes, you heard me right – I was in Arkansas, but not voluntarily.  If you’re wondering what’s out there, not a whole hell of a lot besides Wal Mart headquarters in Bentonville and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  I’ll let you guess which one I was forced to go to and which one I volunteered to see; but the end result is I saw my first Warhol and Rockwell paintings in person, and for a week straight I was deadpan sober.  Now, let me say that there’s nothing wrong with being sober – but I was in the mood for a head change, and meditation offered just that at a fraction of the cost of a hotel bar drink. And to boot, the change lasts longer and is by and large much more beneficial to your health.  Through meditation, the rest of the world melts away while you’re left in the purity of the moment, the chaos around you clamoring while your mind stays at ease.

For meditation newbies, every few months, Depak Chopra offers a new, 21 day free meditation course through his website, focusing on a core emotional tenant – love, career, family, relationships, etc.  Delicately, you’re guided down a pleasant path towards relaxing your mind and focusing on your intentions.  Sure, you don’t need someone to tell you breathe in and out while focusing on your heart beat in an unstated but wholly felt rhythm – but it definitely helps.  Soon enough, you’ll find you can tune out the world on your own as you slip into sweet, meditative bliss.

Pets

There’s a saying around my house – If you’re having a bad day, grab a cat! – but this goes far beyond your preference for feline friends and K-9 companions.  Cats and dogs have a proven ability to boost the immune system by lower blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol level. Cortisol is a hormone your body excretes when it is in duress.  Meaning, lower cortisol levels lead to lower stress levels and all around better vibes – increasing your general happiness and sense of well being.

The idea of caring for another creature curates an instinctual sense of altruism. If you’re looking to get active, having a dog in your life will get you outside for daily walks and into dog parks where you can meet like-minded individuals – and potentially even snag a date! Cats, while not being as inherently social, have a novel scientific affect on the human body – the cat’s purr resonates with a natural healing vibration. Cat’s purr at a range of 27 Hz to 50 Hz; the Root Chakra is effected by vibrations between 20 and 60 Hz while a vibration at 25 Hz stimulates the growth of mitochondria.  a vibration at 32 Hz is pleasant on the nervous system while a vibration at 45 Hz has been proven to regenerate bone growth!

Exercise

For anyone who grew up in the 90’s, you have to remember this scene from Legally Blonde.  And let’s hand it to the gal, Reese has an excellent point – Exercise does give you a boost of endorphins. One thing that’s tried and true: these neurotransmitters are proven to elevate your mood while they kick stress to the curb by simulating the effect of an opiate like morphine or codine.  Good news for you – you can get high on your own supply; literally!

Go for a jog, get out and shake your groove thing at the club, meet up with some friends and get your yoga on in the park.  Take a walk around the neighborhood and fully immerse yourself within your community.  Websites like Meetup.com are amazing for curating small groups of like minded individuals.

Retail Therapy

You might be sitting here saying ‘…but money can’t buy me happiness…’ – but it can buy you a new pair of shoes, that shiny new gadget you’ve been eyeing or a stellar new hair-do.  Truth be told, when I’ve felt down and out – a few minutes of online shopping while ruffling through my favorite stores on ETSY seems to absolutely do the trick of turning my frown upside down.  Now, everything in moderation (..including moderation): you don’t need to go bonkers and buy the whole store or get an incredible luxury item that doesn’t fit your lifestyle.  But a lovely trinket here and there to remind yourself that you’re lovely and loved surely can’t hurt!

Comfort Food

How many times have you heard the phrase “Food is the way to my heart…” – but did you know how much validity it held? The simple fact of the matter is that over 90% of your body’s serotonin receptors sit in your digestive tract.  When you’re stressed, you just don’t eat as well – and being malnourished plays a huge factor in mood!  The next time you feel like you’re not eating your feelings, just remember that a few bites of excellent food might be all you need to go from a zero to a hero.

Expand Your Horizons

You don’t need to paint or make music to be considered creative, crafty or artsy; it’s 2015 and there are hundreds of ways that you can purge your inner emotions and use them as a creative catalyst for something greater.  Head on down to Michael’s, JoAnne Fabrics or your local Arts and Crafts haunt and roam the aisles in search of your new muse.  There’s an infinite amount of endeavors to try your hands at – from making jewelry and candles, to wood work or planting your own herb garden.  The best part for at the end of the day you’ve created a unique and share-able masterpiece that’s all yours!  Now, that’s something worth getting excited about

Last, but certainly not least – just reach out and touch someone!

Hugs are my favorite form of currency, because by giving one – you’re automatically giving one!  A perfect 1:1 ratio if you ask me.  By in large, human contact is one of the best ways to irradiate the blues – whether it’s a friend that you’re comfortable sitting in silence and doing nothing with, or your crew’s Chatty Cathy, chances are the simple effect of another sympathetic ear will help boost you back into happiness.  And the hug?  Well, as it turns out a good 20 second hugs reduce the amount of cortisol in your system by feeding your body oxytocin – commonly referred to as the ‘cuddle’ hormone – and stimulating your brain to reduce dopamine, known as the ‘pleasure hormone’.

What’s your favorite way to kick the stress of everyday life? 

Let me know in the comments below!

[The Audiofiles] /ˈlo͞osid/ Puts a Delirious Spin on Galantis’ ‘Gold Dust’

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The already ephemeral ‘Gold Dust’ from EDM power duo Galantis has been receiving the remix treatment across the board. Once again, Linus Eklöw – better known to fans as Style of Eye – and Christian Karlsson of Miike Snow fame have crafted an effervescent mix of feel good, four to the floor rhythm with hauntingly beautiful vocals. Artists ranging from Hook N Sling and CRNKN with Hotel Garuda have had their way with the Original mix, and now, it’s time for /ˈlo͞osid/ to mix in his magic.

An enigmatic producer who elegantly juxtaposes multiple genres within just one song, /ˈlo͞osid/ has forged his way onto the dance music circuit with an impressive catalog of remixes and original tracks. From John Mayer’s ‘Falling’ to Evanescene’s ‘Going Under’, I’ve been both catapulted back to childhood and ahead into the future of bass music while ‘Chaos’ and ‘Dim the Lights’ still hail as two of my favorite original productions from 2015.Now, with his latest remix of ‘Gold Dust’, he’s both raised the BPM and my interest; weaving bass heavy synths into crunchy melodies, unpredictable and euphoric breakdowns.

Mark my words, this is an artist to keep on your radar. For more on /ˈlo͞osid/, keep track of his socials –

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Cross Published on The DJ List

[Self Discovery] Life Lessons From My Cats

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[Self Discovery] Life Lessons From My Cats

Before you know what kindness really is, you must lose things;
feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth.

Naomi Shihab Nye

There’s beauty in my breakdown. The past few weeks have been a lesson, an equal lesson in patience, love and loss.   Over the last few days I’ve thrown myself into fits of frustration and I’ve made myself laugh within the same moment, in an instant memory recall of the last eight years with Sake. What’s been the most important to understand is that my deep love, in turn – my deep sadness, is a selfish, albeit human, emotion because I couldn’t have him here to watch over me.  Our best memories were every day memories, morning kisses and pouncing on my head, late night cuddle sessions and secret treats. Sake brought friendship and love into my life in the best ways, always curling up in the most deserving of laps with a gregarious smile fixed to his furry face.

I remember one night back in 2008, I’d just gotten back from an all night party in Santa Barbara and was trying to pass out – albeit at 2pm.  Sake strutted into the room like he owned the place and perched next to me.  Slowly, as I watched him – a small figure floated above his head, a little pudgy with an orange glow and solemn stare, legs and arms crossed while it gazed into infinity.  From that moment on, I considered Sake my little Buddha kitty and realized that as much as I was Sake’s owner, he was perpetually my teacher. So, I’d like to bestow a few life lessons that I’ve proudly learned from my little man.  May his legacy live on.

When in doubt, take a nap.

Be comfortable

There is always more time for cuddling

If you can play with it, it’s a toy

  

Make an entrance

If you can sleep on it, it’s a bed

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Life is more fun with friends

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Stop and smell the flowers

Morning kisses are the best

Hug more

Give yourself a break

Look cute, people are watching

When you’re happy, announce it to the world. 

There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.

[Albert Schweitzer]

  

Saying Goodbye to Sake

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 Over the past few weeks, my heart has been slowly breaking. It’s been trying, difficult and frustrating to wrap my fingers around the idea that a piece of my life is missing; there’s a definitive void – not just within me, but surrounding me. Words have failed me, and at every turn I feel like I’m going to crumble to the ground, overcome by emotion and struck by reality.


Back in college, I was going through a transitionary period. Becoming a fifth year senior isn’t usually commendable but at an institution like UCSB – it also wasn’t uncommon. It was the Summer of 2007 and I had just moved out of Isla Vista to the Mesa – a wonderful area near downtown Santa Barbara, surrounded by a stunning almost 360 view of the Pacific Ocean. My best friend at the time, a wonderful, warmhearted gal with an affinity for furry friends, moved in with me and between the five housemates we had two cats – Ssleman, a beautiful grey and white cat with a warm heart and a little black kitty that hid every chance it could; and then there was Roxy, a Golden Retriever / Yellow Lab puppy with more energy than I’d ever seen. After living there for a few months and going through a few mental moments of manifest destiny, I decided it was time – time for me to get a cat. I needed something to love beyond myself, to remind me that I was worthy of love; I needed to care about something to remind myself of the circular motion of life.


Arriving at the shelter, I gallivanted into the cat room and immediately felt at home. Throughout middle school and high school, I’d volunteered at cat shelters and there’s nothing like some kitty cuddles to brighten your mood and cultivate altruism. I glanced at an 8 month old Siamese that I immediately wanted to bring home, and a litter of orange tabby kittens not more than 2 weeks old. After getting to know me a bit, the young man working this room had a visceral lightbulb moment…“There’s a cat over here that I think will be perfect for you; he’s a little trickster and a lover.”  As we walked over to the carrier, a beautiful blue-grey cat sat poised in the back of the cage. “No…” I mused “…what about the playful girl next to him?” The man smiled back “Why don’t you guys go into the play room, and if it’s not a good fit we can keep looking.”

As Maguro was plucked from his perching position and was handed to me, his front paws reached out around my neck and he looked at me like I was home.  From the moment we were in the play area, he flopped and stretched ten ways to Sunday, purring, prancing and pawing at me. Looking up with a glimmer of gratitude in my eyes, I laughed “Ok, you guys got me…I’ll take him!”

As it turned out, I couldn’t bring him home immediately – upper respiratory infections are incredibly common in shelter cats and he’d just come down with one. Instead of bringing him home, I played with his sister – Saba – and it felt like she knew I was taking her brother away. I whispered that I would take good care of him and she purred in response.

Eight years later, I can say that without a doubt – he’s actually taken care of me.  From Santa Barbara to now four different homes in Los Angeles, Sake has been my confidant, my best friend, my furry little man and the light of my life. He’s gotten me through heartbreak and deaths, losing friends and losing my mind. 

 

My little Sake bomb. Sir Saks a Lot. He was the most playful, loving creature I’ve ever known. He would wake me up by pouncing on my chest and announcing his hunger with a miniature roar, he would zoom around the apartment with gusto and cuddle-hug you like he was a person. Sake converted friends that had sworn they were solely dog people, and made cat lovers rejoice. He was the best thing that has happened to me in my 30 years of existence. And now, he’s gone.

We only noticed the symptoms a few weeks ago and it wrenches my soul to think if we could’ve saved him. The last two weekends were full of friends that I consider family, doting their love and happiness on him and he loved back in kind – curling up and lapping up attention like it was his job. But in the back of my mind, I was scared, sad and confused. It felt like just yesterday, he was running around in the Santa Barbara sunshine, lounging in the flowers and running to my car from down the street whenever I returned from campus. And now, I was feeding him by hand, cradling him like he was my child, wishing for a better tomorrow. But that better tomorrow never came.

Yesterday, Sake lost his battle against lymphoma. The last thing he ever did in his life was jump into my arms, almost in parallel to the way he came in. We held his paws, wiped his eyes and sang with him until his final curtain call. I’ve never been so conflicted and overrun with emotion; I don’t know if I’ve even ever been this uncontrollably sad. I miss my dapper little man but I know he’s in a better place, cathartically chasing mice and lapping up love in the great beyond.

Because of Sake, I know what it means to love, to care, to be a friend and just listen; I know the true meaning of life, to love and be loved. When you get home tonight, hug your pets…hug your loved ones, life is too short to be anything but blissful. RIP Sake, I only hope that I can have half the effect on the world that you did.