Monthly Archives: November 2015

[Oh, Snap] A Quiet Corvallis Morning

Standard

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

In Los Angeles, and essentially anywhere in California, we’re subjected to a go-go-go mentality intermixed with a fast paced lifestyle. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like we can fit a whole 24 hours in the day – zipping around from task to task, our heads are in the air and our feet rarely touch the ground; how many times have you wished for an extra minute here and there to smell the roses, or for the scenic way home.

Instead, we rush from one frame of mind to the next, often never even delving into our innermost complexities and questions in order to meet some imagined deadline.  We hurry in hushed tones, seeking approval before self acceptance, forgetting to kindle our inner fire before choosing to passionately  ignite the world around us.  Too often, we’re required to put ourselves last – to place our universe on life’s back burner while living up to standards we never agreed to, yet can’t avoid trying to live up to.

At those times, we need to let the world around us dissolve as we turn inwards to our hopes and dreams, wishes and desires. The external world doesn’t understand your emotional richness or personal passions; instead, we’re erroneously adhering to an apathetic formula where money and time are interlaced. The tangibility of having is deemed better than the effortlessness of giving and somehow,  presents have become more meaningful than presence.  With heightened access to social media, our haves become have-nots as we compare to contrast, stacking ourselves against the world in continued contempt.

Every once in a while, we need to be released from the societal shackles that made us believe we continually have more to prove to the universe and instead focus on what we can give to ourselves. The bustling and hustling of everyday life doesn’t allow us to fully marinate within the moment, allowing a full undulating understanding of our personal growth and maturation. Take a step back and see yourself from a birds eye view, sink into the full weight of a second, take it slowly and then take it twice.  It’s only within quiet moments of meditation that we’re able to truly evolve.

I’ve only been in Oregon for less than 36 hours but I already feel my muscles limbering from the top of my crown to the tips of my toes.  I’ve been awakened, reinvigorated, ready to take on the world while fanning my own flames. I feel myself growing, evolving, understanding my minutiae contrasted with the novel nuances in emotion.  In stark difference, of how I live in Los Angeles it’s quiet life, life surrounded by the whimsical wilderness of nature and the breathtaking beauty of Oregon’s lush landscape.  It’s simpler here, slower, calming and all sorts of cathartic. The weather has been blissfully blustery with a sprinkling of sunshine almost unprecedented here this time of year.  It’s a paradigm shift, and I’m curiously caught in mid-swing.




  

 

[Self Discovery] The Sanctuary of Sound

Standard

 “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Back and forth, I paced through the living room, burrowing a path in my wake while my thoughts and anxieties replicate the pattern in my head. Wrapped up in some proverbial search for enlightenment, I’ve become consumed with undulating emotion that I’ve yet to find a way to express. Walking a thin line between loneliness and simply being alone, I try and covet each second like a blanket fresh out of the dryer yet I’m still beside myself, slightly disillusioned and mostly out of touch with my core.  It feels like emotional betrayal wrapped inside internal disintegration; the champagne supernova in my veins spilling over unwittingly, spiraling into a black hole.  I swear, I used to be at peace with myself.

Through empirical and existential experimentation, I’ve discovered that the self is a fragile entity, bound tightly by rhetoric and coddled by the ego.  Let love, kindness, happiness, curiosity and wonder in and the self opens like a blossoming flower; restrict any of these, replace them with dishonesty, jealousy, envy, belittlement or callousness and the self shrivels up and dries out, only to delicately crumble under its own weight.  Every once in a while, we need an outstretched hand and warm smile, a delightful emotional sprinkling of honest goodness; as people we need to be wanted – as blooming entities, we need to be watered.  Yet, we often forget that in order to maintain fulfilling external relationships, we have to be in tune with ourselves, we have to tune and play to our own resonant frequency without being drowned out by the chorus of noise around us.

We come into this life alone and leave it in a similar fashion, yet somehow along the way we become convinced that we as we are aren’t enough.  We’ve become subjugated by the notion that in our present state we aren’t enough, we give into the idea that we have to become more than we are. Get good grades to get into a good school, so you can have a good job – and your life will be good; so we give in, ascribe to a system that we inherently know we don’t want to be part of in order to appease everyone, except maybe ourselves. Thrust onto the world, we’re perpetually in search of the niche that we fit and the keys to the locks that release our chains and set us free; often forgetting that buried inside ourselves is the skeleton key, under layers of thick skin we’ve built to wall ourselves off and protect what we feel most delicately and deeply about.

For every reaction, there’s an equal and opposite reaction – this is as true for physics as in life, but it can be difficult to understand where, in this chicken and the egg spectrum, your pushing on the world ends and it’s pulling at your heartstrings begins.  For the past few months, I’ve felt separated from myself, setting forth an internal domino effect that’s forayed into my external life.  In becoming emotionally withdrawn, I became physically withdrawn, lethargic, apathetic and distrusting; opposed to work and even play, my smiles were fleeting and slightly contrived. I was lonely even though I wasn’t alone, an island that wished it was landlocked, forgetting it’s part of a bigger landscape. Finally, I broke out of my shell, shucked my thick skin in favor of a light soul; I resolved to rediscover myself, to unfold inwards and expand outwards, to fluidly move forward instead of passively pausing.

Somewhere in the two steps forward, one step back waltz of life, we forget that we need to be the leader and the follower.  That to be at ease with the world around us, we have to calm the calamity within. Whether it’s the schoolyard gossip spiked by adult behavior or feeling over-inundated with world tragedies, the world has weighed heavy on my shoulders lately and I haven’t been able to shake it off and set it straight.  Writing is my refuge, my safety net, my confidant and my therapy yet lately when thoughts bubble to my surface I play emotional whack-a-mole to drive them further inside, down to my core.

When words fail, music speaks – the sheer emotional power of a song can be unfounded, but in one way or another we all believe.  Music calls to me, like the howling wind on a desert night or a brightly lit path on a lonely night and on Saturday  it felt like the music was beckoning me, flirting with my faculties and seducing my sense as I entered the Shrine.  The four to the floor rhythm catalyzed my energy while a glow of sheer ecstasy emanated from the crowd; leave it to the dance floor to set me free. Embarking on the evenings auditory adventure, the trials and tribulations of my external world fell to the wayside while the music consumed me. Each and every person there has a world inside them that’s twisting, contorting and spiraling; but for one night, we were able to put our worries aside and plunge into life.

Losing ourselves to rhythm, our limbs eagerly erupted into harmonic movement. In discovering the we between you and I, we pass each other in elegant dance instead of silent ships in the night, as if saying ‘the chaos in me acknowledges the chaos in you.‘ Though we might have arrived alone, we come together in symphony while marinating in the miracle of each moment, undulating as one giant organism.  The dance floor is our savior, the music is our sanctuary and the DJ is our saint. Those who fancy themselves religious have their church on Sunday, but my church congregates in the depths of the night to create new bonds and forge deeper relationships, with the world and most importantly – within ourselves.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

[My Favorite Blings] Nature Inspired Necklaces and Resin Jewelry

Standard

Wire wrapped gems and bracelets that shimmer,
Nature inspired necklaces and earrings that glimmer;
Geodes, crystals, flowers and butterfly wings –
These pieces are some of my favorite blings.

Bold or delicate, colorful or simple – jewelry is more than just a statement, an extension of the personality.  Somehow, between the ease of online shopping somehow and the social circles that I found myself floating around, but over the past few years my affinity for unique jewelry has been on the rise. I have this uncanny urge to collect anything that sparkles or twinkles  even more so if I can wrap it around my neck, wrists or fingers.  Sure, a lot of your favorite department stores will have wonderful pickings but I prefer the handmade variety, vintage pieces and one of a kind finds.  Blame it on my eye opening trip to Arizona’s Gem and Jam Festival and the heady events I’ve been frequenting lately, but my tastes have shifted from large statement pieces to smaller, nature inspired pieces like wire wrapped crystals, sparkling geodes and flowers in resin.

Locally around Los Angeles  there are a few great places to try and scavenge – like downtown’s Santee Alley, Venice Beach and the Melrose Trading Post in West Hollywood.  But, after enough hunting and pecking sometimes those places feel as redundant as department stores with their wares.  Truth be told, my personal preference is ETSY – they have a wonderful collection of handmade, custom wears and there’s something so nice about supporting a small business.  I spent a lot (read: too much) time searching, and wound up with some stellar pieces and lust worthy shops.

Over the Moon

My latest piece is undoubtedly my current favorite, a crescent moon paired with the technicolor twinkling of a Madagascar Sunset Moth.  Yes, it’s a real wing, but fear not – because Chrysalis Studios sources all of their pieces in an eco-friendly manner from local butterfly farms and sanctuaries.  An entirely handmade line, each and every piece is uniquely beautiful and captivating.  Ps. Check out the dreamcatchers, they’re fantastic!

Chrysalis Studios: Website | ETSY Store

Make a Wish

Earlier this year, I saw a story floating around the internet on the beauty of flowers embedded in resin jewelry and naturally – my first reaction after oohing and aaahing, was to snag myself a piece…or four.

WonderFox Jewelry:  ETSY Store

The ScrappinCop:  ETSY Store

Dandelions are dandy, but I fawn over flowers – this necklace is no exception to the rule.
Just K Jewelry: ETSY Store  

KayeBird Jewelry: ETSY STORE

Wrap Me Up

Last, but most certainly not least – I’ve built a little obsession over wire wrapped crystals and gems.  And when they look like this, could you really blame me?

  

HighWireWrappin’: ETSY Store

What are some of your favorite jaunts to peruse for jewels?!

[The Audiofiles] Drift Away on Autograf’s Latest Remix Ahead of Their First European Tour

Standard

Rat_rkYZc2sJNmB65ttsDuHH11zwDXMxRSslB9WTpP4

For the past few years, Chicago trifecta Autograf has more than left their imprint on the dance music scene. Through a combination of thoughtful reworks that deconstruct the original song as well as solid original tracks, Autograf has graced the stage at Northern Nights, Electric Forest, Hangout Fest most notably Woogie Weekend where they absolutely stole the show on Sunday.

In the wake of their first Europe tour, they’re back with something a little more brooding than fans are used to as homage to one of the most influential European electronic acts: Faithless. Founded back in the original mecca of dance music, Faithless sprung onto the dance scene in 1995 and there was simply no looking back until Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and Rollo went their separate ways in search of solo success in 2011. Now, almost 5 years later – a new era is here: Faithless 2.0. Their sixth remix album, Faithless 2.0 is available for purchase on Amazon or iTunes, and can be streamed via Spotify.

A pulsing, haunting spin on a tried and true track- Autograf punched up the original melody while spiraling into a darker, and much appreciated, tone. If this past year is any indication of their artist talent, I’m excited to see what else these gentlemen have under their belt for 2016.

Tour DatesNov 6 – Berlin // Gretchen
Nov 7 – Paris // Showcase
Nov 11 – Amsterdam // W Amsterdam
Nov 12 – Oxford UK // Emporium
Nov 13 – Parma, Italy // Pulp
Nov 14 – Liverpool UK // Chibuku
Nov 14 – London // Cafe 1001

Purchase Tickets Here

For more on Autograf, follow their socials –

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Instagram

Cross Published on The DJ List

[The Audiofiles] Electrify Your Life with Gareth Emery and Emma Hewitt in LA on 11/21

Standard

11403230_1111860705496584_2260904191121199595_n

Skyrocketing to the top of the dance music circuit over the past decade, classically trained Gareth Emery boasts production skills that refuse to be reduced to a single genre.  Crossing over effortlessly between Progressive House to Trance, Emery has produced hit after hit, including 2012’s Concrete Angel is the definition of perfection, a timeless track transporting me back three years ago to when it first trickled into my ears.  Fast forward to 2015, and Emery has over 50 episodes of his ‘Electric For Life’ podcast under his belt – bringing the shows mantra ‘a good melody can change the world’ to life.

For the past several months, Gareth Emery has taken his immersive and audio-visually seductive show on the road, appropriately called the road to EFL in preparation for key stops in New York City, Los Angeles and London.  Thrown in conjunction with LED Presents and Goldenvoice is pleased to host Gareth Emery’s Electric For Life Tour at the Los Angeles’ Shrine Expo Hallon Saturday, November 21st 2015.  Unlike previous shows that boasted a mere 2 or 3 hour set, Emery sets the stage for sonic storytelling over the course of a meticulously plotted five hour set featuring special guest Emma Hewitt in all of her pixie perfection.  

Show Details:

18+ to Party, 21+ to Drink
665 W Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 748-5116

For a taste of the magic, dive ears first into his delicious and unprecedented six hour set at Vancouver this past August.

For the tried and true Trance fans, The DJ List is home to an exclusive giveaway for Gareth Emery fans – enter our contest on for an amazing opportunity: a 4 pack of tickets to the 11/21 Gareth Emery show in Los Angeles plus some stellar swag from none other than Electric Family!

Enter our contest HERE to Electrify Your Life with Gareth Emery!

For more on Gareth Emery, LED Presents or Goldenvoice head to their socials:

Gareth Emery: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Instagram

LED Presents: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Instagram

Goldenvoice: Website | Facebook | Twitter

12036367_10153016146967273_5602141581227023034_n

 

Featured on The DJ List