[Flashback Friday] Favorite Festival Sets

As the Winter frost finally loosens her grip and ebbs into the succulent scents of Spring – there’s typically only one thing on my, or any of my friend’s minds: what’s the next music festival you’re trying to get to?

My whole life, music has been my backbone – whether it’s dancing, playing flute, in choir or as the sound engineer at the local television station for kicks. As far back as I can remember, from the time I left college in 2008 and moved to Los Angeles – dance music has been a sort of genesis for me, almost chrysalis . It’s introduced me to people that have changed my life, it brought me to the man I’m married to today, it changed my career path, it turned me into a Senior Editor for a world class DJ blog, it gave me an outlet to explore the truth of who I am – and I’m such a better person for it because it gave me back myself.

THAT said, it hurts my heart that with the current Coronavirus crisis – festival season for 2020 is effectively cancelled, and rightfully so. It began with Ultra Abu Dhabi being cancelled back in March, and then it started spiraling. Ultra Miami and Miami Music Week both ‘rescheduled’ for next year, which is a fancy way of saying cancelled. Within days – Tomorrowland Winter, Lightning in a Bottle and SXSW were cancelled this year, while Coachella and EDC were both postponed until the Fall. With a world class array of musical talent for the weekend and many additional music lovers travel from around the globe for their chance to dance late into the morning light; international flights and crowded sweaty nights – it’s not exactly where you want to be if you’re trying to explore social distancing; unfortunately, it even sounds like the type of place you’d really want to avoid.

As a tangent, you have to understand how each cog in the wheel in entertainment operates; if you’re in event production, each current event is using funds allocated from previous events…so without the funding from current projects, future events are in danger as well – not to mention there are boutique festivals who have their entire futures up in the air right now. There are artists and technicians, musicians and dancers, vendors and publicists whose livelihood depends on being able to be booked for these events. Needless to say, we’re all itching to get our grooves back.

But, the good news is that plenty of your favorite artists have their live sets online so you can kick back with a tasty beverage, turn your speakers up, open the windows and have yourself a little quarantine rave all of your own! I’ve compiled a list of my favorite live sets from throughout the years (yes, I mean years!), with a bounce around from genre to genre, festival to festival and artists to artist – I think I’ve got a pretty solid Friday night set. We’ve got Pumpkin and Hot Since 82, Above & Beyond and Ferry Corsten, Chase & Status, Netsky, Kaskade, Skrillex and so much more. I hope you enjoy as much as I loved putting this together. Now excuse me, while I go have a little Flashback Friday dance part all of my own!

Remember: we’re all in this together, so the least we can do is try and find moments of enjoyment, connection, and dance! If you have FaceTime, Twitch or any other type of video conferencing – turn it into a social, invite your friends and get down with the squad digitally. Enjoy, friends – and try and put something funky into your Friday.


[The Audiofiles] Throwback Thursday: Rockin’ to the 90’s

Last Weekend, when Danny and I gallivanted up the California Coast for our friend’s beautiful wedding at the Falkirk Cultural Center – we took a necessary deviation from what’s seemingly become our standard road-tripping playlists, bass heavy, glitch infused tracks that more often than not lack a vocal track.  Don’t get me wrong, I thrive on the complexities, deviations in structure and the plethora of noises that stem from Electronic Music.  But, now that I’ve had my ‘Robot Ears’  on for the better part of the last decade – songs from individual genres seem to blend together effortlessly into musical amalgamation of Dubstep, Deep House and Trance.

If it weren’t for the varied live groups like Modestep, Odesza, Keys n Krates, EOTO, Emancipator Ensemble and STS9, expertly fused live DJ sets from the likes of Bassnectar, Andy C, Beardyman, Kastle, Disclosure, Bonobo and Shpongle and exceptional one off live Trance shows like Armin van Buuren’s Armin Only and Above & Beyond’s Acoustic at the Greek – I wouldn’t lost my faith in the umbrella genre of EDM long ago.  So, for this 10 hour cruise – we put up our disco duds and busted it old school thanks to some help from Spotify, and a whole lot of great memories from our childhood.  On my infinite list of things I love about Danny, it’s that even though we didn’t grow up near each other nor share any childhood memories – we both used to rock out to the same ol’ songs and that fact brings us so much closer together.  Music, as it already stands, is a building block of our relationship (hell, we met EDC weekend 2010, said the magic words at LIB then got engaged at Shambhala) – but it’s also an emotive, binding force.

As only children, a lot of the time we were left alone with music and our own thoughts – meaning that these artists had a substantial impact on our childhood, as well as our world view.  For the drive, we listened to it all.  From Rock and Roll like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sum 41,  blink182 and Sublime to Linkin Park, Foo Fighters and the Barenaked Ladies to Hip Hop and Rap  from Run DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, The Fugees, Nas, Puff Daddy (back when he was actually Puff Daddy), Notorious B.I.G. and some guilty pleasure pop music a la Celine, Whitney, Mariah, Alanis and Fiona – we went back, way back – and it was the best time ever.  So good, in fact, that I’ve made a collaborative playlist on Spotify and y’all can add your favorite 90’s tracks, too!  So take your hair down, put your feet up and let’s kick it old school for Throwback Thursday.

What’s your go to 90’s track? Leave it some love in the comments below – or better yet, head on over to Spotify and add to my collaborative playlist!

The Audiofiles: Bouncing Through Memorial Day Weekend

Per usual – the long weekend came and went with an amazing amount of fanfare and a complete lack of respect for the limited amount of hours in a three day time span.  Whether your time was spent marinating in relaxation or in complete play-cation mode, chances are you’re still yearning for just one more sweet day to get your life back together.  The one benefit to today’s condition is that 5pm on Friday is just so much closer; but what’s a gal to do until then? Well, relive the weekend of course!

I both kicked things off and ended things right with a few of my favorite things – my partner in crime, some picnic eats and a marathon of my ultimate TV show, Battlestar Galactica; if you’re into political, military or sci-fi drama’s this is simply a must-see series.  Check out this trailer and tell me you’re not interested; all four seasons of the reimagined series are currently on NetFlix so try it out while you still can!

Considering the amount of DJs in Chicago for EDC or in Las Vegas to enjoy the pool parties, on Saturday night we got one of the most eclectic lineups I’ve ever seen – Jack Beats, Style of Eye and Jamie Jones. Two of which I adore, the middle I still have no clue who they are.   The new Create is where the old Vanguard was – there’s essentially less tables, more LEDs and I’m so okay with that! And as a bonus, the glorious outside patio is still in tact and prefect for catching up with new and old friends alike.

Probably my favorite thing about the long weekend was the fact I had friends from all over the state coming into town for one mission: a sun & fun filled play-cation. I, for one, can definitely get down with that. Sunday morning I made the beautiful trek down to Venice Beach to grab brunch with one of my best friends from high school and her new business partner. They’re starting up a boutique Marketing firm in the SoCal area  called the Marketing Minxes – it’s an uber cute concept and I have the utmost faith in their vision.  Plus, like I really need an excuse to head out to the beach!

 The only mission for the afternoon and evening was to get our collective boogie on – and thanks to some good doses of karma, we accidentally ended up at XIV, yet another SBE venue on the replacement rotation.  For any party junkies the place used to be known as Colony; it’s pretty small and intimate, especially for the ridiculous level of raging taking place there!  It was a madhouse with Co2 so thick that you couldn’t see in front of you for half a minute and the most confetti I’ve ever seen at a club.  A few minutes after walking in, we heard something trancy – and turned around and saw one of our favorite DJs – Gareth Emery! We even got to hear Concrete Angel, ahhhh – insert #trancearms here; so epic – and the perfect way to rage until the Monday light =)

The Audiofiles: My Top Trance Tracks

One of the great things about meeting people in the EDM scene is we each have such unique tastes in what moves us; take me for example – I’m a sucker for some floor to the four beats but I love me some dirty dubstep and vocal trance. Actually, let’s just be real – I love it all!

The other day, a new friend of mine got to talking about favorite trance tracks and he sent me away with some homework: my mission, should I choose to accept, was to create a CD with ten songs – seven favorites and three absolute classics. Well, I’ve been bumping this mix now all morning and can’t get enough – so I thought I’d share the wealth =)

#1. First State – Falling (First State’s Stuck Parachute Mix)
#2. Above & Beyond present Oceanlab – Lonely Girl (Gareth Emery Remix)
#3. Aly & Fila ft. Jwaydan – We Control the Sunlight
#4. Armin van Buuren ft. Jennifer Rene – Fine Without You
#5. Aven – All I Wanna Do (Ferry Corsten Remix)
#6. John O’Callaghan – Save This Moment (Gareth Emery Remix)
#7. Lange ft Sarah Howells – Out of the Sky (Kyau & Albert Remix)
#8. Markus Schulz & Departure – Without You Near (Gabriel & Dreseden Remix)
#9. Motorcycle – As The Rush Comes ( G&D Sweeping Strings Remix)
#10. Tiesto – Everything (Cosmic Gate Remix)
(Bonus) – Tritonal – Hands to Hold Me

Music Monday: Movin’ and Shakin’

I think we’ve all been here before:

You’re all packed and ready to head out the door; your hands are full and your head is swimming with excitement over your weekend vacation.  With the trunk packed and some snacks in the passenger seat, you head out on your journey….only to be accompanied by everyone’s mom and dog because it’s 4pm on a Friday and you live in the heart of ‘insert-major-metropolitan-city-here‘.  Traffic on city streets is a little slow but that’s okay for you, you can handle it.  You start to merge onto the freeway and suddenly you’re engulfed into a parking lot of metal, exhaust and horrible moods. Oh, no!

I grew up in the Silicon Valley, and let me tell you – even with all those Freeways (101, 85, 87, 280, 80, 180, 680, 880….) we had some of the worst rush hour traffic I’ve ever been in.  And then I moved to Los Angeles.  If traffic in the bay is deplorable, traffic down here is like being in the second or third layer of hell – respectively.  Good thing this potentially awful experience has an antidote: music.  When I know I’ll be stuck in traffic, I get on my computer the night before with a purpose – if my car isn’t moving, I think my body should be. I’m one of those creatures who hates sitting still, so if I’m not tearing rubber having a one girl car rave seems like the next best logical choice.  Before I left for San Diego, I had a feeling I’d be sitting in traffic for a long, long time.  So, I scoured my iTunes library and made a kickass playlist with new and old favorites that I could belt out and dance to.  Chances are, I was “that” girl in my car – that girl having too much fun considering the situation at hand.  But when you compare that to the people that looked beyond miserable, I’ll take it – life might not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we may as well dance!

Tracklist:

  1. Craig David – Hot Stuff (Chase & Status Remix)
  2. Kaskade ft Haley – Llove (Dada Life Radio Edit)
  3. Chromeo – Night by Night (Shreddie Mercury Remix)
  4. Michael Jackson – Speed Demon (NERO Remix)
  5. Deadmau5 – There Might Be Coffe
  6. Pryda – Shadows
  7. Flight Facilities ft. Grovesnor – With You
  8. DJ Fresh ft Dizzee Rascal – The Power
  9. Rusko – Everyday (Netsky Remix)

The Audiofiles: Ready for the Weekend

Live music might be one of my favorite things in the history of ever.  I know that’s a bold blanket statement, but believe you me – I stick by it 100%.  Whether it’s Folk, Indie, Rock, Hip Hop, World Music or Electro – there’s nothing quite like the live experience.  I eat up the energy in the crowd like it’s my job and the music fills me up like a balloon; it’s one of the only times I can say that yes – I’m truly satisfied with my surroundings.

Last weekend was no different than any other weekend for me; bouncing around from location to location, experiencing so many different types of music. On Friday night, I went and enjoyed Beats Antique, Bones, Russ Liquid and Jeremy Sole at Club Nokia thanks to the Do Lab; with that much it was such a phenomenal display of musicianship, bouncing from electronic world fusion to glitch and trap. Saturday, I found myself at Dim Mak studios in Hollywood getting my Superfreq on to some amazing deep house and tech house sounds and then ended my night at the infamous Secret Cinema, a warehouse party that doesn’t start until 1 am and doesn’t end…well, ever.  And things were finally wrapped up that evening at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood for some typical Sunday Funday shenanigans.  Each event boasted a completely different type of sound, crowd and vibe – and that is one of the reasons I love this city: there are so many nuanced, musical subcultures that there’s literally something for everyone to enjoy.And now, being Thursday – it’s time once again to prepare ourselves to take on the weekend; these are the songs that are currently getting me excited for the clock to hit 5pm tomorrow night…

Tracklist

  1. Noosa – Walk On By (Sound Remedy Remix)
  2. Metrik ft Reija Lee – Freefall (xKore Remix)
  3. Sub Focus – Out of the Blue (Xilent Remix)
  4. Sub Focus – Falling Down (Kaptain Bootleg)
  5. Krewella – One Minute (DotEXE’s Dopest Dope Remix)
  6. Spencer & Hill ft Nadia Ali – Believe It (Cazzette’s Androids Sound Hot Remix)

What the Wednesday: Tracks on Mars

Today is a big day for the Mars ‘Curiosity‘ rover as it prepares itself for its very first test drive in search for life, the universe, and the number 42.

After considering the not so simple notion that we’re currently, right fucking now, on another planet searching for other forms of existence (pause; geek the eff out), my next thought was this:. If you were operating Curiosity, what would be on the soundtrack to your first ride?

Tracklist:

  1. Kid Cudi – Embrace the Martian (Crookers Remix)
  2. Daft Punk – Robot Rock (Soulwax Remix)
  3. Chuckie – We Can’t Hear Anybody Out There
  4. Boys Noize – Kontact Me
  5. The Bloody Beetroots – Rocksteady (Gigi Barocco Remix)
  6. Fake Blood – Mars (Herve Re-fix)