When the holidays approach, there’s essentially one thing on every Audiofile’s mind: New Years Eve! And then, of course, there are the quintessential questions that go along with it – what city to venture off to, what festival to attend, who to go with and last but most definitely not least, which sets to listen to and which you’re okay missing.
Whether you want to admit it or not, there’s a ton of planning that goes into celebrating the beginning of the New Year and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a new-found appreciation for it because for my first three years in Los Angeles, my NYE plans were non-existent and I was more or less okay with being a recluse. Which, after two years of going to Together As One and several years of simultaneously celebrating my best friend’s birthday with the coming of the New Year, was definitely not in my character – but neither were the circumstances in my life
Thankfully, 2011 was a year of change and evolution for me and I haven’t looked back since. The year before, I dove into Together As One head first and without a safety net – I’m guessing that sounds slightly strange for those of you that have been following my adventures and incredibly bizarre for those of you that know me personally, but if you will – hear me out. After going through four crazy months of reconciling an ex’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder I was on the hunt for myself again and New Years Eve gave birth to a version of myself that I’ve been waiting for.
Next Tuesday from 9pm to 4am, Sea of Dreams will take over Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for an evening of positive energy, creativity, vibrancy and connection. Created by the creative geniuses at AnonEvents and thrown by the good people at Sunset Productions and Another Planet Entertainment, Sea of Dreams is now in it’s 11th year in the San Francisco Bay Area. The event itself is a menagerie of high end performance art, stunning live musical acts, an extravagant ambiance and breathtaking decorations fit for Burning Man. And to top it off, the community surrounding the event is as rich and vibrant as the festivities themselves.
In the past, headlining acts have included crowd-favorites like Bassnectar, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Ghostland Observatory, Beats Antique, Adam Freeland, Tipper and FreqNasty – just to name a few; and this year’s lineup is definitely one to compete with! In the past, the musical talent has fallen more on the experimental side – as you can see above; but, as times are a changing – so are the musical acts and the community around them, and it shows just how big the event has gotten with the unexpected addition of mainstream EDM acts like A-Trak and Dillon Francis. Now, don’t get it twisted – I love them; I just didn’t expect to see them sitting on a line-up next to Emancipator and LowRIDERz. There’s nothing quite like getting myself musically ready for the event, so I’m pleased to announce this year’s lineup along with some required listening for the night’s festivities – enjoy, because I know I will!
Hailing from DC, Thievery Corporation have been expertly meshing the musical elements of reggae, dub and acid jazz with Indian, Middle Eastern and Brazilian sounds to produce some of the best downtempo electronic music around since ’95. I don’t know how it took me so long to appreciate their stylistic differences, but they’re refreshing to listen to – especially with all of the redundant EDM on the scene these days.
Though they were formed in ’96, it wasn’t until the past year that Little Dragon migrated from an indie-electro, trip-hop Swedish trifecta into a hat-trick of musical geniuses appreciated the world over.
When he’s not spinning next to Armand van Helden in Duck Sauce or getting into some family values with his brother, who just happens to be half of the indie-electro band Chromeo, A-Trak is handing out hit after hit on his Fools Gold Record Label. His style sits delightfully between bouncy Eletro-house beats and bass heavy Hip-Hop and after becoming the first DJ to win three major DJ competition titles (DMC, ITF and Vestax) as well as the first DJ to win five World Championships, he’s definitely one to be reckoned with.
Hailed as the creator of Moombhaton (The BPM of Dubstep, but cut in half) – Dillon Francis has etched a permanent position as the class clown of EDM. But don’t let his affinity of cats, Taco Bell or his alter-ego DJ Hanzel fool you, Dillon Francis knows how to throw a party and in the past two years of seeing him perform, he has yet to disappoint. To boot, he stands as one of the few DJs and Producers that I’m simply itching to be best friends and have kitty play-dates with.
Hands down, there’s nothing quite like the atmosphere that Emancipator creates with his music. Originally from Portland, Oregon – Emancipator submerses the listener in a musical experience rich with live instruments and pulsing harmonies.
LowRIDERz (Laura Low & An-Ten-Nae)
Rob Garza (of Thievery Corp.)
We have three members of Claude VonStroke’s DirtyBird crew coming through –
And rounding out the lineup are SambaDrop, Nolan Gray, Jocelyn, Dax Lee. With only five days left in 2013, do you know where you’ll be when the ball drops??