After setting the internet ablaze last year after leaving the talented dupstep triumvirate of Krewella, we’ve all been (im)patiently for Rain Man to come through with a solo career. The brains behind the bass and the passionate producer of the bunch, Rain Man more than made a name for himself behind the decks of Krewella and now he’s stepping out into his own spotlight. On March 29th, he’ll be kicking off a series of solo shows in Miami and now he’s rousing interest and ruffling feathers with his first single – ‘Visionary’, featuring Sirah of Skrillex and Alvin Risk fame.
Out today on Buygore Records, “Visionary” is the track we’ve wanted for the last year and simply haven’t gotten. Between the booming bass and seductive vocals, it’s easy to forget you’re not listening to a Krewella track; flip your script and remember who crafted those crushing beats and you’ll be singing a different tune. The track comes to life with the rumble of a Reggae infused Dubstep track, with delicately layered lyrics over crushing basslines – perfect for all hours at your favorite dance hall.
“The lyrics for visionary are super dark. Basically I’m talking about the decision every artist needs to make, where you either stay true to what you believe in or you bend your art to fit in a lane. I make my own lane,” – Sirah
Rain Man kicks off his solo tour in Miami at the Buygore Pool Party on 3/29, with stops in Chicago, New York’s Webster Hall and Avalon in Los Angeles on 4/17.
Looking back at my posts from the last year, one that stands out the most to be is my 2012 Year in Musical Review. Partially, because it’s catalyzed my writing career on multiple fronts – but mostly because music, especially kickass live music, is something I truly care about to my core. Music influences our moods, our personalities and even our daily interactions. Unless there’s something highly important and technical that I have a deadline for, I’m literally submersed in music 24/7 – from the time my alarm and I wake up, to my morning runs, to the drive to work, you get the picture: I more or less have provided myself with a soundtrack to my life. With my attention span as short as it is (…squirrel!…), I constantly refresh my collection of original jams, remixes and singles and try to take in as much live music as I can.
I’ve been leafing through the ticket stubs and reminiscing about the excellent year in music that I just had. From attempting to co-start a music forum site and to with The DJ List, my daily extra-curricular activities have always circled around new music, fresh artists and the latest and greatest they have to offer. Somehow, even though I’ve managed to be busier than I’ve ever been I’ve definitely managed to fit in some quality R&R (Rave & Relaxation) into the mix. So, without further ado – here are my musical musings for 2013; enjoy!
Truth be told, I’m sitting here trying my hardest to even place Cosmic Gate in second place because Above & Beyond’s sunset at Avila Beach was just so spectacular! It was a small crowd with unexpected surprises in store for everyone in my friend group – we each found someone at the event from out of town (LA, Riverside and SF) that we didn’t know was in attendance and were all simply wowed by the musical prowess the group possesses. But Cosmic Gate is not a team to be underestimated, during the live show they brought out my favorite pixie blonde vocalist, Emma Hewitt, and Jonathan Mendelson who gave a phenomenal first live vocal performance during Nic Chagall’s ‘This Moment’.
Best D&B show: Modestep at the Nokia Club, High Contrast w. Camo & Krooked at Dim Mak Studios
Best Deep / Tech House Show: Kaskade @ Focus OC’s 10 Year Anniversary
Best Progressive House Show:Eric Prydz / Pryda / Cirez D @ Create
Best Electro House Show: Gareth Emery @ XIV
Best Festival: Lightning in a Bottle
For the last six or seven years I’ve been a self-professed seasoned festival go-er and have a host of Insomniac, HARD and GoVentures events under my EDM belt (almost 40 if you want to get specific), but truth be told last year I only attended three festivals, one of them being Sea of Dreams on NYE. For as much as the lineup to HARD Summer thrilled my pants off, the event didn’t…however, Lightning in a Bottle and Sea of Dreams surely did. Each was musically right in their own right but on a more personal level, I truly felt bonded to the community that LIB and Burning Man cultivates and have actively been seeking out similar events ever since.
Best Festival Set:Keys n Krates, Dillon Francis, Alex Metric ((HARD Summer)) HeRObust, Pumpkin, Rusko, The Polish Ambassador, Odeza, Andreilien ((LIB)), LowRIDERz, A-Trak, Thievery Corporation ((Sea of Dreams))
Best Venue: Sea of Dreams @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium | NYE was one of the most amazing musical experiences I’ve ever had, everything about the night was golden and a lot of that is due to the venue and soundsystem that came with it; top notch.
Weird but Rad Venue: Lightning in a Bottle @ Lake Skinner, Temecula, CA | I was tempted to give LIB the gold star for ‘Best Venue’ but after the all of the shenanigans with the county and residents of Riverside, I’ll wait until next year to grant the festival that award. Basically, I want to see it shine in all of its glory; not just in my personal experiences but for the greater community in attendance as well.
Best Pool Party: Daylight
Best Party:Sea of Dreams
Best Up and Coming Venue:Sound in Hollywood
Favorite Reopened Venue: Create (previously, known as Vanguard)
Best Crowd: DoLab shows –Avalon | If you only remember one thing about the music scene in LA, let it be this: the Do Lab will always do you right. I always look forward to the art infused musical events they throw. Whether they’re at the Nokia Club, King King or out in the middle of nowhere Riverside – they make sure to cater to all of your senses and the people who show up are some of the nicest friends you hadn’t met you.
Douche-iest Crowd: XIV by Hyde, Greystone Manor, Sutra | I still hold by last year’s statement about Sutra, but now that I’ve finally attended events at Greystone and XIV I can easily bump those two to the top of the list. Maybe it goes hand-in-hand with my appetite for all things Do Lab and underground, but I can’t wrap my head around wearing 3″+ heals to a club and cozy-ing up to people just snag an extra drink (or five). I prefer the let-your-freak-flag-fly mentality of other events and prefer stomping around in flats to trying to maintain a proper demeanor in an outfit that’s definitely not meant for dancing.
Best Lasers:Create and Exchange have most definitely stepped their laser game up in the last year, far surpassing anything that Avalon has ever done (sorry guys – not knocking the place (it’s still rad!) but it’s true).
Ferry Corsten @ Exchange Hit us with those laser beams *pew pew pew*
Favorite Set/Act of 2013: Above & Beyond in Avila Beach
Best Surprise of 2013: Crywolf, Mitis, Kill Paris, Disclosure, Keys n Krates, Flume
So Glad I (Re-)Discovered: Bonobo, Emancipator, Shpongle, The Magician,
Remixes So Nicely: SubFocus, Flume
Best Remix-er: Boy Noize, Dillon Francis, Cazzette
Favorite Vocalists: Jonathan Mendelson, Alex Clare, Annabel Englund, MNEK, Chet Faker, Florence Welch, Emma Hewitt
Most Disappointing: Daft Punk everything; maybe because it was directly juxtaposed to Keys’n’Krates with their live instruments, but Duke Dumont was also pretty underwhelming live and looked like he was just pressing a button; last but not least, Cedric Gervais did absolutely nothing for me.
Vocalists Who Shouldn’t Perform Live with DJs: Danny Brown
People Who Should Be Reminded They’re Not DJs: Will.i.Am, Paris Hilton
My Top 10 Songs of the Year
Depeche Mode – Soothe My Soul (Steve Angello + Jaques Lu Cont Remix)
Darkside – Papertrails
Oliver – Night is On My Mind (Dillon Francis Remix)
Disclosure – You & Me (Baauer Remix)
Seven Lions + Myon & Shane 54 – Strangers
Minnesota – Stardust Redux (Crywolf Remix)
Maya Jane Coles ft Karin Park – Everything
Thomas Jack – Booka Shake
Flume ft Freddie Gibbs – Holdin’ On (LKids Remix)
Lane 8 – Be Mine
Mat Zo – Lucid Dreams – (M Machine Remix) [runner up]
This is the face of a girl who’s been battling the most ridiculously annoying cough and cold combination from hell for a week. I’ve sneezed more times than I could count and essentially coughed up my body weight; so, why’s she smiling, you ask? Oh, because she gets to do her second big show review in the history of ever. Whether you’re a new follower or you’ve been around the block with me a few times, I’m sure you’ll come to notice sooner or later that the passions I have in life are what makes my world go ’round. Music, writing, cats, beauty in the world, my boyfriend and our friends, sunshine and the good life – in any and every combination possible.
A few years back I was talking with a good friend of mine who continually maintains two jobs – one job being a pain in the ass but money in the bank, and the other the exact opposite: the only richness she got from the job was a feeling of pride. And my, oh my…isn’t that enough? Ever since then, I’ve thought about a two fold approach to what “work” is supposed to be. “Work” is what you do to support your dream job and as a writer for the renowned EDM Web-zine The DJ List I’m now a walking, talking example of it.
I’ve gone to the Palladium at least fifty times in the last two years, possibly over 100 times in my five year span in Los Angeles; but never have I ever stammered when I talked to doormen, and been so confused at a simple press ticket – what I kept forgetting was I got this job by being an avid and energetic EDM fan, not by letting my nerves get the best of me. Thank-fracking-goodness my boyfriend knows how (and when) to take control of a situation that’s slipping through my anxious little fingers. After stopping by the wrong booth, I finally heard the magic words I’ve been waiting for: Here’s your VIP wristband and your photography pass. What. If I died at that very second, which is in fact what my heart felt like it was doing, I would have died the happiest little bouncy kitty on planet Earth.
When we walked in, Candyland was rocking the stage with their OG swag and EDM style; their fusion of grimy Hip-hop, dubstep and electro house got the crowd jumping like crazy. From the rafters, it honestly looked like popcorn just going off in every direction. Not to mention, the duo – better known to their friends as Ethan and Josie – hail from Santa Barbara and know some of my college buddies; small, talented world, right? After their set was another 805 local, Seven Lions. There aren’t even appropriate words to describe how his music moves me – he takes chilled out trance and indie rock, pairs it with some of the most stunning synths and rumbles I’ve ever heard and simply put – the man makes musical magic. His set was effing phenomenal and after seeing him be the opener for Porter Robinson and Krewella I cannot wait to see him headline his own show; shit’s gonna get real!
Finally, after a palpable intermission where we refused to leave our spot on the dance floor – the house lights dimmed, the Volcano was unveiled and Jahan, Yasmine and Rainman took the reins at the DJ Booth; it was all uphill from there! Churning through hit after hit, the sisters interchangeably jumped to stage level to interact with their immensely diverse fanbase and feed off of each other’s electric energy. They went through their entire repertoire – Come and Get It, Live for the Night, Candyland even came out to perform their OG remix of Legacy – their song with Nicky Romero. This Chicago trifecta has worked with some of the greatest across all EDM genres and paid homage to many others that I’ve considered incredibly influential. Pendulum, Knife Party, Gareth Emery, Skrillex, Adventure Club, Nicky Romero, Fall Out Boy. No doubt this list is going to get exponentially longer as their careers catapult – and they’re still fresh on the scene!
Now, I can’t leave you without some jams to get you through the day so here are my current favorites from all three artists; enjoy!
In standard, normal, everyday time it’s really only been a week since I’ve been home from Lightning in a Bottle but truth be told it feels like another century ago; another me ago, even. If you want to get down to brass tax – yes, in all honesty the weekend was absolutely transformational, mercurial and magical all at the same time. I’ve spent the past week in a solid state of reflection about life, the universe…and literally anything and everything under the sun.
My love; my life.
Part of the reason Lightning in a Bottle was such a big deal for me emotionally was that it represented multiple turning points in my life. First and foremost, back in 2010 I actually had a ticket for LiB – but because I was just diagnosed with Vasovagal Syncope I sold my ticket to get my health back on track. The year after, in 2011, was my best friend’s bachelorette party in Vegas and there was no way in hell I was missing that – so this year, my adventures to and at LiB seemed more than necessary and slightly overdue. Then mix in equal parts falling in love with my boyfriend while two of my best girl friends leave LA for Montreal and Boston respectively, and I had a whole mess of a machine to figure out for myself. Phaedra and Jessica represent two different worlds of friendships to me, but are equally loyal and loving friends; it was a blessing to have them get to know each other last summer and as people have always said – how lovely it is that I’ve met two souls who make saying goodbye so difficult.
It’s not that I define myself by the friendships I keep, but I place a lot of value on their opinions and moral codes; then again, shouldn’t we all? In the absence of both of them I’ve been doing some soul searching and emotional wandering with this mantra in mind: we’re all cups, full to the brim of emotion and with each interaction with others we’re constantly tipping out our emotions and being refilled by the thoughts and feelings of others; I’ve come out of my shell within the last two years and maybe the shape of my cup has shifted, or I’ve switched from still to bubbling water. Either way, I’ve watched myself grow – mature – evolve – and I simply don’t have the same needs, nor the same amounts of patience, that I used to have. Meaning a lot of introspection into what it means for me to both have a friend and be one.
Besides taking time to detox and emotionally decompress, this past week has been about intertwining friend groups and developing the framework for future plans and ideas. Simply put, every since LiB there’s been a sense of passion, dedication, creativity and urgency from my group of friends – business plans, life goals, trajectory altering decisions – they’re being made en masse and I couldn’t be more impressed. As my boyfriend put it – they didn’t call it the ‘Maybe Lab’ and they don’t call it the ‘Do Lab’ for nothing; we can’t wait to see what’s possible when we put our minds together for something positive!
Besides the introspection, we did manage to have a bit of fun over the past week: last Thursday I discovered that one our of favorite DJs and Producers – Pretty Lights – was playing a free show at the Amoeba records in Hollywood so I went with a few of my guy friends and had an absolute blast! He even freestyled for us – so legit.
Pretty Lights gettin’ funky
And now, for the next two weeks, I’ll be doing absolutely as little as possible as I get ready for the ruckus and shenanigans of Hard Summer! Just because I’m not out and about prancing to the beat doesn’t mean I feel like sitting still – so here are some jams to help you get through your Monday – your week – your whatthehellever – just dance!
TJR – Whats Up Suckaz
Disclosure – F For You (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Remix)
Skrillex & Damian Marley – Make It Bun Dem (Dead Battery Remix)
Major Lazer – Get Free (Ft. Amber Coffman) (Andy C Remix)
I’m back from a whirlwind trip to Vegas with some of my hands downfavorite people ever! We danced, we played, we raved and now we’re paying the price. Traffic was no joke yesterday but when you have an amazingly handsome reason to come home, it just seems to fly on by. Not only am I back home with some epic memories and an amazing group of friends, but I also have a new outlook on Vegas nightlife and a stellar PSA for you pretty party people about the “Las Vegas hat-trick-of-terror”
Hangovers, dehydration and hunger are awful, on you and most importantly…not cute! No one wants to carry their friends to bed, charge the bar for waters ever ten minutes or cater to your dietary needs – you’re a big kid now in a big kids playground so start acting like it! You don’t have to go home, but please GTFO of Vegas so the rest of us can get back to raging like the professionals we are, thanks much 🙂
I know I touched on the idea of Vegas being a mecca of dehydration last week but it really should be stressed more frequently: if you’re trying to go to pool parties in heats that are reaching to 103 or clubs packed to the max while drinking copious amounts of alcohol and shaking your groove thang, you should always have a bottle of water handy! For every alcoholic drink you consume, drink two hydrating drinks – and no, soda and chasers with caffeine don’t count, they’re actually diuretics that’ll dehydrate you even worse. One neat thing about water, the more hydrated you are – the easier the hangover on your body. Isn’t science neat?!
Ok, enough preaching – onto the party pics!
Friday night went from tame to turntUP in like 3.5 seconds; fine by me! We ended up gallivanting around the strip and discussing the debauchery in our near and present future the whole night. Also, I learned that even though I don’t need an entire bottle of champagne to myself…I totally do.
Saturday was a tame day; which was necessary after drowning myself in champ the night before – and at night we headed out to Daylight at Mandalay Bay to see Skrillex play a SunSET; absolutely amazing.
Daylight at Night; amazing…
That night we ended up at Light at Mandalay Bay for some dirty dubstep and Trap music courtsey of Baauer
Baauer at Light
On Sunday, we bounced out real quick so we could get into Krewella’s party at Daylight and let me tell you – so worth it; those girls throw down hard and they’re sexy as eff to boot. I might or might not have a total girl crush on both of the ladies in the group….
Last, but most definitely not least – we made it out to XS’s famed Nightswim for Eric Prydz from 1 til 4 am. Amazing as all hell; easily my favorite party in Vegas – where the hell else can you cannonball on people as a sick beat drops?!
For some more icing on this EDC weekend cake, check out this amazing set by Eric Prydz during day 2 of EDC weekend =)
Whatever you want to call it, Las Vegas definitely has a reputation that proceeds itself.
Funny fact about me and my relationship with Las Vegas: the only tables I’m there for are the type you can dance on. I’ve never been much of a fan of gambling; Craps, Roulette, Poker, Blackjack, etc are wonderful games one can use as engaging mental tools – beat your friends, foes or simply learn to count the cards. It’s pretty effing interesting – well, at least to me. As a Statistics major, we had to compute the odds for each Vegas game by hand and let me tell you – Las Vegas wasn’t made on winners. That said, I tend to stay away from those types of things – however, when it comes to getting down and enjoying myself, I can (and do) hang with the best of them and make some pretty fabulous memories.
From the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay to the Thunder Down Under at the Excalibur, Las Vegas bustles with literally thousands of daytime activities for each and every personality type . People are constantly flocking in and leaving in just as much of a hurry – and the great thing about Las Vegas is it’s people from literally everywhere and every walk of life; to boot – Las Vegas is one giant celebration, and a mecca for people watching. There’s fireworks and people in costume, merry drunks parading the street with massive cups of booze and rowdy tables of gamblers.
Major Lazer Sunrise Set EDC Vegas 2011
Between the multitudes of Cirque de Soleil shows with residency in Vegas and the massive amounts of DJs with residencies, there’s always a hot show to see. And do you know what’s better than just one or the other? Light at Mandalay Bay is the perfect synthesis of both ideals; the club is packed with the latest and greatest in speaker technology, performers straight from Cirque du Soleil and a whole host of DJs with residencies over the Summer months! Not your thing? Just try one of the other dozens of clubs Vegas has to offer: swank people, sexy clothes and popping beats – they’re everywhere!
And this weekend, it’s going to be off the hook ridicu-crunk-ulous. Insomniac’s famed Electric Daisy Carnival is entering (what I believe) is it’s 17th year as a festival and after some hiccups in Southern California, had been transitioned to the Motor Speedway in Las Vegas. Though I’ve attended the festival in the past…six times to be exact…I don’t have any want or need to go anymore; it’s not that the events aren’t massive or amazing, but once you’ve been to a handful of festivals it’s only natural that you’d want to see what else is out there in the world of electronic music festivals.
So what am I doing instead? PARTYING (duh!) and sleeping, too….eventually. But first things first – it’s always smart to prep yourself. Firstly, if you’re trying to ball on a budget try finding a Groupon or use a discount site to find last minute rooms and load up on your favorite drinks before you get to Vegas.
Second – putting together the fact that it’s summer-summer–summertime and Las Vegas sits in the middle of a desert – the smartest thing you can do for yourself is load up on water and electrolytes. Sure, drinking is wonderful but save that mess for when the sun goes down. Trust me when I say being drunk and dehydrated is not cute. Another fact: Las Vegas has an altitude of 1000 ft. That might not mean anything to you right now, but if you’re from Los Angeles or New York – chances are you were born and bred at sea level. Because of the altitude, be careful while getting crazy with your crew. Try snagging a water at the bar every other trip and you’ll save yourself from a nasty hangover the next day. Chances are you want to be up in time to snag a lounge chair at any of the gorgeous pools. Just remember, there really is such a thing as too much fun 😉
To prepare the earbuds for Vegas, I’ve gathered a few mixes from the DJs I’ll be shakin’ my money maker to!
We’ll mostly be hitting up the pool parties at Light – Saturday for a Sunset Set from Skrillex and Sunday for Krewella; then I’ll be heading to my first offical Nightswim at XS for Eric Prydz. I’ve heard a million phenomenal things about it and I’m stoked to finally give it a whirl. Can’t wait to update everyone when I get back on Monday!
After being in the Electronic Dance scene for the better part of the last decade, I have one small confession to make: though we get epic onslaughts of DJs, Festivals and all night dance-a-thons in Los Angeles, there’s just something about going to Miami for Winter Music Conference and Ultra that I just have to do. I’ve had friends go for the past three years and tell me that it was the time of their life – problem is, living in LA, the mecca of most things EDM in America it’s incredibly hard to justify spending all that money for a weekend in Miami. But, One of my best friends went with her boyfriend and I had the pleasure of living vicariously through them and their friends all weekend; and I have to say, I’m insanely jealous! Now that I’ve gone through the live streams, the sets, the Instagram feeds and through Facebook I feel the need to take part in this epic debauchery; thank goodness there’s always next year!
There are a few great blogs that capture the moment and the music of festivals in an A+ fashion – specifically, Dancing Astronaut – and they definitely didn’t disappoint when it came to Miami Music Week – here are some of my favorite sets from this past weekend; they’re doing a proper job of getting me through my day so hopefully they’ll do the same for y’all.
P.S. Looks like dates are already set for Ultra next year – March 28-30; you can bet your bottom bassline I’ll be thre!
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