Tag Archives: Music

[The Audiofiles] Coachella 2k17: Choose Your Own Auditory Adventure

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Photo:// Daniel Zetterstrom for Do LaB

Over the last two decades, Coachella has transformed from a simple music festival to a cultural time capsule.  Between the LA Weekly ranked munchies to the immersive artistic experiences, and of course the exceptional musical talent – the Coachella Music and Arts Festival provides an adult playground while tickling the senses in all the right places.

In event, and in ethos, Coachella is an elite gathering of international tastemakers and up and coming West Coast talent, ranging from musicians and artists, to stage designers, lighting and sound techs, production managers and more.  The festival curates from the creme of the crop, and the energy surrounding the event is palpable as everyone is operating at their highest frequency. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. For two consecutive weekends, Coachella plays host to 125,000 domestic and international audiophiles, ten stages of music and around 200 musical acts spanning literally every genre, and then creating some live, over a 72 hour span. That’s just on site – so, if you found those numbers overwhelming, now – imagine being there.

That said, one of the many beautiful facets about Coachella is that it’s truly a choose your own adventure type festival, making the weekend anything you want to be. You can go to a punk show at the Sonora Stage one moment, then indulge your inner lyricist with Hip Hop artists from Travis Scott, Denzel Curry, Kendrick Lamar, and Schoolboy Q. Between the Heinekin Stage, Do LaB stage, Sahara Tent, Gobi and Yuma you can spend the weekend at a dance festival – wholeheartedly embracing the PLUR vibes that the event was made for. Or, you can only go to two days of the three day festival and spend the third having an actual vacation in Palm Springs, attend Desert X and come home revived for once instead of coming home burnt out. It can be a fashion show, a foodie’s wet dream or a family reunion, a chance for musical discovery and treasure trove of timeless favorites.  Sometimes it seems like the adventure chooses you, and not the other way around, but either way we all go in with one set of expectations and habitually have them slapped in the face, swirling at 180’s by the time we’re leaving.

The XX, Bon Iver and Bonobo were both gorgeous touches on the main stage, providing an oasis of calm in a colorful, and at times overwhelmingly overstimulating, storm; while in beautiful contrast, Kendrick Lamar closed the stage down on Sunday night, leaving the crowd with something to really think about. Per usual, the Sahara tent opened the doors to significantly more Rap and Hip Hop acts this year, once again providing a proper dance party with artists ranging from SNBRN, Galantis, DJ Khaled, Anna Lunoe, Gucci Mane, Autograf, GRYFFIN and more throwing down while keeping the energy up.

As with previous years, dance music has matriculated through the lineups on other stages beyond the Sahara. The Yuma provided a delightful disco den of deep, tech and progressive house with an internationally acclaimed roster of talent like Nora en Pure, Sasha, Tale of Us, Allison Swing, Dixon, Loco Dice, Hot Since 82, Four Tet-Daphni-Floating Points, and Maya Jane Coles.   Artists from Madeon x Porter Robinson, Justice, Tycho, Nicolas Jaar, What so Not, Jai Wolf, and Tourist were scattered from the Mainstage to the Gobi, and the Mojave to the Outdoor Theater. While the Heineken House and KROQ House both provided refreshing reposes from the rest of the grounds, with ample amounts of shade and air conditioning – two creature comforts that you have a hell of a lot more respect for after several days sweating to the beat in the desert. Last, but certainly not least, my home base and the place that always feels like a family reunion – the Do LaB stage.

As should be expected from Southern California’s premiere party planners, Do LaB’s stage designers outdid themselves with the construction of The Beacon, a bright and bold structure that will be coming with the crew to Lightning in a Bottle. Boasting a unique and expertly curated lineup for each weekend of Coachella, Do LaB’s stage is a wet, wild and whimsical artistic experience, fully equipped with dancing DJs, supersoakers, and high flying acrobatics; a festival within a festival, and a stage that’s a party within a party, quintessentially becoming a gateway drug to the beauty and beats of Lightning in a Bottle.

I think I’ve said this every year of Coachella, but kudos to the Do LaB for their impeccable bookings – perpetually and passionately giving us a birds eye view of the top acts in dance music.  If you’re in the mood for raw, upcoming talent – look no further than the first act each day: KNGSPRNGS, divaDanielle, Jonnie King, Oscure, Gone Gone Beyond and BOGL. Want a proper Sunday Funday dance party? Try the Desert Hearts squad on for size. And when it comes to big name artists, Do LaB provides an arena for artists to return to their roots – or just forge new ones, allowing for musical exploration and artistic experimentation.  For the first time since Chase & Status brought down the Sahara tent nearly a decade ago, Coachella had a true taste of Drum and Bass from Netsky and Liquid Stranger, oh – and then some guy named Skrillex showed up for a secret set and shut the place down, touching nearly every genre of music ever created and even creating a few new ones on the spot.  Other secret sets at Do LaB over the two weekends included Classixx, Richie Hawtin, Louis The Child, Rufus du Sol, Tycho and Autograf.

Two years ago, there was a giant caterpillar that roamed the festival grounds, metamorphosing into a lovely, large butterfly.  That was amazing.  Last year, there were corporate hippos, which were not nearly as cool as the butterfly but art being art, whatever – I liked them a lot more than the giant chairs and lamps which made me feel like my name was Alice, I ate something and now I’m in Wonderland…but Wonderland is just an Outdoor Ikea; anyways.  This year…well, this year someone let Dr. Seuss’s dildo collection loose among the main stages and though it provided some laughable moments, I just wanted that damn beautiful butterfly back.

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Coachella and the Goldenvoice name have grown exponentially over the last decade: adding more days, stages and weekends. But this year, for the first time in a long time – the festival increased in capacity as well, adding 25% in ticketed attendance and finally feeling the growing pains.  As festival population increased, the local Coachella Valley population also exponentially increases – and at a faster rate, to boot: consider the percentage of friends who would come and not even attend the festival, additional amount of event workers to handle the new stages, paired with a gross increase in the amount of events that occur in tandem with the festival – Goldenvoice’s LED Pool Party, Desert X and the menagerie of private parties for and by the musicians.

To combat the population  growth, the grounds were expanded and pushed back – but I actually had no idea where three stages were the first day, because fuck a map apparently. Yes, there’s a lot of room for activities but Coachella might finally be at the point of too much room for activities, when you actually get FOMO mid-festival because you simply can’t experience everything.   Handling the growth of the festival from inside it became relatively manageable by the end, but what wasn’t manageable was the parking situation which became exponentially worse as attendees trickled in through Sunday: causing up to a 3 hour backup as reported by the Press-Enterprise.  And if you wanted to forgo day parking and try using Uber, who has been touted as a partner with the festival itself, users were charged a disgusting minimnum of $175 – sometimes upwards of $250 – due to surge pricing as reported by the LA Weekly.  These two factors alone were enough to drive a variety of non-camping festival attendants to either exit stage left early Sunday and forgo favorite acts from Kendrick Lamar to Galantis, or take to social media to rant and rave about their first world travesties.

The adventures we choose at Coachella forge the musically monumental paths of the weekend, but I think the real testament to Coachella are the adventures we choose after we leave – did we find ourselves wanting more of a specific artist or genre?  Have we been rock fans our whole lives and suddenly find our niche with Dubstep and Trap?  Do we enjoy witty lyricisms in music and have a new appreciation for the incredible hip hop artists that were featured at this years event?  Do we snag our ticket to Lightning in a Bottle immediately upon returning home to decompress because we feel like we’ve finally discovered a hub of technicolor creation that mirrors the kaleidoscopic nature of our soul?

Despite the gradients of heat waves we endured for over 72 hours, each and every festival attendant left Coachella left feeling emotionally recharged, refreshed and revived – even if our sore muscles felt anything but.  We laughed, danced and discovered – not just music, but the true nature of ourselves: that child who had been forced to grow up that we’ve been shoveling under 40 hour a week jobs, forgetting that there’s another part to our soul that has needs and wants to – and fun in the sun with like minded souls to amazing music that touches every subject and genre is a large part of that. The idea of festival is necessary, when the only difference a stranger and I might disagree on is what our favorite act was – not which way they voted.

Keep your eyes on The DJ List as we dish on our top acts, best musical discoveries from the weekend and so much more.  To keep up on all things Coachella and their content curators, follow the links below – and be sure to keep your eyes and ears open because tickets for next year’s gala featuring Beyonce will probably go on sale any moment now.

Coachella // Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Goldenvoice //  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud

Do LaB // Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

KROQ // Website | Facebook | Twitter

Photo:// Watchara for Do LaB

[The Audiofiles] DoLaB Does It Big With One-Two Punch of Coachella Lineups

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Curating their Coachella stage for the 13th year running, Southern California’s perennial party planners – the Do LaB – have announced an epic one-two punch with their lineup at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. As the main festival has gained exponential popularity over the last decade, the Do LaB stage has evolved from a fixture in the middle of the music and mayhem into a festival all of it’s own, tucked into a corner while it turns up the vibes. Proving once and again that no one can put Do LaB in a corner.

This year, the creators of Lighting in a Bottle and Woogie Weekend give you a birds eye view into the best and brightest upcoming artists, as well as internationally acclaimed talent that’s set to wow the crowds. The only stage of Coachella with unique lineups for each weekend, this year they’re sure to bring the bass vibes of the Thunder stage, the House we know and love from the Woogie – and of course, the technicolor stage production that we’ve all grown to love. On a personal level, I’m super excited for this year’s Coachella because Do LaB will be unveiling a brand new stage design that’s sure to be an architectural delight.

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Weekend One boasts artists ranging from Los Angeles’ own Low End Legend Gaslamp Killer, the delicious beats of FKJ, and sets from Tara Brooks, Shiba San, Hayryre and Mr. Carmack. On the flip side, Weekend 2 features Claude VonStroke’s alter ego – or first ego for that matter – Barclay Crenshaw, Jan Blomqvist, a little SoCal spotlight with the Focus OC Squad – NonFiction and Josh Billings – and a Desert Hearts takeover with Marbs, Mikey Lion and Lee Reynolds, Drum and Bass a la Liquid Stranger and Netsky, and additional support by K-NG $PRINGS, Justin Martin, Jan Blomqvist and much, much more!

 

Can’t make it to Coachella this year? Never fear – there will be plenty of ways to prepare for Lightning in a Bottle, Do LaB’s fabled Spring festival, including parties all along the California Coast! For more on the Do LaB and Coachella, head to their websites or social media channels –

Coachella // Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Do LaB // Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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[The Audiofiles] The Bird Is The Word: Dirtybird Campout Returns Oct 6-8

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Spring has sprung throughout California, and now that CRSSD has kicked off Festival Season you best believe we’ll start swimming in salacious lineups any second now. The West Coast’s mecca for all things music, California has become a welcome breeding ground for newfangled festivals and novel, boutique festival events. Between tried and true favorites like Lightning in a Bottle and Desert Hearts to more intimate events like Lucidity Festival, Boogaloo, Woogie Weekend – festivals have popped up in every corner of Southern California, but none with the notoriety that Dirtybird Campout has to offer.

Nestled in the Live Oak Campgrounds where Lightning in a Bottle was once held, DBC combines festival, fun and friends for a hat trick weekend of musical bliss. This Fall, Dirtybird Campout returns for their third year running from October 6th through the 8th and they couldn’t be more excited. Earlybird Flash Sale happens June 17th at 10am PST.

This past year, the ringleader Claude VonStroke brought the homies Green Velvet, Marc Houle, Paranoid London, Machinedrum, Mr. Carmack, Catz ‘N Dogz, Tourist, Reggie Watts and of course the rest of the DIRTYBIRD family. Who will they bring this year? We’ll keep you posted!

Having festival FOMO from the last round? Reminisce and revel in the memories as you gear up for this year’s event!

<For more on the Dirtybird Campout, head to their socials –

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

[The Audiofiles] The BPM Festival Goes Global With Expansion Events in Portugal and Brazil

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For a select group of audiophiles, the New Years celebrations have continued far into 2017 as they dance with delectable House and techno rhythms in Playa del Carmen at The BPM Festival, deep into the heart of the night. But for others – including the team behind the BPM Festival – this has been a time of change, growth, and transformation. With this year’s event in full swing, The BPM brand is excited to announce their plans to expand the franchise internationally with two new festivals in Brazil and Portugal in 2017.

From April 28th through May 1st, frolic in the gorgeous beach resort towns of Praia Brava, Itajai and Balneário Camboriú with Brazilian partner Gustavo Conti, owner of the esteemed Warung Beach Club. Known for their fabled sunrises over the open air venue, Warung Beach Club finds itself in the top quartile of The DJ Mag’s Top 100 Club polls. Meanwhile, across the pond in Europe, The BPM Festival’s Portugal iteration will descend on an untapped beach region in September and will be partnering with none other than Will Gregory of Goldfrapp fame.

Curated in almost a decade ago in 2008, the evolution of The BPM Festival has been a testament to the creative ethos cultivated by friends, Co-Founders and Directors Craig Pettigrew and Phillip Pulitano.

“…after 10 years of honing our craft, we’re ready to take our grand show on the road. We hope to continue our commitment to diverse and forward-thinking lineups and expand to new territories and show the beauty of the different countries to our international fans who are the true techno tourists.”Phillip Pulitano, Co-Founder + Director

For more on The BPM Festival, head to their socials:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

[The Audiofiles] Early Birds Get the Bounce: LIB PreSale Tickets Go On Sale Today!

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Every once in a blue moon, a festival evolves into more than just a weekend romp with newfangled friends and unlimited hours of music – it becomes a community that cultivates it’s own ethos, a family reunion drenched in techno and technicolor, a place that we call home for one weekend every year. That unicorn of a festival is different for each and every one of us, but for me – it’s Lightning in a Bottle. Now nestled into the campgrounds of San Antonio Recreation Area in Bradley, California – the Do LaB’s fabled Lightning in a Bottle Music and Arts Festival is set to return this Memorial Day Weekend.

Over the last decade, LIB has blossomed into a hub for West Coast Bass, House music that makes you Woogie and a vast array of both internationally acclaimed talent and up and coming, locally loved musicians, painters, and artistic visionaries – and this year, the festival will even have a few extra surprises.

Today, at 10 AM PST, the first round of tickets will hit the interwebs and with a stellar, sold out event last year you can bet your bottom dollar that these highly coveted Early Bird tickets will sell out quick like a bunny, while general admission tickets go on sale January 24th. Unlike previous years, there will be no one day or two day passes available for the event, every ticket will span the four days of the event.

Purchase Tickets Here!Relive the magic, music, and merrymaking of last year’s Lightning in a Bottle with this decadadently delightful video Directed by Ari Fararooy and Produced by Media Stranger.

For more on Lightning in a Bottle and the Do LaB, Head to their socials –

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud

[The Audiofiles] My Heart Is With Oakland

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Artwork from Elizabeth Reyes

Dance Music evolves at a lightning fast pace, and as we rush into the next moment, next song, next event and next festival at an exponential speed it somehow feels easier to forget the humble beginnings of the scene.  Now in 2016, EDM has bulldozed its way into the mainstream while the population has evolved into all inclusive hodgepodge of every type of soul the world has created.  But, a decade ago – two decades ago?

Dance Music was for the freaks and the weirdos, minorities and queers, artists and poets, lovers and friends, people questioning their social identity, people questioning their gender identity and people questioning life.

The dancefloors are full of personalities that felt they couldn’t fit in anywhere else, so instead of retreating into our loneliness, we used that feeling to bring us together, curating a safe space for us to coexist; it just so happened that we coexisted in the modern trenches, in warehouses, in pseudoaffordable units that more resembled a bohemian commune of like-minded individuals rather than the imposed housing infrastructure of common society. Because let’s face it, most forms of societal infrastructure seem null and void to many of us.  For a group of individuals that have stopped finding value in the monetization of life, the community gave something of actual value to us.

Our community was born in the dark recesses of abandoned spaces, decorating them with their technicolor energy and otherworldly grooves.    And the more underground the event? The better the crowd, and the beautiful ethos the events created felt palpable – like a silent passion by which each of us lived.  It’s easy to forget where you ended and the rest of the dancefloor began, as hot, sweaty bodies boldly paraded every which way around the dance floor as we slowly became one breathing, loving, living, dancing, conscious organism.

On Friday, December 2nd – the Dance Community was shaken by tragic news out of Oakland. An artistic collective known to some as Ghost Ship, others as Satya Yuga, caught on fire around 11:30 with dozens of people inside, with stairwells made of pallets, wooden decoration haphazardly strewn throughout the venue and exposed electrical cords.

 Image From Ghost Ship’s Website

From New York City to Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and more high-density metropolitan areas – the popularity of Warehouse Parties has never dwindled, and the power of the internet has propelled their popularity while keeping some of their elusive secrets. Like many of my friends, when I first caught the news out of the Bay Area, my first thought was it that could have been any of us.  I was at a warehouse party just two weeks ago, I’m going to another on Saturday, and I’ll probably go to a handful every year, for the next decade. If you don’t go to warehouse parties, chances are you have a friend that goes, or will go – a best friend that delights on the dance floor, a lover that lives for the nightlife, a brother, a sister, maybe even a parent – because that’s the thing, unlike the way the real world feels every now and again, these events actually are all inclusive, they let you breathe, they let you be free and live precisely within the moment.  They’re a wonderful, whimsical ride – and to think that lives were taken away in the middle of one of those moments is enough to bring a grown person to tears.

The fire also highlights something that artists have felt in large urban areas forever – the financial pinch for housing.  Prices are astronomical and starving artists who live, breathe and eat their work will do anything, live anywhere, to fuel their creative fire.  Live with 10 strangers in a makeshift home? Sure.  Build a personal space in a loft with a dozen other creatives? Of course! Because artist housing isn’t afforable.

The unfortunate circumstances of the fire evoke a menagerie of feelings, from sorrow for my Bay Area dance community, to the empathic horror of the victims and victims families, to understanding the true nature of both the events we go to and the community we choose to thrive in.  From all accounts, Ghost Ship was as beautiful as it was a safety hazard – with exits boarded up, flammable decorations and a staircase made of pallets.  Things that from now on it’s up to the rest of us to call out, because again – from all accounts – this could have also been avoided if we chose to truly hold each other accountable.

As it stands, this is one of the deadliest structure fires in recent United States history. To assist victims of the Oakland Warehouse Fire, San Francisco’s Grey Area Art + Technology Group have put together a Donation Page while Professional Sports teams from the Oakland Warriors, who play at Oracle just a few miles from the venue, as well as the Oakland A’s and Raiders have a donation page as well. As of today, they have combined to raise over 600,000 for victims and victims families.

Grey Area Donation Page

A’s + Warriors + Raiders Donation Page

The nature of the fire has pushed Dance Music and Warehouse culture into the mainstream, and in an unfortunately negative light.  Event production companies will have to think twice, maybe even three times about the safety of their patrons and the venue, and the crackdown on both the artist collective lifestyle and warehouse parties themselves is almost inevitable… but please – don’t stop dancing.

For your own copy of the Oakland print, please head to our talented DJ List photographer Elizabeth Reyes’ ETSY. – all proceeds go towards the relief fund for the victims of the Ghost Ship fire

[The Audiofiles] Feel The Riddim This Thursday with Flex Up LA

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Los Angeles, kick December off right! On Thursday, December 1st, the International music collective – The Flex Up Crew is partnering up with Showcase Monday’s for an unforgettable night at Union Nightclub for the latest installation of LA’s Future Dancehall Night. Featuring the delectable sounds from Bad Royale, the locally loved Two Seven Clash, Ackee Juice Rockers and the evening’s special guests – Big Fish, you’ll be moving and grooving to the funky riddims all night long.

Tickets Available for $10 from TicketflyPushing the boundaries of bass, dubstep and moombahton – Southern California based Bad Royale has blossomed within the Dance circuit and honed in on their own unique brand of sound – Kingstep, while the Italian duo the Ackee Juice Rockers deliver a dancehall fusion of hip hop, electronic and ethnic rhythms within their DJ sets. Hometown heroes Two Seven Clash come Diplo approved and prepared to move, with one foot firmly based in the belief of Rastafari and the other planted on the streets of Los Angeles. Last but certainly not least, the night boasts beats from none other than Bid Fish – indisputably one of the most influential producers and DJs in Italy’s Urban and Hip Hop music scene, with various tracks and remixes released on Mad Decent.

Event Details
19+ to Dance, 21+ to Drink
Union Nightclub – Jewel’s Room
4067 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

Feast your ears on a taste of the weekend and get your dancing shoes ready – this is one event you won’t want to miss.

For more on Flex Up, head to their socials –

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram