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The Last Ever Treasure Island Music Festival

The rain couldn't hold down most the performers and crowd

The 10th and final Treasure Island Music Festival was a rainy one. I’ve been to festivals with some showers before, but the rain got many crammed in tents for hours a day, if they could find one, and a few sets were cancelled. People were pissed.

By the second day I saw a long list of people’s complaints on Treasure Island’s Facebook & Twitter. They were selling their tickets for $20 and a hug or bitching about how unprepared the festival was for the storm. The Tunnel stage could barely handle the rain and the grounds should’ve been more accommodating to the conditions. Even the fans knew the rain was coming a week before.

The festival was still something to remember. People concentrate too much on the music and the creature comforts, but forget why we’re really there. To experience something together. If the music gets delayed, all the better to find people to share some stories with.

Let me know if you’ll be at Treasure Island this year. Close it out with us :)

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Symbiosis Gathering 2016

The one thing to bring to a festival

For the second year in a row at Symbiosis I wasn’t prepared.

With camping equipment, the right clothing and food. All the things you should prepare for when your off the grid for a few days. But one thing makes those problems a lot easier to deal with, friends. It’s easy to survive in the city alone, but not out there.

There’s no better place for short bursts of conversation with people than places like Symbiosis. Even the occasional longer, deeper ones and more rare one’s that last past the moment. But there’s one thing that can make finding these connections easier than ever, friends. The more friends you have in your own camp, the more connections you have going around Symbiosis.

It’s hard to get friends there, but it’s much harder to survive & prosper without them.

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Kaaboo Del Mar 2016

+ a playlist with my favorite RAC

I was a big fan of Lenny Kravitz back in middle school. And what I mean is I listened to Fly Away on repeat while playing Beetle Adventure Racing on the N64, and I played that shit often. That’s a fan when you’re 13.

When I saw him on the lineup for Kaaboo, I was pretty set on going, but Jimmy Buffett sold me… My Uncle is one of the biggest Parrotheads on the planet, or at least Minnesota, so I had to see what Jimmy was all about.

Lenny Kravitz and Jimmy Buffett weren’t the only two the lineup had to offer. Kaaboo 2016’s long list of talent stretches from Hall & Oates and Macy Gray to Aerosmith and Ludacris, none of which played together.

The comedy was right up there too, but there was one thing missing for me. The electronic acts. My almost perfect lineup was about 20 miles South of Kaaboo, one year ago in San Diego at CRSSD fest, and this electronic lineup looked nothing like it.

There was one producer I wanted to see. Even though he produces a lot of pop vocals that aren’t for me, with over three hundred tracks on SoundCloud, RAC had a handful that I liked, especially that Zee Avi remix. Beautiful voice.

Outside Lands 2016

Only one thing comes before the music

Outside Lands 2016 hosted my long awaited show from The Knocks. I had a run in with one of the members, Patts, on my blog almost six years ago and it was a major influence for what I do on here now.

He didn’t like what I had to say about Chiddy Bang’s remix of The Knocks ‘Dancing With the DJ’ and told me “if you don’t like it don’t post it.” I get what he was saying and as much as I stand by my words, I haven’t posted a single track I haven’t liked since (maybe one). I don’t give a fuck about music I don’t like (fuck might be a little harsh).

Their performance may not have been the highlight of OSL (he’s next), but it was so much fun to party with The Knocks & friends in the sun at Golden Gate Park. And they played all the hits, ‘Comfortable’ being one of my favorite dance songs of all time.

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Mamby, on the Beach, in Chicago

Finally got to see Kaytranada and Mayer Hawthorne

Kaytranada ditched out on me and the rest of the crowd in two different locations. Once opening for Disclosure at The Greek in Berkeley and the other this past year at Symbiosis. Finally, I got to see him live at Mamby, the festival’s second year on Lake Michigan in Chicago.

My expectations weren’t too high for Kay. My favorite producers DJing live haven’t been anything phenomenal at festivals in the past and going in with high expectations is a recipe for disaster (see Mayer Hawthorne). However, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well he kept the crowd bouncing.

Bass is what gets people moving. I’ve seen plenty of it, but Kaytranada live was the most stark example. When the bass wasn’t bumping the people weren’t bouncing. Get that signature kick in there and Kaytranda has the crowd in a jig. Guess this is why house music and its many iterations are what we love to dance to most. Except Bill Withers, of course (soul music) […]

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Live 105’s BFD 2016

How bad music got me a good woman

First off, these festivals with acronyms for names leave little to the imagination, which doesn’t make it easy to remember. I got BFD mixed up with TBD with the promoter and I feel like a dipshit. As I should. Always good to start off with a little humility.

BFD, or as I recently found out its full name, Big Fucking Day, leaves a lot more to the imagination and is Live 105’s annual summer festival at the Shoreline in Mountain View. The show had three stages this year: the main stage, one for local bands and a tent for the electronic acts. Of course I was there for The Offspring, not really, I was there to see TOKi. And Joywave.

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SXSW 2016 · · Save the Austin Music Hall

And never let Bud Light back without a few other good beers on tap

The amount of music going on in a few small areas around Austin, supported by all the music tech that’s trying to help it flourish, makes SXSW the place where my two loves come together. Quite literally this year with my job and this blog. Both helped me find places to go and people to do it with, but SXSW could’ve helped a lot more.

The SXSW Go app could have better helped with both finding and keeping track of events throughout the night and day, as well as finding the people to spend it with – it’s where the future of live music is going. I did find a handful of good performances and the same amount of not so good, but mostly because of the people in Austin and their recommendations. Some seriously nice people.

Here are a few stories I had with them.

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Del tha Funky Homosapien’s Performance at Pier 23

after the International Canabis Business Conference in SF

I’ve never seen Del live before his performance after the ICBConference last Saturday. I went to Hiero Day last year where I got to meet my favorite right now, Anderson .Paak, but couldn’t catch Del in time.

After seeing Tommy Chong close out the conference, he was a good closer, Del performed a few hours later at Pier 23 Cafe. Actually, like every other damn rap performance, we had to wait for him until the wee hours of the night, but not as ridiculous as the Ghostface-Raekwon show. While waiting for Del to come on, I saw a familiar face waiting around too. […]

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The Music Festival Experience Starts Online

We all just wanna have good conversations with each other

Super City 50 was a one night EDM event held the night before Super Bowl 50 at the Oakland coliseum. My photographer bailed last minute, but luckily I had a few friends going. I’ve gone to festivals alone before and it’s one of the easiest ways to find new friends, but organizers could do a lot better job to encourage it.

People will find the easiest way to connect with each other and drugs help out a lot. I saw all sorts of people on all kinds of things and it’s sad to see how much the law contributes in creating an unsafe environment. Laws change slowly, but the festival experience is about to change rapidly. And that change starts online.

We’re all connected 24/7 and using that to start conversations online will help people meet up more easily offline, at festivals. The closest thing I can find to what I’m talking about is Red Bull Sound Select, which is based around a community for curators. The best way to get people connecting around music online, in my opinion.

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Treasure Island 2015

The two performers I wanted to see sucked, otherwise awesome!

I went to Treasure Island Music Festival this year to see two performers. I’ve been a fan of Viceroy’s productions since 2012 and was amazed by deadmau5’s live “4D projection” in London around the same time. Unfortunately my expectations were high, which usually doesn’t lead to good things.

A few days before the festival I got a promo email from deadmau5’s team giving us pointers on what we should cover with his TI set. The one thing that caught my eye was letting us know that

deadmau5 is not a DJ. He is and should be referred to as an electronic musician or electronic music performer.

Deadmau5 in’t a DJ. Sure, technically. Funny thing is the day before I read an article on some all about the buzz music blog that deadmau5 got rated one of the worst DJ’s of this year (second behind David Guetta). I think most people consider any live performance by an electronic producer as DJing. And his performance was dated. […]

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