music

Get Amped up for Halloween with our Minimal Effort, All Hallows Eve Mix

Minimal effort.png

Written by Robin Nguyen

This Saturday, October 28th, Minimal Effort is once again delivering top-notch talent to the LA dance scene at its 4th annual Halloween installment, All Hallow's Eve, which this year features Claptone, MK (Marc Kinchen), Damian Lazarus, Dusky, All Day I Dream's label head, Lee Burridge, and many others to chill your bones and possess your soul (melodically speaking). We've created a playlist below to give you a taste of the artists' sounds.

This year the event will be held at ENOX events in downtown LA, at a sprawling industrial space that will span one indoor factory dance floor and an outdoor stage to host all your ghoulish delights.

Set times below, so whether you plan to join the Dead Garden or hit the Masquerade, look alive and make sure you have a haunted, hell of a time. Tickets and VIP table packages are available at www.minimaleffort.net 

Check out our special Spotify playlist below:

Film Review: One More Time With Feeling

Hugo Unwin | Kinofilia Australia

In One More Time With Feeling Director Andrew Dominik uses an innovative range of cinematic techniques to face the challenge of depicting tragedy in human terms. The film documents musician Nick Cave as he recorded and performed his sixteenth studio album Skeleton Tree. Both the film and album evoke a sense of time now gone, of being in neither the future or past, nostalgia and contentedness, an intensely powerful human experience.

Naturally, loss features heavily, however Cave's particular loss is revealed delicately, as over an hour in the uninitiated viewer learns its' details. (Much of Skeleton Tree was written prior to the tragedy, which unnervingly substantiates Cave's wife Susan Bick’s superstitious beliefs about the prophetic nature of Cave’s music). In a poignant moment Cave, surrounded by his studio and all its attendant demands, embraces his family in a well-rehearsed routine borne of repetition.

The reverence of the camera throughout One More Time conjures comparison with films such as Cameraperson. The whole-body experience of a swirling long-shot, drifting throughout the studio and surrounding countryside, reflects a ‘drone-age’ trend in post-cinema, epitomised by a corporal and experiential viewing style. Cave’s son Earl, brandishing a camera, is momentarily empowered as photos of him are flashed in colour, thereby giving agency to the photographic devices.

Beyond loss, One More Time touches on regret: ‘I should’ve strengthened my voice, I should’ve sung more before I came into the studio, I knew that at the time’, a universal feeling which connects Cave and the viewer. No matter your experience and skill, mistakes arise.

The second half of the film imbues the scenes of Cave’s domestic life with his narrated poetry, replete with musings on consequences seen and unforeseen.

The origins, influences and manifestations of creativity are often the subject of Cave's musings. In One More Time we also see the perspective of those close to him, as Bick appositely states that her work has become an outlet for grief. Conversely, Cave describes the difficulty that he has in conjuring the imagination 'when trauma takes up so much space’.

Dominik effectively interweaves the real and imagined to reflect Cave’s deep and binding belief in the importance of the subconscious to creativity. With a range of methods, Dominik succeeds in focussing on Cave’s positivity, ensuring that the moments of his darkly sardonic humour shine through, perpetuating the vision of Cave as a deeply intelligent, erudite and self-aware individual. This resistance to descend into a purely elegiac profile makes for a touching piece of cinema.

Lover of life, singer of songs

Por Sol Pérez-Pelayo

El 5 de septiembre de 2017, Farrokh Bulsara, mejor conocido como la leyenda: Freddie Mercury, nació en lo que ahora es Tanzania, antiguamente Zanzíbar.

2017-08-30 23.10.29.jpg

Hace una semana fui a ver el notorio tributo a Queen: “Dios salve a la reina”. Los argentinos se hicieron muy famosos por ser el mejor tributo de la banda después de que inclusive el distintísimo Brian May los bautizara así. No me gusta decir imitación pero voy a utilizar el término de forma no desdeñosa, porque de verdad quedé realmente sobrecogida por la forma tan fidedigna en la que se plasmaba a los miembros de Queen, no sólo Freddie Mercury (Pablo Padin) quien es simplemente excelso representándolo, sino todos los demás, el baterista portaba el cabello rubio oxigenado de Roger Taylor (Matías Albornoz), el bajista la ademanes y el mini short de John Deacon el bajista (Ezequiel Tibaldo) y el guitarrista llevaba a la perfección el estilo de Brian May y sus distintiva cabellera (Francisco Calgaro).

Freddie Mercury lleva muerto desde 1991, pero aun sigue muy vigente como músico, personalidad e inclusive ícono de estilo. Eso es lo que pasa cuando te vuelves inmortal, trasciendes el tiempo y el espacio, vives para siempre en la cultura y en tus obras. Eso es lo más grande que puede aspirar un artista, llegarle al corazón de las personas, sea de una forma “buena” o “mala” lo que importa es que la obra sea sublime, que tenga una reacción en alguien y que no tenga vigencia. Que no sean simplemente una celebridad, o una moda del momento, sino que se conviertan en un estilo magníficamente reconocido y que venza al paso cruel del tiempo. El arte es belleza bajo nuestro control y eso es nutrición para el espíritu y mientras sigamos siendo humanos y no olvidemos tomar cargo de las cosas no etéreas, seguiremos buscando este placer sensorial que nos hace vivir un poco mas cada día.

2017-08-30 22.22.36.jpg

Los asistentes buscábamos todo esto, sabiéndolo o no, el poder de que un recuerdo o el poder de la música nos sacuda de tal modo que sentimos la vida en todo nuestro ser.

No puedo decir que el venue (Auditiorio Telmex) estaba abarrotado a más no poder, pero estaba considerablemente lleno para ser una banda “homenaje” la que se presentaba, he ido a conciertos ahí con bandas originales que no llenan ni la parte del primer balcón.
Entre el público destacaban familias completas con playeras con fotos de la banda, de Freddie, personas de mediana edad y jóvenes aunque no eran mayoría. Esto tiene que ver con la trascendencia de la banda. Parece que Queen sigue tocando, que siguen de tour,  chicos y grandes me dieron este efecto; de que el tiempo aquí se había detenido, de que estamos todos unidos por una causa y esta era la de rendir homenaje a algo (la banda) y alguien (obvio quién) que aunque ya se fue, sigue como un eco creciente. Lo que más pude darme cuenta entre más reparaba a las personas era que todos portaban sonrisas, puedo casi asegurar que fácilmente no vi amargados ahí, o gente con mala cara. Se les notaba ese pasito de emoción cuando andas inquieto por llegar a algún lugar donde sientes que debes de estar. No es una prisa con presión sino con emoción, como cuando los perritos caminan de brinquito cuando van a paseando por la calle. Eran una anticipación marcada por ver aquella banda que te comprende desde las entrañas, que te calienta la cabeza, te seca la boca, te sudan las manos y que te eriza la piel: la sensación de amor verdadero.

Me incluyo en esta horda de románticos enternecidos que estaban vehementes por entrar a auditorio. Desde la adquisición de mi boleto puedo decir que sentí ese brinquito en el estómago. Yo soy una persona que me considero entusiasta, las cosas mas pequeñas o eventos que parecieran no tener ninguna preeminencia en el long run, me emocionan. Si no siento emoción por algo que estoy haciendo tiendo a aburrirme y a dejar todo de lado. Este concierto homenaje me provocó emoción y me di cuenta que hacía lo correcto en asistir. Compré un tequila para ver el concierto más a gusto aún y me dirigí a mis asientos, séptima fila para poder ver con claridad todo.

Cuando las luces se sofocaron; en el auditorio hubo un grito unánime de hermandad casi escalofriante. Yo estaba tan emocionada como si fuera el mismísimo Freddie Mercury el que estaba a segundos de aparecer en el escenario. Escuché los conocidos acordes de una de mis canciones preferidas “Tie your mother down” escrita por Brian May, quien además es astrofísico y defensor animal: WIN.

Voy a ver bandas en vivo todo el tiempo, voy a conciertos, recitales, toquines, palomazos, ensayos etc, sobre todo de metal o sinfónicos y claro como mencioné, siempre siento emoción. Sin embargo, aunque yo sabía que de verdad no era Queen a quien iba a ver no puedo explicar que sentí exactamente cuando sentí en la cabeza como si estuviera borracha y se me puso la piel chinita, de repente cuando me di cuenta, ya estaba gritando en cuento Pablo Padinpisó el escenario, no era él, sino que en verdad era Freddie Mercury con su gorro de policía y atuendo de la cabeza a los pies de cuero. Se convirtió en un símbolo y nosotros en sus intérpretes. Entró en el escenario y todo el auditorio volvió a gritar como si en verdad Freddie hubiera aparecido ahí, reencarnado en este cantante argentino que lo emulaba a la perfección.

Mircea Eliade, fue un filósofo de origen rumano del cual disfruté mucho leer cuanto estaba estudiando mi carrera en filosofía y ciencias sociales pues dedicó mucha parte de su vida intelectual a la investigación del lenguaje simbólico de las religiones. La forma en que se emplea y como tiene peso en el comportamiento de los creyentes o fieles. Este lenguaje simbólico tiene repercusiones en el significado de mitos que son primordiales para el establecimiento del fenómeno de la religión y sus respectivos fenómenos místicos. Eliade los llamó HIEROFANÍAS, o sea manifestaciones de lo que se considera sagrado en una religión o en el mundo en general. Eliade dedicó cuantiosísimo tiempo a reconocerlas en las religiones antiguas y actuales, sobre todo para poder revelar las experiencias místicas que surgían a través de estos símbolos.

Por medio del simbolismo un objeto obtiene un valor añadido, más allá que el que su forma conviene desde su origen. Estos valores son adquiridos o inmediatos, la realidad es inmediata pero a temporal de este modo. Los símbolos nos revelan una realidad total que representa medios de conocimiento que de otro modo serían inaccesibles. Tenemos símbolos para todo, por dar un ejemplo aquí ad hoc, la chamarra amarilla representa a Freddie Mercury, la corona y la silueta con el puño levantado. Un símbolo que une a una religión es mucho más fuerte que solo un motto o una doctrina como tal, pues los símbolos se leen en todos los idiomas y no son meras representaciones, sino que son “la cosa en sí”. Cuando los fieles creyentes van en procesión de una virgen o un santo, aunque se sabe que no es realmente la virgen o el santo lo que llevan a cuestas de iglesia a iglesia, en ese momento se convierte en eso mismo, es la virgen y es el santo, lo más cercano que serán en esta dimensión.

2017-08-30 23.10.25-1.jpg

Tenía mucho tiempo que no asistía a un concierto dónde el púbico respondiera tan acertadamente y que tuviera esa buena conexión con la banda. Creo que existe algo muy específico que hace que esto sea realidad, esto es claramente nuestra adicción a los buenos recuerdos, a las buenas memorias y tiempos. Del modo que lo explica Eliade, de cierto modo sentía que todos los reunidos ahí (también puede ser en cualquier otro concierto con gran audiencia) principalmente respondíamos al gran símbolo que se ha convertido Queen y sobre todo Freddie del rock, de la felicidad y es sin duda un emblema de rock que no podrá ser borrado jamás. Su gran presencia en el escenario y manera de dirigir a la audiencia ha sido muchas veces imitado pero jamás ha sido duplicado o si quiera se han acercado a la par de él. Con su rango de cuatro octavas es difícil que alguien con ese talento y personalidad sea igualado. Así parecíamos todos los creyentes fans y admiradores, con las sonrisas en la cara en peregrinaje ecuménico al concierto.

Pero antes de volver a esto, voy a insertar aquí una graciosa y adecuada anécdota que representa la some kind of magic que provoca Queen.

Unos días antes de que asistiera al concierto del tributo, tuve una reunión con mis amigos de la escuela, a quiénes conozco desde el kínder, nos hemos visto crecer y madurar a través de los años, algunos de ellos ya han formado familias y no hemos perdido contacto. No es raro que nos reunamos, tomemos un par de tragos y escuchemos música, todos nuestros gustos muy indiferentes en géneros y estilos. A veces jugamos a poner una canción cada quien, lo cual resulta muy curioso pero en ese día optamos por una playlist muy chill de los 70s. Una pareja de mis amigos, traía a su hijo Santi, quien como cualquier niño de su edad es muy inquieto y curioso y tiene mucha energía. El niño estaba por todos lados y se subía a los muebles de la prístina y hermosa casa de nuestra anfitriona quién preocupada volteaba para todos lados siguiendo al niño con la mirada y la verdad que yo hubiera hecho lo mismo o quizás yo no me hubiera mostrado tan tranquila.


La música tiene un poder curativo, regenerador, relajante y apaciguador. Existe música para todo tipos de propósitos y me he dado cuenta que puede servir para varias situaciones, en el playlist de los 70s buscaba una canción para que Santi pudiera calmarse o concentrarse en ella,  ya fuera que nosotros aplaudiéramos para distraerlo o que se arrullara. A darle en aleatorio, empezó a tocar “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Prácticamente todo el mundo conoce esta canción, payasamente y entre broma y no, yo hacía un filtro en mis amistades con ella. Si la canción comenzaba y no comenzaban a cantarla conmigo: FUERA.

La verdad no siempre se aplicaba pero era una forma muy útil de reconocer quien en la borrachera y felicidad era digno de cantar conmigo uno de los himnos más cool que se han escrito. A los que nos encanta Queen y esta canción, no van a desmentir que por más horrible que cantes es divertidísimo hacer las voces y cantarla. La canción conocida por muchos sin embargo contiene importantísimas cosas que no se aprecian a primera oída. Bohemian Rhapsody estuvo en las listas de popularidad durante nueve semanas seguidas en el Reino Unido y volvió a ser la número uno después de la muerte de Freddie en 1991. Esto no sucede seguido, que un éxito ya añejo vuelva a las listas de popularidad, es el tercer sencillo que más se ha vendido en la historia. La canción es una innovación porque era algo que jamás se había hecho, era una canción larguísima. Comienza a capela, donde se aprecia la voz de Freddie de una manera limpísima. En esta parte, Santi seguía brincando por la sala, en la segunda parte donde comienza la balada en “mamaaaaaa just killed a man…” Santi se acercó a la sala y miraba a todos lados, cómo si jamás hubiera oído algo similar y se contoneaba de lado a lado .

Para ese entonces comenzamos a cantarla algunos en esa sala, al darnos cuenta que Santi respondía con efectividad a calmarse con la canción me dio gusto y sentí orgullo que un niño tan pequeño se sintiera tan feliz oyendo eso, obviamente mi cuerpo ya estaba cubierto de piel de gallina. Ya hacíamos air guitar en la tercera parte o parte del solo de guitarra y entonces comienza la parte operística, la más divertida de cantar haciendo voces y aunque cantes horroroso como dije, siempre es muy entretenido cantarla, ya parecíamos coro y Santi aplaudía y bailaba y pensé, ok, cuando lleguemos a la parte del rock Santi va a perder la cabeza… y pues todos la perdimos con él. “so you think you can think you can stone me and spit in my eyeeeeee?” para la coda ya habíamos algunos adquirido un humor bastante a gusto, un cierto tipo de trance de procesión religiosa. Los ánimos eran tranquilos y más divertidos entre todos. Santi se tocaba el estomago y escuchaba con una dicha envidiable la canción. Qué ganas de volver a sentirme así!- pensé-  Qué ganas de volver a sentir esa especial emoción al escuchar una gran canción por primera vez, de sentirme niña de nuevo… y me di cuenta que ya me sentía así, que siempre me he sentido así, porque cuando disfrutas de una canción que te encanta , de un sentimiento poderoso, de una obra de teatro, inmanente obra pictórica o una buena conversación inclusive te sientes cada vez más vivo y eso es combustible para el alma.

La nostalgia vive en todos nosotros y mientras mas viejos somos más intensa se pone. “Antes si se quería la gente, mira que seguridad había antes, antes todo era mejor etc.” Lo importante es que no andemos diciendo “en mis tiempos” o sintamos que todo era mejor antes porque todas las épocas tienen su encanto, todo tiene su tiempo y su razón de suceder y a veces se nos olvida que el mundo no gira alrededor de nosotros o que está destinado a ir en nuestro favor siempre. Concentrarnos en vivir el hoy y disfrutar de lo que pase es una parte importante para ser feliz y no estar siempre anhelando el pasado y sus contextos. Por supuesto que yo extraño cosas de mi pasado, pero al hacer esto estamos evitando el presente y estos momentos pronto son el pasado y te das cuenta que no estaba todo tan mal. Yo creo firmemente que como Freddie no habrá nadie más grande ni más talentoso, y eso es parte de mi aferre al pasado a la nostalgia que me mueve para seguir escribiendo cosas como esto sobre el pasado, sobre experiencias que ya no son porque está imposible ir a la par de tiempo.


En el momento que me di cuenta de esto me volví a sentir teenager o más joven y creo que esta es la parte que nos nutre de la nostalgia. Sentir que se eriza la piel y que la garganta se hace un nudo, aire en el estomago y que se esboce una sonrisa en la cara en cualquier momento que recuerdo una canción de Queen me hace sentir viva y eso es algo que no cambio por nada. Happy birthday star, long live the King, lover of life, singer of songs.

DJB87fLXoAExeyC.jpg

Sol Magistrum Equitum Dixit

Shadowfax from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Shadowfax from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

By Sol Pérez-Pelayo

One: The dream

Two nights ago I had a dream that would mark all of my week with causalities and consequences that made me wonder about the real meaning or perhaps foreshadowing of it. I was in a field where it smelled of rosemary, thyme, and cassias; across my feet I saw bushes and marigolds that enchanted my eyes. The air was jam-packed with a delicious pressure and it was so hot I was sweating. Mulberry trees were all around where I was and as my hand reached to caress the plants that were beneath my feet, I heard galloping, it was very fast and it came in increasing paces each time. I could hear it getting near. There was no one around me, but the dashing was getting closer every time, and it started to distress me as the strides began matching the beating of my own heart. The pounding was making my chest ache with pain and I had to kneel down to relieve it. I heard a very loud neigh and as I turned to see, my eyes were hurt for one second, I lifted my right arm to keep the sun from blinding me and there he was. The most splendid and whitest horse and I have ever seen. I thought it was Gandalf the wizard’s legendary white horse Shadowfax. He was whiter than an exposed bone in a fracture, so white it seemed to be the source of some cosmic spell, giving out light of it’s own. But this whiteness didn’t hurt me like the sun because I could see it. Feeling his tremendous existence in the same perimeter as I was made me faint. It has to be also the biggest horse I had lay eyes on; it stood on its two hind legs and had a bewildered look in it´s astonishing brown eyes. As I was staring into this striking glare, the Egyptian obelisk of the Vatican emerged behind it. He neighed again one more time making an earsplitting sound and our gaze met and then I woke up.

I woke up sweaty, dumbfounded and feeling a bit quaint. My heart was pulverizing my chest and I sat in the bed. I could still feel the roman garden’s fragrances in my nose and the thought of the horse entranced me. I have a very peculiar and distinctive relationship with horses or at least the idea of them. I really wish to have one of my own someday so we can be friends and love him dearly. They are certainly one of the animals that I love and admire the most but they also have a part of my heart that is dark and I rarely talk about. Why was that horse in my dream? Was there a horse near me that needed help? The horse in the dream wasn’t hurt but he was very upset. The exceptional connection that I feel with horses comes from this maybe unfounded but very heartfelt idea that I can communicate with them. They have always created the impression of animals who are comprehensive and that suffer beyond means. I have this incredible weird trauma with animals being hurt. I hate walking around downtown Guadalajara and see how people can still ride those “calandrias.” I can’t even begin to express my disgust to spectacles were animals such as horses are hurt and mistreated for idiotic and cruel entertainment.

Two: The memoir

The next day I had a vivid memory from my past. Somebody else in literature had a dream about a horse that was a life changing experience. Sometime around my 15 years of age, I came across one of the most influential books of my formation as a human being: Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. This book’s passages have remained in my head for a very longtime now. There is one extract that until today I have not been able to re visit and that continues to hunt my memories. Raskolnikov, the main character, had a series of dreams that foreshadowed events in his life. In one of these dreams he is a little boy and he witnesses a grisly scene of animal cruelty. It was a dark grey day and he was with his father. Outside a tavern stood a carriage with a poor old mare that couldn’t even pull it anymore. It’s driver, a cruel man kept putting people into the carriage, striking the mare harder each time, and forcing her to pull the heavy carriage. Even writing about this now is hard, my skin is full of goose bumps and believe me, its difficult, I’m getting a knot in my stomach just now. I’ll make this short because otherwise I’ll cry and never finish writing this phantasmagoria of an article I want to share with you all. The man continues to hit the mare, some people encourage him and even cheer when the mare cries and bleeds, others cry and are very vexed and sick with worry by this wretched scene. But nobody lifts a finger and the deranged chauffeur blows the mare, even in the eyes to death. This horrific scene will forever hold a place with pain in my heart. Even though it was just a dream in a book, these are things that happen every single day everywhere in the world. Evil continues to exist because the so-called “good” people do nothing about it.

Image by  Katerina Rss

Image by Katerina Rss

Horses are superb creatures; they have certainly given all to humans asking nothing in return, like most animals have. Horses carry and not pun intended here, strong symbolism in almost every culture in the world. Horses are intelligent individuals that have made contact and communication with human beings. They are able to learn commands and tasks, consistency is key to teach a horse simple tricks and routine is also very helpful for the training of these animals. Horses also possess a very particular and interesting ability; they can associate items or voice tones to situations that often got them upset.  There were no horses in Mexico when the conquistadors came. An ancient woman of the history of Mexico called Malinche or Mallnalli who was a translator, a slave and former wife of conquistador Cortez, had an intimate connection to horses.  Malinalli felt that the horse’s eyes were mirrors that reflected everything one felt. In other words, they were mirrors to the soul.

 Another juncture between that horse of my dream and another horse came across my mind that day. I wrote my thesis for my bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Social Sciences about Nietzsche’s works and how his personal life had a direct impact on them. On Nietzsche’s decline there is particular chapter that seemed to have made a deep mark in me, the reason as you will read now will be obvious:

It was January the 3rd 1889, in a cold morning in Turin where Nietzsche had gone off in the hopes of writing a new work that reflected his thoughts and new great ideas. The German philosopher came out his door in the Via Carlo Alberto. Across from his sidewalk something called his attention, a driver of two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage was complaining out loud about his horse, there present. The animal refused to pull the carriage or even move, the driver continues to scream and instigating the animal. The chauffer finally looses his patience and beings to beat the animal with a whip. Nietzsche appalled and horrified by this ran straight towards the horse and threw his arms around it and started sobbing like a little child. Many said he asked the horse for forgiveness on behalf of all humanity, pardon for all the cruelty all animals have suffered. Something must have hit Nietzsche’s insides for good because after this he was mute for two whole days, except for his alleged last words ever spoken'Mutter, ich bin dumm!' ('Mother, I am stupid!' in German), after this he lived 10 years without ever muttering another word.

The connection between the abdominal incident in Crime and Punishment and Nietzsche’s culminating moment, retiring from existence and presence in this world is remarkable. I’ll be totally honest here, when I made this association was one of the most consumable and rewarding moments that gave me a gratifying sentiment in my heart.  For years I couldn’t see or be near a horse and not feel awful, simulating their pain. Even their smell would make me feel uneasy, even though I have always loved them as creatures of innocence and beauty.  As Miguel de Cervantes says “It is prerogative of beauty that it should always be respected”. One time, and I recall after more than 14 years (at the time) of experience modeling, acting and photo shooting in many eerie and less than confortable situations; I came across one that was conspicuously touchy for me.

 

Three: The challenge, a blast from the past

A band from Guadalajara called Sutra (check them out they are awesome) hired me to be on the cover of their album and to appear on their music video as well. Everything was stupendous; the art was very lugubrious and dismal, notions and aesthetics that I find very appealing. The idea was of the pilgrimage of two urban witches walking blindfolded around town, carrying a horse’s corpse. Everything went well until I heard horse head and horse body, dismembering of it etc. My blood chilled. I could feel my hands getting sweaty and cold and I almost chickened out, the idea of holding a dead horse in my hands was way beyond anything I could handle. I have pretty much done very weird and gory things I won’t talk about now, but this reached something that gave electroshocks to my nervous system. Before I could freak out and make a complete fool out of myself I saw the “dead horse” was a model, it was made out of foam and even though it looked completely realistic it was lifeless, but not like life had been taken from it, but in a way that it meant it had never been alive before. I stared at its eyes, not into them. They were so real but I couldn’t feel anything. These eyes didn’t reflect my soul, these eyes were just marbles. We took all day filming this video in one the most iconic and oldest neighborhoods in Guadalajara.

There were times where I honestly felt the horse was going to come alive and start moving, I can almost say I saw it move, it was one of the most uncomfortable and challenging jobs I’ve ever done, not because I was walking around blindfolded or in a tight dress in front of people, but because I really thought this horse was going to move in any minute. I loved doing this and I’m a fan of the band but this was absolutely horrifying and hard for me. Even that scene in the Godfather with the horse’s head has got to be one of the most disturbing film scenes for me.

Four: the present

The morning after as I was getting ready for my early run, I couldn’t stop hearing this roman horse in my head and every time I blinked I saw him and his penetrating eyes glaring back at me. As a fan of metal music I make lists on my Spotify for when I do certain activities, I can almost do pretty much everything to Death or Black metal, but I had found a new taste in folk metal when I ran. There is a function called “artist radio” this makes a “station” based on a artist that you play and it plays songs that are similar or what Spotify thinks you are going to enjoy. I was around my 7th kilometer feeling unusually exhausted, when a song I had never heard before came up and I fell in love. The first thing I heard was a ceremonial group of trumpets announcing something, something of importance, a coronation perhaps. The song was called “I, Caligvla”. The vocals, guttural and strong, were very familiar but the music wasn’t. I turned over my phone and saw one of the most astounding album covers I had seen in a long time. This band is called EX DEO, it’s the side-project of Kataklysm's Maurizio Iacono. Kataklysm is one of my all time favorite bands, no wonder I recognized his voice and felt awful because I didn’t know this was his side project. I felt even more awful when I realized all his songs have to do with the ancient Roman Empire and I had never heard them before. Caligula is my favorite emperor; ever since I read Albert Camus’ play I have been overly obsessed with Caligula and his empire.

This newly found discovery of “Roman metal” made my day. The band was amazing, he had all the themes of the Roman Empire engraved in their songs and albums, however, their songs were still in English, I would be thrilled if they were all in Latin but I guess that’s a challenge. During the week I continued my investigation of Roman Metal, I found a band from Lazio called ADE, their songs are mostly in Latin and I have found both of the bands a ball to listen to, I couldn’t be happier. But the videos that I saw of the band (of EX DEO) were not that cool, the production was certainly very good but maybe its my high expectations due to a “Caligula” 1980 American- Italian film.  This film was produced by famous men’s magazine Penthouse. The intention was to make an explicit erotic, close to pornographic film with good dialogues great actors and real sex on tape portraying the sexual deviants and excesses that have characterized and stained Caligula’s reign.

Five: The emperor and the golden equus

Caligula, whose real name was Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus (Caligula, means "little (soldier's) boot" in Latin), was a very controversial Roman emperor; he was a ruler of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Despite Caligula's popularity with the people, the Senate expressed disparagement for what seemed to be airy eccentricities. Caligula by most history books and even the film production mentioned above is remembered as a degenerate and mad emperor who only used his power to oppress. He entered the senate and his reign with great widespread acceptance; he arrived in Rome like a true rock star. The crowd in the streets loved him and all acclaimed him, this specially because his real father was Germanicus and not the former “mad” emperor Tiberius (suffering advanced syphilis). His first year was great for the Roman Empire, he made treason papers invaluable and gave his army important benefits. Caligula pardoned exiled politicians and helped those whose life had been affected by exuberant taxes. He punished sexual offenders and had the people happy and entertained with gladiator spectacles. He built several aqueducts and made a public reform. However, nearly after this, his health declined and his attitude changed and turned in to a complete monster by engaging in activities that harmed others sexually, he also began executing people without leaving any trails, even within his own family and thus, this lead to his murder. He was emperor for about four years; he was only 28 when he was assassinated.


 

That same day after the run and lunch and all that, one of my good friends called me up to tell me she had gone to one of the most ridiculous places in our city: a nightclub. A popular place for some known to be elitist, full in my opinion with phonies that are mostly gold diggers and low self esteem beings who pretend to find love or snort coke in the bathrooms. I asked her what she was doing there; she said she was just making company for a friend. She said everyone apparently found so odd that they let her in with sneakers and that she didn’t know anyone. They thought she was a foreigner they even pretended to introduce Tequila to her. She couldn’t hear over the loud annoying music when they asked her if she had tasted it, she said no, thinking that they had asked her if she had tasted this particular brand. Somehow this tequila, worth $500 pesos per shot (no joke) was what made these people feel so above everyone else. I asked her what’s in the shot? Gold? We both laughed but to be really honest with you, I felt a little tingle in my spine with fear, really? Are people actually buying this opulence? In the nervous laughter I remembered a really cool, odd and funny fact about Caligula, His HORSE; Incitatus. 

Incitatus was the single most beloved living thing that belonged to the emperor. I read about all the oddities Caligula had for his horse. According to Suetonius a Roman historian that lived around c. 69 – after 122 AD Caligula adored his horse from birth, he had his stable made from white marble, his manger was made from ivory and he often wore purple blankets. Purple was the most expensive of tints back then and a color set apart only for royalty. He wore necklaces with precious jewels and even ate oats mixed with gold flakes (yes! Like those people in the nightclub with the tequila shots!)  He had several servants designated just for his needs, and he was a racehorse who only once lost a single race ever, the unfortunate jockey was executed. How could it be Incitatus’ fault? On the nights previous his race, absolute silence was ordered, whoever disturbed Incitatus’ sleep was killed. Caligula wanted to name him a consul in the senate and this outraged the other senators. This story has two sides like most stories. It is said for starters, that Caligula’s madness[1] had gone way overboard and his exacerbated love for his horse as well; and two, he wanted to make fun of the senators by appointing a horse with no logos and reason so it could do their job if it could live like them.

But one thing is for sure: Incitatus was the horse of my dream. Today is a full moon and I hope he gallops through my dreams to foretell me another even and screaming “cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”.

Note: HAVOC!  Was a military signal the English used during in the Middle Age to direct soldier into attack, rapine and pandemonium. This phrase is taken from the Shakespearean from the play “Julius Caesar” (III,i 273) “Julius Caesar” after his murder to foreshadow a catastrophe.

Cuando trato de echarte la culpa termino teniéndola yo

All Linkin' Park pictures were grabbed from their official Twitter account.

All Linkin' Park pictures were grabbed from their official Twitter account.

By Sol Pérez-Pelayo

l  would be lying if I said that I was a huge fan, or that I had been thinking about that band or him or prophesying his death for the last couple of days. Even so, I do not condemn those who do, or those who suddenly camefans of the band or singer after his death. I'm not one of those people who criticize others because "they become fans" overnight of somethingthat becomes a trending topic because of a sudden Unfortunately we as artists are worth more dead than alive. I'm talking about the recent suicide of Chester Bennington, the lead singer of LINKIN PARK.

A famous person’s suicide is always news, it is not the first time even this year, (remembering the great Chris Cornell) that Facebook newsfeeds are invaded by the suicide or death of a singer or musician that somehow marked my life at a certain point. The first time I felt this particular pain that ached in my whore body but at the same time without a real location, it was with Kurt Cobain. I found that I could feel closer to these people whom I had never met in person than with the people I talked to on a daily basis. This is because the connection we share comes directly from that unrivaled feeling that a song has, when it touches you, as something ancient, as if it read something inside you that nothing and no one else can.

Since I was very young I have enjoyed listening to music, especially rock and metal. When I was growing up at the beginning of the millennium, a lot of things were changing, and although I spent all of my allowance on CDs, MP3s began to take over the music industry. Even though I was a fan of old school metal like Thrash, Black and American or European Death Metal, I began to take this new kind of music into my esteem. NÜ METAL was not only part of my formation and influence playing bass in my band but also in my development as a teenage girl with very different tastes in a world with a society that lives for stereotypes.

Thismusic genre differed from everything I had heard so far because it combined different styles. These were undoubtedly influenced by Heavy Metal,  the guitar riffs were repetitive and sticky the virtuoso solos of old Heavy Metal disappeared. The voices were a composition of clean vocals, combined with elements of hip hop, rap and even a little guttural screams. At the time I had not analyzed it so thoroughly. I was 14 years old in a world where I wanted to find my way, playing bass, in athletism or writing poems. But it was in music where I discovered a special sanctuary. I think that many of us participate in this almost psychopathic melomania, that exact moment where the world stops, when it breaks into a thousand pieces and each of them outlines a fraction of our personal soundtrack that forges our life and professes a context that illuminates that very moment, which is unique and will never again exist.

For those of us who were born in the last half of the 80s, became teenagers just as the millennium was about to crash it’s way into our lives like a hurricane. It's true that we had our whole life talking about this, we guessed that there would be flying cars and robots with a keen sense of humor as in the Jetsons, but as the date approached, it all seemed like a hallucination. I also remember during that this time, I discoveredgerman philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, someone who would stay with me the rest of my life. I read about nihilism and felt some sort of confort knownig that, like me, others had already felt this strange rage that perhaps was part of my development. A newly acquired hormonal behavior, of a type of adolescent angst without an specific justification, but that conformed a great part of my personality.

In a world where Rick Rubin was the producer of the greatest alternative bands of the world, I longed to find sense in my life through music everyday. I has already identified with musical lyrics before, when I discovered grunge. But Nü metal and Nietzsche came into my life just at the perfect moment. We clicked, iracound lyrics, frustration and the entering a millennium that becameless and less human, and dedicated to the earthly matters was part of what fashioned me.

Although I have always been more inclined towards the heavy, the brutal, the acidic kind of music, I found out one day that my unconditional love of Nordic Black Metal, Metallica and Sepultura and more recently acquired of Korn and Slipknot there was room for something that had never existed until then in my musical tastes. It was my weekly habit to go to the record stores and spend my last dime on records that I discovered on the radio program “El Despeñadero” or on “Metalmorfosis” in the radio of University of Guadalajara. On one of these trips I stumbled over with HYBRID THEORY. One shouldn´t judge a book by its cover right? I couldn´t agree more. Because despite the cover being absolutley hideous someonethings told me to check this band out, a band that I had never heard of but read about in Hit Parader.

I didn´t have to listen to it for long when the record became one of my favorite of the moment. It didn’t take long for me to look up more information about them and found a photo that reminds as one of the most intense memories I have of my teenage years. It was a photo that promoted Hybrid Theory; Chester Bennington´s arms tattooed with flames, just that without a face, and they framed a microphone. The photograph immediately enchanted my eyes. In my last year of middle school this photo became the cover of my English Lit notebook. Only in the United States this record sold 10 million copies,, whether we consider ourselves fans of the band or not, we would have to be diluted by not accepting that they were an influence of cardinal scale, at least in their genre. I would be a hypocrite to say that they did not mark my life in a way, at least with that album. It is true as I said at the beginning, that the band was no longer a one of my favorites, I didn´t listed to them or even knew that they had a new album. I had moved away a lot NÜ Metal and I am now where I love it most forever in Death and Black metal, genres that I have always listened to with singular joy and enthusiasm, so Linkin Park and Nü Metal did not last in my life.

When I speak about transcendence, the most valuable thing left to us by an artist or writer after their death is their legacy. One of my most conspicuous obsessions in both my life and in my writings is the idea of iving eternally through a work of art or literature that achieves transcendence defing time. It is the only way to live beyond the ethereal life we ave, to continue in this world even after or last breath.

With the news of Chester Bennington’s alleged suicide, which I found lamentable, the old ideas of suicide resurfaced in me. Suicide was a subject that obsessed me as a teenage, the idea of having control of your life to the point of being able to decide when to end it and not so much as a last or easy way out of a life which you can no longer deal with and you make the choice to depart from. Both points are reasons by which people may cease with their lives, but I was really intrigued by the idea of hy so many people that I admired committed suicide?

One of them most known Nietzschean theories is the Eternal Return; The same thing is repeated forever. But in a physical idea o nature, not involving things like reincarnation. But to someone who suffers a great deal, why would they want to repeat it all when death could end it? The idea of epeating the same thing involves the idea of Amor Fati or love for your fate. There is a will to live, but this would also mean that there is a will to die. The Will to Power also affirmed by Nietzsche creates the Übermensch who after announcing the death of God enters inevitable nihilism. The idea of he Eternal Return is perhaps a little frightening, since we know that the end of it all is death, but we often do no know the time, place or cause. If we put ourselves against infinity, time, space and the universe we would realize our own triviality, our existence is going to be reduced to living 70 something years and this against the eternity is an insignificance. Should we then decide to live a fuller life because of this, or we could decide to live intensely? Live thinking that everyday can be our last?

Perhaps it´s even unfair that Chester Bennington and Linkin Park were quite successful in their golden times, but it also true that they no longer enjoyed of total support from their so-called fans as it was at begining. Now that he has died, his fans may be collecting regrets, many of having abandoned him in his human and artistic journey, have resurfaced from the depths of their computers or perchance many are new. As I said, I do not condemn this, everyone knows what they do and what they say. The death of someone else opens up in us humans a certain feeling of guilt and trepidation, because we see in it our own death, our impotence to be able to do something, given that it is too late. It is at present too late for Chester, for all the people who called him poser or sellout or for those who stopped admiring him at their own  convenience. It is already late for all of them who still love him and that his death has left a gap in their lives, whether they were close to him personally or not. Nevertheless, it is only late in some way in this life, given the fact that t´s now imposible to to be able to do something more with it. Chester's suicide aroused in me these nihilistic feelings that I stumbled upon alongside his band and my intellectual guide. Philosophy and music will always be part of my life and leverage the way I see and analyze it

In any case, our Mexican idiosyncrasies of dealing with death in a humeours take or as a joke allows us to make pranks about tragedies as soon as possible. The memes or mockeries of something that started out as is something aberrant come sooner thatn ever. I am not sure if it is already something that conforms our Mexican geist or if we are already insensitive to the pain of others, which terrifies me. There are thousands of opinions about Chester´s suicide: if he was a selfish, that he was so famous, what about his family?, etc. The truth is that we can not and do not have the right to judge anyone, but I forget that in the networks we have all been like that, despotic judges of situations that are not of our concern, that everyone online feels that they are experts in all areas even if they have not studied the topic at all.

Until yesterday I hadn´t listened to the band ina long time, possibly and as many do it was because of thenostalgia I felt. I can honestly say that I shifted to my adolescence I was 15 years old again,  back then when I unveiled many things in my life and I returned to those years where I began to strengthen the roots that until now have kept me true myself. Nietzsche says: "The individual has always fought not to be absorbed by the tribe. If you try, you will often be alone, and sometimes scared. But no price is too high for the privilege of being oneself. "

YOUNG THUG IS HERE WITH A FUCKING GOOD ALBUM

By Ben Magana

Utilizing a hybrid acoustic guitar with tambourine a lá Country, through authentic down-home feel; this seems real. Haphazardly as it is his trademark and modus operandi, Jeffery Williams under his professional alias Young Thug proudly states to the four winds that Family Don´t Matter. In his liquid and reptilian style of rhyme-&-sing, Millie Go Lightly accompanies the Atlanta-native in this the opener from his new album, BEAUTIFUL THUGGER GIRLS. The nihilistic (non/anti) ethos that the album swifts into under the abstract syncopation in the second track where, just as it happened with the album opener, Young Thug’s intention is not to make his words be the meaning, but rather it seems that when he repeats, ’til Infinity, ’til Infinity, etc. he wants himself to be meaning  reflected under this dense but with enough stop-gaps (a trademark of his live act), he is the meaning and the music is just a means for him to rid of this seemingly facile task of making each track a party staple no matter the situation. With Go Lightly accompanying him again, by the third song titled She Wanna Party, now the mood is enhanced with trap beats and a languid atmosphere, this is among Young Thug’s most inviting songs yet. Also notable is the amount of singing he develops as each song unfolds, despite the usual lyrics of pills, girls and thrills that enunciate the kind of escapism the current world desperately needs. Thug is here to deliver the needs of music fans as no one has done recently since Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN two months ago. 

The smooth groove that swings in his personal ode to his family, Daddy’s Birthday, where the lifestyle is intertwined what appears to be affection and perhaps, love? An exaggeration could be, as it also happens on this album as it does with all his work, a mystique of vapidity permeates the album. This time out though, it is a solid artistic development, Do U Love Me goes to a 90’s Nelly galaxy where the party that the album certainly seems to conduct. The complexity of the music as a whole is undoubtedly for sure. On his collaborations with Future, Relationship seems like a summer hit at first glance, all the right ingredients for a hot summer dancefloor full of what the lyrics themselves describes, lots of women interacting in different scenarios, but somehow always there is some codeine, yachts, jet-skis and lots of fucking in-between, all the things that fuckin’ encapsulates anyway. You Said brings back the acoustic guitar of the album opener, though this time his beats and his powerful and melodic howl is there for the taking as he sing let’s get freaky here sing it now, Jeffery, sing that right now. On Fire they all give a jungle atmosphere with those bongos and those sticks that make for the beat in unison with his ever-present drum sequencer companion. The mood engages here with sighing sonic hallucinations, a knotty minimalism as he musically converses about his molly and red bull intake. 

It is here that Mr Snoop Dogg addresses his nephew, Jeffery himself, to make this the album’s cannabis showpiece, and by far the sexiest track of the album, a surefire hit given the chance. One of the major merits the album, with its lyrics of strains and G-Funk-meets-trap innovation, lets the listener know in its tenth track that it is an addicting ode to camel toes, lovely appreciated while they all Get High. Feel It finds Young Thug singing his ass out, all he can about how he can, or if and how does the listener feels by this time of the hypnotic thirtysomething minutes into the album, and the rhymes that fly at such overwhelming velocity that it compares to witnessing some kind of hallucination of falling stars under some drug combination with all the boyz and the bitchez down with him. Me or Us is a tongue-in-cheek full attempt at country-flavored pop, a somehow intriguing concept, Young Thug strumming his guitar while singing/rhyming random predicaments such as his joy of smoking weed in Japan. 

 

By the time the beat kicks in on Oh Yeah, the piano-led song that so far most resembles his former material, in particular his last release, Jeffery. The melodies this time around transcend and certainly arouse even the most casual listener into admiration. Young Thug has grabbed the position one of the most relevant artist of 2017, this is what someone might say by the time the acoustic guitar and trumpets starts to give close to an album that has the necessary components to be on repeat for the time being. Williams says Take Care after describing a multitude of circumstances all juxtaposing each on the other with absolutely no fucks given in the the last track, where he closes it in fact insinuating he is leaving somehow. He has said in interviews he doesn’t think he’s going to live long. He supposedly lives on Xanax, MDMA, water, soda and a daily injection of vitamins. The lyrics at times seem to offer clues into what he really is about, even though it never seems that’s his intention to do so. Let's all listen again.

Com Truise’s last iteration

By Ben Magana

Ever since Seth Haley released his first album, 2011’s Galactic Melt under the Com Truise moniker, there has been a dramatic shake-up in humanity in general, particularly in the mid-decade. When Galactic Melt was released, a nascent social expressive movement known widely as Vaporwave was just taking off and Com Truise seemed to belong in the increasingly 90’s nostalgia dependent and lo-fi/low-brow concept altogether. Haley revealed that Com Truise is in fact a character who specialized in intergalactic voyages, and it’s in his music that this story has been recorded. In basic terms, the musical aspect of 2011’s Vaporwave was mostly either chopped/screwed samples of 80’s synthpop or analog-sounding compositions that seemed empty of human condition as a whole. Com Truise represented, unwittingly according to Haley, a popular strain of the second type of the genre’s then genesis. Nonetheless, Galactic Melt was a syncopated cruise into an electro haven that represented a time where darkness attracted the apparent nothingness of the first few years of the current decade and never since has it been directly compared to the Vaporwave art form it was later classified as.

Six years ahead and oh fuck has the world changed. Needless to say, the once-alienating robotic sounds that make for each thread of Com Truise’s psychedelic techno have become soothing and welcoming. The twelve tracks that form Iteration, his second proper album release that hit streaming sites worldwide June 16, have an elastic empathy about them, perhaps nodding to a more human-friendly Artificial Intelligence in a nearer-than-we-thought future. As it often occurs with instrumental three-minute pop songs that transcend monotonic electronica and truly engages the listener in manners not unlike on what’s going on in the background of some of hip-hop’s up and coming artists such as Playboi Carti for example, who on his eponymous release this year proved that its style now is indebted to this strain of synthesized melodies over fragmented Techno glitches and blurry vocoder voices over in the distance.

Haley has stated in interviews across 2017 that this album mostly represents his move to Los Angeles last year, all the changes this move meant to his music (in his case, the Com Truise astronaut escapes a certain planet with his girlfriend astronaut and live a happily ever after). This means Iteration is the last Com Truise album we are going to get from Seth Haley, which makes the machinery and the hypnotic sonic fractals that make this album all the more poignant and rousing. While not straying far from his debut’s electro sails into a dark litmus that, as it evolved into Iteration and its content, in the end, it is safe to say that Com Truise is our time’s smooth jazz, the languishing escapism that sometimes not even hip-hop has managed to encapsulate as finely.

Thundercat slays the San Diego Observatory

Photo by Ben Magana

Photo by Ben Magana

“When it rains it pours…”

 

By Ben Magana 

 

Stephen Bruner is a thirtysomething artist that goes by the professional name of Thundercat, and he is a hell of a bass player amongst anything, to begin with. At their latest gig in San Diego at North Park Observatory, Thundercat displayed the commanding authority they have proven on the contemporaneous music scene through their impeccable third album, Drunk, released early this year. The album was a full collaboration in both songwriting and production with maverick producer/artist Flying Lotus. The album (its vinyl release is a delightful 4-10’ 45-speed discs on a Vaporwave-inspired artwork featuring lots of gold and technicolor felines. The music is a journey across a timeless landscape that appears to morph with each pluck Thundercat himself executes on his six-string electroacoustic Ibanez bass guitar. Across tales of an approval of everyone’s hatred of friend-zones, everybody’s secret envy against cats and a plea from the musician’s help to some of his heroes, literally, being these 70’s pop icons Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. Over the way the album presents such detours on which versatile performances by such current artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell and Wiz Khalifa. A groove-based set of twenty-odd songs, it definitely is among the best albums of the year, if not the decade. 

 

The main DJ from Los Angeles’ club The Low-End Theory delivered an engaging opening DJ-Set (in vinyl, mind you) where he set a party charged mood over the sold-out crowd that rapidly gathered. Upon Thundercat’s arrival upon that stage the crowd went wild and thus he quietly uttered the five words that kickstart Drunk and mayhem ensued in the audience. As usual in all recent concerts I have attended, none of which has been a rock concert as I have frequented more Hip-Hop and R&B music in the last few years, a thunderous mosh pit gathered beside me, as I was on the front-right side. Thundercat had two musicians with him: a keyboard player whose name I do no recall, but he had a stack that included an old Moog synth, a current huge Korg and a Yamaha electric piano. The other musician, the drummer Louis Cole, was a human drum sequencer, as he was armed with a totally acoustic drum set and sounded like any Ableton Live beat anybody could concoct. Some time over an hour after they begun their astral set of music, where many of the tracks were elongated into real moments of Bebop between the three musicians, creating a vibrant delivery of scales in fast velocity that for moments entranced the audience and caused even the last skeptic to embrace the soothing virtuosity coming across from those speakers upon us. 

 

The musicians left the stage and we, I was clapping hard and yelling for more as well, clamored incessantly. The guys returned shortly and went into a 10-minute Bebop jam that left us once again in a state of zonked paralysis even if fully sober, which I was. Lots of pot was smoked inside, the crowd was mostly people in their twenties and although I was among the audience, there was a lot in intercommunication between us and the band, a feeling that has survived the turbulent times we are in, and on the contrary, there was a feeling of union and goodwill among everyone, all through the wonderful music we all stumbled across. As the show ended and I got to digest the experience, it was clear that Thundercat and his two musical sidekicks on this tour carried a torch that was once carried by rock musicians of the past. In one of his wry and sometimes humorous banter in-between songs, Bruner commented on how the video of Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun made him and his brothers storm the TV set, being that the show was played the day after Chris Cornell passed. This to me was symbolic over anything else, that this is our time, where musicianship and showmanship, worked with what were once rock instruments, this magic sound that keeps us going. Excuse me, I gotta go play the “Drunk” record again.

House y Rock, los grandes movimientos culturales del siglo XX

Por León Felipe

Los 60 y 70 fueron principalmente influenciados por el sonido del rock; sin embargo, no fueron la únicas texturas musicales en el ambiente sonoro de la época. El house se encontraba ya inmerso en la sociedad americana, aunque este no contenía ni ideologías políticas y sociales se vio involucrado sin desearlo en una de las mayores revoluciones sociales de la historia.

Gracias a la apertura sexual y las practicas de tolerancia del movimiento hippie algunos grupos rezagados de la sociedad empezaron a obtener un lugar activo en la vida económica americana, permitiendo que diversos géneros musicales, entre ellos el house, lograran salir a luz.

Para 1970 el movimiento hippie había perdido gran parte de su fuerza pública debido a que este ya no tenía nada nuevo que ofrecer ni musicalmente ni socialmente; su guitarro-centrismo(1) limitó su música, su ideales sociales ya habían sido tergiversados por el capitalismo y principalmente el uso de la drogas habían pasado de ser recreativo a puramente lucrativo. Alguien tenía que llenar el vació social que había dejado el rock.

Mientras tanto en Chicago, el género underground conocido como house comenzaba a obtener una gran número de seguidores, el ambiente que se vivía en aquellas fiestas era muy puro todavía la avaricia no había llegado.

El desastre del concierto de The Doors en Miami trajo una ola de grupos de pensamiento conservador que se oponían al movimiento hippie, que rápidamente se extendió a lo largo de Estados Unidos erradicando casi por completo este movimiento cultural. A pesar de esto, su ideales de tolerancia y solidaridad lograron escapar refugiándose en los lugares menos esperados, donde la música que reinaba no tenía similitud alguna con la de las grandes leyendas del rock.

El Warehouse de Frankie Knuckles y el Matchbox de Dj Hardy fue el lugar donde la violencia se cambió por vinilos; la intolerancia por cajas de ritmos y el racismo por nuevas texturas sonoras. El sexo desenfrenado y el alto consumo de sustancias psicoactivas mantuvo alejado al ambiente violento que se vivía en Estados Unidos, ya que lo único que importaba era pasar una noche lejos de pensamientos políticos, económicosy sociales, lo único que importaba era la música.

Las ideas van y vienen, cambian de lugar, de personas y a veces desaparecen sin dejar rastro alguno; a pesar de esto, aquellas que sobre salen permanece a través de generaciones. Los ideales de tolerancia y amor en los cuales se forjó el rock emigraron a otros contextos musicales como el house e incluso el Psy-Trance. A pesar de que ambos musicalmente son completamente distintos, la filosofía del rock y el house no se limitó sólo a la música, también buscó cambiar el pensamiento cultural de su época. Y aunque nos duela aceptarlo, lo bello de estos movimientos es que no fueron para siempre, sólo son un pequeño haz de luz en la obscuridad de la maquinaria social.

Treasure Island Music Festival

Kinofilia Coverage:

Photography- AJ- Stitch Hands

Written by Hemal Lalabhai

The thermostat in the bay has been turned up this fall. Twain said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco," but it is apparent this fall that the heat is here to stay. It was appropriate that the weather the weekend of Treasure Island was equal to a warm day on a pirate's cove in the Bahamas. On its sand, a treasure chest full of acts that livened up the soulless Bayside Pirates and soulful lively Dharma filled Bayside Shamans that came out in force to dance the two days and two nights away to music that will follow us in the spirit world.

 

This intimate artificial island is in the middle of the San Fransisco Bay, and was used as a military base with Federal intent, as well as hosting capital-driven industries. Its dredged banks have tall tress and hillsides that slide into spectacular views of the SF skyline and the hillsides of the East Bay. It served as a port between SF and Alameda Island as well as an island stopover for the bay bridge.  It is now being remediated with conservation efforts by Bayside environmental residents, and warrants a handful of tourists that are eager enough to venture on to it for it's views, and dull factory and military history.

 

The festival was on the upper outer left side of Treasure Island facing west to the rapture that is the SF skyline. I walked in and my gaze fell upon the thousands of heads that bobbed and weaved through the festival grounds. I was greeted by hula hoopers, a man with dreads making bear sized bubbles, and a ferris-wheel decked out in hippie lights. The Bay showed up in force. The diversity that makes the bay a haven for free thinkers was violently on display as festival goers wore their freedoms lightly along with their love for music on their sleeves.

Leading up to the festival, I was shocked at how many peers, friends, and colleagues hadn't heard of the festival, or even half of the acts. I too was eager to see new names along with their new sounds. It was apparent upon my arrival that this festival is very intimate and it made me feel comfortable to be on this Island, part of the lively bunch of misfits, techies, and yogis that is the essence of the Bay's Dharma.

 

I have to start with Big Grams, THE set that took my breath away. They encouraged me to be unconscious with my dancing, their melodies rhythmically intertwined me with the crowed in a daze of familiar Outcast beats by Antwan "Big Boi" Patton and the electronic mysticism of Phantogram, made up of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel. I learned that together we could "beat the drum" to their "Drum Machine" and that everyone in and around me made the ground shake like it was our first night in Zion. You couldn’t find a soul in the crowd that didn’t know the lyrics to "Mrs. Jackson," a throw back that needs to be replayed more often by all you readers.

 

If you ever have the chance to see Big Boi, I hope you are graced with his upmost respect by singing with you the "special thing" we all have going on with "Mrs. Jackson."

Big Boi assassinated this set and had me along with everyone else in his tight gripped rap verses that hit each rhythmic cycle of Phantogram’ soothing duets, their street beats and psych pop. Phantogram gets me going on their own and this collaboration with Big Boi is undoubtedly a gift for all hip-hop and electronic lovers, trip hop, and a jest for the true meaning of what Phantogram are. 

I was truly a "Goldmine Junkie," throwing up the treasures of their sound to the crowd with my body, I found that regardless of age, race, religion, and drug preferences, all of us "Fell in the Sun,” with “Big Grams” in our pockets. In our fall, we all felt a burning within us that created our own alchemy for creating our own gold.

 

Sound Tribe Sector 9 is so funky you might wear down your shoes and tread the floors you'll be dancing on into dust. This psychedilea hip-hop, jazz funk band has everything and more that a band should have, meaning that they play instruments. The fruit of their hard work and sweat vividly brought the sun down on Saturday night and awakened the light in our third eyes, creating an awareness in our minds of what music has fled away from: the beauty of listening to live music with talented musicians kicking ass on their solos, and jamming their hair follicles out. Members - Hunter Brown, Zach Velmer, David Phipps, Jeffree Lerner, David Murphy were so composed and keen on sharing their collaborated music with us, that I too felt like I was on stage with them making music just by dancing with them in the crowd. The spectacular rainbow of lights that accompanied their show on stage, warmed on our faces, and I felt all the colors I was hearing on stage. I feel like I was inducted into the Tribe of Sector 9 and their sounds will live forever in the Bay, as it resonated with the setting of the sun and the inspiration they delivered in all hearts present, to this incredible encounter with their groovy eruption of skillful and tasty tunes.

 

I dig deadmau5 more than many other DJ's, and its my opinion that he has big ears for making some cosmic house tunes. His music helps me see past our planet into the stars beyond, the boundless spacey elements found in his heart raising melodies is a call to arms and legs to come to breath and dance. "I remember." deadmau5, known for his iconic mouse helmet, found his slice of cheese at Treasure Island. I witnessed a patron rage so hard he decided to take a nap in front of the sound stage... he passed out, in the wasteland that is EDM and house music. deadmaus5 kept us moving with his performance, setting fire to the crowd’s feet, keeping us warm as the Bay cooled us off. He actually cared about his crowd taking time to entertain us with a man in a shark outfit chasing him around the stage as he calmly drank a corona and went back to spinning religious beats into our minds and down into our hearts. deadmau5 made us passionate in his mixes and shared the pristine absurdity and awesomeness that house music is.  My friend AJ and I were awestruck with his set, his lightshow, his stage setup, and most of all… his desire to create that he brought gracefully to light when he performed for us.

Treasure Island is a very cozy intimate festival that makes you feel familiar with your surroundings regardless of you being from the Bay or not.  It has everything you would want from a festival: great food, overpriced booze, a Ferris wheel, sexy yogi hula hoopers, dazed drug techies, a lineup that has a bit of everything for everyone, and a free shuttle that takes you too and from the festival into the heart of SF near the Civic Center Union Plaza. If you’re in need of a festival that has a Do Lab presence and small clique of burning man attendees, along with pockets of EDM bounce house lovers, Treasure Island is the pirates life for you.