Desert Hearts Festival Review Spring 2018

 Photo Credit: GetTiny

Photo Credit: GetTiny

Written By: Kainoa Owens

The Desert Hearts Festival 2018 was nothing short of amazing! Back home for their 10th year anniversary at the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation!

Over the years, the festival has become known as one of the most popular, if not the best, ‘boutique festival’ to date. The festival brought a plethora of artists and performers from around the globe, creating a unique positive and loving atmosphere for their audience or techno-crazed-enthusiasts. The other forms of artistic participation ranged from yoga, sound healing, and more, however my most favorite was Shane and the Healing Sanctuary.

 Photo Credit: GetTiny

Photo Credit: GetTiny

While normally boasting 3000-3500 capacity festival-goers each year, Desert Hearts truly could not contain their excitement, or their rate-of-inclusivity this year, as it seemed more like 5000 techno-ready souls dancing in the moonlight.

 Photo Credit: Haley Busch

Photo Credit: Haley Busch

 

Despite the increase in capacity, the energy and message that Desert Hearts brings every year, ‘House, Techno, & Love.., We Are All Desert Hearts’, created a blissful dreamy wonderland that encouraged individuals to add onto the experience and express themselves in their own unique way.

 Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

This was my first Desert Hearts Festival experience, and it certainly will not be my last! The amount of love and freedom of expression was truly something to experience, and make your-own. The vibes and love from experienced Desert Heart goers, and new Desert Heart attendees (like myself) were of paradise.

Of course, unanimously the most influential part about Desert Hearts is the connection between us like-minded beautiful souls as we collectively sway ourselves to the ‘one stage, one vibe, one love’ in order to dance, and come together as a family to enjoy the eclectic sounds that these amazing producers and DJs exhibited.

 Photo Credit: Haley Busch

Photo Credit: Haley Busch

Hands down my favorite performance of the weekend was Porky, Lee Reynolds, and Damian Lazarus.., back to back to back!

This trio took the stage late Saturday night into Sunday morning absolutely stacking the dance floor, and demolishing ears and similarly melting faces left and right, including my own.

Matt Tolfrey Unites with Desert Hearts Label

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Written By: Kainoa Owens

Desert Hearts have been very busy spreading their influence and mantra “House, Techno, & Love” across North America and some spots around the globe. Now, in their 6th rotation around the sun, they have recruited UK powerhouse DJ and producer, Matt Tolfrey!

His newest EP Nothing Like Home on the Desert Hearts label is out NOW!

This EP presents two tracks, ‘Nothing Like Home’ and ‘Fallen’.

Using an eclectic style of futuristic sounds, buzzy bass lines, as well as percussion components, his cultivating sound provokes an ‘it’s about to go down’ dance-craze.

These tasty beats have received huge support from a plethora of established artists such as, Desert Hearts producer Mikey Lion, Josh Butler, Audiojack, and more.

Mikey Lion, in particular, has described the EP as “one of [his] all-time favorite releases” signed to the Desert Hearts label.

Tolfrey never settles using one style, continuously experimenting with techno, house, and deep style beats that make you want to lose yourself in the rhythm.

His success can be traced back to his celebrated 13+ year label ‘Leftroom’, where for the 10th year anniversary, released a decade worth of compiled Leftroom classics, as well as unreleased delicates from collaborating artists including ‘Guti, Kate Simko, Chez Damier, and more.

 

Matt Tolfrey has been proving himself to be one of the more unique DJs in the industry. Renowned by fellow tech-house phenom Seth Troxler, as "the last great British DJ," Tolfrey has continuously delivered delightful sounds and beats for the last 15+ years, proving himself to be a exuberant DJ/Producer.

Having now been welcomed into the Desert Hearts label and family, we can expect nothing less than truly transcendent techno-tunes that tantalize our soul.

Matt Tolfrey and his all-embracing style and sounds mirror the positive love, connection and creativity that permeates around all Desert Hearts festivals and collaborations.

Below you can listen to his latest EP as well as his 'Ten Years of Leftroom Mix', and be sure to experience him in person April 27th - 30th at the Desert Hearts Spring 2018 Festival!

Desert Hearts Spring 2018 Festival

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Written By: Kainoa Owens

Nestled away upon the majestic mountains of the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation outside of east San Diego County, the Desert Hearts Festival returns April 27th-30th to once again delight and tantalize techno-lovers. Now in their 6th gathering since 2012, Desert Hearts has established itself as one of the most popular and inclusive music festivals—boasting a 3000-capacity dreamland wherein festival-goers will have the opportunity to ‘celebrate all that make us human’ through the mediums of art and dance.

Additionally, the festival will host a wide variety of community-based artists and performers to create a ‘truly unique atmosphere embedded with artistic participation and imagination’. Further found at Desert Hearts are various forms of healing included but not limited to Yoga, Workshops, Sound Healing, Crystal Healing, Reiki, Energy Work, Spoken Word and Relax/Recharge zones.

Over the years, Desert Hearts has based themselves around all-encompassing festivals such as Burning Man and Lightning in a Bottle. Their mantra, “House, Techno, & Love…We Are All Desert Hearts” echoes a distinct sense of radical inclusiveness that is vital to their main purpose of ‘spreading as much love and positive vibes as possible’ at each of every one their events.

As a ‘boutique music festival’, they provide a similarly unique experience as these larger music festivals, but with the advantage of being smaller and more intimate in size. The ambiance they create each year for their ever-increasing family of techno-hungry-hippies is centered on the idea to have one stage, one heartbeat.

 Photo By: Jacob Avanzato

Photo By: Jacob Avanzato

Desert Heart goers from around the world journey to the festival to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of ubiquitous love, creativity and family that this musical oasis provides. Desert Hearts fanatic, entrepreneur and Reiki healer, Lizeth, recalls her first Desert Hearts experience dancing through the crowd as ‘something magical’ or 'like entering a whole different world entirely’.

The feelings of unity and love permeate throughout all Desert Hearts shows in Southern California and now across North America, so if you’re unable to catch this year’s festival, be sure to check out one of their shows!

This festival is currently sold out; however, we highly recommended checking out these 5 artists on the Desert Hearts 2018 lineup:

Lee Reynolds

Marques Wyatt

Lubelski

Damian Lazarus

Matt Tolfrey

CRSSD Festival 2018

Photo Credit: Felicia Garcia- FLG, Miranda McDonald- MNM , Skyler Greene- SAG, Eric Scire- EDS

CRSSD Festival Spring 2018 sold out this year and made its mark on San Diego’s Electronic scene yet again. The pattern is apparent and the formula is simple – combine amazing music with an eclectic crowd at a beautiful venue. CRSSD caters to an slightly older crowd that has an ear for music and enjoys an intimate setting without all the glam and glitter of EDM monster events.

CRSSD festivals’s prominent performances were Empire of the Sun, Bonobo, Trippy Turtle, Henry Saiz, Cirez D, Nicole Moudaber and many more. 

A common tale reiterated through the festival circuit was that Empire's stage performance manifests a gateway - an invitation to dream with eyes wide open. Empire's performance combines theatrics, music, and visuals which pulls you past the event horizon and into a space of euphoria.

Some other notable acts were Nicole Moudabers set and Trippy Turtles anthropomorphic performance. We've provided a CRSSD Playlist below so have a sample and have a dance and make sure to have a beautiful day. See you at CRSSD Next year :)

 
 

CRSSD Festival Spring 2018

Spring '18 is upon us and we are nearly sold out.
With only 17 days to go here's the update:

- We are over 90% sold
- This is LAST CALL for Weekend Passes: bit.ly/crssds18
- Weekend Passes will be gone in the next 24hrs
- VERY LIMITED Single Day passes on sale 11AM PST Friday
- We expect them to go quickly, and then we are 100% sold out. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This is not a drill 🌴

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WEST COAST WEEKENDER RELEASES 2018 LINE UP

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Get tickets here! http://www.westcoastweekender.net/2017/09/27/wcw2018year3/

Headliners include long awaited San Diego performances by CASSY, Bamboozle from Soul Clap, King Britt, Hyenah, Demuir, and Eli Escobar.

Get ready for another high-octane weekend in San Diego, May 3-6! A celebration of music, dance, and culture in Southern California, the music conference and festival is blossoming right alongside San Diego’s incredible cultural renaissance. With nearly half of attendees coming from out of town, the West Coast Weekender audience rings in a truly one-of-a-kind vibe. The influx of activity—plus the San Diego underground community’s enthusiasm—creates an infectious, old school energy that’s of another era.

Festivities kick off Thursday afternoon at the iconic Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, right at the junction of San Diego’s hip University Heights and North Parkdistricts and just minutes from the festival grounds. Start your day with brunch and poolside entertainment sponsored by Stoli Vodka. Panel discussions, Ableton workshops, and yoga sessions will be offered throughout the weekend. In between, immerse yourself in art, house, and drum and bass at Balboa Park’s multi-cultural and eclectic Worldbeat Cultural Center.

This year West Coast Weekender 2018 will also be supported by Traxsource, a unique electronic music store created and curated by DJs with decades of experience in the music industry.

Thurs May 3
Lafayette Hotel 3pm – Close

Mark di Meo . Del . DJ Ala. Eric Groove. Marshall Jones .

Fri May 4
Lafayette Hotel 11am – 5pm
Worldbeat Center 5pm to Close

Hyenah . Doc Martin (Sublevel Live ft Lillia) . Eli Escobar . Hector Romero . David Harness .
Oscar P . Cris Herrera . DJ Mes . Urulu . Adam Gibbons . Red Sonya . Alien Tom .
Mikeytown . Matthew Brian . Bumpy Nuggets . Francisco Moreno . Vinh Sol .

Sat May 5
Lafayette Hotel 11am – 5pm
Worldbeat Center 5pm to Close

Cassy . Bamboozle from Soulclap . Demuir . Eric Medina . Garva . MC Ridda . Paluka .
Rebellion . Masha . Caliparis . Andrew Wilkinson . Chrysocolla . Arielle Z . Drummer John .
Coflo . Evlo . DiscoSupreme . Full D&B Line Up TBA .

Sun May 6
Lafayette Hotel 11am – Close

King Britt . Nickodemus . Fred Everything . Julius Papp . Master Kev . Sunlightsquare .
DJ Kincaid . Cole Vassallo . Nimbus . Chris Annibell . WhoDaHell .

Monday May 7
Lafayette Hotel 11am – Close

Pool Party / Line Up TBC

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

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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:

Desert Daze 2017 – Institute of MentalPhysics

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By Kainoa Owens

Positioned upon 420 acres in the high desert of Joshua Tree, California, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Institute of Mentalphysics, has become home to the best rock festival this year, Desert Daze.

The institute, in all its glory and awe, rests upon a rare geological confluence of three underground aquifers, and a measurable magnetic field that is said to channel “natural energy” to help desert-goers find clarity. Also known as “a portal to your inner being,” the enlightenment-based philosophical institution was established for those seeking to understand the “physics” of their minds, or to gain a higher sense of consciousness. It’s an apt location for anyone looking to escape the confines of their everyday life, or attempt to join in and connect with one-another through other forms of mentalphysics like yoga and music itself.

Surrounded by captivating architecture, elegant fountains, labyrinths, and beautiful garden paths, Desert Daze has solidified itself as an extraordinary festival experience bringing a sort of kindred vibe similar to the likes of Lightning in a Bottle, and dare I say.., Symbiosis? Nevertheless, the message of Desert Daze is similar with other transformative festivals (as mentioned above), in that they seek to provide a spiritual awakening, reformation, transformation, and inspiration for the individual.

This festival, accompanied with the mysticism of its location and venue, is primed to continuously get bigger, badder, and weirder each year. Phil Pirrone and his altruistic family & crew have done a fantastic job curating the music lineup and festival-goer mentality. Throughout the three-day weekend, the mix of festival goers ranged from many young and old burners, to garage-metal, 90s alternative rock enthusiasts, and everything in between. Needless to say, the lineup this year was STACKED.

In its sixth-installment since its birth in 2012, Desert Daze showcased an inconceivable rock lineup of artists old and new, as well as a wide spectrum of diverse rock-genres. The music this year spanned from raw, electronic punk, garage rock, and punk rock, to crushing power rock, droning sludge metal, minimalist jazz-fusion, and beyond.

The performances this weekend were much to be longed for. More specifically, the sound of a type of psychedelic jazz, Lee Fields & the Expressions, and BadBadNotGood were sensational, while Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile and the Sea Lice headlining Friday night soothed my soul. Saturday was by far the busiest day, with the biggest names, where attendance could have easily been around 5000 desert goers. Performances from a kind of electro-pop Mr. Elevator, which made way for Twin Peaks, JJUUJJUU, and John Cale as some of the daytime shredders. The stoner metal band Sleep, performing their 1992 album Holy Mountain, was something truly special, bringing back the past, reincarnating 80’s and 90’s hard metal rock.

Iggy Pop, the 70-year-old ageless wonder and “Godfather of Punk,” did not slow down, but instead threw down! As a neighboring desert goer looks at me and exclaims in disbelief, “The dude is 2000 years old, from the prehistoric era, and he STILL is absolutely owning it!” Shirt-off, shimmying out on to the stage, while hurling his mic-stand, and executing a famed stage dive, Iggy Pop and his group made everyone else seem above average, and more comparatively made Black Sabbath, one of my favorite bands feel outdated.

Aside from the environs of the institute, the most important takeaway from the weekend was the share of love for music, smiley-vibes in the crowd, the lyrical passion, the crushing rock gifted by the musicians, and of course the nostalgia in us that is mothaafuckkin’ rock & roll.

It is evident that Desert Daze has developed into a forward-thinking rock & roll music festival with a novel, free-spirited vibe, and an inclusiveness that without a doubt makes it the best rock festival this year, and potentially a new giant in festivals every year to come.

CRSSD Festival Fall 2017

Photo Credit: Julian Bajsel - @jbajsel

CRSSD Festival Fall 2017 was another one for books. CRSSD's bi-annual party is now an official staple in San Diego’s electronic scene and it's evident! The festival has matured, the music was selectively curated, and FNGRS CRSSD Promotions has done a great job perfecting the party process. A lot of the kinks have been worked out and the event ran smoothly. 

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CRSSD festival has come into its own. The three main stages deliver and there is always a good vibe between party goers. The mix of festival goers ranges from burners to surfers and everything in between. I’ve attended CRSSD for a the past two years and I’m always amazed at how chill and respectful the crowds are.

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Saturday started off beautifully with warm weather, clear skies and continued through Sunday. My two favorite acts for the weekend were Breakbot and Chromeo. Breakbot was a nice surprise. I hadn't heard of them until now! They nicely mesh together live music with an electronic sound and a throwback 70’s vibe. I danced and grooved my way through their whole set. The crowd was much bigger Sunday and Chromeo smashed the house as usual. I have seen Chromeo three times now and they consistently deliver. Some of the other notable acts for the weekend were RÜFÜS DU SOL, Cut Copy, Damian Lazarus and the Ancient Moons, Richie Hawtin, Emancipator, The Magician, and many more.

 

I feel like CRSSD is something hardcore music heads look forward to. The festival has transformed into a must attend event on the festival circuit and is putting SD on the house and techno map!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Enchanted Forest Gathering 2017

How would you dance if you were a jellyfish?

Written by John Karlo Torres
Photos by Edward Clynes

"Jellyfish or jellies are softbodied, free-swimming aquatic animals with a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles... Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea... Jellyfish have been proven to be the most energy efficient swimmers of all animals." - Thank you Wikipedia, i'll get back to this. 

This year at Enchanted Forest I wanted to do things a bit differently. I have been going to festivals for almost a decade and it wasn't until recently that I started to notice the amount of time, love, and effort that goes into creating a great gathering full of intention, music, art, movement, and conscious living. As a glitter-seasoned participant of this community, I wanted to meet and highlight the magical ingredients that make Enchanted Forest Gathering, well, enchanted. 

Before I introduce you to some of my favorite wondrous Jellies, I want to point out that this year was amazing! There is nothing quite like getting to dance my ass off to Tipper, The Polish Ambassador, Tokimonsta, Psy Fi, Opiuo, Soohan, Space Jesus, and DJ Dragonfly all in the same weekend. All the environments were top notch, plush spaces to recharge, let loose, bask, fuel up, and indulge in the many splendors only a festival environment can bring you. This oak forest was truly magical bringing forth every night with a sacred fire that lasted 'til dawn and welcoming mornings with great musical sunrise sets by Kalya Scintilla and Whitebear. One of my highlights this year was the Saucy Spa sauna where I made some amazing nakey friends melting into softened puddles after long hours of movement.

Now onto the fun stuff, the Jellies! You may be wondering, "What's up with this jellyfish business?" I'm glad you asked. Long ago when I lived in Barcelona, my friend and I would get drunk and chalk the cobblestone streets with, "Como bailarías si fueses una medusa?" - How would you dance if you were a jellyfish? We made a ton of friends by asking random strangers this question and we realized, no two Jellies were alike, not even twin Jellies. So I wanted to try an experiment and ask this question to the lovely people who contributed to Enchanted's magic this year. Here are the ingredients for a saucy good time: 

STAFF - VOLUNTEERS

These Jellies are the bones and brains that real jellyfish  only dream of. Without the heart and dedication of staff and volunteers there would be no place to call home, no vision to execute, and no gathering at all. Thank you for coming in weeks early to build, and leaving weeks later to tear down. Let's see how this Jelly gets down!

Staff - Megan Pru - Hails from Boise, ID
@meganpru

VENDORS - FOOD

These Jellies are delicious! Wait, don't eat the jellies or you will swell up like a ballon! There was so much yummy food and amazing vendors. I was looking for some MAJOR greens and lovely Devin working at Imlak'esh Organics helped me navigate the open waters to the most nourishing superfood bowl of my dreams. Also, when I was feeling really shitty after a long night and needed a serious boost, Sarah, Bee, and M'fon with Asana Foods brought me back to life with Açaí bowls made for the gods. Thank you vendors for allowing me to camp light and supercharge my body. These Jellies are #PlantPowered!

Vendor Crew - Devin - Hails from Napa, CA
@imlakesh

Asana Foods - San Diego, CA - @asanafoods
Sarah, Bee, M'fon - @waveojoy

 

To stay in touch with the Enchanted Forest Gathering visit http://enchantedforestmendo.com/.

WORKSHOPS - MOVEMENT

There is never a shortage of amazing yoga, workshops, and movement classes at Enchanted. This aspect of festival life has to be my favorite ingredient. There is so much knowledge, wisdom, practice, and energy available to all participants and I can't stress enough taking the time to engage with workshops and classes at festivals. Partying is a great time and dancing is essential for my experience but what I learn in workshops really funnels into my everyday life. Thank you teachers for all your lessons and wisdom. Turn that Jelly into jam!

Tai Chi - Sundar - Hails from Alicante, Spain
Helpuheal.com

Festival Herbal First Aid - Heidi Garrett - Hails from Concord, NC
Facebook

HEALERS - BODY WORK

I have recently been receiving more body work and healing services at festivals and it has been AMAZING. There is nothing like getting a deep tissue massage or acupuncture in the middle of an oak speckled forest. Considering all the walking, yoga, dancing, and general buffoonery that is going on, it is a real treat to get body work done mid-festival. I was so happy to meet Nik who did some great deep tissue work on my back when I was feeling pain from too much fun. Thank you healers for putting us back together and keeping us movin'! This Jelly is elevating!

NiK Kurtz - Hails from La Honda, CA
Bodycuriosity.com

NEW FRIENDS - DOERS

Enchanted Forest Gathering 2017 was my first ever solo festival. It was such a special experience and I made so many new friends that I get to group text with and hang out with all the time now. The best part of the Enchanted family is all the beautiful people. I am pretty lucky that all the ingredients got real mixed in this year for me and I met so many amazing people who contributed to making fairytale magic in the forest. This super cool Jelly here is Sari. We did a lot of hanging out at her WooWoo Pocket Photo Booth and bopped around dancing, laughing, and making puddles of friends. This Jelly is on it's way to being a STARfish.

WooWoo Pocket Photo Booth - Sari - Hails from Denver, CO
Sariblum.com

So you see, our Enchanted Jellies are softbodied, free-spirited land animals with creative, human-shaped hearts and arms for tentacles... these Jellies are found in every environment, from the mountains to the sea... they have been proven to be the most energetic loving dancers of all animals.

See you Jellies later!

 John Karlo - Hails from Boyle Heights, CA

John Karlo - Hails from Boyle Heights, CA

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. "

My first ever experience at Comic-Con International

By Tom Spiegel

Even if I have always been an avid movie and comic book fan since I have a memory, I had never really been graced with the opportunity to experience the San Diego Comic-Con due to various reasons. But this year was going to be different; my goal was to at least make it to the outskirts of the convention center and take loads of pictures of sweaties in full-blown cosplays. But what I got was a little bit better, just a tad shy of the full experience. While visiting my favorite video game shop, I encountered a nice lady employee who told me about a chance to work at the Con for a few days, suddenly getting paid to attend the event seemed like an excellent idea. The catch was that I would work as a security guard on the main entrance floor, without getting to go down to the exhibit hall. This was my first chance to actually get to say that I attended Comic-Con, so finally, I decided to go through with the experience. 

Verdict

I gotta say, apart from the excruciating pain my feet went through during all four days of the Con, the experience was actually pretty amazing. I got to interact with thousands of sweaty fans whose faces told the story of a place like no other, a convergence that congregates hundreds of thousands of fans who love movies, comic books, and pop culture, who are mostly quite respectful for one and other. My post was at one of the main entrances in the registration area; I had to deal with people who wanted to go out of the building for various reasons and needed to be re-directed by yours truly in order to get to the other side. For the most part, I had absolutely no problems dealing with people who just wanted their freebie bags, their collectible pin, and limited edition Jack Kirby book with articles about his impressive career. Since I wasn't allowed on the main floor, that was the best I could aspire to get, and I enjoyed every single minute of it. 

I did attempt to sneak into the main floor, at first I did get past the security guards, but I miserably failed after only five minutes of walking in I was politely asked to leave the premises. It was worth the try; I got to take a picture of K2-SO from Star Wars: Rogue One. After that failed attempt, I knew that my main objective was to take as many cosplay pictures as I could, and that's exactly what I did. 

The Strong Cosplay Game

It's hard to imagine how much work goes into making most of the elaborate costumes that make it to Comic-Con, I got the pleasure of taking over 60 pictures that I share with you at the very top of this article. All the toddlers with their cosplay are the ones that get me every time. However, perhaps the most beautiful costumes are the ones I got to see an old couple dressed as Han and Leia, who were walking around the floor holding hands and looking cuter than anything I got to see during the whole weekend. I also got a chance to find a couple of celebrities who were walking across the room to get to a panel. One of them was legendary comic book sweaty John Schnepp who has a show on Collider called Heroes. He was nice to me when I recognized him but looked a bit rushed to get to a panel.

However, the other famous person I met was one of the most recognized film critics in recent history; his name is Scott Mantz. As soon as he realized I knew him, he was incredibly gracious and asked me to take out my phone for a selfie; it's cool when people who get famous don't let it get to their head just like Mantz did with me and many fans I'm sure. But is I want to talk about highlights, there are other details of my whole trip that I can mention, for one I got to attend the event with my brother Diego who volunteered and hung out with me after every shift. Another great moment was when I met the lovable Moose, a local who goes every year for the autographs and got to take a picture with Chadwick Boseman. During a few breaks I got while working, I decided to spend time with him and got to meet a great human being who was one of the nicest people I met. 

For next year, I will try to get a badge for sure, either as a professional or press so I can cover more details of the event for this website. I do believe that we qualify to get in there without a problem, we'll do everything we can to get the full experience of the Con. But as a first time, I really can't complain about everything I saw. And the best part of it was that I got to hang out with some very nice people, both staff, and attendees. Let's hope next year increases my love for the experience. 

 Picture taken from Moose Polk's Facebook page

Picture taken from Moose Polk's Facebook page

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.

Enchanted Forest Gathering is here!

By John Karlo Torres

The time has arrived, one year since I last covered Enchanted Forest and things are looking pretty sweet for 2017. There are some new additions to this year's gathering and I am stoked to experience the magic first hand. If you are heading out to Laytonville this year, be prepared for some cooler weather and rain, a different experience from last year's crazy hot days. Make sure to bust out the fuzzy jackets and the leggings for a comfortable, dance all night, play all day time. 

Full-Service Hookah Lounge

I was fortunate to learn about a ton of new amazing artist last year and 2017 has a lot to offer with four incredible stages of music: The Grove, The Knoll, The Saucy Spa, and the Lazy River. In case you missed the news, this will be Tipper's only California, Nevada, Oregon appearance in 2017! Below is the full music schedule:

LOLounge

Part of The Emerald Forest, a new zone sponsored by CannaCraft

 

Enchanted Forest Gathering is one of the best, intimate, magical festivals I have attended and has an incredible amount to offer in dance, yoga, flow classes, workshops, and now comedy. Check out last year's coverage piece here

Check out our Instagram for photos this weekend!

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.

CRSSD FESTIVAL 2017 Spring

CRSSD Festival, which is held twice a year at the iconic Waterfront Park in San Diego, has done it again. This year, CRSSD's metamorphosis seems complete - The event has matured. The lineup, sound quality, party goers and vibes can easily put it on the map with top festivals in the U.S. and our neighbors across the pond. 

Friday night was blessed with good weather and better music. Recondite sailed us through an electronic ocean. Tiny highs and lows lifted the crowd up and gently let us down. Then when it was time to move, timely drops hit your body like bursts of wind. 2MANYDJS carried this pace, but with higher energy and quicker transitions. Duke Demont made an appearance, but his set lacked energy. This could be due to the fact that they always seem to turn the volume down on the main stage after 9 pm, which is unfortunate because it is the largest space by far.

All of the normal accessories were readily available at CRSDD. There was a great selection of craft beers and food options as well as chill out areas. If CRSSD keeps reproducing events of this caliber, San Diego will soon have a world class festival on its hands.

 

After Saturday night at CRSSD Fest, the expectation for Sunday was low to be quite honest. I decided to start off at around 3:30 and immediately made my way to the first alcohol booth. After the first drink of the day took the edge off, I was ready to start absorbing the music. 

Sunday seemed to be much more packed and the lines were long. The first act I soaked in was Dusky, who was at the main stage and did a standard live set at what also happens to be my least favorite stage. The party started to pick up back at the City Steps stage where Cassy dropped a sick set of deep house. After she killed it for an hour it flowed seamlessly into Seth Troxler and Eats Everything who tag teamed to perform a back to back set.  

 

This back to back set was super deep at times and also super spacey, leaving me feeling thirsty for more beer.  This also happens to the moment where, for some reason, i was constantly double fisting whiskey and beer and smoking a doobie. My feet couldn't stop moving, because on top of the drugs and alcohol, the music was intoxicatingly addictive and forced my body to feel the beat. After the back to back set was over,  I accidentally made my way to the Flume show at the main stage. My original intention was to catch Claude Vonstroke, but of course nothing ever goes as planned. 

Not only was Flume one of the best shows at CRSSD, but it totally blew away a previous performance I had seen of him years ago. Flume dropped a diverse set of songs and sounds ranging from trap to techno and then back to a tripped out version of RL Grime. He mixed some songs and played some live electronic sounds that kept me on his wave of momentum and energy.  At 10 pm sharp the music ended abruptly and left the thousands in the crowd sad as hell. Satisfied but unfulfilled was the feeling I was left with. There was so much great music but the event ends too early, rolling into the night, anticipating and hoping next year will be just as amazing.

Envision Festival 2017

 Photo by: Aaron Correa

Photo by: Aaron Correa

23-26 FEBRUARY 2017, COSTA RICA

By John Karlo Torres

Let me begin by stating that the simple act of writing this piece, is setting in that Envision is over. A reality that I am not yet willing to accept because who the fuck wants to leave Costa Rica and all its magic? Help me by keeping the energy alive and envisioning the journey through this beautiful Costa Rican jungle by the beach. 

For most, Envision festival begins long before actually passing through the entrance gate. Participants came from all over the world, even the most remote islands you didn't know existed. Traveling to another country to experience a festival is a truly special experience. I stepped out of work in San Francisco on a Tuesday with my backpack on to find rain, cold, and busy streets and ended up in San Jose, Costa Rica on Wednesday to heat, humidity, and Spanish language tongues. This complete shift in environment really took this experience to another level and I was stoked to leave the rain behind. If you have any reservations about going to Envision because of the travel, just stop. Costa Rica is an incredible country and Envision is the best excuse to explore this magical land. The travel was part of all the fun and I had some pretty cool highlights along the way. 

Envision sits upon 8 pillars, all working together to create a unique festival experience. The pillars are: Permaculture, Spirituality, Movement, Art, Music, Community, Health, and Ecobuilding. I will touch just a tad on some of the pillars and what influenced my journey. 

PERMACULTURE

jacob avanzato-ef-2-22-2017-2767.jpg

"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature" - Bill Mollison. Aside from the many spoken workshops available whose topics touch the ideas of permaculture, some tangible examples really caught my attention. 

  • Community Carbon Trees gave you a chance to plant new baby trees around the festival grounds to foster new growth and future life.
  • There were no disposable plates or utensils with any of the food vendors or various drink booths. Envision is a Reusables Only event and if you didn't happen to lug around your own reusable dish ware, you could rent a plate for $3 and get a ticket to reuse and reuse over and over again. 

Nature was everywhere and the integration of the village into the landscape was breathtaking. Hands down my favorite festival space I have attended and nothing beats the amazing ocean cove Envision sits upon. 

SPIRITUALITY

 Photo by: Jacob Avanzato

Photo by: Jacob Avanzato

Spirituality looks and feels differently for everyone. I personally started my journey to Envision with an intention of spiritual grounding and healing. My life and mind were moving like a derailed freight train and I needed a well overdue reset. 

  • The incredible nature surrounding you at every moment is power enough to connect with your spirit. Being submersed in the jungle, connecting your bare feet to the earth, and smelling the ocean remind you how important this connection is to our well-being. 
  • The Healing Sanctuary was an area where you could take a breather and rest your mind and body. From Village Witches workshops, herbal elixir bars, to Temple of the Moon, Sun, and Earth, if you needed some healing, you were in the right place. If you are more into a light-weight spiritual touch, the yoga and meditation available during sunlit hours was top notch.

MOVEMENT

 Photo by: Aaron Correa

Photo by: Aaron Correa

Many of the pillars start to crisscross with one another like a beautiful knitted blanket. Movement touched almost every aspect of life at Envision. Walking around the village all day, dancing until the sun came up, soothing your tired body with restorative yoga to swimming in the beautiful ocean, movement was alive. For the first time in a long time, my whole body was sore by the end of the festival and I loved every ache of it. If somehow you go to Envision and manage to sit on your ass all day, that is straight dedication to relaxation. 

COMMUNITY

 Photo by:  Eric Allen Photo

Photo by: Eric Allen Photo

The festival this year probably had around 4,000 participants. It was a pretty large space and I did not feel remotely crowded at all. I can get sort of anxious when shit gets sardine-like but the participant count this year was perfect for me. There were people from all over the world and a cute little map where you could pin your homeland. The community was beautiful, so many healthy, loving bodies and smiles all as diverse as the biodiversity of the jungle itself. A lot if not most of the food vendors were from Costa Rica and it seemed like the local community was definitely involved in many ways. Being a native Spanish speaker, all of the Spanish being thrown around really pulled on my heart strings. <3

MUSIC

 Photo by:&nbsp; Eric Allen Photo

Photo by: Eric Allen Photo

I think it is a given that a highlight of any festival is the music. Envision had four stages to shake the sand off your half-naked body or help you get all heated up to the point you wanted to take a deep dip in the perfect ocean. Village, Lapa, and Sol stages all provided great dancey times but BY FAR my favorite stage was the Luna Stage, The Reliquarium created magic. The entire area was beautiful and the stage felt like home. Music was alive and well on-stage and off. People gathered at the beach for daily drum circles, the Healing Sanctuary offered sound healing services and workshops, and the birds and monkeys rounded out the atmospheric ambiance. The best thing about my musical experience at Envision was staying up all night Saturday and Sunday to watch the sunrise and listen to amazing artist. Overall Highlights were Rising Appalachia, Random Rab, Ott., Dragonfly, Dreamers Delight, and an insane set by Clozee. I did not attend Envision for the music lineup but it was an unforgettable treat. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be returning to Envision for many reasons but the music had me up all night with ZER0 drugs. Check out Dragonfly and Clozee, absolutely killed it.  

Filmed & Edited by Remington Wilcox

HEALTH

I was most interested in this pillar before attending Envision and post-journey I was extremely satisfied with the thought put into prioritizing health at the festival. Due to a wasp bite and a killer sun burn I stepped into the free Herbal Clinic and was blown away, a FUCKING FREE HERBAL CLINIC! I was welcomed by enormous smiles and healing hearts each and every time. I am already a big botanical freak and use herbs on the daily so this space really did it for me. Whether you felt physically ill, were a sad panda, or burned your sexy body to a crisp, this free herbal clinic had just the right remedy. Did you know tobacco pulls poison out of wounds?! Seriously though, visit your local Apothecary when you don't feel good, it's straight up magic. 

I ate all my meals in the village and the food was great. Vegan, gluten-free, meat-eater, ant-eater, greens lover, ceviche addict, food hoarder, I mean all the options for every palate. You never know what to expect when it comes to food but I sampled a ton of vendors and was never disappointed. 

I really wanted to participate in healing at Envision and the Healing Sanctuary was everything I wanted for a much needed recharge. It was important for me to support the healing body workers and learn more about the different practices. 

MASSAGE THERAPY

 Matt Abrams

Matt Abrams

I was fortunate enough to schedule a deep tissue massage with Matt Abrams and let me tell you, getting a massage in the middle of the jungle is glorious! Matt was super sweet and my muscles were blissfully healed after our session. The hot, humid environment really makes for great massage work. The best part is that I ran into Matt later in the festival at the Luna Stage and it just solidified what a community Envision can really be. 

AYURVEDA HEALING

 Susan Melina

Susan Melina

Another healing session I had was with Ayurvedic Practitioner Susan Melina, a wonderful practitioner currently based out of California. This was my first ever Ayurvedic consultation and it completely impacted me, especially post festival. Spiritually this session was absolutely necessary, it affirmed a lot of things I was feeling and shed new light on how to balance my life. We shared a powerful moment and I definitely cried during our session. I also fell in love with Sooz the moment we bonded over our excitement for Clozee and watching Random Rab's sunrise set. Ayurveda is a pretty awesome science of life and quite honestly felt like magic. 

A TASTE OF ENVISION