SATURDAY (2/4/17): “THIS ONE IS 4 DILLA” w/ DJ SPINNA, SHORTKUT, MR. E, & MORE AT THE MEZZANINE SF!

It’s that time again….February is Dilla Month; that means we’re celebrating the life & music of the legendary James Yancey aka J.Dilla.

Starting it off in San Francisco on Saturday, February 4th is the “This One Is 4 Dilla” party w/ Dj Spinna, our very own Shortkut, Papalote Soundsystem’s Mr. E, Dj Haylow, & Dj Platurn. Hosted by Fran Boogie, Randall Rufino, & Carey Koop.  All happening at the Mezzanine.  This event always sells out so come EARLY! For more info/tix: tickets @ eventbrite.com

 

RECOMMENDED EVENT: THURS (2/2/17): GOOD SPORT & KOREATOWN PRESENTS “JUICE” AT THE REGENT THEATRE LA

Here’s an event we recommend if you live in the Los Angeles area & if you want to hear progressive good music & enjoy good vibes!
“The Juice is a party series  based out of Los Angeles started by Good Sport Creative and Koreatown  The events sole purpose is to serve as the intersection for like-minded individuals to congregate and collaborate within a cohesive and progressive ambiance. Our concept originates from the desire of re- estabilishing the “FUN” back to the Los Angeles culture/event scene and wash away all preconceived notions of the Hollywood life. On Thursday feb. 2nd The Juice hit the regent for its biggest event so far!”
Details:
February 2nd 2017
The Regent
448 S. Main Street  Los Angeles, CA
8pmGet Tickets Here | 18+
$10 Advance | $15 at Door
The Line-Up:
A short Live performance by:

SATURDAY (7/23/16): LOW END THEORY FESTIVAL AT THE SHRINE!

SATURDAY (JULY 23RD) is the 3rd Annual Low End Theory Festival at The Shrine in Los Angeles. This year’s line up is an All-Star Line Up: Ghostface & Raekwon, Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Mixed By Ali, Daedelus, Ras G, Jon Wayne & many more. Plus Low End Theory’s residents: Daddy Kev, Gaslamp Killer, Dj Nobody, & our very own D-Styles. For more info & tickets: www.axs.com

let set times

TONIGHT (7/8/16): J.ROCC AT THE NECTAR LOUNGE – SEATTLE

Tonight (July 8th) the Funky President J.Rocc will be at The Nectar Lounge in Downtown Seattle with residents Dj Blueyed Soul & Dj Swervewon. For more info & tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/j-rocc-with-blueyed-soul-dj-swervewon-tickets-25707263116?aff=ebapi 

Come start off your weekend at The Nectar Lounge!

TONIGHT (6/30/16): THE 45 SESSIONS w/ PRINCE PAUL

Tonight (June 30) is a special The 45 Sessions event. Their special guest, the legendary Dj Prince Paul (Stetsasonic/De La Soul/Gravediggaz/Handsome Boy Modeling School/Dirty Disco Squares) along with residents Dj Platurn, Mr. E, & our very own Shortkut.  Hosted by Fran Boogie.  All happening at The Uptown in Oakland.  For more info & tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/45-sessions-presents-prince-paul-tickets-26000321662  This is event that you do not want to miss!

TONIGHT (6/24/16): KUT UP FRIDAYS w/ SHORTKUT + special guest: DJ UMAMI at THE ROCK STEADY

Tonight (June 24th) is a presentation of Kut Up Fridays at The Rock Steady in Downtown Oakland with our very own Shortkut as the resident DJ along with Le’ Swindle plus special guest Dj Umami. Come start off your weekend for a FREE night of dope music & fresh vibes!

SAT. (6/18/16) – THE CONTAINER YARD 2 YR ANNIVERSARY w/ THE BEAT JUNKIES

Saturday (June 18th) is a double duty for the Junkies….the 2ND event that’s going down is the Container Yard 2 Year Anniversary, of course, at the Container Yard in Downtown LA. Reppin the crew will be Dj Babu, D-Styles, & Melo-D plus opening set by Dj Bella Fiasco.  It’s a 21 & over event from 6-11pm. Enjoy some good Food, Arts, & Music at The Container Yard. For more info & tickets, go to www.thecontaineryard.com/shop/tcy2

FRIDAY (6/17/16) – “SLEEPLESS” at WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL w/ DJ BABU, DJ EXPO, EXILE, INKA ONE, & MORE!

Friday (June 17th), our very own Dj Babu will be spinning a set at the Walt Disney Concert Hall special event called “Sleepless”. He will be joining Dj Expo, Exile, Monalisa, Dj Jedi, Inka 1 & many more. It’s happening from 11pm to 3am. Presale tickets are available on the day off starting at 10pm.  Don’t miss this nocturnal dance party event!

TODAY (6/11/16): STONES THROW BY THE POOL AT THE LINE HOTEL!

Stones Throw is starting a weekly pool party at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles, Saturdays, 1-6 PM through summer 2016. There’s different DJ’s every week. Come by and find out who (a Beat Junkie is scheduled to be at one of these).

June 4, 11, 25 / July 2, 9, 23, 30 / August 6, 20

This event is free for hotel guests no RSVP necessary. RSVP is required for non-hotel guests. Guests with “Attending” RSVP are guaranteed entry until 2pm. At 2pm guests with “Wait Listed” RSVP are allowed entry that is subject to capacity.
stonesthrowbythepool2.splashthat.com

The Line Hotel, 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90010

TONIGHT (6/11/16): DOWNTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT w/ JACE ONE, ICY ICE, & SCETCH

Tonight (June 11th), join Jace One, our very own Icy Ice, & Dj Scetch at Downtown Saturday Night. They’ll be playing Hip Hop, Reggae, & Dancehall all night long.  All happening at the Justice Urban Tavern in Downtown Los Angeles. Make sure to check it out!

TONIGHT & SAT (6/3/16 – 6/4/16): THE INVISIBL SKRATCH PIKLZ LIVE AT THE X-GAMEST

Tonight (June 3rd) & tomorrow (June 4th), the legendary Invisibl Skratch Piklz will be peforming at the X-Games in Austin, Texas. Q-Bert, Mixmaster Mike, D-Styles, & Shortkut will be at the Intel Tent inside the Circuit Of The Americas.  Don’t miss this incredible event. For more info: www.thudrumble.com

SATURDAY (6/4/16): BLAZE N GLORY MUSIC FESTIVAL w/ NAS, ATMOSPHERE, DILATED PEOPLES & MORE!

This Saturday (June 4th) is the Blaze N Glory Music Festival at the San Manuel Amphitheatre in San Bernadino, Ca. An all star line up gracing 2 stages: Nas, Atmosphere, Dilated Peoples, Common Kings, Stephen “Ragga” Marley & many more! For more info & tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.com/Blaze-n-Glory-Festival-tickets/artist/2088165

TONIGHT (6/2/16): STONES THROW 20TH ANNIVERSARY w/ PEANUT BUTTER WOLF & J.ROCC AT EMPTY BOTTLE – CHICAGO

Tonight (June 2nd) Stones Throw Records is continuing their 20th Anniversary Celebration Tour with Peanut Butter Wolf, J.Rocc, SamIyam, & Mndsgn.  All happening at The Empty Bottle in Chicago. Definitely don’t sleep on this!

SATURDAY (6/4/16): BOOMBOX w/ MR. CHOC & FREE THE ROBOTS!

This Saturday (June 4th) is the another installment of one of LA’s longest running Hip Hop dance party “The Boombox” with residents Dj Inka One, Dj Ben Diggin, & Dj Analog. Their special guests this month is our very own Mr. Choc (Beat Junkies) & Free The Robots. All happening at The Grand Star Jazz Club in Chinatown (Downtown Los Angeles). Definitely don’t sleep on this!

TONIGHT (6/1/16): THE DJ AM DOCUMENTARY “AS I AM” POP UP PARTY AT THE GHOST BAR – LAS VEGAS

Tonight (June 1st) at the Ghost Bar inside The Palms in Las Vegas, is the official afterparty for the DJ AM Documentary “As I AM”. Featuring DJ sets by our very own DJ Melo-D, Dj Scene, Dj Fashen, Dj Spider, Dj Mighty Mi, Dj 88, Dj Dig Dug & many more.  Hosted by Jonathan Schecter.  Come thru & celebrate the life & times of the legendary Dj AM. For more info: www.djamdoc.com

FRIDAY (4/29/16): THE BEAT JUNKIES PRESENTS “LIVE AND DIRECT” AT THE WELL IN DWNTWN LA

Friday, April 29th….The Beat Junkies are doing a special one off party in Downtown LA called “Live & Direct”. Babu, D-Styles, J.Rocc, Melo-D, & Rhettmatic will be throwin down on the decks plus some special guests might come thru.  All happening at The Well. Doors from 10pm-2am. Donations $10. Los Angeles, come thru & get down with the Beat Junkie Sound!

FRIDAY (4/22/16) & SAT (4/23/16): DILATED PEOPLES AT THE OBSERVATORY OC & SAN DIEGO!

Friday & Saturday (April 22nd & 23rd), Dilated Peoples will be performing at The Observatory both in Orange County & San Diego, CA this past November. Make sure to check out Rakaa, Evidence, & Dj Babu at these shows! All Ages, Tix: $10. Don’t miss this dope Hip Hop show…one of the best groups to do it!

TONIGHT (4/18/16): MOTOWN ON MONDAYS LBC AT THE FEDERAL BAR LONG BEACH

Tonight (April 18th), once again it is another installment of Motown On Mondays LBC on Sunday at The Federal Bar in Downtown Long Beach with residents Dj Icy Ice, Dj Phatrick, Dj Sloepoke, Dj Dubs One & more. If you love classic Motown music, this is a perfect way to start off your week!

TONIGHT (4/15/16): THE LAST MIGHTY SF PARTY w/ DJ MASEO & DJ SHORTKUT!

Tonight (April 15) is the Last Hip Hop Party at Mighty SF. Yes, people….it’s the really the finale at The Mighty SF. The venue has taken new ownership and will be going through some changes. This is our very own Shortkut‘s Bay Area Residency for the last 7 Years….so to go out with a bang, he brought our big brother, Dj Maseo aka Plug 3 aka Vinny Merlot of the legendary De La Soul to rock a 2×4 set with him all night, plus opening set by Papalote HiFi‘s own Mr. E & the one & only Fran Boogie handling the mic duties! For tickets, go to eventbrite.com. You won’t wanna’ miss this! Shoutouts to Derek Hana & Carey Kopp for their time & service to the Bay Area Music Community!

TONIGHT (4/15/16): THE ART OF STORYTELLIN’ w/ SAKE 1 & MR. CHOC AT THE ECHO!

Tonight (April 15th), it’s the 2nd installment of The Art Of Storytellin’ (A Tribute to Outkast) at The Echo in Los Angeles with Dj Sake 1 & our very own Mr. Choc. Brought to you by the good folks from Footlong Development. This is the place to be if you want to hear all your favorite classic Outkast joints & more.  For more info: www.footlongdevelopment.com

TONIGHT (4.1.16): TRIPLE THREAT GRAND FINALE AT MIGHTY SF

Tonight (April 1st) is the Triple Threat Grand Finale at Mighty SF. Yes, people….it’s the last Triple Threat DJs’ Residency at Mighty San Francisco.The venue has taken new ownership and will be going through some changes. So to celebrate their 7 year residency, Dj Apollo, Vin-Roc, Shortkut, & Fran Boogie have decided to go out with a bang!! RSVP on eventbrite.com for NO COVER before 11pm and OPEN BAR from 9-10pm! You won’t wanna’ miss this! Shoutouts to Derek Hana & Carey Kopp for their time & service to the Bay Area Music Community!

TONIGHT (3.31.16): REUNION 6 YR ANNIVERSARY & FAREWELL PARTY w/ DJ DAY, J.ROCC, DJ EXILE, & MANY MORE!

Tonight (March 31st) is a special edition of Dj Day‘s “Reunion” Party in Palm Springs.  It is bittersweet because Day is celebrating his 6 Year Anniversary, and it is the last Reunion Party ever.  For this event, he’s bringing out the big guns: J.Rocc, Thee Mike B, Dj Exile, Aimlo, Dj Expo, & Jeremy Sole.  Hosted by the one & only Aloe Blacc.  All happening at the Amigo Room inside the Ace Hotel & Swim Room in Palm Springs.  This is a dance party that you do not want to miss out on.  Thank you Dj Day for all your work & contribution to our culture!  Salute!  #DirtyScience

TONIGHT (3.25.16): DEVIATION SF w/ BENJI B, J.ROCC, MOODYMAN, ERYKAH BADU, GEO-LOGY, & MORE!

TONIGHT! (March 25th) at 1015 Folsom in San Frnacisco, is the worldy popular dance party from the UK, Deviation with host & main currator, BBC‘s own Benji B.  He’s sharing the bill with the likes of our very own J.Rocc, The Moodyman, Erykah Badu, Ge-ology, & more.  This is the spot to be in the San Francisco area for the Easter Weekend.

SATURDAY (3.26.16): ABRA CA DABS MUSIC FESTIVAL w/ DILATED PEOPLES, THE VISIONARIES & MORE!

Saturday (March 26th) is the Abra Ca Dabs Festival at the San Bernadino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, CA. With performances by Dilated Peoples, The Visionaries, Awol One, & many more.  For more info: www.abracadabsfestival.com

“Unifying our community thru music, arts, & concentrates”

SATURDAY (3.19.16): STONES THROW SXSW SHOWCASE w/ PEANUT BUTTER WOLF, J.ROCC, KARRIEM RIGGINS, NX WORRIES & MORE

This Saturday (March 19th), the Stones Throw crew will be doing a special showcase at SXSW in Austin, Tx. Head honcho Peanut Butter Wolf, our very own J.Rocc, the incredible Karriem Riggins, the dynamic duo of Anderson.Paak & Knxwledge aka NX Worries & many more will be performing at The Empire Control Room & Garage.  For more info: http://www.stonesthrow.com/news/2016/03/sxsw-2016

FRIDAY, MARCH 18TH: THE WEDDING MIXER 3 w/ RHETTMATIC & MAD SKILLZ AT THE ECHO

This Friday (March 18th), DJ Rhettmatic & Mad Skillz return with another epic edition of The Wedding Mixer, brought to you by Footlong Development!

What initially began as a request to DJ a wedding, then became a mixtape affectionately called the Wedding Mixer, has now become a party. Please join Rhett as lays down all the classic 70’s, 80’s & 90’s party joints on some “grown folk” steeze.. He’s intent on challenging himself to spin a set in the same vein as his Wedding Mixer mixtapes.  All happening at The Echo in Los Angeles.

Purchase presale tickets either at Amoeba Hollywood or www.footlongdevelopment.com

TONIGHT (3.10.16): CHALI2NA & THE HOUSE OF VIBES + DJ ICY ICE & TOQUAN THE MC at THE FEDERAL BAR

Tonight (March 10th), Jurassic 5‘s very own Chali2na & his band, The House Of Vibe, are performing live at the Federal Underground aka the Federal Bar in Long Beach, along with our very own DJ Icy Ice + Toquan The MC. For some good live Hip Hop Vibes in Long Beach, this is the place to be!

TONIGHT (3.5.16): DJ MR. E PRESENTS “WORD” w/ special guest DJ SHORTKUT

Tonight (March 5th), Papalote Hi Fi‘s own Dj Mr. E presents “Word”, an 80’s & 90’s night with resident Dj Umami, and special guest, our very own Dj Shortkut. Hosted by Fran Boogie.  All happening at The Parliament in Oakland.  Bay Area, if you want to get your groove on to the classics, this is the place to be.

TONIGHT (3.3.16): HODGE PODGE w/ ETHIO CALI, RHETTMATIC, MARK DE CLIVE LOWE, & MORE

Tonight (March 3rd) is a special event called “Hodge Podge” in honor of celebrating one of LA’s respected musician’s birthday, trumpeter Todd Simon.  LA’s talented DJs & Musicians such as Mark De Clive Lowe, Jeremy Sole, members of Buyepongo, our very own Rhettmatic, & many others will be joining Todd & his band Ethio Cali on a musical jam session.  All happening at The General Lee in Chinatown (DTLA) and it’s FREE ALL NIGHT. Come thru & enjoy a night with Los Angeles’ talented music community!

TONIGHT (2.25.16): LAST THURSDAYS WITH THE BEAT JUNKIES AT POT LOBBY BAR (KOREATOWN)

Tonight (February 25th) is Last Thursdays With The Beat Junkies at The Pot Lobby Bar in Koreatown (Los Angeles).   It’s FREE from 9pm to 1am and it’s every last Thursday of each month….Come vibe with the Junkies  as they will dropping some dope tunes for you to enjoy! Shoutouts to our boy Chef Roy Choi!

TONIGHT (2.22.16): MOTOWN ON MONDAYS LBC w/ DJ ICY ICE, DJ SLOEPOKE, DJ PHATRICK & MORE

Tonight (February 22nd) is another installment of Motown On Mondays LBC on Sunday at The Federal Bar in Downtown Long Beach with residents Dj Icy Ice, Dj Phatrick, Dj Sloepoke, Dj Dubs One & more.  If you love classic Motown music, this is a perfect way to start off your week!

TONIGHT (2.22.16): MOTOWN ON MONDAYS SEATTLE w/ special guest: DJ SHORTKUT

Tonight (February 22nd), our very own Dj Shortkut will be doing a special guest set at Motown On Mondays Seattle at Bar End with residents Djs: Supreme La Rock & Dj 100Proof. For some serious get down with the Motown Sound, this is the place to be. Shoutouts to all the Motown On Mondays Massive Nationwide!

TONIGHT (2.15.16): MOTOWN ON MONDAYS LBC – “VALENTINE’S DAY HANGOVER”

Tonight (February 15th) is another installment of Motown On Mondays LBC on Sunday at The Federal Bar in Downtown Long Beach with residents Dj Icy Ice, Dj Phatrick, Dj Sloepoke, Dj Dubs One & more.  Come celebrate President’s Day & the day after Valentine’s Day with the crew. If you love classic Motown music, this is a perfect way to start off your week!

TONIGHT (2/6/16): J DILLA TRIBUTES IN SF & LA w/ J.ROCC, SHORTKUT, & RHETTMATIC

Tonight (February 6th), during the Superbowl Weekend, it’s Dilla Weekend in both San Francisco & Los Angeles to celebrate 10 years of life & music of our fallen brother, J Dilla.

First one, the Funky President J.Rocc & Shortkut will be throwing down at Mighty in San Francisco in honor of Dilla, along with Mr. E, Dj Haylow, & hosted by Fran Boogie. Bay Area, you don’t want to miss this.

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Also tonight in Los Angeles, Rhettmatic will be doing a special set at the 9th Annual “Doin It For Dilla” at Boombox with residents Inka One, Ben Diggin, & Dj Analog. All happening at The Grand Star Jazz Club.

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Wherever you are in the world, put one up for the one James Yancey aka J Dilla….one of the greatest music producer of our time!

 

TONIGHT (2.4.16): AYCD (J.DILLA EDITION) w/ J.ROCC & MR. CHOC

TONIGHT (February 4th) is another installment of “All You Can Dance” w/ J.Rocc & Black Mr. Choc at Del Monte Speakeasyin Venice, CA.  It’s DILLA MONTH so you know it’s going down tonight! It’s every 1st Thursdays of each month.  This is the spot to be to get your dance on in honor of J.Dilla …..Don’t Sleep!

 

TONIGHT (2.1.16): MOTOWN ON MONDAYS LA w/ DJ SLOEPOKE & DJ PHATRICK + special guests DJ ICY ICE & DJ JEFF CEE

Tonight (February 1st) is another installment of Motown On Mondays LA on Sunday at The Short Stop in Los Angeles with residents Dj Sloepoke, Dj Phatrick + special guests: Motown On Mondays LBC‘s own Dj Icy Ice & Jeff Cee.  If you love classic Motown music, this is a perfect way to start off your week!

10 SURESHOT WAYS TO GET HEARD BY WHO YOU WANT.

Step 1. Don’t be MeekMill or Stacey Dash. (joking)

These days, the internet has become one of the most instrumental, and sometimes detrimental building blocks for success. Although a big obstacle for many is learning how to navigate the landscape and figuring out the most effective methods of getting what you want, to who you want with the least amount of resistance for the lowest cost and the fastest, whew… Sounds like fun, right? At least, the ever-changing environment of what channels we use to distribute our content keeps things fresh, and requires us to be aware of new platforms to quickly adapt to for that ‘edge’ being first to: myspace>facebook>tumblr>soundcloud>twitter>bandcamp>instagram>snapchat>?????  –  After years of blogging, consulting, doing PR and producing events – I still have to keep my finger on the pulse of most outlets in order to know what’s best for the artists and brands that I work with and represent. That said, I’m going to share some advice below that should assist you in reaching the goals mentioned above as the title of this is how to get heard by who you want, which is synonymous w/getting what you want.

1. Ethics & Integrity – Are fundamental and part of the basics to this whole thing. Think about the impressions you leave with people, whether that be communicated via email, in person, or even on social media. Your online persona could be just your ‘way of expressing yourself’ or feel more vocal about things, but you have to remember that it’s all a reflection of you. Much like recording over someones production without asking permission from the original producer or creating a remix to something then pushing it as if it was requested just to ride the wave of the popular artist who’s original song is getting play. Common sense plays a big role in a lot of this, but if I have to explain that then I’m wasting your time and my own. Try your best to maintain artistic integrity – if an opportunity arises that doesn’t change the alignment of your direction, branding, presentation and fabric that holds your product unique. by all means – go for it. Although, on the b-side if you’ve got wavering ethics or conceptual integrity it can be seen from a mile away and that may prevent some people from connecting with you on a business or personal level alongside turning your audience away because you weren’t true to what you might do or say. ex: The hip-hop head who starts to experiment with other genres (Which is completely fine) or worse, the hypocrite who outs themselves on and off record.

2. Trim The Fat – Keep correspondence short, nobody needs your life story. From your bio to your press kit, to your messages for collaboration or even attempts to volunteer or get involved with things bigger than yourself. KISS ( keep it simple, stupid ) being short and straight-forward in correspondence and requests will make it easier for the recipients to respond quickly in a similar manner. No means no, but months or years later could mean yes. As long as you keep it short.

3. No More Parties In LA – LA and NY are meccas of culture, entertainment, fashion, music and art. People come here on a 30-day to make it plan and either burn through everything they have and go back home or they make moves strategically and do things right so they can live off of their craft almost immediately. Then there’s the 9-5’er or freelancer who supplements their income with a balance til they are doing what they love full-time. Anyway you cut it, I think another important part of getting heard by the right people ( or at least, who you want to listen ) does require the legwork of going out and networking. There are several websites that will tell you what’s going on in your city at any given moment, and each one is a gateway drug to more events, much like flyergum that ends up on your mirror/dash after a party… I’m not suggesting you street perform or start soliciting people while you barista or wait tables. On the contrary, I do tell people to create a calendar of events that they go to each month that are beneficial to what they are doing and where they are trying to go. There’s so many different groups and demographics of people to reach, and you only have so much time and money to do such. Going out on a decently consistent basis allows you to see performance spaces and other shows in which you’ll potentially be interested in performing at, gain inspiration from and again – spread your art among the masses.  You can drop your music with event coordinators, promoters, venue owners, talent bookers, deejays, and other people of potential importance when you’re checking out the nightlife as well.

4. Sampling – If you’re seeking placement or licensing situations, be smart about your sample usage. Unless you have the money to pay for clearance, most of the time that amazing track of yours is going to require a lot of additional work and money to have actual use. It sucks, but it’s part of the game and a very expensive, time consuming one at that. Try to create original compositions so your work is original and has more flexibility, thus allowing you more opportunities in where it can take you. Otherwise, seek the originators of that music, request permission to repurpose their work and who knows – you may not only get their approval but several additional stems and pieces to work with. Dare I say, sometimes it works out that if they like what you put out there, you can collaborate with them on an official level because of a mutual respect or interest. There’s no better feeling then after years of trying to work with a certain someone, them finally responding to you and inviting you to meet up and build. Most of the guys and girls I’ve wanted to work with almost 10 years ago, I’ve now done shows or projects with and consider friends today.

5. Presentation & Packaging – If it looks like garbage, and smells like garbage, it might possibly be garbage, or at least that’s the place it will end up if your presentation isn’t on point. The easiest way I’ve found to clean up your presentation is working with a designer who’s actually into what you create. Someone who would be excited, and benefit from working with you and creating for you. I can’t even count on both hands and feet how many designs I’ve done for free that I call “portfolio” to make myself feel better about not being compensated for them, only to have them start hiring me when their money was right. It was all original work for artists who I believed in, and little did I know would be moving mountains several years later and remember my efforts in supporting them. This is a good reminder of how things you do in the past, can help you in the future. Working with the same people creates a good synergy, relationship and creates consistency in your branding. If everyone’s on the same page, you’ll gain some form of identity from this and it’ll benefit you tenfold as opposed to hopping around with every photographer, video guy, designer and stylist you meet. Last note on this, keep in mind what I said about trimming the fat, because this also applies to overproducing or going too-minimal with your work (whether art or music). There is a happy middle ground which you should hopefully reach.

6. Submissions – Unless it’s a very small mb file, do not attach files to emails that you’re sending out to labels, blogs, promoters and more. Nothing is worse then being on the receiving end and finding out someone just left an elephant on your doorstep that you didn’t ask for and now you’ve gotta call up a moving company, wasting time and money to move it so your important packages can arrive. Always be mindful of your recipient, this includes how many paragraphs that will be ignored inside of your email. You’ll have a higher success rate on having your hail mary passes reach the end zone if you consolidate and simplify what you’re trying to say. If the goal is to just have someone hear your music on the other end, make it as easily accessible as possible – no download links, no attachments, god forbid you have to sign-up to some new service to get to it.  Just simply upload it on a platform where the person clicks once, doesn’t need to be logged in, and they end up at the file with a functional Play & Stop button with volume control and leave the rest in their hands. It’s really that easy, and if you’re not getting a response from said bloggers, editors and more – they are either too busy, not interested, or you need to change your approach.

7. Unique Approach – In a perfect world, a great idea or solid product would just fly on its own and create an abundance of wealth and opportunity for the creator of such things so they could reinvest in themselves. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world and everything requires a solid gameplan because there’s levels to this sh*t.  Having a unique approach will definitely help you get what you want as this shows you’ve thought outside of the box, and managed to think differently in how you present yourself, product or service. A few years back I had 2 friends ask me to redo their resumes. I asked them what they wanted to do, why, and what makes them think they are the most suited for the job. Both answered all the questions with confidence and with enough good reasons for me to move forward. Little did they know, if I didn’t feel like it would be sensible, I would’ve told them my opinion and suggested they work with someone else out of respect for their time and my own. One resume was for a new luxurious bespoke cocktail bar opening that would be extremely difficult to get into and had practically a 12 step hiring process. The other was for one of the biggest music festivals worldwide that happens annually in SoCal. For the bartender, we sat down and analyzed all the collateral the bar had released through press and media outlets. We took a screenshot of their menu, names of their drinks, their color schemes, and the overall idea/concept that they were sharing and integrated all of this into a resume. Her resume looked exactly like their menu, and had unique accents and design elements that were deemed clever or witty, ex: instead of where the bars website, address and phone number were, it had her contact information/Website/LinkedIn. She printed this on a thicker resume cardstock similar to a diploma and delivered it to this bar. From the moment they received it, others were called into the room to check it out, surprised and excited to see the efforts put in by this potential candidate to get the job. The story gets deeper, but to summarize – she got the job for being different and unique in her approach. Against hundreds of people trying to get the same position before and after her. It was this, that paved the way for her to stand out and gain the attention of the audience ( getting heard by who you want ).  While the other person I mentioned was applying to Coachella and basically had me create an entire promotional kit with backpack, shirts, stickers, flyers, a poster, lanyard and more all with personalized/flipped-Coachella branding, so instead of any of their details, it had his resume and credentials. This included a flyer with him playing every stage lol… Instead of sending it off to Goldenvoice, he actually ended up taking it with him to an interview in Hollywood, CA for an advertising agency and got hired almost on the spot. I can give a few other examples that I was involved with things like this in music/art etc but I absolutely encourage anyone to push the limit on creative application and distribution of themselves. This includes when you are producing Cassettes, Vinyls, CD’s and more.

8. Working In Reverse – This is sometimes a good process to accomplishing goals, I’ve done this a few times when assembling press kits and reworking resumes. As another example, there was an artist a few years ago that approached me about wanting to get on a festival. I looked at their guidelines for submission, who the headliners were, the openers, the region, and had to work in reverse to tear it all down to step 1 of what would give this girl the best shot at getting picked up for it. I started with the region, where she had already done many shows in the area with some of the biggest names that came into town fitting for her genre of music, so it was easy to make a list of these venues and shows she’s played, alongside the likes of who she performed with. That built value in her potentially bringing more attendees/promotion/ticket buyers to the festival due to familiarity.  I continued to roll down their lists of steps required to get “on” and looked at anything else that would give her an edge when applying. When we worked through all of those, it was a matter of how we served up her introduction email, organized the rest of her content to be most fitting for the acts performing and type of festival (omitting tracks that didn’t make sense or wouldn’t be of interest, and pushing the ones that were/would be instead ). We were even so detailed to change the photos on her press kit out to show a different side and that she’s rocked stages with thousands in the crowd before instead of the smaller venue, intimate, candid shots she had there prior. The list goes on and I’m sure you get the idea, but long story short – she got booked/paid because she had the basics down, but also learned how to tailor her pitch, after deconstructing the event and making a roadmap to reach her intended destination and audience.

9. Good People Are Hard To Find. – From managers, editors, event producers, curators, bloggers, and more. When you find people who genuinely appreciate what you say, do, and the direction you’re going. Don’t fuck up by letting them vanish, and don’t push them away with an ego. Everyone is trying to be the best they can be in their field, and who knows what their long term goals are. Some people you’ll work with from the start of their career and find helping you out a decade later just based on your consistency in being dedicated to your craft and humble in your ways. Others you’ll show a little bit of promise to, they’ll spot it early on and they will ride for you til the wheels fall off opening doors along the way. It may not be fun to weather the storm over and over again, but that persistence and patience pays off most of the time if you aren’t making the same mistakes ( not to mention it helps end the cycles of factory farmed creatives with mass distributed content that’s unhealthy clickbait, fodder and fluff distracting people from actually being productive). Build your team wisely and keep it thorough.

10. Asking. – They say a closed mouth doesn’t get fed, but an open one can potentially get smacked for saying the wrong thing. Be tactful in your choice of words, especially if you don’t know who you’re talking to. I know people who blame being introverted or anti-social to their lack of success in their industry when realistically it’s a matter of them not speaking up and asking for what they want. So instead of getting the help they need or want, they’ll bitch and complain about it (which also, has the same result) until they give up entirely or fall into some mental sickness like depression. Asking questions, gets answers and people like to talk. Don’t be afraid to do some outreach and remember, what’s the worst that can happen, they say no? or there’s no answer? Note, Please & Thank You still work in whatever year it is that you’re reading this article and last but not least. Don’t be an askhole, you’ll never get what you want if you continually ask for advice and then do the opposite, people notice and they remember. Asking is better then assuming, and that it’s better to ask for forgiveness then permission thing is definitely bullshit. That means you ‘assumed” the outcome of your question, and decided to do something because you weren’t strong enough to pose your request properly enough to get the results you desired, that shit is wack.  Learn how to communicate better and you’ll see that most things aren’t as difficult as you think. Lastly, don’t name drop unless that person will vouch for you, it’s not going to give you any points if you’re lying, and if someone like myself decides to do a verification text. “xyz says he knows you, and you’ve worked together, is he cool? ” and the results come back negative, you just blacklisted yourself with 2 people at once…

So that about covers it, I hope you learned something new or found some tips within that will help you reach your goals in whatever it is that you’re aspiring to be or do.

-Spiv

Wanna reach out? 
_________________
Eric Spivak
espiv15@gmail.com
http://www.facebook.com/espivisdope
ig: ericspivak
sc: ericspivak
twt:
 ericspivak
Beat Junkies Record Pool

TONIGHT (1.25.16): MOTOWN ON MONDAYS LBC w/ DJ ICY ICE, DJ PHATRICK, DJ SLOEPOKE, DJ DUBS ONE & MORE

Tonight (January 25th) is another installment of Motown On Mondays LBC on Sunday at The Federal Bar in Downtown Long Beach with residents Dj Icy Ice, Dj Phatrick, Dj Sloepoke, Dj Dubs One & more.  If you love classic Motown music, this is a perfect way to start off your week!

TONIGHT (1.23.16): “DOWNTOWN SOUL” w/ TIFFANY GOUCHE’, LAKIM, RHETTMATIC, COLEMAN, JOYCE WRICE, ORIJANUS, & ANDRES

Tonight (January 23rd), a special one time event called “Downtown Soul” is happening at The Regent in Downtown Los Angeles. With an All-Star Line Up of talented Djs/Producers/Singers gracing the stage playing all types of good music: Tiffany Gouche, Lakim, Rhettmatic, Joyce Wrice, Coleman, Orijanus, & Andres. This is an event that you do not want to miss. For tickets & more info, go to www.soulection.com.

TONIGHT (1.22.16): “DO IT” w/ DJ EXPO & SEAN O + special guest: DJ SHORTKUT

Tonight (January 22nd) during the NAMM Show Weekend, is another installment of “Do It” with residents Dj Expo & Dj Sean O at The Shortstop in Los Angeles. Their tonight’s special guest is our very own Dj Shortkut. Come thru for a night of good music, dancing vibes, & good peoples! All Styles, All Smiles!

TONIGHT (1.17.16): MOTOWN ON MONDAYS LBC – MLK WEEKEND AT THE FEDERAL BAR LBC

Tonight (January 17th) is a special installment of Motown On Mondays LBC on Sunday at The Federal Bar in Downtown Long Beach. It’s a special Dr. Martin Luther King Get Down with residents Dj Icy Ice, Dj Phatrick, Dj Sloepoke, Dj Dubs One & more.  If you love classic Motown music, this is a perfect way to start off your MLK weekend!

TONIGHT (1.7.16): 1ST “AYCD” OF 2016 w/ J.ROCC & BLACK CARLOS aka MR. CHOC.

TONIGHT (January 7th) is another installment of “All You Can Dance” w/ J.Rocc & Black Carlos aka Mr. Choc at Del Monte Speakeasy in Venice, CA.  It’s the first AYCD of 2016 so you know it’s going down tonight! It’s every 1st Thursdays of each month.  This is the spot to be to get your dance on and …..Don’t Sleep!

SATURDAY (1.2.16): “SUPER HANDSOME” w/ DJ DELVE, DJ SSSOLUTION, & DJ JON C + special guest: RHETTMATIC at MANIFEST HONOLULU

Saturday (January 2nd), Rhettmatic will be kicking off his 2016 as a special guest at “Super Handsome” with residents Dj Delve, Dj Sssolution, & Jon C.  All hapening at the Manifest Honolulu in Chinatown, Hawaii. Come thru for a night good music, good vibes, some get down, & some drinks.  What a way to kick off the new year…Aloha!

TONIGHT (12/16/15): RHETTMATIC & MR. CHOC AT THE GETO BABY/CALI KINGS 20 YR ANNIVERSARY

Tonight (December 16th), our very own Rhettmatic & Mr. Choc will be spinning a set at the Geto Baby Record Pool/Cali Kings 20 Year Anniversary Party at The Study in Hollywood. Other prominent DJs will be The Baka Boyz, C-Minus, Dj Ralph M (Funkdoobiest/KDAY Mixmasters), Monalisa, Dj Phyz-Ed, & many more.

Congratulations to Frank Vidal & the Baka Boyz for 20 Years in the music industry.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18TH: DILATED PEOPLES AT THE HOUSE OF BLUES ANAHIEM

Friday (December 18th), Dilated Peoples will be performing at The House Of Blues in Anahiem, CA this past November. With special guests The Step Brothers (w/ Alchemist),Fashawn, & opening DJ set by our very own Mr. Choc. Doors open at 8pm, All Ages, Tix: $25. Don’t miss this dope Hip Hop show, possibly the last one for 2015.

TONIGHT (12/11/15): FLAVORS 8 w/ DJ SPINNA & J.ROCC + opening set by DJ BABU

FOOTLONG DEVELOPMENT & KEISTAR PRODUCTIONS PRESENT
 
FLAVORS 8
THE BEST OF 90S HIP HOP & RNB
DJ SPINNA & J.ROCC
OPENING SET: DJ BABU (Dilated Peoples/Beat Junkies)
HOSTED BY COGNITO
9PM-2AM 21+  $20 DOOR

LMTD $15 ADV TIX: AMOEBA RECORDS &
FOOTLONGDEVELOPMENT.COM

ECHOPLEX
1154 GLENDALE BL.,
LA(ECHO PARK), CA. 90026

TONIGHT (12/3/15): LAST “AYCD” OF 2015 w/ J.ROCC & BLACK CARLOS aka MR. CHOC AT THE DEL MONTE SPEAKEASY

TONIGHT (December 3rd) is another installment of “All You Can Dance” w/ J.Rocc & Black Carlos aka Mr. Choc at Del Monte Speakeasy in Venice, CA. It’s every 1st Thursdays of each month.  This is the spot to be to get your dance on and it’s the last AYCD of 2015…..Don’t Sleep!

 

CUT CHEMIST’S “FUNK OFF” MEGAMIX LIMITED VINYL + DOLLAR RECORD SALE (11/27/15)

Our good friend, the legendary Dj Cut Chemist (Jurassic 5, Ozomatli) will be releasing his French Synth & Drum Machine based music mix called the “Funk Off” on vinyl.  The FUNK OFF MEGAMIX has been pressed to a limited run of only 1,000 vinyl copies with a specially designed foil and embossed jacket. SHIPS 11/27/15.

You can purchased the vinyl here: https://cutchemist.bandcamp.com/album/funk-off-megamix

or on Black Friday (November 27th), you can purchase the vinyl at the Rappcats Black Friday Record Store Day/Cut Chemist’s Funk Off/$1 Record Sale from 12-5pm.  Don’t miss this wonderful chance to get some goodies!

Rappcats
5636 York Blvd.
Los Angeles, Ca.

black-friday-2015-rappcats

TONIGHT (11/25): MOTOWN ON MONDAYS LBC PRE-THANKSGIVING GET DOWN AT THE FEDERAL BAR w/ DJ ICY ICE, DJ SLOEPOKE & MORE

Tonight (November 25th) is a special installment of Motown On Mondays LBC at The Federal Bar in Downtown Long Beach. It’s the Pre-Thanksgiving Gobble Get Down with residents Dj Icy Ice, Dj Phatrick, Dj Sloepoke, Dj Dubs One & more.  If you love classic Motown music, this is a perfect way to start off your Thanksgiving week!

SAT. (11/28/15): THE VISIONARIES – “GIVE THANKS” SHOW AT THE COMPLEX LA

This Saturday (November 28th), The Visionaries will be doing a special “Give Thanks” show at The Complex (806 E. Colorado St.) in Glendale, Ca to celebrate 20 years in the game and as a way to thank their fans. Come see Dannu, LMNO, 2Mex, Dj Rhettmatic, Lord Zen, & Key-Kool as they will be together on stage performing classic Visionaries songs as well as solo joints. It is a 21 and over event & ONLY 200 Tickets will be available. You can purchase the tickets at www.ticketfly.com.  If you are a true Visionary fan & love Underground West Coast Hip Hop, this is a show that you do not want to miss!

SAT. 11/21/15: CALIFORNIA LOVE – AN ORCHESTRAL TRIBUTE TO DR. DRE

Saturday (November 21st), our very own Rhettmatic will be joining the legendary Dj Battlecat, Jeremy Sole, & a group of talented musicians to pay tribute to the one & only Dr. Dre at the “California Love” event, brought to you by Mochilla & The Playing For Change Foundation.  Peep the short video & details below….this is an event you do not want to miss!

California Love – Teaser from MOCHILLA on Vimeo.

CALIFORNIA LOVE 

–AN ORCHESTRAL TRIBUTE TO DR. DRE –

FEATURING: BERNIE WORRELL

Sly 5th Ave – Arranger / Conductor

Saturday, Nov. 21, 7:30pm-11pm
CALIFORNIA LOVE-  A 30-Piece Orchestral Tribute
Celebrating the music  DR. DRE  @EbellTheatre
Wilshire Ebell Theatre 4401 W 8th St, LA, CA 90005   

#CalifoniaLoveLA  #CaliLove
Tickets: californialove.brownpapertickets.com
Link to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1217518684931743/

THURS. 11/19/15: STONES THROW SHOWCASE: WHITE BOIZ, PB WOLF, J.ROCC & MORE

Tonight (November 19) is the Stones Throw showcase with White Boiz (Krondon & Shafiq Husein), Peanut Butter Wolf, J.Rocc, Mndsgn, & Samiyam. All happening at the Regent Theatre in Downtown LA. Don’t miss this dope showcase. Doors open at 8p. Purchase presale tickets here: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/990081?_ga=1.252183628.414658788.1414796565&__utma=1.750419307.1414796565.1445536546.1445547494.675&__utmb=1.5.10.1445547494&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1444843997.651.394.utmcsr=google|utmccn=%28organic%29|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=%28not%20provided%29&__utmv=-&__utmk=25835581

TONIGHT (11/17/15): LEGIONS OF BOOM LA PANEL w/ DJ ICY ICE, RHETTMATIC, & SYMPHONY. MODERATED BY OLIVER WANG

Tonight (Tuesday November 17), Rhettmatic, Dj Icy Ice & a rare appearance by Dj Symphony will be at the “Legions Of Boom” LA panel with College Professor & Author, Oliver Wang. All happening at Cal State Long Beach from 6:30-8:30pm at the Anatol Center. It’s FREE to the public. They will be talking about the history of Filipino American Mobile DJs in Southern California. For more info: www.legionsofboom.com.

TONIGHT (11/14/15): DJ MELO-D AT HEART INSIDE CAESARS’ PALACE (LAS VEGAS)

Tonight (November 14th), our very own & Skam Artists roster member Melo-D will be headlining at one of the hottest spots in Las Vegas; “Heart” at the Omni Nightclub inside Caesars’ Palace. If you happened to be in the 702 area and want to get your bottle service on, this is the spot where you wanna be at!

TONIGHT (11/13/15): YOUNG GURU, RHETTMATIC, ORIJANUS, ANDRES AT ESCALA K-TOWN

Tonight (November 13th) is a special night at Escala in Koreatown.  Young Guru (Grammy Award Engineer/DJ), Orijanus & Andres of Soulection, & our very own Rhettmatic are the All-Star line up providing the sounds for this one night only.  Come thru for some delicious Colombian Food, drinks, & good tunes to vibe/dance the night away. FREE ALL NIGHT!

TONIGHT (11/13/15): SNAPBACK LBC w/ DJ ICY ICE, DJ REMARK, & DJ ORION AT THE FEDERAL BAR

Tonight (November 13th) is another installment of Snapback LBC at The Federal Bar in Downtown Long Beach. This week is Resident Night: Dj Icy Ice, Dj Remark, & Dj Orion + hosted by Trek Life.  If you love classic Hip Hop & R&B, this is a perfect way to kick off your weekend!

FRIDAY (11/6/15): GUITAR CENTER x SERATO LA WORKSHOP w/ DJ BABU

This Friday (November 6th), Guitar Center joins forces with Serato for an intimate LA Workshop at the Guitar Center Hollywood. Their special guest is our very own Dj Babu.

At the workshop, they will be covering everything Serato DJ. Including the latest features and hardware: Key Mixing, Club Kit, and the Pioneer DJM-S9 mixer.

The workshop is from 6-9pm. To RSVP, go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/903414889714101/

FRIDAY – 11/6: THE FILIPINO MIX w/ DJ ICY ICE at SOUND & VIBE RECORDING STUDIOS

Friday (November 6th), Sound & Vibe Recording Studio presents their first ever monthly cultural dinner experience called “The Mix”. The first one is called “The Filipino Mix” with guest DJ: Icy Ice & guest chef: Ryan Basa. S/O to the homie Omer Saar.

“With attendance limited to 30, The Mix is a themed and composed stimulation of the senses with carefully selected special guest chefs, performers, food, drinks, music, art, dance and interaction.

We are proud to celebrate Filipino culture for our first event. To reserve your place, Paypal $35/person to paypal.me/TheMix. Spots are filling up, so friends, please reserve your place asap.

The Mix
Friday, Nov. 6th 7-11pm
at Sound & Vibe Recording Studio – Long Beach, CA

Menu:

Appetizers

Torta Wontons – Stir fried ground beef, potatoes and scrambled eggs seasoned and stuffed into a wonton wrapper, deep fried and served with a spicy banana flavored ketchup

Lumpia Veggie Eggrolls – Stir fried cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts and green onions, lightly seasoned, rolled into a wonton wrapper, deep fried and served with a spicy garlic vinegar dip

Grilled Pork BBQ Skewers – Tender pork marinated in spices, grilled and smoothered in a sweet soy glaze

Main Entrees

Veggie Ginataang Calabash Tacos – Slow cooked Filipino squash in coconut base and spices, topped with shredded cabbage and drizzled with Sriracha cream sauce in a warm tortilla

Adobo Chicken Tacos – Slow cooked dark meat pieces in a soy-vinegar base with spices, topped with chopped cilantro and onions with a homemade salsa verde on a warm tortilla

Pork Longanisa Tacos – A sweet and mildly spicy pork sausage pan fried and topped with cilantro and onions, drizzled with a Sriracha cream sauce, in a warm tortilla

Sides

Garlic Fried Rice – Stir fried white rice lightly seasoned with garlic

Brussel Sprout Salad – Roasted brussel sprouts stir fried with carrots and cabbage, drizzled with Ponzu sauce

Dessert

Halo-Halo – A special Pinoy treat! Sweet red beans, jack fruit and taro topped with shaved ice, condensed milk and taro ice cream

Drinks
San Miguel – Filipino beer
Mix drinks”

TONIGHT (11/5/15): ALL YOU CAN DANCE w/ J.ROCC & BLACK CARLOS (MR. CHOC) at DEL MONTE SPEAKEASY

TONIGHT (November 5th) is another installment of “All You Can Dance” w/ J.Rocc & Black Carlos aka Mr. Choc at Del Monte Speakeasy in Venice, CA. It’s every 1st Thursdays of each month. You want to hear some dope new & classic dance tunes & sweat your troubles away, then this is the spot to be to get your dance on…..Don’t Sleep!

TONIGHT (11/2/15): LA MOVIE PREMIERE: “AS I AM” – THE LIFE & TIMES OF DJ AM AT THE ACE HOTEL LOS ANGELES

Tonight (November 2nd) is the LA Movie Premiere of the documentary “As I Am: The Life & Times of Dj AM”….a film by Kevin Kerslake, authorized by the estate of DJ AM. This is all happening at The Theatre inside the Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. Movie screening starts at 8pm sharp, with pre-movie screening & after party music by Dj Vice, Dj Fashion, Dj Spider, & many other special surprise guest DJs.  If you are a true DJ & you know of his work & influence….this is an event that you do not want to miss.  Rest In Peace Dj AM. For tix and more info, go to www.acehotel.com/djam or www.djamdoc.com

THURS. OCT. 29: NIGHTLINE w/ DJ MELO-D & D-STYLES + opening set by DJ BELLA FIASCO at THE POT LOBBY BAR

This Thursday (October 29th) is Nightline at The Pot Lobby Bar inside The Line Hotel in Koreatown (Los Angeles). This month’s residents Dj Melo-D & D-Styles  along with their special guest,  Dj Bella Fiasco doing an opening set.  It’s FREE from 9pm to 1am….Come vibe with the Junkies  as they will dropping some dope tunes for you to enjoy! Shoutouts to our boy Chef Roy Choi!

Went for Kraftwerk, Stayed for Rapedoor

“Look, it’s not like I am trying to get free tickets…”

It was the afternoon of the show. I couldn’t believe I was having this conversation this late in the day.

“I already got tickets. All I need to do is get close to the stage for a few songs so I can snap some decent pics of Kraftwerk and help them promote their 3D tour.” I insisted.

 

Obligatory rewind… Before this phone call, it was my best week ever. In the same few days I got handed the keys to my dream job of blogging for the best DJ crew on the planet, my friend Blum won 2 tickets to see Kraftwerk’s live 3D tour by the sheer virtue of being the 10th caller.

Now, these two rights cannot possibly make a wrong, so I planned on taking advantage of the alignment of my stars by combining the two and making my first write up a live concert review on the legendary beat smiths from Germany.

 

“I’m sorry, but please understand that it is not my decision.” The Publicity Director of the venue went on.

“I relayed your press pass request on to Kraftwerk’s people and unfortunately, they declined.   Apparently they only grant access to their own small group of people for publicity photos.”

 

Lesson one: Sometimes it doesn’t matter who you blog for or what name you drop, because sometimes they have “their own people.”  To quote Flava Flav in the aptly titled Can’t Do Nuttin’ For Ya Man, “That’s the way the ball bounces, Gee!”

Still, it surprised me. The Beat Junkies’ and Kraftwerk’s fans are in the same sphere of influence, so you would think it would be in their best interest to get free publicity photos that capture the scope of the show shared online.

Regardless, for the sake of my lifetime of sheer respect for Kraftwerk, I choose to believe that it was not a decision made by actual members of the group.  I’m sure I got a “no” from of one of their overpaid marketing yes-men instead.

 

“Hey, don’t worry about it man!” my boy JudY BlumE assured me.

“At least now we can let loose and you don’t have to be the nerdy, sober cameraman blocking everyone’s view.”

 

He was right, now I didn’t have to be the professional, I could just be myself, a fan of the music, and I could enjoy watching history unfold in front of me. After all, it’s not often I get a chance to see the living legends Kraftwerk performing live.

“Yeah, I know.” I sighed. “Except now there’s no chance of us hooking up with any 70 year old German Kraftwerk groupies.”

He snickered but I think he was a little disappointed about that. Blum (nicknamed Judy) is the kind of beer snob who has an unhealthy curiosity towards much older German women.

I added optimistically, “At least now I can see if maybe they will sign my 7″ Kraftwerk picture disc, and that would make it all worth it.”

 

So I hit the road to Blum’s apartment in the Twin Cities for a night of Kraftwerk, beer drinking and nightclubbing knowing the next day, as a bonus, I could hit up the local Minneapolis record stores for a little crate digging.

After a few craft beers with ironic names at Judy’s filthy bachelor pad, he hailed Uber, and we were off on the beginning of what would turn out to be a dramatic plot twist of an evening.

 

Who the hell is Kraftwerk?

 

“We’re going to see Kraftwerk tonight!  Can you believe that!?” I proudly announced to the Uber cabby.

“Who?” he asked.

We were almost at our destination, and there’s no short answer to that question. How does one describe Kraftwerk in a few words and do it justice to one unfamiliar with their indelible mark?

 

So I switched tactics. “Well, do you like Hip Hop?”

“Yes, of course! I really like Old School Hip Hop!” he answered.

“Well, then if you’ve heard Afrika Bambaataa’s Planet Rock, you’ve basically heard Kraftwerk.”

“Who?” he asked.

“You can drop us off right here by this bar, thanks!” I answered.

I realize I sound like an elitist music-snob dick describing this conversation, but gimmie a friggen break already! You do not like old school Hip Hop if you don’t know Planet Rock. Sorry, but what it is.

 

“I’m not sure why you let that get to you man. Everyone I told about winning the tickets asked who Kraftwerk is.” Judy casually mentioned as we stepped inside the first bar of the evening.

“Unacceptable!” I glared. “This is why you need better friends.”

“Oh, you mean like you??” he sneered with his now punchable face.

 

Kraftwerk 3D from the Nosebleed Section

 

After a few Surly Furious brews we were finally at that happy medium state and we figured the opening band for Kraftwerk must be done playing by now, so we started walking to the venue.   We discovered this was yet another false presumption about the night; there was no opening act so we were inexcusably late to the show. By the time we opened the door to the balcony seating we immediately got the librarian glare from the usher as the song Autobahn had already started. It felt like walking in late to a packed funeral as the congregation turns to see the wrongdoers in unison.

We were informed with a harsh whisper, “You will have to wait until the music stops before seating yourselves.”

Apparently we were way up in the upper balcony. Upon the cue of applause we did our side-step shuffle of shame down the cow path of rudely interrupted fans, now forced to stand to let us get to our seats. We put on our 3D glasses and slumped into our seats high above the stage.

 

From there I labored to get a few good shots with my phone knowing cell phone photos would likely never be good enough to use in this blog post.

 

kraft-tour

 

The photos turned out ok, but I doubted there was a blogworthy story to tell at this point. There was nothing to really absorb about the performance from our distant vantage point.

That’s not to sell the experience short, because it was cool as hell to see Kraftwerk live surrounded by a throw-back 80s style 3D video show, but from our location we knew they were down there pressing knobs and levers, but we couldn’t really make out any details whatsoever. Still, we were both giddy with excitement for simply being present in front of our electronic gods.

 

One by one they advanced through all their quintessential hits. We watched in silence as the purposefully archaic 3D graphics danced in space above the four men as the synth-heavy bass and glitchy drums looped on. Despite the church-like atmosphere and subdued crowd, it was nice and loud so the crunchy drum loops and the low end pleasantly shook the building.

A mere 45 minutes after we arrived they left the stage, but it was just encore bait. After the first standing ovation the curtains drew again revealing not the members of Kraftwerk, but instead their animatronic mannequins.

 

robots

“We Are The Robots” came through the speakers as their plastic dummies jerked and rotated from side to side. As much as I love that song I was frankly pretty bored of that part of the show by about the 2 minute mark and it went on well beyond that.

 

Nearing the end of the show the quartet got to my favorite tracks from Electric Cafe and Radioactivity. By this point the 3D show was getting to be a little, I dunno, quaint? I get that it’s supposed to be throwback 80s effects, but after the 5th time of seeing this green line go in front of that green line the novelty was starting to wear off.

 

Now I’m not trying to detract from the Kraftwerk’s incomparable legacy, but it was at this point I realized I was probably watching the last time this group of now 60-70 year old men will ever tour again. It’s just that they are well past the pinnacle of their electronic music careers and sadly, every day from now on we are even more likely to hear “Who?” when you mention the name Kraftwerk.

As the last of the 4 members of Kraftwerk waved goodbye to the cheering audience and exited stage right I realized none of that mattered at this moment. It was time to make moves.

Time to Get My Picture Disc Autographed

 

kraftwerkpicturedisc

“Ok, you can try!” Blum said realistically.

I found a sympathetic rent-a-cop. I flashed him my 7″ picture disc and silver sharpie I had crammed into my coat pocket all night, and he quietly informed me how to get as close as the law would allow to the door separating “us” from “them.”  At that door there was one lone security guard, seemingly equally empathetic to my quest to get the names of Kraftwerk on my record.

Fan tip: All you gotta do is show a 7″ picture disc and a sharpie to a security guard and give them the “But I came all the way for this!” speech and sometimes the effort actually pays off.

 

Yet, (no spoiler alert necessary) as you can see by the pic, it never happened. The guard at the door told me to hold on and he went inside and disappeared completely.  A moment later, four large German security dudes came out wearing all black.

In my most pathetic voice possible I conjured up a lie that should have worked.

“Hi guys, I just drove all the way up from Chicago to get my heroes signature on this picture disc! It would mean EVERYTHING to me if I could get their autographs!”

They looked at me like I’m some jackass American tourist and laughed while one of them said

“What’s that, a really big CD?”

They snickered and immediately formed a no-fucking-way defensive line in front of the door.

 

“Look, I don’t have to see them if they don’t accept visits from fans. So maybe one of you can take it to them and ask them to sign it?”

They smugly put me into place with a rejection that seemingly made them feel better about the present state of their kraut eating roadie lives. “Kraftwerk does not just sign autographs for anyone. We can’t bother them.”

It was my turn to joke… “Ok, this picture discs doesn’t sound that good so I could care less about ink on the grooves. Maybe you could just go in there and sign it yourself with their names so then I can at least brag about getting signatures at a Kraftwerk show on Reddit. I want to see how long it will take for someone to call me out on having forged signatures on a record.”

They didn’t laugh, and it’s not because they didn’t understand I was being facetious. It’s in their job description to disappoint Kraftwerk fans, and now they were clearly bored of it.  They said something in German, chuckled amongst themselves and basically told me to get lost.

 

I looked at Judy with a “fuck that shit” look, and got the “Well at least you tried.”  consolation.

“Eh, forget about it. The night is young, let’s go.”

Now don’t tell him that; but Blum was right again. Even though I got no decent photos and didn’t score an autograph after wasting all that time debating with the blonde Hanzels, it was time to let off some steam.

 

“No, not Rape Dwarf, Rapedoor!”

 

It was at this point that the night threw us a wicked curve ball.  After a little debate and reading the online reviews we worked our way over to a special little bar in the area called the Kitty Cat Klub. Blum and I both love punk music so this was our only sensible destination.

The moment we walked through the door we instantly knew we were going to find some compelling culture. Once you step over the threshold you are basically tripping balls. I don’t know if they pump airborne drugs thru the ventilation system or if it’s the deer head with Christmas lights on it or if it’s the drug induced honesty of everyone around us, but this place was a fucking trip.

This is the kind of place where women come up to you at the bar and ask you…

“Excuse me, but would you be offended if I asked you if you ever wear assless chaps?”

Imagine how hard it is not to laugh at that question and somehow check it at a restrained grin when you realize she isn’t even smiling. At the Kitty Cat Klub, this is a dead fucking serious question, so be ready for it. I didn’t really know how to answer the question, and while it was entertaining we opted to carefully back away from that conversation towards even deeper insanity.

 

L-blum-R-rchecka
JudY BlumE on left, rchecka on right at the Kitty Cat Klub in Minneapolis, MN

 

“What’s the name of the band that’s playing tonight!?” I yelled over the loud music to the bartender.

“Rape d—ph” he yells back.

“Rape Dwarf??” I couldn’t believe my ears. “Hey Judy, we gotta stick around for Rape Dwarf, I have a good feeling about that!”

He corrected me, “No, Rapedoor!”

“Oh! Well good!” I smiled “Maybe the name Rape Dwarf is still available when I start my punk band.”

 

We made our way over to the stage area to find an intimate but extremely lively crowd, apparently consisting of quite a few Rapedoor groupies. All of them were fired up to see the headliner.

Rapedoor came on and before they even warmed up I could tell they were on some serious shit. I don’t know what kind of drugs they had in them but they were easily ten levels above me.

 

Before I go any further about Rapedoor, allow me just humbly add, anything I write about this band’s live performance from here onward will not do it justice. This was easily one of the best metal\punk shows I have ever experienced. These guys are true professionals in the entertainment business and I was completely blown out of the water over the amount of ass kicking they did.

 

rd1
Rapedoor rocking at the Kitty Cat Klub

 

They ride a gradient between punk, metal and hard rock, so you can’t exactly put them into a neat little box. According to their own-damn-selves, the genre they play is “bananas” and that’s nail on head.

Rapedoor is a 3 man and 1 woman clusterfuck of glorious noise generated by Ron .Q. Rudlong (guitar and vocals) Nicole Rode (drums and vocals) Odi “Black Jesus” (bass and vocals) and Jake Sweet (drums).

By the time they started the first song I was already at that peak high that only goes downhill if you start drinking too much more alcohol, so to maintain that as long as possible I slowly nursed the Day Tripper beer in my hand.

“This shit is fucking great man!” I yelled at Blum.

He didn’t hear me but he nodded anyways because that’s what you do when it’s this fucking loud and crazy.

It was early in the set and the band was already spot on. The impressive female drummer on the first song punished the drum kit. Like all Beat Junkies junkies, I couldn’t help but zone in on the rhythm she laid down. Her timing, presence, and impromptu fills were impeccable.

“Oh my GOD that chick is an incredible drummer!” I yelled at Blum.

Soon after the first song was over, she got up and switched places with the guy who I thought was the singer. In her new role as singer she conveniently lost her white fuzzy overcoat and rocked the rest of the night wearing just a bra and panties. Meanwhile, behind the facade of this innocent looking bookstore, the singer, who was actually the drummer picked up where she left off and blew my mind with the kind of intense ferocity that only a metal drummer with a bad childhood could have.

rapedoor-s
Nicole Rode of Rapedoor energizing the crowd

 

Midway through her first song as singer, she somehow clawed her way to the top of a speaker taller than she was, and proceeded to do a flying karate kick jump that would have put Ralph Macchio circa Karate Kid 2 to shame.   The crowd was absolutely eating it up; everyone was going bananas watching her feed off the energy in the room. But that was nothing, she was just getting started.

On the next song, I shit you not, right in the middle of the refrain she leaped off the stage on top of some dude in the audience. She tackled the guy to the floor and proceeded to finish the refrain as she rolled around on the dirty floor with this stranger like pigs in the mud without losing a beat. For what seemed like an eternity she rolled herself and her microphone cord back and forth with him while scream-singing without getting breathless until she finally jumped up and stepped on him essentially using him as a human stair to get back on the stage.   The guy was not pissed at all. On the contrary, it looked like he died and went to heaven.

From then on she owned the crowd.  As the guitarists and bass players soaked up that energy I witnessed them transform into a synchronized hive mind of unsurpassable punk. At this point the energy level and raw power and polished rock presence of the band was in perfect phase. They had somehow turned the Kitty Cat Klub into a dissonant utopia.

 

From this point onward the details of the night are hazy. I vaguely remember being in awe and that much I am sure of. I definitely remember the singer handing me the microphone at one point and yelling at me to…

“Sing fucker!”

 

So I sang. I think it was more of a bellowing drunken-rage scream type of a singing but I’m almost positive I was on key and sang something appropriate, even though Blum looked at me half way thru my performance and yelled…

“DUDE!!! STOP NOW!!!”

So I dropped the mic on the stage only to turn around and see the singer had now somehow scaled the back wall behind the crowd. When I wasn’t looking she must have done that Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon move springing, not from treetop to treetop, but from banging head to banging head.

 

Damn. What a fateful change of events. This local band I’ve never heard of called Rapedoor managed to somehow turn my lemons into lemonade and eventually into urine.  It was strange but genuine serendipity; because now I had my blog post given back to me.  Sure, it is some kind of non-linear mind fuck version of a story, but it was all so real. I knew at that point for that reason alone it had to be told. I picked this moment to tell Blum I couldn’t ever remember having such a great time watching ANY live music.

 

Then, just like that, feedback turned to into silence. It was over. I had officially forgotten about Kraftwerk, the reason I came, and concentrated instead on my new found favorite local band Rapedoor. As they casually tore down their instruments I groupied up to them and I asked them where I could buy their records.

“We don’t have any records yet, they are a little too expensive to produce, but we do have CDs.” The guitarist told me.

I get it, they are in fact way harder to fund than CDs, and that was good enough for me. The singer Nichole came over and joked with me…

“Hey thanks for singing. That was pretty good!” she smiled.

“Nice! Did you hear that Judy?!”

I was still a bit awestruck so I groveled, “You guys fucking rock so much!  You have no idea how much you made my night. Can I please get my picture with you for my blog post?”

“Yeah, no problem!”

She gathered her bandmates and we posed for the shot as an extremely drunk Blum snapped a few blurry pics.

 

r-plus-rapedoor

 

She disappeared and reappeared with 2 of their CDs for me and handed them over to me.

“You can have these, I hope you like them!” she added. “Please send me a link when you’re done with the write up!”

As corny as this is gonna sound, this is why I love this gig. I genuinely believe it’s my honor to write about real music like this. I don’t care what genre of music it is, when a band is capable of that kind of life enriching stress reduction, even if it’s just for one memorable night, that’s what it’s all about.

TLDR: If you get a chance to see Kraftwerk’s 2015 live 3D show, I recommend you get there early and get seats as close as possible. They are true music legends in every sense of the word, so don’t bother trying to get their autograph, even if you bring a picture disc, because they don’t do that.

Above all, if you ever get a chance to see Rapedoor, drop what you are doing and go. They will leave your ears ringing in a therapeutic way with the unique mixed emotion of being both pleasantly appalled and hungry for more. They typically play small venues in the Twin Cities, they put on a high energy crowd participatory performance, and press passes are never necessary.

 

-written by rchecka
Fb: @rchecka

r-plus-rapedoor21

Related Links:  Follow Rapedoor on their Facebook Page, Read more about Rapedoor at Reverb Nation, or buy Rapedoor’s albums and EPs at their Bandcamp Page.

 

 

FRI. OCT. 23RD: DOCTOR’S ORDERS w/ DJ JAZZY JEFF, J.ROCC, KUTMAH, TALL BLACK GUY, & MORE

Friday, October 23rd in the UK…..Dj Spin Doctor will be celebrating his 10 Year Anniversary of his premiere party “The Doctor’s Orders” at Scala in London, England. For his big bash, he’s going all out by having an All Star Line-Up: Dj Jazzy Jeff, our very own J.Rocc, Kutmah, Tall Black Guy, & many more. If you’re in the United Kingdom, this is a party that you do not want to miss. S/O & congrats to Dj Spin Doctor. For more info: www.thedoctorsorders.com

SAT. OCT. 24TH: MED & BLU – “BAD NEIGHBOR” ALBUM RELEASE PARTY AT GRANDSTAR JAZZ CLUB

This Saturday (October 24th) is the Album Release Party of MED & Blu‘s album “Bad Neighbor” on Bang Ya Head Entertainment. This event packs an All-Star line up: Dudley Perkins & Georgia Anne Muldrow, Dj Babu, Dj Rhettmatic, Diba$e, 14KT, & many more. All happening at The Grandstar Jazz Club in Chinatown; Downtown LA. For more info: www.bangyahead.com

SAT. OCT. 10TH: BACK TO BASICS MUSIC FESTIVAL w/ JEDI MIND TRICKS, HIEROGLYPHICS, THE VISIONARIES, BROTHER ALI & MORE

Saturday (October 10th), Rhettmatic will be joining the Visionaries as they will be doing a rare performance at the Back To Basics Music Festival at the Observatory in Santa Ana, Ca. Also on the bill: Jedi Mind Tricks, Hieroglyphics, Brother Ali, Necro, Andre Nickatine, Keith Murray, Rah Digga, Bizarre Ride II, Ugly Ducklings, & many more. For more info and tickets, go to: www.observatoryoc.com. This is a spectacular line up for a night of Dope Hip Hop…Don’t Sleep!

FRIDAY, OCT. 9TH: BOILER ROOM PRESENTS “MYSTERY CRATES” w/ DJ BABU & DJ NUMARK

Friday (October 9th), Boiler Room TV will present a live segment called “Mystery Crates” hosted by Dj Sean-O with their special guests: Dj Babu (Beat Junkies/Dilated Peoples) & Dj Numark (Jurassic 5/Dj Numark x Slimkid3). These two legendary Djs/Producers will be exchanging each others record crates & play them without knowing what they put together. You don’t want to miss this…..It will be shooting live from 8-10pm and shown on www.boilerroom.tv

FRIDAY – (10.9.15): DO-IT w/ DJ EXPO & DJ SEAN-O + special guest: DJ BABU

This Friday (October 9th) is another weekly installment of Do-It at The Shortstop in Los Angeles with residents Dj Expo and Dj Sean-O. Their special guest this week is our very own Dj Babu, the Dilated Junkie. Start off you weekend at Do-It & get your groove on! To RSVP: http://doitLA.eventbrite.com

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