Design General Photography

New portfolio site


I just finished the new For a while, I’ve been meaning to physically separate my professional and personal sites. I had just been using Break of Dawn for everything. Recently, I started Elastic Wax in order to lay the groundwork for the split. But ever since, I had completely neglected the Break of Dawn domain, instead pouring all my free time into this blog.

But, as of 30 minutes ago, I have completed Break of Dawn, which is now my portfolio site. There are still a couple links that don’t go anywhere and the work I have up isn’t all that recent. I will be filling it all in as time goes on. The important part is that the site is now live and ready to be viewed by the masses.

My email address is staying the same, so there is no need to update.

Design General Los Angeles

How did I not know about this?


I’ve been reluctant to say that I am a complete dork when it comes to typography. I can spend hours looking through font specimen books for no reason other than just to gawk. Subtle differences between similar fonts pass most people by, but to me, it’s the difference between good design and hasty choices. So when it comes to events in Los Angeles that showcase interesting type related design, it immediately goes in my calendar. Which makes me mad that I completely missed John Downer at ReserveLA last night.

The blame for this falls squarely on me. I’m just over a week behind on my blog reading, and that can really add up. After a day, I usually have somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 unread posts. So when I ran across this post on Hoefler & Frere-Jones’ blog, I knew I had missed something important.

John Downer started his career as a freelance type designer in 1983 and is a master sign painter by trade. The Propagandist has a slideshow here of his work. It’s a great read if you enjoy design and typography. You can also see the line of shirts John designed for Freshjive on slides 1 and 25.

I don’t know if the exhibit is still up, or if it was a one night thing. I’ll update as soon as I know.


Mixtape Madness: Lara Croft – Generic Sampler Mix

I don’t really know if this will be of interest to anyone else, but I came across my old pile of mixtapes and found some things that I’m happy I was able to come to own. I’ll be digitizing and putting them up over the next couple weeks in bits and pieces. Some are full mixes, and some are samplers (like the one below). I’ve got a good one from Jason Blakemore coming, a couple Andrew Clyne mixes, one from Friar Tuck, and one from Giant Octamarc, back when he was known as DJ Riff Raff and spun nothing but jump up. I’ll also post the rest of the Generic Sampler with mixes from JBondy, The Fisherman, and Three T. Good stuff.

This mix comes courtesy of the Generic Management Sampler tapes, Side 4. Lara Croft, aka Max Alert, is one of my good friends. Not sure what he’s going to say when he sees I put this up. Hell, I don’t even know if he has a copy of this.

The mix is hardcore and drum & bass. Can someone help me put a year on this? I know it’s probably mid to late 90s.

If you can’t see the flash player above, you can download the mix here.

Gigs Los Angeles Music

Or, why “DJs” in LA suck.

The Perils of Ableton

Picture taken from and displayed under fair use.

I wanted to give a big shout out to everyone who came out to Midsummer Nights last Friday. I had a good time overall and especially enjoyed hearing all the props afterwards, it made my night. However, by far the most annoying part of the evening was setting up all the sound equipment for the performers who just don’t understand how their shit is supposed to work.

I’m a fairly technical guy, I love knowing how things work…I think Vanilla Ice put it best: “If there’s a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.” But that love ends when I’m stuck at a gig trying to figure out everyone else’s shit. If you don’t know, tell me you don’t know instead of having me play 20 Questions and get incorrect answers because you just don’t understand anything. If you want the privilege of playing out, at least understand your own equipment and bring all the cables you need so we don’t have to hunt shit down because you just assume it’ll be there. It’ll keep people like me from writing posts like this about how big of a fucking moron you are.

Many people talk about the lost art of DJing, and having been a DJ for almost 12 years myself, I understand. There seems to be a difference between using technology as a tool, or having the technology make you a Tool. Serato and Traktor can be used to an amazing degree, allowing great DJs to do things that would never be possible before. However, it seems like a lot of DJs these days are allowing the software to do all the heavy lifting. Beatmatch syncing blows, it’s stupid, it makes you look like a moron, and has an unmistakable perfection that any real DJ can pick out after your first “mix”. Now that Ableton has come into the picture, the landscape is changing even further. Track selection and feeding off the crowd and making a great environment for everyone has completely gone out the window.

The picture of DJDT above is not from Midsummer Nights, but from Beach Dazed, a party that happened a couple weeks ago. They played at Midsummer Nights as well using a similar setup. This time it was a laptop running Ableton and a mini-to-RCA cable running from the headphone jack. No MIDI controllers, no Samplers, no control surfaces of any kind. Just Ableton. And one long, premade set. Click the pic above if you don’t believe me.

And as much as this bothers me and many other DJs out there, I’ve come to the realization that nobody cares. The crowd doesn’t care, the venues don’t care, the promoters don’t care. The only ones who care are the ones who have spent a great deal of time working towards an art that seems to be dying. It’s now a commodity to see a DJ playing a “SPECIAL ALL VINYL SET”, even though that’s what DJs were doing fairly exclusively up until a couple years ago.

Arguments about records being too heavy are understandable. I admit, switching to Traktor has saved my back quite a bit. But most of the people making that argument are the ones who don’t buy records, don’t mix by ear, and think that beatmatching is just making sure the numbers on each side of the screen match up (Phase? What’s phase? It’s a filter, right? Wait, where’d my bass go?).

Soon, it’ll just be CD listening parties with the “DJ” only pressing play and then proceeding to  jump up and down on stage with the enthusiasm of David Lee Roth, doing the physical equivalent of “Dude, you have to hear this part coming up, it’s so good!” When the tools were harder to get and harder to perfect, the end result was much better.

Accessibility breeds mediocrity. And that leads me to the picture caption, the peril of Ableton is that someone might actually try and get a crowd shot and accidentally capture the fact that you aren’t doing anything other than jumping around like a lunatic.