Los Angeles Music

Such a tease…


So, I’m teasing a new music project that I’m starting with my good friend noelectro. We’re jumping into the 2×4/live/production fray with a full fledged IDM-glitch-tech-funk-house-jungle-discostep assault. I’ll have more information soon enough.

Gigs Los Angeles Music

Gig Alert! Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday, April 11, I’m pleased to be named a resident of Dub Patio at Cinespace in Hollywood. I’ll be headlining at 11:30. I know it’s a Sunday night, but it’s also Hollywood, where apparently, there are no weekdays. If you email your name to RSVP (at) breakofdawn (dot) org, you get in free until midnight.

{gmap|6356 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA|500|400}

Gigs Los Angeles Music

Gig Alert! Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine’s Day I’m playing some Dubstep at Cinespace from 10-11p. If you RSVP with me, you get in free until midnight. I’m super excited for this gig. Nothing but wobbles all night.

RSVPs can be sent to: RSVP (at) breakofdawn (dot) org

{gmap|6356 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA|500|400}

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.

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.

General Gigs Los Angeles Music

Midsummer Nights – New Gig Info


This is an important update to the previous post.

I am DJing August 7th at an event called Midsummer Nights. There is a band, but don’t fool yourself, this is a straight up dance party and the heat will be brought. We switched venues to one that is much more reliable and relatively unknown. If you have been to Cirque Berzerk, you already know the area. If you haven’t, then lucky you! Go see Cirque Berzerk’s 8:30pm show on August 7th, then show us your ticket and you’ll get in for only $5, you don’t even have to drive to the venue! Walking Distance! Easy! Map and details are after the jump.

General Gigs Los Angeles Music

*Updated* Gig Alert! August 7, 2009

This post is no longer relevant, please see this one for new details.

Los Angeles Photography Travel

Los Angeles needs more scenery.

Living in Los Angeles has its advantages, but nature certainly isn’t one of them. I took this picture leaving Lake Tahoe after my 10 year High School reunion and realized that there aren’t many places I can go to just get away for the day. Don’t get me wrong, the smog in LA does lend itself to some amazing sunsets and moments that make you get lost in your thoughts from time to time, but the toss up is that you don’t get the clear skies, the billowy clouds and the wide expanses of…nothing. I know that last statement sounds completely obvious, but I haven’t really made a point of noticing it since I started living in Southern California.

Anyway, sappy musings aside, the picture presented itself as I was sitting at a stop sign and I thought it was a halfway decent picture. Click to see it on Flickr where you can get a bigger version.

General Los Angeles Photography

Industrial Printing

Finally took a visit to our service bureau today. I love the smell and sound of old printing presses. I think they are in the beginning stages of a plant overhaul, I will miss these old machines.

General Los Angeles

Fatal accident on 10-E in Los Angeles

From SigAlert:

10 East Before National Blvd Possible Fatality 5:00 AM

  • Thomas Guide Map Coordinates: Page 632, Grid 7D
  • Silver Honda Civic in 1 Lane Going West 5:00 AM
  • Vehicle Traffic Collision D Possible on Fire 5:01 AM
  • Reporting Party Has Visual Vehicle Tcd Head on Just East of 405 5:01 AM
  • Vehicle now on Fire 5:02 AM
  • Vehicle on Fire-Just West of National 5:03 AM