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Keeping community connected at Mardi Squaw

February 28, 2014
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The time has come again, only this time…it’s even better! Boasting more Bounce alumni than you could fit in a bounce house plus really talented djs, producers and performers from the regional area, this is THE place to be on Saturday, March 1st.

The second annual Mardi Squaw is something special this year as Mardi Gras weekend coincides with the kick-off of SnowFest. Since I moved here in 2000, the opening of SnowFest has seen San Francisco’s Space Cowboys rocking from their UniMog sound car all day, then taking over Lakeside in Tahoe City at night. Last year, Sunset Promotions, which just won best club promoter in the Bay area, along with Heckler Magazine, produced a really successful and vibey inaugural event. This year promises to be even better with the combination of the Cowboys and Mardi Squaw.

Events like Mardi Squaw are some of my favorites. Everyone works so much to be able to live in beautiful Tahoe, plus living so spread out, events like this really keep the community connected. There is really nothing like running into people you love but haven’t seen in months. This happens at grocery stores all the time in town…but you can only block the quinoa for so long before other customers get annoyed. Events like Mardi Squaw allows for extended connecting time and allow new friendships to blossom with the arrival of new people from other areas. No one ever laid on their death bed and said “I spent too much time with good people and music.”

Instead of listing everyone playing the event and playing out like an article(you can google it…or let me do it for you HERE>>, we’ll just go through some of our highlights:

• Silent disco! Our friends at Silent Frisco will be once again be creating their unique experience with radio transmitted personal headphones. Always a good time, especially when a song with lyrics people know comes on. When it happens, take your headphones off for a second.

• Subtropixx! Gurbtron and Shane Suffriti have been making moves, and great music. Tropical bass music…we really can’t get enough of them.

• Shissla of the Space Cowboys! Not sure when he plays, but he always rocks it. Really stand-out dj…previous Bounce alumni.

• Tahoe Cielo Aerialists! We love this talented Tahoe-based crew. They performed at the Bounce in 2014. Glad to see them on here.

• J Boogie! It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a dj set with J. We LOVE dubtronic science and expect a phenomenal set.

We’ve uploaded a bunch of artists’ music to the FRESH SOUNDS at

The pre-deck party hosted by Heckler starts at 12pm on the sundeck. Party moves inside starting at 9pm. Presale tickets are available at CoffeeBar in Truckee, at door for $25 or click the button below.

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Glad to kill it

February 26, 2014

When I wrote about 12th Planet, I talked about memories in music. I still stand true to the statement that any devout music lover will always associate the memorable moments in their life through the music that helped shape it.

However, this week’s artist brings about another really important topic in music: mood.

A lot of my music listening takes place in my headphones while walking around the University of Nevada, Reno. It’s my favorite way to listen to music, because it’s as personal as it gets – it is being fed straight through your eardrums, right to your brain. When I began listening to Gladkill a while ago while going to and from class, something very subconscious and unintended began to happen: I began to dance as I walked.

It’s not the first time, I’m sure it won’t be the last. And it wasn’t a house music type dance. If you know Gladkill at all and have read up on him, you won’t have a hard time believing that he has self-described his sound as “sexy ass music.” I’d say that’s as appropriate as it gets, because something about it just makes you want to move really slow and fluidly, taking your mood immediately to a state of calm happiness.


His approach is less aggressive than many, which is a refreshing thing to hear in a world so full of house music and really heavy bass music. Because of this, it affects your mood in a different way than strictly deep bass lines do. What Gladkill, whose real name is Boris Gladkikh, does is a progression of moods through “melody driven bass music”: which is true. The sweet and slow melodies, highlighted soft and quick pulses of percussion, make for a chill mood enhancing experience. If you’re having a stressed to the max day, put on some Gladkill, and you’re probably guaranteed to slip into relaxation.

I think this tenacious appreciation for slowing music down was probably inspired from his experience in and out of bands from the time he was in middle school. It seems to be that these kinds of artists – who discovered electronic music after beginning to play instruments – sometimes slow it down the most. It allows the musician and the listener to interpret each sound on its own as well as all together, a sensation that I feel can only be described as “liquid listening.”

While this can probably cure your anxiety, sometimes you just want some good ol’ fashioned house beats, and that’s OK, too. Much of the appeal behind music such as Gladkill’s is just that: the ability to choose your environment, reminding you that each sound, each type of music, serves its own purpose and takes you to a different mood.

Fresh Bakin’, Mindful Massive and Future Strange are proud to present Gladkill, who will perform with Sugarpill, Phil Harmonic, Boggan and Multipleks at the Lakeside in Tahoe City on Mar. 7. 21+ only, doors are at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 presale and are available at You can also purchase for $20 day of show at the door. Sound will be done by Soulstice Sound with lights by Illuminator Lighting.


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Standing up for live performances

February 19, 2014

I knew I was in for a good time as soon as I saw the robot. His name is Hot Shot, and he is hilarious. The crowd in the small theater was small but highly responsive and personal, which is the perfect environment for interacting with a human-like robot capable of sexually harassing the other participants.

The Fresh Bakin’ team showed up at Good Luck Macbeth Theatre on Friday night to partake in one of their latest on-stage, live performances called The Game Show Show.

Nestled between Shea’s Tavern and Dressed Like That in MidTown, the size of Good Luck Macbeth shouldn’t fool you; regardless of its outwardly small appearance, the group of people in this space are doing big things. That much is apparent in its routinely sold out performances.

Sometimes hosting the Utility Players, a stand-up comedy troupe, Good Luck Macbeth is only one of the places in Reno that putting on live stage performances.

hot shot

Even in a town that is very much undergoing an art renaissance of sorts, it’s easy to forget that ‘art’ expands outside the realm of music. In the last month or so, however, I find myself ending up in small bars watching local stand-up comedians, or in small theatres watching some of the best live performances you can find.

The draw of such things as theater and stand-up differs from music in that it’s far more interactive. As artists, I think it’s natural for us to gravitate towards all forms of art, even those outside our specific medium. I grew up on stage and in musicals, but Good Luck Macbeth defies the traditional stage setting in a great way. Its small, yet accessible, space encourages audience interaction at almost all times. I was able to leave the stage pre-show to give warm welcomes to friends, and if I needed to step backstage for a drink of water, it was totally acceptable. It’s having a dialogue with the audience that makes all the difference in this new wave of live performance — it keeps you coming back for more.

Good Luck Macbeth is just one of the places engaging in theater in the Reno area. There are, of course, the more traditional theaters in town such as the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts and Reno Little Theater, another intimate space that brings the audience closer to the performance. If there’s one thing we’ve learned as Renoites, it’s that we like to be involved, and that much can be seen in the way we portray and interact with our art.

Outside the normative expectations of stage performance lies the hole-in-the-wall stand-up comedy performances at places like Third Street Bar. Again, you can miss this place if you aren’t looking for it (thanks a lot Eldorado for trying to outshine it) but, man – have I gotten some good laughs in that bar. They host local comedy routines and contests almost weekly, many of which offer young comics the opportunity to step outside of their stand-up classes to test their funny on the unsuspecting citizens of Reno.

Stage performance doesn’t have to be all jokes, though. A great number of places in town have been hosting events like spoken word and open mic nights for years now. The Reverend Rory Dowd hosts spoken word at the Foxy Olive each Tuesday, and the popularity of Monday night open mic at Java Jungle is such that you pretty much can’t fit into the building. I’ve watched many a musician from outside those windows – snowy nights or warm summer ones, artists will turn out for anything if they really want to.

I predict this movement will continue to grow throughout our region and, maybe, hopefully, one day, beyond. As a collective, we’ve exemplified our need for all forms of human interaction and successfully fulfilled it in live performance art. It wouldn’t be possible without the community. So next time you’re walking through MidTown or downtown, take a wrong turn, walk a little bit slower, and remember how important it is to look behind even the smallest doors and spaces. Who knows? You may just find a joke telling robot waiting to have a conversation.

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Memories of the 12th Planet

February 14, 2014

12th planet


Out of everything that I link music with, I almost always most commonly associate it with memories.

For any music lover, certain melodies bring about feelings and thoughts of moments in your life, and it’s not surprising for me to begin listening to a song or an album and be transported back into moment.

It’s also quite exciting when certain music reminds me of other music. I used to believe this was a great sign, because I could identify something in it that had already infatuated. It demonstrates something you already know you love.

Listening to 12th Planet did not inspire this feeling of familiarity, and after a while of listening to him, I’ve now come to be thankful that it did not. Instead, I found myself listening to an artist who has taken bits and pieces from all different subgenres of electronic music, as well as hip-hop, to create pieces that are radically different from one another and anything else I have listened to.

I let his Soundcloud stream play out for a few days while walking to class, cleaning, writing or reading. On more than one occasion, I had to check to make sure I was still listening to the same guy from song to song. What started with trapped out beats moved to more house elements with hints of trance, and back to trap and hip-hop.

Who is this guy grabbing from all different planes? He’s John Dadzie, listed on his website as “Los Angeles dubstep god.” It makes sense considering that when he began in 2006, he immediately started mixing tracks by Skrillex, Datsik and Kill The Noise. His presence at festivals like Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival have driven this title into stone as a well-known name in the underground electronic movement.

Can we really call this underground at this point, though? After weeks of listening to 12th Planet, he is the perfect example of why this it’s no longer underground. He has managed to make beats and melodies from all over the spectrum, which in turn draws a wide enough audience to be able to explore his versatility in these different venues with different crowds who have different tastes.

His diverse bass can be heard in mixes of Pretty Lights’ songs, and he still manages to range the spectrum from his original drum and bass roots. There are pieces of everything here and there that remind you…yeah, this musical world can still build off of one another in a different way than what we expect to hear.

Fresh Bakin’, Soulstice Sound and 1up present 12th Planet’s Smog City Tour with special guests Protohype, Son of Kick, Two Fresh and Steady on Feb. 25. Tickets are $18 in advance/$20 day of show. Doors at 9 p.m., 21+ only.

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Mark Farina keeps it old school because he loves you

February 2, 2014

mark farina press

Everyone in my life always tells me that I like doing things the hard way.

Maybe that’s true – but there’s some value to be seen in spending extra time and taking the much more intimate steps to detail.

Music is the same way. Like all art, I don’t think it should be short-cutted. It needs to have some attention paid to it – and if it’s the path less traveled, then so be it.

I bet Chicago native DJ Mark Farina would agree. And while my reasons may be numerous, by and large it is because Mark, who has been around for over 20 years, is one of the few remaining DJs who still stays old school by not using a laptop, instead paying closer attention to WAVs or the art of CDJing, sprung from vinyl. You can see him live on Feb. 15 at the Lakeside Tahoe City for his extended Tahoe set, because…you know, Mark Farina loves you.

He must, right? After all these years, he’s still taking that extra step. I’m sure it comes so naturally to him by now, but he is certainly on the minority of the spectrum of house DJs today, and in the best way possible.

Although he is a Chicago native, it could be his San Francisco residency that puts him in the niche with artists who make you groove. Farina comes from a world where DJs used to play all night, and the aesthetics of a set were arguably more appealing than they are now. The intimacy the artist has with the music can be better studied in this environment, and it’s something that I only see from an artist who plays vinyl.

I think that’s something that an artist does – whether it be consciously or subconsciously – in all their music. For example, Farina’s roots can also be seen in one of my latest favorite Soundcloud finds, a tune called “Rental Skates” released less than a month ago. In fact, that’s why I clicked on it – it evoked a kind of patient feeling commitment to something I knew long ago, that reminded me of the way things used to be.

He is most well known for his Mushroom Jazz series over the years, the eighth installment of which was the last to be released this past fall. I’ll admit – I didn’t know what Mushroom Jazz was exactly when I first started listening to Mark Farina a few years ago, and you could look up a definition but the best way to know is to listen. This is music, after all. It fits perfectly with not only the fast-paced party scene that Farina experienced after moving to the bay, but also what kinds of feelings the words themselves inspire.

It’s just that – jazzy. It’s got soul and the nice kind of syncopated beat that just doesn’t quit, something I find characteristic of the late 80’s-early 90’s DJs. That little bit of extra color though, extra thickness, and something a little bit off-center – that’s the mushroom. Together, it brings a sometimes hip-hop-like, smooth rhythm induced form of jazz and electronic music to a constant growing level.

I don’t see any reason that Mark should change that anytime soon.

Mark Farina will play with special guest DJ Blue 42 on Saturday, February 15 in Tahoe City at the Lakeside Tahoe City as part of Fresh Bakin’s Winter House series. Tickets are $17 in advance/$20 at the door. Ages 21+ welcome, music will be at 9:30. Visit to purchase tickets.