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November 29, 2014
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What is it about this guy Stylust Beats I like so much? The first time I saw him perform was at about approximately hour 27 of the 64 hours of music at the Grand Sierra’s Great Depresssurization Chamber in Reno after Burning Man. Every time since then Stylust Beats (aka Geoff Reich) has been consistently one of the more fun acts to dance to.

Fat basslines, fun mash-ups and remixes, talented djing, funky beats and some serious kicks have allowed Stylust to collect fans without being a flash-in-the-pan “EDM hype” act. His growth and talent has brought attention of world-renowned producers  (his collaboration with Bassnectar for Bassnectar’s NVSB Remix album hit over half million plays) as well as acclaimed press outlets.

“My goal is to make timeless bass music: I try to make every track an epic melodic adventure through many different genres,” says Reich in a recent interview for It’s a ride that’s apparent when you listen to his Grassroots-California-sponsored release, “The Pocket Tape.” Purple beats, hyphy, trap, hip hop and just the right amount of filthy dubstep takes the listener on perfectly-mapped road-trip criss-crossing genres. The next beat is always up in the air, and I find myself exclaiming “NICE!” frequently when a mash-up, remix or sample gets brought in.

Blending classic turntablism with cutting edge tech prowess, Geoff has been touring as Stylust Beats since 2008. Inspired by his older brother who was in a band, Stylust Beats began testing his musical mettle on turntables in 1998. His imaginative spins of counter-intuitive genres were new territory back then, and he quickly gained fame as a fearless, party-rocking DJ reinventing the game. Within a couple of years, he took on the daunting challenge of producing and managing his own recording house, All-In Studios, which he ran successfully for ten years. This was the laboratory within which Reich evolved from bass DJ to mad scientist, cutting his own brand of sonic mixology and perfecting his craft as prime-time producer.

What I love about Stylust Beats is clearly even though his work ethic is insane and his productions top-notch, his music is still fun, approachable, and funky. This is something I’ve noticed with people who come from the hip hop genre: your purpose is to lay down jams to dance. With Stylust Beats, he not only excels it this, but does so without pretentiousness and is a killer Dj too.

You can catch Stylust Beats at Art Haus Cinema on December 6th, 2014. 9:30pm, 21+.





Stylust Beats Artwork


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June 24, 2014
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There are so many yoga teachers out there it’s hard for someone like myself, who attempts to practice three to six days a week, to pick. In the past years I’ve based my class schedule on WHAT the class is, as opposed to WHO is teaching. Admittedly, I don’t read yoga magazine, yoga forums or know really any of the big yoga companies or teachers. The ”headliners” don’t really mean anything to me…in fact I’ve accidentally signed up for them and have left both satisfied and disappointed. My first year of Wanderlust I accidentally signed up for the same teacher three times, whose classes dealt with a different aspect of yoga and built on each other. What a great accident. She was a fantastic intro to Wanderlust for me, still a relative noobie at the time. I have forgotten her name, although I know I haven’t seen her since.

The studio I practice in Reno is The Studio which was another “accidental” find. I’m a creature of proximity, so I picked the studio closest to my house. With 99% certainty I can remember my first class was a hot vinyasa taught by a vibrant and attentive woman named Melissa Martinez. The room was packed…and hot! The room seemed full of seasoned veterans, intermediates and beginners. It was a challenge…on many levels. There was chanting at the beginning (I’ve never been one for sing-alongs), the practice itself was intense, then more chanting at the end. Throughout the years, The Studio has remained my preferred yoga studio as I can attend Hatha, Vinyasa flow, Yin, Restorative, Level 2 Hot, The Yoga of Fire and Water, and a multitude of other classes to keep my ADD at bay, and Melissa has become one of my favorite instructors. Since the first day, I’ve seen her grow and change as well, becoming a stronger teacher, launch a teacher training program and birth a child! I am extremely happy for her to have been selected again as a Wanderlust 2014 instructor as the world can use a little more Melissa influence and friendship.

FB: How is mommy hood?

MM: We’re 17 days deep in this journey with our son, Jai Bodhi and I’m still totally blown away by the whole trip. Life is a miracle. As I witness the magic of this little beings development everyday, I’m feeling really honored to be a mom.

Is it everything you anticipated?

I remember just anticipating the birth, which turned out to be an insane experience! Wow. Birthing a human. Wow. I remember thinking that it would be challenging once we brought our weeble wobble home but, nothing and no one could’ve prepared me for this. I think the most surprising thing at this moment is how much this little being needs me. You really can’t imagine how totally dependent they are on you. You can’t even wrap your head around it if you’ve never experienced it. In some ways it feels like the most selfless service on the planet but at the same time how could it be as the rewards are boundless. Success is now measured in smiles and contentment of another being. This is powerful stuff. My whole entire world shrunk to 20 inches and 7 lbs. 2 oz. Oh and sleep! Delicious, wonderful, beautiful sleep… It eludes me if I try to chase it. I can only except that it doesn’t exist the way it use to and then this whole trip is much more doable. I know that it gets better– this is what they say. I know that it’s actually really hard right now to be honest but, again how could it be hard when the rewards are so great. Just looking at his precious little face fills me up and that hour of sleep that I got last night doesn’t matter.

FB: Where are you from? How did you find yoga?

MM: I’m from the San Francisco bay area– literally. During my most formative years we lived on a boat in Redwood City, Docktown Marina. That sounds really cool but not when you’re 12 and trying to listen to Billy Idol on your cassette player. We also moved around quite a bit and lived in San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Fremont, Oakland…so, I am a Northern California girl through and through.

Yoga found me about 14 years ago living in Portland Oregon. I was so terrible at the yoga poses– completely inflexible and totally clueless. I remember I couldn’t even sit with my legs crossed in the folded position. I was so out of touch with my physical health even though I went to the gym. When I moved to San Diego a year later I brought a post-it note on which I wrote ‘Go To Yoga’ and taped it to my medicine cabinet in the bathroom so that I could be reminded every day to continue my practice. I was so intrigued that I went to as many workshops, immersions, trainings, retreats, festivals and anything I could for years. Dharma unfolded through my studentship. The lineage that I cherish continues to reveal my heart and my connection to the source from which everything comes. I’ve taught for around seven years and this whole journey has taken me to India with my teacher Janet Stone and Christopher (Hareesh) Wallace; it’s been thousands of hours of study and it’s still going. This year I launched We Are One Flow Yoga 200-hr Teacher Trainings and held space for 37 trainees. The Reno yoga community was rocked by a truly incredible teacher training! The yoga scene is blowing up in Reno!

We need ONE obligatory yoga pose picture, right?
We need ONE obligatory yoga pose picture, right?

FB: Describe you style and your philosophy behind your classes, flow and structure?

MM: The Yoga that I teach is flow yoga or vinyasa yoga. Spontaneity and my fullest attention go into each class. I’ve always thought of teaching group classes as conducting energy. I love music!I love bass. I truly love many different genres of music. I play with the energetic exchange of music and flowing sequences of postures. I’m influenced by my teachers Rusty Wells, Janet Stone, and Shaelah Morris…massive doses of humor when the moment arises is always welcome. Laughing rules.

FB: Is this your first time at Wanderlust?

MM: I was a presenter at Wanderlust last year and attended every festival before that. This year I’m presenting a workshop on Thursday and a class on Friday. The workshop is an offering for those that want to get to know yoga as therapy. Thursday at 1:00-3:00pm I lead Peaceful Therapeutic Flow. This is all about low and slow vinyasa for everybody at any stage in life. It’s important that we create a sustainable pace for practice and support healing through serving the breath. Come to relax and begin your weekend right! On Friday from 2:00-3:30pm, hang out with Dj HyFi and me for Ujjayi Breathing & Your Heart Beating. Dj HyFi (Ian) will provide some seriously deep lush atmospheric landscapes for you to get into your body and out of your mind. You don’t want to miss this! Ian is extremely talented at playing with the energy of the room and taking you on a trip.

FB: Obviously your experience will be drastically different than years past!
MM: My experiences at Wanderlust in the past have been full-on gluttonous which I highly recommend. This year if you see me in the village and I’ve showered and am wearing clothes, I will be deeply satisfied. I think that all of my asana, pranayama, and meditation thus far have prepared me for mommyhood. There’s a lot in the bank and I’ll be withdrawing! I hope that you do some downward-facing dog for me and maybe flip it over or do one of those yoga classes turned dance parties. I might just be in Savasana or Breastfeeding asana. It’s all good. It’s all yoga.

Melissa Martinez teaches at The Studio Reno, 1085 South Virginia St. Her website is // Her next teacher training is in Spring 2015. Info at or email


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Excuse me sir, But that R2 unit is in prime condition

June 20, 2014
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This year’s Wanderlust, in our opinion, has the best musical line-up since 2011…remember that year? It was so good Wanderlust was almost not invited back? Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Beats Antique, Brazilian Girls, Moby and Yard Dogs Road Show basically turned Squaw into a Phish-lot-turned-bass music festival….which is great or bad depending who you talked to. Understandably, after that year the music turned a little calmer and skewed towards a different demographic as the valley didn’t take kindly to immense bass rumbling the mountainside. This year, Wanderlust has curated a great line-up with two of the best turntablists and producers in the world indie hop hop/trip hop genre, RJD2 and DJ Krush, throwing in the musico-fused electronic experiment Big Gigantic, Thriftworks’ mindtwisting productions, the Polyphonic Spree’s euphoric choir, Bluetech’s beautiful downtempo creations, Manic Focus, Nahko and Medicine for the People and plenty more for any taste.

Whether you like music with your yoga or not, it’s apparent in many classes they go hand in hand. That feeling you get in a show when everyone is connected, vibing and dancing….it’s the same feeling you can feel in yoga classes. Everyone moving and breathing together creates that same connectedness you can feel on the dancefloor when it’s REALLY REALLY GOOD. And on top if it all…what better way to get ready your body and mind ready to play some music in front of a crowd then some yoga? In fact, a little yoga before any activity is a good idea.

rjd2 mask
Click to enter to win a free ticket to RJD2


We met RJD2 a few years ago….and that’s what he was doing. He was co-billing a show with The Glitch Mob and we saw him dropping into some yoga poses before his set. When he appeared on the line-up, it didn’t surprise us a bit. We’ve been following RJ’s music since the early part of the 2000’s. It’s one of the artists that is a constant in our repetoir (kind of like Ween for us).

RJD2 originally began his career in Columbus, Ohio, DJing in 1993 with a pair of turntables bought from a friend. He claims his name originates from another friend who referenced him as “rjd2” in his raps, and the name stuck. Besides being one of the best turntablists out there, his productions have placed him on numerous “Best of the Year” lists, he created the theme song for AMC’s Mad Men, a cover of Radiohead’s “Exit Music,” an entire album with acclaimed MC Aceyalone, to name a few. He released his most recent album, More Is Than Isn’t, last year (link below). A solid RJD2 album which crosses genres of disco/funk, indie hip hop, soul/r&b….basically this diversely great album can be your soundtrack to an urban and rural roadtrip or would be comfortable as Tarantino movie score. Definitely looking forward to hearing this material live…as RJD2 never disappoints live: Four turntables, two mixers and two samplers. This guy is an animal.

4 Turntables, 2 samplers/MIDI controllers, 2 mixers
4 Turntables, 2 samplers/MIDI controllers, 2 mixers

FB: It’s been awhile since you’ve been to our area…welcome back! I remember when you came here the first time you were wondering “Do people even know me here?” Turns out the show sold out at the Grand Sierra and a lot of people turned out for your set.

RJ: That was a great night.
FB: When we talked backstage we talked a bit about yoga and your practice. Did that play into your decision to do Wanderlust?

RJ: It was definitely a cool peripheral benefit of sorts-music is always going to be my focal point, but I’m excited to see what the whole scene is like out there!

FB: What is your yoga practice? What style(s) do you practice/prefer?

RJ: I’m actually not the most “schooled” practitioner; I basically have some moves that work for me that I have been taught, and I stick to them(when I’m being diligent. I definitely notice a difference in my daily well-being if I slack off. Being in airplanes and cars all the time doesn’t make your back too happy, you know? Maybe someday I’ll go full bore, but for now, I just do what I can.

FB: Yoga studio or at home?

RJ: Home

FB: You had also just had a child then. Still have just the one? Has your kids/fatherhood changed anything about music for you?

RJ: Yup, still just the little guy at the moment. It’s changed EVERYTHING. What my records sound like, how often I do shows, the legacy I’m going to leave behind-it recalibrates everything in your life, quite literally.

FB: Will you be have your custom video show in Wanderlust?

RJ: Hmmm-depends on what my set time is, and the technical stuff, but I hope so! (FYI his set time is 10pm on Friday!)
FB: Anyone you’d like to work with in the future?

RJ: D’angelo would be pretty great. Action Bronson, Mastodon, Chance the Rapper, many others.
FB: Who, living or dead, would be your dream to work with?

RJ: Stevie Wonder, by far.
FB: What are your go-to studio snacks?

RJ: Dried apricots and almond butter, that combo never gets old, and is a great little protein blast.


You can catch RJD2 at Wanderlust in Squaw Valley July 17th-20th. RJD2 performs Friday night at 10pm with DJ Krush and Nahko and Medicine for the People.  Tickets available









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Unleash Your Downward Dog at Wanderlust Squaw Valley

April 4, 2014
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We’re always excited for Wanderlust. It’s one of the events we most look forward to all year and lucky for us, it’s right in our backyard. So many festivals have pushed the
music as the primary draw while including yoga and wellness as a side note, but not Wanderlust! While the first few years sported heavy a musical line-up, featuring headliners such as Sharon Jones, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Michael Franti and The Wailers, Wanderlust has curated its own vibe by inviting yoga teachers from across the nation to teach yogis of all ability levels in the surreally beautiful Squaw Valley.


Caravan Palace captivates crowd at Wanderlust
Caravan Palace captivates crowd at Wanderlust

When Wanderlust was initially announced in 2009, I anticipated a very haughty-taughty crowd. Would they turn their noses up because we don’t have yoga pants, or that we didn’t know our brand of yoga mat (someone had to tell us!), or our downward dog wasn’t perfect? Turned out, that was not the case at all. Not only are the organizers great, but the yogis and music fans who come together for this event make it truly special. I began seeing a dramatic change in myself after beginning about yoga in early 2011 and I truly believe my participation in Wanderlust 2010 was important in it’s cultivation. In addition to the really nice people, organizers and instructors, the exposure to classes like  Budokan yoga, Slackline yoga, Backbends and Inversions … or even ridiculously fun classes like Seane Corn’s “Lite FM” (a class which featured all music and love songs of the 1970’s and 1980’s) has enamored us more with the practice. The diversity of classes ensure someone attending Wanderlust can be  as serious or light-hearted as they choose.


The music, workshops, speakers and yoga line-ups are top notch for Wanderlust 2014. DJ Krush and The Polyphonic Spree on the bill satisfy our “always have wanted to see yet haven’t” craving. Then a few of our favorites … RJD2, Big Gigantic and Thriftworks add in the “wows,” “whomps” and “what!?” In the non-musical landscape, we are looking forward to Roman Torgovitsky’s Soma System, Schuyler Grant’s Kula Flow, Eion Finn’s Blissology, ChiRunning with Steve Mackel, ELMNTL Fitness, and Yin Yoga with Liza Dousson…just to name a few! We are still reading up on all the enormous offerings Wanderlust offers.


Wanderlust founder Jeff Krasno answered a few questions for us about Wanderlust 2014
FB: What was the original inspiration for Wanderlust?

JK: The original inspiration came from going to Costa Rica on my wife’s (Schuyler’s) yoga retreat. There, we learned that people loved to travel, to be with like-minded community, to practice yoga in beautiful places, to eat good food, to drink a little wine and listen and dance to music. We asked ourself could we make this experience work for 4000 people instead of just 20?

FB: What could a person who practices yoga very casually receive from Wanderlust?

JK: We want to make yoga fun and accessible. Sure, we have a lot of very accomplished teachers. But many of the classes at Wanderlust are beginner / intermediate. I think the emphasis on music within the classes makes the yoga experience something that everyone can really enjoy.

FB: Your first year was a tough one! Besides bad timing of Franti’s appendix bursting, what other things did you learn that first year that has improved following years?

JK: In the first year, we ran a yoga event and music festival concurrently and, in some ways, split the audience. We learned that yoga, hiking, lectures, rafting, running formed the daytime meal of the festival and music was the nighttime desert.  

FB: Do you have any input in the music? Anyone you’ve really wanted that hasn’t been able to get on the festival?

JK: I personally booked every single act for years. Now, I defer to a younger staff that is more familiar with the cool, new acts. That being said, there are some acts that I have been working on for years. Caravan Palace was one of them. I finally made it happen last year. Fat Freddy’s Drop, a New Zealand-based dub band, is another band I’ve been chasing for years.

FB: Caravan Palace was amazing! I was very happy to see them on the line-up when it was announced. Are we back to music in the parking lot again at night or in the yoga tent? Was there any particular reason you all cut the parking lot stage out? (btw we loved the musc in the yoga tent!)

JK: The idea for 2013 model was to cluster more people in and around the village and to create a seamless nighttime experience that spanned the main tent, the tea tent and a smaller DJ stage. We like the idea that a guest can wander and discover different experience and not be confined within a tradition gated venue. We spent all this time and effort making a beautiful yoga tent and then it sat there empty at night — that didn’t make much sense.

FB: Anything you would like to add to Wanderlust?

JK: A truly next level food experience.


Wanderlust is July 17th-20th in Squaw Valley, California. For tickets, complete class schedule, lodging, camping and all information visit Keep an eye out as Fresh Bakin’ has partnered with Reno Tahoe Tonight and The Bounce Festival to give away some Sage passes and music-only tickets. CLICK ON PHOTO BELOW TO ENTER!


wanderlust tent
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The Experience of the Emancipator Ensemble

March 5, 2014

Whether any of us want to admit it or not, stereotypes are a very real and existent thing in our society. Most of the time, it’s just a subconscious notion that gives meaning to it, almost without realization.

In the world of electronic music and musicians, there are A LOT of stereotypes that people either try to actively fill or avoid. Doug Appling, who is the driving force behind the Emancipator Ensemble, is now playing by a hallmark of today’s electronic music: that is, taking his experience from live instrumentation and incorporating it in. With the addition of now an entire band, it seems irrelevant what stereotypes are being fulfilled or avoided here.

For myself, listening to and researching the Emancipator Ensemble helped me realize that I do it the most with location. Natural as it might be to assume that the majority of electronic music artists either hail from the west coast, Denver, or the New York City area, it’s some of the most interesting that come from … Virginia? It explains quite a bit about Doug Appling’s work as an artist, and the Emancipator sound that he has built to stand out.

Imagine for a moment that Appling’s roots didn’t stem from Virginia, an area of the country  known for its vast rolling hills of green and quiet country.

Would his music then be so atmospheric?

Appling has been quoted many times as saying that nature has deeply influenced his music. Yeah, that’s easy to imagine – particularly when early promoters were comparing him to Bonobo in order to get his name out there in association with a sound. Like much of my favorite music, it has a very fluid sound to it, something that can easily be inspired by spending a lot of time in nature.

He’s played at festivals far and wide, which allow for a wide audience to hear his mood-inducing music. Like many artists before him, he started out with what we’ll call “real” instruments, which only adds to his success as an electronic artist.

What really sets the Emancipator Ensemble apart, though, is his right hand man, violinist Ilya Goldburg. The two met in Colorado a few years ago through a mutual friend and have been “chilling out, making music” ever since. Now Appling has taken his appreciation of music in its purest form one step further and is joined by a full band on his West Coast Tour. All members will combine both live instrumentation with electronic aspects to create the Emancipator Ensemble, which should make for one hell of an atmospheric, ambient time. As I’ve always talked about, I think it has become apparent in today’s electronic music world that in order to move forward, your success depends on going back to your roots, and Appling is doing that to further himself.

However, if you play a Pandora station based off of his music, things like Zero 7 and Beats Antique come up. This isn’t necessarily classifiable as electronic music, as it relies heavily on – once again – a natural sound. It’s rather an experience that has to be had in it totality, adding to the progression of this genre of music.

There isn’t a lot that I can find about the more personal workings of Appling’s life and inspiration, which is why I would like to meet him when he performs with Slow Magic and NYM in Montbleu this April. There is clearly an abundance of feeling and care that goes into the production of his music, which inspires fans like myself to want to know where he learned this ability to care or things such as music, and how else he channels both music and nature into his everyday life.


Fresh Bakin’ and Mindful Massive are proud to present the Emancipator Ensemble, Slow Magic and NYM at Montbleu in South Lake Tahoe on April 2. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 day of show. 21+, music at 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.


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“Our brakes went out in Colfax, MON!”

January 10, 2014



“Our brakes went out in Colfax, mon!”


“We heard that so many times at Humpty’s, usually from reggae bands, it ended up as a sign backstage,” laughs Blake Beeman, local sound engineer at the Crystal Bay Club casino. I personally always noticed over the years of working with Blake that overall, even in stressful scenarios (like when we disagreed on something or I dressed up as him on Halloween), he kept a very even-keeled, humble and funny demeanor.  Depending on how long you’ve live in Tahoe, if you ever attended concerts at Humpty’s, Elevation, River Ranch, Crystal Bay Club, Sierra Vista, Rosie’s, Blue Agave, The Funk and Jam Fest, Commons Beach or Blues Days at Squaw, he’s the main guy that has been behind-the-scenes, and particularly sound boards, making sure the show goes on. While fans, as a general rule, tend to cheer for the band onstage, the unsung heroes of the show like Blake have been there for many hours before the doors open, dialing in the sound and lights.


Sound is vibration, and it can cause us to react in different ways. The way the sound comes out of the speakers to hit the crowd can affect our moods: it can make us irritable, elated, happy, depressed, connected, etc. I’ve joked recently that Blake’s fingers on a soundboard and his speakers have been the cause for so many hook-ups, friendships, marriages, and even babies, but the more I think about it, the more I find it not really a joke, but reality. His devotion to music has had a really powerful effect on the entire community, and world at large.


Blake was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and had his insurance canceled due to “incurable neurological disease.”  The Crystal Bay Club and the community are joining together to throw a benefit to help with rising medical costs on January 15th. Dead Winter Carpenters, Jelly Bread and Carolyn Wonderland have donated their talents for a special event we definitely implore you to attend.


I met Blake around 2002 while he was running sound at Sierra Vista, then worked with him at the Crystal Bay Club from about 2005-2010 where I programmed their electronic music (aka “DJ Nights”) and was production manager for a short time (“the water and towel guy”).  The amount of laughs was about equal to the number of things I learned about music, but this isn’t about me….


Born in Stuttgart, West Germany, Blake’s father was casual banjo player and Blake asked him for a classical guitar at the age of 5’ which his dad then broke immediately on the way out of the guitar store. Even though he didn’t know how to play, he formed his first band Italic Illusions using cardboard cutouts for amps, drums and speakers and playing to old Beatles records. “I played a tennis racquet for a guitar,” Blake says, and he fired his first in a long series of drummers for going home for bath time.


Around 1971, then located in Upland, California, he was the drummer for the band Half Moon and moved to guitar as a better drummer came to school. Playing rotating covers of the likes of Sabbath, Deep Purple and Steppenwolf at junior high dances, all was well until his amp caught fire and the crowd went crazy, tearing down decorations and they were banned from playing and more shows.


He moves to Pasadena, and was in the band The Wiz Kids, taking lessons from of Eddie Van Halen (“you could go in and learn all the Zeppelin licks you wanted for $10”). At that time he also started working at The Record Plant learning some sound engineering. Afterwards he moved to Hollywood to play with The Touch, where they played the circuit of Madame Wong’s, Starwood, and the Friday Battle of the Bands at The Whiskey A Go-Go, where whoever got the most beer bottles thrown at the stage was asked to play the next day for $200. During this time he had been able to save enough money to buy a PA, so he’d be mixing sound onstage while also playing guitar. Later, a fabled night at Madame Wong’s, which included a gig and a near “Crying Game” moment with a good-looking blonde, he heads north to Tahoe.


He built the Kings Beach Pharmacy with his dad, and started playing in bands again. “Then as life goes full circle….after years trying to land a gig in Hollywood I’m playing a wedding at the River Ranch and meet Dave Mason, who takes me on tour as his guitarist,” Blake laughs. They ended up opening for the likes of Crosby, Stills and Nash, Steve Winwood, etc and playing Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid. All the same time, he’s been playing with his local Tahoe band The Beer Gardeners for the last 21 years.


Yet he still comes back to Tahoe, where he brings his PA into the now-fable Tahoe City venue Humpty’s, (eventually turned to Elevations, now Sawtooth Ridge Café), to do sound for a couple shows. And that was historic moment as Humpty’s went on to host such bands as Cake, No Doubt, Ice-T and Body Count, Galactic, Yonder Mountain String Band, Merle Saunders and many, many more. After many years it was THE stop on the north shore for national touring acts. Another pivotal moment for both Blake and the sound industry, he meets Jim Gamble, one of the premier front-of-house sound engineers whom he builds the DCX board with. Considered one of the best soundboards in the world (the Crystal Bay Club has two of them), it cost him his good vision and hours of his life, but sounds like “angels singing” it’s so clean.


After the closing of Sierra Vista, the Crystal Bay Club opened, and Blake was able to bring his technical knowledge and expertise into the CBC, helping design and build both rooms for Roger and Elise Norman. There he was part of the team making the venue a nationally renowned “nursery for up-and-coming acts” that contained top-of-the-line production for live bands in both rooms. Standing behind the board at the CBC, he is also running lights, doing sound, and mixing the video cameras….”and I can still talk to girls at same time.”


I sat down with  Blake for a few questions:


FB: What have been some of your favorite shows you’ve seen:

BB: That’s a near impossible question…I’ve probably seen about 6000 shows! I was roadie Yes for a bit, Jethro Tull “Thick as A Brick,” Band of Utopia (the band that went out on tour after Frank Zappa died), Gov’t Mule at Humptys, I did some of Bonnie Raitt’s acoustic tour, and it was when she was still not-sober ….she was out of her tree, but could sing like a songbird.


FB: Who would you love to see at the CBC?

BB: Warren Haynes for sure. Jimmy Herring…he’s come through with so many incarnations that have just blown the few people in attendance away. Widespread Panic holds him back so much, but I’d love to see him back again in one of his own bands.


FB: Up and coming bands you are loving?

BB:Fox Street All-Stars, Splitlip Rayfield…like Metallica of street grass.


FB: We started working together to do EDM. You didn’t like it at first

BB: No…not that, but sounded like clones of each other. A good producer would come in and I would notice.


But it’s been interesting to see it change all through the years of it getting big, first it was house, then breaks, then trip hop, then dubstep, now trap, now going back to house. People that started it out had to evolve because the crowd got sick of it. The electronic music scene became more than just a scene of drinking beer and water with buddies…people REALLY wanted to hear the tracks. That was really cool.…just like no one wants to hear the same cover band over and over again, people wanted to actually come out and hear the sounds these guys were making.  And ya know, EVERYONE starts in a living room doing a house party (bands included).


FB: Any advice for musicians?

BB: Enjoy everything you do as a musician. STAY HUMBLE.  Same with sound engineer.


FB: Any advice for up and coming sound engineers?

BB: If learning…be observant without being annoying. When people are working don’t bother them.



9 p.m. Tickets for the 21+ show start at $25, booths for $50. You can purchase pre-sale tickets for the show at the Crystal Bay Club cage or at

If you’d like to donate to Blake there is an internet donation site that you can go to and use Paypal. It is a two-step process. Go to the URL below. Once Tahoetopia comes up enter Blake in the search window on the top right. This will pull up topics relating to Blake. The first is a link to the donation portal.

Here is the URL:





Photo credit: Truffles Ziz McCrushing  




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December 27, 2013


We’ve been working in overdrive leading up to SnowGlobe in South Lake Tahoe over New Year’s weekend. Staff writer Megan Ortiz has already covered some of our favorite acts that are also playing the afterparties (links at bottom), so we aren’t going to repeat ourselves.  In no particular order, here are a few more acts you absolutely should not miss. CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO LISTEN TO MUSIC FROM OUR FAVORITES!


THE FLOOZIES (Dec 30th, Main Stage, 3:45-4:45pm)



While we’ve never seen this act live, their soundcloud page is certainly headnoddingly groovy and makes us exited for both their festival and latenight set. Their music sounds like it would be oozing from the boombox graphic from their most recent album, “Tell Your Mother.” Funk, Miami electrobass, 80’s & 90’s hip hop fuse into a rollicking fun sound that will move your booty.




VOKAB KOMPANY (Dec 31st, Main Stage, 5:30-6:15pm)


We admit, we are biased…we love Vokab Kompany! Mix one part Beastie Boys with some old-school Red Hot Chili Peppers funk (see…Mother’s Milk and earlier) with live violin, drums, keys and MCs that drop super tight rhymes and you have one of the most high energy BANDS on the bill.


CASHMERE CAT (Dec 31st, Sierra Tent,  10:00pm-11:15pm)


Another act we have never seen live, but have heard great reviews of his live shows. THOSE BEATS! His beats are incredibly sexy with a heavy R&B influence infusing a wide array of acapellas…..layered over hip hop, house, future bass and broken beats.



EXMAG (Dec 29th, Sierra Tent, 3:45-4:45pm)


We saw EXMAG perform on Gramatik’s Age of Reason Tour and all we can say is it was really refreshing sound in a time when so much bass music is feeling a little stale. This five piece supergroup (including Gramatik) brings blues, soul, R&B, old school 70’s porno-funk and hip hop alive with singer ILLUMNTR’s soulful vocals and vibrant stage presence. If you missed them on Gramatik’s tour…don’t miss this! 


THE POLISH AMBASSADOR (Dec 29th, Sierra Tent, 6:15pm-7:30pm)

polish horse

If you ‘ve never seen The Polish Ambassador, get ready for a sexy, booty throwdown of massive proportions. Perfectly styled remixes and original productions meld together for an experience likened to your first kiss at the flagpole during recess….although did we mention that you’re kissing an attractive alien on their home planet?


Here are the blogs about other artists playing both SnowGlobe and the Late Nights at Montbleu






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Mesh it all together with Matt Masurka aka Gigamesh

December 27, 2013


When I was listening to Minneapolis native Gigamesh the other day, I found myself being reminded of a retro-esque Donna Summers beat. Low and behold, I looked at Soundcloud to see that his next song was a remix of Donna Summers’ “Bad Girl.”

I don’t believe in coincidences, and although it’s been apparent in numerous interviews that Matt Masurka is aware of the subconscious influence his shared Prince roots have had on his career, it doesn’t seem to be the only factor in his retro-induced style or dance music. And on Dec. 31, SnowGlobe and Fresh Bakin’ are proud to present Gigamesh with Cut Copy for the official SnowGlobe after party in The Showroom at Montbleu.

As the last in my series of SnowGlobe blogs – and only because I went in order of appearance – listening to hours of Gigamesh has gotten me extremely pumped for these after parties, and more so to see one of the few acts hosted that I haven’t seen live yet. Nothing is better than new music. Particularly when just listening to it launches you into a stream of energy that syncs so well with all of our other artists on this line up, too.

Gigamesh reminds me of some other artists in terms of his mindset in his music, like our friends Paper Diamond and Griz. His music conveys the intrigue he has for live, and the capacity with which he wants to give back through his music. Not coincidentally again, all three of the aforementioned artists either went to school for music or have been studying it in someway throughout the majority of their lives.

It is because of this that there is a certain level of emotion which can be heard in Masurka’s music. While his talent has inspired many to approach him in hopes that he will remix their songs, he also picks and chooses his own, feeling out what he can implement to enhance the good feeling it already gives him.

He also draws from other art forms, too, which is always cool to see a musician talk about readily. For example, his name is from a sci-fi novel – not something you usually expect from a boogie-down DJ, but let’s run with it. This guy doesn’t seem to fit any particular mold (did I mention he’s 6’4?) and I think he likes to keep it that way.

Whether it be conscious or subconscious, it’s no coincidence. The influx of blogs and articles being written around the internet on this guy make it easy to see that Gigamesh should be explored more often, and what better way to usher you into an awesome new year of music than ending it with an engima such as him?

Gigamesh will perform in the IglooTent on Dec. 31 at the SnowGlobe Music Festival in South Lake Tahoe. He will then take the stage for the after party at the Showroom inside the Montbleu Casino and Resort. 21+ after party, doors at 11 p.m. Tickets for the late night are $30adv/$35door through or at the Montbleu Box Office.

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Far from dead

December 27, 2013
zeds dead
Photo credit to Maria Jose Govea/Zeds Dead Facebook

We are all so interconnected through the internet today, that we don’t realize how much we have made it a necessary function of our life. It’s second nature to believe that it holds the answer to everything, and namely, information on a person, place or thing.

Take musicians, for example. I rely a great deal on the internet in order to do my job. Not only is it my main means of communication for connecting with artists’ publicists and managers, but it’s conducive to use for research on past articles and biographies written on artists. That being said, it’s rare to encounter an artist or artists who don’t possess a website.

So that would be Zeds Dead — websiteless. Sure, they have a Facebook and a Soundcloud and other things of the like, but there is no central place of hard information regulated by them and their team. This makes research more difficult, yet also sends a message of mystery. You can listen to part of that message live in person on Dec. 30 when Zed’s Dead performs at the official after party for SnowGlobe, brought to you by your friends at Fresh Bakin’.

The Reno/Tahoe area is no stranger to Zeds Dead, and neither is the electronic music scene, for that matter. In an age of self-taught musicians who are taking action more and more off of making their dreams a reality, Zeds Dead has stuck out.

They are an amalgamate of sound – no doubt thanks in part to their label, Mad Decent, which houses other artists such as Baauer, Clockwork and Flosstradamus. With such a wide variety of musicians under one label, you would expect their artists to embody the same variety within their own work, and that is precisely what Zeds Dead is capable of.

Like all good music, you have to work for it. Many people do not listen to various types of music on a regular basis, but Zeds Dead finds a way to appeal the masses by incorporating the ever-popular electro house with dubstep, hip hop and glitch. The glitch is more notable than many artists, with hard hitting breakbeats that mold into the faster paced electro house we know and love. These two Canadians aren’t afraid to keep you guessing by speeding it up and then slowing back down, and that’s part of the mystery.

Not giving way to a lot of their music has some advantages like this. For one, it forces your opinion on the group to be based not entirely off of what their label says about them, but rather what you are actually hearing. You could sit and listen to them at home on Soundcloud, but when you can’t find any description to match what is happening in your ear drums, you’ll find yourself to be a lot more inclined to experience it in person.

Zeds Dead will perform at the Main Stage on Dec. 30 at the SnowGlobe Music Festival in South Lake Tahoe. He will then take the stage for the after party at The Showroom inside the Montbleu Casino and Resort. 21+ after party, doors at 11 p.m. Tickets for the late night are $25adv/$30door through or at the Montbleu Box Office.

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Dirtybird’s Claude VonStroke at SnowGlobe

December 27, 2013

claude vonstroke

To begin with, the name ‘Barclay Crenshaw’ is probably the dopest name I have ever heard in my life.

It’s even better when you are reminded that it’s associated with bay area music legend Claude VonStroke. And let’s take it on home with the fact that SnowGlobe and Fresh Bakin’ are proud to present Claude VonStroke on Dec. 30 at the official SnowGlobe after party at Montbleu.

Just like his fellow Dirtybird brother Justin Martin, VonStroke’s shows are a sure thing for music that just doesn’t quit. He is one third of the group that helped bring household names of house music to the San Francisco scene, and because of that, you can be sure that his sets will send you into a groove that takes over you entirely.

There are two key, really cool things about Crenshaw’s music. First and foremost – damn, does it possess the ability to make you want to dance. There’s a kind of staggered syncopation that builds with his dancier stuff, reminiscent almost of what hip-hop likes to do. Whatever it is, it keeps your attention, because it keeps moving and progressing, learning from itself and reasoning with the way music is supposed to change.

Many would say he is underground, including his label. However, the last few years has shown serious captivation with dance music the likes of VonStroke’s. What began as something regarded mostly as exclusive to the raves of the 90s has now grown into the mainstream music system, and with wide open arms.

And the reason it has done so with DJs like Crenshaw is because of the second reason his music is so funky, which is that it’s also easy to listen to. I find myself getting stuck for hours on his music while I write, while I clean, while I drive — while I do anything. There exists moments that it makes you pay attention to the dance aspect of it, but also contains a sincere and chill vibe to it.

No matter your preferences, Claude VonStroke can find a way to move you. Whether it be more through the feet or through the soul is entirely up to you, depending on how you choose to listen to his music. With these Dirtybird guys, it seems that’s exactly the way they like to keep it.

Claude VonStroke will perform in the SierraTent on Dec. 30 at the SnowGlobe Music Festival in South Lake Tahoe. He will then take the stage for the after party at Blu inside the Montbleu Casino and Resort. 21+ after party, doors at 11 p.m. Tickets for the late night are $15adv/$20door through or at the Montbleu Box Office