Tahoe


Category
BLOG For Immediate Release LIVE SHOWS LOCAL MUSIC MUSIC BLOG RECENT Reno Tahoe Uncategorized

The Matinee Opens at Seven – (Jan 17th)

January 12, 2015
Post Image

With a plethora of options this weekend in Reno/Tahoe area, one show we are excited for (and will absolutely be at) is Moondog Matinee’s album release show at Cargo Saturday, January 17th with Rigorous Proof and Bryan Jones. I found their new record, “Carry Me, Rosie,” uploaded to their Soundcloud account and it’s been on non-stop rotation.  Soul, raw power, energy, blues…Moondog Matinee’s current line-up of Drea Ballard (guitar, vocals), Peter Barnato (vocals, keyboard, guitar), Adam Carpenter (bass, vocals), Ben Ingle (drums) and Steve Widmer (guitar, vocals) exudes a confidence I’ve never heard before in this band.

It’s amazing how far these guys have come since I first heard them a few years ago, and how tight they are together. Previously I was even lost as to who they wanted to be sonically. After listening to this album over and over again I feel they’ve found their sound, but have laid a foundation that we can literally expect anything from them. We caught up with vocalist Peter Bernato to answer some questions for us.

FB: How long has Moondog been together? What’s the history?
PB: Almost 8 years, we started as a college band jamming for fun and throughout the years have been interchanging personnel and honing our sound. It was always quite schizophrenic, but the moment we pulled Drea Ballard on board, our band had a cohesive, unique sound that we are all very proud of.

FB: You all have been out on the road quite a bit. How have your tours been going? Any standout shows or cities you really like playing?
PM: Great! We do well on the road. Nothing like a bunch of friendly drunkards, living in a school bus, that like to play live music in front of strangers. We work very hard, and believe that live music is the only way to have the current music listening climate respect what you are doing. The digital age has brought a lot of negative aspects to the music industry, but we believe it has created a healthy climate for live performance. We are so used to getting things immediately on the ‘interwebs’ that a heartfelt live performance is something that is in realtime. Something that is vulnerable and honest. That’s why live gigs are everything to Moondog, because we love everything that we are shoving down the audience’s throats, and we hope they enjoy what we are forcibly feeding them. Seattle and Bend are markets that understand what we are doing. Every time we play in those cities, we are greeted with fans that treat us with the respect that we crave as musicians.

moondog matinee LIVE

FB: Who would say are the band’s biggest influences?
PB: That’s a question that each member would answer differently, but I know our favorite decade is early to mid seventies rock and roll. I am a devout Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, David Bowie, Bob Seger, Gram Parsons, The Band, Warren Zevon, Iggy Pop, Neil Young, Steely Dan, Velvet Underground, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead fan….. You get the point

FB: What era of the Grateful Dead is your favorite?
PB: I’ll have to speak for myself, but Workingman’s dead and Wake of the Flood are my favorites…..

FB: Tell us about something completely disturbing you experienced on tour.
PB: We were playing in Eugene in front of a raging audience of two that consisted of our bartender and an old drunk, and Drea peed his pants during the first song. It was his first tour with us and he misunderstood his bladder. The most magical part of the night was his determination to finish the next 45 painful minutes with urine in his Levis.

FB: Tell us about your Rigorous Proof and Bryan Jones and why you selected them to be part of you album release show
PB: Bryan Jones is a musician that I have looked up to since the day I met him. He is a musician down to his marrow. Everything he does revolves around music. That’s a trait that I most admire and pretend to have, but very few people possess. Rigorous Proof has an understanding of music that is similar to ours. Not necessarily in the ways we sound similar, but in the era in which we dream to reside. They are a mixture of Preservation Green, Kinks, early Who and Supertramp. We chose them to play with us because we respect what they are doing. Plus Johnny and the boys are the nicest, most humbling group of cats we know.

FB: My friend told me she used to go to the mall in high school and stare at you while you worked at The Gap. How do you respond to that?
PB: I wish she would of talked to me, I felt as though I was invisible in those years of my life. Hahaha

THE RECIPE: SHOW: Moondog Matinee, Rigorous Proof and Bryan Jones
LOCATION: Cargo in Whitney Peak Hotel
DATE: January 17th. 2015
TIME: Doors open at 7pm, music begins at 8pm.
AGES RESTRICTIONS: All ages welcome
TICKETS: Tickets are $10 and are available at the Whitney Peak front desk or HERE

BLOG North Lake Tahoe Reno South Lake Tahoe Tahoe Uncategorized

STYLUST BEATS TO MAKE TAHOE CITY GO “LOCO ONO”

November 29, 2014
Post Image

 

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 MusicYouNeed.net. 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+.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP + TICKETS

 

CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW BASS TRIBE TAHOE

 

Stylust Beats Artwork

 

BLOG PRESS RECENT Reno Tahoe Uncategorized

NAHKO BRINGS THE GOOD MEDICINE

November 28, 2014
Post Image

Certain genres of music cycle in and out of style like traditional medicine. We can compare this to the “old wives tales” cures for ailments that are re-discovered as better than the conventional and new pharmaceutical drugs.  Roots music has been turning the ears of more and more people, potentially due to it fixing symptoms brought on by a cold, sterile and hollow entertainment industry, who force-feed mediocrity and garbage to the masses that lacks substance, message and intention.

Thankfully, there are plenty of great acts out there across every genre which buck the status quo. Bassnectar and The Polish Ambassador in the electronic world, Phish in the jam world, Pearl Jam in the rock world…and in the roots world you have acts like Rising Appalachia, Michael Franti and Nahko and Medicine for the People.

Nahko, an Oregon-native born a mix of Apache, Puerto Rican, and Filipino cultures and adopted into an American family, suffered an identity crisis from an early age. When he took up the piano at age six, the unifying power of music entered his life and brought him harmony.  Armed with his newfound talent, he set out to bridge the cultural gaps dividing his own psyche. He began producing a public, musical journal of his journey toward personal, spiritual, and communal healing, and thus Medicine for the People was born.

Photo Credit: Kristi Knupp
Photo Credit: Kristi Knupp

 

Medicine indeed….you can’t leave a Nahko show without feeling slightly healed. The soul and feeling exploding from the voice and sounds from Nahko’s stage is filled with messages of love, revolt, hope, struggle and community. The band, consisting of Nahko Bear, Chase Makai, Dustin Thomas, Justin Chittams & Hope Medford, weaves it’s roots influences which include Hawaiian, blues, reggae and folk but these guys rock like a rock and roll or punk show. You may have caught their explosive performance at Wanderlust last July. The energy in that tent spread goosebumps across everyone’s bodies. I didn’t see a face without an exhilarated smile plastered across it.

It’s an exhilaration brought on by a uplifting vocals, driving drum beats and intense energy from a band who seems a perfect proprietary blend of Bob Marley’s spiritual and political leanings, Michael Franti’s community, Pearl Jam’s independence and rock intensity and Cecilio and Kapono’s Hawaiian influence. If you take this pill, not dancing is near impossible at a Nahko tribe party. This is spreading too, as seen by the almost 3 million plays on their video for “Aloha Ke Akua.”

This band is going to outgrow the Crystal Bay Club fast, so you really want to make sure you see this act in such an intimate setting.

Nahko and Medicine for the People perform in the Crown Room of the Crystal Bay Club on December 12th, 2014.  Tickets are onsale now at www.devildogshows.com. 21+, 9pm.

 

 

BLOG For Immediate Release RECENT Reno Tahoe Uncategorized

THE UTILITY PLAYERS KILL YOUR T.V….AND WHAT HAPPENS NEXT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND

November 28, 2014
Post Image

Admittedly, I have turned into that annoying “no TV” guy. When someone asks me “Did you see that commercial about the dog and the guy and the toilet?” I start with “no.” Usually I am asked in return “How have you not seen that? It’s on all the time” to which I have to respond “I don’t own a television.” I don’t think I’m better than anyone who owns one; TV and I have been roommates on and off since I was little. Eventually I realized I function better without one. I end up watching dumb stuff for no reason, and I think back about all that GARBAGE I watched growing up and it kind of sickens me.

Free TV
 

However, the final tossing of the boob tube onto the sidewalk with a “FREE (works)” sign attached happened when I discovered Reno’s indie theater scene. My parents took me to big production plays when I was young, and you are also currently reading the yammerings of Sycamore Junior High’s lead actor of The Phantom Toolbooth (Milo). After that, theater kind disappeared in my life.

My friend took me to Pageant at Brüka Theater many years ago and I walked out with my stomach muscles in agony from laughter. That one experience inspired me to buy season tickets for a few years, and in doing so I realized there is even more “like that” in Reno. These performances were the final nail in the coffin for the big black box. In theater, storytelling, stand-up, etc, there are no overdubs, reshoots, adding filters or manipulation to cover mistakes It’s pure, raw and un-edited. I was a changed man.

Not long after moving to Reno in 2006, I met Jessica “Jester” Levity at the Studio on 4th Street. We discovered in a phone number exchange that both hail from Cincinnati, OH, so clearly our Midwestern/Ohio pride was huge (FYI people from Ohio are very proud and it has nothing to do with our sportsball teams). While I was focused on music, she had founded an improv comedy troupe called The Utility Players. According to Levity “I had a insatiable yearning to see really good improv comedy, and I also dreamed the name “The Utility Players”, and thought, “Holy shit, that would be a great name for a comedy troupe that can do anything.”(fun fact: A ‘utility player’ is a baseball term for someone who can play any position proficiently). We stayed in touch over the years (see: Midwestern/Ohio pride) and seeing each other’s endeavors grow, we had both grown out of the Studio on 4th and in 2011 I found myself at my first Utility Players show at the Pioneer Underground.

 

utility players onstage
 

Modeled after the 1998-2007 show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, The Utility Players take the crowd through a series of “games” which create scenarios for the comedians to improvise within. What makes this way better than the show is first, it’s live; and second, no network TV censorship (the show is 18+ only) so it has an “anything goes” ethos. After attending easily over fifteen UP’s shows I can promise that anything truly does go.

Much like an improv jazz band or jamband, improv is influenced by the energy of the crowd, the moods of the comedians, the ideas called out from the crowd, or even how recently practiced are the comedians? One thing that’s so magic about improv is the unknown. Will this “show” be incredible or fall flat? When a performer walks on stage with no set-list, skit, or pre-rehearsed bit, the potential is completely unknown. Throw in inviting crowd members up onstage for games, and every show is a wild card. I’ve seen the Utility Player’s build so much energy in a room your hair stands on end, and a few times they’ve even ended a game by saying “ok, that was terrible.” It’s a risk you take to create magic.

 

utility players audience
 

After a long tenure at the Pioneer Underground, they were offered an incredible opportunity: their own theater and weekly gig at the Sands Regency. “Jester’s Theater” was created in small conference room upstairs in the Sands (fun fact: the rooms was previously The Funny Bone Comedy Club until 2007). My first thought was “the Utility Players are already great, but when a group like this performs weekly instead of monthly, their improv is going to get even better than before.” While the theater created in the Sands is no Pioneer Underground structurally, it’s more intimate and you can hear the performers better than ever. The cast for this past week: Amanda Alvey, Chris Daniels, Derek Sonderfan, Ian Sorensen, Joe Garton, Shane Tolomeo, Stacy Johnson and Taryn Gomez, along with host Jessica “The Jester” Levity, clearly have benefited from their weekly gigs. It was clear their improv was quicker, sharper and funnier. From “game” to “game” the overall consistency of the show was really strong. The crowd was pretty rowdy but overall respectful and was adding great cues (when asked).

Not only did their weekly gigs tighten their show, but they were invited to the SF Improv Festival this past September. That experience, Levity says “humbled us, it inspired us, it networked us, and, in the words of Derek Sonderfan (our musician): ‘It wasn’t our greatest performance, but it showed that we deserved to be at SFIF.’ They loved our performance, and the team bonding that occurred that weekend is irreplaceable. Most importantly, a bunch of improv junkies got to see a bunch of incredible improv, and it has completely set a new bar for what we want to do as a troupe. Also, the UPs got to witness THE troupe that single-handedly inspired me to create my own troupe when I saw them in Amsterdam — Boom Chicago. They were speechless after the performance.”

There are only two shows left in The Utility Player’s eighth season at the Sands. THIS TROUPE IS FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS RIGHT NOW. Every Saturday through 12/20 (no show on 12/13). Tickets are available online at www.utilityplayerscomedy.com or the Sands cage. Doors open at 7:30 (get there on time to get best seats). These shows have been selling out so we recommend arriving early and buying presale tickets.Please also like Homeslice Productions and The Utility Players on Facebook.

 

 

 

CLICK FOR TICKETS
CLICK FOR TICKETS

 

BLOG PRESS Reno Tahoe Uncategorized

GET LOST IN THE WILD REEDS

November 18, 2014
Post Image

There is change in the air. Not only are the seasons changing where we live, but I’m witnessing a musical change too. Maybe not so much a change, but I’m witnessing people engaging in a wider range of musical styles. For someone like me, who considers an ideal Sunday to have the doors and windows open, cooking breakfast and playing the Oh Brother! Where Art Thou? soundtrack, I can’t be more happy about it. Most of our social outings involve so much loud music that being able to absorb the emotion of a simple song, a story or just one classical guitarist is the perfect balance to all the heaviness of the rest of the world.

I was hired at Lightning in a Bottle this year to assist with the Grand Artique. On Saturday night, I was charged as stage manager and two of the acts I worked with turned out to be my favorite acts of the weekend: WC Thornbush’s Great American Show and The Wild Reeds. Where WC Thornbush brought a raucous throwback show reminiscent of dust bowl revivals and political rallies, The Wild Reeds blew me away with powerful yet delicate harmonies, emotional and inspiring vocals and really beautiful and personal stage performance. Immediately after their show I asked for a CD to purchase, which the obliged and sold me an advance copy of their then forth-coming album, Blind and Brave.

The Wild Reeds soundcheck at LIB • Grand Artique Stage • A.o.K. Photography
The Wild Reeds soundcheck at LIB • Grand Artique Stage • A.o.K. Photography

Buying an album of a band you just heard for the first time is a coin toss. I don’t necessarily want it to sound exactly what I just heard, but what I want is to make me feel similar. Blind and Brave did this for me. Kicking off with “Where I’m Going,” which starts with a stomping declaration:

“You think you know where I’m going,
the truth is I haven’t got a clue
one thing I know where I’m going,
there won’t be another you”

The three part harmonies of Kinsey, Mack and Sharon, backed by drummer and bass player Nick and Jason, build to a floating yet climatic release that drops eventually back down and drops into one of my favorite songs ever recorded, “Let No Grief.” I’ve listened to this song at least 500 times. Not exaggerating here. Instead of describing it, I’ll leave a teaser video below (this version is without drums and bass).

The title track and first single, “Blind and Brave,” follows “Let No Grief” perfectly. They released an incredible video (below) and the production on the album on this track lends to a more successful single in my eyes. It’s a beautiful song, less somber than “Let No Grief,” yet without lacking the emotional power of it’s predecessor.

Other notable tracks on Blind and Brave include the old-timey shuffle of “Love Letter;” “Judgement,” a haunting track which moves like a steam engine in it’s chugging chorus, then dropping into a mellow verses as if slowing down to keep itself from derailing due to speed. “Lock and Key” drops the listener off on the singers beckoning for “courage to carry me across the danger.”

Really excited to see The Wild Reeds again. They support Noah Gunderson at Cargo inside Whitney Peak Hotel on November 23rd. This is a seated show and tickets are limited. Visit www.cargoreno.com or the front desk of Whitney Peak Hotel for tickets. This is an all ages show.

BLOG North Lake Tahoe Reno Sacramento South Lake Tahoe Tahoe Tahoe City Uncategorized wanderlust

MELISSA MARTINEZ: PEACEFUL FLOW, UJJAYI & MOMASANA

June 24, 2014
Post Image

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 www.melissamcyoga.com // www.yogadjhyfi.com. Her next teacher training is in Spring 2015. Info at www.weareoneflowyoga.com or email melmar25@hotmail.com

MELISSA FIELD

BLOG North Lake Tahoe Reno South Lake Tahoe Tahoe Tahoe City The Bounce Uncategorized

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

June 20, 2014
Post Image

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 http://wanderlustsquaw2014.sched.org/tickets.

ENTER TO WIN FREE TICKETS: http://bit.ly/wanderlust2014music

 

CLICK ON PHOTO TO LISTEN TO “MORE IS THAN ISN’T”

 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO RJD2's "MORE IS THAN ISN'T"
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO RJD2’s “MORE IS THAN ISN’T”

 

SOUNDCLOUD:  https://soundcloud.com/officialrjd2
W
EBSITE: http://rjd2.net/
F
ACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/RJD2

 

BLOG North Lake Tahoe Reno Sacramento San Diego San Francisco South Lake Tahoe Tahoe Tahoe City The Bounce Uncategorized

Unleash Your Downward Dog at Wanderlust Squaw Valley

April 4, 2014
Post Image

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 http://squaw.wanderlustfestival.com/. 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
CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENTER TO WIN A FREE SAGE TICKET TO WANDERLUST 2014 IN SQUAW VALLEY
BLOG PRESS RECENT Tahoe Tahoe City Uncategorized

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 www.www.freshbakin.com to purchase tickets.

BLOG Crystal Bay Nevada For Immediate Release North Lake Tahoe RECENT Reno South Lake Tahoe Tahoe Tahoe City Uncategorized

“Our brakes went out in Colfax, MON!”

January 10, 2014

BLAKE

 

“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 http://www.cbc.tickets.musictoday.com/CrystalBayCasino/calendar.aspx

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: http://www.tahoetopia.com/

 

IS THAT BLAKE?

 BLAKE IS STEVE

 

Photo credit: Truffles Ziz McCrushing