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Several people asked me where to find drugs at Electric Zoo. This was my response.

Amidst all the outcry over ineffective security, a postponed refund, and countless other maladies plaguing the return and possible demise of Electric Zoo, dance music legend Tommie Sunshine took to Twitter to call out the ‘sting experiment’ being carried out at Electric Zoo.  A full write up on Tommie’s thoughts can be found at Dance Music Northwest, and I encourage everyone to read it.

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Interestingly enough, I was approached by several individuals on premises who asked for assistance in finding ‘mdma’, ‘molly’, or ‘e’ on festival grounds. In each case, the person asking was extremely direct and targeted me exclusively because of the beaded mask, kandi, and fluffies I was wearing. In each circumstance, the person or persons asking cited my appearance as the reason they chose to ask me, and once I admitted I did not have any drugs they proceeded to target another patron dressed in a similar fashion.

In each situation I decided to go a step above simply saying “no I don’t have any” or “no i don’t do that” and tried to disarm their incorrect assumption that my kandi, my mask, and my fluffies signified that I was dealing drugs. This was my response to every undercover that came my way:

“The way I am dressed does not signify that I am a drug user or dealer, and I apologize that stereotypes perpetuated by Mad Decent and HARD Summer have led you to the conclusion that kandi-wearers are drug users. I do not have any drugs of any kind for sale today, and I would encourage you to not approach other kandi-kids in regards to drugs. In my experience, it is the normally-dressed patrons that sell to others inside, not those in festive masks and outfits. It has also been my experience that the kandi-clad ravers are the first to offer water, assistance, and seek medical help for those in need in festival, club, and underground situations. I feel extremely disappointed that you would accuse me of being a criminal based exclusively on my creative expressions, and I sincerely hope you come to understand that all of us here aren’t drug addicts and deviants. We’re all patrons here to enjoy the show in our own way, and I specifically have chosen to enjoy it in an outfit that expresses my creativity; my outfit today is not an advertisement for drug solicitation, and I would highly dissuade you from purchasing anything illegal on the festival grounds. Thank you.”

How do you handle being asked for drugs at festivals? Share your responses in the comments!

‘…they only told you you’re good because they wanted to get in your pants’: Feedback I received on my gloving.

Recently, I’ve picked up gloving and have found myself using the art of gloving as an escape from the daily stresses I encounter at work and elsewhere. In the daily practices of perfecting the fluidity of a finger roll to experimenting with a tech concept I see in a tutorial video, I find a quiet little LED oasis where my mind can be at peace. The process is emotional satisfying and mentally relaxing, but recently I received a highly insulting piece of feedback I felt the need to share.

 

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PLUR Profile: Deadmau5

PLUR Profile: Deadmau5

Shocked? I am a little bit to be honest. So why does the often outspoken, highly opinionated man of the mau5 get a shout out in the name of PLUR? Here’s why:

Deadmau5 is a troll. I’m not debating that fact, however I’d argue that he trolls for the greater good. I’d wager that for every inflammatory insulting tweet he sends bashing those that piss on genres of music they don’t fully understand, there are many easter eggs amid his other tweets highlighting truly great music and the talent behind it. Example? When Arcade Fire threw a piss-fit over “artists playing real instruments“, Joel informed them that real music can be found in the opera. Well played sir, well played.

Why I’m choosing to highlight Mr. Zimmerman is largely because of his dedication and appreciation for music.  With everyone left and right getting hopped up on “the drop” or what tracks will ‘break into the Beatport top 10″ list, Joel is giving shout outs to producers who take the time to master their craft (as well as dishing heat to those who treat music production like a cash cow).  For late-to-the-party fans like myself, I find that the ‘coffee run series’ Joel hosts often contain hidden educational gems. In certain videos how makes mention of how to master an album for vinyl, how certain amps influence the final product, and has even called out mistakes made by more amateur producers and DJ’s and how to fix them. Though the man is an accomplished internet troll, he is also a representation of what every nerd wants to be growing up.

By which, I don’t mean every nerdy kid wants to grow up to be an entertainer with the kind of hype and respect that Joel Zimmerman has managed to achieve in the last few years. Put simply, seeing the kid with the spiky yellow hair and love of video games, Pokémon, and electronic music become a household name and become accomplished and successful is highly motivating. By the same token, despite Mr. Zimmerman being the ‘big deal’ that he is, its refreshing to see him give back to the community and nurture other talents looking to emerge from the woodwork and hone their craft (I’m being blunt here and referring to Mau5trap’s Le Castlevania…because I can).

The next time you see this man tweet something inflammatory (or incredible) just remember that he started out and a fun-loving nerd like the rest of us.

Here’s to you Joel 🙂

If you think you know a person, small business, performer/producer who you think should be profiled, give me ashout at ragehound@gmail.com.

-The Hound

PLUR Profile: April Cooper & Ethan Sparkles

PLUR Profile: April Cooper & Ethan Sparkles

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Every now and again we hear about incredible patrons who stick out in the ‘EDM scene’ (most often Lady Casa comes to mind). Today I wanted to honor two people who represent the roots of the type of electronic music I started listening to and the ‘scene’ I came from before the days of daisies and ‘rave bras’.

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Meet April & Ethan; two ravers who have been around for years and despite the changing fashion around them have largely stayed true to themselves and the music they love. Often found at events decked in neon, FX contacts, and what I would love to dub “high-fashion cyber” these two embody a lesser-known staple of the underground.

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Nowadays, when we think of ‘rave scene’ we think tank-topped bros and daisy-bra ladies, but these two rave on as a gentle reminder of the more dark and creative subculture where older rave-kids like myself got their first taste of both music and fashion. In a time when we are so quick to piss and moan about how much is “wrong with the scene” or what is “ruining the scene”, it is refreshing to see two bright-eyed individuals who are continuing to enjoy and explore all that this scene has been and will become.

Here’s to you April & Ethan 🙂

You can find April on Instagram as @apescooper and Ethan as @ethansparkles, I’m sure both would love a follow!

If you think you know a person, small business, performer/producer who you think should be profiled, give me ashout at ragehound@gmail.com.

-The Hound

Video

About my Kandi Masks

I felt it was about time to post this. I wrote a post a while back on a PLUR profile on Dirty Cat Designs.

After wearing these masks out to shows, I was getting a lot of heat for paying for them because they were considered ‘kandi’ and should have been traded. I wanted to address why I am ok with paying Dirty for such unique and high quality creations.

For more on Dirty, visit http://www.dirtycatdesigns.com

PLUR Profile: Dirty Cat Designs

PLUR Profile: Dirty Cat Designs

All images are courtesy of DirtyCatDesigns, please do not replicate any of the patterns featured without Dirty's permission.

All images are courtesy of DirtyCatDesigns, please do not replicate any of the patterns featured without Dirty’s permission.

Starting today, I am going to be launching a little series called the ‘PLUR Profile’ which will highlight small businesses, individuals, performer/producers, or other notable members of the community who excel in their craft, give back to others, or who have shown excellence in their dedication to their customers.
It brings me great pleasure to kick of this series with none other than the infamous Dirty Cat herself,
the pony bead maestro behind some of the most daringly different kandi masks you will see on the festival circuit.

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Gaining recognition initially for her original Cheshire mask,  Dirty began designing unique and complex patterns as well as hand-cutting her own signature teeth. A highly flexible artist, Dirty has even created new patterns to accommodate discerning patrons who seek a more custom experience, often making the original piece A standalone design after the pattern has joined the available options. Although users must pay for Dirty’s services, the investment is justified once you consider that these masks are her sole source of income, and much of what she makes is funneled back into her high-quality faux fur, crystals, and EL wire used to make these
jaw-dropping creations.

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Dirty has made many creative dreams come true, and even repairs customers masks for free should they encounter any extensive damage. She works around the clock to execute shockingly magical designs, offers her unique teeth as a separate purchase, and even creates custom teeth and accents on request… all while planning her own wedding.

Yes, she even did a My Little Pony series

Yes, she even did a My Little Pony series

Normally, I don’t contribute to ‘send me to EDC’ requests because in my experience they are used as PR stunts, are improperly executed, and lead to resentment. However, I am asking my followers & friends one very conservative request: because Dirty is looking to secure funds for both her wedding AND EDC this year, I would like to ask anyone that is willing, to give her a bit of a hand. When Dirty opens again for commissions, I am asking that anyone who orders please leave a small tip to help her reach her goal of 2 tickets to EDC for herself and her fiancee.

For those wondering, yes, Lady Dirty was the mastermind behind the patterning, execution, and fruition of the current Ragehound 'hellhound' style mask.

For those wondering, yes, Lady Dirty was the mastermind behind the patterning, execution, and fruition of the current Ragehound ‘hellhound’ style mask.

Anyone who would like to
make a more immediate impact can donate directly to Dirty by setting up a payment by visiting her website.

Dirty’s masks are incredible pieces that leave a lasting impression, and are also built to last. Sadly, Dirty is only on Instagram, but I’m sure she would love a follow and maybe a shout.

If you think you know a person, small business, performer/producer who you think should be profiled, give me a shout at ragehound@gmail.com.

-The Hound

Festival Essentials: 2014 – The Basics

Now a while back I did a little list of clothes and makeup essentials for festival season. Now, here are the basics:

1. Deodorant. Shocker right? You’re going to dance, and you’re going to sweat. Sweat happens. My top pick for this would be Dove’s Advanced Care line. Personally, I’d vote opt for an unscented stick, as the scented sticks from Dove tend to develop a bizarre and unpleasant smell when they’ve reached max capacity. Especially avoid the flower-scents and they smell worst after usage. The unscented lasts a pretty good while (I was able to go a solid 8 hours before I had to throw in the towel) and doesn’t ruin black shirts.  This should be the first festival purchase you make after tickets and hotel fees.

2. Sunscreen. The biggest mistake anyone makes at festivals  be it rock, edm, or what have you is forgetting the SPF. No matter how conservative or creatively scant your outfit, you will want to avoid the ‘lobster look’ on day 2 & 3. Do yourself a favor and set aside the Hawaiian Tropics oil, and get something more robust and sweat-proof. My top pick for this is my swear-by Coppertone Water Babies. It’s hyp0-allergenic, it’s not going to break your bank in price, and it’s tear-free (because let’s face all sunscreens  WILL melt into your eyes eventually). It’s not going to make you a bronze demi god, but at least you won’t be taking aloe vera baths later.

3. Chapstick. I know it may seem painfully simple, but yes you will need chapstick, and what you will discover is among festival goers, chapstick-losing seems to be a collective habit. The solution I’ve found is chapstick that clips on to stuff. This makes it a hell of a lot harder to lose. You’ll notice that few companies offer these (as it actually benefits them if you lose your chapstick and have to buy another). One company that offers a clip-on chapstick is Aloe Gator, whose little lipstick has SPF 30 and a ‘not nauseating’ mint flavor.

4. Non-Abrasive Face Wash. As much as you might want to scrub off your festival makeup, sunscreen, and other layers of grime…always make sure your scrubbing agent won’t irritate your skin. Wearing glue-on crystals, fake lashes, face paint, eye makeup, and the like will already irritate your skin. The best thing to use after a long day of sweating off makeup and sunscreen isn’t a ‘salt scrub’, instead try Olay Foaming Face Wash. It’s gentle and foams up so that you don’t need to scrub like a crazy person to lather up. Also, no matter what you use DO NOT USE SCENTED. This will absolutely make your skin burn.

From here on out, shampoo and body wash and the like should be whatever you use normally. I would suggest those for you, but since we are all unique little unicorns with different hair and skin, that would just be silly.

Anyways, as you get your tuts fluffed, your fluffies combed out, and your mega-packs of pony beads, don’t forget to cover your basics for festival season!

-The Hound

What Is Rape Culture? Why You Should Care.

I’d been meaning to write a meaty article fully detailing why I am so vehemently anti-slut shaming, anti sexist bullshit, and very viciously feminist. However, before doing so a friend shared an article that much more eloquently summed up what I had wanted to say. In an article entitled ‘What Is Rape Culture’, several Buzzfeed staff members deconstruct and eloquently elucidate the true meaning of ‘rape culture’ and the various components the can be seen in society today.

Many facets of what is covered in this piece are highly applicable to stigma and attitudes present in the attitudes and perceptions at play at major festivals, clubs, raves, and beyond. Recently, one writer of Daily Beat, identified only as ‘Gianna’ wrote about ‘how to be classy‘ and specifically accused the unidentified woman as dressing like a “cheap whore”.  The article from Buzzfeed addresses this kind of ideology directly and succinctly:

“The old metaphor is that women who dress provocatively are the same as homeowners who don’t lock their doors at night. But this argument only further reduces women to objects and asks them to be responsible for preventing their own rape.”-Buzzfeed

In other situations, I’ve found myself offended by some of the content shared by people I consider to be friends. In one such instance, an image of a puppy with the caption jokingly stating that ‘roofies were high in vitamin C’. As someone who has had friends who have been victims of date rape (via drugs) and has direct experience with it, I was incredibly offended. Instead of an apology or a polite resolution, I was met with a “get over it” response typical of rape culture acceptance.

Essentially, I’d been hit with a trigger in the form of a “harmless” rape joke.

“Beneath the debate over whether rape jokes can be funny is the larger question of whether it’s healthy for a society to laugh at the idea of sexual violence.”-Buzzfeed

On a personal aside, I have been that girl. I’ve been the girl who wakes up in an unfamiliar bed with no memory of the night before. I’ve had to scramble terrified into a cab in early hours of the morning frantically texting friends for help to figure out how I got there. I’ve mysteriously lost all memory after only a few drinks, and fearfully wondered if anything had happened against my will while I was compromised. This has happened more than once.  I can tell you, there was nothing funny about it.

Someone reading this might think:

  • “Maybe if you didn’t dress like a whore it wouldn’t have happened.”
  • “Maybe if you didn’t drink so much it wouldn’t have happened.”
  • “Maybe if your friends had taken better care of you / been there it wouldn’t have happened.”
  • “Maybe if you hadn’t stayed out so late it wouldn’t have happened.”

This brings us to what bothers me the most:  we should view rape not as an act brought upon oneself, but as something perpetrated by another.

“Rape culture is telling girls and women to be careful about what you wear, how you wear it, how you carry yourself, where you walk, when you walk there, with whom you walk, whom you trust, what you do, where you do it, with whom you do it, what you drink, how much you drink, whether you make eye contact, if you’re alone, if you’re with a stranger, if you’re in a group, if you’re in a group of strangers, if it’s dark, if the area is unfamiliar, if you’re carrying something, how you carry it, what kind of shoes you’re wearing in case you have to run, what kind of purse you carry, what jewelry you wear, what time it is, what street it is, what environment it is, how many people you sleep with, what kind of people you sleep with, who your friends are, to whom you give your number, who’s around when the delivery guy comes, to get an apartment where you can see who’s at the door before they can see you, to check before you open the door to the delivery guy, to own a dog or a dog-sound-making machine, to get a roommate, to take self-defense, to always be alert always pay attention always watch your back always be aware of your surroundings and never let your guard down for a moment lest you be sexually assaulted and if you are and didn’t follow all the rules it’s your fault.”-Shakesville

I’m sick of reading articles about “how to be classy” or why I should “see the humor” in rape jokes.

The articles cited above are well worth the read, ad I highly recommend everyone read them.

The Buzzfeed article can be found here, and the Shakesville piece here.

A Direct Response Daily Beat’s Gianna

I have been a fan and supporter of various small music blogs since I started going out to clubs. One of my favorites specifically being Daily Beat, a Philly-run blog that has begun to beautifully evolve in both content and website construction ever since I began reading it.

That being said, it came with much dismay that I noticed there was an article on how to be ‘classy’ in a club atmosphere. I will openly admit that the ‘club’ (in the sense of models and bottles and VIP velvet) aren’t exactly my turf /stomping ground, but some of the points raised in this piece veered off from well-intentioned into outright rude. In some cases the train of thought derailed entirely and the cabin of unsuspecting readers was thrust into the ugly mouth of same-sex-sexism, or the unrelenting grasp of ‘slut shaming’ perpetrated by women.

Before I dive in further, it should be noted that while some pieces may point a finger and call authors of these “put on some clothes you whore” articles jealous and spiteful, I believe some  (but not all) of the points raised demonstrated that ‘Gianna’ isn’t one of those. To be fair, her suggestion that those that partake in illicit substances regulate themselves is a fair point…in safety (and perhaps class). Similarly, wearing heinous high shoes isn’t for the weak of ankle; I will concede that in that respect miss Gianna has a point: if you can’t walk in it, don’t club in it.

However from these positives I have to look a bit scathingly at the rest of this piece with utter dismay, and in no particular order of abhorrence:

3. It’s Better To Bring Two Girls With You, Preferably Two Who Aren’t Stupid B*tches Or Dramatic

While the actual content of this point is valid (go out with people you can rely on), the way it is delivered is wholly unnecessary. If I went out and something were to happen (for example I get hit by a rogue hand-heart, an unpleasant ex shows up, etc) I’d like to think I’m not being a ‘stupid bitch’. Life does happen, and while I agree that two besties are better than one…they don’t both have to be girls.

5. If Your Job Isn’t Related To Nightlife And You Find You Go Out More Than 3 Times A Week, Get Your Sh*t Together

With all do respect miss Gianna, I do go out 3 days a week sometimes (not always) but I feel that for a 24 year-old female I have my shit quite together. Your concern is charming.

8. If You Feel The Need To Incessantly Hook Up With Someone At The Club, At Least Hide On The Dance Floor

If you feel the need to judge people hooking up, I highly suggest turning your head 45 degrees in a different direction. If either party is not hooking up willing, perhaps instead of throwing shade, see if they are ok. I realize you paid good money to enter this club to enjoy the music and atmosphere all to yourself, but a little common kindness never hurts.

1. Stop Dressing Like This

This is what gets me angry, makes my blood boil, and incites rage: the author instructs her readers to smack the pictured blonde female ‘upside the head’ for her clothing choice. The female pictured is dressed scantily in a bodysuit. I suspect her consent was never asked for, and this picture is being displayed maliciously. Miss Giana continues on:

Yes, you’re going to a club/venue and wearing a sexy outfit is the norm. But oh my god someone please smack this girl upside the head. I am very sick and tired of girls calling guys pigs, because when you make yourself look like a cheap whore, guys will treat you like that. It’s human nature to judge people by their appearance, and as much as that can annoy me, I’ve come to accept it. I want to be treated with respect, so I’m going to respect myself and present myself in a classy way. I think the biggest downfall of our generation, especially females, is this mindset: “Times have changed. Women have gotten somewhere in this world and should not have to cover up their bodies. FREE THE NIPPLE (actual movement going on currently).”

I love that you respect yourself and ‘dress in a classy way’ but respect is something you EARN not DRESS FOR. Fair, so most women (presumably you) make the assumption that exposed skin is a sign of ‘trash’ of lesser worth or respect. You are correct, it is human nature to judge people by their appearance, and I personally think the woman whose image you’ve posted (likely without her consent or permission) appears to be confident in what she is wearing.

While I welcome you to pigeon-hole me into the ‘biggest downfall of out generation’ category for my often scant of cloth, I would say that your mindset is what is letting us all down. Openly shaming a girl you don’t know using a picture that you don’t own (and presumably didn’t take) to add a flair of self-importance to an otherwise flimsy meme-filled monologue.

I still love Daily Beat, but this is one piece that will leave quite a bitter taste in my mouth for some time.

-The Hound

Shut up about your petty drama, this is what we need to complain about

If you haven’t heard about the mounting lawsuit against ‘Moose Diesel’ of Light Nightclub in Las Vegas, you need to.

You will no doubt see multiple points of view and tons of speculation….you will also see evidence surface and some very ugly truths.

At the heart of it all you will see bold-faced sexual harassment.

Because other more notable blogs have already begun to cover this story in-depth, I will be pulling from them rather than duplicating efforts. Let us begin:

“The lawsuit, filed by attorney Donald Campbell, was the result of a sexual harassment case experienced by his Jane Doe client after she applied for a table hostess position at Light this past January.”-White Raver Rafting

In clubs everywhere, you have probably seen the beautiful girls that walk your fancy bottle of booze to the table. You’ve heard they make insane amounts of money for their trouble and probably get their fair share of unwanted advances. But you’ve probably never heard this:

” In reading over these documents, it looks as if Moose Diesel wanting to get the plaintiff in bed. It details everything from being instructed to drink alcohol and take drugs with high-level employees (like Abdi and Sasson) while on the clock to the numerous sexual advances that Abdi is alleged to have made towards the plaintiff. This went from vulgar remarks and repeated suggestions for the plaintiff to touch Abdi’s genitals to forced touching of his genitals to an incident in a Light green room where Moose Diesel “forcibly attempted to perform oral sex” on the plaintiff… among other acts.” Do Androids Dance

Regardless of what you think paying customers may be entitled to, set that all aside and think about what you just read. Imagine dealing with the usual stresses of being a bottle girl coupled with your boss trying to coerce oral sex, forcing you to touch his genitals, and constantly berating you. I’ve said numerous times that slut-shaming is disgusting and wrong, so let’s analyze this:

  • You are expected to wear your uniform, in this case of bottle girls, it’s usually “sexy”

The whole ‘asking for it’ bullshit shovanistic argument is kind of moot point. I couldn’t tell you what the exact uniform bottle girls there wear, but knowing vegas and clubs…it was likely one that was anything but conservative. Not to mention, the only thing you should be expected to do is bring expensive alcoholic bottle from point A to point B. Maybe be nice too. That should be it. And it gets worse:

Full

This is a snippet of some of the allegations. The full file can be found here

“…the charges, when listed completely, paint an even darker picture: “rampant sexual harassment, drug use on the property, assault, battery, creating a hostile work environment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, attempted workplace intimidation.”-Do Androids Dance

The big takeaway here is: this is wholly unacceptable. This is NOT ok. A female worker in any fucking field is entitled to fucking respect. That should be gospel, law, and commonplace practice.

The twitter-bound EDM community has plenty of time to kvetch and rant about drama amongst ourselves. Let’s collectively focus our attention on this abhorrence, and make sure this isn’t dismissed as the “same ol story” and put to bed behind closed doors.