Prowling the Airwaves and the Underground for the best in EDM

Archive for April, 2013

Buying Followers in the EDM Scene; Who’s Faking It?

In the age of social media being used as a primary tool of marketing, a measure of true ‘influence’ within a space more now than ever, brands, companies, and celebrities utilize the sheer size of their fan base as a way to assert dominance in the industry and amongst their peers. That being said, it should surprise no one that some of these major success stories are not 100% the ‘social media strategies’ we are told constantly by the media, but in fact ‘fronts’ created by a phenomenon known as ‘buying followers’.

Buying Influence, Tanking Credibility

You may have noticed my constant mention of ‘buying followers’ lately on Twitter and how I think it invalidates the credibility of those who utilize it to get ahead (Not to be confused with ‘promoting tweets’ or ‘promoting handles’). But to take a step back, how does one exactly ‘buy’ followers?  In 2012 Fast Company released an article exposing the practice of ‘buying followers’, and  highlighting tools such as StatusPeople and Klout as measurement systems that help determine influence as a measure of ‘active follower’ interaction; separating the inactive fake ‘bought’ followers from active genuine fans. According to Fast Company, on websites such as buytwitterfollowers.org, as many as 5,000 ‘fake’ followers  on Twitter can be bought for as little as $77, while on sites like usocial.net a massive 4,000 Facebook followers goes for an approximated $617. What does a ‘fake’ follower look like? Blogger Zach Bussey describes these mindless bots as a ‘jumble of letters.

So Who’s ‘Fronting’?

So this got me thinking, how many of my beloved producers, DJs, and EDM anon handles are big fat fakers? If we use the tools mentioned by Fast Company, we might be able to do ‘background checks’ on followers and see exactly whose audience in engaged…and whose in comprised on mindless zombie accounts.

So who cares if you ‘fake it to make it?’…as it turns out, a lot of people do

“Turns out, buying followers is probably the worst kept secret in all of social media — and it has a potential for a nasty and public backlash.” Lauren Hockenson, The Next Web

When it was recently alleged that DJ Bl3nd bought his Facebook fanbase, it set off a backlash of negativity.  In a heated exchange of Twitter, Diplo and DJ Bl3nd traded choice words (and later blows) as to whether Dj Bl3nd’s astoundingly (and suspiciously) high follow count on Facebook  (~3 million) was a loving fanbase….or a purchased front.

So to test the validity of Diplo’s accusations, I ran the most thorough check of his Twitter (I realize it was his Facebook under fire, but I operate primarily on Twitter) on as many recognized validation sites as I could muster. Now, we must take into account that ‘bot’ accounts affect everyone, and that someone with between 1-5% fake followers is probably in the clear (or possibly has been targeted by those obnoxious ‘teamfollowback’ drones) and that being said, I think it’s fair to establish that at least 70% of your followers should be active of ‘good’ followers as according to StatusPeople’s ‘faker’ test (honestly, in school anything less than a 70 is failing, so why not apply it here?). In terms of ‘inactive’ followers, while some listing might appear to be in the red (more than 10%) having up to 30% inactive users is completely normal, and may reflect that some of your followers may be less-active twitter users (made an account, followed you, forgot, barely tweet…it happens). The number to really keep an eye on, and the comparison of ‘fake‘ to ‘good‘.

DJBl3ndVSDiploIMAGE

What I discovered was that after utilizing suggestions from as many the various credible tech news resources, Diplo may have some validity in his claim…but isn’t exempt from it either.  Both he and DJ Bl3nd are reported to have more than 20% ‘fake’ followers, and less than 60% ‘good’ and active followers. While this seems a bit harsh to jump and assume either of these people are buying up followers, I did come upon some accounts with much more obvious implications. After digging around some more, a put together a small sampling of some handles who appear to buy followers, and some who probably don’t*:

BillboardToppersGraph-GRAPHIC

UpandComers

 

Graph2EDMANON-GRAPHIC

(I left Diplo in there just for comparison) 

I’d like to say for the record, that I have the utmost respect for all the producers, DJs, and anons listed….and I realize that these results more than likely reflect poor decisions by their PR agencies / management. I still love and respect your music, drive, and passion; truly.

*All results are not 100% conclusive, and are merely meant to shed some insight into which accounts ACTUALLY have active followers.  I cannot speak 100% conclusively if these ‘fake’ followers were bought or not (only if they might have been). 

 It is important to note that these tools are publicly available, free, and gauge the activity and inactivity of your followers. Go check it out for yourselves.

 

Sources:

http://www.fastcompany.com/3000359/buying-twitter-followers-beware-statuspeople-service-exposes-social-medias-black-market

http://thenextweb.com/twitter/2012/12/15/fake-followers-an-easy-game-but-not-worth-the-risk/

http://www.edmsauce.com/2013/04/17/diplo-and-dj-bl3nd-exchange-words-over-social-media-followers/

http://zumic.com/2013/04/18/diplo-instigates-fight-with-dj-bl3nd-at-ims-engage-conference/

http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/how-to-tell-if-someone-has-a-fake-follower-count_b14898

http://agbeat.com/social-media/twit/

Advertisements

About Me

So I’ve alluded previously to why I’ve chosen to go by ‘Ragehound’ and little bits and pieces and who I am and why I’ve decided to blog about EDM and the scene (despite having admittedly scant knowledge). A while ago I read a blog from Lex of Bad Kids Clothing talking intimately about her social anxiety, and felt incredibly moved.

Here are these two rockstar girls running a company in a scene which is heavily male-dominated. Think about it: How many female DJs do you know off-hand? How many female-run companies that cater to the EDM/nightlife crowd (strip clubs don’t count, you sassy smartasses)? As a little anonymus twitter handle peon, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of getting a chance to interact with some phenomenal people.

And this is something that’s been long overdue in my life.

Growing up, my family essentially played stateline hopscotch as we moved for a variety of reasons: someone got a new job, a new opportunity arose, etc.etc.etc. What it endowed me with, was an uncanny ability to be thrust into awkward social situations and learn to rapidly adapt. This means that today, something I excel at is going to raves/parties/etc alone, and come back with tons of new friends, phone numbers, and as a result…twitter followers.

But this erratic moving left me with a lot of problems too. I don’t suffer from social anxiety like Lex, but what’s appeared to happen (as I’ve evidenced from friends) is a real gap in social skills. I can meet tons of people, I can put up a tough front and be the shining beacon of positivity in the room…but I’m not particularly great once I go back to being alone. I’m not saying I should be in any way pitied; the isolation I grew up with made me a better writer, a better listener, and forced me to turn to Toonami, thick ancient books, and Adult Swim for my source of engaging material. I didn’t grow up with a lot of consistent friends as support groups…and a lot of music I listened to was whatever unmarked mix CD I could get a friend to burn for me.

I grew up loving Daft Punk, Darude, the Gorillaz,…and some DJs I profess that I cannot name because I only remember them as “track 6 on that banged up old purple CD from middle school”.

What operating as Ragehound has given me, is a way to hold on to connections made, and the mask has allowed me to literally ‘mask’ my fear of losing friends, connections, or ever falling out of touch with anyone I see as special again.

If I seem crazy or outlandish, a lot of it stems from a craving to be remembered, a desire to be held as dear, and a hope that maybe someday that DJ I met or that follower I hugged will want to see me again.

I might appear to be some hot-shot anon handle, but I guess I wanted to say,

“I’m just like you”

And I love each and every one of you

❤ ~The Hound


Festival Essentials: Clothing Basics

 

So we’ve covered the essentials for creating amazing eye-looks…so what else do you need? How about gear to wear? Some trends (for both women and men) involve lots of neon, dayglo, brightly colored fur, beads…you name it, it exists. So what should you wear at a bare minimum? Here are some suggestions:

Tops

For Men : Wear a light-weight shirt! Cannot emphasize how helpful this will be if you are in the middle of the crowd and sweating it up. Some great ideas? Check these easy and fun looks below:

Rage-tank-bad-kids-clothing

Facemelt-Bad-Kids-Clothing
Viva-DJ-Bad-Kids

Or you could just go shirtless.

For Women: Opt for breathability…in my opinion, I would avoid the dreaded pasties. Why? While having your boobies free to bounce might be fun, it’s better to be safe than sorry: if you let the girls out to play, your are that much more vulnerable to unwelcome stares and groping (unless that what you want). Some safer options? Go for a loose crop top, a tank, or a bikini top. I’d avoid sleeves, as you’re just going to sweat through those anyway:

PLUR-bitch-tank-bad-kidsLove-the-dj-bad-kids

Bottoms

For Men: I mean, for the love of all that is holy and sacred, please wear shorts. Speedos are just a bit too tight, and you’re not going to be a happy camper when you see what the girls are wearing. For that sake of others, no banana hammocks. Shorts will cover you enough and keep you cool. You should already own these.

For Women: Pretty much your bottom half is a free-for-all, and feel free to rock just about anything: skirts, shorts, booty shorts, bikini bottoms, brazilian bikini bottoms, tutus…and actually anything that physically covers your tush is fair game. The more conservative you go should be in line with your comfort level: if you’re going to brandish a thong and a tutu…be prepared for some outright brutal eye-fucking from those around you.

I hope this has been helpful! For more fashion options for the season, check out my Polyvore ❤


Soundgrail Exclusive: 3 Assets Every DJ Should Have

Hey guys! I got to write an exclusive piece for SoundGrail!! Check it out!

3-THINGS-EVERY-DJ-SHOULD-HAVE


Festival Essentials: Eyes

Festival Essentials: Eyes

As the great festivals of summer creep every closer, I felt it might be helpful to review a few key items you’re going to need (or strongly want) to complete your look. Unlike the bullshit products that traditional clothing lines try to shove at us, claiming to be ‘perfect for festivals’ I thought it would be much more worth your time to review items I have actually tested and can swear by. Additionally, I want to help steer you away from the misguided claims of boutique-y bogus brands that despite their best efforts, don’t make the cute. Here are some essential make-up must haves.

 

Eyeliner: The good, the bad, the ugly-after-5-minutes

  • Good: Maybelline NY Master Precise by Eye Studio Eyeliner, Ink Pen
     ($6)- I can solid, solemnly, and otherwise swear that this stuff won’t budge. Not an inch. I have used this highly durable liquid liner everywhere from New Year’s Eve Dadaland to Deniz Koyu Generation Wild to the occasional night I can’t remember a moment of. The only not-so-great thing about it is it is furiously difficult to remove. Get thee the strongest eye makeup remover on the market and scrub like a fiend….or just use a cotton ball and some remover to dab at the occasional drip and wear it everyday of the festival; whatever works.
  • Bad: Prestige liquid Eyeliner ($6)- Now this isn’t the absolute worst liner ever. The worst liner ever does argueably probably live on the shelf of a CVS or Rite Aid next to it (*cough*Wet ‘n Wild*cough*), but this thin running crap comes pretty close. The only positive of this, is it has fantastic colors…which will run all over your face in minutes. For a brand that has some pretty solid eye shadows… their liquid liner is little more than a sick joke. It will most likely last you a solid half of the first set, which may seem amiable…but so will any cheapo liner (except the next one). For the price you’d be shelling out, you’d be better to drop dollars on a cheap marker-style liner or the one listed above.
  • Ugly: Sephora Pantone Universe Liquid Liner in Emerald ($14.99)- When I first got this eyeliner I was extremely excited! I have happily sworn by the glitter liner and was more than excited to give this freebie handout a try. Initially, the color payout is HUGE: you get a very bold emerald color and it glides on easily…albeit a bit thin and sloppy. Now what wasn’t clear, was whether this liner was waterproof or not. That being said, I took care not to wear this stuff in the rain and didn’t think I got all that sweaty when I dared to take it to Zedd at Webster Hall. Within less than 5 minutes into the concert, I felt an awful stinging in my eye only to find that the stuff had melted down my face, into my eyes…and gave the effect of Aiden drinking werewolf blood on Being Human (that bad).

Mascara: The ‘yes’ and the ‘hell-fucking-no’

  • Yes: Rimmel Sexy Curves Waterproof Mascara ($7) – This stuff comes in a little purple bottle and more than pulls its weight. Though it promises to give you ‘big curls’, you will soon learn that this is sort of a practical joke: it will make your lashes long and jet-black….and that’s it. Since I have massive mongo-big eyelashes, ‘big and curly’ isn’t really a priority. That being said, it will stay put for three straight days without quitting (I Electric Zoo tested it ). You can probably withstand a bit of water spraying and heavy sweating without much of a problem, just don’t expect big Tommorrowland lashes. It will do its best for you.
  • HELL NO: Sephora Collection Outrageous Volume($15) – Ignoring for a second that the container for this is gaudy as all fuck…this mascara is BOMB if you need porn-star lashes for a short period of time. Where it succeeds is volume, curl, and length: this shit will make Jenna Jameson jealous. However, this stuff doesn’t put up much of a fight against sweat or water. One shot of a CO2 cannon and you’re down for the count (and will be a raccoon instantly). It would seem most standard Sephora products lack basic sweatproofing….so maybe avoid Sephora entirely for festivals (leave it to the girls who just go to hear Levels).

Eyeshadow

Now, I would suggest palettes and color sets…but honestly, most of what I use is from amazon and ebay buyers from weird locations….so if you are going to pick up just one shadow set in-person at a CVS or a Sephora…here’s what you should  snatch up and sneer at:

 

  • Snatch up: Kat von D – If you’re looking for the smoothest and most durable eyeshadow, snatch this! It’s pricey, and not all of the palettes lend themselves to raves…but these colors will hold their own in the middle of the crowd. Look for the True Romance,Candelabra, and Everlasting Love palette for the most rave-ready colors.
  • Snatch up: Urban Decay – If you are the kind of girl that claws her way to the front row and loves getting hit with a CO2 cannon, Urban Decay is YOUR SHIT. It won’t budge, it won’t dull, and best of all the payout in the neon shades is UNBEATABLE. Turn to the Ammo, Vice, & Book of Shadows,palette for the best shades to mix and match.
  • Sneer at: Claire’s  – Unless you plan on hiding behind the back of the crowd,…or if you got VIP tickets just so you could sit around and take selfies…avoid this. Though the colors may seem more ‘obvious’ for the venue, the durability will die out faster than Will.i.am’s credibility. There is weak color payout, abhorrent durability…and worst of all, Claire’s sells kandi…SELLS. But then, if you are wearing crap from Claire’s you probably bought kandi and are wearing their stupid fake rave gear too. 

 

I hope this helps going into festival season! You should melt faces, not makeup!


Songs That Need A Break This Season

As we march steadily onward into full-blown festival season I feel that now more than ever we need to have a moment of intervention with DJs who will be gracing us with our presence.

From the house DJs to the trance legends, to the trap superstars and beyond (beyond being Major Lazer most likely) it is time to have an honest conversation about a topic near and dear to our hearts: songs that are overplayed and need a break.

 

We get it: that one club banger makes the girls wet, the bros chest-bump, and everyone go utterly batshit (or according to GQ, ‘apeshit’)….but I think its high time we gave some of these tracks a chance to catch their breath. From the classic tracks, to the new powerhouses, clear through to the ‘easy favorites’ (the Don’t Stop Believing of the EDM world) these are beloved songs that are becoming overused and painfully repeated. Remember when we loved Gangnam Style and Harlem Shake? Past tense: Loved.

Here is my list of ‘bangers and mash’ (club bangers, classic, and mashups) that need to go on vacation this season:

(more…)


A Word on Attire, and Raver Girls

**Apologies, most people were probably expecting a light-hearted writeup about tracks that need to stop being routinely dropped in sets. I promise I will post it, but this post in my mind took precedence.**

Recently, I had the displeasure of overhearing two males discussing why they attended festivals. To put this into context, I was not at my usual venue of choice. I was on the fence about mentioning this in my Borgata post, and opted against it. But truthfully, I should have made mention of it. Since I did not mention it then, I am now.

Allow me to get very real with you right now. I know this is more realness than you've come to expect. Bare with me.

Allow me to get very real with you right now. I know this is more realness than you’ve come to expect. Bare with me.

As I remember, both suit-clad (perhaps VIP status) men were talking about what women wear when attending festivals. One described enjoying all the ‘ravebooty’ hanging out, and I couldn’t help but smile; I am one of many that proudly shows our ravebooty when in attendance. The other mentioned how skimpy the clothes were, and how ‘fuckable’ most of the girls were. Though I found this understandable, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something intrinsically wrong this view. And then I over heard this:

I had to clamp my jaw as the first elaborated, “I’m hoping to get one drunk enough to fuck the shit out of.”

His comrade let out a laugh, and answered back, “Cheaper than hooker, am I right?”

I understand that recently the media has been infatuated with the topic of ‘rape culture’, and that there have been numerous fiery rants about the way society views the human body, but as a raver (and a scantily clad one) I feel a need to speak up. With strong female figures such as Molly Casa, the iconic fantasy GoGos of EDC, and female ravers everywhere allowing their unique looks to define themselves, I feel its insulting to the entire PLUR society when someone assumes ease of sexuality is reflected by amount of skin showing. I’ve even heard things such as “well you look like a stripper”, “with that outfit she’s asking for it”, and even witnessed an unruly cattiness among female ravers for outfit choices. A girl in pasties should have every right to a safe festival as a girl in a long-sleeved t-shirt; no excuses.

This is a very common clothing choice at raves, and should be viewed as expression, not an invitation.

However what needs to be sorely addressed is a fundamental difference between expression and sexual conquest; If a girl at a rave is clad in fluffies, a tutu, and pasties, she is not inherently ‘asking for the D’, she is not exuding her body as a toy to be played with….fuck she might not even give a crap about you or any men in attendance; most girls do (shocking, I know) go for the music and the non-sexual kinship. And this speaks to a greater need to re-educate both sexes on this problem; teach men the true meaning behind PLUR (the ‘R’ is not for ‘roofie’ or ‘rape’) and teach women that ‘unity’ and ‘respect’ are needed more now than ever. Raver girls are not toys, and what we should be preaching is to teach men not to rape, not to assume a woman’s body is a rite of conquest. Furthermore, what we should preach is the very core principles that define our unified community:

Peace: Everyone clad in anything has the right to a peaceful coexistence at raves

Love: Love is a thing that is won, earned, and consented to fairly. Not taken.

Unity: We must unify to ensure the safety of fellow ravers; if you see a boy or girl (man, woman, or gender non-specific person) in trouble, get help.

Respect: Above all, respect all that are around you; you are all human beings and thereby you are all created equal in each others eyes. Respect feelings, respect boundaries, respect bodies and our right to conceal and reveal them.

We are expressive, and you know what, maybe we do want the D…but that’s for us to decide, not you.

So as we approach festival season, I would like to ask that everyone respect one another; treat even the barest ravers with respect, and remember that we are here for the music just like you.


#Musicislife: Dash Berlin AC Recap

This weekend I was lucky enough to score a ticket to see Dash Berlin (again! DYING!) in Atlantic City’s Borgata Mixx nightclub. One thing I didn’t count on, was how I would react to the venue first and foremost.

Dash-1

Being more of a festival/rave girl, I’m not really a fan of the upscale frou-frou clubs where girls are expected to wear skimpy dresses and towering heels (in my sort-of ok floral dress and “blah-screw-you-Im-dancing” flats, I stood out). However despite hype I’ve heard about Borgata (as compared to its younger flashier neighbor Revel), Mixx nightclub was weirdly unimpressive in comparison: the VIP ‘tables’ on the floor were in odd locations, and little more than velvet rope to distinguish them from the main floor,…and had a few dispersed GoGos that didn’t look like they wanted to be there.

However once I got past the venue (and that took a while), I was able to appreciate what I was really there for: the music. The opening DJ, Carlos Melange, put forth a pretty solid set (although decidedly a bit odd to lead off for a Trance DJ) and had a great stage presence. Despite the fact the set came off as a bit odd for Dash Berlin (mind you, I was spoiled by Tyler Sherrit at the last show), it was decidedly much better than I was expecting:

What I expected:

  • At least one gratuitous drop of Levels
  • Abusive dropping of Cannonball
  • Abusive dropping of random club bangers your average Banker or suit-laden yuppie would know

What I got:

  • Solid mixing
  • Only one drop of Cannonball that I caught (and well after Dash Berlin’s set for the ‘regular club crowd’)
  • Only a select few bangers AFTER Dash Berlin had finished

Dash-2

Once Dash Berlin opened with a euphoric ‘Disarm Yourself’ it was like the best musical honeymoon I’ve had so far. Despite the fact I don’t recall him playing Apollo (and granted I may have missed it) he brought together an impressive mix of old favorites and new addictions. As with any of his shows, he was like a kid on Christmas through the entire set: he jumped off of tables, handed out signed records, threw bracelets, and smiled for the entire set. Even though I have no clue if he even made eye contact with me, the entire set felt like it was being played just for the front row who’d thrown elbows to be there, and encompassed everything from a well-mixed “I Don’t Care” , to the classic “Silence in Your Heart”, to a well introduced “Sandstorm” (seriously who doesn’t like Sandstorm?).

Dash-Best

Only sweetening the night, I met up with RedLine Entertainment (and his gorgeous girlfriend) and even met a nice girl that let me take a picture of the record that was handed to her by Dash himself. Overall, the front row crowd was a solid group of weekend warriors that appeared to have braved Borgata solely for Dash Berlin, and varied immensely from the other patrons I saw leaving behind us: I recall a girl remarking that “the jumping guy was ok”. But then, despite all my preachings of PLUR, I can’t really take the word of a skinny girl who spent all night taking selfies with her bottle service bucket. Was it worth the trip down to AC to see Dash? Absolutely. Would I go to Mixx for any other DJ? Not likely.