Prowling the Airwaves and the Underground for the best in EDM

Archive for August, 2013

Social Savvy Raver

So as you may or may not know, in addition to be a wild and crazy raver clad in anything from a neon bikini to bedazzled bras to lace / leather…I’m also adept in social media.

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What has always confounded me, is how much time and effort agencies, Producers, DJs, and blogs put into maintaining a social presence…without ever bothering to track their progress. Simply hopping onto Twittercounter and charting success by follower count  and number of retweets is all well and good…but are you really measuring your progress effectively?

Spoiler Alert: No, you aren’t. And here’s why:

Are you tracking all your mentions?

Chances are, if all you are looking at are retweets and how many people slapped the ‘follow’ button, you aren’t actually tracking how many people mentioned you and endorsed you to their friends. In many cases, sharing links from Soundcloud and other music sharing sites do not always share and tag your twitter handle. Similarly, sometimes your fans can’t remember your handle and simply tweet mentions of you with your name. Try searching for you name instead of just your hashtag.

Do you actually know which network you’re having the most success on?

Source: Klout, statistics from @Ragehound

Source: Klout, statistics from @Ragehound

If you’re going off of strict follower counts alone, you might not be valuing how many people interact with you on each medium, and not taking into account the value of interactions on more effective mediums.

Do you actually know how well-liked or influential you are?

Source: Social Mention, @ragehound account

Source: Social Mention, @ragehound account

Tools like Social Mention are able to track your mentions as well as sentiment by looking at how many positive, negative, and neutral mentions there are of your account. If you aren’t sure if people actually like you or your brand…this is a pretty handy ‘stats at a glance’.

Do you know who your advocates are? Or your most popular hashtags?

Source: Social Mention, @ragehound account

Source: Social Mention, @ragehound account

Chances are, you’ve been valuing your ‘advocates’ by their follower count. That is somewhat effective, but what you should really be looking at is who interacts with you most and what value they bring in addition to their follower count.

Finally, are you using any tools?

If you aren’t you should. Klout, Social Mention, Twittercounter, Hootsuite, and Topsy are all free and extremely easy to use. Hopefully, by being smarter about how you track mentions and who your true advocates are, you can start to make smarter decisions on social (and heck, maybe even a return on the investment of your time and energy).


EZoo Homestretch

Electric Zoo is Friday. Don’t pretend like you’re not freaking out and losing your shit in your chair. I see you internetz.

You gettin those feels? I'm getting those feels

You gettin those feels? I’m getting those feels

At any rate, a considerable portion of my rave family is no doubt driving, flying, training, and running into New York for their chance to go buck wild and rave like rockstars. Some things you may want to do before you go full apeshit however:

  1. Easy as 1,2,3…A,C,E. Familiarize yourself with the Subway system & download the HopStop app if you have a smartphone.
  2. Secure Home Base. Check into your hotel and write down the address on a post-it. Your phone will die, and you will forget where it is. Also write down 2 numbers of anyone you know in NYC JUST IN CASE something goes wrong with the hotel and you need to couch-surf.
  3. Know the cheap spots. If you’re hungry as a hippo and leaving EZoo with an empty stomach (and a weakened wallet) do your budget a favor and locate the nearest cheap pizza joint (cough, 2 Bros Pizza, cough), Gray’s Papaya (hotdog stand), or halal cart so you can fill up on the cheap.
  4. Familiarize Yourself With Makeup Heaven. Ricky’s NYC is the best beauty shop in the city and has a buttload of locations. Make sure you hit them up if you need ANY last minute fixes (word to the wise, their brazilian spa clay is BOMBASS <3).
  5. Don’t hit up the familiar. If you have time to kill and arrive a few days early, DO NOT go to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. Try swanky (and same-price) coffee shops like Culture, Gregory’s, and Birch Coffee. Culture has THE BEST melty tasty chocolate cookies on earth, and Birch has a melty grilled cheese with fontina that will make your heart swoon.

AND FINALLY, TWEET AT ME! If you get here a few days early let me treat you to a “true NY dinner”…..at Chipotle.


Kandi Kids vs. Club Scene: What Real Ravers Are

Something that has been irritating me for a considerable amount of time is the concept that all EDM events are ‘raves’, that all that listen to EDM as ‘ravers’, and that ‘PLUR’ can be mindlessly spewed and even defecated on with alterations like ‘PLURNT’ and ‘PLUR Bitch!’

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I’m sorry, but Kandi kids aren’t necessarily the club crowd and the club crowd isn’t necessarily the ‘kandi-kid’ crowd that is celebrated on instagram. EDMsnob wrote a fantastic piece explaining the rich history of those wearing kandi, so I don’t feel the need to go into depth (especially since I’m a much newer face in that arena). But I will say is this:

Of the many people I’ve come across that tweet things tagged with ‘#PLUR’ and initiate projects that claim to be  ‘PLUR’ and hock product with the false pretense that they are truly ‘ravers’, I have found that a startling few are who they claim to be. Very seldom do you meet someone whose Twitter handle or association precedes them, and find a genuine representation of what ‘ravers’ truly are.

After spending a night unwinding with some of the very first people to ever recognize me as ‘Ragehound’, I took a minute to look back on all the hard work I’ve put into taking the time to connect with anyone who has every reached out to me. Some have been incredible: they have accepted me with open arms, made me feel like a family member, and given me a sense of acceptance that no one ever could previously in my life. Some have taken time out of their day to come and meet with me, to teach me how to use a perler board, how to make a cuff, even gotten me a water and helped me to the front row my first time seeing a certain DJ. Some have held my hand and sung along to my favorite lyrics and cried with me when ‘that moment’ of a festival when it ends and the ‘comedown’ effect sets in full force. Some have stayed with me when I’ve stupidly tested my limits with drugs and alcohol and gotten too out of control and made sure I got home safe.

These kandi-clad people have been more of a family to me than my own at times, and that is why I get livid when their lifestyle is equated to a joke.

I view those who hock PLUR as a marketing tool as a joke. I also look at those who have begged and pleaded me to tweet their crap, promote their shitty venues, and support their jaded causes which wind up just being another marketing tool as jokers as well. Nonetheless I tweeted, I facebooked, I supported and championed them because that’s the person I am. I suppose what irked me in some cases, was when it came time when I needed that same favor, some magically found it ‘not feasible’ or suddenly ‘just didn’t have the time’.

What I largely discovered, was that these were the people who didn’t arrive at festivals with kandi they’d spent hours and hours making especially for people they knew and loved. These were not the people who sometimes went as far as to coordinate with their friends to match costumes, made sure everyone was hydrated, or took the time to explain subtleties of the music to newcomers who had seen a trailer for a festival on Youtube and yearned to experience an EDM festival for themselves. Instead, these were the people who wrote condescending articles in response to kandi kids, who scoffed and laughed at articles like my own explaining the connection between PLUR and charity, and who would leave comments like this on pictures of girls dressed for raves:

 

And these people are largely the ‘club’ crowd: the crowd that goes to ‘fine establishments’ to enjoy bottle service, listen to a carefully curated selection of ‘techno’ that they feel is far superior to the ‘drop heavy’ sets one hears at festivals (which I can respect), and views the ‘raver’ crowd as a mass of drug-addicted youngsters too jaded to understand what real music is. These are the people who will belittle you for the music you listen to, the clothes you wear, and wave their smug sense of entitlement about like a magic wand. They will tell you the ‘kandi kids’ are awful, tell you how they yearn for when no one knew about Tiesto or Hardwell, and when EDC wasn’t a neon parade of girls in underwear. They probably won’t let you get to the front of the stage, or offer you water. They may instead sneer at you with your parched mouth, thinking you ‘popped a molly and you are sweating’, and as a result think of you as some colorful insect pestering them.

So when individuals such as this tweet about ‘PLUR’ and wave their smug sense of self-importance at others while trying to call themselves ‘ravers’, I get frustrated. These were the individuals  pouring beers from the VIP balcony onto shuffling ravers below at Pacha during Tyler Sherritt’s set (oh don’t worry, I saw you bunch of fools and I’ll return the favor). These were the assholes who elbowed a girl in the face next to me at Zedd when she tried to edge in front of a taller person to see.

These people aren’t ‘ravers’. They don’t preach ‘PLUR’, and probably can’t tell you where it originated. Don’t call them ravers; it’s an insult to those of us who are.

Thank you,

~The Hound


That’s Enough: A Personal Aside

I’ve identified myself as ‘Ragehound‘ since October of 2012.

Screen Shot 2013-05-19 at 7.52.24 PM

By no means a veteran raver, and less credibly an ‘authority’ in this space, I entered Twitter as a trained social media professional seeking an escape. Starting with a meager but loyal 30 or so fans, I’ve been able to meet incredible people who no ‘meetup’ group or ‘singles night’ has ever been able to accomplish. I now have 1,700 followers from across the country.

I’ve left behind those that clouded my discovery of music with a harshly biased ‘pro-euro, anti-American’ sound appreciation, and have had so many incredible opportunities laid at my feet as a result of reaching out honestly and earnestly with others over Twitter.

I come from a place where everything is quantified: social media usage is constantly examined for a return on investment, media connections are a means to a profitable end, and trends are tracked and capitalized on in efforts to ‘glom’ onto a successful scene.

And I’ve had enough of it.

I’ve had enough of fashion trying to spew out ‘rave wear’

I’ve had enough of ‘snobs’ telling me what I can and can’t listen to, or calling my taste in one artist over another bad simply because a few stylistic changes are good or bad(and no I do not mean those who have 0 talent whatsoever, that music is bad and I do not listen to it)

I’ve had enough of people telling me that because I do not DJ or produce, I have no place commenting on it.

For anyone still content on bashing kandi kids, putting their money towards ‘talent’ which has none, and showing 0 respect for anyone but themselves at raves: That’s enough. I will preach PLUR and appreciate all that the scene has given me in confidence and acceptance, but that’s enough. Go home, and take yourself elsewhere.

So help me god if I make a mistake tweeting out a ticket link

Or if I have moments of insecurity

Or if I fumble and crack because of how much pressure I’ve put on myself

I’m only human, and I’m really at the point where I’ve had just about enough.


Electronica Oasis Exclusive: The Rise of The DJ: How Technology is Saturating the Market

Since its inception,the art of music production and song operation has been defined by the originality and skill level of its creators. From the very first gramophone production in 1892 to the introduction of the term ‘disc jockey’ in 1935, the art form has evolved and expanded past the initial ‘discs’ that were used in its inception.

DJ’s today come in many forms: the radio Top 40 DJ, the mashup/remix DJ, and the producer who DJs…along with every permutation in between. As with all endeavors, new technologies inevitably come along with stubborn critics and eager adopters. The introduction of mixers and turntables allowed for more creative innovations such as slip-queing and the induction of the ‘break’.

Today, a DJ has access to a veritable treasure trove of mixing tools, all of which can interact with everything to a classic mixer to a laptop to an iPad or iPhone. Innovations like Ableton Live, Traktor Pro, Serato, and a plethora of other programs allow anyone with a laptop and the dedication to learn a chance to play music live to an audience. Arizona-based House producer Joshua Li, known as ‘DJ Secsay‘ explains that it has made his craft much more portable:

“They’re no hassle and its industry standard and easy to set up. I only bring 3 things with me when I play a show. My VMODAs, my USB and my back up USB. “-Joshua Li

Chicago native DJ/Producer Anthony Attalla, who started out DJing before taking to Logic for production, says that innovations such as Pro Tools and Logic allow him the flexibility he needs to give new tracks a ‘test run’ without being worried about sacrificing sound quality. However in terms of live performance, her prefer the more intuitive feel of using CDs:

“Regarding my live performance, I don’t use a laptop.. I still manually dj with cd’s. It’s a nice reprieve from being in front of a computer all day in my studio. I was a dj before I ever started producing, so I like holding on to that organic feeling.”-Anthony Attalla

Those who have adopted these mediums often tout the amount of flexibility and portability of using a laptop-based program as opposed to a more traditional approach. One major point of contention however is raised by detractors of the ‘sync’ button available on many of these programs. Zach Cwieka, a Philly-based producer known as ‘Sweekuh‘ says that this view is understandable, but unwarranted:

“If youre playing records out because you think its the only way to DJ
then you should be using a phonogram instead of turntables. These people who are anti traktor are anti sync, which i understand. Im against it too, unless its needed. At some points I have three songs playing on seperate decks and I need to throw an acapella over it (I got known through mashups and I like to play them out live) and that is impossible to beatmatch while mixing with an acapella that doesnt
start on the 1.”-Zach Cwieka

While admittedly, many newly-converted fans of EDM remain mostly unaware of the subtle differences in equipment, the ‘sync button’ snobbery can be attributed to many of the more negative instances where major celebrities have tried to ‘jump on the scene’ as DJs, often with very negative results. Most famously, the scene painfully remembers the fateful day in 2012 where Paris Hilton took to the booth in Brazil (she attempted a comeback which went sour, and took her ‘auditory car crash’ to Ibiza). In the wake of newer and more adaptable technology (such as Traktor releasing an app for iPhone) many more DJs have emerged from the woodwork, creating a stifling saturation of ‘talent’ across the country. But has this new accessibility crowded out the market of true innovators with over hyped imitators?

To read the full article, click the link below!

The Rise of The DJ: How Technology is Saturating the Market.


Preview: Tyler Sherritt at Rumor 8/23

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After an eclectic set at Pacha, New York’s rising vocalist / producer / DJ will be taking his talents to Rumor Philly on August 23. With his track ‘Petrichord‘ to release later in the year, Tyler’s live sets offer a diverse and upbeat mixed bag of favorites and aggressive sound.

Starting his career as a singer / songwriter, many of Tyler’s musical choices rely on captivating choices of vocal-driven tracks paired with heavy bass and deep house sound.

What can someone expect at one of Tyler’s shows? High-energy, smooth transitions, and intelligent track choices from start to finish.

Tickets

For more on Tyler Sherritt:

Website Soundcloud Facebook Twitter

Set List Agency


Peace, Love, Unity, and Reinvention (Guest Editorial)

PLUR: It’s one of the biggest buzzwords circulating throughout the raver scene, and has been utilized across the scene as both a communal term, an ideology..and a key tool in marketing campaigns.

It’s been slapped onto shirts, hash-tagged, exclaimed by kandi-clad ravers at festivals, and is on the uptrend. While there are many efforts in the scene that claim to demonstrate ‘PLUR’, many of these fall short as they simply use ‘PLUR’ as an excuse for monetary gain, contrived purpose, and ultimately end in sloppy execution; often leading to more negativity surrounding their shortcomings.

Additionally, many who get behind the movement fail to understand the origins of the concept, or simply drop the facade once its core virtues no longer suit them. As a result, those who use the acronym are often met with disdain and annoyance from the more ‘clubby’ or ‘audiophilic’ crowd and regarded as the ‘dirty hippies’ of our time.

However in more recent efforts, the concept of PLUR has ushered in a new application that may help to fight the stigmatized ‘rave culture’: Charity.

With major acts like Avicii donating up to $1 million while on tour and donating 2 million meals through the FEED organization, Steve Aoki forming the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund to aid children in third world countries, and Insomniac Event’s Pasquale Rotella donating up to $115,000 to Las Vegas charities, there is more to the PLUR-spewing scene that initially meets the eye.

On a smaller scale, new events have begun to emerge that follow in the same footsteps carrying the same message: a quick Google search reveals hundreds of thousands of small Facebook events whose missions range from local initiatives to third-world outreach.

Among the vibrant (and ever vigilant) raver community on Twitter, small but tangible efforts range from rave bras to benefit charities to full-blown fundraising campaigns to benefit fellow ravers, friends, and family in need. Icons among the festival crowd like Lady Casa (formerly Molly Casa until a ‘clean the scene’ name change) preach acceptance and work towards inspiring others to inject more positivity into a largely snob-saturated atmosphere.

Though many club regulars, tech-house die-hards, and veterans to the scene may feel that today’s “kandi kid” PLUR-preaching scene is largely contrived, there is a tangible forward-thinking motive behind the movement that is hard to ignore. As the scene matures, It is my hope to see more ravers embrace PLUR in a more charitable way by reaching out to others in need: anything from sharing a water at a festival or attending a charity rave for a non-profit.

Instead of just slapping ‘PLUR’ on a shirt, organizers should try slapping the concept of PLUR onto events and partnering with notable (and honorable) causes which set forth to make a difference in the world. I’m not saying we need an ‘Electric PLUR Carnival’ in 2014, but I would gladly welcome events like Electric Zoo donating proceeds to the ASPCA and Nocturnal Wonderland partnering with the Make a Wish Foundation.

Instead of casting light on lingering the drug culture that becomes the main focus of media sources in reviewing events, I would love to see major events give back to rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and recovery efforts for any raver who may have found themselves in a dangerous situation at a rave.

Read more: http://whiteraverrafting.com/peace-love-unity-and-reinvention/2013/07/22/#ixzz2bIS1sLTV


DJ Top 100 and Advertising – Electronica Oasis Exclusive

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Recently, Gareth Emery issued a statement in regards to the cost of advertising and how he would not be putting money towards paid social advertising to support himself competitively for the DJ Mag’s ‘Top 100′ chart. Claiming the costs were too high, and that DJs who spend upwards of $15,000 on Twitter alone could just ‘have their number’. Instead, Gareth offered fans a chance to decide where the proposed money would go as a donation to a charity.

In short order, Gareth’s message was retweeted, applauded, and even changed the mind of Australian producer tyDi, who followed suit by pulling his banner and removing his social ads.

more after the jump

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Interview With Ignorant Noise

HOLY CRAP ITS BEEN A WHILE.

So I contribute to ElectronicaOasis and White Raver Rafting as an editorial voice, so be sure to keep an eye out! Go me!

Anywho, here is an interview I had with Ignorant Noise that I did for Soundgrail (sadly, they do not exist anymore). Because Dwight is a dear friend of mine, I am reposting it here 🙂

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An up-and-coming electro-hop / dubstep producer, Ignorant Noise is one of Chicago’s most colorful characters.  Hard to miss at a show with his ‘Noise’ hat and spiked leather jacket, his appearance is as unique and individualized as his sound. With his newest EP release ‘Pump The Noise’ making its way up to #40 in dubstep on the Beatport charts, we took some time to sit down and chat with Dwight Poole about his inspiration, and how his career began.

Full interview after the jump

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