One thing I have to mention about Coachella thats kind of a bummer is the number of people who wear headdresses as a fashion accessory. It’s a form of cultural appropriation I find really offensive. Mostly because in North America millions of aboriginal people were displaced and killed when the European settlers moved in. And today, many people living on the native reserves are living in extreme poverty and are constantly having to defend their land against greedy industrialists. The hollywood fantasy of the “indian” is not accurate and tends to camouflage a real, more serious problem. Wearing a headdress, to me, shows a lack of awareness of the on going problem and that must be remedied.
There is a really sick aboriginal DJ/production crew from Canada called A Tribe Called Red who mix traditional pow wow vocals and drumming with dance production. You should check them out. They are vocal supports of the Idle No More movement (http://www.idlenomore.ca/) and also wrote an open letter requesting that people stop wearing headdresses and warpaint at their shows, i.e. dressing up in redface.
Hi everybody. I’m starting up a DJ career on the side under the name Ketsup (Ketchup was taken). Its an outlet to play the heavy electronic bass, techno and instrumental music that I love in the clubs, I hope you will come dance with me!
Frankie Knuckles died today and I hope he gets the tribute he deserves.
My relationship with electronic music began with artists like Bjork and NIN who always maintained a certain pop element in their songs that allowed for mainstream success, which I guess is how I knew about them and didn’t know about people like Frankie Knuckles.
I spent most of my teen years and early 20s unable to relate to dance music. I wasn’t hearing it how it should be heard. I grew up on classical music and the lack of western musical influence in rhythm and bass music made it seem monotonous and boring. I didn’t realize until later this was a major problem, because the people who were distributing the wealth in the music industry also saw electronic music as non-cerebral - and therefore traditionally, beats don’t receive publishing.
Thousands of black beat makers (mostly in the USA) never received the credit or the paychecks they deserved even though their music has been ripped off countless times by white producers looking to make pop hits. I just read a book called “The Manual (How to have a number one hit the easy way).” Its a cult book from the 80s that outlines a step-by-step process of how to make a number one hit in the UK that has apparenlty worked for a lot of people (including chumbawumba??). I found it pretty dated, but one tactic that still exists today was to make sure the GROOVE of your “hit” was strong. And the way to do that was to listen to the records that black people made in the 60s and 70s and 80s and STEAL their beats. Its an actual thing that happens time and time again and it works. It makes white people money, and even though a good groove can make or break a song, it still doesn’t qualify for a publishing check.
And so, legendary producers went under the radar for a long time. I discovered Frankie Knuckles a few years ago and it changed my life. I had to hear what dance music was before it became the over-produced shit-storm we hear on the radio today. Frankie Knuckles, Juan Atkins, Marshall Jefferson, Kevin Saunderson and Ron Hardy are some of the artists I started listening too that paved the way for me to understand hundreds of new genres and sub genres and finally falling in love with dance music. The organic feel of the original recordings is something producers go to great lengths today to try and replicate today, but it really can’t be done. Early house music was based on a mood, and feeling, and a groove. It was the fragile combination of oppression, available resources, Kraftwork, vision and the need to be free sometimes that made it so pure.
Anyone who is making music with a beat today owes these guys something.
We are all pretty big Kate Bush fans. My mom named me after her because she thought Kate was magical when I was birthed. When I was a kid, she would put on headphones and sit on a pillow directly in front of the stereo rocking back and forth and humming loudly while listening “The Man with the Child in his Eyes” on repeat. I guess it was her peace-out (step-out) time. I didn’t get into her till everyone started comparing me to her decades later but am nevertheless am a devout fan.
I tried to get concert tickets for Kate’s shows in London today. Me and my girlfriend and my mom all woke up at 5:20am and went online at 5:25am so we could refresh the ticket-buying page at exactly the right moment they went on sale, but we were all unsuccessful. Before my page even loaded all the cheap tickets were gone, and we were left with a choice: Do we pay £1200 for 3 “hospitality” tickets so we can all see Kate Bush together? £1200 is like $2000 Canadian at least. It was 5:30am so I actually thought about it, but later waking up at ten I realized that NO ARTIST is worth that much money, even if the ticket includes a glass of “chilled champaigne” and a pat on the back from the fucking queen. I also realized that seeing big artists I love is basically impossible because of the bullshit bureaucracy surrounding concert tickets.
I’m obviously living and working in the music industry and to be honest I don’t know whose fault this is. I don’t know if someone like my mom who was excited to to see an artist she has loved and supported for over 30 years was denied the experience because Kate decided to make the tickets so expensive, or if its just a bunch of asshole middle men that are making as much money as possible along the way. I know TicketMaster charges exorbitant service fees. I know that there are agents and venues and managers and band members that need to get paid, but seriously: she’s not even paying for travel!
Anyways, I hope Kate knows how many people that love her will not get to see her perform. It also made me realize, that as an artist I want to make sure that our shows are always accessible and affordable. No one should have to skip few meals to see a band they love, and artists need to remember exactly who brought them there success and pay their respects.
"What is the Gaia Hypothesis? Named after the ancient Greek earth goddess, this theory imagines our planet as a living, breathing and self-regulating entity.
Look, for example, at the air we breathe. Oxygen is an indispensable element for practically all living organisms, from bacteria to fish to humans. This gas has for millennia maintained a 21 percent composition of the earth’s atmosphere due to certain living organisms (plants) that continually liberate it. Oxygen, being a very reactive element, has the potential of combining with other gases and minerals of the Earth’s atmosphere and crust, disappearing completely in its liberated form.
But despite this unstable situation, the Earth’s atmosphere remains a relatively constant supporter of life. This was one of the observations that the Chemist James Lovelock described at a scientific conference held in Princeton in 1969. Challenging the concept of nature as merely a game of chance, Lovelock postulated that the earth could well work like a gigantic living organism, organizing all forms of matter both organic and inorganic with a definite goal to create an environment for sustaining life. Despite his past accomplishments, most notably pioneering sensitive instruments for the Viking spaceship on its Martian exploration, Lovelock’s idea of a living earth endured harsh criticism from his colleagues.” - Leonardo Vinti
Ok. I’ve been thinking lately about the best way to communicate my radical feminist agenda and I’m looking for a bit of advice. Let me run through a few options, and you tell me which you think might be most effective:
1. Stay quiet till I get really famous and then unleash this big feminist manifesto (like Beyonce) so everyone HAS to hear me and its impossible for my politics to supersede my art. (except I won’t reference sexual abuse in my raps)
2. Stay quiet until I quit music due to a lack of success/frustration and THEN come out with a big feminist manifesto so everyone feels that they have wronged me and understands the oppression I experienced. (This has a possible negative outcome being that people could just be like “shes bitter” or “thats not why she didn’t make it its cause she sucks”) although could also be very effective.
3. Talk about it every day and tweet/blog/fbook/yell every time I experience an inequality so people are constantly reminded and bombarded of the challenges. like “today I was told I didn’t have enough hetero sex appeal to be successful” or “today I was told I can’t be on the cover of the magazine cause the mag already had a woman this year.” Obviously this option has some issues too in that I may very quickly just become preachy and annoying.
4. Talk about it sparingly, while strategically separating the feminist messages with neutral comments about food or weather so they seem more spontaneous and less emotionally charged.
5. Rename my project “fuck the patriarchy”
6. Never mention it but just try REALLY HARD to be successful against all challenges (like making it on DJ mags top 100 Djs of the year, making it on major radio without a hotshit dude producer behind you, starting a successful record label and selling 1000000+ records, etc) and then just act like it was totally effortless the whole time, and that I don’t get why more women don’t do what I’ve done. (Then I won’t be called a feminist in my lifetime but after I die people will look back on me and say “wow what a great feminist she got so far in a male-dominated industry”)
This old soul is proving to be a fine addition to my burgeoning studio set up. I found it for a few dollars at Pauls Boutique in Toronto. Large, impractical. But the preamps add a flavorsome warmth to soft synths and vocals.
When I first started making computer music the guy at the music store told me I needed a harddrive so I bought one with my barrista money and had it attached to my computer for 3 years before I figured out what it was or even tried to use it.
K I know this isn’t relevant to most of you who read this blog, BUT I need people to know that there are options people can fight for for better living conditions in my home town of Toronto. So here you go:
Toronto is in the middle of a major housing crisis. A lot of major cities (Sydney, Melbourne) don’t allow foreign investors to buy local real estate because it creates an artificial “demand” for new developments and drives up the prices for locals. This is a change Toronto desperately needs to see (cause at least 30% of the new condos are owned by people living in China), as well as a strong investment in affordable housing and better rent control laws.
Did you know in Quebec, your landlord can legally only raise the rent a small amount between tenants? Within one week of signing a lease, if you discover the previous tenant paid much less than you, the landlord is legally obliged to adjust the price. In Toronto, on a new lease the landlord can raise rent as much as he wants. I just left the city because I couldn’t find an affordable apartment, and as I passed my 1 bedroom on to a friend, my landlord raised the rent by $100.
This is a really good article by Zoe Dodd about the Kensington fires and how people in Toronto are being forced to live shittier and shittier conditions due to the crisis we are in. We need to make affordable housing, rent control and real estate laws a priority for our new mayor. (Hoping we get a new one, obvi)
My friend Yuula stopped washing her hair all together. Its been like 6 months, and according to her facebook updates its the most luxurious, soft, and shiny its ever been in her life. And that makes me think about how many things we do and spend money on that are totally unneccessary. Like milk. Not meant for adults.
Apparently most of Wikipedia is written about, and by, men. So a bunch of people all over the world organized this event called Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, where people in different countries would get together and make or expand on wikipedia pages about women. It happened last January and over 600 people participated, resulting in at least 100 new entries.
The internet is a cool thing because even though women have for the most part been written out of our world’s history, we can now control the information people share ourselves because of free platforms like wikipedia.
Here is some art work I discovered from these new Wikipedia Pages: