eventseekr Shuffle- House

Let’s get a little funky this week. Here are eleven house music tracks that are sure to put some bounce in your step. House music has a full range of sub-genres–this little playlist includes a little mix of classic ’90s house, a hint of disco, some French-touch, a little fidget, sounds from good ‘ol Chicago, and some German-techno thrown in for good measure.

Dance music isn’t meant to be overthought, so just know that each of these eleven tracks accomplishes exactly what the producer/artist set out to do: get you to dance. If you happen to be reading this in a library or dentist office, a little head bobbing is encouraged, at the very least.

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Batwoman Celebration at Isotope with J.H. Williams III & W. Hayden Blackman [Preview]

Batwoman and the New 52 | Saturday, December 3, 2011 | Isotope Comics Lounge | San Francisco

San Francisco is very rich and diverse when it comes to culture and art. Most comic book aficionados residing in this city already know about the Isotope Comic Lounge, and visiting comic lovers likely make it a point to stop at the store. James Sime, the store’s proprietor, has done a heck of a job over the years bringing comic creators into his shop for in-store events–current DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, Darwyn Cooke, Warren Ellis to just name a few. Sime and company even took The Walking Dead’s co-creator Robert Kirkman, as well as a gaggle of fans, along the streets of San Francisco for a zombie pub-crawl back in April as part of this year’s Wonder-Con festivities.

This Saturday, December 3rd, Sime welcomes J.H. Williams III to the store. Williams, one of the comic book industry’s best illustrators, has been a guest of honor at Isotope before. This time, he returns with W. Haden Blackman, one of his creative partners on their monthly comic book title, Batwoman, published by DC Comics.

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Boys Noize at Mezzanine [Preview]

Boys Noize | Saturday, November 26th, 2011 | Mezzanine | San Francisco

DJ Mag ranked Boys Noize right at number 100 on their “Top 100 DJs of 2011.” As a big fan of Boys Noize, I find this unfathomable. I’ve maintained for some time now that dance music has taken over pop music in America these last few years. But sometimes, I forget that most listeners wouldn’t know that David Guetta has produced some of the Black Eyed Peas’ biggest hits, or that Afrojack produced Pitbull and Ne-Yo’s monster-crossover hit, “Give Me Everything.” When you stop to consider the mainstream visibility of most of the DJs in the top ten with David Guetta (1), Tiësto (3), Deadmau5 (4), Avicii (6), Afrojack (7), and Swedish House Mafia (10), then Boys Noize’s ranking at 100 is a little bit more believable. Even still, that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Boys Noize at EDC 2010. Photo by Caesar Sebastian. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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Dance Party with Yelle at Mezzanine [Review]

Yelle | Dirty Ghosts | Saturday, November 12, 2011 | Mezzanine | San Francisco

Yelle. Photo by Joey Pangilinan.

Some nights when going to a show, you just have this feeling in your stomach that lets you know that the entire night will be this epic, sprawling adventure. Approaching the entrance of the Mezzanine last Saturday night, you could feel the energy just by looking at the line of people still waiting to get inside with the music blaring out the front doors. I felt even more amped up when I entered the venue and saw the crowd of people already inside anxiously awaiting the dancey, electronic-pop sounds of Yelle. By the time my friends and I got inside, Dirty Ghosts was nearing the end of its set. Local to San Francisco, Dirty Ghosts had won a contest to open up for the French-headliners. Although we didn’t get to see much of its set, the band had clearly worked the room into a mood to dance and party.

The sold out show at Mezzanine was originally meant to be the second stop on this month-long tour for Yelle, but unfortunately, due to complications with visas, the tour opener at The Wiltern in Los Angeles had to be rescheduled until a few days after the San Francisco show. Thus, in the last 24-36 hours leading up to the show at Mezzanine, my friends and I were a bit nervous about the possibility of our show having to be postponed as well.

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Skyping with Yelle [Interview]

This week, Yelle returns to San Francisco. The Mezzanine will play host to the electronic dance band from France this Saturday night, November 12th. Band members Tepr, GrandMarnier and Yelle herself were last here in San Francisco back in May of this year at the Grand Regency Ballroom just after playing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA in April.

I had the good fortune to see Yelle not only at Coachella this year, but on Halloween night three years ago, also at Mezzanine, when the group was on tour promoting its first album, Pop-Up. My friends and I discovered Yelle despite not knowing a lick of French. As with most fellow fans of Yelle, having a less than working knowledge of the French language is certainly not a hindrance. What makes Yelle so appealing is the band’s character and energy, which shine beyond any language barrier. With the release of the band’s follow-up album, Safari Disco Club, all members of the band are a little older and  a little wiser, but still always in the mood to have some fun and make you want to dance.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity, through Skype, to catch up with Yelle herself, Julie Budet, after the band wrapped production work on a new music video. Naturally, some topics discussed included her (as well as the band’s) passion for music, the band’s style and aesthetic, Halloween and even a little bit about making a fan out of Katy Perry and getting a chance to open up a few shows for her in the UK this year.

Yelle. Photo by Grégoire Alexandre.

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Justice – Audio, Video, Disco [Album Review]

Anyone who is a fan of dance music definitely knows who Justice is. Even those with only just a passing interest in dance music will still likely know who Justice is. I definitely fall into the former, and hold Justice’s Cross album in especially high esteem. So when it was announced earlier this year that the duo’s sophomore album would finally be released this fall, I was filled with dread as much as I was filled with excitement. Then in late October, after five long years following the release of the acclaimed Cross, it finally happened: Justice released its follow-up, Audio, Video, Disco.

Justice. Photo provided courtesy of Vice Music.

Cross consisted of tracks like “D.A.N.C.E.”, which had major crossover appeal. The album was also full of hard rhythms, with lots of bass distorted at almost every turn on tracks like “Phantom,” “Stress” and “Waters of Nazareth.” As Justice started to drift into the EDM background after extensive touring in support of the album, the popularity of the electronic-French-House genre that Justice helped to reinvigorate was at a high point with dance music fans. The hard beats and basslines that Justice helped to usher into electronic music’s current state has already begun to give way to even harder beats and basslines by their contemporaries. The popularity of U.K.-bass and dub-step in Europe has now taken over North America, morphing itself into a genre that is largely popular for  its hard and grinding beats that wobble and boom. The influence of dance music is even reaching Top 40 radio stations here in the States. The landscape of dance music has definitely changed in five years, and after listening to Audio, Video, Disco, it is apparent that Justice did not want to make another album exactly like Cross.

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eventseekr Shuffle: Bright 11-1-11

I like making mix-CDs for road-trips, for my friends with music I think they would enjoy, and also for myself. Every once in a while, when I really get into compiling a particular mix, I wonder just how obsessive compulsive I get about this. It’s also no small wonder that one of my favorite books is Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, and that I also like the adapted movie of the same title that stars John Cusack.

The lead character, Rob, explains that there are many rules and guidelines to compiling a mixtape. Chief among them is that putting one together is like writing a letter. Well, being that I am a cinema nerd, and even went to school for it, I see making a mixtape as putting a story together using common themes that hold all of these songs together, and working with a narrative that guides you from Point A to Point B. 

For this particular narrative, I’ve put together 13 songs that will hopefully brighten your day should you feel beaten down, angry, disappointed, or what have you.

Whatever your disposition is to begin with, it’s best to let it all out.  The Bloody Beetroots‘ “WARP 1.9” will probably make the meekest of people want to start throwing some elbows and kicking down big redwoods with their bare feet. The Clash‘s inclusion in this list is very purposeful, just like the music they made and are known for. “Straight to Hell” is a song that is very heavy with its lyrics about injustices of all kinds, and along the lines of this narrative, is meant to represent a sort of reflection of yourself and everything that surrounds.

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