(I bring people who aren’t necessarily part of my immediate community to parties, as I always like when my friends have fun when they go out. More importantly, I try and listen to them when they talk about their impressions/experiences. One of the photographers I’ve had the privilege of knowing & working with did me the honor of sharing some of her frustrations with one of the facets of the underground here in NYC: The Burner/Burning Man community, one she very much enjoys. Her comments are presented unedited & the photos added to the article are by her, chosen by me, with her permission.)
I do not consider myself a burner, but I’d really like to be. The principles of radical inclusion, civic responsibility, radical self-expression and reliance, gifting, participation, etc., yeah that’s a kind of world I want to see, that I want to help build. But what does radical inclusion look like when economics keep many would-be burners out of the NYC scene? How do we make spaces welcoming for people who don’t have the money & who lack the ability to create elaborate costumes? I want to be a part of the burner scene, I really do, but factors beyond my own social anxiety keep me out.
One of the hardest parts of privilege is that by definition you aren’t aware you have it. In New York City it’s easy to lose sight of one’s own economic privilege because there are always twenty someones with bigger wallets than you. Most burners I know have a financial stability that I have never had the luxury of experiencing which is probably why this issue is so glaring for me. I know people who live in apartments where the rent is two months’ salary for me and yet they still call themselves “poor” because compared to their finance neighbors they feel they are. To these people a fifty dollar party is no big deal but to someone working a minimum wage job it’s a day’s pay. Now I don’t begrudge anyone their good fortune but I also think people need to be aware of the privilege they possess. We need to be aware of fact that the prices of events and the expectation of elaborate costumes are by nature exclusionary. We also need to be aware of the kinds of people these exclusionary practices are keeping out.
Those two somewhat unassuming guys released a “Massive EDM White Paper,” which studied the $4.5billion in annual sales (give or take a few regional burns). My editor at EDMTunes was able to sit down with these guys and really get at some of the issues surrounding the industry and how corporatization of festivals is changing the culture. It’s a bit more meaty than my usual morning fare here in Gotham, but if you’re an event producer, promoter, or even an artist or a tech wanting to climb that ladder, you should probably take the time and read this.
(Check out my latest guest review for Old Timey Hedgehog, your source for geeky goodness. http://www.amazon.com/Hedgy-Times-Issue-Magazine-ebook/dp/B00D47CEDM This was a big one :D)
I have been waiting for this remix project for probably close to 15 years. One of the first places I discovered new electronic music was www.overclockedremix.org, one of the perennially under-valued resources for video game and chiptune music online.
(This is a post containing the article I was comissioned to write for Old Timey Hedgehog in their third issue, purchasable here: http://www.amazon.com/Hedgy-Times-Issue-Magazine-ebook/dp/B00C5J0MJI. They’ve decided they want me around a bit more often, so make sure you peep the full magazine, show them some love if you’ve got a kindle and check out their tumblr & other social media offerings. Quite a bit of nerdy goodness going on up in there.)
DJ Cutman has been on my radar for a while now but I’ve never just listened to a full EP. The chiptune jedi recently had a birthday and for this issue, the powers that be in the Old Timey Hedgehog world sent me this 6 track drop that he put out. A compilation of collaboration, there’s a bunch of teamwork going on here and considering what it sounds like, I support these forces joining together as often as possible.
The fantastic lady editor/promoter that has been getting me some of my best event reviews dropped this in my lap and once again, she doesn’t disappoint. Jonathan Allyn definitely never showed up in my reality before because I couldn’t forget talent like this.
(This is a piece I wrote for a new online magazine, that’s Kindle-exclusive right now and should be available in more formats soon http://www.amazon.com/Old-Hedgy-Times-Issue-ebook/dp/B00BAWQV2I Good taste, excellent design, tightly edited and while I can’t speak for my own work, the rest of the content is written quite well. Check it out.)
NNNNNNNNNN is a 24 years young chiptune producer that a friend put in my face a few weeks ago. His EP, Cosmic Lovely Lovely, is wonderful, in a misshapen-but-formless, heavy-but-delicate kind of way, if such a way to be wonderful exists. The EP drops right into it with some serious chops in “Johnny Mnemonic.” Besides reminding me of how hard I sucked at video games when I was a kid, is exceptionally well produced and has a rambling beat to it that I think chiptune peeps will love. The beat and the well-arranged chip lines give the track some depth that I didn’t expect, which is always welcome. The main melody is fun and smacks of an unforgiving level of an 8bit game I’ve not played in over adecade. I wish I could remember what it was and perhaps that’s the point.