Just messing around and making a music video about Dreamstate SoCal 2022 and Lane 8. Obviously, I don’t own any of the songs, nor am I monetizing this project; I wanted to piece together fragments of videos and memories to celebrate my friends and the music we shared.
Songs Cher “Believe” Lane 8 “Sunday Song” Elysian “Moonchild”
As Xmas ends and Mariah Carey sealed away til next December, I finally got the time to coerce my friends into doing a podcast thingy! In this Festies with Besties episode, Lance and Ray join me alongside new faces Lucy and Layal to recap our Tranceventures at Dreamstate SoCal last November. The event was hella sick as we saw the likes of Bryan Kearney, ATB, and Trance Jesus Armin Van Buuren!
You might want to skip around if you’re looking for a comprehensive discourse about Insomniac’s trance festival. But if you want to hear some friends share some laughs, please come along for the ride. If you were at Dreamstate this year, comment below about your experience and why you loved/hated the event.
Last weekend, Insomniac took over the Port of Los Angeles with its newest addition to the Dreamstate series: Dreamstate Harbor. With only two stages, this rave by the bay is smaller when compared to the massive DS SoCal coming in November. But, this intimate group therapy was more than enough to barge into my heart with all the big festival feelz.
The first stage I went to was The Hydra because it was the closest to the entrance and the only set of GA bathrooms. Its layout reminded me of kineticFIELD with its monstrous LED screens and speaker towers spread across the dance floor. Like the serpent in Greek mythology, this stage showed the versatility of styles steaming from the body of trance.
On the first day, The Hydra took me on a trip filled with psychedelic riffs and energetic tempos from Alchimyst, Astrix, and Infected Mushroom. All the psytrance made Saturday a battle because everyone in their mamas was trying to get to the front. The next day went just as hard with aggressive percussion and driving basslines from the likes of David Forbes, Will Atkinson, Mark Sherry, and Bryan (Bryan, Bryan effin’) Kearney. It’s been over two years since Bryan played in the USA, but his set was utter Kearnage.
Across the harbor was The Aquaria, where the DJs still wrecked my legs but in a loving take-you-out-for-breakfast-after kinda way. A silver cage of naked Truss Segments encompassed the stage, forcing everyone to huddle together for an intimate dance floor. Even when it was packed like sardines because the cold wind was blasting everyone from a state of trance, it was still easier to move around than in The Hydra.
Christina Novelli, Craig Connelly, Estiva, and Giuseppe Ottaviani were some of the DJs who opened The Aquaria, easing us into the night. But when it got dark, so did the music because it was banger after banger from Sean Tyas, Paul van Dyk, John O’Callaghan, and Sander van Doorn (presents Purple Haze). So many fantastic DJs played at this stage, but my favorite act from this pool was Markus Schulz.
Why? Well, I suppose it’s because I feel like a man possessed every time I see the Unicorn Slayer. The way he balances the vigorous snares and kicks from techno with the euphoric melodies of trance is a work of art that makes me want to hug friends and strangers while also punching the air like it owes me money. chef’s kiss
Honestly, there’s not much for me to complain about besides wishing there were more bathrooms, but space in the venue is limited, so I understand. But the free and quick in-and-out parking was fantastic! There were moments when I encountered some not-so-PLUR people who would elbow their way through the crowd or to the front, but that’s not Insomniac’s problem. People were generally friendly, spreading the good vibes from the Book of PLUR. There weren’t all the bells and whistles you would typically see at a festival, but I don’t think DSH needed the extra production or stages because the sound management was perfect.
Rewatching my “Sun & Moon” recording during Ilan Bluestone’s set made me realize something. I realized how much I suck at singing and that I dance like I’m losing a game of DDR. But none of my horrible singing and terrible dance moves matter because, in these small moments of imperfection shared amongst my friends and strangers, I am happy. Thank you, Insomniac, for creating a culture celebrating the magic of trance.
All-in-all, the first Dreamstate Harbor was pretty cool. I have no regrets, not even when I spent 17 dollars on dry chicken tenders and fries. (No lie, I saw a basket of fries on the floor and thought how someone wasted nine dollars.) The star-packed lineup and breathtaking sights of laser-colored fog with giant ships in the background made it all worth my while. TL;DR: New location, same feelz, 100 out of 10, highly recommended.
Okay, I’m finally over the festival flu, and I’m ready to share my 14th Electric Daisy Carnival experience with y’all! With over 166k Headliners attending each night, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, this was probably my biggest EDC. I had a fantastic time, but there were a few bumps down the rabbit hole for Insomniac’s 26th Windy-C (sorry-not-sorry for the pun).
Quick SparkNotes about Electric Daisy Carnival 2022
Insomniac added a ninth stage called bionicJUNGLE for house lovers. The new addition featured Lee Foss and Felix Da Housecat.
NFTs were everywhere. Canadian star Grimes, who played a DJ set at cosmicMEADOW, and Jauz’s surprise guest Snoop Dogg were some of the few who debuted their new crypto projects this weekend. A Bored Ape even appeared during one of the midnight drone shows.
LV police diverted traffic around the speedway, so leaving the anti-PLUR parking lot wasn’t too bad. It took us about an hour to get back to our hotel each night.
The rave drip was on-point this year. Saw a lot of vibrant tanks and fishnets, furry boots, anime-themed costumes, and a whole mess of glitter! Oh, and let’s not forget about the sea of Rezz, Seven Lions, and Illenium jerseys throughout the weekend.
Frolicking Between circuitGROUNDS, quantumVALLEY, and neonGARDEN.
The talent at circuitGROUNDS this year was unreal: Tinlicker, Nora en Pure, Jason Ross, KX5, the list goes on! My favorite set, though, was no other than Eric Prydz!
For 75 minutes, Prydz created an experience so immersive that I forgot about the ginormous festival happening behind me. Illuminating visuals of stars zipping around lush planets, lightning storms, and androids whose glossy shells reflected the radiant colors of space teleported me into a Prydaverse of electrifying synths. It was a breathtaking journey across a dazzling universe as he played “Allein,” “Every Day,” and “Juletider.”
To the right of CG was quantumVALLEY. I missed Ilan Bluestone’s set, but I did catch Mat Zo, Craig Connelly, and freakin’ MaRLo. It was an emotional end for the Australian’s set as Triode and Linney (who sang live) appeared on stage for their rendition of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.” (RIP)
Just outside of QV was neonGARDEN. NG stayed true to its underground roots with a minimalistic design compared to the other eight stages. Between the dusky neon lights sweeping the crowd and the onslaught of techno reverberating off the stacks of steel containers encasing the dance floor, I felt like I was at a rave within a festival. Joseph Capriati, Charlotte de Witte, Anfisa Letyago, Deborah De Luca, and I Hate Models were some artists I saw over the weekend. Though, Adam Beyer’s three-hour set was my choice of the best act at NG.
A Negative And A Positive.
My biggest complaint about this year’s EDC is about the bathrooms by BP and NG. There was only one opening used as an exit and an entrance, so people would get stuck trying to leave or enter. There were times when I feared a trampling situation would happen. Of course, the frustration caused a few fights, and a few people got their phones stolen while crammed in the herd of ravers. The situation got better on the second and third day of EDC.
Stepping away from the negatives, one cool thing about this year’s EDC was seeing people my age or older Under the Electric Sky. Josh, 35, a travel nurse from Texas, was one of the many who brought his parents.
“My whole life, my dad has shown me different cultures, places he loved as a child, and things he didn’t have growing up,” he said. Josh knew his father would enjoy the festival because they share an interest in art, and his stepmother loves to dance. “Now my dad has a crew for next year and already has his VIP tickets secured, lol.”
“They wanted to stop everywhere and take pictures; it felt kinda like I was parenting small children because if we got separated, I couldn’t just text them to find them,” he said. Despite having the parental roles reversed, Josh could not think of any way to better celebrate his 7th EDC than by sharing it with his parents. “I think the most fun part for me was at Tiesto since it’s one of the few artists they knew; watching them dance and really enjoying the set was priceless.”
My Take Away
Reading everyone’s posts online about how they wish they were still with other Headliners Under the Electric Sky made me realize the most significant thing EDC offers is a connection with other people. I felt more PLUR this year compared to the last five years. I believe the Electric Daisy Carnival can create these magical moments of love and joy through music and adventure. Of course, I don’t want to discredit other people’s negative experiences because some things are out of your hands. But if you take the risk, I believe you’ll find a community willing to help elevate your experience (if it’s within their power, of course).
Not sure when I’ll stop going to EDC, but it won’t be soon. I hope to see y’all next year Under the Electric Sky.
A collection of videos and photos from my Ireland trip set to Lane 8’s “Don’t Let me Go” and Mumfords and Son’s “Little Lion Man.” I, obviously, don’t own any of the music and am not monetizing this video so in no way or form, I am making money from this. I just want to share my adventures with the amazing people I was with….and I also have the receipts for these songs in case anyone comes looking!
This is also my second attempt at making a video like this. After viewing it a few times I noticed there were some spots where I could have made the edits tighter but I will keep that in mind for the next time I try my hand at another music video.
Hi hi, on this episode, I had some new faces with me as we discussed some of our favorite Slice of Life animes and the ending of Attack on Titans S4P2. With my friends Patrick and Josh, we talk about what animes made us cry and why we love Haikyu, Your Lie in April, and (of course!!!) Shingeki no Kyojin. The first half is pretty lighthearted, but towards the end, we pulled a college discourse about the themes within AoT and why they are essential for us to think about as our world continues to repeat history.
If you have any inputs or want to share some of your top picks of Slice of Life or wanna tell us to bugger off with our hardons for AoT, comment below.
Animes We Talked About:
My Dress-up Darling Haiykuu A Silent Voice Love Hina Run with the Wind Attack on Titan Jujutsu Kaisen Made in Abyss The Promised Neverland Josee, the Tiger and the Fish Clannad: After Story Ahiru no Sora Ride Your Wave Beast Stars 86 Saikano
Timestamps 00:00 – Some of Our Favorite Slice of Life Animes 12:07 – Meme Responsibly and Why We Love Your Lie in April and Hayikuu 25:13 – Animes That Made Us Cry and Gojo’s Eyes 44:43 – Our Reaction to Attack on Titan’s Season 4 Part 2 Ending 53:55 – Reflecting on the Themes in Shingeki no Kyojin IRL
**** WARNING: THIS IS FULL OF SPOILERS ***
IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN, MY DRESS-UP DARLING, HAYIKUU, OR ANY OF THE ANIME WE NAMED, WE'RE PROB GONNA SPOIL IT.
Hi hi, sorry for the long hiatus, but I’ve been gone on a holiday in Ireland. I should have some videos about that coming out soon. But here is a recording where Will and Erick joined me in a conversation about growing up in Visalia as nerdy hoodrats. We talk about what it was like in a multicultural community, racism, economic disparity, being nerds, finding anime, and being hoodrats running around the ghettos of the Central Valley.
If you have your own stories about growing up in Visalia or being a nerdy hoodrat, comment down below!
Timestamps 0:00:00 – The Oh Wow Nickel Arcade 1:10:48 – Skipping School to Eat at Gumbo and the Buffet at Adventure Park 1:20:41 – Being First-Generation Kids without Adult Supervision 1:31:48 – Rebelling Against my Asian Parents and Finding my Crew and Avoiding Gangs 1:41:44 – How I found Anime and The New Generation of Kids in Visalia 1:51:55 – My DDR Story and the Beef Between Fresno and Visalia Nerds 1:04:23 – I Love Growing up in the Central Valley and Bless Nobles Mom’s Heart
I sat down with local Bay Area DJ JustJovani to talk about his debut release, “It’s All the Same,” on DTL Records. The interview was over an hour, but this is just 30 minutes of essential bits of knowing Jovani Melendez. I will release the entire video in a few days, but you’ll have to make do with the Cliftnotes version.
Below are links to his new track, socials, and a show he will be playing this weekend.
Hello, hello. I am back with some new faces. This video is a cut from a #sorryasianparents recording where we ended a 3-hour conversation with anime. Will, Noble, and Erick joined me discussing growing up in the Central Valley and the anime we watched. The whole video is about an hour and a half, but I felt like it was a crime to cut some of the laughs out. So, essentially, this video is four men in their 30s gushing over Naruto, Bleach, and other classic animes…and our shared experiences of “accidentally” finding La Blue Girl and Bible Black.
So I hope you enjoy! Also, feel free to throw in some names of the animes you watched growing up in the comments.
Timestamps 0:00:07 – Our weeb origin story…and accidentally finding Bible Black/La Blue Girl 0:10:30 – Watching old animes dubs or subs and the glory days of fandubs 0:20:26 – Beserk on VHS and animes that defined our generation 0:30:56 – Finding anime late at night and talking about Bleach and Naruto 0:44:10 – Finding anime through AMVs and I hate harem animes 0:55:03 – Old animes we thought ended awkwardly and talking about JOJO 1:05:10 – Gushing over iconic scenes from Bleach and Naruto 1:16:02 – Beach and Naruto had some amazing animations and delved more into Japanese culture 1:24:11 – Saying our final thoughts and recommendations
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