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2012 year in review

Wow, just wow… not one update on LJ since my last one…a year ago. I guess I really blew that one. It was my plan to update on LJ last year. I’m still wondering why I didn’t. I think part of it was that I didn’t think anyone would be interested.  Tell you what, I’ll give it one more year, and if it doesn’t work out, I’ll hang up LJ for good.  Same LJ email reminder that prompted my thoughts, just like last year.

So, how did I do? How did the larger plan go? What happened?  Well, just like last year, it was a bit of a mixed bag, with good and bad points. Might as well start out with the physical stuff:

I had some minor surgery to remove a non-threatening cyst, which went well. I was in and out with no complications, for which I’m very thankful. I’ve also redoubled my efforts to stay in shape, and I’ve been really reaping the benefits of that, being in some of the best shape of my life, which has really helped in other areas of my life. I can’t really recommend it more highly.

2012 – more of the same but different.

The past year was really a lot more about sustaining momentum that I started the previous year, which turned out to be more challenging than I thought.  Various factors around everyday living and family kind of kept me distracted enough to not put as much energy into my personal projects as I wanted. Another great year of friends, gatherings and music helped to balance the demands of everyday life.  Without going into a ton of detail, there was a lot of misc. crap that kept pulling my time in a lot of different directions. Still, a good summer and fall are nothing to sneeze at, as I had a ton of fun with people from all over.

Music, Production, and Performance

After releasing most of the music I wrote earlier online, I continued to write and improve on my production skills. A difficult and daunting journey to say the least, and honestly not as rewarding as I thought. Creation is truly an act of pure will, and I ended up with more disappointment than satisfaction. I’m sure that my perception is skewed a bit, because I got quite a lot of compliments on my work. Still, I wasn’t satisfied, which resulted in another year of struggle, and me wondering if this is a good path. Still, my exposure to other, more talented producers has definitely allowed me to improve my work.  I found myself offering more advice and assistance than I was getting myself last year, but I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing.  I also got some great news at the end of the year which will result  in a release next year with a producer that I respect very much.  Around summertime I started planning a very ambitious project similar to the one I prepared for the year before; unfortunately with my other plans shaping up for the year, I will have to put my plans for a more expanded live performance on hold this year, primarily for budgetary reasons. So I think the current watchword for me right now is to stay the course. keep writing, and see what happens.

On the Work Front

I was able to move around in the company that I work for, into a much better position, with a lot less stress, which was a real improvement to my overall well being. Can't really tell how much of an affect this has had overall, but I'm happy with where I'm at right now.

2013 and beyond.

In overall review, I did pretty badly in terms of what I wanted to do. I could come up with reasons why I didn’t accomplish the things I wanted in the past year, however I’m not sure what that would accomplish. I would add that I think a lot of why my blog, pictures, and other items of a internet flavor didn’t take a front seat may be because I’m not sure that my friends really need to see  another pic of me on my bike, or what I was eating. I’m not sure if folks genuinely care what my opinion is on various Items. I guess I’m feeling a bit hesitant to share my personal drivel, and should make a genuine decision about whether I should or not.

Still, that being said, I did get a variety of good stuff done this past year, and while my overall outlook may appear a bit jaded, in reality, I’m looking forward to 2013 more than last year. I think that there will be a lot of significant changes on deck this year, and I’m ready to start turning some of my plans into reality.


2011 year in review

So I'm not sure where to start here…

I guess it was probably the email reminder I got from livejournal today that my renewal for another year subscription was coming up that got me thinking. As the day wore on, I began to reflect on the year that has just passed, and where I was in the grand scheme of things. I didn’t even think of posting a yearly retrospective here on this blog like I had in the past. Then as it often happens, my thoughts about a variety of things bubbled up and swarmed around in my brain until I just had to either go back to work, or spend the day thinking about how I was going to process them.

Ultimately, I ended up only working a small section of the day, and spending the rest of the day web-surfing and thinking about the changes that I wanted to make in 2012. So I guess you could say that maybe this post is a hello, and a goodbye, and hopefully the starting of a larger plan.

First off, Livejournal, what happened? When did the fire go out? I guess the world changed (about 2 years ago), but LJ didn’t. The world’s attention span got reduced to 140 characters; blogs turned to tweets and tumblogs, posts, and updates - piped from one social site to another. I guess I’m not afraid to say that I’m influenced by xaotica, she’s usually got her finger on the pulse of most things internet-y, and besides being totally plugged in, she’s stuck with LJ, so I guess I will for the meantime, I think. I’m just not sure if anyone is reading on here anymore. I’ve connected my blogs posts to my Facebook feed, so I’m sure that a few people will jump over here. Many times I’ve thought about folding up this blog, calling it quits. However, the fact is that because of the age of this little corner of the internet, it’s pretty SEO optimized, meaning that this is a pretty big landing spot for people that search for me online, and I’m  pretty sure that you can’t  get better SEO for $17 a year. Right now I’m reading the updates from a few friends, and who knows, maybe long form blogging will come back again sometime. I think I may lock down most of my posts to “friends only” and use this blog as a personal spot for online genuflection. Either way, this post isn’t a “so long LJ whiners” post, but rather a commitment to keep using LJ, in a more intimate way, perhaps.

Either way, I’m cranking up and maintaining another blog in earnest over at my own site: djdrue.com. I’ll focus most of my music stuff there, while keeping more personal stuff here.  

 A look back at 2011

This past year was a bit of a mixed bag. At this time a year ago, I was kept very busy prepping for a live show that I was going to perform at a private event (OODE) that was composed of all my own original music. That went down in May and it was quite a success, I’ve got a few photos of me using my audiocubes, and some shaky video of the affair, both of which I wasn’t too happy with. It did show me that the live performance design that I came up with worked and was successful. Afterwards, I was pretty drained creatively, and kind of checked out on working on music for most of the summer. Burning Man was a very fun time this year, and helped to cement many friendships, and help me decide to participate in that community a little more than in the past.  Most of the year was spent developing and expanding on the relationships that I had already formed, deepening my connections with many different people. My horoscope advised that 2010 would be the year to collaborate with people, so I guess I kinda blew that. I also didn’t make it to WMC this year either. I’m no longer quite so concerned about that though, after talking with some very big producers, I’ve come to realize it isn’t the networking opportunity that it once was.

Some epic moments in 2011 include: the wild ride that is the Oregon Country Fair, Talking with Lisa Shaw in Hollywood, Hanging out with Mark Knight in the studio, A few glorious motorcycle rides up PCH, Working with my friend Danielle on some house music, rocking out with my cubes out at OODE, and pushing the envelopes of reality with Dustin and Charlie at Burning Man. I would have to say though, that the brightest spot was spending my birthday at ‘Plunge’ in SF with all my Cloudfactory and Joyscout friends, what an amazing time, and the highlight of the year.

On the work front

 I really became tired with the current position I have. I’ve learned about as much as I can where I am at, and I spent a good portion of the year looking for some other options. I don’t really feel like complaining too much, though, given the current employment outlook. The recession didn’t really help here, and the company pulled a bunch of money that they were going to use to fund new projects that I was interested in. I’ll continue to look for other opportunities, but for right now, I’m in more of a hold position for the first quarter of this year. I’m also going to take another whack at David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’ (GTD)  method, in the hope of making my time at the office more efficient.

Music, Production, and Performance

As a quick recap, I’ve been spending most of the last year, and 2010 working on producing dance music, as opposed to playing it. This kind of culminated in a live show I did in May 2011. After really nearly killing myself writing, composing, arranging, mixing, and mastering enough music for a 90 min performance, I was pretty wiped out. I came out learning a bunch of stuff, and I could definitely see improvements both in my technique, and in terms of performing. 

Still now after a long year, with a bit of a break, I’m not convinced that producing music is the ultimate goal for me. I don’t seem to have developed an inner desire to make music. I’m still only about 3 years into serious production, so I think that might just be a developmental thing, I don’t know, but I’m feeling a little skeptical right now.  Maybe ‘demoralized’ is a better descriptor. Making music isn’t returning me the kind of rewards I was hoping for. Perhaps I just need to keep working at it (which I plan to). What I have learned over the past few months is that I really miss performing. I find the performance to be more gratifying than the work of producing. I was far happier just playing records in the club. When people identify an inner drive to do something, for me I’m thinking it’s more about the performance. At least that's what I'm feeling right now... I'd rather be tweaking beats on the street with a sampler and a speaker, then spending time in the studio. It's probably just a reflection of the current atmosphere of "everyone's a dj" that we've all been suffering from over the past few years, which makes finding steady gig work challenging.

I could go on and on about what I’ve learned that works, and what should be done, and all the minutia that goes into promotion and development, but ultimately, I’m more interested getting back into what I find rewarding, so I think that this year will be more focused on performance.  I’m going to work on developing that a bit more and see if I can get that off the ground.

Additionally, I find that I’ve been teaching a lot of my friends that do have that creative voice in their heads, so I plan on doing more of that in the future.  I’ve also been very privileged in being able to meet and work with some very big producers and DJ’s. I’ve learned that they are all very busy just managing their own schedules and tours, and that doesn’t leave room for a lot of new connections.

Behind the curtain and under the hood

2011 was a bit of a quiet year in terms of excitement and adventure. That’s not to say that I didn’t have fun. I think I join a lot of people who are pretty happy that this year is over with. It just didn’t have the spark of 2010. I think I’ll be really working on developing the seeds in my life that got planted several years ago.  I’ve got some medical crap that I need to take care of. I have to have a cyst removed here in the near future (don’t worry folks, nothing to be scared of), and I’m still working out and staying fit. The Sun in LA sure makes getting out and being active a lot easier. My family is doing pretty good, despite some scares earlier in the year. I get up to the Northwest to see them as often as I can. I miss my friends in PDX a lot, and it’s very nice to know that they are all doing well, and  PDX remains a fun place to come home to.

2012 and beyond

I've usually got about a 50% completion rate for stuff that I intend to do, but I definitely plan on more updates and more photos this year. I'm really bad at that and want to really improve there, so expect more info coming from me this year for sure.

Well, it’s a little early to tell, but look for more music stuff to be coming soon. I’m going to start by posting most of the music that I finished for the OODE set on my soundcloud page for people to download. Then I’ll probably resurrect the podcast, along with some Internet broadcasting with Brett Adams at Eve-Radio.com.

Also I’ll be shooting some video of me in the studio, maybe some screencasts for my friends about music production.

 Another trip to Burning Man is probably going to happen, and potentially some really cool stuff associated with Oregon Country Fair (If I’m lucky).  Like I said before, I’ll try to put some private friends-only stuff here and see if I can track my progress a little better this year.  I’ll be posting more stuff at my facebook page (not my profile). But if you want the personal stuff… it will be locked here at Livejournal, (friends-only style) so make an LJ account (it's free!) if you want the really detailed stuff (this means you, facebook friends!)

Pictures, quotes, videos and cool internet errata will continue to flow from my Tumblr feed, which gets piped into facebook. New music,  mixes, and remixes will be updated on soundcloud. I'll probably put most new photos up on my flickr account. From time to time, out on the road or otherwise, I’ll find something clever to tweet about.

So there you have it… the year behind and the year ahead, if you made it this far, I’m impressed, and you are as cool, if not cooler than I originally thought of you in real life.  


Burning Man 2010 lineup...

Sadly, I won't be going to Burning Man this year, and while I don't really go to burning man for the music, I have learned that many people don't have the same chances to hear music that I do. Several of my friends that are going have been asking me for my picks in terms of who to check out this year.

After Browsing the Lineup, here are my picks:

Details under the cutCollapse )

New Summer Mix

With Summer in full swing, it's time to break out the summer vibes. I've been collecting Latin House all year, and here's a nice dose of latin flavored Grooves to get you through your summer party season.

Download the mix here.

For those of you that like to embed and spread, please share your love with the player below.

New music from Trent Reznor

I just got back from OODE and my brain isn't collected enough yet to write about that yet, but stay tuned, there will be a post on that shortly.

I'm back at work and super swamped, but just had to post the new release from Trent Reznor's side project How to destroy angels. Free download, but please support your musicians.


WMC 2010

WMC Artist Roster WMC Artist Roster
Getting Ready For Miami? Here's the Roster for artists for Winter Music Conference that I'm on.

down for the count

Central Fire

Every DJ has a story of that one record that they were desperate to get their hands on when they first heard it. This is the one for me.

I'll never forget when I finally had this hot record in my hands. It's classic acid break from the 90's, and the B-side is even more wicked than this one. Here's a quick trip down memory lane for those in the know.


New winter mix available for download

It's been a while since I mixed some of the music that I've been getting my hands on recently. during my winter break, I finally had some time over the last few days to put together a nice mix to help keep you warm over the winter.

Wintermix 2009

Part 1
Part 2

More mixes available on my mix page.

I hope everyone has a great New Year!