Saturday, May 9, 2015

This week's top posts on Tumblr

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Awesome stuff from the people you follow

Here's what happened this week on your Dashboard!
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Around the World and Behind the Turntables with DJ @locodiceofc

To see more of Loco Dice's photos, follow @locodiceofc on Instagram. For more music stories from around the world, check out @music on Instagram.

The first time German DJ Loco Dice (@locodiceofc) performed for a crowd was in 1991, at a basement party, using equipment he and his friend had picked out of the garbage.

"You know, Germany is so rich, they throw all the best parts away," says Dice. "You always find something you can use. 'Oh, a broken turntable? What is broken? We can fix it with duct tape.' There's stuff you can repair if you want to repair it."

Dice has since upgraded his tools, which you can spot in the concert photos he posts from around the world. But top-of-the-line equipment doesn't necessarily mean going big every time he hits the stage. When Dice plays abroad, he tends to travel light. No need to tote a huge vinyl collection and studio with you when you can just bring the essentials: a mixer, a turntable and a laptop (also, some tequila).

Loco Dice is a veteran of the international DJ circuit. While his current live tastes veer toward house and techno, his roots are firmly entrenched in hip-hop. Growing up in Germany, Dice would often drive to Amsterdam to get the latest rap records from America. In fact, before he switched to his current gig, he tried emceeing. He even released a single in his native country and was on tour with Snoop Dogg. But, due to his large record stash, friends began to wonder whether he'd be up for DJing instead.

"I was like, 'I suck as a DJ as much as I suck as a rapper,'" says Dice. "They were like, 'Well, you can't go wrong, because you suck at both.'"

Dice was right about changing focus, but wrong about his skills. He was soon performing all over the globe, often for big, sprawling crowds. (A personal highlight was his set at Love Parade, which attracted upward of a million people.) But he's more anxious about the smaller gigs –– the intimate 150- to 200-seat capacity clubs, where the connection between you and the audience can be both intimate and intimidating. "I get really nervous, because everyone is really close to you," he says. "Everybody can see every mistake –– they are right in your face."

Big or small, in cold weather or hot, wherever Dice travels, he likes to soak it all in and get a feel for the community who have gathered to watch him perform. As he explains, once you understand the culture and the people, then you will know how to vibe with them. Take his recent trip to South Africa, with the Bridges For Music program, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of developing countries through music.

"They are very proud people, they are very good people, they are very intelligent people," he says. "There is a very colorful culture there. They are very open-minded, and they took me with open arms, and I loved it."

For Dice, anywhere he goes, the music is always king. It's about mixing styles and experimenting with new ways of hyping a crowd. It's about connecting with the audience. It's about bringing songs to the people, no matter the instrument or newest gadget you have on the table in front of you.

"In the end, I am a musician," he says. "We work with the music and we work with the vibe and it can't be 100 percent perfect. Never. I am just a human. It's not my computer who's doing the music –– it's still me, it's still me who's deciding how to work it out. This is the exciting thing about being a DJ."

–– Instagram @music

#music #loco dice #love parade #EDM #house music #techno #deep cuts #instagram #instagram music

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Walking Through Details with @marcequevedo

For more fragments from Marcela's travels, follow @marcequevedo on Instagram. For more stories from around the Spanish-speaking community, follow @instagramES.

(This interview was conducted in Spanish)

"I like things with fading color. I like to see the passing of time because time can tell you good stories," says Marcela Quevedo (@marcequevedo), an industrial designer from San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Little details are also special to her: "I can go into an ice cream shop and be drawn to its decoration, but I'm not going to capture the entire place, so I focus on a detail that grabs my attention. It could be a messy wall that represents a nice mess."

Her pictures also act as a way to relive memories. "The love of my life and I broke up, and I like to share things I experienced with him," she says, adding, "For example, there's a window with a little piggy somewhere, and for me, that represents a nice day because we ate corn right in front of that window. For me sharing a meal with someone I love is part of my daily life."

Marcela travels constantly. "Most people go to well-known places, but sometimes I'm just on a road, I see something that catches my eye and I wonder, 'Where will this little road take me?' I venture into villages and there I usually find small details I truly like."

#photography #color #mexico #san luis potosí #culture #Marcela Quevedo #user feature #instagramES #instagram

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The Colorful Masks and Music of Lightning Bolt Drummer @chimpendale

To see more of Brian's colorful creations, follow @chimpendale on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

Brian Chippendale (@chimpendale) is into masks. There's the blue balaclava-like one that stretches out over his face, and the magenta one attached to two giant severed teddy bear heads. These days, Brian prefers his "tiger mask," a multicolored stitched shell he wears while drumming for his band, the noise-rock duo Lightning Bolt. Inside it is a contact microphone, which picks up all the guttural vibrations, rumblings and sweat that accumulate during a show.

"Wearing a sweat-soaked rag on your head an hour a day helps dispel inhibitions," says Brian, over the phone, about his facial disguise. "It's funny because people are just like, 'It must be so disgusting.' But I wash it every night that I play."

Washing may disinfect it, but it doesn't keep it intact. The more laundry cycles it goes through, the more it starts to shred and fall apart, the more it begins to turn into another one of Brian's growing pile of tattered creations.

The Rhode Island native's tradition of designing and wearing his own costumes began some time in the 1990s. Back then, he and a group of artists were shacked up in a warehouse in Providence known as Fort Thunder, a collective art space where they played shows, drew comics and held wrestling matches. Then some developers came in and tore the place down to make way for a parking lot. So Brian packed up his stuff and, after living in a new space for a couple years, eventually moved down the road into the third floor of an old mill, which serves as his current home base.

"I miss Fort Thunder days in the same way I miss my 20s," says Brian. "But I am also really happy where I am in my life now. If I had the option to go back, I wouldn't. We had like eight cats and one litter pan. It was pretty ridiculous in its filthiness, and [there were] tons of roommates, which is so awesome and horrible at the same time."

Brian is an artist-musician, or possibly a musician-artist. It's hard to say which comes first. Drawing a comic comes just as easy to him as providing a steady backbeat on his two-decade-old kick drum. His group Lightning Bolt began in 1995, around the time Fort Thunder was getting off the ground. Since then, the duo has released seven official records, including its latest, Fantasy Empire. The new album has the same piercing dissonance and guitar shredding from the group's previous efforts. But this one sounds crisper, due to the band utilizing the full digital technology of a studio for the first time.

The music wasn't the only thing they approached with a fresh perspective. Lightning Bolt album covers, which are handled by Brian, have always included bursts of color. But this one is more minimalist––a black-and-white collage redrawn with a small pen.

"A lot of our covers are these colorful, aggressive things," he says. "For this one I wanted to go for more of an atmosphere and an air of mystery."

Like all of his projects, Brian worked on the cover while parked in his current studio in Providence. The building spans almost a city block –– 8,000 square feet (743 square meters) of wood and brick and a broken elevator, which makes loading gear for tours a bit of a pain. But the space is very much his own. There's a room full of shredded paper for collaging, a room for silk screening, a room to record Lightning Bolt material and several rooms to draw in. There are also spaces filled with junk and other knickknacks he's dragged up there over the years.

"An old roommate came over here once and started rummaging around in some room that I don't really go to," he says. "He pulled out an entire windsurfing board and I had never even seen this thing."

The building switched hands a few years ago to a new landlord, but unlike Fort Thunder, Brian doesn't think he'll be kicked to the curb any time soon. There's too much stuff to get him to leave –– art materials and toys, a couple of printing presses and his drum set, and maybe even that two-headed bear suit from the Fort Thunder days, languishing in some hidden corner in a box. Worst-case: If he gets evicted, Brian will just set up shop somewhere else.

"I am an artist and a musician just because I can't do anything else and I won't do anything else."

–– Instagram @music

#music #art #photography #comics #masks #DoubleTrack #Lightning Bolt #brian chippendale #Fantasy empire #Puke Force #instagram #instagram music

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