Electric Daisy and Poker?

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It may seem like an odd couple, but the moons have aligned just right and both the Electric Daisy Carnival and the World Series of Poker will be taking place this June in Las Vegas. While it may seem like there wouldn’t be so much crossover appeal between the two massive events and that there is a world of difference between one of the biggest electronic dance music festivals and the most prestigious series of poker tournaments on the planet, the weird truth is that if you’re going to either, the preparations are almost exactly the same. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a deeper look.

What It Is

For those in the know, Electric Daisy Carnival is one of the premier celebrations of electronic music, not only in North America but also globally. The three-day carnival, held from June 19 to June 21, will bring an estimated 700,000 revelers to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. What makes this number even more impressive is the fact that tickets will be sold out BEFORE the lineup is even announced (it’s a well-kept secret until May). Such is the popularity of EDC and fans know that regardless of the final list of artists, it will feature many of the top names in EDM.

At the other end of the spectrum, the World Series of Poker is by far the largest poker event in the world, drawing players from every corner of the globe to fight for their chance at poker glory (and a ton of money). Starting on May 27 and stretching until July 7, the WSOP will be the center of the poker universe and the Rio casino will be transformed into a veritable explosion of tournaments, cash games, and vendors showing off their wares.

That’s how they’re different. Now, let’s see how they’re the same.

The “Circus” Of It All

With both being the preeminent events in their respective fields, there is something of a circus atmosphere to be found at either. Partygoers and poker players dress up to fit the occasion and the fashion on display will run the gamut from jeans and a t-shirt to some of the wackiest outfits you can imagine. Adding to the circus environment is an electrified feeling that permeates every corner of both events. In many cases, EDC or the WSOP is the most exciting time of the year for those in attendance and that rush is certainly palpable.

Planning Ahead

If you’re going to either, one of the key tips is to plan ahead. Trying to book a hotel room last minute is going to be a dicey proposition and you could end up paying a lot more than expected (especially on the weekends) for a bed you probably won’t be staying in that much. For Electric Daisy tickets, general attendance is already sold out, but you can score tickets through the organizer’s own ticket exchange program, which prevents the problem of scalpers and counterfeiting.

At the WSOP, planning ahead is very important if you want to focus on certain tournaments rather than others. It’s physically impossible to play every event; therefore, you’ll need to go through the official schedule thoroughly to choose your tournaments, leaving enough time between them in case you make a deep run into the money. Also, it’s a good idea to pick the right time to register for your events of choice. While even same-day registrations can be made, going to the cashier to sign up is best done at non-peak hours to avoid the long lines. From 4am to 9am are when the lines will be least crowded. As EDC has gained popularity among players over the last few years, many of them plan their poker tournament schedules around the festival so that they have plenty of time to prepare, enjoy the music, and recover before hitting the felt again.

Stay Hydrated

Las Vegas is a desert, pure and simple. While the neon lights and fancy waterworks of Bellagio may lead you to believe otherwise, the air in the city is dry as a bone. Regardless of whether you’re dancing the night away to Art Department’s set or grinding through a long tournament day, you need to stay hydrated. A small fortune is made by convenience stores and Electric Daisy vendors in keeping the masses supplied with water, but you can save a considerable bit of money by coming with your own water. A Camelbak is an excellent solution, being an easy-to-carry backpack that’s filled with water. At the Amazon Room at the Rio, you can expect to see plenty of players with a Camelbak strapped to their chair. If you think that the backpack is going to cramp your dancing style at Electric Daisy, keep in mind that the carnival is well-equipped with plenty of lockers where you can safely store your things.

It’s A Marathon

To make the most out of your WSOP or Electric Daisy trip, it’s highly important to remember that you’re in it for the long run. At the former, playing a day of a big tournament can easily stretch to 15 hours or more. For many players, mental exhaustion is a real problem and they can start to make mistakes late in the day when decisions matter the most. With Electric Daisy, the party is nonstop, with the first act taking the stage on Friday afternoon and the music not reaching an end until late Sunday night.

To fully enjoy either, you’ll need to remember to eat well to keep the body fueled for whatever it may face over the long haul. While plenty of eating options will be available at the Motor Speedway and the Rio, making smart choices like not eating a heavy dinner if you plan on seeing Guetta at four in the morning should seem like a given. In addition, you’ll need to take regular breaks away from the music or poker tables. You might think that you don’t want to miss a single song or hand, but the simple act of getting up and walking around can help to refresh you before you return to the action.


Think you don’t need to train for an electronic dance music festival? Think again. The best parts of any EDM festival are the ones that come late at night, often at the tail end of an amazing set with a DJ that is perfectly in tune with the vibe of the crowd. If you’re already falling asleep, even the most amazing music and energy might not be enough to keep you up. The best way to train for a three-day EDM festival is to start working the week before the event. Start adjusting your sleep schedule to wake up later and later, with an ideal situation being getting up around three or four in the afternoon and going to sleep at seven or eight in the morning. In addition to focusing your time on the most eventful portions of the festival, it will also be a great way to beat the Las Vegas heat. When the sun is pounding, you’ll be enjoying a leisurely breakfast and just getting ready to head out.

Like Electric Daisy, poker players that are making the pilgrimage to Las Vegas’s top poker tournaments will need to do some training of their own to be in peak mental state. If there are casinos in your local area, check out their tournament schedule, looking for events that will draw more people in particular. However, a better option would be to find online poker tournaments that feature a big stack structure and large numbers of entrants. In this way, you’ll be playing events that take much longer to complete and will give you more experience in playing the style of tournament that will be on offer at the WSOP. While nothing can fully prepare you for what it’s like to attend the WSOP in person and play the long, grueling tournaments, online poker is the best solution for at least minimizing the shock.

Las Vegas is a city that attracts everyone, from Australian poker players making the trip to compete in their first Main Event, to Los Angeles electro fanatics making sure they don’t miss the best party of the year. As such, even seemingly unrelated events do have quite a bit in common and the exciting vibe of the city makes it all possible. By being prepared and taking the right steps to have a good time, both the WSOP and Electric Daisy Carnival would both be excellent events to attend. And, despite what you might think, there will be plenty of people enjoying both during their time in Las Vegas this June.

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Sir Richard Bishop shakes a few tour dates out of the hem of his cloak

A breath of air under the door frame. The sound of boots on creaking floorboards. Afternoon sunlight cutting the dust that hangs softly. A piece of paper rustling. The sound of a long cape brushing the walls, as a figure hurries through the corridor. The whinny of a horse in the distance. The soft sent of musty, Moroccan secrets kept under lock and key for many an age finally finding their way through the muck and the mire. Dirt turning under the hands of a middle-aged woman whose left eye wobbles when she speaks. The paper slipping under door. Black ink scratched onto the blank white space. Words. Numbers. The twang of a guitar beset by furious fingers. The whinny becomes a voice, horse-like and human in equal measure: “Sir Richard Bishop is going on tour again, ya bozos!”


04.24.15 - Tuscon, AZ - Exploded View *
04.25.15 - San Diego, CA - Whistle Stop
04.27.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Cinefamily &
04.28.15 - San Francisco, CA - Brick and Mortar Music Hall *
04.29.15 - Sacramento, CA - Shine *
05.01.15 - Portland, OR - Bunk Bar *
05.06.15 - Geneva, Switzerland - Cave 12
05.08.15 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Le Bourg
05.09.15 - Bologna, Italy - Freakout Club
05.10.15 - Ljubljana, Slovenia - Klub Gromka
05.12.15 - Vienna, Austria - Aux Gazelles
05.13.15 - Bucharest, Romania - Control Club
05.15.15 - Rome, Italy - Dal Verme
05.16.15 - Milan, Italy - O’artoteca
05.19.15 - Poitiers, France - Carre Bleu
05.21.15 - Marseille, France - Sons de Plateaux Festival
05.22.15 - London, United Kingdom - The Tin Tabernacle
05.23.15 - Bradford, United Kingdom - Threadfest
05.25.15 - Antwerp, Belgium - Het Bos
05.26.15 - Brussels, Belgium - Huis 23
05.27.15 - Cologne, Germany - Stadtgarten
05.28.15 - Paris, France - Les Instants Chavirés
05.29.15 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Global Copenhagen
05.30.15 - Stockholm, Sweden - Ronnells

* Robert Mills
& Robert Mills, Neil Hamburger

• Sir Richard Bishop: http://www.sirrichardbishop.net
• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

The Bug vs Dylan Carlson of Earth debut live performance at Supersonic Festival

As much as I’d love to make this article all about the nigh-unrivaled brilliance of Birmingham’s Supersonic Festival, we already covered that a couple of weeks ago, when a nigh-unrivaled lineup of demigod artists was semi-finalized for the 2015 edition, set to take place June 11-14 at venues The Crossing and Boxxed. It would’ve been tough to outdo a combination of performances from Holly Herndon, Gazelle Twin, Circuit Des Yeux, Liturgy, Six Organs of Admittance, and more, but festival sponsors Capsule are apparently pretty keen on upping the ante through their own version of a musical boxing match (in which nobody gets hurt). Announcing… The Bug vs. Earth!

No, Kevin Martin (The Bug) won’t use this summer opportunity to begin his attempts at earthly domination; instead, he and Dylan Carlson from the band Earth will have a shared performance at Supersonic, where they’ll presumably be expanding upon the two-track collaboration that was unearthed last November, much to the vibration of everyone’s internal organs.

That release was sort of what you expected, given Martin’s prior appearances on various dubstep compilations and Carlson’s consistently drone-y spearheading, but something tells me the in-person showing will be quite a different experience. Here’s a tasty reminder, nonetheless:

• The Bug: https://www.facebook.com/thebugofficialpage
• Earth: http://www.thronesanddominions.com/
• Supersonic Festival: http://www.supersonicfestival.com/

Chain and the Gang announce May tour, while Ian Svenonius inadvertently makes you feel bad about yourself

Ian Svenonius makes me feel bad about myself. It’s not his fault. He’s not trying to. He’s just got great hair. I have pretty crappy hair. He wears great suits. I try my best. He makes music and books and speaks in public. I live in a trash can, where I belong. So, it is with a great sense of inadequacy that I tell you that Svenonius’s current band, Chain and the Gang, are doing a tour of the East Coast and Midwest, lasting roughly a week and a half.

As I seethe with the dull burn of my failures, I am letting you know that the group’s tour begins on May 14 in Baltimore, with the group hitting a handful of major cities before ending up in Pittsburgh on the 23rd. Last year, they put out Minimum Rock ‘n’ Roll, as the first release on Svenonius’s Radical Elite imprint through Dischord. See that? Not only does he put out a record, he starts a whole new label (well, imprint, but who’s counting?) while he’s at it. If anyone needs me, I’ll be fiddling around with a ship-in-a-bottle and cursing.

Chain and the Gang dates:

05.14.15 - Baltimore, MD - The Crown
05.15.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right
05.16.15 - Providence, RI - Aurora
05.19.15 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison
05.20.15 - Detroit, MI - UFO Factory
05.21.15 - Chicago, IL - The Owl
05.22.15 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups
05.23.15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Gooski’s

• Chain and the Gang: http://on.fb.me/1uNDASp

Vic Mensa joins The Illuminati… er, Roc Nation Records

The latest student attending Jay Z’s charm school for ultra-cool musical young people is Chicago rapper Vic Mensa. Which is basically to say that the lad behind last year’s catchy, smart single “Down On My Luck” has signed with Roc Nation, home of Jay Electronica, Ri Ri, J. Cole, Rita Ora, and more.

As you’ll recall, Mensa appeared on Kanye West’s new track “Wolves,” while in turn his own new single “U Mad” (below) featured Yeezus himself. Wake up, sheeple! The Illuminati Roc Nation connection has been right in front of our eyes the WHOLE DAMN TIME. Congrats, Mr. Mensa! It’s all sacrificing goats to a musical owl god and playing Connect Four with Bey from here on out.

• Vic Mensa: https://soundcloud.com/fuck-vic-mensa
• Roc Nation: http://rocnation.com

White Poppy does what is right and natural by announcing Natural Phenomena on Not Not Fun

Like all those times when I was younger and my mom was around to tell me that the prehensile tail my younger brother had was totally normal, I am now here to tell you how absolutely and completely natural it is that White Poppy, a.k.a., Vancouver’s Crystal Dorval, has a new album coming out June 23. Fittingly (given my hilarious intro), it’s called Natural Phenomena, and as with her previous self-titled LP, it’ll be out via Not Not Fun.

Like a plant, or an egg, or my brother’s tail right up until his fifth birthday when a group of masked men came to take him away, Natural Phenomena developed bit by bit over a long period of time. In the album’s case, it was a nine-month retreat to a farm on Vancouver Island, where Dorval worked slowly and painstakingly, crafting the tiniest details into 10 tracks of softly dreamlike and loping tracks. Meanwhile, my brother’s tail was rough like the skin of a crocodile, and it grew from the day he was born. It was three-feet long when they took him away. I never saw him again.

Check out opening track “Confusion” over at the Chocolate Grinder right here.

Natural Phenomena tracklist:

01. Confusion
02. Wild Mind
03. Sublimity
04. Exotic Realms
05. Midnight Sun
06. Aurora
07. Telepathic Love
08. Ebb and Flow
09. Mermaids
10. Arctic Rose

• White Poppy: http://crystaldorval.com
• Not Not Fun: http://crystaldorval.com

Many Arms and Toshimaru Nakamura non-surgically join limbs for new collaborative album

It was an unusual phenomenon subjected to a concerted media blackout: during the spring of 2013, an enormously long (but not quite as wide) shadow stretched from east to west across the United States, and maritime experts talking forcibly off-the-record confirmed that the darkness extended across the entire Pacific Ocean as well. Web theories abound as to the source of the shadow and whether humans would soon face the wrath of a giant alien breadstick, but no… eventually the shadow could be seen receding. Five tendrils descended from the upper atmosphere, and it immediately came to our attention: we don’t have nearly enough manicurists for this. Clean your own nails, Many Arms!

The stretch, as it turns out, was all for the sake of retrieving Japanese improv musician Toshimaru Nakamura from his home country and bringing him back to Philly, where his famed no-input mixing board (output connected directly to input) would join the noisy punk-inspired trio for something resembling an abstract painting that comes alive and scratches chalkboards at you. A record of their collaboration at Rose Recital Hall will be released May 15, but I imagine the video below, which took place at an alternate venue, will suffice for an impression:

Nakumura isn’t a stranger to international collaborations. Let’s hope Johnny Deblase, Nick Millevoi, and Ricardo Lagomasino see reason to keep it up.

Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura tracklisting:

01. I
02. II
03. III
04. IV

• Many Arms: https://www.facebook.com/manyarms
• Toshimaru Nakamura: http://www.japanimprov.com/tnakamura
• Public Eyesore: http://www.publiceyesore.com

Spoon release remix EP, get musicians to turn their track “Inside Out” inside out

Spoon really want you to know about this song they wrote called “Inside Out.” It was included in their genuinely fantastic album from last year They Want My Soul, but we didn’t even give that track a mention in our otherwise gushing review. So I’ll do it here: “Inside Out” is a sonic sidestep with crunchy drum beats, lyrics contemplating metaphysics, and a harp solo, a track whose greatness was probably obscured by a late-end career defined by other great sonic sidesteps.

Instead of getting all despondent and writing a song about it, Spoon have grabbed a metaphorical highlighter and plan to emphasize the song with a remix EP featuring reworkings by Operators, Tycho, Brian Reitzell, and Fab Moretti of The Strokes. You can check out the retro reworking by Moretti here and the Tycho version below:

The full remix EP will be available 28 April via the usual digital channels, but Spoon still reckon that the song needs more attention. So you can check out Spoon’s demo version of the track and Justin Vernon’s cover of it below, and then download the recent Song Exploder podcast, where the band deconstruct the song here.

Oh, and get along to one of their American tour dates where we’ll all be sorely disappointed if they don’t play “Inside Out.”

05.09.15 – Dallas, TX, Homegrown Festival
05.15.15 – Gulf Shores, AL, Hangout Music Festival
05.17.15 – Oklahoma City, OK, Diamond Ballroom #
05.18.15 – Kansas City, MO, Midland #
05.19.15 – Fargo, ND, Fargo Theatre #
05.21.15 – Missoula, MT, The Wilma Theater #
05.22.15 – Bend, OR, Les Schwab Amphitheater +
05.23.15 – Quincy, WA, Sasquatch Festival
05.24.15 – Vancouver, BC, Malkin Bowl ^ #
05.25.15 – Spokane, WA, Knitting Factory #
05.27.15 – Morrison, CO, Red Rocks =
05.29.15 – Oakland, CA, Fox Theater #
05.30.15 – Los Angeles, CA, Wiltern Theater #
06.01.15 – San Diego, CA, North Park Theatre #
06.02.15 – San Diego, CA, North Park Theatre #
06.12.15 – Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall *
06.13.15 – Covington, KY, Madison Theater
06.14.15 – Manchester, TN, Bonnaroo
06.16.15 – Brooklyn, NY, Kings Theatre *
06.18.15 – Boston, MA, House of Blues %
06.19.15 – Portland, ME, State Theater %
06.20.15 – Dover, DE, Firefly Festival
06.22.15 – Montreal, QC, Virgin Corona Theatre *
06.23.15 – Toronto, ON, Phoenix Concert Theatre *
06.24.15 – Toronto, ON, Phoenix Concert Theatre *
07.17-18.15 – Eau Claire, WI, Eaux Claires
09.18-19.15 – Del Mar, CA, KAABOO Festival
09.25.15 – Tempe, AZ, Summer Ends

# Sweet Spirit
* The Antlers
% Viva Viva
^ co-headline with Future Islands
= co-headline with The Decemberists, Courtney Barnett supporting
+ co-headline with The Decemberists, The Districts supporting

• Spoon: http://www.spoontheband.com
• Loma Vista: http://www.lomavistarecordings.com

Slackk debuts on R&S with Backwards Light EP

Enter Paul Lynch a.k.a. Slackk: mastermind behind the iconic, painstakingly curated Grimetapes site (which still exists in Tumblr form), member of London’s Boxed crew alongside the likes of Mr. Mitch and Logos, and a tireless producer in his own right, with a fine back-catalog to show for it. He really does it all, doesn’t he?

Alright, maybe he doesn’t exactly do it all, but what he does do is pump out the tunes with impressive efficiency, and as long as he keeps that up, he’s gonna be worth sticking around for. Having popped off his debut full-length Palm Tree Fire last year, R&S has taken heed and snapped him up for an EP called Backwards Light. It’s out on June 1, and all signs point toward a continuation of the sonic themes touched on by Palm Tree Fire; the heady influence of grime still looms large, albeit flecked with the futuristic, synth-heavy sheen that Slackk and his collaborators are associated with. In other words, it should be pretty tight, especially if you’ve been enjoying the new wave of grime emitting from LDN and beyond.

Backwards Light tracklisting:

01. Bells
02. Posrednik
03. Monument
04. Sleeper Carriage
05. Backwards Light
06. Saigon

• Slackk: https://twitter.com/slackk_
• R&S: http://www.randsrecords.com

Red House Painters albums to be reissued individually in August, right after you cracked the cellophane on the RSD boxed set!

A few months back, TMT shocked and awed the music world with its epic announcement that guitar strumming balladeer-extraordinaire Mark Kozelek’s Red House Painters project was gettin’ all its SHIT re-released as a vinyl box set for this year’s Record Store Day. The music press was rocked to its very foundations, and fans everywhere thronged to our site, which unfortunately caused it to temporarily crash and leak coolness onto the rest of the internet. It was kind of a mess. But pretty awesome, too.

But let’s face it: now that Record Store Day 2015 is in the freakin’ rearview and all the people who cared about that boxed set already bought it, that news is dumb. We need NEW news about Red House Painters. We deserve it. Don’t we? Oh, look! Here’s some: On August 14, each of those albums collected in the set — Down Colorful Hill, Red House Painters (Rollercoaster), Red House Painters (Bridge), and Ocean Beach (which has been reformatted as a double 12-inch LP to also include the Shock Me EP) — is being “reissued on individual black vinyl” by 4AD… after being out of print for the last 20 years! Hot damn. What a scoop! Also, shit, here’s hoping you didn’t buy the whole box last weekend just for one record!

But even if you did, here’s some motivation to spend more money collecting things you can’t take with you to your grave: the new reissues will include new liner notes by label biographer Martin Aston, exploring “the legacy of Red House Painters,” as well as some “unseen band photos, original press releases, and images of the demo cassette where Kozelek’s relationship with [4AD] began.” Whoa! More details can be found in more detail-oriented detail at the 4AD site, and interested parties can also pre-order them shits over there as well. Now, go forth and consume! Thanks Mark!

Down Colorful Hill tracklisting:

01. 24
02. Medicine Bottle
03. Japanese To English
04. Down Colorful Hill
05. Lord Kill The Pain
06. Michael

Red House Painters (Rollercoaster) tracklisting:

01. Grace Cathedral Park
02. Down Through
03. Katy Song
04. Mistress
05. Things Mean A Lot
06. Funhouse
07. Take Me Out
08. Rollercoaster
09. New Jersey
10. Dragonflies
11. Mistress (Piano Version)
12. Mother
13. Strawberry Hill
14. Brown Eyes

Red House Painters (Bridge) tracklisting:

01. Evil
02. Bubble
03. I Am A Rock
04. Helicopter
05. New Jersey
06. Uncle Joe
07. Blindfold
08. Star Spangled Banner

Ocean Beach tracklisting:

01. Cabezon
02. Summer Dress
03. San Geronimo
04. Shadows
05. Over My Head
06. Red Carpet
07. Brockwell Park
08. Moments
09. Long Distance Runaround
10. Drop
11. Brockwell Park (Part Two)
12. Shock Me
13. Sundays And Holidays
14. Three Legged Cat
15. Shock Me (Acoustic)

• Mark Kozelek: http://www.sunkilmoon.com
• 4AD: http://www.4ad.com



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