Disclaimer: Nothing to do with spin, but everything to do with music and culture that surrounds it.
This past weekend marked one of the largest electronic dance music festivals in the United States. It’s called Ultra, and it’s in Miami every year for three days, with the biggest names in electronic and dubstep music, including some of my favorites: Deadmau5, David Guetta, Kaskade, Afrojack, Gramatik, Pretty Lights, Nero, Bassnectar, Chase and Status, Skrillex, Fatboy Slim, M83, Miike Snow, Tiesto, Justice, Avicii, and heaps more. It sounds awesome in theory, but I would never want to go for a few reasons:
- as fun as electronic dance music (“EDM” as the cool kids call it) music is to see live, three entire days of it?
- The crowd. Far too big of a crowd for this grandma (165,000 people in one place? I die.).
- Not only that, but the price – traveling to Miami, staying for the weekend, and paying $5 for a bottle water – with NO free water refill stations. That’s incredibly ludacris, money wise, but also completely unsafe – due to the fact that yes, it’s a music festival, and yes, many, MANY people are on some sort of drug during this weekend. Specifically, ecstasy, MDMA (typically referred to as “molly” – very important to know for the rest of this post), or other forms of “club drugs.”
- ALL OF THE WEIRD THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THE UNITED STATES HAPPEN IN FLORIDA. ALL OF THEM.
Three days of heavy beats + claustrophobia+ dancing in the hot, Miami heat + 165,000 idiots sweating their drugs out profusely + $5 dollar water + Casey Anthony killing me and covering it up = I’ll pass.
I’m all amped up because of something Madonna did at Ultra. I know what you’re thinking: But wait, why the hell was Madonna at Ultra, spinmuse? She, for some reason, introduced Avicii before his set started. Watching and listening to her introduce him made me feel… well, I’ll let you see for yourself.
Okay, let’s reconvene. How do you feel? A little awkward? Sort of like Ned Flanders just asked us if we knew where we could find any diddly-drugs? (photo source)
I’m going to keep my thoughts brief, because I think Deadmau5 put it perfectly (below) but I feel the need to rant a little about this, because electronic music is a pretty big part of my life. I go to many, many types of concerts and shows, and over the past few years, have found myself enjoying electronic music, since the quality of it has improved significantly in the past few years. It’s not all trancey, “ravey”, Euro-trash. Artist to artist, and song to song, the elements of the best electronic music are so diverse and cover so many different genres; i.e. the Pretty Lights Music Label mixing so many super old and funky samples from tunes from the 1960’s and 1970’s with their own beats of today – or the heavy, dark dubstep of Skrillex – or the amazingly perfect buildups and beat drops of Deadmau5.
For whatever unfortunate reason, the crowd of people that these shows tend to drive are really unfortunate. They’re all potentially – POTENTIALLY – seniors in high school, and they are dressed like neon jerks and think it’s cool to do drugs on Tuesday nights at concerts. So, Madonna, thought she’d try to be cool and hip by making a comment about drugs at Ultra. Don’t you have a daughter, Madonna? Aren’t you like, 60? Did you see the name of her new album? “MDNA”? She’s trying to win over the youngsters by making her name look like MDMA. Man, you are so hip, Madonna!
I strictly go to these shows for the music, and most certainly not the “scene.” Ew. However, I am also turned off to certain shows due to this crowd factor. When I do make it to an electronic show, I tend to stay as far back as possible so their drug sweats don’t get on me.
I was really excited to see that I wasn’t the only one who felt … weird… about what she said. Here’s what Deadmau5’s response was to Madonna’s idiocracy:
This is certainly what it should be about, and it’s what im about regarding the Madonna issue.
Whether i like it or not, and like every other walk of life, whether you’re becoming an adult, or climbing up the corporate ladder, or blazing a path in your chosen profession, im in a position now where i should be responsible. And yup… i should be a little more careful about what i advocate, and i certainly try to be. being an advocate of something or another certainly has it’s place… drawing promotion towards a good cause, enabling others to do what they desire to do, help others to create something, etc. and all that other good shit.
Im not perfect. i have my vices, and some of them are probably more harmful than a recreational drug or two… but i do know that i am at the very least morally obligated not to blatantly inflict or advocate anything that’s detrimental to society, others health, etc.
my last rant has yielded some interesting points and arguments from both camps no doubt, but i should at least be clear on where i stand with advocacy (which im almost certain isnt even a word).
I smoke cigarettes. yeah, it’s shitty i know, and its a personal problem that i struggle with… and i know how much it sucks, so my tour isnt exactly sponsored by a cowboy of sorts. I drink a little bit too, which im sure has killed more people than double the combined amount of overdoses on any recreational drug you can name…. so, i try to make an effort as not to blatantly condone it in situations where the youngins are around. and trust me, the mau5 horde has plenty of little ones… So, i dont see the dire need to be a constant dickfuck and stamp my vices all over my media outlets. Sometimes it happens, but, of course, my intent isnt to make any look cool or desireable.
Now, weve taken EDM so far in the past decade, so goddamned far. It really hurts me to see rampant ADVOCATION of extreme bullshit lifestyles to a genre that spans pretty much any age gap these days. Of course, ill always have my opinions about this or that… and yeah, its my personal choice not to do drugs, but im not on a fucking crusade to stamp out other peoples personal choices by no means. fuck being a crusader. Im not pro, or anti drug… but… ill easily let you know that im pro-responsibility.
Its just that simple… you can have an excellent standard of life providing you had a sense of responsibility to yourself, and those around you, REGARDLESS of whatever choices you make in your life… either good or bad (which is the opinion part).
I just feel like ive been kicked in the balls for a dollar. I’ve always been into electronic music, as far back as i can remember… and around the beginning, i really do remember the times the events i loved were pretty much outlawed by my city simply due to its speculated over-excessive drug use, and the media coverage that everyone loves to lap up around it. Yeah, that bummed me out… kinda made me feel like… how could something so damn interesting, artful, fun and just plain cool, be frowned upon by most….
but look at us now, allthough not completely, and never like to be completely, the dark veil has been lifted slightly and the music and good times and technology is starting to shine through more and more than “the latest breaking news about such and such a drug found only at these underground TECHNO RAVES – Tonight on fox!”
still, we have, and will always have personal choice. Thats how our lives are shaped… through the good or bad choices we make. we learn every day from them… but theyre ours to make, and its our responsibility to make the right ones for each of ourselves.Not to be pandered down to us in metaphorical pill form from BIG voices as a marketing scheme to “fit in” with todays young and “hip” crowd to sell a fuckin CD.
So, if you can be pandered with MDMA refrences, then at least pander your own ass with a good sense of responsibility which will enable you to make the personal choices that are right for YOU… then i wont have to feel like a fucking moron on a stage because you paid money to listen to some warm humming sounds high as fuck. Besides, one day ill get older, and i dont want a bunch of fucking irresponsible fuckheads on my lawn. RESPONSIBLE fuckbags, much preferred… but will still be asked to gtfo off my lawn for being a fuckbag all the same.”
Deadmau5, you are the bomb. I love how honest he is, and his stance on electronic music and the “scene.” It really was so irresponsible of her. By associating electronic music with drugs, you are automatically associating the people who go to those shows – me, this little old 24 year old grandma – with drugs. Way to set back the integrity of the truly talented artists making such unique music. Not appreciated, Madonna. Irresponsible, and un-cool. Just like Ned Flanders in a spandex ski one-sie.