EXCISION AT EXCHANGE LA



Its been a while since I've had the pleasure of experiencing the massive storm that is The Paradox. Ten months, in fact. I found the first time to be more enjoyable given the energy of the crowd. I've been to Exchange LA one other time before and it was to see Virtual Riot and Barely Alive. I stopped doing the rail after that event because I got rammed into the rail by angry Dubstep boys and girls. The bruises lasted me about a month and went from my arms to all over my knees.

Excision ended up selling out Bass Canyon and Lost Lands this year and stormed The Paradox coast to coast at the start of 2018. It was a delight to have him play a Los Angeles show. Last time I had to travel a few hours to catch his set at the NOS Events Center in San Bernadino. Link to my review. I couldn't believe I had the fortune to witness another live show again in the same year. I still listen to his Lost Lands 2017 remix. It's honestly what got me started in this scene. Dubstep has a community that is quite large but it isn't very popular in Los Angeles. It's definitely an underground scene here. You know me, I love underground scenes.






This venue had very tall screens. The Paradox was actually projected all around the club, which was trippy to see reflected on the people standing on the second floor. The light show was still a huge delight, taking us through different scapes and an interpretation of wild nature. If you enjoy the lights you can purchase kaleidoscope glasses from Etsy to intensify the experience. I've worn them before thanks to other ravers I have met and I thoroughly recommend it if you're tipsy.

The music is really the main point of attending these shows. Attendees get blasted with rugged bass music, drops and double drops to delight sonic senses. It's wonderful to see the many ways in which people express themselves with their dance moves. The scene has anthems we all chant, and the energetic fluctuations are really pretty incredible to feel. I've had my share of headbanging fits and moments of sonic euphoria. In this sense these shows are therapeutic and fun.

To survive these shows you need to stay hydrated, some people go until they overheat and they pass out. It also helps to wear your tallest boots. It helps not get lost in the sea of people. Most importantly, be vigilant about your surroundings.

Jeff's mixing is always pretty good. Many don't know this but he controls the lights while he is playing. The light show is live. I appreciate the effort he invests into making his shows a live experience. It was amazing to hear all my favorite songs strewn in the mix. I believe we even got a snippet of his intro to Lost Lands this year.

I think Dubstep music is inherently aggressive, which is most definitely what attracts me to it. It makes sense to end up listening to music like this when I got started with Industrial, Black and Doom Metal. Dubstep is an acquired taste for many, which can be hard to explain to friends.




I arrived during the Yakz set and witnessed a very interesting gloving session. I filmed it, but that footage is not available. As I was putting random items back into my purse, somebody pick pocketed my phone. I realized almost immediately and started freaking out. People around me realized it and looked around for it; some people told me it has happened to them before. They assured me it's quite a common happening in Dubstep shows.

Needless to say, after the panic settled in all I could do was drag myself around the venue trying to enjoy the music. I was so gutted by my bad luck that I didn't even pay much attention to what was going on. I became extremely self-aware and self-conscious. The sound started to get tuned out and the anxiety slowed the pace of time down. The whole experienced was soured by the realization I was there alone and didn't know anybody that would be willing to help me. After looking forward to the set, I spent much of it mindlessly being dragged around. It was so disappointing.

I went to security at some point and staff was incredibly rude and inattentive. One of the female security guards looked at me as if she thought I was on drugs and moved to intimidate me a few times when I was explaining my situation to the head security guy. I was too distressed about my lost phone to really have any energy to react towards her other than to back away as she towered over me. It made me realize that if I made a big deal out of what happened to me they wouldn't be handling the situation responsibly. It made me leave that office as soon as I could, knowing they'd just forget about the case as soon as I stepped out the door.

I walked out of this show with mixed feelings. Come the end of the night I found a sympathetic soul who helped me Uber back home, but I spent a lot of time thinking about the kind of people that surround you at these types of shows. If you have to watch your back because some ill-intentioned random is looking out to get you, you're not really safe there. Despite all the positive experiences I've had at Dubstep shows before, this experienced changed everything.




I know I love the music enough to give the scene another chance, but for now I think I am retiring from attending these shows. In the meantime I'll look for safe purses and I'll stop keeping important things in my pocket. Is it really worth going if you don't feel safe or if you don't have a squad?

Photos compliments of Exchange LA.
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IN THE DAY OF YOUR SUN




The countdown to my 30th birthday passed slowly, and it also passed with what I felt were last-minute lessons. I felt it looming and edging closer all the while wondering if I had learned everything I needed to from my 20s. I didn't feel confident that I had, but I reasoned with myself and admitted life doesn't wait for you to be ready for it. It just happens to you, and the way you choose to keep reacting to it defines your reality.
I stand today will in rickety shape, like that of a broken down fairground. I've been having a tough time lately, and the more I try to fix it the worse it gets. I don't feel very confident about myself, so in many ways I feel like I am starting my 30s with a slate yet to wipe clean. I still have to clean all this rubble off. I learned the hard way and still feel like there are leftover loose ends to take care of. It all comes with the pressure of entering a new chapter in your life without the knowledge of how well you have prepared for the upcoming obstacles. My responsibilities and stressors keep piling up, and with the days passing I find I have less and less time for myself. Making time to draw is incredibly difficult when I am sapped of my motivation and dragging through a rough day.



Bite






I had a pretty good day when I turned 30. I got up and tried to work a while, went to therapy and introduced my mother to my therapist. That session was eye-opening and brought me into perspective of what the people who have me in their lives feel. I went to have Japanese food for lunch at my favorite ramen place, Daikokuya, and enjoyed some sparkling sake and my mother's company. We kept the food tour going with Ladurée's Ispahan at The Grove. It's so good!
Later that day I passed by my boyfriend's house and saw him for a few minutes. Mom got to meet one of his sphynx cats, and she squealed in delight as she held the kitten. I was extremely moved by her enjoyment of the encounter and only wish I'd have given her more time with him. Then we went to dinner with my mother and enjoyed some Italian food. The wine was my favorite in LA.We went to see A Star is Born after dinner.

On the walk back I made sure to voice appreciation to my mother for dropping her life and meeting me in Los Angeles for a week to catch up. Her support during this time has been a soothing balm, and I can't help but feel choked up knowing she did it all selflessly and because she loves me. She is living an extremely busy life back home and knowing she was willing to set her responsibilities aside to be there for me have moved me very deeply. I'm going to miss her so much now that she's returned to the island.

I sat in my living room after the day was over and contemplated my life. If you asked me what I am the most invested in, it is hands down my relationship. I've gone all in and at times forgotten myself. I feel so intensely for my boyfriend, and I hope he carries this knowledge with him as he carries my key in his pocket. 🗝️🗝️







The next day my friends came to see me at Cloak & Dagger. I was gifted a table (thank you, Michael Patterson!) and got to enjoy the club that has been my sanctuary for the past couple of years.The music was exceptionally good that night with Brian T and Baby Magick spinning. My friends lit up hearing remixes they listened to and loved. None of the people I invited really knew each other but to my delight they all got along really well and said they had a nice time. All that was missing was my boyfriend beside me.

I still can't believe I made it to 30. Although I am not feeling at my best lately, I want to express gratitude for the unconditional love my mother has been giving me. I want to express gratitude for my boyfriend Chris, who I love immensely and couldn't see a happy life without. My friends have all voiced their support and have offered to be there if I need them. I'm so grateful to everybody who has stuck beside me and motivated me to keep going.

The days ahead are looking to be lonely ones. I'm not looking forward to buckling down and concentrating on all the work I have to catch up on, but all good things come to an end. Now all I've got to do is focus and get back to some really serious adulting.

The 8th anniversary of this blog is rapidly approaching on the 31st of October. It's incredible how long this project has been going on for. It has kept its integrity as a life chronicle and as a resource for all those looking to add to their tarot collections. It has documented my growth across what I affectionately like to call my past lives and has brought me many wonderful contacts & clients. So thank you, all my readers from the recent ones to the ones that have been around since this blog launched. Samhain Moon wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for those of you reaching out to tell me you enjoy my reviews or life anecdotes. I wouldn't still be doing this if I didn't feel like it added the signature of the magic inside of me to this world. That is a gift in its own right.



Thanks for looking. Its been an intense, bumpy ride but I'm somehow still moving forward. I hope you all are, too.
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