Category: DJ

Five things we learnt watching Empire of the Sun’s live return

 Image for Five things we learnt watching Empire of the Sun's live return 

It was an important couple of shows for the duo – by their own account, the live show is a vital part of the new Empire story. “It’s mainly a similar story to what we set out writing the record about,” frontman Luke Steele dead-panned to inthemix. “My head piece creates dreams of the world and animals are born. They get stolen by the King of Shadows and there is corruption so we have to set out on journey to regain my head piece to restore sanity to the world.” With that, inthemix set out to catch Empire’s grand return and, just as we did at Kraftwerk, learned a few things on the way…


1. Nick Littlemore is hard to pin down

When the lights dimmed, the smoke machine kicked into gear and the music started to swell, Luke Steele was lifted onto stage on a rising podium, fist raised in salute and headdress on. Nick Littlemore, however, was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps he was off writing new Pnau material. He could have been busy scoring Cirque de Soleil with Elton John. Maybe he was just at home on the couch, watching his bandmate do it for the both of them on the Vivid live stream. We can’t tell you where one half of Empire of the Sun was, but we can be sure that he wasn’t at the Opera House.

It’s not the first time Littlemore’s been conspicuously absent, either. “It was kind of heartbreaking at first, I was like…you’re not going to come on the road?,” Steele told Pedestrian about his bandmate’s absence from the Parklife ’09 tour. “But we’re in the same band! Then he just said to me, “when there’s real money on the table give me a call”. And I was like “I don’t know real money you’re talking about, if a million dollars for five shows isn’t real money, then I don’t know what is”. So I was like, okay, I’ll go tour it.”


2. Back-up dancers and costume changes aren’t just for pop stars

How many costume changes does it take to put on an Empire of the Sun live show? About 10, apparently. Throughout the 70-minute set, Luke Steele and his small army of very flexible back-up dancers proved they’ve mastered the art of slipping backstage for the blink-and-you’ll- miss-it costume change. Luke swapped headdress and cloak a couple of times before winding up in a gold lamé number for the big encore, while the dancers worked through a string of skin-tight bodysuits adorned, variously, by fluoro pink guitars, red tutus around the neck, mounds of white fluff on their shoulders and other feats of design I can’t adequately describe. Step aside, Katy Perry.


3. People like the new stuff

Second album Ice on the Dune might not be out yet, but that didn’t stop the crowd enjoying it just as much as that platinum-selling debut album (even if sing-a-longs weren’t on the cards). We Are The People and Walking on a Dream were obvious standouts, but the biggest moment of the night was reserved for the encore of new single Alive. So if the Opera House audience is any gauge, Ice on the Dune is going to fare alright.


4. Just because it’s a seated event, doesn’t mean people are going to sit down

It was bad news for lazy types who were looking forward to sitting down for the show (yes, that’d be me) because midway through the third song, Luke Steele commanded everyone to stand up. Unfortunately the Opera House isn’t really made for dancing, instead permitting only an awkward shuffle in the metre square you’ve been allocated. But that didn’t bother the crowd, who by and large seemed to relish the chance to throw in the odd fist pump.

Besides, sit down and the rows of bodies in front of you will block the theatrics happening on stage – which, really, is as integral to the show as the songs. “It’s pretty much as important as the music,” Steele told inthemix before the show. “It’s like the colour of the skin of the music or the blood or the hair. It’s all encapsulated. Like Chad Atkins said “people hear with their eyes”. That’s the quote I always use.” So there you go.


5. The days of smashing a guitar on stage aren’t over

Dance music audiences aren’t often treated to the unpredictable on stage element live music has. Sure, there was that time Skream unplugged his mixer and handed it to someone in the crowd (“I was clearly smashed,” he later admitted) but for the most part, DJs are usually pretty well behaved on stage. So when Luke Steele ended the show by smashing his guitar on stage with no shortage of force, it was hard not to enjoy the spectacle. Was it all a bit over the top? Sure, but that’s Empire.

Photos by Dan Boud.

Approximately 73,985,000 Records Pressed Worldwide in 2014 So How Can 9.2 Million Sold Be Correct? (Updated 5/4/15)

 

After speaking to some industry insiders, as well as reading some comments here, it’s clear that these numbers are probably somewhat inflated. As a reader pointed out, these numbers probably include pressed, but not distributed defective records caught before they could be slipped into jackets and shipped. Also, given the number of multi-LP box sets reissued last year, when a pressing plant says it pressed “X” number of records, that includes things like Optimal’s pressing of The Beatles Mono Box Set, for instance, and double 45rpm reissues so, clearly the 73 million figure overstates the case. Nonetheless, even if you halve the number, more than 35 million records pressed is an impressive number! Another insider says Nielsen/Soundscan’s number is for America only. Still, I think it’s safe to say they are underreporting actual totals—ed.The graphic above is incorrect but based upon projections for 2014. Nielsen/Soundscan reported recently that 9.2 million vinyl records were sold in 2014—a whopping 54% increase over 2013.

How can that number be close to correct when my research says that in 2014 approximately 73,985,000 (yes SEVENTY THREE MILLION NINE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE THOUSAND) records were pressed?

How did I arrive at my numbers? For most of the world’s largest pressing plants I got confidential numbers directly from the pressing plants.

Three pressing plants alone pressed in 2014 approximately THIRTY FIVE MILLION RECORDS. And that doesn’t include United Record Pressing, Nashville, which refuses to respond to emails. While some companies responded that they’d rather not reveal numbers, United doesn’t respond at all.

Why? Because they are babies who can’t take criticism when they press bad records, and ignore the positive press given on this site when they press good ones. I added 9,360,000 records pressed by United based upon a 2014 Billboard story stating that URP presses 30,000-40,000 records a day, six days a week. I multiplied by 30K not 40K.

Some of the numbers I was given mix 7″ singles with LPs so based upon the mix of presses that I was able to research, I adjusted the numbers downward. Where I was able to only get approximate numbers (based upon an industry spread sheet that I was able to obtain that consistently underreported numbers where I was able to get actual numbers), I purposely decreased the numbers, preferring to understate rather than overstate the totals.

As I reported recently, Stoughton Press shipped Jack White’s Third Man Records 170,000 Lazaretto jackets, yet Soundscan/Nielsen insists only approximately 86,000 copies were sold in 2014. Does that mean Jack White is a “jacket hoarder”? I doubt it. Nor does the huge disparity in pressed and sold records mean that labels are “vinyl hoarders”.

Quite the opposite in fact! Labels aim to keep inventory low so order only what they think they can sell in a reasonable period of time. We know that every record pressed isn’t immediately or even within a year sold at retail.

Nonetheless, the gigantic disparity between the approximately 73,000,000 records pressed and the 9.2 million reported to have been sold by Nielsen/Soundscan needs to be examined, especially when three pressing plants alone claim to have pressed more records in 2014 than Nielsen/Soundscan reported were sold in 2014.

Even if you slice off a percentage for 7″ singles, the disparity is huge between pressed and reported sales. And one can argue 7″ singles should be counted because they are vinyl and played on turntables and in some ways the singles resurgence is even more unlikely than the album resurgence. After all, iTunes is made for convenience and singles purchases and 7″ singles are a genuine pain in the butt to play.

So even cutting the total in half means that approximately 37,000,000 records were pressed or more than four times the number S/N reported were sold last year.

Interestingly, the predicted totals this year from some of the pressing plants who supplied totals for 2013 were well in excess of those numbers and guess what? The numbers predicted for 2015 by the larger plants are greater yet!

By Michael Fremer • Posted: Apr 30, 2015

6 Things Brides Really Look For In A Wedding DJ

Wedding DJ

What does it take to get bookings as a wedding DJ? What is it that brides (who we all know call the shots at weddings!) are really looking for when considering someone to book? How can you make sure you do the best job, and so impress brides-to-be who happen to be in attendance, who’ll then remember you when it’s their turn to get married? Here are the qualities you should work on as a DJ that’ll help you get the bookings…

The six qualities…

1. Wedding gig experience

Wedding gig experience

Experience is a top priority, with most opting for someone who has extensive experience within the wedding industry. A wedding is unlike any other party, and the DJ plays an important role in setting the tone for the evening. If you’re a DJ without much wedding experience, start building your portfolio as soon as possible – even if it means making slightly less money in the interim. The wider your portfolio, the more likely you’ll be able to secure the next wedding gig you pitch your services for.

2. Preparedness

Organised

Brides look for an organized DJ with solid planning skills who come prepared. How will you get ready for their party? Do you have any music-related questionnaires for them to fill in? What do you need to know about the venue and equipment set-up in case the bride and groom ask? The more information you can provide them when you first meet to discuss their big event, the more likely it is that they’ll pick you.

3. A positive personality

Friendly personality

At any wedding, the DJ will spend lots of time interacting with the crowd, taking requests, and entertaining guests – and that means everyone from children to the elderly. Your personality is important to the bride, and she’ll be looking for someone friendly, fun, and confident behind the decks to ensure her guests get the most from the evening’s entertainment. You’ll also want to look your best, so come in attire appropriate for the evening and always have a smile on your face. No frowning the entire night!

4. A truly diverse music collection

Diverse collection

The bride and groom are likely to have different musical preferences, as would their guests. It’s extremely important for the DJ to have a diverse music collection spanning decades as well as genres. The bride and groom will also have specific songs they’d like to be played in addition to their first dance, and it’s your job to find out what these are before the day itself so you can prepare.

6. Listening skills

Bridal DJ

Above all else, a bride needs a DJ that will listen to them. Couples tend to have a very firm idea about what they’d like their big day (and night) to be like, and they need to work with people who will listen and understand their vision to help them create the wedding they really want.

Finally…

These wedding DJ qualities are just the tip of the iceberg because every potential wedding gig will always be unique, but they’re a great place to start if you want to build your reputation as a professional. If you’re serious about doing it, you might also consider the Digital DJ Tips Complete 21st Wedding DJ guide, that has helped hundreds of wedding DJs get started.

In short though, just remember you’re providing an entertainment service, and the bride and groom are your bosses for the evening, so learn how to truly listen to what they need of you, and then over-deliver and exceed their expectations.

• This is a guest post by Barney from Party Events Unlimited, a DJ and wedding entertainment service based in London, UK that has provided DJ services across Europe.

April 28, 2015 by 9 Comments

Pleasure Chemistry: How Our Brains Process Music

 

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Why does music bring us pleasure? Well, the simple answer is that it changes our brain chemistry… literally. Music triggers the parts of our brain associated with reward, motivation, and emotion, which causes the feelings of pleasure that we get when we put our headphones on.

So even though we can’t necessarily pinpoint exactly what it is about music that excites us, we know it happens. We are lucky enough to have the opportunities to see our favorite groups and listen to them at home, at work, or on-the-go. For the longest time, music has been an important part of everyday life, and defines decades and generations.

And yet, all along, our brains are behind it all.

Robert J. Zatorre, Professor of Neuroscience at McGill University, and Valorie N. Salimpoor, a Postdoctoral Neuroscientist at Rotman Research Institute, have been researching the relationship between our brains and music. If you’ve ever felt a rush hearing the climax of a song or the sudden shift in cadence in another, you aren’t alone. The neurotransmitter dopamine is released, which usually occurs in response to positive stimuli like food or sex. According to neuroscientists, however, dopamine is released right before that favorite part too. In a study of brain function and music, scientists found that the more neural activity and dopamine released, the more money the listener was willing to spend to purchase said music.

But the relationship between our brains and music doesn’t stop there. The auditory cortex actually allows us to recall music and experience it again, even if it’s not playing. For musicians, the auditory cortex just might be the most important part. The ability to create music and re-arrange music in our heads starts there as well. We can even pick out wrong notes and incorrect changes in sound.

All of this brain function leads to music being an important part of our lives. Whether you’re listening to your favorite record at home or watching a live show, music undoubtedly changes the way we feel. So next time you hear a song and feel a sudden pulse, remember that your brain is feeling it too.

And it will make you want to listen more.

by Drew Evans  Source: NY Times 

 

14 Things DJing Changes About You Forever

Being a DJ is awesome, but boy can it change you! You suddenly find yourself behaving in certain ways, almost involuntarily, and doing things that many “normal” people think are crazy. I’m not talking about going deaf, developing a drug habit and hanging out with people half your age (these are all things you can definitely control, if you want/need to), but more about the subtle behavioral changes that kind of sneak up on you, until they’re totally ingrained in who you are! Like…

14

 

  1. You can never go to a nightclub and have fun – Oh, no. Even if you can get over the secret jealousy of wanting to be DJing, you’re hyper-critical of everything, from the DJs to the sound system to the way the door is being run… the lot. The more you DJ out, the more this one creeps up on you, until going out simply becomes research/checking out the competition. You, in short, become a not very fun person to go out with
  2. You spot instantly when a CD loops in a bar, café etc… You feel you are generally the only person who notices background music anyway, and so naturally, you’re the only one who gets upset when you hear a CD play on loop. It’s especially annoying in nice restaurants, where you can’t help yourself thinking: “Why did they pay so much attention to everything apart from the music?” Saying this out loud, though, usually gets you a kick under the table from your other half for being so miserable
  3. You can spot instantly when a speaker is distorting, even at 50 yards! – Picture this: You’re on a lovely beach with friends or partner, sun shining, cold drink, and in the distance, a little beach shack plays top 40 radio… through a distorted old speaker. Can you relax? No chance. That little plastic speaker becomes the bane of your life until you are finally out of earshot. Even the crap they’re playing becomes secondary to the quality!
  4. You can no longer count past four – Crazy but true, you find yourself counting any rhythm anywhere or just an imaginary rhythm in your head, and naturally, you go “one, two, three, four” round and round. (At least you’re not a microphone roadie with a rock band, they get stuck at “one-two! one – TWO!”)
  5. You can’t hear a song that you know played in full, without hearing “your” transitions – “Why isn’t song X coming in?” you think, until you remember that this isn’t actually your mix but just one of “your” songs being played somewhere else. Related: Not liking the speed a song is being played at, because you play it at a different speed…
  6. You hear mistakes when everyone else thinks the DJ is awesome – Smart DJs learn not to point out train wrecks and other DJing errors to their friends, who – we learn – are not afflicted like us and generally happy to dance through even appalling errors. Related: Spotting mixes that aren’t in key
  7. You get annoyed when TV commercials brutally edit songs – …and what really annoys you is that they are not respecting the underlying song structure (see point 4 – see, you can’t help it! You’re subconsciously counting those beats and bars in fours…)
  8. When someone asks you “what’s your favorite music?” you reply “for what purpose?” – Being unable to separate what you like from what you think any given dance floor might like is bad, but it’s hard to stop this developing from the necessary skill of simply separating the two things in your head
  9. Instantly spotting when your windscreen wipers, indicator lights or even a loud clock are in time with the music you’re playing – This one really does feel close to madness sometimes (for me anyway), spotting a beat match between car hardware and car stereoRelated: Beat matching your strides to the songs on your headphones when our running
  10. You can’t help yourself frantically trying to remember snippets of song lyrics in order to Google them later – …normally when Shazam fails to recognize a new song you know you’ve got to have…
  11. You are utterly unable to keep yourself away from DJ booths – Mainly this is to see the equipment the DJ is using, hopefully it isn’t to make requests, although I am personally fond of just shaking the DJ’s hand on the way out if I’ve enjoyed his or her music… after all, we all know how much that means, don’t we?
  12. Having the sudden urge to go and adjust the sound when another DJ is playing – Right, I’ve actually done this (in fact, it was the pitch). Some dude was playing 80s mega-mixes at +8 and he slipped off to the toilet, so I marched up and set it all to the right speed… only to slink away like a coward when I saw him returning! True story 🙂
  13. You turn anything with a volume fader into DJ equipment – …and so get irrationally annoyed at any kind of audio gear that has electronic up/down volume controls instead of a knob you can use to cut the music in and out quickly with!
  14. You are the only person who spots the odd song from the 90s at a “so-called” 80s night – I mean, we can all hopefully understand why no normal, sane person would care about this… but it’s wrong, isn’t it?

Finally…

Seriously, I do hope you can still go out and have fun at least sometimes, and that you can see how us DJs maybe can be just a little annoying to everyone else, at least every now and then! I wanted to end with a true story from our friends over at Tuff Covers. One of that gang went to a pre-natal appointment and when the nurse scanned their tiny unborn baby, and its little heartbeat echoed through the examination room… I quote: “I knew the BPM of the baby’s heartbeat before the machine even worked it out”!

There really is no hope for some people… 🙂

Okanagan Venues to Host ‘Vinyl Night’

A new style of DJ performances are sweeping the Okanagan.

Soon you will see Tri-Vina posterspecial nights devoted to playing Vinyl Records, just like the old days, popping up at a pub or venue near you. Larger Than Life Entertainment has just such a night available combined with Music Trivia !!

Great Music Old or New can be heard on the warm sound of Vinyl again !! Digital music is a wonderful way to share and store music but there’s no escaping the full, rich sound of Vinyl records. Our DJ’s are specially trained to be the best at delivering your music, just the way you like it !!

Event goers can bring their favorite vinyl to the show, or contact us in advance with their selections. We will build a Trivia show specially for the night based on the music requested. Of course we may not be able to play all the requests but those who do bring music that is unique, uplifting and has some great trivia moments involved in the music, will be pleasantly surprised !!

We can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet, but stay posted by leaving us a reply of comment to this post. We will inform all subscribers of the upcoming shows !!

2015 will be a great year for Music, Entertainment & Fun !

Hope to see you all there !!

Summer Wedding Season for DJ’s !

The Okanagan hosts some of the best Weddings in the Country !

IMG_0486Wedding at Eldorado - 2

 

With dozens of wineries ready willing and able to host your special wedding, the choices are vast, and sometimes becomes a daunting task just to choose the locations. With a setting as beautiful as a winery you can have the ceremony and the reception in the same place. Less travelling, more locations on site for photographs and guest activities. Wineries usually boast a top notch catering facility as well, and the larger more popular venues can easily accommodate hundreds of guests.

Your DJ is most important at this type of event. Having all your music queued a ready to spin at the call of the Bride (or Wedding Party), playing just the right styles of music during dinner, and lighting up the floor with happy dancers, partiers and well wishers ! Choose your music company wisely as future memories will depend on it.

Let’s all get ready for the season ….. Here it Comes !

Welcome My Friends – To The Show That Never Ends !

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You have arrived at the web location for Larger Than Life Entertainment. We are dedicated to getting you the best entertainment for your event.  Contact us for a quote and booking availability for 2016 and 2017. We specialize in all types of Entertainment, Live, DJ, Special Events such as Trivia Nights, Vinyl DJ Shows, Bands, Duo’s, Comedy Nights, and many other entertainment events. We also post and recommend information directed towards the performers and crew, and interested viewers of the Music and Film Industry. Check back often as we post and update on a regular basis with helpful, useful information that will definitely keep you up to date in the entertainment field. Thanking you in advance for your viewership and please post or reply to an article if you would like more information or you have something to say to us or our readers.