DJs

Garth Trinidad // Down With Us

Garth Trinidad, playing tonight at BlendOur goal with Blend — which kicks off tonight in Los Angeles — is to reinvent the concept of wine tasting and make it more interesting for sophisticated urban audiences. The idea started out of a frustration with the current choices and then a realization that music and wine have a lot more in common that we might think. The tools are different, and of course so is the output. Musicians have their instruments and a limited number of notes to choose from, DJs their record collections. Winemakers choose between a few grapes and are married to the land. In each case, what they make is a direct result of their philosophy — what they believe wine should taste like, or music should sound like. And in both cases, the results have the potential to move us in profound ways.

It seems fitting, then, that Garth Trinidad is our DJ for the kickoff event. In his bio on www.garthtrinidad.biz, it reads... "He hunts for pure sounds - dirty, sexy, raw, rhythmic, and dynamic, from classic rock, roots reggae, and samba, to jazz, electronica, hip hop, and house."

Clearly, this is a guy whose DJing is driven by philosophy. In fact, in an era when many DJs abandon their own musical tastes in order to fill dance floors by playing the popular sounds du jour, Garth has enjoyed a long and successful career by doing just the opposite. On his radio show at KCRW, and at countless clubs and private events, Garth consistently ignores the boundaries of convention in search of a more meaningful experience.

We are grateful to have him on the decks tonight, and excited to see how his philosophy blends with the great old world wines from Livio Felluga and Capezzana. Come out and see for yourself. Tickets available at the door or here.

Thanks again to Puma for making Blend possible.

Introducing Blend // Headlines: Rebel Makes News

Blend InviteBlend kicks off this Thursday, October 15. This is an original concept I've been developing and I'm very excited to share it with you. I grew up around music and DJs. Used to spend much of the week looking forward to what was coming out on Tuesday, and then rush to the store with whatever money I had to make sure I was up on the latest vinyl. More recently, I would spend at least 5 nights a week listening, dancing, and connecting. These days, I've given up late nights for early morning yoga and quality time with friends. The appeal of keg cups and Patron shots have been replaced by a good glass of wine.

But good wine is hard to find, with more than 5,000 producers in the US, and several times that when you add in Europe, South America, etc. Wine marketing does a really poor job at helping us navigate the choices available, and the experts' appeal is limited mainly to the hard core. For those of us who like wine but aren't ready to make the commitment of taking classes or lots of trial and error, the simple task of having something enjoyable to drink can be pretty frustrating.

Enter Blend - debuting Thursday, October 15th at 7pm - which combines wine tasting with top DJs in stylish venues. Wines are selected by Erik Kelley of the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, and once America's youngest sommelier. Music is selected by KCRW's Garth Trinidad, who collaborates with Erik on pairing — of sorts — the wine with the music.

We are grateful to have Puma as a charter sponsor, premiering the new AFRICA collection on Thursday. Our host venue is The Celebrity Vault, a Beverly Hills gallery specializing in contemporary art and iconic photographs of celebrities. Really cool stuff to look at.

We have a couple surprises planned as well, so I'd love it if you would come out and let us know what you think. Your feedback is essential as we grow this brand.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. There's also a VIP ticket available at $75. You can see all the details and purchase tickets at www.blendwineandmusic.com

Friends ‘n Family 12 // Headlines: Rebel Makes News

Pete Rock on the decks Last Friday Rebel produced the 12th annual Friends ‘n Family event — a music industry soiree to kickoff Grammy weekend. This is our seventh year producing the event that went from an intimate mixer for industry elites to a downright rager for industry elites.

The first year we were involved, it was at Dominick’s. We got Richard “Humpty” Vission to do a huge favor and spin in the smallest room he’s probably played in at least a decade. I’d say the guest list was about 140.

This year was our second on the Paramount Studios lot. We shut the door down at 11:00pm after reaching capacity at around 2,000.

DJ AM and Jihaad Shaw

The talent lineup drew from the top of the pyramid: DJ AM, legendary producer Pete Rock, the Alchemist, and a live set by Talib Kweli. The show-stealer was Peanut Butter Wolf, a highly talented and credible

underground hip hop producer and label owner who nobody really expected to rock the crowd the way he did.

Notable guests included Catherine McPhee, Lil Jon, Slash ,?uestlove, Jill Scott, Eve, David Banner, The Jonas Brothers, Apollonia, Michael Rappaport, James Poyser, Tila Tequila, and most of the heads of the major record labels and publishing companies, many of whom were the hosts of the night.

Talib Kweli

Special thanks to our clients Mark and Andy from Advanced Alternative Media, who put the whole thing together, and to our friends from Red Bull, FIJI Water, Miller, BelvedereCafe Bustelo, and the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills who kept everyone refreshed.

Kanye West Listening Party // On the Run

Kanye West When Kanye throws a listening party, he expects you to listen... to him. Last night's invite-only warehouse party on La Brea Ave. did not feature a live performance, but instead the opportunity to listen to his fourth album and listen to him talk.

By my count, Yeezy asked the crowd three times — very nicely — to please not talk while he made his speech. Then he carried on about the tribulations of being in the public spotlight and having his work critiqued. Something about one of the songs on the new album being about his mother, and figuring that a radio station posing the question whether the song is "hot or not?" somehow equates to asking him whether his mom is hot or not. Strange logic.

More interestingly, Kanye was accompanied by a few dozen naked women with wigs on. He offered some sort of explanation about the naked women symbolizing the baring of his soul on the album. The women I spoke to at the event were perplexed by this, and oddly enough, the men didn't care about the reason - nobody really bought the explanation.

Here's a lesson: Never explain why you're surrounded by naked women. Don't ruin the mystery. A stunt like filling a room with flesh has the power to attract, repel, and most of all, to intrigue. It's a conversation starter for sure. When you give away the mystery, you take away its power.

Dr. Dre and Monster Headphones // Hate It or Love It

Beats By Dr. Dre headphones If you don’t know, Dr. Dre recently introduced a line of headphones with Monster called Beats by Dr. Dre. If you don’t know, Dr. Dre is one of the most important producers in modern history, if not ever, and is known for producing a rich, immersive audio experience.

Here’s the thing: the cans cost $349. It's a partnership with Monster, so I’m sure they sound great, but $349? Really? Who is the audience at this pricepoint?

I want to know what you think. Is it a smart move, or should he have come out with $50 joints that are just slightly better than the $20 joints you can buy just about anywhere?