18 April 2015

Still kicking.

Well no matter which direction we think we’re headed, much is to be revealed that’s out of our hands. It gives me a lot of joy to update this site today and put up some new ramblings….many have wondered where we’ve been and if shows would continue. Some thought we quit. So let me take a minute to lay it all out and your questions will be answered. Quitting isn’t a verb I use generally.

A year ago my mom passed away. It was sudden, swift, and staggering. Due to this, I had frequent travel and family responsibilities that rose to mom-umental proportions. We’d completed our last show just a week and a half after she was gone….I swear I barely remember the night I was still stricken with so much grief. It was evident that a pause was needed. Concurrently with this major life-shift, I received a local grant and business mentoring to complete a 12-year-long dream and plan to open a small restaurant/music venue focused on jazz and electronic music. Amazing news but very tough timing. I nearly lost the grant due to my mom’s death, but managed to complete course requirements to see it through. 6 months after that, I was dealing with some serious health issues myself, really just putting in perspective at the time that life and family were more important than anything else…sadly, even drum and bass.

But the drive to complete my life’s work, keeps going. And the love of this music, continues.

This plan, for a unique space with an unusually high level of sustainable principles, is something that is so clear in my mind, and sorely needed in this northwest mecca of food and culture. Thankfully, the plan itself is done and just undergoing a few revisions now. “Things of quality have no fear of time” my mom said after she got her PhD. So true mom, so true. I now have that tshirt she received with her degree, on my altar reminding me to stay patient and focused. I’ve had to put time toward the greater good of this dream ahead of JUICE! shows, for the past more than a year, as well as get my health back.

With energy renewed and manifesting new realities, I’m excited to un-pause JUICE! and keep shows going until our space SEED44 is open. There’s far too much great drum and bass that still needs to make it here. There’s always a time we need to get up after crashing our bike, and dust the dirt from our knees…and that’s exactly what I’m doing. So no, there was no quitting involved…just life asserting its own priorities and one has to let go, go with the flow. I’m super excited to be booking shows now, at a new venue we’ll announce in just a few days here, which will be last Thursdays (hopefully every other month as we used to be). Stoked with my bestie and business partner Maria, to be readying ourselves to bring you top notch soulful drum and bass, once again. Stay tuned…

01 May 2013

Excited for what’s to come.

After a long lonnnnng time of being in a non-improved stasis (five years really), >>it gives me great joy to see the *new* juicedrumandbass.com site come to life now, thanks to dear friend Brian ‘Spastik’ Baker and his amazing skills + generous time. (Please check out and support his music at: www.spastikdnb.com or www.soundcloud.com/spastik and www.facebook.com/spastikdnb ).

While a work in progress (isn’t every website?), I’m really excited to direct you to what’s here now. Always growing. Shows have continued here since 2011, and though facebook is effective in some areas, I wanted another more in-depth place where listeners, djs, producers and agents, labels, and friends can come see what this little night ~that I put heart and soul into~ is about in Portland, Oregon. Dive in a bit…there are some newer shows, and older ones posted too from before I became a mommy. I believe some of these shots really convey the vibe that has driven me for years to keep at this. Check back: more shows will be added little by little as my time allows. Sample the ‘JUICE! Graphic History’….I’m really proud of this peek into the branding of these events over the years. Please note that alongside tireless efforts traveling for; promoting, and booking shows, are countless hours sunk into the design work of the print and online collateral/marketing too.

To come will be links to more sets, and a community page where we can cross pollinate each other’s drum and bass nights & stations, music, merchandise, and hot news on artist releases or upcoming (live or online) shows about which we’re excited.

So much personal passion has gone into this night and the drum and bass community over the years. Even more night hours squeezed out teaching myself to dj (with limited mentoring the last near 7 years) while pregnant/becoming a mom. Many of you know I got better to play out, mostly because I couldn’t afford to pay another dj on my nights. However, after having to give up piano, flute, and acoustic guitar over the years, this was one I just couldn’t give up on. If you know me, then you know my drive and love for this music is unstoppable….it’s never been about money; just the desire to push the artists and bring the music to new ears. I’ve discovered that these sounds—and mixing them, move me. I have a deeper dream-plan (about which some of you know), for a micro-farm-to-table restaurant/live jazz club & electronic music venue. This year, I started working on that business plan again. It may take me a while, but continuing with these drum and bass nights gives me crucial experience in Portland, and foundation working toward that long-term goal of combining my love for music, sustainable + local/community + resources, food/plants, design + culture….into one professional spot eventually. For now, I love what I do; I do it as I can; and I’m stoked to share it with you, as a work-in-progress. I’ve realized now that I too, am a work in progress. There is no ultimate achievement or result; it’s making the journey *awesome* that counts. Lately, I’ve been feeling really okay about my journey!

You know I’ve been on this craziness (promoting since 04 but listener long before), and put more time into it than I care to admit (especially to my Mulch Design clients!). However, I have had some amazingly wonderful support and encouragement over the years from clients too; some producers, and particularly my dear friend and co-nutter/promoter Maria Chaparro, without whom some of these nights might not have happened. Kind, ongoing help locally (Maria, Jenna, Sarah, Summer, Drew!) helps me to spread flyers and posters across the city of Portland, (and thank you to my daughter who roughs the streets with me bless her little promoting self). If you’ve wondered why I’ve taken so many trips to the UK…well, drum and bass LIVES there! It’s that vibe and kindness shown to me there, I’m always trying to import back here for our listening pleasure, and share the same good vibes to them that they have with me on my visits there.

>>Yes there’s a donate page. Without an ‘investor’, every show, big and small, has been funded by prayers, my rent, sweat, attendance/cover charge, and the generosity of the crew and sometimes the talent. While my love of the music has never been *about* money, it is in fact just that, which brings those shows to fruition each time, each show better than the last. It would be great to offer MORE, and not cut it so close. While my life has changed significantly over the years, quitting doing this night—was never an option.

—Now with this super cool site as a vehicle, I am hopeful through all this hard work, AND small donations, that there will be a more viable financial base for marketing shows & talent, developing this website, bringing back JUICE! merchandise like shirts, hoodies, [undies (hehe) and caps]…and be able to afford having talent at this special night that has passed up Portland previously due to budget (or capacity). The laundry list goes on from needing to print more posters to having a hard drive to record live shows at the venue (sets to be posted to the site later with producer’s permission). I can only spread myself so far, and work so much, but my desire to strive for more, and to do a better job, never ends. Later this year as, I’ll be offering some JUICE! perks/merch in return for your kind support. If you think, “what can my $5 or $10 possibly do to help support this drum and bass night?” …A lot. 5-10 donations like that will pay for fliers or posters for one event, put a down payment on tshirt printing, pay for postage for goodies to go to supporters, booking flights for artists coming to JUICE!, or the dollars that go in their pockets for playing here in Portland…..just for instance.

Thanks to everyone for just reading this. Hopefully after 8 years you guys know I’m *not* crazy. Just completely serious and on track! Thank you for supporting Portland drum and bass! To be honest, if it weren’t for tending gardens and tending this music, I’d have thrown my laptop out of the window years ago! This stuff feeds my soul, so I hope to keep feeding it to our lovely little city! Cheers and tons of love from this mama.

20 March 2013

Refreshed.

Just back a week from a life-changing 12 days overseas! If photos, video were not slowly appearing online, I’d never believe the recent amazing-ness in which I’d participated. Thank you to Scenic & Advisory for the opportunity to be a part of ‘CONFLUX’:: this stellar international lineup of producers/djs: playing alongside DnB legend NOOKIE, this past March 2nd in Birmingham, UK. On the one hand I was a bit freaked out and often wondering why I was even *there*…but when I relaxed, I looked around and realized I was surrounded by friends of *YEARS,* producers who’s music I was supporting, and those directly responsible for encouraging me to keep dj-ing. Such a pleasure to meet Nookie over there again (someone who’s productions have inspired me to love these DnB sounds for over 15 years). All of us working for months in advance to close great distances and fly to be together to hang out as a group for but a few days. All struggling to make flights, survive financially, deal with children or work commitments and so on…brought together by the love of drum and bass and nurturing relationships we value so greatly. Just blows me away.
While the internet helps us to close immediate gaps-in-between-get-togethers; once together in the same room, car, bus, plane, I discovered (again this trip) how much we have in common, how much there is to share, and how grateful I am to be a part of a (world wide) community so rich in diversity, experience, creativity, etc. Friends from Greece, all over the UK, Ireland, Poland, Italy, USA, Belgium, Germany, (more…) had a chance to catch up for hours, exchange opinions about culture, music, politics, the details of our countries. More and more we find ways to help each other with our unique skills and desire to push drum and bass. Every time I make a trip like this, I don’t doubt for a second why I do so. A ticket is nothing compared to the depth of the experience of all of us being together, mixing, sharing, eating, loving, being creative, laughing. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in ages! UK English roast dinner in Redditch was epic with all company present. So good to hug my friend’s children and be close again. Even more humbling was having two of my dearest friends travel to Birmingham as well: co promoter for JUICE!, Maria (my gawd woman I love being in the same pod with your pea-ness); and dear friend Sarah (who is apprenticing-to-mix with me too). How wonderful to finally twist her arm so Maria and I (who have been repeatedly) could share with her how amazing Europe is. Seeing you ladies out there while I mixed my little mom-heart out meant the world to me.

I’ve never dropped a double like that live nor busted out so many bangers in 45 minutes…but oddly I felt at home and well, happy-as-fuck, if you don’t mind my saying. I think everyone knows how serious I am about professionally promoting drum and bass, and that I just dj for fun. I have to say though, lately I’ve been finding a lot of peace mixing! It’s truly an art at which I do love to excel; and I know where my heart is. I wish there were more women involved in the industry overall, but I am grateful for that support here in Portland and connecting with some of those ladies in the UK as well. And I’m thankful to all of the guys who’ve pushed me to keep on with this crazy love-of-dnb-I have. Playing this gig meant so much to me. I am still humbly reeling from being there.

Holland was warm with kindness, and rich with history and cultural diversity. Despite the fact that I was there 20 years ago, I saw a different side this time, thanks to my kind host there. What a beautiful place….with water everywhere, tilted buildings hundreds of years old. This city blew my mind. I have never felt so like I was on another planet—and I LIVE IN PORTLAND. Older folks are super cool, the culture is not *everything-phobic* like in the U.S. Everyone speaks Dutch, French, and English fluently. Really puts into perspective so many things for me. Amsterdam reminded me of everything I love/miss about Europe….and cruising the streets on a bike and with cherished friends filled my heart with joy and soul with renewed freshness….. til the next trip hehehee. Weather was lovely and (honestly) not-all-that-different from PDX. Perhaps the warm company, Dutch coffee, and strolling the streets with friends was all I needed. Taking in the new architecture, art, typography and graphics refilled my creative reserves too. Yeh, barely enough time there so no time like the present to start vibin’ on the next trip. Hehehe.

TURNING TO PORTLAND EVENTS.
Time to look forward locally. As the Groove Suite moves into an in-flux position (and out of their current space), JUICE! will have their last (Local Northwest Assets) show there March 29th as they look for a new location in Portland. May 31st JUICE! show brings us to a slightly larger venue, the Rose, which we’re very pleased will be hosting our night for UTAH JAZZ (London, UK), KID HOPS (Seattle), and CODENAME (PDX). Stay posted for deets as our 2013 homes evolve for continued shows last Fridays of every other month.