Did You Make The Mistake of Missing Wanderlust?

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Not to worry, I’ve got the goods for you on what you missed at thee sexy yoga dance party to date. We’re still starry-eyed from the mountain top wonders of Wanderlust  in  Squaw Valley. On an endless list of utterly amazing offerings, the very tip-top is clear and sparkling as Lake Tahoe itself…

The music.

In all honesty, the line-up for Wanderlust 2013 didn’t tickle us too much pre-fest. In previous years they hosted heavy headliners like reggae legend, Ziggy Marley,  king of kirtan, Krishna Das and indie icons, Thievery Corp.  But we didn’t see this year’s set list with such glowing glory until…

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Quixotic on the D’Om stage

BAM! Here’s a little Quixotic to hypnotize your eyes and ears, and how about a bit of East Forest poolside for your ambient afternoon listening pleasure? Lest not forget the sexy violin stylings of Hannah Thiem who bowed beautiful tunes from atop a floating stage.

Oh, Blisstival not totally familiar with Gramatik you say? Here, listen and let equal parts hip-hop, funk, jazz, and booty bass not only blow, but vaporize your mind! To top our ignorant asana, Random Rab dropped some dreamy jams that sent us to our tents with lush vibes that made our nylon sleeping bags feel like crushed velvet.

That first day and night of surprisingly epic acts stunned every ounce of our Blisstival beings.  It set the tone and flavor for even more tasty music to be devoured over the weekend.

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Random Rab DJ-ing a lullaby at the Shala stage

Saturday we mellowed out just be mashed up. GSol stroked our groove spot just right with slithering Spanish Flemenco style that blends with full-bodied seventies funk reminiscent of Bootsy Collins–but on tranquilizers. Incredible performance artists Ahni Radvanyi and Chris Filkins of Troupe Royale brought brilliant romance to the sultry party with astonishing choreographed AcroYoga.

Meanwhile, the oh-so sexy Euro house of French DJ duo, Caravan Palace picked up the fest pace with their own  je ne sais quoi. During a sundown set, they pumped up Wanderlustians with their  playful, electro-swing. A spellbound sound any gypsy yogi would gulp down if poured into a fancy glass.

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Caravan Palace giving us a taste of French electro-swing! Yummmy!

We kept it kicking into the eve with MC Yogi and DJ Drez who bumped high vibes a notch even higher with a new track, “Forward”. MC Yogi led the crowd with a super catchy dance sequence that got us moving “inward, forward, upward, and outward” under the glittering stars.

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MC Yogi & DJ Drez helping us go “Forward”

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…and start a Yogi Revolution

The delectable dance appetizers prepped us perfectly for the main course that master chef of EDM, Moby, served. The first tracks he laid down completely pummeled the crowd with old-school warehouse rave, then progressed into bone crushing drum and bass. He teased us into the late night with build ups that had no drop to their endless ascent, leaving us begging for more mad noise. Bob Marley might say he “brutalized [us] with music”.

No words  can truly capture the mind and body explosion that is Moby. But to put it simply, it felt painfully good. Like the kind of good you feel after jumping out of an airplane, then drift down through clouds back to Earth. Or the first time you have… well, you get the picture.

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Moby brutalizing with bass

Sunday’s sound wound us down from the high alti-tunes of Moby. Fabian Alsultany spun nothing but Hollywood house fabulousness, followed by the chilled out stretchy jams of DJ Hyfi.

In closing, Moby shared his full spectrum of Goddess given talent during his acoustic set when he strummed renditions of his own sing-a-long songs like “South Side”. He weaved in timeless covers such as Joplin’s “Me and Billy Mc Gee” in which Moby confessed has, “One of the most romantic lyrics of any love song [he’s] ever heard.” You had to be there to guess what that line is…

On that note, we’re head-over-heels, butterflies in the tummy, perma-grin from ear to ear in LOVE with Wanderlust.

So much so that, we’ll cover other awesome experiences in coming posts. Stay tuned for more adventures of Blisstival at Wanderlust Lake Tahoe...

If you were there, comment below about your own blissed out musical experiences while in the happy village of Wanderlust-ville!

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Holi – L.A.’s Festival of Colors

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Saturday, March 16th 2013 marked the first annual L.A. Festival of Colors in Norwalk, California. Well, technically, Norwalk isn’t exactly Los Angeles – but it’s at least in L.A. County, right? At any rate – the event was certainly a festival, and there were, indeed, colors. Caru Das Adikari, Temple Priest of Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah, is to credit (or blame, depending on your persuasion) for the joyous mischief that was the Festival of Colors. So what’s all the colorful excitement about? Holi. A Hindu holiday dating back many hundreds, if not thousands of years. A spring time festival – one entangled in many different stories from different times and traditions- but one embraced by hundreds of millions in India, Nepal, and other places with sizable Hindu populations. Regardless of the particular tradition, Holi has always been a celebration of the triumph of good over evil – and has come to be a celebration of Krishna and Radha, the Beloved Duo at the centerpiece of Vaishnava Hindu worship.

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Modern kirtan celebrities, such as MC Yogi, Deepak Ramapriyan and the Breath of Life Tribe, Larisa Stow and the Shakti Tribe, DJ Drez and the Kirtaniyas riled the crowd with uplifting melodies and beats for one purpose alone – to sing the praises of Divinity. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare – Hare Ram, Hare Ram, Ram Ram, Hare Hare. It is said that one cannot even hear the words, the Holy Names of Krishna (God) once and not be uplifted by their transcendental sound vibration. One thing is for sure – young or old, Hindu or not, those in attendance had their spirits lifted by something. It is doubtful that mere bags of powdered color by themselves can create the type of brotherly love, unity, and spiritual ecstasy that was this years Festival of Colors – Holi – in Norwalk.

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Lovestock 2012 at Avalon in Hollywood

In the west coast line-up of new age festivals and gatherings, there’s a new kid on the block. Sunday, September 16th 2012 witnessed the first annual Lovestock Festival at The Avalon in Hollywood. Perhaps witnessed is too passive a word. Birthed? Blossomed? Manifested? At any rate, the event was an historic moment – Kute Blackson’s vision of empowered, loving oneness came to life in one of Hollywood’s premiere venues. The event, which was initially as mysterious as it was timely, was a literal who’s who of the L.A. county’s bhakti, yoga, kirtan, and new age scenes.

Kute Blackson Electrifying the people

The free event was marketed primarily through social media and quickly went viral within the genre. The event was moved to Avalon after over a thousand attendees registered, outgrowing the initial location. With free food, decadent flower-infused cocktails (non-alcoholic), and world renowned DJs, the allure of the event was irresistible to local bhaktas returning to L.A. county from Bhaktifest the week before.

Guests were greeted with a hug and a gift wristband from Think Love LLC which was later synced with all attendees to vibrate simultaneously in ecstasy. Local musicians, artists, healers, and gourmet raw vegan chefs highlighted the early hours of the event while DJ Cheb i Sebbah, Deepak Ramapriyan and the Breath of Life Tribe, and finally DJ Drez (among others) later ignited the fires of love and light, setting the night ablaze with unity.

The event likely saw a few firsts for L.A. county – for starters, a rarely-seen-in-the-west Balinese Monkey Chant; a playful, devotional, and unifying experience. Dwarkoji Sundrani, a 91 year young disciple of Mahatma Gandhi graced the audience with his presence and blessing. Dwarkoji founded the Samanvay Ashram; all proceeds from donations given at the event went to benefit the Ashram.

In the end, participants were asked to silently connect with their eyes and their smiles and offer a blessing to total strangers, to see and accept the divine in each other – truly a remarkable exercise. All left the event with love in their hearts and smiles on their faces. Two things are certain; Kute Blackson knows how to throw a party, and next year, Avalon won’t be big enough for this ever-expanding crowd of love enthusiasts.