Posts Tagged ‘ DJ Storm ’

The Wonderfully Creative Caity Costa.


Caity Costa and yours truly… (the world famous DJ Storm) had the pleasure of working with one another the other day, and believe me when I tell you that once you that after working in music studios for over a decade, I know talent when I hear it.  Aside from being a pleasureful and peaceful woman, Caity has a deluge of music that neither myself, nor the folks at my shop looking forward to hearing, and working with her on.  Take a gander at some of her photos below, and if you’d love to hear what she has to perform, you can check out all of her work by clicking right here.

‘Tag’: Spoiler Free Review.


‘Tag’ is a film that will make you both laugh and cry.  Myself, coming from a background of two different groups of very close friends, staying connected is extremely important.  Even with its ‘Hangover’ style antics, ’Tag’ will be quite resonant with people who have their “boys” that they have stayed connected with for the majority of their lives, and this movie has that impact on people whom share that similarity.  The first thing I noticed was the amazing soundtrack of the film, from the opening moments, you can tell that whoever picked these songs, knew what they were doing.  Even seeing the trailer alone, you think you can tell the type of film this will be, but it’s a bit different. (And luckily the trailer doesn’t give away all the best parts of the film)

The entire cast meshes well together, and there are some interesting rules to the “game” that aren’t covered in the previews.  The trailers would have you believe that this group of friends is constantly attempting to tag one another, but there is a bit of intricate teamwork involved.  Team members tag each other on purpose in order to achieve a common goal. Their specific rules aren’t expressly stated at first, but as the film moves along, you figure out the specificity of the rules.

The movie isn’t without its loose ends and unfinished plot points however.  Rashida Jones’s character is a welcomed inclusion to the cast, but her storyline has no real end, or consequence.  To speak on the end of the movie in general, there are quite a few points that are never tied up.  A bar tender dying to get into the game, is just never touched upon after a certain point, and there are several ‘Breaking and Entering’ situations that just seem to have NO consequence whatsoever.

Following the film’s conclusion, there are several shots of the real people involved in the game, which are AMAZING.  I highly recommend staying for the end credits.  (There’s a bit with an old woman that is in the film, but seeing the actual incident in real life is much more gratifying).  One of the two stand out stars of the film is Hannibal Buress, who you would wish had more to say in the film, but his lines, are simply one-liner jokes that help make the film as funny as it is. The other is Isla Fisher, (who I just realized that I have a strange crush on).  But her character Anna is a person who you wish would play the game with the guys, and when she’s able to, she is quite the competitor.  

Another interesting bit is Jermey Renner, and his ability to evade his friends, using a Sherlock Holmes style mental process (The Robert Downey Jr. version) he can predict whenever he’s about to be potentially tagged.  This leads to some creative and interesting action sequences.  We KNOW from the film that the physical training from “The Avengers” is part of the reason Renner is able to do the things that he can do in the movie, much like Keaunu Reeves had the training for John Wick, because of the Matrix.  But a number of Renners evasion techniques are quite impressive. 

Aside from some certain plot points that are crucial to the story-line that never come to fruition, the film is quite good. There are extra players that you never see, and the main purpose of the majority of the plot is for one character is write an article on the entire story, but you never hear anything about it when the film wraps up. There is also an interaction between two characters, that would be quite funny, but you never see anything of it.

Although this story is based on real life, there is a “dead baby” joke (and thats in quotations for a reason). But that just sort of fades away after a while, which would NEVER happen between friends.  However this script, movie, and over arching story is a good one, filled with hilarity and depth that one wouldn’t expect.  It is very much worth seeing, and the giant crowd of critics that clapped and cheered at the movies’ end would agree.

Game Night: (Non Spoiler Review).


From the game pieces dropping in the opening titles, to the VERY unique ending credits, and everything in between Game Night is solid comedy.  If you enjoyed ‘The Hangover’, then ‘Game Night’ is right up your alley.  One thing that sticks out past the Ironman jokes, and anti Trump humor is the visual beauty in the movie.  For a ‘Pineapple Express’-esque comedy, the visual style of the different neighborhoods, some of the car chases, and one particular scene involving an egg, are wildly innovative.  Luckily those shots aren’t in the trailer, which leaves something to look forward to.

What IS in the trailers are most of the best jokes in the film.  From time to time theres a small quip, or a lengthy joke that offers up some respite from the old jokes that got you into the theater to begin with.  Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman are a believable couple, and work quite well, while Billy Magnussen’s character is just a baffoon that doesn’t seem like he would be friends with the rest of the group in real life.  Lamorene Morris (Winston Bishop from the show ‘New Girl’) is essentially the exact same character as Winston, so you know what to expect in terms of humor.

But the stand out character is by far “Gary”,  played by Jessie Plemons, a creepy cop who just wants to be invited to game night.  Unfortunately only one character seems to be funny at a time,  and with a cast this diverse it seems like they should be able to play off one another a bit better.  There are a few surprise cameos that are used to good effect, and the themes of sibling rivalry create an unexpected depth.

With the random knowledge that some of the main characters have, their knowledge of trivia should have played a larger role in the film, and with the Hangover style jokes, the movie has very little re-watch value.  Although the plot ranges from a little predictable to having too many twists, ’Game Night’ is a film you’ll enjoy, although it is a very funny film but after you see it once, there’s not too much reason to see it again for a while.

Welcome Back!


Much like when Batman disappears for an extended period of time, friends of this blog have begun to get very worried.  For several months now, life has been a bit up and down for not just myself, but the writers of this site in general.  We know subscribers noticed when things somewhat trailed off, and then came to a complete halt.  Now that things have calmed down quite a bit, we’re going to slowly start back up again, hopefully by next month, we’ll be back to 10 or so posts a day of new music, art, “sciency stuff”, movie news, and the like.  So please do your best to bear with us, as we all get back up on this horse and continue the ride.  Also although he asked not to be named, I still want to give a warm shout out to our newest writer on the team.

I Know Him! He’s A Friend From Work.


In a surprise no one saw coming, Marvel Studios has released the first teaser trailer for their highly anticipated fall release, Thor Ragnarok, and it’s pretty damn awesome.  It’s not particularly forthcoming with plot details, but we do learn why Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder hasn’t been spotted with Mjolnir in any of the early promo art as Cate Blanchett’s Hela, headdress and all, shatters his mighty hammer to Kingdom Come and takes over Asgard. The trailer also shows off nearly all of the new and returning characters and closes with our hero stepping into the Grandmaster’s arena where he reencounters an old friend from work… but it doesn’t seem like the reunion will be as joyous as he had hoped.  Check out the trailer, which is set to Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” below:

Central Intelligence: Spoiler Free Review.


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The movie ‘Central Intelligence’ would at first glance, appear from it’s trailers to yet another run-of-the-mill buddy cop comedy featuring Kevin Hart’s character from Ride Along.  Luckily this isn’t (exactly) the truth.  The film has a consistent underlying message about the problem of adolescent bullying, the issues it leaves people with later in life, and the effects that simple kind acts can have on a person.  This message is rather cleverly draped in a story about a disenfranchised overweight boy Robbie Weirdicht (Dwayne Johnson) and high school all star Calvin ‘The Golden Jet’ Joyner (Kevin Hart).  The circumstances of their reuniting 20 years after high school is a bit contrived, but believable, due to a simple act of kindness committed by Joyner.

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What ensues after they reunite is an interesting romp that sends Joyner ping ponging back and forth between the CIA and Dwayne’s character (who renamed himself Bob Stone shortly after high school.)  Neither Joyner nor the audience knows exactly who to believe at any given time, and the supporting characters help move the story along quite nicely.  All in all, the movie isn’t as “by the numbers” as one would expect, and much better of a picture than ‘Ride Along’ or its sequel.

When delving into specifics, the first thing to be noticed is “Fat Rob”, in the first two seconds, the CG effects that put The Rock’s face onto an amorphous adolescent body, seem a bit off, but quickly get better for the short amount of time they’re needed.  Retrospectively, it’s difficult to tell weather Kevin Hart’s de-aging is done digitally or is just a result of him shaving off his facial hair, and good make up.

Aside from the look of the characters as their teenaged selves, their behavior two decades later is strangely indicative of who they were in the past.  The film’s trailer makes The Rock’s “Bob Stone” seem like a well put together CIA warrior, when he’s actually still very much the odd, bumbling nerd he was in high school, just in a different physical frame.  Johnson’s strangeness can be a bit off putting at times, but when balanced with Kevin Hart’s “dimmed down high school star” persona, it works quite well.  There are quite a few moments that are unexpectedly funny due to the duo’s comedic chemistry.

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Aside from Johnson and Hart, there are two or three surprise cameos in the film that the media screening enjoyed, and some well placed jokes that aren’t in the trailers.  That being said however, the plot seems like it could take some well welcomed twists, and is blandly predictable at times.  When big name actors show up for only two minutes and disappear again, you know they’ll return at some point later on in the film, making things fairly easy to predict.  The most off putting attribute however, was an overtly obnoxious mindset that high school defines you.

The entire movie has a thematic hue suggesting that high school is the precipice on which your entire life will be determined, which (to any high schoolers reading this) is completely untrue.  There are also a few action set pieces that are a bit off the mark.  At one point Dwayne Johnson’s character places a bullet in exactly the right place with perfect accuracy, but has trouble shooting anyone throughout the rest of the film.  The movie also harkens back to 1984’s ’16 Candles’ multiple times for comedic effect, but if you’ve never seen ’16 Candles’ those jokes would make no sense.

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When everything is said and done, ‘Central Intelligence’ is a movie worth checking out if you have a free weekend, and definitely will be remembered when discussing the film credits of both Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson.  Their on screen chemistry is reflective of their being friends in real life, and only adds to the strengths of the film.  The film leans a bit on typical action tropes, but still delivers a solid message against the trend of bullying in schools, and doing whatever kinda acts you can to help someone in need.  ‘Central Intelligence’ comes out in theaters this Friday the 17th in the U.S.

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Sabina Marie – Phone Call.


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German model turned Bay Area singer Sabina Marie is continuing on her path to stardom by releasing yet another single.  The song “Phone Call” (produced by Don Wattz) is another deep and bass-heavy track in her string of future hits.  The sultry artist sings over a “Timbaland and Aaliyah” sounding beat, about the stresses of missing the person you love.  Check the method below, and log onto her soundcloud to hear the rest of her music.

 

A Brand New Season Of ‘That Hot New Dope’. Every Wednesday At 3pm.


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It’s been a few years since I’ve been on radio (consistently), and That Hot New Dope radio show, was the perfect place to jump back in.  AllDayPlay.fm, Young Chizle, Honey Faced Bee, and myself have been anxiously awaiting season two of #HND, and today is the day.

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Every Wednesday, at 3pm, use your phone or your computer to tune into www.adp.fm, and all you have to do is click ‘Listen Live’.  That Hot New Dope is dedicated every week to bringing you both the hottest music from the artists you know, and the newest Hip Hop tracks from upcoming artists from the Bay.  Click ANY of the photos to take a listen when the time is right.

 

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‘Concussion’: Spoiler Free Review.


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Will Smith will always be known as an acting juggernaut, more than capable of bringing in a crowd regardless of the film.  Some of his ventures have been hit or miss (Winter’s Tale, Jersey Girl, Legend of Bagger Vance) but over all, he’s capable of playing incredibly memorable, and powerful characters, and ‘Concussion’ continues that tradition.  Dr. Bennet Omalu discovered a connection between football injuries and brain damage in the early 2000’s, and was met with an incredible amount of resistance by both scientists and the NLF.  From the opening scene of the film when Bennet Omalu lists off his academic accolades, the entire movie theater was impressed.  And Will Smith does a great job filling the shoes of a brilliant doctor.

The most notable factor about the character of Dr. Omalu is his Nigerian accent.  Accents haven’t been Will Smith’s strongest suit (After Earth for example), but even though his accent in ‘Concussion’ does waver in and out, it’s not enough to take you out of the film… (like in After Earth).  Oddly enough the accents are one of the only weak points of the film.  Alec Baldwin’s Dr. Julian Bailes has an odd wavering southern accent at certain parts of his sentences, and the rest seems like regular Baldwin.  This however is NOT to discredit his incredible acting in the film.  After 30 Rock, Baldwin can be hard to take seriously because of the show playing his dry, straight faced humor as his strongest card.  ‘Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation’ is filled with seriously played lines from Baldwin that the audience took as a joke because it sounded like a 30 Rock line.  ‘Concussion’ however jumps this hurdle, and Baldwin’s character Bailes comes across as a deeply conflicted, emotionally dignified character who belongs on screen next to Smith.

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Gugu Mbatha-Raw (who was amazing in Under The Lights) plays Prema Mutiso, Omalu’s room mate/love interest.  To her credit, she does very well with what she’s given, her acting is superb, and every motivational speech, or heart breaking moment she goes through feels real, and substantial.  That being said, Prema is a nurse dating a doctor, and didn’t seem to lend much help to the medical plot points of the film.  At certain points in the movie it was almost as if she was there simply to have things explained to her, so that the audience would understand.  Case in point: when Will Smith demonstrates a brain in a skull by showing her a peach in a jar half filled with water, and shakes it around.  (She’s a nurse, I’m fairly certain she knows how a concussion works.) 

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As for the film itself, there are a few more humorous moments than one would expect from a film with such serious subject matter.  There are many deliberately awkward moments between Omalu and any of the other characters that serve as good humor, and the film balances this well with darker moments that even drew a few gasps from the crowd.  ‘Concussion’ has a unique way of making its point using real NLF footage.  Even from the opening monologue from “Iron Mike Webster” (played brilliantly by David Morse) the movie intercuts with highlight reels, and gives the film a much more visceral feel.  There are even moments of police footage that are used to astonishing effect.  Smith’s character even uses dialog to illustrate his point in graphic manor, describing men “being hit in the head with sledge hammers” or “pouring wet concrete down a sink” relative to choking a brain.

The overall writing in the film is also superb, and doesn’t seek to demonize the NLF, but simply demonstrate that certain individuals within its ranks would do whatever it took to keep the league unshakeable.  There are lines like “You’re going to war with a corporation that owns a day of the WEEK… The same one that the Church used to own.” that demonstrate the gravity of Omalu’s plight.  Omalu even has a few very stirring lines of his own, including the now famous trailer scene “When I was a boy, Heaven was here, and America was here [just below]” (which I’ve read was an actual quote from the real Dr. Omalu).

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All in all, the film comes from a great true story about helping people, and not being afraid to speak the truth.  The conclusion of the film may not be as satisfying as some movie-goers may want, however, it’s the way things work when it comes to real life.  ‘Concussion is very well written, and treats its characters like real people.  There is no general antagonist just counting money in the NLF offices doing evil things to keep people down, every character seems conflicted in their motivations, and has reason for feelings the way they feel.  The doctors, and scientists especially, rely on facts and evidence before making decisions, and sometimes even state that although they may dislike Omalu, and his reasoning, or his motivations, they cannot deny the scientific evidence… which is the way REAL scientists behave.

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The emotional moments in the film (especially a break down, beautifully acted by Will Smith) all have weight, and resonate with the audience.  Some cast members shine brighter than others however. On the high scale, David Morse as Mike Webster was shockingly strong, and on the other hand Luke Wilson as the NLF commissioner was barely even in the film.  ANY person with hair could have played that role.  There are one or two scenes that may not fit into the film, like an awkward club scene that was just there to give Nina Sky some more royalties, but as a whole, ‘Concussion’ delivers as a heartwarming story of a person who will not stand for letting the truth be unheard.  I definitely recommend it this christmas.

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Follow Fetty Wap Through His Home Turf.


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Tag along with Fetty Wap and his deep, loyal Zoo Gang family to learn about the Paterson, New Jersey star’s rise to fame and the role his crew has played in his success.

‘No Escape’ – No Spoiler Review.


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Once again tonight, the good folks at the Weinstein Company invited me to a pre-screening of their latest release “No Escape”.  The story centers around Owen Wilson, simply trying to get his family out of what he believes is a random bout of civil unrest in South East Asia.  I’ll let you take a look at the trailer (if you haven’t seen it yet) before I delve into the spoiler free review.

 

 

So presuming you just took the two minutes to watch the trailer, you would assume you get the idea of the film.  However, the first point I have to make is that the movie is a bit deeper than what the trailer would have you believe, which is refreshing.  Long gone are the days where trailers would get you interested in a film, and instead you can see an entire movie in two minutes.  ‘No Escape’ manages to entice audiences with the story without giving away all of the surprises it has in store.  (If you think throwing a little girl off a building is the best the film has to offer, you’re quite wrong.)  The movie is uncommonly tense, with an unrelenting pace that drives home the stakes and the stresses of this very real feeling, very terrifying situation.  From the opening scene of the film, the severity of events to come is boldly apparent, and the depiction of characters is quite true to life.  There is also a welcomed lack of typical film clichés, (If people are hiding, no one sneezes and accidentally alerts their pursuers) and there are a handful of moments that seem to go in a typical direction, and take a drastic turn.

 

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All the characters in the movie behave as one might expect them to in the real world, especially Sterling Jerins and Claire Geare, (the two daughters), and their mother played by Lake Bell is a perfect balance of what someone would do, and what someone should do in the film’s context.  Some may wonder if funny-man Owen Wilson would be properly suited for a movie like this, but rest assured his acting chops shine with a perfect balance of intensity, intelligence, and a bit of humor in the right spots (primarily the film’s first act).  Owen Wilson isn’t some type of John McClane style, American action hero, he’s simply a man who has to do what is necessary to keep his family safe, and escape the situation they’ve been placed in.  One of the best parts of the film however, is Pierce Brosnan.  His brash, rude, wise cracking character Hammond seems to be an oddity at first, but later on in the film makes his importance known, and he delivers my favorite line of the film… “I’m going to head to a strip joint.  I should put on my sweat pants…. so they know I mean business.”

 

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The events portrayed in “No Escape” never jump the bounds of reality, yet can be horrifying in spots (after you watch the film look at the photo below again, when you know who’s holding that gun.) Everything seems to be extremely well thought out. Even at the level of sound design, when a bullet whizzes past, and strikes a wall, it SOUNDS terrifying.  The CGI in the film is minimal, and even when it is used, is barely noticeable.  There are some ultra violent scenes, with people getting hacked to death with machetes, or run over by cars, or shot in the face, however, the point of those scenes isn’t for the gore, it’s to show the shockingly low level some humans can get to when they are forced to.  The film does slip in a few places however, starting with the over use of “shaky cam”.  Spots in the first act seemed to try a bit too hard to establish danger with shaking the camera to the point where I thought I was going to get a headache.  There were also certain slow motion shots that seemed a little too long lasting, or just pointless all together.  Also we see some type of an odd divorce sub-plot that doesn’t really go anywhere for some reason, and a few scenes ended with a quite predictable rescue of a character, while others were the total opposite, by seeing the family saved by things that seemed to come out of nowhere for no reason.

 

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All in all thought, this is an amazing, real world, tension filled film that, despite a few leaps on geopolitical logic, is one you should see when it comes out on August 26th, (Sorry Vick, I got the release date mixed up).  It’s nice to an exilerating story that isn’t a remake, or a reboot, or a sequel come to the big screen, and although the film is extremely graphic, it’s base in realism stands firm.  The cast shines, and the balances of challenges, issues, themes, characters, and motivations all make perfect sense (which is hard to find in many modern films).  I highly recommend ‘No Escape’ as your movie film for this weekend.  It damn near makes me want to attend some type of survivalist training camp, just so I would know what to do if things ever went that south.

 

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Get Out Of Jail Free.


DJ Storm Jeff Phantom

Click here to download.

International tours, EDC appearances, Festival sets, Vegas gigs, and never ending music studio hours can do a good job of keeping two friends apart. But for the first time in over a year, DJ Storm and DJ Jeff Phantom have teamed up again for another multi-genre mish-mash of mashups. ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ sticks closer to the the electronic music side of the fence, and where it does feature hip hop, it does so with remixes.  However, the ebb and flow of the 65 minute long mix features a range from House, to Twerk, to Trap that is sure to keep any listener entertained.  Check out a demo below, and click the photo above to download.

The Gold Blooded Warriors.


 

golden-state-warriors-playoffs-denver-nuggetsThe Golden State Warriors have been on a war path since the start of the 2015 season, which has now culminated to a trip to the NBA Finals.  The city of Cleveland hasn’t won a professional sports championship since 1964 (or a year before Golden State coach Steve Kerr was born).  With Curry as their MVP they had the momentum to get into the post season, and the added depth in the entire team provided by their supporting players, these NBA Finals will be one to remember.  There’s nothing like an entire region getting behind their team to help boost the confidence, and I’m sure the Warriors will appreciate 99.7 Now’s Shan Berries tribute to her team.  The Warriors entire the finals tonight with their first game against the Cleavland Cavaliers, and make sure to share the song ‘Gold Blood’ with your fellow fans.

 

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Apps that will make travelling so much easier


With my Australia tour about to kick off in the middle of June, I know what a pain in the bottom planning a trip can be. These apps however are great tools to help manage your travel plans and activities. I’ll for sure download some of them! Check them out below!

1. Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers is a must-have for anyone planning a road trip in the United States. You enter where you want to go, make selections depending on what you want to see (natural wonders! weird stuff!), and the app will create a customized map for you.

2. Hotel Tonight

Get last-minute discounts on top-rated hotels using Hotel Tonight. You can only book a week in advance, so it’s not the best option for a long-planned family vacation…but for a fun, spur-of-the-moment getaway? Perfect.

3. Hopper

You’ll get your lowest airfares ever thanks to Hopper’s finely tuned price-prediction feature. First it figures out the best time for you fly, then it figures out the best time for you to buy tickets for that flight.

4. Travel Math

If your brain is frazzled at the mere idea of organizing a trip, let Travel Math do all the calculations for you: it’ll measure distances, travel times, budgets—whatever you need to know.

5. Ship Mate

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Cruise crazy? This is the #1 app when it comes to vacations taken on a ship. You can take a look at deck plans, read reviews of the different ports you’ll be stopping at, chat with other people who will be on your ship, and more.

6. CityMaps2Go

If you’re traveling outside your country and have to depend on Wi-Fi for internet, it’s smart to download all the maps you’ll need in advance at CityMaps2Go: they’re stored offline, so you’ll avoid roaming charges.

7. Pack Point

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Pack Point helps you decide what to pack depending on where you’re going, what the weather will be like, and what sort of activities you’ll be participating in.

8. Tripit

Tripit merges your flight, restaurant, hotel, and car rental confirmation emails into one “master itinerary” to keep you organized

9. Roomer

Your daughter is throwing up everywhere and suddenly going on vacation is no longer an option: What do you do about your hotel room? Get rid of it using Roomer. You list your room and wait to hear from someone who wants to take over your reservation — no more losing money on cancellation fees!

10. Jet Lag Rooster

Jet Lag Rooster will tell you how to shift your sleeping schedule in the days before a trip so you won’t be exhausted once you reach your destination.

11. Dude Where’s My Car?

The last thing you want to do when you get back from a trip is wander around the airport parking garage for 30 minutes, exasperatedly searching for your vehicle: Dude Where’s My Car keeps track of *exactly* where you parked and will guide you back to that spot. Plus, it also helps you find parking.

12. Loungebuddy

Did you know that you can use a ton of airport lounges even if you aren’t a first class passenger? Sometimes it’s worth paying a fee if it means getting to wait for your flight in a comfortable spot—Loungebuddy will let you know what your options are at the airport you’re flying out of.

13. My TSA

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Can you bring _____ through airport security? Open up My TSA and you’ll know in an instant. You can also use the app to look up how long the security wait times are at your airport so you’ll be sure to arrive early enough to make your flight.

14. Track My Tour

This app allows your loved ones to “join” you on a trip from the comfort of their homes: they “follow a breadcrumb trail of your tour by visiting the link you sent them,” while you document the most exciting spots you visit as you go—it’s the easiest way to keep people in the loop.

15. Unlike

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Put together your dream trip itinerary using the guides at Unlike, an app that “connects tastemakers and trendsetters around the globe with unique, essential and inspiring places.”

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16. iTranslate

Providing you with “90+ languages in your pocket,” iTranslate is one of the best translator apps available. If you’re heading to the Netherlands and you can’t speak Dutch, this is a necessity.

17. City Papers

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Find out what’s happening in the city or town you’re visiting using the collection of local newspapers available on the City Papers App: you’ll be able to discover concerts, craft sales, and other events that may not even be listed online.

18. Untappd

When you’re in a new place (for work or on vacation), open up this app and it will give you a list of popular nearby bars *plus* what sorts of beer are on tap there. You want to to find someplace that serves a state-specific microbrew? This is how to hunt a glass of that down.

19. TV Food Maps

If you’re more interested in food tourism than beer tourism, take a gander at TV Food Maps: it’s a guide to restaurants that are featured on popular TV series like Chopped and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

20. Happy Cow

Depending on what part of the country (or world) you’re in, it can be difficult to find vegan or vegetarian friendly restaurants: When you want some help with your search, browse through the listings on Happy Cow—you’ll find dining establishments with meat-free options all over the world. Lucky me, I can find bacon pretty much everywhere!!

21. LogMeIn

It’s a horrible moment when you realize that you need a file stored on your home computer when you’re 700 (or even just 30) miles away from it: LogMeIn allows you to access (and control) your home computer from anywhere.

22. Vayable

Vayable is a way to discover “unique experiences offered by locals” on your next trip. All of the available options sound so much cooler than traditional city tours: A midnight street food crawl! A guide to the most photogenic places in Paris! DIY seafood with a sea forager!

The ‘Entourage’ Movie Review… NO SPOILERS.


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So I was recently invited to a pre-screening of the long awaited Entourage movie, and anticipation could not have been higher.  Walking into the theater, you could see the immense diversity in the crowd.  It was a blatant reminder that this show has touched ALL sorts of people, of all different demographics, and out of everyone in attendance every single person laughed loudly before the film was over.  I’ll start the review by saying, if you’ve never watched the show, you might not want to read this review, however, I’m not spoiling any surprises about the film.  But if you’d rather not know anything about anything, this may not be the article for you.  (Like my sister, who introduced me to the show in the first place.)

I love it when shows do one of two things… either change their title sequence to something new every season, or they stay absolutely the same throughout the whole run of the show.  Entourage chose the latter, and remained with the same basic title sequence the entire time (as the show progressed, actors names were replaced).  But this new “movie credits sequence” is an amazing build upon the original, and can almost be surmised as the difference between the show and the movie.  “Yeah that was always good, but THIS is way better.”

Some people may be wondering how or way certain things have changed between the show and the film, but the logic behind 99% of the things in the film are there.  Things are explained briefly, and quite well, with the exception of a only few minute details.  The main plot points are fleshed out with ease and questions people may have after watching the trailer are answered… like if this crew are all so rich, why would one movie effect them in such a big way.  But the explanation for their plight makes a good deal of sense.

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Of course ‘Entourage’, its essentially a glorified 104 minute episode, but don’t let this dissuade you from seeing it.  This isn’t a rehashing of some old story line, or some origin story, or reboot.  The story is a new, fresh progression after the events that show concluded with.  All the actors, as well as the characters they play are at the top of their game, even though I would say when Ari Gold gets upset, he has had better lines in the show than in the movie.  This movie also corrects some of the “issues” people took with the final episode, and if you’ve seen the post credit scene of the series finale, you get a great explanation as to what came of that situation.

Everyone gets their moment to shine, obviously the 5 main characters get their time, and their individual story lines differ, yet weave well between each other.  You don’t ever lose interest in anyone’s plight, and everyone in the group feels important.  The sub-characters get their moments as well.  Mrs. Ari, Lloyd, Dana Gordon, and even Ari’s new assistant have smaller moments that bring out the best in the main characters, and the movie. (Although one important sub-character is straight up missing, and I would have loved to see a little bit more Debbie Mazar).  The movie does an unmistakable job of telegraphing EVERYTHING that is backbone of the show in a creative way.  This is also mainly done in the very beginning, so you can come into the theater not having watched a single episode, and understand who everyone is, what they’ve been through, and essentially why they behave the way they behave.

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The natural progression in the characters is easy to see, and how well they’re doing for themselves is appropriate for the amount of time that has passed.  I have to say though that the reveal of just how successful Turtle has become, is AMAZING.  The basic elements of the show are still there, at no point do you think “They had to reformat that from the show, because this is a movie and things have to be different”, everything just fits, and well.

Music has always been a big part of this show.  From breaking new artists, to brining classic songs back to the forefront of peoples memories, to taking tracks from obscurity to the limelight.  The soundtrack of this movie is one that I would buy with no hesitation, although, the frequency at which songs appeared in the movie could have been a bit more dense.  There just wasn’t as much as I would have wanted of a good thing.  All the music was well placed, however there are two songs in particular that could not have been chosen better.  (One, when someone is “drugged”, and the second, when a new car is taken for a first drive)  Those two moments in particular are amplified immaculately by the music that supports them.

The one interesting thing that I noticed during the screening was, you could tell by the laughter in certain areas who is familiar with the show, and who is being introduced to these characters for the first time via the movie.  For instance, if you’ve followed the show, you know Drama cooks for the group on a regular basis, but the way him cooking for Vince is presented in the movie, makes it somewhat comical to the newcomers. It’s just somewhat easy to tell who has known these characters for years, and who hasn’t.  There are a multitude of tiny references fans will appreciate, but theres a specific scene that lends itself to both parties better than the rest.  During that scene, if you’re a fan of the show, you KNOW what comes next, and you’re quite happy to watch it all over again.  Although it is a MAJOR plot point of how things wind up in the show, all the people watching the movie without knowing the characters specific and detailed history have no clue about whats about to transpire, and that makes it fun for both parties.

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Doug Ellin made some great writing choices, and even includes things about characters backgrounds we’ve NEVER seen before… for instance, (and this isn’t a spoiler) Vince was “found” by Ari after doing a Mentos commercial, its referenced multiple times in the show, but we never see that commercial.  You’ll see it in this movie, and its glorious. There’s video “young” Drama, A photo of Eric working at his pizza place, and you FINALY get the reveal of Turtles full name.  (Which is like 10 years coming).

As would be expected, the cameos are out of control in the best way possible.  In my personal opinion, TI has the BEST one, followed swiftly by Armie Hammer.  In a few case however, there are so many short cameos that they can be easy to miss.  (Like Common).  There is an incredible 4 minute sequence early in the film where almost EVERY single memorable cameo from the show appears in the same place, at the same time, and the reasoning behind very much holds up.  It stops you from wondering “Why would Gary Bussey, Mark Cuban, Pharrell, and Bob Saget, ever be in the same location at the same time?”  But that scene works so will, it’s irrelevant.  I do have to say though that I feel like too many people missed the Warren Buffet cameo.  (Which I feel like folks would have gasped at even though he was shown in the trailer.)  The new characters are an awesome addition to the show, and Haley Joel Osmit is great.  He’s a character you’re just supposed to loathe, and he does such a good job playing his role, you WILL.  Ronda Rousey proves that she’s as good of an actress as she is a fighter, Mark Whalburg is great as usual, and I cannot state this enough, T.I. and his wife Tiny are the best cameo of this film.

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So what’s bad about this movie?  My only real complaint is that people laugh SO hard at the jokes, you miss whatever else happens afterwards.  Which normally isn’t a big deal, but at one point, theres a major plot point that I missed because the audience was cracking up so hard at what came before it.  I missed the explanation for something crucial, because a joke in the movie was just way too funny.  But other than that, the rest of my criticisms are just minor gripes.

There are some odd, and unspecified time jumps (specifically towards the end), but thats just an attempt to wrap things up in time for the end of the movie.  However, if your very first time jump that states in writing “8 Months Later”, you should explain how long the gaps in time are when you make other clear jumps forward.  Also, the movie ends on a great note, however, you no choice but to STAY for the mid credits scene.   When the credits first roll, things seem very unresolved, there seem to be tons of lose ends.   But when you stay for the (quite lengthy) mid credits scene, 99% of those same issues are touched on and cleared up.

All in all its amazing, (or as “The Weekly Planet” guys say “Best Movie Ever”)  and the film brings a new chunk of the story to the Entourage cannon, and leaves things slightly open for a sequel.  Because this movie was completed longer ago than you would expect, some of the cultural references are a bit off.  There’s a reference to ‘The Avengers’ that seemed a bit off, but its not that big of a deal.  If you’re a fan of the show, there’s nothing you will miss.  Every aspect what made this story great is in the mix, friendship, loyalty, naked titties, comedy and a great deal of heart.  Go check it out on June 3rd.

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Lil Dev – 4 My Jeeps (Freestyle).


DJ Storm

Album artwork sketched by Michael Tudor.

Since the first time I stumbled up Action Bronson’s “4 My Jeeps” I’ve personally been in love with the track, and with the beat.  Working in a music studio with people coming in and out all day long, eventually you’ll find someone to compliment a beat with as good, if not a more dynamic flow than the original.  Enter, Lil Dev, young, talented, and charismatic, this quick freestyle is just a taste of his lyrical tenacity over one of my favorite beats. Check the method.

San Francisco ‘HallowFest’ 2014!


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Click here for tickets

Halloween is fast approaching, and the city of San Francisco is known for its outlandish celebrations of the occasion.  From grown business men and women dressing in costume all day, to the infamous Castro block parties that used to run the city, All Hallows Eve is something major to look forward to if you’re a social being in the city.  This year the Set4Life event HallowFest is going down a Club Luxx, a brand new venue featuring two giant rooms, (Hip Hop, and EDM) and a buffet of music artists and DJ’s to keep the crowd rocking until 3 am.  (Almost every other club in the city closes at 2. that night)  So be sure to get your tickets as soon as possible.  Be warned that prices go up the closer Halloween gets.  Click either of the photos to get tickets today.

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Click here for tickets

DJ Storm – Sweet As Sugar (Pt. 1). The Sugar Cafe Mix.


 

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Click the pic to download the mix

San Francisco is home to many unique dining experiences and cafes that can be found nowhere else.  Sugar Cafe, in SF’s bustling downtown is a favorite among students, tourists, and city dwellers alike.  The unique ambiance provides a great working environment, and the menu can keep a person there all day for breakfast, lunch, and evening drinks.  The music at Sugar is also something that struck us, memorable, but relaxing, the impeccable selection is great listening, even if it serves as background music.  DJ Storm felt the need create a mix that payed homage to the cafe that has hosted some of his interviews, small events, friendly gatherings, and leisurely work space for the last 10 years.  Although the mix itself hasn’t been heard through the speakers in Sugar as of yet, it’s being played by DJ’s as far away as the North Pacific.  (The photo below is from DJ Jeff Phantom of Hawaii).  Click either of the pics to download the first half of this hour long relaxation mix.

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Click the pic to download the mix.

 

User Review: Neon Dreams – By Victoria Fisher.


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As we are reaching the mid way point of 2014, electronic dance music (better known as EDM) has progressively taken over the music industry. With concerts and festivals that fill the summer, no matter what coast you live on you are more than likely pumping your fist or nodding your head to some awesome beat drop.

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More well known DJs are now more often making longer songs that can last as long as over an hour straight; these are known as sets. The ability to keep somebody’s attention for more than the duration of a regular song (3-5 minutes) can be pretty difficult; especially if your music is not carrying a focus on the lyrical context. EDM is all about how the music makes you feel; the journey that it takes you and your mind on when listen to it. The Neon Dreams Compilation track by DJ Storm & Jeff Phantom (with a total duration of 1 hour 13 minutes and 30 seconds) does just that- takes you on an amazing musical journey.

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When I was first shown the track, I thought “Omg an hour?  Okay  well I’m already in for the night, I’ll just put it in on and let it rock.” And I did just that… best decision ever! The music is both soothing and energizing; the lyrics are not heavy in context but they provide just the right amount of coupling next to the beats that change consistently and smoothly. The next thing I thought about was how much I wanted to download it and go in at the gym to it! EDM music always helps me run like Forrest when I get on the treadmill and I knew that Neon Dreams was a perfect fit.

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As the song progresses, I became more entranced and excited to see what was coming next. Every song perfectly transitioned into the next, which is something that not every DJ is able to do. Transitions can really make or break a compilation and DJ Storm & Jeff Phantom straight up nailed it. Perhaps one of my favorite qualities of this song is that I want to listen to it at all hours of the day or night. Whether I am heading out to the club with my friends or just starting my work day at 8am, I cannot stop listening to this track. The music of it has become infectious in all the best ways possible. With dope beats and lyrics that partner it perfectly; Neon Dreams has easily become one of my favorite EDM compilations that I have ever heard. If it is any hint of how much I enjoy it; in the past week I have listened to the song in its entirety probably close to 6 or 7 times. That is not including the times that I started the song but was not able to finish it because I had to do other things (like work-LAME).

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DJ Storm & Jeff Phantom have made a pretty dope premiere of their musical abilities meeting. Neon Dreams is universally musically intriguing. As I write this at 9am I am definitely listening to it, beats bumping and fist pumping. Give the track a listen and be sure to let us know what you think!

 

Jeff Phantom x DJ Storm Present: Skrillex – Strangers (Edit)


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Click the pic for a free download.

Artists tend to have certain catalysts that spur them into doing good work at a hyper accelerated pace.  My good friend and fellow DJ, Jeff Phantom tend to be a catalyst for each other.  Phantom, being on tour, passed through the Bay, and we already have a multitude of projects to give out to the public.  The first of which is an edit of “Stranger” originally produced by Skrillex.  Take a listen below, and click the pic above for a free download.

Milla – Hell Yeah (Official Video).


Milla-Hell-Yeah-ArtworkThe first time I heard Milla’s “Hell Yeah” I remember thinking to myself, “I assume the video is just a grand amalgamation of things that would make me say hell yeah.”  The track itself features Clyde Caron, and was produced by Young California’s DJ ASAP, but the video features a laundry list of entertainers, comedians, models, fast cars, parties, and all the things that would make a sane man say “HELL YEAH”.  Check the method below.

Jeff Phantom – Strangers Find You.


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Click the pic to listen

Every group has times where doing their own thing is necessary.  Outkast put out two separate individual albums, Fergie had a career solo from ‘The Black Eyed Peas’, Lauren Hill has her ties to the Fugees, but still rocked out on her own, Gwen Stephani was quite comfortable making music without ‘No Doubt’… and then Robin went all Nightwing on Batman.  It makes a group proud when an individual puts musical magic out into the world solo style.  That being said, me and the entire Stark Contrast crew can’t stop listening to Jeff Phantom’s newest release “Strangers Find You”.  This eloquent mix of Seven Lions, MS54, and Zedd, can be found on Phantom’s Soundcloud by clicking the photo above.  Check him out.

Meme Monday.


-72You know what time it is… Meme Monday.

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Meme Monday #1.


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In my downtime there are several sites that I cruise, but the one thing that always keeps my attention is internet memes.  The internet has its own pseudo-culture that I just can’t ignore anymore, and every Monday from here on out, I’m going to post 20 of (what I consider) some of the funniest memes I’ve seen onto the blog.  Enjoy.02-412608929-21 -24 -36 -43 -45 -51 coffee-shop1-580x773 -7 3119958-3344257727-tumbl 02-1919950719

Garrion Black – Clarity Remix.


Artwork by ForrDesign

Click the pic to download

The ‘Dark Ice Cream’ EP peaked in success around 2.2 million downloads a few weeks ago, and Jeff Phantom, Rich Lyfestyle, Joe Major, Clayton William and myself couldn’t have been more pleased.  But with the success of the 5 track production, now comes the first remix of our remix.  The ‘Clarity’ remix, a track conceptualized by DJ Jeff Phantom and Rich Lyfestyle, had recently had some hip-hop pumped into its veins by Garrison Black, and the artwork conceptualized by ForrDesign demonstrates the new life of the song.  The multifaceted artist added his piece to the trap remix in spectacular fashion, and even cleverly shouted out every track on ‘Dark Ice Cream’ showing lyrical skill other emcees should be jealous of.  Click the pic above to download the new version via SoundCloud.