Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Ano » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:53 pm

Okay, as a guy who has only been in 2011 and 2012, I fully expect to be crucified and exiled for this.

So, Official Burning Man events put on in SF feature almost nothing but 4/4 house music beats pumped out of loud systems. The Decompression is practically nothing more than a smattering of sound stages. Many, I'd dare say the Majority, of mutant vehicles in BRC are party-barges, blasting 4/4 house music or dubstep or something else dance-oriented. In the streets, on the Playa, at the big burns, at the small burns, there are hundreds of cars and places attempting to be a gigantic rave.

In the JRS, it talks about listening to playa DJ sets to decompress. Every single Burning Man event I've been to (equinox, new years eve, decompression, precompression) has either featured sound as a main thing, or is practically only sound.

Why is there so much ire for new sound stages and new sound vehicles? Is it because it's saturated? Because that's all I practically see. I'm not a participant of these places; I spend the majority of my week on the inner streets in neighborhood bars or in the Deep Playa, playing with art, but it really seems like the Burn is dominated by BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM and nobody seems to complain about it, and, in fact, people seem to make the Playa a destination for it.

Except, well, everywhere that isn't a Burn/regional. I've seen endless streams of hate on Eplaya, /r/burningman, SomethingAwful's Burn thread, tribe.net, etcetera. Anywhere where folks can discuss Burning Man, people hate on the electronic music.

I don't know, it's just something I've observed. Hell, I think this stage looks pretty cool. I won't go to it, but I'll probably look at it. So why the ire?
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:18 pm

least you could do is be original and not just copy paste....



oh wait....thats just one of the many things wrong with Digital Apex....



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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Savannah » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:24 pm

He didn't copy/paste--I split the thread, because his question was more general; not really about a specific 2013 Theme Camp.

Okay, talk amongst yaselves.
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:26 pm

i imagine it will be a hot topic.... :twisted:
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Savannah » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:27 pm

Likely!

ETA: If people have questions for/issues with Digital Apex they can ask them/say them in Digital Apex's thread (your response seemed specific) but if it's more general and philosophical, they can talk about it here.
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:30 pm

you're fucking with my narrative here, now i gotta call down and have them change the story board again...
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Elliot » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:45 pm

Ano wrote: Is it because it's saturated?

Maybe OVER-saturated.

Ano wrote: ...BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM and nobody seems to complain about it...

Hmmm... that's what quite a few of us are doing. But it is difficult to hear us over the THUMP THUMP in real life -- easier to see us on a puter screen.

Ano wrote: Anywhere where folks can discuss Burning Man, people hate on the electronic music.

I was in my camp repairing a bicycle or just relaxing or whatever when a group of much younger people came walking by, apparently returning to their camp. Suddenly the dominant THUMP THUMP in our part of town stopped. As my ears adjusted to normal, I heard the young folks exclaim: "It stopped! Finally! We got away from it! Oh, it's so nice now!"

I'm all for dancing to whatever music turns your crank. Freedom, ya know! But a person's freedom ends where another person's nose begins. In this case, eardrum.
Everybody on a dance floor should be able to hear the music good-n-loud. But any louder than that is just the disc jockey wagging his dick, showing how far he can pee. When I'm several blocks away and I cannot hold a conversation, or I camp in a quiet neighborhood and an uproariously loud sound mutant vehicle stations itself there... something is obviously wrong and that's what the ire is about. Thank you. :D
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:59 pm

One thing I've noticed here on ePlaya is that DJs get ragged on, hard. So do "hippies."

I've concluded that it's not a dislike of people who like electronic music or who surround themselves with peace signs and dreads, per se, but rather an intense dislike of freeloaders, who are perceived to come from the DJ and hippie quarters more often. Black Rock City is not built, run, and dismantled without a trace on "good vibes" and "wicked tracks" alone. The city needs people to build infrastructure, to work graveyard shifts, to make food and shelter, and to generally work their asses off. Also, we don't want to be cleaning up after irresponsible people who don't take a look a the bigger picture.

If all you're offering is your DJ skills or your "good vibes," you sure as hell better be the top of your class. That's a crowded market and frankly, I'd rather interact with some awesome art.

Elliot also brings up a great point: the music should be consensual.
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Ano » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:16 pm

I was very confused for a moment. "I didn't make a new thread!"...."oh. Okay!"

Sorry, I didn't mean to drift too much! Anyway, I want to expand a bit...

First off, I really want to make it clear that I am not and never will be, one of the folks who spends the majority of my time at sound/dance stages. I used to be a part of the fucking embarrassing "subculture," but I've since stopped taking ecstasy and realized that 4/4 beats aren't my thing. In fact, I'm much more of a 60's/70's rock guy. One of my dreams is to put on a 4am rock show out in the middle of nowhere... Imagine distorted guitars with blues-scales and a smattering of good ol' rock 'n roll to a sunrise. Oooooh, yeah....... okay, so I always wanted to be a Beatle growing up, shoot me. Anyway, I digress... I'm not a raver, however, I definitely appreciate the ambience that the boom-boom tends to give. It's a pretty neat effect to melt from one area to the next, keeping a nice constant thump-a-bump.

I can understand the "over-saturated" comment. In fact, I honestly through I wrote that... but I guess I didn't, sorry! It is everywhere... however, It really feels like, to me, that this sentiment is quiet, perhaps too-much-so. I read lots of it, but hell... I've honestly never seen anyone complain while I'm there. That's an entirely anecdotal experience, I know... but damn, I couldn't find a single person other than my lady who didn't want to spend the night at XXXXX sound camp here. It was impossible to drag anyone away. I guess this is the problem. I remember talking about a dream mutant vehicle of mine... living room on wheels, one of those airport-meal-trucks that lift up, so I could lift up the living room to the "second story," and put a hollowed out TV on the thing so that we could go around watching "Burning Man TV," .... and the first question I was asked by someone was, "Where you gonna put the DJ booth?!" So, I can see the over-saturation.

But, I mean... It seems like Burning Man thinks itself an EDM festival of sorts, if Marian Goodell's attendance at that EDMBiz conference in Vegas is any indication? Or, I dunno... "Marian Goodell pointed out that Burning Man isn’t really a music festival," at the conference, as well.

I tend to observe that folks will hate on the Boom-boom, but then will turn around and dance all night at the boom-boom or champion their favorite sound collective/mutant sound vehicle to everyone else, because they clearly do it right, whilst everyone else does it wrong. Then again, most veteran Burners I have personally met have been total and complete douchebags (but that's a whole other topic... seriously, I almost never wanted to return or even come in the first place if they were any indication, but I definitely found out that the majority of the community tends to be awesome).

Again, I want to make it clear, I do not support the EDM-ization of Burning Man, if that's a word. I've seen first-hand what these so-called "festivals" are like, and I definitely do not support the importation of that crowd into this crowd. We don't need kids staring at light-gloves, people grind-fucking on dance floors, and "SEX DRUGS DUBSTEP" hats polluting the atmosphere. I'd have way more fun if less was out there. I think the less-is-more principal would work out well here.

Perhaps there needs to be a sunset on sound-oriented stages/MVs for awhile, or the bar to bring a large-scale placed camp/mutant vehicle must be raised? But... then that would disqualify so many things that have apparently become staples of the Playa. I don't know.

I guess that since I've only been in 2011 and 2012, I don't even know what a dust storm looks like, I'm a freeloader, and I'm a cancer to the Burn, so, I'll be quiet and let you folks talk for awhile :)
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:20 pm

you are not the cancer Ano...


the big, mega buck superstar dj sound camps are.


now shut up, hippie, and get mommy her Inhaler...
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Elliot » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:38 pm

:D
You are making a thoughtful contribution to a useful debate, Ano.
Now grab your guitar and twang us some of that twelve-bar blues!
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Elliot » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:46 pm

DPTV wrote:... All acoustic instruments provide a welcome contrast to the usual excessive amounts of electronic music out there. ...

This was posted in the Flaming Bag Pipes thread earlier today. Just an example. :D
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:11 pm

To what extent does eplaya represent a skewed subset of burners who are (as a group) less enthusiastic about edm and the sound camps?
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Bounce530 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:45 pm

The hate is, IMO, keyboard commando stuff.
Like you, I do not frequent the big sound camps, and spend most of the time in the back streets. Although I love the boom, boom, boom of the city. To me it's the heartbeat of playa.
I'd much rather have edm playing constantly over a drum set that is set up for anybody wandering by to sit down at try to play, or the people that set up the drum set can and only play the same beat (badly, cause they say they are just learning) It could be worse...
Drums, Boom, distorted Sinatra, 5am opera, flame poofer whooshes just as your falling asleep, it doesn't matter, embrace it and love it. The event is so short compared to the rest of the year, this is the time for people to step out of their comfort zone, even if it all it means is listening to some noise pollution for a bit.


Then again, I'm drunk right now....
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby trilobyte » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:24 pm

I don't know if crucified is the right word so much as corrected in a few places, and maybe disagreed with (or agreed with, depending on peoples' points of views)...

Actually, official events are pretty heavy on live bands and performers. At larger events like decom they allow some camps to build their own stage, and in turn those camps are able to determine the programming that goes on there - but Burning Man's events/stages are usually pretty wide-ranging.

I also disagree on your assessment of mutant vehicles. I know I didn't ride or even see everything (and am pretty sure you didn't, either), but from our camp's vantage point (we were just off Esplanade at 8:30) at best maybe a third of the vehicles out there could be considered a "party barge" on its best day. Sure, lots had some amplified music, but an amplifier does not a party barge make. We enjoyed the ongoing parade of vehicles 24/7, and were amazed at the diversity of all things great and small (including some awesome party barges). Out in deep playa it's a different story - there the ratio of party barges goes way up, maybe to 3/4 of what I personally experienced. That's probably due in part to the bigger barges not being permitted for cruising the streets.

I don't think there's ire for all new sound camps or all new sound cars. There's probably a collective eye-roll, because a lot of those camps and have earned reputations as drawing in frat-party vibes that most burners want to avoid, long histories of poor LNT planning and execution, and in more recent years leaning really heavily on playing the fundraiser card (even moreso than most large scale sound camps and vehicles). The impression that they make is that they think they've got a great camp idea, now it's our collective turn as a community to pay for that idea. Lately it seems like there's been a flood of people who are looking at kickstarter and other fundraisers as cash machines. We went from a couple dozen fundraisers in our faces as recently as 5 years ago to a couple hundred fundraisers last year. And the amounts they're seeking are skyrocketing. As a result, people are going to be more critical. If a project is seeking public funding they put themselves up for public scrutiny - if they don't like it, they should reconsider their plans.

Personally, I like large scale sound - both at camps and on vehicles. If it's a self-reliant camp, awesome. If they've earned a good reputation (in my book) then I'll certainly do what I can to support them. If it's a new project and their plans and fundraising efforts seem appealing to me, I'll consider supporting it if I can but it's definitely not automatic. They're not entitled to anything, but welcome to try and earn my respect and support.

As for your comments regarding Marian's participation in a talk at EDC… The reason people confuse Burning Man with an EDM festival is because it has more music than any EDM festival, so surely it must be in that class. But it's not. EDM is a big factor, but big sound makes up less than 20% of what's happening in BRC. At EDM festivals, it's the other way around - music is at least 80% of what's there, art installations talks and anything else make up less than 20%.

If you think the event is skewed to be so oriented towards EDM, my advice would be to re-think how you spend your time. You could spend the entire week on the playa doing amazing things and having incredible experiences and meeting wonderful people and never even make it to the big sound neighborhoods or out to one of the big parties in deep playa. Start by doing that for a day. I don't know if I'd recommend a whole week avoiding big sound, just because personally I think what some camps and vehicles do is truly amazing and it'd be a shame to avoid what they do.
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:45 pm

i got nothing...


you pretty much summed it up.


i think the key word is balance, and i'm afraid it's been tipped lately and needs to find it's way to center again.
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Savannah » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:46 pm

Simon of the Playa wrote:i got nothing...


you pretty much summed it up.


i think the key word is balance, and i'm afraid it's been tipped lately and needs to find it's way to center again.


Agreed.
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby DoctorIknow » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:13 am

More than once over the years, I've woken up at 4am or so because it was totally quiet.
Very disruptive to my sleep patterns.
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Elliot » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:40 am

:D
We are creatures of habit. I grew up next to a subway train track, with a train passing every ten minutes. But if you had ever asked me when the last train went by, one minute ago or nine minutes ago, I would have had no idea.

A problem with sleeping in BRC is that everything is different. I live in an almost silent neighborhood the rest of the year, and it would take me much more than a week to get used to a different noise level. So I sleep poorly at BM. After a few days, that has a significant detrimental effect.

I enjoy music and festive noises as much as the next guy, but I hate stumbling around like a zombie by the end of the week. So the excessive thumping that many DJs “so willingly share” robs me of some of the enjoyment I paid for when I bought my ticket.

But I do adapt. It took me only a couple of burns to accept the brainless thumping that is always in the background, because it is symbolic of the event and all the enjoyment I derive from it. Now, during the other 51 weeks, when I occasionally hear thumping emanating from somewhere, I smile because it takes me back to BRC.

But everything within reason. I need to be able to have conversations with other burners, and I need to sleep. Sure, I am older than the average burner and my requirements in this regard are higher. I don’t deliberately go to a dance floor to dance – I break into dance wherever and whenever when inspiration strikes me. But I dare say I’m a “legitimate burner” – this year I repaired approximately 100 bicycles and volunteered 42 hours with Gate and Arctica. How many of those noisy disc jockeys and their young dance-enthusiasts bother, I might ask.

To me, Burning Man is primarily an experiment in community. To me, that community resembles an old-fashioned cozy small town or village, as sometimes portrayed in nostalgic movies. The baker lives upstairs from his bakery, the carpenter lives next-door to his shop, the coachman’s cottage is right behind his stable. I’m the village bicycle repairman, and I also participate in the village Volunteers.

One week a year I live this utopian lifestyle. Then I try to apply what I have learned in the default world.

All the art and general festivity is a fantastic bonus. But I would be there even if there were no music at all.

Am I a burner?

Is it legitimate for me to question the need for “nuclear” sound systems?

:D
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby DoctorIknow » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:52 pm

[quote="Elliot"]:D To me, that community resembles an old-fashioned cozy small town or village, as sometimes portrayed in nostalgic movies. The baker lives upstairs from his bakery, the carpenter lives next-door to his shop, the coachman’s cottage is right behind his stable. I’m the village bicycle repairman, and I also participate in the village Volunteers.
:D[/quote]

"A Stop at Willoughby" ????

(Twilight Zone reference,,,for the old folks...)
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Elliot » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:32 pm

:D
Or Mayberry, or the Shire in the Rings movie, etc. Even, to some extent, the little community outside Oslo where I grew up.

The doctor's office was in his house behind the curlicued wrought iron fence one block up the street. I walked there a couple of times after my biggest bicycle stunts. Expert gravel removal, no parents or paperwork needed.

The grocery store was at the street in front of our house and the grocers lived in the house next door, which was originally my grandmother's house. I worked in that store during summers.

Etc, etc. :D
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby unjonharley » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:25 pm

I have told this story before..

A MV music stage/party barge built on a long truck/school bus frame.. A night they would wander the streets blasting any sleepers out of the naps..

One morning I noticed it parked with all six tires flat.. It stayed that waay for the rest of the week..

I always seem to camp where the Pink Mammoth sound stage is.. It's nothing but boom boom boom.. Same beak on and on.. Then few seconds of Judy Garlin and back to boom. This I can sleep with.

What pisses me off.. Is after the "dj" has drop out 3-4 in the morning.. Some stoner crawls out of the dust and screws with the beat and wakes me up..
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:26 pm

My mutant vehicle has only a mild sound system by Burning Man standards, maybe 500 watts... the last year I was able to bring it (2008) I played almost exclusively Dean Martin music, and it went over extremely well with everyone - probably just because it was a relief from the same old thump-thump electronic stuff.
I do enjoy the techno-house-trance stuff, but people need something else sometimes!
I"m hell-bent on making it in 2013 and I'm thinking my playlist will have a lot of old rock & roll, I mean Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, you know, original rock & roll... or maybe some Air... hell maybe more Deano... whatever it is, it'll be something other than the same shit you hear at the big camps.
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby unjonharley » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:33 pm

That stuff you played in 2008 was a Fank sound alike and very dance able.
Great tunes

I sure some one else picked it for you.. Hate to hear what your poor taste will be..
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:42 pm

I remember you having a fine time dancing with a super classy lady on the back of my boat that year, ya sour-ass dog fart!
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby unjonharley » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:02 pm

Pick up some 1944 through 54 Hit Parade.. Swing,Jazz and Be Bop.. Along with Slow dance with the old greats..And a bunch of the Blues.. Should be able to mix some out of that..

Are you bringing that lame boat again?
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby some seeing eye » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:05 pm

Get a sound level meter, know what it means and how to keep it calibrated.
People aways have an exaggerated sense of the value of their broadcast "gift".
Don't assume that someone 50+ feet away thinks your gift is valuable, ask them in person.
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Re: Why so much ire for new sound stages & sound vehicles?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:10 pm

some seeing eye wrote:Don't assume that someone 50+ feet away thinks your gift is valuable, ask them in person.

Brilliant! I've never seen it expressed this way (or maybe I have and it didn't hit me the same way.) Just like any other gift, if you're pushing it on someone, it's not really a gift!
Simon's real sig line?

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