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PRESCRIPTION: Dance with Your Eyes Closed

Posted on December 6 2015 by Patrick Blinkhorn

To kiss with your eyes open or closed – that is the question. If you kiss with your eyes closed, are you fully present in the moment? Many people would say no. Or do romantics kiss with their eyes shut so that they can hone in on the physical sensation of the embrace? I believe this latter argument to be the case.

You know you have made it as a DJ when your music selection inspires your audience to close their eyes while dancing. Similar to lovers, dancers close their eyes to eliminate their sense of vision. With eyes closed, dancers can better focus on hearing the music.

On entering Juan Zapata and Lalo’s Prescription, I closed my eyes. The music, atmosphere, and dancers unite to make Prescription an unforgettable experience. With eyes closed, you will better experience Prescription.

Last night’s Prescription party boasted a stacked lineup: Philco & Wave Age, Rosenberg, Jimmy B, Lisa Frank, and Team Zapata. A primarily house music-centered night, the DJs consistently selected tracks to keep the room at the secret Northeast DC location packed and lively.

Juan and I got a chance to step out of the cozy venue and talk about the party. We covered everything from the origins of the Dance Loft/Prescription parties to how more Washingtonians are getting hooked on the underground house and techno sound. Juan told me that over the eighteen-year period that he has been throwing and DJing parties in DC, there was a lull when people didn’t know where to go and underground dance music wasn’t well received. But this phenomenon has changed – these days, more partygoers are drawn to the underground house and techno sound. But what makes the underground parties Prescription, ROAM, and Deep Secrets unique?

When asked what made the Dance Loft/Prescription parties special, Juan immediately said, “the people that are here.” Juan has a point: the attendees, the DJs, and everyone involved with the Prescription party are there to have a good time and enjoy the music – they make the party. There is a strong sense of camaraderie among those in DC’s underground dance music scene; without this bond, DC’s dance community wouldn’t be as special as it is.

The next time you find yourself dancing to good music at Prescription, ROAM, Uhall, or wherever, close your eyes if they aren’t already. Take in the music. Feel the mood that the DJ is setting. Now open your eyes. Look at the people around you. You all make DC’s dance music scene exceptional. Remember that. You may close your eyes again.

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Smallpools at 9:30 Club on 10/18

Posted on October 16 2015 by Zach

Some sunny California vibes are on the horizon in D.C. as L.A.’s indie-pop outfit Smallpools is coming to town delivering infectious pop to the masses. Their blissfully positive, upbeat jams have been remixed and flipped by the likes of Manila Killa, Monsieur Adi, and Captain Cuts, but many will come to find that their alt-rock meets bubbly indie dance aesthetic will make the hairs on their arms stand straight up. And Hell – they’ll probably start grooving like baby Groot at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy.

The Blisspop team wants to get you in to see this show which is guaranteed to rock your face with a grin you can’t shake. Wanna know how to score tickets? It’s really simple:

  1. Like the official Blisspop page on Facebook.
  2. Shoot us a tweet on Twitter with the hashtag #Smallpools930 and tell us what makes Smallpools so cool. Is it their hair? Their style? Do they know how to make the perfect bacon cheese tots?
  3. We’re gonna pick a winner tomorrow night and will contact them by 8 PM.

We wish you all the best of luck and we hope to see you there dancing insanely.

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Neon Indian at 9:30 Club on 10/13/15

Posted on October 9 2015 by Zach

Alan Palomo’s passion project, Neon Indian, has been a remarkable product of genius since its debut in 2009 successfully putting forth a sensational blend of pop, psychedelia, and electronica that feels both timely and timeless. Currently on tour promoting his latest album, a collection of dance-by-way-of-hipsterdom tracks called Vega Int’l. Night School, Neon Indian is set to make a stop in our nation’s capital at the 9:30 Club where he’s prepared to share his newest psychotropic dance visions with us. And guess what? We want you to be there with us!

We are giving away 2 tickets to see Neon Indian’s show next week at the 9:30 Club. All you have to do is the following:

  1. Give the Blisspop Facebook page a ‘LIKE.’
  2. Send a tweet to @Blisspop with a caption for the photo of Neon Indian below.
  3. We will contact the winner on the evening of October 12 (10/12/15). 

TICKET GIVEAWAY | Viceroy at 9:30 Club on 9/18/15

Posted on September 14 2015 by Zach

Tropical house royalty is coming to town this weekend. Viceroy, one of the Kings of Summer Feels, is getting ready to beat up the 9:30 Club on Friday like a blender beats up pineapple smoothies. And guess what? We want you to be there.

We’re giving away a Viceroy Weekend Package featuring 2 tickets to the show on Friday, where the San Francisco native will be joined with Rainer & Grimm and Mr. Bonkerz, as well as some band merch so you can be all swaggered out while you celebrate the final days of summer. This is what you can do to score all this dope dopeness:

  1. Follow Blisspop on Twitter and/or Facebook.
  2. Submit an e-mail to us at BLISSPOP@GMAIL.COM with the subject header “Viceroy Tix.” In the e-mail, give us a caption for the following photo:
  3. Our favorite caption will be deemed the winner. Contest ends Thursday night (9/17) at 8:00 PM EST. We will contact the winner on Friday morning!

Good luck and be sure to check out Viceroy’s latest out now on Dim Mak Records!

CULTURE: U Street Music Hall Owner Will Eastman Announces Upcoming BLISS Party Will Be His Last

Posted on September 1 2015 by Zach

Will Eastman, the owner of U Street Music Hall as well as the driving force behind BLISS, one of Washington, D.C.’s nightlife institutions for the last 15 years, has announced that this month’s upcoming BLISS party will be the last. Deciding to end the party on a milestone, the party’s 15th anniversary, Eastman wants to move on to other ventures including a pending single releases in the next few months.

BLISS, which started out at various venues throughout D.C. including the Black Cat’s backstage, has featured many notable DJs over the years including Moby, MSTRKRFT, The Juan Maclean, Dusky in addition to marathon sets by Eastman himself (oftentimes as a means to raise money for various charities).

The last BLISS party will be on September 26, 2015 at U Street Music Hall. You can find the full press release below.

Saturday September 26, 2015 will mark the 15th anniversary of Will Eastman’s party, Bliss, and will be his last time hosting the event. The occasion will be celebrated with a 6 hour set from Eastman at U Street Music Hall.

The party is one of the longest standing dance parties in DC and has become an institution in the local dance music scene. Since its inception at the now-defunct Metro Cafe in September 2000, it travelled to the Black Cat Backstage for eight years, with occasional events at the 9:30 Club, and finally settled as a monthly party at U Street Music Hall in March 2010.

Aside from showcasing local talent, Eastman shared the decks with a number of globetrotting guests such as Moby, Maya Jane Coles, MSTRKRFT, Classixx, Holy Ghost!, Maceo Plex, and The Magician.

“It’s been an incredible privilege and honor to DJ this party almost 180 times since 2000. Bliss has been the genesis of many good things in my life, not to mention years of immeasurable fun. Thank you for supporting an open-format party like Bliss with the motto ‘no attitude, just fun and insane dancing’. It’s never been a better time to be a dance music lover in DC than it is in 2015.”

With 15 years under his belt, not to mention co-owner of U Street Music Hall, producing under the monikers Volta Bureau, PENTAMON and releases under his own name, Eastman has decided focus on music production and to take some time to “look for fresh inspiration, new challenges, and new opportunities.” He will continue to DJ at 9:30 Club, U Street Music Hall and other DC venues. “I’m looking forward to DJing other cities, hearing my friends play, and more time to dream up new ventures.” Nurvous Records will release the first of Eastman’s new tracks, “Sugar”, on September 14. A preview is available at http://soundcloud.com/willeastman.

Upon reflecting on the last decade and a half of Bliss, Eastman remarks “To all the dance music lovers, guest DJs, clubs, writers, promoters, family and friends thank you with all my heart. I named the party Blissbecause it was the only word I could think of that comes close to capturing my relationship with music, and now it will always be a word I associate with you. You’ve made this DJ very happy. Now let’s cook up something new. See you on the dance floor!”