Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bicycle Day Weekend: Celebrating the Revival of Renaissance

It is a New Age. It is an Age of unprecedented change, an Age of inclusive spirituality without borders, an age of holistic approaches to higher planes of consciousness, an Age of Mind, Body, and Spirit. It is the age of the Visionaries.


This type of community-building mindfulness will be in full steam on April 19 and 20, for Bicycle Day Weekend at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Presented by Euphoric Conceptions, Challenger Presents, and Goldenvoice, this weekend of psychedelic showcasing is bringing guests back for another year of visionary transformation. What is it that is bringing us back exactly? It is the performance art and live painting by Alex & Allyson Grey? Or is it the line-up featuring the likes of Gramatik, Lotus, Opiuo, Star SlingerRandom Rab, Russ Liquid, and Exmag? Partially all and none of them, but let me explain.

Although we gained a lot at last years Bicycle Day, we also lost a few things. We gained insight into ourselves and San Francisco’s transformative communities; we lost ourselves only to find connections with others.

We watched our desire for materialism shed away, with each snapshot in time, as a snake sheds its old skin. Our refreshed flesh felt the intangible delights of artistic harmony and tranquil music. Our invigorated eyes twinkled with vibrational kaleidoscope patterns created by visual guru’s like Alex Grey. These are healing vibrations.

We look at paintings by Alex Grey, smell the fragrant flowers sculpted by Anthony Ward, or hear a stimulating crescendo by Exmag and nurture these countless seeds of joy at the venue. We smile and hug those around us; we go home better people. Perhaps that is what attracts us most to collective gatherings like these, for we all are striving to be a little better each day.

We learn not to control others, but control ourselves. Somewhere between the transformational music/art and new smiling faces, we keep discovering ourselves amongst the sacred rhythms. Amidst the perfection and chaos, it is simply us together as a community, and that is a beautiful thing.

Humans are expanding, for better or worse. Yet, our consciousness is also expanding; our consciousness is actually evolving. Along with unprecedented growth in populations, there has been unprecedented growth in networking, an unprecedented emphasis on timeless knowledge, cultural transparency, animal and civil rights movements, environmental sustainability, the necessity for healing, and especially art.

To some it all up, we are in a reawakening of consciousness. Between traveling, internet, social media, and journalism, we are furthering the transparency and understanding of diversified culture each and every day. It is a re-awakening; it is a Renaissance.

It is a re-awakening because many of the re-emerging qualities of Renaissance are already innate within all of us—mystical inspiration, emphasis on daily life, appreciation of the present moment, meditation, and especially intricate music & art.

Many people, including myself, believe we are entering a millenium of Love & Light, ironically the same name as a heavy-hitting electronica act that will be hitting the stage on April 19. Alex Grey has said, “Visionary art is a sacred manifestation of psychedelic culture” and this notion is to be shared with a spiritually awakened audience.

A group soul exists in which we create a new type of bonding based on love and creativity. This is what we are striving for at events like Bicycle Day Weekend.

It will be a harmonic convergence to say the least. We find ourselves attracted to Bicycle Day Weekend, most importantly, because of the sense of community it instills in us. There is no one face to the event because it is a communal centering station—a gathering point of creative civilization. This is a gathering point where intentions become realities, where conventionality is thrown out the window and intuition is embraced.

What type of music will be played? World music. Music of the Cosmos. AUM music, if you catch my drift. There is no genre or label to put on these musicians because they put none of themselves; if it makes you dance then roll with it. One artist that we already know will be rocking the sound of the cosmos will be Kalya Scintilla.



Deep in bass frequencies, depth in percussions and strings, Kalya Scintilla has continued to attract a devoted fan base through his emphasis on diversified world music. He constructs a fusion of indigenous sounds through a channel of synthesizers and strings to create a very unique vibration. Slightly ominous sounding in the nature of strings and glitch, Scintilla continues to fuze the mysterious unknown with dance inducing, gypsy bubble music.

He’s created the sound of ancient serpent movements, slowly winding and patient. This style of art often invokes the snake in our DNA helix—the cosmic serpent. His album entitled Eloquent Expansion is a prime example of these heady spiritual rhythms he conducts—an auditory shaman. For art is simply a vessel of expansion; these artists and musicians are making our journey a bit more fluid.

The Doors of Perception exist in all of us already, it is rather that we forget how to get there sometimes. That’s what Bicycle Day Weekend is for—fuel to the psychedelic fire, a gathering to remind us all of our primordial oneness. Through this reminder, hopefully many of us will realize our own potential to help others. For helping others, the planet, and all, is ultimately helping ourselves; they are one in the same.



As for the others on the line-up, a huge anticipation is waiting to see the funk-soul dance party of Gramatik’s Lowtemp label on Sunday. Though hardly just the polished sound of Denis Jasarevic, aka Gramatik, Lowtemp has recently blossomed into a formidable team of collective artists. The undercurrents of their music radiate rhythm and blues, while catching our ears with carefree experimental deliveries. Oakland local, Russ Liquid, will also be adding to the organic set when he joins Gramatik live on the trumpet on Sunday, April 20. He won’t be the only one with live instrumentals either.



Exmag, a five-piece band based out of Brooklyn, has emerged as a highly acclaimed force on the scene. Exmag’s debut album, Proportions, features 18-tracks of sexy, organic elements of disco. Lowtemp created a time vacuum back to the P-Funk era of psychedelic soul-searching, without compromising their contemporary electronica influences.

“It’s Just a Ride” and “Tilt Mode” are two of my favorite tracks from the album. “Tilt Mode” has a close place in my heart due to their featured artist, Brooklyn native Gibbz, on the track. Gibbz, also on Lowtemp, and also playing on Sunday, is ready to showcase his hard work as a longtime professional sound engineer.

Gibbz offers unabashed confidence in his lyrics, accompanied by the polished sounds of disco funk. His youthful song “Again and Again” is a fluid celebratory dance anthem. With rock n’ roll guitar breakdowns fading in and out, the groovy synthesizer melodies coalesce to create a futuristic funk vibration. Which finally brings me to one of my favorite bands close to home in New York, Lotus. These guys have exploded onto the forefront of the electronic jam band scene in recent years. Between their improvised crescendos, hip-hop to trance influences, and overall warmth of their fan base, Lotus is in a category of their own. I would have to write a whole other article to deliver a smidgen of justice to the quality and overall vibe of their live performances.

Many people would say that this is being optimistic about the direction of art and I would have to agree; the reasoning is that thinking is positive. Just like art, optimism is a creative process in which affirmations of positive thinking manifest themselves into successful pragmatism. It’s kind of like magic, really. By focusing our attention on the positive, our ambitions will materialize. So let’s focus on the positive.

We, as humans, have a responsibility to take part in creative activity and heal ourselves, others, and our planet. Bicycle Day is also Earth Day, so let’s show respect to the artists who do it on the daily. A whole is merely the sum of it’s party; a little guaranteed euphoria will never hurt.

Tickets for this year's Bicycle Day Weekend are on sale now and can be purchased here.

See Also:
Exclusive Interview with Random Rab
- West Coast Vibes With VNDMG
- Lotus' Jesse Miller takes new music and Beard-o-Bees at Camp Bisco 2013

1 comment:

Tiffany Milakovich said...

Somehow, your endlessly insightful language transports me to a place where there is no geographical distance between us. <3

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