Maine Music Alliance Matches Flask’s Bottle Drive Donations w/ a $2,500 Grant

“We are proud to stand with Jessica and honored to be able to match her $2,500 worth of bottle collection with a $2,500 grant. These are real people who have sacrificed everything to open a business, and are now sacrificing everything else to keep it going. Please continue to donate, share, and amplify as much as possible so that we can keep doing whatever we can to help whoever we can. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the help thus far!” –Maine Music Alliance (MEMA)

Q&A w/ MEMA & Flask Owner

Jessica Nolette – Owner of Flask Lounge

MEMA: When/why did you open Flask Lounge? 

JESSICA: Flask Lounge opened in November 2007 when I was 27. My goal was to open a neighborhood sports bar, serving homemade pub-style food and welcoming everybody. I quickly discovered my vision for Flask was not in line with the Portland community’s hopes. Only months after opening, the disco ball returned, and we were dancing, singing (def not me), rocking out, and hosting events of everything in between. 

MEMA: How did the idea for the bottle drive come about? 

JESSICA: Since the pandemic started, our Resident Dj’s and Musicians have been streaming online fundraisers and encouraging donations via our website to help us with operating costs. It’s hard to ask for money, especially when so many people are struggling financially. The bottle drive was an idea I could accomplish as one person and offered a way for people who wanted to help us do so creatively. It gave me purpose and a mission. It’s a little out of the ordinary, but so is Flask. 

MEMA: Describe your day when you do your bottle route? 

JESSICA: The response was incredible. In one month, I completed 100+ stops from Augusta to Sanford and collected $2,500 worth of returnables. Masked up and gloves on, I met amazing people along the way, some of whom have never been to Flask: “I have a friend that loves your bar, and it means a lot to them. I’ve always heard great things, so I wanted to donate.” 

Jessica collected $2,500 worth of returnables making 100+ stops from Augusta to Sanford.

MEMA: Describe the financial reality of your business currently (to the extent you’re comfortable doing so). 

JESSICA: The apparent burden is having no financial income to cover costs while being closed for a time unknown. There’s been no insight, even after emailing Governor Mills and the City of Portland. Are we waiting for a vaccine? Why are liquor licenses not being pro-rated? We need truth and straightforward updates to mentally, emotionally, and financially prepare for our futures.

“It breaks me to be inside the emptiness that is Flask right now.”

I am at risk of losing staff who I love. The staff, dj’s, and musicians are the cement that keeps Flask solid and growing. Wondering what’s next and whether I should sell Flask, I have spent the last six months preparing and educating myself toward a new career. 

MEMA: What is your favorite memory of Flask? 

JESSICA: There have been far too many amazing memories to choose just one. But my absolute favorite part of Flask is the lifelong friendships built between those bricks, including the many friends I have made along the way. 

MEMA: What is your dream first show back? 

JESSICA: I am most excited about a full rotation of ALL our resident events: Karaoke, Open Dj Night, Sundaze, Monday of the Mondays, Love, Foundation, Friction, Black Friday, Primary, Shank Painters, Rewind, Mainely House, Future Classic, Coven Club (formerly Sub/Merge), Retro Night, Flannel, ThumpDay, Cherry Lemonade (Drag Show), No Gimmicks, As Above So Below Events, Bass Faces, and more! 

While I’m extremely eager to reopen, I will only do so when everyone is comfortable and confident with promoting, hosting, and attending events. It breaks me to be inside the emptiness that is Flask right now, but it would be devastating to reopen and risk the health of the Flask staff and community, as well as the health of our patrons.

Maine Music Alliance
A team of Maine music professionals and performers working to increase the awareness around the extraordinary live music venues of Portland and the tremendous impact their presence have in our local economy.

Please consider donating if you have the means. If you have nothing to spare then show you care with a share.


Proceeds Benefit: Blue // Sun Tiki Studios // Geno’s Rock Club // The Apohadion // Flask Lounge // St. Lawrence Arts // Mayo Street Arts

Jesse Duncan, Known As KID CALVIN, Schools Us On Graffiti

Kid Calvin @ Monday of the Minds

Rapper, MC, Producer, Artist, Writer, Lover of Calvin and Hobbes.

Jesse Duncan, also known as Khed/Kid Calvin or J.Dunkz, has been an artist for roughly 25 years, and was born in San Diego, and raised mainly in New York, Texas, and Maine (among other states). Recently, Jesse volunteered his time and created an epic mural in Flask’s downstairs bathroom, promoting messages of love and respect.


When did you first discover your love for art?

It was around 1987, at the young age of 6 or 7, when I started getting into skateboarding and it’s culture through the local teens from the housing complex I lived in at the time. They showed me how to draw and cut elaborate designs and logos on the griptape of skateboards. I was hooked with expressing myself through art ever since then. As I got older, I started getting into Calvin and Hobbes. I would cut comic strips out of newspapers and put them all over my walls. I eventually took to re-drawing all of those strips. Through the music I listened to growing up and all the skateboarding magazines I was reading daily, I started noticing graffiti. I got hooked on drawing letters, playing around and studying colors, as well as the freedom to think outside the box a bit and get funky.

Can you give us a brief history of graffiti culture?

Graffiti in some shape or form has been around for a long time (like ‘kilroy was here‘ and cave paintings), but it wasn’t until the early ’60s, that graffiti culture started taking shape. There was early Chicano gang graffiti on the west coast taking shape with their own letterforms. Around ’65, a guy writing ‘cornbread’ in Philly (Darryl McCray,) would walk the city bus routes spraypainting and writing his name on everything. Eventually, this would spread into NYC and surrounding areas. Primitive tags turned into more elaborate ones, then quick 2 colors ‘throw-ups’ or ‘stamps.’ Eventually evolving into more and more intricate pieces with 3-d’s and abstract designs, characters, backgrounds, and murals.

“In 1984, Mayor Wilson Goode founded the Anti-Graffiti Network and recruited McCray to help him stop the inner-city youth from tagging. The Anti-Graffiti Network eventually turned into The Mural Arts Program, the largest public art program in the United States.”

Has the culture changed in recent times?

It definitely has given the rise of social media. Before that, it was kind of a passed down trade in a sense, such as the unwritten rules, tools, tricks, tips, and stories about graffiti. Older, more experienced writers would pass down knowledge to the younger kids. There are still folks out there paying homage to the unwritten rules of graffiti, though. It’s also much easier to see what’s getting painted online these days, instead of having to go out and look for spots and hope you find graffiti-like it used to be. Now a lot of folks are missing out on exploring the city they live in. Many younger writers are in it for the quick fame these days without thinking about longevity. There are still folks out there paying homage to the unwritten rules of graffiti and doing things the proper way.

“Crack Is Wack” by Keith Haring at Harlem River Drive and E. 128th St. Keith Haring moved to New York from Pittsburgh in 1978. Eight years later, he created his “Crack Is Wack” piece on two sides of a handball court that sits beside the Harlem River Drive at E. 128th St. He created the piece during a time when HIV/AIDS and the crack epidemic were hitting the city hard. (Haring himself tragically died of AIDS in 1990 at age 31.)

How does someone earn the title of “Graffiti Artist?”

Writers is the preferred term, but, anybody who has a graff name and focuses on letterform, and then proceeds to put up their name continually, would be considered a writer. Writers and street artists are two completely different things.

What are your thoughts about tagging?

Tagging is gravely misunderstood from the viewpoint of outsiders. It’s the foundation of graffiti. Without it, there wouldn’t be the elaborate pieces and murals you see today. With graffiti, there are rules about where it’s appropriate to tag. Mom and pop shops/venues, schools, churches, houses, civilian cars are all off-limits. Tagging is deeply rooted in typography and handwriting. It’s based very much on understanding letter structure and form. Styles can be very different regionally too, and there’s a lot of rich history behind the evolution of certain handstyles. There’s a wonderful book called “Flip The script: a guidebook for aspiring vandals & typographers” I highly suggest if anyone is interested in learning more about it.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Bill Waterson, Learn, Rich, Jurne, Kerse, Mecro, Taste, Twist, Mone, Mes, Aves, Spek, trixter, daks, baser, aves, mes, cezanne, klimit, keith haring, jackson pollock, daks, soe, the solo artist, turdl, vane, write, neil geiman, jack kirby, bode, dondi, salvadore dali. The list could go on and on forever, there’s so many.

If you could share space for a mural with anyone, who would it be with, and what location?

Anyone of my close homies. I love painting with good friends and having fun vibing. I’ve always wanted to paint in Australia, Vancouver, Canada, and the pacific northwest. I love to paint in hidden spots away from the beaten path, preferably near water.

What’s one of the most significant challenges you face as an artist?

Time.
Between balancing work, being a dad, making music, and producing art, it’s really hard to find time for everything.

What are you most proud of?

The birth of my twins 10 years ago. Those little nuggets are my life.

• Shop Aqua Velvet Audio Merchandise: https://shop.spreadshirt.com/aquavelvetaudio/
Purchases will help support Jesse and his family.

What’s ahead for you in 2020 and beyond?

I’m trying to further my Aqua Velvet Audio brand by releasing more music, more art, more murals, collaborating, doing more shows, more community outreach, and possibly starting a clothing line. Other than that, raising my kids and working on myself every day.

Your favorite lyric?

This is the hardest thing for me, haha. I loved so much different music over the years, so many genres, moods, and feelings, it’s hard to pick a favorite.

Favorite Color?

Sea Foam Green

A word you think is funny?

Discombobulated

Tell us a secret?

“Loose lips sink ships”

If you enjoyed reading this blog please consider making a small ($1 – $5) donation to help us through this crazy time & Commission Jesse for future projects at Flask.

To Connect with Jesse/Kid Calvin

| Email | Facebook | Instagram | Aqua Velvet Audio |

• Check our Jesse’s monthly mix, DRIP MIX, under his producer name J.DUNKZ. 20 Minute Mixes Release Every Month!
https://jdunkz.bandcamp.com/

• Follow Kid Calvin On Bandcamp
https://kidcalvin.bandcamp.com/

Daily Coronavirus Updates

Covid-19
Covid-19
Coronavirus Preparations

UPDATED ON MARCH 29th 2020

We miss you! We hope everyone is staying safe, healthy, and making smart decisions to STAY HOME! Many resident DJs are keeping the music bumping, and spirits alive via live streaming. Check out our live streaming page for updates!

UPDATED ON MARCH 16th 2020

I love my staff and the community. Limiting our capacity to 50 people, and ignoring science and the recommendations of Dr. Anthony Fauci seems irresponsible.
FLASK LOUNGE Will Be Closed Until…?
Join our mailing list via our website. I will provide daily coronavirus updates, news, and resources here.
Thank you to those reaching out in support. Please be safe and practice patience and kindness. ❤️- Jessica

UPDATED ON MARCH 13th 2020

• Flask will be systematically cleaned and sanitized daily until the threat of coronavirus has subsided.
• The hood fan will be used to increase circulation.
• The community water jug will be removed.
• We are putting up signs educating people about how to prevent the spread of germs.
• We encourage patrons and staff to stay home if they are sick, have health risks, or have traveled to high-risk countries and states.
• We will update our website and FB page in the event of cancellations and operational changes.


POSTED ON MARCH 2nd, 2020

It’s essential everyone takes precautions, not panic, and become educated about the virus. Here’s what we are doing.

  1. Staying healthy! If you’re not feeling well, being proactive and getting shifts covered is crucial. No one should come to work if they have flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath.
  2. Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  3. Cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands. Keep hands away from eyes, mouth, and nose.
  4. Clean, Clean, Clean. Bleach is our friend. Now more than ever, we need to be cautious of frequently touched surfaces such as countertops, doorknobs, sink/toilet handles, iPad/computer screens, tap handles, light switches, seats/benches, to name a few.
  5. We will plan to be open and operate per usual with the guidance of the CDC and the City of Portland.
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html
    https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/all-health-advisories.shtml
  6. If the time comes that businesses such as ours are recommending to close; we will close until it’s safe to re-open.
  7. Do not panic. We should anticipate fear, anxiety, and the spreading of misinformation. I predict a decline in sales and tips over the next several months. It is not necessary at this time to encourage staying home (unless people are sick). Let’s continue to promote our events.
  8. Prepare yourselves at home for a minimum 2-week quarantine. Here’s a checklist of recommended essentials: https://www.syracuse.com/health/2020/02/coronavirus-checklist-is-your-home-ready-for-new-china-virus-quarantine.html
  9. Please consider subscribing to email updates from the CDC and Maine Center for Disease and Health. Let’s stay up-to-date and actively communicate.
  10. If there is anything missed that you would like to add, please comment below.

Meet Your NYE 2020 DJ’s & Hosts of OPEN DJ NIGHT

Resolutions, lessons learned, insights to get gigs, the importance of Tuesday nights at Flask, what to expect on NYE, and fun bonus QnA’s w/ APG, G-Force, Harlock, and Kid Ray! New Year’s Eve falls on a Tuesday, landing on our weekly Open DJ Night. I thought, why not ask our Open hosts to take over and lead us into 2020 Flasquerade style.

What has your experience been as a host of OPEN? Is OPEN vital to the DJ community?

Andrew Paul (APG): When I heard Open needed a host earlier this year, I jumped right on the opportunity, for the main purpose of keeping the night going. It has been vital for the scene and should not be taken for granted. For newer and older DJ’s alike, it allows us to play out, and connect with others. It’s been an honor to host.

Andrew Paul (APG) – Follow on Facebook

Gina Hesse (G-Force): I got my first real electronic music gig because of Open back in 2012. I owe a lot to Open, and I think it is vital to the Maine electronic music scene. It helps bedroom DJs get a chance to break out of their comfort zone and potentially get gigs out of it.

Gina Marie (G-Force) Follow on Facebook

James Spinney (Harlock): I’ve been lucky to be a part of Open since Kid Ray’s induction in 2013, attending the first few Open’s as a patron and occasionally signing up to DJ. Open had been an immediate success in the scene, encouraging both veteran DJs and hopeful beginners to come out and spin their passions for an eager crowd, and I was no exception. As a producer first, and DJ second, Open was especially magical for me as it provided a platform to show off the music I had been producing over the years. To help support Open, several of the regular DJs, Carl Fisher, Moses, A Dude Named Ray, Dj Cougar, as well as Kid Ray himself, would help by providing the necessary equipment to host the night. I ended up picking up a pair of new CDJs to provide some relief for the rotation and become a regular co-host. The rest is history!

James Spinney (Harlock) Follow on Facebook

Christopher Ramos (Kid Ray): I was the primary host for six years up until this year, I host the first Tuesday of the month. I love every Tuesday, one way or another. Once, a guy tried playing a set with two cassette decks. This forum offers new and veteran DJs and Artists a chance to hone their talents with their peers.

Christopher Ramos (Kid Ray) Follow on Facebook

Flask receives 100’s of booking requests each month from bands and DJs. I imagine this number is equivalent to other venues in Portland. What’s the best advice you can give to up and coming musicians who want to break out and book gigs at Flask and other local venues?

Andrew Paul (APG): When I was a newer DJ, Open was vital for me. It gave me a way to practice outside of the bedroom, and at the same time, network with other DJ’s attending. That alone helped create paths for new gigs.

Gina Hesse (G-Force): I’d say, if you’re a DJ or producer, get to Open. It is the ONLY Open DJ night in this area. I know that I have booked DJ’s that I have heard at Open, and they have gone on to other things. As far as other music genres, make demos. Get your name out there. Go to open mic nights and make yourself known. You will never be heard if you don’t get out there and perform for the masses!

James Spinney (Harlock): One of the most important things you can do is come out and show support for the events being hosted at the venue. Network with regulars, talk with the promoters and get a few attendances under your belt before hunting down a gig. If you’re a DJ, then definitely swing by on a Tuesday and sign-up for Open (sign-ups start at 8:30, so get there early!). Often there will be regulars and veterans who frequently host or DJ events attending Open, so giving them a preview of your talents can only help! Many of the veteran DJs are more than willing to give upcoming artists a shot. G-Force specifically has a fantastic track record of showcasing phenomenal artists that otherwise have gone unnoticed. If you run into her, say hi, and introduce yourself, it’ll be the smartest thing you do that night.

Christopher Ramos (Kid Ray): If you want it, you have to shoot your shots as professionally as possible. Be present and available.

It’s open mic, but for DJs. Bring your Records, CDs, or Controller. All formats/genres are welcome. Every Tuesday at Flask Lounge 117 Spring St. Portland ME with hosts Kid Ray, G-Force, Harlock, APG. Sign up starts at 8:30 pm sharp.
Join the OPEN FACEBOOK GROUP PAGE for all updates and details.

The decade is almost over. It’s been a wild one. Can you share one lesson learned in the last decade you will take with you into 2020?

Andrew Paul (APG): Be yourself. Keep your craft authentic, and to not compromise that for what might be trending. If it makes you move, it surely will make others, too.

Gina Hesse (G-Force): One HUGE lesson I learned this decade is to never take anything for granted. Not your family, not your house, nothing. LOVE every day and stay focused and motivated.

James Spinney (Harlock): It’s important to have balance in your life, Jackie Chan once said (in a very cheesy remake of The Karate Kid) “Wù jí bì fǎn”; too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Focusing on your passions is important, but it’s also important to make sure you’re financially stable, have a good job, and to make healthy lifestyle choices. We all want to live the dream and believe our passions alone will keep us afloat, but the reality is even the most successful of us aren’t DJing or producing music full-time. Find a balance that works, and if you feel yourself slipping in one direction or another, realign yourself and assess what is most important right now.

Christopher Ramos (Kid Ray): Pay attention to other people’s personal space.

What are your 2020 goals? Resolutions?

Andrew Paul (APG): To keep sharing the music that I love, one event at a time.

Gina Hesse (G-Force): To quit drinking.

James Spinney (Harlock): I was lucky enough to find the love of my life through the music scene, and last May, we tied the knot. Going forward into 2020, we hope to continue saving up and with any luck purchase our first house so we can start working on having a family. If stars align and fortune favors me, I’d like to go on a trip to spend a week in Japan.

Christopher Ramos (Kid Ray): My goals for the new year are to pay more attention to my own needs, wants, and happiness. I tend to put others ahead of myself.

What can we expect from you on NYE?

Andrew Paul (APG): I will be warming up the night early with some soulful drum n bass vibes. It will surely get you moving!

Gina Hesse (G-Force): House and bass vibes that are certainly going to keep you dancing!!

James Spinney (Harlock): Well, House Music has always been a soft spot for me. Even though my DJ roots go way back to my days as a host for dnbradio.com, I’ve always been a House music producer first and foremost so… I suppose you’ll have to come out and find out for yourself on New Year’s Eve what I picked!

Christopher Ramos (Kid Ray): Tribal/Latin/Disco

**Bonus Round**

1. Thick crust or thin crust?

Andrew Paul (APG): I’ll eat both.
Gina Hesse (G-Force): Thin
James Spinney (Harlock): Stuffed Crust!
Christopher Ramos (Kid Ray): Thin


2. Ice cream cone or cup?

Andrew Paul (APG): A cone-shaped like a cup!
Gina Hesse (G-Force): Cone
James Spinney (Harlock): Waffle Cone
Christopher Ramos (Kid Ray): Cup

3. Dogs or Cats?

Andrew Paul (APG): A cat that acts like a dog.
Gina Hesse (G-Force): Cats and Wiener dogs 😂
James Spinney (Harlock): I have a Ball Python so… Snake?
Christopher Ramos (Kid Ray): Both

4. House or Bass?

Andrew Paul (APG): Bass. But not strict to any genre.
Gina Hesse (G-Force): BOTH!
James Spinney (Harlock): BOTH!
Christopher Ramos (Kid Ray): House (mostly)


Flask Merchandise Available w/ FREE SHIPPING!

Prominent Indianapolis House DJ, Slater Hogan (first-time in Maine), is about to ACE Flask Lounge this Friday Night.

Slater Hogan heats up Flask Friday, November 22nd.

You started DJing in 1998. How has becoming a father impacted your career as a DJ today?

It’s almost the other way around. It is DJing, as my career that allows for a flexible work schedule. I was able to be around Jack (my son) all the time during the day. Most parents who work 9 to 5 don’t get that opportunity. Jack’s mom always says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” We have a great support system helping out when I’m working the late-night hours.

Dad & Jack ✌🏼via Instagram

You’ve performed all around the world. You’ve released 100’s of tracks on various labels. What brings you to Flask Lounge?

My friend Zebo told me how great the vibe was at Flask the night he played, and he put me in touch with Mikey (DJ Phaded), and we were able to work it out. I’ve never been to Maine. So I am excited to see Portland and get down with everyone!

I’m ashamed to admit I had no idea just how prominent he was in the midwest house music scene, so being able to host him as my guest DJ at Flask is extremely exciting.

-Mike Dear (DJ PHADED)

How can small venues, like Flask, help keep the EDM scene growing and vibrant without having access to piles of cash and charging high priced covers? 

I am co-owner of the Patron Saint in Indianapolis, and our capacity is only 185. We understand the small club mentality. I think the intimate venues allow DJ’s to go deeper into their crates and play stuff they may not play on bigger stages. When the rave culture started, it was more about the music than it was about LED walls and EFX. The EDM scene has taken electronic music and turned it into a rock concert with all the confetti, CO2, fire, etc. I’d much prefer to play a dark, intimate room with people that appreciate House music. 

What lights you up as a DJ, and what makes you roll your eyes and shake your head?

I love it when the crowd recognizes the blend. When I first started playing overseas, I noticed the crowd would whistle when two records were blending together and creating a better groove then the records playing individually. They were so knowledgeable about DJ culture. You don’t get that a lot in the States. I guess my biggest pet peeve would be people who request a song by pulling it up on their phone and shoving it in your face lol.

What’s your favorite track you have produced? 

Probably my remix of Truman Industries “Love Plus” It’s a fun, jazzy, disco vibe but also shared remixing credits on that release with Derrick Carter, and he’s always been a significant influence in my style. 

It’s a Friday night, and you have no plans. What are you doing?

Finding a dive bar with a great jukebox and deep tequila selection.

Do you have any hidden talents? 

A lot of people don’t know that I played tennis at Butler University and have been teaching tennis for 30 years. 

What kind of tequila should I buy for your upcoming show at Flask on November 22nd? 

Uh oh! Haha. Maestro Dobel Diamante is one of my fav’s. But I also love Fernet. 

What are your upcoming shows? Anything I can help promote? 

SWEAT @ Flask Lounge in Portland, ME! Let’s blow it up!

Join us this Friday for Indianapolis House Dj Slater Hogan takes over!
Live at Flask Lounge on November 22nd. SWEAT

The best way for people to connect with you and listen to your music? 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/djslaterhogan/

IG: www.instagram.com/slaterhogan

SoundCloud and Mixcloud 


Mr. Dereloid No Hype, Just Substance

I often forget Dereloid’s name. Is it Darryl or Darrell Tapley? 🤷🏼‍♀️
To most, we know MR. DERELOID as a skilled veteran DJ, loyal friend, and talented graphic artist.
Portland, Maine, is damn lucky to have him.
If Dereloid is not making you dance your ass off, he’s presumably making you laugh your ass off. Dereloid hosts Foundation Friday (8 years and counting) at Flask Lounge. What makes the Portland EDM scene so unique? What chaps his ass? Is substance, in fact, greater than hype? Advice to upcoming DJs, these answers, and more to some “massive questions!”

Mr. Dereloid No Hype,
Just Substance

How do you describe Foundation Friday to a stranger?

When I describe my night to people, it usually sounds like this: I say I play underground dance music. No radio stuff. House, techno, and all tasty sub-genres within. If they don’t know what I mean, I say it feels like a disco for robots. I do play actual disco and nu-disco, electro, breakbeat, afrobeat, synth wave, acid house, acid techno, and on and on. I also tell them the crowd is a nice mix of young, older, open-minded people of all genders and orientations. It is a safe space. Dance culture has always had roots in a welcoming and safe community.

In your opinion, how does the Portland, Maine electronic dance music (EDM) scene compare to cities like New York, Chicago, LA?

Having a long history with this subculture and being involved in it here in Maine since the ’90s, many answers come to mind. I will try to keep this brief to avoid writing a novella. The culture/scene has mutated into a strange tainted animal in large markets, and even here on some levels.

Up until recently, DJ’s were not viewed as rock stars on bright stages like they are now. One had to look around to find the DJ booth. People would get down on the dancefloor and experience the DJ’s sermon on their terms, dancing with other people and alone. Since the internet and social media have infiltrated everything in our society, changes have occurred. People are gazing at the DJ booth and dancing way less or not at all.

Also, It is VERY hard to find success in terms of touring and earning a living from having worthy DJ skills. If one doesn’t get attention from making music, being a producer, and releasing it on labels that get national/international hype, it is EXTREMELY rare to be able to live off being a great DJ.

The most special aspect of Portland’s underground scene to me is people come out and truly get down without being influenced by razzle-dazzle big-name hyped-up headliner events. We haven’t had large budgets or large venues, enabling us to be able to do large scale pricey events. Our loyal followers and community are the real deal Grassroot UNDERGROUND. There are people influenced by the hype over substance approach. But, for the most part, Substance > Hype is the way of the walk here. In large markets, you see locals struggling to fill rooms. You see people coming to events late for the big-name guest and missing the hard-working locals that play early sets. Our followers and community trust that we care about curating quality for them. I value that IMMENSELY. So, if you’re reading this and attend my events. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxo

Foundation’s Mr. Dereloid with Mainely House curator and guest DJ Connor Holmes. ✌🏽

All our lives are continually changing and evolving. Over the past few years, what are some significant changes you have experienced as a human and longtime DJ?

Geeeeez. This is a massive question. I won’t attempt to tackle the part of the changes I have experienced as a human outside of how that relates to djing. YIKES. I can say I no longer take gigs of which I am not fully interested. I realized the fest/rave hybrid scene isn’t for me. I stick to places with walls where I can control the vibe with people who genuinely want my product. A late bloomer, but I no longer get drunk when I DJ. Ha. I don’t book guest DJs out of pressure. I am strict on curating musical experiences through the guests I select.

Tell us what burns your tail feathers?

One thing quickly comes to mind. The 1 am end time here in Maine chaps my ass for sure. It is almost 2020 for crap’s sake. We can handle 2 am, at least. People want it. I am confident businesses wish to have the extra hour of sales too. Many people (who are working!) don’t make it out till 11-11:30 and even midnight. Poof, it’s done. LAME. After hour spots pop up here and there and vanish. I would love to join forces with a group of people to start a petition. Maybe the city would listen.

When Is Last Call in all 50 States?
https://www.thrillist.com/culture/when-last-call-every-state
“According to stateliquorlaws.com, Maine, Delaware and Utah were the only states listed there that had a strict, statewide cutoff time of 1 a.m when bars must stop serving alcohol.”
-via News Center Maine 2016 Article

Do you foresee yourself ever producing an album?

Yes. I have periodically focused on studio productions over the last decade or more. I am always collaborating with long-time friend, Highkoo. New original works are part of my winter plan. Overdue. We have had music releases on different labels over the years without really trying to develop our sound. This needs to change.

What’s one track guaranteed to light up any dance floor?

Again, a massive question. The overwhelming amount of music I have and continue to get makes it hard to give an easy answer. Here are a few sure shots for me lately.

  • States Of Mind – Elements of Tone (Richie’s Dream Mix) this is from 1990. Ha
  • Frits Wentink – Space Babe from this year
  • Jensen Interceptor – The Fontainebleau – Original_Mix from 4 yrs ago?
  • And this slow, playful sugary thing – Look Like – B.A.B.E.

Who is your dream B2B partner? What dream venue?

Hmmmmmm. Dream B2B partner(s) Derrick Carter out of Chicago. He dwells in the housier side of the styles I love — any venue but preferably in his town of CHI-TOWN. Then I would say UK og, Paul Woolford, aka Special Request. Again, any venue. He plays Detroit electro style music I love. Both DJ’s are TRUE SCHOOL badasses in the booth. No hype. No laziness. Raw energy. This style is my approach.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to the next generation of DJs?

NO half-assing it when it comes to the art of djing with emphasis on beatmatching, creative mixing, and use of the eq knobs. Create something new as opposed to lazy transitions to the next songs. And DIG for music. There is so much meh music easily found online. So, AT LEAST DIG DEEP THRU THE CRAP to find the hidden magic out there. Trust me. It is worth it. And lose the hype machine aspect. Let your product and aesthetic and talent do the talking. Also. Don’t be a jerk.

What is the best way people can connect with you?

Reach out to me through my Foundation group page on Facebook. It is where I do all event promo.

I make sure to be approachable while out at events, and at my own. I am just a person. I care about relationships. Community is a crucial part of this scene and life in general. Say HI if you see me. xoxox

Follow Dereloid on Instagram @darrellllloid

What are your upcoming gigs?

  • My Foundation Party is every second Friday at the underground temple, Flask. The next one is on November 8th.
  • Flask’s 12 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY, November 9th.
  • I am djing an all-night, old school styled warehouse event in Providence, R.I., on Friday, November 29th.
  • Saturday, November 30th, in Boston, MA. An all-night event featuring old school DJ veteran Jason Hodges out of Toronto with other New England vets.  

Let’s do this thing y’all. Thanks for the continued love and support.
It takes a village.

Blogs are curated by Flask’s Owner, Jessica Lea Nolette.
She is also the Founder of My Mindful Motivation, a source for inspirational storytelling, community, and the creator of Mindbosa — a free goal tracking and savings tool.

Portland And Flask LOVE Jamie O’Sullivan



Portland And Flask
LOVE Jamie O’Sullivan

Love is about to celebrate nine years at Flask Lounge. What does this milestone mean to you?

It means that Time Flies!! It also means it’s about to embark on its tenth year, and that makes me feel proud. Proud that the thing I started is still here, growing, and as much fun as ever.

How do you describe LOVE to a stranger?

It depends on if they’re an Enthusiast (a head) or not, but in general, I say it’s a dance party focused on underground electronic music with a very eclectic crowd. All ages, sexual orientations, gender identities, races, and socioeconomic statuses.

LOVE is the first Friday of every month at Flask Lounge.

How does the Portland dance scene compare to other cities?

Portland has a rich history in the dance club and gay bar culture since the ’70s. Punk, rock, and dance club culture were prominent in the ’80s, and then rave hit Portland in the early ’90s. That’s considerably early in American rave history. It’s real here and has a unique personality that differs even from other New England states. It’s a wicked tiny community due to the population and popularity of underground dance culture.

Do you envision retiring or passing Love’s torch?

No. Not at the moment. My original goal was to try at least and make it ten years, which is coming right up. If there’s still a crowd and I’m still able, I’ll be here doing my thing.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I like to think I take ok photos.
Instagram.com/jamesalton

Check out Jamie O’Sullivan’s latest mixes on SOUNDCLOUD and MIXCLOUD.

How can people connect with you?

For Bookings Contact Me @ 207.318.7895

What are your upcoming shows? 

Corbin Loves Drum And Bass



Corbin Loves
Drum & Bass

Flask Lounge, Portland Pride. Photo By: Jennifer Breton

Do you remember 180BPM? Aside from Karaoke, I believe this was our first resident dance night at Flask. Caitlin Flynn, best known as Corbin in the Portland DJ circuit, was one of the hosts of 180BPM. Corbin is a member of Resonant Sound, a collection of DJs, producers, and bass aficionados. Corbin and crew host Friction Friday on the 3rd Friday of every month at Flask Lounge. Would Flask have dance music if it wasn’t for Corbin? It’s something I wonder.

Tell us about Friction Friday, and what makes this night so unique?

Friction Friday is a multi-genre night hosted by Resonant Sound where you can get a taste of everything, including Drum & Bass. Our residents are me, G-Force, Undrig, Andromedv, and Moses. We are the only regularly occurring night north of Boston that features Drum & Bass, along with other super talented guest DJ’s bringing house, breaks, dub, and bass music.

The next Friction Friday is November 15th and will feature: Soappy (Tight crew), Andromedv (Resonant Sound) & G-Force (Resonant Sound, NEJunglists, Scientific Sound). Click here for more details.

It’s a rumor that EDM culture is dying. Do you think this is true? How can we keep EDM alive?

I don’t think electronic culture is dying at all; in fact, I believe it’s just coming to the forefront in the USA. All those pop songs on the radio, what’s the beat behind it? Electronic. Lots of house. We may be behind in Maine, but it’s alive and strong in the rest of the states. Keeping coming to shows, bring your friends, dance, and spread the word.

What is your favorite piece of equipment you own?

My Technics.  I love my turntables.

Atlantic Event Design is owned by Caitlin Flynn (DJ Corbin) and is based out of Windham, Maine. A hard-working lady DJ providing professional services for all occasions!
Learn More About Booking Corbin

Aside from pooping, how do you prepare for a show? 💩

Ahh, yes. My nervous ritual. After I poop 20 times or so, most of my preparation is getting some new fresh tunes and getting up to the decks to wing it. I’ve found if I prepare too much, I’m not reading the crowd. The dancers are why I DJ, and they’re the real reason why we can do what we do.

What advice would you give to an up-and-coming DJ?

Cover your screens and BPM counters and use your ears. LISTEN to the music, feel the music. Don’t let technology do it for you because once you stop looking, you’ll hear things you’ve never heard before on some of your favorite tracks.

If you were free tonight and could see any DJ perform live, who would it be? 

Jenna & The G’s .. she’s a Drum & Bass vocalist and has brought a band together to play tunes. Check it out.

What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a DJ?

Favorite: Getting the dance floor hyped on Drum & Bass
Least Favorite: People waving drinks above my equipment or hanging on the DJ booth shaking everything. Hands-off and drinks away people!

What’s a hidden talent of yours? 

I’m a dang good whistler.

What are your upcoming shows? 

Corbin’s latest mix – FALLIN’ on SOUNDCLOUD

How can people connect with you? 

There’s Just One DJ Cougar

DJ Cougar has been DJing 35+ years and has been a Karaoke DJ for 18 of those years. He’s played 1,822 shows (not including private events), and yes, he keeps track! Will we ever know the truth behind his DJ name and staple bandana fashion? Wayne Smith, aka DJ Cougar, shares tales of what it takes to be a Karaoke DJ, the most popular and dreaded song requests, and how Karaoke can boost your confidence. 

There’s Just One
DJ Cougar

At last! Tell us where, when, and how Wayne Smith became DJ Cougar? And when did your infamous fashion staple, the bandana, become a tradition?

The name DJ Cougar was bestowed upon me while I was in the Army stationed in Washington, DC. There are many stories behind the origin of the name. My favorite is that I won the lawsuit against John Cougar Mellencamp and got my name back.

The bandana originated in high school and returned in the early/mid-’90s while working in a kitchen in Raleigh, NC. I ended up with what was known as the Budweiser collection, which I referred to as my corporate sponsorship. After moving to Boston in ’96, Harley Davidson replaced Budweiser. The bandanas with my logo finally came in 2008.

There are many people afraid of karaoke. Do you think karaoke helps self-confidence? Do you have any stories of a shy person evolving into a confident, karaoke superstar?

Once you start with karaoke, you’ll either love it or hate it. Most people get hooked after doing a couple of songs with friends and then go solo. It’s an adrenaline rush when the crowd cheers for you. I would say that yes, karaoke does help with self-confidence. I’ve watched a few people through the years go from timid and shy on the mic to belting out songs you wouldn’t imagine them trying. Nobody has risen to “Karaoke Superstar” status, but some have become extremely good. The “Superstars” usually have a musical background (high school, theater, etc.) by the time I meet them. Regardless of singing capabilities, my shows are for everyone to have fun.

Karaoke is perfect for holidays, birthdays, or any special occasion.
Book a karaoke night here.
Photo credit: Old Port Pub Run captured by Chelsea Peterson.

What are the top 3 most requested songs? What are the top 3 most dreaded songs requested?

The most requested songs change over time. Currently, it’s Mr. Brightside – The Killers, What’s Up – 4 Non-Blondes, and Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen. The dreaded 3 for me are anything by a boy band, Piano Man – Billy Joel, and Love Shack – B-52’s.

Do you think people assume being a Karaoke DJ is easy? Take us through a busy night and share just how much skill, work, and patience it takes to be successful in this particular genre of entertainment.

Most people think it’s easy, and they don’t realize how much is involved with running a show. We are averaging 54 songs during a 4-hour show at Flask, which is high speed. Most hosts would lose their minds trying to handle the large rotations. I’ve been doing this for so long that it has become second nature to me, although I do admit to having meltdowns.

Once the show starts, it’s not unusual for people to turn in requests all at once. I try to keep them in order while adding songs to the queue and bringing singers to and from the stage. Add in trying to keep audio levels balanced between music and microphone and lining up bumper music (songs between singers). And of course, having conversations with people to make sure everyone’s happy. 

It’s not unusual for us to have 18-30 singers in rotation (90 – 150-minute wait to sing). Figuring out the rotation and explaining how long the wait is can be overwhelming. If you want to sing early, I always suggest arriving early to shows. I do keep a list of courtesies in front of my songbook (containing 45,000 songs to choose from) to explain how the show runs and how people can help keep it moving, but nobody reads it. 

Has karaoke changed over the years? If so, how?

The popularity of karaoke usually runs in 2-3 year cycles. We’ll have groups of regulars that come out for that period of time and then fade away, but typically a new group is already coming in when that happens. The most significant change in the past decade has been the move from CDs to digital (laptop). I remain old school with the use of paper slips. It saves me from trying to hear names and requests in a lively environment.

Do you envision retiring from karaoke or DJing in general?

I semi-retired in the early ’90s but ended up DJing again regularly by the end of the decade. It would be nice to retire from karaoke (I enjoy DJing too much to leave it behind), but it’s been paying my bills for more than a decade, and I don’t envision retiring anytime soon.

What’s something few people know about you, including friends and family?

The real story behind my DJ name. There are a couple of people who have figured it out, but if I told you, it would no longer be a secret. 🙄

How can people connect with you?

Facebook | djcougar.com | Instagram

Upcoming Events:

BLOGS CURATED BY JESSICA LEA NOLETTE.

Deep Dish Interview w/ Chicago’s, DJ Zebo

Live @ Flask Lounge
7/26

Voted #65 of TOP 100 DJs in America – National Sun Times 2015 &
Chicago Nightlife Awards – “BEST DJ” 2014

“I play good music.”

What are you most grateful for, today?

To be able to share good music with the people and support myself while doing so. Being a DJ holds serious responsibility, whether the DJ wants to admit it or not. Music has the power to unite, the power to change, and the power to reach people on a personal level. At a club or party, you will find people from all walks of life getting down together. The same people that may not speak to each other in everyday life. I thank the universe for helping me find myself through DJing and using it to connect with others.

How has DJing and electronic music changed in recent years?

For the past decade, it has been the same with the rise and fall of “EDM” and the culture associated with it. When I first started DJing in 98′, I came from the underground rave scene in Chicago and the midwest. Then it was all about the DJ and not so much about the producer. Many producers did DJ also, but there was more opportunity for DJs as you had to have a record collection to play out. CD players weren’t great at the time, so vinyl was the primary format. A DJ spent time, and money to build their collection, and that was a big part of their name and draw.

With the rise of EDM culture in the US, it made events more like concerts as opposed to “rave” style parties. The visual became a significant part of it with better technology in lasers, lights, and now LED walls. With the rise of EDM, it seemed dance music became all about the “build-up & drop.” I’m not knocking it as I do like a good drop, but every style of dance music became all about it, and I feel that took a bit of soul out of dance music. People danced differently as they would get hyped during the build-up, “go ham” when the drop hit and then waited for the next one, whereas electronic music of the 90s and early 2000s had more of a groove and soul to connect with and converse with through dance. I feel like the dancing in the 90s, and early 2000s was something everyone did, whereas, with the EDM culture, it was more like a fist pump, some headbanging and even moshing.

I’m not saying there is NO dancing now as I see a lot of good shuffling, but people do not dance as much. I think the fact that everyone has a recording device and social media can be used to make fun of people for letting go and dancing, may play a small part of it as well. Keep in mind this is all from my experience, my observation.

As a DJ, are you concerned with patrons safety at events?

Yes, and every DJ should be. Nobody wants to see anyone get hurt, OD, or something terrible like that. A party is about togetherness and connection.

One piece of advice for aspiring DJ’s?

Practice, practice, practice! There is a lot of technology taking the skill out of DJing and relies on algorithms to take on the work that should be part of the “skill” of DJing. Be yourself and be nice to people. Never burn bridges. Use DJing as a way to express yourself honestly. DJs should be different and should play different styles and genres. Make your style about what you like. That personal touch allows patrons to connect with your DJ style.

How has mentorship challenged you, and what’s your most rewarding experience to speak of?

I am able to help students progress farther and faster by teaching them from the mistakes I made and lessons learned. I hope to see my students push DJing farther than me and take the art to a whole new level.

I recently had an Autistic student who found himself through DJing. At the end of the semester, I received a letter from the student’s father thanking me as the student found something that he is good at and can connect with other people through. He had never felt that before, and now he practices every day and uses his craft to make new friends and communicate in ways he cannot do with just words. I’m also able to use my connections to help these students get their foot in the door. The scene here is massive, and there are more and more DJs coming out every day, so it can be tough for people to break into the scene and get gigs.

What’s something not many people know about you, not even your family or friends?

My middle name is actually “Zebo.” Most people don’t know where I got my DJ name from, or they don’t believe me. When I was younger, I was called J Z, as my first name is Jonathon. I tell people now my name is J Z and they think I’m trying to bite off the Rapper, Sean Carter aka Jay-Z. I’m taking my name back from him. I had it first!

Where can people see you next?

FLASK LOUNGE in Portland, Maine on Friday, July 26th.
Any of my various residencies here in Chicago at Sound-Bar, HQ, The Darling, Gold Room, or Underground. The next festival I’m at in Chicago is North Coast in August.


What’s the best way to connect with you?

Social media… My URLs all end with /djzebo

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or SoundCloud.