Author Archive

You must YOGA before you YOLO

10942566_10102420792085220_7594903331089636108_nHappy Wednesday folks! This week I will be retaining my usual format of giving you some good music to listen to while I ramble on about whatever is interesting to me at the time. This time I’m going to talk about another one of my favorite obsessions – yoga. This week’s set is the first installment of yet another series, YOGA and YOLO (I know, when will this kid stop introducing new series and just focus?!). Each of these sets are designed for my favorite yoga instructors to play in their classes. These posts were originally intended to be Christmas presents for my favorite instructors, however due to a combination of bad equipment, lack of skill on my part, and moving to the San Fransisco Bay Area, these are slightly tardy. Sorry and Merry Christmas Conor!!

If you live in Chicago, check out one of Conor MacDonald’s sculpt classes at Corepower Yoga, you won’t regret it. If you are already a seasoned Corepower Sculpter, I hope that you hear this in class soon! Regardless, it’s my hope that this post will be your inspiration to check out a class. I can personally say that my yoga practice has been one of the single most positive lifestyle changes I have ever made. So happy listening and namaste…

YOGA and YOLO – Conor Sculpt (3/18/2015)

Tracklist

  • 1 – Daniel Fernandes – After All
  • 2 – Tough Love – Love & Happiness
  • 3 – Lika Morgan – Gone Tomorrow
  • 4 – Syn Cole – Bright Lights (The Voyagers Remix)
  • 5 – Disclosure – When A Fire Starts to Burn
  • 6 – Antonio Giacca – Alright
  • 7 – Monkey Safari – Watching the Stars
  • 8 – Kaskade – Sorry
  • 9 – Chocolate Puma & Firebeatz – I Can’t Understand
  • 10 – Mineo – Get Out Fight
  • 11 – Fashion Lioness – If I Leave You
  • 12 – Pete Rock – Pete’s Jazz
  • 13 – Galimatias & Alina Baraz – Drift

Why Yoga?

A friend of mine recently asked me about my growing obsession with yoga and how it compares to working out in a gym. I cited 4 ideas that I would like to share:

1. I find that gyms are pretty douchy and awkward. Bunch of half naked people being super self conscious and pretentious. A yoga studio is totally different. It’s all super high quality people and the atmosphere is incredibly accepting, encouraging, and positive. After having moved to a new town where I didn’t know anyone, I found that the fastest friendships that I formed were in the yoga studio. In contrast, I can’t think of having made a single friend at a traditional gym and I’ve been going on and off for 15 years!!

2. It’s not just a workout of specific muscle groups. There is focus on whole body strength. Cardio, isometric holds, strength, and flexibility of the whole body.

3. I find that it’s good for my inner peace of mind. Because they focus on breathing and mindfulness before and after the workout, you come into a yoga studio with all of your bullshit of the day and you leave the yoga studio at peace.

4. I think that people who work out in more traditional ways measure their progress in superficial ways. How much can they bench press? How far can they run? How high can they jump? With those sorts of metrics for success it’s really easy and tempting to compare yourself to other people and that is a bullshit thing to do. Everyone is different. With yoga, the metric for success is so much more introspective. I can only really compare myself to my previous self. I can personally say that I am much better off as a yogi.

About the set

With that out of the way, let’s go into some detail about the set you’re listening to. Every time I post one of these, I’ll also give a bit of detail about which songs correspond to which parts of the yoga sequence. I actually take the time to perform the entire sequence when I do my track selection and transitions to make sure that each track fits in nicely with the mood and tempo of each piece. I try to hide tempo changes in buildups and I occasionally leave a bit more naked beat in between certain sections in an effort to leave time to towel off and grab water in between portions of the sequence.

  • 00:00 – 03:00 – Integration – Daniel Fernandes – Afterall
  • 03:00 – 07:30 – Sun Salutations A – Tough Love – Love and Happiness
  • 07:30 – 12:30 – Sun Salutations B – Lika Morgan – Gone Tomorrow
  • 12:30 – 17:00 – Floor Series – Syn Cole – Bright Lights (Voyagers Remix)
  • 17:00 – 20:00 – Squats 1 – Disclosure – When A Fire Starts to Burn
  • 20:00 – 25:00 – Cardio 1 – Antonio Giacca – Alright
  • 25:00 – 25:30 – Water & Towel Transition
  • 25:00 – 30:30 – Right Side Sculpt – Monkey Safari – Watching the Stars
  • 30:00 – 35:45 – Left Side Sculpt – Cardio 2 – Kaskade – Sorry
  • 35:45 – 35:15 – Water & Towel Transition
  • 35:15 – 40:00 – Cardio 2 – Chocolate Puma & Firebeatz – I Can’t Understand
  • 40:00 – 45:00 – Gluts, Chest (Floor) – Mineo – Get Out Fight
  • 45:00 – 49:00 – Floor Core – Fashion Lioness – If I Leave You
  • 49:00 – 54:10 – Surrender & Cool Down – Pete Rock – Pete’s Jazz
  • 54:10 – 58:02 – Final Shavasana – Galimatias & Alina Baraz – Drift

Wrapping up

If someone in Chicago or the Bay Area wants to volunteer to take a few short videos of me actually performing the sequence while I make these sets, I’d be happy to post them with future postings so you can try them at home. You can shoot me a message at imjustinbraun@gmail.com. I welcome any honest feedback, comments, suggestions, or song requests. Until next time!

Let’s get fucked up and play records

DJ2009

It’s ok to laugh at that picture. I had to go way back to spring of 2009 to dig it up. In a way, it’s the inspiration for my latest series, “State Dependent Learning.” See back when I first learned to DJ, I was always annihilated. My house has always been the go-to afterparty house because I have exactly zero qualms about paying noise complaint fees and fielding calls from angry landlords to… my voicemail. So whenever I’d come home from the bars, it was usually with the party crew and the first order of business was always to get some music going. At that time I wasn’t really too concerned with mastering my craft or even practicing for that matter. On the few occasions that I did try playing sober, I sounded like shit. This confused me because I FUCKING ROCKED IT WHENEVER I WAS WASTED! The obvious conclusion is that I was suffering from State Dependent Learning. Per Wikipedia,

State-dependent memory, or state-dependent learning is the phenomenon through which memory retrieval is most efficient when an individual is in the same state of consciousness as they were when the memory was formed. The term is often used to describe memory retrieval while in states of consciousness produced by psychoactive drugs – most commonly, alcohol, but has implications for mood or non-substance induced states of consciousness as well.

For more years than I care to admit, I would just simply refuse to play sober. I’d get a few cocktails in me and the jams would just flow. In addition to my ongoing “Bowling,” series that you’ve gotten to hear for the past 2 weeks; I’ll be periodically be making sets where basically all I’m doing is letting the liquor do the thinking and recording mixes. For this first one, I was drinking some fancy bourbon that I took from my roommate’s liquor cabinet (Sorry not sorry Dan). Towards the end of the set I got a little too drunk so I pulled my signature move of drinking Coors Light to sober up. Without any further introduction, let’s get fucked up… play records!

State Dependent Learning – Vol 1 (3/11/2015)

Tracklist

  • 1 – Ninetoes – Finder
  • 2 – Monkey Safari – Watching the Stars
  • 3 – Joyce Muniz – Sleepless
  • 4 – Rey & Klajek – Animal vs Beast
  • 5 – Doctor Dru – 2 Know U
  • 6 – Adana Twins (feat. Digitaria) – Reaction
  • 7 – Go Freek – The Way You Dance
  • 8 – Alexis Raphael – Assault Weapon (German Brigante Remix)
  • 9 – Wonkers – Firecity
  • 10 – Antonio Giacca – Alright
  • 11 – Turntablerocker – Grow up
  • 12 – Ardalan – Catchup
  • 13 – The Holy Mash – Gifted
  • 14 – Dustin Nantais – Arm Bar

One more thing…

Before I move onto talking about the music hosting awesomeness that I can hardly contain my excitement over, I want to give a shoutout to French producer The Holy Mash for giving me permission to include their track Gifted in this set. It’s definitely one of my new favorites and I’m looking forward to see what else comes from them!

Now for that techie goodness that you all really came here for…

Well I’ve got to say, this music service has really taken on a life of its own. I did get a few feature requests so I went ahead and added the most common one, download links. The headers of the sets should now be just that! There really isn’t anything too technically special about what I did. Just updated setplayer.js to insert an A tag into the header element with the set’s file location. Now whenever you visit http://imjustinbraun.com/djsets/index.php?Request=DisplaySets, you can download whatever there. As always, you can see the final working product on my jsfiddle. I did run into one little pitfall on line 92 of setplayer.js – basically I’m loading in the first track by searching for the first A element in the output. Since the download link is now the first A tag, I modified the line to mean the first A element immediately preceded by an LI element. Simple enough.

Last week I promised that I was going to make a RESTFul back end for this whole thing, improve the player, and create an uploading service. That turned out to be a bit of a tall order considering that I have a fulltime job and I had a killer hangover the other day from recording the set that you’re currently enjoying. Also, this whole project has required a ton of architecting, planning, and well, thinking ahead. So instead of posting any code, I’m going to talk about the architecture I ultimately arrived at and why. Next week I’ll start sharing more code with you. In terms of initial requirements, I wanted whatever I designed to have the following properties:

  • Loose Coupling – I don’t want one API change to fuck up all of the clients and I have to spend a week listening to pissed off users that refuse to upgrade
  • Scalable - If by some miracle I’ve got 100K users banging down my door tomorrow wanting to listen to my drunken recordings, fuck yeah!
  • Platform Independent – Because nothing short of my superbowl commercial would serve my vanity better than having an imjustinbraun iphone, iwatch, ipad, and android apps
  • Orthogonal - At some point I’m going to want to open this thing up to other DJ’s, Producers, and Record Labels (their lawyers, however, can fuck off). I’ll need to be able to easily accommodate feature requests without breaking everything.
  • Easy - Ok so maybe I’m a genius and could write the thing in machine language or lolcode (yes that’s an actual thing), but if I ever bring on other developers to help me with this little project, I don’t want to use some obscure tech that only I can figure out.
  • The Architecture

    With those requirements in mind, I set out to fulfill them using the tools that I readily have available in my shed. I decided to use Amazon AWS as my hosting provider. I’m using what initially passes for a traditional LAMP stack (A few years ago I wrote a step-by-step guide for how to set one of these up here), though I have a few tricks up my sleeve this time. One thing that makes Amazon so powerful as a webhost is that they really have thought of everything. Between Elastic Load Balancing, Autoscaling groups, and Cloudfront – I can offer SERIOUS amounts of scalability with minute-by-minute sizing so that I’m never paying for what I’m not using.

    Regarding the API, I want to make sure that whatever clients interact with the back end aren’t coupled to any particular technology stack. The world seems to be in love with RESTFul API’s these days and I can see why. They’re simple, scalable, platform agnostic, and is incredibly easy to secure using HTTPS. Further, because it’s centered around resources rather than procedures, changes to the API seem like they’ll break a bit more gracefully (I’ve yet to test this theory, though I have little doubt that it will be tested at some point in this little adventure). I did give websockets a serious look, but I ultimately concluded that unless I decided to write my own streaming format, they’d be overcomplicated overkill.

    Writing a REST API from scratch in php is a serious undertaking and an entirely unnecessary one. There are TONS of frameworks out there that will do the heavy lifting for you. I ultimately selected RDev for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s a framework that I’m very comfortable with. I’ve deployed RDEV in major financial institutions, so I’m fairly familiar with how to make it work securely and how to make it scale. It doesn’t hurt that I’m personal friends with the guy who wrote it, so I can always bug him with questions and feature requests. But I think the main reason I continually choose RDEV is because it’s fucking awesome. I won’t go into the laundry list of features; Dave’s website can do that for you, but I will say that he is constantly adding little bits and pieces that make RDEV easy to use. It’s rock solid – He’s got some ridiculous amount of unit tests that he writes before he even builds features (a habit I need to start getting into myself).

    Looking Forward

    I hope you’ve enjoyed this musically charged rant! Next week the gameplan is to teach you guys how to get RDEV up and running and if there’s time, maybe I’ll even have a better player for you to listen to my mixes with. In the meantime, if you would like your music in my sets, feel free to email your tracks to imjustinbraun@gmail.com. You can also feel free to contact me with feature requests, comments, ideas, or questions. Till next week!!

    This one is for My Hurricane Bitches

    I couldn’t help myself. I SHOULD be making sets for all of my yoga instructors like I promised them I would, but I’m having so much fun doing these Bowling sets that I just HAD to post another one. I’ll never tell you who it’s for, but the name is a reference to a certain kind of woman. We all know the type; they come into your life wet and wild, then they leave with your lawn furniture. You know, like Hurricanes!

    Update: Do not try and click this player from the main page. Apparently it fights with the other players on this page. You need to go here instead

    Bowling – Hurricane (2/14/2015)

    Tracklist

    • 1 – Lana Del Rey – Brookly Baby (Konstantin Sibold Remix)
    • 2 – Oliver Heldens & Mr. Belt & Wezol – Pikachu
    • 3 – Hardsoul (feat. Hero) – Human
    • 4 – Claus Casper & Jean Philips – Anytime Anywhere (Dub Mix)
    • 5 – Rampue – Don’t Wanna Leave You (Nicone & Sascha Braemer Remix)
    • 6 – Fashion Lioness – If I leave You (The Mankeys Remix)
    • 7 – Adana Twins – Everyday (Amine Edge & Dance Remix)
    • 8 – Mineo – Get Out Fight
    • 9 – Alexis Raphael – Assault Weapon (German Brigante Remix)
    • 10 – Redondo – Waist Shake (Club Mix)
    • 11 – Rey & Klajek – Animal Vs Beast (Adritique Remix)
    • 12 – Della Zouch – Rebel (Raxon Mix)
    • 13 – Harada – Paws
    • 14 – Booka Shade (feat.Fritz Kalkbrenner) – Crossing Borders (Pleasurekraft Remix)
    • 15 – Jade Blue & Frequency – Lately (Vox Mix)
    • 16 – Lucas & Steve & Nothing But Funk – Clueless

    Now let’s indulge my ADD

    I have to say that I had a lot of fun writing my last post. The format of it was perfect if I do say so myself; let you guys listen to some good music while I go on about my antics (and hopefully learn a thing or two about writing code). Seems like having me around in real life, only less annoying because you can listen to music and tune my (written) voice out.

    I’ve been working like a madman on a number of projects in my day job so I haven’t had a ton of time, but I have been playing with my little music hosting service a little bit. I’ve been teaching myself java and re-learning php, so I figured that I might as well throw javascript into the mix before I become proficient at anything and start go get stuck in my ways.

    I hope you like javascript

    I figured that as I continue to add to the list of sets that I post, you’ll probably want to go back and see the whole list without having to scroll through each wordpress post that I make. So I went ahead and wrote this little javascript front end that implements the PHP back end that I shared in my last post. You can see the finished product here

    I know that a lot of this is sloppy with hard links all over the place and a complete disregard for any type of pattern or style, but at this point I’m just hacking things together to get them to work. I have literally ZERO javascript experience prior to writing this so I’m kind of learning as I go. I built all of the javascript bits in this jsfiddle and I wrote all of the php pieces in PHPStorm.

    I started by adding some methods to index.php that retrieves JSON arrays of all of my set data, and because I’m a bit more comfortable with PHP, I’m also relying on the server to organize the series data for me as well.

    index.php

    elseif ($request === "GetSets")
    {
    	print json_encode($sets->GetSets());
    }
    elseif ($request === "DisplaySets")
    {
    	print '
    			<link rel="stylesheet" href="//code.jquery.com/ui/1.11.3/themes/smoothness/jquery-ui.css">
    			<script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-1.10.2.js"></script>
    			<script src="http://code.jquery.com/ui/1.11.3/jquery-ui.js"></script>
    			<script src="'.$rootPath.'audiojs/audio.min.js"></script>
    			<script src="'.$rootPath.'js/setplayer.js"></script>
    			<link rel="stylesheet" href="'.$rootPath.'styles/playlist.css">
    			<link rel="stylesheet" href="/resources/demos/style.css">
    		<div id="wrapper">
    		 <h1 id="setHeader">Set Series — Set Name <em>(Release Date)</em></h1>
    
    		<audio preload="auto"></audio>
    		<div id="accordion"></div>
    	</div>
    	<div id="shortcuts">
    		<div>
    			 <h1>Keyboard shortcuts:</h1>
    
    			<p><em>&rarr;</em> Next track</p>
    			<p><em>&larr;</em> Previous track</p>
    			<p><em>Space</em> Play/pause</p>
    		</div>
    	</div>';
    	}
    elseif ($request === "GetSeriesNames")
    {
    	print json_encode($sets->GetSeriesNames());
    }
    

    Then I built the front end. Basically all I’m doing is using AJAX calls to my php script for set and tracklist information, then displaying it in the proper locations. If you find any bugs please let me know!!

    setplayer.js

    var seriesData = [];
    var setData = [];
    var baseURL = "http://imjustinbraun.com/djsets/";
    var audio = [];
    $.ajax({
        url: "http://imjustinbraun.com/djsets/index.php?Request=GetSeriesNames",
        dataType: 'application/json',
        complete: function (seriesResponse) {
            seriesNamesRetrieved(seriesResponse)
        }
    });
    
    function seriesNamesRetrieved(seriesResponse) {
        seriesData = JSON.parse(seriesResponse.responseText);
        $.ajax({
            url: "http://imjustinbraun.com/djsets/index.php?Request=GetSets",
            dataType: 'application/json',
            complete: function (data) {
                initialSetup(data)
            }
        });
    }
    
    function initialSetup(data) {
        var selectedSeriesIndex = 0;
        var selectedSetIndex = 0;
        setData = JSON.parse(data.responseText);
    
        var setCount = setData.length;
        var series = seriesData;
        var seriesCount = series.length;
    
        if (setCount == 0 || seriesCount == 0) return;
    
        for (var s = 0; s < seriesCount; s++) {
            var seriesName = series[s];
            var element = document.createElement("h3");
            element.setAttribute("id", "seriesTitle" + s);
            element.appendChild(document.createTextNode(seriesName));
            document.getElementById("accordion").appendChild(element);
    
            var setElement = document.createElement("div");
            setElement.setAttribute("id", "SetListDiv" + s);
            document.getElementById("seriesTitle" + s).appendChild(setElement);
    
            var setListElement = document.createElement("ol");
            setListElement.setAttribute("id", "SetList" + s);
            document.getElementById("SetListDiv" + s).appendChild(setListElement);
    
            for (var i = 0; i < setCount; i++) {
                var setSeries = setData[i].Series;
                if (setSeries == seriesName) {
                    var setTitle = setData[i].Name;
                    var setDate = setData[i].Date;
                    var setFile = setData[i].File;
                    var setTracklist = setData[i].Tracklist;
    
                    var setLineItem = document.createElement("li");
                    //setLineItem.setAttribute("id", "Set"+i);
                    setLineItem.innerHTML = '<a href="#" id="' + i + '" data-src="' + baseURL + setFile + '">' + setTitle + ' - <em>('+ setDate +')</em></a>';
                    document.getElementById("SetList" + s).appendChild(setLineItem);
    
                }
            }
        }
        document.getElementById("setHeader").innerHTML = setData[0].Series + " - " + setData[0].Name + " <em>(" + setData[0].Date + ")</em>";
        var trackListElement = document.createElement("h3");
        trackListElement.setAttribute("id", "tracklistHeader");
        trackListElement.appendChild(document.createTextNode("Tracklist"));
        document.getElementById("accordion").appendChild(trackListElement);
        var trackListDiv = document.createElement("div");
        trackListDiv.setAttribute("id", "tracklistDiv");
        document.getElementById("accordion").appendChild(trackListDiv);
        var trackListList = document.createElement("ol");
        trackListList.setAttribute("id", "tracklist");
        document.getElementById("accordion").appendChild(trackListList);    
        
        setTrackList(0);
        // Setup the player to autoplay the next track
        var a = audiojs.createAll({
            trackEnded: function () {
                var next = $('li.playing').next();
                if (!next.length) next = $('li').first();
                next.addClass('playing').siblings().removeClass('playing');
                audio.load($('a', next).attr('data-src'));
                audio.play();
            }
        });    
        
        // Load in the first track
        audio = a[0];
        first = $('a').attr('data-src');
        $('li').first().addClass('playing');
        audio.load(first);
    
        // Load in a track on click
        $('li').click(function (e) {        
        e.preventDefault();
        $('li.playing').removeClass('playing');
        $(this).addClass('playing').siblings().removeClass('playing');
        audio.load($('a', this).attr('data-src'));
        var setID = $('a', this).attr('id');
        document.getElementById("setHeader").innerHTML = setData[setID].Series + " - " + setData[setID].Name + " <em>(" + setData[setID].Date + ")</em>";
            setTrackList(setID);
        audio.play();
        });
        // Keyboard shortcuts
        $(document).keydown(function (e) {
            var unicode = e.charCode ? e.charCode : e.keyCode;
            // right arrow
            if (unicode == 39) {
                var next = $('li.playing').next();
                if (!next.length) next = $('ol li').first();
                next.click();
                // back arrow
            } else if (unicode == 37) {
                var prev = $('li.playing').prev();
                if (!prev.length) prev = $('ol li').last();
                prev.click();
                // spacebar
            } else if (unicode == 32) {
                audio.playPause();
            }
        })
    }
    
    function setTrackList(setID)
    {
        document.getElementById("tracklist").innerHTML = "";
        var tracklist = setData[setID].Tracklist;
        for (property in tracklist) { 
            var trackLineItem = document.createElement("li");
            trackLineItem.innerHTML = '<a href="#">' + tracklist[property] + '</a>';
            document.getElementById("tracklist").appendChild(trackLineItem);
        }
    }
    
    
    $(function () {
        $("#accordion").accordion({
            collapsible: true
        });
    });

    So from here I think I’m going to clean up the code itself. I started thinking that if I make the back end RESTful in nature, build a few simple javascript/html5 players, and create an uploading service, I’ll have a pretty convenient little way to upload my sets and I’ll have the future flexibility to go and create clients beyond simple web interfaces. Who knows, maybe I’ll make an imjustinbraun app someday!