Archive for the ‘ Travel ’ Category

Some New Jams, and a Teeeeny Sneak Peek Into 2016

Mainstage at Tech(no11)

Mainstage at Tech(no11)

Happy Boxing day ladies and gentlemen. I know it’s been a minute since you’ve heard from me and it’s for (somewhat) good reason. I have a lot of really exciting things to tell everyone about as 2015 begins to wind down. First things first though, hit play and listen to the latest edition of State Dependent Learning – Vol 4!

I want to give a HUGE shoutout to my good friend Dabura for letting me play what is one of my favorite new tracks. The first time I heard it was at his place a few weeks ago while he was prepping to play for a Transmit Tuesday at Spybar. He’s so damn humble that at the time he wasn’t even sure if he was going to play it that night or not. Myself and one other friend more or less insisted that he do.

Talk Nerdy to Me

Okay, so, sorry we’re still using my shitty JS player. I can promise you that I haven’t been sitting around with my thumb up my ass and there’s a REALLY REALLY REALLY cool new one coming soon I promise. Actually, let’s talk about what’s going on where my passions for music and software meet. Most of you know that I’ve been working very closely with for some time now and that we are going to be launching a streaming music service. Progress has been a LOT slower than I would have liked it to be, however we are getting SUUUUPER close to being able to launch! Excluding OTB Staff and industry insiders, we’re going to be offering a beta to a VERY LIMITED number of my friends, family, and whoever kisses my ass enough, so look out for that. I really really reallly wish I could tell you more about the features and functionality that the new service will offer, however that will have to wait a few more weeks.

I can say that the back end is a thing of SERIOUS beauty. It’s written in PHP using my good friend David Young‘s Opulence Framework. There’s a lot of fancy footwork going on behind the scenes and it really wouldn’t have been doable without his tireless efforts. The back end will actually be accessible via a publicly documented API, so I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of 3rd party apps people dream up. Maybe someday you’ll see OTB Ableton Plugins and apps.

On the frontend side, I’ve taken it upon myself to learn AngularJS – and boy has that been a shallow learning curve!! Actually pretty much the only reason we’re not live is because I’m still hammering out the connection between the front and back ends. The things that Angular lets you do, however, are worth the sweat equity. As soon as that’s done, is going to be a different animal altogether.

Great Jams Bro. When and Where can I see you Play?

So this is blowing my mind, but 2015 has been a really good year for me in terms of my development as a DJ. To think that I literally played my first gig at a yoga studio this April. Four months later, I was graced with the honor of playing the main room of a monthly loft series that has become a Chicago staple. By far my favorite gig this year though, was without a doubt this boat party that I played in Austin, TX for Halloween. Sometimes the combination of the crowd, the jams, and what you happen to be feeling at the moment just combines and you blow everyone’s mind. That was what happened at this particular party. It certainly didn’t hurt that my costume was a huge hit.

Some men just want to watch the world burn. Playing on a boat party in Austin, TX for Halloween 2015!

Details are still in the works, but I’ll be playing in Mexico for a BPM afterparty on Jan 12 & 14. January 14 is my birthday, so if you don’t come to Mexico for this, I’m going to be seriously PISSED. Flights are super cheap and this particular party doesn’t even charge a cover so you have literally ZERO excuse to not go.

On Jan 5 & 26 I’ll be at Spybar for Transmit Tuesdays. Jan 20th I’ll be at Lokal for Consumed. I’m sure there will also be a few Corepower dates as well, though details for all of these are still in the works. As soon as I have flyers and 100% confirmed set times and dates, don’t you worry…. I’ll be spamming you along with everyone else I know :p.

Microsoft Surface Pro: First Impressions

It all started a week ago when my laptop bag was stolen. My iPad and Macbook Air, gone. I’m going on vacation in a week and I was going to need to replace it but I didn’t want to spend the fortune that replacing those devices individually would cost (about $3500).

I thought about just getting a tablet and ditching the concept of the laptop altogether however that would preclude me from writing code on the road, something that I frequently do. It occurred to me that I might just buy another Macbook and ditch the tablet, but I really do read on my iPad quite a bit. Enter Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft Surface Pro

My Microsoft Surface Pro in Action

The specifications of the top of the line Surface Pro were almost exactly equivalent to that of my Macbook. The only thing I’d have to live with would be the smaller screen, lack of osx (that I admittedly rarely used), and perhaps a sacrifice in the battery life department. I figured that if I didn’t like it as a computer, I could always get another macbook and I’d just be stuck with an overpriced tablet. After reading this article about developing software on the Surface, my mind was made up. I went to a Best Buy and after suffering through their horrible customer service, the 128 gig Surface Pro was mine.

After a week of using the Surface, I must say that I’m overall disappointed.

The Good:

  • Powerful! I’ve yet to throw anything at it that Surface can’t handle. It compiles Gatekeeper 3 without breaking a sweat, and it honestly FEELS a lot faster than my macbook.
  • Windows 8 works as a tablet OS so much better than I’d thought, though it still lacks the polish of iOS

The Bad:

  • Atrocious Battery Life. I’d read that it was bad, though nothing could prepare me for battery life THIS bad.
  • The power connector seems to be a magsafe ripoff, but it doesn’t work very well. I find that I have twice as much fumbling to do than I did with my magsafe adapter on the macbook.
  • The pen attachment uses the same port as the power adapter, meaning hat I have no place to put it when I’m charging, and may very well lose it.
  • Overall Polish. Coming from an Apple environment, I’ve come to expect a high degree of polish from the products that I use. Things like switching from portrait to landscape mode, fullscreen “apps,” and their “multitasking” seem to kludgy at best
  • Keyboard often doesn’t connect to the tablet seamlessly. I have disconnect and reconnect it a few times.
  • Weight. I know that some compromises need to be made. For its size, the Surface Pro is incredibly powerful, but it just feels too heavy when I’m reading with the virtually unusable kindle app


In all I was hoping to combine the best that a tablet and a laptop have to offer into one device. I think that what I ended up with was a very powerful computer whose design compromises to facilitate such power came at too high a cost. I think that what I’ll end up doing in the near future is buying an ipad mini whenever it supports retina display, and spring for a macbook pro with retina display.


Update 8/7/2013: The pen is gone. The little magnet that keeps it in its place isn’t very strong and it fell as I was getting out of an elevator, falling into┬áthe crack between the elevator and the ground and going into the elevator shaft.

October and November Travel Schedule

Chicago is starting to get colder. Those of you who know me well know that I don’t tend to stick around during the nasty Chicago winters. I’ve booked myself through most of October and November, however I’d love to get out more. If you would like to see Justin Braun in your city, shoot me an email and I’ll try and add your city to my roster provided I can either find a business case to go, or you have something REALLY fun and compelling to offer.

October 13 thru October 16 – New York City, New York
October 17 thru October 23 – London, UK
October 28 thru November 2 – Santa Barbara, California
November 13 thru November 19 – Phoenix, Arizona