#20Moments from #tgthr2013 @together [part 4/4]

Andres and the Mini

May 12-19th, the Boston metro area was filled with Together events, a city-wide celebration of all things Music, Art and Technology. As the Creative Director, I was lucky to make it to a lot of them: panels, concerts, films and so on. To try and recap, I tweeted out 20 different “moments” I experienced first hand. Obviously there were hundreds, millions of moments, all of them as valid as the next.

To start at the beginning of the recap, click here.
For part 2/4, click here and for the third of four click here. Let’s finish this thing:

I’ve long understood the mighty Andres (picture with the official Together Mini above) as one of my life’s tastemakers. His original productions are outstanding, and his DJ sets run the gamut. So of course he dives in with the 17th track of the Kelis’ never-released in America Wanderland, a masterpiece of production from the Neptunes. It’s long been a gem that I have kept in my back pocket. It’s hard to find but it’s not too hard.

After astonishing, well-prepared opening sets from Make It New residents–and Andres fans–Coralcola and John Barera (the last of which was noticed by XLR8R magazine), it was no surprise Andres was a 10th-level crate digger but I was happy that I shared an aesthetic with the legend. Of all the #20moments, this one’s the most selfish. One of my icons, at a night I founded 8 years ago, played Kelis, pitched way up. Awesome. A beautiful song, no less.

Of all positions inside the Together Boston staff, the Director of Business Development is the most grinding. It has no beginning and no end, and the support you need is also ceaseless, yet the rewards can sometimes be grand. Jonathan Baruc, aka De Qualia, took on the task this year and did some amazingly creative things with it. Working out multiple in kind trades and making things happen out of thin air was Baruc’s job. What he did with the Middle East Downstairs though, turning it into what we called “Together Central Stage,” was breathtaking.

Months after we had established ties to the genius art collective at Skeptical to produce our sound-reactive installation, it was Baruc who jumped into the fray and saw the thing through. When he sent me the piece installed, it was exactly as the collective had intended. Placed above the audience inside the world-famous rock venue, it was designed to keep people from staring at the DJ/producer/stage and direct them to the person next to them. It was designed to promote community first and leave the star-gazing to the celebrity-worshipping public. Seeing this, I knew it would do its job.

Together Boston Installation from Skeptic on Vimeo.

Big ups to Baruc. A true #tgthr2013 champion. Go follow him on Soundcloud.

In years past, we’ve tried to pull off student films or longer versions of trailers and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. So when Harvard Student Agencies hit up the Mmmmaven Project to do a combination Together and Mmmmaven trailer I kept it a little bit under my hat.

TJ Barber, the director who originally approached us with his idea, had a pretty grand vision: A young teen discovers vinyl and wants to DJ, then learns to do so at Mmmmaven. Later, we see him making music and then play the club with his own music. It all played in a loop, in a meta referential way. The young actors are local musicians themselves, including the young Oliver Gonson, Gibby Dance-Smack and our own champion: Phil Dumka.

It also was filmed in and around the Central Square Cultural District, which itself was a topic at Together 2013. In it you see Cheapo Records, the famous Graffiti Wall, the Phoenix Landing, a classroom at CCTV and of course the Mmmmaven Project.

Watching the premiere were representatives from both the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Creative Economy, who, along with the rest of the audience, looked something like this:


That’s rockstar Assistant Panel Manager Joey Flaherty on the left and Director of the short TJ Barber on the right. The guy cracking up is DJ PDP. See it again.

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 2.23.13 PM

A lot goes into a festival (uh, herp a derp) but the panels, the discussion, the daytime events, the things that go on outside the club, are what make it a “festival.” Otherwise it’s just a series of concerts. The topics and people who connect over the panels are crucial. And I’m not going to lie, it’s been a struggle the first three years.

It wasn’t this year.

Sara Skolnick is the people’s champ. Not just an award-winning photographer and not just organizer of the “Best of Boston” dance party Pico Picante at Good Life Bar and not just a badass DJ:

Sara is also a clear, concise critical thinker who is flying off to Columbia this Summer after receiving a grant. Sometimes Boston loses people to the world because they are so goddamn smart.

Regardless, her work as panel coordinator was entirely above and beyond and it will show as we release the wrap-up videos from each one courtesy Skolnick Films and Exinmusic.

Wait for it. (For the webcam versions, really in an audio-only capacity, visit TGTHRTV)

And vaya con dios, Sara! Mega hat tip.

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 2.02.43 PM

When I came up with the idea for Together is was my friend and longtime Boston party thrower Mike McKay who stepped in and single-handedly made #tgthr2010 happen. He used to throw the Thunderdome parties which were a kind of Together in and of themselves.

His idol, or one of them anyway, is Turbo Recordings founder and New England rave legend Tiga. For things like this hilarious joke interview:

So when we demanded Mike come up from NYC to visit the festival, originally, he declined. (He’s a busy guy). But when we said he could open for Tiga he, well, he freaked out. He joined us practically for the whole week. “Dream Come True” was said more than once. Alex Maniatis is like a freakin’ genie.

Mistaker (l) and Tiga (r)
Mistaker (l) and Tiga (r)

I couldn’t stop with the #20moments without mentioning the first ever VJ Competition accomplished by VJ Bonk. We will definitely be doing it again. In fact, Jon Bonk has plans to direct a nationwide competition soon enough. And he will. Here’s the winning entry, courtesy Tristan Rudat, aka TRS 151.

Countless more thanks are necessary, not including these 57 people. I’ve linked to Twitter as much as possible, but take some time out of your day and follow all those 57 people. Follow MiniUSA and Boston Magazine Events, who gave us a car, follow Go Central Square who gave us errrything, follow DigBoston, follow Code Pig, follow Joe Grafton. Join the community, join the creative economy, join the celebration.

Stay tuned! #tgthr2014 is coming, May 11th-18th.

That wraps up the #20moments of #tgthr2013. To start at the beginning of the recap, click here.
For part 2/4, click here and for the third of four click here.

And thank you, from every bottom of every heart I’ve ever had.