Bonnaroo 2019 Roundup ~~ In case you missed it…

MUSIC FESTIVALS ARE DIFFERENT from other varieties of escape in that they provide a space for the real self to shine through. Free from the banal shackles of rules, obligations, expectations, and judgments, raw essence and creativity is allowed to flourish. What does that look like, you ask? Well, that depends…

Sometimes, it looks like asking a total stranger to read a bestselling erotic masterpiece to you out loud in the middle of a bass-funk revival hoedown.

Or maybe it looks like having your naughty book-reading performance interrupted by the only guy in the crowd doing something even weirder, strolling right past you like it ain’t no thing…

The removal of life’s boundaries doesn’t necessarily have to compel you to wacky antics, however. Quite the contrary, on a magical farm in the middle of nowhere, there is room for the entire spectrum of human personality to spread its wings and embrace itself exactly in its natural state of colorful, collaborative harmony.

You may find that this very special phenomenon — the collaborative nature of collective self-expression found at a magical place like Bonnaroo — leads to a blossoming of creativity that is greater than the sum of its parts. The people around you warmly and earnestly help you along to become an even greater, more fantastic version of your real self than you ever thought possible.

A new friend might turn you into a walking work of art…

Or a total stranger might hand you a gift at the perfect time…

You just might find that the 3:00 AM latenight set is even more lit than you are… or at least, the stage is.

Life is beautiful and meant to be experienced. We are here to make each other happy. Bonnaroo is a place that pours these remarkable truths over your head like a bucket full of cool, refreshing water.

— Shaky Beats 2019 —


Count the number of lightning bolts. Nope, you missed a few.


SHAKY BEATS 2019 SOUNDCLOUD PLAYLIST 🤡 (jesus that’s a scary emoji)

WE’RE COMING UP ON one of the best weekends in Atlanta, boys and girls. Shaky Beats has been pretty reliable with solid lineups since its inception, and this year’s no exception.

You’ve got about a week to listen to anybody you haven’t heard yet from that undercard, and I’m here to help (and to help you find many, many flametastic deep cuts from the big names on top of that).

The playlists are mostly identical.1 If it’s all the same to you though, I recommend going with SoundCloud — Spotify’s pretty much always the more aggressive gatekeeper of the two.

DM me your photos and videos from the fest and I might post them and tag you if I love it.2 And if you hear something you love from my playlist yet fail to follow me afterwords, be aware that the negative karma you generate will probably manifest in the form of an unspeakably war-crimed portapotty swallowing up one of your valuables in its nigh-bottomless jowls. You have been warned.

See you out there, fam. 🔥

Electronic music blogs have taken a disappointing turn…

Artist’s depiction of what it literally feels like to be unceremoniously plucked out of your turnup-headspace upon hearing a hot sexy buildup drop into just total wack bullshit.

SLOWLY BUT SURELY, the ol’ free-spirit-sharing-music-for-the-love-of-it trope has been supplanted by a pipeline of shallow gossip and bloated industry ‘news’ coverage. The focus on great music and high-quality content has been supplanted by Twitter slapfights, Buzzfeed-level clickbait, and sterile, watered down press releases written by lazy ‘journalists’ and corporate PR teams. Wherein diehard music fans once enjoyed a raw, yet budding ecosystem, full of creativity and fueled by truly passionate music curators, we now find an eye-rolling echo chamber of mediocrity, filled with naught but wasted time and potential.

If you’re as obsessed with music as I am, then you probably knew all of this already. You probably filtered out most of these ‘blogs’ from your media diet long ago.

We’re well on our way into 2019, and it’s not getting any better out here — if anything, it’s only getting worse. It’s almost enough to convince the real music fans that, well…. maybe ‘music blogs’ just aren’t meant for us. Maybe the world of music curation exists only to help the most insulated of industry debutantes to feel cool about themselves and pat each other on the back, or only to help the most casual of click-happy radio fans find the newest Marshmello track that you’ve already heard1 a hundred times in your Soundcloud or Spotify feed.

I don’t know if that’s really true or not. And frankly, I don’t care.

Because this thing you’re reading right now? This is not one of those ‘music blogs.’ This is something different.

My name is John, and playFlames is my music channel. I’ve been producing and djing electronic, trap, and bass music for eight years, and the only thing I care about sharing great music with cool people.

You’ve heard that one before, haven’t you? I actually mean it.

I have zero fucks to give about drama, “buzz,” industry bullshit, or how cool I look.2

I’m just here to help that tiny little slice of obsessed music fans — my people — find the music they love, and love the music they find, and that’s it.

I’m not out here for the casual music fans — they have every other ‘blog’ in the world looking out for them already. I’m here for the real ones. I’m not an industry insider, or a journalist, or anybody special — I’m just the guy standing next to you, deep in the crowd, at your favorite set of your favorite festival of the year,3 throwing his arm around your shoulder as the beat drops.

And I think we just might get along, you and me.

If you think so too, then follow me. Get my emails. And hit me up. Who knows — maybe I’ll be out at your next festival. ✌🏼