Music Hall of Williamsburg
A Positive Spin

Paradigm and The Bowery Presents

A Positive Spin

Craze, The Blue Stones, EZI, Flor de Toloache, The Knocks (DJ Set), The Juan Maclean (DJ Set), Just Blaze, Michael Blume, Nick Catchdubs, Wrabel, Plus Special Guests

Thu, December 7, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY


This event is 18 and over

A benefit concert for the Lower Eastside Girls Club

A Positive Spin
A Positive Spin began in 2014 as a DJ workshop for at-risk youth in Los Angeles. It has since evolved into an annual benefit concert held in Los Angeles. Past performers include Getter, Jauz, Kill the Noise, AC Slater, Machinedrum and more. To date, A Positive Spin has raised almost $20,000 for Inner-City Arts. This is the project's first year expanding to New York.

In addition to ticket sales, a raffle will be held, as well as a food drive to benefit Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Food Bank for New York City, with a request for two non-perishable food items to enter the drawing. Past raffle prizes include items from Native Instruments, ADIDAS, Tiësto, Martin Solveig, Run The Jewels, and Dillon Francis.
If the first thing you know about Craze is that he's the only solo DJ to win the DMC World Championships 3 times over, prepare to get yourself schooled. From day one, every uphill battle he faced was met with intense adversity; every kick while he was down only served to help him rise up even stronger. You want proof? Fine. His family fled Nicaragua for the US when he was 3 in the midst of a civil war, suffered through Hurricane Andrew in '92, the US's costliest hurricane at the time, and was a total nerd through his teenage years. But while others would chalk this up to a lifetime of hurt, Craze let it fuel his passion. Instead of giving up, he slayed the DMC's when he was just 20. Two more DMC wins later, Time Magazine named him "America's Best DJ". Yeah, Time Magazine. He went on to rack up more than 8.5 million views on his Traktor YouTube videos alone, and THE Kanye West took him on tour as his own personal DJ. As if that wasn't enough, he started Slow Roast Records with Kill The Noise, an imprint of the infamous Fool's Gold Records (A-Trak, Kid Cudi, Danny Brown), and then headed out for a full US tour with Yelawolf in the last half of 2011. With two releases in 2012 – the Selekta EP, and Deeper with Codes, he's hasn't taken any time to slow down, instead focusing on a battle record with arguable the greatest scratch DJ of all time…Q-Bert. From Jamaica to Australia, Japan to Nicaragua, Craze has toured the world over, stunning audiences and DJs alike with his top-notch showmanship, and masterfully unique blend of rap, dubstep, and Miami bass. So when someone asks you, 'Whatchu know about DJ Craze?", feel free to let them know a thing or two.
Flor de Toloache
Flor de Toloache
Latin Grammy® nominated female band, Flor de Toloache continue to win the hearts of music fans both mainstream and traditional mariachi fans alike through their distinct vision and enlightened interpretation of traditional mariachi instruments. The band’s diverse ethnicities and musical backgrounds are transcending culture and gender by forging new paths for mariachi music. Like the legendary Toloache flower used in Mexico today as a love potion, the ladies of Flor de Toloache cast a spell over their audiences with soaring vocals and physical elegance. The New York City based band and first all-women Mariachi, is led by co-directors Mireya I. Ramos, (founder) on violin and Shae Fiol (original member) on vihuela, the band also features Julie Acosta on trumpet and Eunice Aparicio on guitarron. Accolades continue to build for Flor De Toloache. Nominated for a Latin Grammy® in the Best Ranchera Album category for their self-produced debut album Mariachi Flor De Toloache, they have graced international stages from Asia to Europe and the U.S., recently supporting Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys new side-project, The Arcs. A promising career lies ahead for these graceful starlets.
The Juan Maclean (DJ Set)
The Juan Maclean (DJ Set)
The dance world way too often privileges the new, and not many dance artists write albums as good as In A Dream, the third full-length album by The Juan MacLean, this far into their career. The Juan MacLean have weathered electroclash, disco-punk, electro-disco, techno, house, deep house, and whatever we can call the sound of today. They never feel totally in step with the moment, but somehow always feel right and necessary. Put differently: there’s always something exciting to say about the music, regardless of the release date.

Let’s start with Nancy Whang. Nancy’s voice has always been a kind of secret weapon on The Juan MacLean records, but this album is her triumph. Just take a look above at the album art where she’s front and center. This is the Nancy Show – you get all sides of Nancy on this record, a wide range of expression. These are all love songs, but emotions run wild. And you can’t pull this off without Nancy – she’s not living in these songs, she’s leading them.

Like every Juan record, this one quotes freely from house and techno and disco. Dead drums and vintage synthesizers are abundant. This is a DFA record, after all. But early on in their career, The Juan MacLean stopped sounding like genres and just started sounding like The Juan MacLean. Part of that is lyrical—how the words interact with the melodies that carry them. The diction is always off in all the right ways. Another distinction is how much fun Juan and Nancy have with the arrangements of their songs. Different parts interact and play off one another in a way that’s remindful of the interplay on classic disco records.

The Juan MacLean always get away with EVERYTHING. For one, they always figure out a way to make the very old sound very new. For instance, the main groove on the album’s first track, “A Place Called Space,” is a combination of epic prog/rock, phased hi-hats, Moroder bass, vocals on delay, spacey lyrics. You’ve heard this before. But the surprise chorus halfway through is what makes it work: “It’s too late, don’t play your games here anymore,” Nancy sings. All that color and emotion . . . like she’s chastising the song itself. Secondly, they always GO THERE. The sounds you’re just not supposed to reach for, the Juan always reaches for.
Michael Blume
Michael Blume
Michael Blume has quickly established himself as a powerful new voice of progressive R&B in New York City. His debut single "Manufactured Love" repeatedly hit Spotify's Viral Charts and earned him a New Artist feature on iTunes as well as high praise from prominent music blogs. Blume’s brand of conscious songwriting, soulful vocals, and charismatic performances has lead to sold out shows at many of NYC’s top venues. His music centers on themes of the relationship with the self, critique of money­obsession, and shifting youth identity. Blume is currently writing and recording his first full­length project.
Nick Catchdubs
Nick Catchdubs
“When it comes to DJing, Nick Catchdubs is a regular Mr Do-It-All” – XXL Magazine

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Nick Catchdubs has been dropping his signature club sets (hip hop, electro, rock and more, with an emphasis on new music and original remixes) around the globe for the past seven years. It’s not a kitchen sink approach to DJing, just lots of different music mixed well, rocking any kind of party you could think of.

Equally at home headlining a sweaty glowstick rave or hyping up a packed rap showcase, Nick has shared stages with the likes of Ghostface, Clipse, MIA, Rihanna and Sean Paul, performed at Lollapalooza, Electric Daisy Carnival, and the SXSW, WMC and CMJ festivals, and played countless solo shows (praised by Nylon as “guaranteed to get people dancing”) throughout the US, Canada and overseas.

Nick’s expertly composed mixtapes (including Wale’s award winning Mixtape About Nothing, the alternative rock Radio Friendly Unit Shifter series for cult clothing brand Mishka, and the Mark Ronson collaboration Radio Radio) have the Chicago Reader calling him “tastemaking royalty who can break an act single-handedly.” On the production side, his remixes and re-edits are favorites of blogs and fellow club DJs alike, getting play everywhere from college radio to commercial stations like Power 106 in Los Angeles.

As co-founder of the beloved Fool’s Gold record label with A-Trak (named an “indie innovator” by Billboard), Nick has helped launch the careers of artists like Kid Sister and Kid Cudi while curating steady releases of only the best in hand-picked new music. He was featured with the Fool’s Gold family in Bushmills’ “Since Way Back” ad campaign on giant billboards, wall posters and subway ads throughout the NYC metro area.

Before starting the label, Nick also served as associate editor at The FADER Magazine, holding down the mag’s radio show “The Let Out” on East Village Radio while writing features and cover stories on everyone from Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg to Jenny Lewis, Soca star Machel Montano and the Chicago juke scene.
Wrabel calls it his favorite feeling in the world: that moment just before a song comes into being.
"When the Rubik's Cube of the song hasn't quite clicked, and it's about to," he says. "You can
feel it — everything turning to lock this thing in."
It's a feeling he's chased for years, since he began writing songs as a teenager. "In high school
I wrote the worst songs," he says. "But it still boggled my mind that you could just sit down and
hours, or days later, something is created that didn't exist."
He has, of course, come a long way since then. Songs of his — like "Ten Feet Tall," recorded by
Afrojack— have been heard by millions of people around the world. But that feeling of fresh
discovery remains. "I wrote a song with my friend the other day, and he said to me, 'That song
will never not exist.' I was like, 'That's a little meta for me. It's a Wednesday. You can't go there
with me right now.' But that idea — I love it."
Wrabel specializes in music that telescopes small moments into songs with big impact. On
tracks like "11 Blocks" and "Gimme Your Love," the drums may get huge, but the feelings are
deeply personal. This is pop music rooted in the singer-songwriter tradition, and it all starts with
Wrabel sitting at a piano, fighting for self-expression and survival.
"I write a song because it's probably something I won't say out loud," says Wrabel. "All the
songs are true. It's all my little details. That's the only way I can survive: to be as open and
transparent as I can be."
But getting to a place of transparency has been a process: Music school – heartbreak, a new
start. All leading Wrabel back to where he started- sitting in front of a piano, trying to make
sense of it all. "For a long while I tried to steer so far away from that. I was chasing cool, making
everything weirder. 'Edit the vocal! Put it in reverse! Chop it up!' And I woke up one day and was
like, 'Why am I trying to be cool? I sit at the piano, and write kind of sad songs about stuff that
I've been through. Do that! Go do that!"
Wrabel was born 27 years ago on Long Island. His father was a salesman, and by the time he
was in high school he had lived all over the country, even as far as Australia. Over and over he
was the new kid in school. "I kind of liked it," he says "although I was scared of being the weird
kid." Music became a passion in middle school. "I got an Aiwa 800 Watt four CD-changer and I
would sing to karaoke tracks in my room — and my room was over the garage, so I could just
fucking crank it! My first recording was 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' to a karaoke track —
which I definitely burned on CDs and gave to way too many people."
By 16, he was in high school in Houston and had begun playing piano. "I started taking lessons
from the music leader at church. I wanted to learn how to play piano because I wanted to write a
song." A summer program at the Berklee College of Music in Boston led to his enrollment at the
college. While at Berklee, Wrabel posted original songs on MySpace, so when a songwriter in
England invited him to come over for a writing session, he knew he wasn't long for school.
"They yelled at me. 'You missed two weeks of classes!' I was like, "Yeah — to follow my
Before the end of his first semester, Wrabel left school and headed to Los Angeles. "I just
wanted to go for it," he says. He worked on his craft, writing with anyone he could, placing cuts
with artists like Adam Lambert and Phillip Phillips, all the while developing his own material. The
song "Ten Feet Tall" came out of the flush of his relationship with his first serious love, and
helped land him a deal with Island records. "My mom kept telling me, 'Write a happy song, write
a happy song. Everybody likes a happy song.' I did, and damn it, it's true!"
He released his own recording of the song, and sang on Afrojack's version. An EP followed, but
after a long period of creative searching Wrabel hadn't found what he was looking for, and he
and the label parted ways. He found himself back in Los Angeles, wondering if it was time to
pursue a career as a songwriter rather than an artist.
In the spring of 2016, Wrabel got a direct message on Twitter from Alex Hope, a
songwriter/producer he admired. When they met, he had an idea for a song: He'd realized his
ex lived only a few blocks away, and he often found himself walking by his house. " Alex and I
were messing around in the studio," he says. "She was playing some chords. And I told her the
whole story of my ex. I'd met someone new, but I'm probably going to walk home so I can
maybe run into my ex on the street, and then I'm going home to cook my boyfriend dinner.
She's like, 'We need to write about this.' "
"Eleven blocks from my door to your door step. Three years later and it feels too close," the
song began, building to a soaring chorus where Wrabel pleaded, "Someone stop me, please,
from hurting myself, cause I'm two blocks away." It was a remarkable collision of personal
details and the power of universal pop music.
"It came very naturally," he says. "I sent it to my manager, and he freaked out. The next morning
my manager calls me at 8:00 Am." Coffee in hand, he called back and was told L.A. Reid, the
chairman and CEO of Epic Records, wanted to sign him. "And I didn't know it, but my manager
had sent it in the middle of the night to L.A. Reid. And L.A. called him seven times in the middle
of night, and was texting him: 'Where are you? Who is this? I need this.'"
He met with Reid two days later. "The first time I met L.A., he called me a singer songwriter,"
Wrabel says. "And I almost cried. Because I sit down and play piano for a reason. And I spent
so long trying to push away from that".
"And then it all happened so quickly. Just months, and the songs are ready. I spent my whole
life thinking, Am I ready? Am I ready for a relationship? Am I ready for my career? Am I ready
for this session? This meeting? To play a show? Am I ready? But I realize I decide when I'm
ready. It's not like you take a test, and you're ready. You just say, I'm ready." And he is.
To Learn More About WRABEL, Visit:
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249