The Crystal Method’s Scott Kirkland Recovering After Brain Surgery

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The Crystal Method’s Scott Kirkland (pictured right) has issued a statement revealing that he has undergone brain surgery, resulting in the delay or cancellation of the band’s fifth album and tour dates. No tumor was found but doctors did find a benign posterior fossa arachnoid cyst. News of Kirkland’s health scare comes after New York DJ/producer Peter Rauhofer succumbed to a brain tumor.

“Many months ago I started experiencing short, but painful headaches. Thinking they were related to too many flights (or one too many flights of tequila), I didn’t think too much about it, but during my annual checkup I mentioned the headaches to my doctor. She recommended a brain MRI. Scary, but No big deal, right???

Well, thankfully no tumors, but the MRI did find something called a ‘benign posterior fossa arachnoid cyst,’ which normally would be left alone and monitored with future MRIs. That diagnosis worked for me because Ken and I were busy putting the finishing touches on our self-titled studio album that would be followed up by a big summer tour.

I was referred to the very talented University of Southern California brain surgeon Dr. Chen, who evaluated the diagnosis and explained that complications with my cyst could arise due to my tendency to get a little excited on stage. He recommended surgery.

A date was set for extraction of said cyst and on April 11, 2013, I was given a dose of the ‘good stuff.’ A few hours later I came to with a well-sutured hole four-and-a-half inches long in the back of my head and a pain that was only appeased by a round of pharmies. After a few days in the hospital, I got to go home and a week later I felt good enough to join Ken in the studio for a couple of hours on two consecutive days. Some of you might have seen the picture on our Facebook page.

Just when I thought I was on the mend, I contracted an infection and, due to complications, I ended up back in the hospital where I spent most of my next 10 days in ICU dealing with a painful lumbar spinal drain, aka a ‘Spinal Tap.’

Pain that seemed to be set on 11 held me hostage for the first 24 hours. The line from the movie Spinal Tap—”Given the history of Spinal Tap drummers, uh, in the past, do you have any fears, uh, for your life?”—made me laugh a few times, but all in all it was not fun.

Finally, this past week I got home to my wonderful family and a healthy supply of antibiotics that automatically dose me every four hours intravenously, and will continue to do so for the next few weeks.

I’m itching to get back in the studio and finish mixing the last two tracks for what is an amazing record with Ken, but I recognize my need to rest until I get the thumbs up for a return to work from Dr. Chen.

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is for me that my health has made us postpone the release of the new record and cancel a summer full of amazing shows. But I am fully intending to be back in the studio in a couple of weeks with Ken, and our agents are starting to work on putting together new shows for the fall.

Love you all and Keep Hope Alive,
Scott”

Tommie Sunshine Discusses Twitter Feud with DJ Sneak

What the hell happened last week between DJ Sneak and Tommie Sunshine on Twitter? Within the blink of a tweet the two DJs squared off and threw down on the social media network in a heated exchange. And it got very personal. Those who followers Sunshine know that he speaks his mind on a host of issues in addition to music (drugs, politics, life). Regular readers of Big Shot will remember that in March, Sneak, the self-described House Gangster, got into a bitter Twitter feud with Swedish House Mafia’s Steve Angello over comments he made about the act in an interview. “If you are going to do pre-recorded sets then call yourself a live act or a performer, leave the DJing to real DJs,” an unapologetic Sneak told us. “There are many DJs out there that can rock a crowd and do what they have to without faking it.” It seems that both jocks’ opinions clashed in a perfect storm. But what instigated the virtual brawl on November 12?

On November 13, Big Shot contacted Sneak and Sunshine to get their side about what caused the war of tweets. Dan Ross of X-Mix Productions, Sneak’s management company, said a comment would be forthcoming but none appeared (we followed up three times and didn’t receive a reply). Tommie Sunshine, however, told us his side of the story.

Tommie Sunshine: “This [incident] seems petty but maybe there is something bigger to learn here.”

“[I was] enjoying the endless irony of RichieHawtin‘s CNTRL_EDM feed as he was one of the first producers with a publicist and an ‘act.’ It set off a kid in Canada who then tweeted to Richie thus starting chaos. He then brought up Sneak in which I replied:

“I have had it with people talking about the good ‘ol days. I have always had the utmost respect for DJ Sneak and his illustrious career. He made many classic Chicago house tracks that have endured the ages. That being said, I always am disappointed when he complains about the state of our music. He has had a very amazing career in which he’s only ever done what he wants to do and the industry has let him. Why would someone like that have anything to complain about? It’s sad to hear legends complain about what is coming next. The kids rule the world. Without them, we don’t have careers. The whole vibe of this music has been taken back to the feel of the rave days in the early ’90s some 20 years ago. I’m thankful for that and am enjoying it all over again with the biggest smile on my face.”

Sneak then fired off a series of replies. Here are a few:

During the virtual fracas, a fan of both DJs pleaded for calm but received a Twitter smackdown from Sneak.

Later on, Sunshine took to Twitter to defend himself:

Though Sunshine has seemingly maintained nothing but respect for Sneak’s career in his tweets, the tussle opened up an old wound: Sunshine, who is now sober, accused Sneak of blowing pot smoke in his face after crashing his DJ set in L.A.

In spite of the brouhaha, both jocks with Chicago roots are carrying on. Sneak just played a show in São Paulo and remains active on Twitter. Sunshine released his Growth EP on November 15 and says his recent gig at EDC Orlando (where his DJ bag was stolen) was amazing (“It was tremendous. These kids were having the times of their lives.”) and he’s also on the bill for EDM for Sandy Relief with The Crystal Method, Drop The Lime and others at Gramercy Theatre tonight.

With a few days perspective from the scuffle with Sneak, Sunshine seems now be in a pragmatic frame of mind about the feud. “This [incident] seems petty but maybe there is something bigger to learn here about us moving forward and the growing pains of it all.”

Killer Miami DJ Gets Life Sentence

Miami area DJ Juan Carlos Portieles has been convicted of First Degree Murder in the death of is 18-year old girlfriend Jaclyn Torrealba, who he was charged with killing in October 2009. A Miami-Dade county jury has given Portieles, 33, a life sentence with no chance of parole for killing Torrealba and then driving around for a day with her body in the front seat of his car. Portieles used the alias DJ Seasunz and played trance sets on Miami’s club scene. He had opened for acts such as The Crystal Method and Armin Van Buuren, and was on the bill for a Tiësto gig in Fort Lauderdale before his arrest. If an appeal is not successful, Portieles will die in prison.

Dance Music Artists Remember Michael Jackson

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It’s still hard to believe that the King of Pop is gone. While Michael Jackson‘s personal life was plagued with alleged addiction to prescription drugs, trials, lawsuits and all sorts of bizarre behavior, he gave the world its greatest-selling album of all time, Thriller, and a body of work that will live on forever. And let’s not forget how he moonwalked into history with some of the best videos and his unprecedented dance moves. Big Shot asked a few prominent dance music artists to share their thoughts on MJ’s legacy.

Gamble & Huff: “Michael was a great and wonderful artist and performer. We were privileged and honored to record him and his brothers here at Philadelphia International Records…. We are very honored to have been a part of Michael Jackson’s music and creative career in helping to write and produce his own music with his brothers. We know his music and legacy will live on for a very long time.”

Scott Kirkland, The Crystal Method: “The controversy that has surrounded him the last 20 years is only eclipsed by the genius of Off The Wall and Thriller.”

Duvdev, Infected Mushroom: “Today is a sad for music. He as a great singer,  a great artist and one of the best performers on the planet. We were looking forward to seeing him back in his full glory on stage, and now with his passing we’ll have to remember him when he was BAD.”

Dave Audé: “I speak for the dance music community when I say Michael Jackson’s music has rocked more dance floors than any other artist, period. I was definitely looking forward to heading over to London to catch a few of his shows. His musical genius will be sorely missed.”

BSTV: The Crystal Method

The Crystal Method‘s Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland sat down with Big Shot backstage at Webster Hall in New York City and discussed their forthcoming album, Divided By Night. The album features a host of cameos, including Matisyahu (who appears on the first single, “Drown In The Now”), Justin Warfield, Emily Haines, Meiko, and others. We’ve heard a few tracks from Divided, and they’re killer. But let’s allow the boys to tell you more about what’s in store in this exclusive video.