last night i DJed the christmas party at the homeless shelter where i’ve played a couple of times. it was a pretty average night but there was one surreal moment. i was playing “i don’t love you anymore” by teddy pendergrass which, from an instrumental standpoint, is a sunny day / wide smile / driving down the highway / horns bumpin’ disco track. the lyrics on the other hand are strangely sad although you can’t tell from teddy’s enthusiastic delivery (this song is a prime candidate for the “inappropriately happy” mix cd that exists in my head). everyone seemed to be vibing on the track and feeling good. there was this one woman who had been dancing and having a good time all night and she seemed to be really into this song but somewhere near the end of the song, as she danced by the table where i was set up, i noticed that tears were running down her cheeks. now and again, and i have these “music is some powerful sh*t” moments and that was definitely one of them.
|DJ Schedule||Saturday 11/19||I Love Vinyl @ Louie & Chan||10:00 p.m.–4:00 a.m.||303 Broome Street NYC|
|Monday 11/21||Friends @ Kinfolk||8:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m.||90 Wythe Ave, BK 11211|
Archive for December, 2004
un-silent night (review)
saturday night i was part of one the most awesome performance art pieces [i'm not sure if that's what to call it] i’ve ever witnessed. the idea behind “unsilent night” is as brilliant as its execution.
through word of mouth/web/email etc somewhere between 500-700 people (my own estimation) gathered at washington square park on saturday night at 7:00. the organizer, phil kline, could have greatly benefitted from a megaphone as he tried to address the crowd but everyone got the important point, the “1-2-3-now” at the end.
“now” was the moment at which about 100 people pressed play on the cassette decks of their battery operated “boom boxes” (aka “ghetto blasters” aka portable stereos). everyone received pre-recorded tapes from the organizer/composer and each tape had a different piece of the overall composition. i wasn’t sure what i expected to hear but as we started to walk out of washington square park heading towards tompkins square park, a peaceful, hazy mix of bells, percussion and synthesized long notes was building all around me.
the march didn’t have any police to stop traffic and after getting separated across a few lights, the people in front waited for people to pull together behind cooper union and started stopping traffic wholesale from there until the end of the march.
the music itself always had a few different patterns going at any given time and sometimes it was hard to tell difference between when music was actually changing and when someone had their (louder than average) boom box temporarily pointed at you.
my favorite part was walking down the crosstown blocks; the music would grew in intensity from bouncing back & forth between the buildings. also, a lot of people came to their windows, some holding small children, so that they could see what was going on.
through 12 years of practice (or extreme luck) the piece ended just about two minutes after the group formed one large circle upon arriving in tompkins square park. the percussion & bells faded first and we were just left wishing it wouldn’t end as the final notes got quieter and less frequent until the the piece just evaporated. people gave a hearty round of applause and then just went their separate ways.
Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love
7″ Single, 1972
This song is pretty much single-handedly responsible for me getting into buying 45s. I bought it in an overpriced record store in cleveland about two years ago. It was one of those places where the owner says, “if there’s no price on the record bring it up and I’ll price it for you” and then he smiles a little too much. That and $10 Brothers Johnson records (although good, should be $1) landed me in the 45 section because it was the only section that had a reasonable (and fixed) price, 3/$5. There was also a turntable in the 45 section and six hours later the owner came up to me and asked if i was about done because he had to get home. I walked out with twenty 45s, this one being the masterpiece.
The whole song is beautiful but my favorite interplay is the changing pattern of the hi-hat symbol from the first part of the chorus to the second part (pre- and post- 0:55, 1:49, 3:15)
Also, don’t miss the crazy bass fill at 2:44.
>> songs are available for two weeks [4.9 MB]
Madame X has asked me to DJ their New Year’s party…
Madame X has asked me to DJ their New Year’s party. Yay! It’s not the most expensive thing in town but it ain’t cheap! It’s $90 a person for open bar between 10-3. For the full details, click here.
Re: wednesdays for the rest of the year: I’ll be at Madame X tonight and next wednesday but not the wed. between christmas and new years (aka 12/15, 12/22 but not 12/29).
Quincy Jones (featuring Bill Cosby)
Smackwater Jack, 1971
This is the original “Best of Both Worlds”. Quincy Jones’ choppy funk and Bill Cosby’s (mostly unintelligable) trash talk…(drum roll) on ONE record. This was the theme song to the (original?) Bill Cosby show.
Funkiest Quincy Moment = 1:46 – 1:58 (bass and low brass playing hot unison lines)
Funniest Bill Moment = 3:12 – End (“i love ‘em, eat ‘em all the time”i’m sorry…what?)
>> songs are available for two weeks
According to this article Jay-Z was named CEO of Def Jam today. Does anyone else see this as a conflict of interest? Yeah, i know Jay-Z “retired” but what about the next time LL finishes a verse with “LL Cool J, n*gga, greatest of all time” and he’s not happy with the video budget he gets for the song? What do you think his first snide remark is going to be?
alpha bravo charlie
this week i’ll be doing double duty at madame x (wed & fri) and also playing a house party on saturday. i’m getting a little closer to how it will feel to dj full time. the mystery that i’m trying to solve is how to pull out records for a 5 or 6 hour set in less than an hour and a half. i try to limit myself to different sections of the alphabet and things like that but i usually can’t walk away without looking through the ENTIRE wall of records. I think my over-alphabetized anal-ness is on a collision course with reality!
Toto (bear with me!) are, of course, known best for the quintessentially 80′s “Africa” and “Rosanna” but much fewer people are familiar with their debut album and their straight up Soul/R&B collaboration with Cheryl Lynn (of “Got To Be Real” fame) on the song “Georgy Porgy”. The song however, is fairly well known through Eric Benet’s 1999 cover that features Faith Evans.
Don’t miss the syncopated horn break that truly makes this song a classic (@1:51 & 4:00). Also, check the guitar solo (@ 2:00) and imagine driving around san francisco on a september sunday afternoon.
>> songs are available for two weeks
My friend The Loop Professor (Ben Allen) is having his birthday party tonight at KEYBAR – 432 East 13th Street (btwn 1st & A). He’ll be spinning his favorite party jams of all time and i will also bring a few of mine and spin at some point during the night. If you are in the neighborhood, come through.