I played some records last night. That was the first time I have DJed publicly in five years, and the first time I have played out in New York City. I had, well, a decent time. I've played music, either as a DJ or as a drummer, off and on for probably about fifteen years now, and little has changed in terms of how I feel afterwards: empty. From the first time I played drums in a band in front of others all the way until tonight, I became and continue to be sympathetic to all the problems that many musicians have. What I mean to say is that I can't help but think that other musicians feel the same emptiness after a performance that I do. And so they do heroin or screw a girl or a few girls they don't care about. I don't do either, so my sympathy is pretty theoretical. Yet it exists.
DJing is not easy in that there is always the challenge of expectations. If you are in a band and play original music, there is a strong likelihood that whoever is coming to see you knows what type of music you will be playing. While this is true to a certain extent for DJs too, of course, the fact that, as a DJ, any piece of music that has ever been recorded is fair game for requests changes things a bit. For instance, I was guesting at a night that is pretty specifically devoted to house music and, for lack of a better term, black classics. So that is what I brought with me. Few of the people in the bar this past evening were there specifically to hear the kind of music that was played. So even though, from many standpoints, I DJed well, and played some pretty obvious records (instead of trying to hip people to Dutch acid techno), most of the people I played for were, at the very least, indifferent. So am I good DJ because I played my records well or a bad DJ because I didn't play the records most people wanted to hear? I don't know. There is no way to please everybody and, as I surveyed the crowd, it was hard for me to imagine most of them dancing for any reason other than having closed a particularly lucrative financial transaction.
Regardless, for your benefit, here is what I played:
A fun way to open the night.
Dig those fucking pianos. Genius. Seriously.
3. Inner City "Do You Love What You Feel (House Mix)" (NB video is not the right mix)
It was obvious at this point that anything I played would get no reaction.
Well, I was feeling it.
5. Projekt:PM "Take You Higher (Take No. 12)" (Can't find a sample of this one)
Well, I was getting higher. Note to young DJs: be wary of free alcohol.
The best Marc Kinchen impression in years.
7. Repair "Forgive and Forget (Richard Davis Remix)" (Can't find a sample of this one)
I allowed myself one "micro" record.
Bang it out... I probably played this at around +5!
It was advised that I should start playing something people know. So I did. I thought I was already playing popular records. But nobody was there for house music. Oh well.
I don't think this really makes sense thematically to play after the Madonna record. But It surely expressed how I felt at the time. Why do I like DJing again?
Another pop record. Another matter of indifference. Brilliant remix.
I was running out of pop music. When I played this I got compliments from both of the people who weren't DJing that night who actually liked house music. I guess the difference between DJing a bar is New York and in Washington, DC is that you can get gigs from the person who isn't ignoring you.
Nice transition track - starts off harder and then the piano comes in. It was definitely time to take it down. There's a difference between a lot of indifferent people in a room and a few.
14. Raze "Break 4 Love (Instrumental)" (NB video is not the right mix - it has vocals, obviously)
The mix into this was pretty spectacular, if I may say so myself.
Not four-on-the-floor so a good way to chill things out even more. That few people even got into this one really signified to me that there was absolutely no pleasing anyone.
Only goes with the above insofar as it is another Prince production. Otherwise, this was a pretty inconsistent mix lyrically. Yes I care about those things, though savvy listeners will notice that I stopped caring a few records ago.
I knew it was going to be my last one so I just played something I wanted to hear. I just dropped the record in right at the point where she begins repeating "put some Grace in your face" consistently.
That's that. Listen to the links. Enjoy.