Now Playing: Playgroup Partymix (mixed by Trevor Jackson)
Topic: music appreciation
Three words: DAY PARTIES ROCK.
I can do nothing but smile when I think about last Saturday. The night before, Beth told me about the DJ lineup for the first session at P.S. 1 this summer: Madlib, Peanut Butter Wolf, and Trevor Jackson. My jaw almost hit the floor. There was no question as to where I was spending the day on July 3rd. Wifey needed a ?me day? as she called it, so she wished me well and I was off to Queens.
As my feet touched the terrain of the urban beach, Madlib was setting the mood with a number of assorted soul, funk, and jazz gems. I don?t even think I was in there for ten minutes when he dropped the needle on ?Diggin? In Brownswood? by DJ Rels (brilliant slice of future soul). So I start cuttin? a step to that. Peanut Butter Wolf makes his way down the steps that lead towards the museum and smiles in approval. I bow in acknowledgement. Had to let him know that I was here to rep for Stones Throw.
Those two controlled the groove for the next four hours with hip-hop, some disco, some Latin-flavored joints, a little electro, all types of stuff. The DJ booth was right in front of the museum?s entrance, which you had to walk up steps to get to, so the sound system was naturally elevated. I did dip into the museum for a hot minute to check out the exhibitions, but I?ll have to head back on a day when I can take or leave the acts outside. I kind of felt as if I was doing the artists a disservice. Here were these amazing exhibits that I wanted to give my full attention to, but couldn?t because my main reason for coming was outside. Thankfully, most of the exhibits will be there until the end of September.
I knew that I would receive some sort of confirmation regarding my relationship with music if I went. I danced practically the entire time that I was there, as if all the energy that had been stored away from not being able to go out for a while was saved for this particular day. Hardly knew anyone else that was there, but the few people that I did recognize were all DJ colleagues, including my man Fflood, in town from California. So the only people I knew were fellow groove purveyors. Couple that with the fact that the three men that I came to see were highly accomplished DJs/producers in their own right ? that?s confirmation.
But it gets better. Trevor Jackson closed out the event with a two-hour set and KILLED IT. His offering was a positive education in house, techno, electro, and funk. By the time his mix began, the place was packed and heads were ready to dance and have a good time. A number of adults had brought their children along, and it was really cool to see them dancing and running around, having a great time. One kid was up on their guardian?s shoulders during Trevor?s set, throwing their hands in the air and all smiles. I danced alongside heads from around the way as well as some that lived as far away as San Francisco, Switzerland, and the U.K. Sharing such a great vibe with the people around me from all walks of life just reminded me of what a joy and a blessing it is to be alive.
On top of all that, Trevor played two songs that I have on my upcoming mix CD: Liquid Liquid?s ?Optimo? and Carl Craig?s ?Tres Demented.? The former song opens up the second half of my mix while the latter closes it out. I couldn?t believe it. As ?Tres Demented? faded up in the mix, I absolutely lost it. For anyone that?s heard the track, it?s Craig at his most primal and tribal. It?s all pounding drums with shrieks and yells that build in intensity as more elements are added. By the time the beat really kicks in, there?s no way you can?t get worked up into a frenzy. So I really let loose by that time.
Like I said, there were a number of people I didn?t know, but apparently they noticed me. Several of them commented on the fact that I had been dancing almost all day and seemed somewhat amazed by my amount of energy. (If you go to my profile, there?s a picture of me in the midst of body movin?. I?m wearing my ?got vinyl?? t-shirt. That?s pretty much what I looked like for six hours straight last Saturday.) I ended up taking pictures with a few people, which was fun, silly, and slightly odd. I?m far from a celeb and I?m no club kid. I?m just a guy that believes that music is God?s gift. Dancing without inhibition is how I show my appreciation. Maybe people needed evidence that you can have that much energy while dancing and not be high at the same time. Who knows? All I know is that I came to have fun and I added to the positive vibe of the day. I was where I was supposed to be.
During the last song of Trevor Jackson?s set, I made my way up the stairs and through the crowd to the DJ booth. When I got there, I thanked him for the set and especially for Liquid Liquid and Carl Craig. We spent the next few seconds talking about how wicked a track we both think ?Tres Demented? is. I also gave him props for the Playgroup Partymix, a megamix he created that packs over 200 songs into the space of an hour.
?Thank you for Music Appreciation 101,? I said. Trevor gives me this curious look and says, ?How old are you?? ?Thirty,? I reply. ?Oh?you?re a young guy, too,? he says. If Trevor?s in his early thirties, I?d be surprised. I figure him for late twenties, but he may be older than that.
I make my way towards the subway, hugging a few people on the way out. The world could?ve ended at that very moment and I still would?ve had a smile on my face. Exhausted but exhilarated, I head home, thinking to myself, if I had a chance to rock a crowd that size, could I pull it off?
I close my eyes, smile, and proceed to tell myself that I could.