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Tuesday, 12 April 2005
this guy...
Now Playing: Nite-Liters - "K-Jee"
Topic: spinna steez

while today was one of the better days at the job, being a customer service representative is far from a life's ambition. so i am forced to refer back to a present-day philosophy that speaks to my situation: "it pays the bills." in a few weeks, however, i transform back into this guy:

man, i miss this guy. where's he been? last time i would've seen him was around january, i think. yes, this guy crawls back out from the rock he's been hiding under to tag the tables at a pair of upcoming parties. first, there's Retroactive on the 23rd. that one should be hot. a number of spinnas that i really respect will be in the mix that night, all of us with two hours each to do our thing. David Mancuso was right: a 60-minute DJ set really is a fart in a windstorm. gotta be able to tell a story. anyhow, the following week is a party called FRESH at The Delancey. that one's on April 30th. all hip-hop and house that night. Retroactive will have a number of sounds on tap - house, techno, jungle, breaks. i've got one of the opening sets, so i'm throwing down some funk, soul, and breaks that night. i never appreciated opening sets like i should have. you're able to get away with playing some different stuff when you have the opening set. it's not really your job to be the balls out club banger of the night; you're actually welcoming people in and getting the dance floor ripe for the one that comes after you. i think as long as i can spin some tunes that people know and enjoy as well as hit 'em off with some jams that i'm really passionate about, i can meet heads halfway.

fyi: not like you asked, but the picture above was taken my lovely wife, beth. so that's me at Sound Unity Project 2, a three-day camping party in upstate NY, summer of 2003. i could even tell you what's on the turntable that i'm standing over: a reworking of Olli Ahvenlahti's "Grandma's Rocking Chair." two Finnish DJs (Didier and Anomymous) took Kenny Dope's bootleg mix of it and extended it. it's this sick four-turntable workout of old jazz and funk breaks that goes on for like sixteen minutes. gotta remember to bring that with me for the 23rd. and see that seven-inch record sitting up against the other turntable? that was my copy of "Funky Nassau" by The Beginning of The End, one of two 45s that were swiped from me. for a couple of weeks, i couldn't hear "Funky Nassau" on the radio without getting really upset. thankfully, i was able to cop the album reissue through Turntable Lab. while i miss the 45, i never had the album before, which also includes "When She Made Me Promise." the first ten seconds of it were used as an interlude for Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth's classic "T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You)."

alright, enough DJ geekdom for one day. of course, this guy only has one turntable at home (since one of them gave up the ghost last year), so all of the segues happen in my head now. i don't like going into a DJ set so raw - i believe in practice, practice, practice...and i haven't been able to. even a cat like Mark Farina, whose Mushroom Jazz CDs are the pick of downtempo addicts everywhere, still brushes up on his undeniable skills in a practice session. let's hope some of these mental blends of mine actually work over a soundsystem, or this guy could fall flat in the mix quick, fast, and in a hurry.

hell, i'm up for an adventure if you are...

Posted by macedonia at 12:11 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 12 April 2005 11:20 PM EDT
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Monday, 26 April 2004
when the beats are no longer in sync
Now Playing: the silence that accompanies a mental quandary...
Topic: spinna steez

A few weeks back, the belt on one of my belt drive turntables snapped. Honestly, I?m surprised it didn?t do that several years earlier. I always took pride in making superior mixes with inferior equipment and this particular turntable was bargain basement, discontinued, and at least ten years old when the belt went bust. But a strange thing has occurred: I don?t feel the need to rush right out and get another one. At least not anytime soon. I hardly have the time to practice mixing at home these days, anyway.

I don?t even think I have the insatiable desire to spin anymore. If I didn?t spin a gig for the next six months, I probably wouldn?t complain. I?m starting to question if I even miss it. Drama with bar managers probably has a lot to do with it. However, last year I had a residency that I was able to hold down for about nine months or so (and had some fun in the process), but organization wasn?t exactly the order of the day and I always felt like I was the last one to know everything. So even when I got what I thought I always wanted - a DJ residency at a bar/club - even that went sour after a while.

I?m at the place where I don?t have to be the one spinning at a party. I?m more than happy being one in the number, gettin? my dance on, spreading positive vibes and showing love for the spinner. Maybe if I did more loft parties or outlaws or parties outside of New York (I still smile when I think of Squeeshee up in Poughkeepsie back in January), the craving to do my thing before a crowd would still be there. Maybe my current job has beaten my ambitions out of me. But I think the day the belt snapped was the day my need to spin music died.

I won?t stop sharing or talking about music ? I couldn?t if I tried. I?ll probably do so on a much more intimate scale. I?m currently making mixes for friends, but they?re the personal kind, not mixes that I create to pass out to everyone. I know I have at least two more of those in me, but I don?t think I?ll continue after that. My last music purchases were in February and I?m still trying to find the time to listen to stuff that I bought or was sent to me a month before that. You know what I?ve been buying lately? DVDs. Not a lot of them ? just enough to know that I prefer staying home to going out.

Clearly I?ve hit a transitional period in my life, as far as music is concerned. It doesn?t scare me, although I do find it a bit strange. I honestly didn?t think that this would happen now. I figured it would happen in another 15 or 20 years from now. I still love music, but it doesn?t seem as important to me as it did about a month and a half ago. Odd?just plain odd. Maybe it?s a sign of growing up, maybe it?s quietly admitting defeat, chronic jadedness, who knows? All I know is that even though I have a ?music must-have? list about seven pages long, it?s not a moral imperative that I chop away at it every month with four new purchases. Or even one, for that matter. Meanwhile, the DVD wish list continues to grow. And the chances of those wants being fulfilled grows by the minute?

Posted by macedonia at 5:55 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 7 May 2004 10:44 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 14 April 2004
why the night @ madame x had to die...
Now Playing: Advanced D&D with Donna Summer (wfmu.org)
Topic: spinna steez

Soundscraper Sanctuary @ Madame X is no more. This is due to various factors, none more annoying than the one who was running the show. They tell you that you need to play more of a variety and weren?t even there the whole night to hear what you played. They tell you that pay will come with more heads in the bar; however, when said heads rolled through, they tell you that it?s not really your money because they invited particular heads?only to follow it up with the snide-ass question, ?If we?re bringing in people without you, then why do we need you?? All of this was said to my partner Enrique and then relayed to me. All I can say is?it?s a damn good thing I wasn?t there to hear this. I?m a man that desperately needs to stay holy, and that wasn?t going to happen at this place. In short, we left so that I could save some lives.

I have grown rather tired of bars in general. I imbibe occasionally, but not on the regular. As of late, It?s rare that I drink alcohol while I?m out at a club. During the Madame X gig, it was all about cranberry juice and ginger ale for me. Same goes for Enrique ? he wants to live a sober existence and has been quite faithful in making that happen. Meanwhile, we?re spinning in places whose aim is to make money by slinging suds. Our aim is to create a vibe; theirs is to get loot from others getting drunk. Music is merely the background noise for their main purpose. This is bound to create problems when you want to stay away from that whole scene, and that may or may not have been a factor that Enrique thought about beforehand.

In addition, the decor was also a hindering factor for me. Don?t get me wrong ? the place is beautiful. Red color scheme, lots of comfy couches, very relaxing. Only problem is?the bar looks like a bordello. And every other portrait on the wall is of naked women touching themselves. One of them is larger than life and writhes in ecstasy from the bathroom door. This is one of the first things you see when you initially walk in. An overabundance of flesh is exactly what I?ve been trying to escape. When you?re married, you become cognizant of the fact that you really shouldn?t tempt yourself. The whole concept made me uncomfortable after a while.

So that's the story. Whether or not I?ll be back at another bar, I can?t say. Just not feeling bars right now.

Posted by macedonia at 1:42 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 7 May 2004 10:44 AM EDT
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