Archive for June 2011

The Night My DJ Skills Bombed

June 29, 2011

One Thursday evening, I DJed with Spank, Nigel and Rhett.  Before I started mixing music, Nigel and Spank both DJed past events I hosted.


I was allowed to play music first.  From classic funk I drifted to house music.  As soon as Spank took over, people began to dance, an early warning I ignored.

When Nigel’s time came, people still danced.

Then my time came again.  At first, I had the floor dancing to classic funk and soul.  Even one of Orlando’s most respected DJs danced, a woman named Becky.

Somewhere along the line, I decided to be a smart-ass.  Don’t ask why this happened.  I guess I just wanted to be self-destructive.  As I had the people dancing, I decide to play Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”, a disco song that cleared the damned floor.

Spank came to save me.

Disgusted I walked outside and began telling folks what happened.

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” said my friend Todd.  “They don’t appreciate good music.  They’re just some artsy-fartsy types that like to talk all night.”

True enough, our event was an art after-party.  Still, Todd’s words did not sooth my bruised ego.

Then, I started dancing with women.

“You guys spin,” I told Spank.  “I’ll just pimp.”

Later on, wanting to play again, I forgot I said those words.  But Nigel and Spank didn’t forget.  So, I didn’t spin again that night.  (Months later, Spank reminded me of what I said.)


Rhett showed up later.  For about thirty minutes, he spun electro/house music and then left.

Nigel and Spank spun the rest of the night as folks continued dancing.

Days later, I read my “bomb” may have been a good thing.  Because a bar relies on drink sales, my “bomb” may have been the perfect time for dancers to buy more booze, adding more sales to the bar.

In a book about DJing, I read one of the worst things is having everyone dance all night.   The more time people spend on the dance floor, the less time they are buying drinks, an irritant for bar owners.

As he handed out money at the end of the night, Spank did mention it was the most money he has ever made during a gig.   Who knows, my “bomb” may have been a good thing.

Still, good thing or not, folks leaving the dance floor during my set continues fucking with me.

The No Requests DJ

June 26, 2011

Last night, a DJ played in a local bar.  He jammed his beats on the bar’s stage.  On technology he had me beat.  A laptop sat on the first level of his stand as his huge controller sat on the second.  Not only that, he owned two PA speakers and the capability to show videos on two of the bar’s wide-screen televisions.  The televisions existed high on the wall behind the bar counter.

I understand the logic behind this.

No way in hell could I compete with that.  My usual equipment is my laptop, external hard drive and an electrical outlet chord.

As far as his talent goes?  It’s questionable.   In many nightclubs, whole songs aren’t played anymore.  Now, you hear maybe half  of the song and the DJ immediately cuts into another.  I understand the logic.  Any drag in the music may stop folks from dancing.   Still,  isn’t it disrespectful  to the artist to only play half the song?   Maybe, folks know something I don’t.

I noticed a No Requests sticker on back of the DJ’s laptop.   Sometimes, I wish I can get away with that.  As me and the crowd are grooving, some clueless fuck requests something that screws up the whole program.  I understand perfectly well why some Djs won’t take requests.

Yet, some requests steers me into the right direction.  The right request informs me on what the crowd really wants to hear.  With that, the crowd energy pumps up.  Despite the annoyances, this is why I except requests.

Many bar patrons danced to No Request DJ’s music.  I wondered if I could cause this same crowd the same excitement with my equipment.  Or could I cause higher excitement?

In this bar, I may never get the chance to see.   Yet, I refuse butchering people’s music like I saw No Request DJ doing.  If that makes me old-school and out of date, so be it.

Chill Tuesdays Playlist 6-21-2011

June 24, 2011


Folks chillin' at the bar counter.

Here’s this week’s sample of songs I played.

1. Le Nettoyeur by Greg Baumont: A slick instrumental bumping hip-hop beats.   The musical arrangement  and sound is almost reminiscent of  Enigma and Art of Noise.

2. Just The Two of Us by Grover Washington, Jr.: A classic soul-jazz piece.  The legendary Bill Withers does the vocals as the late Mr. Washington blows the saxophone.  Some folks may recognize it as the song Will Smith sampled for his song of the same name.

3. River Serpentine by The Budos Band: A funky gem centered around horns.  It has a cool sixties vibe to it.

4. Sabhyata by Karmix:  When it comes to vocals, I normally avoid non-English singing songs.  Yet, because I enjoyed the East Indian vocal arrangement, I included this number in my collection.  As middle-eastern music plays, scratching plays in the mix.

5. Makes You Extatic by The Tao of Groove:  Another cool song mixing jazz samples and hip-hop. Also, we hear smooth jazz guitar playing along with a flute.

6. Take Me To Mardi James by Bob James: Old-school, hip-hop heads will recognize the opening as the sample for Run-DMC’s “Peter Piper”.  A keyboard grooves to jazz on this smooth jam.

7. Mystic Brew by Ronnie Foster: Funky organ work added to smooth jazz.  This cool gem is easily recognized as the sample for A Tribe Called Quest’s “Electric Relaxation.”