Archive for August 2011

The Party’s Outside, Bro!

August 31, 2011

At last Tuesday’s DJ gig, due to the broke air conditioner, the party happened outside the bar.   Because of this, I aimed one of the speakers towards the open door.

As folks partied outside, the bar’s owner began hanging artwork on the wall.    Last Friday, an opening was supposed to happen…but the artist and his art didn’t show up.  Unfortunately, the artist (an African-American) happened to be a member of my racial group.  You makin’ us look bad, bruh!   So, Moire hung up art from her private collection.

Wait a minute.   What the fuck?!

A few people, like Chris, remained inside the hot building.  To give him some credit, he was sitting by the opened door.

After my gig, I followed some folks to Denny’s.

Inside, I attempted no-flash photography.    I put the the camera on 1600 ISO, its highest setting.

After our meals, some folks remained in the parking lot.  Me?  I headed home.

Tonight, I got another gig at the same place.  If another outside party happens, the camera and I will be ready for it.

Saturday Night Boozing in a Small Town

August 29, 2011

Last Saturday night,  I cruised the automobile to Downtown Sanford, Florida.   Unlike Downtown Orlando, parking is free in Downtown Sanford.

My first stop was Little Fish-Huge Pond.  The Sucio Crew hosted a party here.  Los Garcia controlled the music, mostly hip hop.  In the below pic, you’ll see a green bucket containing the word “tips”.    That’s my creation used for my own DJ nights here.

Chris and Moire:  Chris is El Presidente of the Sucio Crew.   Moire is the owner of Little Fish.

Because Little Fish only serves beer and wine, some members of the Sucio Crew decided to walk around the block to The West End, a full liquor bar.

The West End usually have live bands.  Tonight it had two DJs, DJ Code Blue and ill Gil.

Also, The West End crowd usually contains twenty to early thirty-somethings.    Here you can find friendly people.

Paul Williams, owner of  The West End:  You’ll always see Paul smiling and greeting patrons.  Some nights, he would rap 90s hip hop as a musician plays the acoustic guitar.

Possessing a weakness for cute Latinas, I asked  the young lady can I photograph her.  Because she was camera shy, El Presidente posed with her.

After two drinks, the crew headed back to Little Fish.

A few minutes later, I walked outside.   The young lady in the following pic frequents my DJ nights.  This was the first time I noticed the tattoo on her chest.

Afterwards, I walked to The Wet Spot, a bar with a controversial name.   An older crowd hangs here.   At this spot, folks can be friendly too.  In the past, I saw a wet t-shirt competition here.

The DJ and his girl (I guessed she was):  I never knew the DJ’s name.  Yet, he always has a smile and plays the latest jams.

The DJ’s brother and the bar back.   The brother always call me Wyclef.

The booze can be cheap at The Wet Spot.  For a Bud Light draft, I paid $2.50.    After two of those, I headed back to Little Fish for one more beer.

Truth be known,compared to bigger cities, Downtown Sanford isn’t the most glamorous night spot in the world.  Unlike bigger cities, only a few bars in Downtown Sanford attempt catering to the “upscale” crowd.  Also, if you love the sight of huge urban buildings, you won’t find it here.  Yet,  a night in this small town still beats high-priced parking and expensive drinks. The parking is free and drinks are cheap.  Also, in almost every establishment there’s no cover fee.

As for the eye candy?  You’ll find it.  You just have to know where to look.

Death Metal and a Bruce Campbell Look-A-Like

August 28, 2011

Last Tuesday’s DJ gig at Little Fish turned interesting.  I guess “interesting” would be the appropriate word.

First, some dudes taped Toasty upside-down to a street post.

One of the culprits was the guy in the blue shirt, a soldier just returning from Iraq.

Looking at him now, dude resembles actor Bruce Campbell from Army of Darkness.

Teresa, Teressa and Yazmin:  They didn’t  cause any problems.  I just like how this pic turned out.

As the evening went on, two guys kept requesting death metal all night.  I didn’t mind the music.  Yet, all DAMNED NIGHT they request it?

Some folks complained.

“Start requesting songs then,” I said.

Usually, when some folks make song requests, they tip me.   Tonight everybody was broke, meaning no song requests and no tip money.

Truth be known, tipping is not a huge requirement for me.   I only wish that for people who keep requesting songs all night, like the death metal dudes.

Before they left, one death metal guy did tip me.  In my tip bucket, he left a HUGE WHOPPING THIRTY CENTS!!!

I hope I didn’t break the guy.

Instead of fiction writing, it may be wise to just stick with journalism. Or whatever you call my style of writing.  Some of this shit, you just can’t make up.

A Friday Night Stroll In Downtown Orlando

August 27, 2011

Last night, I decided to take a stroll through Downtown Orlando.   When it comes to photography, I normally carry my Canon Rebel SLR, something I carry in a gym bag.   Many Downtown Orlando bars prohibit bags.   Also, because of it’s size, an SLR camera attracts too much attention at the door.    For all I know, those could be prohibited in some bars too.  So, I settled with a pocket camera, something I can sneak in without attracting attention.

Actually, it’s more of a video camera than a photo camera.  Yet, it somewhat accomplished what I wanted.

The first thing that pissed me off about Downtown Orlando was the parking.  Years ago, I could pay four dollars for all night parking in a parking garage.   Not anymore I can’t.

Other parking spaces cost too much also.

This price looked more appealing.  Also, I have history with this parking lot.  Over the years, in a car,  I’ve had some sensual seduction in this spot.   Another reason why I chose to park here.

First place I went to was Eye Spy.   There I ran into my buddy, Keith Webber.  For six years, he’s worked as security for several bars in Downtown Orlando.

I think this guy’s name is Jason.  From what Keith told me, he manages Eye Spy.

The place in the next photo has went through several names: The Beacham, Deachos, Zuma Beach, Tabu and back to The Beacham.   This spot is the main birthplace of Orlando’s electronica/house scene.  Starting in the late eighties, DJs began spinning  house music late into the night.

Personally, I enjoyed this spot  when it was Zuma Beach, the sleaziest club located downtown.   With Long Island Iced Tea, I used to get my freak on here.

Swamburger, lead rapper of the group Solillaquists of Sound, a group signed to Anti Records.   Orlando Weekly’s readers’ choice named the band best Orlando Rap Act.

Skip was voted second best act.  In the picture is Buddy Dyer, Orlando’s current mayor.

For years, folks used to confuse me with Swamburger.  And vice-versa.  (I wear my dreads in a ponytail.)  People still confuse us.  Usually, it’s the white folks.

Photo by Skip

As I continued my stroll, I ran into Won.  Every Thursday thru Saturday, he’s on the streets banging away on drums.

Next, I went to NV.  (I didn’t get a good photo.)  Usually, I have a decent time here.  It’s a small joint containing an upstairs where the DJ usually jams.   One time, a photo exhibit contained the works of street artist Bansky.

This night was different.  After giving the bartender five dollars for a FOUR dollar drink, I didn’t get my change back.  To give her some slack, someone did interrupt her during our transaction.   After she finished giving other folks THEIR change back, I reminded the bartender she owed me some money.   To be decent, I left the change as a tip.

On my travels, I ran into my friend, Serina.  I invited her to have a drink with me.  We decided to go to Cleo’s.

Before I go any further, let me point out Serina has a boyfriend.   So, this was a friendship thing.

Kittybat, Orlando Weekly’s readers’ choice named him Orlando’s Best DJ.

Funny thing about this.  As other DJs spin trendy crap, Kittybat mixes classic soul and house with newer stuff.   The lesson?  Quit trying to be trendy and be yourself.

After one drink, Serina and I went our separate ways.

Next I walked to Blank Space, a local art gallery.  Outside a DJ spun house music tunes.

After going in and chatting with friends, a woman colored in paint caught my eye.

After Blank Space, I headed for something to eat.   I wound up at Planet Pizza.

I hadn’t been here in years.  In the nineties, my friends and I used to come here after clubbing all  night.   I guess I never noticed this in the past, but I now definitely have an opinion of the place.  The pizza is over-priced and shitty.  I’m used to pizza being hot and cheese dripping from it.  This didn’t happen.

Next, I walked to my car and headed home.

From the parking to the drinks, I find a Friday night in Downtown Orlando as too expensive.   Don’t get me wrong.    I loved the eye candy.

Yet, that’s the only thing positive I can think of.  Who knows?  On another night, I may change my mind.

Top Five Things Laptop DJs Hate

August 24, 2011

Laptop DJs already have it bad.  Because they don’t use vinyl, elitists look down on them.  Now, some people choose to throw Molotov cocktails at the already burning building.  You damned arsonists!

Thinking about that inspired me to write a top five list on what annoys laptop Djs.

5. Making requests as the DJ sets up their equipment.   This may not be unique to laptop DJs.  Yet, because people expect laptop DJs  to own every song recorded, some folks request songs and genres I have no intentions playing.   It would be nice if folks at least asked what kind of music I intend playing before they make requests.  For some reason, women do this more than guys.

4.. Asking the DJ to look at your awesome website as they’re trying to mix.   I know at least one person who does this.  I like the guy.  Yet, that crap annoys me.  As I’m trying to read the crowd and play the appropriate music, I can not be bothered with web search requests.

3. Back seat DJs  Yea, I know.  The vinyl folks experience this too. Yet, the laptop DJ experiences something different.  Because of the laptop’s portability, the DJ can “spin” from the bar counter, inviting unnecessary trouble.   Some folks will sit by the DJ and attempt influencing the DJ’s play list all damned night.   One evening, I let it known I didn’t appreciate that.

2.  Asking the DJ to play songs from your phone…especially when they’re not familiar with the song.   First of all, it’s annoying.  I hate taking the time of unplugging  and replugging just for one damned song!  It interrupts the evening’s flow. Then,  if the song I never heard before turns out to be terrible, I want to punch the person who insisted on wasting my time in the first place.

1. “Aren’t you online?”  This takes me back to number 5.  The laptop  inspires request for  songs and genres the DJ have no intentions playing, the reason why some folks request such songs and genres before the DJ starts his or her gig.  If the DJ don’t have it, they’re expected to go online and find it.

If I plan on playing hip hop, I find it annoying someone insists I search online for a punk song.

If the DJ does not have your song, get over it.   The world isn’t going to end.  Also, the world does not revolve around you and that one damned song.  Asking the DJ to go online makes them hate you.  Right now, you’re acting like a spoiled brat who won’t shut up until someone gives in to your demands.  If the DJ gives you attitude, you asked for it.

At one gig, I do go online because I’m required to play every requested song.   At other gigs, I rarely go online because playing every requested song is NOT a requirement.  Sometimes, an online song won’t even play.  Other times, part of the song will play and stop.  Headaches I prefer not experiencing.

DJ Gig With An All-Girl Thai Band

August 23, 2011

Even though, the Sunday crowd was bigger than usual, most people didn’t come to witness my mixing capabilities at The Peacock Room.


Most came to see Venus Butterfly, an all-girl band from Thailand.  After looking at these sexy, talented, young ladies, I didn’t complain too loud about my DJ gig being booked with a band, something I truly hate.


They stayed on for what I guessed about thirty minutes.

After that, it was back to me.

Andrew and Heidi:  After reading some of my angry statements on Facebook, Andrew decided to act like a dick, constantly requesting songs all damned night.  Also, Heidi asked me to write for a local arts  magazine she’s working with.


On the far right is another person who recognized me as a spoken-word artist.  She told me her name.  As usual, I forgot it.


Tod and the Kitschy Kittens Burlesque Troop: The young ladies definitely enjoyed my mix.  They danced damned near all night.  Nonstop!


Eli, owner of Black Chapel Tattoo.

I’ve known Eli for years.   From the nineties to the next decade, I remember him hosting nights featuring house music DJs.  Later, he owned a place called Thee Grotto.  After closing Thee Grotto,  he now owns a tattoo parlor.  Also, Eli sponsors Monday nights at local strip-joint Dancers Royale featuring local legend DJ Sandy.  On the night of this pic, because he saw my Internet activity, Eli complimented me for spreading positivity.

With the beard and afro, I thought the dudes in the following pic were photogenic.


Josh and Jerry:  Not only did they come to The Peacock Room to listen to me, they also go to my nights at Little Fish-Huge Pond.  For those familiar with my Late Nite Dining blog, it was these two who I ran into at Burger King.


This month marks a whole year of DJing at The Peacock Room.

I don’t know when I’ll be there again.  I do know I’ll be there next month.

Oh well, my camera and laptop will be waiting.




First House Party Gig

August 21, 2011

To protect the innocent and the guilty,  names and descriptions has been changed.

After reaching my destination, a suburban house located in Sanford, Florida, people helped me unload my DJ gear.  Fearing rain, I asked to be set under the open-air patio.

After receiving my first Bud Light, I was already given my pay for the evening.  Due to past shitty behavior about money, receiving my pay early surprised me.  When it came to photographing parties, many times I had problems getting money from clients.  Also, due to people always whining the poor mouth when they request my services, I always charge below typical rates.   One of these days, my charging below rates is going to stop.

Let it be known, tonight’s clients didn’t whine the poor mouth with me.  When given my rate, no argument came from them.

As the party moved on, being the only black person present didn’t bother me as I played seventies and country.   Yep, you read it right.  I was playing country music. Tonight’s Birthday Boy, who was turning 50, owned a taste for both seventies and country music.  He especially possessed a sweet tooth for disco.

According to my maternal grandmother, during Jim Crow, black residents were non-existent on this side of town.   Now, tonight a black DJ was playing country music here.   I wasn’t treated like the hired help either, lower than a fly on a dog’s testicle.   People made sure I got enough food and booze.

When she first walked up to me, I recognized a brunette I hadn’t seen since the nineties.  She still possessed a tall slender body and a deep feminine voice that causes erections.

“I remember you,” I said.

“Where do you remember me from?” she asked.

“You used to work for a print company.  And I used to pick up orders from you.  I worked for this fat Italian dude.  I’ve gained weight since then.”

Actually, she worked the front desk.  At the time, I guessed she had a thing going with the owner, a dark-haired dude who looked either to be in his late twenties or early thirties.  One night at a local bar, I saw him and the brunette kissing.

“I remember you now,” the brunette said to me.

“What was your name again?” I said.


She told me Birthday Boy loved the Bee Gees.  On that note, I played a Bee Gee’s song next.

Some folks danced part of the night.  Some didn’t dance at all.

Fed up with hearing seventies music all night, folks began making requests for other music genres.   One or two requested songs from the current decade.  A dude who looked fifty-something requested – his exact words –  nasty rap music.

I played whatever they requested.  If I had it, I played it.

When the night was over, another person handed me some more money, even though I didn’t ask for it. This guy was impressed by my music collection, especially the country.

Years ago, I never would have imagined someone praising me for country music, especially in a neighborhood  “coloreds” weren’t allowed to live.  Country isn’t my strong point.  

As the nights go by, this DJ thing is getting more and more interesting.  Of all the paths  to travel, looks like I chose the right one to walk on.