Archive for August 2011

A Surrealistic Remix

August 20, 2011

Back in 1992, I began reading poetry at Yab Yum, a Downtown Orlando coffee house.

In 1995, I became the host of the Tuesday night poetry readings.

1n 1997, the nights moved next door to Go Lounge, a place owned by Yab Yum’s owners.

Starting in 1998, the poetry nights moved from place to place all over Central Florida. Eventually, it settled at Will’s Pub, where it still goes on.

In 2002, I stopped hosting poetry.

Also, I think around this time, Yab Yum Inc. closed its doors for good.

One of the owners,  Barrie Freeman moved to Volusia County, a forty minute drive from Orlando.

Last Wednesday, with employees from her restaurant, Barrie visited my DJ gig.

“I always thought you were a poet,” she said.

“I didn’t become a DJ until a year ago,” I said.

With Barrie present, the night became surrealistic.  You see, my resident gig resembles Yab Yum, a small place catering to local artists.   Just like Yab Yum, local artwork hangs on the walls.  (In the following photo, this is actually the ladies’ bathroom wall.)

Also just like at Yab Yum,  eclectic individuals come to my current spot, Little Fish-Huge Pond.

As the night went on, the Little Fish regulars started putting on hats and wigs.

Barrie and her crew began leaving around 1 AM.

“When are you here?” she asked.

“Tuesday and Wednesdays,” I said.

“We’ll back,” she said as she hugged me.

Sometimes, it’s funny how the past mixes into current times, almost reminds of how some DJs remix old tunes  into something new.  I enjoyed tonight’s remix.  I hope I witness another one soon.

Barrie and me (Photo by Dustin Gioertz)

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Old School Punk Music

August 13, 2011

Last Tuesday night, after my warm-up mix, I decided to play mostly 80s and 90s music. Much of the eighties music centered on the new wave/punk scene, music that excited Teresa.

In the photo, that’s Teresa on the far right. The middle guy is Mike. I forgot the name of the dude in the blue shirt.

Because I was on a punk/new wave kick, I couldn’t help noticing the brother wearing a Ramones’ shirt. (I later found out the brother is a Latino.)

For some reason, dudes decided to wear women’s hats that night. These two guys come every week to my gigs. Mostly, they request metal and rap music.

Wonder what next Tuesday will be like.

Hey, DJ, Aren’t You A Spoken-Word Artist?

August 11, 2011

In some circles, I’m known as a DJ.  In others, I’m known as a photographer.  Yet, most Central Floridians know me as a spoken-word artist.

Photo by Jim Leatherman

Due to schedule conflicts, I don’t read poetry at open-mics much these days.  At the moment, I don’t even miss it.   I do not miss folks talking in the audience as I’m trying to read.   I do not miss folks inviting me to read at special events. And then find out I can’t cuss.   When money was involved, I didn’t mind the no-cussing rule.  At least, I got compensation for it.  As for not cussing and reading for free?  I never liked it.  In the first place,  reading poetry at some events rarely benefited me. All I gained from that is psuedo-intellectuals wanting to talk all night. Contrary to popular belief, poets do not get laid. They get talked to death.

Recently, I was voted Orlando’s Second Best Spoken-Word artist.   Because of my recent inactivity in the poetry scene, I can deal with that.  Of course, I would love to have gotten the number one spot.  Who wouldn’t?   Yet, I can live with number two.

Being number two maybe a good thing.   Pretentious-types avoid number two.  They rather hang around number one, a good thing because pretentious-types annoy me.

Being a DJ has put far more money in my pocket than poetry ever has.  Also, there are times I see more eye candy on my DJ nights versus poetry and open-mic nights. (I might catch shit for saying that. Fuck it, I don’t care.)  The only exception is black poetry readings.  It’s Ass Central on those nights.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not knocking poetry.  In some cases, it has opened doors for me.   Also, I hadn’t given up on writing.  If I did that, I wouldn’t be writing blogs.  Still, I just don’t miss reading poetry at the moment.

Another Night at The Peacock Room

August 9, 2011

Last Sunday, I did another DJ gig at The Peacock Room.   Despite the low attendance, folks still had fun.

 

Before setting up my equipment, these three were already having fun.  They were grooving to the music being played off someone’s phone, a phone hooked up to the bar’s sound system.

 

Brett J.  Barr decided to play imaginary golf.    Brett is a local Orlando artist.

 

I forgot the name of the guy on the left.  In the middle is Phil, one of the bartenders.  On the right is Heidi.  Not only is she a local artist, Heidi also organizes local events.

 

Mindy.  It was with Mindy that I found out the camera was set to 1 plus exposure.  In other words, the camera made some white people look really white.  With Mindy, I fixed it.  (Somewhat.)

 

The night took a real interesting turn.  These three had been boozing and dancing until the one on the car and the one on the ground fell on a table.  At the urging of the patrons, I followed them outside with my camera.  The one in the white went back inside and asked for a cigarette.  Being the kind person she is, Mindy gave her one.

 

Brett and Bea.  I think they just met that night.

 

Bea was the only person who actually danced.  Everyone else either nodded their heads or danced in their seats.

 

Over the years, I’ve seen this guy with sexy younger women.   Even though I really don’t ask for it at The Peacock Room, he tipped me.

 

I don’t know about all.  Yet, I do know at least one of the ladies was  a visitor from New York.

 

In two weeks, I go back to The Peacock Room.

 

 

Late Night Dining

August 7, 2011

After a DJ gig one night, I drove to a local Burger King, one in which the lobby stays open 24 hours.  I noticed a small car entering the drive-thru.  I think it was a Honda.   Hell, I don’t know cars.

I heard a voice call my name.

The car pulled out of the drive-thru and pulled up to me.

Inside was Alex, a young Latino I recognized from my nights at Little Fish-Huge Pond.  He doesn’t speak much.  Yet, he’s always friendly.  Being a sound expert, he once gave me pointers on the system I use at Little Fish.

I invited him to eat with me.

Sometimes after a gig, I used to either eat at Denny’s or Steak-N-Shake.  Now, I mostly eat at 24 hour, fast food restaurants.   Versus Denny’s and Steak-N-Shake, fewer people go to fast food joints at night.  Many years of listening to drunk people in Denny’s and Steak-N-Shake has worked on my last nerves.  Some drunk people have even disturbed me when I was trying to read.   Also, I don’t have to tip a waitress in a fast food joint.

At our table, Alex asked did I have another job besides my DJ gigs.

“This is it,” I said.  “After close to 14 years, Wal-Mart fired me for tardiness.  Never was written up for it.  Yet, I got fired.  All I do now is DJ.”

Through conversation, I found out Alex was a Puerto Rican from New Jersey.   If I remember it right, with family, he moved here to Florida in his teens.  Right now, he’s in his early twenties.

Charlie and Alex

Also, I found out we had something in common.  Both of us are night owls, explaining why I saw Alex this time of night in a Burger King drive-thru.

As we talked and ate, three more people showed up, two white dudes and a woman who looked either biracial or Latin.  The two white dudes I knew.  A guy with dreadlocks was Jerry.  I forgot the name of the guy with short brown hair.  Both I knew from Orlando and Sanford.

The dude with short brown hair asked about my traveling to Sanford and Orlando, a great distance to travel for gigs.

“When I’m in Sanford for two days, I live with relatives,” I said.  “Mostly, I live in Orlando.”

Soon Alex and I finished our meals and headed for the exit.

It’s nice to know other night owls.   At least I know I ain’t the only freak owning a nocturnal condition.

Broke-Ass Friday: The Formal Edition

August 6, 2011

Last Friday, another Broke-Ass Friday was held at Little Fish-Huge Pond.  This time folks dressed up.

Daniel, Harry and Toasty.   The dressing-up was Toasty’s idea.

I don’t know this one’s name.  Yet, I see her every week-end at Little Fish.

Shaun and his date, a woman who really enjoyed the music I played.    She was one of few people who actually danced that night.

Daniel, Teresa and Harry.

Los Garcia and Chris.

After taking her photo, this cutie tells me she’s a model.   She’s welcomed to come back and model for me anytime.  Also, she just recently had a birthday.

Micah.

Anna Molly wearing Daniel’s jacket and Toasty’s hat.

My buddy Eric stopped by after his job at the hospital.  As he sat behind me at my booth, the  dark-haired young lady in the photo struck up a conversation with him.  All the women love Eric.

Toasty’s hat again.

This wasn’t my idea.  Yet, I photographed it anyway.

Moire, the owner of Little Fish-Huge Pond.

Me, the DJ.

Photo by Teresa Markos.

The camera and I are ready for my next gig.

The Perks of being a DJ

August 4, 2011

Normally, I don’t play my Funky Lounge mix on Wednesday nights.  Yet, I decided to play it to an early crowd anyway.

An early crowd.

Right off the bat, as they drunk beer at the bar counter, two  women complemented the music.

About a half later, two more women entered the bar. As they both looked late thirties, they also looked white trash. Their hair looked greasy.  Also, the clothes they both wore appeared to be washed over and over until the colors faded.

Two white guys were already sitting on some sofas, two sofas that faced one another.  After buying their drinks, one of the women sat next to one of the guys.

I’m not an expert in this arena.  Yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard the guy the woman sat next to engaged in man-on-man lovemaking.

Soon the two guys left.

Next, after one drink, the two white trash women began to leave too.  Before leaving, they exchanged words with the two women at the bar counter.

“Excuse me, “ I heard a voice say.

I knew who it was. Yet, I was in the middle of mixing one song to the next.

“Excuse me,” I heard again.

I looked at the woman who had sat next to the guy.

“Change the music,” she demanded.

“What do you want to hear?” I said.

“I don’t know. Not this,” she said.

I’ve been through this before, drunk women not telling me what they want.   Also, I’ve experienced not-all-that attractive women looking down on me as if I was beneath them.

“That ain’t helping me,” I said.

“See that girl sitting outside the window,” she said.

 

Yazmin and Red

She was referring to Red, a young lady who colors her hair bright red.

“Play what she would like,” said the woman.

“I don’t take requests like that,” I said.

I heard no more from her.  What was she going to do?  Tell the owner?

I guess some people see a DJ like they see a retail store employee, someone to walk over.  Yet, they don’t realize some DJs can cuss them out and get away with it.  Unlike a retail store employee, it’s hard to replace a decent DJ.  Especially one that brings the bar or club money.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not advocating cussing out patrons.  Continually doing that and a DJ will definitely get fired. Still, unlike a retail store employee, many DJs aren’t required to kiss ass.  Any bar or club owner requiring that is someone who shouldn’t own a bar or club in the first place.

That’s why I’m beginning to love DJing more and more.  Unlike a “real” job, most of the times, I don’t have to kiss ass.