Grooveshark Saves 80s Night
After setting up the laptop and sound system for my DJ gig, I connected the external hard drive to the laptop. Then Windows Vista told me it didn’t recognize my USB device, the same device containing Virtual DJ and all my damned music. Even after rebooting, the same thing showed up.
I pointed this out to Ed, our local computer expert. Because he rode his bike to the bar, I drove him to his house for another USB chord.
And what happened? The same ol’ crap.
In frustration, I resorted to the DJ practice I hate the most. I went online to Grooveshark.
For those unfamiliar with the site, Grooveshark offers free online streaming. After members upload their favorite music, others can search for it and play it.
Recently, through artist Andrew Spear, I met one of Grooveshark’s founders at The Peacock Room, a local Orlando bar.
Tonight’s theme was Devo, a band mostly known for their 80s hit “Whip It.” With so much on my mind, I only played two Devo songs on Grooveshark, “Whip It” and “Jocko Homo”. Mostly, I played other 80s tunes.
At first, things didn’t work out. Mistakenly I interrupted the current playing song with the next song. Billy Squier’s “Rock Me Tonight” got interrupted by Peter Schilling’s “Major Tom”. Because Billy Squier was a request, I made it up with his “The Stroke”.
After awhile, I got the hang of it. As most people seemed to enjoy themselves, one thing annoyed the hell out of me. With Virtual DJ, I start the next song near the ending fade of the currently playing song. As the current song quickly moves into the next, it keeps people dancing. Using Grooveshark prevents this. Before you get to the next song, you are forced to experience a too long silence. Not hearing music saps the energy out of the place. Still, most folks seemed to have a good time.
I didn’t just stick with rock and pop songs. I also played hip-hop, Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rappers Delight” . Also I played classic soul, Vanity 6’s “Nasty Girl” and Janet Jackson’s “Nasty”.
The last song of the evening? Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” It was funny watching biker guys sing this. Incidentally, these three gentlemen knew me from another gig. Just like tonight, they had a good time their too.
Do I recommend using Grooveshark for DJ gigs? Hell no! Once folks learn you go online for music, they
attempt treating you like a jukebox, the reason I kept quiet about using Grooveshark. Also, some places don’t have WiFi. In some bars, you may get away with silence in between songs. In a club, you may be shown the door.
When I got home and fired up the laptop, the damned thing recognized my USB device. Maybe, I didn’t reboot like I thought I did.
Knocked out of my comfort zone, tonight I was forced trusting my instincts. True enough, some songs definitely didn’t mix well. Yet, I have this same problem when I use Virtual DJ. It just didn’t happen as much.
Life reinforced what I always knew. No matter what equipment you use, nothing beats knowing the appropriate songs for the evening. Whether it be vinyl or the laptop, no equipment in the world can cover crappy DJ skills.
I hate admitting this. Yet, after my resisting Grooveshark, this same program saved our 80s night.