Archive for the ‘DJ Culture’ category

Explaining The Downside to Everyone Learning How to DJ

February 7, 2014

Note:  As someone who started DJing late in life, I hold no animosity towards newer people entering the game. This blog just states facts.

As technology creates an easier path to DJing, the world now contains more DJs than ever.  Yet,  a downside exists.

Borrowed from theguardian.com.

First, let me explain supply and demand.  Let’s say only ten people in the world knows how to DJ.  Yet, there’s a heavy demand for their services.  As long as some people can afford it, these ten DJs own the ability to charge extremely high rates.  The less available a product or service, the more you can charge…if the demand remains high.

Over time, more and more people learn DJIng.  As this goes on, fearing future competition, some DJs may not want others learning the craft.  Next, technology creates easier accessibility to DJing, creating even more DJs.  As more and more DJs enter the arena, rates go down.  As the supply rises, the price lowers.

I’ll be honest with you, I do not know if veteran DJs charge cheaper rates now.  Yet, I do know one thing.  The oversupply of DJs inspires venue owners to find the cheapest DJ available.  Many times, the arrangement involves offering free drinks instead of paying money.  Desiring to play, many DJs fall for this, just like I did.  A DJ doesn’t like the offer?  Another DJ will gladly grab it.  If an oversupply of DJs didn’t exist, many venues wouldn’t get away with this foolishness.   With a shorter supply of DJs, the cheap venue owner would be forced to pay more money, especially if high-paying patrons demand a DJ.

Now, we see the downside of everyone learning how to DJ.  Because of the oversupply,  pay rates for DJs go down.

Of course, standing-out lives as the DJ’s most powerful weapon.  Refuse presenting mediocre skills and more money follows.

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Explaining How Much Money DJs Make

January 31, 2014

A recent incident focused my mind on rates DJs charge.  Yesterday, I received a Facebook message asking for my services.  I played for this person before.  This night, I would be playing from 4:30 PM to about 11 PM.   In the past, I normally charge a hundred dollars.  That was for four hours.  Because I was playing longer this time, I charged two hundred dollars.   Later that day, I received a message saying the people preferred karaoke instead of a DJ.  So, no gig for me.

Borrowed from Varietyisthespice.com

As I take that as truth, I shall point something out.  Whenever I charge over a hundred for a house party, people lose interest in my DJ services. 

Still, many DJs will tell you I’m charging too cheap.  They’re right.  For four hours, many DJs will start at three hundred bucks. 

Three hundred is what I charge for weddings.  For weddings, other DJs either start at that price or charge more.

So, here’s what a typical DJ makes in the Central Florida area.  Some receive ten percent of the bar.  At first, this seems like a good idea.  If the venue makes a crap load of money, the DJ will too.  As the years went by, I started hating this arrangement.  Lying about how much the place really made, the person paying could be ripping the DJ off.  Plus when dealing with bars that don’t make money, this arrangement definitely sucks.

Still, would you believe some cheap bars don’t even want to pay ten percent?   Nothing against free booze.  Yet, free booze don’t put gas in your car.

In some venues, DJs receive a flat rate running from forty to a hundred bucks.  For years, a friend of mine charged seventy-five bucks. 

In some venues, a DJ receives one hundred and fifty bucks up to two hundred bucks.  The most I heard a Central Florida DJ make was four hundred bucks.  Four hundred is usually a nightclub DJ.

In my humble opinion, I believe a DJ for a house party should start around three hundred.  Some DJs may argue more.  First of all, there’s gas the DJ pays for. Then, there’s the skill in trying to keep the crowd’s mood.  Yet, sometimes that’s hit or miss.  People at house parties may constantly request the crappiest music all night.  With that going on, it may be difficult to keep the mood right.  Still, trust me on this one, DJing is far more complicated than just playing music.  If you want a good DJ, be willing to pay decent money for one.

Why was I charging cheap in the first place?  For house parties, instead of a PA speaker and sound mixing board, I used a home stereo system.  I’m too broke to buy PA speakers.  Second, and the biggest reason, folks are always crying broke. 

Even if I do receive less gigs, my days of charging cheap are over. All it did was gain me other clients who also wanted to be cheap.

Hopefully, this blog explains DJ pay rates.

Other DJs are free to comment.

Manager’s Demanding Letter Causes Uproar in the DJ Community

December 19, 2013

Recently, I ran across a Facebook post showing DJ guidelines either written by a venue owner or a manager.Manager's Demanding Lettre to a DJ

Personally, as someone who plays a variety of music, I have no real problems with it.   Yet, it definitely pissed off a whole shit load of DJs.  On one hand, I understand why it would piss DJs off.  The demands put a lot of pressure on the DJ.  Yet, anyone who spent huge amounts of time in sports bars would quickly understand where the letter writer is coming from.  I’ll break it down in a list.

1.    You always cater music towards the women:  If the women are happy with the music, they will keep coming back. When they keep coming back, the dudes will keep coming back, meaning more folks in the venue spending money.

There are exceptions to this. For one, you don’t want to keep catering to the same damned women all night.  Second, there are some songs you just don’t play, no matter who asks for it.  This leads to the next point.

2.    Some songs you avoid like the plague:   Imagine everyone having a good time.  Now, some douche asks for a song that kills the whole vibe.  Any venue owner forcing a DJ to honor every song request deserves a smack upside the fucking head.

3.    Fuck no, you don’t scratch:  Most people just want to hear upbeat music.  Many do not give a fuck about a DJ’s scratching skills.  They just want to hear the goddamned music.

4.    College bar atmosphere usually means party atmosphere:  When the letter writer means college bar atmosphere, I guess some folks assume a bar full of college kids.  Yet, the letter mentions playing songs that both a 21 year old and 35 year old would recognize, usually most 80s songs up to most current songs.

5.    The venue wants to sell drinks:  This is why the bar demands upbeat music.  Upbeat music sells more drinks.

6.    If you want to survive in the business world, you definitely have to stand out:  You’re a DJ.  So fucking what? Why must a venue hire you over other DJs?  How can your skills benefit the venue’s bottom line?  The bottom line meaning making money.

Look at the venue’s point of view.  Why would paying customers choose them over other venues?  This is why a bar demands a DJ to be different. Being a DJ known for playing a hot jam brings people to the venue.  Sometimes, I’m known for playing remakes of already known songs.  That’s why some folks keep coming back.  They know me for certain songs.

7.    Catering to mixed crowds brings in more money: I witnessed this first hand.  After having diverse music on a Monday night, one local bar started catering to the rock guys.  Monday nights sunk like the Titanic.  By catering to one group, the bar owner fucked up a good night that attracted many people.

If you’re a DJ concerned only about the “important music” and hate other varieties, I got some good advice for you. Form your own clique or whatever.  Then, find a venue that allows you and your buddies free reign to cater to other pretentious music snobs like yourself. Along with pretentiousness is probably someone who is also racist, homophobic, etc.

As I point my understanding of the demands, I do see some problems.  Will the bar have your back when someone asks for a song outside the guidelines?  Then the letter asks for recognizable songs but want you to play songs that can’t be heard elsewhere.  Yes, I answered why a DJ should do both.  Still, the actual wording can be confusing.  Another thing, as you try mixing the music, most of the crowd may vibe to one type only.  This explains why the DJ might play rap most of the night, people enjoying it the most.

Why would someone write this in the first place, you ask?  Either the bar is suffering financially and putting pressure on the DJ or bad experiences with past DJs. Some people may say they shouldn’t have hired bad DJs in the first place.   After an action is already done, everyone and their grandmother always have a fucking opinion on what action should have happened.

After being handed a demanding letter, I probably would get pissed at first.  The list comes across as if the venue doesn’t think I can do my job. Would I take the job?  Damned straight.  For one, I hate fuckers asking for music that brings an upbeat crowd down.  Second, I hate fuckers always complaining about the other music I play.  The night is for everyone, not some dipshits who think the world centers around them.  Any venue catering to assholes like that deserve having their place go out of business.   Catering to fucktards like that means a venue having no real respect towards other paying customers. So, yes, I would take the letter writer’s gig.  If the venue really does turn out to be shitty, I do have the choice of leaving.

Seven Important Reasons a DJ Should Blog

December 8, 2013

Some people recommend DJs having their own website, advice I agree with.  Done right, a website proves to be very beneficial.  Yet, I shall give seven important reasons why a DJ must start a blog.

1.     Blogs expose your services to new people:  On a blog, a DJ can advertise their services.  Many free blog sites don’t allow this.  So, the DJ may want to invest money in a self-hosted sited, a site where you yourself control the content.  Free blog sites are known to play the censorship game, which can lead to a blog being deleted.

2.    The DJ keeps a loyal fan base: When folks see themselves in a DJ’s blogs, the more likely they will keep coming back to the DJ’s night.

3.    Fans know more about you:  When people see the real you, they may respect you even more.  Of course, if they see you’re a jerk and don’t appreciate them, they may refuse returning to your nights.

4.    Opportunity to expose the music you really like:  Some people realize a DJ may play certain music as a compromise.  They may play a shitty song because the crowd likes it.  Yet, some folks are dying to know the music the DJ really likes.  They want to know what the DJ plays on their car stereo or what music they upload on their smart phones. This goes back to people learning more about you, the third benefit I mentioned.

5.    Opportunity to expose your mixes:  I’m a little shaky on this one.  If you want to expose your mixes, a blog will help you.  Yet, here’s the thing; many web visitors own a short attention span. Because of that, many folks may not be willing to listen to a whole mix.

6.    Unlike some websites, blogs are easier to post:  Websites you have to learn codes just to post a paragraph or two.  Not so with blogs.

7.    Venues respect you more. (At least, the smart ones do.):  Most venues welcome any publicity.  Because I can easily post it on Facebook, I usually don’t post upcoming gigs on my blog.  Yet, I always post details of how the event went on my blog.  If it was good, that’s good publicity for the venue.

There are other benefits.  Yet, because I didn’t experience them personally, I avoided posting them.  I have heard of people receiving free things because of blogs.  Companies give free products for bloggers to review. Plus I have heard of people making money from ads placed on blogs.  Like I mentioned before, I have never experienced that.  Still, it doesn’t mean that won’t work for other DJs.

So, there you have it, seven reasons for having a DJ blog. Digital DJ Tips lists more reasons. Hopefully, this inspires other DJs.

Five Real Reasons Why Your Favorite Bar DJ Is Now Gone

December 6, 2013

One night, you go to one of your favorite bars and you notice the DJ’s absence.  What happened?  Usually, not what you’ve been told.  Here are five reasons.

1. Responsibility for the night changed hands:  The DJ probably talked to a different person before gaining a spot.  As that person is no longer in charge of the night, the new person comes along and screw things up.   Sometimes, they may replace the DJ with mediocre bands or with another DJ.

2. The venue pissed the DJ off:  Some folks are skilled leaders.  Others aren’t.  Non-leaders need to sit down somewhere because they are prone to fuck things up.  If the DJ is bringing your venue money, why would you want to piss the person off?  How do venues do this? I’ll give an example.  First, some folks who think the world revolves around them complain about the music.  Some of these people show up once in a blue moon, or they rarely spend much money in the venue.  Yet, they complain when things don’t go their way.  So, what does the venue do?  They cater to them anyway and attempt persuading the DJ to the do same thing.  The DJ must now play music for people who don’t bring the bar much business.   Now, the DJ is pissed, pissed-off so much they leave.

3. The venue doesn’t respect DJs: I think live entertainment is overrated.  There.  I said it.  Nothing against musicians.  Yet, the right DJ can bring in as much money or even more money than a mediocre band.  Still, some venues desperately want to be seen as a live venue bar, even if it’s putting them in the hole.  If one now sees bands instead of the DJ, not respecting DJs is exactly what happened.

4. The venue is being cheap: If another DJ now plays, one may want to compare what this person is being paid compared to the last person.  If the new DJ is making less money, there’s the reason why the last DJ got fired.  The venue wanted someone cheaper.

Also, some venues think playing Pandora off a laptop can replace a DJ.  They do this by hooking a laptop up to the venues sound system. Why go this route? Again, the venue is trying to be cheap, which leads to the last point on why the DJ is gone.

5. The venue is having financial problems:  Of all the reasons, I’m willing to bet this is the main reason a DJ gets fired.  The venue itself may have pissed-off too many patrons, too many patrons that are now not returning.  Instead of admitting their screw-ups, the venue blames the DJ.  Some will even publicly badmouth the DJ.  Yet, the real reason may be the venue no longer can afford the DJ, one of the reasons they may all of a sudden want to play Pandora off a laptop.

So, there you have it.  Can DJ skills contribute to a DJ being fired?  Of course.  Still, experience tells me that is the least reason a DJ gets fired.  More than likely, one of the reasons I mentioned may be the real cause of the DJ’s absence.

Two Year Blogging Anniversary

May 7, 2013
fish eye lens

That’s me in the very back.  Photo by Miriam Lorenzi

Today marks the two year anniversary of The DJ Stone Crazy Spot.  Two years ago on this very day, I started the blog you are now reading.

On that note, I decided to run a top ten of my most popular blogs.  Surprisingly, all of them weren’t booty blogs.  Yes, despite folks coming to my blog looking for booty pics, some readers set aside booty-searching time and read my music blogs too.  So, here we go.   The top blogs.

10. The “I’m a Twat” List for DJs: A funny list created by DJ Wizzy.

9. The Top Ten Most Overrated White Musicians: I had to do it.

8. Rockin’ An Eighties Hair Metal Party: I DJed 80s rock all night. This blog also contains photos of that night.

7. School of Hard Knocks: Photos of women dressed as Catholic school girls.

6. Skrillex Versus Daft Punk: A silly-assed meme I found on Facebook.

5. Visiting for the Pics: This is when I first realized some folks weren’t visiting my blog for the beautiful words.

4. Videotaping Dancing Cuties: Not only do you see booty pics, you also witness dancing cuties in a video.

3. Bad Santa and the Angry Elves: Photos of a band mixing punk rock with Christmas music.

2. The Top Ten Dirtiest and Nastiest Rap Songs Ever: A list that would make Satan blush.

1. Friends Cheer Me Up with Booty Pics Friends cheer me up with booty pics after my complaining about the evils of fake booty.

Two years down and more blogging fun to come.

Boy Bands: Orlando’s Shameful Past

May 2, 2013

Know how to piss off some Orlando people?  Bring up boy bands.  Remind them both Backstreet Boys and *N Sync formed in Orlando.

Backstreet Boys

Bring this up and you might have a fight on your hands.

(If you want to be extra nasty, remind them the lead singer of rock group Creed was born in Orlando.  Yet, this is about boy bands, not a rock group some folks hate with a passion.)

I lived in Orlando during the boy bands’ heydays.  One Tuesday night, I saw Kevin Richardson of Backstreet Boys hanging with some friends at The Social, a Downtown Orlando music venue.  A friend of mine gave singing lessons to boy band C-Note, a group on the same label as Backstreet Boys and *N Sync.

Like many others, I hated boy bands.  Yet, my hatred had nothing to do with their music.  Personally, I always thought of them as pop versions of r&b group Boyz II Men, a pop version aimed at suburban girls.   In fact, I recently learned this on Wikipedia: Backstreet Boys answered an ad wanting a singing group with a New Kids on the Block look with a Boyz II Men sound.  If you remember New Kids on the Block,  you don’t have to be a genius to know what the New Kids on the Block look meant.  Yet, that isn’t what ticked me off about boy bands.

*N Sync

Sure, I found it annoying how the media portrayed boy bands as the nice guys next door.  These were the days rap controversy was at its peak.  East Coast rap feuded with West Coast rap.  Rappers were shot or murdered.  After being shot, one rapper was later murdered.  Plus after that rapper was killed, another rapper was murdered months later. Also, rap lyrics inspired a religious figure to have a bulldozer run over gangster rap CDs.  Compared to media coverage of hip hop, boy bands were definitely the nice guys you wanted your daughter to date.  Yet, that isn’t what pissed me off about boy bands either.

What was it, you ask?  What annoyed me so much about boy bands?  I am going to admit something that many dudes won’t fess up to.  I hated boy bands because I was extremely jealous of them.  I realize many of their female fans were too young for me at the time.  In fact, many were jail bait.  Still, who wouldn’t want mass amounts of fame?  Anyone who says they don’t is lying.  They need to jump off their psudedo-hippie high horse and stop bullshitting. They desire fame as much as the next person.

To heck with the poetry local folks knew me for in the 90s.  I wanted fame and money like the boy bands had.  I wanted thousands of young girls thinking I was cute too.  Like I mentioned earlier, I knew many fans were jail bait.  Jail bait or not, it does boost the ego when thousands of young ladies think you’re cute and screaming they love you. Okay, about the money part? I had no idea the dudes were being ripped off at the time.

No, I did not want to be in a boy band.  I can’t sing or dance worth a lick.  The same way I was with  r&b group New Edition, I was jealous of the boy band’s success.

Now, back to Orlando.  When it comes to music, some Orlando folks annoy me.  As I DJ in some Orlando venues, some folks complain about my choice in music.  Living in a town that created boy bands and lecturing me about what’s good music and what isnt’t. I get it.  I’m not playing  “important” musicians that only five people have heard of.  I perfectly understand.  I should also be playing what’s hot in Europe.  Or New York.  Or South Beach.   Yep, I definitely understand.

Yet, here’s my thing.  I’m more interested in seeing women dance.  I wanna see women get low and shake it like a salt shaker.  I wanna see booty-booty-booty-booty-booty rockin’ every where.  Call me shallow, I could care less.

Pretentious Orlando crap is why I enjoy bringing up boy bands.  In a town containing people so full of themselves about music, it feels good bringing up the fact Orlando spawned boy bands, a music scene many people to this day despise.