Posted tagged ‘dj’

A Laptop DJ Strikes Back Against The Anti-Laptop Dissin’

July 5, 2012

Mind you, most of last night’s gig, I enjoyed. First, I played some reggae, a genre I rarely play. Then, after everyone watched Lake Monroe’s fireworks, I played old school, even dipping back to 60s soul.  After being asked for some funk, I stayed mostly within the soul/funk genre.

Then, here comes one of a black DJ’s worst nightmares, a hipster white kid.

“Is that all you’re using?” he asked, indicating my laptop.

“Yes,” I answered.

“You’re not DJing. You’re just pushing buttons.”

“People are having a good time, aren’t they?”

Actually, one drunken white woman was being a bitch about my music selection.  If she didn’t like what I was playing, I wished she would have told me what she wanted to hear. And this was a woman who was hitting on me.

“Are you a DJ?” I asked the white kid.

“Yea,” he answered.

“What do you use?”

“Technics.”

For those who aren’t in the know, Technic creates turntables.

“So, you use vinyl?” I asked.

“Yea,” he answered.

“Where’s your gig?”

He wouldn’t answer.

I asked him again. Still, no answer.

His buddy, another white guy, walked up.

“He wouldn’t tell me where his gig is at,” I told his friend.

“Café Da Vince,” the guy answered.

“What night? I want to check him out.”

No answer again.

I learned this from Digital DJ Tips, a website. During your set, when some joker claims to be a DJ, ask them where they DJ.  If you don’t receive a straight answer, the idiot may be a fraud.

Later on, his buddy apologized for his behavior.

“He’s drunk.”

“DJ Technic” reminded me of a flyer I recently created. Fed up with folks dissing laptop DJs, I decided to strike back. I created my own nasty flyer.

Fed up with the dissin’, I created this.

I may be a button pusher. Yet, button pushing is putting money in my pocket. Tomorrow, I gotta handle two gigs in one night.

Oh well, life goes on.

Orlando’s Milk District

July 2, 2012

Last Saturday night, I performed a DJ gig in Orlando’s Milk District.

Why the name “Milk District”?  Because this business section exists behind the TG Lee milk company.

My gig happened at Sandwich Bar, a joint owned by Mathew Scot.

Due to a schedule conflict, my gig almost received a cancellation. A private graduation party happened. Still, because the party ended around 12, Mathew allowed me to “spin” anyway.

Because I came early, I dropped off my gear at Sandwich Bar and  took a walk down The Milk District.

Next door, Spacebar held a weekly event called Bring Your Own Vinyl.

Each person brings in five records to spin.

After a short stay, I left and continued walking down The Milk District.

The Milk Bar: I drunk beer here twice before. The people are usually cool.

Sports Town Billiards: I think I’ve been here twice. I don’t know how long the joint existed here. I’m guessing over two decades.

Bull & Bush, an English pub:  2004 was the last time I was here.  Folks here are usually friendly also.

I walked back to Sandwich Bar.

Sandwich Bar contains the best sound I ever worked with.

First, I gave credit to the speakers located high above in the corners.

                                      

Yet, Mathew (also known as DJ Tard) explained the system even more.

I noticed the photos on the wall.

Yet, I never thought anything of the wall itself.  For sound, cork was placed on the walls on purpose.

Then, there was the ceiling. I forgot what these were called. Yet, special cloth is used for sound purposes also.

After the low-attended party, a few people remained.  I kind of screwed up, tho.  Because the previous two DJs (both women) played mostly house music, I attempted following with house and dance music.  I kept screwing up with the crossover fades.  Then, someone asked me to play “Diamond Girl”, an 80s club tune by Nice N Wild.  Interesting enough, back in the 80s, I saw that same group in a club located not too far from The Milk District.   It’s now known as Roxy’s.  Back then it was known as Scats.   “Diamond Girl” saved my DJ gig.

Next, I played more Latin Freestyle music.  Some women danced to it.

Next, another guy asked me to play Morrisey.  I guess some folks wouldn’t expect a black man to have Morrissey.  Yet, I played Morrissey’s “Suedehead”.

During my last half hour, I started a hip-hop set with The Root’s “You Got Me”.

Because of my flexibility with music, Mathew invited me back for more Saturday nights.  I’m game.

Tip The Damned DJ!

June 20, 2012

Many times I mention tips in my blogs.  Recently, I learned the tipping culture mostly exists as an American thing.

No, this ain’t me. This is a guy I ran across at a Downtown Orlando pool party.

In this blog, I’ll discuss the DJ culture involving tips. Many times during gigs, I place a black, plastic, tip bucket next to my gear.  On it, in big letters, says the words “DJ Tips”.  Normally, I don’t ask patrons for tips.  If a patron buys me a drink, I’m usually cool with that.  Yet, when some people begin making request after request, I bring the subject up.  If you’re going to play someone like a jukebox, at least put some money in “the slot”.  Also, usually when I bring the subject up, the constant requesters look at me as if I’m speaking a foreign language.  I know damned well most of the fluent Ebonics I speak is not that hard to understand, even when I’m talking to someone white.

Speaking of race, of all the stereotypes about black people and tipping, would you believe black people have been some of the better tippers?  White people and Latinos tip well too.  So do Asians. Yet, some segments of the white population can’t comprehend tipping.  Usually, it’s the young ones who buy the cheapest drinks. Yet, they sure know how to ask the DJ to change the format and/or request music all damned night.

Some people believe a DJ shouldn’t receive tips.  Why the hell not? If the bartenders receive tips for watered-down, mixed drinks, why not the person providing music?

It appears as if the latest trend is dis the DJs, especially the ones who use a laptop. Yet, as people accuse DJs of not being real artists, “real artists” don’t receive tips either. Ask local bands how much tip money they receive during gigs. Some receive just as much as a DJ or even far less.  Also, some cheapskates even refuse paying the entrée fee to see “real artists”.

So, how much should a person tip a DJ? For each song, a dollar should do it.  Those who tip me a dollar and ask for song after song all night annoy me.  That ain’t showing real gratitude.  That’s being fuckin’ cheap.  Reminds me of the metal head, who after kept requesting music involving growling lead singers, he tipped me sixty cents.

Even if it’s just five people in the room (which happens with me a lot), the DJ has to make sure everyone is happy.  No matter how special you think you are, you are not the fuckin’ center of the universe.  So, when the DJ goes out of their way for you, a tip means you appreciate them doing that.

How I Perform DJ Gigs

April 27, 2012

A reader told me he learns about DJing from reading my blogs, a big fuckin’ surprise to me.  Because of this, I shall inform people how I perform my DJ gigs.

First, I prepare playlists using iTunes.  Most of my music is set-up by decades and genres.  Therefore, I have 80s pop, 80s hip-hop, 90s rock, 00s hip-hop and so on.  Sometimes, I break the lists into specialties like Funky Lounge and Old School Drum-N-Bass.  At the gig itself, I use my playlists in Virtual DJ.

I do my playlists at home before I come to the gig.

First thing I do at my gigs is observe the people.  During the early hours, usually older people attend bars and clubs.  Around this time, I play older and slower music.  I usually start with music around 80 BPM and slowly move up.  As the current song plays 85 BPM, the next song may be 86 or 89.

At this time, I never play the current hits unless asked.  Rock the house too early and things burn out quick.  Before you know it, after one drink, patrons are gone.

During my music selections, I use harmonic mixing.  Every song has one main note.  Some notes mix well with others and some clash.  People usually associate harmonic mixing with electronic dance music.  Yet, I use it with all genres of music.

Warning: harmonic mixing is a blue print.  You don’t have to follow it.  Also, it won’t transform  a shitty DJ into an awesome DJ.  Also, software sometimes gets the notes wrong.

As I observe people, I look for signs.  I look for toe tapping or heads grooving to the beat, indications folks  are enjoying the music. Also, I watch drink consumption.  If people are buying more than one drink, that definitely is a good sign.

When someone criticizes my music, I always point to the grooving heads and feet tapping, an effective way of showing the critic they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.

When it comes to requests, I rarely play the requested song next.  If people can’t wait, the hell with them.  Especially when they don’t tip.

What I try to do is find the appropriate spot for the requested song.  If it does fit next, I’ll play it.  If not, the person requesting the song is going to have to wait…especially a non-tipper.

Any DJ using YouTube should be slapped.

In past blogs, I’ve mentioned the next subject plenty of times.  STAY OFF THE FUCKIN’ INTERNET!!!  I do not play requests from YouTube or Grooveshark.  As the house is rocking, having my computer freeze is not a wonderful experience.  Also, folks run the internet requests in the ground.  Soon, I’ll be playing a bunch of shitty songs I hate with extreme passion.

When I bring up freezing, some folks tell me I should buy a Mac.  Mac or PC, I still am not playing requests from YouTube or Grooveshark. I’m a DJ not a goddamned jukebox. If someone personally buys me a Mac, my mind MIGHT change.  If not, suck my dick.

Current hits usually gets played after twelve, mainly because younger folks are the majority.  Still, don’t get it twisted.  Sometimes, the younger folks requests the classics, meaning older music.  I’ve had younger people ask for music dated two decades before their birth.

At the end of the night, I end with songs like Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend” and T-Pain’s “Buy U A Drank”.  Sometimes, I might even end it with Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”   The object is ending the night with a feel good song.

So, that’s how I usually operate.  I don’t always go this route.  Yet, I use it most nights.  If this helps someone, I’m thankful for it.  If not, so be it.

DJ Nigel John Funks Spacebar!

September 11, 2011

Last night, showing support for DJ Nigel John,  the automobile and  I cruised to Spacebar.

DJ Nigel John

Located in Orlando’s Milk District, Spacebar is a small art gallery and bar.   Also, Spacebar and neighboring business’s location behind the T.G. Lee Dairy building inspired the name “Milk District”.

I rarely come here.  I think the last time I visited these parts  was about six months ago.  An art event I attended was happening.

In Spacebar, Nigel was vinyl-mixing classic soul and funk.  Not many people were here.  Yet, the vibe still grooved positively.   A few folks even danced.

Known for good taste in music, Nigel digs up classic jams a person hadn’t heard in years.  He got me with “I Need A Freak” by Sexual Harassment, a song I hadn’t heard sine the heydays of the jheri curl.

 
I was going to take pictures, but I forgot to put a memory card in my camera.

 
Another thing I enjoyed about Nigel:  Unlike other Djs, he played the WHOLE DAMNED SONG!!!  I thought my disliking current mixing trends was a generational thing.  Thought I was a forty-something out of touch with the times.  Thought I was too old-school.  Yet, I found out some twenty-somethings want to hear the WHOLE DAMNED SONG too.

 
I’ve known Nigel since 1989.  Out of all the club heads I’ve known, he was the only one who eventually became a DJ.   Any recent music trends and Nigel would know about it.

 

It’s been over a year since I witnessed his mixing.   Tonight I was glad I took time out and witnessed it again.

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.

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.