Posted tagged ‘DJ Stone Crazy’

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.

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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.

Booze, Babes and Bar Fighting

July 2, 2011

Last night, I DJed Broke-Ass Fridays, a monthly event happening the first Friday of the month. The first of the month is rent and mortgage time, the time many people wind up broke. Thus the name Broke-Ass Fridays.

A happy patron at Broke-Ass Firdays.

On this night, it’s ten dollar all you can drink PBR draft.

A few folks were already in the bar as I began setting up. Mostly the over thirty crowd.

After setting up, more and more people entered.

I played a mixture of 70s, 80s and 90s music, and that contained a mix of pop, soul and rock.

Soon, someone started requesting modern rock. Due to constant rock requests during my past gigs, I had to rearrange my mix. Too much rock music runs patrons out of the bar, especially the aggressive kind containing the lead singer growling the lyrics. They sound somewhat like this: Rrraagge! Angerrrr! The Beeasst must diiiee!

That’s why I mix funkier music in between rock requests, to keep patrons from leaving. And folks have thanked me for it.

Around 10:30, I attempted a trivia game. By this time, the bar was packed. After I read a question off my laptop, whoever answered first got a prize, mostly stickers from a local radio station.

After the trivia game, people began leaving. And that didn‘t surprise me. I have seen this in other bars. You have both your before 12AM crowd and your after 12AM crowd. Before 12AM, things go dead temporarily.

By this time, the rage-anger-die requests started., which pissed off some patrons…even the white folks.

“What’s with this death metal shit?!”

Because the rage-anger-die people tipped, I couldn’t complain too loud about the music. Also, not many people was in the bar anyway. Still, I mixed funkier music in between the rage-anger-die requests.

After 12AM, just like I guessed, the bar began filling up again. Many of the rage-anger-die folks had already gone home.

As I grooved the atmosphere, a fight broke out. A Latin guy slammed a black guy against my equipment. The Latin guy was my buddy Chris. The black guy was a known troublemaker named Thaddeus. (Thaddeus is a known gay too.)

“Who’s gonna kill Mo?!” Chris yelled at Thaddeus.

Folks was holding Chris back as I attempted getting in between.

“Who’s gonna kill Mo?!” Chris yelled again.

Mo is the owner of the bar.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Thaddeus said.

He then got up and left the bar.

Later, folks told me Thaddeus posted nasty comments on FaceBook about killing Mo and burning the bar down. This after previous trouble he caused at the bar.

A young lady helped me put my equipment back together. Nothing got broke.

As she helped me, some nutcase attempted hitting on her.

“Don’t you see she’s working, man?” I told him.

The one on the left helped me put my equipment back together.

I pumped jams from all genres. I even dipped into sixties soul. Fuck trying to represent what makes real music. I didn’t care if it was a shitty pop song. If I felt it made women shake booty or caused a drunken sing-a-long, I played it.

As usual, after all the boozing and beats, the good time quickly ended. The last song was Garth Brooks “Friends In Low Places”, one of few country songs that I actually like.

Because of the good time I had, I can’t wait for next month.

The Night My DJ Skills Bombed

June 29, 2011

One Thursday evening, I DJed with Spank, Nigel and Rhett.  Before I started mixing music, Nigel and Spank both DJed past events I hosted.

Spank

I was allowed to play music first.  From classic funk I drifted to house music.  As soon as Spank took over, people began to dance, an early warning I ignored.

When Nigel’s time came, people still danced.

Then my time came again.  At first, I had the floor dancing to classic funk and soul.  Even one of Orlando’s most respected DJs danced, a woman named Becky.

Somewhere along the line, I decided to be a smart-ass.  Don’t ask why this happened.  I guess I just wanted to be self-destructive.  As I had the people dancing, I decide to play Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”, a disco song that cleared the damned floor.

Spank came to save me.

Disgusted I walked outside and began telling folks what happened.

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” said my friend Todd.  “They don’t appreciate good music.  They’re just some artsy-fartsy types that like to talk all night.”

True enough, our event was an art after-party.  Still, Todd’s words did not sooth my bruised ego.

Then, I started dancing with women.

“You guys spin,” I told Spank.  “I’ll just pimp.”

Later on, wanting to play again, I forgot I said those words.  But Nigel and Spank didn’t forget.  So, I didn’t spin again that night.  (Months later, Spank reminded me of what I said.)

Nigel

Rhett showed up later.  For about thirty minutes, he spun electro/house music and then left.

Nigel and Spank spun the rest of the night as folks continued dancing.

Days later, I read my “bomb” may have been a good thing.  Because a bar relies on drink sales, my “bomb” may have been the perfect time for dancers to buy more booze, adding more sales to the bar.

In a book about DJing, I read one of the worst things is having everyone dance all night.   The more time people spend on the dance floor, the less time they are buying drinks, an irritant for bar owners.

As he handed out money at the end of the night, Spank did mention it was the most money he has ever made during a gig.   Who knows, my “bomb” may have been a good thing.

Still, good thing or not, folks leaving the dance floor during my set continues fucking with me.

The No Requests DJ

June 26, 2011

Last night, a DJ played in a local bar.  He jammed his beats on the bar’s stage.  On technology he had me beat.  A laptop sat on the first level of his stand as his huge controller sat on the second.  Not only that, he owned two PA speakers and the capability to show videos on two of the bar’s wide-screen televisions.  The televisions existed high on the wall behind the bar counter.

I understand the logic behind this.

No way in hell could I compete with that.  My usual equipment is my laptop, external hard drive and an electrical outlet chord.

As far as his talent goes?  It’s questionable.   In many nightclubs, whole songs aren’t played anymore.  Now, you hear maybe half  of the song and the DJ immediately cuts into another.  I understand the logic.  Any drag in the music may stop folks from dancing.   Still,  isn’t it disrespectful  to the artist to only play half the song?   Maybe, folks know something I don’t.

I noticed a No Requests sticker on back of the DJ’s laptop.   Sometimes, I wish I can get away with that.  As me and the crowd are grooving, some clueless fuck requests something that screws up the whole program.  I understand perfectly well why some Djs won’t take requests.

Yet, some requests steers me into the right direction.  The right request informs me on what the crowd really wants to hear.  With that, the crowd energy pumps up.  Despite the annoyances, this is why I except requests.

Many bar patrons danced to No Request DJ’s music.  I wondered if I could cause this same crowd the same excitement with my equipment.  Or could I cause higher excitement?

In this bar, I may never get the chance to see.   Yet, I refuse butchering people’s music like I saw No Request DJ doing.  If that makes me old-school and out of date, so be it.

Chill Tuesdays Playlist 6-21-2011

June 24, 2011

 

Folks chillin' at the bar counter.

Here’s this week’s sample of songs I played.

1. Le Nettoyeur by Greg Baumont: A slick instrumental bumping hip-hop beats.   The musical arrangement  and sound is almost reminiscent of  Enigma and Art of Noise.

2. Just The Two of Us by Grover Washington, Jr.: A classic soul-jazz piece.  The legendary Bill Withers does the vocals as the late Mr. Washington blows the saxophone.  Some folks may recognize it as the song Will Smith sampled for his song of the same name.

3. River Serpentine by The Budos Band: A funky gem centered around horns.  It has a cool sixties vibe to it.

4. Sabhyata by Karmix:  When it comes to vocals, I normally avoid non-English singing songs.  Yet, because I enjoyed the East Indian vocal arrangement, I included this number in my collection.  As middle-eastern music plays, scratching plays in the mix.

5. Makes You Extatic by The Tao of Groove:  Another cool song mixing jazz samples and hip-hop. Also, we hear smooth jazz guitar playing along with a flute.

6. Take Me To Mardi James by Bob James: Old-school, hip-hop heads will recognize the opening as the sample for Run-DMC’s “Peter Piper”.  A keyboard grooves to jazz on this smooth jam.

7. Mystic Brew by Ronnie Foster: Funky organ work added to smooth jazz.  This cool gem is easily recognized as the sample for A Tribe Called Quest’s “Electric Relaxation.”

Ten Albums Every Prince Fan Should Own

June 19, 2011

First of all, don’t tell Prince about this.  He doesn’t like the word “fan”, something about “fan” existing in the word “fanatic”.  In honor of my favorite musician, I decided to make a list of albums every Prince fan should own.  Of course, some fans may own every album, which is commendable.  Still, I chose to highlight the ones people definitely must have.

10. Purple Rain (1984)

This is a no brainer, even people who aren’t hardcore Prince fans own this soundtrack to the same-named movie.  Starting out with the hard-rocking “Let’s Go Crazy”, the album offers a tasty mix of pop and soul.  The album also contains one of his most covered songs, “When Doves Cry”.

And who can forget the raunchy “Darling Nikki”?  Back in 1984 at summer camp, I played this song on someone’s cassette player. After hearing the Nikki-started-to-grind verse, the jaws of my cabin mates dropped as their eyes widened.  Compared to recent rap lyrics, that verse is tame.

Like many great soundtrack albums, the music holds it own without people even thinking about the film.

9. For You (1978)

This is Prince’s first album.  At age 19, he wrote, composed and produced the whole damned thing.  He even played all the instruments.  All at the age of 19.  That alone is why For You is a must have.

On this bad boy, two songs stand out.  One is “Crazy You”,  a ballad sung in his signature falsetto voice as he strums an acoustic guitar.  Second would be “Soft and Wet”, a funky, synthesizer number co-written with Chris Moon.

8. The Black Album (1994)

Actually, it was supposed to be released in 1987.  Thinking the album evil, Prince shelved it.  Yet, a fan should still own it, mostly because of the song “Bob George”, an evil guilty pleasure.  Usually known to alter his voice to a higher pitch, Prince lowers it on this song.  In this voice he makes fun of himself.  “Prince?! Ain’t that bitch! That skinny muthafucka with the high voice?!”  Actually, this song is a blueprint for future rap lyrics involving cussin’ out and smackin’ women, reason why it’s a guilty pleasure.

The music on “Bob George” blends rock and funk to the extremes.  As Prince jams the guitar rock-style, the rest of the arrangement centers on some nasty funk.

7. Come (1994)

Before he turned into the symbol, this was the last album he used the name Prince.  Personally, I believe this is one of his most under-appreciated albums.  It takes more than one listen to get used to it.  Yet, after awhile, the songs “Space” and “Letitgo” stays with you for a long time.  The only thing groundbreaking is “Loose”, a thumping techno jam.  Most of the music is Prince’s typical mixture of pop and soul.  Still, a fan must own it.

6. 3121 (2006)

The album many of my friends said he became Prince again.  Before this album, he had already dropped the symbol and went back to calling himself Prince.  My friends were actually referring to the music, especially the song “Black Sweat”. On this song, he uses his signature falsetto with the lines, “I don’t want to take my clothes off…but I do.”  Also, he promises his love interest she’ll be screaming like a white lady at the count of three.

Some songs do sound like past songs.  “Lolita” sounds like “Raspberry Beret.”  Also, “Fury” almost sounds like “1999”. Yet, the album deserves a spot in a Prince fan’s music collection.

5. Musicology (2004)

Before 3121, this was considered his comeback album, the one that made him a household name again.  More soul than pop, it reached number five in the US, a charting Prince hadn’t seen in years.

Other gems, besides the thumpin’ title song, includes “Cinnamon Girl” and “Dear Mr. Man”.  Both are political songs. “Cinnamon Girl” attacks the anti-Muslim hate aimed at Arab-Americans.  In the vain of Bob Marley’s “Crazy Baldheads”, “Dear Mr. Man” shoves the world’s problems in the face of the ruling class.

My personal favorite is “What Do U Want Me 2 Do?”   The percussion takes one back to the Purple Rain and 1999 days. Yet, it doesn’t sound dated.

4. The Gold Experience (1995)

Recently, at one of my deejay gigs, I got a request for the song “P Control”, a song I still hear being played at parties. Some women just can’t get enough that song.   I can still hear them now, “Pussy controooool!!!”

This is the first album Prince released under his symbol name.  Fed up with Warner Bros. withholding the album, he decided to release it under the unpronounceable symbol everyone knows him for.

“The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” is the song all the fellas secretly wish they can write for their loved ones. Secretly because “real” mean don’t say sappy things like, “It’s plain to see you’re the reason God made a girl.”   Hell no, “real” men don’t talk like that.  Yet, this is what men wish to express to their loved ones, they’re the most beautiful girl in the world.

I remember “I Hate You” in an ironic way.  The song deals with being in love with a cheater, and hating the cheater for it.  Yet, because of the love ballad groove, people slow danced to it…including yours truly.  A masterpiece in the same vein of the Police’s “Every Breath You Take”, it sounds beautiful on the surface.  Yet, when you listen to the lyrics, the song ain’t what you think it is.  Lyrics about stalking an ex-lover and lyrics about a cheating woman ain’t necessarily baby-making music.  Yet, both songs serenade you anyway.

3. Sign O’ The Times (1987)

Who in the house know about the Quake?  This double-album does not contain one song a Prince fan wouldn’t like.  It’s that damned good.

After the low sales of Around The World in a Day and Parade, Sign O’ The Times brought Prince back to the forefront. This super mofo contains the rockin’ “U Got The Look” duet with the sexy Sheena Easton.  (Back in the day, I wanted a taste of Sheena’s “Sugar Walls”.)   Also, the album contains a “Hot Thing” that’s barely 21.  Plus, I must not forget the unforgettable songs “Housequake“, “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” and “It”.  One time, I actually was doing “It” as this album played.  To top it off, I definitely should add “Adore”.  Who can forget a song that goes, “Until the end of time/I’ll be there for you”?

2. 1999 (1982)

After releasing four albums, the mainstream finally discovered Prince with this album.  Not only was the song “Little Red Corvette” being played on pop radio stations, it was also being played on rock stations.  When it came to black folks loving rock music, Prince was the guy to look up to.   Also, the album marks the beginning of mainstream media calling Prince a rock star.

In some ways, the song “1999” became prophetic.  In the actual 1999 year, like the song predicted, many folks believed the world was coming to an end.

I got one complaint with this album. Is it one of his best works?   Hell yes.   Some critics consider it better than the more popular Purple Rain.   It’s even more raunchier than Purple Rain.  On Purple Rain, the only thing you hear is about some woman masturbating with a magazine.  On 1999, you hear Prince saying he wants to fuck the taste out of some woman’s mouth.  Even “Little Red Corvette” is sexually-oriented.  The song isn’t really about a car.  It’s about intercourse with an extremely experienced female.  So what is my complaint?  Many of the songs are too damned long.  They just go on and on and on, making the listener wish they would end already.

Despite the long songs, everyone should own this album. Not just Prince fans. Everyone who loves music must own 1999.

1. Dirty Mind (1980)

This album defines Prince the way we’ve known him for years. It’s the first time we see him mixing funk and rock, mainly punk and new wave rock on this album.

Also, Dirty Mind debuts the sexually-oriented lyrics the world has known him for.  On this album, the lyrics takes one to a porn movie.  First, the title song talks about a woman making him horny.  Every time he’s around her, he gets a “Dirty Mind”.  When we get to the third song, Prince wants to “Do It All Night”.  Song number five, he goes “Uptown” and gets laid by a woman who asks is he gay.  On “Head”, he gains oral sex from a woman who’s on her way to be wed.  Then on the song “Sister“, like a scene from the Taboo porn series, he’s a teen-ager being seduced by his 32 year old sister.  Yet, again, the song could be a protest against sexual abuse.  After all the sex, Prince goes into political mode attacking the military with the song “Party Up”.

Yes, the album includes two heartache songs “When You Were Mine” and “Gotta Broken Heart Again”.  Still, the album is mostly a funky porno soundtrack.   Of all Prince albums, one must definitely own Dirty Mind.