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Tuesday
Aug302005

Homeless romantic.

I “performed” my first ever DJ gig on Saturday at [info]samhumphries’s art show in Santa Monica…

(Actually, that’s not exactly true. I DJ’d a couple of dances in high school, but since I was of course the most popular guy in class, there wasn’t much risk involved and I just blasted as much New Order, David Bowie and Pet Shop Boys as time allowed)

…and mighty fuck, it was nothing at all like I expected.

I’d put off other work to practice and “rehearse” for most of the week prior; perfecting my flow and learning a huge chunk of trax Sam thought would come in handy. If you’ve known me long enough you’ve probably noticed I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to certain things, like stuff that involves me… doing… them… do you ever forget how to speak? Anyway, like painting my place, throwing parties, writing web-novels and picking which black shirt to wear today, I panicked in agony. Track selection, backup track selection, software configuration, adequate scratch disk space, the big heavy thing I use to hold down the sound jack because it goes weird and only gives you right channel sound sometimes… I checked and rechecked every conceivable detail of my imminent DJ debut.

Unfortunately, I’m a fucking retard — no, really, I have DOWN SYNDROME — and forgot my laptop’s power cord at home and the music died twenty minutes into my set. Because my heart didn’t claw its way out of my ribs, fly into the air and explode in my face, I lived long enough to realize there was nowhere to go but up and that I should just chillax and call Sam and tell him to bring a cord. The fact that nobody had arrived yet was also helpful in diverting what really would have been an Akira-level meltdown. That was easily the biggest act of n00bery I’ve ever committed. Fucking hell.

Replacement cord secured, I restarted my set with some mid-tempo groovy tracks from various DFA types; Chemical Brothers; A Tribe Called Quest; the Doves; Suede; Prince; David Bowie; Talib Kweli; Pharcyde; Pizzicato Five; Talking Heads; Gorillaz… you get the idea. I kept this up for more than two hours and while I received a number of compliments, no one danced. This was primarily because the crowd was full of older squares and moms (no offense, moms) who wouldn’t dance anywhere under any circumstances. The only people interested in dancing were a small group of friends of ours in the 18-30 range, and, unfortunately for me, they weren’t even remotely interested in any of the kewl indie/electroclash/punk/new wave stuff with which I had practiced when I anticipated a hipster art crowd.

I played LCD Soundsystem, New Order, Chemical Bros, Dee Lite, Soulwax, the Faint, Richard X, Louis XIV, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Michael Jackson, Jay Z and even Daft Punk to absolutely no one dancing. The group would call out and react favourably to my choices, but no one actually danced. All they’d do was scream obscenities and demand (read: god modding in FULL EFFECT. I’ve never seen such blatant and abusive god modding since the last time [info]iceage_coming planned a dinner-movie outing) that I play — and I’m not making this up — the unspeakably evil “Noma numa” songby Moldovian techno-satanists O-Zone, immortalized in a compelling and powerful lip-sync by New Jersey fatass and unwitting internet hero Gary Brolsma.

I wish it to be known that I objected to this in the strongest possible terms. But even my considerable protestation was no match for the combined might of Dennis T. Culverand the Ladies of the PQ, whose resolve was nothing less than relentless. This predicament sparked in me a memory of similarly unexpected and god modded events nearly ten years past.

I went to a party at this chick’s house up on a mountain. We all got really drunk, watching movies like Trainspotting and William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. I passed out on a couch upstairs and woke up later mostly stripped and lying on a bare mattress in the basement with this girl on top of me. Too riddled with drink to even move, I kept slurring, “No… no…stop…” but she just kept going. We finally passed the point of no return… and I became a man. 

Being forced to play the “Numa Numa” song in my DJ debut left me with a remarkably similar sensation. I’ll be god damned if that fat little bridge and tunnel fucker didn’t get everyone on the dance floor. I’m not even kidding. It was both glorious and terrible, just like that night ten years ago.

After “Numa Numa,” I was in total improv mode, throwing down any similarly flamboyant Euro-dance and bumpin’ cheez I could find. I definitely played Roxette, Spice Girls, Missy Elliot, Britney Spears, M.I.A…. you get the idea. While I’m not exactly super fan #1 of that music, it felt really good keeping my friends dancing track after track and seeing them having such a great time. A homeless man got on the floor and started dancing with [info]thedoublepeace, which was a situation I can only describe as completely new. He was really fucking good. 

The hyphocity level was beyond any form of measurement. My mind stretched and flexed and went all 2001 just before a big glowing white strange thingy formed over my head and traveled down passed my eyes and dissipated around my sneakers. I realized the only way to conclude my set was to play “Batdance,” Prince’s six-minute-plus 1989 sample-ridden megamix epic. There is no emoticon to describe the intensity of that moment. Literally everyone who remained was now one the dance floor. Boys were dragging their girlfriends out to dance, which of course never fucking happens. That more people danced to “Batdance” than to anything else taught me the role of the DJ is nowhere near as easily defined as I had believed. I’d presumed to guide my crowd, but what I learned from the experience was that the crowd largely guides you, and that like in most areas of life, I would as a DJ have to live as if all hell were about to break loose at any moment. 

Homeless Romantic Mix

Running time: aprox 74 min.
Size: 101.4 mb

This is a continuous mix reflective of what I played that night, including only what people seemed to enjoy and eventually builds to “Numa Numa” and company. I’ve hidden the tracklist in case you wish to listen in ignorance, which I always recommend when listening to mixes. There’s no fancy beat matching or anything, but there are some good transitions.

01. David Bowie : It’s No Game (Part 1)
02. Gorillaz : Feel Good Inc. (Single Edit)
03. The Chemical Brothers : The Boxer (Single Version)
04. Kasabian : L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)
05. Richard X featuring Kelis : Finest Dreams
06. Shiny Toy Guns : Le Disko
07. Jay-Z : 99 Problems (Grey Album Version)
08. Louis XIV : Finding Out True Love Is Blind
09. Dee Lite : Groove Is In The Heart
10. DJ EZ Rock & Rob Bass : It Takes Two
11. Richard X vs. Liberty X : Being Nobody
12. O-Zone : Noma Numa Yei
13. Eric Prydz : Call On Me (Radio Edit)
14. Roxette vs. Dancing DJs : Fading Like A Flower (Every Time I See You)
15. Spice Girls : Spice Up Your Life
16. Britney Spears : Toxic
17. Missy Elliott featuring Ciara and Fat Man Scoop : Lose Control
18. M.I.A. : Fire Fire
19. Annie : Chewing Gum
20. Prince : Batdance

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