Last Friday, I played a gig with two other DJs. I was up first, and I tried something totally new (for me): a set of music from my childhood. Pink Floyd, Cream, The Animals, Led Zeppelin, Supertramp, David Bowie, The Talking Heads… Music I remember falling asleep to as a little kid. If I’d come up with the idea a little sooner, I would have loved to add some Golden Earring and Moody Blues and ELO, but anyway, it was fun.
There was a guy (we’ll call him Stripey Shirt) who was pretty drunk and trying his luck with a lot of the women at the venue. With me, it was “Wow, you got some good dance moves. I mean, I’m from Jamaica and I know you got some good moves!” while his arm was on the back of the chair in which I was sitting. I was leaning away from his arm and planning how to extricate myself when he added “You gotta give me your number. I want to you DJ a private party I’m throwing!” I laughed at him and said “Yeah, because THAT sounds totally legit!” Continue reading →
Last Tuesday afternoon (April 19), I saw a post asking for a DJ to play at a fundraiser on Earth Day. It was for a pancake breakfast being put on by Aveda to raise money for WaterAid. I’ve been on the lookout for morning DJ gigs ever since I read an article about New York early morning dance parties that people go to before work, with smoothie bars and yoga warmups. I’m really a morning person, so night gigs are hard. I work Monday to Friday 8 to 4, so if I’m DJing on a Friday night, I have to take the day off, sleep in, have a long nap, and drink a pot of coffee with my evening meal.
In addition to getting back to the loom, I had another DJ gig in March. I was playing with two other women, and we were trying to work with two systems: Traktor and Serato. First we tried to connect them with an old Allan and Heath Z10fx mixer, but we couldn’t get it to work: Continue reading →
About a month ago, I co-played a gig with three other DJs in which I was the mentor. Even though I have been doing this for less than a year, it just worked out that I was the most experienced of the group for that night. In fact, two of the other DJs were performing for the very first time after their graduation recital.
I was playing the first set (10pm) and the fifth (midnight). For the first set, I’d planned a kind of loungy house vibe reminiscent of the first hour at my first solo gig. For my second set, I’d planned some early nineties dance music (think Black Box and CeCe Peniston and Crystal Waters and Technotronic).
Because I was playing such an early set, my mom came down to see me (although it’s not really her kind of music!). She was still using a cane following her knee surgery; after my first set, some of my friends drove her home so she wouldn’t have to navigate the icy sidewalks and drive herself.
This post is dedicated to honestme363 after our little conversation yesterday in which they wondered if I was planning to play a rave remix of any polkas or perhaps the bird dance at an upcoming gig… I said “No way!” but actually, it turns out I have some options:
My improvised laptop stand: a thin wooden box decorated by yours truly. The grey cat is inspecting it for crumbs.
This past Saturday, I did my first ever solo DJ gig. All me, all night, booked for three hours. I was excited and terrified, since the longest set I’ve ever done in public before was only forty minutes, and I have always had sister DJs with me as mutual backup and support.
The venue was a downtown restaurant. They don’t have a dance floor and they weren’t expecting dancing, although they did know I mostly play house music and were okay with that. I planned to tone it down a bit for the beginning of the evening and so I prepped a lot of chill house, like St. Germain and Laurent Garnier.
On the day of, I had slept well but then couldn’t nap much during the day. Was starting to get nervous by the afternoon so I didn’t eat much. Continue reading →
So I have another gig coming up and this one will be my first ever solo gig—All Me All Night—three straight hours with no sister DJs or mentors to back me up. I’m nervous, of course, but also pretty excited. But until now, I’ve never played more than an hour’s worth of music in an evening, so I am going through all my old music to see if I have enough music appropriate for this venue. And I’m coming across some great old electronic stuff from when I first moved to the Netherlands Continue reading →