So, I’d intended to make this next post a post about Burning Man (part 2 of a 3-part adventure), followed by the post-Burn New York portion, but I’m waiting on some pics from friends.
In the meantime, I’d like to tell you about this past weekend (okay, now two weekends ago). In addition to playing out for the first time (YAY!), I went to 5 parties and saw/heard some gorgeous music.
First, yes, I played for a group of about 20 friends and acquaintances. My good friend Eric invited me to DJ since he knows I’ve been getting really into it, and I figured I’d go for about an hour before he took over. It was a great opportunity to get feedback from such a supportive bunch as a way of starting out. Of course, I was nervous in the beginning, but started feeling comfortable pretty quickly, and ended up playing for about 2.5 hours, from 10:30 pm to 1 pm. Then I went on again at 6 am. I played Frank Black, the Scissor Sisters, whatever I wanted. And I was pretty happy with the response I got from the near-comatose friends still lingering. Throughout the night and over the following couple of days, friends sent me notes and came up to me with really encouraging words. They told me that I seemed very natural behind the decks, that they really enjoyed the music I played, and that I should make DJing a regular thing. And so maybe I will…
After finally getting to bed at 7:30 Saturday morning, I had a play date with my friend Cecily at her place. Although I was exhausted and pretty sure my ear was shot from the previous night/earlier that day, I decided to make my life harder by attempting to play from her vinyl collection instead of my flash drives. It was a lot of fun and really damn miserable, but luckily, Cecily is as patient and wonderful a mentor as anyone could hope for and we made it through.
I went from her place to a friend’s rooftop BBQ where a couple of guys (Seth Magoon and Arthur Delstytycds) were spinning a great mix of disco and house, generally my favorite combination these days. I took off after about an hour to go to an exclusive listening party at a loft in Bushwick. A good friend had connected me with the organizer and it was as magical an experience as I could have expected. I arrived to a nicely-packed, romantically-lit dance floor and warm, groovy music gently filling the space. There were elegant couches and sturdy wooden kitchen furniture on the far end, where people were enjoying a lovingly-prepared dinner buffet. Real cloth covered the tables with modest centerpieces and guests washed their own dishes in the kitchen’s sink. The atmosphere was, above all, warm and courteous. If any of the guests in attendance had not been raised with the kind of small-town values that characterized the place, they certainly faked it well. This was definitely one of the best parties I have been to in New York. Each record was played to its end, followed by whole-hearted applause.
Around 12:30, my friend Irem went to Good Room to see John Talabot and I ended up following her. The line was absurd and even those hell-bent on paying $25 to wait in the cold and eventually got in weren’t able to budge an inch. I made Irem go ahead of me and told her that, as a last resort, I’d go hang out at a bar nearby until I had to head off to my next (last) party for the night. Shortly thereafter I befriended one of the friendlier bouncers, who I think was just happy to talk to someone who wasn’t whining at him, because he stamped my hand and let me in ahead of the line. (Needless to say, I owe him a drink.)
I say this a lot, but dark techno is not my thing. The first 30 minutes of Talabot I truly enjoyed before it started down a hole of (to me) grating depressive self-indulgence, which probably just reminds me too much of high school. As long as it’s interesting music, I don’t mind the darkness much, but it’s a hard balance to maintain, in my experience.
I went from Talabot to Bushwick A/V, where two friends from Miami were playing. Michael Colangelo and Franco Alexander were a refreshing close to the night, with cheerful, complex, and absolutely masterful disco beats. Finally, at 7:30 am, I went to bed.
Somehow, I made it to Mister Sunday the next day. It was one of my favorite days of the season and neither of the Misters (Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin) let the vibe slip an inch. Irem (who also made it – somehow) made a strong pitch for heading to Output, where Âme and Dixon were playing. Dio managed to get us on the list, so we went.
I can officially say now that I am not much a fan of the concept of “storytelling” through a set – at least not as a primary goal – but as I learn more about the craft of DJing, there was definitely a lot to appreciate about what the duo accomplished…including keeping me out dancing until 4 am on a school night.
My next post will have a lot more pictures, I promise…