Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Reflection


Over the past couple of days a lot of people have been reflecting on their favorite Michael Jackson songs. Of course most of us can't just choose one song. As with any artist, my 'favorite song' changes as I evolve as a person.

I remember when "BAD" was first released and many people were saying it was the beginning of the end for Michael Jackson. To be honest, as a DJ I don't think I have played any MJ songs that were released after Thriller. Earlier today I heard 'Man in the Mirror' for the first time in a really long time. I currently feel this song is the most moving (and underrated) piece of work that MJ ever released. The majority of the MJ catalogue is consumed with great dance and party songs, as well as a few amazing ballades. Man in the Mirror however is a sonic masterpiece combined with a powerful and inspiring message.


A Girl's Guide to Djaying

Monday, June 29, 2009

You Don't Have To Be "Cool" To Rule My World.....

Ok I'm writing this for a friend who is trying on-line dating for the first time, and has been out of the 'dating game' for a long time:)

Just Have Fun!!

And when you are on your way to the first date listen to any of the following songs, They are fun, light, and sexy. I will come up with some more when I have more time.

(Oh, and I suggest you that you don't mention the Ani Difranco concert you attended a few months ago or how much you love that 'single ladies' song;)


Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Blog(ache)

For the past few days I have been painfully trying to find the best 'code' to embed an MP3 player in 'HTML', on to my blog. A few days ago I didn't know what that meant, and the truth is I still don't really know, nor do I know if I am making any sense.

The point is I'm learning and I am sure I will figure something out soon, so I do apologize if you are unable to listen to the music that is currently posted. I assure you, this will only be temporary.
xoxo

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Sad Side of 'Human Nature'


Over the last day I have watched and listened to the world as they mourn the death of MJ. The media has referred to him as a 'genius', and as being 'amazing'. Of course, as I previously mentioned, his passing is a massive loss. I just can't help but wonder, why weren't these comments shared, when MJ was still alive? Up until yesterday 'Michael Jackson' was the punch line of 100s of jokes, whenever he made a public appearance he would be ridiculed and scrutinized by the press. Over the last decade he was practically 'in hiding'.

I think the tragedy is not that we lost an extraordinary pop icon, but that this pop icon, had lost us ....many years ago.

My Lip-Gloss Soundtrack


We all have a routine before we go out, but it has always been important to me that this process is as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible.

Whether it's the first or 100th date, a night out with my friends, or a dinner party, I don't believe in the idea of "preparing" to go out. In essence of the "after party", the process of getting ready is my "prior party". Why wait for a disco ball and dancefloor, or my friends or some guy, to start the fun, when I can start it on my own. As far as I'm concerned, dressing up, doing my hair and make up can be an absolute blast...throw in the right music and it's a party!
So, why don't you try one of my....

LIP GLOSS SOUNDTRACKS


A Girls Guide to DJaying

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hail to the King



It would be impossible to not write about the death of Michael Jackson as his music has saved the 'dance floor' on many occasions. I am not just writing this as a DJ, but also as an '80s baby'. My first memory of pop music, and even pop culture is of the lighted box dancefloor from the Billy Jean video and the scary 'dead people' in thriller. These memories are a cornerstone of my current fascination with pop music. Michael Jackson was the first real pop music Icon. The Thriller video has even been accredited with catapulting the MTV brand into millions of households nationwide. Before MJ, pop stars were really just record label employees getting paid to record and preform.

I could keep writing, but everybody knows the influence of MJ's career and life in today's pop culture....after all he is and always will be the King of Pop.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There's always room for some more (sonic) chocolate.


I'm a bit too tired to write tonight, so I'm just going to share some of my 'feel good' candy.

For your 'heart', for your 'soul', and for your 'feet'

(not in any particular order)


A Girls Guide to Djaying

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Taste of Midnight Sunshine


After my last post, I thought that in light of the 'summer solstice' my next delectable treat should be from Si*Se. This particular song is one of my favorites though it is not a recent release. The song reminds me of squeezing the lime into my Coronas, taking off my sandals and sauntering to the sounds of a great outdoor concert while watching the city skyline glow. In other words this song reminds me of everything I love about the summer time in NYC;)

Si*Se Bizocho Amargo

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The girl is just fffieeerce!


I have a million things to be greatful for, but my friends are definatley in the top three. Aside from them being just really good friends and really good people, they all just happen to be FABULOUS! My friend Carol C. for instance is an amazing DJ and is also the front women of Si*Si, a hot NYC based Latin/Electronica band (myspace.com/sise). Trust me I will be telling you a lot more about Si*Se soon;) But.. right now, I am going to put you on to Carol C.'s radio show 'Electric City' where you can hear her second mix for the summer series. Check it out at www.wtnrradio.com
or you can check her out at
www.myspace.com/djcarolc...Enjoy!

A Midnight Snack


About three years ago I started a DJ program at an all male "at risk" youth residential facility. It took a long time for me to earn the respect of these young adults, after all according to them I do not "look like" I know much about hip-hop. (This will probably be a topic I'll address in another post;) But when they realized I do know a few things about music, I created a Hip-Hop Trivia Game. I'd ask easy questions like..."Name Jay-Z's first album?" "Who created Junior Mafia?" "Describe the album cover of Nas's first album". etc. They did know a few things about 'old-school' but the quiz became very painful when I asked them to "Name one member of A Tribe Called?".....they squinted their eyes and snarled their nose and asked..."A Tribe what"?

Oh boy am I really that old?

Well for those who do know, here's a little (recent) treat from the Cadillac Record's Soundtrack

Q-Tip Evolution of a Man

A big burst of energy


Here is some more flavor for this balmy, grey summer afternoon. A great song to clean and do laundry to;)

The Kill Sour Cherry

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sonic Chocolate

Summer nights are sweet, warm and absolutely delicious. I am feeling The Commodore's Night Shift. Click below to give it a listen;)

Feng shui (ing) your I-pod


My good friend Taryn (tellthemtarynsentyou.blogspot.com) brought up a good point when commenting on my last blog. I agree with her that there is nothing wrong with tapping into your 'natural DJ' and downloading as many songs as possible. I also feel that everyone should constantly be exposing themselves to new artists, sounds genres etc. However, I feel that it is an American tradition to carry and consume 'excess baggage.' Music gives us energy, and for a lot of us that energy is sacred, but just like anything in excess, music can take energy. People should not focus on downloading all the 'best music', people should focus on downloading the music that is best for them as an individual, even if that only comes to 100 songs or less. If you were to meet with a nutritionist, they would help you choose foods and meals that are based on your dietary needs. In some ways, I feel that, filling up an I-pod to it's max, (just because you can) is like 'supersizing' your meals. Not to say that you shouldn't gradually build your play-lists. You will always be hearing a new song you like or that inspires you and of course you should go get that song. My point is just because you like that song doesn't mean you need to get the entire album. Don't forget, you can always back up all of your music on to your hard drive, or even an external hard drive. Collecting and building a music library is wonderful and fulfilling process, but when it comes to your MP3 player, I think it is important to not over indulge, and to constantly re-fresh and make sure you only keep the music that is giving you the right energy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

(The music) is just not that into you

How many times have you found yourself dancing to a song, just because every one else in the club starts putting up their hands and yelling 'ohh' or 'whoa'? You go home and decide to download that hit song onto your i-pod, yet every time the song plays during your I-pod shuffle, you re-click the shuffle button. How many times have you downloaded songs on your i-pod from a friend's computer just because you wanted more songs. My question really is, why do people have thousands of songs on their MP3 players, when they only actually like a couple hundred of songs, and maybe they really only love a few of those songs. What's with the other couple thousand? I suppose we keep them just because we can, not because we need or even want them. The way I see it, 1-500 songs that I acutally like, are more than enough. At least those songs inspire me and make me feel the way I want or need to feel. The bottom line is, why would you hold on to anything that isn't fulfilling?

Girls Rule the Dancefloor


Several years ago, when I was organizing and choosing the music for a DJ set at one of NYC's hottest night clubs, I had come across one of my favorite childhood records. The record was Cyndi Lauper's 'Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun.' Before that night I had never dreamed of playing that song at a party. I had spent so many years working really hard and shedding my 'blood, sweat and tears' just to be apart of the 'coveted' and 'cool' NYC nightclub DJ clique. This clique, however, was really one big fraternity of 'urban hipsters' deciding what was 'cool' and 'real' enough to be a 'good record'. Playing Cyndi Lauper is probably the antithesis of their elitist ideology of "good music". The song is just too fun, too bouncy and way too catchy. At the time, I had recently been featured in Time Out NY as one of NYC's hottest DJs. If I decided to play that record at the peak of my set, I would be risking my precious and hard earned 'hipster' reputation.

Oh well,

I packed the "Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun" record into one of my crates, in between Michael Jackson and Prince.

At around 2:30 am the club was packed with a culturally and ethnically diverse group of NYC trend setters. The dancefloor was steamy and hot. I had already finished my cool edgy KRS ONE, Common and Blackstar set, I had zipped through all the current club/radio anthems, I had just gotten half way through the old-school hits and I realized I was just about to get stuck. Every DJ that spins a full 5hr set knows exactly what it means to be stuck. It is within that moment that we must tap into our soul and turn off the "auto-pilot" switch and actually start being a DJ, and displaying the very reason why we are getting paid to play music. I started scrambling through my crates of records and boom!!!!...there she was, the bright, pink/red, 'cutsey punkster' we all once loved in the 80s.

I thought to myself, hmmm Cyndi Lauper will either make or break the night. I pulled the old record out of the sleeve, and started to think...should I just drop it? After a few seconds of thinking it through I realized I needed a good leeway. It occured to me that I still hadn't played Gwen Stefani's "Holla Back Girl", (please note this was when Holla Back was a very new release, and I always save a few of the hottest new releases for 3am) Yesss! I thought it's perfect, but wait! I dug through my old-school crate and remembered I had a really cool remix of Madonna's Holiday. I thought to myself, I was about to go to a place I had never been before.

I dropped Gwen Stefani, and the crowd roared, everyone including the bartenders started dancing. I held my breath and cued Madonna, and realized that 'Holla Back' and 'Holiday' almost had the same BPM, they mixed perfectly. The crowd responded well to Madonna though they didn't seem as surprised as I thought they'd be. I did loose a few of the 'boys', they stopped dancing and were walking away to their tables or to the bar. I started to have second thoughts, but the Cyndi Lauper record was already cued and I didn't have enough time to think of and find another record. My hands started to shake, my heart was pumping, this was a huge club, and there were hundreds of people dancing, what the heck was a I doing? I took one big breath and let it go............................... The first note of "girl's just one of have fun" is this high shrilled electro sound and then it goes strait into the song. There was a brief pause of disbelief and then for the first time in my entire DJ career I heard a noise that I never heard before. It felt like I was the lead singer of a famous 'boy band', performing at an auditorium. Every girl in the club started to scream, and they didn't stop, and by the middle of the first chorus every girl in the club was dancing. It was crazy, I never felt or experienced anything like it before and it completely changed my perspective as a DJ.

To think, after all of those years, of trying so hard to be 'down.' The only and most significant quality that was missing in my DJ sets was me. The fun, bouncy, girly girl that I am and always have and will be. That night was the beginning of my best DJ Sets. Every girl was dancing, and because every girl was dancing, every guy started to dance too. I realized that strait guys don't dance by themselves or with each other, and it's the girls who really 'start the party'. I have no idea why I had spent so many years seeking the approval of a boy's club, when at the end of the day there is no question about it.....Girl's rule the dancefloor!