Friday, April 30, 2010

Up and Coming Gig

Do you speak good 'starbucks' ?

Yes, I love Starbucks and through the years I have learned to speak the language of Starbucks very well.

Being able to speak good 'Starbucks' can be beneficial in many ways. My ability to speak good starbucks has also saved me a lot of $$.

For example: If you ask for an 'Iced Dopio', you will be given two shots of espresso over ice. You could take that cup and fill it with milk at their condiment station, and then your iced dopio will turn into a tall iced latte.

I do feel a little guilty about sharing that secret, but I honestly believe that all the money I have spent at Starbucks over the years surely will make up for anyone that reads this and uses the info;)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Favorite Slang

Thirsty: adj. To be and or appear to be desperate, anxious or needy. In need of attention or being in the spot light.

In a sentence:

Why does he keep calling me? Damn he's thirsty.


Sarah Palin is really going to run for president? Wow, she's thirsty!

I turned it up!

Don't know what it is with me and 'sound guys' but I have always had a fairly strange relationship with 'the sound guy' at clubs. Not all locations have a 'sound guy' but the bigger clubs always have an in house AV guy. I guess with me it's always been a love/hate thing. I also know that I am making a big generalization. I think a lot of 'sound guys' have seen me as some stuck up diva 'type', though anyone that knows me knows that is not true. I always get this strange vibe of resentment from the AV guy. Maybe I'm crazy, or maybe I'm not but most AV guys are DJs too, and become AV guys because they hardly booked as DJs. Is that obnoxious of me to say?


Well, tonight I was rockin the house, and the sound guy came out of no where and started to yell at me, I mean really yell at me. "YOU ARE IN THE RED"!! YOU ARE IN THE RED!!"

Um, ok, it happens. It really does. When you have a packed house and hot dance floor a lot of DJs can get caught up in the moment and may not be aware of their levels. Perhaps after years of DJing our hearing has gotten worse, or the monitor is too loud. But no matter what, I and most DJs like to 'turn it up' or 'pump up the volume' whatever you want to call it, it's what we do!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Tribute to Guru and a Tribute to Hip-Hop

The music world, the hip-hop world, the DJ world and all of the world lost a legend. Guru's voice represents the foundation of hip-hop as we know it today. Loosing Guru to cancer is not only a tragedy, but almost a symbol of how this genre has evolved and become a cornerstone in pop music. In other words, hip-hop is no longer a baby, no longer a teenager, or even a young adult. Hip-hop has graduated to an infinite and timeless art form, much like Jazz, Rock and Roll and R&B. I strongly believe it is just a matter of time before Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall will start hosting hip-hop festivals/concerts.

I was born and raised along with this particular genre. I am proud to be a NYC native, where I have been blessed enough to have heard the sounds of rap music at it's purest form. Just like hip-hop, I was just a baby/enfant in the 80s and I was able to watch and hear hip-hop grow as I grew all the way through the 90s into what it is today. Guru's voice and legacy will always be a big part of that experience. I have had the honor to hear him perform live on several occasions. I know for sure that his music will live for all of eternity through DJs across the globe.

GURU 1966-2010

I have been sleeping ON Wale

Yes, I know I am a little late to the party but Wale's debut last year sort of fell under my DJ radar.

My fave track from his album Attention Deficit would have to be 90210. A funky and rigid parody on the lifestyles of the (wannabe) rich and famous. If anything it's really just a PSA for young girls disguised in a hot hip-hop track. The song addresses coke addiction, eating disorders and all that good stuff.

I have to say that Wale brings something a little different and quite refreshing to the table. He is one of two of my favorite hip-hop debuts from the past year (the other being kid cudi;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Encased in the Rain

Tonight's gig was on the rooftop of the Empire Hotel. On my way to the hotel it started to rain. I was concerned, because the last time I DJed at this location, the roof top was open.

As it turns out, they have these sliding doors that cover the outdoor area kind of like a green house.

It started to pour, and in midst of certain breaks and drops in volume from certain songs, we could hear the sound of the rain. Between the thick sound of water pounding above us, and watching the rain pour over as and over the city, I must say the experience was quite tranquil and extraordinary.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Preparing for a Gig

So many things come to mind when I prepare for a DJ Gig. Sometimes I feel that, the way I prepare for my gigs are much like how I might be preparing for life. I wonder who will be there? What should I play? Will the night be a success? Will it be fulfilling? Will I be loved?

But just like life, I cannot really prepare for my DJ gigs. All I can do, is just give each night, everything I have. Nothing is guaranteed. The only thing that I know for sure is that at the end of the gig, I should feel that I spent the night doing something I love. As far as I'm concerned, that's all that really matters.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Like water for (sonic) chocolate

Do you feel what I feel?
In the story "Like Water for Chocolate" the main character Tita was cooking a meal as she was completely heartbroken and in tears. Everyone that ate this meal, felt her emotions and started to cry. Much like the novel and movie, I do believe that a DJ's frame of mind can deeply affect the mood and emotions of the crowd. I don't however feel that it is as simple as when I feel sad, the crowd feels sad too.

When my father passed in 04, I was booked to DJ the next night. People thought I was crazy because I didn't cancel. I was feeling so much at the time. I was sad, but I was also feeling an overwhelming need to inspire and be inspired. There was so much emotion with every song I played. I know that I definitely did not make anyone sad, however I made everyone feel something. They all danced, and cheered along with nearly every track I played but it was so much deeper than a dance party. There was an awakening, there was acclamation, there was gratitude and there was acceptance. These qualities were a combination of what I was feeling. I was feeling how great my father was, how grateful I was to be loved by him and how I was preparing to accept his passing. The people on the dance floor might not of been aware of it, but they were feeling these emotions right along with me that night.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In it for the LOVE

How to DJ for a small crowd:

A DJ's greatest arrogance and set back comes when they feel that the crowd isn't enough. Good enough, cool enough or simply just not enough to make a party.

When I first started DJing, I was spinning in small LES lounges. My first real regular gig was at a place called XVI on 1st ave and 1st street. I had a Sunday night party. To be honest, in the first few months, I was lucky if I had more than 2 people in the crowd excluding the bartender and 'bar back' of course. Back then, I was so happy to have anyone to play for, and I loved it. I loved DJing so much that it didn't matter. There were nights when only 5 people were in the lounge, but each of those 5 people were dancing their A**es off. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I have to remind myself that I do it, because I love it. I don't do it for the 300+ crowd. I do it for me and that is why, whether it is 1 person or a hundred people, the sonic experience will be truly amazing for everyone in the room, as long as my heart is in it.


How to DJ for a crowd that I can't relate to:

Sometimes, I will look around a room from the DJ booth and realize that I probably would not 'hang out' with anybody that's in the crowd. Obnoxious? Maybe. Oddly enough, it is usually the most simple and 'generic' crowd. The weekend crowd. The so called 'bridge and tunnel' crowd. The crowd where everyone looks, dresses and reacts the same. I use to think I was 'better' and 'cooler' than this particular crowd. It wasn't until recently I realized my elitist views were just a reflection of my own insecurities. I never really 'fit in' to 'the mainstream' crowd. I was always different. Against the grain. Sometimes I would try so hard to be just like everyone else. Every time I would try, I would only walk further away from who I really am. Sometimes I have to remind myself that if I was just like everyone else, than I'd never be that girl in the DJ booth. I would never be the girl that mixes MGMT into Jay-Z into Madonna in a way that makes perfect sense. If I was just like everyone else, than I wouldn't have anything worth writing about that would be of any interest to any normal person.

So, whether I relate to a crowd or not, I can still 'rock the house, I can rock ANY house'. Music is a universal language, and I speak it very well.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Got Lenny On My Mind

Ok, any girl between the age of 25-40 had a thing for Lenny Kravitz in the 90s. Not only was he super hot and sexy, but he was different and talented in so many ways. Crossing over between R&B and Rock, he released a mix of passionate, inspiring and even empowering songs.

Now my love for Lenny has evolved to a whole new level. His role and character in the movie 'Precious' was simply priceless and just as beautiful as he and most of his music is.

I just wanted to shout him out, because in my book he is the man of the hour!

My Spring Fever Anthems

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Fever!

I am definitely feeling it! I'm basking in the sun, I find myself skipping from time to time, I have a few crushes and I want to make out with a stranger. I'm jonesin' for a sweet and fruity cocktail and the smell of charcoal and hot dogs.

Spring is here, summer is on the way and I'm feeling good.

I got a pedi, a cute new pair of sandals and I am ready!