Monday, September 30, 2013

Is 'Blurred Lines' Blurring Our Perspective?

Earlier this year I posted my initial reaction to Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines'. I felt that the song was really fun, sexy and simple and this was before it became a massive hit. Now I am just baffled by all the crazy allegations that 'Blurred Lines' is not only sexist but it also encourages rape (?!). The song has been banned by a few college radio stations and the video has been heavily criticized for it's disrespect towards women. Hmm... so after years of listening to anthems like "drop that p-ssy b--ch" and "lick it like a lollipop", Robin Thicke has miraculously become the poster boy for misogyny and the objectification of women. Um..Ok but this little uproar has nothing to do with Robin Thicke or the song does it? This is about the half naked girls in the video.

Half naked men have been all over MTV since the beginning of MTV from Madonna to Nicki Minaj videos (let's not forget that (yummy) D'angelo video).  The video for 'Blurred Lines' features a few topless women and it seems like our society just can't handle it. Suddenly people are stating that the song is misogynistic and about rape. For example: "You know you want it" is a phrase that is repeated thru out the hook of 'Blurred Lines' and this is the line that allegedly insinuates that "No does not mean no". Oddly enough the cliched phrase ("you know you want it") has also been used by everyone from Britney Spears, Destiny's Child to Pitbull. I honestly don't think that Blurred Lines is about or even suggests rape. I also think that if the song did not have naked woman in the video than none of these lewd accusations about it's meaning would be taking place.

I am a strait woman and I also consider myself to be a strong and independent women, with that said, I actually admire the models in the video for 'Blurred Lines'. I admire how confident and careless they are in their own skin. I admire their sex appeal and sassyness. Maybe one of the reasons why so many women are insecure about their bodies is because our society seems to have this overwhelming need to shelter our sexuality. It's as if we are supposed to hide and NOT enjoy our nakedness and sex appeal. Why are women who dress provocatively often labeled as sluts? Why are promiscuous women often criticized?  Why can't women openly flaunt their sexuality with out being judged? Why are topless women in a music video an automatic act of demoralization?  Why is it so hard to accept that some women (even a "good girl") might actually embrace their sexuality especially since men do it ALL the time.

The bottom line is a few topless women in a music video should not be considered an act of disrespect to all women.  Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell are just artists and they are married to three incredibly strong and intelligent women. These men did not come together to write a sexist, misogynistic song about rape. These artists created a song about sex and the song's video just happens to have a few half naked girls. I do believe that sexism and the objectification of women are major issues in today's pop music but I don't think Blurred Lines is misogynistic. If anything I feel that most of the drama and controversy that is currently surrounding blurred lines actually stems from the fact that we live in a sexually repressed society.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

This Mix

is full of pure 80s randomness from Peter Gabriel to Mary Jane Girls and there are also a few little current gems in between.

Fore more information on the 1st hour series please visit this post:

Hip-Hop Trained

Traditional concert pianists are often divided into two styles: Classical and Jazz.  It is very challenging for a classically trained pianist to cross over and vice versa but it does happen.  When I first started DJing I felt that there was a similar type of dichotomy but it was between Hip-Hop and House.  I started with hip-hop but now that I am getting into house, I am finding the cross over to be a lot more challenging than I had originally anticipated.

People can hear the hip-hop in my mixes even when I am NOT playing any hip-hop. I scratch, I don't mix for more than 4-8 bars and I rapidly change in and out of songs. This is a style that does not work with house.  In many ways house is much more patient and the best mixes with house music go unnoticed. DJs will play a house track for several minutes (up to 10minutes) A mix can also last for several minutes with out people even realizing the DJ is mixing. This requires a certain type of patience that I am trying to find within myself;)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Broccoli and Cheese

When I was a kid I hated vegetables and I probably hated them more than most children. My parents would have to be creative in finding ways to get me to eat my veggies.  I do like the taste of broccoli now but there was a time when I couldn't eat broccoli with out cheese or mayo....(now I think that's yuck). Oddly enough, I find myself using the same strategy when I'm DJing. Most of the crowds I play for are pretty caught up in their Top 40, so in order for me to serve some healthy greens I need to smother it in some cheese.

In this particular mix however, there isn't that much cheese (only a dabble). I'm trying to go on a diet. Don't get me wrong, I like my junk food just as much as anyone else but in the first hour I like to have a healthy edge.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Summer of 2013!

Whoa. After taking a moment to think about it, I realize that this was the busiest couple of months that I have ever had (as a DJ) in my entire career.  I DJd almost 100 gigs from the beginning of June to September. I averaged 6 gigs a week, including a handful of weeks that I DJd 8 gigs or more and there were several nights that I had more than one gig. INSANITY!! The summer just flew right past me but I DID manage to (kind of ) have a life which is very important to me:)

The one thing that I started doing this summer which I never did before was I started to record my DJ sets and the experience has been bittersweet to say the least. I should have started recording my sets a long time ago. The original purpose of recording my DJ sets were to share them on this blog. However this purpose has evolved into something much deeper, it has become a major growing experience for me. I could NOT believe how many bad habits I have: i.e.: I'm a little scratch happy, I let mixes bleed too long, I cut songs too short, and then there are a handful of random songs (that I don't even like) that seem to always wind up in my sets. A perfect example would be Chris Brown's She Aint You....WTF?! I hate that song! It's really weird but after thinking about it, it does make sense. The song samples human nature which makes it the perfect crossover song. I do crossover a lot so I tend to depend on certain tracks like this and I didn't even consciously realize it until it was popping up in ALL of my recordings.


Of course I am hyper critical of my DJing and most of these issues will probably go unnoticed to the average listener. Recording my sets have also made me take a lot of pride in what I do. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing myself pull off a really difficult mix while making it sound so smooth and easy;)!!!

The following is the latest installation to my little "1st hour series" (for more info please visit an earlier post Please remember that it's live and it's raw but it's ME:)