Vinyl, definitely. I work on a computer all day and if I had to use one to DJ I would go blind. I have a visual/audio recognition when looking at the records I’m playing that helps me hear the music in my head. That just doesn’t happen for me on a computer. I think its a disservice to have too much music available to you at any one time. You tend to stick to what you know or what others might want from you. With a bag of records you shape the night into what you want it to be because you’ve already thought about it ahead of time. Oh, and records sound way BETTER!
I got started 8 years ago when I worked at a record shop called Fingerprints in Long Beach, California. Its an amazing independent shop that’s still going strong today. A co-worker and friend, Elvin Estrella aka DJ Nobody, pretty much showed me the ropes and educated me heavily on 60’s psych rock, which is what we mostly played at the time. Then the whole dance/punk/remix revival happened and we jumped right in and started a party that did really well for about a year. I still remember Elvin playing me “House Of Jealous Lovers” by the Rapture in his bedroom right when it was released. I was forever changed.
As for a career I did make a conscious decision to pursue DJing at a higher level in 2007. The inspiration came from all the unreleased music that comes my way working at DFA. This need and drive to want to share new music with others and having the unique opportunity to be that conduit. I also wanted to take the party on the road. Traveling to other countries to play records can’t be beat.
Well, I’m not the boss, but I am heavily involved with everything day to day at DFA Records.
I think there’s a mutual respect amongst many DJs in New York. I think I have a good relationship with other kinds of DJs too, even the ones that play from their cell phones or iPods. Really if the music is good and I’m having fun who am I to judge or complain. When I’m going out to a certain club or bar I know what I’m getting myself into. If I don’t like the music I don’t have to be there.
Hmm… I guess that would be a local downtown artist/DJ named Julia Burlingham. I DJed with her only once and she played the most amazing tracks in tight leather pants. She’s super cool and so is her boyfriend. Just a DJ crush.
Yes I have a few staple jams that rotate in and out of my bag. At the moment I’m getting away from classic disco standards and pushing myself in a different direction musically. Though you’re likely to hear the staple jams come out at the end of the night if everyone is having a good time. Myself included.
For [tonight] I have some new unreleased DFA material to try out. Also my friend Caius Pawson who runs the label Young Turks and manages The xx just gave me a very special xx related track I can’t wait to play.
This would probably be ‘The Art of Tea’ by Michael Franks. Its pretty smooth 70’s jazz. Growing up my mother played this record so much it became ingrained in my DNA. I know every word to every song and I still dig it. Its the kind of record a 30 something would have on during a candle light dinner. Very cheese, but good! There’s some serious jazz players on the record so I can’t be alone in my affection for it.
Different ends of the spectrum, but both are equally exciting for me. I love a dirty gritty dance party in a loft or small bar or club. Its been a great honor to DJ at the MoMA. Its a relationship I truly value.
The sets don’t differ very much as I always try to do what it is I do. There was the event for the Tim Burton retrospective I played and was told Johnny Depp was one of the co-chairs of the event and that he loves The Cure. I did a whole punk/new wave set and played a ton of Cure songs. That was really fun because I rarely get a chance to play those kinds of records. Also I dropped ‘Day O’ by Harry Belafonte which plays during a dinner scene in Burton’s film Beetlejuice and everyone went dance crazy including Mr. Burton himself. Good thing I thought of that 5 min before I left for the gig.
That’s censored material for some other time. No, I don’t know, I’ve had some crazy moments but I’m a bit of a nerd so what’s crazy to me might seem tame or lame to others.
A photographer. I like pictures.