||[Aug. 9th, 2002|10:54 am]
I volunteered to DJ last night at the Pop Explosion Benefit at the Green Room. Pop Explosion is a startup booking company whose mission it is to get Iowa City and Iowa bands more visibility around the midwest and beyond. So it was a benefit for what is normally a for-profit business, but hey we're in Iowa -- no one is making a profit.|
But the point of doing it from purely selfish reasons is that they said "you can do whatever you want." So I pulled out about 50 records that meant a lot to me from when I was a teenager. What I found myself doing was more like a radio DJ -- there were very few real mixing opportunities, since unlike single-genre DJing, tempos and moods were all over the map.
Tack was watching me play, and said that with every track I was alternately losing and grabbing different parts of the crowd, that some people at the bar were bursting into laughter when some tracks came on. To be expected.
Highlights: Devotion by John Mclaughlin, which to my mind is one of the illest guitar songs of all time, with the the dream band of Billy Cox, Buddy Miles and Larry Young. I think that progressive instrumental rock was thoroughly covered by this record, notwithstanding the subsequent 30 years of Mclaughlin's career, which has only a few really good records to it.
"Walk Under Ladders" by Joan Armatrading. Melissa introduced my to Joan Armatrading, but if anything I'm more of a JA freak now than she is. I was going to play "Cool Blue Stole My Heart" but couldn't fit it in...
Herbie Hancock. I think the track was "Rich Country".
Ian Dury "Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll" -- my usual choice from this record "New Boots and Panties" is "Wake Up and Make Love" which fits in with house music, but I played that out the last time I DJ'ed.
"Low Spark of High Heel Boys" by Traffic. Just plain a wicked track, at turns funk and jazzy, and always extremely live feeling. THEY DON'T MAKE EM LIKE THIS ANY MORE.
The Magnificent Seven by the Clash. I'd love some time to do a set of all the disco tracks by rock bands from the 70s, though this, "Heart of Glass" by Blondie and "Don't Worry About the Government" by Talking Heads are the only ones that come immediately to mind, though I seem to be blocking a memory of a dreadful Eagles' Disco-esque track.
So you see, I had a captive audience, and made them listen to all my completely personal obsessions. It was fun, though I think there's a lot more buzz from actually playing what people want to hear ;-)