Feb 17, 2014

Why I Love DJ's

I've had this thought percolating in my mind for a few months now- when did I stop following individual artists/groups and start following DJ's.   Actually, the thought started out that way, until I realized I have always been more into the people who play the music than the makers of the music itself.   I can name a lot of great song writers and producers but I don't always know the name of the drummer from my favorite band. (I have tried to rememdy that by the way, I now pay attention to everyone involved).

This started to irk me, then I looked at my last few posts and saw that I have written a lot about DJ's and their mixes, and have veered away slightly from the actual artists, which is where this blog first started.   I am seeing a trend in general where more and more the masses are doing the same thing- turning to the DJ's playing the music to decide what to listen to next.   The influence a DJ has is so much more widespread than an individual artist, their reach is far greater, and they tour and expose fans to their sounds multiple times a week usually.

For myself, I know that the first DJ who made me understand that it is an art form, beyond wedding DJ's, was Funkmaster Flex.   When I was sixteen I went to my first nightclub, Exit, in NYC.   Funkmaster Flex was spinning, in a cage suspended high above the dance floor in a multilevel huge warehouse club.   There were glow sticks, drugs, thugs and hoochie mamas.   I realized I was, first and foremost, way too under dressed (the sequined sparkly halter top/tight jeans seemed woefully inadequate next to these Queens girls in short shorts and corset bustiers) and that I never wanted to leave.   I wanted that night to go on forever and ever- and when we left at 6am (because NY parties all night) and my friends drove me home, I was already dreaming about the next time I would go- until I saw my mom waiting on the front steps of the house.   She had been there all night.   I remember we were playing Gigi D'agostino - I'll Fly with You on the sound system and the sun was rising and then I was grounded for about three months that time.   But FunkFlex changed my life that night.   He proved that a real MC can spin anything and feeds off the crowd, who in return will feed of the MC, and thus start a fantastic circle of energy and make the night awesome, unforgettable.

These days I find myself loving the DJ's themselves more and more.   Part of this is because they are more accessible to the masses now, as a patron we know the names of the people behind the podium and we can follow them on social media and "meet" them.  Because they can play a mix of genres and hit all the stuff I personally like, I am happy to follow them to different venues to see them play what makes me happy.   Well, the good ones do.   The lazy ones play a mix of whatever is in rotation on the radio and don't enlighten the crowd to what is new or throwback.   I believe the reason DJ AM was as great as he was in part is due to the way he mixed old and new together.   I play his mixes in my car all the time because I get bored of the repeats on the radio.   Somehow his 45 minute sets never get stale even though I have listened to them many times over.   The same can be said for The Captains of Industry, whom I love and adore.   There is an era of entertainment that is getting forgotten, and now there is a new school of DJ's who have commercial success and good publicists but they aren't pushing boundaries, showing us anything new.

All of this started because someone asked me to name my current favorite artist... and all I could think of was Smith Agent Smith.   He's not an artist, he is a DJ and he has this mix that I wrote about a while ago called No Dudes Allowed, and then he made a second one, and I love them.  But I realized I couldn't really name a band or artist that I am obsessed with the way I was about Our Lady Peace or TuPac. Then I started looking at who I follow on twitter- sure, a follow a few artists and bands- but the majority of the people I follow (besides sports related people) is music industry- DJ's, producers, song writers, other music bloggers... it's an interesting realization.

I also want to point out that I wrote about Smith Agent Smith almost a year ago exactly...which I didn't realize until I went to pull the link to the last post... http://www.chanisays.com/2012/09/smithagentsmith-now-thats-what-i-call.html#axzz2f1uiASnG if you haven't listened to his stuff yet, I think you should step it up.

I wrote this a few months ago- how funny that between the time I drafted this and now I actually have posted ANOTHER write up on Smith Agent Smith after he liked my first one!

I know this is a rambling post with a lot of unfinished thoughts, but I am starting to wonder if the era of the artist is passing and it is somehow becoming the time of the DJ.   Or maybe it already is the time of the DJ and the artists need to step it up. Perhaps in reality, it is really the universe of the publicist and we are all just tiny pawns anyway.

Keep dancing.

Feb 10, 2014

91 Real

It always excites me when an artist sends me their music directly, and it's good.   I get a lot of submissions and have to sort through what I like, what will be popular (those are not always one and the same) and what just isn't good.   It can be exhausting.   I'm not complaining though, because I have met some extremely interesting and talented people through this and get to hear music I would otherwise totally be missing out on.

Case in point- I got an email from 91 Real and sat on it for a few weeks (sorry).   Tonight I started listening to all of his links and going through his music.   What a pleasant surprise!   He has a soothing voice, I like his vibe and he seems like he's got his shit together.   I don't know much about him, but i included his links below and will keep an eye on any new stuff he puts out.   I want to see what he does next, I think he has raw skills and can polish it up and make it something very interesting.

This is called "And I Was" and it is actually good, intro a little long but I would definitely keep listening and go check all of his stuff out...

He has some interesting stuff on his soundcloud too:


Feb 3, 2014

Jackson Blitch - Say Something

By now you may have seen the video, but for those of you who haven't, you need to watch it.   I had a different post prepared for today but then I saw this and had to post it instead.

Jackson is a four year old who reacted to the song "Say Something" by A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera.   It is so moving to watch this little boy literally cry over emotions stirred up by music.  His dad asks if he wants him to change it and Jackson, tears rolling down his cheeks says no.   It will be amazing to see if he ends up in a music based career.   I would also be curious (and I commented on the actual video saying this) to see if Jackson reacts to the song the same way when he is older, say in ten years, then twenty.   How amazingly uplifting to know that your music moved a young innocent child in a completely organic way.  

Right now the video has almost 350,000 views.   I am certain it will be much higher within the next 24 hours.   Share this with anyone who needs a hug, it made me feel better and I was having a pretty decent day!

Feb 2, 2014

South Jordan - All of Us

Tonight I found out one of the bands I used to write about is no longer together.   I was really saddened to see this on their facebook page, I really liked the group and continue to play their music all these years later.   I am doing a quick post because I managed to find one of their best songs, in my opinion, online and had to share it.

I am also posting both links to my previous write ups about them even though most of their videos are no longer available.   You can also buy their album online but the one song I really loved- All Of Us isn't on it.   Here is that link for you: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/keep-calm-and-carry-on/id494355057

But really you should listen to the stuff I fell in love with:
All Of Us - South Jordan
It opens up to a listening link and you can download it.

I had initially posted this link for the download in my second post about them three years ago:
South Jordan - All Of Us video and free download 2-11-2011

And you can watch their acoustic version of Hush Hush in this follow up post:
South Jordan - Hush Hush Video 8-22-11

Their facebook page is still up- let em know what you think! https://www.facebook.com/SouthJordan