Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Party

I'm helping throw this party in San Francisco on October 9th and am so excited! The space is awesome, the other dj's are amazing, and, being a part of it is really pushing me in ways I wanted to be creatively pushed. In other words, I'm terrified and nervous, but, if I wasn't, I would be worried about myself.

Adonis - No Way Back

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Perfume Genius

I just discovered Perfume Genius this morning as I muddled my way through the daily YouTube k-hole, looking for new music and Corgi videos. Perfume Genius is Mike Hadreas from Seattle, a kid in his 20s dealing with a "life of darkness," according to the Matador site. It sounds like he's had more crap to deal with than a lot of us, and it's no small feat to put your pain out into the world via your art. I'm glad he found a creative outlet to express himself and share his stories.

Musically, I like the way the songs are put together on his debut album, Learning (released in June). The lyrics are sad, but, also sparse and not overdone or overly dramatic. The music is also sparse, sometimes just piano, or, just strings with occasional harmonizing. The songs almost seem like vignettes and not entirely finished pieces, but, it somehow works. Like peering through tiny windows into someone's private life, and, then they draw the curtains. It's very pretty stuff, with no small debt to Iron & Wine and Cat Power.

It's probably no small coincidence, but, this morning I was also reading about the 5 teen suicides that have happened in the Anoka-Hennepin County School District in Minnesota this past year. 4 of the suicides were directly related to antigay harassment and bullying. The climate of intolerance in that school district is horrifying. Kids have no school policy protection, and, in one case, teachers were in on the bullying and their punishment is a mere unpaid leave. It's disgusting.

I guess this ties into the music of Perfume Genius in that I wish all of those kids who took their own lives had found an outlet for their pain and known about the community that awaits them, and, known that there are people out there to talk to (the Trevor Project, for example) and will accept them and love them for exactly who they are. For me, personally, once I found my 2 friends in college who were gay, I was unstoppable. Sure, it was really hard and I was still depressed and hated my school, but, I had a little team and it was us against the world. I learned coping skills for the horrible crap life threw at me and I had people to talk to who could identify with what I was going through. I realize sometimes none of this is enough and the last thing people want to hear is life will get better in 4 years when they leave high school. But, the rest of us who have been through similar situations can at least try to reach out, share stories, be mentors, and, try to make a difference for these kids who are in so much pain. They deserved so much more.

I'm glad Perfume Genius made it to the other side, and, I hope he feels like life is slowly getting better one song at a time.

Perfume Genius - Mr. Peterson

Perfume Genius - No Problem

Perfume Genius - Gay Angels

Friday, September 24, 2010

Folsom Weekend, San Francisco

It's the Folsom Street Fair this weekend in San Francisco, and, every bear and fetishist in the Lower 48 will be converging on a several-block radius wearing assless chaps and little else. As long as I can remember, no matter what the weather has been like for the weeks leading up to the festival, inevitably Folsom Weekend will be hotter than blazes. It appears this weekend is no exception. This makes for a lot of sweaty leather daddies and furries getting flogged by red-hot paddles. I'm not really interested in the street fair anymore, but, there are a few amazing music events in the evening to coincide with the debauchery.

On Saturday, the LEGENDARY Bob Mould performs at Slim's as part of The Blowoff, his electronic/dj duo (in case you didn't know, after Husker Du and Sugar, he released solo albums - and still does - but, then also got really into electronic music. And, bears. In case you didn't know Part II, Bob went to Macalaster in St. Paul, where every cool person I've ever known from MN went). I saw him spin at Homo-A-Gogo in 2006(?) and it was amazing. And, it was techno. Like ecstacy glo stick techno. I danced for hours! Here's hoping The Blowoff will be cut from the same cloth, but, I don't exactly know what to expect - besides the bears.

On Sunday, a new club in the Mission District, Public Works, will be hosting a 9-hr dance party called The House of Black Leather curated by the brilliant local SF dance party, Honey Soundsystem, and headlined by Horse Meat Disco. HORSE MEAT DISCO is the UK's best disco party. I am REALLY excited.

To get in the mood for Horse Meat, I've been listening to podcasts from the "electronic music bears" (believe it). They've been posting mixes from the various dj's that will be performing over the course of the evening. Here's the Horse Meat episode. The rest of the podcasts are here .

Honey Soundsystem made a promo video for the event on Sunday:

HOUSE OF BLACK LEATHER :: FOLSOM AFTERPARTY 2010 :: 9/26 SAN FRANCISCO from Honey Soundsystem on Vimeo.

Take Two of These and Call Me in the Morning

I LOVE the classic, "Shame, Shame, Shame" by Shirley & Company. The man in the video below is clearly on drugs. I think I should just have a blog dedicated to hilarious YouTube videos because this is VISUAL GOLD. Coke? Poppers? Speed? Any guesses? According to the YouTube comments, the guy in the video is not the original singer, so, maybe he is nervous and snorted various things to get over it (this was pre Rescue Remedy, after all).

I would also like to comment on the male vocal style in this song and how it's basically yelling - not singing. It works, but, can be tad bit jarring. It reminds me of Alicia Keys and how she can't hit those high notes and just yells 'em out. You just go ahead and listen to her songs - "LET'S HEAR IT FOR NEWWWW YORRRRRRK" - and get back to me. From where I'm sitting, that is called yelling.

Shame, Shame, Shame gets cut off before the end, so, I've included the entire version below.

Full version of this song with no visuals. Unfortunately.


I have a bone to pick. Was anyone going to tell me about coldwave? No? You were just going to let me live my life without knowing an entire genre of music existed? You were just going to watch as I blindly mingled at soirees, dj'd at clubs, even slept peacefully at night - all without knowing any of this. Well, you know what? You guys suck! Did you know coldwave is French and started in the late 70s? Well, I didn't! My street cred has vanished.

At any rate, I am nicer than you and in case anyone else was living in a cave, I'm going to share a music video by Kas Product, a FRENCH electronic duo formed in 1980, and part of this elusive coldwave movement. How is this whole thing different than "electronic protopunk", i.e, bands like Suicide? I don't know!

All of the links from this post are from Wikipedia, because that's where people go when they know absolutely zilcho about the topic they are writing about, and, want an introduction. How's that for some humble pie!

Kas Product - Never Come Back

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rise All Ye Walk Dancers

We all know the Biggie sample from this tune by Herb Alpert, but, can we just vibe out on the whole jam for a minute? It is sooo smooooooth! Plus, this video is HILARIOUS. I would also like to point out that in my extensive research on the topic, this is one of the first music videos IN HISTORY to feature "walk-dancing." I love "walk-dancing" and although it is more fun to watch people do it in a club (on their way to the dancefloor, leaving the dancefloor, approaching someone else on the dancefloor), it is also a treat to see on THE BEACH.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Soy Como Soy

A friend turned me onto this song by Viennese electronic producers, Mokossa & Megablast (featuring vocals by the amazing Cleydys Villalon), and, I haven't been able to stop listening to it since. It's also a real dancefloor pleaser. It got people acting realllllll tribal when I played it out.

Watch the video:

Makossa & Megablast - Soy Como Soy

Another amazing song by Cledys & Makossa/Megablast:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Soul Clap

I first heard about the Boston-based dj/production duo, Soul Clap, from their AMAZING edit of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams." I'm a HUGE Mac fan, and, besides providing us with probably the ONLY non-cheesy Mac edit/remix EVER, the track is actually really nice to listen to and I, for one, would love to dance to it (but I'll dance to almost anything, read below). The MIND-BLOWING part of this edit comes in at around the 5:25 mark. Basically, the music slowly fades and we are left with ONLY thunder and rain sounds for 15-20 seconds. There are no beats, there is no instrumentation, only thunder and rain! Like you're outside in nature! What? It's like you're anywhere but California and you got stuck in a storm with Stevie Nicks. I am not kidding! When I first heard it, it was very late at night and I had my headphones on, and, I literally got the chills. WHO DOES THAT?! Two guys with vision (and some balls), that's who.

Now...with all of that said, will I play this in a club? I DON'T KNOW!! I have the vinyl and it comes with me anytime I dj, but, then there it sits in the bag because I'm scared. Wouldn't you be?? What will people do when they hear thunder and rain for 20 seconds with no beat!? Would it be like they're eating at the Rainforest Cafe at the Mall of America? Will they get mad? Excited? Confused? Will it invite interpretive rain dances? I just don't know. I can only control my own reaction to things, obviously, and, all I'm saying is, if someone played this and I was dancing, I would either faint, cry, or do some seriousssss nature stomp. I think Stevie would be proud.

Anyway, someday I will either hear it played out or play it myself, but, in the meantime, please listen with headphones.

Soul Clap - Dreams Edit

Below is another favorite, re-contextualizing Stevie Wonder's "Love Light in Flight," one of Stevie's best songs of the 80s (not to mention it's from the riveting film, "The Woman in Red").

Soul Clap - Love Light Edit

PS, Soul Clap has a ton of other amazing music, edits of Aaliyah, Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game," Marvin, and on and on. Buy their music!
Always Dancing

I've had a dancefloor addiction since my early 20's when I started going to gay clubs in Minneapolis. My friends and I had a rotation of several nightclubs we would hit up on any given weekend, and, although the players were different (or were they...), the music was largely the same (verrry deep house and cheesy diva "homohouse," as I like to call it). I would dance for hours along with the shirtless men. I had no worries, and no intentions, other than to dance. I didn't meet people, I didn't drink (lie), I didn't do drugs, I just danced. How pragmatic and Lutheran of me. And, although my taste in dance music has changed and evolved over the years, my love for getting sweaty and losing myself on the floor has not.

When I'm feeling particularly old and like I've wasted my life, I like to think about what would've happened had I tried djing at a much younger age. With my suspect taste in music at the time, I would've LOVED djing at the local gay clubs. They would've had to drag me out of there, ranting about trance, waving my glo sticks around like a fool. Had I stayed on that path, I would currently have frosted tips, wear lipstick, and play music at White Parties in Miami and Palm Springs. It's never too late, I guess.

On that (frosted) tip, I've got a few songs to share that I've really been into the past month. The Hot Toddy jam is new, and is from the UK producer's debut album, on Om's sister label, Smoke & Mirrors. It is so niiiice and synthy with a hook that sounds very familiar (read: a slower Daft Punk). The other tune is from half of Rub-n-Tug, Dr. Dunks, and it's a Dolly edit, which is GENIUS. He highlights the bass, brings out the dance jam elements, and trims the fat from the original. I love it!!

Are we over disco edits yet? I sure hope not because I love them and want my fellow Norwegian, Todd Terje, to still have a job, so, please dj's and dancers, support your local disco edits!

Hot Toddy - Won't Let Go
Dr. Dunks - No P's

And, here's the Dolly original performed "live" on Solid Gold in 1983. I love Dolly, and, Dolly doing a disco-esque number? So cute! I particularly love the line "leave us alone tonight, if things don't work out right, he's all yours." Ha. Better keep your hands off my...