Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Top 5 DJ sets / What I got for Record Store Day

April 17th - Haight St. - San Francisco, CA

.. Well record store day is finally here, and through quite pleasant coincidence I'm writing this having just come from Amoeba San Francisco... I cannot think of a better place to have celebrated this holy day. In honor of the day, I'm hitting you with a double list

Top 5 DJ Sets I've Seen:

#5 - Lil Louie Vega - Winter Music Conference, Miami - 2001

Lil Louie Vega is a master of House... Great weather, amped Winter Music Conference Crowd. Great Set... on the roof of the Sony Building in South Beach, the location was just insane. Louie played a bunch of old school stuff in his set, including Fantasize Me an old school Chicago classic. It was at this point that I lost my sh!t. Good times.

#4 - Lovebug Starski and Pete Rock - Sonotheque, Chicago - 2007ish

Saw this set with my man Chris... If you ever have the opportunity to see Lovebug Starski spin, do it. You won't regret it. Famously name-checked by Biggie on the track "Juicy", Starski just turned Sonotheque into a straight up party! Rapping and Singing in addition to his spot-on song selection and cutting, he was amazing. After seeing him, I finally understood why so many east coast DJs talked on the mic so much during their sets (Funkmaster Flex, Kid Capri, and the like). Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay is that headliner Pete Rock seemed just "really good" in comparison... and Pete Rock is more than just really good.

3# - Gilles Peterson - Plastic People, London - 2001

I think it was Plastic People... it was some club near Picadilly Circus. Regardless, Gilles Peterson absolutely blew my mind. He provided a master class in song selection during his set, eclectic and wide ranging, but unerringly funky. He didn't mix. Let me say that again, he didn't mix. The idea of rocking a party without mixing songs was just a foreign concept to me. (I guess if I look back at the history of party DJing, it shouldn't be so foreign as it was commonplace before the 70s... but still!) I've also rarely seen a DJ in such control of the room. It was about a 2 hour set I think and no one left the floor.

#2 - Lil Louis - Medusa's, Chicago - 1987

This was the night I heard French Kiss for the first time (that track was officially released in 1989 or so, but Louis would play all sorts of unreleased stuff during his DJ Sets) Also making this a classic was the fact that Medusa's was a juice bar, basically a night club for the under 21 set (try doing that in Chicago today) so the energy of the crowd was just phenomenal. I should also say that Lil Louis was and is an extremely on point DJ. He killed it

#1 - Ron Hardy - The Music Box, Chicago - 1988

Number 1 with a bullet, baby. It's actually kind of interesting, if you listen to recordings of Ronnie's sets today, they have a raw feel to them... in the 20 plus years since he was on the scene, the technique of DJing has advanced and become more polished. Ronnie went beyond technique like Jackson Pollock or something. I've heard many many great sets since 1988, but none has ever captured every ounce of my being in the way that Ronnie did on this night. Mind you, this was just a regular night at the box. The influence that Ron Hardy had on many of the early House DJs and producers... and just lovers of House music... is just phenomenal. The flashbulb memory I have of this night is that after playing ridiculously deep and banging house for several hours, he then proceeds to drop Ice T's L.G.B.N.A.F ... it was just the most unexpected, yet most perfect selection... we all went nuts. He's a big reason why I started DJing and have spent so much time in record stores over the years. Which brings me to...

What I got for Record Store Day

- Amoeba Records Hoodie
- Freeway and Jake One: The Stimulus Package
- D'Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, Q-Tip: Lynwood Rose
- The Oscar Peterson Trio: We Get Requests (thanks to Bobby Newton for hipping me to this)
- The White Stripes: The White Stripes
- Wang Chung: To Live and Die in L.A.
- Anita O'Day: Anita O'Day's finest hour
- Weezer: The Blue Album
- Meshell Ndegeocello: Devil's Halo

1 comment:

Cliff said...
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