Nothing seemed true; I felt surrounded by cardboard scenery which could quickly be removed….
Tonight was so appalling that it delivered me into a minor existential funk.
Consider that I’ve been DJing (paid) since around 1986. That’s a lot of bad nights and, thankfully, some beautiful ones. Man. But as I looked round the Bless tonight, the staff vastly outnumbering the grumbling patrons (“Why won’t you play Rammstein?” “No Killers? How about The Sugababes?” “New music? Who wants to hear new music?”) something integral fractured in my Reality Denial Mechanism. Thus, I realised…
… I’m wasting my time.
I’ve been DJing for three years at The Bless. That I play mostly very new music is known to regulars. If I can’t drag out more than a handful of people after three years, I’m wasting my time and the Bless’ money. I believe Sartre called it “pissing dans le vent.”
This is in no way a criticism of pub-goers in Derby: you can’t force people to be interested in new music. If they want to hear non-stop corporate-indie with the occasional corporate-emo band chucked in, that’s what they want. Why should they put up with me playing them “mad” music?
I won’t miss: the interminable requests for Coldplay, Keane, Radiohead, the Manics, Oasis, The Killers and James Blunt. The withering looks when I tried to explain that I was playing new music. Oh, and the funniest joke DJs ever hear: “Oi, mate, have you got anything good?” Oh, how Oscar must wish he coined that evergreen jape!
I will miss: the lovely people who’d come and thank me for playing The Postal Service or Love Is All or Ceephax Acid Crew or Cyne or The Arcade Fire when no-one else in Derby was playing them. The handful of dedicated music geeks who’d come out week after week and try to catch me out with bizarre requests, my kind of peeps! The lovely Bless staff – all gorgeous, especially Russ.
There is nowhere else in Derby that is as easy-going and flexible as the Bless. I can’t imagine any other venue that would let me play Decapitated next to Adam Faith. Everywhere is niched now and homogenised: there is no intermingling of alternative genres now, we want them all separate like a picky kid with its veg and meat. So I see no point in trying to do a DJ night anywhere else as no other local venue cares about the music they play even a hundredth as much the Bless does. I get restless, I couldn’t stand to play one genre of music all night. Actually, I’d find it immensely tedious.
I’m going to look into alternatives, ways that I can still proselytise rabidly concerning the glorious new music that’s around without the weekly weary that DJing has become. Maybe podcasts, maybe net radio? Maybe a camp fire and a damp blanket?
Meanwhile, here’s the last playlist you’ll be seeing for a while, goodnight and thank you for listening:
The Girls – Return To Zero
Smimooz – La P.R.I.M.E.R.A.
Ceephax Acid Crew – Exidy
Dead Kennedys – Nazi Punks Fuck Off
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Oregon Girls
Stereo Total – I Am Naked
Ghostface Killah – R.A.G.U. (Feat. Raekwon)
Quincy Jones – Soul Bossa Nova
Serena Maneesh – Drain Cosmetics
Quintron – Place Unknown
Michael Fakesch – We Got A Generator
Apathy – All About Crime (Produced By Celph Titled)
The Radio Dept. – The Worst Taste In Music
Band Of Horses – The First Song
Pier Bucci – The R-8 Mooger
Say Hi To Your Mom – Pop Music Of The Future
Tapes ‘N Tapes – Crazy Eights
Masta Killa – Ringing Bells (Produced By Bronze Nazareth)
Send More Paramedics – The Pain Of Being Dead
Glen Campbell – Tennessee Home
Clark – Re-Scar Kiln
My Latest Novel – Sister Sneaker Sister Soul
Why? – Speech Bubbles
Ellen Allien & Apparat – Under
Au Revoir Simone – Hurricanes (lovely, floaty girl vocal synthpop, album’s a fiver in Reveal!)
Murs And 9th Wonder – Murray’s Law
Loney, Dear – The City, The Airport
Cats On Fire – Higher Grounds
The Knife – Silent Shout
The Dresden Dolls – My Alcoholic Friends
The Red Chord – L Formation
Danger Doom – El Chupa Nibre
Simon & Garfunkel – Richard Cory
Marco Passarani – Again
Kelley Stoltz – Birdies Singing
Shelter Red – Little Heaps Of Dirty White
MF Grimm – Get Down Feat. DJ Ekim
AFI – Porphyria
Gorilla Biscuits – Start Today
Miwon – Brother Mole
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Parakit
The Like Young – For Money Or Love
Perceptionists – Black Dialogue
Jackal & Hyde – Dark Star
Actarus – Hundekeks
Black Lipstick – Viva Max
People Under The Stairs – Tuxedo Rap
Throwdown – Raise Your Fist
Akir – Politricks
The Billy Taylor Trio – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (amazing track and something I was singing on the way home, on my own. In the dark. With an owl…)