Birthdays are a time for sombre reflection. A time to assay your life, sorting out the glittery bits from the shittery bits. Yesterday was my 42nd birthday, a time for creaking memories of better times to seep out, decades circling like autumn leaves, wheezing harmonia of regret.
Fuck that! I DJed instead!
I didn’t make a big deal of it before the event, in fact only my closest mates knew I’d deliberately booked DJing on my birthday evening. I didn’t want cards, I wanted to play people lovely new music, to see them smile and nod their heads or play stupid air metal guitar.
And that all happened! 😀
It could *easily* have gone tits-up but it didn’t. Loads of people turned out last night for the second Bzangy Groink at Bar Lisi. I got requests that made me happy (ie, not anything in the current charts), peeps came and asked me what tracks were and it was everything I could have wanted from a birthday.
You see, music keeps you young!
There’s no better way to learn than to teach. Similarly, there’s no better way to keep in touch with music than to DJ new music. Yeah, I could easily do a retro night, spewing out the songs I danced to in ’92 or ’88 or ’82 or ’78. But I don’t want to look backwards. As much as I love all those old bands, what excites me the most is discovering a new artist I’ve never heard before. The joy of discovery, the shock of the new, is something I’m hooked on.
So, to prep a four hour DJ set, I usually spend around twenty hours downloading new tunes, sifting through them and separating the majesty from the misery. I only ever download bands I’ve never heard of and I never google them before listening; I want to listen with my ears, not the ears of whatever hipster website loves them. It may seem a lot of work but if even one person comes up and asks about a new artist, it’s all worth it for me. That’s an amazing feeling.
That feeling is why I wrote this rant, half a decade ago. The only reason anywhere has dull music is that kids are afraid to DJ. Really, it’s easy. The only thing you need is a deep, obsessive love of music. Everything else flows from that. It may sound loony but I do believe that everyone at some time should have a go at DJing. The same as I believe everyone’s life would be enriched if they played a musical instrument or sang every day.
Well, that’s enough middle-aged lecturing from me. These are the tunes I played last night. If you were there, thank you for coming. If you couldn’t make it, just click the artist names to hear some lovely new music with a sprinkling of classics:
Firefox AK – All I Hear
The Notwist – Moron
The Ritz – Gotta Be
Mrs Jynx – Chocolate Oranges
Refused – Coup D’Etat
Mystic Man & Eshamanjaro – Dust
School of Seven Bells – Chain
The Format – Time Bomb
Retlaw Presents – This Is It
Del Rey – Redfivestandingby
Kettel – The Wombat
Meshuggah – Obzen
Henry Mancini – The Streets Of San Francisco
Suffatze Schulte – Plastikpalmen & Billigbier (Feat. Illoyal)
MC Solaar – Nouveau Western
Girl Talk – Set It Off
Marv Ellis – Young Love
Man Parrish – Hip Hop Be Bop
Russian Circles – Harper Lewis
mc chris – On*
SND – Push 03
The Fall of Troy – Oh, The Casino!
Braintax – Retail
Bakelit – This Is My Summer
Maxilla Blue – Unbelievable Grams Of Pure
LCD Soundsystem – Get Innocuous!
Mudhoney – Touch Me I’m Sick
Short Bus Alumni – Go Team Go
The Forms – Red Gun
The Research – The Way You Used To Smile
Future Of The Left – Plague Of Onces
Sébastien Tellier – Sexual Sportswear
Burning Skies – Emocalypse
Tilly and the Wall – Bad Education
Bernard Herrmann – Prelude And Outer Space
Dot Rotten – Is It War
Glassjaw – Radio Cambodia
The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
Stu – Mymelody
JME – Boogiedown Bass
Dead Child – Screaming Skull
Jonah The Whale – Best Kept Secret
Frightened Rabbit – Fast Blood
Trash80 – Icarus
Reks – Say Goodnight
Tiger Trap – Supreme Nothing
Throwdown – Unite
Mr. Spastic – Net
Los Campesinos! – You! Me! Dancing!
Alan Silvestri – Chips Main Title
Fakts One – The Showstarter Ft. The Perceptionists
A Different Breed of Killer – Omega
Jens Lekman – I Saw Her In The Anti War Demonstration
Overseer – Bass Trap
Errors – Dance Music
Hampton Hawes Trio – I Hear Music
The Plastic Constellations – Sancho Panza
Motion City Soundtrack – This Is For Real
Vector Lovers – City Lights From A Train
Atari Blitzkrieg – The Forsaken Version 2.0
The Rocket Summer – Hold It Up
Pantera – Fucking Hostile
Why? – The Vowels Pt. 2
Jedi Mind Tricks – Walk With Me
Ramadanman – Response
Johnny Foreigner – Lea Room
Firebrand Boy – Famous
Rilo Kiley – Accidntel Deth
Doap Nixon – Behind The Music
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Parakit
Billie The Vision And The Dancers – Groovy
The Hidden Cameras – A Miracle
John Barry – The Ipcress File
The Pogues – A Pair Of Brown Eyes
Jonathan Richman – That Summer Feeling