Thursday, February 23, 2006

Romano's controversial Voice articles

Tricia Romano threw out two interesting, if not controversial, articles last week in the Village Voice. The first discusses the "renovations" of Scenic, the rock/club venue on Ave. B. Romano discusses how the weekly parties Hot Fuckin' Pink and Rated X are giving the venue a racy, gay vibe and the owners are freaking out. So the club is apparently closing for renovations, if not completely. When it was opened, it was supposed to be another live music venue. I've been there, but never to see a band. The stage is in the lower level and it seems like a tight squeeze down there. We'll see what the new venue will look like. (Extra credit: Romano looks into race issues at Pianos' Friday night party).

Next, Romano tackles the world of celebrity DJ'ing in Celebrity Spin: Rock Stars are not DJs - But DJs are Rock Stars. She goes through the slew of rockers who moonlight as DJs, from Mattie and Gabe of The Rapture to Paul Banks and Carlos D. of Interpol. She goes on about how some rockers do it to promote themselves or band (see e.g., Madonna) and how everyone these days, including mere mortals, is a DJ. I think Carlos D.'s take is interesting (coming not only from this article but from his cover star feature in March '05's Urb). He was DJ'ing in college and at scarcely attended nights at Lit and Route 85a (sounds familiar) well before Interpol became famous, so he's not in it necessarily to promote his band. And he uses vinyl only so that he really gets a feel from the art form. Nick Zinner of the YYY's also raises an good point - he would DJ while on the road just to beat the monotony of touring.

I don't mind hearing "celebrity" DJs, or regular person DJs for that matter. Some are better than others. I think Peter Hook is pretty good - not necessarily for technique (no pun intended) but he selects good songs and dances behind the decks (it's quite a sight). Andy Rourke on the other hand is poor, both technically and with song selection. I saw Courtney Taylor-Taylor DJ one night and he was just weird, hooking up an iPod so he could preview songs from the new Dandy Warhols album. Not a bad idea to preview your band's songs, but at least make them good. Anyway, DJing is pretty difficult if you want to do it right. I am by no means a good technical DJ, but frankly, with the music I play I don't need to be. No one needs to hear backspins or doubles with Blur or Pulp. I'll beatmatch here and there, but most of the time I'll just let synths overlap each other when fading in a song. For extra credit, see Audrey's take on this topic.


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