Time wears on, confidence grinds down to zero


It feels like forever and forever since I’ve felt good about DJing.  I love  researching music.  I love buying music.  I love listening to music.  In the abstract I look forward to playing music for people, but when it comes down to going on stage and performing, I don’t have any motivation or enthusiasm.  I used to be so desperate to DJ.  Hungry.  Always doing it for free, or paying to do it, in terms of renting equipment for various parties.  I was indefatigable.  I used to get gigs that would involve my playing from 7pm-5am and I wouldn’t ask anyone else to DJ with me.  I was so hungry to play music for people that I wanted to be able to do it all night long without interruption.  Now I rarely have a gig that requires more than an hour shift from me, and even then I don’t mind if my time gets cut into and I play an even shorter set.  One of the things about playing with Anjali is that she will often be so good that I feel like there is little good in my going on at all.  I only see myself as a rude interloper in a beautiful situation created between her and the crowd.

I used to be such a confident DJ.  In my early years I felt like you could put me on in front of any crowd in any situation and I was guaranteed to rock it.  Any time I watched another DJ at a house party I thought, “I could get this crowd so much crazier if only I could go on.”  Now I question my ability to do anything other than irritate and annoy an audience with my incompetence and inscrutable track  selections.  Rather than feeling that I am the right DJ for every situation I now doubt if I am ever an acceptable DJ for any situation.  My self-criticism gets more and more severe and unrelenting.

I was reading some music forum online and someone was talking about how sick they are of the cliche of DJs who play “international urban music.”  Wow, I’ve  never seen or heard of a DJ who plays sets like me, but somehow I am a cliche?  I try to provide the most interesting and unusual sounds and combinations, but I’m actually just a cliche.  One of the few things that can motivate me is to feel like I am providing something no one else could or would, and instead I learn I am delusional and only doing something highly imitative and banal.

Just another ghetturista ethnic-appropriating white boy.  Cut my body to ribbons with the jagged edges of discarded vinyl records and throw my shredded body on to the fire.


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