It’s DJ Anjali’s birthday, but she’s sleeping in, so I get to write a quick note about the Rainbow Fantasy Booty party we played last night at Acme. We love playing Booty, and we want to extend our warmest thanks to Puppet and Stormy for having us. Speaking of stormy, when I was getting ready for the show, I never anticipated rain as a potential guest at the show. It was held in Acme’s now-expanded, super-large patio area. I feel like they could fit 700 people in there now. Around the time Anjali was taking over the decks from Stormy, I started to feel little plips of rain, and looked up at an overcast sky. Uh-oh. There was no tent, and none of the DJ equipment was under cover. Puppet and gang began draping a tarp over the light set-up above the DJ. The tarp only just reached over the DJ gear, so if the rain was accompanied by wind in a particular direction, the electrical equipment still would have gotten wet. Fortunately, the rain only slightly plipped for a while, with no accompanying wind to soak the DJ. With all the bubbles in the air, one could be fooled into thinking that it wasn’t rain, but bubbles, that were making faces wet at they burst.
I used to collect a lot of booty music, and always wanted to be prepared to play all of its various manifestations at my parties. My usual gigs these days don’t call for much music of this sort, so I felt like I didn’t have a ton of new stuff in this vein to bring to the party. I had a very memorable time the last time I played Booty. A very positive memory, despite some hideous technical issues. Long blog post about it buried somewhere in the archives. I played a lot of raw and nasty hip-hop, and got a great response, but didn’t want to find myself repeating myself too much this time. I was scheduled for the last shift of the night, after Anjali had taken over from Stormy. Since her birthday began at midnight, it was the plan to have her start shortly after that. After seeing Anjali play so many different Panjabi 2-Step and D’n’B sets lately, I expected her to go in that direction, or maybe South Asian Grime. (You really should be checking her Hunniez sets these days, she has been absolutely killing it!) Instead she went into a hard bhangra set, and was greeted by a large and enthusiastic dance floor. Unfortunately, even when the rain proved that it wasn’t going to ruin the event, the cops called Acme in response to a noise complaint. Throughout the second half of Anjali’s set, the sound kept having to be turned down, until it was so quiet that only a few dancers were moving to the subliminal rhythms. This was what I was faced with when I went on. A large group of no-longer-dancers, wondering why it was so quiet, and a few people still moving, telling the DJ to turn it up. Few things are harder for a DJ to overcome, than mandated low volume levels. Oh boy, this was not what I had planned for at all.
I started out with “It’s the Time to Disco” since Johnny Mozzarella and Irina were in the crowd, and I knew that would get them dancing at whatever volume. As I attempted to line up the next song in the CD player, it wouldn’t play. Great. I was the only person using vinyl all night in addition to CDs. I hadn’t bothered to set the turntables up before putting on my first song. Now I was faced with mere seconds before unwelcome silence, and the only thing I had prepared was in a CD player that wasn’t working. Great. With little other choice, I rewound the “Kal Ho Naa Ho” disc that was already playing to “Mahi Ve” while I figured out what to do. It was not the song I wanted to play AT ALL, but at least it was something. Fortunately Stormy was nearby, and he turned the player off and on, and explained that that is sometimes necessary to get it to work. Great. And right after my first song. I went into some reggaeton, and felt like that beat was not doing it for the dancers, although I made them listen to several tracks. I basically felt like people were not into anything I did for the most part, but the people left standing at 2:30am were so complimentary and diligent in trying to get me to feel like I did a great job in my set, explaining that I had to realize that the music was required to be so quiet, that it was amazing people were dancing at all. After the reggaeton, I forced people to listen to obscure nasty hip-hop, filthy Baltimore Club, Bassnectar feat. Kristina Maria “Yo” [Speaker Junk’s Jackin Brazilian Rave Remix](the first time I have ever played a Bassnectar track), some Funk Carioca, Fulanito, the Rondelles covering Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Fergie, Outhere Brothers, some more Bollywood, and ended with Bell Biv Devoe’s “Do Me.” It was tough, because it seemed like people didn’t like it slow, didn’t like it fast, didn’t like it pop, and didn’t like it obscure. The requests I received during my set were for JJ Fad’s “Supersonic”(over and over, and I didn’t bring it), Nelly Furtado, “hip-hop with a bangin’ beat,” and “classic deep Chicago jackin’ House.” I tried with the hip-hop and don’t know if I succeeded. Definitely disappointed all the other requesters. Thanks to those of you who put up with me until the end. Sorry I couldn’t have been louder. Super thanks to Puppet and Stormy for having us as guests. I hope that the noise complaints stop, because that is some real rain on the party.