Monday, September 28, 2009

What's been going on in the Bay in a hot minute

I've had a fantastic couple of weeks in the Bay Area, especially as the San Fran Summer is in full effect - come October it will be beach time again, at least from 12pm-4pm before the fog rolls in.

One of the highlights was chilling with the Dutty Artz & Que Bajo?! crew, especially Geko Jones and Uproot Andy. Quality gents, both. Deep and broad musical selection, with emphasis on the "musical." That's a risky term, probably linked in my mind with melody (is that ethnocentric?) or something. Maybe I would set their "musical" against my "visceral-conceptual"? I don't know, but anyway I find them pretty inspiring. If they are hitting your town -which is pretty likely given their insane tour schedule- don't sleep. Literally, don't sleep, just dance all night.

I was lucky enough to rock out with them in NY a couple times, and then they hit San Francisco to play Chief Boima's amazing party at Little Baobab. Now that was a truly great event! Seemed like people started dancing the minute they came in the door,* none of that hanging around the edges waiting to get drunk enough to feel okay on the dancefloor, people were right out there and stayed out there.

And then I had more great luck - I got to spin with DJ Dub-U (doing a pretty hilariously fun tag team), opening up for the mighty DJ Slugo. Recap of that to follow shortly. Suffice to say that you Bay Area peoples need to get over yourselves and come out earlier to the Li Po lounge because every aspect of that night was amazing but the first half was too empty and the music was indeed utterly bangin. But by the time Slugo hit the decks the crowd was going nuts. You shoulda seen it. I wouldn't say there was much Jukin (clearly, in the Bay, we need more internet videos to instruct us, although Mr Slugo's awesome lady did her best to show us how to work it out.)

*Actually one aspect of that reminded me of my gig at Eclectic Company. There was a gang of people at the bar who started dancing as soon as the music came on, and more joined them when I started djing, which was gratifying.. but it was clear their priority was to dance, as much as possible. I was playing bouncy hipop and glitch and dancehall remixes and suchlike, and I thought they didn't seem like club music people but it might be worth taking it up to club music tempo --after all who doesn't want to bounce to bmore? But it became clear that they were mystified by the speed and the music. What was adorable was that they didn't leave the dancefloor. They kinda bounced their knees, and looked around, as if asking each other how to dance to this, and sorta waiting in the hopes they would get the hang of it or the music would change. But they didn't leave! That really warmed my heart - they were more interested in dancing than in being experts on the music, or even being familiar with it. In the end I sorta relented, let go of my hope to play stuff at club music tempo and brought it back down to a more hiphop tempo and they immediately started jumpin.

1 comment:

  1. Aargh, still upset I missed the juke getdown. Since folks just don't know juke round here, had a hard time rounding up a cross-bay crew, and got distracted, in a good way, by a new Oakland art gallery opening that night. But your point on Bay Area folks needing to come out earlier is right on. That's my nightlife dilemma--still in my Chicago mindset of starting the evening at midnight--which we all know doesn't quite work out if clubs close at 2.