I’ve been invited to play at Cool Out Mondays w/ revered funky DJ, Tony Schwa. Tony is a rad dude who is real chill and probably one of the few people I would allow into my radiation bunker when the bombs drop. When I last played Cool Out (this was way back in 2009 — sheesh), Mr. Schwa and I formed an instant rapport. We also opened up for MixMaster Mike together and got this neat picture:
These days, we’ve dropped the smokes and we’ve both moved onto bigger, better glasses — but one thing didn’t change: Cooling out jockeying tunes for people to dance to. Round 2, Monday Night @ The Crown and Harp.
It’s undeniable. Vinyl sales have been on a roaring return. It’s hard to say if it’s the purists, audiophiles, collectors, or DJs that are bringing the medium back, but the numbers don’t lie. Vinyl sales are going up, digital and CD sales are slumping. While consumers are drowning in a sea of fantastic streamable services like Spotify and iTunes Radio, something happened in the past two years that has made music analysts perk up. The few remaining vinyl producing factories in United States are struggling to keep up with demand, partially because there are only 16 major presses in the US, but more so I think, because consumers have grown weary of intangibility and DRM. It drives consumers to desire ownership once again. ‘Owning music’ is something quite frankly, that this current young generation has never known.
Don’t take my word for it though. The NY Times, The BBC, and one of the most influential DJ websites, DJ Tech Tools — and locally — even the DC9 are all covering angles on this radical resurgence to wax. Take a look at this eye-opening chart:
I started out my dj career playing vinyl for house parties in Denton because I was the only person with an amp, speakers, and willingness in my circle of friends to schlep that all around to a keg party. That quickly ended. 2005 was around the beginning of what I like to call the “Controller Craze” in DJ technology. Every sort of new feature was being lauded as the end-all-be-all for cutting edge djs to embrace with their creativity, but most importantly to the industry, their wallets. It was a good time. DJs had near immediate access to all the latest tracks at a moments notice. Every available effect, filter, airhorn, and kitchen-sink to toss into their sets for an immediate noisefest the likes of which dancefloors had never seen before. Panasonic stopped producing the de facto standard in turntables, the Technics 1200. DJs became the rockstars of the decade. All of this was a very encouraging trend to myself. I was buying new gear and selling the old stuff on craigslist seasonally. Maybe I’m just getting older and more of a curmudgeon, but damn it if it doesn’t feel good to play records again.
I recently took my 80′s Dance Night party at Hailey’s Club 100% vinyl and I’m having a blast with it. The most immediate thing I noticed was that I’m not hearing the same music I used to play. Sure, the tracks I play have the same title, but a lot of these 12″ singles had alternate ‘club’ edits and extended versions that never made it to the iTunes music store or even CD for that matter. Some people think ‘vinyl sounds better’, and while that argument can quickly get into elitist nonsense, I will say that playing records is exponentially more fun for me as a DJ. That’s something I sincerely hope gets conveyed to my dancefloor. I don’t know what the future holds for vinyl, and I don’t see myself giving up my laptop entirely any time soon, but if you want to hear 80′s music the way your ecstasy-taking parents did, I will attempt to be true to the times at 80′s Dance Night @ Hailey’s Club: now vinyl only.
It’s festival season once again here in Denton TX. I have been asked again to return to the Thin Line Festival. My first experience working with Thin Line was djing an after party for a documentary screening at Banter back in 2012. This year, the festival has grown exponentially from a film-only screening affair to a full blown music festival scattered across all of Denton’s most popular nightlife venues. In addition to just djing at the fest, I was tasked with curating the lineup for Thursday @ Hailey’s. I called up some of my favorite tastemaking DFW area djs spanning all sorts of genres.
I’ll be sharing dj duties with the likes of: DJ Sofaking, who you can see most Thursdays at Andy’s representing the Denton Dance Collective with their popular Subsonic Indulgence party. Shooknite, a forward thinking guy from the well-known Track Meet dj collective. Tony Schwa, a Dallas pioneer who undeniably keeps the funk alive with his Monday night Cool Out party at the Crown and Harp in lower Greenville. DJ S.o.u.l.jah, who I recently guested with playing his Too Futuro sunday night event at The Slip Inn.
If dance music isn’t really your thing, I’m also performing a set of all original instrumental hip hop music Saturday night at the festival-sponsored side event Visions (masterminded by TLIT). This event will make the Thin Line even skinnier as each artist’s performance will feature a unique visual component. One notable act for that show is Juicy the Emissary, who is one of the most underrated hip hop producers in the region. If you’re at all interested in beats with or without raps, you’d be foolish to miss this on Saturday.
As diverse and talented as these rosters may be, there are 5 nights of this sort of entertainment all over the city starting Wednesday night, so be sure to pick up a wristband. Enjoy some movies, grab a couple drinks, and hit the dancefloor. Also, 90′s indie rock geniuses Sebadoh are performing. They put out a new album last September after over 10 years of hiatus. Check it out.
Alan Palomo and Jason Faries of the band Neon Indian are in town for one night only. We’re DJing at Hailey’s Club. We did this 5 years ago and it was amazing. Come join us for a night of dance music. Who knows, perhaps you’ll even hear some unreleased cuts from the new VEGA record? “No Reason” not to come party.
Been lovin tunes. Here’s my top favorites released this year.
1. Boards of Canada – Nothing Is Real
Haunting and illuminating, this track cements my love of Boards of Canada. I feel they can do no wrong.
2. Ghost B.C. – Body And Blood
In a space where metal has been so serious with their allegiance to satanism, a welcome contributor, Ghost, reflects all the nonsense, including us in on the joke.
3. Danny Brown – 25 Bucks [feat. Purity Ring]
Danny leaves it all open for the addict in all of us. Clever lyricism and a sick beat mark this as a standout on his “Old” album.
4. A$AP Rocky – r – Cali
An addition to the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack, A$AP Rocky goes in on a mad beat discounting fakeness. wild tune.
5. Cashmere Cat – Kiss Kiss (LidoLido Remix)
Cashmere Cat is a wizard and this remix is super rad. I wish trippy turtle was on Spotify so i could just link all his tunes, whoever he is :)
6. Lone – Airglow Fires
This tune has classic all over it. Historical sound with a vibrant feel unmatched by most producers of the current era.
7. Mayer Hawthorne – Reach Out Richard
Mayer Hawthorne has so much talent, and for him to do a heart-rending song like this is so rad. I love Mayer Hawthorne. The entire album is great. Please give it a listen.
8. A$AP Ferg – Shabba
I have rocked this many (many) times solo.
9. Disclosure – Latch
I love this entire album and can listen to it unbroken very comfortably, but this tune is pretty evocative of the whole theme. I haven’t seen Disclosure doing anything wrong.
10. Daft Punk – Fragments of Time
I think this is the strongest track on the new record. Daft Punk are more symbolic than we allow, and with the new record in our headspace I like that they are allowing themselves to work as a pop-jazz-fusion experiment. Todd Edwards couldn’t be replaced here, and the message is brilliant.
I’m bringing back 80s Dance Night. 80s Dance Night has been a Thursday Denton staple for nearly a decade. Glen Farris of http://wedentondoit.com/ started the weekly ’80s dance night in 2004. DJ G (Jonathan Graham) took over shortly thereafter, making it into *the* iconic dance party attended at least once by just about every Dentonite. In 2010, yeahdef (Joey Liechty) took control. Somewhere along the last two years, Denton TX forgot the oath they took to never forget the 80s. Yeahdef is back to collect on that oath with the rebirth of 80s Dance Night at Hailey’s Club.
80s Dance Night is now a biweekly party that trades with y2k and occurs every other Thursday night @ Hailey’s Club
You may have heard that there has been a sea change at Hailey’s Club as of late. The owner of Dusty’s bought it out, connected the two venues, added a dj booth on the stage, cleaned up and organized the interior, and has reinvigorated the live music venue with a dance party atmosphere unmatched in our beloved Denton. Fresh off a very successful show featuring Afroman, Hailey’s is getting back into the business of bringing in some serious live shows as it was in their heydays - Andrew W.K. coming Dec 7th - in addition to focusing the weeknights on dance music. They asked me to come back on Thursday nights to dj. What I chose to do was offer something old and something new.
Old: the return of 80′s Dance Night on Thursdays.
New: y2k – a millennium dance party.
These parties will alternate on Thursdays beginning on December 5th with y2k. I believe that all party-goers young and old can coexists in a peaceful union. I hope to see you all on the dance floor.
As noted in many local blogs, Oaktopia Fest, will host Del in Denton. Del is one of my most loved hip hop luminaries, and fresh of the release of Deltron 3030 event 2, will be rocking the Denton town square. I’m elated. I’m also holding down the hip hop stage for the event. In addition to there being a plethora of local acts, we have a rad headliner. Come check it out. BTW im nominated for best dj in the dallas observer
I’ve been asked to perform at the upcoming Breakaway Fest @ FC Stadium in late September and couldn’t be more stoked! They recently put up a brand new website with a lot more details about the Dallas twin of this double-city-double-header, so you should go and check that out! Please go grab those tickets and get ready for one of the biggest and most diverse music festivals to land DFW.
« Previous Entries
Dallas! It has been FAR TOO LONG since I last had a cool spot I could dj in the big D. Lot’s of people see me as a Denton dude but I probably had as much come up playing places like The Cavern and Fallout as I did Rubber Gloves and house parties. My good buddy M3SA is going to be holding it down with me for the debut of my new monthly party, “Wave Back”, @ Crown & Harp upstairs. It’s free to attend and I guarantee we are going to play some shit that will get your body movin’. So get wise, each first Friday of the month, it’ll be me and a guest dj selecting funky gems for your aural canals.