Sunday, January 31, 2010

Go (that way) DJ!

There are times when very interesting, sincere and valid questions arise from a conversation. I embrace those moments. I sat down in a round table of sorts with a few DJ friends of mine and listened to years of turntable experience at work. It boiled down to something that I had not considered before: What is a DJ's responsibility?

This past weekend, I went to my dude's party at a small Jersey lounge. With the exception of a quick guest spot by yours truly, he was the man on the wheels for the night. The place was packed with early 20-somethings celebrating birthdays- mostly girls in short skirts with their boyfriends thirsty for champagne, a chance to be noticed and a flashy night out. I must say that my friend is a DJ for the people, meaning he assesses the crowd and spins accordingly. Although the song selection of hardcore fist pumping, monotonous, synthetic drum sounds and radio fluff made me sea sick, it was clearly what the crowd craved. He did what he had to do. I respected that and swiftly made my exit.

We debriefed the next day at the "roundtable".

My argument: Something for everybody usually means nothing for anybody. I follow DJ's and go to venues that play what I want to hear. I seek them out, therefore I don't want the sounds to veer towards the Jersey Shore soundtrack just because there are a few greasy cats with glitter on their chests that want their horrid musical taste buds appeased. Regardless of the TYPE of music played, I want the VIBE consistent and I want to share space with people who desire the same. I stay away from the one-stop shopping clubs and bars that have to appeal to the masses and play whatever pop fodder that's considered safe and generic. I don't invade and criticize; I go where I call home and play my position. As I begin to delve into the world of DJing, I promote and reach out to like-minded heads that feel what I feel and can relate to the mood I'm creating. I know my audience and go after them. Hopefully others will join in the movement and help it to grow, but I maintain my direction. As far as I'm concerned, a city bus's route is clear. If it doesn't go where you want it to, wait for the next one. I feel the same way about the parties we attend.

So I ask: Overall, is the responsibility of the DJ to adapt to the flavor of the spot at all costs and be a virtual jukebox, or is his job to set the tone and convince the crowd to see it his way at the risk of clearing the floor at any moment?
Obviously there are a million variables to this question that prompt more than a few non black and white answers, but I'm very interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

BlackFlag Shoppe Haiti Benefit

Peace to O and Les of BlackFlag Shoppe for putting together this benefit for Haiti. Black Flag is one of my favorite stores, period. They truly connect with the community and really have a hold on what it is to be immersed in the culture they cater to. They do it the way it should be done. PTS was proud to be a part of it.
Make sure you check them out @

*Special shout to Elete's jug of sangria: the new stage accessory.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Taking the Pajamas Off for 2010

Ok. So I've definitely been sleeping when it comes to the blog updates. My vow for 2010 is to keep you all up on not only what's been going on with PTS, but also heads within our ridiculously talented extended family. Forgive the snoozing. The alarm has gone off

1) Firstly, I have to show love to my brother Ed Marshall. He is an amazing photographer out of Brooklyn, NY that has kept his eye firmly fixed on the underground music scene. If you know Afro-Punk or URB ALT, then you know Ed. He has recently put out a collection of his work called PhocusED available at Luckily, he chose to show yours truly to be a part of the collection. Do the right thing. GET THE BOOK!

2) You know Def Dom right? Of course you do. The man stays working. He just completed his project with Delinquent Soundz MC, Phonetic to create, Phonetically Def. Without hearing a note, you already know the beats bang and the lyrics don't falter. It will be available very shortly, so don't leave the computer screen. Yes, I already know I dropped the ball on posting the flyer for the listening party last week (just shut up about it), but still, the visual should be burned into your brains.

3)Hasan Salaam's latest album Children of God is a testament to why hip hop should remain in the forefront of our lives. The release party for his video for "Angel Dust" is approaching. Do your best not to lick the screen as you watch the trailer. Ameena Dove is difficult to turn away from.

Make sure you come to Public Assembly in BK on 1/23/2010 to see it all live and direct. Yes, PTS will be there to touch the stage as well.

4)J-Dilla could've been his own element in hip hop. He was responsible for countless hits and brought Slum Village to the world, so it's only right that we celebrate his contributions to our collective eargasmic experience. Come peep the Dilla tribute 2/5/2010 and understand why we salute this man. Peace to DJ Metaphysic for letting me be a part of the festivities.

5) Last but not least, I have to thank my longtime bredren J-Harris for thinking of the kid when he needed a guitar player for Letoya Luckett's new video "Good to Me". the day was long, but it was worth it to spend some time with some down ass folks. See the little plaid figure on the right? Yeah, that's me trying to play it cool and not pay attention to the camera shooting Letoya's twitter blast.

Copy and paste the link to peep the post:
(sorry, blogspot is being difficult with the embed code)

Alright family, that's all for now. I promise next time I will not wait so long to give you the scoop. A special apology goes out to my sister Shane, who consistently yells at me for having to find out about these events from elsewhere. Sorry doll, you know I love ya. And YOU too!