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February 18, 2007

i just couldn't get it together

Posted by dogpossum on February 18, 2007 1:44 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances

Friday night I played a crappy craptastic set at Funbags.

It was pretty hot, I'd been feeling a bit crook during the day and I didn't take time to go through my music.
I was also pretty uncomfortable with the set up for the DJ. The sound system was pretty good, but the whole thing was at the same counter where the punters pay to come in near the front door. We had to sit our laptops on the counter with our backs to the mixing desk so we could see the dancers, but this meant that our cables had to hang across the entry to the behind-the-counter. And people kept coming in and out of that space all night, climbing under the cords. In addition, I was ideally placed for people to come talk to me.
I need at least ten minutes of alone time at the beginning of a set to get settled - fix the sound a bit, sort my laptop, pick out a couple of good starter songs so I can go walk the room, de-jitter, etc etc etc. But I don't mind being visited later in the set.

I just couldn't get it together - I had to tell people to leave me alone a couple of times and to move out of my way so I could see the floor at least three times til I gave up.

As a result, I was a bit jittery and couldn't relax and get into gear. There was too much talking and bustling around me and it kept me on edge.

So the set sucked.

It was also a bit of an odd crowd, mostly beginner dancers with a couple of more experienced people. It also felt more like an after-class gig than a 'social dancing' gig, so pumping, upenergy crowd-kicking songs fell a bit flat. Those sorts of hardcore songs really go down better with more experienced dancers. The Bechet track was a particularly heinous fizzer.


I didn't kill the floor, though. I just couldn't make a coherent set that really worked the energy in the room. Because it was mostly newer dancers who just love dancing, it was ok. But it wouldn't have worked on a more experienced crowd.

I'm a bit sick of my music as well - I feel like I'm just playing the same old stodge each week. The same old songs. I haven't bought a lot of great music lately, just a lot of stuff I really like.... well, that's probably not true, that's just how it feels. I actually feel like I'm a bit limited in the music I can play. I feel like I can't pull out the less crowd-pleasery stuff. There are some songs that are just like chips at a party - they go down well, you can just keep filling the bowl and the crowd'll just keep chewing em down. But they're nothing special.
I want to make hoors doovers. Not chips.

I dunno, guess I need to spend more time listening to my music I spose. I think I need to find another artist that really drives me wild so I can get inspired again.

I'm actually feeling like I'd like to play a supergroove set - really pull out all the really good supergroove stuff. But I don't want to waste a big night on that rubbish. I'd like a more mellow late night perhaps for that. A really late night... but I can't fight my 'drive them crazy' arse-kicker instincts.


Just so's you can compare, he's the set list. All good songs, just combined in a really shitty order.

(first set, Funpit 16 Feb 2007) song - artist - bpm - album - song length

My Baby Just Cares For Me - Nina Simone - 118 - The Great Nina Simone - 3:38
Cow Cow Boogie - Jennie Löbel and Swing Kings - 120 - 2001 - He Ain't Got Rhythm - 2:56
Jump Ditty! - Joe Carroll and The Ray Bryant Quintet - 134 - Red Kat Swing 1 - 2:53
Oomph Fa Fa - Jonathan Stout And His Campus Five - 129 - 2003 - Jammin' the Blues - 3:35
B-Sharp Boston - Duke Ellington and His Orchestra - 126 - 1949 - Duke Ellington and his Orchestra: 1949-1950 - 2:54
Jive At Five - Count Basie and His Orchestra - 147 - 1960 - The Count Basie Story (Disc 1) - 3:02
Splanky - Count Basie - 157 - 1966 - Live at the Sands - 3:52
Hallelujah, I Love Her So - Count Basie - 145 - 1959 - Breakfast Dance And Barbecue - 2:36
Undecided Blues - Count Basie and His Orchestra with Jimmy Rushing - 120 - 1941 - Cutting Butter - The Complete Columbia Recordings 1939 - 1942 (disc 03) - 2:55
Hey Now, Hey Now - Cab Calloway - 121 - 1994 - Are You Hep To The Jive? - 2:56
Four Or Five Times - Woody Herman Orchestra - 141 - The Great Swing Bands (Disc 2) - 3:09
Back Room Romp - Duke Ellington and his Orchestra - 155 - 2000 - Ken Burns Jazz: Duke Ellington - 2:49
Flying Home - Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra - 159 - 1940 - Tempo And Swing - 2:58
Cole Slaw - Jesse Stone and His Orchestra - 145 - Original Swingers: Hipsters, Zoots and Wingtips vol 2 - 2:57
Lavender Coffin - Lionel Hampton, etc - 138 - 1949 - Lionel Hampton Story 4: Midnight Sun - 2:47
Redskin Rhumba - Charlie Barnet - 186 - 1940 - Charlie Barnet : Skyliner - 2:41
Savoy Blues - Kid Ory - 134 - 2002 - Golden Greats: Greatest Dixieland Jazz Disc 3 - 3:00
Perdido Street Blues - Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra with Sidney Bechet - 148 - 1940 - Blues In Thirds - 1940-41 - 3:00
The Greatest There Is - Duke Ellington and His Orchestra - 133 - 1949 - Duke Ellington and his Orchestra: 1949-1950 - 2:43
Come On Over To My House - Julia Lee with Jay McShann's Kansas City Stompers - 138 - 1944 - Jumpin' The Blues (Disc 1) - 2:52
Six Appeal - Jonathan Stout And His Campus Five - 141 - 2004 - Crazy Rhythm - 3:29

Posted by dogpossum on February 18, 2007 1:44 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances