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April 27, 2007

i rock

thumb-32.jpg I have lots of things to write about Hullabaloo, but I need some time to process.

But I do have some nerdy DJing talk.
I did a few sets over the weekend (about 4 all up, including drop-in help-outs), one of which was a blues set. It was just so great. I really rocked. In fact, I rocked so much I did this to some of the hardest harcore blues dancers in the country:

During the set, no less.

You can see more of The Squeeze's photos from the weekend here.

"i rock" was posted by dogpossum on April 27, 2007 2:47 PM in the category djing and perth

April 26, 2007

totally badass

I've just carried a very heavy, three-shelf shelf-thingy. Sort of 50s style, where each layer of shelves is a bit shorter than the one below.
It's white, but solid wood underneath - I will liberate it.

I saw it on the side of the road, on Victoria Street as I was going down to the butcher. I had a good squizz, couldn't see anyone, and legged it, giant, heavy (solid wood) shelf over my shoulder. In the butcher I asked if anyone knew who owned it (or the four nice red-seat, black-leg 50s chairs it was standing with). No one did. I decided it was ok to take it, if I was quick.

After buying some stuff, I nipped across the road to the bus stop and spent 5 sort of worried minutes waiting for a bus. Thank goddess it was the 508 - they lower themselves to let old people and people carrying shelves climb up.

Then I carried it home. A ten minute walk extended. It's a good thing I'm very strong and with a low, wide centre of gravity. I'd like to think I'm terribly badass, but I'm not sure taking abandoned furniture qualifies me.

"totally badass" was posted by dogpossum on April 26, 2007 5:06 PM in the category domesticity

April 18, 2007

long and boring. right on.

I am officiallly the most boring person on earth. What have I done for you lately?

Long, boring posts about DJing. And that's about it. Nice one. Way to go.

But why?

Well, it's mostly because I've been sewing a lot, and sewing and blogging... well, sewing and writing on a computer = not good friends. The former is not conducive to/for (?) the latter.

Also, I have been a bit low on the can-I-write-in-English? self esteem ladder. Writing - he is not something I can do. Any more. But yesterday I had a nice meeting with the ex-supes about making the thesis into a book and now I feel better. so about a year and a half or so (or however long it takes - I have absolutely no clue. A week? A year? Six months? How long?) from now, expect to see a nice book with a nice colourful cover, full of nice photos of dancers and postively bursting with accessible yet terribly clever and world-changing words about dancing. It will mostly be like reading my blog, but with better spelling. And it will cost more. Also, there will be more pictures. And the world-changing, it will be so fricking on, homies. Your worlds - they will be wearing new frickin' PANTS, they will be so changed.

Meanwhile, we are off to Hullabaloo tomorrow*. That's in Perth. I am DJing a few times. We will get up late, tell lies to trusting Westralians, eat foreign food (ie fish that does not need a layer of subcutaneous fat two metres deep to protect it from the antarctican water temperatures), squeeze old friends til they gasp, do some stunts, drink some beer, tell larger lies to truly gullible Taswegians (not all of them are gullible - some of them are sharp, like ze razor), sit about in cafes talking crap, dress up in inappropriate costumes for glamour events, tease everyone under the age of 30 until they cry, mock everyone weighing less than 65 kilograms until they buy themselves a hamburger (or should that be encourage everyone weighing less than 65kg until their self esteem is such that they don't need to starve themselves to beauty?) and possibly, maybe, perhaps do some dancing. But no promises on that last one.

I will try to take some photos (or The Squeeze will take photos and I'll claim them) and post about it later on. Don't hold your breath, though - I suspect there may only be more long, boring posts about DJing. And me. And how I DJ. And what I think about DJing. And what I think about what dancers think of my DJing.

*also, I was convinced I was going to Perth this afternoon. It was at about 9.30 last night when The Squeeze arrived home from a night helping his friends launch their computer thing (BLACK TSHIRTS, doods - I'm looking to order a hundred or so Tshirts in a few months, and NONE of them will be white) that I realised that it wasn't today but tomorrow that we're leaving. Means I have a few more hours up my sleeve, but really. What is with my brain?

"long and boring. right on." was posted by dogpossum on April 18, 2007 12:31 PM in the category perth

April 17, 2007

current favourite songs

I really love Stompy Jones (Ellington 1934 200bpms), but only played it for the first time last Thursday. It went down well. But I was playing such a shitty set I miscombined it and it didn't work as well as it should.

I love love love the song Jungle Nights in Harlem (Ellington again, 1930 202 bpms) but have only played the Charleston Chasers' version, which swings less and is more 'charlestony' (and is 213bpm). I like the trumpet. Of course.

On a completely different tack, I really like Turn it Over by Bus Moten and his Men (1949, 148bpm). I'm sure it's in a minor key (I'm sure JNIH is too, which is why I like it), it has a mellow, laid-back feel which makes it sit well with Slim and Slam, has a sparse instrumentation (on a quick listen - electric guitar, sax, piano, trumpet, drums, bass) and simple vocals. It's probably a song about sex (though the words are about playing records - "flip it, flop it, don't drop it, flip it flap, don't you slap it - turn it over on the other side") and has a nice hummy melody. I play it later at night when people are over their crazed energy but still have some juice in them - it starts mellow but gets more energetic. I like to sing along.

Four or Five Times - Woody Herman, Jimmie Lunceford, Lionel Hampton, McKinney's Cotton Pickers - any version is good. I really like the lyrics and the feel of it. This is definitely a song about sex, and how if you can manage 4 or 5 times the ladies will looooove you. Or possibly the fellas - the McKCP are a little more ambiguous. Because they are naughtier. I like the Herman version for high-energy, crazy lindy, the Lunceford one for mellower dancing, the McKCP one for crazy loungeroom dancing. And the Hamp one is just plain neat dancing.

Jimmie Lunceford
Is whetting my whistle. Again. I especially love his versions of Blues in the Groove (1939 205bpm) (surely a song about sex - groove being a euphemism for vaginas after all - and it's a fun, highenergy number that sounds like great, sweaty fun).
Stomp it Off (190bpm, 1934) - possibly another minor key, but great fun. Sounds lower energy so it gets people dancing, but is actually quite quick and energising. But 'light'.
Hittin' the Bottle (1935, 211bpm - the early-mid 30s were good to Lunceford) - great fun. I like the way they 'call' steps: "move it around, keep going to town, now make a break and wiggle like a snake" (the last two in 'the break'). I've always thought it would make a fun jazz routine song.
Organ Grinder's Swing (120bpm, 1936). A mellow, nice song that I love dancing to and singing as I ride home - it's the perfect bike riding song. I like it because it reminds me of the Mills Brothers (who do a version) and their version of Walking Stick (1938, 158bpm), which I also like. Mostly because it has humming, a really nice bit of Louis Armstrong singing (and I'm not a fan of his vocals), and a sparse bit of instrumentation - maybe just guitar? - with novelty 'instrumental' vocals.

"current favourite songs" was posted by dogpossum on April 17, 2007 8:58 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances and music

DJing talk

The Thursday night before the easter weekend I did the second set at CBD, starting at 10pm and finishing at 12.30. I was rostered til 11.30, but the crowd were in partay mode. It was a great set, I was very pleased with it, and I had lots of happy dancers complimenting me on it (which is the absolute height of pleasure and satisfaction - nothing makes you feel better than dancers rushing up, all covered in sweat, with their hair in their eyes and their clothes disheveled, telling you that they loved your set. That's happiness). A few people have asked me to post it on the swing talk board, but I'd rather do it here as it helps me keep track of when/what I played without cluttering up the discussion board with massive posts.

I can't really remember many of the specifics of the set, other than that I came in swinging with a crowd-favourite, hardcore, hi-fi, big band wall-of-sound Basie, lindy hopping track. Blues in Hoss's Flat is great stuff. Followed by another. And then a less common version of another. It was cheating, really.

I have to say that Dan set up the set perfectly. He played a mellow, groovier first half of the first set - very noob friendly - and then kicked it up a notch with a great combination of old school, nu skewl, hi-fi and lo-fi lindy hopping action. I just slid on in to a partyhardy room full of crazy dancing spastics. I also totally ripped off his idea for a stroll - he asked "do you think the shim sham would go down well now?" and he didn't end up doing it. But I did steal the idea and play the Big Apple song. There were so many people doing the routine they had to form two lines opposite it each other, and it was GREAT. I was dying of jealousy up on the DJ stand.

I was very happy with the way I worked the energy in the room over 2 and a half hours. I called it at 12.30, even though we could have gone on longer and the crowd was still dancing, but I was buggered. And an hour unpaid while the bar makes money is kind of galling. It was nice to end with a bit of supergroove medium tempo stuff.
But out of 43 songs, only 10 were above 160, which isn't good. Especially when 13 were under 140. We should be a bit more hardcore. But I didn't feel I could push it much higher - people were kind of crazed as it was.

One weird thing that happened: when I played the Charleston Chasers track (which is more 'charlestoney' than the Ellington one), people danced lindy, and the floor was full. Every other time I've played this, it's been solo 20s charleston city. But I think it was because I moved from a New Orleans/trad sound (which I had gotten to from some swinging stuff), and people were tricked into continuing with their lindy. It was unusual, but gratifying to see people trying such high tempos without resorting to bal or solo dancing. But the Giordano track really called 'charleston' to them, and they obliged.

Oh, and Disco Keith commented that Dan and I were playing the same songs a number of times - ie I played a song Dan had played, but a different version, and Dan (apparently) had played 2 versions of one song. After I heard that I went out of my way to find more repeats. Because I like to see Keith squirm (Keith is a wedding DJ with some strict Rules - one is no repeats. Another is 'only one song by each artist - don't play 2 or more in a row'. I like to break that second one a lot. Brian once played an entire set of Basie at the Funbags and no one noticed. That was ace).

I also have to mention that the George Gee stuf was a plug. A visiting dancer is giving out Gee's earlier albums as promotion for the new one (which I've also scored), and playing this artist was a thankyou plug. But it wasn't forced: that's a great album, and the new one is equally great dancing music.

This set was pretty heavy on the late testament Basie. Because I am in love again. It was heavy on the hi-fi and later recordings of things (rather than the older orginals) and newer bands because CBD has shitful sound and I wanted the high energy of newer recordings. Plus that's how I felt.
I'm actually having a 'classic swing' moment - I'm really into stuff from the late 30s, 40s and some 50s stuff (and 60s with Basie, really). I just like music that makes for great, swinging lindy hop. I still love that older stuff a whole LOT, but I've been hankering for the beautiful quality of some of the later stuff. And I really prefer Basie's band in the later years - that's some good shit.
But I still prefer Ellington's earlier stuff.
I adore Hamp, and he's a good indicator of my current tastes.
I am also on a Jimmie Lunceford kick. I just can't get enough. I need more. More.
I'm also having a Kansas City jump blues moment. I don't know if any of the Melbourne dancers will be able to handle many more hand-clapping, foot-stomping, shouting-about-food jump blues songs. I will certainly get punched if I play Cole Slaw again any time soon - even a noob dancer noticed that I'd played it in my last 4 sets (ie last night, last Thursday, the Friday before, and the Thursday before that). It's time to let it rest.

I also did a really fun set at the Funpit last Friday. It's mostly a new dancer crowd, and the numbers were up last week. We were also in the room with a better vibe. And I had a hankering to play hi-fi. So I played a solidly swinging mid-tempo set with lots of hi-fi stuff I don't play very often as I associate it with my beginner days and feel it's a bit un-complicated for more advanced dancers (it is - it's musically and rhythmically pretty simple, but vocally quite nice). I may post that set list later if I can be bothered.
But it went down a treat. Once again, Keith and I were teamed up as DJs, and he followed me, muttering "I'm getting a reputation as an old school DJ and I want to be more flexible", and then playing a whole bunch of hi-fi which I really enjoyed dancing to. It was really an example of how you can play hi-fi, good quality music which is still hard-driving, bad-ass swinging jazz. No freakin trip hop rhythm n blues bullshit here, thankyou very much.

The crowd went nuts. It's so nice to see beginner dancers dancing like they're on crack.

PLEASE NOTE: If you're looking at this set with an eye to picking up the songs - get into it! But if you're looking to do some torrenting or CD copying, please think twice, especially when it's a song by a contemporary band. I've added links to these bands sites, or to their CDs on amazon - give them a click. Some are really, really, crazily cheap. And these guys are the guys we dancers hire for our dancing pleasure. If we steal their music they'll go bust and we won't get to dance like fools to them LIVE!

DJ Snoop Doggydogpossum's set, CBD, Thursday 5th April 10pm-12:30am (second shift).

title - artist - bpm - date - album - length

Blues In Hoss' Flat - Count Basie and His Orchestra - 142 - 1995 - Big Band Renaissance Disc 1 - 3:13
C-Jam Blues - Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis - 143 - 1999 - Live In Swing City: Swingin' With Duke - 3:33
For Dancers Only - Jimmie Lunceford and His Harlem Express - 178 - 1944 - 1944-Uncollected - 2:22
"Big Apple Contest"- The Solomon Douglas Swingtet - 211 - 2006 - Swingmatism - 2:57
Shoutin' Blues - Count Basie and His Orchestra - 148 - 1949 - Kansas City Powerhouse- 2:38
Jive At Five - Count Basie and His Orchestra - 147 - 1960 - The Count Basie Story (Disc 1) - 3:02
Back Room Romp - Duke Ellington and his Orchestra - 155 - 2000 - Ken Burns Jazz: Duke Ellington - 2:49
Stomp It Off - Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra - 190 - 1934 - Swingsation - Jimmie Lunceford upenergy - 3:08
Foo A Little Bally-Hoo - Cab Calloway - 175 - 1994 - Are You Hep To The Jive? - 3:01
Four Or Five Times - Woody Herman Orchestra - 141 - The Great Swing Bands (Disc 2) - 3:09
Savoy Blues - Kid Ory - 134 - 2002 - Golden Greats: Greatest Dixieland Jazz Disc 3 - 3:00
Joshua Fit De Battle Of Jericho - Kid Ory And His Creole Jazz Band - 160 - 1946 - Kid Ory and his Creole Jazz Band 1944-46 - 3:12
Perdido Street Blues - Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra with Sidney Bechet - 148 - 1940 - Blues In Thirds 1940-41 - 3:00
East St. Louis Toodle-Oo - Michael McQuaid's Red Hot Rhythmakers - 152 - 2006 - Rhythm Of The Day - 3:21
Jungle Nights In Harlem - Charlestown Chasers - 213 - 1995 - Pleasure Mad - 2:48
Yellow Dog Blues - Vince Giordano - 195 - 2004 - The Aviator - 2:29
Lavender Coffin - Hampton, Lionel and His Orchestra with Sonny Parker and Joe James - 134 - 1949 - Hamp: The Legendary Decca Recordings - 2:47
Cole Slaw - Jesse Stone and His Orchestra - 145 - Original Swingers: Hipsters, Zoots and Wingtips vol 2 - 2:57
Flying Home - Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra - 159 - 1940 - Tempo And Swing - 2:58
Savoy - Lucky Millinder - 192 - Apollo Jump - 3:26
Le Jazz Hot - Jimmie Lunceford and his Orchestra - 144 - 1939 - Lunceford Special 1939-40 - 2:41
I Want The Waiter (with the water) - Jimmie Lunceford and his Orchestra - 151 - 1939 - Lunceford Special 1939-40 - 2:44
Apollo Jump - Lucky Millinder - 143 - Apollo Jump - 3:26
Sent For You Yesterday - Count Basie and His Orchestra with Joe Williams - 163 - 1960 - The Count Basie Story (Disc 2) - 3:09
Good Rockin' Tonight - Jimmy Witherspoon - 155 - 1998 - Jazz Me Blues: the Best of Jimmy Witherspoon - 4:15
Blues For Stephanie - George Gee And His Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra - 140 - Swingin' Live! - 4:55
Rock-A-Bye Basie - Count Basie and His Orchestra - 175 - 1960 - The Count Basie Story (Disc 1) - 3:37
Splanky - Count Basie - 125 - 1957 - Complete Atomic Basie, the - 3:36
Every Day I Have The Blues - Count Basie - 116 - 1959 - Breakfast Dance And Barbecue - 3:48
A Viper's Moan - Mora's Modern Rhythmists - 143 - 2000 - Call Of The Freaks - 3:30
Krum Elbow Blues - Mora's Modern Swingtet - 162 - 2004 - 20th Century Closet - 2:45
Till Tom Special - Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra - 158 - 1940 - Tempo And Swing - 3:23
Six Appeal - Jonathan Stout And His Campus Five - 141 - 2004 - Crazy Rhythm - 3:29
Effervescent Blues - Mora's Modern Swingtet - 122 - 2004 - 20th Century Closet - 3:07
St. James Infirmary - Hot Lips Page and his Orchestra - 122 - 1949 - Jump For Joy! - 3:12
Black And Tan Fantasy - Jimmie Lunceford - 104 - 1997 - Rhythm Is Our Business - 2:44
Why Don't You Right - Jonathan Stout And His Campus Five featuring Hillary Alexander - 118 - 2004 - Crazy Rhythm - 4:59
Down Hearted Blues - Ella Fitzgerald - 122 - 1963 - These Are The Blues - 3:11
My Chile Jay - McShann Trio - 145 - Hootie - 3:20
Blues In Hoss' Flat - City Rhythm Orchestra - 130 - 2004 - Vibrant Tones - 5:23
Moten Swing - Count Basie - 125 - 1959 - Breakfast Dance And Barbecue - 5:17
Easy Does It - Big 18Smooth Sailing - Ella Fitzgerald - 118 - 2000 - Ken Burns Jazz: Ella Fitzgerald - 3:07

"DJing talk" was posted by dogpossum on April 17, 2007 8:03 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances and music

April 11, 2007

artie shaw's Self Portrait and Kid Ory's completed Decca recordings

Ok, so we never found out what happened the other night. We suspect the cops just gave up and went home. Nice one.

I am currently the most boring person in the world. It's The Squeeze's birthday today, so I'm organising dinner for him tonight with whoever could make it at the last minute. I'm also sending him off on a CAE cooking course, probably the one with Cam from Eat It on RRR. The Squeeze loves to cook, but he's mostly a wok man and doesn't like masses of meat. So we'll just have to see how he goes.

On other fronts, something lovely came in the mail for me today:

Artie Shaw's Self Portrait. It's lovely. Its packaging is lovely - nice box with nice 'recycled' paper sleeves, book and box. Five discs of loveliness. This is a really special thing as I've been saving and saving for it and needed some good Shaw action. Plus it's interesting because Shaw selected the songs himself - in 2001. It's not all that common for big olden dayes jazz doods to select the songs for their box sets, mostly because they're dead. So this is not only a nice set of music (I'm enjoying it very much), but an interesting text. It's also all remastered and nice.

I'm also on a major Kid Ory kick atm (continuing...), and this cheapy arrived the other day. The quality is kind of mixed, which isn't all that surprising for the price, and the fact that a chunk of the music was recorded in 1922! I'm sure I'll get over the whole New Orleans revivalist thing soon - Sidney Bechet gets up my bum a bit now, and I can see Ory heading that way too. But until then...

"artie shaw's Self Portrait and Kid Ory's completed Decca recordings" was posted by dogpossum on April 11, 2007 1:09 PM in the category digging and music

April 10, 2007

Right now

Right now it's 2am and The Squeeze and I are sitting on the bed in the front room peeking through the blinds at about 3 thousands cops. Periodically a bloke on a megaphone asks 'Paisley' (Painsley? Ainsley?) and 'Joseph' at number 4 to come out the front door, down the path to the front gate with their hands up, where the police will give them more instructions. Apparently, this is the police, and they want to talk to them about a police matter. The house is surrounded. They will not be harmed.

Like I said, there are about 3 thousand police all over the intersection outside our house. But it's quiet, except for every other dog in the neighbourhood barking and then not barking and then barking again. Every now and then the police give instructions and a car siren goes off. I hear a couple of bangs that I imagine are gun shots (as if I'd know what a gun shot sounded like), but are probably people throwing things around.

It's a quiet Brunswick area, and while we have quite a few households of noisy teenagers in our street, there are far fewer problems in this area than others I've lived in. I've never had to call the police, not even for late night noise. My family used to live in a now-very-swish part of Brisvegas next to a boarding house with a few blokes who really scared me. We called the cops nearly every weekend because they were fighting and scary. I've lived in quiet suburban areas where I've called the cops while a frightened woman hid in our loungeroom from her abusive partner. When we lived in Fiji our house was broken into and we were scared quite a bit at night, until we left, and then there was a coup.

But this isn't a noisy area. Which is kind of the point, I guess.

So there are all these cops on the street. The Squeeze went out a little while ago to have a sticky beak and was asked to return to the house. It's kind of bizarre. We made jokes about the Victorian police and the promise that no one would be hurt. But they're all out there now, very serious and square-shaped, and it doesn't really seem all that funny any more. I have put on clothes, just in case. I'm not sure what the in case will be, but I want to be ready.

"Right now" was posted by dogpossum on April 10, 2007 4:00 AM in the category domesticity | Comments (4)

April 4, 2007

telly update

I've been watching a fair bit of House lately, and while I've decided Hugh Laurie is about as hawt as hawt gets, it's getting a bit wearing. Lots of dramatic blood and far, far too much miserable middle aged man for me.
So I've replaced it with some of this action:

gilmoregirls.jpg The video shop has about six seasons all on DVD so I'm set for a while. The Squeeze is disgusted, but I'm enjoying it. I like it that no one dies. I also like that it's really all about the ladies. The few male characters in the program are really just props for the female characters - Rory has an attractive young thing who's flitting in and out of the narrative, and whose only purpose seems to be admiring Rory's choice in reading matter. Laurelai has a couple of blokes who drop into the story now and then, but they really don't seem to do much except ask her on dates and be knocked back (especially if they're only interested in her for her body), be grilled and then perhaps taken on a date (if they're interested in her brain). Or they make her cups of coffee.
I like it. Nobody dies. I know it's trash, but it's better than Smallville, and there's lots of it.

We are still mowing our way through West Wing - just started season 4. I have to say, I was really disappointed that the CSI secret agen guy was killed off at the end of season 3. He satisfied my inner chick-flick fan.

I care about telly at the moment because I'm on an ob-con fuelled craft kick. I've been quilting like a demon (I do have some lovely photos to put up - I'll get on it STAT), I've been doing some crocheting (I like the complicated patterns, and really get more pleasure out of figuring out how it works than in creating a final product - there's been lots of undoing and redoing), and I've just finished a queen sized quilt thing. The Squeeze hasn't decided whether he wants it to be a quilt cover or a light weight quilt for summer. So I'm waiting on that. That one's lovely - all shades of blue, and lots and lots of different types of Hawaiin print fabric. The patchwork design isn't one of my best, but it was satisfying to put together and actually looks pretty ok.

I've also moved on from the recent rash of thriller/murder mystery books to some restorative Dianne Wynne Jones:

The Pinhoe Egg is lovely children's fantasy, and I'm enjoying it very much.

"telly update" was posted by dogpossum on April 4, 2007 12:44 PM in the category old sew and sew and television | Comments (1)


Ok, so seeing as how I'm sitting about being bored/depressed/tiresome and cleaning compulsively, I've decided to rechannel all that ob-con potential and actually get on with making the thesis into a book. Thing is, I have no clue as to where to start. I have asked the Supes for advice and they have offered some advice. The no.1 publisher Supes (they're both big publishers and pretty kick-arse career acka types - the types young girl ackas like myself idolise and try to emulate) suggested having a look at the Routledge site.
I've also read this guide to making your thesis into a book by MUP. But if anyone has any other suggestions, I'd be very grateful. :)

"rechanneling" was posted by dogpossum on April 4, 2007 11:35 AM in the category academia | Comments (0)