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April 17, 2007

DJing talk

Posted by dogpossum on April 17, 2007 8:03 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances and music

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

Posted by dogpossum on April 17, 2007 8:03 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances and music