Imagine Remix

Raving has a bad rap…  and while a lot of what goes on in the warehouses and clubs is as seedy as the media makes it out to be, there is always an underlying theme, a community, that is so bright and loving that the harsher aspects are negated.

PLUR

Peace. Love.  Unity.  Respect.

Four simple words.  Four complex words.  Four words that I raved by.  Four words that if they could be transported out of the rave scene and brought to the homes of all those people who fear what they don’t understand, shun new forms of music and expression, and have shut their hearts and their minds to the possibilities that there may be better ways to do things, the world would truly be a better place.

It was the summer of 2003.  I was at the Electronic Daisy Carnival at Queen Mary Park in Long Beach, CA, grooving to one of my favorite dj’s.  And he dropped a remix of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”  A song that reflects PLUR better than any other song I know.  It was perfect.

In honor of that moment and those ideals, I have revamped Imagine, hopefully Lennon will forgive me or, at least, understand:

Imagine there’s no clubbing
It’s painful if you try
No decks below us
Above us the lights died
Imagine all the people
Not raving today…

Imagine there’s no records
It is too hard to do
Nothing to hear and dance to
And no remixes too
Imagine all the people
Not raving in peace…

You may say I’m a raver
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no disc jockeys
I assuredly can’t
No time for beats or rhythm
No musichood of man
Imagine all the people
Not raving the world…

You may say I’m a raver
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Written as a thank you to Merry for helping me reach this major milestone.   The initial request was: “You can guest post for me anytime. Something say, Beatles perhaps?”

Well, how did I do?

…..

Are you a faithful kingdomite?  Do you have a request?  Let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can put together for you.  (And for all those who already have their requests in, don’t worry, I have them all written down and I’m already working on them.  Your posts are coming.)

It’s all gone Q and A

Continuing this week on the new theme where I highlight a film that punches above it’s weight, today, we are going to see what I’ve learned from a deaf DJ in It’s All Gone Pete Tong.

(All previous iterations of the Q and A silliness can be found here.  As if you didn’t already know that.  Let’s make a game of it.  Who can collect them all first?)

(Wait?  What?)

(Never mind.)

Some of these may not be suitable for small children, the elderly, and anyone who gets offended easily.  You’ve been warned.  Just as you were warned last week.

Q: What should you say when you have an amazing life experience and are considering how to profit from it?
A: “Maybe I should write a book. That might take years though, perhaps a pamphlet or brochure.”
– Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye)

Q: What should you say to someone who sounds terrible?
A: “You’re talking like a 95 year old war vet. Frank, you need professional help.”
– Max Haggar (Mike Wilmot)

Q: What should you say when someone asks you about your newest musical endeavor?
A: “We’re bending the sounds. I’ve been forging it. With a lyrical smelter.”
– Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye)

Q: You find yourself in an important meeting, your coworker has just basically told off your boss after being asking provide something and you need to smooth things over, what do you say?
A: “I think what he’s trying to say is even though he feels that he has nothing to prove to you, he’d be happy to prove anything you want, to you.”
– Max Haggar (Mike Wilmot)

Q: What should you say when someone asks you what your favorite type of footwear is?
A: “Flip flop is to me perfection.”
– Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye)

Q: What should you say when your parents ask you about someone you used to hang out with back in school?
A: “I’ve heard some stories. This guy supposedly saw him in New York wearing a garbage bag for a hat and shoeboxes on his feet and he had a rock, and he was trying to eat it like a sandwich.”
– Max Haggar (Mike Wilmot)

Q: What should you say when someone asks what you plan on doing with your life?
A: “I was thinking, you know Paul Newman’s got his salad dressing and that? So why not Frankie Wilde Hummus?”
– Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye)

Q: What should you say when someone asks how you could have made a certain decision against them?
A: “Well, business is tough and sometimes you have to make awkward decisions and I’ve made harder decisions than dropping the deaf DJ.”
– Jack Stoddart (Neil Maskell)

Q: What should you say when you are out at a club, hammered, and someone asks what you are doing?
A: “No, I’m not gonna fuck her. I’m knackered. I’m just gonna have a nosh.”
– Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye)

Q: You are sitting poolside, enjoying a refreshing beverage, and someone interrupts you to ask how your drink is, what should you respond?
A: “It’s like bad speed in a can. We’ve all had bad speed haven’t we?”
– Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye)

A whole bunch of silly, and then bam-bam, hit you with two offensive ones at the end.  Well, I warned you at the top, didn’t I?  *scrolls up to double check*  Yes, yes I did.

………

Have you watched this movie?  I was shocked at how much I liked it.  After having previously watched “Go” and “Groove” I was expecting something silly and mostly terrible.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  It is silly, it is terrible, and it is fantastic.  Here there be drugs, and beats, and redemption again, and love, and one badger monster.  Thanks for playing along.

the beat goes on

While wandering around San Diego this past weekend, I happened upon a garage sale in one of the neighborhoods I used to haunt when I lived there.  With a few more minutes to waste before meeting up with friends I stopped to peruse their offerings.  It was the call of vinyl (albums, 33’s, 45’s, singles, 12″ and 7″ alike) that usually found me peeking through boxes at garage sales looking for a treasure here and there, but this weekend without an agenda and without having really shopped for records in a very long time, I was shocked at what I found.

At first I didn’t even see it.  The vibrant purple had faded into a muted color that my eyes swept right over.  It helped that the bulk of it was hidden behind a few other odds and ends too.  But, eventually, I came around to it as I picked my way through the sale.  The color may have faded, but the places where I had forever marred the paint job by taping over the beat indicators (so I could learn to beat match by sound rather than sight) let me know it was definitely mine.  Somehow the very first mixer I had ever bought for dj’ing had found it’s way to that garage sale.

It was a simple thing.  A Numark two-channel mixer, once a brilliant (almost neon) purple with splashes of red along the sides.  It had served it’s purpose well, giving me a device to learn on before I was ready to upgrade to something a little more industry standard.  I had sold it to a friend while I was still living in San Diego when they too had felt the beats flowing in their veins and had wanted to attempt to control them, shape them, and spin them out for others to enjoy.

As I ran my hand down the columns of knobs I thought back to the day I purchased it.  I was visiting my brother in Arizona, the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore years in college, and I had been driven to buy a full setup of dj equipment even though I had no idea what I was doing yet.  That night, after also buying two Gemini direct drive turntables, a few speakers, a couple records, and a receiver, we threw a little party at his place where I had my first real taste of dj’ing.

I was terrible, of course, but that was to be expected.  What followed was three years of learning, throwing parties, practicing, and eventually getting good enough that I was able to start playing out at a few clubs and parties around San Diego.  I didn’t get paid much, and it wasn’t a regular gig, but I still had some good memories and each of them came flooding back as I looked down on my old mixer.

I once dj’ed with a friend for a private party on a harbor tour boat.  The first time I played at a real club downtime my brother and all my friends came out to see me.  As I was the opening time slot they were the only people in the place, but it was fantastic they were all there, and once my set was over we all went to a different club and watched The Crystal Method create their madness live.  I once opened for MARS.  I once played at an actual underground warehouse party.  Sure, my friend threw that party, but it was still in a warehouse, and it was still very much not a legal event.

I lifted my hand off the mixer and moved on.  Part of me very much wanted to ask how much they wanted for it and take it home with me.  However, while it held good memories, it was no longer my treasure.  I left it there for someone else to find it and one day make their own memories beat matching, record swapping, floor pounding, party driving.

Looking at my watch I realized I had tarried too long and returned to my truck to go about my day.  The smile I wore then lasted all through the weekend.

Excuse me, Q and A

Q: What have you grown to expect and love about Fridays?
A: The Matticus Kingdom Q and A silliness, of course!

You know why we are here, and you know what’s come before, so let’s jump right in:

Q: What do you say to someone who answers a question after you’ve already figured out the answer?
A: “Gee, you know that information… really would’ve been more useful to me *yesterday.*”
– Robbie (Adam Sandler) – The Wedding Singer

Q: What do you say after getting the sixth different invitation to a wedding in one year?
A: “Garth, marriage is punishment for shoplifting in some countries.”
– Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) – Wayne’s World

Q: What do you say to someone who won’t stop talking about the story they want to write, the one they’ve had in their head since high school, the next great novel of our times?
A: “That might take years though, perhaps a pamphlet or brochure.”
– Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye) – It’s All Gone Pete Tong

Q: What do you say when you are trying to pull of an impossible feat?
A: “Remember: no obstacles… only challenges.”
– Ernie (Steve Van Wormer) – Groove

Q: What do you say the next time you go to shake someone’s hand and they decline the offer?
A: “Mad respect for not giving respect. I feel you.”
– Raji (Vince Vaughn) – Be Cool

Q: What do you say when someone says they are feeling low on energy?
A:”Energy, energy? Energy is, is, it’s nothing more than a lot of new age hokum masquerading as spirituality”
– Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan) – 24 Hour Party People

Q: What do you say the next time you are in a restaurant and the family at the table next to you are being obnoxiously loud?
A: “Your women. I want to buy your women. The little girl, your daughters… sell them to me. Sell me your children!”
– Jake (John Belushi) – Blues Brothers

Q: What do you say the next time someone is trying to convince you that someone with zero redeeming value isn’t all that bad after all?
A: “Oh, he’s the good drug dealer.”
– Marcus (Taye Diggs) – Go

Q: What do you say when you are trying to get psyched up for something you don’t really want to be doing?
A: “Be excited, be, be excited.”
– Tappy Tibbons (Christopher McDonald) – Requiem for a Dream

Q: What do you say the next time someone calls you sweet, or innocent, or naive, or … well, anything you don’t want to be called really?
A: “Sweet? Where do you get off? Where do you get sweet? I am dark and mysterious, and *pissed off*! And I could be very dangerous to all of you! You should know that about me… I am *the enemy*!”
– William Miller (Patrick Fugit) – Almost Famous

Q: What do you say the next time you see someone get up and leave from a situation without all of their belongings?
A: “You forgot your thingy.”
– Eddie (James Wills) – Empire Records

Oh my goodness!  Wasn’t that fun!?

Well, I thought it was, but that’s what they pay me for around here.  So, which was your favorite?  Mine was the It’s All Gone Pete Tong one…

Oh, and you probably shouldn’t use any of this in the real world.  I mean, I have, but I’m the jester so I can get away with it.

………

Another week, and another Q and A with a theme here at the kingdom.  Did you pick up the underlying trend from these?  It’s all about the music.  Well, sort of.  For the most part.  Either music plays a prominent role in these movies, or the music from the movies is memorable.  Oh, and lest we forget, here there be monsters.  Don’t try these at home kids.  Though these do seem to be relatively harmless compared to other weeks.  Still, it is always a good idea to proceed with caution.

what day is it?

Questions, questions, questions… and then just when you think there couldn’t possibly be any more, they came up with another one.  How are they always doing that?

Do large groups of people, full of commotion, camaraderie, and a cacophony of sound (I love alliteration), energize me or do they send me reeling away in search of a quiet corner?

Simply put, yes.

When I’m in the mood, I can feed off the energy of a crowd, it can get me going, pump me up and keep me up, moving, interacting, dancing, all through the night and past the wee hours of the morning.  I’m a dj.  I know how to feed of the energy of a crowd.  I know how to take that energy and spin it right back out so that others can feed off my energy.  Let’s get this parted started!  Let’s keep it moving!

However, I’m not the 18 year old kid I was when I first stepped behind the decks and started spinning those black circles round and round.  There are definitely days when I’m just worn out to the core already and having that wall of sound all around me, having those people with their questions and their movement and their need for attention, is just more than I can handle.  The sound is like lightning, in a bad way, flashing across my brain.  (Yes, I meant lightning there, not thunder.  Sheesh!  Who is telling this story?  May I continue?  Okay, here we go…)

So, sometimes I love the crowd and sometimes I hide from the crowd.  In general, I’d say that’s probably pretty normal.  Hmm, but since I’m the jester I shouldn’t do “normal” right?  So, never mind, scrap the rest of the post, and here’s the answer:

I’m an entertainer!  Bring on the people!  Bring on the noise!

Are you not entertained?