For a while now, I’ve been working on encoding my music collection so it can be stored on computers. I think back to when personal computers started being a thing – when things were so much smaller in capacity (storage and processing) and so expensive in price. Moore’s Law being what it is, I recently added a computer to my home network that had two hard drives that were over a hundred thousand times bigger than my “big” hard drive in the old days (well, we’re talking 20 Meg to 3 Terabytes, so even more). The price for the whole thing was, if my memory is right, less than my entire computer cost in the old days. This allows me to do things that wouldn’t have been possible back in the day – storing my whole vinyl and CD collection on a few hard drives, in great quality. Networked so everyone in the house can get to the music. I need to play with the Raspberry Pi and make a file server/music player to get music to the kitchen side of my little house.
This tinkering with technology brings me back to what I did for years in the working world. Now, it’s just a hobby – a useful hobby in my case. I’ve got a big storage server now and can get back to encoding records to computer. I’m looking now at things that will serve me well in an environment where people can dance to what I’m playing. Why?
Next month, I’ll be the DJ at the Airspray Queer Dance Party at the Electric Haze in Worcester (see next post for update). I went out to their party this month (the third Friday of the month) and scoped out the crowd to see what it was like and whether I felt like I could do what I thought that audience wanted.
Being out at a club was a strange experience, because I realized how long it had been since I did that. When I was just a sprog, I would go dancing – out, by myself. Yes, I had friends there, but I never have been one to stay home because I had to go out by myself. My standard MO is to get there early – I have to settle into the waters gradually. Being in a club as it fills up is easier for me than diving in when it’s already full of people. So I got to Electric Haze (26 Millbury Street, Worcester MA) at just after 9PM, ordered a drink and found a seat in the corner. Yes, I’m a sitting in the corner girl. I like to watch what goes on.
I wanted to see what kind of music they were used to hearing at this party. Living in Worcester and having friends who loved to go dance (and are part of the Queer community), I’d been asked to go to this with them in the past but hadn’t gone yet. What blew me away about this party was how much people were wanting to dance. If you were even remotely aware of dance crowd psychology (really, just paying attention), you could see it – people clustered in groups on the floor once the DJ got set up and started playing music. They were bobbing even when they didn’t have anything that really made them want to dance yet. That energy – I was at ground level and I just felt like this was my kind of people – the people who would go out and dance like crazy if you gave them grooves. Funky grooves. Smooth grooves. Leftfield stuff that they didn’t expect grooves. Basically the DJ Muse special, you know?
Classifying what I do is never easy. It’s so fluid and crosses genres so much – I’ve never fit in an easy box. At the “turn of the century” everyone who was a DJ seemed to be specializing like insects – you weren’t just house, but you were Progressive House, or whatever that specialty might be. Given that slots were only an hour long, that kind of made sense, I suppose. I’ve never really enjoyed that, although I learned to get better at constructing a tight set. But constructing that set kills any spontaneity, which I really believe is where the magic and connection happens. Sure, you can still connect with a crowd, but there’s something about working your way around, testing what makes people dance, what makes them holler – and then giving them more. It’s not something you do in an hour, and it takes a lot of work and attention. You can’t autopilot that, you shouldn’t phone it in. I won’t.
So, Worcester, I’m coming out to play, and we will dance. Until we’re a damned sweaty mess, we will dance. We’ll have fun. It’s something I’m going to do while the reigning DJ of Airspray is taking a month off, and I’m really grateful to the wonderful folks at Airspray for making it possible. I’m glad to be part of something creative and fun in Worcester – and even gladder that it’s such a short drive from home.
Yes, things are happening here in Muse-land. I’ve got two gigs during the Floating World event. I’ll be playing downtempo/chillout sets as part of the “AfterCare” parties from 3-5A on August 22 and August 23 (late night Friday and Saturday). For a long time now, I’d hoped to find a way to combine my fascination with fetish and my love of music and being a DJ. This is the first chance I’ve had to put my own stamp on an event, and I feel like it’s a perfect fit.
This event is closed to registration – they actually sold out all 1200 admissions (yes, it’s that big) two weeks before it started. Sorry! But if this goes well, it might lead to something else in the future. If you’re going to be there, some see me in the pool area of the Sheraton (private party open to Floating World attendees only) and enjoy the laid-back, lovely grooves.
Don’t forget, I’ve got Atman – a DJ Muse Mix for you to listen to as you’re going about the last of your summer. It’s great music for an evening relaxing on the back porch or with your sweetie. Personally, it makes me think of Germany. *smile*
As always – thanks for listening!
~ DJ Muse
…I’ve actually finished a new mix.
I’ve also got a new gig, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.
I realized today that it’s been a very long time since I sat down (or stood up, really) and recorded a new mix. Today there is a new mix for you to listen to, and I’m very happy with it. Consider it a gift, a meditation on the way life is complex and beautiful and how the life force that animates all of us is inside to be found if only we’ll be aware of it. If you don’t want to be so hippy about it, then you can just say “enjoy life.” I’d like to thank Todd for reminding me that life is meant to be lived with open arms and heart.
Enjoy the music!