boyshapedbox: (DJ ICON IN MOTION)
It's August, and [ profile] nobora and I packed up her truck and started our roadtrip to the West. We just graduated college that May and this trip was going to be awesome. Before leaving Emily gave me a CD to rip and put on my iPod, a CD made for her my a close friend in Savannah.

"Nathan's Good Mashups"

I popped in the CD and the first track that played was Jay-Z vs. Billy Joel "Big Shot Pimpin'" by The Brat.

My mind was blown. I knew both of these songs, and they both fit SO WELL on top of each other! This wasn't like a remix where it was familiar but still brand new. This was different. The ADD in me LOVED being able to listen to two songs at the same time and pick them apart, deciphering the 2+ layers of audio in my head.

Next up was Janis Joplin vs. Beck "Mercedes Beck" by Lenlow. I couldn't believe how well they fit.

My love of mash ups started with that roadtrip. We listened to that CD over and over and over again.

When I was looking for mash ups on the internet while I was in Seattle for 2 weeks (before moving to SF) I came across this website.
A small once a month club night at The Cherry Bar in San Francisco. An entire night dedicated to this little niche musical genre. Bootie. Bootlegs. Bastard Pop. This place was dedicated to it once a month.

My friend Jeremiah and I, the last saturday in September 2005, ventured to The Cherry Bar for Bootie, and as I walked in I was in awe at the amount of people there. Jay-Z vs Nina "99 Luft Problems" by Jay-Zena was playing and we made our way to the dancefloor. That was the night I met [ profile] ca_thunder, Killer Bob and his partner Rick, and my friends Rich and Chris. I went every month after that.

Going to Bootie made me start seeking out Mash ups from all over the internet. I would get the free Bootie CD for coming early to the club and would later search all the artists to try and find more. I loved that they were all so different, some TERRIBLE, but some just genius in execution. I would watch people's faces light up when they heard the next mash up come on, everyone in unison trying to figure out what the acapella and instrumentals were.

Bootie moved from the Cherry Bar/Annie's Social Club, to the DNA Lounge, to now being so popular it is a twice monthly party PACKING the club. There is also a Bootie LA, Bootie NYC, Bootie Paris, Bootie Munich, Bootie Boston, Bootie Hong Kong, Bootie Copenhagen, and during Burning Man, Bootie Black Rock City.

Mike Snyder, a DJ friend of a friend moved down to SF from Seattle and stayed temporarily in the living room of the place where I would crash when I didn't want to take Bart all the way back to Albany. He set up his 2 CDJ's and his mixer, and one day let me play around with them. He was a little taken back at my ability to (mostly...I was still beginning) beat match and understand songs structures. I let him in on the little secret that when I was going to Raves, in between dancing you could always find me next to the DJ booth watching what the DJ was doing, mentally trying to figure out WHY and WHEN he was doing what he was doing. I figured it out but didn't have the money for equipment so I was never able to try it myself....not until 7 years later on Mike's decks.

When Mike asked me what I wanted to spin I blurted out "Mash Ups." It didn't take much thought but all I knew was I wanted to make a crowd light up and see that look on people's faces when you take two things very familiar to them and completely reinvent it for them.

And I wanted to spin at Bootie.

Flash forward 2 years, this past Saturday I finally got to do just that.

Mattacuda, who performs sometimes for Bootie's MIDNIGHT MASH UP SHOW mentioned me to Adrian and Mysterious D (the bootie founders) and they booked me for the back room. The back room always has a theme and for my night it was "The New Blood Lounge" where DJ Boyshapedbox and DJ Big Dolla, two bootie virgin's would spin for the first time. I did the visuals for Bootie a few months ago so I already knew A & D, but getting to DJ for them I finally got to bond and get to know them.

They LOVED my set, and the feedback has been stellar! Adrian came up to me later in the evening after I was finished and said, "A few people came up to me and asked 'do you book the dj's?' and I was like 'uhhh...yeah, I have a little to do with that' and they told me that I HAD to have boyshapedbox back ASAP." I was floored. "We will be having you back as soon as possible. You were wonderful and have the exact sound we've been looking for. You just get it. I don't know if it's that you've come to Bootie so much but you play the kind of mash ups that keeps the floor and the energy going."

And when I emailed them the next day to say thanks, they replied:

"We LOVED having you, and will definitely be roping you into more Bootie gigs. You are WARNED!"

It was amazing.

It was also my heterosexual debut. I realized mid-set that I couldn't remember the last time I'd DJed for straight people at a club. Oh that's right. Up until then I hadn't.


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August 2011

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