dj snobbery

i am just going to go ahead and admit it. i am a dj snob. unapologetically so. i don’t care if a place is empty, if i’m loving the dj, it’s a great night. i have lived in arizona for almost three years now, and i have yet to be impressed with any of the local disc jockeys. that’s right, i called them by their full names, isn’t that what your parents do when you aren’t acting right? because these folks are not (acting right).

i always know when the dj is good because i don’t leave the dance floor, i pass out from exhaustion when i get home, and my body hurts the next day from working it out all night. if i hear an entire song, it had better be something so hot that it’s going to blow up the air waves in a month (because good djs play music you haven’t heard on the radio) or it had better be the end of the night! if my hips stop moving or i have to pause and catch the beat, you, mr. dj, are NOT doing your job! and the cardinal sin of djing is dead air. not the “oh no, the speaker went out” or “the power just died” dead air, the “i waited too long to cue up a record, and the previous song has come to and end” dead air. a dj should not just be a glorified record player, he (or she!) should be an artist, like the french say it.

i want to hear more than 2 songs in ten minutes, i want to hear songs i forgot existed but love so much that i dance too hard on some random dude and then have to escape when he asks for my number. i don’t want to have to ask the dj to “play my song,” because i want to be too busy having a good time to notice that he hasn’t. my hope for the summer, is to find that elusive great night. the one where i walk to my car with a happy glow (you know, the sweat sheen from dancing too hard), shoes in hand because my feet hurt so good, and on my way to some late night after the club food because i have burned enough calories to earn a post game meal. i’ve got two months, let the quest begin…

a case of mistaken identities

last night, i found out that a high school friend of mine passed away. i received a message informing me that she had been in a car accident and did not survive. i was crushed. although we had not kept in touch after high school, i would still run into her on occassion when i went home for family visits and it was always a pleasure.

i began to think back to our days in track when we hurdled together, and performing routines in flag corps. the sleep overs and the car washes, riding around in her classic cherry red volkswagon rabbit convertible, the silly jokes and fun times and i was genuinely hurt. i thumbed through my high school year book reading her message to me and thinking “how horrible to lose someone so young.” i tried to find the words to offer my condolences to her family, her father -my hurdle coach, her sister who i was on student council with. i wished that her two young daughters wouldn’t have to grow up without their mother.

i called my father, my sisters, my best friend and my mother to inform them of the sad news. i trolled the local newspaper to see if there was a listing for when the services would be held, and looked up a florist so that i could have an arrangement sent to her family first thing in the morning. i prayed for strength for her family, i wondered how it must feel for a parent to bury their child. it was just not the natural order of things. i went to bed with a heavy heart.

today, i received a message informing me that it was not my close high school friend, but a high school acquaintance of the same name who had died in the car accident. i have to say that i felt a mixture of relief and renewed saddness. was it wrong for me to feel that way? a mother still lost her child. she was still somebody’s sister, somebody’s friend. in 24 hours, i had gone through the cycle of loss and in finding out that it was due to a case of mistaken identities, i was still somewhat altered.

it made me think. of the friends and family whom i love that i try my best to reach out to on regular basis. it made me wonder. if for 24 hours i thought that any of them were dead, would i feel regret? would i cry for the things i should have done? for the words i should have spoken? for the moments i could have shared? i came to the conclusion that i would not.

there is not a friend i hold dear who does not know that i love them. i take advantage of every opportunity to let them know that they matter and that having them in my life is a blessing. my 24 hour lesson: many things in this world exist solely to distract us from what truly matters. focus on what’s real.

in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.

-the beatles.

music moves me

to laugh, and sing, and cry. i sat dining with my aunt by the bay in san pedro, and as we were conversing, i lost my train of thought. my ears were filled with music. it had been nothing but background noise, until this song. the chords made my insides churn and my heart want to break. there has to be a science to the construction of a song. there must be something in the movements, the arrangement, the sharps and flats and crescendoing moments that evoke such emotions. i was perfectly happy, until i heard this song. the harmonies composed using those minor chords made my chest ache. i wanted to curl into a ball in my mother’s lap (all the way in new mexico) and cry.

the eerie strain “be-cauuuuuse the sky is blue….it makes me cryyyyyy becaaaaaause, the sky…is bluuuuuue” wafting over the restaurant’s stereo system sent chills down my spine. i remembered this song. it was playing when i saw cirque du soliel in las vegas. love. at the mirage. it had the same effect on me then. i felt as though i could turn myself inside out with sadness, and would still be unable to escape the haunting melody. so instead i sat transfixed by the contorting dancers as i embraced the unexpected rawness in my heart.

i have never been able to sit through an entire symphony without wanting to cry. especially the requiems. as the music swells and the chorus comes in, the timpanys rolling, i am on the edge of my seat, involuntarily clutching the program and i can feel my heart as it beats faster. one of my favorite movie soundtracks is the last of the mohicans, and i don’t even like yanni, but the theme song gives me goosebumps.

i began playing the clarinet when i was in the fourth grade, and the first time i had the pleasure of going to see real musicians play in a grand symphony hall, i was hooked. i have since had a great appreciation for well built theaters with good acoustics that let you feel the music, be engulfed by it. it has been much too long. i think i know what i am going to do this weekend. hello symphony, my dear old friend, i did not realize how much i missed you…

a waste of time?

i have been neglecting my blog, but not without good reason. i try to write only when i feel that i have something remotely interesting to share, although that is debatable…

i am very late on this one, this song has been out for quite some time, but about a month ago, i heard wouldn’t get far. at first, i was taken aback by the lyrics. i thought “what an ignorant song to make, how much more will women take??” i watched a hip hop documentary that aired on PBS a couple of weeks (or was it months?) ago, and it broached the topic of mysogeny in hip hop. i remember thinking at the time that women should take more ownership of their image(s) and voice(s), which got me to thinking about “exploitation.”

there is no black and white here, the whole thing is one giant gray area. the industry demands sex, it sells. as long as the demand exists, so will the supply. it wouldn’t matter if one girl walked off of a video set refusing to appear scantily clad, there would be 100 more willing to take her place. how can men respect women if women don’t respect themselves? but why should men disrespect women, regardless of how they represent themselves? why is it ever acceptable that any man’s excuse for acting out of turn would be “you saw how she was dressed, she was asking for it.” and then there is the age old double standard: a promiscuous woman is viewed differently than a promiscuous man. i think in the end, it boils down to who has the power.

the person in the position to wield control over the outcome of someone elses “success” has the potential to exploit. yet, anyone who compromises themselves to get what they want, and then makes excuses for the reasons, is delusional. i don’t buy “i had no other choice.” it’s a needs versus wants, and we live in a society that values material things. a person needs food, shelter, and a means of income. what they don’t need is caviar, a mansion on the hills, and a multi-million dollar salary. some people want fame, fortune, and excess, and they will do whatever it takes to get a piece of the action.

i suppose when all is said and done, the game wrote a song that is blunt and truthful. as much as the women are indicted for using their femeninity to make it, men are equally as responsible. after all, if sex wasn’t currency with them, it wouldn’t be used as a form of payment.