693 words on Music
Actually all this started like a complete mess.
Basically the psychology department planned to have their summer party a fortnight ago and I was supposed to DJ there once more together with some other people. With the people there and the open air backyard, barbecue and all that probably wouldn’t have been all rock’n’roll but good fun nonetheless. But – thanks to the weeks of cold temperatures and strong rain we have been having – the party was cancelled. And it was rescheduled to be today. As the weather hasn’t changed much in the past two weeks, however, the party was once more cancelled. And thus there was neither a barbecue nor DJing for me. A shame.
But this afternoon the biologists called who were having a party as well. Their DJ couldn’t make it and as they somehow knew the psychologists cancelled their party they somehow decided to try getting their DJs. Which put me back to DJing. Indoors, just down the road, very convenient.
But things started on the wrong foot. Of course it’s just en par for small places that you’ll have to work with imperfect equipment. Probably the worst mixer I ever used as its level metres seemed to only be able displaying the output signal but couldn’t (or couldn’t in an obvious way with the visible buttons) be made display the levels while queueing. And of course there were cheap CD players. Which means slow skipping to the correct song and an absence of a button to switch their display to the essential ‘time left’ mode. Cool thing was, though, that the people at the bar seemed to be aware of the problem and put the remote control which included a button to switch the display right on the players. Good thinking.
The next problem was my computer which I carried along in addition to the CDs, so I could access my iTunes library with its convenient search and ratings as well. I even restarted it for the occasion and attached the external drive with the music via FireWire to not run into some USB unsmoothness. But the friggin’ machine just didn’t operate smoothly at all! iTunes was stalling all over. And a few times in really inconvenient/embarrassing situations, like when it was supposed to start playing a song. Ugh! That much for having a stable and reliable system on the computer – I think the stalls are related to my mysterious Spotlight problems which just ruin things for me (
Can’t checkin with server named com.apple.metadata.mdserver, error 0x10000004 is a constant companion of my console.log) and almost certainly using a test rather than a release version of the OS might have been a better idea.
The next obstacle was the music. I had been warned before that people will like Ska, and that they’ll ask for it. And I had warned people before that I know exactly nothing but a few Ska P songs about Ska and that they’ll need to help me out on that. So they brought some songs as poorly tagged MP3s and the adding of which to the library of course resulted in in more iTunes stalling (and me having to inadvertently play a Flaming Lips song between Ska P and La Vela Puerca, which strangely didn’t irritate people at all). Let’s just say I was a bit unrelaxed at that stage.
But people were warming up dancing and when I switched to more guitar/‘indie’ music a bit later on they kept the high spirits for quite a while and things went rather well for two hours or so. Add drinks to that (fun fruit-rum cocktail things cooled with dry ice…) and some interesting (along with a few not-so-interesting) requests and we started to have some real fun. Until not that many people were left and dancing and things slowed down accordingly (with me sneakily putting on Sampler Ⅲ to let things fade out) –letting me be back home not much past four.
While I don’t think that the guests and myself were totally aligned taste-wise, we got along reasonably well. Which is much more than I expected after the first half hour.