DJ Badger:  The News and the Journal

Entry One Hundred Twenty-Nine.
Tuesday, 2010.10.05, 6:47 PM CST.

Mixing practice, maps, memories, and current projects.
Current Mood:  Tired.
Current Scent:  None.

Today, I took a sick day away from my day job.  My sinuses were acting up and I felt really fatigued.  (For that matter, they still are, and I still do.)  I think I let my sleep cycle get out of whack.  I slept for a VERY large portion of the day, and I can't remember the timeframes for most of what happened today.  Luckily, my wife was kind enough to let me sleep; I really needed it.


I've been very fortunate as of late, in many ways.  I've been able to obtain a lot more rare remixes - some released several years ago, as well as some released in the recent past.  I found some amazing deals, and I was able to obtain some mega-rare stuff for extremely reasonable prices.  Within the last few weeks, I have added hundreds more remixes to my arsenal - primarily on vinyl, of course.

It's been fun messing around with the new stuff and the old stuff, mixing between classic club and house artists and newer artists like Ke$ha and Lady Gaga (the latter of which I've found that I really admire and enjoy, despite my overall disdain for current pop music).


Mixing Practice.
Since I recently got my turntables and coffin set up for practice in my studio again, I've been afforded the opportunity to do more mixing practice.  I've been doing just that, primarily on the turntables.  Since I don't use a laptop for my DJ performances, I don't use waveforms or autosync or anything like that.  I match my tracks up by hand, which takes a lot of hard work and a lot of practice.  Luckily, the practice has been paying off.  I've been doing some of the best mixing of my career during my practice sessions, and I'm really pleased with my progress.


Maps and Memories.
I have felt more and more nostalgic lately.  That'll be obvious to anyone who has read my blog postings.  I have some wonderful things in my life (like my wife and kid), but I terribly miss a lot of the stuff in my past.

A little over a week ago, I decided to use Google Maps to look up the University City Loop in St. Louis, Missouri, an area of the city in which I had lots of incredible memories in the early 1990s.  I only visited the loop a few times, but I loved it.  The four places I remember most were:

  • Vintage Vinyl.  This wonderful little record shoppe on Delmar Avenue served as the first really amazing "out-of-town record store" that I ever visited.  They had great prices, an extremely wide selection, and a staff that had a good sense of humour (which never hurts).  I remember visiting there for the first time in the summer of 1990 and picking up remixes on vinyl of (New Order side project) Revenge's "Pineapple Face" as well as the 2 Live Crew Classic "We Want Some Pussy."
  • The Tivoli Theatre.  Although I never went into the Tivoli, it seemed like the coolest theatre in the world, showing lots of "unconventional" fare.  I collected their pamphlets every time I went to the Loop, and from the pamphlets I learned about now-cult-classic flicks that I now love, like Dr. Caligari, Slacker, and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.
  • Blueberry Hill.  Although I'm now a long-time vegetarian, I can still remember having the best hickory burger I ever ate at this wonderful restaurant back in 1993.  In the fall of 1991, I remember that they decorated their large corner window area (separated from the actual restaurant and always adorned with something cool) with a stretcher and different medical instruments, claiming that there would be an autopsy performed in that area for public viewing on Halloween night.  I still don't know exactly what they did for their "autopsy," but it was massively intriguing.
  • Ziezo.  This was an odd little clothing and accessories store mainly geared towards women, with some cool T-shirts and other "male-wearable" gear.  I bought a really awesome Pee-Wee Herman/Paul Reubens "mug shot" shirt there shortly after Pee-Wee's adult theatre arrest.  I tend to remember thinking everyone who worked there seemed to be a stereotypical lesbian.  *shrug*

So, I looked up the Loop on Google Maps.  I already knew that Vintage Vinyl was still there, and I wasn't surprised to see that Blueberry Hill was still around.  However, I was also pleased to see that the Tivoli was still in business, and absolutely blown away to find that Ziezo was still there, too.  THAT came as a very welcome shock.

I think I might be taking my wife on a trip to the Loop in the reasonably near future.


A few days ago, I decided to try Google Maps again... but this time I had a far different mission.  I used it to cruise around my old hometown, looking at the house at which I used to live, then tracking down the house at which my DJ mentor Dave lived - the very place at which I first learned to mix.  I looked up my old high school, and even managed to find a house a few miles away where I once got my heart broken.  It was a very bittersweet experience, almost like taking a vacation without even having to get up from my computer.


Current Projects.
Well, I do have some projects in the works.  I'd love to DJ again - to break out all the equipment and entertain people again.  I need to upgrade some more of my equipment; for instance, my amps are pretty much shot.   Also, I need to make sure that I'm physically up to par for it; the last gig practically killed my back, and I was feeling the aftershocks for weeks.  I wouldn't be surprised if I hosted another dance-oriented event in early 2011, but I'm trying not to be too optimistic.

In the meantime, along with the aforementioned mixing practice, I've been rearranging my "Wall of Records" and trying to get my music room/mixing studio back in proper order after a long period of neglect.  (My wife has been out of work for a while, but she's been obsessively cleaning the rest of the house... so I figured it was a good reason to get the studio back in order.)

Also, I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it here before, but I'll go ahead and say it now...  I'm working on writing my first novel.  I can't say anything about the plot or give many details right now, but I can say that it'll be somewhat vulgar and (hopefully) very, very funny.  It'll be a while before it's finished, but I'll try to keep posting updates.


More later!