Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Thing About DJs


Here’s the problem.

DJs can play a great role in the club experience. Being a DJ is not auto-douche, and many are extremely good at what they do. DJs are entertainers. DJs can create and facilitate a great club vibe.

What DJs are not, however, are musicians. They are a trade. And the problem lies when they try to confuse the two.

I’m talking to you, trust fund ecstasy taking DJ pseudo-artist. Learn what a seventh chord is. Learn what the “circle of fifths” is. Learn to play an actual instrument. Until then, you are no more a musician than a printing press is an author.

You are a facilitator. A middle man. A bureaucrat in creative drag. An intermediary disguised as producer.

Even the great postmodern artists learned how to produce traditional classically trained art. Warhol was a graphic designer. Picasso and Dali learned classical realism before experimenting with form. DJs desire to tap into the societal myth of “rock star” without having to bother with learning the chords or put in the creative energy in coming up with any music on their own.

And I understand that.

Who wouldn’t want the benefits of being rock-star famous without having to have the musical talent or creativity to back it up? It’s auto-fame without merit. Like characters out of Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron, they give hope to the talentless by spreading the wealth equally, no matter one’s innate abilities. They offer a gateway to fame through random egalitarian lottery.

Get the right haircut and hold a set of retro 80s headphone to one ear and you too can stand on a pedestal and play the star.

But therein lies the problem. They want to roll out of bed with perfectly tussled hair at 1pm, turn on their iPod turntable with the retro-analog speakers and call themselves an artist. But no amount of carefully placed tribal tatts and stubble will turn you into a genuine production point, sample-boy. You are an empty vessel set to other people’s beats. A shell of human form emulating the authentic under the rubric of postmodern refraction and reinvention. Because you’re not willing to put in the work that will lead to genuine inspiration.

I’m not saying you DJs don’t have your place. You’re like my aural waiter. You bring me the sonics, and I appreciate it. If I could tip, I’d definitely go over 15%. Provided you play some Fishbone and De La Soul.

Know your place, sonic proletariat, and all will be well in the witching hour.

Put on delusions of grandeur, claim the role of creator instead of what you really are, an ambulatory iPod with a stupid haircut and no health insurance, and God will keep you out of Israel forever.

# posted by douchebag1

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