Recap of recent Video/DJ gigs

I was advised to back away from PyroPlasticFlow for a bit in order to get a new perspective on things
Video has always been a close second in my life so I decided to start actively seeking Video/DJ gigs
After the last few months, I can honestly say that musicians and DJs are no different when it comes to the level of acceptance
And, just like there are a million jealous, competative hack bands out there, so are there DJs
Club owners are still all the same (for the most part)

My initial gig was doing “Modern Retro” for Desi Rae at the Fallout
I decided that the Halloween season would be best for me to spread myself around so I started scouting places to do my stuff
Jow Virus gave me a pretty solid yes but held me at arm’s length for a fair amount of time (that’s just the way dealing with the Church is)
Meanwhile, I was working a multitude of locations with the attitude of “even if just a couple work out that is better than none
Most of the ideas and locations got crossed off the list
One venue in particular dragged the process out endlessley insisting that they had no idea what I was trying to accomplish despite the multiple e-mails detailing everything I wanted to do (including specific technical applications for their venue)
It took forever to get a “no” out of them and it was laced with more than a hint of negative energy
Kinda like the girl that you ask out but takes forever to make a decision and ultimately goes with what their friends think (well, more than kinda… except the girl is a venue and their friends are fellow scenesters)
Then I got a Halloween gig at the Fallout Lounge with one of my favorite artists

The Voodoo Organist was scheduled to play the Fallout Lounge the week of Halloween
I set about creating the most ambitious Video/DJ set I had ever presented
It took half of September and a good deal of October to condense the footage
Meanwhile, I had also gotten a last minute gig at July Alley for Zombie Walk
It was last minute becasue I had thought another club was going to let me DJ there but they ended up backing out after weeks of waffling
The July Alley gig didn’t work so well because they decided I should do this at the back of the club AFTER zombie walk was over
The world series was more important to the bar patrons so up front was dedicated to the game
This resulted in me sitting in the back of a club while people walked by me with a puzzled look on their faces as they headed for the back door
Meanwhile, I had handed out about a thousand flyers for the Voodoo Organist show

The Fallout gig was a couple of days before the actual Halloween night gig at the Church but I considered it to be my main gig
I had amassed 4 different mixes of Halloween footage for the 4 different video sources
I mixed live on the main video screen whilst pre mixed DVDs played on the flat screen, on a small projector in the back room and “The Video Cube” (a booth that was notched into the front of the room)
All sources were different mixes of material relating to the central theme of vintage yet kitschy horror/halloween (there is a playlist on a previous blog)
The show ended up not drawing anywhere near what we expected
We had taken into consideration that there were a million other events happening
We had nt taken into consideration that the VO would book another gig a couple of hours earlier
The people who did end up showing up for our event were mostly good friends of mine doing it out of loyalty (to both me and the VO)
The Church gig ended up being mostly a “best of my horror collection”
I didn’t get paid (they never do) but I got drunk for free and had some DJ booth shenannegans so it was worth the minimal effort it took
The people at the Fallout Lounge were impressed with my work at the Voodoo Organist and recognized all the promo work I did
Amanda started listening to other ideas I had (initially she had given me a bit of an arm’s length too)
She mentioned me to Gabriel Mendoza and I managed to get myself on the Bollywood gig

Bollywood was the type of new challenge that I have been looking for
I had considered it previously in Minneapolis when I had run ins with FyreSnake Shirvana
She participated in Burlesque events and I wanted to do some interactive video/dance stuff
I had liked the enrergy and look of Bollywood ever since The Hypnotic Eye played Jaan Pehechaan Ho
I amassed a ton of great Bollywood dance numbers as well as some cool sci-fi and kitschy horror (Indian Thriller!)
I would provide a playlist but there is so much stuff to list that I just didn’t wanna do the work (I will if requested)
Gabriel liked what I did and offered me his next event “Subway Sounds” The Sound of NYC 1973-1983

There was less than a week to prepare for this gig but I had anticipated it so there was some scouting of footage in advance
I had combed through a few documentaries and had compiled all of the street scenes from the era combined with sweeping overhead shots over the city
In addition, Gabriel had asked me to include the artists covered in the event so I used my documentaries on NYC artists, including Patti Smith, Ramones, New York Dolls, Talking heads and Andy Warhol as well as the general disco and hip hop scenes
I tried to do a “video cube” in the back room with endless loops of New York subway footage but it didn’t cover the room enough for my tastes

Just when I thought I was gonna take a bit of a breather, Amanda tosses a Christmas theme in my lap
Not only that but I was expected to get DJs together
Wild in the Streets and DJ Sir Scott Mack graciously provided their talents (Scott even rescued us from my bad flyer)
I had lots of vintage home movies from Christmas 1950’s/60’s and toy commercials
The two main features of the evening were “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” and the Mexican made “Santa Claus” where he fights the Devil
The turnout was more than expected and I was able to pay my DJs

Finally, I was offered New Year’s Eve at Fallout
Charlie Park of KNON was the DJ and I just did a “best of” with all kinds of things from my collection

This brings me to this evening’s performance with one of my favorite bands of all time Sleazy Mancini
Credit Joe Riley for plating the Video/DJ seed in my head way back in the 90’s when he featured Sleazy Mancini on his show The Hypnotic Eye
He took live footage and edited in some cool scenes from differet Film Noir
This made me wonder what it would look like if you projected those scenes behind the band
A decade later, I am doing just that tonight at La Grange nightclub in Deep Ellum
I have compiled anout an hour’s worth of footage and modified several Sleazy Mancini Logos
I have edited 7 different film noir movies down to the scenes that work with the music without distracting from the music
Plus, I am DJing before the set

PyroPlasticFlow looks to take off again but I am going to keep doing the Video/DJ thing as well

2 comments to Recap of recent Video/DJ gigs

  • charlesN  says:

    Get a clue. No one wants to book you, gig with you because you suck ass. It’s not EVERYONE ELSE that is the problem. It is you. Get a real job, you are never going to be a musician for a living. Ever.

  • rockula  says:

    You actually have somewhat of a point. I have been the problem for quite a while because of my closed minded-ness. I really did believe that it was everyone else and not me. Doing things other than music has gotten me out of my self-imposed hole. Since I have been doing this and playing on the street, I have gotten lots of feedback, comments and offers from people. Most of them have been flakey but some have already paid off. That negative shit still has a hold on me and it is real hard to quit thinking like that. However, douchey internet trolls like yourself are a great reminder of what the repercussions of said mindset have on my progress. Thanks for hating! It just shows me parts of myself that I don’t need anymore.

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