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  NIGHTSPOTS

DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE
by Marc "Moose" Moder
2013-07-24

This article shared 2939 times since Wed Jul 24, 2013
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I'm a bar and small club DJ. I embrace and love that. I tell folks all the time how much more fun it is to work a small room and have some creative freedom versus being high up in a booth and getting paid the big bucks to be precise as a surgeon 'til 5 a.m. With that freedom (and a bit less money) comes interaction. This interaction is the same interaction you have with your bartenders and wait staff: mano a mano. Sometimes this is great, like when you get compliments all night long on how good your set is or how much someone appreciates that old, obscure early '80s disco track you thought only you loved. When those things happen, it's glorious. However, as with anything with interaction vs. anonymity, there are downsides too. And while we all love, love, love you for coming and dancing your butts off, I'm finding there's some minor DJ etiquette I just don't have time to go over at the club. So let me lay it down.

Know the room. When you step to a DJ, we assume you've been here more than 5 minutes and know what the vibe of the night is. DJs don't just spend five hours spinning for you, but many of us labor for countless hours compiling key tracks that create a soundscape for you to lose yourself in. So it's a bit jarring when you're spinning '80s Chicago House and someone interrupts to see if you have any Celine Dion remixes. Step in. Listen. Hear what the DJ's spinning before you make a request. Chances are, if the tracks he's been playing for an hour are to your disliking enough to request a change, this night is not for you.

Read my face. DJs have very few moments to chat. Between cueing up the next track, looking for a few after that, and managing the one playing, we have just seconds to chat. If a DJ is looking at you, chat. If he's looking at his decks, don't worry, he sees you. Be patient, he'll be right with you. Some DJs might not look up. Not me. But do know, he's avoiding you.

If a DJ doesn't have the track you request, don't be negative. In this day of Pandora and Spotify, you, as a consumer, have millions of tracks at your fingertips. We're not DJing off Spotify. If we don't have it in for the night, we don't. Sorry. At the same time, don't hem and haw over an alternative. You can come back. Go mull it over. It'll come to you.

Finally (for now) tips are good. Just like how you'd tip your bartender or coat check man, tip the DJ if you request something. If he can play your track, it can be challenging to get to a spot in the set where it fits. He's doing it for you, and it may or may not work with the audience there, but he's trying. So a tip is in order, even if there's not a jar. The more you tip, the harder we're going to work to figure out how to make your track work, and how to make both our nights one to remember!

Come try these tips out on DJ Moose at multiple events around town monthly listed in Nightspots.


This article shared 2939 times since Wed Jul 24, 2013
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