Notes From The Cellar–Intro

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Please do not read this.

I do not wish to add more distraction to your day as there is already plenty to capture your attention and hold it captive to the candy-colored screen you hold in the palm of your hand while you stand in the middle of a parking lot. I do not want to bear the blame.
You have been warned. I have been instructed to write this. This website needs fresh “content” on a regular basis or else it may be ignored. And being ignored is a kind of death in this electro-ego age.

Who would want that?

So I will tell you something about being a DJ. Being a DJ does not mean you know anything about music any more than being a parking valet means you know anything about cars. All I know is what I like, and that, fortunately, is always changing. I would hate to be stuck listening to the same songs I enjoyed during any particular period of my life. Music, to me, is life. Stop listening to new music: life over.

I believe the job of a DJ is to provide context. Stringing together songs is not being a DJ; it is something any machine can do. A good DJ is creating a collage of sound. The bits and pieces already exist, but how and why they fit together, and what is created when they interact, is the human touch, the artistry.

Some songs are “openers” and set the mood. Some are “middles” and elaborate on the themes provided by “openers”, but have neither a sense of starting or finishing. And “closers” provide emotional punch, or unsettling ambiguity, that affirm or disrupt the mood of the set, but have a clear feeling of finish.

Next, there should be some connection between the songs. Are they similar in sound or style? Do they echo a musical motif? Do they share a common subject? Somehow, the way they fit should make sense, and should make you, the listener, feel something. Provided you ARE listening. But if you are a “music is background” believer, I doubt you are still reading this.

And finally, it is this “feeling” aspect that helps the silly thing I do once a week for three hours come close to meaning more. Somewhere in the compare and contrast of tempo and style, intent and execution, lyrics and sound and fury lies a little bit of truth about this experience we call life. And it is supposed to be more than staring at a fucking screen.

So stop already.

The Cellar - with Dan