DJ Bios for the Portland Mercury
Here’s a few installments of a series of weekly DJ bio’s I did for the Portland Mercury. Short interviews that often ended up very entertaining.
DJ Teenage is a “human jukebox” who plays danceable hits of the ages. He moistens the masses “wherever people are in need of dance, wherever parties are in need of beats, but mostly at Holocene,” at his Death By Disco night.
Why are you a human jukebox? I don’t get all caught up in making “music” with the turntables. My job is to play songs that you like and want to dance to, not play songs that no one has ever heard of. I’m not totally top 40, but dude… it’s gotta be fun and familiar or people will not dance to it.
Death By Disco: explain. I want you to dance yourself to death. I want you to fucking get killed on the dance floor, I want you to have so much fun that you expire.
You say you’re not just for the bedroom anymore. Why not?
It’s understandable that most people would find my most appropriate applications in the bedroom setting. However, I’m extremely versatile. Don’t be afraid to experiment with DJ Teenage, you might just find an application that no one’s thought of yet. DJ Teenage cannot be stopped!
OK then. So let’s say I’m at a party you’re spinning. What’s going down?
Two kids are passed out in the bushes from shotgunning 22 oz. PBRs. “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie is totally pumping. The dance floor is so packed full of sweaty shirtless dancers that I have to remind everyone repeatedly not to touch the fucking turntables or the record will skip. The irresistible beats never end and you don’t care how I do it, you just do not want me to stop.
Is it true you do nothing but make out when you’re not DJing? Actually, I try to do that while DJing as well, that’s the only turntable trick I know.
This interview has given me a man crush. Please explain. It’s my shoes. They always do that.
Wow, it is the shoes. Is it hard being DJ Teenage? It’s like when you first learned to ride your bike… you are suddenly totally free.
DJ Wicked has been a staple of the Portland hiphop scene for years, earning a status as one of the best and busiest DJ’s around. As his website www.justplainterror.com shows, he prefers the macabre side of things, but he also happens to like MILFs (as in “Mom I’d Like To Fuck”–not the Mono Islamic Liberation Front). His new CD asks the question burning the minds of many men: Got MILF?
Q: So what’s up with the Got MILF title?
Back in high school I used to have this huge crush on my buddy’s mom (who also happened to be my band teacher). So on the night of our big Christmas concert, I told her my feelings and one thing just led to another. I found myself backstage with her making our own sweet music, if you know what I mean? Ever since then I’ve always had a fascination with MILFs, and with my new “Got MILF?” CD, it’s sort of my way of giving back to them. Thank you Ms. Letourneau!
Q: Is there any hot MILF action at your shows?
There’s always hot MILF action at my shows! When I tell people to come check me out as I spin the “golden oldies,” I’m not just talking about the music.
Q: Do you think those MILF hunter websites are for real?
Man, I hope they’re for real. If not, I don’t know what I would do. It would be like finding out Santa Claus didn’t exist all over again, or that pro wrestling was fake.
Q: What do think about the Portland hiphop scene?
The Portland hiphop scene is way behind the times and I think it sort of always has been. You have a tiny handful of artists that are really making moves of any significance. The older generation has diminished for the most part, and there is an entire new slew of youngsters that are coming up. I’m excited to see where the Portland hiphop scene will be in, say, five years from now. Not until that point do I think we’ll have caught up with everybody else in terms of status, credibility and quality.
Q: What are your thoughts on the underground vs. mainstream debate?
Man, the debate between underground vs. mainstream hiphop is one that seems will never end. All I really have to say on the issue is just “keep it true”–and do what you can to preserve the culture. Oh, and FUCK Rammin’ 95.5! Oh, and if I ever mysteriously turn up missing, somebody question Paul Allen.
DJ Stay In School
“Do what I say, not what I do,” warns college dropout DJ Stay In School before a self described hypocritical rant about how it’s “cool to follow the rules, drink your milk, and stay in school.” This lover of long walks on the beach and Peach Schnapps has always thought vinyl was sexy. Four years ago, he decided to put his wax where his decks were and see what would happen. After taking three seconds to decide IDM and downbeats were boring, (and didn’t attract the ladies) he took up regular nights at the Tonic and the now defunct Chocolate Sushi at Madame Butterfly. Mr. School is now hosting a semi-regular School House Breaks night at the Ohm, a “very underrated” club he says, which originated the Portland dance scene and rules the school because they’ve “always been focused on the music and quality events more than money.” His past guests include DJ P and Broken Window. Old school break-beat master Simply Jeff visits again for this month’s installment.
What’s the School Breaks philosophy?
I try to compress as much booty shaking, ass grabbing rhythms as possible into one set of speakers and the way you do that is with breaks, two-step and electro, plain and simple. But it’s wrong to compartmentalize all those electronic genres; it all comes from the same mentality. The nights are about the total get down and we want everyone to feel included. We also go to great lengths to avoid the knuckleheads.
Why do you put on these parties?
Dance music is easy for a lot of people to relate to. Once they understand it, they start to have something in common with a lot of people. It’s a very strange thing, you’ll go out and wind up talking to someone that you otherwise wouldn’t, and you end up being best friends. Maybe because of this, a lot of people who organize dance events try to assign this spirituality to them. It drives me bonkers when I go out and see all these little temples and religious crap. This isn’t church. I want to dance, flirt and have a good time.
“I’m doing this because I love to share music with people,” says DJ Suppoz. And when not reading or hanging with his hyper cat, Suppoz is indeed sharing his mix of “deep, soulful tech house, electro/disco house, and melodic, soulful drum and bass.” He turns on the Saucebox crowd to new sounds every Thursday night and inspires some dirty dance floor action at the monthly Dirty parties he co-hosts (this month’s is on July 15 at XV). He’s also trying to start a night of all indie rock and indie pop 7 inches, which Portland would surely appreciate. Like most music fans, he likes new and unique sounds, and is excited about all the hybridity that’s taking place in music these days.
“The exciting thing about electronic music is the newness, using these relatively new instruments to make new forms of music. One of my favorite things lately is how a lot of indie bands are incorporating electronics into their sound and how a lot of electronic music is incorporating vocals or indie song structures. I like the way the genres are bleeding a little more than usual these days. One of my favorite things about music is how there will be periods of great exchange between popular music and experimental music. I think the difference between experimental and more dance oriented music is mainly intent, but that can be overcome by a DJ or a listener. There are DJs, though not that many, who can take a totally abstract record and make it very successful on the dance-floor because they see something in the sounds or the beats that people will latch on to. Those are the DJs I really admire.”
Do you have any advice for aspiring DJ’s?
“You gotta love music if you want to be a DJ. If you love throwing parties, you should be a promoter, not a DJ. But the technical fundamentals of this are not that challenging. Above all, just do it because you want to do it, not because you have some greater need to please others.”
Currently on the Suppoz playlist:
Tomas Anderson: Bas
Any thing on Trapez and Treibstoff
Hold Tight: Girl Next Door
“Weapons of Mass Creation” 3LP
Calibre: Drowning in You
Boom Bip: Morning & Day EP