16 feb 2008

It occurs to me that I often get scheduled to play music at Cellspace whenever there is a big festival somewhere out of town. In that sense, I've often had the occasion to dj in the absence of a lot of friends. I guess I can be a bit dubious about the intentions, but I prefer to think of it as a kind of trust that I'll be able to hold the fort while the bosses are away.

As to be expected, Cellspace was noticeably affected by Valentango. There was a relatively light crowd, heavy on the "casual" tangueros and newer faces. Nevertheless, Leslie (my co-dj) and I kept a good energy and a good flow going and had most of the people dancing and the chairs empty the whole night. Leslie tends to be a more adventurous dj than I am so it was good to have her balance out my conservative playlists. All in all a successful evening. It's one of those times I felt we really kept the spirit of Cellspace without veering too heavily on the "alternative" side of things, nor making overly jarring transitions between tandas and/or djs. A shame that many of the regulars weren't around to appreciate it.

One thing about Cellspace, from a dj perspective, is that it is difficult to shape the sound of the music. There's something about the acoustics of the venue that colors the sound in a way that I don't like. Oddly, it seems to only occur later in the evening. Before anybody arrived Leslie and I were doing sound checks and were kind of amazed at how good the speakers were sounding. But during the milonga there was a steady decline, and with certain orchestras the music had what Leslie aptly described as an "underwater" quality. I don't know if that's a result of the presence of the crowd or of a kind of speaker fatigue. It's pretty frustrating because a lot of beautiful nuances get lost in the muddle. Maybe I can ameliorate some of this by using some kind of music software. Right now I only use iTunes, which apparently some folks really detest. I guess I should look into other options, but I don't really know what else is available for Macs.

Thursday night was red night at La Pista. I think I went a little overboard--red dress shirt, *loud* red pants (that I never wear because they are too bright and a little too long, plus they don't have pockets), red and black suede Flabella's on my feet (with a relatively tall heel for a guy's shoe--maybe an inch or two). I even wore a red bandanna, which Glenn suggested I remove on the way back to the car, "in this neighborhood--just in case." Only danced one tanda because I wasn't too comfortable in my chosen wardrobe and also am having some recurring foot problems. Plus I had arrived fairly late, too late to see the performances by Gato y Andrea and Judy and Jon. Spent most of the time lounging on the futon and talking with friends about shoes, salsa (which Vijay played as a quick break from tango), and the importance as a dancer of having a genuine feel for the music, which is one of the reasons why I have yet to study salsa dancing despite a long-standing intention.

I took Friday off and will likely take tonight off as well, considering that so many friends are out of town and that there will supposedly be a lot of work on the bridge this weekend. I'll make up for it tomorrow with Julian's práctica in the afternoon and then La Taza in the evening.

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