By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Center of attention: Congratulations are in order for local maestro of the ones and twos, DJ Nemesis (Cesar Orosco), who competes in the finals for Guitar Center's Spin Off '05 contest in L.A. on Saturday, September 10. After winning DJ battle contests at his local Guitar Center, then the district and then the entire South, the 25-year-old Nemesis has only three other finalists to beat at the concert, where contestants will spin between sets by critics' darlings Common, Talib Kweli and Madlib.
Hopefully, this contest will kickstart Nemesis' career, as he laments the lack of support for underground DJs in Dallas.
"I don't get too many gigs," Nemesis says. "I don't spin radio hip-hop, and there aren't a lot of venues where I can go in and give them a demo--places like Nairobi want to pack out a club with lots of radio and Top 40 music. I really have to hustle and sell a lot of mixtapes to keep my DJ hobby supplemented. And there's not a lot of support, not many DJs supporting each other. That's a hard scene--it doesn't stick together."
With a win, though, Nemesis would snag prizes like a new car, some new turntables and, most important, some cred for himself and the city of Dallas. Hey, Nairobi--are you listening?
Well, on Thursday, our past naysaying becomes moot, as the Cavern re-opens with Yocom's promises fulfilled--the stage and sound have been drastically improved ("You can feel the bass in your chest at times," Yocom brags), as has the booking. Take Thursday's grand re-opening party, for starters, where the free booze and food are overshadowed by Salim Nourallah, Cordelane, The Happy Bullets and The Adventure Club's Josh Venable (who begins a regular upstairs DJ set Saturday nights). And that girl on the next page, Mara Lee Miller? She's just the opening act on Saturday's bill (and if you miss her, you're clinically insane).
Future weeks don't let up, with touring acts like Fruit Bats and Micah P. Hinson rounding out some of the best local bills in town. We'll be there frequently. No, really--we got roped into the renovations, too, which means you can catch our alter ego, DJ Hard To Pronounce, upstairs on Tuesday nights. Even if we didn't have that gig, though, we'd still love the crap out of Yocom's Cavern renovations. Anything that keeps Tall away is fine by us.