The Overserved Ain't No DJ
Rico DeLeon III
When you get a call from Blake Ward, notorious for his Glamorama party at Beauty Bar, kindly calling you a tastemaker and asking you to do a guest hour on the decks at The Dram, you smile, agree and then panic about what hour of music you are going to play.
We have talked about how easy it is for someone to just grab some software, choose a cheesy name about an Internet meme and go right to the decks. I respect the craft of the DJ too much to suggest I was doing anything more than making a mixtape, but still I got the allure. And I must admit, it felt nothing but cool to send out an invite to friends: "Hey, I am doing a set at The Dram. Roll through."
Wednesday nights at The Dram are a nice mid-week break from the noise. It's still rather dark and beautiful in there. Ward's Wednesday night will continue to feature guests, and you can expect friends from his Rolodex of musicians, artists and, I guess, writers. I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the popular nightlife kids behind the 1s and 2s on occasion.
And all those things DJs heavy-sigh about are true. Like the requests. I played one Minnie Riperton song and got some very niche Temptations requests. People want to take pictures and dap only when a song transition is about to come up, but the crowd-reading skill set is what I realize I do not have. Not like the pros. Plus, it's dark, and I have on sunglasses in a very elementary attempt to keep my identity concealed. So, truly, I can only see you when you have your hands in the air.
A guest set means you prepare a set. As soon as I realized I put Yoko Ono on the damn thing, I knew if the hour went south, I didn't really have anything else to save the night. I can't make the quick turn to guide the room; I can't play the new A.Dd+, not when Picnictyme rolls in.
But you danced. Thank you for dancing. You stylishly endured my all-female term paper of a playlist, beginning with my thesis statement from Beyoncé, "Why Don't You Love Me?," and concluding with my Overserved theme song, Debbie Deb's "Lookout Weekend."
At the end of the hour, two things were clear to me: I am no DJ. And I might like to do this again.
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