another pride weekend has come and gone, and I have to say that while they are all the same in many ways, it is also very true that no two are ever quite alike.
this was my 12th(!!!) time spinning out in the street for Pink Saturday, and I have to say that the party people at this event do NOT disappoint!
last year, they'd reassigned me from my familiar spot in front of BofA on Castro at 18th to a block down 18th towards the Mish, in the intersection next to Moby Dick's bar. this was kinda unforchers at the time, since the gate was very close and most people coming in rushed past us to get to the party. it was quite a challenge to get and keep a dance party going so close to the egress (although we did manage, especially later on - mostly I think we managed to grab folks who had been intending to leave and got them to stay longer as opposed to getting anyone to stop right after coming through the gate).
*this* time the gate was a whole block down, so we had little trouble getting people to stop and dance. perfect! and we didn't have any sound bleed issues either.
I have a tendency to be extremely critical of my own DJing (in case you hadn't noticed, lol) but this year I really cannot complain! shocking, because in between being injured yet having to keep working and just the general insanity of this time of year, I really did not get a chance to practice. the last time I really even touched my mixer was the memorial day weekend campout several weeks ago, and then I was not really up to snuff having just been injured (fell off a zipline at speed and banged the hell out of my ribs on the right side). I've been really sore and running at reduced capacity ever since.
I actually went so far as to consider cancelling but the thought of that was even more depressing than the injury itself. instead, I sucked it up and (much as I hate to) actually requested help loading the gear. we did get help unloading and reloading onsite but for a variety of reasons we ended up having to do everything on our end by ourselves. which was suboptimal but ultimately turned out ok - we were both tired and sore the next day, but not to the point of being re-injured.
I am SO GLAD I didn't cancel! somehow, my sets both went really well (I open and close, and Jovino has a segment in the middle). I really love the closing disco stuff, and I also don't think it's fair to him to make him open for me and be done while it isn't even dark yet (I'm not *that* big of a princess) so that's how we do it. also, I have to say, he freakin' SLAYED 'em this year! he has every time I've had him spin for PS but this year he decided to do an '80s set and people were absolutely mad for it. I'm never eager to follow him, I must admit.
before we got together, I used to take the whole thing myself - and BITD it was often 6 or 7 hours instead of the scant 4 and a half we got this year. considering how tardy they were closing the streets it might actually have been less - of course they are always on time or early to shut us off! but enough about the cops. this year, I was really happy with my set, despite not having ANY time to practice. I did spend a couple of hours organizing my case and sorting music the night before, but that was it.
and, it worked! I landed some mixes that even I couldn't find fault with - I mean, they weren't long housey stlye fades, but they were spot-on short mixes. I was very happeh! in fact, this is the happiest I can remember being about a set in quite some time.
I didn't keep a setlist, but here is some of what I played (in as close to order as I can recall):
Under the Rainbow - Saya Saito Trio (I always start off with this one for PS)
I Know You Know - Esperanza Spalding
Inside + Out - Feist (BeeGees cover)
Living for the City - Noel Pointer
Under the Influence of Love - Love Unlimited
Love Has Come Around - Donald Byrd
We Got the Funk - Positive Force
(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again - LTD (someone told me this was his all-time favorite song!)
More More More (Tom Moulton Mix) - Andrea True Connection
Hum Along and Dance - Jacksons
Let's Start the Dance - Bohannon
Love Pains - Yvonne Elliman
Victim - Candi Staton
Take Your Time, Do it Right - SOS Band
I Don't Want to be a Freak (But I Cant Help Myself) - Dynasty
and not sure what else.
then Jovino went on and just burnt the place down with two hours of '80s. he had them in his pocket! he brought his electrohouse skills (and sense of timing) to the '80s for a set that hung together well, was extremely danceable, and just went for it! I was in no hurry to follow that. he left his packed dance floor to me with Prince, which is quite a decent segue back into disco.
late (only an hour!):
Messing With my Mind - LaBelle
I Don't Want to Lose your Love - Emotions (feat. EWF - this is a HOTTT one!)
Born This Way - this one was produced by Tom Moulton and is PERFECT for pride
Feels Like I'm in Love -
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow - Bobby V white label remix! went over, too!
I Wanna Rock U - Giorgio
More - Carol Williams
If You Could Read My Mind - Viola Wills (disconet)
Dance with Me - Peter Brown (OMG this went over!)
Take Me Home - Cher
Last Dance - Donna Summer
Hold On to My Love - Jimmy Ruffin (I wish I had a better sounding copy of this but I got mine from the guy who actually did the rmx for disconet and even his sounds like it was mixed off an acetate - which, in fact, it was, so that's probably as good as it gets. it's SO good, I have to play it anyway!)
La Vie en Rose - Grace Jones
I timed myself down to the MINUTE this year, and so when they sent the officers around to cut me off, Grace was in her final measures. nevertheless, they impatiently made those throat-slashy motions, apparently unsatisfied at the rate I was fading out. at least this year I was EARLY so they didn't get to cockblock my last song.
stuff I want to remember to get to next year:
Where Love Lives - Allison Limerick (I know it's out of period but it's SO good!)
Free - Ultra Nate' (got to hear her sing it LIVE at SF Pride once - so fitting!)
Sylvester (his stuff is all either so fast to begin with, or it speeds up, or BOTH, but if anyone DESERVES to be played at SF Pride it is Sylvester! BTW there is amazing historical footage of Sylvester performing on Castro Street in the movie Milk - highly recommended if you haven't already seen it.)
Low Spark of High Heeled Boys - I used to have an awesome mixer trick for this one and need to figure it out again in time for next year.
the great thing about the new spot is that our van is parked *right* behind us, so we can keep stuff in there, and load-out is speedy. we were on the couch at home by the time we'd have just been starting chucking the gear into the van at the last place! apparently they had Big Sound (rental type) at our old location so it's looking like we are in this spot for good... (which is great!)
...at least until they move me again. the event has evolved over the years! my first years doing PS I was stationed out in front of that bank on Castro in between the sporty Rolo and Daddy's (leather) bar. this was rad because not only was I right on Castro street, being next to Daddy's meant that I had a steady supply of leathermen boogieing to my disco lusciousness! and ya can't argue with that.
as I have said many times to any Sister that will listen, I absofreakinglutely LOVE Pink Saturday, I am grateful to be included and I would PAY THEM to get to DJ, so I will set up anywhere they want! last year our spot was dicey but this year it was actually perfect for us.
and one more thing. my headphones are off to my disco buddies. I doubt any of them even know this blog exists but *I* know who *they* are... they are the DJs and producers who inspire and challenge me. some, through their music and some by befriending and encouraging me directly. (actually, one of 'em does, hi Droo!) it can be tough to try to avoid comparing my efforts to theirs (forgetting that many of them have years on me, that they are pros and I am just a passionate amateur, etc etc) and instead to take it as positive inspiration rather than a negative comparison. nights like Saturday really remind me of *why* I do this!