"I'll take off my pants if you take off yours!" I yelled to my dancing partner Josh as music thumped us in the face and loins Thursday night. DJ AM had taken the stage after the Bloody Beetroots, and we were soaked head to toe in beer, sweat, and lots of bass. Josh pulled down his belt to reveal gold underwear, and I tugged my leggings off just enough to get a glimpse of hip. The temporary breeze into our bottom halves was phenomenal.
I have to say, I couldn't tell you much about DJ people before that installment of Popscene last week. I understand that whatever city you're in, you have your favorite scratchers, guys and gals at your local bar, club, or weekly dance party who can pick records with such an attune ear, you wonder if you could date them just so they could give you mix CDs on a regular basis. I admit, sometimes I will only go to events if I know particular people are running the show because their track record of fantastic music play lists has been proven to me.
In the music world, there are acts that exclusively appear as DJs, being paid to travel the world to cart around records and get shirtless in clubs. And my train of thought was, how hard can this shit be? I mean, can't anyone just waltz through their iTunes play list and pick out some tracks with a theme? Cock rock? 80s new wave romantic? And, to be honest, I did not get the "celebrity" DJ stance at all. Until I stepped into Popscene and witnessed some bad assery go down, unlike I have ever seen before.
My girls and I popped over to the bar once we landed inside, and met up with Josh, who I used to go dancing with regularly back in my "early" years. We hadn't been out on a dance floor together in nearly two years, so we settled on the linoleum as soon as possible and began to bust out the moves for the Bloodys. The Italian duo was already on stage donning their trademark Spiderman masks and "raising the roof" arm pumps, and there was a core group in the front climbing all over the stage and platforms, entangled with each other's skinny jeans and head bands. The Bloodys' set consisted of mostly trance-like house anthems paired with a pop song spliced here and there, but for being grown men who were wearing children's Halloween masks, they sure brought out the party.
A short intermission of shorts came before DJ AM, and once the L.A. based DJ took helm of the night, it was sheer madness. Indie kids Klaxons' "Atlantis to Interzone" and rap legend Notorious B.I.G.'s "Get Money," to 90's dance jam "Pump Up The Jam" by Technotronic and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" - every track was a surprise curveball of dance ability that was completely unprecedented and a welcome change. I was so exhausted by the end of the night trying to shake my butt as fast as it could go to all the worthy gems he was spinning; jumping around and singing at the top of my lungs like an idiot with my friends, who were also all so impressed like me by the near perfect play list DJ AM was creating for the night.
And I also understood. I understood when I went into the bathroom to dab my forehead and neck with eight paper towels why guys like the Bloodys and AM get paid the big bucks simply to come out and play some tunes. It's because they actually know what they're doing, and have not only the time and knowledge to draft a soundtrack flawless for kids in their general vicinity to fucking lose it, but enjoy keeping an open ear to what's out there and consistently vie for the best. It's a neat job in the world of music that has carved out into something special and that has now had me contemplate taking off my pants for the sake of dancing (we ended up not; I was wearing a dress, but Josh totally would have been ever more the gay man with the gold lamÃ© knickers had we decided to strip). At the end of the night, I remember sort of huddling around with my friends with our arms around each other; we had just head-banged our brains out to the guitar solo of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and were coming down off the high of the past two hours of intense groping and screaming. The solid crowd who remained at the end of the night clapped their hands off as the night winded down to a beautiful memory of dancing perfection. I couldn't have been happier as I walked out, on my way to a late-night snack of french fries and milkshakes. It was well deserved.