Join The FADER's newest weekly columnist, A-Trak, who will be sharing with us the life and times of a superstar DJ and globetrotting gentleman. His column is called Around the World until he tells us otherwise.
Part IX: V-necks, Canada, Obscure Disorder, Chromeo, American Thanksgiving
There ain't much around-the-world-ness going on for me right now, folks. Now that I'm back from Paris I'm doing about 1 gig per week and for the most part staying home and recording. After Christmas I'll be going to Australia and New Zealand but for now I'm rather sedentary. Last Thursday I did a gig in London.... Ontario! It's a city about an hour away from Toronto. I think the last time I played there was in 1998, possibly with Obscure Disorder, the rap group from Montreal that I used to DJ for.
Faithful readers, don't forget that I'm Canadian. I don't understand what Thanksgiving is all about. So there was a sort of sweet irony in the fact that I flew off to play a gig in London, Ontario while all of America celebrated Thanksgiving. And to push the irony a bit further, when I landed in London I asked the promoter to take me to American Apparel. Here's the thing: when you travel all the time and you live out of a suitcase, you can never have enough underwear, socks and undershirts. So periodically I go and buy a big bulk of that stuff. In this case I wanted to stock up on white tees. Specifically the deep V, so that I can wear them under a button-up shirt but no one can see it. (I guess the cat's out of the bag now.) So I showed up in London, Ontario's American Apparel and I asked them for 7 white deep V tees. They looked at me like I was a space alien. They sent 2 people to the stock room and this one guy was like "Are you gonna, like, wear them? or are you doing a project?" Sorry to let you down buddy I won't be making an art installation out of your tees. Just wearing them and washing them, and then wearing them again. When I went to pay at the register the cashier kept giggling and said the whole store was talking about me. And no, they definitely didn't know who I was. They probably thought I was some sort of oil tycoon.
From there I went to Montreal to visit my family for the long weekend. My brother came up too. On Saturday night we linked up with our high school crew and had one of the funniest nights in recent memory. It was me, Dave & Pee, Troy Dunnit from the aforementioned Obscure Disorder and our boy Daniel Tirado. If you ever saw the "Needy Girl" video, Daniel was the dancer who came in in all white at 1:46.
You know what, check it out now just to get your mind around it:
Chromeo - Needy Girl from Vice Records on Vimeo.
Daniel is also a stand-up comic. I hadn't seen him perform in a really long time and he had a gig that night, so our first stop was to watch him at a comedy club. Rocked it, he was hilarious. Then we all wanted to go out. We went to one of the "regular" spots and were bored instantly. We had to reassess our plan. So we did that over pizza. At the pizzeria this girl wanted Chromeo's autograph, and Daniel managed to bumrush his way into the autograph too, telling her that he was the dancer in the "Needy Girl" video. She never saw the video and we were laughing so hard that she thought it was all a joke, but he signed with them anyway. As it turns out Daniel knew the promoter of this big club that's on the thugged-out side of things. It's on the main strip with the jiggy spots, there's a dress code... but let's just say there weren't too many people looking like me & my bro in there. Dudes were getting rowdy to that T.I. and Rihanna song. We ran into a bunch of vets of Montreal's hip hop scene, promoters who used to book me when I was 14, these guys Masters At Work (no relation to...) who have probably the longest-running college radio show in the city were DJing. It was just what the doctor ordered for the Macklovitch Bros.
Now I'm getting ready to fly back to New York to get back to the craziness. I've been fiending for a Blackberry Bold and T-Mobile doesn't carry it so I just picked up a Canadian joint. My Curve was becoming elderly. The Y key was very temperamental, it didn't work half of the time. I've spent countless days copy-pasting Y's. Hopefully those days are over!
Oh and I jointed Twitter last week... Follow me!