Last night there was a “DJ Showcase” at Herrang Dance Camp, with a series of DJ’s
playing six-song sets and a panel of dancer judges on the stage judging
their picks. I was curious how this was going to go, since nothing is
more subjective than the kind of music people like.
There were a series of DJ’s playing mostly classic swing era music selections – Basie, Ellington, Lunceford, Ella, etc. All nice selections, but no rare standouts, at least for me. The judges on the stage were doing a running commentary from the stage by writing with markers on large pieces of paper and holding them up to the DJ’s. Much of it was cheeky, like, “Get a new needle,” “Finally, some swing,” and “WTF?”
My friend Tomo came up on the list at around 1:30AM. She began slowly enough, playing “One Monkey Don’t Stop the Show,” by Ms Dawn Hampton. While not the most original selection, the jduges couldn’t judge it too harshly since Dawn Hampton was in the audience. Spuds, who happened to be one of the judges, started yelling “No fair!” And soon all the judges cards had “No Fair” written on them.
Then Tomo played a curious selection, “Coffee and Reefer” by her friend Ron Sunshine. The crowd liked it well enough, but the judges were unmoved.
She followed this up with a straight up strange selection: “Let’s Go Out to the Ballgame.” A slow, ballroom rhythm, the dancers started walzing around the floor, some quite expertly. Silly, but definitely not swingin.
Then Tomo totally blew our minds with her next two songs, “the Hokey Pokey” and “Chihuahua.” Seeing 200 lindy hoppers dancing the hokey pokey with enormous gusto was a sight to behold.
Finally she finished her set with a country western song called “Take Your Drunken Ass Home” by Al Carson. At this point I realized Tomo’s strategy. Basically it was a totally “fuck you” to the whole idea of being judged as a DJ. I couldn’t have been more proud of her.