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Monday, September 28, 2009

But What I Really Want to Do Is DJ

Djing is the new power career and everyone's getting into the act; so, fuck directing. Take, for example, ex-NBA hunk Rony Seikaly (pictured above) who I recently learned is spinning at some of the swankiest clubs internationally. (What cramped dj booths are capable of containing a 7-foot man is a mystery to yours truly.) Although he is about four feet taller than Tony Moran, hopefully Rony's djing displays more coordination, skill and talent than his basketball playing.

My latest "dj-promo/not-for-sale" cd-r is entitled Radio Active Love, after the latest track by Carol Jiani. This is a very welcome comeback for Ms Jiani of sorts (because she never went away but you may not have known it) by the Nigerian-Canadian singer with a unique, quasi-Tina Turner-like voice that cuts like a razor. Best known for dance classics like "Mercy", "Get On Up & Do It Again" and, especially, "Hit'n'Run Lover", Ms Jiani became a victim of her own success as that last song was remixed to death in the '80s, '90s and '00s. But "Radio Active Love" may well put her back on the dance charts with its ballsy interpretation and driving, infectious style. The Klubjumpers -- always dependable -- provide the mix most distinctly to be checked out.

Melodic, classic-styled disco with an updated beat sweeps onto turntables everywhere like a fresh breeze. One stand-out is "Piano in the Dark" by Shanie. It's a cover of the Brenda Russell pop classic beautifully realized as a dance tune, with a rich, powerful vocal and mixes by 7th Heaven, Soulshakers and Bass Monkeys. Guaranteed to inspire you to get up and shake shake shake your booty.

Think Lady Gaga crossed with Amy Winehouse and you, perhaps, have a concept of British-born Paloma Faith. Backed by a gospel choir, her song "New York", as remixed by Cutmore, is a classically soulful disco ditty guaranteed to sweep you up in its swirling strings and Paloma's rich, bluesy vocals, not to mention its catchy chorus. Paloma used to be a magician's assistant and performance artist. I assume she, too, really wants to dj.

Then there's Julliard-graduate-turned-2009 Playboy-cover girl, America Olivo, who arrives on the dance-music scene with a lively, 80s-Latin-flavored song, "Deja Vu." Debuting on the Billboard dance chart at #43 and currently at #36, it's the Dj Escape & Tony Coluccio remix that has helped propel this offering.

Echos of 80s electropop are to be found in Brit synth duo La Roux's "Bulletproof", now charting in America at #9 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play list. While credible mixes are at hand from Dave Aude and Fred Falke, my favorite is the Tiborg remix; just pure, poppy dance floor fun without pretension.

And, a bit off-topic, perhaps (though still about music and divas), I had the privilege of seeing Mary Wilson, of the Supremes, at Feinstein's on Saturday night and she was a total revelation! Turns out she's not some lightweight oohs-and-aahs back-up girl but a vocal powerhouse who started her set with "Here's to Life" and ended with "Both Sides Now". In between, she sang "My World Is Lonely without You, Babe" and "I Am Changing" -- holding her own with Jennifers Holliday and Hudson, and dedicating that last song to the memory of friend and Supremes' founding member, Florence Ballard. Mid-set, she had her diva moment: Mary took an intermission during the instrumental bridge to go into her glittering, silvery jewel-box (on-stage!), try on rings (settling on one with a big stone) and apply lipstick (sans mirror!) before throwing back her head to belt out the rest of her number. She's a legendary diva, she knows it & you better not forget it, either!

"You're still the prettiest Supreme," I told her later, as she signed a copy of her solo album. She thanked me demurely and I impulsively added, "And the one with the best voice." Take that, Miss Ross, I thought. But Mary added, with a chilly Joan Crawford-like sweetness, "Oh, we all have good voices."

Mary said she is currently negotiating doing a tour with Diana. And who knows? She may also harbor a desire to dj!

2 comments:

  1. Great report! We need to get Buddy in the clubs and a regular column! And Mary needs a big dance number to blast her solo career into orbit!

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  2. The Supremes did really great songs in the past, but in this part of Europe, only Diana managed to become famous...

    On a more recent period, LaRoux is sooo big for the moment in the UK and all accros Europe. She's really good-looking, and has also a lot of talent.

    Which i do hope the DJ pictured at the top has also, cause that's all clubbers need. Being beautiful can help people coming to your first sets, but if you're only good putting your face on flyers, people won't stay.

    I still do not know how you look like DJ Buddy, but you have the talent for sure to make people dance their night away and that's the main quality to be great DJ.

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