Summer Madness

Long before the current explosion of electronic music, there had always been a few house songs that DJs like me would slip into their normal sets. Things are different for us now; you better be brushed up when you go to work.

But back in 2007, when Tao Beach first opened its doors, I was hired as the resident DJ on Saturdays and Sundays, and it was during these 5-hour shifts that I learned how to properly mix house records, a skillset I had never needed to hone before.

Out of all the songs I played, there were a few that we called “splashers,” as they would make people in the pool start splashing water in a frenzied manner. And the King of the Splashers during that season was DJ/producer Bob Sinclar.

There is something about the songs he released during that era that both made you feel like summer had truly arrived but also made you go nuts when the beat dropped. And when Calvin Harris released Summer recently, he was kind of filling that void for 2014.

So I started thinking about what would happen if Bob Sinclar got “chocolate” in Calvin Harris’ “peanut butter,” to borrow some 1980s commercial dialogue. I went immediately to the homie DJ Excel to discuss further. As summer ends and we move into that short period known as Indian Summer, this was the result:

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Stunt Wood

As chronicled on the Capts’ blog plenny times before, I spent my formative years pushing a skateboard around. And this was all-encompassing…

…which meant I would scrape wallpaper all day so I could secure one of these…

…or disrupt family vacations to spend five minutes here…

…and skip out on church so we could make use of one of these…

Well, to that end, some old VHS tapes were recently unearthed. And the courteous thing to do, obviously, was to cut a quick video. All the footage was was shot around 1990 at skate spots in Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, and Pacific Palisades, CA. Some fun stuff I was jazzed to see myself:

-the Red Hot Chili Peppers Mother’s Milk tour t-shirt
-the half-finished Xpres CBS graffiti piece
-the Rip City Skates t-shirt
-the homie Wesley from Insomniac
-the “Palisades Surf Skate Team” t-shirt
-the official Powell-Peralta Bones Brigade membership hat
-the Dead Milkmen Metaphysical Graffiti tour t-shirt

Here is 3 minutes of me misusing public property from whenst I was a youngster:

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Actor’s Studio: Adidas

Back when I was moonlighting as a thespian (I use that term loosely), some days were spent tooling (I do not use that term loosely) around Hollywood for auditions. Castings for commercial work are a funny thing; they may or may not have anything to do with the role you will be playing.

And we’re told that the people who hire you might not know what they are looking for yet; they just know it when they see it. So I suppose that says a lot about myself in those days since I booked quite a few commercials.

On the other hand, we’re also told that if you book the job, you were probably their first choice but an alternate. And I suppose that says a lot about myself in those days too since I booked quite a few commercials.

For one audition, the casting director herded four or five of us into a room, put on some bad music, and told us to dance. Those moments can be excruciating, as you know a camera is rolling and there may be people watching you from a couch. But you do “you.”

It was for an Adidas spot that would run constantly during the NBA play-offs (I don’t recall the year) and I booked the job. If you watch the commercial below, you might ask yourself what “dancing” in the audition had to do with it. My answer would be that they were looking for people who aren’t self-conscious and embrace what they’re supposed to be doing while the cameras roll.

Also, I did not meet Anna Kournikova, the question I was asked most during this window of time, right behind “How much paper are you checking? They show this thing every commercial break.” Enjoy…

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EDM, bro

Last month, after tonz ‘o fun playing the Waveland Stage for Chicago PrideFest

…I popped into Las Vegas to witness the mayhem which was Sunday night at EDC. To rely on an old adage, there’s nothing I could write here that compares to what lies within the photographic evidence available.

Plus, I’m sure most have grown weary of the endless references to helicopter travel, golf cart rides, and all access. So, allow me to move on to the issue at hand.

By 5am, the show was still going strong. As the sun rose with the promise of heat, the slotted performer dropped John Legend’s All of Me. And I noticed two things:
1) The chord structure was similar to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Otherside.
2) Every person there was singing along at the top of their lungs.

As DJs, we all look for reactions to the tracks we choose. So my man DJ Excel and I decided to see what would happen by combining then building upon the two above-mentioned tunes, both of which have created some dancefloor drama in their day.

Since chasing “festival” anthems isn’t usually in our wheelhouse, t’was an interesting experiment, to say the least. If any of this sounds intriguing, you can find the finished product available for download with our friends at DMS and DJCity.

Or visit Soundcloud

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Tupac Back

It’s been over two years since either Captain has posted anything to the blog.
Is it laziness? Doesn’t feel that way…
I’ve seen the sun come up more times than I can recollect. Like it’s always been.

photo: p.binder

But it was time to revisit since the Capts have some fun stuff dropping just yonder.
Plus, ye olde TTD list gets the gas face.
More to come…

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Renaissance Faire

The irony here is that I didn’t enjoy wine during two crucial periods in my life:

1) When my grandfather Jazz maintained the Upper Weise Ranch vineyard in Sonoma, which supplied grapes for Kenwood Winery.
2) When I was enrolled in Beverage Management courses in college to fulfill Hospitality requirements.

So while the vino could certainly flow during these stretches, I didn’t find myself a slave to the cork & bottle, gravitating more towards 7&7s, under the tutelage of Tony Manero and Jimmy Conway in my formative years.

For whatever reason, I’ve been finding excuses to guzzle Pinot Noir regularly, to the point where the following item makes sense, as the only thing better than drinking wine is drinking wine while on foot. Thus, enjoy this Gucci wine holder I unearthed and purchased, perfect for walking among the indentured servants. Certainly a contender for The Capts’ Amassment for 2012.

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April Showers

If you happen to be in Las Vegas tonight (April 16th) — which we have confirmation that many of our associates are — then we suggest you read this small blurb in the latest issue of Vegas Seven that details what you should be involved in.

Double the pleasure, double the fun.

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Dick Williams

As death is a natural part of life, and something I know is either just over the horizon or just around the corner, I rarely get hung up on it. When celebrities or notables pass, it’s not something I dwell on. Conversely, when those close to me pass, I choose to deal with it privately.

But on occasion, we lose somebody that had some kind of cultural impact on me. And last week, actor Dick Anthony Williams left us.

I hope you spend a moment to appreciate him. He certainly brought me a lot of entertainment, especially while I was in college and composing my dissertation on 1970s Black cinema, though his talents certainly crossed many genres. And we have discussed him here on the Captains Log before.

Some years back, the equally-impressed Rhasaan Orange and I went to a panel discussion consisting of some of the more notable thespians from that era, and Mr Williams was by far one of the most gracious strangers we had ever met.

Rest in Peace, Joe Creole.

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Winter Wonderland: X-Games

Never at a loss for words, The Capts discuss ‘white people’, theatrics vs. stage presence, appeasing men, and their weight at the Winter X-Games for Red Bull.

We would like to thank Erica Yary for putting up with us.

Enjoy.

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Mo’ Better

What do all of the following items have in common?

Well, they are the Top Ten acquisitions that The Capts made in 2011 and all pertinent intel can be perused over at Better Than Yours, where we served as guest authors for the day.

Make a move. Catch up. Enjoy your life.

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