Everyone remembers Milli Vanilli and the story of how they go caught being frauds, miming the words to their songs while other people sang the vocals for them, right? Come to think of it, maybe 5% of readers will, seeing as hardly anyone remembered Bros (how could you not know them?), so here is a snippet of Milli in action…
There is a reason to bring this up now, just to keep it in mind later on. Anyways, last night in L.A before I left for San Francisco to do a bit of writing, I headed out for my friend’s birthday. The location was Foxtail, a fairly la de da, pretentious, poser-ish, L.A place. Suited me to a tee, ha. I was told the place has been used on Entourage and the Hills, but who knows. It is usually full of celeb heads and a tough place to get into at the best of times. Apparently this is a hot spot, where you see famous apes stumbling out of. Again, there is a reason that I am giving you more of this useless information.
Usually, 5 guys going up together would have bob hope of getting in, there was a big long line, mostly just hot women been ushered in to fill the place up. Thankfully my friend knew the guys who were promoting the place, who, as it turned out, also DJ’ing in there that night. In we go, no boring line or queue, happy days. The venue itself is two floors, by no means huge, but savage decor, looks cool. And all this comes at a fairly expensive price. Particularly for someone on my budget.
My original plan was to have a few pre-drinks at my place, then stroll to the club and go to the bank en route. For some reason, all this went out the window and I ended up boozeless and penniless in the club. No ATM in there, so my buddy gave me a loan, far money than I had planned on. One of the other guys buys a round of shots, 5 tequilas, happy birthday kind of thing. Down the hatch, and people disperse for a look upstairs. Coincidentally, it is just my birthday buddy and I left by the bar. Might as well buy him his birthday drink now, seeing as we are just standing here. Nothing to do with the fact the others have conveniently disappeared. Up for a shot boss, my round! “Sounds good, I’ll just pop to the toilet and be right back” Cool, see you in a minute. The cost of those two shots alone sent me reeling, big time.
Unfortunately, it got worse. While I was waiting for my buddy to come back so that we could do the shot, the guy who had bought the first round was after re-appearing. “Cheers Merrick, is that mine?” pointing to the other shot. Eh, yeah, I suppose, balls, cheers. Toasted him, after giving away the birthday shot, and the other 3 re-appear from different directions. “Hold on, we’ll do them all together, Merrick got this round in guys!” Balls. Balls some more. “Where are the other shots? Did the bar girl bring them over yet?” Hang on, I’ll go check, balls. Mosey on over to the bar, 3 more tequilas please, why do I feel sick and I haven’t even taken the shot yet.
The next few minutes were a whirl wind and a blur. Money that I did not have was handed over, tiny shots given in exchange, down the hatch, head spinning, stomach felt sick, and none of that was drink related. My next few days’ budget was just poured into 5 little shot glasses and handed out. Oh God, what was I doing?! The round was so expensive, especially when you have no money!!! Whatever you think it was, I’d say add another $20-$30 on to that figure, more or less, it was bad.
Panic attack symptoms and dizziness started to get hold of me. Thankfully when I went outside to get some air, my buddy, who was late coming in, rang me. Told me not to worry, he would ease the pain, bringing a shoulder in with him. I presume he meant one for me to cry on.
While waiting for him to come in and ease the pain, I headed upstairs. As I walked up, I noticed every second song that they played was good, then bad, and so on. While I walked around the upstairs part, a remix I frequently play at the gym came on, these DJ’s might be good after all, birds of a feather! My buddy was over by them, watching them work their magic, and called me over. This, this, was when all respect was completely lost for them. I thought I was doing a bit of bluffing at the start, they were Milli Vanilli!!!
A big mountain of equipment was mounted in front of them. Turntables, mixers, flashing lights, knobs, pedals, speakers, and a laptop. When I was standing by them, watching the crowd go nuts for the remix, I noticed that one was twirling knobs, turning discs, pushing buttons, and mixing his little heart out, while the other DJ was clapping to the crowd and pumping them up. What nobody else seemed to notice about the mixing DJ, was that he was actually doing absolutely nothing! As in nothing! None of what he was pressing or twirling were having any effect on the song. It was simply a remixed song! He was claiming the remix as his own, as if he was doing them live, on the spot!
I know, I know, I have documented it here that the first time in the gym DJ’ing, when I was completely clueless and winging it, I pretended to be doing more than I was. Thankfully, that has stopped. Like sober dancing, I copped on that more than likely there was not a big spotlight focused on me, and that more than likely nobody was staring at my goings on. And, if they were, I didn’t want to feel like a fool and be caught out.
The song which I watched him “remix live”, and which the crowd were giving him kidneys and babies for being able to do, was a Kanye West remix which I can’t find a Youtube video for, but it is full of bits that would be easy to bluff, volume going missing, vocals only, beat getting faster in places. Similar to this…
And the dude was taking credit as if he was doing it there and then, the both of them were, I could hear them tell my friend it was them remixing the song! I watched them for another 2 or 3 songs, they would swap duties every song, but the same thing every time, pretending to be pressing buttons, swirling knobs, speeding up the tune… all bull, I knew the remixes they were playing. The crowd did not seem to care that neither were even good at mixing the end and start of two songs together, they might have well been pressing stop… start.It was then when I realized that the club might be built up to be more than it actually is, a blow-in. You can’t beat a crowd full of drink and who knows what else though, I suppose. If they can get away with it, who am I to criticize.
Now that I am writing about it, it does not read too well from my point of view. However, the reason it shocked me so much at the time was because of this… I always got the impression that it would be the cream of the crop DJ’ing in a top, hot-spot, ritzy venue in Hollywood! A few of the places I have been to, the DJs have been savage. But at the same time, seeing as this place was billed as so good, I suppose I expected more. After DJ’ing for about a month now, these dudes were doing the exact same, if not worse. It was all smoke and mirrors, all they needed was their laptop. (Neither were the DJ who remixed the songs originally either, in case you think one might have been, they were just complete bluffers).
Thankfully, I realized at this time that I was being a complete ape by bothering to get annoyed at the DJ’ing bluffing, like a DJ snob, like I had any clue at all myself. After all, I was DJ’ing in a gym, while they were here, in a supposed top club in Hollywood. Supposed.
I left them at their bluffing and went off to find my buddy and his shoulder. Thankfully, his shoulder saved the night!
One last music related topic… The song If U Seek Amy by Britney Spears, how is that controversial? A load of people talk about it if you play it here. Originally I thought she wanted to fight Amy Winehouse. Then I was told to say the title of the song quickly, and I still don’t get it. At most, it sounds like she is saying vasectomy? Anyone else think the same? Or care? No? Shut up? Ok.
Song of the day, is this mighty remix, which I am actually remixing live, as you listen to it, I am that good! Part of Me (Discotech Remix) by Chris Cornell ft Timbaland