Greetings all -
I proudly hold the record for breaking a New Year's Resolution in record time!
I had made a resolution to myself to have at least one entry per week in my blog - sort of a week in review. If nothing else the hope is it would force me to keep this creative avenue open throughout the year.
The fact is, I enjoy writing. I enjoy the use of language and every time I post, I feel refreshed afterwards. Sadly, the past four weeks were just a whirlwind of work, side gigs and life and I kept getting distracted.
So - with this entry, I make my private resolution, public. This first entry will bring us up to date; from this point I will post my Week in Review every weekend. The Week in Review entries will be as diverse as me! They might focus on activities - or perhaps deeper thoughts that came to the surface during the past seven days.
Naturally, my real hope is to post MORE than once a week - but this is a good guide to get me back in the habit. With that, here is the extended edition of my Week in Review 1.1-1.23
New Year's 2009 was probably the best entrance into a new year that I have ever had! Having rung in years at swank events or neighborhood bars - or with friends at intimate house parties - the one experience missing was to ring in a new year with the one you love, peacefully and intimately, at home.
Back when I was in my 20s, I thought those couples that stayed home on New Year's Eve were lame - look at all the fun they were missing. But now I see life through very different eyes. My ever-growing relationship with John has taken me to new levels of understanding; both about myself and about human interactions in general.
So, on that cold December 31, we stayed put at his place; complete with a backlog of DVDs, some great food and blankets. John has the "pleasure" of living inches away from the Philadelphia Mummers Museum on Two Street, so at midnight - we layed in bed - muted the audio around us and listened to the city celebrate a new beginning. Fireworks were booming overhead, the mummers and their families were pouring out from clubhouses and rowhomes to scream, yell and bang pots together to loudly proclaim "Damn it, we made it! No matter what economic, war-weary, budget-crunching drama you want to toss our way - we're here to start the new year!"
There was a certain sense of hope in the air - drawn from the end of one administration and the beginning of another only days away; as well as the fact that (especially for those outside the window) the annual ritual had survived.
For those unaware, the Mummers Parade has been around for over a century - sadly, due to budget cuts all around the city, the Mummers found out that they were going to have to march for no prize money this year as well as keep the entire celebration under a time limit.
Truth be told, the Mummers don't compete for the prize money - costumes alone cost more than the top cash prize. However, the money does help offset the production of this elaborate community event.
So, the fact that the parade was ON and only hours away - gave this scrappy neighborhood something else to celebrate during those first minutes of 2009.
New Year's was too cold to bother for us - and for many. We camped indoors and made the best of a great situation. The following day was the First Friday of the month, which means only one thing: Sex Dwarf.
My monthly nonstop new wave dance party has been going on for 6 years and continues to be an ever-evolving event of quality dedicated new wave music fans of all ages! Marilyn Thomas - my partner DJ - and I were anxious that our January party would be light; being the day after New Years, etc.
Farthest thing from the fact! Our January 2 party broke all records for attendance and was truly 'off-the-hook'. The energy and the people really took me back to those dance parties underground in Philly back in the day. The gig inspired me to keep on, keepin' on - in regards to my passion and love for that era of time. Soon, I will post separately about my fascination for the 80s - - I think there's a story there.
January became a mix of heavy workload at WXPN, as well as a series of side-gig events that I was booked at - coincidentally all on Fridays.
Friday the 9th, I came out of my Disco Closet and showed the public just how much I love disco - I've always been a fan of 70s dance music and feel that the genre as a whole got a bum rap (much like 80s new wave did for a while). Sure, there is TONS of schlock in disco, but there are some truly incredible productions; back when computer technology was primitive at best. Real instruments played by real people. Music designed to not just move a person but control a crowd. Epic orchestrations performed by talented musicians.
Anyway – I was hired to spin disco at the 150th anniversary of the Mutter Museum. Words cannot do the Mutter justice, so just visit their site above. The party was a grand event – complete with an LED dance floor and a rig of lights! I wore some patriotic platform shoes which became a weapon of torture by night’s end! Man, did my feet and legs kill me the following day!
The following Friday, I spun at the Tritone Bar on South Street – I really love that space and I only wish that it would develop a personality. The bar hosts live bands, but rarely has a ‘vibe’ when there isn’t a band on tap. It’s a neat spot and reminds me of the lounge clubs from the early 80s in Philly. I spun as the opening for a trio of bands including Witchtrialz, Certain General and Void Vision.
Void Vision has become my new obsession! Directed by my friend Shari, this band embraces all the good from early 80s electro and mixes it with a multi-media on stage production! Computer graphics, live dancers dressed in mouse masks and neon spandex, honestly – I can’t begin to explain this band – just know that, if you stick with me, you’re going to run into them sooner or later!
After that weekend – we found ourselves immersed in a sea of Change on Inauguration Day. This day alone needs its own post, since it has its own story. That will also come during this week.
Finally, we get to last night – for my next Friday gig, I was spinning at Digital Ferret – the music store located on South 4th street – a few blocks below South. I did the gig as a favor to Shari, whose Void Vision was slated to perform live in the store – they did not disappoint! As for my set, thanks to the incredible sleuth techniques of my partner John (who is a music maven), I’ve been filling up my collection with more and more forgotten tracks from forgotten bands from the late 70s and early 80s. Last night gave me a chance to spin everything from Minny Pops to Section 25 to Tunnelvision. A fun night indeed.