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Saturday, February 28, 2009

7's Series: February 2009

Editor's Note: 7 and I had some trouble uploading one of his images for this month's edition. I now have the complete set of images up for you to enjoy.

Click On Images to Enlarge.

Information Provided Below Each Image.

Soffles 2. Artist: Soffles. Jugglers Studio Courtyard. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

NZ Van. Artist: Unknown. Escape Rentals Camper Van. Whangarei, New Zealand.

Mural 7. Artists: Ferdinand Nazario and Various Artists. Old Java Hut Mural. Webster Square, Worcester, Massachusetts.

L.A.X. 2. Artist: Axis. Side Street near L.A.X. Los Angeles, California.

Kung Fu Panda. Artist: 7. Opposite Royal Hospital. Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Hash High 5. Artist: Hash/High 5. City Rivulet. Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Mixed Media. Various Artists. Mixed Media Piece in Central City. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Can You Dig It? Vol. 30: DJ Jester

Name: DJ Jester

Claim to Fame: It’s kind of a long story. I graduated college with an American Studies degree and didn’t know what I wanted to do. I looked at my school’s career service center and saw a position for driving the Oscar Myer Wiener Mobile. I ended up applying and they called me back. Instead of offering me a position for Oscar Myer, they told me about another position they had with the Boca Burger Mobile. This was right around 2000. I decided that I was done with DJing and that I would go on the road for Kraft foods and drive the Boca Burger Mobile. Basically it was me and two other dudes traveling around the east coast, going to festivals, flipping burgers, and giving them out for free.

My mom kept calling me on the road and complaining because I had so much stuff at my parent’s house. After graduation I’d moved everything to my parent’s garage and my old bedroom. One time when I was talking to my mom and she was complaining, I told her to send me some of my stuff. She sent me a bunch of my CD’s of River Walk Riots. Suddenly, I had an idea. I used to work at a record store in San Antonio called Hog Wild Records. People who were on tour used to come into the store all the time and say, “Hey, we’re on tour, just wanted to see if you guys wanted to consign some of these CD’s.” After thinking about it a bit, I said to myself, “I’m not on a DJ tour; I’m driving a Boca Burger Mobile. But why not go into these stores and radio stations and drop off some CD’s?” I’d go to every independent record store I could find in each city, even the smaller cities. It was kind of a mission. If they didn’t consign any CD’s, I’d just give them some for free. Before you knew it, Aquarius Records in San Francisco was carrying it, Spin Magazine wrote about it, and I was like “Wow, I can’t believe that little CD got so much attention.”

That’s also how I met Kid Koala. We met at a show in Boston and kind of hit it off. I brought this article from San Antonio that compared me to him. I wasn’t trying to impress him and collaborate with him so much say, “Hey man, thank you for your awesome music, check this out, it’s my biggest impression of you.”

River Walk Riots got its name from my time in San Antonio. There is a section of town called the River Walk in San Antonio; it’s where the Alamo is. A lot of locals don’t like it because they think it’s really touristy. University of Texas San Antonio, where I went to school, is on the North West side of San Antonio. It was kind of in the middle of no where. When I graduated I decided to move downtown where there was more to do. It was pretty cheap then to live down town and it still is. I lived right above the Rive Walk. I thought it was great because I felt like I was on vacation. Living there gave me the idea to call the CD River Walk Riots. That’s where the cover picture is taken.

It was all pretty random. The thing about the Boca Burger Mobile was that they had something like 6,000 applicants and they boiled it down to six teams of three. It was pretty amazing that I got the opportunity to do that. I hadn’t really seen the world; I mean I’d been on vacation before with family and stuff, but there was a lot of America I hadn’t seen. Next year is going to be the 10th year since the release of River Walk Riots, so I’m planning on re-issuing it. It’s kind of like an all American story. I wasn’t really pursuing a job, I was pursuing a dream, and it just kind of happened. What started out as flipping Boca Burgers turned into meeting Kid Koala and going on tour with him all over the world. Its been pretty crazy.

Representing: Right now I’m living in Austin. I grew in a small town called West Columbia that’s about 50 miles south of Houston. When I graduated high school I went to University of Texas in San Antonio. I lived in San Antonio for about ten years. It took me almost ten years to finish school, but when I finally did finish, I ended up moving to Austin for a bit. Then I went to San Francisco, moved back to San Antonio, and for the past year and a half I’ve been back in Austin.

Austin’s only about an hour away from San Antonio, so it’s not too far. They’re two totally different cities, like night and day. The neat thing about Austin is that it can be very trendy and intellectual, but since it’s still in Texas, there are other sides to it as well. It’s a really interesting mix. It’s something you just have to experience. I read somewhere that Austin is a young city and San Antonio is an old city. I think that’s a great way of putting it, and I love both places. I’m glad I only have to drive one hour to get to San Antonio.

Years in the Game: My dad had a big vinyl collection when I was growing up. I actually remember getting in trouble one time for trying to scratch on the turntable when I was eight or nine. I was so little I had to climb on something to get to the turntable. I think he was concerned that the shelf I was on was going to fall on me. When I turned 18 in ‘95 I started buying records.

I remember I started buying records before I even had a turntable. I though it’d be fun to have some records and started buying them. Soon after that I got a turntable and eventually I started playing out in ’96. It seems like a long time ago now, but when you think of it compared to someone like Shadow, Kid Koala, or Cut Chemist, they’ve got way more years in the game. I remember the first time I met Kid Koala, he said, “I got ten years on you man.” And he’s not even that much older than me. That puts stuff in perspective, to think he’s been DJing since 86’ or 87’.

Best Digging City or Town: If I were to say in Texas, I’d actually say San Antonio has better places to dig than Austin. There’s Eisenhauer Flea Market, Bussey’s Flea Market, and Hog Wild Records. I used to work at Hog Wild, and they have a lot of cool stuff. There’s also Half Price Books and Music Connection. I wouldn’t say San Antonio is the absolute best, but it’s the best place I’ve ever dug. I have a lot of memories digging there. I’d say 80-90% of my records came from San Antonio. I have great memories of hanging out with friends in the record store and joking around. We’d do stuff like take Phil Collins Face Value and hold it in front of our faces. I have so many memories of doing stuff like that.

I use Serato. There are a lot of cool things you can do with it, but I mostly use it as digital crates. One of my beefs with it on a cultural level is that there are tons of DJ’s these days that don’t go into debt buying records. Working at a record store, making five fifty an hour, and then spending 20 percent of my check on wax and not having enough to eat was a right of passage for me. That wasn’t too long ago man. That was seven or eight years ago. I know DJ’s today that just own Serato, they don’t even have turntables at the house. I just say, ‘Wow, I guess it’s really just a job for you.” It doesn’t make sense to me. I still buy vinyl, not as much as I used to, but I still look for stuff and dig.

Most Prized Piece of Wax: Shotgun Willie by Willie Nelson. That has a lot of sentimental value to me. Growing up in Texas, you grow up with country music. I grew up with it, but I didn’t really discover Willie until my early 20’s. Maybe I just wasn’t ready for him when I was younger. All the stuff you go through in your early 20’s, like breaking up with girls and doing dumb shit…it’s a big transitional period. When you listen to Willie, it’s like listening to an uncle that understands. You gotta listen to the lyrics on that album man. It’s a really funky record for a country album. If I have a lot of work to do around the house, I always put Willie on. He’s some of my favorite music to chill to.

Favorite Album Cover/s: Shotgun Willie for this one too. It’s a pretty hardcore album cover.

When I worked in the record store I always liked looking at Roxy Music's Country Life (Laughs). The cover was really controversial when it came out, because it’s an old record. I think they re-released it without the girls and just the nature in the background.

The other day I found this record by Paul Winter called Earth Dance. It’s a pretty wicked, psychedelic album cover. The music is, eh, ok. It’d be really cool to have that cover art as a painting. When I first saw it I thought it looked like Salvador Dali.

There’s a Richard Simmons album called Reach that I find at record stores all the time. That’s a pretty funny cover. You know at the end of River Walk Riots where there’s a sample of someone saying, “Wake up! Do this for you”? That was taken from Reach. I think it’s the greatest album cover. I want to do some sort of flyer with it just because of how excited everyone looks.

Herbie Mann’s Push Push is another favorite. He plays jazz flute and for some reason he’s practically naked on the cover. If you open up the record fold, you can sort of see an outline of one body on top of another body, and it feels like velvet. It’s pretty ridiculous. I always thought that was funny. The back cover is another picture of him with his flute on his shoulder with his arms crossed. He’s got a beer belly and he’s hairy, but he just doesn’t care. He still thinks he’s sexy.

I could go on for a while. Basically every single Weird Al Yankovic cover has been genius, I think. In 3-D is probably my favorite cover.

Even Worse is funny. It looks just like Michael Jackson’s Bad, but with Weird Al.

I try to find all his stuff on vinyl that I don’t have. At Half Price Books I’ll find stuff of his for three or four bucks. I see In 3-D everywhere and I’m like, “Why do people sell this, this is a great album?” But I guess it is Weird Al, so I can see why.

I used to tour with this group from Pittsburg called Grand Buffet. They’re good friends of mine and we’ve done a couple of tours together where I was their DJ. Jackson, the read headed guy in the group, gave me some records once. One of the records was a Gallagher record. It just says Gallagher on the cover and it’s really cartoony looking, like someone hand drew it.

Dollar Bin Miracle: Hmm, this is one I might get stuck on. I can tell you about one time when I got ripped off (Laughs). I was talking to my friend Prince Klassen. He plays every Friday at the Beauty Bar in Austin and he’s toured with Spankrock. Outside of Texas he’s done his thing and we kind of came up together in San Antonio. I was digging with him one day, this was probably seven or eight years ago, and told him that I’d always wanted a copy of Fraggle Rock. He told me he had a copy and ended up selling it to me for $20. I play Fraggle Rock in my sets sometimes and that’s where it came from. I always thought that was shitty (Laughs). I love the record, but $20? He always brings it up and says, “Hey dude, remember when I sold you Fraggle Rock for 20 bucks?” (Laughs) He busts my balls about it. That’s like an inverse dollar bin miracle.

Total Records Owned: Compared to other DJ’s I really don’t have that much. I’d say around 3,500.

Best Digging Story: There used to be a store in San Antonio called Echoes from the Past. DJ Shadow thanked the city of San Antonio in the liner notes of one of his albums because he’d bought a lot of records there. It was down the street from the Alamo and in the basement of this antique/thrift store. The owner is just one of those dudes; you know he doesn’t really want to sell his records and he’s probably had them since he was a kid. He always had attitude when I would go in there.

One time a crew of friends came with me. As we were walking in I was laughing about something that had happened earlier in the day. Me and my friend Chris were cracking up and the owner said, “Hey, what are ya’ll laughing at? I’m not scared to kick ya’ll out of here.” I got all serious and thought, “I’m gonna respect this guy, this is his space.” I looked over at my friend Chris and he turned to the owner and said, “Aye, aye Captain.” When he said that, I just lost it because I was still laughing about what had happened earlier. I couldn’t even say anything to the guy, I just walked back upstairs. Whenever I see Chris, that story always comes up.

The camaraderie of digging with people is always fun. Digging with Kid Koala on his home turf of Montreal was really fun. I found a lot of interesting stuff. He brings a Sound Burger with him when he digs. I really want to get one, but they’re expensive. They’re always selling on EBay for $300. A Sound Burger is an old school portable turntable that looks like a walkman. Kid Koala still has his. It was really interesting to see one of those things in action, they’re crazy. Every once in a while he’ll send me an email of a place that’s selling one for a good price. It’s always fun to go digging with that guy. His thought process is so different than other DJ’s.

To find out more about DJ Jester The Filipino Fist, check out his MySpace. Also make sure to check out some sweet videos featuring Jester on YouTube.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dust and Grooves

With the explosion of blogging over the past five years, I've always been surprised and saddened by the lack of consistent coverage given to digging. Eilon Paz must have felt the same way, because he launched one hell of blog for all the record lovers out there. Titled Dust and Grooves, the blog's presentation as a "photo documentary/portrait project about crate diggers around the world" has a refreshing and unique feel to it. I was happy to see one of the first interviewee's was a personal favorite and inspiration of mine, Cosmo Baker.

Here is my favorite of Eilon's photos of Cosmo.

To check out the post about Cosmo, click here.

As a side note, anyone who has participated in Can You Dig It? or checks out my blog and collects records should reach out to Eilon. Contact info can be found by following the links to his blog.

Can You Dig It? Vol. 29: Doc Delay

Name: Doc Delay

Claim to Fame: Probably rare rap shit, but I'd like to think my catalog is diverse enough to keep people on their toes and away from pigeon-holing, nah mean?

Representing: I’m from Washington DC, or more specifically, Adams Morgan. These days I’m in Brooklyn, NY.

Years in the Game: I’ve been buying records for about 16 years.

Best Digging City or Town: Do you mean record shopping or dumpster diving? (Laughs) I think the term digging has kind of changed now since boutique stores and the Internet have come into play. Digging used to be about finding some random dudes collection and going into his basement to pick up records.

Nowadays it’s more like regular record shopping for me. I even go to private dealer’s houses sometimes. But in terms of shopping and finding great records, I think Chicago kind of kills it. It’s just a great place. Great guys out there too, everyone is a lot nicer. If it wasn’t so damn cold in the winter, I’d move there. Every time I go there I come away with great records.

The interesting thing about buying records is that regionally different genres are more prevalent. If you’re only looking for soul records and your in Southern California, you might not do that well. But if you’re down there and you know the rock genre, you can make your way. You have to know what to look for if you want to come up anywhere. If you’re in Europe you have to know European records. If you’re on the West coast you have to know rock records. If you’re in New York you have to know hip hop records. And if you’re in Chicago you have to know soul records.

Most Prized Piece of Wax: Hmm. Some of the records that are really expensive and sought after; I don’t care that much about. They’re kind of like a form of currency to me. I tend to trade them for other stuff. But some of the records that I bought when they came out, like Nas’s Illmatic, I can’t get rid of. I skipped school to buy that record. I skipped school the Tuesday it came out, went to The Wiz, waited for it to open, went in, and bought that record. I still have it and I’ll never get rid of it.

I love the second hand stuff I own and there’s a lot of good music on those records, but it doesn’t have the same sentimental attachment. Hip hop was my generation’s music at that time, so I have more of an attachment to those records.

Favorite Album Cover/s: I like the stock covers. If you privately pressed up a record back in the day they had a catalogue of stock covers like sunsets and waterfalls. You could get the generic waterfall cover and then print the name of your band underneath it and it would look like 200 other records with the same stock cover.

I like those because they have that homemade kind of feel where you don’t know what’s going to be on it. When I find one of those records in a thrift store I think, “This could either be really good or really bad.”

I love those old stock covers, I think they’re great.

Dollar Bin Miracle: There used to be this warehouse in Virginia called Record Finders. It was like a big warehouse of 45’s. I found multiple copies of records that were worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars there. I wish I knew then what I know now, because I probably passed up some pretty amazing stuff. One particularly crazy find was the the "Greyboy" 45 by Human Race.

Those dollar bin miracles used to be the battery power that would keep me going. I’d strike out for a whole month, but then I’d have one dollar bin miracle and that would keep me going for the next few months.

You can still find lots of crazy rap records in the dollar bin. What’s weird is that some of those rap records that are more obscure, like Raw Dope Posse’s “Listen to my Turbo”, got put out by distributors that didn’t specialize in rap. “Listen to my Turbo” was put out by a house and techno distributor. They shopped that record to people who wouldn’t like it, so it flopped.

It’s kind of hard to find because of that. When you do find it, it’s always lumped in with a bunch of crappy house and electro records from the late 80’s and early 90’s. It sounds like Mantronix on PCP and it’s an amazing record. You never know where shit like that is going to turn up.

Total Records Owned: I don’t own as many now. I’ve chiseled down my collection really thoroughly. I’d say 1,500 total. At one point I probably had between 3 and 4,000 records. Serato helped me trim some of the fat. I got rid of a lot of doubles, things that I had to play at weddings and shit gigs, and Madonna 12”s.

That was a big portion of my collection, shit I only used when I played out. Now I’m kind of an audiophile. I’m all about good condition records and great albums as a whole. I don’t want a record for one song if the rest of the album is crappy.

I’m all about whittling it down to the essentials, but I’ve kept a lot of common things that I like. I kept all my Led Zeppelin albums. I like each one of their records all the way through. I kept really clean copies of all of their albums and I listen to them to this day. I probably listen to a Zeppelin album at least once a month. They’re the best band ever, without a doubt.

Best Digging Story: This lady who cuts my hair around the corner named Alina has been cutting my hair for five years. She runs this place called Alina Cut & Style. She’s Polish, and one day we randomly started talking about Polish records. I started naming a bunch of Polish rock bands and she was like, “Wow, you know a lot about this stuff. My husband was really into Polish rock and he has all of those records. I don’t know where they are, but if I find them, you can have them.”

Months passed, and I totally forgot about the conversation. I went in their one day to get a haircut and she said, “I have something for you.” We went outside, she popped the trunk, and she had two huge boxes of records. It took me two trips to lug them up the street. It was the greatest score of all of those Polish breaks that people are into and collect. I got all of them in one big haul, and I didn’t even have to pay for it. It just fell into my lap. Subsequently I made my last mix CD, Eastern Block Party with those records.

I’m a lucky dude. Things just fall into my lap sometimes, I don’t know why.

Here’s another good one. I remember once when I was DJing in Richmond, VA, this guy came over to the booth and started talking to me. His uncle had been a DJ in the 70’s and apparently had a ton of records. He wanted me to stop by his uncle’s place and have a look at them sometime. I gave him my number and months passed without hearing from him. We had a blizzard one day with about a foot and a half of snow and he picked that day to call me. I think I had a Honda Prelude at the time, and it was not ready for the snow, but I decided to go anyway. I picked him up and we headed to his uncle’s house.

On the way there he told me, “Oh, by the way, my uncle is a preacher now.” Apparently his uncle had burned himself real bad while freebasing. Afterwards he changed his whole life and found religion. He had pews in the living room and he gave sermons in his house. When we opened the door he had a scarred face from all the burns. He was like, “Yeah, all my records are in the basement. Go ahead.” I went down there and it was awesome. It was a great score. He didn’t want to get rid of a bunch of the records when I brought them up. With a lot of them he’d say, “Oh no, I can’t sell this”, but the things he held onto weren’t that big a deal. The smaller label and rare stuff was what I ended up walking away with. That was one of the weirdest digging adventures ever but it was also a really amazing score. I got a lot of really hot shit.

I’ve got one more before we wrap this up. There was this old dude who I used to buy records from back in the day that everyone called Pops. He ran a place called Pops' Record Roundup in Richmond, VA. One time my friend Tsega and I were on our way there to get some records. We were smoking some weed on the way and it was some really strong shit. By the time we got there we were completely blazed, on some other world shit. We saw Pops and we were talking to him. All of a sudden, in rolls his grandson with this hood rat entourage.

His grandson is this 16 year old kid with these little wire rimmed glasses and kind of dorky looking. Pops said to his grandson, “Hey, these guys like rap, rap for them.” This kid takes the gum he’s chewing out of his mouth and puts it behind his ear. No joke. It was like something out of Leave It to Beaver. Then he starts aggressively rhyming at us. It was some fast, double time, southern shit about fucking bitches and shooting people. We were stoned out of minds, thinking, “What the hell is going on here?” Pops, this 90 year old dude with a hearing aid, who couldn’t hear a word his grandson was saying, was smiling ear to ear. He was so proud of his grandson. The kid wasn’t bad. He didn’t lack cadence or breath control, but I wasn’t about to give him a record deal or nothing.

Make sure to head over to the Doc's MySpace, sample some of his music, and pick up a mix tape. You can get to his MySpace by clicking here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy V-Day

I was thinking of making one of those, "Look at me, I'm a bitter asshole, I'm lonely, so everyone else should be lonely too" Valentines Day posts full of links to videos like this. (No disrespect to Z-Ro intended by this post, I still got nothing but love for his music and this song.) I decided instead to go the positive route. Here are some fluffy YouTube shottas to put you in that tender, loving mood for the one day of the year dedicated to showing love to that special someone.

A Clip From Angus (1995)

"I Wanna Grow Old With You" from The Wedding Singer (1997)

"These Days" Scene from The Royal Tenenbaums

"The Light"- Pharoahe Monch

And if you are the type that likes to listen to some smooth jams while you get your freak on, here is a gift from my homie DJ Zimmie.

Download it by clicking here.


1. Beautiful (Remix) - Mos Def ft. Talib Kweli & Mary J. Blige
2. Like It Like That - A Tribe Called Quest
3. A Deep Hip Hop Kinda Love (Afterhours Mix) - Armand Van Helden
4. Lucy Pearl's Way - Lucy Pearl
5. One More Chance (Remix) - Notorious B.I.G.
6. The First Taste - Fiona Apple
7. The Sweetest Taboo - Sade
8. I Belong To You - Lenny Kravitz
9. She Don't Have To Know - John Legend
10. That's The Way Love Goes - Janet Jackson
11. Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder) - Maxwell
12. Got 2 Be Down - Robin Thicke ft. Faith Evans
13. I Like It (I Wanna Be Where You Are)(Instrumental) - Grand Puba
14. Soon I'll Be Loving You Again - Marvin Gaye
15. Heavy Love Affair (Unreleased Odyssey Studios Mix) - Marvin Gaye
16. Get It On Tonight - Montell Jordan
17. What It Feels Like For A Girl - Madonna
18. Interlude (Phone Conversation from "Heat")
19. Eyes Without A Face - Billy Idol
20. Alright - D'Angelo

Saturday, February 7, 2009


One of my favorite/one of the most musical (in my opinion) team routines ever. To me, this represents everything turntablism is about. It's funky, energetic, there's a lot of crowd interaction, and most's enjoyable to listen to! C2C is really dope and I encourage people to check out some of their other YouTube stuff.