Converse presented PBW's 999, Peanut Butter Wolf spinning videos at 9 clubs in the L.A. area, 9 days in a row in 9 area codes.
Before I start on day 2, I forgot to mention one important part of day 1. My dancers! I wanted to do a phony infomercial for 999 a while back that featured girls dancing 90’s style so I called a few girls I knew. They all seemed cool to do it until they got there and saw the outfits I had for them and just how much dancing they had to do. They weren’t mad at me though (at least didn’t show it). Good sports and all. So, taking to Paul last week, we thought it would add some fun and make the show feel more 90’s to actually get the girls from my infomercial on stage to dance during certain parts of the show. Back in the early 90’s EVERY rap act had dancers on stage. I tried to incorporate this before in my DJ sets a few years ago, but every time I did, someone at the club would kick the dancers off the stage and I’d have to argue to get em back on. Then when I saw Girl Talk doing it, I thought, “damn, I shoulda stuck to my guns and taken the idea more seriously”. Aint no party like a girl talk party. So, anyway, I have to thank my girls for coming out on the 1st and making it live.
On to day 2. The thing that made day 1 and day 2 hardest was the extra time it took getting the videos from my computer to Paul’s. Paul and I spent day 1 and day 2 driving, trying on outfits, and going through music, but after we narrowed the music down, I had to transfer it all into his computer, which took longer than anticipated. Literally both nights, we were transferring songs up until showtime, racing against the clock. And this was even with the countless hours of prep I’ve done over the past several months. I made “rough sets” for all 9 nights ahead of time. Starting around 6 months ago when I got the 90’s concept for this year, I took my over 4000 videos I have and labeled them all by decade, so if you type “90’s” in the itunes search, all the 90’s vids show up. (Good trick for you serato DJs BTW). Then from those 1000 videos that were from the 90’s, last week, I split them up between the 9 days, putting approx. 150 in each folder. There were lots of vids that I thought were 90’s, like Bobby Brown or Al B Sure, that were actually ‘88 or ‘89, so I spent a lot of time on discogs.com too. I’m sure some slipped through the cracks, but at least I came close. Paul even called me out on Kwame, saying he was from ’89, so I ditched that one. Anyway, I already had the folders packed with tons of stuff, so then I went through them with Paul these past 2 days and we narrowed em down. It was better having another DJ like Paul to do this with because he has so much energy and enthusiasm. When I played vids for him, a lot he saw for the first time in a LONG TIME and he was really getting into it, which got me more into it. I was doubting some of my selections til I got that stamp of approval from Paul. I’ve seen these vids over and over for the past couple years, but it reminded me how I felt when I first got a hold of them. So day 2 was another rush around to make it all happen sort of day. I was excited to play at Low End Theory. I had never played there yet, even though we always talked about doing it, so I really wanted this one to be special. Paul wasn’t even supposed to play day 2, but he asked me about the night and I asked him if he wanted to play again and he was down. We got to the club and found out that it would be inside rather than out cuz of noise complaints. That bummed me out, but there was nothing Daddy Kev (the organizer) nor I could do. Show must go on. I started my soundcheck and I hear a girl who got there early yell, “Chris” (my real name). I look out there and it’s a girl Amy I haven’t seen since she was 8 and I was 10 back in the early 80’s. She used to live next door to me in San Jose and was my sister’s best friend. I couldn’t believe it. I caught up with her a little, but then had to prepare for the show, so we agreed to meet up sometime soon. Was really a surprise to see her. It had literally been almost 30 years! So then I saw Gaslamp and he was his usual animated self, which always picks me up, even when I’m tired. He’s a great DJ who is really more of a music guy than most. And who walks in, but D-Styles himself. Most people don’t know this, but D-Styles is another guy I’ve known since the mid 80’s! He was a friend of my sister back when she was too young to date, so I was a little protective of her. I was even too young to date and I was 3 years older than her. He came over my house once and wanted to see me scratch back in ’84 or ’85 and I kinda gave him attitude cuz of the older brother thing. I don’t even remember if I let him on my turntables (which were mis-matched), but I’ve seen him off and on ever since and to see him progress to the world class turntablist he is, made me proud to know him way back when. All this to say, San Jose reunion up in that piece.
The show was a great time. I knew it would be, but I didn’t think it would be so hot up there. Paul and I had to scrap our idea of wearing matching denim shirts with floral ties and vests tucked into our shorts. We put the ties on over t-shirts and it didn’t look too cool, but whatever. I brought a few 90’s pieces I bought on ebay to wear on the tour that didn’t fit me and we threw them out to audience members who answered our “90’s trivia questions” correctly. The stage was too small to have all 4 turntables next to each other, so I was on one side of the stage and Paul on the other. I was bummed about this too because he was too far for me to coordinate going back and forth with, but you can’t let stuff like that stress you out or your whole set will fall apart. Being so far apart ended up working out fine. The best thing about Low End Theory is the low end! For being such a small club, they really got their sound right. Congrats on a good thing going guys.
Night 2 in Los Angeles photos by Lambo