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the cheating curve

this post is about dj's.

it has nothing to do with david petraeus or his mistress[es] or any of the other people who are involved in that sordid story because, despite the fact that i love seeing a bunch of republicans make asses of themselves in public, i stand by my original tweet on the matter: unless it's in my ear, i really don't care where the general puts his wiener.

i was mulling this over on the way into work this morning because i had some time, haven't chosen a new book having just loped through stig larsen's "millennium" trilogy [about a hundred years after everyone else in the world, i realise] and because i started playing around with an app on my phone that allows you to play dj with the music you have on hand. it's even set up to look like a little dj station, where you plop your chosen mp3s onto turntables and can spin them together just like they were real [although very, very small]. it's a fun way to pass the time and also, possibly, to come up with ideas for future sets for the caustic lounge or elsewhere.

when i first put this app on my phone, after having it recommended by a phone, i showed it to dom, who reacted as if i'd told him i'd made a phone from the skin of an unattended child at the mall. [read :: badly] because to him, i was coming close to crossing a boundary, as evinced by his first words:

"you're not going to actually dj with that, are you?"

well, no. apart from any other concerns, i don't generally dj in places that would allow me to work from a phone, so it's a non-issue. plus, of course, there's the fact that i haven't figured out a method that allows you to divide the sound outputs between what's playing and what's on cue, so everyone would be listening to me cuing up records all night. [owing to a caprice of the mixing board at cagibi, this occasionally happens anyway, but not very often and no one enjoys it.]

but given the chance, would i?

probably not. because, as it turns out, a bad mix on an app sounds just as much like a dog dragging its ass across your record as a bad mix with vinyl and turntables and i've never been all that good at beat mixing. the app does allow you to play with effects, like a really tricked out dj, which makes things easier, but it still requires some skill.

done properly, it does sound pretty seamless and i have to admit, i would be tempted.

dom is probably purging that app from my phone as i write this.

because both of us have been critical of "laptop" dj's who ensure a smooth flow by allowing a computer program to align beats and merge harmonies. after all, it's not really dj'ing if you're not doing the work- the thinking through and then executing the mix by hand- if the machine is doing all the heavy lifting, right?

while you still have to be good at creating a dynamic flow of music, having a computer to do the mixing for you certainly takes the skill out of the equation. but i don't actually have that skill. i've made decidedly half-assed efforts at acquiring it, but other than the most rudimentary and simple beat mixes, i'm not any good at it. and the fact is that with the dj work i do, i don't really have to be. i'm not spinning the latest electro-blorp to parties of thousands, i'm playing quirky tunes in cafes and local bars. as long as there's not a half-minute silence between each track, people don't notice.

and the fact is that even if i was able to mix extremely well, the venues where i dj don't have the equipment that would allow me to do so, nor is most of what i play available currently on vinyl. so even if i possessed the skill, i'd have to rely on something like a laptop or application to do some of the work just to make up for the fact that most places willing to allow me near their booths aren't able to afford a world-class dj set up any more than i'm able to afford being a world-class dj. given those facts, is it really so bad to use a readily accessible technology to fill in the gap?

 i actually don't know any more. but i'll continue practicing my finger mixing on the bus until i find a new book to occupy my attention.


as long as you're here, why not read more?


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

mental health mondays :: the dangers of diagnosing

when you take a look at any reputable online source of information about mental health, it comes with a warning that anything you read on the site should not be considered a substitute for evaluation by a medical professional. so why are so many people jumping on the bandwagon to diagnose donald trump?

it's not uncommon for people to make glib judgments about the mental health of others, because we think that we understand what disorders entail. when i was working in offices, i noticed a lot of this: an immature and garrulous employee being labeled and partially excused because others were certain he had adhd, or a moody and indecisive boss dismissed as bipolar. [as you can imagine, that one struck me as particularly ignorant and, since i was the audience, ironic.] but in the case of trump, even professionals are weighing in on the subject. no fewer than twenty-seven psychiatrists have collaborated on a book called the dangerous case of donald trump. up to now, it's been unde…

making faces :: a winter tale

so this is it. we've reached the final season in our colour year. so far we've looked at spring, with its heart of citrus yellow, summer and its symphony of cool blues and autumn with its spicy bronzes and golds. and i'm still not sure i've found a good place to rest my face. i've chosen seasonal winners in each category, but are they really me?

it's a bit of a rhetorical question, of course, because i already had an inkling that my precocious childhood self might have been onto something when she declared herself a "winter". not that she knew what she was talking about, of course, but sometimes even fools say the right thing without meaning to. even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day. [unless you're in europe and use a twenty-four hour clock, which actually makes a lot more sense.]

as with all the other seasons, winter is divided into three parts, the true winter at the centre, flanked by neighbours who carry a hint of the adjacent …