by Dan Bolles
Howdy, Solid State.
Sorry for the lack of posting lately, but the run-up to Jazz Fest has got me burning the candle at both ends . . . whatever that means.
Anyway, last night I swung through Higher Ground to catch some of Get Up to Get Down, the DJ A-Dog Benefit. I know I've been devoting a lot of ink to that particular cause lately, but based on what I saw last night, it's been worth it.
It wouldn't be fair to say that the Ballroom was packed. It wasn't. But the crowd that was there was enthusiastic and supportive and were treated to an impressive display of turntablism. Following reggae and dancehall sets from Big Dog and Demus respectively, Tha VT Union took the stage and whipped off a few tunes from their forthcoming mixtape, Tha Return. If their live set is any indication, it's gonna be a good one. Towards the end of the set they were joined by sax guru Dave Grippo, who was absent from the last week's Red Square benny due to illness.
But the real highlight was the DJ jam which featured A-Dog, DJ ZJ, DJ Russell, Nastee, Big Dog and Craig Mitchell, all on separate decks. It was an absolute beat juggling, helicopter scratchin' free-for-all and easily one of the coolest "jam sessions" I've ever seen.
As I'm looking at the Certificate of Graduation from The Lab's DJ 101 class hanging on my wall, I'm struck by just how much skill and dedication it takes to cut with the speed, accuracy and technique on display last night. And here I thought I was the shit because I can pull of a couple of chirps and flares and (occasionally) match beats. It appears I am not a Jedi yet. You can check out some photos taken by East Coast Snowboarding's Dan Brown right here.
It was a great night, for a great cause. But the party ain't over. More on that next week.