Thursday, 17 April 2008

Promoters and Farts

Here in Tenerife, the idea that one´s only job is that of a musician / dj is something beyond comprehension.
"No, what is your real job?"
"That´s what is do."
It appears that most dj´s here do it as a hobby, and so many promoters/venues pay them as such.
"Come and play for fun."
Fun don´t pay the bills homie.
"Come and play for four hours and i´ll give you 30€"

I recently met a man who owns an Indian restaurant in Santa Cruz, and he waxed un-interuppted on for over half an hour about money, money, money, and how his brother recently bought a flat/apartment that used to belong to Paul McCartney. (Yes, he did tear up the floorboards hoping to find an old manuscript.) But I digress...."So, could you dj in my restaurant?" he asked.
That wouldn´t be a problem, I responded.
"What´s your fee?"
"200€ minimum normally, but i´m flexible, we can negogiate"
"Uh.... do you know how much I pay my normal dj"
"Yes, I can imagine"

Another dj/promoter recently asked if i would play his party. Sure, no problem, this is my fee.
He never bothered to reply to my email, which is weird cos he recently did an interview where he said dj´s should stick together, and not play for less than 200€, so promoters would respect us, and not take us for granted. Seems my man has a bad case of amnesia. There is an expression here for people that talk more than they should....His farts are bigger than their ass. Fitting.

Oh yeah, the postcard that´s at the top...well, picked that up on a visit to Belgrade a few years back. Found it recently, and put it up on myspace, where it lasted about 24 hours before they removed it, said it violated their terms, as it was either obscene, sexually explicit or violent.
I´m still trying to figure out which. The image refers to Serbian sentiments that they have been fucked over by the US in some way. It was explained to me that before NATO went in, there were laws that gave Serbian workers x amount of percentage and say in the companies they worked for. When NATO went in, these rules went out, and also they all of a sudden became recipients of foreign loans which they did not require, but were forced upon them, hence they now had a foreign debt which was something new to them. Before the Yank/Nato incursion they did not have a foreign debut, didn´t owe a single bean to the IMF etc. Kinda like Iraq, and how Paul Bremmer changed Iraqi rules and opened the gates to foreign corporate takeover. Fuckin´cuntz.

Yep, and now sports....I´ll be spinning at the ECOS 08 event, which is bringing Echo & The Bunnymen and El Guincho to town next week. Also on the bill is The Mistake, and I´ll be sharing the decks with the legendary Pili Txola. It´s free, so all you in the Tenerife zone, venga!
All the action is taking place at the University of La Laguna campus.

Ear Conditioning 15.04 / Radio Norte

The Roots · Da Lesson / Instrumental (Geffen)
High & Mighty feat. Mos Def & Mad Skillz / accapella (Rawkus)
J-Star vs. Mutamassik
Prince Fatty · Fe Fi Fo Fum (Anvil)
Rustrillos · Pendejo (Producciones PYP)
Red Snapper feat. MC Det · The Sleepless /Shut Up and Dance refix (Warp)
Malcolm McLaren & The World Famous Supreme Team Show / Would Ya Like More Scratchin?
Taking of Pelham 123 Soundtrack · Blue Green Money
Malcolm X · Taxes
Atmosphere · They All Get Mad (Rhymesayers)
Fugazi · Waiting Room (Dischord)
Pixies · Crackity Jones (4AD)
Pixies · La La Love You (4AD)
Poison Idea · We Got The Beat (American Leather/Vinyl Solution)
Bong Ra · Murder You
Shut Up & Dance / The Green Man (Shut Up & Dance)
Kode 9 · Find My Way (Hyperdub)
Kode 9 · Find My Way /Quantum Edit feat. SpaceApe (Hyperdub)
Kode 9 + The Space Ape · Konfusion (Hyperdub)
Cauto · Bona Vida (Dutty Artz)


ripley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ripley said...

(sorry, no edit function)

Funny, I've been thinking about pay too. There's so many different cross-subculture rules as well. the "Underground" scene doesn't pay, which is ok until you start having other focuses in your life than being underground. Before I was grad school and spending lots of my energy on the academic side of my life's work, I had boundless energy (and enough cash) to play everywhere for free or peanuts.

But now, although I love to play especially to my underground peeps, sometimes I end up thinking "I could have been writing/moving forward in other parts of my life." Djing takes energy, and although it can be fun, I need to try to ease the other pressures in my life or DJing becomes a burden.

Then there's the issue of the symbolism of pay. I did an unpaid weekly gig last year, and when the venue owner said maybe he could pay me, I realized that in order to take money, it had to be a respectable amount. i.e. not 20 bucks for 2 hours of djing. I'd rather play for free for a good cause then get dicked around.

of course, I'm not trying to make a living as a DJ, so I still make it harder for those who need a REAL paycheck..

d.wattsriot said...

A friend was around the other day, and i showed him a pile of records that i don´t listen to or play out, so he could have his pick....meanwhile i dug out some classic jungle tunes...he said, that i could play at some old skool jungle parties that they have here for the "hardcoritos". Yeah, i thought, why not, as it would be a change for me to play strictly jungle/dnb for an hour or two...then the crunch....they don´t pay, yet the venue would be full of
"hardcoritos" that have paid 10€ minimum entrance. No chance. Maybe it relates to a sub-cultural rule that exists in these parts. It´s an underground scene, but the promoter is making over-the-top ca$h off of our sweat. Other DJ´s here are pleased enough to have and hour to play and their name on the poster.

As you acknowledged, DJing takes energy, and i definitely put my fair share in, as do a lot of us.

Maybe if i wasn´t trying to make this my sole means of living, then i wouldn´t complain. Money gets in the way, but is a necessary evil. I´ve done my fair share of freebies, and would most probably do more now if it wasn´t for my partner bringing certain realities to the table, god bless her.

Records ain´t free i have to tell promoters, i don´t emule/download or burn onto cd´s the majority of my set from the internet, which also seems to be a common thing here. There are very few record shops in Tenerife, one about ten kilometers away, no vinyl though, and another one about 70kms away, and they only sell house, hence i think, the reason many dj´s here use emule for example.