DJ, turn it up up up up up up.
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone had a great night to start off a great year. Mine was very relaxed. I spent most of the evening getting work done in my room (ie, Doctor Who and Facebook, with a little bit of Korean studying mixed in for good measure) before getting beckoned to my co-worker’s room at 11:55 for some mulled wine and a countdown. That’s not the end of my New Year celebration, however. If Christmas gets 12 days, New Years should at least get a few extra as well. So on Friday I went to a New Year’s Blues Party and debuted my DJ skills.
I figure this is as good a time as any to expatiate on the the Seoul blues scene. The scene is split into two parties (literally, remember that dances here are called parties). Every third Friday a party is held by “Blues in Seoul”, with a fairly consistent line-up of DJs, and they usually have quite a large turnout. I find the music at these parties a little more monotone, all hovering around the same feel and slow 6/8 tempo. On the first Friday of each month, the party is hosted by “The Blues Night”. These parties have a slightly bigger variety in DJs, and a slightly smaller crowd. With the variety in Djs, I’m a little more likely to find a variety of aesthetics and styles in the music.
Of course, there’s no Jets-Sharks animosity between the two parties. If there were, I’m sure the dancing would like quite different, but just as impressive. In my opinion the two parties combine to form the blues scene, and I can’t tell a big difference between the parties and the dancing. They’re actually at the same venue, with largely the same people. I think it’s even the same guy that runs the place that works the lights both nights (having someone manage all the dimmer switches adds so much to a blues dance!) Though the smaller crowd and incredibly welcoming attitude of the hosts of The Blues Night means other foreigners and I typically show up and close each party. In fact, my routine typically involves getting lamb barbeque afterward until the subway re-opens at 5:30.
It was at the last Blues Night party that I DJed. This is the same group that organized Bluesweet. I asked the organizer if he’d be up for having me DJ and introduce some more music, and possibly some fusion (scandalous!) He was game, and put me on the list for the next party. I was pretty curious, almost worried, about how the music would go over, but I think people enjoyed it. There was a last-minute addition to the DJ line-up so I had a little under an hour of music. If you’re curious, here’s what my set list ended up being. Enjoy!
Blues Night 2013/01/04
You’re the One – Tracy Chapman
St. James Infirmary – Bobby Blue Band
Blues 2.0 – Fruteland Jackson
Bring It on Home to Me – Sonny Terry & Brownie Mcghee
Death Came a Knockin’ – The Duhks
Shadows – Rufus Wainwright
Cold Turky – Anthony David
New Orleans Bump – Wynton Marsalis
Do I Move You? – Nina Simone
Incredible Love – Ingrid Michaelson
Who Is He (and What Is He to You?) – Bill Withers
Fallin’ – Alicia Keys