Tuesday, May 18, 2010


in the past i would dj every day. i called it practice because thats what it was. i'd spend at least two hours a day standing behind the decks, trying to perfect my craft. organizing records i thought would sound good together. putting together sets that i hoped would translate the meaning behind the melodies. i relished in the process, completely consumed by the notes i could possibly create. i wont say i ever reached perfection, but i got pretty good.

it wasnt the end result i am most impressed with today, but the discipline of it all that i displayed back then. without fail i would, every day, close my bedroom door, pick out about an hour and a half of records [usually inspired by new ones i got and curious on how they blended with the old ones i already had] and —always hitting record before i began — make yet another attempt at creating the best set id ever done.

this was my life for a good ten years, with a few minor hiatus's to have my heart broken or get lost in drugs. i cant say whether or not i wanted to become the best dj in san francisco, or if i wanted to be adored for my skills behind the "ones and twos," or if i wanted to become a minor celebrity on the club circuit, or if i wanted to evolve into a full fledged musician of sorts. i only knew i wanted to be able to speak with music. i knew i wanted to be able to take the sounds in my head and make them actually come out of speakers. it was a lofty goal, but a reasonably modest one by my standards. i didnt want to be the best dj. but i wanted to become a great dj.

and in some ways, i did.

by the end of my stay in san francisco i was djing regularly at all the big clubs in the city, and most of the small ones too. i was rarely recognized on the street, but when i played people came to hear me and the sound that i tried to create. it was a satisfying feeling; i wasnt completely accomplished in what i wanted to achieve, but i had gotten into the dirt of my desires. i had dug into my future and planted my seeds.

then i got bored with it all.

it wasnt the art of djing i got bored with, but the music i was djing. so when i moved to new york i began to dj a completely different style, mixing all kinds of genres except the one that inspired me to dj in the first place. this worked for a while, though i never got to the status i had when i was living in san francisco. i even reverted back to djing house —the initial style of music i djed in san francisco— every now and again, only to impress the dancefloor even more with my experience with the genre. but it wasnt the same.

eventually i decided to focus on writing, something id been doing for years even before i wanted to become a dj. this led me back to school, and turned my goals a different color. instead of trying to succeed in a field that was uncertain in music, i decided to succeed in a field that was uncertain in words. i stopped djing as regularly as before. i stopped buying new music. and finally, when i moved into my own place, i lent my friend my turntables, so that even if i wanted to, i couldnt practice at will.

now im involved in sentences and phrases. words attached and detached from meaning. now i work in meter and rhythm, but not the kind i worked in before. i cant go out and buy new words to inspire a new story. i cant peruse crates of sentences in hopes that they become a pillar to a new set. its all on me now, in my head. and sometimes my head is blank.

like today.

i have nothing inside me. no stories no poems no phrases no nothing.


Blogger Snooze said...

And yet, so captivating.

10:16 PM EDT  
Anonymous dk said...

Pretty good for nothing...

11:07 AM EDT  
Blogger Alex DG said...

that would be weird if you couuld buy words

8:15 PM EDT  
Blogger -jkg said...

i guess technically, in many ways, you can.

9:19 PM EDT  

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.