D.C. bloggers turn tables

Jan. 11, 2005, midnight | By Erica Hartmann | 19 years, 1 month ago

Some people should stay relegated on the Internet

A quartet of local webloggers joined forces to form Bluestate, a DJ collective the likes of which the world has never seen, or heard, until Saturday, Jan. 8.

DJSOB, DJ Leafblower, Seeking Irony and Weirdcurves spun sets from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Black Cat backstage, while Mousetrap, a britpop dance party, raged upstairs. The club, which is open to patrons of all ages, sold out - most likely thanks to Mousetrap.

There was, however, a healthy crowd clustered in the smaller of the Black Cat's two stages, talking loudly and dancing. At least, they were trying to dance, but these DJs, who claimed on their website that they would "make your butts shimmy and shake until they can neither shimmy nor shake no more," blared out an eclectic mix of rock that ranged from garage punk to marginally better but was by and large not dance music.

Actually, there was a substantial amount of danceable music, but it was jostled and jarred by the non-dance music, producing a completely undanceable, uncoordinated mêlée. Highlights included "Mirror in the Bathroom" by The English Beat and other 80s hits.

The poorly planned musical sets were definitely not helped by the combination of distortion and technical ineptitude that plagued the backstage that night. The sound system's equalization was decidedly not right for most of the songs Bluestate played. Granted, providing the right setup for such a varied set list would be a truly formidable task.

The DJs also seemed somewhat unfamiliar with their equipment. Often, there were awkward pauses in between songs, and when the music flowed smoothly, the beats weren't matched from one song to another, disrupting the few adamant dancers. One of the main purposes of deejayed music is that it is continuous, providing a constant beat for people to move to. The mastery of a seamless progression, admittedly made easier by advances in technology, is an extremely important trait of a good DJ. The amateurism of these DJs was blatantly evident.

Staff writers Fritz Hahn and Rhome Anderson remarked in their Washington Post weekly preview, "Nightlife Agenda," "You never know how music critics will do as DJs-just because you can write about new music and are exposed to a lot of new tunes doesn't mean you know how to move a crowd." Unfortunately, in the case of Bluestate, their fears proved correct.

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