Everybody Wants To Be A DJ
Maybe DJ culture is a byproduct of chaos theory as applied to popular music: as time progresses, entropy exponentially accelerates the proliferation of bands, songs, and singles. It's all so overwhelming that we need someone to be a responsible musical filter for us so we can get up from the stereo and just have a good time. But the entropy applies to DJs too. Now that the laws of chaos have accelerated wack DJ reproduction, I need a filter to filter the filters.
Please don't get me wrong, I like a good DJ as much as the next guy. Good DJs and good bands are precious and rare and they're equally valid forms of expression. But I think that DJs are hitting the critical mass stage that bands hit in the late 90s. By 2001, you just couldn't be bothered to go see your roommate's band,and I think it's coming around again.
Being a good DJ means having the right taste for the room and having the perfect combination of records on hand to move the crowd, make 'em laugh and occasionally ache with nostalgia. The records one owns are crucial to DJ success. So many that "spin" now rocked to Fugazi's "Merchandise"in the 90s...we've come a long way from singing along to "you are not what you own."
While taste and record collections matter now, DJs of the future will eschew turntables altogether. They'll just have 2 AM/FM receivers, headphones and a mixing deck. All night long, they'll scan the bands to boom out the perfect clips from broadcast radio, with no interruptions and no commercials. Maybe the songs will get cut a bit short when BTO is playing on one radio and the DJ finds a new Missy Elliott track on the top 40 station, but it'll be more thinking on the feet, more immediate judgment calls. Innovators can scratch with static and emergency broadcast practice tones.
Twenty years from now my kids will get emails delivered directly into their spinal fluid that say "come out to club XXX, my friend XXX is supposed to be there. He programmed the jukebox at So-and-So last year, and he's got the best taste in music. Tonight he'll tell you what to like if you buy him drinks."