Category Archives: DJing

Art is Big Business!!!??

One of the hardest concepts for me to digest and understand over the past couple of months is the uneasy relationship between art and commerce.

The key question: how can one be true to oneself and produce art without being concerned about the business side?  Further, how is art sustainable without losing one’s creative flair and passion for what they are doing?

DJing in the Atlanta area made me realize this tension.  For all intents and purposes, it is hard to strike a balance, playing music that is more creatively adventurous, while becoming financially self-sufficient.  But, as with any creative pursuit, one must have faith that it will eventually pay dividends, whether those dividends are monetary or not.

I have always had an admiration for artists who are able to construct pieces of art that are uncompromising and willing to go to places others are not.  That are able to shine a light on truth and give an additional perspective to something that has gathered dust.  But, once again, is it possible to follow this track, remaining financially viable?

In my opinion, art is currently at a crossroads.  This couldn’t be more obvious than in film.

In the 1970s, there was the auteur period.  Directors were king and many nearly had as much power and clout as the studios.  Only in the 1970s could relative unknown Michael Cimino make the ambitious film The Deer Hunter, then be given countless amounts of money to make the bomb Heaven’s Gate, nearly bankrupting United Artists.

The 1980s were reactionary in a way, putting a greater emphasis on constructing blockbuster films and franchising.  However, films like Back to The Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Empire Strikes Back are pieces of pop art.  These types of films effortlessly balance adventure and entertainment with adept storytelling and some interesting insights on the human condition.

The 90s, aughts, and 10s have continued this trend to diminishing returns.

Watching the film Prometheus about a year ago reminded me of this uneasy balance.  The film starts out as an interesting treatise on faith and humanity but ends up being a b-movie gorefest best experienced in an MST3K-esque format.

But that’s the thing, what is the balance?  Is there a balance that can be found between art and business without sacrificing either?

In my opinion, Christopher Nolan is an excellent example of a balance between art and commerce.  The ability to make entertaining films like The Dark Knight and Inception that also pose larger intriguing philosophical questions about life.  But Nolan is a bit of an outlier.

So, where is this line and can it be somehow defined or crystalized?


The Disc Jockey Promo – Memorial Day Eve 2012

A little late, but this is a promo my friend and I put together for my DJ gig last month the day before Memorial Day. And, no, I cannot wear the horsehead at all times. It simply isn’t sustainable.

Tons of fun to make…And on an awesomely small budget. Peeps for more info —

My Foray Into DJing

All art, in a way, builds off previous art.  DJing literally reinterprets and reappropriates previously recorded material.  As the superb film 24 Hour Party People attests, this is one of the few times in music the *medium* was first praised (skip to 1:11).

This past Sunday, I DJ’ed in the city of Atlanta for the first time outside of friends’ houses or my own bedroom.  I became interested in doing so based on both the support of my friends as well as the pursuit of my passions.  Being a DJ combines many things that intrigue me — how to best connect people, utilizing emotional intelligence, and the art of improvisation.

It also is just plain fun, both through promotion and the actual DJing.

Due to some awesome friends and a pretty great turnout, I will be performing last Sundays of every month, starting 3/25/12 as The Disc Jockey.  The only equestrian DJ with improv experience in the major Atlanta metropolitan area.

The Disc Jockey - The only human/horse hybrid DJ in Atlanta

The Disc Jockey - The only human/horse hybrid DJ in Atlanta

DJing at Noni’s was truly a one of a kind experience, allowing me to live on a tightrope, judging the feeling of the crowd in determining my next actions.  With the exception of some minor preliminary planning, the entire set was improvisational in nature, playing upon my previous experience taking improv classes at Dad’s Garage.  It even played upon my previous experience in Japan, having to communicate largely through nonverbals (horses can’t really talk…much).

In the future, I will be publishing my playlists on spotify both under my username thisisthemodernworld and the site ShareMyPlaylists.

For this past Sunday’s playlist (Spotify needed): 

The Disc Jockey rides again on 3/25/12.  8pm-12am @Noni’s!/events/316777651714369/

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