I’ve been on a tear, playing more sets at shows and parties, the past couple of months. Part of me wants to do more for the world than help us dance, but I don’t know what will actually help. Protests, petitions, participating in the election…does it really change things? I don’t know. I voted, and even voted for the lesser of two evils, to see if that might help us win the battle for thought leadership. So, I’m gonna keep doing all those things, and doing my thing, while I hope it all helps.
I played free sets at two successful Standing Rock fundraisers. One of them was maybe my hottest set of 2016, as part of maybe the best lineup of the year, at maybe the best Halloween party ever. That mansion party raised over $10K for Standing Rock. The other event raised almost $30K.
Hoping to help bring more real talk music medicine to other privileged people who want change, want personal transformation through dance, I’ve even come out of Ecstatic Dance retirement. I played Bless Up with the closest thing I have to a kid in this world, Ecstatic Dance NYC. I returned to Ecstatic Dance Oakland the night after the election, and found a way to lead our community ritual through some tough tunes and sweet moments while another community ritual (a protest march and the small riot that took place after) took place outside our windows in the streets.
Per the reviews, I did something special and “more than just deejaying” for the community during each of those sets. Fingers crossed, I’m not musically bypassing my responsibility to the world, as a privileged, educated person with a lion’s heart and a roar made of word magick. I don’t know what to say, yet.
As a man who’s half-POC / half-White, I’ve been feeling Trump’s campaign and election quite intensely, personally. The lines between us – that his rhetoric and actions have shined new light on – exist within me. That’s a personal story for another time. I mention it here because it’s affected me…maybe it affects some of you, too.
My reflection in our mirror has me thinking even more about the potential impact of my offering, the ingredients I use to help people move their bodies, the ways that so many white people are (maybe unconsciously) “Eating The Other” (shout to Bell Hooks for changing my life almost twenty years ago with that essay) in our underground dance scene and conscious community…and how I’m both enabled and enabling, by playing “urban” and “ethnic” music and themes for mostly-white dance floors. I’m not saying I’m finding myself wrong, or them wrong…or that I want there to be lines between any of us. I’m saying that it’s a constant debate for me that’s been stirred up even more lately. And don’t even let me get started about my own privilege inquiry.
That said, I took a moment this week on my lil pirate radio show to play some of the choicest cuts from my recent sets. You’ll hear some of my inquiry, and my revolutionary spirit, and my desire to help people be better people through dance and music. You’ll also hear me playing music for that git it git it, to make a baby to, and to feel good to. Because, hey, when it comes to music as medicine for our poison, I’m in the “better out of you than in you” camp, for life. 😉
I hope you enjoy this episode. Click on the image to be spirited away to it on this website. It’s up on my Soundcloud and Mixcloud, too.