Tag Archives: DJ

Buying swing music electronically

I’m a Swing DJ.  Well, I’d like to call myself a Swing DJ.

But what is a Swing DJ?  The word DJ might conjure up visions of 2 turntables, a cross fader mixer, headphones…

In the swing dancing scene, a Swing DJ is less glamorous – no we don’t “mix” one tune into another.  We don’t tamper with the BPM or pitch of recordings.

But we do have the same passion for the music we play and the same challenges of working the floor, choosing the right music for the mood, building up a set, etc.

Buying music is a huge part of being a DJ and the “collector’s” mentality is one element that is required.  Finding new recordings, buying the music.

Some things that set some swing DJs apart from techno/pop DJs is that some of us are on the look out for new remasterings of old recordings, releases of little known bands or hard to find recordings, good liner notes with details of the players and maybe some history of the recording and band.

As it’s a niche market, sometimes recordings are very rare to find and hence the price can be relatively high for a CD (thinking $50-$100). 

Last night I was searching around for 2 CDs that were recommended to me – The Three Peppers chronological, and the Mills Blue Rhythm Band 1936-1937.  Both very hard to find CDs, out of print. 

Luckily iTunes came to the rescue.  I could buy the whole album electronically for ~AUD$16 each.  Bargain! The only thing I’m missing is that physical CD that I can add to my CD cupboard, the liner notes and photos with the recording details like personnel, date, location, etc.

In the past, although I did do the odd purchase from eMusic and iTunes, I tried to buy physical CDs rather than electronic tracks,

But with a more limited budget nowadays, I think my buying behavior has to change.  Buying just the tracks I want, or whole albums electronically that are hard to find as a CD just might be the way I need to go from now.

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DJ’s worst nightmare come true

A huge group of Perthies went over to MLX on the weekend.  Su and I had too many other things to attend that we couldn’t.  But Shane asked if I could fill in for him on the Mustang DJ desk.  No problems!

Well, so I had thought – until Thursday night when I was packing my gear up and thought I’d double check my Hard Drive with my swing mp3s on it.  Connect the USB cable, drive wurrs, Windows spits up some unhelpful error message box, can’t access drive..  oh dear.   I tried Firewire – no difference.  I hooked it up to Su’s MacBook.  OK, now we’re getting somewhere.  I can see the drive in Finder, but when I browse into my audio/swing folder, it’s not there!  Aarrgghhh..   I tried running GetBackData over the whole night but it didn’t finish – it seemed to hang.  ARGHHH!!!  I had lost all my ripped swing music!!

So I spent lots of Friday ripping some favourite/best CDs.  But I didn’t have time to apply the old BPM, rating and favourite collection/grouping info so I was DJ’ing semi-blind on Friday night.   Looking at the few hundred CDs I’d have to rip/tag again – I really can’t be bothered…   so that was probably my last DJ gig for a longggg time.

My advice for those that spin off digital media – make a BACKUP!!!  and keep it up to date!!!

DJing this Sunday – a busy day!

Been asked by Michelle if I can DJ this Sunday at the Speakeasy.

It’ll be a busy day since Su has a function in Success, and I’ll probably follow her with the kids down there to see Hip Mo Toast.  Then there’s Idol, and gotta get kids ready for school again on Monday.  I’ll do it though!  Haven’t done a swing DJ gig since August Speakeasy and I’ve got a few new albums to spin!  See ya there Sunday!!

* Duke Ellington’s Ko-Ko and Take the A Train albums (Dreyfus)
* Jazz in Britain
* Spike Hughes
* Duke Ellington’s Blanton-Webster Band

and new stuff from last time like

* Lil Hardin Armstrong and Her Orchestra
* Julia Lee and Her Boyfriends – Kansas City’s First Lady of the Blues

Hmm..  prob too late to put in another order to get by Sunday..  there’s always emusic though.