DC9er Mixtape, Vol. 12: DJ Wild in the Streets
Lisa Bush, aka Wild in the Streets, got her start in college, hosting a radio show on KTCU, which led to DJing house parties and at small venues around town.
In time, Wild in the Streets had a regular gig alongside soul and funk DJ Eric Hermeyer at the Wreck Room in Fort Worth. Since then, she's DJ'd several events in and around the metroplex.
So, what's her style?
Let's let her explain: "For the most part I play '60s to '70s soul, funk, garage rock, French pop and film music, some '50s R&B, surf and lounge, and sometimes some post-punk and powerpop."
Wild in the Streets also admits that her techniques are different than those of club DJs. Instead of beatmatching, she offers a highly eclectic and unique primarily vinyl set.
After the jump, have a listen to Wild in the Streets' exclusive DC9er mix, and if you like what you hear, check her out tonight at the Dallas Museum of Art, at 11 o'clock, in the European Galleries or every first Thursday of the month at the Amsterdam Bar in Expo Park.
How long have you been DJing for?
About six years.
How did you get your start DJing?
In college, I had a radio show on KTCU for three years and got a feel for cuing records and song transitions there, as well as broadening my knowledge and collection of music. I started out playing small clubs and house parties--friends heard about what I was doing and soon I had a regular gig with respected soul/funk DJ Eric Hermeyer (who now lives and DJs in Memphis) at the Wreck Room in Fort Worth, as well as international music sets at the Dallas Museum of Art, a Sunday night residency at Hailey's in Denton for several years, and now a monthly residency at Amsterdam Bar in Expo Park.
What was your first gig like?
It was very low key--set up with the help of friends who wanted to have a dance party in the basement of J&J's Pizza in Denton.
Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise?
Serge Gainsbourg, Scott Walker, Phil Spector, Ennio Morricone, Ellie Greenwich, the Kinks, the Jam, Betty Davis, Wanda Jackson, Dead Moon, Jacques Dutronc, Francoise Hardy, Television Personalities, Joe Tex, Burt Bacharach, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Brigitte Bardot, Sandie Shaw, Bertrand Burgalat, T-Rex, Ike & Tina Turner, James Brown, Stephin Merritt, Stuart Murdoch, Stereo Total, Black Lips, Sharon Jones, King Khan ... the list goes on. I'm also a fan of Ethiopian funk music, thanks to the release a few years back of a series of compilations of that genre. I was lucky enough to see some of those legendary Ethiopian performers play live at Lincoln Center in NYC back in '08. I went through a big indie-pop phase in college and try to incorporate some of that into my DJ sets, since many of those bands were very '60s pop-influenced. '60s Bollywood film music is another favorite and something I sprinkle into my sets. I also like learning more about free jazz, post-punk, no wave and many other genres I don't normally play when I DJ, which is easy to do in Dallas since there are so many great eclectic DJ nights around town.
Which DJ's do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
Locally, I always learn something new when I check out Wanz Dover and Gabriel Mendoza's Soular Power DJ nights. Mark Ridlen a.k.a. DJ Mr. Rid has an amazing collection of music. Jason Harris and Marcos Prado of The Smoke soul night have been consistently bringing good music for years now. I also dig the Away From the Numbers and Black Friday nights at Fallout Lounge. There are so many great selectors in this area.
What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
For the most part I play '60s to '70s soul, funk, garage rock, French pop and film music, some '50s R&B, surf and lounge, and sometimes some post-punk and powerpop; I listen to a wide range of music when I'm not playing and like to check out local and touring live bands pretty often.
How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
I base it on the ambiance and crowd of the venue and the theme of the event. I recently DJ'd an all-French set at the DMA, a futuristic space-themed event for the Greater Denton Arts Council, and the Rockers vs. Mods event at Lee Harvey's, three days in a row. So I do a lot of sorting by genre. I also play at art galleries, boutiques, weddings, house parties, store events, etc., so it really depends on the event.
How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
Depending on the event, sometimes I spend a few hours picking out a set... more if I spend time doing legwork finding specific records. I love record shopping and research, which occupy a large share of my time.
What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? (Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether?)
A little of both--which can be hard sometimes in Dallas. Some people are there to have a drink and socialize, some are there to seek out and appreciate different music, yet a few will treat you as a human jukebox and expect to hear anything they want. I try to explain to the latter that I play primarily vinyl and unfortunately can't bring every genre of music with me each time I perform--that gets a little heavy.
What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
To hear some favorite and familiar tracks as well as something they may not have heard before. Best case scenario, they'll end up on the dance floor and/or engage in some record-geek talk.
What kind of equipment do you use?
Vinyl, turntables, a mixer and occasionally CDs to amp up my repertoire.
Requests. Love 'em or hate 'em?
Love 'em if they come from the right place. As I mentioned before, a few people disregard the fact that I stick to a certain group of genres and are disappointed when I play mostly older music. But I wish I could explain to some of these people that many of the artists I play most likely influenced the music they listen to, and they might dig it if they gave it a chance. Some people feel it isn't possible to dance to anything other than electronic music, and for them I feel sorry.
If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
Last month, I got to see renowned New York Night Train soul DJ Jonathan Toubin play at a night called Soul Clap in Williamsburg--he has some amazing 45s and is one of the hardest-working DJs I've heard of, playing shows almost every night and touring quite a bit. I'd love to be on a bill with him--he sets up amazing bills in New York, with guest DJs such as James Chance and Ian Svenonius.
What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
I would say the eclectic scope of my collection. Some people hear I'm a DJ and I feel I have to explain that I don't really beatmatch or play music traditionally played by club DJs. But I think you'll find something more unique when you check out my sets--upbeat and danceable, yet a little off the beaten DJ-night path.
When/where will you be playing next?
Tonight, I'll be playing at the DMA in the European Galleries at 11 p.m. as part of their monthly Late Night event. Next Thursday, May 27, I'll be playing at the historic Texas Theater in Oak Cliff for a Howard Hughes and Martin Scorsese film night. I play the first Thursdays of every month at Amsterdam Bar in Expo Park, and I hope to play a special event at the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie this summer.
What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2010?
More records, more mixes and gigs in new and different venues as well as the ones I currently call home.
Roy Ayers - Coffy is the Color
Temptations - Psychedelic Shack
The Richard Kent Style - Just a Little Misunderstanding
The Velvelettes - He Was Really Sayin' Somethin
Wanda Jackson - Leave My Baby Alone
L. Anderson - Neck Bones and Hot Sauce
Ronnie Cook & the Gaylads - Goo Goo Muck
Irma Thomas - Break-a-Way
The Supremes - The Happening
Serge Gainsbourg - La Horse
Ellen McIlwaine - Higher Ground
Ricky Shayne - Fantastic
Herbie Hancock - Bring Down the Birds
Zombies - Walking in the Sun
Le Mans - Un Rayo del Sol
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - This Land is Your Land