Ahh..The music makers and bringers of SL, where would we be without them? For every silly nonce spamming the living hell out of his favorite gesture out on the dance floor there is a patient Disc Jockey spinning the wheels of steel for the rest of us avid listeners. And for every other person you meet who wants to be a DJ there is a Club Owner who has to discern whether or not this person's ears are up to snuff when it comes time to set the mood and move the collective posteriors of the resident masses.
Blues Brother: Niko Lyle
It's probably rare that you meet a DJ in SL and immediately hit things off. Often, these unfortunate souls can be distracted and little annoyed as they fumble through their sets trying to manage requests and deal with crowd control all in one breath. Niko here is known not only for his sharp ear and wit to pick up on any cue mentioned but also his very savvy sense of fashion that he displays at his Blog, A Shout and a Whisper , which has set a model format for slackers like yours truly who can't even bother to include slurl links in any of their fashion posts (see: thankless chore). Anywho, he just happens to be one of my favorite DJ's at the moment and a good friend so we took a little impromptu road trip to some of his favorite places today in the most fraternal way possible..barring sodomy.
First Stop the Blue Room:
M: How Long Have you been DJing here in 2nd Life?
N: I started just shortly after joining SL in August of 2007. Pretty much the entire existence of my Av.
M: What got you into actually wanting to do it?
N: I had djed before for college radio and in some small bars during the same time. Never have really had a chance to return to it though I have always been a dj of some sort. I'm that friend you have that makes the mix tapes you play in your car and add to your ipod. Bedroom djing just seemed like a natural fit, I suppose.
M: One of your strengths as a DJ, in my supposedly esteemed opinion is the diversity and range of what you play, what do you attribute to having that broad range of genre's at your disposal?
N: I was raised surrounded by a large record collection and was just lucky enough to remember a lot of the things that I was hearing while growing up. In the end, I ended up the same way in that I was just interested in hunting down whatever was new and coming down the pipes and introducing others to emerging genres and artists as I aged.
M: What for you personally, music wise are you really feeling at the moment?
N: A few different things have my interest lately. Loving the strong return of dance music through Electro and B-More. Plenty of other artists as well such as Animal Collective, Passion Pit, Marina & The Diamonds and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Also I have become a bit addicted to old soul and rare groove tracks lately as well as 60's dance rock.
M: What do you think of the over-saturation of DJ's and Clubs in SL, by this I mean every other person you meet wanting to be a DJ or a Club Owner or um..Both?
N: Well I think in general it is kind of a job anyone can jump into. The clubs don't really require you to have any sort of building skill to run. Just an ability to manage a strong schedule and keep people interested in returning. As far as djing goes I think it may be an easy well paying job to get into that isn't related to the sex industry and it allows you to express your personality a bit through the job.
Next Stop, clothing and apparel store, Gritty Kitty:
M: You maintain a combination Music and Fashion Blog what would you say is your personal style, what motivates you towards certain clothing choices?
N: I never really think I have one sort of style so much as I try to think of various themes then base posts around them. When I am just getting dressed for the day I tend to just keep it casual and basic. In my day to day I spend much more time in T's and jeans then I do in the finest sl clothing so I think I reflect that casual side in my blog.
M: You have a very unique way of presenting your shots on fashion items, how do you go about doing that?
N: Normally, I want to focus on a few things in each shot. I try to highlight them one by one instead of making one large outfit photo which is why I use the small panels that can be enlarged to hopefully show off the detailing of each featured item well. I basically just get the outfit all worked out, then shoot 4-5 shots of each panel head,chest,legs, and shoes with possible accessory shots. Then I toss it all together after deciding which pics to use.
M: Why is Gritty Kitty here one of your favorite shopping locations?
N: Price and originality of the items as well as my favorite hair in Second Life. This was also one of the first shops that I found with quality items at a very affordable price and I have always been a return customer.
Next stop, rock club and live venue The Velvet :
Regrettably, we left the harmonica at home.
M: Why is the Velvet Lounge here one of your favorite spots to spin?
N: First and foremost Astrud Sands. She has always been a dj that I looked up to for the amount of work and her ability to get the newest music played first before anyone knows it's going to break. Overall though I just love the atmosphere there. It's a place made for music lovers by music lovers. The requests are great and the conversation normally helps drive the sets along and gives me ideas of things to toss in at short notice.
M: What's the crowd like here?
N: Intelligent and normally well versed in music. Well dressed, hip folks that enjoy quality music of any genre. Freaks letting their Freak flags fly and having a good time together.
Then a quick taxi cab trip cross town to The Block:
M: The city landscape here is very urban and authentic looking, I noticed shops in the area, what are a few noteworthy stops?
N: Ah yes, The Block. This is definitely a dear old friend and haunt for me. I used to sit at the cafe here all the time while working out kinks in my sets or exploring the ins and outs of the buildings. The Form and Desert Moon Clothiers Main stores are found there as well as some nice outlet shops for Gritty Kitty, Dutch Touch, Gearshift, Civvies and Miau Haus. Just a lot of talented designers all in one handy location in a nice urban setting with a great stream playing 24/7. It may not be the new trendy mall to visit but it has a certain charm that I have always enjoyed since stumbling in there the first time.
Completely out of cab fair, we stole a police cruiser and drove it around till we crashed it in FuckifIknow:
M: Any final thoughts, messages or outright threats for your adoring public?
N: Let's Rock!
Niko was even thoughtful enough to prepare a set list for out little outing today:
1. The Sparkles - No Friend Of Mine 2. Ike & Tina Turner - Contact High 3. Arthur Conely - Sweet Soul Music 4. The Mar-Keys - Last Night 5. James Brown - Think 6. Curtis Mayfield - Don't Worry If There Is A Hell Below We're All Gonna Go 7. The Remains - Don't Look Back 8. Mavis Staples - What Happened To The Real Me 9. Rufus Thomas - Push And Pull 10. Sly And The Family Stone - Dance To The Music 11. The Soul Benders - 7 And 7 Is 12. Sam The Sham & The Pharohs - Wooly Bully 13. Mitch Ryder - Sock It To Me Baby 14. Screamin Jay Hawkins - I Put A Spell On You 15. Bill Withers - Use Me 16. Jim Croce - Bad Bad Leeroy Brown 17. Wilson Picket - Land Of 1000 Dances 18. The Who - Shout And Shimmy 19. Bob Dylan - Hurricane
Occasionally, I corner some unfortunate soul and get them to spill their darkest, most tawdry indiscretions for the general public's better amusement. Some are smart enough to bring along a curvy wingman to throw me off my game.
Club Stompers: Oriel Aeon & Mollie Serevi
[2:30] You: Ok, so how long have you been in SL now Oriel? Oh noes...Doc I think we've lost her.
[2:30] Mollie Serevi: lol
[2:30] Mollie Serevi: Maruko is back on.
[2:31] Mollie Serevi: he may be IMing her.
[2:31] Oriel Aeon: since Feb, 16 last year.
[2:31] Mollie Serevi: lol
[2:31] Mollie Serevi: omg I'm older than you?
[2:31] You: Ok..focus, Daniel San.
[2:31] Oriel Aeon: lol let me double check that
[2:31] Mollie Serevi: pffft
[2:31] Meta Constantine smirks (tm)
[2:31] Mollie Serevi: yes I just did
[2:31] Oriel Aeon: lol
[2:31] Mollie Serevi: lol
[2:31] Oriel Aeon: hahaha
[2:31] Mollie Serevi: let me get out my walker
[2:31] Oriel Aeon: stop it
[2:31] Mollie Serevi: sorry I'll be good
[2:32] You: So how did you get involved with Nova, did you and Maruk start it together?
[2:32] Oriel Aeon: because of Maruko, kind of yes, I mentioned a club that I was going to get involved in.
[2:32] You: You were in a SL relationship and decided to start a club?
[2:32] Oriel Aeon: no not really, I mentioned a club that I was thinking about getting involved in and the next thing Maruko took me to the space and started building and that was that.
[2:33] You: HMmm, How long have you been open?
[2:34] You: Clubwise.
[2:31] Meta Constantine smirks (tm)
[2:34] Oriel Aeon: we opened last week but it was just a preview, we are starting with Fridays next week.
[2:34] You: How's the public reception been?
[2:34] Oriel Aeon: oh great we had a great turn out at the opening.
[2:34] Mollie Serevi: fab tunes.
[2:34] You: who were some of the Featured DJ's?
[2:35] Oriel Aeon: Lennyy Beck and Muzeek Okey both had fabulous live sets.
[2:35] You: What style of music are you playing primarily?
[2:36] Oriel Aeon: minimal tech, electro, trance and house but we are only using djs who spin live on a deck
[2:37] You: Nice..who are some of your favorite artists at the moment?
[2:37] Oriel Aeon: oo thats a tough one lol I love so much
[2:38] You: anything in particular grabbing your ear at the moment?
[2:38] Mollie Serevi: Meta can I interrupt and ask you something
[2:39] You: Absolutely
[2:39] Mollie Serevi: where do you find house music in the US?
[2:39] Meta Constantine clicks off recorder..or was it a clipboard?
[2:39] Oriel Aeon: lol
[2:39] Mollie Serevi: I'd never heard of it before SL, so I am reliant on SL djs to feed me the latest.
[2:39] You: well House has a lot of roots here in Chicago and New York but has been around for now..nearly 30 years or more now in one form or another it started with a DJ named Frankie Knuckles editing tracks for the dance floor in the late 70's.
[2:39] Mollie Serevi: yes but in terms of radio stations
[2:40] Mollie Serevi: noooo really?
[2:40] You: radio stations that play House tend to be specialty types like ones on a XM satellite radio or something, college stations or larger cities where the club venues are supported moreso.
[2:40] Mollie Serevi: when I was out in clubs it was the punk scene
[2:40] Mollie Serevi: oooh so nothing on FM?
[2:41] You: Mmm not so much, in Orlando where I lived for 4 years you could find quite a bit of Dance stations but that's not typical of many cities here. But access to the internet makes finding something local as easy as going to Google.
[2:41] Mollie Serevi: ok
[2:42] Mollie Serevi: sorry to interrupt
[2:42] You: no worries
[2:42] Mollie Serevi: I don't know many people in the states
[2:42] Oriel Aeon: lol
[2:42] You: That's fine..and I have some of my best friends in the UK, so there's a twist
[2:43] You: Anywho..where were we..yes any fav artists sticking out in your mind as of late, Oriel?
[2:43] Oriel Aeon: well I listen to a lot of music Meta.....I change favorites often this week tho have listened to a lot of Jens Zimmerman who is a German dj...minimal tech.....
[2:43] You: Ok, fair enough ;)
[2:43] Oriel Aeon: I could go on forever, I have loved music forever, lol. I have a vinyl collection still
[2:43] You: What are the goals for Nova as a club? like do you intend to make it profitable or just hope to keep it afloat? I don't say that derisively, this is SL afte all.
[2:44] Oriel Aeon: we want to keep it purely for the music lover to come and enjoy the music, people and atmosphere
[2:44] You: Seems an admirable goal.. what would you personally like to see happen for Nova?
[2:44] Oriel Aeon: I would like to have a club that people want to come to regularly just to chill. Having djs who love the music and spinning live in the end its all about enjoyment.
[2:45] You: Yes...getting a regular rotation of faces to stay anywhere is a challenge , I know from 1st hand experience.
[2:45] Oriel Aeon: yes but we are up for it
[2:46] You: I think you sound pretty positive..stay focused..keep those goals attainable.
[2:46] Oriel Aeon: and being able to socialise with people who want to come enjoy too not too much gesturing, lol.
[2:47] Oriel Aeon looks at Mollie
[2:47] Oriel Aeon: Hoooo!
[2:47] Oriel Aeon: ahahaha
[2:47] Mollie Serevi: hrmmm
[2:47] Mollie Serevi: lol
[2:47] Oriel Aeon: lol jking
[2:47] Mollie Serevi: I only do that to piss off Maruko
[2:48] You: always good to know how to push buttons here in SL. Hell, some people pay to have their buttons pushed.
[2:48] Oriel Aeon: lol
[2:48] You: Is the build "complete" or would you like to make additions to it in the near future?
[2:47] Oriel Aeon: well Maruko is prob always going to tweak here and there but yes I would say it was complete, we have a great resident dj with Muzeek too
[2:48] You: Ok..well is there anything you'd like to extend to the general public before we sign off, a message, a shout out, a threat?
[2:49] Mollie Serevi: lol a threat
[2:49] Oriel Aeon: well
[2:49] Oriel Aeon: ahaha
[2:49] Mollie Serevi: come here or else
[2:49] Oriel Aeon: no threats lol
[2:49] Mollie Serevi: sorry I'll settle down
[2:49] Oriel Aeon: I dont think we need that
[2:49] You: That's the spirit.
[2:49] Mollie Serevi: actually it's an exclusive club
[2:49] Oriel Aeon: yes thats right
[2:49] Oriel Aeon: lol
[2:49] You: Yea?
[2:49] You: elaborate.
[2:50] Mollie Serevi: you have to be a friend of Mollie... oh that's the wine
[2:50] Mollie Serevi: actually you have to be in the group to gain entrance
[2:50] Oriel Aeon: she meant that the club is really there for people who enjoy this type of music
[2:50] Oriel Aeon: its not really like a commercial house club, quite different.
[2:50] You: So people are servicing this bouncer at the back door, Oriel?
[2:51] Oriel Aeon: lol
[2:51] Oriel Aeon: ahahahahaha
[2:51] Oriel Aeon: Mollie are u gonna be the bouncer
[2:51] Oriel Aeon: we wont have any fighting
[2:51] Mollie Serevi: I'll Hoooo 'em out
[2:51] Oriel Aeon: we are a peaceful club
[2:51] Mollie Serevi: kidding of course
[2:51] You: Well the "bounce" was certainly more so an observation than a occupation, me thinks.
[2:52] Oriel Aeon: lol Meta, I hope u will come to the next party Meta
[2:52] You: Absotively, Posolutely.
I bumped into this spinster last week by chance and found out she's friends with half the people on my friend's list, small world.
Violet Rotation: Tasty Hax
"Tasty Hax has been DJing in SL for over a year. She owns Radiant Bliss Music Project group (850-900 members) which promotes her events, resident DJs and partner clubs. Tasty creates a positive party vibe and brings people together for music, fun and friendship."Styles: House - Funky/Old School/Deep/Progressive Funky House : fun, uplifting, bassy tunes with a touch of disco flavor. Old School: Classic tunes and old favorites. Deep: beautiful, sexy, chill tracks. Progressive: uplifting, beautiful tunes will fuller sound. Electro - French Touch/Garage/Nu Disco/Electro House Drum and Bass - Liquid/Beautiful/Sexy/Exotic Chillout - Soothing, beautiful, sexy and exotic sounds.
Very few people come with their own bio in hand so I would've been remiss to leave the above info out of this interview.
M: Ok, so..For how long have you been in Sl?
T: since 6/27/2007
M: Ok is DJing your primary hobby or do you have a few other things you like to do?
T: Music is my passion and DJing is my main interest in sl now. I have been involved in the music scene for a long time and enjoy sharing music and helping others.
M: What would you say is your primary genre of music you enjoy playing?
T: That's difficult to say. I love all genres of music that evoke certain emotions of happiness and well being. I've played many styles including Down Tempo, Drum and Bass, Electro and House. Lately I've really found a unique sound of House music I love and play that most often.
M: Any particular arttists grabbing your ears at the moment?
T: There are many excellent producers I've discovered in the underground music scene... a few of my favorites include Digital Villains, Scene Headz and Kevin K.
M: any preferred Clubs you enjoy spinning at at the moment?
T: Amici is a fantastic new club... nice relaxing atmosphere and great vibes. Koola is excellent too with a great staff and fun atmosphere. They've started doing new mixed reality events with an SL and a RL DJ streaming live from their rl club in UK. I had the honor of opening for Lisa Lashes at their first event. Dogglounge is really cool too! They have a great vision and all their DJs are top!
M: I rather like that Egyptian style tat on your face, I have some close friends who are working on an Egyptian style project as we speak.
T: It's the Eye of Horus, the all seeing eye.
M: Awesome, any personal meaning for you?
T: yes, of course.
M: Please elaborate..we don't shy from the spiritual or existential here..
T: Truth is a strong value and ethic in my life. I feel very strongly about it. The Eye of Horus is a symbol of that
M: And truth would apply to your need to keep your vision broad to the horizon?
T: Truth has many expressions in life... it's about being who you are, and sharing your unique essence through what you do. Music for example. It's about having integrity, keeping your word and seeing what is real. Art and music are pure expressions of a person... and can be very revealing of their inner nature or phase.
M: Mmmm..love that sentiment, so rare that people adhere to the high minded views of art and love. I just noticed the chopsticks in your hair are also lighted flashlights of a sort, very cool.
T: The chopsticks are not symbolic of anything just convenient when I get surprise sushi!
M: Ha ha, love that. On the music front do you simply put together sets or do you do anything to modify or mix the tracks?
T: I live mix all of my sets for each party.
M: what does that entail?
T: Searching for new music... listening to all the tracks... deciding a nice flow for the song order... practice mixing all the transitions... it's an involved process.
M: Certainly, I would imagine so.. Any particular moment come to mind for you when the crowd and the music just came together perfectly?
T: Last weekend was amazing... I spent all week searching for new music... really hours finding all new music for the set. I found some great stuff I was so excited to play, I love all of the songs. And the energy at the party was so high! I was excited to play, the crowd was excited to listen and loving the music... it was a beautiful synchronicity!
M: And where was this?
T: This was at the Amici party. We had 60 people all having a wonderful time! It's a very special memory for me.
M: I can only imagine. 60 people in SL is a helluva turnout for any club.
T: Indeed. I have some photos and a video of the party if you're interested :)
M: What are your thoughts on the saturation of Clubs and DJ types in SL, in that like every other person you meet either wants to DJ or own a Club?
T: Well this is SL! So everyone should feel free to live out their dreams here including DJs and Club owners. I think many people will be in for a surprise about how much work and expense goes into running a club without much gratitude from the crowds. I would never discourage someone from wanting to DJ... in fact I know a few people who don't DJ but should because of their passion for music! There's a place for everyone in SL even if you create it yourself. And of course each club will have their own interest and opinions about what they're trying to create for atmosphere and experience.
M: Yes, agreed I um.."dated" a club manager for a while and it gave me a lot of 2nd thoughts about using the Blue Room here as a full time venue, I really enjoy focusing on a few quality events here every month on that subject, would we be honored to have you here sometime in the near future?
T: Yes that's really a nice way to do it unless you want SL to feel like a job and yes we can talk about that.
M: Well, it sort of has become a job in a short period of time *blush* You have to get out and "press the flesh" to write about it..so to speak.
T: Yes but SL needs to have an element of free time and enjoyment also.
M: Sure, absolutely..when you have to start penciling people in..it becomes arduous
T: *lol* Yes and remember it's ok to say "no".
M: Mmmmm..Really? You'll have to teach me that one some time..Any last thoughts or statements for the good people out there in Sl?
T: Not at the moment..
M: Ok, anything silly or spiteful to say to your enemies then?
T: Hahaha, No I think they torture themselves enough, they don't need my help for that.
T: Ok, I love dumb jokes.
M: All ears.
T: A Neutron walks into a bar... he says :"how much for a drink?" bartender says: "for you, no charge"
M: Classic. I'm feelin the love here.
T: And right now i'm feeling like a short sheeted seamstress cuz I need some new material.
M: Hahahaha, excellent!
T: ok don't print this one but... guess who got back together! *pause*
Your butt cheeks.
M: ahahaahh! I'm Totally printing that.
M: Done Deal.