Hey DJ! Friday Q&A: Baron Von Luxxury
Next on deck for our Friday local DJ Q&A series is Baron Von Luxxury: the man who remixed both Marianne Faithfull and Glass Candy, who'll moonlight on L.A. station Indie 103.1, and who loves "Tits."
Name: Baron von Luxxury is my fake name.
Club night: DiscoWorkout.com
Style of music you spin: Italo disco (Giorgio Moroder, Glass Candy), French touch (Daft Punk, Alan Braxe), bloghouse bangers (Justice, Midnight Juggernauts), and vintage synthpop (Trans-X, late period ABBA).
Name of a track you can't get out of your head: Marianne Faithfull's 1979 new wave/disco classic "Broken English", which I just remixed. If I'm working on a track for a week it tends to take at least 2 more weeks for it to stop looping endlessly in my head.
Dream DJ partner: I recently started writing and producing songs with other artists. It started with some remixes I did, including one for Glass Candy that just came out on RCRDLBL.com (and which the dude from HEALTH just called his favorite track of the year in Pitchfork.com). For my next album I'm collaborating on songs with my local homies in Sugar and Gold, Scissors for Lefty and The Blacks. Meanwhile the internet is bringing me together with Little Boots and Robots in Disguise in London, Jacques Renault and Devin Dirt in NYC,and many more. It's been exciting make music together with my peers.
Favorite DJ experience: Lights Down Low at 222 Hyde is always a blast, and I'm looking forward to spinning at Parker Day's new party "Tits" at The Transfer this Friday night. Sorry, can I say "Tits"? Maybe I should stop saying "Tits" now.
Worst request: Last year we DJ'd a graduation party for a local law school. All night long people kept saying "can't you play something popular?" I was DJing with Johnatron and he dug his heels in and went for even more obscure stuff. I tried to throw a few easy crowd pleasers in until I actually got into a screaming match with a girl who thought I was being sarcastic when I played the Madonna song she requested. How the hell can I DJ something "sarcastically"? Weird. Never again.
Most clichéd DJ track right now: It's all about context. You can un-cliché a cliché if it's played between two lesser known or otherwise unexpected songs. Someone requested Estelle's "American Boy" when I played in San Jose this past Saturday night, and I thought "you know, that's actually a great idea right now." So I played it in between "Problemes D'Amour" by Alexander Robotnik and before "Intro" by Alan Braxe & Fred Falke and it worked. It was like a little transatlantic interlude.
Most treasured vinyl score: I use Ableton Live, yo. And while it's a little harder to fetishize an intangible digital file, there's soooo much amazing stuff out there on the music blogs that searching Hype machine is truly its own form of crate digging. Recently I found this amazingly moody synthpop track from 1982 called "I Think My System's Breaking Down" by Anna, about whom I haven't been able to find any more information. One song, one 12" release, and that's all. But I love the song, and for about 5 minutes nobody else will be spinning it. Ok, my exclusive window of time is now up.
Musical mantra: I'm always trying to find the right balance between music I want to play and the stuff people are familiar with. If I only play obscure songs then it can be a little self indulgent. But at the other extreme, there's no reason for me to leave the house if I'm just going to play the "sure to please 'em bangers." The best response I can get is when people haven't heard something before and they're excited to learn what it is. So my mantra is to keep it balanced, and try and sandwich lesser known or even "uncool" songs by, say, ELO (my favorite band ever) or Steely Dan among the latest bleeding-edge indie-cred ones.
Question we didn't ask you but you often ask yourself: "Why not just do one thing, and do it REALLY well?" Seriously, I hope that doesn't sound like a job interview candidate saying "My biggest weakness? I work too hard." But sometimes I think if I were a full time DJ or songwriter or remixer or producer - or, heck, if I just got in the van and toured again with my currently-on-hiatus band Luxxury - I'd be better off instead of balancing all of the above. I'd certainly sleep more. But then again, who needs sleep?
Next time we can see you spin: Did I mention I'm playing Parker Day's new bi-weekly "Tits" at the Transfer on Friday, June 6? Then I'm spinning at a private party thrown on 12th, after which I'll be in LA all summer. I'm going there to finish my next album and work on co-writes as part of my new publishing deal with Razor and Tie. While I'm in LA I'm doing an on-air DJ slot on Indie 103.1's awesome Saturday night "Neon Noise" show, as well as a one for a Honeypot radio party. Check myspace.com/baronvonluxxury or discoworkout.com for more info.