Hey DJ! Friday Q&A: White Mike
It's always entertaining hearing about a DJ's worst request.
Usually they remember a poor song choice, or some dumbshit asking for "something I can dance to." But DJ White Mike's tale takes the cake: some chick wanting him to stop his set so she can get a photo of herself pretending to be on deck. Did the club promoter have Mike's back? Read below to find out...
Name: Mike Holmes, aka White Mike
Club night(s): Get Loose! 1st Saturdays @ Beauty Bar (and a few irregular weekend nights each month at Beauty Bar, as well) Forties Night (1st Wednesdays @ Etiquette Lounge), founding member of The Projects.
Style(s) of music you spin: Anything I can get away with. Hip-Hop. House. Disco. Electro. Indiepop. Classic rock. B-more club. Funk. Soul. Reggae. Britpop. Dubstep? Not so much.
So what's your story, in 100 words or less? There's only two types of people in the world. The ones that entertain and the ones that observe. (And perhaps a third type, talent show judges, whose observations are a form of entertainment.) Anyhow, I've belonged to the first group since I was young, first as a writer and now as a DJ. I've been obsessively collecting music of all kinds and making mix tapes since I was very young and that led me naturally to DJing, which I've been doing professionally for the past few years. Presently, I'm holding down multiple residencies, learning to produce, and working with The Projects to bring some big acts to town this winter.
Name of an artist you're currently championing in your DJ sets: Michael Jackson is soooo hot right now. On a more original tip, though: I'm loving the remixes of La Roux that have been coming out this year.
Name of a current favorite track for the peak of your set: I recently discovered the Jimmy2sox remix of Empire of the Sun - We Are the People and it is amazing. Who is Jimmy2sox? Well, according to his MySpace page he is a "dude's dude" from Sydney who "likes to party." You can't argue with that.
Musical mantra: If you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with.
Favorite DJ experience: I was playing a set about a year ago and who should walk onto the floor but one of the geniuses of our time, Carrot Top -- his face and torso swollen with what I had to assume was excitement for the music that I was playing. At the end of my set, he pulled me aside and said, "Kid, you're okay in my book." Then, he pulled out a novelty-sized book to illustrate his statement. Some of the previous two sentences might not be true, but I did get to play for Carrot Top once.
Worst request: I was djing NYE a couple of years ago at a club here in the city and a particularly aggressive girl came up and said, "Umm, my friend and I want to get behind the turntables and pretend like we're DJ'ing while our other friend takes a picture." To which I said, "Hmmm... The only problem I see with that is that I am actually DJ'ing right now, and people might find it harder to dance to your pantomimes." Then the girl got kind of bitchy and brought the promoter over who said, "I don't see what the big deal is. Just let them take a picture." So I let them in the booth and gave them 30 seconds, and then later I heard that they were telling everyone what a cool guy I was. Also, later that night I was forced to cut my set short because, in the words of the club manager, "We have to shut the party down. People are puking everywhere!" It was an open bar that night sooo... oops!
Worst club faux pas you've committed: Playing Neutral Milk Hotel in the club? Also, there was one night where for some reason I decided to get on the mic and call out the year that the track I was playing came out, e.g. "It's 1993, y'alllll!" or "It's 1975, y'alllll!" Probably didn't add much to the night, but what can I say? I'm a history buff.
Most treasured vinyl score: Earlier this year while killing time in a Seattle record store, I found a limited, hand-numbered release of Pilooski's "Pointer Sisters - Send Him Back" edit. I was pretty psyched about that one.
What other music-related projects are you currently working on? I just finished a new live dance mix that I've been pushing around the innertron for the past two weeks. Also, I'm working with Miss Carmen and fellow DJs Nisus (blasthaus) and Shane King (Hacksaw) to develop The Projects, which is part promotional company, part media company, part sound system rental service. We're planning some big parties this winter that should really bring a fun, different experience for music lovers and partygoers in The Bay.
What's something happening in the local music scene that should be getting more attention? Tormenta Tropical! Those dudes have one of the most interesting sounds and best parties in The Bay right now (even if I always seem to miss them).
What elements would your fantasy club night entail? Hmmm... well, in my fantasy I am being chased by bullies and decide to take sanctuary in a small, local bookstore. There, while in an attic I discover a book that transports me to a magical universe which is being threatened by a mysterious force called "The Nothing." After a series of adventures involving giant flying dogs and rock creatures (among other things), we defeat "The Nothing" and celebrate by throwing a party at LAX where me and DJ Aoki shotgun beers behind the turntables while opening for a unicorn DJ, who is skilled but probably plays a little too much hip-hop.
Question we didn't ask you but you often ask yourself: Why must I cry?
Next time we can see you spin: On Halloween, I'm playing a big free party at Beauty Bar. That should be a lot of fun. Otherwise, you can catch me there a few weekends a month opposite Omar, or check my calendar on MySpace (yes, MySpace) for my other appearances.