Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beautiful pictures of the week -- the DJ Diner and record stores to die for

A couple of gems courtesy of the RA news feed ...

DJ Diner episode 6 featuring Ruede Hagelstein and his shnitzel recipe.  Why was the "DJ's and their living rooms" photo series such a hit a few years ago?  As much as people try to pretend that the club scene is all about the music, or all about setting a mood in the club, or the interaction between DJ and audience in the club, or about the DJ showcasing his or her personality using only music, we all want to peek behind the curtain at some point.  It's precisely because DJ's usually are, or were so reclusive (or altogether faceless) that we'd jump at the chance to be a fly on the wall and learn more about them, for example, by sneaking into their houses and photographing their living rooms when they weren't at home.  Or at least that's what it feels like to browse through those pictures.  Of course you can learn a lot about someone just by seeing how they live -- who's unexpectedly a slob, who's the most tech savvy, who has the rig or music collection you'd give your right arm to have.

That was seven years ago, before the widespead use of social media and before podcasts accompanied by extended interviews with DJ's became commonplace.  Reclusiveness is fading into the past and openness is the new, expected norm.  The EDM explosion has probably contributed to the willingness of DJ's to advertise their personalities a bit more, although perhaps many of them would not want to admit this.  Resentment toward "superstar DJ's" of the 90's like Sasha and Sven Vath is still reasonably fresh -- in the not so recent past, the backlash was fierce and destructive if a DJ got too big.  But the mainstream attention given to the club culture of cities like Berlin is likely a huge factor too. Clubbing is no longer the exclusive domain of select individuals who are in the know, worldwide, it's probably never been as socially acceptable to be a club kid or a DJ than right now.

So what's the next logical step in the "DJ as pop star" series?  Maybe it's DJ's sharing home cooking recipes while playing your tracks in the background.  I mean sure, why not? I love shnitzel and Ruede Hagelstein's tracks are exactly the kind of stuff I like to play while I'm in the kitchen too.


Just when you thought you couldn't take any more stories about record store or concert club closures, an article such as this one pops up -- 27 breathtaking record stores you need to shop at before you die.  I've only been to five of them (1, 3, 5, 6, 26) and they are all worth the plane fare to get there with the exception of the last one. Seriously, is there anything better in music photography than pictures of beautiful record stores or of a person's sprawling music collection?

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