We Love New Order at Club Underground

Did you know that we’re big New Order fans at Underground? Of course, you did. We’re such nerds about this Manchester band that we’re dedicating our party to them this Friday.

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to be DJing this night. I have lots of really cool New Order-related releases and am looking forward to playing them for you on Friday night. But, I want to know, what New Order tracks do you want to hear? Let me know in the comment section and I’ll see what I can bring with me. Keep in mind that “Blue Monday” and “Bizarre Love Triangle” are givens.

Club Underground is every Friday night at the Grand Star in Chinatown, Los Angeles with rotating DJs Larry G., Diana M., Bip Jeffington and yours truly. It’s 21+ and Metro-adjacent. Join us this week.

Weep in the Car: Driving in L.A. While Listening to Alate

Weep’s new album, Alate. (Photo: Liz O.)

I have a ritual for new CDs, if you could call it that. I put the disc inside the player in my car and I listen. If I like it, it stays in place for anywhere from three days to a week. I let the CD lapse 10, 20, 30 times. I don’t use shuffle. I don’t skip tracks and I don’t repeat songs.

By telling you this, I can anticipate a couple different reactions. One is, OMG, Liz, are you so lazy that you can’t swap discs when you’re stopped at a light? The other, more likely, response is, why don’t you just upload everything to your phone and plug that into the dash? All of this, though, would be defeating the purpose.

If I like an album, I want to live with it for a while and, since I’m in Los Angeles, I live in my car.

Right now, the album that’s overworking my CD player is Alate by Weep. It’s not out yet. I was very fortunate to get an advance of it. (Thanks to Doc from Weep and Sam from Projekt Records.) It’s a CD I like a lot, but I won’t be reviewing it on account of the fact that I’m actively pursuing work that involves never writing an album review again.

Here are the basics. Weep is a band fronted by Doc Hammer. You might recognize him from The Venture Bros. Also, if you’re a super huge music nerd who prefers the dark, ethereal stuff, you may also recognize him from previous bands, like Mors Syphilitica and Requiem in White. His latest Weep release is probably the most “pop” sort of album I’ve heard from him, but that’s only if you consider albums like Echo and the Bunnymen’s Ocean Rain and Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy to be pop. I do, so that works.

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Anime Expo Karaoke Is Back and, This Time, I’m a Judge

Anime Expo 2012 is this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I’ll be there all four days interviewing people and stuff, but, on Friday, I’ll be doing something a little different. I’ll be judging the preliminary round of Anime Expo’s Karaoke Contest.

My friend Tommy Pedrini, of the fantastic band Cats on Mars, asked me to judge. He thinks I have a good ear or something. That might be true. One thing that I know for a fact, though, is that anyone reading this can probably sing better than I can.

The karaoke contest takes place in room 511 and starts at 4 p.m. I’ll be there through the preliminary round, which will end around 7 p.m. The rules are available AX’s site. Online signups are closed, but there will be a few slots available for people who want to enter at the convention. Good luck and I hope to see you there.

What Makes a DJ Awesome?

DJ Mag just opened the polls for its annual Top 100 DJ list. I might vote, but I get annoyed with any kind of poll that requires me to be logged into Facebook. Can’t I vote in private?

Regardless, I have a lot of opinions about DJs, mostly because I’m a fan of them more than anything else. When I saw that the poll was out and #Top100DJs was trending on Twitter, I wondered what makes a DJ awesome.
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Five Things Every Neighborhood Should Have (But Probably Doesn’t)

I grew up in Northridge, which, as the name would imply, is in the north San Fernando Valley. Northridge is how I imagine pretty much every other U.S. neighborhood, boring and filled with people who will mock you when they find out you can’t kick a ball. Back in the 1990s, though, we had a few things that made being a teenager suck less and I credit these places with turning me into a literate, marginally creative human being. Some of these places don’t exist anymore,  not just in the small corner of the Valley where I was raised, but anywhere. I mourn their loss because, honestly, every neighborhood needs them.
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Can Paris Hilton’s DJ Set Be the Death Knell of Celebrity Culture? Pretty Please?

You saw that video of Paris Hilton’s DJ set, right? Even my mom saw it. She’s a hip lady and all, but I know for a fact that she doesn’t spend all day looking for clips of DJ sets, so I’m guessing that link traveled far. If you haven’t seen that trainwreck snippet of a performance, Google it because, frankly, I’m responsible for enough hits on that thing already.

The thing that troubles me about the clip is the absolute audacity someone has to have to take the stage at a music festival and be so obviously unprepared. If you talk to a lot of the big DJs, you’ll notice that almost all of them spent years perfecting their skills inside tiny, hometown clubs before they hit the touring circuit. Paying your dues is important, not because of fairness or anything like that, but because you’re actually undergoing a learning process far more important than a year of tutelage under Afrojack or DJ Poet or whoever else is responsible for this.
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Set List: Depeche Mode Party at Underground

Soundchecking with Depeche Mode (Photo: Liz O.)

We had a Depeche Mode party at Underground tonight. You might remember that I asked for your picks from the band earlier this week. You might also recall offering a few of your favorite Depeche Mode songs. I played a couple of those, along with some of my own favorites, and a request for the other half of the Alan Wilder Appreciation Association. (Although, judging from Twitter, I think we gained a few new members last night.)

Long story short, the set list is after the jump.
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The Depeche Mode Songs You Want to Hear at Underground Tonight

Yesterday, I asked which Depeche Mode songs I should bring to our shindig at Underground and you responded. I’ve compiled the list below for your perusal.

I don’t know which picks will actually make it into the set. If you want to find out, you have to go to the party tonight. Underground is at the Grand Star in Chinatown. If you’re on Facebook, make sure you RSVP.
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This Week’s Reading: AM2, Black Dynamite, May’n

From AM2 (Photo: Liz O.)

Wherein we recap everything that’s gone on this week.

AM2, Southern California’s kind of free anime convention, took place last weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center. I am loath to drive to Orange County (Traffic on a Saturday morning? Really?), but I am also a sucker for anime conventions, so I went. It was, overall, a good time. I hung out for a bit with Ejen from Cosplay in America and we caught an impromptu PLUR session in the lobby, complete with hula hoops and a cameo appearance from Stewie Griffin. (Check out Ejen’s AM2 video for more on that.)  I sat in on the Putumayo Q/A session as well as Ani.me’s panel. I spent most of my time in the exhibit hall, which was documented in the Monday installment of my Cult Stars column, “Top 5 Things You’ll Find in an Anime Convention Exhibit Hall as Seen at AM2.” There’s more from AM2 that I haven’t posted yet, so stay tuned.
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What Depeche Mode Songs Should I Bring to Underground Tomorrow Night?

There’s a Depeche Mode party going on at Underground tomorrow and I’m spinning. You can check out all the details on the club’s website. And, if you’re a Facebook user, you can RSVP here.

As you may or may not be aware, I’m a pretty big fan of Depeche Mode and I have quite a bit of the band’s catalog. That makes it a wee bit difficult for me to figure out what I’m bringing to the club. That’s where I need your help. Which Depeche Mode songs do you want to hear? Are you in the mood for some specific remixes? Let me know in the comment section, then come to the party and see if you’re pick was played.

Club Underground is at the Grand Star in Chinatown, L.A. It’s 21+.