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Domino Park Sunrise Set

  • Went to LES after testing speaker at home
  • Played at LES for 45 minutes
  • Rode home and stopped at Domino to play short sunrise set. Ended up playing for a group there for 2.5 hours, until my battery died.

I was biking back over the Williamsburg bridge. The sun was coming up. I thought that it would be great to record a short set at Domino park. I could record with the sun in the background coming up an shining on the buildings.

I got to Domino. There were these two girls and a guy there, and also another dude sitting close by on the bench. The guy on the bench told me I should play some music when he saw my speaker. The girls also got excited when they saw my mixer board and asked if I was setting up.

At the same time too, a big group of about 10 Irish people walked in to the park. They sat down close by, and 1 of them came over and asked me if I was DJing. They too were exited. I told them I was playing house, and it was great. I had a whole crowd and everyone couldn’t wait to hear the music start. 🏡

I started playing and it was wonderful. One of the only gripes I had was that the speaker wasn’t quite loud enough for me to be satisfied. I felt like I needed 3 of them to have the proper effect I wanted. It made me reconsider buying that Bose speaker. I should list it as one of my goals, and turn it into a work/savings goal that will help me to save up for my rental property at the same time.

That’s the way I want to make big purchases – make it into a driving force that actually ends with you making more money in the end, because you saved and worked more. 💰

I played the set for over 2 hours. It was wonderful.

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Podcast: First night playing at venue in NYC – Hart Bar 💖

Talking about playing my first night at Hart Bar after a short journey out to find places to play at. Also talking about moving into Manhattan.

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Setting up equipment at Hart Bar, first real venue played in NYC

Found a venue to play at after talking to 2 bars

Played first real venue in NYC last night. It was awesome. I went out to talk to some bars to see if they would have a night in the future to play. I didn’t think I’d be able to play anywhere, but I brought my USB and my laptop just in case (not my mixer or cables).

I talked to one club who said they played only live Jazz music. The second bar I wandered to was Hart Bar, which I ended up recognizing as a place I had been with Heather, when I saw the hawk and lion statues by the apartments outside.

I went in, had a seltzer water at the bar, and was going to ask the bartender if I could play some night. Another bartender came in and they were talking about how the DJ tonight cancelled.

I told them I could play, and I could run home and get my gear. I told them they could kick me off if they didn’t like it. The bartender said “I don’t care”. The downstairs was going to be empty anyway.

I sped off onto my CitiBike and back to Bed-Stuy to pick up my mixer and wires. I almost forgot my Mixer -> Laptop cable, a kingpin cable. Had to go back and get it.

I was so excited, I was peddling like an olympic champion to get back to the bar.

Setting up the equipment

I had a crash course in setting up DJ equipment last night when I was at Hart Bar. It reminded me of being with Heimer at the Green House in Stockholm University. That was the last time I was dealing with setting up hardcore sound equipment like that.

I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to connect these properly. There was some kind of board with many inputs on the ground, but I couldn’t figure out how to work it.

I ended up using my Pioneer SB2, and connecting it to the right speaker with the RCA -> RCA cables. I then used the DMX -> 1/4″ to connect the right speaker’s Line Out to the right subwoofer. I somehow connected the right speaker’s output to the left speaker, but I don’t even remember how, and I can’t really see how I did it from the picture of the back of the right speaker below.

Backside of the right-hand speaker (stage right)

To recap:

  • Mixer RCA Out -> to Right Speaker RCA In
  • Right Speaker DMX Out -> Subwoofer 1/4″ In
  • Right Speaker -> Left Speaker (I don’t remember how I did this).

Playing

I was down there alone for a while. No one even came down to supervise me at all. I asked the bartender if I could try using their CDJs that they had in the closet, but the connections and controls were too foreign, and I was lacking the proper cables, so I gave up.

I plugged in my SB2 and got it set up to the speaker. I started playing without being able to connect to the sub. Some people came down while I was half-playing, half trying to connect to the sub still. I messed up a transition and felt stupid. They left. I feel that you can’t multitask when DJing. You either gotta do the setup, or do the DJ. There’s not alot of down time between transitions.

Later on, I did get the sub connected. I was playing, and I was happy to just be playing to an empty room. It was amazing to be playing at all. Later on, some group of people came down and they were dancing and we were all having a great time. There was 4 main people, but there were probably like 8 people that cycled in and out of the basement that night. It was wonderful.

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Getting closer to DJ goals

Working on perfecting my transitions. I want to be able to execute excellent transitions so I can be confident when I go to the club and tell them that I’m ready to DJ. I want to have several recent mixes in my SoundCloud that don’t have mistakes. I need to be able to mix one set after the other without making mixing errors. Especially not big mixing errors.

It’s getting closer. Reps reps reps, like Arnold Schwarzenegger said. You keep doing something over and over, and you eventually sharpen it down to a point and become perfect. As long as I can have a set of songs that I can be confident to execute flawlessly, I will have no problem walking into that club and playing. I won’t have to worry. Once I’ve done the work, I will be ready to perform.

It’s fun to practice something every day. When you do something every day, you can see yourself getting better daily. You get a kind of special momentum that can only be gotten from doing something daily. It’s almost like you’re saying to the universe “I’m doing this.”, and you become fixed to the track that you want to be on.

I wrote on my calendar that I would go out this week and talk to bars and clubs and find somewhere where I can play on one of their non-busy nights. I will be able to get started somewhere. I am excited to go and see what kinds of reponses I will get. I’m actually remembering when I did this in Stockholm. I think I actually only went into one place, but they were open to me coming and playing there. I think I wasn’t doing a great job of selling myself there, since I was telling them that I wasn’t going to charge them anything, and I was basically saying that I just wanted to go there for training, but nevertheless, once you show up and sell youself in some way, that’s the first step. You’re shipping. You’re putting yourself and your product out there.

I’m happy to have decided to finally dive into DJing. It’s been on my list for many years, and I’m looking forward to doing something about it. I’vc been wondering if it’s actually going to be something worth pursuing lately. I think there’s all kinds of doubtful thoughts when you’re doing something. One is whether this is even worthwhile / fun enough / valuable enough. I’ll find out in time. I won’t be able to know until I’ve done it. For now, I will just enjoy executing this goal, and it will be awesome.

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There’s always fear when going after a new goal

It always feels scary to start something new. I’m scared when starting DJing that I’m not going to make it. Although I feel like that’s ridiculous thinking. I know that anyone can make it if they want something enough.

There’s always something you can be afraid of, if you focus on fears

That brings me to my next fear. I’m scared that I don’t want this enough, and that I’m wasting my time and money. In that case, it’s a learning experience, and I wouldn’t be wasting time and money. Rather, that’s just the cost of figuring out what it is you want to do in life. And in any case, DJing is something I’ve been doing for 6 years. I’m not going to lose interest in it all of a sudden. It has stood the test of time, it’s been my goal for years, so it’s time to start moving towards it.

If you’re afraid it’s not worthwhile enough, think about the fact that everyone loves to party, and throwing a great party to entertain people is totally worthwhile. Life isn’t just about grinding and working. Life is a party.

I think another thing I am afraid of is wasting money. I still have my goal of buying a house, and having that goal makes me feel like if I spend money now it’s a waste. However, I don’t want to keep waiting to do the things I want to do. I don’t have to do this either. It makes sense to do them now. I can still afford to save for the house.

After deciding to do DJing like I have now, it doesn’t make sense to double back. I don’t care even if there’s no value in it. The fact that I’ve decided to do something this strongly shows that there’s value.

I don’t even want to think about all of these doubts. I think doubts like this creep in whenever there is any endeavor that I take on in life. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in his autobiography that he likes to wander into new situations like a puppy dog. He doesn’t want to have too much information, because if you do, you never even get started, because it sounds impossible. However, if you take things one day and one step at a time, all things are possible.

Throwing our own party

Zac brought up a very interesting idea last night – he was saying that one way to get your first gig is to throw your own party. This is something that I hadn’t thought of, but it re-sparked my memory that that was something that I had always wanted to do. Me and him could team up and throw a party at a venue that we rent out. It reminded me of the talk I had with Marcello about this. Marcello used to do this, and one thing that he told me was that it could be hit-or-miss from a business perspective, but that it was great fun to throw parties.

Think about how it would feel to play at amazing festivals like Burning Man, Electric Forest, etc. This isn’t a dream that it makes sense to just give up on. Even playing at techno clubs and events you host yourself will be phenomenal, and has been a dream of yours for a lifelong time.

It’s okay if it’s difficult.

Arnold started out his bodybuilding career when bodybuilding was not very mainstream. It’s easier to stand out and become the best in something when you’re fishing in a small pond. On the other hand, be grateful if it’s difficult, because more competition makes you forced to get better. Seth Godin calls the difficulty “The Dip”.

Focus on the upside, not on fears

Dain Miller said that whatever you focus on grows. It makes more sense to have the dreams that you visualize, and keep those fixed in your mind. Write down the places you visualize yourself on goal cards, and use that for motivation. Goal cards can be:

  • Have your own DJ bus like the guys at Northern Nights security camp
  • Play on DJ bus like at E Forest afterparties
  • Throw your own events and make lots of cash while also having an amazing time, and learning the business side of creating an event

You always said that the reason you wanted to pursue an education was to get a job that you could use to save up money, while you worked on other dreams that you really wanted to do. You’ve been a serial goal achiever, doing one thing after another. First going to school to find something you wanted, becoming a web developer, getting over social fears, and now next goal is DJing. There’s no reason to think it’s not going to work. Everything can be successful, even to a smaller degree. Going out and throwing parties on the street like you did on Bourbon Street New Orleans is still a success. See things that way instead. You’re taking such a black and white view subconsciously – If it doesn’t work out in some huge way that you’ve abstracted in your head, you will be a failure and that’s bad.

Remember what Arnold said: “I’m not worried about failing, because that’s part of life. You’re not going to go and win everything. And how far can I fall? That’s the ground, that’s as far as I can fall.” Just go for the dream and go full force. Don’t worry about things not working out. Focus on the vision you have, and only on that. You become tunnel vision and you can achieve anything.

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DJ Set: Tech Hoe

Set recorded at hostel.

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4th of July Hostel Party SharedEasy

The 4th of July party DJ was a huge success. I showed up around 8pm to play from the manager’s bluetooth speaker. I didn’t even know that it was possible to DJ from a bluetooth speaker like that, but I guess it makes sense if you have the right adapter. For my mixer (which has RCA output), all I needed was RCA to AUX.

The people at the party loved the music. I was playing techno and some people started dancing after I showed up and started playing. I feel that when there’s a DJ playing, people just want to dance. It’s different than when someone is just playing music from a playlist. Although, later on the roof, they were playing from the playlist, and people were dancing even more, but I think bringing the DJ vibe can still get the party started.

I made a small announcement to the party that I was going to DJ some music. I could have made a longer announcement but it was good that I said something.

Me and Zac went to pick up a speaker because he got the idea that we should go all out and have a PA. He wanted to rent one initially, and then later he bought one. I was going to split the rental cost with him, $50 each.

There was a guy from Berlin who liked the music. He said that starting out as a DJ, it’s a good idea to go and play at some clubs for free. Then once you’ve done that, at the next ones ask for $50, since you’ve played at these other places. That way you can build up.


Notes from people at the party of things to check out:

band camp 

tim green artist 

mandy buka shade 

booka shade 

solomoon 

solomun h

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Playing in the SharedEasy common room

DJ practicing in hostel. Zac let me borrow his speaker. He gave me his instagram, zac_the_builder. I recorded a set at the commons table in the hostel. Practicing for the party tomorrow. He had an Ultimate Ears battery speaker that gets pretty loud. I want to get something like this to street DJ in New York. Maybe I can get something that’s not as expensive

Was thinking about back when I started DJing. I don’t really remember how I initially got into it, but I remember DJing with Eric Heimer at Green’s Villa in Stockholm University. We even threw a little faction party one or two nights. It was fun. We took turns working the door, the bar, and DJing. There weren’t many people there, but it was still a great time. It’s really fun to have an audience.

Was also thinking about when I was sharing music with Tommy Goonan a while back. He was saying how cool DJing was, and he was excited that I was going to keep going with it, and he said there were lots of fun things ahead.

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DJ Gig at hostel

Some guy I was sharing a room with in my NYC hostel saw my mixer in the closet. We got to talking about DJing, and he said I should ask the hostel staff if I could DJ for the 4th of July party this weekend. I asked, and they said yes! They have one of those handheld bluetooth speakers, but I should be able to connect to it with my AUX chord.

It goes to show that when you touch the key, you make the act of faith, then the universe opens up to you. Like Rowdy said, everything explodes into blossoms. It’s beautiful to see, and I thank God for that. 🌺

I’m going to spend the rest of today downloading music and preparing practice sets for tomorrow. It’s going to be great. It’s going to be a big party with lots of people from the hostel. And what better way to start off my DJ career than with DJing right here.

I also met another guy at this hostel who’s in a tech startup, and he was also a DJ. It’s fun to make connections like this, and I’m looking forward to meeting and talking to more people. This truly is a great city 🗽

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Move to NYC – Start of DJing career

I just got to NYC yesterday. It’s electric here. Was here last month, and so glad to be back. Decided that I’m going to go all in on my DJing career, and work to get gigs and clubs and bars. I’ve been listening to Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzeneggers autobiography. In there, he talks about his burning passion and tunnel vision that he had when getting into bodybuilding, and movies. He always had a goal, and this is what allowed him to push forward. When you have something you want so badly, everything else is just a way for you to move forward with that. Working at a boring job can be something with new desire and motivation, because you know it’s a step towards your dream.

I’ve spent a long time not working on my DJing passion, and this is going to change now. I’m ready to go all in for it. I will do everything it takes to become a DJ, to DJ at events and venues, and etc. I will become tunnel vision just like Arnold Did. I feel I’ve touched the key, and I’m on the speed track now to going towards my goal.

I will start with doing some things that I feel I should be doing to get into DJing:

  • Go and talk to bar and club managers and promoters
  • Go out to places, and make friends with the bartenders, regulars, DJs, people at the bars, etc
  • Put out a ton of content, and get a following on social media.
  • Listen to new music, and get a big library going of songs that you want to DJ

It’s exciting to have this list. I will also get index cards and write my goals on them, like Arnold did. It’s important to have goals, because it makes life worth living. Like Jordan Peterson said, do what you love to do, until you’re thrilled to be alive.