Friday, December 12, 2008

Jr. Star Shows Thed the Light

When's the last time you had an epiphany?  I had  one this past Tuesday night.  I went to Sharrif Simmon's taping of his TV show @ Mathew's Bar & Grill/[Birmingham, AL] and I walked over to politic with Junior Star for a minute.  I'm standing there looking at his set up.  I notice two CD Turntables and two Technic Turntables.  My initial thought was that the Technics' were for "show".  I thought they were mere urban musical ornaments, (i.e. decoration).  Then I noticed the crate of albums behind him and I realized that the Technics were there to be used and not just for show.
I've always looked at record players as just a way to play music.  Like an 8-track or a cassette tape.  I figured that if you're not scratching and doing multiple DJ tricks all the time, there's no need to have a REAL Turntable set up.  I have seen DJ's set up real turntables recently but most of the time they are linked to a laptop and the DJ is actually spinning mp3's or .wav files, and not multiple records.  Junior Star was spinning records & CDs.  It didn't really hit me until I started talking to him and I noticed that Sharrif had brought a live band to perform with.  I'm looking at a saxophonist, trumpeter, bass player, guitar player and a drummer.  Even Sharrif had a guitar around his neck for most of his set.  This is when I asked myself, "when do musical instruments go out of style?"  The answer is obvious...they don't.
For the first time I realized that knowing how to play music for others to enjoy with a record player is an art or at worst a skill.  Knowing how to purchase and replace a needle is analogous to knowing how to purchase and replace strings on a guitar.  Knowing how to find the song you want by reading the grooves on a black wax disc is analogous to knowing which combination of valves to press on a trumpet and how you should blow to make the desirable sound.  If hip hop is music, then Technic Turntables are instruments...are they not?
So the next time you see a DJ bring out two REAL Turntables, know that you're watching a skilled performer whether he's scratching or just finding the right songs between wax grooves* on a black disc.  He's displaying a knowledge base just as a pianist plays simple chords to harmonize with a singer.   Thanks Junior Star.  Keep spinning.

*[I just realized that the "grooves" on a record/album are probably the origin of us calling songs "grooves". ]


Blogger Thed Weller said...

I know the vid quality leaves much to be desired...but you get the idea [blackberry chronicles/hustling backwards tv]


December 12, 2008 at 6:21 AM  
Blogger ChocLitLuvJoi said...

lol. I concur w/ the aforementioned statements in this post, especially the last one about grooves. I'll definately be checking Tommy out @ Charlemagne 2mrw to keep "the instruments" alive...

December 13, 2008 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Ms.BeatJunkie!!! said...

One of the best djs in the city. To me there are only two and we know who the other one is. Or maybe I'm just bias...nope its just fact.

I watch and listen in awe everytime. Grooves...exactly Thed. I like that comment.

December 13, 2008 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger mpenzi said...

"But just because a record has a groove
Don't make it in the groove" -Stevland Hardaway Judkins/Steveland Morris/Stevie Wonder

December 14, 2008 at 11:51 AM  

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