House of Rockets - My First Gig!

Greetings from the sandbox!  This post is about my first "House of Rockets" night in which I played/mixed house music in a small venue here in Basrah.  Even though I was the only one that danced - or showed up for that matter - I had a good time and learned a few things.

My ho-made flyer

I arrived at the room (I can't call it anything more than that b/c it's so small) around 7pm for my set that was supposed to start at 8pm.  I plugged everything in and booted up my little netbook and was off.  After about 15 minutes of warming up and goofing around with effects (wanted to get this out of my system before "everyone" started showing up) I tried shutting down background applications/processes to free up my processor.  I'm running a 1.6 Ghz Atom processor, so I need every bit of juice to mix two tracks in VDJ7Pro.  In my fervor to free up my processor, I shut down the main audio application on my computer.  The sound went out and I was left with slightly ringing ears in a small, quiet room.  Felt capital D, dumb.

So, one shutdown and reboot later, I was being a little more careful about which processes I was ending.  I still haven't figured out exactly which ones to stop so as to still be able to run VDJ well, but hey, I'm running a Mini, what can I expect?

On the "decks"

After I got everything back up and running, I was feeling good and on the lookout for my first "punters."  (It's just fun to say/write that word)  I was feeling good about my mixing.  I still need lots of practice with blending well.  Turning the EQ knobs with a small mouse pad is really tedious and not condusive to my dancing while mixing, so I'm looking forward to (a) a new computer and (b) a midi-controller.  What usually happens is rapid and sometimes abrupt EQ kills and crossfader jumps.  But I was having a good time.

I continued to mix for the next couple of hours.  Over those couple of hours I noticed a few things:

(1)  Some songs really do go together well.  Some REALLY do not.
(2)  Little electrical glitches WILL happen.  Best to just roll with it and hope your system doesn't totally crap the bed.
(3)  Knowing a song inside and out is paramount to any skill in beatmatching, EQ switching, sampling, or effects cueing.  Both Phil Morse from Digital DJ Tips and Murray Lunn from BeginnerDJ both told me this before my gig.  They were certainly correct.  I feel like this is the area I need the most improvement.

As for the "punters," they never really showed up.  A few people stopped in to see what the noise was all about, and proceeded to leave quickly.  For some reason, I don't think Monday nights are that conducive to people dancing to House for a couple of hours.  Hmm...

I'm looking a bit ghostly in this shot.  Not intentional at all!

I was only phased for a short while.  Most of the time, I was really liking the music coming out of those massive speakers, so I got out from behind my computer and just danced.  Doing that took me back to the Hong-Dae disctrict in S. Korea when I was a younger man dancing for 8-12 hrs in a night fueled only by a vodka&juice cocktail and some rockin' DJs.  Club MWG, you will forever be in my heart.

All in all, I feel like I had a good time and am looking forward to doing it again tonight.  I've listened to my set list many times over now and feel at least a little more confident in picking a song that will mix well next on the "decks."  Special Thanks go to my wife for supporting my dream from 8k miles away, Phil Morse for his wisdom and kindness, Murray Lunn for his tips and enthusiasm, Will Stoffer for providing me with the opportunity/time/space to do something I really enjoy doing, all of the various artists who made it into my mix, and Amelia for being so stinking cute.

I've embedded a short snippet from that first gig for you to enjoy and comment on.

Cheers until next time.


House of Rockets - 17 January 2011 by DJRedsamick


  1. Cool mix, babe. Especially liked the song around 4 mins ;) Reminded me of Ft Lee. I can just imagine you beebopping around at HOR.

  2. OMG i didn't know you were a DJ. That's awesome!

  3. Have you ever been to M2 in Hong-dae? That's the club that inspired me to become a house DJ. I've never been to MWG... but anyhow, cool blog. It's good that you've got something to work on while you're deployed. Keep it up man!

  4. BB: I think I stopped in there once, but usually only really danced at MWG. I think MWG was also the birthplace of my love for house. What a great little niche they have in Hong-dae.

    Thanks for the comment man - eagerly awaiting your next mix :)