12/3/2004

sQuare productions in the Globe

thanks to the good folks at the Globe
for putting together this piece in your paper
this morning:

He never misses a beat

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2004/12/03/he_never_misses_a_beat?mode=PF

If it's Friday it must be DJ David Day, mixing a
house-party vibe at the Enormous Room
[scroll down for the article in full.]

sQuare productions

presents

all
st*rs
have
eyes

Friday, December 3rd
Enormous Room
567 Massachussets Ave.
9pm - 2am
http://www.enormous.tv

Each Friday, sQuare productions takes the helm down at the enormous room for a weekly celebration of art, music and personalities. Come down sometime and get your groove on.

all st*rs have eyes

sounds by david day, slideshows by amy lee grill.
only $3.00

____________________

Also, this Saturday, XLR8R magazine [http://www.xlr8r.com] and Adidas is releasing Bedroom Rockers, a book featuring the DJ setups and record collections of some of your favorite Boston DJs. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that sQuare productions is represented.

Bedroom Rockers Book Party
From Noon - 8pm at the Adidas store: 1270 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge. DJs all day long.

Pick up the year-end issue of XLR8R magazine, too, which has quotes from david day within... XLR8R is easily the best music magazine in America.

____________________

AND, if you're a little closer to Jamaica Plain, this December david day is DJing at the Milky Way Mondays. NO COVER.

sQuare productions presents
CHILLAX MONDAYS

Monday December 6th
Monday December 13th
Monday December 27th

http://www.milkywayjp.com

Expect a mix of minimal grooves, reggae/dancehall, disco beats and downtempo loveliness.

He never misses a beat

If it's Friday it must be DJ David Day, mixing a house-party vibe at the Enormous Room

By Christopher Muther, Globe Staff December 3, 2004

Perhaps they were too tipsy to notice Jellybean Benitez. They even let Cyndi Lauper slip through without so much as a whimper. But all previous signs of placidity from the crowd evaporate when Hall & Oates find their way upon the turntable.

"C'mon, maaaan, play some hip-hop," the gadabout in the long leather coat pleads with David Day. "The ladies aren't going to dance to this."

It's just past midnight at the Enormous Room, and Day, the DJ and artistic soul of a new Friday scene called All Stars Have Eyes, has been having his way with the room for the past two hours. There are few other spaces in town where a DJ could play an obscure track from a German electronic music label, followed closely by "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," followed by a Mos Def track. But Day makes the unruly pastiche sound as if it were intended to be mixed in this exact order.

And when he submits to the wishes of the leather-clad gadabout and plays hip-hop, he brazenly mixes it directly into Hall & Oates's "Crime Pays." Against all logic, it flows smoother than Godiva liqueur over ice. The creamy blend is a perfect fit for the laid-back vibe of these nights -- a smart mix of cool lounge and lively club.

"David's more of an ethnomusicologist on some level than a DJ," says Enormous Room owner Gary Strack. "He's putting together styles and genres in a way that simply isn't done anywhere else in Boston."

What's even more unusual is that the scruffy 30-year-old Day began DJing just three years ago, with no previous club experience. Where most DJs begin spinning records in their living rooms, then work up to house parties, eventually finding their way into clubs, Day, a former manager at the now defunct Cambridge branch of Other Music, began spinning on a lark.

Once a week, Other Music, a New York-based independent record store, held a night called Eavesdrop at River Gods in Cambridge (Other Music closed two years ago, but Eavesdrop is still alive). At the weekly party, a forthcoming new release was previewed for an audience. But before and after the new album was played, DJs played their own mixes of music. As manager at Other Music, Day had the opportunity to DJ, and he quickly fell in love with the turntables.

"I would spin eclectic but thematic mixes," says Day, who often used the forum to spin $1 Ambrosia records he found in used music shops. "I just loved it so much that I wanted a single night to DJ, so I moved to Friday nights at River Gods and started to do four hours a night. And that's when things got challenging."

Instead of simply playing one song after another, Day had to learn the technique of beat matching, which entails blending one record into the next, and he had to learn the skill in an immensely popular, crowded club on Friday nights.

"I know there were times when I was making mistakes, but I think people were enjoying themselves too much to notice," Day says. "And also, I don't really subscribe to the idea that the DJ is a robot. I see DJs as human party enabler. A lot of that has been lost with this DJ-as-superstar idea."

And if enabling parties is his goal, Day appears to have hit his stride at the Enormous Room, where he began spinning this fall with All Stars Have Eyes (the name was chosen because it "sounds European," he says). Fridays at the Enormous Room feel like a well-run house party. A crowd, generally fresh from dinner, lingers comfortably on sofas and rug- and cushion-covered platforms, sipping key lime martinis and chatting. The space is barely lighted, which makes the club a strangely romantic spot, a fact that isn't lost on couples who make out to a soundtrack that changes ambiance at the pace of a fickle teenager's mood ring.

"It's basically a great place to hear some really different music," says 24-year-old Somerville resident and self-described music junkie Julia Howard. "The people-watching isn't bad, either."

Day doesn't mind the loungers, the people-watchers, or even the smoochers, but his current mission is to get the very diverse crowd at the Enormous Room up and dancing.
"It's so great to get people to move to something and let their inhibitions go," Day says. "It's really fun to find the record that unlocks the part of the brain that allows dancing. Although it probably has something to do with alcohol, too."

If the patrons at the Enormous Room choose not to dance, Day gives them another option. Throughout the night, digital snapshots of abstract urban landscapes are projected onto a wall. The photos are the vision of Day's wife, Amy Lee Grill, who is working on a master's degree in documentary filmmaking.

"A lot of these projectors in clubs around town will show movies," Day says. "But then people start watching the movies, and they're not watching the crowd."

"I think bringing art into a DJ space promotes interaction and thought, as opposed to just staring off into space," Grill adds. "You can talk about it, actually start up a conversation with someone about it."

In the Enormous Room's diminutive brick DJ booth, Day has a small LCD screen that displays the digital photos patrons are observing. He uses his wife's images as a visual guide to inspire the soundtrack he mixes. It's a blend of obscure tracks, old and current, that dances around the mainstream but never fully commits to the familiar. He finds many of the records through his day job as publicist for Forced Exposure, a local company that distributes independent records.

"The goal is to spin music that's electronic in nature -- whether it's early electro, early hip-hop, freestyle, '80s pop," Days says. "It's all synthetic. But it's also about keeping people on their toes. If you played house music all night, you'd end up with about a third of your crowd really into it, and the other two-thirds would probably leave. You have to keep as many people interested as possible, and by doing that, you keep yourself interested."

Which is why Day has been able to hold the attention of French tourists, Harvard grad students, and Central Square club kids. Even the gadabout in the leather coat continues to bob his head when Day stealthy mixes in an electropop track after a string of hip-hop tunes.
"David definitely has a following of people who come in to hear him and who know about him," Strack says. "Not everyone there is as sophisticated about music as he is, but they go there because they know he's going to play things they're not going to hear anywhere else.

"I think people who go to clubs are much smarter than most DJs give them credit for. They want to have fun, and they also want to be challenged, and David knows that."

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