Category Archive: News

Top 10 DJing Highlights of 2012

Top 10 DJing Highlights of 2012

Like most dj’s websites, this gets updated way less than it should. (If you want the latest info and music, follow me on twitter, add me on facebook, or check out my soundcloud account.) Anyways, better late than never, here’s my top ten djing highlights of 2012:

10. Breakestra @ Brick & Mortar, SF
I played a set of all-vinyl breaks. Then they played some of those same breaks, and more, live.
9. XXX Rap night @ Home Turf Tuesdays (Skylark)
Every rap song you’ve ever been offended by, stuffed into one night. And yes, this was my idea.
8. MJ’s Brass Boppers shows – Disco Volante & Van Keef’s.
A chance to explore the musical heritage of Nola, from traditional brass band music to funk to bounce and current hip hop. More collaborations in store for 2013 with MJ’s Brass Boppers.
7. Private mansion pool party
Eight hours of djing. Five a.m. last call. If you were there, you know.
6. MOM SF, Madrone
It’s a testament to the Motown era (and Motown on Monday djs Timoteo & Gordo Cabeza) that the dancefloor gets packed by 9:00 at this party. What with my Stax mixtape released last year, this was a long-overdue collaboration. The real pleasure was seeing the crowd get open to Bink$ & K.nightshift’s live performance of “Green Onions.” Old meets new.
5. Syl Johnson show @ Funky Sole (The Echo, Los Angeles)
Another all-vinyl night at one of the best and longest-running parties in Los Angeles. Syl Johnson is now in his 70′s but still put on an incredible show, even singing out the chorus of a song he was sampled on, ODB’s “Shame on a N***a.” Me getting the chance to play semi-obscure records in the funk yard was pretty cool too.
4. Weddings
From Mississippi to Malibu, it was a busy year for your boy on the wedding front. It’s always an honor to be a part of someone’s big day, and there were a lot of memorable experiences and beautiful settings. Thankfully, 2013 is starting to fill up too.
3. Long Beach Funk Fest
Street party in the LBC! The main stage included legends such as the Family Stone and Dennis Coffey. I closed out the night on the turntables, with one speaker broken and the other one well on its way. I busted out some James Brown, Ohio Players, and Parliament, but all the crowd really wanted to do was Wobble. I was happy to comply.
2. Secret Skillet Rooftop Party
Music sounds better outdoors, on the roof, during Indian Summer in the Bay. Pretty awesome that an invite-only party for friends and fans of the Skillet turned out so well. Tina Tamale served up lots of dishes, friends helped out with the bar, and we even raised money for a good cause. The homies Solo, 808, Tekneek, Lazyboy, and Tim Diesel kept the beats coming, Aima the Dreamer turned up to rock the mic, and Bink$ Win$ton and K.nightshift found time to shoot a video. DJ Platurn’s 45′s set at the last minute was the icing on the cake.
1. DJing with Matthew Africa
Although I’d known Matthew since about 2004, it took a long time for us to really get to know each other. For someone with such a respected pedigree and a musicologist’s level of knowledge, he was criminally underbooked over the last couple years. I started making it a point to attend his gigs and soak up as much musical knowledge as I could. I told him that I was open to trading guest spots with him sometime, and was surprised when he agreed. I spun at his night at the Layover (“High Life”) and he did a set at the Skillet. They both went so well that we put together a party at Disco Volante. We named it Savoir Faire, as a tribute to the late 70′s/early 80′s era of music: disco, boogie, Sugarhill-type rap, and as he put it, “oysters on the half-shell and rollerskates (rollerskates).” I have fond memories of everybody dancing as he played the last song of the night, “Who’s That Lady?” by the Isley Brothers. Rest in peace, Matthew. You are missed.

A Tribute to Stax

A Tribute to Stax

A Tribute to Stax, 1959-1968 by djcrimson

Download as individually tracked zip file

Update: Read more than you ever wanted to know about me in this interview with the good man Mr. DJ Delgado.

A couple years ago I was hanging out at a friend’s house when I came across his box set of the complete Stax singles from 1959-1968. I knew a little bit about the label, that it was sometimes called a “southern Motown” and that it had a pretty deep catalog of soul music, but I was far from an expert. The thought occurred to me that I should make a mixtape from all those songs. It seemed like a simple enough idea at the time.

To keep the project from getting out of hand, I stuck with those early years, when Isaac Hayes was just a low-profile songwriter behind the scenes and the Staple Singers were an unsigned gospel family touring churches in Chicago. I started with some of the obvious hits, the Otis Redding and Sam & Dave classics that helped define soul music. From there I had to pay tribute to a few of the samples that are instantly recognizable to hip hop fans of my generation.

But that was just the start of things. There were too many funky drum breaks, classic guitar riffs, and haunting lyrics to just leave it at that. Pretty soon I was embracing all of it: the sentimental love songs, the uptempo burners, the down-home blues, even the cheesy novelty dance songs. The more I sank my teeth into the music, the more intricate the mix became. I finally decided to throw everything I had into the pot: scratching, mixing, layering elements on top of each other, original production, session players, and bringing in K.nightshift (of The Dime) and Bink$ Win$ton to put the icing on the cake with their vocals. (Little did I know just how far they would knock it out of the park–if you don’t believe me, check what they did with “Green Onions.”) This mix was partly inspired by conversations about music on my front steps with the guys, so to bring it full circle we got together at the end and parlayed about the music and the era while the recorders ran.

So here it is, the product of so many late nights behind the turntables and in the studio. I’ve asked myself many times while I was putting it together if it was too soft, too hard, too dated, too out there, too sappy, too vulgar for people to “get” it. Then again, who cares.

Big thanks to everyone who played a part in putting this together: The Dime, K.nightshift, Bink$ Win$ton, Conrad Anthony (bass & guitar player on “My Type”), Jeremy Goody at Megasonic Sound, Charles Stella (mastering engineer), Malachi Padron (cd pressing) Reid McNally (photography), Justin Marine/Mixerfriendly (graphic design), and Hiro at East Bay Digital. A special shout out goes to my crew, the Record Rockers, for all the support and inspiration, and to all the dope djs out there who do what they love. And finally, thanks to the family of musicians at Stax who brought this timeless music into the world.

–DJ Crimson


1. Don’t Have to Shop Around – The Mad Lads
2. I Thank You – Sam & Dave
3. The Memphis Train – Rufus Thomas
4. I’m Going Home – Prince Conley
5. Knock On Wood – Otis Redding
6. Tramp – Otis & Carla
7. Hold On I’m Comin’ – Sam & Dave
8. Pop-Eye Stroll – The Mar-Keys
Reefer Man (Skit) /
9. Making Love and Sniffing Cocaine – DJ Crimson
10. Jump Back – Rufus Thomas
11. Grab This Thing (Part I) – The Mar-Keys
Isaac Hayes on writing Soul Man
12. Soul Man – Sam & Dave
13. Soul Girl – Jeanne & The Darlings
14. Born Under a Bad Sign – Albert King
15. Tearz – Wu Tang Clan
16. After Laughter (Comes Tears) – Wendy Rene
17. No Tears – The Tonettes
18. C.R.E.A.M. – Wu Tang Clan
19. As Long As I’ve Got You – The Charmels
20. Closer to My Baby – Dorothy Williams
21. What Can I Do – Bobby Marchan
22. My Type – K.nightshift (The Dime) with DJ Crimson and Conrad Anthony
23. My Services – Bink$ Win$ton
24. Can’t See You When I Want To – David Porter
25. A Place Nobody Can Find – Sam & Dave
26. Motown vs. Stax (Booker Loo) – Booker T & the MGs
27. Rollin’ / Groovin’ – Bink$ Win$ton / Booker T & the MGs
28. Be My Lady – Booker T & the MGs
29. Boot Leg – Booker T & the MGs
30. Soul Dressing – Booker T & the MGs
31. Frog Stomp – Floyd Newman
32. Green Onions 2012 – K.nightshift & Bink$ Win$ton
33. Burnt Biscuits – The Triumphs
(Midnight Hour – Reflection Eternal)
34. Bar B -Q – Wendy Rene
35. The Hawg, Part I – Eddie Kirk
36. Bush Bash – The Mar-Keys
37. Cold Feet – Albert King
38. Ain’t That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) – Johnnie Taylor
39. Empty Yo Pockets – Bink$ Win$ton
40. Each Step I Take – Deanie Parker
Jake (Skit)
41. Bang for Your Buck / Can’t Ever Let You Go – Bink$ Win$ton / Rufus Thomas
42. Can’t Explain How It Happened – Ivory Joe Hunter
43. When My Love Comes Down – Ruby Johnson
44. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) – Otis Redding
45. That’s How Strong My My Love Is – Otis Redding
46. Don’t Hit Me No More – Mable John
47. If I Ever Needed Love (I Sure Do Need It Now) – Ruby Johnson
48. I’ll Show You – William Bell
49. Winter Snow – Booker T & the MGs
50. Ghost Dads – K.nightshift (The Dime)

Brickyard Cove album & 45 vinyl release

Brickyard Cove album & 45 vinyl release

I was introduced to The Dime through their studio engineer & mutual friend, DJ Icewater, sometime around 2007. I gave them a few beats I had been working on, one of which soon became “Love Me or Leave Me Alone,” my one contribution to the album. They needed a dj, so we started doing shows together, and tracks such as “Blue Galaxy,” “Rollin’ Up 2,” and “Okie Doke” became the backbone of our performances. I started involving The Dime in my parties, and songs such as “Orange Sherbet” and “The Skillet” became the inspiration for some of my events. So this is more than an album to me; it’s an artifact of and testament to years of life experience.

Besides all that, the album slaps. “Prescription” is a super dj-friendly uptempo burner. “No Candlelights” works equally well on the dancefloor or in the bedroom. But don’t sleep on that dying breed of song, the album cut. Put “Pelican Way” or “Smooth Sailing” on in your headphones and just zone out. Then again, you might want to just listen to the whole thing beginning to end. That way you won’t miss out on the classic interlude conversations where they reminisce about pencil fights and elementary school beatdowns. You might even soak up a little history of Richmond, California in the process.

Purchase Brickyard Cove on Bandcamp
Purchase Brickyard Cove on iTunes

The album is digital, but we also decided to do something for the djs, record nerds, and collectors out there by pressing up two songs on 7″ vinyl. The pressing, “Rollin’ Up 2″ b/w “Okie Doke,” is available for purchase online or in select stores (Amoeba, Groove Merchant, Records L.A., ArtForm, etc.) Or you can just holler at us at a show, while supplies last. Copies have been limited to 300, and there won’t be a second pressing, so you know what to do.

Order 7″ vinyl online site launch site launch

Welcome to the new website. With all the various music forums and social networking platforms, it makes sense to consolidate everything I’m doing into one website. I’m knee deep in some projects that will be unrolled in the coming months, so stay tuned. And don’t forget to connect via facebook and twitter if you’re digging the music.

Big thanks to John Constantine for the web design. Shout outs are also in order to Whitney Thomas, DJ Neta, and Jamie Rodriguez. And can’t forget about my crew, the Record Rockers, and The Dime for all their collaborative efforts. Bigger and better in 2011!

The Skillet with special guest Kool Kyle

The Skillet with special guest Kool Kyle

If you missed the 1-year anniversary of The Skillet last month, here’s what I remember:

DJ Mist, Solo, and myself showing up with 1,000 tons of vinyl. Forest Stearns ( laying down a fresh ink drawing on canvas during happy hour while Mist drops the classic cuts. Hella friends stopping by to show love and buy me drinks. A packed dancefloor by 10:00, windows completely fogged up by 11:00, utter chaos by 1:30. Billy Ruckus rocking the full mohawk. Me and Solo throwing down some of our favorite jams. The Dime ripping the Tears remix over “They Reminisce Over You.” Killah Priest of Wu Tang Clan showing up, grabbing the mic. Me playing Shimmy Shimmy Ya while he leads the crowd in chants of “O.D.B.! R.I.P.!” Um, yeah. Pretty great.

It’s gonna be hard to follow that one up, but damn if we’re not gonna try. Making his debut at The Skillet is the one and only Kool Kyle. I remember dude when he sold hip hop tapes on Telegraph back in the day. Lately my man has been holding down the bay scene real heavy playing all kinds of cumbia, latin dancehall, salsa, and more. His Saturday party at the Makeout Room, “El Supperritmo!”, was featured in USA Today as one of the top 10 Latin parties in the country. Watch out, he’s probably gonna have a lot of surprises in store for the night. Don’t ask questions, just keep moving your feet.

You already know The Dime is gonna put it down on the microphone duties. I’ve watched the buzz grow exponentially over the past several months for their debut album, “The Brickyard Cove.” If you didn’t get any sampler promo cds last month, you’re just gonna have to wait for the album to be officially released. But if you come to The Skillet, you just might experience some music you won’t hear anywhere else. Besides that, K.nightshift is the best crowd controller on the mic in the Bay, hands down.

My fellow Record Rocker Big Man 808 will be helping me out on the Happy Hour duties this month, so please remember to arrive early. And most importantly: expect the unexpected.

The Dime & DJ Crimson in SF Weekly

The Dime & DJ Crimson in SF Weekly

SF Weekly recently took some time to interview The Dime about some upcoming shows, their album “Brickyard Cove,” and more.  Check what they had to say:

What’s the breakdown of musical duties on your albums? Live?
Shift: Man, me and Cee share all the responsibilities, from coming up with concepts, to the writing. It be like running a relay race man…
Chioke: Yea, and then we got close ones to us whose input we value so we always try to listen and keep an open mind about what others’ll be suggesting for that good quality assurance, ya know?
Shift: DJ Icewater was responsible for the recording, arrangement, initial mixing and overall flow of the Brickyard Cove album. He made the story that’s told in that album come alive…

Shift: With the live shows, we be working closely with DJ Crimson and Bink$ Win$ton man. Our shows be more like grown folks game night at the house. After you put all the kids to bed, and get to doing what grown folks do…

What’s the story behind Brickyard Cove? Does it tell a story itself?
Chioke: Brickyard Cove is about two brothers from the Rich on the come up trying to establish a sanctuary for us and our families, and then learning that sometimes that grand prize is deception…
Shift: Yea man, also it’s about coming into manhood from young adulthood. Also love is discussed a lot, not just romantic love for women, but love of your family and community. The heartbreaks and the triumphs…
Chioke: The Cove album is a tale of hope also. While we was working on that project we had close friends who was suffering from depression and were contemplating suicide, for real. So the Cove became a type of anti-suicide letter to our folks. Towards the start of the album we say, “Folks I know committed suicide/ How could I uplift?/ What brung em down?/ Knew one who chose to drown/ One hung himself, folks cut him down/ I’m unprepared/ Souls leave us to rep for that corner/ Im only scared of jail, Jesus, and death – in that order..”