Archive | November, 2010

Get Ready With Whitney Day – The Mix

27 Nov

The child of parents who actually met at a disco, it’s no surprise that DJ Whitney Day would have an intrinsic connection to music. The mix that she put together for all you Retail DJ readers to use as you get ready is a perfect example of how deep that connection goes. With a range from jazz, British hip hop, nu disco, and percussion-heavy beats, this funky mix takes you all over the place, but finds its home in your soul. May you enjoy it as much as I did as you Get Ready With Whitney Day:

Get Ready With Whitney Day – The Mix

(click to play; click the small arrow on the right to download)

tracklist (song – artist)

Losing Gamble – Bellcrash
An Exotic Breed – Dusty
Missing You – Louis La Roche
When We Were Young – Sneaky Sound System
Any Which Way – Scissor Sisters
Detroit Jazzin’ – Inverse Cinematics
Throw It Down – Wine & Cheese
Don’t Do It – Salvador Santana
Street Sound – The Pimps Of Joytime
Get On Down – Mr. Scruff

 

Acknowledgments after the jump

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Friday Fashion Fail: WTForever21?

26 Nov

Just in time for Black Friday, the Superbowl of shopping days, I came across this site via Jezebel. It’s a lovely visual amalgamation of all the things I love to hate about Forever 21 (though, admittedly, they sometimes have really cute items, many of which I profile on this very site) called WTForever21?. On the site, they round up the fugliest finds from Forever 21 along with a litle commentary that’s worthy of a lot of laughs. Imagine Friday Fashion Fail, but focused on one store. Good luck staying away from the worst items profiled as you shop today.

Here’s a preview:

Crushed poop

I love rock of the 90′s.

But I hate the fashion.

 

ESPECIALLY the horrific crushed velvet blouse trend.

This monstrosity turns an otherwise very pretty girl into someone you’d be disappointed to sit next to on a plane because you know all they would want to do was talk about their coven and “The Goddess.”

Price: $19.80

Forever 21, WTF?

 

– Retail DJ

Get Ready With Whitney Day – The Photoshoot

25 Nov

Beyond allowing us to pick her brain during quite a busy week, DJ Whitney Day also let us accompany her as she got ready! What did we find out? That there’s more than meets the ear, of course, as her style is not directly linked to her music. Though her sets tend to blend old and new sounds, soul, disco, and active rhythms to get a crowd going, her style is casual cool, a t-shirt and jeans with a bit of flair. With a haircut as her signature style element, Danna keeps the crowd’s focus on the music and what’s going on with her from the neck up, as she notes that is pretty much all they get to see of her (unless she decides to join them on the floor, which she has been known to surprise a few audiences and actually do).

With abs of steel, a smile that would make pageant queens jealous, and comfort around the camera, DJ Whitney Day was an easy subject, leaving us with so many photo options that it was a bit hard to narrow down the picks for this piece! But if you want to see for yourself, scroll down and come with us as we Get Ready With Whitney Day:

BEFORE

How would you characterize your style?

I think that being from New York, that sort of is a defining factor in and of itself. I’m a very “city” person, which to me means jeans, sneakers, sweatshirts. I’m very casual. While going to school in Massachusetts, I definitely stood out. Fashion-wise, I didn’t really look like everybody else.

What was the style like there?

Very Abercrombie, collared shirts, stuff like that. Until then, I had never seen anyone wear running sneakers with jeans out in public. I kept thinking, “Where are everyone’s Converse sneakers?” and they were like, “Huh, what’s that?” Street sneakers just didn’t really have a place there, and I would never wear like, Nike sneakers out to a bar (unless they were really cool high tops or something).

But in general, I am pretty casual. You most likely are not going to see me strutting down the street wearing high heels and halter top. Maybe for a wedding I’d make an exception [laughs] That is not to say that I am completely not feminine, but I think there are other ways to express femininity besides wearing high heels and stuff that’s really tight and uncomfortable.

What about your color schemes? Do you tend to wear a lot of dark colors like a “typical New Yorker”? Does that influence bleed into your color choices as well?

Yeah. I typically stick more toward darker colors like black, dark greens, etc, and more natural colors. Once in a while, a style or fad will come along in a neon color, and I’ll get that one neon yellow shirt or something. But I think, like most New Yorkers, you can’t go wrong with black.

But when it comes to bright colors, I see your hair is a pretty bold blonde. Is it natural or dyed? Was this to contrast all the dark colors?

I was born with blonde hair and it darkened over time. I tried wearing it brown, but I’ve just always preferred blonde. It just looks better on me. Also, my hair being somewhat of a signature of my look, something that makes me stand out as I don’t wear bright colors or sparkly outfits for my gigs, it’s something that people recognize me by. So keeping my hair this color and style, and standing out because of it, is really part of my fashion sense if you will.

Beyond your hair, are there any other signature components of your style?

I think that because my [clothing] style is so casual, my makeup also tends to go above and beyond–whether it’s through color or something more exaggerated and extreme just to stand out – especially when you’re behind the DJ booth. It doesn’t really pay to wear amazing pants because no one will see them. Hats are kind of out, for obvious reasons, as are big earrings. [laughs] Considering that what people see of you from the booth is from the neck up, keeping that bright and doing something there to stand out is important style-wise.

Do you have any makeup favorites that you’ve been employing as of late?

I’ve been into purple lately, and I go kind of heavy on the mascara and eyeliner. I think dark eyes (i.e. the smoky eye) or something a little more bright, with a splash of color, looks cool.

What about lips?

Because I was a trombone player for many years, I was used to never wearing lipstick because in the end, I would have looked like a clown. [laughs] I usually don’t wear lipstick. I only wear a little gloss, which usually wears off very quickly after my first drink, but then I don’t even bother to re-apply.

When we spoke earlier, you mentioned that you were really into the military meets preppy look. Could you explain how those two styles came together for you?

I don’t actually wear them together . . . at least, not that I can recall. [laughs] While I sometimes wear really tight jeans, I tend to wear jeans that are a little low-slung and baggier in the hip area. I really like cargo pants because you can throw them on with a t-shirt or something and it still has a bit of an edge. I’m also obsessed with this new military-style green jacket I bought. I think it’s from Free People. You just can’t go wrong with it: the hood fits into the collar, which is really convenient, and it has a ton of huge pockets, so I can put everything I need in there.

In terms of the more preppy side, I’ve been really into the straight, button-up, collared shirts, plaid shirts, and boat shoes. It’s a bit odd for me because I’ve never been a preppy person, but I think because of my hair, I never look totally preppy. [laughs] I can pull off the contrast.

Do you cut your own hair or do you go to stylist?

[laughs] Sometimes, my girlfriend cuts it for me if I am being really lazy! It’s kinda funny though, I never go to the same place. You can’t really go wrong when you cut hair like this, and even if someone messes it up (for example, I’ve gone to those Bumble and Bumble school training sessions for a cut before), in two weeks, it’s fine. I am not too sensitive about it.

Once I walked into some random place in Chinatown, and the guy cut my hair really short (which was totally fine; it’s what I asked for), but by the end, I looked like every.single.Asian male hairstylist in the place! [laughs] After he was done with me, we all looked at each other like “Yeaaah!” It had spikes on top! It was really funny. That one was maybe an extreme case, but like I said, in two weeks, it’s back to the way it used to be.

When you DJ, do you dress differently from when you just go out for fun?

No, not really. I know of some DJs who dress up to fit a certain persona, but I don’t really go for that so much. I have to be comfortable when I’m DJing because I can be up there for up to 8 hours, and it’s all on my feet. You have to consider that. You are working, and sweating (hopefully, if you’re really getting into it).

I might do something a little bit different, like put on a different piece of jewelry, but usually, I just show up to the gigs like myself. I let the music speak for itself.

Sometimes, I want to jump out onto the dancefloor, do my thing, and then jump back into the booth! I think there is this weird separation between the DJ and the audience, but I never feel that way. I feel very connected with the audience. These people are my friends, or could be my friends, and we’re just kinda hanging out. So I don’t really go for that distinction of “I’M the DJ” and I’m going to wear this insane outfit. I just keep it casual.

How do you lug around all your stuff?

I have a bag that I inherited from a friend of mine when I was working for a DJ. He has had a very big influence on me–I consider him my DJ mentor, although we’re very good friends as well. He passes down a lot to me: records, his backpack, an old mixer, this and that. So he gave me this bag, and it has a million pockets. It was very convenient because it fits a Serato box, a couple of records (which I always bring for backup just in case Serato craps out (which doesn’t happen often, but you never know. You’ve gotta play it safe)), my Serato cds, some backup needles, and tons of cables (just in case). [laughs] It’s all pretty heavy, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I start having back problems, but it’s a good way to keep everything in one place, throw it on my back, and hit the train.

AFTER

Let’s talk a little bit about your process of getting ready. What’s the order? Is there any sequence you follow?

I do try, just from experience, to put my shirt on before I do my makeup. I have had some things happen before when I didn’t. I had this white shirt with a cool design that I wanted to wear. I got ready, did my makeup, put on the shirt, then ended up with a face imprint on one side. [laughs] So I’ll do that, but for everything else, I’m usually running around my house like a madwoman, going back and forth between the bathroom and the closet, checking in the mirror, throwing things all around, and just scrambling.

I usually have tv on in the background pretty much all the time, even when I am just playing music or practice. I am not really sure why. [laughs] It’s probably just out of habit. Before a gig, though, I typically don’t play music. I just want to give my ears a rest if I am going to be playing 4, 6, 8 hours. I am just being more and more cautious about my ears. They are really important, and a lot of DJs forget about that. I’ve been reading a lot about ear health lately, and as dorky as it sounds, it’s very important. I realized that if I wanted to be DJing for a long time and working in audio, then I’d better start taking care of that.

I need a little bit of down time and quiet beforehand. I used to listen to my iPod a lot on the train before I’d go, but I try not to do that. I like to blank out my mind before hand, to keep everything empty before I step into a space, so I can properly evaluate a space and the crowd. I want to take all that in before I play.

– Retail DJ

What’s Good? DJ Whitney Day

23 Nov

DJ Whitney Day

Nowadays, DJs are a dime a dozen, and with quicker and easier access to new forms of DJ equipment, more seem to pop up each day. One of the oft uttered criticisms of the hundreds of new DJs coming up out of the woodwork is that they don’t know music. Fortunately, there are outliers who consider music their main focus. While there’s certainly no shortage of DJs who list music as their ultimate motivation here in NYC, within that group, you can dig even deeper and find DJs and producers who see their job as an expression of themselves, an art they can manipulate and use to truly reach their respective audiences.

DJ Whitney Day is one such person.

A native New Yorker, Danna Whitney Rosenthal found her start in classical music and music production, but in only one year of having gone public with her turntables, she’s truly become a force to be reckoned with in the club scene. Fortunately, her popularity hasn’t been to the detriment of her personality. With “Day” as her nickname, Danna’s outgoing and positive demeanor is truly a ray of light in a field where inflated egos and shady deals remain the norm, and her sets tend to be a direct extension of self, with pop, soul, classic disco/funk, and house woven into one another, folding the crowd into a sonic warmth from start to finish.

Though she’s leaving to spend some time South America in the next few weeks, you have some time to get to know her before she jets away for a bit. So if you can’t wait and want to see What’s Good? with DJ Whitney Day before her return, you know what to do!

What’s Good? DJ Whitney Day

(click to play; click the small arrow on the right to download)

background music: Roundtable Knights – Autumn Mix 2010

– Retail DJ

High and Low

20 Nov

Did you enjoy WooHoos interview, photoshoot, and mix? Want to see him DJing live? If so, check him out tonight @ High and Low!!!! He’ll be DJing with sTERRYo (of Da Hardy Boyz) and Dinorsaur Jr Jr live at Panda Bar (139 Chrystie Street between Delancey and Broome).

To get people hyped about tonight’s party, he put together this bonus mix. Press play and e n j o y !

(click to play; click the small arrow on the right to download)

tracklist after the jump

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Get Ready With WooHoo – The Mix

19 Nov

This exclusive Retail DJ Get Ready With WooHoo mix could not have fallen on a better day. It’s a Friday, the final day in what for many may have been a looong work week and the beginning of what will hopefully be an amazing weekend. Let this mix be the soundtrack to yours.

But before you press play, I offer some background . . .

This mix accurately reflects WooHoo’s style which, as I mentioned before, is a mix of old and new, pop and underground, fast and slow. Much like the first mixes of WooHoo’s I heard, this one is constantly moving, taking the listener on a journey through a variety of genres and tempos, the common thread of course being quality, each of his tracks well-chosen and deliberate. But unlike his previous mixes, this one has your wardrobe in mind. As he stated, rock is sometimes the soundtrack to his getting ready process, so he included a bit here to get you warmed up. As you go along, the pop and electronica come in at the perfect time, getting you in the mood to dance if you haven’t already started 10 minutes after pressing play!

But enough from me–I’ll let the music do the talking. Have a lovely Friday and don’t forget: if you’re going out, be sure to Get Ready With WooHoo:

Get Ready With WooHoo – The Mix

Retail DJ Presents Get Ready With WooHoo by WooHoo

(click to play; click the small arrow on the right to download)

tracklist:

TV On The Radio – Hours
Phantogram – Mouthful of Diamonds (Michna Remix)
Holy F#@k- Latin America
The Talking Heads – Slippery People (12″ version)
LCD Soundsystem – 45:33
The Stone Roses – Fool’s Gold
Jody Watley – Looking for a New Love
Debarge – Stop! Don’t Tease Me
Holy Ghost – I Know I Hear
Adonis – Reck the Joint
Lee Foss – Run Around
Roach Motel – Transatlantic
Bodyrox – Yeah Yeah (Ramirez Instrumental)
Flavio Diaz – Alysa
Laurent Wolf – The Crow
Sebastien Leger – The People (Eric Prydz Remix)
Karizma – Groove A “K” Ordingly
Grand High Priest – Mix Down
Robbie Rivera – Feel This (Robbie Rivera’s Original Mix)
Riva Starr – Organ D’Amour
George Morel – Everybody Sing Along (Morel Sing Along Mix)
Todd Terry – Daft Groove
Thomas Bangalter – Spinal Scratch
Cassius – 1999 (Remix) (radio edit)
WOOHOO – Runnin’

acknowledgments after the jump

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Get Ready With WooHoo – The Photoshoot

17 Nov

As a person who feels comfortable around turntables, Charles Hendricks has a deep understanding that sometimes what is old can be new, and vice versa. And if his sense of style is any indication, the idea has found its way into his life far beyond his music. When we arrived at WooHoo’s Brooklyn home for the photoshoot, he met us in a white t-shirt and jeans, which on most people looks basic, but on him, it somehow took us back to some James Dean-era outtake, but with NYC modern casual thrown in.

It’s also important to note – the boyish charm and good looks are no accident; Charles is indeed a boys’ prep school alum, the uniformed past peeking through his present style with plaid and argyle prints and vintage dress shoes. Much like his music, WooHoo’s style is a bit on the mellow side, but has a few bits that come as a total surprise. As they say, a picture says a thousand words, so I’ll lett them do the talking as we Get Ready With WooHoo:

BEFORE

I’ve noticed that you wear a lot of vintage! Your shoes are vintage, your pants are vintage…is your sweater vintage as well?

No. Filene’s Basement. [laughs] But it’s from 4 years ago, so you’d probably be able to find it in some vintage store.

How did you end up getting into vintage?

I think there are two answers to that. First, the easy answer is that you can probably find stuff that’s just cheaper, but still nicer (as long as you can get over the fact that somebody’s probably sweat in it). [laughs] So that’s the first reason. My shoes, for example (Nike Air Jordans), I found at a vintage store for about $30. Jordan 3’s are usually about a couple hundred bucks. Granted, in the condition that they’re in, they weren’t worth that much, but they’re definitely worth more than thirty. I wouldn’t go on eBay and try to outbid a bunch of sneakerheads for these shoes. I found them actually on a day when I was walking down the street, wearing a busted pair of sneakers (so busted that my friend was making fun of me). After about half a block, there was a vintage store where, in the window, I saw these. I looked at the size and price tag and thought, “That’ll work.” So I walked in, said “I’ll take ’em,” and literally put those shoes on, took the ones that I was wearing and put them in a bag, and threw them out into a trash can at the corner of 10th and A. “Goodbye bad shoes, hello new shoes.”

Second, it’s a bit like looking for records. You never know what you’re gonna find. You could go to the same place three different times in the course of a couple weeks, and you’re going to find completely different stuff. It’s exciting. It’s not like you’re going to Uniqlo (though I like Uniqlo–good stuff, good prices), where the same stuff is going to be there.

So it’s a combination of price and the fun of exploration?

Exactly. You just put it so much better than I did. [laughs]

Speaking of prices, what’s the most expensive thing you have? What’s something on which you’re generally willing to spend a lot of money?

A good jacket. That’s probably the last thing I bought that was new.  It was a Fred Perry jacket I bought at a pop-up shop my friend was running in the Lower East Side. I went by just to say hello and ended up getting the jacket at-cost, which was about $200, but normally, at retail, it’s much more than that. So something like that, I’ll spend money on because I’ll get a lot of use out of it.

I used to feel that way about shoes. I’ve spent stupid money on shoes in the past. You can take care of them, but eventually, they’re gonna get crummy.

Were these sneakers, by any chance?

Yeah. I was a sneakerhead-lite. I wasn’t on every blog or anything following the lines, but I’d pay attention. I’d be on eBay all the time buying shoes. I’d wear them a lot, but eventually, they’d just get crummy. The way I’d lace them up, my foot would slip in the back, so I’d tear up the whole back part sometimes. It would start making wholes in my socks. It was just a money pit, so I try to keep it more reasonable now.

If you had to come up with a sentence for the clothes that you wear, if that’s possible, what would it be?

I don’t think it’s possible for me. I kinda run the gamut. I’ll wear a t-shirt and jeans, so long as it’s seasonally comfortable. Then once it starts getting cold, I’ll throw a jacket over it. Then once it starts getting too cold, then I’ll start putting on sweaters or whatever. But it’s hard for me to describe.

On the whole, I’d say I’m kind of a boring dresser. I don’t feel like I’m someone people would look at and say, “He’s got crazy style.” I feel like no one’s ever said that about me. I’m a bit lackluster. So if I had to come up with one word, I’d probably say “boring.” [laughs]

Even though you say boring, you have some interesting things going on today, like the argyle and the dress shoes. What do you think influences your style?

I went to an all-boys, Catholic school, where we’d wear stuff like this. I kinda like doing that. It’s different from, say, when you wear just a t-shirt and jeans. When you put more clothes on, it becomes more ritualistic. It’s the same as getting up in the morning and brushing your teeth. It’s one of the things you do that prepares you for the day.

So I’ll wear a t-shirt and jeans if I can, but at the same time, when I dress nicer, I feel like I can get more done. Like, “I mean business today.”

What about at work?

It’s totally casual. We don’t even wear pants. [laughs]

What about when you’re DJing? Is your style the same as when you’re going out just for fun?

Usually, but sometimes, it depends on the gig. If it’s gonna be a hot, sweaty dance party (where I’ll probably sweat ten times more than everybody else), I’ll [dress down], but if the place has a more “grown and sexy” vibe, I’ll dress that way.

Most of the time, I wear sneakers because I’m on my feet. I’ve got a bad back, so if I’m gonna be on my feet for an extended period of time, I have to consider the impact I would feel the next day. I don’t like wearing watches when I DJ because, unless it’s the best watch ever that fits me perfectly, it’s just going to slide around. Depending on what I am trying to do, that could be annoying.

But as far as accessories go, I don’t really wear accessories that much. I used to wear a necklace, but that was like 7 years ago. In the end, atmosphere is pretty much the deciding factor for me.

AFTER

Earlier, you indicated that you have “T-Shirt Time,” which is clearly an indication that you watch Jersey Shore. While I recognize their style doesn’t exactly fit yours, can you describe a little bit of your getting ready process for us?

Usually, if I need to shave or brush my teeth before I go out, then I won’t put on the clothes I’m going to wear until I am ready to leave. Also, if I’m sitting around in an outfit, it might get wrinkled. As far as the general process of getting ready, I’ll usually end up trying on 2-3 different things, but I think everyone does that.

Then before I leave, I’ll end up calling it all off. “Nope, not gonna work!” and put something else on. That’s the process: me just being indecisive until the last possible minute when I have to do something. It’s hectic and chaotic.

I listen to rock as I get ready, but I think it’s all seasonal. When it’s winter and gets darker outside earlier, I listen to music like The Smiths, which is totally cliché (though it was worse when I lived in the East Village – I felt like a walking cliché). It’s neutral to an extent.

But it kind of depends on what it is I’m going to go do. If I am going to a show, I may listen to that person’s music to get hyped, but when I am going to DJ (where I normally don’t play music that I make; it ends up being top 40 stuff, which is not ALL bad – I admit that I like a little Rihanna or Usher), I listen to current things to get ready mentally, keeping what I am going to play in mind.

– Retail DJ

 

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