Tag Archives: lady gaga

Lady Gaga – “Born This Way” A Rip-off?

11 Feb

Copied this way?

Lady Gaga, while talented, is often accused of ripping off other artists. That is to be expected, especially at the level of fame she has reached. Yet sometimes, there’s no denying that her producers are finding samples or at least melodies (I don’t know – classically-trained music people, help me out!) from 90s tracks. “Alejandro” certainly mirrored Ace of Base’s “Don’t Turn Around” (and a little bit of “The Sign”).

It seems that the newest track “Born This Way” finds its roots in All Saints’ “I Know Where It’s At” (if you sped it up, of course). Thoughts?

– Retail DJ


Get Ready With Mark LaRush – The Mix

15 Jul

“It’s going to be on steroids!”- Mark LaRush, discussing his mix for Retail DJ.

And on steroids it is! This mini-mix that Mark put together is perfect for putting the finishing touches on your getting ready routine – be it that last layer of gloss or picking out the right shoes, this set, which includes a mix of hip hop, soul, and electronica, is the perfect thing to put you in the mood to party.

Retail DJ Presents . . . Get Ready With Mark LaRush

Retail DJ Presents Get Ready With Mark LaRush by Mark LaRush


Mickey Factz – Automatic (features sample from Zoot Woman)
Wale feat. Lady Gaga – Chilllin (Meterhead Remix)
The Virgins – Rich Girls (The Twelves Remix)
Prince – Purple rain (Steve Clisby & Chew Fu Cover)
Chromeo – Night by Night (Digikid84 Remix)


Special thanks to Kristal Munoz for these amazing pics!

Kudos to Mark LaRush for being a super interviewee and master mixologist!

and a thank you to China 1 for letting us take over the premises for a few hours!

– Retail DJ

What’s Good? Mark LaRush (Part Two)

14 Jul

continued from part one . . .

Where is your family from?
Guyana. It’s actually South America, but they still call it the “West Indies.”

Yeah. Culturally speaking, they are more connected, so that makes sense. What kind of music did you grow up listening to in your household?
Reggae, calypso, old school, disco . . . thanks to my parents. My father even had vinyl. He wasn’t a DJ, but he had vinyl.

Did you ever play any of that music out?
Oh absolutely! I was a reggae DJ before I started spinning anything [else]. I used to DJ my friends’ and family’s parties, and we’re all West Indian. So it was all about bringing out the speakers and spinning for a block party. It changed, though, when I started having more of an interest in music.

Does anyone beyond you in your family DJ or work in the music industry or are you the only one?
Not professionally. I’m pretty much the only one.

Do you remember your first professional gig, and can you tell us a little bit about it?
Oh man. That’s like a million gigs ago. [laughs] I started when I was 14, and my first professional gig was probably when I was about 18. I was spinning at Culture Club. That was probably my first real gig. I was still an amateur to the club [scene], so I was pretty nervous back then because I was used to pretty much just spinning for my friends and I know what they like. That was challenging, but eventually I just thought about it and realized that this was the direction I wanted to go. What’s the point of being a DJ if you know what the people like? It’s better when you walk into a packed room, with people from 20 different nationalities, and you don’t know anyone there . . . then you just kill it. I think that’s what makes you good.

Do you have any bad experiences from DJing?
Yeah, a lot of things happen, you know? People get drunk and throw alcohol (which has sometimes gotten on the turntables). Mainly stuff like that, but that’s pretty much it.

What about really wild experiences in a good way?
I think ALL the parties are crazy! There are a whole lot of wild nights in China 1. That’s probably the craziest of the parties I DJ. It’s good crazy—they like to have a good time. Flute has a bit more of an upscale crowd and it’s more chill. I like it because it creates a nice balance for me.

How’s crowd interaction been for you?
My thing is body language. When I see people moving, it puts in a direction where I should go with the style and genre of the music. If I start playing some Madonna, and I see that the ladies like it, I go in that direction. If I play some Jay-Z and I see that the crowd loves it, the set goes hip hop. So my thing is body language. I don’t knock DJs who stick to their set. If you have enough sets, it’s not a problem. You can spin for any crowd. It’s just that most DJs don’t have enough sets.

You have to every genre down pat. If you see my playlist, you’ll see I have hundreds of sets. Everyone can’t freestyle for 6 hours, so you need to be organized.

Do you ever take requests?
Yeah, I do—if it’s good!

What makes a good request vs. a bad request?
Let’s say I’m playing from Jay-Z. The crowd’s feeling it and everybody’s having a good time, and some girl comes up and requests some crybaby Mary J. song. How am I gonna mix this hype song with a crybaby song? I mean, maybe I play it towards the end of the night, when everyone’s tired and ready to go home. But a lot of people ask for requests, and some of the requests are horrible. They would make me look bad. I took requests before and literally saw the crowd leave. So I don’t really take requests. I think DJs should know whether to take requests or not.

Sometimes, people make requests, and I was just about to play the song. That’s a good request. It has to make sense. If I’m playing Lady Gaga and everyone’s loving it, don’t ask for some old school R&B song. It’s not gonna go.

check back later for part three, the photoshoot, and the mix!

What’s Good? Shomi Noise (Part Three)

19 Jun

 . . . continued from What’s Good? Shomi Noise (Part Two)

How did it go?

I  did it! I just started playing music. I had learned to crossfade properly. I took a crash course on DJing. I did not know as much. I don’t know how I pulled it off! Everybody was dancing. People were really into it. My friends were coming to the DJ booth and jumping up and down! [laughs] That’s when I realized, “Oh, I can do this!” I just knew that I had to keep working and researching technique. After that, people started to ask me to DJ more, so that was good too.

When was the first That’s My Jam party that you played?

I think it was October or November of 2008.

What kind of music did you play when you first started out? You mentioned that at Anonymous, you were playing more Riot Grrrl and punk, so when did you switch to more electronica and hip hop?

It happened progressively. When I first started, I did have some electro stuff thrown in. I would play the Count and Sinden and some remixes, for example. I was also playing a lot of mainstream stuff because I know that’s what a lot of people like to listen to sometimes. At that time, I still wasn’t quite sure what my style was, but then later I got into a wider variety of stuff, and I got really into crunk.

When you think “crunk,” who are some of the artists that come to mind?

Yo Gotti, the G Spot Boys (who did “Stanky Leg”) . . .

Lots of Southern stuff!

Yeah! That’s where it all originated. I also love Rashida, Crime Mob, Lil’ Jon . . .

What’s the general crowd response when you throw in that type of music?

People love it! I DJed for a beauty salon’s holiday party in the Lower East Side to a mainly straight crowd. I thought I’d just play it safe and play lots of pop-y stuff, but then someone came up to me and asked, “Do you have any crunk?” [laughs] I said, “Yeah! As a matter of fact, I love crunk!” So I started playing crunk, and everybody loved it! Sometimes, I even drop crunk tracks at the museum. I get . . . mixed responses, but mainly positive!

Everybody loves pop, so it’s good to throw it in there, but now that I am into more electro stuff, I’m trying to explore that more. It’s easier to beatmatch and mix with electronic music. Also, another thing I do now with pop music, particularly if it’s a track that’s overplayed, is find a really good remix. Eventually, I want to do my own remixes.

So what’s a remix that’s out now that you’ve been using quite a bit?

Crookers did a really good remix of Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s “Telephone.” There’s a part that’s too long that just drags on, but I edited that on Ableton. I know I can just drop this track and people will go crazy because it’s Lady Gaga, but with a twist! It has a harder beat.

I just love finding really good remixes of predictable pop songs. I think that’s what DJing is all about—putting a new spin on music and making it your own . . .

  Continue reading

Lady Gaga – Alejandro

8 Jun

photo from Alexander McQueen's Fall 2009 Show

This video for Lady Gaga’ “Alejandro,” lives up the usual: beautiful, creative, period-style costuming with a twist, suggestive dance moves, and a dark theme surrounding sex and unhealthy relationships with other human beings. The song sounds *quite a lot* like Ace of Base’s “The Sign,” and makes me think more of some cabana boy named Alejandro than the military men she has in the video, but . . . whatever. It doesn’t matter at all when you look at the video on the basis of aesthetics. The haircuts almost become a character of their own (which is like a short film at its 8 minutes 43 seconds time frame). There’s a lot of play with darkness and light, geometry, and bits of red. Most of the video actually reminds me of Alexander MxQueen’s fashion week show for fall 2009. Maybe THAT’s the true Alejandro? Anyway, enough talking. Check it out for yourself:

– Retail DJ

A Quotation a Day Keeps the Blasé Away

1 Jun

I found these pretty fun quotations today that pretty much summarized my life and this site in a nutshell. Thanks, Jezebel, for sharing the links, and thanks, Lady Gaga and Ed Watson, for sharing your thoughts:

From Lady Gaga, who sums up the purpose of this site during an online interview :

 “I need fashion for my music, and I need music for my fashion,”

and from Ed Watson, whose comment (on a study related to women’s work week prep) defines my existence:

“Make the most of looking at your work colleagues on a Monday morning, because that’s as good as they’re going to get,”

According to this Reuters article:

On average, women spend 76 minutes getting ready on Mondays — with almost a third of that spent on their hair — 18 minutes on make-up, 16 minutes trying on different combinations of clothes and the rest taken up by showering and washing.

This is reduced to 40 minutes on Tuesdays and continues to decline as the week goes on, falling to 19 minutes on Fridays.

This seems pretty accurate to me, though not because my sense of devotion to my appearance wanes as the week goes on. It usually has more to do with my wanting to sleep longer. On top of that, Monday ios my least favorite day of the week, so I require a lot more time, energy, and musical motivation to start the day. All those things take time.

– Retail DJ

Special Event: Bootie Brooklyn!

28 May

The “Bootie” parties have become a worldwide sensation, and Public Assembly is fortunate enough to be hosting the first ever Bootie Brooklyn! I am super excited about this, mainly because a) I heard about it first through DJ Leo Justi (who will be playing for the Rio branch of the party, Bootie Rio, June 11th), and b) I caught wind of an amazing mix that the Bootie Rio crew posted on their SoundCloud page. I’ve included the tracklist ABOVE the jump this time so readers can get a good sense of all the hard work that goes into putting together a set like this. Beatmatching is one thing, but keymatching, melodymatching, and mixing are quite another.

This mix, which was done by Brazilian DJs André Paste, Leo Justi, Faroff,  Brutal Redneck,, Lucio K and João Brasil, gets to all the fans–from folks who like rock and roll, to rap, to funk carioca, to electronica; there’s something there for any and everyone. I am truly impressed.

BEST OF BOOTIE RIO 1 by bootierio


1 – House of Pain vs Amsterdam Klezmer Band vs Pa Brapad – House of Klezmer (FAROFF)
2 – Get pet – get back beatles vs. é o pet – João Brasil
3 – Missy Elliott ft. Dança do Canguru – Canguru Gossip Folks (remix mashup by Leo Justi)
4 – Daft Punk vs MC Colibri – Colibri around the world (André Paste
5 – Lady Gaga vs Chico Science – Gaga Science (Brutal Redneck)
6 – Beatles vs Amy Winehouse – Come Together good (DJ LK)
7 – Marvin Gaye vs Nirvana – I heard it through the Kurt (Brutal Redneck)
8 – Tira a camisa and clap your hands (André Paste)
9 – Seven Tapinhas (André Paste)
10 – The Beatles vs LCD Soundsystem vs The Kinks – The Brits are playing at my house (FAROFF)
11 – Los Lobos vs Radiohead – Creep Bamba (Brutal Redneck)
12 – Metaleiras da Amazônia vs Nirvana – Lambada Teen Spirit (DJ LK)
13 – Louca por humps – Calypso vs Black Eyed Peas – João Brasil
14 – Tchau toy – João Brasil – La Roux – I’m not your toy X Banda Calypso – Tchau para você – João Brasil
15 – Metallica vs Bob Marley – Sandman Jamming (DJ LK Mashup)
16 – Nirvana vs Dead or Alive – Spins Like Teen Spirit (FAROFF)


Faroff will be here for the Brooklyn edition spinning an ALL-VIDEO mashup (amazing!), so DO NOT MISS IT!!!

Bootie Brooklyn @ Public Assembly, featuring DJs Faroff, DJ Adrian + Mysterious D (aka Plus D) [the latter are the Bootie party founders!]

5/29, Front Room, 10 pm
$5 before 11pm w/RSVP: rsvp@bootienyc.com
$10 after
free Bootie Brooklyn mashup CDs to the first 100 people!

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