Showing posts from 2010

New DJ Controller

Club owners in most cases don't give a crap about DJs having to carry around a bunch of expensive equipment, so I don't see this being installed in a lot of clubs like these guys are dreaming about, but it's still a cool interface.

Multi Touch Light Table: GERGWERK from GERG WERK on Vimeo.

Kim Kardashian, Touch-Free iPads and the Holiday Season

Not long ago, I was talking to a friend and he was jabbering on, "Blah, blah, blah Kim Kardashian".
Me - "Who?"
Him - "You know...Kim Kardashian!"
Me - "Did she go to school with us?"
Him -"No, fool!  You know...form TV?"
Me - " exactly.  Oh, wait...TV?  Cardassians...aren't they the aliens on Star Trek?"
Him -"No, super-nerd.  That's not even spelled the same.  You know...reality TV?  Sex tape?"
Me - "I don't...wait.  Back up.  Did you say sex tape?  What does she do?  I mean...why should I care that she has a sex tape?"
Him - "She doen't DO anything.  She's just rich and hot and makes sex tapes and dates a lot of famous dudes."
Me -"...and she's famous for that?"
Him - "How do you call yourself in the entertainment industry and you don't know celebrities?  Her dad like defended O.J. or something like that."
Me - "Did you say 'defended&…

Androids, Skype and QR Code

When I was a kid and fantasized about purchasing my first android, a small, mobile phone packed with a bunch of open source applications wasn't exactly what I had in mind.  The name of the product doesn't make sense in the least bit because what you actually purchased is an android brain and not and actual android; which is defined as a "human-looking robot".

When my phone carrier asked me how I liked my new Android phone recently while I was paying a bill, my response was lackluster, "Eh, it's OK".  My only warning to anyone that is considering purchasing an Android phone is: be careful with the free apps you download because they can screw up your phone big time.  Read the app reviews like your phone's life depends on it...because it does.  Yeah, when I fantasized as a kid about an android I was thinking more along the lines of Blade Runner.  I was thinking maybe a little something in the Sean Young model series.

The only thing even close to my Bla…

Spending to Spin: Pay To Play Reaches The DJ

Recently, while talking shop with a fellow DJ, I was told of a promoter in the Midwest asking a group of DJs to pre-sale tickets for their residency. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It’s a well-known fact that many venues around the US do this to young new bands, but DJs? That’s unheard of. The DJ/Club relationship has always been “I play, you pay”. As I expressed the ridiculousness of the promoters proposition to the DJ I was conversing with, he said, “Well, I have a gig on the west coast and they make DJs pay to play just like they do the bands. I’ve never spun in L.A. so I am paying to play”. So there you have it: for every DJ that refuses to pay to play there will be three or more DJs standing behind him with cash and headphones in hand.

The club DJ business is one of many factions of the music industry that has been crippled by technology. With the advent of DJ software (some of which practically spins and beat matches the music for you) hack DJs have been popping…

Giving Up: When to Say When As An Artist

Quite recently a friend called distressed about his music career (or lack there of). In a defeated tone he asked me the question, “When do you just say when and give up?” I told him that the question was as profound as asking someone how to make it in the music business. There is no one stock answer for everyone. I told him that I could give him some ideas as to when to give it up but that every person has a different situation and different resources. I’m not going to tell a talented musician the same thing I would tell a non-talented musician. Even if I did, what authority do I have to tell anyone when he or she should or shouldn’t stop pursuing his or her dreams? The cliché answer is “Never give up”. That’s all fine and dandy for someone trying to sell self-help books and trick you into buying tickets to their next seminar, but there is something that is being overlooked In that statement: reality.

Reason to Quit #1: Money

I formed my first band in grade school at the age o…

CMJ, Divas, and Distortion

CMJ week in New York started off for me with a phone call from Danny Chavis of Apollo Heights. Danny had referred me to a British woman named Martina Topley-Bird that was in town singing with the group Massive Attack. While on tour with Massive Attack, Topley-Bird was also doing a couple of dates for CMJ to promote her solo record. For reasons still unknown to me, she arrived without a drummer or percussionist. This is where I came in: I was hired as her drummer.

The transfer of information from Topley-Bird to Danny to me was much akin to those experiments in grade school where your teacher tells you something in your ear and you pass it from student to student and the last person says something totally different from the beginning message. Lost in translation where important points like: you have to learn the material in 24 yours, you have to wear a ninja costume, and you will get no credit by name only in payment. I was basically a drumming stunt double. As last minute as it w…

DJ Leon Lamont @ Khufu -10.16.2010


An Amazing Story

One day, I was on the phone with a musician friend and we were bouncing around ideas and talking about musicians that we knew. I enquired about a musician that I had not seen in several years and my friend told me the most amazing story about this guy.

We’ll call the guy Guitarist and call the girl Waitress.

It turned out that Guitarist found religion and then immediately afterwards fell on hard times and was homeless living in an alley behind a restaurant. Even though he was homeless, he never pawned his guitar and kept it with him and often played it while he was in the alley.

Every day at a certain time, Waitress would come out of the restaurant and see Guitarist sitting in the alley and feel sorry for him and give him food. He never begged, she just did it out of the kindness of her heart and he always thanked her.

One day, Waitress came out to give Guitarist some food in the middle of him playing his guitar. He had his head down and didn’t notice her because he was playing.…

Meeting Vernon Reid

When I’m in my hometown of St. Louis, MO, a question that I am asked a lot is, “How did a guy like you from Missouri end up meeting Vernon Reid?” The simple (and often unsatisfactory) answer is “by playing music”. People always frown at that answer so I decided to do a blog about it. Wanna read it? Here it go…

Technically, the first person to ever introduce me to Vernon Reid was Henry Rollins, back in 1994. Rollins and I were sitting in the dressing room at Irving Plaza talking after I had asked him to autograph one of his books for a friend. It was in the middle of the day, during sound check. I had met Rollins a few times before in St. Louis while he was on tour through Melvin Gibbs, whom was the Rollins Band bass player at the time. The reason I was in New York was because I was there for the mix-down of the recording I did with my all black rock band called T.H.U.G.S. (later we would change the name to Treacherous Human Underdogs because of a dispute with our European distr…

Fall/Winter 2010 Projects

2010 marks the second year that I will be working with Vernon Reid on his ongoing Artificial Afrika project. Once again, I will be editing film, doing sound design and Vernon and I plan on collaborating on making some tracks. For the live performance this year I will be playing live drums instead of just being a DJ. Vernon and I also have another project planned for Halloween, but I can't talk about that one yet.

This season I will also be working on a project with Angela Workman. Angela is a talented singer that sang back up behind the legendary late great Ray Charles as well as working with such artists as Ben E. King, B.B. King, Eminem; Prince; George Clinton; Stevie Wonder; Kelly Clarkson; and Patti LaBelle. I will be playing drums on Angela's new solo project and collaborating on tracks.

Later in the fall, I will be playing live drums with the experimental group fronted by Leon Gruenbaum called Genes and Machines. The group combines ambient, rock and funk music for an …

K8:The Gift of Nonlinear Thinking

Quite recently I was presented with the idea of nonlinear thinking by reading an article on the subject. Loving most things experimental, I was immediately open to the idea. By thinking in a linear fashion, sometimes ideas and opportunities escape us. Many times we can get so caught up in the past or the future that we miss amazing things going on in the present.

I was able to put this new way of thinking to the test recently after meeting someone.

A friend introduced me to an amazing young woman. The young woman was presented to me and constantly identified by time by her friend. First she was identified by her friend by her past(people she dated that I knew) and then by her future(the fact that she was leaving town soon for several months). All of these things seemed as if they were presented to me as deterrents. Had I been thinking in my usual linear fashion, they would have been deterrents. Instead of thinking about the fact that she was leaving soon, I thought about the fac…

Friday the 13th, The blog.

Some people believe that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day...I'm not one of those people. Usually, my Friday the 13ths turn out pretty good. I would even go as far as to say that my Friday the 13ths are down right lucky.

When a black cat crosses my path I know that he or she got a bad rap just because they happen to be black. It's the American way. So I don't subscribe to that nonsense about black cats causing bad luck. More power to the black kitties! I'm with you brothers and sisters...I'm with you.

With Friday the 13th, if I break the number down (1+3=4) it comes down to 4 and that happens to be a lucky number for me.

Having Friday the 13th be a lucky day for you is a mindset. Sure, some people will have a classic bad day, but that is because they have fallen for the negative ad campaign for the date. I hope that everyone has a very good Friday the 13th today, and an extra special birthday wish to anyone born on this day. Don't let those bastards ruin …

Friday The 13th - DJ Leon Lamont

Killer Vintage Open Jam w/ Leon Lamont

Friday The 13th - DJ Leon Lamont


Music For Your Movie is over an hour of MIDI compositions that I have done for aspiring filmmakers to use in their film projects. These are royalty free tracks that you can download in mp3 form from the internet archive. The music is Experimental Electronic stuff and in many cases quirky. The tracks are free of charge and I only ask that credit be given for any tracks used in a film project. Mostly people with an interest in doing Sci-Fi will find the music fitting for their projects.

Shaving Face

Many moons ago, I used to date this woman that would constantly complain about me not shaving my face. True, I was a bit scruffy, but would never shave my face as an act of defiance because the woman approached me in such a crass manner. Reapeatedly this woman would bitch and complain and belittle me for not shaving. We eventually broke up. I never did shave my face when I was with her.

Soon after breaking up with the above woman, I had a new girlfriend. Instead of demanding that I shave my face, she asked if she could shave my face for me. "Sit back and let me shave your face...just to see how it looks. If you don't like the way it looks, you can grow it back and I will not mention it again". She put on some soft music and began gently shaving my face. Afterwards, she commented that she liked my face better shaved. To further convince me that she was into my new shaved face, we had sex immediately afterwards. The next day, I went out and bought some razors.


Do You Get Tired (of Hating Me)

For the longest time now I have been wanting to do a video album project. Instead of throwing a bunch of songs together and then picking one for a video, I decided to create these tracks and videos as a complete piece. At the end of it all I would like to release the video album under the artist name LID. The completed works will be titled "Life Was Wonderful..."

I decided to fearlessly release the pieces one by one online and compile them later. The first one is the video below titled "Do You Get Tired (of Hating Me)". Originally I had planned on doing a scratch vocal track and having one of my friends redo the vocals, but as I imagined the concept of the video while finishing the track, the scratch seemed to fit.

The concept was of a guy singing through the answering machine of his ex. Somehow I thought that a puppet singing from a room in a hospital added some dark humor to the track and I wanted this comic-like whining tone to his voice as if he was going…
This is my video of the week (which really isn't a video) because I like the drums on this track

Puppet & Lovers

Last week, April 23, 2010, I played drums with the band Puppet. Puppet is an experimental jazz solo project by saxophonist/keyboard player Micah Gaugh. I met Micah in the late 90’s in NYC while we were both hired guns on the downtown NYC experimental jazz scene. Micah also plays keyboards in the band Apollo Heights that I play drums for.

With the rapid gentrification of New York, experimental music is a hard sell these days. What was once an experimental music haven in NYC is now a vapid playground for Hipster kids with out of state origins. To find a spot where you can play some stimulating experimental jazz music (the Williamsburg Music Center) was a treat.
In the band was Micah Gaugh on vox and saxophone, Andre Lassalle on guitar, Leon Gruenbaum on Keyboards and myself on drums. Below is a small clip of me playing at the gig. I just put a small camera in a corner so you can only see the Leon’s, which are Leon Gruenbaum and I.

A male friend called me recently and said that his gi…

Scratch Live 2.0 update

Scratch Live 2.0

Someone asked me what I thought of the Scratch Live 2.0 update recently and I really have no comment accept, “What happened to the ‘overview’ button?” Which really just means I haven’t spent that much time with the upgrade yet. The only things that have caused a rise in my trousers so far have been the new built in FX and the Smart Crate features. Sweet. I will say this though, between free software upgrades and the White Label site, Serato has won me over.

Doing DJ gigs in New York in an assortment of tight places using Scratch Live has turned me into something that I thought I would never become: a laptop DJ. I know that SL gained it’s popularity by being the best software for using various controllers, but the software itself is powerhouse enough to where you can do some pretty decent mixing just from your laptop.

Me going through the updates in the SL software makes for a boring read, so you can just look at their video below.

DJ Leon Lamont’s music video pick o…

New Sounds Live Artificial Afrika Show

One of the highest peaks of my year of peaks and valleys that the rest of the world is calling “The Year 2009” was working with Vernon Reid on his multimedia piece titled Artificial Afrika.Originally I had just come on the project as an assistant film editor to help Vernon get the piece finished on time while he simultaneously prepared for a tour and record release with Living Colour.I was fortunate enough to have Vernon also bring me on for the live performance to do some experimental electronic music.Below is a link to a live audio recording of the show on WYNC.It’s a long one, so you might want to make sure that you have about an hour to kill to get into it.

Artificial Afrika LIVE