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Showing posts from 2012

There Is No Such Thing As A One-Man-Show

One of the targeted misses of my 2012 “to do” list was to finish a one-man-show.  The problem with putting together a one-man-show is that you need more than one man…and quite a few women to boot.  After my live stage acting debut in New York in February of this year, I was inspired to write my own show.  For the first time in a while…I had writer’s block and/or a tangle of ideas jumbling up in my brain.  “Frustration” was the active word.  Doing a live stage show is just like doing a movie…it all has to start with the script.  Without my finished script I had nothing to pitch to producers, directors, stage managers, sound engineers, lighting engineers, venues, A/V people…in short…my possible future staff for the live production of my metamorphic script with an equally metamorphic title.  In addition to this stress was finding an attorney and avenues for grant funds.  Overwhelmed, I put my dreams of doing a one-man-show on the backburner. 
I’m telling this story because recently a f…

Should You or Shouldn't You Join a DJ Crew?

Project Logic — LIVE @ Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel

The bottom link is to a bootleg live recording of DJ Logic’s Project Logic performing live in Providence, RI opening for Medeski, Martin & Wood in 1999. 
I was sitting in my apartment in Brooklyn, NY, (fresh off the Staten Island Ferry returning from a recording session with Vernon Reid) when drummer, Scooter Warner called and asked me to finish the MMW/Project Logic tour.Scooter started the tour but had to leave quite suddenly.Rope-a-dope records flew me out unrehearsed straight into the next gig.
Normally, flying into the middle of a tour unrehearsed would be a nightmare, but I knew most of the material from recording some of the drums on DJ Logics debut album and the rest of the set was improvised.Hope you enjoy.
Leon Lamont 




Project Logic - LIVE @ Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel

The Hopes and Threats of the 3D Printer

If you mention a 3D printer to the average person, they will probably imagine that you are talking about a comic book of sorts with a bunch of red and blue offset lines that come with a pair of glasses.  They wouldn’t be totally wrong, but the thing we are talking about now is a controversial printer that can produce three-dimensional objects.  It would be like having a tiny manufacturing plant inside your home.  If you needed a wing nut, you could simple go to your computer and print one out.  Sounds cool, sounds sci-fi, so how could the 3D printer be threatening?



In one word: guns.  A 3D printer takes the threat of terrorism to whole new levels.  Imagine if you will, your humble narrator booking a flight from St. Louis, MO to Brooklyn, NY.  Before catching his plane, he sends design plans for parts of a Glock 19 to a 3D printer in Brooklyn.  A person could be armed anywhere in the world without the hassle of being detected during travel.   3D printers and the possibility of the ave…

Does Today’s Pop Music Suck More Than Yesterday’s Pop Music?

Recently, a friend called to let me know that he was selling all of his DJ equipment.  I joked, “Let me guess, new girlfriend?”  My friend laughed, called me an asshole, and then confessed to having a new girlfriend but insisted that she had nothing to do with why he was selling his gear.  “I can’t do it anymore, Leon.  The music on the Pop charts now is terrible.  How do you stand it?” I made it clear to him that I understood his feelings.Then he asked, “Do you think that the music is really that bad or we’re just getting old.I mean, our parents didn’t like our music and their parents didn’t like theirs.”
The big myth is that musical tastes divide because of generation gaps.Nothing can be further from the truth.People that love music keep their ears open until the day they die.Good music is good music.Time is irrelevant.A good Motown track moves a room full of people from ages 14 to 74.Why? People of all ages dance to Motown because a good song is timeless.To answer my friend’s ques…

Zombies Love Leon Lamont

Leon Lamont - Halo Bar - November 9, 2012

No Reward In Being Good

Most working artists have already heard the phrase “good isn’t good enough” a few dozen times and then some.  I thought of the phrase when my musician friend complained about his lack of gigs and how inferior musicians were working more than he was.  My friend scoffed, “those guys aren’t even good”.  I smirked and said, “There’s no reward in being good.  The club owner doesn’t care that you’ve been studying your instrument since you were five years old or that you studied music through high school and college.  The club owner just cares about math.  Your value is determined by how many people you can get through the club’s doors and if you can keep them there drinking until closing time.”  No educated, well-rehearsed musician wants to hear that, but that’s the skinny.  “Good enough with a large audience” is the sales pitch of the day.  It’s not about sucking…it’s about drawing a crowd.



At the end of the day, you just have to get over yourself.  An educated artist requires an educated…

iRig Mix Review

The iRig Mix is a mixer designed for people that want to DJ with an iPod or iPad.  Thinking that you need a specific mixer to DJ with an iPad or iPhone is a silly idea.  You can use any mixer to do this by simply buying a pair of Y-cables at your local electronics store.   That being said, why would I bother to get an iRig Mix?  Size.
Build
I was disappointed with the weight and material used for the iRig Mix.  I have old love letters that are heavier than this thing and for $100 (USD) they could have come up with some kind of metal casing instead of the flimsy plastic this is made of.  A curious infant could probably pick this thing up and break it almost effortlessly.  Maybe “light-weight” is part of their sales pitch, but I would rather have “sturdy” over “light” any day.  For fear that it would be destroyed, when I took the mixer out for a gig run I encased it in a microphone case while traveling.  To the plastic body of the iRig Mix I say, “Boooooooooooo!”

Sound
The iRig Mix sound…

Leon Lamont @ Halo. 10.12.12.

OS 6, and Djay app for iPhone

Days ago, I was prompted by my iPhone 4 to upgrade to OS6.  I hesitated because Apple never gives without taking.  As is the case with their hardware, when Apple makes a change to its software it’s always a case of “we’re giving you THIS, but you no longer have THAT”.  The Apple team makes it really hard to be a hardcore fan of their products. 



What do I think of OS 6?  My iPhone 4 has been noticeably sluggish since the so-called upgrade.  Most of the changes are either cosmetic or “only for iPhone 4S or iPhone 5”.  Once again, Apple slaps customers in the face for not buying their most expensive products.  



Such is also the case for the app Djay for iPhone.   I found myself mildly excited to be informed that there were much needed changes and additions to the Djay software in its latest upgrade.  That is…until I realized that I was excluded because I didn’t own the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5.  New features like “pitch control” were just beyond my grasp because I didn’t spend an extra chu…

3 Ways to Save Money on Gas

For some strange reason, most people think that DJs don’t have to think about the same work related expenses that everyone else has…like gas.  Even though I find the rumors of me making it to gigs on a flying unicorn fueled by hopes dreams humorous, these rumors are totally untrue.  



One
My first choice for saving money on gas is walking.  I don’t mean walking to the gigs, but walking to places that are near to your home.  Do you really have to make it to the shop three blocks away that fast?  You’re saving gas and improving your health both mentally and psychically by walking.

Two
My favorite alternative to burning gas is my bicycle.  Many of us forget how fun it is to ride a bike around the neighborhood.  I can think of a dozen places off the top of my head that are too far to walk, but yet too close to waste gas driving to, this is the perfect situation for a bicycle.  If you don’t have a bicycle, even purchasing the cheapest bicycle will be worth its weight in gold when it comes …

The DJ and Dating in the Work Place

Some years ago, I ran into a fellow DJ friend and asked how work was going.  He was embarrassed to inform me that he had lost his highest paying gig courtesy of his penis.  The job lost was a club residency, which meant steady income.  Feeling at the top of his game and quite invincible, my friend saw no harm in starting a physical relationship with one of the servers that worked at the venue.  There was really no need for him to finish his story at this point because I knew there were but a few variations that could get him to the ending of “now I have no job”.  I mean, how could my friend have possibly known that the server was also in a physical relationship with the manager that signed his checks?

My friend’s story wasn’t in the least bit surprising because I had lectured him about this “bad habit” years beforehand.  I couldn’t resist asking him if the sex was worth the thousands of dollars in yearly income he lost.  His answer was a deadpan “no”.  And thus we find our hero standin…

Moving To Move Up In Music

A friend recently asked me my advice about moving from his hometown in the Midwest to a bigger city like New York or Los Angeles to give himself a better chance at being a successful musician.  I paused for a moment and then responded, “That’s kind of a loaded question.  It’s like asking two millionaires how they became wealthy; neither one is going to tell you they did it the exact same way”.  As expected, the friend threw the line in my face, “But isn’t that what you did?”   My answer was “Yes and no”.

Moving to where the action is doesn’t always guarantee that you will be able to be a part of said action.  You have to know the right people that can help you out and have solid work options, a place to stay.  All of these things sound simple in theory, but can become so overwhelming in their absence that you find yourself doing everything but what you moved to a new, exciting city to do.  Instead of writing music and doing gigs, you find yourself waiting tables and stressing out about…