Today was supposed to be a rest day before DJing the Local Color Estate Sale on Sunday. Instead, I distributed a ceramic skull and shipped another (to 31 Skulls artists). I also had to go to the printers and get the brochure I designed last night printed & folded. I did manage to take 2 hour nap before prepping some music for tomorrow's event. I'll get some rest on Monday.
Today I went to the Local Color Keystone studio to get some work done. I'd primarily been working from home these last couple of months. I was on the computer all day till I had to test some audio equipment. They have a couple of 12" speakers there, so I checked to make sure they worked when I plugged them into my DJ controller. They did! I also used my new mic for the first time. I'll be using them when I DJ/MC their Estate Sale on September 26. It should be a fun gig!
It's been almost 2 months, and I don't know why I waited this long to let everyone know that I took a contract job with Local Color as their Communications & Development person. I've been working with the amazing staff on the weekly and monthly newsletters, social media posts, and upcoming fundraisers. It's been a learning experience for all of us and I'm slowly starting to get in a groove. This is a paid gig till the end of the year but I'm also volunteering my time & services, like in a couple weeks, I'll be DJing & MCing their Estate Sale, to help artists in residence sell artwork before moving out of their current building. It should be a lot of fun and I hope a lot of people show up to support!
Today I organized, and put away, the tubs of gear used Friday night for my vendor booth. I also counted my t-shirts, updated the website inventory, and figured out how many I sold in each size & style. Besides counting & cleaning up, I started preparing for an upcoming exhibit I'll be announcing very soon. This is on top of the mural I'm currently designing and the new job I recently started (both of which I haven't made public yet). One thing that has been announced is that I'm DJing & MCing Local Color's Estate Sale on Sunday, September 26th.
For the last two gigs I DJ'd, I had to borrow a microphone, and now that I got a 3rd gig lined up, DJ/MCing Local Color's Estate Sale in a few weeks, I decided to buy a mic. I went with the tried & true Shure SM58. I used these at work for years, and they never failed. Now that I own a mic, I'm only a couple of 12" speakers away from having a viable mobile DJ rig. (I had been using my employer's equipment all these years.) I've turned down the offer to buy my own rig a couple of times before, but now I'm thinking of doing it.
I did not anticipate was how out of shape I was before DJing last night after a 12 month hiatus. Before covid shut down all weddings & events I'd been DJing every weekend for 7 years straight. I was used to the physical demands of the job. And although I'd been hiking on a regular basis for the last year, I wasn't prepared to be standing for 11 straight hours yesterday. Today I was practically dead to the world. I slept in late and when I woke up my feet, legs and back were all crazy sore. I stayed in bed most of the day, watched a couple movies and only left the house to go eat. I hope tomorrow's better because I gotta start sourcing materials and preparing for Saturday's event. I'll be doing an interactive live painting thingie downtown. It'll be my first time doing something like this and I need to figure out how I'm gonna accomplish it by Friday. It should be a lot fun and hopefully a lot less taxing on my body.
Tonight I DJ'd my first gig in over a year since covid shut everything down. It was my friends Mike & Raquel's son's graduation party on their ranch. It was super casual and laid back. A good event to shake off the rust. The only trouble I had wasn't my mixing, or MCing, but with the song selections. I couldn't remember half the music I used to play at events so I relied heavily on my Spotify playlists, which I have categorized by decades and genres. I was constantly scrolling thru Spotify on my phone looking for what to play next in Serato on my laptop. I still had a decent set even when I played random requests at the end of the night for the last few people there. It was a lot of fun and I had a great time.
It's been over a year since I last DJ'd an event. The last one was at a private residence on June 13, 2020, right in the thick of Covid. Before that, March 14, the day before California was ordered to shelter-in-place. Tomorrow I'm doing my buddy's son's high school graduation party at their house. This will be a good event to shake off any rust. I'm a little nervous, partly because I'm using a mix of my own equipment and my friends speakers, instead of my work's gear which is all a bit different. Either way, it should be fun.
Another busy day. I spent part of it calendaring upcoming events, something I haven't done in over a year, marking my wall calendar at home and updating my Google Calendar online. Things are opening back up! I already have one DJ gig booked in less than 2 weeks and 3 vending events happening in the coming months. Regardless of how busy I get, I need to stay physically active, so tonight I went to Alum Rock Park before closing and hiked up to Eagle Rock before sunset.
434.1This afternoon I went and bought a heavy-duty speaker stand for my single QSC K10 speaker and a couple 1/4" to XLR cables. I'd been using my work's DJ equipment all these years and now that I'm buying stuff for myself I'm reminded of how expensive everything is. Later, after practicing some mixing, I started tinkering with my bikes rear brakes and I think I fixed them. They weren't tight enough before. Now I gotta figure out why my front brakes squeak when I slow down or come to a stop. Tonight I finally went back to working on my taxes. I added up all the miles I'd driven in for business purposes in 2020 and it was 434.1.
I took my bike back to Good Karma Bikes to get looked at this afternoon. Yesterday I took it for a ride and I wasn’t able to shift into the third/highest gear in the front. Today, at the shop, the guy tests it by turning the pedals and using the shifter and it starts working fine. He tells me to take it for ride and It worked like normal. So weird. Afterwards the repair guy said if I have any problems with it to bring it back and they’ll swap the shifter. I’m really liking the service at Good Karma Bikes. After returning home then working on the computer for hours I stopped to bake cookie dough that’d been sitting in the fridge all week. My friend made the dough and the cookies came out delicious. Tonight I also pulled out the DJ controller to start practicing again. I’m DJing my friends 40th birthday party next month and need to shake the rust off. And if that wasn’t enough, I also started sketching something weird on a 18”x24” sheet of paper. I was hoping I’d finish inking it tonight but I stated getting too wrapped up in details and didn’t come close.
The computer head was how I felt after working on that CD layout job on the puter all day yesterday.
This morning I received a text from a groom whose wedding I DJ'd two years ago. He said every time he heard a song from the wedding he was reminded that he forgot to tip me. He Venmo'd me a very nice tip and totally made my day. It also inspired my Inktober drawing for Day 22
I picked up another small graphic design job today! I met with my buddy, Adam, (socially distant, outdoors and with masks on) to discuss redesigning his bands logo. We talked about what he and his bandmates have been through over the years and their plans to release their first LP. I also talked about how I've been considering doing more graphic design work for clients now that Covid has taken away my DJ & vending gigs. His band logo, and the other design I've been working on, are good first jobs to help me get my feet wet doing freelance work, which has never been appealing to me before.
I DJ'd an outdoor wedding reception at a private residence on Saturday. It was my first event since the Covid-19 shelter-in-place order started in March. We took precautions to minimize spreading germs:
I did some protesting last week and I'm DJing a wedding reception this Saturday so I went in to get tested for the Coronavirus this morning. I was told to stay home till I receive the results which can take 24-48 hours. I hate waiting on results like this and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the results come up negative.
About a week & half ago I asked people on Instagram to send me song requests so I can record a mix. I got a whopping 3 requests. They were, "Big Pimpin', Lookout Weekend and El Sonidito" (the beep beep beep song.) Today I set up the rig and recorded a 5-minute mix using 5 songs.
I'm taking requests again for the next mix.
I recorded another quick-mix set. 14 minutes of 80s rock. It took me all day to pick songs and set cue points but I'm happier with this mix than yesterdays.
My work requested some recorded mixes of music I'd play at weddings, that's quick-mixed in & out of. I tried a few days ago and couldn't do it. My mixes fell apart after a couple songs. I feel that most music I play at weddings sounds better when people are dancing to it. Without an audience, most wedding dance music feels flat to me. Today I tried again but used a few songs I wouldn't normally play at events, focused on what makes me dance and had fun with it. It took a long time to choose the songs and listen to them to find the in & out points. When I finally recorded it it took me two tries to get it right/good-enough. In the end I made this 13 minute mix that starts in the 60s and works its way to the 2000s
It was a nice day today so I set up the DJ rig in the back porch with the intent to record a set. The goal was to record a mix of songs I'd play at a wedding and quick-mix in & out of each song (not play the whole thing.) My plan was to mix and record different sets based on decades starting with the 60s. I listened to, and prepped, a bunch of music before mixing. Because I'm used to playing full songs at events I had to listen to the music again and find points to mix in & out of. That took a lot of time and when I was ready to play none of my mixes were sounding good. They'd fall apart after 2-3 songs. It was really frustrating and in the end I had nothing. I didn't even have fun. I might try again tomorrow with different music and not quick-mixing.
This afternoon I went on Instagram Live and DJ'd a 90-minute set and only stopped when I was booted off Instagram, when it detected certain copyrighted songs. There was a 30-minute chunk from my set, all 80s music, that Instagram won't let me share so I did a screen recording and uploaded it here. The 1st, 3rd & 4th sets (as of right now) are up for a another 18 hours on my Instagram (@frankiemcfly) Enjoy!
With all the downtime, I decided to get started with spring cleaning. I'm on that Marie Kondo sparking joy shit. Every year or so I go through all my crap and get rid of the stuff I don't need. Today I pulled a stack of old Thank You cards from brides & grooms I DJ'd weddings for. Sometimes I do good work.
You know, that mouse guy...
I had the idea for this last year. I drew it out in Adobe Draw but didn't like the way it came out so left it alone and forgot about it. I still had the reference pic on my iPad so I gave it another go tonight and was much happier with the result this time around.
I figured it was only a matter of time until weddings started getting canceled due to Covid-19/Coronavirus concerns. Tonight I found out the wedding I was supposed to DJ in two weeks got postponed. Last Friday the fundraiser I was working got canceled that very same morning. DJ events at this time of year are already slow to begin with. So are the festivals where I sell my shirts. Two events that I was going vend at next month also got canceled this week. I know I shouldn't complain and I will try and remain optimistic, but damn, most of my income comes from working events. I'm going to try and file an unemployment insurance claim next week. I'll also need to contact my bank regarding my car loan and my credit card provider to see what my options are for late payments. Money is gonna tight the next few weeks, or months. Aside from that I'm doing my best to stay healthy and positive during this weird & uncertain time. I hope you and your loved ones are too. Let's hope we get out from under this soon.
I was supposed to DJ an event tonight but I got text this morning saying it was canceled due to Coronavirus concerns. Bummer, because I really needed the cash. This time of year is already pretty slow for DJing. I did wake up to some good news though, an online t-shirt order came in. Before I got notified about the event being canceled I was planning on just bagging the shirt and sending it off. After getting word that I wasn't gonna be working I started drawing a Thank You card for the t-shirt order. I drew my head first then the tentacles & letters with pencil. Then I inked it with a couple Micron pens and fixed a few mistakes with Pro-White. When I was done I threw it in the bag with the t-shirt and a couple SJ stickers and delivered it. The customer lived 15 minutes from home so I figured I'd save him a couple days of waiting for it to arrive by mail.
This weekend and last weekend I DJ'd doubles. Friday & Saturday gigs. Tonight, and last night, I DJ'd at the same venue and was able to leave the rig setup overnight. Today I came already dressed in my suit, versus load-in clothes. My dinner was waiting for me when I arrived. And I had a fun dance floor going for most of the night. The only issue was my DJ laptop freezing half hour before the end of the night. It killed my dance floor. I played some Spotify music playing from my personal laptop while my DJ laptop restarted and got the dance floor going as soon as I was up and running. Unfortunately, there were only half as many people by then. If it wasn't for that incident tonight would have been perfect.