House :: 70s & 80s :: Progressive :: Circuit :: Tribal

December 2011 

Here we are again.  The holidays are here already...WTF?  As I write this I'm preparing to leave in five days to spend Christmas and New Year's with friends in the Philippines.  So much to do, so little time.  Looking back, 2011 turned out to be a pretty good year.  This year the DJing really took off and 2012 is starting shaping up to be a good one as well.  Thanks to everyone for all their support and feedback.  I appreciate everything!

One last gig for 2011 that I need to mention.  I will be spinning FIERCE CHRISTMAS at BED in Manila, Philippines on Friday December 23rd.  I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends who live in Manila that I haven't seen in YEARS!! Very excited!

Well, that's about it for 2011.  Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays (whichever you prefer) and a safe and fun New Year's!   Hoping your 2011 was good and your 2012 will be even better.

Take care, talk soon!

Byron

September 2011 

Summer is over and now I can catch my breathe.  It seemed like it was go, go go for three months solid.  I should have been updating this site as the summer went along but just didn't have time, so here goes.

In June, Past Curfew and Folsom Street events sponsored the first annual San Francisco's Next Top DJ Contest.  After all the submissions were in, not only was I fortunate to be in the final round of five, when all was said and done, I came in first runner up.  I, along with Brian Maier and Russ Rich played the main stage at this year's Up Your Alley (Dore Alley) Street Fair.  Thank you to everyone who voted and for those who can to the fair to hear our sets.

In August I played for a very important event, Flagging in the Park.  Now in it's sixteen season, FITP is a four or five times a summer event (depending on the weather) held at the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park.  Each event raises money for a local charity (in the case of mine, Project Open Hand).  If you've never been to a flagging event, you should definitely check it out.  Great music, friends, and a fantastic time.  Thank you to Xavier Caylor for asking me to be a part of wonderful event.  Podcast coming soon.

 Well, that about does it for now.  I'll write more when I have something important to say.

Take care,

Byron

June 2011

San Francisco Gay Pride is Sunday, June 26th.  I'm excited to be spinning in the SF Pride Parade on the float for the Positive Health Program (a joint venture between San Francisco General Hospital and UCSF).  The parade starts at 10:30am and goes down Market Street.  Then at 5:45pm, I (along with DJ Shawn P) will be spinning at the Asian & Pacific Islander Stage during the Pride Festival.  The A&PI Stage is located at Polk and Golden Gate in the Civic Center area.  Stop by and say Hi.  Everyone have a great Pride 2011!

 

May 2011

While the calender says it's almost summer time, you would never know it by the weather here in San Francisco.  The wind is blowing hard, there's a chance of rain (again) and it's frickin' cold!  You know, the usual.  But who cares?  That's just the way I like it!

Coming up this Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday May 28th), I excited to be returning to The EndUp for Shangri-La.  Join myself, PKDJ, and Barcelona's Steven Redant for a night of great music.  The doors open at 10pm and we go until very late.  If you never been to The EndUp, this would be a perfect time to go and check the place out and see why everyone talks about it.  The EndUp is located at 401 6th Street (corner of 6th and Harrison) in San Francisco.  For more information, go to www.shangrilasf.com or www.theendup.com.

That's about it.  Next time I'll have information of events I'll be playing at this summer.

Until then...take care, talk soon.

Byron

 

PAST RAMBLINGS:

October 2006

I don’t know why, but I have always loved the month of October. Growing up in Nebraska it meant that college football was in full swing (go Huskers!), the weather was cooler and the leaves were changing colors. Now that I live in San Francisco I rarely see leaf changes and I only get to see the Huskers a couple times a year. But I do get the cool weather pretty much year round, so I have that going for me. October also brings my favorite holiday, Halloween. And that means horror movies. Now a good horror movie is hard to find these days. It seems like all the good ideas have been taken or remade (again and again and again). But when you find a good horror film, it really sticks out in your mind. Or in the case of Kevin Bacon in Friday the 13the like an arrow through the neck. Listed below are my Top Ten horror movies of all time.

10. Shaun of the Dead (2004) ­ Now before you say it, I know this film is more of a rom-zom-com (romantic zombie comedy) than an actual horror film. But between fits of laughing so hard you can’t breathe, there are parts that make you go “I can’t believe they just did that.” Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star as slacker roommates who go through life just waiting for the end of the day so they can go to the pub and have a pint or five. But all that changes when everyone in London starts turning into zombies and they try and find a place to hide and ride things out. If after watching this film and you like this style of humor, check out the British TV series Spaced. Shaun of the Dead is basically a continuation of this series with Pegg and Frost playing different characters.

9. Near Dark (1987) ­ A friend of mine referred to this as Hee Haw meets The Lost Boys. That pretty much sums it up. It’s a modern day vampire western. Unfortunately this film was released the same year as The Lost Boys and was overlooked. This is a far better film.

8. The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920) ­ Silent German horror film about a serial killer who kills while sleepwalking. Made at the height of German Expressionism, the use of light and shadow and distorted camera angles has influenced modern day horror directors such as John Carpenter. Unfortunately, since it’s a silent film, it isn’t taken seriously by the general public. Worth checking out if you can find it. Thanks for turning me on to this in your film class Dr. Z (Dr. Bob Zahniser, or Dr. Z as we called him. The real Dr. Z, not the guy from the crappy car commercials).

7. Hellraiser (1987) - When I first moved to San Francisco I got the chance to meet Clive Barker, the writer and director of Hellraiser (thanks for introducing us Caroline). It amazes me that such a nice guy can come up with some of the nastiest images I have ever seen on the screen. But this film along with the second half of Hellraiser II are the true meaning of a horror film; so much gore and suspense it makes your stomach turn. Unfortunately the series, now in its eighth installment, has gone steadily downhill. The only redeeming factor is Doug Bradley, the actor who plays the main villain, Pinhead. With his deep voice spouting “multi-syllabic prophecies of the Apocalypse”, it always sends a chill through me.

6. Nosferatu (1979) ­ A German vampire film which itself is a remake of the German vampire film Nosferatu (1922) which was one of the first filmed versions of Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula. I didn’t first see this movie until about ten years ago and since I have been watching horror movies for so long thought I had seen it all. But damn this movie is freaky. Watch just the opening credits (filmed in a real crypt with real skeletons) and tell me that, combined with the music, it doesn’t creep you out.

5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) ­ At my high school we had an agreement with the local movie theatre to show a film after prom to keep everyone from drinking and driving (which is basically all there is to do in small town Nebraska). The year my class put on the prom a group of us met with Mrs. Dorothy Hall, the owner of the theatre, to pick out a movie. Since I was the only one of the group who knew anything about films, I made the decision. Needless to say my pick was frowned upon. But I said “trust me on this one.” Mrs. Hall just shook her head and said she would get it for us. It turns out she had lost money eight years in a row doing this because not enough people had shown up to pay for the film rental. Well, when word got out we were showing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre not only did almost everyone from our prom show up but we had people from surrounding towns come over to watch it. We had to turn people away because we sold out the theatre. A week later when we gave Mrs. Hall the check for advance ticket sales she was shocked. Between that check and her concessions sales she told us she had made enough to cover her losses from previous years. I made a friend that day which was a good thing because Mrs. Hall was also the county judge. Not that I someone who got into trouble a lot, but it was good to have her on my side. On a side note, my parents agreed to be two of the chaperones for the film. I really don’t think they knew what they were getting themselves into. To this day my Dad refers to TTCM as “that” movie.

4. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) ­ It’s hard to remember but when this movie first came out, Freddy Krueger was considered an enigma. Here was a movie monster that wasn’t offing kids just for the sake doing it. He was a man with a vendetta, killing off the kids of the parents that had killed him. That coupled with his burned face, razor blade fingers and no nonsense attitude made him the best monster since Michael Myers in Halloween. What also made this film stand out was it was more psychological than hack and dice like the other horror series of the 1980’s (namely the Friday the 13th movies). That all changed with the first (of way too many sequels), where Freddy became this wisecracking pop culture phenomenon, a parody of his former badass self. It should also be noted that with the success of this film and its sequels, New Line Cinema would still be this little studio distributing small independent films and their later successes, like the Lord of the Rings films, may never have gotten made.

3. John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) ­ A remake of the 1951 Howard Hawks film, it was years before this film’s greatness was appreciated. Like Near Dark, it too was released and overshadowed the same year by a similar film, this time E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Carpenter crafts a moody, desolate film that gives you this feeling of doom and gloom from the very beginning. Even the shots of the Antarctic setting have this claustrophobic feel to it. Not Carpenter’s best (that’s the #1 film on this list), but easily his second best.

2. Frankenstein (1931)/Bride of Frankenstein (1935) ­ When I was growing up, our local ABC affiliate used to have these theme movie nights Friday and Saturday nights. It could have been Western Theatre, Mystery Theatre, Science Fiction Theatre or so on. My favorite was Horror Theatre. That is where I first saw and fell in love with the Universal horror films of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s. To their credit, the station would take a monster (the Wolfman for example) and show all the films from that series before moving on to the next monster. I saw them all: Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man. But it was the Frankenstein series that I liked the most. It wasn’t until I was older that I appreciated what director James Whale did with these two films (especially Bride). From the incredible art director, unusual camera angles and fantastic performances from his cast, Bride of Frankenstein still stands as a rare anomaly in Hollywood, a sequel that is better than the original. The perfect companion film to these two (although not a horror film), is Gods and Monsters which dramatizes James Whale’s last days, trying to relive his glory years while quietly suffering from the effects of a stroke.

1. Halloween (1978) ­ Filmed for only $300,000, director John Carpenter took an idea for an movie he was going to call The Babysitter Murders and made a film that to this day remains as one of the most profitable independent films of all times. While like most horror franchises the quality dropped with later films (although Halloween 4 and Halloween H2O are pretty good), the original is considered the granddaddy of the modern day horror film. From the opening shot seen through the eyes of a young Michael Meyers as he commits his first murder to the instantly recognizable theme music, Halloween scared a generation of movie goers and still holds up very well today. I first saw Halloween when I was a freshman in college. The two guys that lived across the hall from me were also film geeks and we spent many hours talking about various films. When they found out I hadn’t seen Halloween, they literally put me in a dark room and forced me to watch it. I’m so glad they did. If you get the chance, rent (or better yet buy) the double disc DVD. In addition to the director’s commentary (in which Carpenter is joined by star Jamie Lee Curtis), you get to see the footage that was filmed specifically for TV and was not in the original film. On a sad note, executive producer of the Halloween films, Moustapha Akkad, was killed last November when a suicide bomber decided to blow up a wedding he was attending in Amman, Jordan. I just don’t understanding the concept of blowing up your own people in the name of religion. Someone please explain it to me.

Thanks to Andrew J., Mark T., Dave W., Kurt E., Glen S. and Dr. Z who either introduced me to these films or just geeked (or still geek) out with me from time to time. Also thanks to Gerry B. for the use of his Pinhead description. He wrote that as part of his review of Hellraiser III back in 1992. That quote is one of the few good things about the film.

That’s about it for this month. Big thanks to everyone who came to hear me spin at Club Dragon in September. Especially those who I haven’t seen in a while. And thanks again to Morgan, Jonathon and Luke for opportunity.

I’ve rambled enough. As I type this, Nebraska is playing Kansas on TV, which is rare for the West Coast. Got to go watch my Huskers.

As usual, if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me at byron@djbyron.com.

Take care of yourselves. Talk to you soon.

Byron