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Too many DJs
Hitting the decks with Wayne & Wax, "Compact," and Chloë Sevigny’s brother

You’d expect an ethnomusicologist/DJ to draw a crowd cut along funny demographic lines, and Wayne Marshall does. On a Monday night at Enormous Room, you had crunchy bicycle hippies, ladies in fedoras, and — blame it on proximity to MIT — stunning-looking women dogging less-stunning men. Meanwhile Marshall, a/k/a Wayne and Wax, managed to be more fun and educational than an episode of Sesame Street. Wayne’s wax for the evening: an abridged history of reggae’s Mad Mad riddim, a single pattern running wild across decades and genres. Bobbing his head in Enorm’s tiny booth, hovering over Abelton Live software, he mixed on his computer in real time. Starting with the riddim’s Jamaican origins (Alton Ellis’s 1967 "Mad Mad Mad"), he moved from ska horns into drum machines, Boogie Down Productions’ "Remix for P Is Free" segueing into Black Star’s "Definition." In 75 minutes, Marshall’s Mad Mad trip hit on 46 examples — and at that he barely scratched the tip of the iceberg.

On Tuesday, taking a cue from rock-band marathons, Honeypump’s Ben Sisto smashed 10 DJs into one night at Great Scott, courtesy of a vodka company whose summer saturation of the party scene is getting a bit surreal. "COMPACT" wasn’t the slickest of set-ups, but the diversity was super-fun, with each DJ breaking off a half-hour of satisfaction. Men and women hit the decks: Julie Hammers got the still-sober crowd (to consider) dancing to the Raincoats and Sheila E; and several free drinks later, scenesters buzzed to Joe P’s set of Daft Punk and OutKast. Kevin Driscoll, who’d been at Wayne’s thing for "nerdy reasons," spun a crate of reggaeton. And "Soul-le-lujah" bon vivant Nick Marcantonio, a former member of the Cignal, played one of his last ass-busting soul sets before he moves to San Francisco.

Contrast that to Wednesday, when Paul Sevigny, brother of Chloë, got paid about five grand to DJ obvious indie songs — Strokes, Jam, Le Tigre — at the opening of the Club Monaco boutique in the Pru. Sevigny was rolling with his mates in the Suicide-y NYC band A.R.E. Weapons, and as people got drunker he snuck a little Dipset — "Hey Ma" and Juelz Santana’s "There It Go (The Whistle Song)" — in between Pulp and Iggy. But getting men-in-suits-with-trophy-girlfriends to dance, despite abundant free drinks, was a losing battle. Supposedly "famous Boston socialites" were there. (I was like, uh, "Boston famous, right? As in, no one would really care?") But I spent most of the time chatting with Weapons bros Brain and Matt McCauley — Matt was wearing Dipset’s "What’s Really Good" shirt, so it was an easy in, and I guess they’re skater boys from Brockton or something. Everyone else had shiny hair and looked vaguely "important," probably in "marketing," and chatted in closed-off circles like it was fucking high school. Oh, and Club Monaco — not an actual club! — wouldn’t know What’s Really Good if it was a $19 tank top with no boob coverage.

Issue Date: September 9 -15, 2005
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