STYLE CHATTER

Here’s a cool little story on a deaf DJ, Robbie Wilde. This dude has the right attitude. And even though we’re a Mac clan, the HP people hit the nail on the head: DJing is all about connecting.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/23/showbiz/deaf-dj/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

The Oscars are on tonight and it looks like we’re taking home a few trophies of our own. I’m not sure if these “awards” really mean anything but The Knot and Wedding Wire are relatively big players and we’ve received this “best of” accolade from each company for five years running…

We’ll spare you the acceptance speech.

knotww

Nigel Barker’s people hired Style Matters to set the mood for a private photo shoot at Prairie Production yesterday. Snapped this one after playing a nine hour set.

This is one very tired DJ and one very happy client.

20130223-172723.jpg

The Oscar nominated Searching For Sugar Man is one of the best music documentaries ever created.

I first heard about the enigmatic Detroit musician Rodriguez on a 60 minutes piece a few months back (watch it here: 60 Minutes Interview) and I knew this guy was something special. Well, I finally got around to watching the documentary and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long. His story is unbelievably touching, and it’s not just for music nerds.

The next time you want to enjoy a quiet night in, take my recommendation. And tune in to the Oscars on Sunday to see if he wins. We’re fans and we’re rooting for him.

20130218-215227.jpg

We’ve been big fans of A-Trak since his legendary turntable routine as a 15 year old at the 1997 DMC Championships. These days he’s one of the highest profile DJs in the world. He’s also traveled a lot more than you or I. A lot more. Now he’s ready to share some of his secrets as he recently launched a new venture called Infinite Legroom. In his words, a way to ensure that you “Travel Tastefully”. Use his advice when you’re planning your post-wedding worldly adventures. The man knows what he’s talking about.

Infinite Legroom

By the way, did you know that A-Trak’s brother is Dave 1, one half of Chromeo? Clearly those dudes grew up in a musical household…

20130217-061400.jpg

Here’s a party rocker mix by the uber-cool Australian DJs, Flight Facilities. All the tunes are from between 1972 & 1982 and it includes loads of crowd pleasers that go over very well at Style Matters parties (Stevie, Paul Simon, Al Green, Hall & Oates, etc.). All slightly edited to create a cohesive mix and to make them suitable for the dance floor.

This is their first in a series that highlights music from ten year timeframes. If you dig around on their SoundCloud, you’ll find a lot of other gems. All the mixes also give you little history lessons, mainly via audio clips from old newscasts. Tres chic.

Please put your tray tables and seat backs in their full upright position.

My adventure in Spain is coming to an end in a few days. This little hiatus was much needed and now I’m excited to get back to work. Being that it’s the offseason (not to mention the fact that Spain is currently experiencing a recession) I’ve been fortunate to stay at some pretty spectacular hotels. I saved the best for last, though. I just checked in to the Hotel Amadeus in Sevilla. It’s a music lover’s dream, with instruments all over the hotel, as well as soundproof rooms to practice.

I’m doing what I can to support the arts…

20130216-131348.jpg

Just a quick show announcement: Orchard Lounge is playing with the supremely talented UK duo Psychemagik on Friday 2/22. These guys have record collections that put ours to shame and we’ve been trying to get them to Chicago for years.

Be there.

20130215-153621.jpg

I’ve been enamored with this song since 1987, the year La Bamba came out. Every once in a blue moon I’ll throw it into a wedding set as one of my first (of only a few) slow songs. You’d be amazed how many people ask where they’ve heard it before. Sure, this song was used after (spoiler alert!) Ritchie Valens dies, but I don’t think that makes it a sad song.

Plus, who needs pesky lyrics anyways?

What’s That Tune #2: Santos & Johnny – “Sleepwalk”

Happy V-Day, lovers. Here’s a mix I made with the wifey. You might want to put it on a little later tonight.

Thank us later?

Just had an idea for a new series of posts within this blog. We’ll call it…

What’s That Tune?

As DJs, one of the most rewarding things we can do is put people on to new music. At weddings, this is particularly easy for us because so many wedding DJs play the same stale sets. Not us. This series of blog posts will be dedicated to songs we’ve played in the past that repeatedly garner the same response from party goers: “What’s that tune?”

Of course, we’re not going to give away all of our secrets, just some songs that we’ve worn out over the years.

I’ve been playing this record off and on for a couple “seasons” (ha!) during cocktail hour (for the right kind of couple, of course). Probably won’t be rockin’ it too much longer so here you go, world. It’s a beauty.

What’s That Tune #1: Ben Howard “Old Pine”

I’m still traveling and I’m getting a little low on headphone material after all these long train rides (not being able to stream Spotify is killing me). Just dug up this classic gem that Questlove of The Roots put together for Radio One back in ’05. How many of these originals do you recognize from contemporary tunes?

And if you’re not following ?uest on IG or Twitter, get on it. He’s an interesting cat, always posting cool music (not to mention Late Night With Jimmy Fallon) related goodness.

This one is for the hip hop heads. Check out this event our guys Jason and Nigel are hosting on Saturday at the Double Door. It’s the 5th annual Dre Day, a party that celebrates the good doctor’s legacy.

Nuttin’ But A DJ Thang.

20130214-225421.jpg

This past Saturday night was one of our slowest of the year with only two events on the calendar. Both functions were cancer fundraisers, one for Immerman Angels at Room 1520 and the other for Make-A-Wish at Oak Park High School.

A huge thank you goes out to our DJs Jason (Intel) and Noah (Weaponry) for their time, effort, and big hearts.

20130211-075210.jpg

Award shows are fairly pointless but I can’t lie, I’m excited to watch the Grammy’s later tonight. I have a feeling Frank Ocean’s performance will be what music lovers (and critics) are talking about tomorrow around the water cooler. Oh, and Justin’s too.

Check out this great piece about Ocean in today’s NYT.

Here’s a moment I’ll never forget: being interviewed by the Grammy’s after the Orchard Lounge performance at Lolla last year. Cue the orchestra…

PS – Post Grammy’s update: Called it.

20130210-093550.jpg

I don’t know a whole lot about the technical aspect of photography, but I’ve always had a real appreciation for the art form. We here at Style Matters are also lucky enough to have hugely talented photog friends in the industry like Misty Winter, Kevin Weinstein, Jeremy Lawson, Heather Parker, and Thomas Slack, among others. Even though most of us DJs are just iPhoneography Instagram addicts (@lokkenic), we’re starting to see some cool new ideas in the world of photography.

Check out this company right up the block from us in Logan Square called Fotio. We really like this concept and we’re already coming up with ideas for how to incorporate something like this in to our new event space.

Three cheers for small business and bright ideas.

20130210-052559.jpg

The quintessential late night (read: early morning) backstage shot with friends and fellow Windish Agency artists, Aeroplane. Taken at Barcelona’s Razzmatazz.

20130210-042415.jpg

Did you know that every last DJ on our team plays vinyl? That’s right, all 25 of us.

We’re currently the only company in the Midwest that can boast about the fact that our DJs will be rockin’ two turntables and a mic (what up, Beck) at your event. Sure it requires a little extra effort on our end to set up, but it’s well worth it.

Not only does Barcelona have amazing food, but some great record stores. I’m off to do a little digging this morning.

Snapped this in the hallway of my hotel:

20130209-112636.jpg

Just got a new inquiry for an April wedding and the bride said something that caught my eye:

“We want the dinner music to be meaningful.”

The dinner hour is something we take very seriously so this was nice to hear. This timeframe is an opportunity for us to really tailor the night around who we’re working for. It also gives us a chance to build a rapport with your guests. The idea is that we’re creating a hip ambiance, where the music isn’t overbearing but rather, will compliment people’s conversations. By the end of the dinner hour, people should subconsciously be ready and raring to hit the dance floor because they were impressed with the romantic, unique, and meaningful dinner set.

It might still be “background music” but when done properly, the dinner music will be just as memorable as the party.

20130208-072611.jpg

People always ask us if we take requests. While it’s fairly common knowledge that DJs don’t particularly love being inundated with requests while working bars/lounges/clubs, wedding receptions are an entirely different matter. It’s your party and surely your guests have a unique understanding of your tastes. We’re more than happy to listen to anyone who’d like to make a request but you’re paying us to use our discretion. We’re not a jukebox, but we’re certainly very open minded and always happy to get direct insight as to what the dance floor would like to hear. And we’re basing the programming of the music on the input that you have provided, as well as the energy/vibe of the room, etc.

The fact is, we’re a confident bunch and we’re not afraid to politely tell people no. Especially that guest who may have made one too many trips to the bar.

20130208-025249.jpg

Just had some late night tapas at this 100+ year old joint called Bar Castelles. Check out these classic transistor radios they had above our table. Speaking of old school, the tune “Send Me An Angel” was playing on one of ’em. I’m showing my age here but that was the song playing in the background of the epic gym scene in the 80s cult classic, Rad.

#Memories

20130208-013807.jpg

20130208-013820.jpg

I’ll be seeing my buddy Vito aka Aeroplane spin in Barcelona tomorrow night. Reminded me of the remix he and his one time partner in crime, The Magician, made of this Friendly Fires tune. Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, so here’s one for the romantic in you.

February is our slowest month of the year and many of us are taking this time to travel. I decided to explore Spain but I was pretty groggy upon arriving in Madrid yesterday. I hit the pillow the second I got in to my hotel room and this is the quote that greeted me in the mirror when I awoke. Not a bad way for a music lover to start a trip, right?

Time to go on an adventure.

20130206-081020.jpg

Here they are, ladies and gents. The new additions to our team for 2013. These are five of the most talented DJs in the city: Konsept, Pascale, DJ TREW, Fancy Boy, and Travas Machel. We’ve got our eye on one more person so check back for another announcement in early March. We’ve had a lot of interest from DJs around the city to join our squad, and these five out-shined their competitors. Even though they’re all new to the Style Matters family, when you read their bios (on the ‘deejays’ page) you’ll see they’re seasoned vets behind the decks.

Welcome aboard, fellas. We couldn’t be happier to have you.

newdjs

We’re going to be uploading a slew of new mixes on the Style Matters SoundCloud page in coming weeks and months. Here’s one Edwin Morales put together for us. Edwin is new to our team this year and his mix perfectly exemplifies the range all of our DJs possess. Edwin is the resident DJ at Paris Club. His selections at a venue like that would be very different from what you’ll hear on this mix, as it’s almost entirely comprised of tracks that are decades old. Many of which are very well received at wedding receptions.

The man’s got crazy skills and we think he’s going to be a superstar this year.

 

Get it? Get it?

Pretty clever, right? We stumbled upon this video a few months ago and my post below got me thinking about it again. What an amazing project.

“My life would be worthless without music.”

Ours too.

SM Tip #3: Ask your caterer and venue if they recycle.

There’s absolutely no reason your caterer and venue shouldn’t be recycling. We here at Style Matters are doing our part to lower our carbon footprint by using hybrid vehicles for equipment transport to gigs, as well as drawing as little electricity as possible by not providing lighting. With a little help (yours), we might even be able to afford solar panels for our new event space.

Recycle. /story

dumpster01

Our good friends Felix & Thibault in the up and coming group Autobody have a super rad new single called “Say What You Will”. Check out this incredible video they just released. For the right kind of EDM/indie loving Style Matters couple, this tune could invoke absolute dance floor havoc during late night revelry.

As I’m posting this it has 31 views. I bet that’s going to change pretty quickly.

We’ve never addressed this on the website because I feel like the answer should be a no brainer. People inquire all the time about whether or not we DJ civil unions/gay weddings. Of course we do! Why wouldn’t we?

600gay

tumblr_mhiwt6b0nE1qaatdqo1_500

Even though we’re smack dab in the heart of our slow season, we’re hustling harder than ever (we had over a dozen client meetings today) to ensure that 2013 is a monumental year for our company. Not only do we have loads of amazing clients to work for this month (including Nigel Barker), not to mention some sure-to-be-memorable club gigs and a quick jaunt to Spain, but we’re making serious progress in our venue search for the yet-to-be-named Style Matters event space.

Here’s to the lovers, the dreamers, and the historians. February is going to be great month.

Scroll down and look for the screenshot of the Yelp review in my “We’ve Got The Power” post.

Now try to find that review on our Yelp page.

That’s right, the review is less than a week old and Yelp has removed it and hidden it in the “filtered” section (at the very bottom of the page, nearly impossible to catch). Along with another 104 (one hundred and four!) more entirely legit reviews from ecstatic customers. That means that even though we’re the #1 company that comes up when you search “DJ + Chicago” or “Wedding DJ + Chicago” (I have screenshots, I’ll be curious to see if this ranking changes in a week!), Yelp has filtered over 67% of Style Matters’ reviews that our clients have so kindly taken the time write. And without solicitation, no less. Yelp’s explanation here is that their so called algorithm is designed to filter out potentially fraudulent reviews. I understand the logic, and realize Yelp is a business too, but their system is massively flawed.

We’re not going to let you get us down this time, Yelp. We’re in good spirits and happily enjoying our slow season. Keep doing what you’re doing because our new theory is this: The more filtered reviews a small business has within their market, the more in demand that company must be. Yelp, we’re bringing new users to your site because of the unforgettable experiences our customers have had working with us. You should be writing our next five star review!

Oh, and to the Account Executive at Yelp who’s left me three voice mails in four days (two on my cell phone), please stop. I’m not calling you back for a reason. We’ll never advertise with you.

a906_feature1_9_jpgstory

People sometimes ask us if we’ve played bridal expos. We’ve had great experiences at a small handful of grassroots events in the past but generally, they’re not for us. There is, however, a pretty neat little fete this Saturday at the Ravenswood Event Center called Indie Wed. A few of us will be rolling through to see our good friends (yeah, I said it!) Toast & Jam rock the spot. If you come by, get there early. There are usually thousands in attendance.

It’s hip to be square.

indie