The second day of DJ Expo / Promo Only Summer Sessions was quite busy with three panels (mixshow DJ, radio programmers, artist), a trip to the technology expo room and the Pioneer/Promo Only House of Blues Concert.
The mixshow DJ panel kicked off with a special performance by Swedish poptart Kerima singing "This Night." A previous song of the day, her enthusiastic performance quickly made us realize why Sirius/XM radio has been such a huge supporter of this record.
Both the mixshow DJ and radio programmer panel had several mentions of PPM (personal people meters,) the new method to track listenership for rating/advertisments. Widely panned as out of date, the new method uses beepers (how retro) to record when the tune in/tune out of radio stations is rather that diaries. The PPM system is causing stations to be even tighter with confirmed hits, less talk breaks, and shorter songs. Strict adherence to such concepts will make any station sound bland but the really good programmers (and mixshow DJs) will figure out how to incorporate the concepts into their flow and personality.
A variety of other topics including mixshows to determine adds, finding hits, what makes a good mixshow remix, tempos and energy were covered. While I can't type everything they said - here are some quotes that touch on the major topics.
"Use radio to promote and brand yourself"
- Riddler (Z100/KKHH)
"As a DJ, I am a medium to get the artist to the people."
- Dom Armano
"If we were smart, we would be brain surgeons. We're just C-Students with great jobs."
- Vic Latino (WPTY/WWAC)
"Some things should not be remixed."
"Radio has to create a theater of the mind visual to grow."
"Training a mixshow DJ is like bringing a dog to Pet Smart."
- Rob Wagman (WXRK)
Promoter Issey Sanchez said that he will soon be able to provide a list of all the tracks DJs in each market are playing through Serato for radio research. While this is a great research tool, I personally hope that this will not provide any further pressure for DJs to switch from other excellent DJ programs like Traktor or Virtual DJ.
Between the panels, Chris Willis performed a special three song set including the debut of his solo record "Louder" (a sure-to-be club hit.) Alexis Jordan ended the panel with an AMAZING acoustic performance of her chart topping "Happiness" - you can check out a clip of the performance here.
Technology Exhibition Room - DJ Times Show
A quick walk around the the exhibition room found exciting new products from Traktor, Virtual DJ, and Pioneer. Traktor had their new Kontrol S4 controller on display - their first hardware controller made specifically for their software. The unit feels insanely solid and is midi mappable to work with any software program.
Virtual DJ was previewing their soon to ship version 7 which will feature true multidecks (up to 99), a new interface and sound configs, microphone inputs, and a mysterious Iphone/Ipad integration.
Pioneer had two new cd/multimedia players that incorporated their RecordBox software - CDJ850 (an update of the 800MK2) and the CDJ 350 (like the CDJ200) along with an insane 4 channel mixer DJM2000 which will be the mastubratory fantasy of many a club dj (like their SVM01.)
The artist panel brought together newcomers (Auburn, Jessica Jarrell,) veterans (Chris Kirkpatrick of Nsync, Chris Willis) and club favorites (Blake Lewis, Kaci Battaglia, and Jumpsmokers.) Here is a quick sampling of our favorite quotes:
Remixes are like outfits - making a song fit any occasion.
- Kaci Battaglia
Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.
- Lillian Garcia
I came out with my awesome Myspace page and everyone switched to Facebook.
- Blake Lewis
Back in the day, we had websites.
- Chris Kirkpatrick (N-Sync)
If I am on Youtube, it's usually a bad thing.
- Blake Lewis
The Annual Promo Only & Pioneer DJ Showcase
The House of Blues was packed for an explosive night of live and DJ entertainment. Strong performances by veterans (Salt n Pepa, Shaggy, and Judy Torres) and newcomers (Alexis Jordan, Jumpsmokers, Auburn, Mike Posner, Tiffany Dunn) made the night one of the best ever. Travie McCoy appeared as a special guest with Jessica Jarrell to sing "Up and Running" and the led the crowd with a showstopping version of his megahit "Billionaire." Another surprise performance was 2AM Club, the opening band for Mike Posner. Though not exactly an electronic act, their track "Flashing Room" definitely caught my attention. Mike Posner's performance was quite good also - as a live performer he sounds like a male version of Macy Gray. Blake Lewis' emotional performance of the Bimbo Jones mix of "Heartbreak on Vinyl" was another highlight. Salt N Pepa was my favorite performer of the night - rocking an insanely high energy set of all their classics with a well rehearsed flow - proving why they are superstars. The only disconnect of the night was former Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland who seemed to be in a bad mood with an overly rushed performance where she stopped each song short and didn't vibe with the crowd. I guess the room's love didn't take her over.
Songs to watch for
Jumpsmokers "Rock It Like It's Spring Break"
Chris Willis "Louder"
Alexis Jordan "Good Girl (Heartbreaker)"
Tiffany Dunn "Shut the Front Door"
Judy Torres "Stay" Salt n Pepa - the new rock edged song