On Scene for Jan. 6
All mixed up
For the first time in a long time, I was counting the songs to make sure I got my money’s worth before I left the show.
If a band is boring, I usually follow the $1 per song equation. I force myself to listen until the scales are balanced, then I drag my disappointed ears home.
But that was not the case on Friday night at Levelz when DJ Mike Relm turned out to be one of the most interesting acts to come through Steamboat.
He walked on stage in a black suit and tie with white tennis shoes (just like David Byrne). He pushed his black, hipster librarian glasses up on his nose and then began some of the fastest scratching I have seen in my life.
That alone might have made the show, but it didn’t stop there.
At the beginning of his set, a large white screen was wheeled to the front of the stage next to Relm’s setup of turntables, mixers and this DVD player that looked just like a miniature turntable.
As his hands flew across the surface of the records and the music started to sound like gunfire, it was matched on the screen by a photo of an empty downtown. Relm started to scratch the DVD with the music, and the buildings started to shake like the victims of an earthquake.
The audience didn’t look away for the next hour.
Relm was the first DJ I’ve heard scratching Beck and Bjork, back to back. He matched his music with collages of clips from cult classics such as “Office Space,” “Requiem for a Dream” and “Reservoir Dogs.”
For a moment, we were cool as we basked in the coolness of the DJ from San Francisco. We were cool until Relm threw on a vinyl copy of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and tried for some audience participation.
He scratched and turned the mic to the audience, but the audience was silent.
He said, “Do you really not know this song?”
I guess not.
It was a miracle of motivation that we made the DJ Relm show at all. Hours earlier, we had been standing in the rodeo grounds watching the Olympic legacy of Steamboat on the Jumbotron.
There was this horrible freezing drizzle covering everyone. I made the mistake of sitting down on the snowy stands, turning my backside into two bun icicles.
We kept warm by applauding for our athletes and oohing at the hometown Olympic torch when it finally lit, but after our mouths got so cold they stopped moving, we headed home to dry clothes and a warm fire.
We wussed out on Hootie.
— Autumn Phillips
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