Dave Pianka and I are standing in the basement of the First Unitarian Church, and we're on a mission: to find the hidden gems buried in the thousands of albums for sale at John Yates' first Philadelphia Record Show.
Yates-the man behind the Beautiful World Syndicate distro that operates at R5 events-is talking shop with Pianka, skimming the copious selections as hipsters and middle-aged audiophiles part for them like the Red Sea.
They make an odd couple, but are nevertheless members of the same club-one that's dedicated to introducing great music to the masses. Yates' obsessive collecting keeps the ears of Philadelphians tuned in, while Pianka's mix of rock, New Wave and electro keeps them turned on.
Pianka began his career only four years ago at a house party. Today it seems you can't open a newspaper in the city without running into at least one DJ Dave P affair: Cobras and Matadors, Click and Making Time are all Dave P productions.
Through a network of fellow DJs in New York and London, Pianka is kept up to date on the most cutting-edge musical experiments, many of which get played during his sets.
"I guess I love music. I love turning people on to music that I think is great. And I love to see people freak out when I play," he says.
Here's some music that's turning Dave P on lately:
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, "DFA Remix"
"Half rock + half total acid freakout x 10 minutes of fun = party till you puke. It's a simple equation. Get into this!"
Vitalic, "My Friend Dario"
"Pure electro-rock dance-floor banger. Raise the roof and smash a bottle on the ceiling. This is a total cocaine sex jam."
LCD Soundsystem, "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" (Soulwax Remix)
"A track about my favorite musical artists of all time playing in James Murphy's basement by my favorite band of 2005 and remixed by the best remixers of the year. Sick!"
Dirt Crew, "Rock Da House"
"This track makes me wanna eat my face off and rave till dawn."
Duke Spirit, "Cuts Across the Land"
"One of my favorite up-and-coming rock bands from the U.K. Think Elastica meets the Yeah Yeah Yeahs meets PJ Harvey meets Mazzy Star. Totally amazing."
Amerie, "1 Thing"
"I don't play a lot of hip-hop out, but this track has badass funk breaks, and the vocals are incredible. For everyone who asks me to just play some fucking hip-hop, I'll play you this. Party on!"
Wed., April 6, 10pm. $5. With Michael Skyes + Michael Reese. Fluid, 613 S. Fourth St. 215.629.3686. www.fluidnightclub.com
Clubs all use crazy "funky" typology, bright colors and impossibly hot people on fliers to advertise their nights. But they never bother explaining what the hell garage house is. Or grime-hop. Or in the case of DJ Guy Hatfield-blowing in from England for Wednesday's Forward party-breakbeat. Rather than sully your hipster rep by having to pretend like you know, here's the lowdown: Breakbeat is a short rhythm sample that's looped to create a new rhythm. The rhythm sample itself is usually taken from soul or jazz albums. Clear everything up? We thought so. Just know that Hatfield, better known as DJ Hyper, is at the top of his game. Having produced the biggest-selling breakbeat comp of all time, he now serves as DJ Magazine's breakbeat reviewer. And tonight he teams up with Forward regulars Michael Skyes and Michael Reese to serve up breakbeats-hip fonts, neon lights and all. (Julie Gerstein)