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Arts and Entertainment

Hey, Mr. DJ, I thought we had a deal

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Only one man in the electronica realm could entice me to endure the 378 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco just for a measly DJ set. Simon Green, a.k.a. Bonobo, hails from Brighton (UK) and has released three full length albums of downtempo that have changed my musical world. With that said, when my friend asked me if I wanted an extra Bonobo ticket for a show in the city by the bay I jumped all over it. Sure. I'll make the waffly, five hour long car ride up I-5 through the dust bowl of California for this mysterious man.I'll never do it again.

I've fallen into traps like this in times past. It generally occurs when I find out that my favorite electronica artist is playing at this obscure venue that virtually no one has ever heard of. See, it entails a whole lot of mystique and that's how I get sucked in initially. Anyways, I'm brimming with so much excitement when I hear that Bonobo is actually playing somewhere on the west coast. You can imagine the plethora of thoughts: "Oh my god. Could this actually be happening? I wonder if he's going to play any of his own material. I wonder if he'll slip in any surprises."

Yet somehow in the midst of this excreta of thoughts, I always manage to overlook the fact that a DJ set means a DJ set. Yes, that means he will be playing records that he sees fit and you, you will be listening endlessly for an iota of original material. Well, after driving upstate to see Simon Green spin records for upwards of three hours that Friday night I can wholeheartedly say that I will never do it again.

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As I pulled up to Fat City, formerly Studio Z, on 11th and Folsom, I was flabbergasted by the sinuous line of people waiting to get in. I could understand why this many people would line up if Bonobo was playing a live set, but a DJ set? The only way I could explicate the relationship between this long line and Simon Green was delusion. We had all been led up the garden path by our own hankering to see Bonobo perform, not Simon Green spin records. I knew what to expect when I got there, but it's as though I pulled this sheath of ignorance over my own eyes for the slight possibility of entertainment.

Within three hours of spinning that Friday night, Simon Green afforded us a couple remixed versions of his own material, most notably the title track from his latest Ninja Tune release Days To Come. In the past I've made efforts to catch DJ sets by Four Tet, Amon Tobin, and DNTEL and they all have been resoundingly disappointing. I can safely say that unless you have had a history with spinning records yourself, then you're bound for the same discontent. Don't go into a DJ set expecting to see your favorite electronica artist spin his own records, it just doesn't happen.

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