By Allison Babka
By Daniel Hill
By Drew Ailes
By Brian Heffernan
By Joseph Hess
By Joseph Hess
By Mike Appelstein
By Alison Babka
El Salvador-born and Hawaii-raised, Keoki Franconi -- better known as "Superstar DJ Keoki" (or maybe better recognized as the character That '70s Show's Fez played in the recent movie Party Monster) -- made his big splash further north, in the Big Apple. His long, groundbreaking history includes spinning at Danceteria, residing behind the decks at the legendary Limelight and currently, after a move back to New York from LA, hosting a weekly party called "The Too Far Gone" at the Sapphire Lounge.
While keeping busy behind the tables, Keoki's still found time in the past few years to throw his fair share of temper tantrums. Some of these are documented on Moonshine's 2002 DVD release American Massive, chronicling various parts of the Moonshine Overamerica 2000 tour (which, by the way, includes moments from a party here in St. Louis' own then-flourishing underground scene). According to Keoki's Web site, "musical differences" (or his most recent tantrum) made him switch from his eight-year label home at Moonshine to Cleopatra Records.
Since the move, Keoki has put out two discs, Kill the DJ being the second. This mash-up mix includes a variety of '80s and near-'80s favorites. While the mixing skills are mostly marginal, the record as a whole is a party crowd pleaser with many recognizable and danceable tunes, such as Kiss' "I Was Made for Loving You," Joy Division's "She's Lost Control" and the Cure's "The Walk." None of these are sung by the original voices, yet the covers are reminiscent enough to work. Dirty Sanchez also contributes a couple of tracks that throw some naughtiness and decadence into the mix. Unfortunately, toward the end of the effort, the tracks are too short to really groove, and they lead up, strangely, to a news report of Sid Vicious' death (nothing like dancing to an obit).
Otherwise, with 29 tracks, the disc is chock-full of enough decent stuff. Will Keoki devotees follow him unconditionally with his new sound on a new label? We'll see. But at least he's still trying to please clubbers instead of the Man.