Head South, Young DJ

Got skills? Then welcome to Miami.

Let us think for a moment about Miami. It is a beautiful word, Miami. Just say it aloud. Rolls off the tongue, between icy wind-blistered lips, does it not? That first "Mi," pronounced "my," that gentle claim of ownership; then a puff of "aa" like a breeze off the ocean; and, at the end, "mi," this time a "me," a reaffirmation of self. It's a satisfying word.

Strange things jell in your mind when the temperature drops, and for me, those thoughts are of Miami (thoughts that are only a little hampered by the fact that I've only been there once, as a small child). It is a world of pink tiles and palm fronds, and icy-green drinks where icy is a blessed relief, not a horrible state of being. And oh, those foot-scorching sands, and the dolphins leaping and singing as the ocean rolls back and forth like a politician. Even the mucky sea floor hides sweet lobster meat. In a word, there ain't nothing wrong with Miami.

Why all this musing about Miami? Because I'm sending one of you there. Well, I'm not sending you there -- the RFT is. If it were up to me, I'd be on that plane to Miami, and you suckers could stay here and play Donner Party. But no! The RFT is going to be sending one lucky DJ to spin at Ultra during the Winter Music Conference on March 26. For those of you not in the know, the WMC is the biggest and fastest-growing electronic music festival in America, the electronic equivalent of rock's South by Southwest. It's a huge frickin' deal, you lucky bastard. We'll put you on a plane and get you on a stage in front of the folks who are the bee's knees of electronic music. Rub shoulders with the jet set. Sip Champagne with the beautiful people. You'll get your chance to rock their socks off. After that, it's up to you. To quote the edited-for-television version of Scarface, Miami is "one big [chicken] just ready to get [plucked.]"

But we're not just handing out this ticket to the first person to call dibs. No, first you must triumph in a multitiered competition that I can only compare to the martial arts tournament in Enter the Dragon. If you've got what it takes to give it a shot, first you have to put together a demo CD of yourself spinning. Maybe you play some funky electro like a modern-day Black Belt Jones. Maybe it's smooth house music like that white guy with the mustache. Or maybe it's a seamless blend of styles, like Bruce Lee's jeet kune do.

This contest is open to all fighting styles. Mail the disc to: Ultra Music Contest, c/o Jordan Harper, Riverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO, 63130. The deadline is February 21. By the way, don't send me your only copy 'cause you aren't getting it back.

Sound easy? Were you thinking of just dubbing an old Paul Oakenfold mix and sending it to me? Not so fast, saucy britches. From the discs I receive, I will select five DJs who must come to my secret island palace and battle to the death for my amusement. As I feed chunks of loser-flesh to the raven perched on my golden robo-claw, the screams of pain and doom you cause aremusic enough for me to judge!

Sorry. The five I select will do battle, but an altogether more-friendly sort: a spin-off in front of an audience and a panel of judges on March 9 (place to be announced in an upcoming Radar Station). You don't have to disembowel anyone with your fists (I did not make these rules up). But you do have to be ready to rock, not only judges, but a crowd. After all, judging audiences is a key skill for a true master DJ. But you can handle that, can't you? You'd better be able to, because the winner is going to be repping St. Louis for the whole world. Wow the crowd, shame your opponents with your seamless mixing and flawless taste, and you'll get the golden ticket.

Welcome to Miami. And don't say I never did anything for you.

 
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