Best Club DJ - 2010
The Hold Steady song "Most People are DJs" has become a fact of life. We live in an age when any iPod- and laptop-toting music hound can be a DJ — which is why watching a real turntablist tear up the decks is a thing of beauty. In his sixteen-year career, James Gates, a.k.a. DJ Needles, a.k.a. Nodzilla, has established himself as DJ royalty in St. Louis, playing the best clubs, events and parties, blowing up the independent airwaves weekly on KDHX with the cream of hip-hop and nu-soul. He's got a résumé a mile long, but his skill and seriously prodigious pairing of today's relevant cuts with forgotten grooves speaks for itself. If you haven't heard his name by now, you're just not listening hard enough.