Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tony Moran/Junior Vasquez Story & Some Edits!

So I thought I'd pull this story over to this blog from the one I used to write (not about dance music) on my MySpace page.

Tony Moran is going to be DJing in DC at Town on August 9th and I am NOT missing it!! This story is the one I wrote after to going out for my birthday in 2006. I went to see Junior Vasquez at Cielo and then later that night went to Alegria (at Crobar) to see Tony.

This is exactly why I can't wait to see him again!!

Feb 2006

If Music Is Your Life, Just Keep On Dancing...

We're gonna turn this party out!
Turn it! Uh huh!
We're gonna burn this party down
In Alegria!
I'm gonna wear your body out!
Shake it! Shake it up!
Cause it don't happen, happen everyday
Give it up for Alegria!

Been waiting for tonight

I wanna see some hands in the sky!
Raise em high!
Lift em up!
Keep em up!
Well alright!
I wanna see some hands in the sky!
Raise em high!
Lift em up!
Lift em up!!

It's tonight!
Can you feel it?!


Been waiting for tonight
For Alegria...
- Tony Moran & Ric Sena feat Zhana Saunders - "Waiting For Alegria"

I'm sitting here right now, trying to reflect on what exactly went on last night. My mind is still blown.

To try and pay tribute to my night seems almost trite. How can I really put into words what can only be described as a full body experience?

For those of you who aren't avid house-heads like me, think about the band you love the most and seeing them in an incredible venue with an amazing sound system, playing all of your favorite songs and sounding like sheer perfection. That's the closest thing I can come to for an explanation.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.

It's around 8:30 and I'm driving to pick up my friend Bobby. Originally we were going to take the ferry in and whatnot, but I veto-ed that idea when I felt just how cold it was and knowing how spoiled I am with my car, I knew driving in was my only option.

I knew that tonight was going to be special for a few reasons:

1) This starts my birthday week celebration (Haha!)
2) I was going to see Junior Vasquez (ALWAYS a good time!)
3) I was going to see Tony Moran @ Alegria (I had never heard him spin and had never been to an Alegria party as yet.)
4) I was going with a good group of my boys (Bobby, Billy & his friend Kevin)

To say I was pumped up about all this is a real understatement.

After we got to Billy's apartment and had a few drinks, we were on our way to Cielo to see Her Royal Highness, Junior Vasquez.

We got inside and it was MOBBED to say the least! There were people everywhere! Now, Cielo isn't a huge place and it usually plays house to some of the more disco/funky house DJ's like Little Louie Vega and such so I knew that I would be in for a different kind of Junior. However, any kind of Junior is alright by me.

As I had suspected, he kept things pretty funky for the majority of the night. The highlight for me was when he threw in "Nothingness" by Karmadelic feat Sandy B. Billy and I had just about freaked! Haha!

No matter what kind of music that man plays though, there's a story you can sense. It's a journey. There's an undercurrent of artistry there that you just don't get with alot of DJ's and when you're hearing a song that's been remixed or produced by Junior, you know it. Everything has it's place and the place is perfect. Being such a Junior freak, you'll think I'm biased and maybe I am, but that's what made my night so great!

The only downfall to the evening was that Cielo was having problems with it's air conditioning and the place was like a turkish sauna. 100's of people packed into a small venue and it was sweltering.

Side note: I spent most of the night dancing next to a very messy Carson Kressley from Queer Eye From The Straight Guy. Let me tell you--It's amazing the things TV make-up can do! Yikes!

Some more highlights for me was hearing Junior's mixes of Beyonce's "Check On It", Pink's "Stupid Girl" & Vernessa Mitchell's "Love Will Find A Way". At around 1:30 though, I just couldn't take the heat anymore. I had been dancing non-stop and was dripping wet.

So back in the car we went and headed to Crobar.

Now, as I've said, I had never heard Tony Moran spin before. I've always loved his productions and mixes but sometimes DJ's can be a real let down when you get them behind the turntables (::cough::peterrauhofer::cough cough::). I had very high expectations though, aside from the $60 cover charge! Truth be told, I would've paid $100.

For me, and maybe this is strange, it takes more than just a good DJ to make a good event.

Yes, the DJ is the main part, but everyone involved needs to be going for the same goal and that means bouncers, coat check people, bathroom attendants, bartenders, ID checkers, security...etc... (Et Cetra! LoL Billy!!)

And from the get-go, everyone was respectful and very friendly. Always a good sign.

The first thing I was hit with was just HOW many people were there. I've never seen a space of that size inhabited by THAT many people before!!

First track as we walked in: "El Tigre" (Deep Influence Mix)

We all battled the crowd and made our way to the front right side of the stage and started dancing. The energy in the room was high and the music was as big room as it could be. Besides, in NY, there aren't many rooms bigger than Crobar, if any.

What happened next was nothing short of magical. So much in fact that it's hard to put it down into words.

But I'll try.

Let me start with a very bold statement: Never in all the years of my clubbing have I ever heard a DJ mix an entire evening of music so flawlessly.
Any expectations I had for this evening were met and then surpassed with ease.

Tony had his hand on the pulse of the event and over and over again kept jolting you with music that you could NOT stand still to, even in such small confines of dancing space.

One of my favorite things to see when I'm out is when you look into the crowd and everyone has their hands up in the air, singing along or just freaking out to the same thing you are. In an abstract way it's like being part of a huge family. You're all there for the same reason. Everyone wants to have a good time and everyone is doing their best to enhance their experience.

Tony Moran was the Mama and the lighting guy was the Papa. Haha!

It's hard to breakdown the night into highlights because every single song, even if I didn't know it, was incredible! Adjective's do it NO justice.

From what I can remember though:

Rosabel - "Rhythm Intoxication", Mariah Carey - "Don't Forget About Us" (Yeah, I freaked out to this one), Offer Nissim feat Maya - On My Own (Freaking out again!), Kim English - It Makes A Difference (Dub & Club Mix--The Dub was outstanding!)

But the piece de resistance for me was Tony's 2006 Re-Do of Mary J Blige's "Your Child". For anyone who knows this song, you know the Junior Vasquez mix. Junior's mix is and was still great but I have to say (and you know this is serious!), Tony's mix made me say "Junior who???". He completely ripped through that song like nothing I've heard in my life!!! I almost danced to the entire song with my hand covering my mouth because I just couldn't believe what I was hearing!!!

Then Alegria favorite, Zhana Saunders, came on stage to perform her new Alegria song, "Cafe Con Alegria". She looked and sounded amazing!!
Just then, the released about 2 tons of confetti! There is no way to describe what it looked like, felt like, sounded I becoming redundant yet?? lol

They also released napkins from the ceiling to wipe yourself off with, which I thought was an awesome idea, albeit illegal (Thanks Billy! lol).

Even now, I have so many memories and recollections going through my mind it's hard to think about it all and get it all down here.

Somewhere around 7AM Bobby and I left and we made the LONGEST journey home of our lives haha!

My birthday is actually this Friday, but this is the weeklong celebration and I can't imagine a better way to start it off!

I hope that you can get some kind of incling what it was like. I'm officially addicted to Alegria and Tony Moran. It was a complete re-affirmation of why I love this music and why I love this lifestyle.

Tony Moran, you are a God among men. Alegria was just a mere love song from you to us and we all felt loved.

And until next time I'll be waiting for that night...For Alegria...

Till Then,
John Michael

I'm literally counting down the days!!!!

Celine Dion - To Love You More (Tony Moran Crossover Edit) **Official Edit**
**GAG! I love this song!! Why isn't Tony doing all her new stuff!!?? Tell me it wouldn't be sick to hear a Tony produced mix of Celine doing "Alone"? ::sigh:: I can dream!**

Nomad - With You (Junior Vasquez Radio Edit) **Official Edit**
**Another classic by Junior!! This takes me right back to Twilo! Incredible track here!! It's almost like Junior does trance!**

Katharine McPhee - Love Story (Tony Moran & Waren Rigg Soul Banger Radio Edit) **Official Edit**
**I don't know why this popped up recently because this single was released awhile ago but I am glad it did! I enjoyed the original version, but wow! Tony & Warren really brought it home on this one!! The beats are pretty big and this wouldn't be out of place at an Alegria party at all!**

RuPaul - Workout (JM's Junior Vasquez Radio Edit)
**This was such a great cover for Ru to take on. Originally done by Frankie Knuckles in 1993, RuPaul definitely breathed new life into this classic and made it his own. Junior went a step further and gave a good production with some beat tricks, keeping the focus on the vocals and not over powering them.**

Wendy Phillips - Stay (Tony Moran Radio Edit) **Official Edit**
**This British singer saw only one release here and this was it. Produced (and written) by Tony Moran and featuring mixes by Airscape & Mike Rizzo among others, this track is a fun pop dance song. Wendy's voice is very cute and the whole mix has a very easy breezy feel to it!**

Tenth Planet - Ghosts (Junior Vasquez Radio Edit) **Official Edit**
**This was another Twilo song and I love how Junior tackles these types of trance vocals. It's a sound that's all his own and yet it works on so many levels. I really am such a Juniorhead haha!! I totally drank the kool aid! At any rate, this was a special request, so I hope you enjoy it!!**

Tweet - Oops (Oh My) (JM's Junior Vasquez Radio Edit)
**I had ALOT of fun with this one. This has to be one of the darkest and strangest Junior mixes I own. It's SO dark! It reminds me of a Dynamix Dub. Everything about this mix is interesting tho. It's a wild and sexy ride through Tweet's masturbation station so hop aboard!**

1 comment:

Julio, Laurent & Louie said...

This blog is sheer insanity. I f*ing L-O-V-E it! As a reader, your descritptions (skills as a writer) and as a music fan to find these great mixes: the combination is just, well, orgasmic! You've got a groupie, a fan, and admirer over here! Keep doing what ya do!!! THANK YOU

Louie Lou