Happy New Year!!

After taking a few weeks off due to illness and wanting to celebrate the holidays, i’m back to start another year of this journey in music. This year in so many ways is the year of vision, of goals, and encouraging others around you. I have learned over the past year that nobody can do it all, we all need someone in our corners. Now whether that’s family, friends, a mentor, or combination of the three it’s always good to have people that will not only push you to the next level but encourage you along the way. That’s why for 2020 i’m dedicated to putting myself around people that are trying to achieve the same goals. As a business Lee and I are expanding as well, with opening up a new location in Des Moines we are in he process of advertising to the community and participating in multiple bridal shows and forums to reach as many as possible. I want to say that this process has cost a lot of hours and miles but in the long run we are quite hopeful that we are going to be able to make the transition with success. We have met other vendors and made some connections already, 2020 is going to be a good year.

Since the new year I can say that I’ve been quite busy with performances, things are shaping up to a good start. On January 5th I played in Des Moines at Nightingale Lounge, and every Friday this month at the Firehouse bar in Sioux City. On the horizon are new venues and cities in which I will be traveling to this year including Cork, Ireland for my first international house show. When I stated that this is the year of vision I wasn’t kidding. My goal is to also have one original track and a remix done each month, more consistency and better quality productions. Sharing this with whoever reads this weekly blog will ensure that I keep my goals and I’m held accountable to staying on track. Now that I’ve started writing the blog for the year expect weekly updates as usual on gigs, production, and of course my top 5 tracks for the week.

  1. Where Da Melph At? – Katey Red
  2. Magic (Steve Darko Remix) – Ocean Roulette & VNSSA
  3. I Want To Be Your Man – Zapp & Roger
  4. Outstanding – The Gap Band
  5. On My Mind – Diplo & Sidepiece

Scruff’s Top 5 – Shultz Wedding

This past weekend I had the opportunity to round off the 2019 wedding season with Samantha and Tyler Shultz at the Willow Creek Golf Course in Le Mars. The venue was set up so beautifully, white linens on the chairs, napkins rolled into fancy shapes on the plates, and each table had it’s own dessert cake as it’s centerpiece. Samantha was dressed in an elegant ivory colored dress and Tyler was decked out in his two piece suit. The looked like a match made in heaven each time they kissed and smiled for friends and family. After a wholesome meal by Center Catering, and speeches that warmed your heart it was time to dance. I played hits from all across the spectrum, from the 50’s to today’s club bangers, country to pop and hip hop. The guests danced some and sang along to the music, but were distracted by the college football playoffs that were on TV. It was quite a bummer for me at first, I hate to play for an empty room, but when you saw the smiles on the faces of the newlyweds enjoying their guests, catching up on old times, and just enjoying the background music it made my sour face turn upside down. Its sometimes hard to remember that the night isn’t about you, it’s not even about the music per say; its about being the missing piece to the perfect night. In this case it was to entertain those who wanted to dance, and have some music in the background. My dance floor might not have been full the whole night, but it was when it needed to be. The smiles and joy on Samantha and Tyler’s face just proved that my job was well done.

  1. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
  2. Thank God i’m A Country Boy – John Denver
  3. Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
  4. Piano Man – Billy Joel
  5. Shout – The Isley Brothers

Scruff’s Top 5 – 2 week recap

I know that it’s been two weeks since my last blog post, but I had to take some time off due to illness. Besides burning the candle on both ends I wound up catching a cold; while being on the road for some shows. I’ve been battling this cold ever since: teas, soup, cold medicine, nothing has worked. It’s just going to take it’s toll and run it’s course, that doesn’t mean that the gigs stop though. Over the past two weeks I’ve had shows in Sioux City, Cherokee, and Omaha. Just because I’m not feeling 100% doesn’t mean a thing, the show must go on. A part of being a professional is learning how to deal with whatever situation comes your way and making the most out of it. I stacked up on vitamins and cold medicine and made my way to each show with the intention of giving my all regardless of how my body felt.

Last week Friday I had my Blackout show at the Riviera, the event went from 10pm-4am and showcased the talents of 5 different acts including myself. From all across the tri state area I had different styles, generations, and experience on the bill. I’m very passionate about DJing, and I know that in order for things to grow and expand you have to introduce; network with others and give the up and coming generation a chance. These are the ideas I hope to express with the blackout shows. the night went off well, we had over 50 people show up and that’s just the beginning. I’m working on a way to make this a long term event that I can pass off to someone when the time is right.

Saturday night I was supposed to play at the 415 with JP Goodebeats, I was looking forward to playing the set I had procured for the night. I made it all the way down to Omaha and got sick, I was already battling a small cold and with the long night before I’m sure it sent my body over the edge. That night I jus stayed in my hotel room, I slept for probably 13 hours. I know needed the rest, but it didn’t help me feel much better in the morning unfortunately.

This past week I had my residency at The Firehouse and a beautiful wedding in Cherokee at the Grainery, both events were quite hard on me since I am still battling this cold but they were also quite fun. Thursday and Friday night I made my way to Sioux City for the shenanigans known as the Firehouse. It’s always fun returning and testing out new and old tracks. I really admire how the trends of music can change so suddenly. I would have never thought in a thousand years that I wouldn’t be playing Yeah! by Usher anymore, that track has been such a hit. Nowadays I find myself playing hits by Gucci Mane, and one of the lil rappers that are out and about. Yet to this day I still get requests for “Back That Azz Up” and “My Neck, My Back”. I will never fully understand it, I just have to keep up with it. Both nights were full of fun and I def look forward to coming back. Hopefully next time I’ll be at 100%

Saturday I made my way to Cherokee, IA for my first wedding at the Grainery Lodge. I was there to celebrate the Union of Mark and Chelsea Stender. This place was beautiful, it was an old barn that was reconstructed into a wedding venue. The decorations were neat and rustic, there were antlers on the wall and a southern styled feel about the place. Mark and Chelsea looked stunning, their wedding party gave some beautiful speeches and the meal was fit for a king. After all of the formalities it was time to party. We had a great time dancing to the classics, the couple had old souls and it showed by their playlist. We sang along to the YMCA, did the cupid shuffle, and slow danced to the sounds of journey. At the end of the night I was given one of the homemade apple pies that were set out for dessert and complimented by many guests for he music selection. Even though I wasn’t feeling the greatest, the energy that the guests had gave me the strength needed to have a successful event.

Now it’s time to get ready for Thanksgiving, get my latest piece of production completed, and of course try my best to get rid of this cold.

  1. About To Drop – Don’t Blink
  2. Supercoil – Funkin Matt
  3. Ouro – Born Dirty
  4. The DBG – Shadow Child
  5. Ooop – DJ Burlak

Scruff’s Top 5 (Firehouse, Luverne Middle School, Broersma Wedding)

This week I continued my residency at the Firehouse, entertained the up and coming generation with some tunes in Luverne, and had the honor of playing for Kate and Darren on their special day. It’s crazy to think that this time last year the only events that I really had was the occasional school event or bar. I can say that I’ll probably be quite busy right up to the end of the year. With each upcoming event I look forward to the challenges of keeping up with the music and keeping the bodies on the dance floor. This week was no different, it had it’s challenges, rewards, and lessons as usual.

Thursday night is birthday night at the Firehouse, as I continue my weekly residency there I have come to notice the trend in music that most people want to listen to. Every once and a while you get the occasional random request but for the most part it’s business as usual. I play the top 100 tracks on billboard throwing in a few remixes to test out  and keep things rather upbeat for the most part. This Thursday I had a few more twerking, booty shaking requests made, not an issue with most of today’s artists focusing their #1 hits on club movement. I play some tracks by Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, Tory Lanez, and some old school T-pain to quench the appetite. Other tracks played that night included : Ariana Grande, Lizzo, and some Snoop Dogg. I always have fun playing at the Firehouse, I get introduced to many new tracks and artists while also making connections that might lead to weddings and other private events.

Friday I made my way to Luverne, Mn for a middle school dance. Now usually I don’t enjoy doing dances for that young of an age, not because they don’t deserve the best entrainment that they can get, but because of the amount of slow dances you have to play lol. I know what it’s like being a pre teen finally getting the chance to have a party at school, a slow dance with a pretty girl, and hanging out with your friends. As a DJ it does draw out the event a little bit, but you play and smile regardless because the kids are having fun. This dance was no different, except for the fact that I had to deny the kids half of the music they were asking for because it wasn’t appropriate for school grounds. I understand the times have changed and I usually don’t have a problem playing tracks that are heard on the radio, but if a song is suggesting lots of sexual behavior, or drug usage I have to draw a line. Not because the administration would have a problem, or the fact that half the song can’t be heard in the clean edits, but because the music is influential. My job is to use the influences of music to dictate the mood of the dance floor. I can’t have a clean conscience knowing that what I played could potentially lead kids to doing mischievous things. Now I would hope that the kids asked for these songs just because of airtime and because the artist is popular, not because they readily identify with the lyrics per say. I just can’t support it in a school setting, especially at that young of an age. Besides the music request the kids had a great time, I played a lot of group dances and kept the party going with all genres of music. I had some requests for Rock, old school country, pop and of course snowball dances. I must have had to play at least 3 slow dances within the first hour.  At the end of the night the kids wanted me to play some more, and the staff said they would be delighted to have me return. This is what I call a successful evening.

Saturday I made my way to Prairie Winds for my first wedding of the season there. I feel like it was a tad bit late, but it’s always good to work with the staff in Orange City. The wedding was for Kate and Darren Broersma. The lovely couple and their families had a night of fun and games planned, and I was there to help it all come to light. The evening started off with uncle Mark introducing the wedding party, he had a lot of fun joking on each member and keeping things nice and light.  Kate and Darren dismissing tables for dinner, they wanted to serve their guest since they all came out to support them in their union. After all the tables were dismissed and the the newlyweds finally got the chance to sit and eat uncle Mark hosted everyone in a game of Family Feud. It was fun watching everyone guess on information about the couple and where they are from. After some great speeches and photos, we got down to the special dances and open floor. I started things off country, after gathering some information from the bridal party I knew that would be the perfect way to kick things off. I played a lot of the 90’s country hits by artists such as:  Alan Jackson, Josh Turner, Big and Rich, and of course Garth Brooks. The hits didn’t stop there though, a lot of the hot wedding tracks were played as well. I had to get in the Cupid Shuffle,Wobble, Y.M.C.A., Shout and Mony Mony. I had a great time partying with these guys, it took a while for the dance to really get hyped but once it did there was no turning back.

  1. Crab Rave – Noisestorm
  2. Espan – Carlos Sanchez, DJ Ray
  3. House Way – Remniqe
  4. Rock ‘N Roll – Bali Bandits
  5. Rock It – Teig

Scruff’s Top 5 ( Halloween at The Firehouse, Sioux Center Private Party, Computer Issues)

This past week was a lot of fun in the lad of music, it was Halloween and that meant spooky fun! I started my musical weekend on Thursday at the Firehouse, I had obtained my costume for the festivities and I was ready to get down. I dressed up as the Dark Voyager from Fortnite, this allowed me to hide my face until I wanted to been seen. Some people knew what I was going for and others didn’t, I was just glad I was able to interact with those who were curious. I blended right in with most of the patrons that night. I saw lots of different characters: Mario, Luigi, Poison Ivy, Swat officers and Disney characters just to name a few. With all the crowd participation it made for the perfect atmosphere for a good time, drinks were flowing and people were ready to get down on the dance floor. It didn’t matter what I played that night, everything was a hit. Grabbing from different eras and genres was the name of the game. I played some Michael Jackson, Prince and Whitney as well as DaBaby, Migos, and Lizzo. I had to do some of the Halloween classics like thriller and the monster mash, I know that might seem corny but everyone knows them and it’s one of those silly traditions that I as a DJ play every year. I made sure to do a lot of group dances like the wobble and cupid shuffle, just so that the people judging the costumes could get a good look. I must say I had a great time, there wasn’t any drama and people were there to have fun.

Friday I made my way to Sioux Center for a private Halloween party. I recycled my look from the night before and dressed as the Dark Voyager. I had to help create the mood for the night when I arrived so I brought my uplights and set them on a bright red to compliment the spooky decorations. There was also some hollowed out tree decorations that we put lights in to make them come alive, it looked awesome when it was all said and done. Tonight the costumes were a little more planned out couple wise, some of the attires included: Joker and Harley Quinn, The Incredibles, Salt and Pepper, and The Greatest Showman’s Ring Master and Muscle Man. My demographic for the night was from 21-40 so I stuck to the hits from the late 90’s to today. I had to play Push It by Salt n Peppa for the Salt and Peppa, and of course The Greatest Show for the ring master and her acting partner. Other hits that were played included: Barbie Girl, Yeah!, Get Low by lil Jon and Low by Flo Rida. It was a great crowd and those who attended didn’t want it to end, I was glad to be a part of the fun and keep the crowd grooving.

Saturday I had the night off but Sunday was were my nightmare begin. I had been having issues with my computer and it crashing suddenly all the time. On top of that my internal speakers weren’t working correctly, It was becoming quite a nuisance, so I called up Apple and I started the long process of fixing my laptop. It took around 3-4 hours for everything to get fixed, apparently I had some corrupt files in my operating system and it was causing everything to malfunction. They had me format and erase my whole hard drive and start if from scratch. I had a back up which wasn’t an issue, the issue lies in the fact that my back up didn’t back up everything. I lost quite a bit of information and some important files when it was all said and done. Good thing I had some stuff located elsewhere to recover what I needed. This could have all been avoided if I would have purchased my laptop earlier this year. I had saved up the money and when the time came I spent that money on lowering some bills and getting out of debt. This was a smart decision at the time, but now I have a computer that’s becoming more of a liability than it should be. I’ll have to go back to the drawing board and save up for another laptop, this time when I reach that magical number I’ll use it on what I saved it for and nothing else. I’m glad I got everything resolved and are back and running at 100%, it just makes me nervous since my computer is getting old. Parts are becoming harder to find and next time a simple format might not do the trick. Who said this being an adult thing was easy!

  1. Bassface (Dillon Nathaniel Remix) – Destructo
  2. Flip The Beat (Sinden Remix) – Sinden
  3. Find A New Direction – Dustycloud
  4. Get Whipped – Boris Roodbwoy, Andrew Rai
  5. Bappi – Jamie Jones, The Martinez Brothers

Scruff’s Top 5 ( Firehouse, Anzua Wedding, Exhaustion)

This was a long week in the world of music. I had four events this week and each one was great, I lost a lot of sleep and the realization of rest and work balance has come to the front of my thought process. I had fluttering eyes, body aches, and brain clutter; but I made it. Two nights back to back at the Firehouse, two different playlists, two different groups of people. Saturday a bilingual wedding, my second one of the year, and a wonderful experience. All in all I had a great learning experience, a great weekend and i’m stepping in to a new weekend with a different mindset.

Thursday night started off my four day event calendar, this was the real start to change. I made my way down to Sioux City for a fun night at the Firehouse, they have been celebrating Halloween all month and this night was no different. All of the staff wore their favorite costumes and put on their best spooky service with a smile. You had Captain America, Spider-woman, a vampire, and even a jester walking around that night. I kicked things off in a poppy fashion, they had the jukebox rocking the tunes before I started and I figured that I would keep the trend going so that it wasn’t all of a sudden the complete opposite of what was being played right away. throughout the night I played all of the fan favorites from Lizzo, Post Malone and Lady GaGa to DaBaby, Migos, and 2 Chainz. I love playing for the Firehouse, there is always a mixture of young and older so that means I can play not only the newest of new but the classics (or at least what I consider classics) and nobody complains. I finished up there that night around 2 and was on the road about 10 after. When I made it home it was around 3:15 and I made my way to sleep probably by  3:30. I got up for work around 7:45 am and made it in to the kitchen at 8. Only a little over 4 hours of rest and I felt like a Zombie. I don’t drink when I work so there wasn’t any hangover or extra energy drainage from partying the night before, my body just needed more rest.

Friday night after work and my production class with Cova I made my way back to the Firehouse for some Friday shenanigans. Once again I really enjoy coming down and playing for those guys, the clientele was completely different, and this time I was able to go a little harder and a little more experimental. On the playlist included Juvenile, Ludacris, Tyga, Iggy, and Michael Jackson just to name a few. I played a few remixes as well, this is something that I do within my own discretion. Even though there are a lot of open formatted songs being played on the radio, I have come to realize that even in the clubs around here people want the familiar or little change. With that being said playing a few remixes a night is what I really strive for, just to introduce the crowd to the idea of new or change. Sometimes it works and sometimes it’s a completely bomb. I don’t usually judge a track by its first play out, there have been times when I played music that just hadn’t hit the mainstream trend yet. One of these tracks is The Git Up, I saw the videos on Tik Tok and my cousin actually introduced me to the song via Snapchat, so when I first played it out I was expecting a great response. The song hadn’t hit my neck of the woods yet so the reaction was horrible. Look at the song now, I can’t go to the Firehouse without someone asking me to play it at least twice in a night. I had a great time Friday night watching the dance floor and glancing at the pool tables behind me. I packed up and made my way out of there a little after 2 again which means I was in bed after 3 and with a long day ahead of me I passed out.

Saturday my day started at 9am and ended Sunday morning around 2am. I made my way into the kitchen to cook  and afterwards I played for Brianna and Daniel Anzua’s wedding. This was my going to be my greatest challenge for the weekend. Now it wasn’t a challenge because this was my first time playing at a new venue, or the fact that I was running on little sleep, this was my greatest challenge because the Anzua wedding was bilingual. This is my second bilingual wedding of the 2019 wedding season and I must admit I get nervous whenever I have to play music in another language. Brianna looked stunning and Daniel looked sharp, all of their guest had bright smiles on their faces and were ready to party. I had lots of help this evening from the host and hostess Josh and Joni. Like I had stated this was a bilingual wedding and those two were my translators. For most of the evening they took the drivers seat and conducted most of the activities. Danny and Bri enjoyed playing the shoe game, and having guests look for items for a scavenger hunt. I took the reigns right after with the first dances. This is where my nerves started to kick my butt, i’ve rocked crowds to the 80’s 90’s today’s and everything in between tunes. When it comes to traditional banda’s, cumbia’s and latin hits outside of today’s reggaeton artists i’m lost. I started off with group dances like the Cha Cha Slide and wobble, I then slowly transitioned into some spanish music with the Macarena first then Payaso de Rodeo. I got the response that I expected and then some. Instead of clearing the dance floor with the language switch almost everyone stayed and did their best at dancing to whatever was played whether they understood the language or not. After a few songs I got the chance to witness some very traditional activities performed at many Mexican weddings. First Brianna and Danny both stood on chairs and locked fingers making a bridge, and with the support of a few people they had their guests make their way under the bridge all while trying to knock them off the chairs. It was quite crazy for a moment but all in good fun. Next activity was even wilder, the groomsmen took Daniel and started to toss him in the air. They did this a few times, tossing him higher and higher each time to the point where he almost touched the ceiling. It was awesome to see what other cultures do when celebrating the union of man and wife. We partied for a few more hours after that, bouquet toss, garter, and dollar dance were all done. I switched back n forth between styles of music and with the help of guests I was able to not only keep my dance floor full, but I was able to expand my library. The nervousness never subsided, I take my job seriously and I want to make sure that all guests have a good time. I was just happy that I was able to cater to everyone a little bit, I felt really honored to be a part of Bri and Danny’s special day.

After A long weekend it’s time to talk about how my body felt, about the dangers I faced, and what I plan on doing to keep myself from feeling like this. After the first night at the Firehouse I went to work feeling like a  zombie. I was at a point in which I knew I was awake but at the same time I was no where near functional enough to be around sharp and hot objects. After another night at the Firehouse my eyes fluttered more on the road and my body started to ache the next day. When I say ache I mean stiffness throughout my body, I mean joints hurting as I moved, my knees wanting to collapse underneath me, and my body wanting to just shut down. Now I know I got some rest and a small nap on Friday but Saturday after working in the kitchen I showered and left for Brianna and Danny’s wedding. No rest, and when you are in the business of entertaining you push all of that aside and give your 100% because that’s what your clients purchased, and most importantly that’s what they deserve. When you are giving that much energy you need to replenish that energy with healthy eating and lots of rest. I am definitely guilty of not eating right, and as you might have read rest was almost non existent this weekend. This was dangerous, not only because I could have fallen asleep behind the wheel of my car, or seriously hurt myself in the kitchen. It was dangerous because my actions could have gotten someone else hurt or worse. Not only that but I put excess wear and tear on my body when it was unnecessary. Yes, there will be times in which you have to work on little amounts of sleep, but they should not exceed healthy choices. There were times I felt like I was going to pass out. If I would have been the cause of an accident on the road or at work, my guilt for the situation would have been a heavy burden to carry for a long time. In the future I will be making sure that I  have the time that I need to recover from a long night, this is what I plan on doing for a very long time. I have to make sure that I take care of myself, and I am conscience of what harm I could be putting someone else in due to my negligence.

  1. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (Freejak Remix) – Abba
  2. Huapango Tribal – DJ Moys
  3. The Funk – Raumakustik, Andrew Meller
  4. Creeping – Gene Farris , Dakar, Tough Love
  5. Divided Souls – Diddy, Wax Motif

Scruff’s Top 5 – (The Firehouse, Loges Wedding)

It was a great weekend in music, I started it off in the club and ended it off celebrating the union of of Ashley and Austin. I would call it the best of both worlds, when I play in a club or bar I update my playlist with songs that I haven’t necessarily heard in a while or ones that I have never heard of. I also get the chance to mix some of the new school club bangers with the old one’s live, try and bring two different generations together on the dance floor. It’s a rush dealing with different demographics every hour, since people like to bar hop I never deal with the same crowd all night. This in my opinion is the highlight of an open format club/bar DJ. At weddings my playlist grows by genre more than anything, being in Northwest Iowa I find that country and classic rock are more of the go to’s. Nonetheless each night is different and a lesson is to be learned, one that I can use to better my skill and keep the dance floors rocking.

Friday night I made my way down to the Firehouse in Sioux City for a night of good tunes and happy patrons. Throughout the night I had requests that were not so traditional such as: Starship, Phil Collins, Disney tunes, and Celine Dion. Now since these requests were made earlier in the evening I did play some of them. The bar wasn’t quite busy just yet, and the songs were definitely ones that most people knew. I had a fun time playing some remixes and b side tracks while going through some of the crowd favorites. I had a group of patrons ask for some tracks by Young Dolph, an artist that I had heard of but not to familiar with. The tracks that were requested were hardcore but still had a great beat. I was able to incorporate the requested tracks in with some of my southern hip hop favorites by T.I., Juvenile, and Outkast. I also had some requests for Lizzo, Snoop Dogg, and Ariana Grande. Not the normal tracks but some new ones that weren’t on the billboard top 100 just yet. Finding out some new music is always a rush because you never know how a dance floor will react, and you are eager to play them just because you want to play an exclusive track. It’s a risk with high reward if the song is fire, if not it can go as a dud until it becomes more popular. With Halloween coming up i’m grabbing as many tracks as possible to play for the night of fright and mystery. I’ll be back at the Firehouse that night so get ready for the unreal.

Saturday night I had the honor of being a part of Austin and Ashley Loges’s wedding at Sheldon’s Crossroads Pavilion Event Center.  The room was decorated magnificently with a giant L over the head table and lots of candles on each of the guest tables making things feel elegant and romantic. Austin and Ashley had a popcorn bar for snacks and a lovely array of cupcakes for dessert. With hanging lights from the ceiling, a mantle honoring loved ones that have passed on and pictures depicting the generations of marriage before them; Ashley and Austin painted the perfect scenario for a celebration. After a lovely meal and speeches that made you laugh we played the shoe game followed by a scavenger hunt with plenty of guest participation. The crowd was great they loved the interaction and when the dance started they continued by moving their feet to the very end. We partied to lots of the 90’s and 2000’s hits, sang along to Neil Diamond, and Garth Brooks, had slow dances to Shania and Willie. It didn’t matter what was played the bridal party, Ashley, Austin, and all of their guests just wanted to have a great time. I had an amazing time with this family, I was so glad to be a part of their special day. Night’s like this remind me of how fun the music can make the day.

  1. Higher Love – Kygo & Whitney Houston
  2. Long Cool Woman – The Hollies
  3. Circles – Post Malone
  4. Tarzan – Black V Neck
  5. Call Me – Hannah Wants & Kevin Knapp

Scruff’s Top 5 – Klaahsen Wedding/Luverne Homecoming/Klein Wedding

well I know it seems like I am a week late with my posts, but sometimes you have to take some time off to get your mind right. Last week I was really struggling, not only with staying focused on my tasks at hand but also my creative state. It happens to everyone and sometimes pushing through is the way to go, sometimes you have to step away for a few days to regain perspective of the big picture. I took the latter approach. I wanted some time to just sit, breathe, push doubts to the side and be prepared to do the scary thing that most people are afraid to do… Succeed. Now i’m back and going to recap last week’s adventure and this past weekend’s as well.

October 5th Lee and I made our way to Calico Skies, a winery that is located in the hills between Inwood, IA and Canton, SD. It was my first wedding at the venue, Lee had been there a few times before but I was excited to see the space and meet the staff. We arrived ready to set up for the reception and the ceremony  which was supposed to be conducted outside. The weather did not permit that so we made sure the space inside was ready for all of the nights activities. We had up lights set around the room in a nice dark purple color matching the color scheme of the bridal party. After a nice ceremony and social hour we introduced Mr. and Mrs. Jerry and Kristen Klaahsen to their guest and enjoyed a wonderful meal before proceeding with the dance. The bridal and groom were a little older so we had a night filled with 80’s and 90’s hits. It was a small intimate wedding and we enjoyed being a part of Jerry and Kristen’s special day.

This past Friday Lee and I made our way to Luverne High School for their homecoming dance. I had been there the prior year for their winter formal and it was a blast, I was looking forward to trying out some new tunes and taking requests from the kids. It’s one of my ways of keeping current with the trends, now this doesn’t mean that I necessarily play the track that they requested; I do have to keep the music clean and appropriate for school grounds. The dance started around 9 and we had a great time playing some crowd favorites and a whole bunch of “new new’ for the students. We were definitely surprised by some of the requests. It amazes me how some songs disappear and others seem to thrive even after 10+ years. One thing that I did notice is the amount of songs that have little dances to them. I joined Tik Tok a while back and I can say that the video influences are trending. Most of the students wanted to hear songs just to do the mini dances that went along with them. Just goes to sow that kids are still kids and some things will never change. I remember doing the same thing with myspace, MTV, and early internet tracks.

Saturday I made my way back to Calico Skies for the Klein/Olson wedding. The bride is a long time friend of Lee and I’s. Lee used to teach her son Jaylen hip hop while instructing at Robin’s School of Dance in Sioux Center, and I have had a numerous amount of gigs in which Melissa and Jaylen have attended. I was ecstatic when I found out that she was getting married and she wanted our company to be the ones to facilitate the evenings activities. Once again there was bad weather and all activities that were planned for outside were now cancelled. That didn’t stop the party from commencing, we danced all night to a wide range of music, from country to 90’s R&B, pop, to hip hop and everything in between. Despite the cold snowy weather outside  the dance floor was heating up inside. There were guests performing the worm, and kids working their favorite 80’s break dance moves into the wee hours of the night. We partied until about midnight and that’s a long time considering how long of a day it is for he bridal party. It was truly an honor to be there for Melissa and Billy, I wish those two and all of our wedding couples nothing but the best.

  1. Get Ur Freak On – Nader Razdar
  2. Glitches (Yvvan Back Remix) – Croatia Squad
  3. Mr. Molly – James Curd, Nah Man
  4. Inside My Head – Gene Farris, Will Clarke
  5. Tokyo Bill – Born Dirty, Bellecour

Scruff’s Top 5 – Homecoming Edition: MOC/NWC

This weekend was the start of the school season, weddings are still going strong, we just added a few school functions in the mix as well. Both of the homecomings were eye opening, I sometimes forget where I am at times. I was thrown off a bit but I can say both events went well and now it’s time to get ready for next week’s activities.

Friday night Lee and I made our way to Orange City for MOC’s homecoming, it was night one of two in Orange city for me this weekend. The boys football team were in a battle when we arrived, they were playing the Sheldon Orabs and even though that was a little conflicting for us since we live in Sheldon we wanted the Dutchmen to win. Usually when the homecoming team wins we have a better night, we don’t have to try and get their minds off of a lose just help them celebrate. Unfortunately the Dutchmen lost, but the students came piling in ready to dance. We started the dance off with some classics like the cha cha slide and wobble, afterwards we tried to hit them with some newer music. We quickly realized that newer tracks weren’t doing it for this crowd. Now some of the newer songs worked like: Truth Hurts, The Git down, and Hot Girl Summer, but anything else in the newer hip hop selection didn’t. This just brought me back to the realization that my location still has a lot to do with song selection in the schools. If I was down in Sioux City most of the tracks I wanted to try would have worked and that’s only 30 mins south from where I was at. Things like that just make you adapt to your surroundings and try something else. I had to resort to early 2000’s and some pop hits to keep the crowd alive. That’s one of the reasons why I was glad to tag team the event with Lee, we were able to bounce ideas off each other until we got in a rhythm of tunes that worked. At the end of the night we had quite a few kids left and I felt exhausted, it’s been a while since i’ve felt like i’ve had to really think about the songs I played. It was awesome to be put in an uncomfortable situation for a change, something to keep me on my toes.

Saturday I made my way back to Orange City, for Northwestern’s Homecoming. It’s always great to back on NWC campus, takes me back to the years when I was a student and I feel like it’s great to give back to that community. Sound check was at 9:30 and that was a perfect time to play out my latest track on a larger system than my studio monitors. Around 10 the students started to fill the large tent on the campus green warming up the air a bit. Due to the fact I had stick to older songs at MOC’s homecoming I decided to start everything off there. I was able to play a mixture of tracks for the 2 hour dance, switching things up genre wise and timeline wise. I can say that I really enjoy the freedom of curating a playlist, even though that has more of a risk it’s worth the reward when you can rock the crowd. Some of my favorites of the night was: Everytime We Touch, Turn Down For What, and Suge. For the college crowd I was able to throw in some remixes and see how they played, once again the area I was in showed me that they weren’t into the remixes as much as the originals, but at least I know. I try to expose these guys to new materials, sometimes it just takes longer to receive it. I had fun overall playing, for two hours it felt like I was a student on campus again. Now it’s time to prep for next week’s adventures and work on some new music.

  1. New Jack City – Gene Farris
  2. Wanna See You – Sidepiece
  3. Movin – Jauz
  4. Nightcap – Glass Petals
  5. Stand Up – Fex

Scruff’s Top 5 – Karaoke/Hickman wedding/Firehouse x2

This week was one of new experiences, self reflection, and humility. It’s great when you open up a potential new avenue of revenue, testing it out might be a little nerve wrecking but when it all comes together the possibilities are endless. Looking in the mirror knowing that you have work to do to stay relevant is a hard pill to swallow, after you see the reflection what you decide to do from that point on is when the real journey begins. Playing at a certain location multiple times can be quite humbling, and yet at the same time empowering. When this starts to happen you tend to look at the original big picture, this is when the magical sparks start to fly.

Thursday night I hosted the first S&E Karaoke night at The Lounge here in sheldon. The event was put on by the Young Professionals group of Sheldon, the organization is trying to fit in activities that appeal to adults between the ages20-40, trying to keep the town of sheldon thriving. The Lounge which is in the same building as Cook’s Cafe and Langer’s Bar and Grill donated the space to help bring the vision to life. Being that this was the first ever karaoke event I had to host I can admit that I was a little nervous. After setting up and testing things out, I was quite hopeful that we would have lots of fun and that this wouldn’t be the last time that we would be hosting the event. The event started at 7 and right at the beginning we had a crowd gathering to sing and create a fun loving atmosphere or drinks and vocal folly. I was quite happy with this because that meant I wouldn’t have to sing many songs to keep things rolling. I did kick the night off with my own rendition of The Backstreet Boy’s classic I want it that way. Needless to say I was glad that was the only song you hear coming from lips that evening. I enjoy singing along to music, but putting a mic in my hand is very different. I have one of those solo voices, so low that only I can hear it; in the shower. Throughout the course of the night we had up to 25 people engaged in their favorites songs, ranging from classic country to 80’s rap and some rock and roll. Whatever the track, you could tell that everyone was having fun. We only had a 2 hour slot for the first event, just in case no one had come out to party. I’m positive that this won’t be the last time we do karaoke for the Young Professionals, I also think that we will be adding this to our wedding packages in the fur as well.

After leaving The Lounge I made my way down to the Firehouse in Sioux City. The manager at the bar had been trying to get me to play on their Thirsty Thursday night for  awhile now. Since I took the night off of work for karaoke I was able to make it happen this week, I was excited to see how different the night was going to be compared to the weekends. Now usually when I play at the Firehouse it’s top 40’s open format style of play. This night was different though, I had people come out to the bar just because they knew I was playing and they wanted to hear house music. So for the first time in a long time I was able to play house hits for at least 80% of the night. I had the occasional request for the songs like The Git Up and the Cupid Shuffle so I had to switch things up for a little bit, but for the most part it was house all night long. House music is definitely my passion genre and I would love to play out some more, after listening to my set I realized that I needed to work on my house mixing. Yes, I have a radio show in which I only play electronic music but that’s different than playing a house  set at a bar or club. It’s time to hit the drawing board and work on the performance side of my craft. Once I get back to the level I need to be at I want to try and introduce a house themed night for the Firehouse. The owner is quite open to many different ideas and hopefully this is something that he would be on board with. It’s quite humbling knowing that people came out just because they knew I was playing, it does stroke the ego just bit, but it also motivates me to be a better artist. I can’t expect people to follow me, or come out to my shows if i’m not bringing the best sounds to ever hit their eardrums. It’s time to grow and that just means more discipline, consistency, and practice. By spring I want to be able to look back at this post and know from my heart that I have done what it takes to play better, not just for the fans of the music, but most importantly for myself and the music culture.

Friday I had the Vander Plaats/Hickman wedding in Sioux Center at the Terrace View Event Center. Walking in the building you felt the magic in the air. The design and decorations were straight out of a fairytale. The lobby had the photo shoot cozy feel with candles lit and a comfy couch in front of a backdrop of white balloons. A fountain of punch and pictures of Kari and Forrestal hanging on the wall. The main banquet room was spectacular, a back drop of low emitting lights setting the mood for an intimate meal, the head table set on a platform with a love seat for the newlyweds with a sign hanging above with their initials. Outside chairs set up for the wedding ceremony, it was really breathtaking. We started the night off in a non traditional way, we had dinner before making our way outside for the ceremony. Blue mountain catered the meal and that was very delicious, we had classic styled sodas to enjoy during the ceremony, and a full cake and doughnut bar for our dessert. After Some beautiful speeches by the maid of honor and best man we continued the evening with the special dances accompanied by slideshows with pictures highlighting both Kari and Forrestal individually, as well as together starting a new chapter in their lives. We danced the night away to hits from the all across the board. It was truly an honor to be a part of their special day, Kari was dressed in an elegant dress, Forrestal was decked out in a navy blue suit which accompanied his wife perfectly.

Saturday night I made my way back to the Firehouse for an evening of shenanigans. The place was packed and I hit them hard right out the gate. We connected with tracks from the 90’s such as Shoop, U can Do it, Fantastic Voayage, and Ghetto Superstar. I played some of the classics from the 2000’s such as Yeah, Candy shop, Get Low, and Naughty Boy. The 2010’s are a little harder to dance to but I got them going with the Git Down, Cupid Shuffle, Wobble, and of course hits from guys like Tyga, DaBaby, and Megan Thee Stallion. Sometimes I have to remember the songs that I play definitely affect the mood of the evening, I noticed the crowd getting a little rowdy when I played tracks such as Whoop that Trick, and Rep Yo City. At the same time when I had a request for some old school rock and roll things calmed down as I played Thunderstruck by ACDC. The remote was in my hand and I controlled the volume, overall we had a great time partying. The bar was full, the staff was happy, and the vibes were good. I call that a successful evening and the end to another week in music. Now all I have to do is record my radio show and get prepared for the next week.

  1. Gold Digger (Richastic Remix) – Kanye West ft. Ray Charles
  2. Brighter Days (Odd Mob Remix) – Cajmere Ft. Dajae
  3. Mint Tea – Jack Moure
  4. House Phone – Zookeper
  5. Rhythm In My Brain – Mason