Scruff’s Top 5

I know it’s a day late and i’m usually on top of it, but I was on a weekend vacation and being on the road all day yesterday I just came home and crashed. A couple of buddies and I decided to rent a cabin in evergreen, Colorado just to get out of Northwest Iowa. We all worked on Friday and I had to DJ a charity event on Friday evening, so Saturday morning we left bright and early to head towards the mountains.

Friday night I played at North High School in Sioux City, IA for their annual Dance Marathon Event partnered up with ST. Luke Hospital. The students raise money for babies that are born pre mature with different ailments due to the early birth. At the dance marathon we play games, have fun activities, and of course dance to “stand” for the children who have survived and are currently going through the pain of doctor’s visits and treatments. It’s always great being a part of this, you get to hear the stories of the survivors, the appreciation the families have, and how much the students actually enjoy spending time with the families.

Saturday morning came and we had a 10 hour drive ahead of us, weather was cold but clear. There were four drivers, we all took turns behind the wheel and finally made it to our cabin on the top of a mountain. The place was awesome, and with snow starting to fall there was a peace the filled the air. We stopped by the supermarket, bought some food and braced ourselves for whatever the weather was planning for us. Though we didn’t get the chance to really explore due to the snow fall, I got quite a bit accomplished. Working on some music and prepping for the next week, all while enjoying the company of friends. This was the main goal of the trip anyways, we wanted to relax and get away. I can personally say that’s exactly what I did, and it was perfect. I was able to reevaluate how I pursue my goal of being a successful DJ, and how I can impact the scene. Now, i’m back to reality with more goals and ways for making them come true. Sometimes a weekend getaway is all you need to level up in life.

  1. Star 69 (Max Pavlov Remix) – Fatboy Slim 
  2. Tai Tai – MEMO 
  3. Porno – Super Dose 
  4. This MTRFKN House – Block & Crown 
  5. Afterhours – Lowdown, MKJAY

Scruff’s Top 5

As  we approach the colder weather, my schedule for weddings start to slow down a bit. This week I had a wedding on Friday and Saturday, but since Lee and I weren’t double booked, he took the Friday wedding and I took the Saturday one. This gave me the opportunity to relax and get prepared for Saturday’s reception. This also gave me the time I needed to work on some much needed homework. As I have announced before, I’m taking some production classes to further enhance my skills as a musician. It’s a slow process but in the end it will pay off. 

Saturday night I had the chance to celebrate with Ben and Ali Blair for their big day, the first day as man and wife. The reception took place at the Clay County Events Center. It’s been a few years since Lee or I have been here to DJ, as a matter of fact I remember when we used to rent out the event center for dances back in 2010 -2011. Guests started to arrive around 5 and I had the music going for the social hour. The wedding wasn’t expected until almost 6 when dinner was being served, so I had some time to play with my audience and figure out what was going to get the crowd ready to party. I play a little bit of country and modern pop to start things off, I saw some toe tapping and singing which was a good sign. I switched things up and went for some oldies 60’s and 70’s just to see the reaction, not much of a change so I figured that was a safe bet as well. After the arrival of the wedding party, dinner, and all the formal things that happen,  we start the dance. For the first hour I had all of the kids entertained while the parents socialized, I played baby shark, some Meghan Trainer, Justin Timberlake, and Justin Bieber. I also got some of the older couples up and dancing with a little John Denver, and country classics. I will say that’s the last time I had a full dance floor, people came on and off in spurts. The people were more into socializing with some tunes in the background. I have no problem with that, it sucks for me because I want to see people out there the whole night, but as long as the bride, groom, and guests are satisfied I have done my job perfectly. 

  1. La La land (Matt Sassari Remix) – Green Velvet 
  2. Vibrate – Botnek 
  3. Wiggle – Botnek 
  4. Rules – Penddit 
  5. Phone Call – Bleu Clair & Irsan & Devarra

Scruff’s Top 5

This past weekend was one for the books, I didn’t have a gig but I did have a night full of music and inspiration. It was good to get out of little town Iowa, even if only for a weekend. I made my way to the windy city for a concert at the Aragon Ballroom, NIN (Nine Inch Nails) was headlining and I was ready to see a legend do his thing. I was ready to enjoy my weekend off by reconnecting with family, eating good food, re centering my mind, and getting back to grind mode.

Saturday started off in Des Moines, IA. It was the final farmer’s market of the season, I wanted to buy some bubble tea and enjoy of good fresh finds before heading to Chicago. Lee and I walked up and down the streets following our noses and tasting the many treats that were available. We left Des moines around 11 am making the 5 hour trek to Chicago, paying all the tolls and dealing with all the construction in the process. After arriving we stopped an had dinner at Big Jones restaurant. It was a southern comfort food style of menu, very delicious entrees. I had some oxtails with dumplings, and Lee had catfish with grits and black beans. After our meal we made our way to the Aragon for the show. I can say we had the best view in the house, there were some reserved seating booths for people who didn’t want to stand for 2.5 hours, and because of this standing behind those seats gave us the perfect view of the stage. There was a fan blowing cool air, and we had space to move, there was nothing more that could have been asked to make the evening better. It was like hearing the greatest hits of NIN, there were only a few songs I didn’t know. The crowd sang along to every track, the lights blinded you with strobes and the industrial feel, the band was on their A game. After the show we had some white castle burgers, and played a little pinball at the Emporium Arcade before heading back to our room at the hampton for some shut eye.

Sunday I made my way to Le Grange to go see my aunt, uncle, and cousin. I couldn’t be in the area without saying hello, and this would be a great opportunity for Lee to meet that side of my family. We had a wonderful time hanging out, we watched some football and ate a nice home cooked meal before making the trip back towards Iowa. It was short and sweet, I can’t wait to go back and explore the windy city some more.

  1. Medication (Prok & Fitch Remix) – Erick Morillo feat. Gene Farris
  2. That Fun – Wrigley 
  3. Te Quiero Mas – Stephen Crown 
  4. Music, House – Zukk
  5. Still Hot – Skinnybit 

Scruff’s Top 5

Well it was business as usual for me, I had a couple of fun events over the weekend that not only tested my body and mind, but also gave me some insight on how to manage this year’s school events. This weekend also taught me to be prepared for all types of weather conditions whether you are indoors or outside. On top of my weekly radio show, and a restful Sunday i’m ready for the next weekend to begin.

Friday Night I made my way over to a farm house in between Sioux Center and Ireton, IA for a school dance thrown by the parents. This wasn’t the first time I had been at this location, it’s actually pretty cool. The building I was spinning in housed a full basketball court with tons of speakers, and is temperature controlled, so whoever uses the facility wouldn’t have to worry about being cold in the winter or hot in the summer. My favorite thing is the fact the floors are padded, no achy feet at the end of the night. The kids started pouring in around 9:30 ready to party it up, I was already asked by parents to keep the dance clean (which isn’t a problem), but I knew some of the requests would be sketchy so I was prepared. I started things off with some tracks to get them pumped up: Freaky Friday, In my feelings, I like it like that. Now of course I played some of the classics: Yeah!, Fergalicious, Starships, and Low by Flo rida. I knew requests would be made so I had clean versions of all the latest hits, my problem lies when the students yell out all the swear words anyways. I know kids will be kids, and yes we all did the same thing growing up if we could get away with it, but when your parents are the chaperones you should be a little more mindful of what comes out of your mouth. These guys don’t realize that even though they aren’t on school grounds the parents have the final say, they can shut down the whole thing on the spot. After this dance I know what I can and can’t play for next time, it sucks because playing all the hits keeps me in business, at the same time you have to listen to the person signing the checks.

Saturday Lee, Luke, and myself made our way up to the Pioneer Village in Worthington,Mn for a wedding. We had to DJ and provide our photo booth, hence the reason we came three deep. Luke and I had been to this venue before a couple years ago, it was in the middle of the summer. My most vivid memory of the place was the fact that there wasn’t any air conditioning lol. Pioneer village is set up to place you back in the late 1800’s- early 1900’s before modern technology and luxuries were available. Just with that description, i’m sure you can figure out the temperature for our wedding and reception this past weekend. It was pretty chilly only making it up to the mid 50’s when we setting up, and though the building did have a heater, it was only in the 40’s inside. I have to commend the bridal party for toughening it out and taking all the pictures outdoors with the wind blowing and making it through the ceremony without shivering. I can say that Lee , Luke, and myself dressed for the occasion with slacks and ties, but we never took off our jackets for this one. We grabbed some hot chocolate to warm our hands, and proceeded to give an upbeat performance to keep the crowd moving. As the sun started to set and the temperature started to drop, we for sure figured we would have to end early, but they battled cold on the dance floor and we all had a great time. This just goes to show that as long as the tunes are rocking you can keep on grooving regardless of the conditions. The building made it up to 58 by the time we left, which was 20 degrees warmer than it was outside. It seems like old man winter is coming early this year, and I am glad I keep a jacket with me at all times, without one I would have been one unhappy DJ.

  1. Mo Bamba – Sheck Wes
  2. Let Me Blow Ya Mind (Kerry Glass Remix) – Eve Ft. Gwen Stefani 
  3. Blood – Whipped Cream 
  4. Im Gone – JOYRYDE 
  5. Beat That Drum (Guz Extended Mix) – Dave Sol, Roland Clark 

Scruff’s Top 5

After this past weekend of playing down at the Firehouse in Sioux City, I’ve come to realize that no matter what newer tracks come out the classics are still the money makers for the dance floor. I always thought that I needed to put my old tracks to the side one night and just play hits from the last 2 years, see if I could keep the dance floor full. Well after this weekend I can say that the newer tracks are great for singing along to, but those 2000’s hits are what keep the dance floors rocking.

Friday I arrived down in Sioux City around 930 to set up for the night, it was cold and I was hoping that would have a positive affect on the evening. So far, my hoping was just that hope. The night was steady but never really got full, I guess most people figured that they would stay inside and stay warm. It was the perfect time to test out my theory, I played everything from 2016 on in hopes to keep myself sharp, and test out what newer tracks worked or didn’t. There were people dancing throughout the night, but what I noticed most was drinks in the hand and lips singing along to the songs. Now, with any experiment I have to take into account a number of things.

  1. Crowd
  2. Temperature
  3. Day

Usually on Fridays a lot of places aren’t as busy as on a Saturday because people with work Saturday morning. So staying out all night, and getting hammered isn’t on the list of things to do when acting responsibly. I had to look out at my crowd, those that were in their early to mid 20’s were bopping around a little bit, but mostly kicking it with their friends, pausing to recite a popular phrase or line in a song. People that were in their late 20’s and higher were the ones on dance floor two stepping to the beat and enjoying the music regardless of what was playing. So staying current was the goal and it was panning out as long as something familiar was blaring through he speakers. I couldn’t seem to get the dance floor full with all of the newer tunes, yeah people were singing along but as a DJ my greatest fulfillment is having a packed, sweaty dance floor. 

Saturday I decided to try and keep things a little more old school, late 90’s early 2000’s. You know the era of Usher, Ludacris, Justin Timberlake, and of course Missy Elliot. I couldn’t keep people off the dance floor it seemed. yes there were times when it dwindled down and people were out buying drinks and having some conversations, but there were more people who wanted to dance. I even played songs like the cupid shuffle and cha cha slide, I couldn’t believe that they were hits in a club. Almost felt like a wedding. This just proved to me that even though the song selection was way outdated, the tracks were still club worthy. They had a beat that made you want to dance, party, get close to somebody and vibe. I’m not criticizing the newer generations choice in fine music, i’m just taking observation in saying that maybe some of the newer guys need to rethink and get back into the things that make you want to get out on the dance floor.

  1. Mo Bamba – Sheck Wes
  2. Nonstop – Drake 
  3. MIA – Bad Bunny Ft. Drake 
  4. Lose Control – Missy Elliot Ft. Fatman Scoop, Ciara 
  5. Always and Forever – Chocolate Puma 

Scruff’s Top 5

It was another awesome weekend for me here in Iowa, I had the chance to see a living funk legend live in concert, and help celebrate the union of Jason and Brittany Verdoorn. The weather is getting chilly, but the events keep pouring in. This is definitely reassuring, boosting my confidence, and keeping me on track for bigger and better things.

Friday night I made my way to Clear Lake, IA for a concert at the Surf Ballroom. This place has great significance in rock n roll history, it was the last venue that Buddy Holly, The Big Popper, and Richie Valens performed at before they were killed in an airplane crash. It has also housed many stars over the years such as: Kevin Costner, Waylon Jennings, Chuck Berry, Chubby Checker, and many more. I was there to see the grandmaster of funk himself Mr. George Clinton and the Parliament Funk. There’s something about watching the performance of musicians from the last generation that inspires, and makes you appreciate the sounds that much more. I’ve always enjoyed the horns and grooves that funk brings to the table, I expected nothing less than pure magic on the dance floor, and that’s exactly what I got. George and the Parliament played for about 2 hours smashing in hits like Flash Light and Atomic Dog. This was their farewell tour, and I would have kicked myself if i hadn’t have gone to see them.

Saturday afternoon I arrived at the Prairie Winds Event Center in Orange City, IA for the wedding celebration of Jason and Brittany Verdoorn. The theme colors were a bright red and baby blue, I set up about 18 up lights throughout the room to mirror and accompany their theme. I had a great time working with Wesley and his crew throughout the evening, it’s a pleasure having a good working relationship with a venue and it’s staff. Jason and Brittany had nothing but smiles on their faces the whole night, I was glad that they enjoyed the music and dancing.

I kick off this week prepping for back 2 back nights at the Firehouse in Sioux City, IA. It’s been a while since i’ve spun there and i’m looking forward to interacting with the crowd. I’ve got some new tracks in my library, and some old classics to keep the dance floor rocking. Hopefully the weather plays nice and a big crowd shows up.

  1. Save Yourself – The Chainsmokers & NGHTMRE
  2. Around The World (Sunday Noise Remix) – Daft Punk 
  3. I Love It (KSWRT Remix) – Kanye West & Lil Pump
  4. Dip – Tyga 
  5. Back & Forth – Jack Back 

Scruff’s Top 5

This past weekend I can say I hit a wide ranged audience, from high school to senior citizen. I can also say that it felt like I was on the road for a long time, not necessarily true for Friday night, but on Saturday for sure. It was a fun weekend nonetheless, I see it as job security and live feedback.

Friday night I had the opportunity to play for Unity High School in Orange City, it wasn’t their homecoming, but they wanted a “back to school” kind of party since most of the athletic programs, and other school activities have gone full fledge yet. Now, Unity doesn’t hold dances at their school, they have them at one of the local churches in Orange City. I had played for their school before, so I knew where I was going, but it doesn’t make it any easier when you know what the students will ask for. Around 9:15-9:30 kids started pour in and were ready to boogie. We had a great time dancing to the classic tracks such as “Cotton eye joe, cha cha slide, and wobble”. The students made big circles on the dance floor and played leap frog, fist pumped and crowd surfed each other. I also had to be quite discerning when it came to some of their requests, as I had mentioned before we were in a church. You would think that I wouldn’t have a problem being that I was playing for a school, well you feel quite uncomfortable playing some school appropriate songs in a religious building. Point in case, I played low by Flo Rida which is a clean song, and we are allowed to play it at school events, but should it be played at a church? some other tracks that I played with conflict: FEFE, Fireball, No Hands. I know about reverence and respect, at the same time I also don’t want a cleared dance floor. I was hired because I could keep the children entertained, and the parents knew I wouldn’t let swearing blare out of the speakers. At what point does one trump the other? I had a happy crowd at the end of the night, a large crowd, sweating and tired, in my opinion that’s probably most important.

Saturday I had a wedding in Brookings, SD, this was the first time in a long time I had to travel up that way. That’s a 2.5 hour drive from my house, the good thing I had a birthday party brunch to attend in Sioux Falls earlier in the day so I was able to break up the drive; at least on the way up. I was responsible for the ceremony and reception sounds, so I made my way to the Good Roots Farm & Garden around 2pm for set up. The bride looked phenomenal, I had the opportunity to see her before the father and the groom did. The smile on her face warmed up the entire building. The groom was looking quite exceptional as well, the newlyweds were definitely living the best day of their lives. Now, usually I play until 11-12 midnight for most receptions, this one was done at 9pm. It didn’t end early, that was the time the family wanted to finish up, I don’t know if they were thinking of my drive home or not, but I wasn’t going to complain. On the drive home I encountered some rain, but for the most part made it back without any troubles, and all before midnight.

Sunday was my day of rest, I was glad to take some time for myself. Now, I probably shouldn’t have laid around watching storage wars all day, but I did feel good to let my body rest before starting up the next week.

  1. Mona Lisa – Lil Wayne Ft. Kendrick Lemar 
  2. Let It Rock – Kevin Rudolf Ft. Lil Wayne 
  3. Nonstop – Drake 
  4. Dancing Alone (Brohug Remix) – Axwell /\ Ingrosso, RØMANS
  5. Deceiver – Green Velvet, Chris Lake

Scruff’s Top 5

Over this past weekend I have realized a few things: regardless of your age, identifying with the next generations choice of music trends will be quite puzzling, and teenagers will always try to see what they can get away with when asking for songs; thinking that the DJ is: A) too old to know the meanings behind the words, B) cool enough no to care about responsibility and payment. I’m not sure which logic I take more insulting, but I do know that whether or not my coolness factor is affected, or my age is questioned, I will always try to do what I can to make sure the kids have fun….Responsibly. It’s still wedding season and on saturday night I continued the celebrating of unions with song and dance in Plymouth county.

Friday night I didn’t have to travel far for my homecoming, as a matter of fact if it weren’t for having to haul equipment I could have walked to my event. It was Sheldon’s homecoming and as usual I look forward to kicking it in town, the kids usually go hard and at the end of the night making it back to my bed isn’t too far to bear. I set up for the event around 8p.m. that night, hoping that by the time I was finished the game would be over and happy smiles would commence. Well I got half of what I hoped for, the game was over around 9p.m., but the kids weren’t smiling; they had lost the game. I knew this was going to make my job a little harder, it’s easy to keep the energy going after a win. The kids ask for some of their favorite tracks, and celebrate that sweet victory. It was now my job to help forget that painful defeat with the sounds of music. Though the tracks might not change much, the energy is different. I had to be on point, which brings a little pressure on me, but i’m always down for a challenge. I started the night off with some Panic! At the Disco, and worked my way into Post Malone and Drake. About halfway through the dance I started to get requests, now the songs these kids asked for were bangers, but they definitely weren’t school appropriate. Not gonna lie it’s not even the songs, it’s what the kids do or say when the song plays. As a business owner you learn to read your audience, and in the case of schools you know your location. Lil Jon’s get low is an instant classic, party rocker, booty dropper, etc. I won’t play it at school events, it’s not the bumping and grinding on the dance floor, the kids will find a way to do that anyhow, and I play clean versions of all my music in these instances so it’s not even that. I don’t play the song because you can filter out swearing that may come out the speakers, you can’t filter a room full of teenagers wanting to be rebels by screaming skeet skeet mother*** (You can fill in the rest). In order to avoid that catastrophe, I don’t play it. Of course you get the boos but when it comes down to it, I’m not gonna mess up my company’s reputation, and the opportunity to continue to get paid by the school over a 5 min song.

Saturday afternoon I made my way back to The Le Mars Convention Center for the Harrison Wedding. I arrived between 1 and 1:30p.m. to set up sound, and up lights around the room for the celebration. guests started to arrive around 3 for the social and I was ready to rock and roll. I played some soft music in the background while the room filled with laughter and reunions. Around 5p.m. the bridal party showed up and it was time for introductions. I had just finished a book by Michael Walter which discussed the importance of projecting your voice, smiling while speaking, and knowing that introductions were the most important piece of the evening. Now, I know that i’ve been doing weddings for quite some time now, but after reading that book i’ve started to become more aware of doing those things. As the MC and DJ for the evening, I want to make sure all guests feel welcome, and look for my voice when it’s time for directions. With that said I put on a big smile and off we go. The reception went off without a hitch, after dinner, speeches, the shoe game, and garter auction we danced the night away. The bride and groom looked stunning, and you could tell that they were starting their marriage off on a good foot. It was a real honor to celebrate with the newlyweds, I can only imagine what’s in store for them in the future.

  1. No Good – Zonderling & Don Diablo 
  2. Lick It – Valentino Khan 
  3. Air Jordan – Simion 
  4. In Too Deep – Toby Green 
  5. Let It Go – Gorgon City & Naations 

SCruff’s Top 5

It seems like things are back to normal in my world, events are going well and growth is on the horizon. This past weekend not only did I have a wedding, but it was also the start to our homecoming season. In my eyes this only means one thing: Winter Is Coming! Now usually I would reference that to Game of Thrones, but in this case it is literal. Winter in my mind means homecomings, formals, Halloween and Christmas parties. It also means that it’s going to take longer to get to all of my events, so leaving earlier is now in full fledge. Whether it’s due to weather, or farmers taking up the roads for their harvest period, I would rather be a little earlier than late. 

Friday night Lee and I made our way over to Hull, IA for Western Christian’s High School Homecoming celebration. We had been djin their dances for the last few years, and as requested by the students, we were back to rock the house. On our way to set up we could see the game was in progress, all the cheerleaders, helmets, and cars gave a good indication of a packed house. We also noticed the score of the game and that made us a lil worried, Western was down and if they lost that could potentially affect the attendance. Around 930 the students started to come in and we were on, they had lost the game but we were going to celebrate anyhow. At the end of the night we had a room full of tired, sweaty teenagers, but once again with the smiles on their faces I knew we had done our job properly. The best part of the night for me was getting all the requests and finding out what artists the kids were into. There were some that I didn’t recognize, and then there were a few that I did, overall I was pretty darn happy that we had 95% of the songs the kids wanted to hear. 

Saturday I made my way down to the outskirts of Orange City, Ia for the Klingenberg wedding. It was an outdoor ceremony and reception, it was also very hot but a breeze kept you from passing out. The decorations were very pretty and romantic, on the acreage the families of the newlyweds hung up Edison styled bulbs, and Christmas lights on the rows of trees making the area come to life. It was as perfect as you could get, as the sun set the temperature dropped to a very comfortable level, the bugs weren’t out, and of course good tunes were being played. We partied into the wee hours of the night, I was suppose to finish up at midnight, but halfway through the dance, I was approached by the bride and groom and asked to play an extra hour. That’s an awesome feeling, nobody wanted to leave and even after that hour was over, they were still ready to party on. I can’t describe the feeling of making someones night that much more special, hopefully they will be talking about that night for many years to come.

  1. Trampoline – Kalin & Myles 
  2. Cash Money – Malaa 
  3. Speechless – Dan & Shay 
  4. High Hopes- Panic at The Disco 
  5. Jackie Chan – Tiesto & Dzeko ft Preme & Post Malone

Scruff’s Top 5

This past weekend I was in Omaha at Bar 415 and Sioux City at The Firehouse, it was an interesting weekend. One that made me realize that I have a lot of work to do and I can’t become complacent. Some would think my experience would be discouraging, but i’m not going to cower at criticism except it and learn from it.

Friday night I played at the 415 in Omaha with Jeff Farrow aka JP Goodebeats, we shared the evening with two 1 hour sets. I happy to say that my first hour set was awesome, I really enjoy putting together opening sets. It allows me to be creative and set the tone for the event. I played some groovy tunes, nu disco, house and some tech to start things off. I knew that Jeff would be playing some techno, so I ended my set with some techno for the smooth transition. After Jeff played his hour set I took over again, this time my set wasn’t as good. A lot of DJ’s only talk about the sets where they killed it, and the people were dancing. My second set was the exact opposite, it seemed as if I couldn’t get back into the rhythm. My track selection wasn’t the greatest and I was even told that I sucked by a patron at the bar. Now, I don’t know if that was said because he wanted to hear a different genre of tunes, or whatever, either way it’s never a good feeling. That made me realize that I need to get back into grind mode, more than just for the radio show, or for weddings. I have to get back to the point where I mix everyday and continue to look for mashups and secret weapons for my sets. I don’t know who that guy was but i’m glad he was there to set me back on the right path.

Saturday night I returned to Sioux City for The Firehouse, after having someone tell me that I sucked as a DJ the night before, I was bound to have a good night. I am pleased to say that this time the night went as planned, the crowd was great and the jams were going all night. I needed that to boost my confidence a little. Now i’m ready to start another week doing the things I need to do to continue to be successful.

  1. Babarabatiri (David Penn Remix) (Clean Extended) – Todd Terry & Gypsy 
  2. Rocks On The Trax – Riva Starr
  3. Zeal – Tchami 
  4. Trip To The Lonely Planet – Mark Alow 
  5. Pangaea – Dee Montero