Here's an amusing song from Chicago-area house DJ Andre Harris: "10 Things Not to Say to A DJ." A lot of DJs hear this song and think "right on." But allow me to add an 11th: can you please stop just playing records and actually make some music?
I'm not a hater or an instrument-snob. (Maybe a little bit.) A good DJ is a pleasure. But too many folks think that a sizeable record collection, turntables, a PA, and a few effects make them a DJ. Case in point, last night I went to hear a nine-piece funk/dub/hip-hop band. For the first 45 minutes or so, I listened to a DJ warm up the crowd. He got people moving, slightly. He used a few effects and had some decent fades. But the flow just wasn't there. Songs jumped between tempos and in some cases completely different beats, and I didn't hear any rhyme or reason in the selection. There was nothing surprising, no songs that made me want to run up and ask him where he'd gotten them. It was little better than listening to a semi-hip iPod playlist on random shuffle.
The band itself smoked. Particularly the bass player, which should always be the case with funk.