BY DENNIS ROMERO
Listen/download "Charles Feelgood vs. Michael Jackson" here.
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Revealing a favorite DJ can date you like an exotic entertainer who plays Bon Jovi for her pole-dancing finale. (She thinks she's rocking out like it's 1988 on the Sunset Strip, but she's really putting on a sad bio-drama.) Likewise, sometimes it's embarrassing to admit that my favorite spinners--John Digweed, Danny Tenaglia, DJ Dan--all made their first splashes deep within the Clinton era. Kids raised on Steve Aoki, A-Trak and Diplo don't know vinyl from a fetish. Still, it's a consolation prize to see some of my all-time 1990s jocks taking the two-turntable medium to new heights in the late '00s.
Charles Feelgood's bootleg goodness is always contemporary in its energy and familiarity. With Feelgood, Michael Jackson gets memorialized in loopy bliss as the DJ cross-fades back and forth like a hip-hop champ. Feelgood, in fact, was campaigning pop vocals mashed-up with house music (illicitly so) long before the blog house craze hit the American Apparel generation. One of my favorite showcases includes Feelgood's performance at a party on the rooftop of a Miami club in 2000. As lightning lit up the tropical night sky in the distance, a bevy of West Coast spinners (including DJ Dan, Terry Mullan and Eric Davenport) traded off deck duties like Lakers coming off the bench. It was Feelgood, however, with his relentless box full of reworked '80s classics (The Police, "When the World is Running Down"), who stole the thunder.
Sure, I'll bow to the irreverent highs of the Black Ghosts, Guns N Bombs, and MSTRKRFT: The new kids are bringing fun back. But on a warm summer night, nobody tickles the good foot like Orange County's own Feelgood. Trust me, by the time he's done throwing down promo after promo (Bill Withers' "Lovely Day" anyone?) you'll be writhing on the floor begging him to stop. And that's cool, even if your haircut isn't.
Charles Feelgood DJs Tuesday, July 7, at Focus at Tapas, 4253 Martingale Way, Newport Beach. 18+. Doors at 9:30. $5 before 10:30 with RSVP, $12 after. Info: focus-oc.com.