Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Everything Old is New Again

music_featureDJ Tom LG combines the past and the present
The annual Burning Man festival is a unique fusion of the ancient and futuristic, the human and the digital. The very nature of its Nevada desert location, which puts its participants face-to-face with many of the same basic survival issues with which our primitive ancestors grappled, ensures a somewhat archaic feel, yet the tribal festivities are enlivened by electronic music and state-of-the-art technology.

In short, it’s probably the only place in the world where you might see a robot cruising past a cluster of naked people dancing around a fire.

One would be hard-pressed to find a better DJ for a Burning Man after-party than Tom LG, whose musical tastes epitomize this synthesis of the archaic and modern. “Part of the electronic music scene is to be continually moving forward: Don’t look back; that record was played yesterday, therefore, it’s obsolete,” offers LG, who will be spinning records at this Wednesday’s post-Burning Man party at Moe’s Alley along with DJ Seek, Little John and Rob Monroy. In contrast to that, he notes, “I think the essence of what I’m about is this old and this new, this past and present. I ride this line back and forth, and when the two come together is when I think I’ve created the best experience for people.”

The 39-year-old DJ adds that the electronic music that he finds most intriguing has a strong tribal element: “hands on drums; objects that are very, very old instruments.”

After getting his start as a DJ in April of 1993, LG, a Santa Cruz resident since 1974, primarily played electronic music for a number of years until he started working at Logos Books & Records as a record buyer, at which point he developed a strong interest in music from the ’20s through the ’60s. He claims that at present, his repertoire is divided right down the middle between modern electronica and very old music from the last century. Some of his all-time favorite songs from the latter category are “Summertime,” “St. James Infirmary Blues” and “Caravan.” “They’re so beautiful that you want to cry, yet there’s sort of a spooky element to it as well,” he notes. “A lot of that has to do with the crackle and pop of the record. It’s a dreamlike experience, really; something that you might hear in a dream.”

LG plays vinyl exclusively. “I like being able to tell that this is an object that’s being played—it’s not a file, a digital number floating through the cosmos, through Internet or through your computer,” he explains. “Once you put a record onto a platter, and you put that needle on, you can hear the surface noise; you can tell something’s about to happen.”

LG, who spins vintage 45s each Sunday night at the Red Room and each Monday night at 515 Kitchen & Cocktails, began DJing under unusual circumstances: In 1993, he attended a rave in Watsonville where gang members shot six people, killing one of them. “Later that night, after everyone was just trying to figure out what we all just experienced, I decided to put on some ambient records to help settle people down,” he recalls. “From about that moment on is when I put 100 percent of my time and energy into [DJing].” LG states that he still uses music as an emotional stabilizer: “There’s not a moment when I’m not conscious that, ‘OK, is this song working? Is this the mood that I want people to feel right now?’”

Sounds like just the man to help ease road-frazzled Burners back into civilian life.

DJ Tom LG, DJ Seek, Little John and Rob Monroy spin at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. Tickets are $5 in advance or $7 at the door. For more information, call 479-1854.



Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location