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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
by Christina Li on Oct 07, 2010
Kool Karlo got his first taste for vinyl in the mid 80s. Digging through his fatherís LPs as a kid and growing up fascinated with the art of scratching, itís no surprise he started collecting LPs and sneaking into nightclubs to begin his career. His carefree style has made him a known personality in the San Francisco DJ scene. Catch him every Tuesday at Damn Gina! at The Ambassador, and skateboarding down your neighborhood streets.
SF Station (SFS): When did you come to San Francisco from Seattle?
Kool Karlo (KK): í05ish? A Car wreck, job loss, and a breakup were a great catalyst to get my lazy butt out of sad-clown town. My philosophy at the time was ďI would rather be a small fish in a big sea than a big fish in a small sea.Ē
SFS: What makes you stay?
KK: Honestly, everything about this city is amazing. The people, music, art, and food are so inspirational. Itís by no means an easy city to move to, but if you focus on the positive aspects of San Francisco it can be incredibly rewarding. I am currently looking for a studio in L.A., but there is no way in hell I would ever give up my spot in SF.Think I'm going to try the live-in-two-cities-at-the-same-time thing next spring.
SFS: You're quite the epitome of a local DJ who just wants to have a good time. Tell us the story behind your Damn Gina! parties.
KK: Damn Gina! needed to happen. There were no clubs that provided a great drink special, no cover, and good music. Damn Gina! is a party for the people ó and I mean all people. I'm proud to say that we have the most diverse international followings in the city.
Other then the occasional Euro who farts on the dance floor, our party is problem free. We have a great vibe and anyone with 20 clams in their pocket can be a baller. You will see lots of $2 ballers at Damn Gina! Its fun to go to an amazing venue and get wasted and not spend $700 at the bar. By no means do I discourage that type of spending at my events, but normal people should be able to go to a club too.
The party's been going so well that we expanded and are also doing Damn Gina! East in Berkeley at Shattuck Down Low on Thursdays. It's just starting, but the plan is to do the same great party but with live acts also.
SFS: What's a song that unites all?
KK: I can think of two. Daft Punkís "One More Time" and Three 6 Mafia "Slob On My Knob." For some reason everyone from the Mission to the Marina knows the lyrics to "Slob on My Knob," and "One More Time" has got to be the No. 1 baby-making club jam of all time.
SFS: What's one song you play but secretly hate?
KK: I don't have songs that I secretly hate but there are a few I secretly love. Steve Nicks, "Landslide."
SFS: Guilty pleasure track?
"Still Fly" by Big Tymers. Itís just such a nasty drop. I love just dropping that shit in the middle of a house set and watching everyone lose their minds on the dance floor.
SFS: Take us through a typical Monday, for all of us jealous 8 to 5ers!
KK: Coffee, Skate, Studio, Dive bar ó my life does not suck at all.
SFS: If you could have someone DJ your future wedding, who would it be?
KK: I would like to re-animate Jam Master Jay, but if no black magic and zombies were allowed Jazzy Jeff would be fantastic.
SFS: Lastly, what's something people assume about you but are so wrong about?
KK: That I give a fuck ... kidding! I actually do, but people try to take this music and DJ stuff way too seriously. Itís not about putting your name on your laptop, or doing a billion name drops while spinning, or having white serato records. Itís about having fun making people dance and PLUR!
Whatís Kool Karlo up to at this moment? Find out at http://www.twitter.com/koolkarlo
by Christina Li on Oct 07, 2010