This week it is Ms. Maggie Vail serving up answers to our DJ questions. What's she doing when not working as VP at Kill Rock Stars (the label she's worked at since '94) and making music in bands Romancing and Leti Angel? Why she's stepping behind the decks as DJ Magic Beans, of course, most recently at Holocene's fifth birthday bash earlier this month.
Over the course of our Q&A, Vail provides us insight on Portland versus Olympia (in the dancing department) and explains that her preference for vinyl is due to a love for its distinctive sound. The inclusion of "Vitamin C" by Can in her playlist presents us with a chicken-and-the-egg conundrum, seeing as her husband Charlie Salas-Humara's band Panther has been working in a cover of the tune into its sets recently. So who played it first? That, my dear is the question. And you can find out below.
How did you decide on your DJ name?
It's a childhood nickname. Maggie Jeanne = Baggy Jeans = Magic Beans
As the Rapture say, "People don't dance no more, they just stand there like this" - how often do you encounter this?
So far my Portland experience has been mostly no dancing which is pretty much the opposite of my Olympia experience (I moved here two and half years ago). That said, lately I have been DJing mostly at bars where it's more of a hang out vibe. I honestly like to DJ any sort of setting. It's fun to cater what I play to what's happening in the space (or do the opposite of what I should depending on the mood).
It depends on what I feel like playing but I guess there's really nothing better than a raging dance party.
How do you feel about requests?
Hmmm, I like them fine if someone isn't trying to impress you or one-up you on your own record collection. Dudes do this pretty regularly.
Do you have a story about a particular request or requester?
Someone asked me if I had any Chanterelles the last time I was spinning (I think they meant The Shirelles). That was pretty good.
What do you do outside of DJing?
I am the VP of Kill Rock Stars and play in a couple of bands.
Where can we find you DJing?
Tiga, Holocene, East End - maybe Ladyfest Dayton in Sept??
How do you get your gigs?
Mostly just asking. It was hard to start doing that though as I am still pretty new to Portland and a little bit shy about self promotion. I am hoping my new myspace page makes me more legit. It turns out there's another DJ Magic Beans in Texas though. I hope people don't get too confused.
How long have you been spinning?
I have been trying to dominate the music in the room since I was seven or eight years old but actually playing records in a public place? Probably six years or so.
What are your thoughts on vinyl vs CDS vs laptops?
I am pretty much vinyl only. Every once in a while it's fun to use CDs or an ipod, but I prefer to DJ vinyl mostly. I love the way it sounds. The only drawback is they are really heavy and I tend to overload and bring too many records invariably. You never know what you might need!
What songs will we find ourselves dancing to with you?
"We Must Be in Love" - The Impressions
"Love is the Drug" - Roxy Music
"Vitamin C" - Can
"Kids at the Club" - Comet Gain
"The Return of Jackie and Judy" - Ramones
How long you've been playing the Can song in your sets? Before Panther started covering it?
Haha. Yes, but it is Charlie's record.
How would you describe yourself in five words or less - complete sentence or not:
How do you describe the genre you play?
Who are your other favorite Portland DJs?
Tiny Vinyl, E*Rock, Dog Daze, KM Fizzy, and Hostile Tapeover
You can catch her next on July 17th at the East End with Panther and the Joggers
DJ Magic BeansSpace
Kill Rock Stars
Photo care of Maggie.