Needle Exchange: A Year-End DJ Questionnaire

Portland DJs on their craziest gig of 2017, what they're dropping at midnight and the song that best sums up the year.

DJ Gregarious

Craziest party I DJ'd this year: For pure extravagance the Portland Opera's Baroque Ball at the Portland Art Museum was over-the-top insane. But for personal connectivity, the annual Conquistador New Year's Eve bash ringing in 2017 was a personal fave. It was so charged with emotion and intensity that I wept at midnight. Very cathartic.

Song I'm dropping at midnight: I have a bet with Casey Maxwell, the owner of The Conquistador, that I'm going to outdo last year's insanity with this year's track choice, so as precious and pretentious as it sounds, I'm not allowed to divulge. But I will say, it fits within my New Year's Eve theme of powerful, strong women and has a very positive message.

Song that best sums up 2017: Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman." I'm still loving the arc that started with the Women's March and has risen to the current calling-out of fuckwad sexual predators, and though the song's production is dated, the message is not. If we are talking a song that was released this year, Lizzo's "Truth Hurts" is spectacularly on point.

NYE Gig: DJ Gregarious spins at the Conquistador, 2045 SE Belmont St. 8 pm. Free. 21+.

Troubled Youth

Craziest party I DJ'd this year: The Pride edition of Judy on Duty with King Dee. People were dancing on the pool table. It got wild—never seen so much sweat on a floor after the lights came up.

Song I'm dropping at midnight: "Get Your Freak On" by Missy Elliott. A classic song to lose yourself in and forget about what a shit year 2017 was.

Song that best sums up 2017: System of a Down's "Toxicity." It spoke to me.

NYE Gig: DJ Troubled Youth spins at White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th Ave. 9 pm. $25. 21+.

Mr. Romo

Craziest party I DJ'd this year: Playing the sold-out Whiskey Bar. I had one of those rare moments where I couldn't do wrong despite my best efforts.

Song I'm dropping at midnight: A few years ago I crafted an NYE count built from Frank Sinatra singing "Auld Lang Syne," with bagpipes by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guard and a back beat of Azzido Da Bass's "Dooms Night (Chris Lorenzo Remix)," featuring an intro by Lil' Jon. It has something for everyone and I've yet to see it fail.

Song that best sums up 2017: Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression." It's been a manic year for a lot of us with our absurd and corrupt government, plus what looks like the beginning of the collapse of our ecosystem. Wow, that sounds all bad. Pretty sure there was some high notes too, right?

NYE Gig: Mr. Romo spins at the Whiskey Bar, 31 NW 1st Ave. 8 pm. $20. 21+.

DJ Pocketrock-it

Craziest party I DJ'd this year: It was technically late 2016, but I DJ'd the official Róisín Murphy after party at the Stud in San Francisco. She actually showed up to the party and had sort of a raised throne at the go-go cage across from the DJ booth. My friend put together the show and kept sending me videos of Róisín dancing enthusiastically to my set.

Song I'm dropping at midnight: Either "Talkin Bout Life" by Aroop Roy or "Raingurl" by Yaeji.  Both are straight-forward crowd pleasers that have come out in the past year.

Song that best sums up 2017: Honey Dijon's "State Of Confusion" featuring Joi Cardwell.  Coming from two women of color, one being trans, makes the lyrical content and dialogue even more important and powerful.

NYE Gig: DJ Pocketrock-it spins at Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St. 8 pm. $15 advance, $25 day of show. 21+.

DJ Don’t

Craziest party I DJ'd this year: The Pride edition of Lumbertwink. It felt great to be a part of Pride, and I got to play some of my favorite deep-house tracks.

Song I'm dropping at midnight: "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston. How can you not start dancing when that song comes on? And everyone should be dancing with somebody into the New Year.

Song that best sums up 2017: I Hate Models' "Warehouse Memories." It's cold, dark and hard, but leaves you optimistic and ready to fight.

NYE Gig: DJ Don't spins at Lumbertwink at the Analog Cafe, 720 SE Hawthorne Blvd. 8 pm. $10 with plaid, $15 without.

Chrome Wolves

Craziest party I DJ'd this year: What the Festival was a night time set in the coolest outdoor venue I've ever seen.

Song I'm dropping at midnight: I try not to plan songs down to the minute, so I'm not positive what I'd play at midnight. Something with a slow build to give people a chance to smooch that then ends with high energy.

Song that best sums up 2017: J Hus and Jae5's remix of French Montana's "Unforgettable." That's what sums up the year, even though we may want to forget it.

NYE Gig: Chrome Wolves spins at the Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont St. 9 pm. $10 before 10 pm. 21+.

Chelsea Starr

Craziest party I DJ'd this year: It's a toss up between a house and techno party in Atlanta called Deep South and a party at SF Pride called Wild Things. And of course my party here in Portland, Lez Do It, is always a joy.

Song I'm dropping at midnight: What? Are other DJs actually answering this question? You gotta come party with us to find out.

Song that best sums up 2017: James Curd's "We Just Don't Stop." 2017 has been dark. I think the lyrics make a great argument for dancing it out in tough times: "You can't lose nothing/Except your pain/If you hold it in/You'll go insane."

NYE GIG: Chelsea Starr spins at Killingsworth Dynasty, 832 N Killingsworth St. 9 pm. 21+.

DJ Anjali

Craziest party I DJ'd this year: The Women's March down on the waterfront, which was epic. Later that night I played what basically felt like a rave at 45 East for NXT LVL: A Dance Party for Women's Rights. Folks were so ready to get down that I got away with everything.

Song I'm dropping at midnight: I don't pre-plan my sets, but at the moment I'm feeling "Litty Litty" by Ta'Shan.

Song that best sums up 2017: The Swet Shop Boy's "T5." The situation we find ourselves in as children of immigrants and POC means we're looking over our shoulders more than before. Call me paranoid, but this is what we're experiencing: "Oh no, we're in trouble/TSA always wanna burst my bubble/Always get a random check when I rock the stubble."

The Incredible Kid

Craziest party I DJ'd this year: Closing out the Matatu Festival in Oakland this fall with our Tropitaal Desi Latino Soundclash party, because it meant connecting with a lot of new people hungry for our sound. I don't even think I realized just what a show it was at the time, lost in the fog and the lights onstage and my relentless self-criticism, but the testifying afterward had me believing.

Song I'm dropping at midnight: I never know what I'm going to drop at midnight until 11:58 pm or so. From where I'm sitting right now, I'd say a bhangra remix of "Mi Gente," because that's the most ass-shaking thing I can imagine.

Song that best sums up 2017: Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You." We've had an absolute shit year under Trump, and that single epitomizes the current iteration of awful white people who fucking suck being inescapable, making our daily lives miserable and ruining our world.

NEXT GIG: DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid spin at Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St. 9 pm. $29.50-$40. 21+.

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.