BEST CLUB DJ (2001)
Before DJ culture became so visible as to be co-opted by candy-bar commercials, Tony Larson (a.k.a. DJ E-Tones) was teaching himself to spin with how-to books he'd checked out from the library. E-Tones played the role of bedroom DJ for nearly a year until landing his first gig, at age 18, at Woody McBride's "Impact: Field Trip to Bass Cave '92" rave and later gigs at clubs such as the Saloon, Depth Probe, Uptown's Club Chaos, and the Gay 90's. His early sound consisted of a commingling of house, techno, and rave until 1993, when a set by Chicago DJs Derrick Carter and Mark Farina converted E-tones into a house-lovin' machine. The now 28-year-old DJ has evolved to be a respected figure in the club scene, prompting the weekend crowd to dance well into Sunday morning at the Gay 90's, where he holds residency. His spare sets at First Avenue, the Quest, and raves across the Midwest make him one of the most well-rounded in his field. As one of his contemporaries puts it, "Tony plays a record and by the next week everyone owns it." And E-Tones does more than just look slick behind a podium. When he's on the decks spinning his raw brand of house, it's apparent that everyone in the room--including the DJ--would prefer to be nowhere else.