Written by Amber Schadewald
Just like skateboarding or playing football, girls doing supposed “boy things” is way hot and a refreshing flip of the gender card. DJing is one such activity that, at least in our city, seems to be overruled by male hands. Thankfully, this month The Triple Rock Social Club has paired up with Burlesque of North America design crew and turned the weekly “Triple Double” 2-4-1 night into a showcase of the top lady DJs in the city. Each Tuesday will feature three women, most of whom are not only excited to spin, but to meet the other fine ladies who share their passion.
Tuesday, November 11
TenderCakes say they’ve been playing more “house-y, electro remixes” lately, but in general the redheaded sisters like mixing together old with new. “We like playing stuff the crowd will know—not obscure tracks that are blowin’ up on the internet.” Excited about female DJs getting the spotlight, TenderCakes say they’re especially excited to hear some women they have yet to meet.
TenderCakes photo by Digital Crush.
Lenka Paris grew up in Czech Republic and has been DJing her wide range of disco, funk, new wave and old school hip-hop since 1994. In recent years, Paris thinks the DJ scene has become much more female friendly. “It used to be all about looks. If a woman was hired to DJ, she was expected to dress super sexy,” she says. “When I DJ, I wear very comfortable clothing.”
Spinning big bass, house and UK Garage, AJent Orange is basically attuned to anything with a rolling bass line. DJing for 11 years, AJent Orange considers herself classically trained with a few tricks. “I think there need to be more women in the scene with a solid foundation,” she says, referring to the basic two table and mixer set up, not the modern technology which can make almost anyone a DJ. “I don’t want all of us girls to break through just because we’re girls. I want it to be because we’re good, if not better than the dudes.”
Tuesday, November 18
“I love Bobby Brown,” laughs DJ Cardboard Kitten. “And old Janet Jackson.” Ranging from old school hip-hop to early '90s R&B, Kitten plays a good dance-party soundtrack. She may not be a technical DJ, but you’re bound to hear at least seven songs you love during her set. At the Triple Rock she plans on putting together an all female track list. Also playing: Lisa McGrath, Double Trouble and Jodi G.
Tuesday, November 25
Jen Downham, her mother Joan Downham and their friend Ali Lozoff may play completely different styles, but Jen says they have the same musical value system. All connected to a non-commercial radio station, Jen hosted “The Groove Garden” on KFAI for 15 years, Joan plays folk music on a Grand Rapids station and Lozoff works at The Current. As for female DJs in the Twin Cities, Jen says, “We’ve been around for a long time. It’s nice to come together as a force.”