Photo by Mozhgan Shariat // Jeremy Lucido
We’re in for a treat today. In preparation for and in celebration of the As You Like It 4 Year Anniversary, we’re going to bring you two very special podcasts by two of our closest friends: No Way Back’s Conor and Honey Soundsystem’s Jackie House. Conor shared with us his first studio mix in over ten years. From our inception, Conor played an integral role in helping create our vibe and creative direction. Our tastes are varied and with Conor’s influence over the disco spectrum, we’ve pursued directions that we likely would have left unchartered. With Terje and Maurice Fulton heading the 4 Year Anniversary bill, it was only natural to team him up with Honey Soundsystem’s Jason Kendig for a repeat of their 3 Year Anniversary performance.
Jackie House, the artist formally known as Pee-play, has shared with us his first official podcast since his change of moniker and creative direction. Jackie House is Jacob Sperber, a pivotal member of the San Francisco late night dance community and member of Honey Soundsystem. Jacob, under whatever alias, is a creative force to be reckon with. Over the last four years, he’s played a role in countless pivotal AYLI moments. His influence on AYLI, alongside the influence of his cohorts at Honey Soundsystem, can’t be measured. However, with the closing of Honey Soundsystem’s weekly at Holy Cow, Sperber’s music and event production have leveled up. Most of his DJ-sets now include original production and edits. Fresh off DJ gigs from coast to coast watch out for Jackie House going into 2015 and beyond.
Jackie House: What is your bedroom like? Describe it to fans and haters alike, tell them about how your bed and your collection of vintage gear are like one unit. Tell people a little bit about the gear you have and why your bedroom is the way it is…
Conor: My bedroom is approximately 14’ x 16’. Most of my records live there- about 12k. I have a computer, my Bozak, decks, Some recording gear, couple drum machines (Linn, Cr-78, etc), synths (MonoPoly, Pro 1 etc), and effects units.. I actually traded the king sized bed i had for a queen so theres a little more room now. My bedroom is the way it is because i like to keep the rest of my house pretty minimal and clean. Just try to keep the clutter to one room.
J.H: There was one time you made a No Way Back poster that was inspired by this guys artwork of a horse head for a book cover. I loved the image so much I had to go find the book and then figure out who the artist was. When I found out who the artist was, it turned out ot be the guy who designed the Studio 54 logo which made sense to me because ultimately now that horse head was now party appropriate. I feel like that in a nutshell describes the kind of artist you are, someone who wants there to be layers of intention but that only the people willing to do the work will really get the full picture. Where did that sense of mischief and mystery come from? Were you that kind of kid – that liked to play tricks on people or keep secrets or play detective? Did you have anyone in your life that taught you the value of the reveal at a young age, or do you think you were just born with theatrics in your blood?
C: As an adult I still enjoy fucking with people so I haven’t grown out of that at all. I’m not sure who’s responsible for my behavior but I’m sure they must be sorry by now.
J.H: Tell me about your most disappointing DJ set – I mean, for as many times as you have played, there has to be a couple that were just epic fails – maybe not so much how you played, but maybe how you felt about the experience. I know there have been gigs I spent so much time psyching myself out for and then something really incredibly demoralizing happens before I even put my first record on. Don’t puss out either – give us some details…
C: I played at a party out of state a few years back that was pretty disappointing. No one showed up to the party and the promoter kept sneaking off to smoke what i think was crack. At the end of the night he didnt have any money for me and he dropped the ball on the hotel so i chilled at the airport for about 14 hours until my flight back home. That was pretty disappointing.
J.H: Have you ever had sex on the beach? If so did you like it and would you do it again? If not, why not? If you could choose, would it be at night or during the day? Basically do you like sweat during sex or no?
C: I honestly don’t recall but I’m sure it could have happened. Probably couldn’t be too bad. Probably at night- might have a better chance for a little privacy. I guess it depends.
J.H: This one is a 2 parter – you are on your death bed, in fact you are in your room you described earlier and you look up and realize you can listen to one last song in your room, someone will walk over to the stacks and pop one last 12 on as you walk into eternal blackness… What song do you ask them to grab?
C: Only thing that comes to mind is Don Henley “Dirty Laundry”but don’t hold me to it.
J.H: Part 2, you are on your death bed, but this time you are in a hospital bed, in jail. The guard on duty doesn’t know you are about to die, maybe you don’t really know either, all you know is that he is kind enough to turn on the radio for you. What kind of radio station do you ask him to put on and why? Country station, hip-hop, classic rock? You get the idea.
C: Rock n’ Roll for sure.
C: Any music projects outside of Honey? Anything coming up?
J.H: Well, technically this Jackie House alter-ego is the new ego. I have dabbled in production for a longtime but have decided to jump in and immerse myself in sound and music. I spend 2-3 nights a week in my studio and am trying to focus on creating a unique sound to for my DJ sets that isn’t just about having hard to find vinyls and promos. I kind of plan on releasing anything worth other people having in their hands for free online until I think something is label-worthy. People can peep my Soundcloud for stuff. Bare with me, I don’t know what you are doing – and neither do I.
C: Do you miss not having a weekly party to play at (Honey every Sunday) or is it more of a relief?
J.H: It is a great relief to have our weekly be done. I am not really much of a regrets kinda person, I am vehemently moving forward all the time – so much so it is a problem. I have never had a problem with a full circle, some people don’t want things to end, but I welcome the end – it is really the only way to live. A lot of people think about the obvious things when they say they wish the weekly was still alive but, when something dies, there comes renewal. So many people who were working our weekly have blossomed into new places because of the space it left when gone. I guess the one thing that is hard about not having a healthy weekly party is that you had to be prepared to play a set at least once a week and therefore had to stay on top of new music and keeping your collection happening. But there is a relief in that too.
C: Do you have a real job?
J.H: I have a million real jobs. I have worked at a record store, I have folded clothes, stuffed envelopes, worked cash registers, edited porn, run festival bars, decorated, excelled spreadsheets, cleaned out closets, cleaned out sheds, designed, modeled, performed, counted stacks, postered, non-profitted, profited the works. Currently I work for the man – they put money right into my bank account (which is like crazy – it just goes right in there – so groovy). I dunno, jobs are jobs – but creating art and making community is where it is at – thats where my head is at usually even when I am doing all this other stuff.
C: PJ Harvey or DJ Harvey?
J.H: DJ Harvey, sorry PJ – I hate to be another cliche DJ who worships DJ Harvey but, man, if it wasn’t for the Sarcastic Disco I accidentally walked into on April 1, 2006 in downtown Los Angeles with my best friend Marina Bitch (who was in full drag – we had just finished playing a slot at the long gone HEAR GALLERY) I would not be playing these parties today. Ken Woodard had already given me a sense of what that whole scene was about with his stories of full moon parties and stuff, but to basically be thrown right into a room full of Harvey converts and hear bumblebee unlimited ceremoniously mixed into a ridiculously well curated set by Thomas and Eric Duncan was like a spaceship lift-off. It was at this party that everything clicked for me musically. I have never been to a Sarcastic since, no point in ruining a perfect experience. I basically was born again in that room, baptized into learning how to mix on vinyl, understand disco, and keep things weird… Harvey continues to raise that bar, he’s a fucking Dali Lama of techno – I mean I hate for anyone to have that kind of influence, but after hearing his recently released Wildest Dreams record, it just can’t be denied.
C: Lo-Fi or Hi-Fi?
J.H: I mean every DJ has Tinnitus – anyone who denies that either can’t hear what you were asking or is a fucking liar. So essentially it all becomes Lo-Fi after that right? It is the universe saying chill the fuck out, no matter how much you think you can harness the frequencies – you probably blew half of them off your radar trying… Instead of focusing on the quality of sound, I try and cherish when I know my hearing is being lost. For example when my friend played as his solo project “Universal Baltimore” at one of the first parties I ever threw in the city at the old Hush Hush Lounge. He showed up on a blue van and brought in a wall sized stack of vintage amps, a wireless mic, and sat behind a drum set for his performance. He basically made the loudest noise I have ever heard in my life. Still to date, I have never heard anything that loud. When the bar management came running up to him to stop, he got off his drum stool and ran screaming out the door and up the block. Because the microphone was wireless, we could hear him screaming for another 3 minutes as the bar manager tried to pull the plug on his gear. Another example was at the As You Like It with Derrick Carter show we did this past year. I celebrated the loss of Hz to my hearing while in the DJ booth stealing some of Carters Hendricks Gin to feed some gorgeous Bear dude who I was trying to impress. As I was pouring and losing my hearing from the monitors at 11, I saw basically the most ridiculous display of love and silliness as Carter had a line-up of VIP house heads and DJ friends cheerleading his set from behind him. His posse, blissfully unaware of the Db level, in a trance-like state were living and reliving what was obviously an encyclopedia of history with Carter, his career, and their own dance-floor pasts. It was like a white noise montage sequence to the most sappy 80s movie you love, I was almost in tears… dick-tears.