It's easy to become a cynical dance floor junkie in Los Angeles, especially after the celebrity DJ invasion a few years back, where an army of musicians, actors, etc. took over booths to either have the club resident ghost DJ for them or commit horrifying acts of sonic assault on the crowd (we'll be kind and not name names here). Once in a while, though, a person better known for something else will step up to the decks and show the crowd just how DJing is done.
Take Jason Reitman for example. Best known as the director of Thank You for Smoking and Juno, Reitman is also one half of the DJ duo Bad Meaning Bad. Along with composer-by-day Mateo Messina, he played a short but memorable set at the Key Club last Friday.
Bad Meaning Bad works in a fashion that might seem considerably old fashioned in 2009. They play off of two CDJs and one turntable, creating their own mash-up mixes live. Messina handles the instrumentals while Reitman cuts, pastes and scratches a cappella tracks over the beats. Their style is more influenced by hip-hop than hipster clubs, including a healthy dose of funky '70s, particularly The Doobie Brothers, in the mix. The highlight of the set came courtesy of the Doob when Reitman and Messina worked the vocals of “Black Water” over the beat of Nine Inch Nails' “Closer.” The fan favorite moment of the night, though was when Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express) appeared on stage to sing “Careless Whisper” over an instrumental of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Reitman, who picked up his first set of turntables seven years ago, told us after the show that when he says that DJing is more fun than his day job, he means it. Judging from the way he and Messina were bouncing around on stage, the duo's love for the clubs is apparent. Check out Shannon Cottrell's video clip below.