Uh oh! There they were, playing my song. Amy Winehouse’s "Rehab" was blasting, but this time it was mixed with a smidgen of Britney Spears’ "Toxic." I’m no pop music aficionado, but the blend worked. It was the work of Bootie Mashup, a group of DJs that has been cutting and splicing since 2003, traveling around the world playing music for the attention deficit disordered, mixing and matching every conceivable musical genre and style into one big dance party.
The Bootie pioneers, DJs Adrian and Mysterious D, were on hand that night at Public Assembly, the funky former factory in Williamsburg, with the two large rooms divided up into West and East Coast for a mash-up battle. The East Coast DJs were New York’s Lobsterdust and DJ Atom, joined by Lenlow, DJ McFly and Spencer 4 Hire. In the West Coast corner, John! John and DJ Shyboy joined Adrian and Mysterious D. I didn’t see a real battle between the two rooms, although I did notice more metal in the West Coast room, as well as more flannel and bright color. The East Coast kids insisted on basic black.
On a trip to the ladies’ room, I began some girl talk with artist Kate Raudenbush. "I know Adrian from Burning Man," she confided with a giggle. "Look for the red braids." I went over to the stage to introduce myself. With a toss of his scarlet dreads and a warm greeting, Adrian told me they’d moved their occasional New York City parties: "We were doing parties in Manhattan, but they said you have to go to Brooklyn and here we are." His friend was right: The place was mobbed, though the crowd wasn’t as insane as I’d expected.
The only group that I appreciated the low energy from was the Goths sprinkled into the mix. "I’m Nick Kushner. I do the official Marilyn Manson message board," one reported enthusiastically. He had a piercing on his lip and his skin was chalk white.
Before we left, I went to the booth onstage and shook the hand of DJ Lobsterdust, whose innocent face belies his music. He’s the one who combined
Queen’s "Another One Bites the Dust" with a sermon by Pastor Gary Greenwald, who states unequivocally that playing the song backwards reveals Satanic messages designed to "corrupt, pervert, and ultimately enslave the youth of this generation." I’m doing my best, Gary!