Open Source at Cocktail Molotov

I always wanted to be a DJ. I just never could count beats. But tomorrow night I can wander over to Cocktail Molotov on Dundas West and subject everyone in the bar to my latest mash-up or whatever Tiesto track I'm in the mood for.

It's all part of a night called Open Source founded by wabi-collective collaborator Ozawa (Alan G. Webb). Alan recently took a time-out from some painting of his new pad to chat with me over Juice for Life rice bowls about the return of his Open Source monthly.

Tim: What is open source?

Alan: Open source is a night. It is a music event that takes place in a bar and is brought to life by the participation of the people who attend. There is, in a sense, no dj, as all music is supplied by the partiers on hand. In another sense, everyone is potentially the dj.

When was the first one?

I held the first open source last September.

Has it changed much since the first time?

The structure has remained essentially the same. People sign up to
play 3 songs, either from an ipod, CD, laptop, records or cassette.
There's been some minor tweaking regarding logistics to try and make
things run more smoothly. The content and feel of the event varies
with the make up of the crowd on a particular night and its musical

What sort of equipment do you use to play everyone's music?

Two turntables and a microphone - and a mixer and CD player. And
there's actually no microphone. Laptops and ipods just plug in to the

If I bring my ipod, how many tracks do you think I'd be able to play?

If you're early enough to sign up for a spot, you'd be able to play 3
songs. If twenty minutes have gone by and you're still on your second
song, then we'll move on to the next punter.

What's happening in other cities?

Awhile back when I was living in New York, I was introduced to a night there called Scatalogics, where dj's could sign up and spin 15 minutes of vinyl. You had to bring your own needles and headphones and it was on a Monday night. I had read more recently about ipod nights in London and NYC and figured Toronto, home to a real d.i.y. culture, could do with a little self-deejaying fun.

Are opensource nights a movement or just a fad?

There is definitely a movement of some sort, which you might call
d.i.y. or something of the sort. Maybe something other than "d.i.y."
as that seems associated with Xerox collages and staple guns. A lot of this is tied to technology, from "blogging" our views and experiences across the internet to open source coding for software such as Linux to sharing music online. As our culture becomes more mediated by communication and information technology, more views are being imposed upon us or shared with us and the more we are driven to assert ourselves in this electronic media space and share our own views and experiences.

What do you think is going to be the future of music online?

Previously, as consumers, we were dealing with a simple model. You
could consume music by purchasing an item at a store, listening to the radio, going to a concert or watching a video on tv. Now you have
those means, plus internet radio, file sharing, online stores, etc.
etc. I think things will continue to be fractured with power shifting
away from the big companies. The question becomes: how is taste and
popularity defined once traditional barometers such as Billboard sales and College radio playlists become irrelevant?

Open Source is this Thursday March 10th at Cocktail Molotov, 928 Dundas St. West (near Bellwoods)

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