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Friday, April 24, 2009

Hey DJ! Friday Q&A: Sasquatch Borracho

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 6:51 AM

click to enlarge dave_pehling_thumb_400x432.jpg
DJ Sasquatch Borracho is all about the rawk. We know this because, well, he leads a double life--during the day he's a mild mannered freelancer for SF Weekly's music section. And then, on the last Saturday of the month, he transforms behind the decks into the master of metal, stoner rock, and punk. He's the go-to man if your idea of a DJ is less about the big beats and more about the monster riffs. Borracho's tastes extend to the dancefloor too, but even there he gives out recommendations for singles that sample rock idols. Check out his pick for rap's best use of Sabbath, and other personal tidbits, below.

Sasquatch Borracho aka Dave Pehling

Club night(s):
Bronson, a hard rock/metal/punk monthly at the Casanova Lounge in the Mission that happens the last Saturday of every month.

Style(s) of music you spin: Usually punk/metal/alt-heavy stuff, but I used to have a space rock vs. soundtracks monthly (Interstellar Underpants at the Cas and the Hemlock). I also have occasion to get into your more standard party rocking, playing funk, electro, hip hop, Latin and Brazilian music.

So what's your story, in 100 words or less?
A music nerd from way back, I started collecting pretty typical classic rock, metal and prog records in my suburban youth before acquiring a serious vinyl obsession while attending UC Berkeley. Late '80s, golden-era hip hop led me to the funk/soul/jazz albums that provided sample sources and eventually totally omnivorous record consumption. A late bloomer as far as getting a pair of Technics and a mixer, but some mentorship from a couple old-school SF turntable sensei (DJ Oaty Love and DJ Quest), helped me figure out how to apply basic beat science to the kind of heavy rock that remained my main passion.

Name of a track you can't get out of your head: "Frankenstein's Topster," the opening track to local lyrical genius Topr's most recent disc Marathon of Shame. Best. Sabbath. Sample. Ever.

Musical mantra: Faster and louder! (When in doubt, play Slayer or the Ramones.)

Favorite DJ experiences: Getting to play records at the Bottom of the Hill and 12 Galaxies (RIP) during a couple Acid Mothers Temple shows and one memorable Drunk Horse gig.

Worst request:
"Do you have any Journey?" or "Fuck this lame metal; play something we can dance to!"

Most treasured vinyl score: Free and cheap records always stand out. A $1 copy of the Stormtroopers of Death album Speak English or Die bought during college and a copy of Captain Beyond's insane first album that came with a big pile of free vinyl from a friend rarely leave my bag.

What other music-related projects are you currently working on? I've taken piles of records to a friend's house for sampling purposes, but would like to get into some real beat-making with a couple DJ/producer pals at some point. No plans though...

What elements would your fantasy club night entail? Rocking the dance floor is all well and good, but my dream gig would be getting to cut loose on the turntables to a big crowd before and after a set by a band I love like Mastodon, the Jesus Lizard, Queens of the Stone Age, Motorhead, Slayer, Sabbath, etc...

What's the idea behind Bronson?
I try to touch on guitar-heavy music from all eras, covering what you'd expect ('60s garage nuggets, '70s rawk, classic punk and metal up through more modern heaviness), but also sneaking in some fuzzed-out Detroit funk and hip hop that samples rock tunes. If it's got distorted riffs and kicks ass, it makes the playlist.

The Casanova can be quite the meat market on the weekends. What's the best pickup you've witnessed there? I'm usually too busy drinking, gabbing with friends, or figuring what I'm playing next to catch any details as far as the hook ups. I'd say it's far more entertaining to see drunken jackasses desperately crash and burn with anyone with a pulse at the end of the evening when things are winding down.

Question we didn't ask you, but you often ask yourself: How much Van Halen is too much Van Halen? Why does someone always ask me to play Social Distortion? Is Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold" long enough to cover a bathroom and smoke break?

Next time we can see you spin: Saturday, April 25, at the Casanova on Valencia Street starting at 9 p.m. Free as always...

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Ian S. Port


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