Sean Watson Talks Cheap Thrills, Ana Tijoux, Stinkweeds, Magnetic Man, and More
Name: Sean Watson
AKA: "El Pescado"
Current schedule: Thursdays at the District, Fridays at The Vig, Saturdays at The Vig Uptown, every fourth Saturday at Brick for Cheap Thrills, and then Sundays at the Clarendon for Hot Fudge Sundaze.
Genres spun: Indie and electro are like most of my favorite music, I'd almost say with a psychedelic twist to it.
How did you get started as a DJ? My friend used to throw a night at the HT Lounge in Scottsdale that's now bygone. It was an old Chinese restaurant with a lounge. I've always been a music head and then bands back in the day. He asked me to bring some records to his bar on a Sunday night. And then for some random reason 944 and somebody who worked for The Vig came in, watched me spin, and hired me to work The Vig. I've been a DJ there even since then, and it's pretty awesome.
Explanation behind your nickname: I grew up with the nickname "Fishbone," and then one day when DJ Emile and I were drinking he starts calling me "El Pescado." Right when I started DJing and I went, "That's my DJ name, El Pescado." It's like Emile named me. I was like, "Cool." I feel like it's more mature than Fishbone. It sounds cooler.
Preferred poison while DJing: Right now I'm usually drinking Stoli sodas.
Other clubs you've spun at: Hanny's, The Merc, e4...I've done a ton of 'em. All the Wyndham pool parties, everywhere Cheap Thrills and Adult Swim has been. All kinds of random places. I've done so many dance parties, Sticky Fingers, Party Foul, Electrostatic, all of 'em. which is fine because it was Rock & Roll. I love playing a lot of genres.
Which bygone club do you miss the most? Black Forest Mill. I miss the freedom it had, just throwing a crazy club in the middle of a German restaurant, the bizarreness of it. If people showed up early and there was a polka band jamming, they'd ask, "Is this the club?" The doorman would usually tell them, "Hang out, it'll get better."
How would you sum up Cheap Thrills? It's about good music and a good vibe and a bunch of people that get along. It's one of the loosest clubs in town which I really enjoy. We bring in some of the best DJs who always bring their "A" game. We had Joel Davis [a.k.a. DJ Epidemic] there and Tricky T as well, and every time they visit they've played their best sets in my opinion. Crusher Sound System is another. When they played Cheap Thrills, it was insane and they just brought it. Me and Jared always do the same. We're always excited to play.
Why did it take so long for Cheap Thrills to find a new home? It was a tough summer. We hit a couple places this summer like The Quincy and the Matador. It's like we wet on a little road trip. We were trying to keep it fresh until the people from Black Forest started Brick. It probably hurt us a little bit, but now that we're back in a new place and we've got some really good events coming in October. I can't wait.
What's your mantra when it comes to DJing? Play what you like and what people like also.
Local bands that you support: What Laura Says I really like a lot; Dry River Yacht Club is amazing and I love them. I recently saw Black Carl and they were really tight
Last album purchased: I get a lot of them free so I think the last one I purchased is by Ana Tijoux. She's like a Chilean and French rapper chick.
Last song you downloaded: Magnetic Man, "I Need Air." I think it's a great track, it's one of my favorite that I've heard in awhile, actually. It's got a dubsteppy feel to it and a really sexy feel. It would be a great song to play in the middle of an electro set.
What else have you been listening to lately? There's a really strange Pet Shop Boys remix out that I've been listening to which is really good. I also love that new Caribou album and I like Phantogram's album too.
When not DJing, where can you be found? Usually at home, or kicking it anywhere in my neighborhood. I live right down on Central and Camelback, so I'm at Postino's a lot and you'll find me almost three days a week at Gallo Blanco.
What sites do you use for music? RCRD LBL is a really good site that I like telling people about. And I wake up every morning to Pitchfork on my screen.
Where do you shop locally for music: I like going into Stinkweeds, it's right across from my house.
Many locals consider you to be a walking encyclopedia of music. Is that true? I would say in certain genres, absolutely. I'm old enough now and have gone through so many years of being a complete musichead that I know about a lot of stuff. I've been a big concertgoer and hit a lot of festivals like Coachella. Every year they bring in 30 new acts that everybody should see.
Best show you've seen in the last year: Two weeks ago at the Hollywood Bowl with Chemical Brothers. It was completely amazing. I think the new album is astoundingly good.
Any future gigs you'd like to plug? I'm actually opening for Phantogram on October 8th, which I cannot wait for because I love them. And I'm doing the Optimist Club in Tucson on November 11th. And, of course, Cheap Thrills.
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