The Wind-Up Conspiracy - Roosevelt Row - 2/21/14
DJ Birch and DJ Decca on the porch of Lawn Gnome last night.
Photos by Jeff Moses
The Wind-Up Conspiracy Roosevelt Row 2/21/14
Downtown Phoenix's most bizarre DJ duo ever, The Wind-Up Conspiracy, made their public debut last night and added an extra touch of strange to the oddball art circus known as Third Friday. The distinctly strange twosome of DJ Birch and DJ Decca played their first-ever sets along Fifth Street while dressed in leather plague masks to conceal their identities, as well as vintage clothing, and top hats while spinning up tunes on two wind-up gramophones.
DJ Birch wore a mostly black outfit to accentuate the mystique of the Wind-Up Conspiracy while DJ Decca performed in rainbow socks, a white satin shirt with white tuxedo coat, and a black skirt. They played their first set of the evening on the front porch of Lawn Gnome Publishing before heading down the street to Bodega 420.
The show was a success attracting a modest crowd, and even getting some of them up and dancing, even without amplification. But the show did not go off without a hitch. Hours before the show, however, DJ Birch experienced technical difficulties and had to replace his portable Birch brand gramophone with a Victor brand parlor-style player.
The two music makers did not let small technical difficulties get in the way of them rocking like it was 1924 though. DJ Birch kicked out the first jam with "The Mexican Shuffle" by Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra, before DJ Decca hit it with "Love Walked In" by The Hilltoppers and then the two alternated songs the rest of the night.
Obviously it was DJ Birch and DJ Decca who made the event what it was, but the two old-timey DJs were helped along the way by some other Phoenix-based old-timey performers. "We got a message from Carolyn Camp, fiddler in local string band Pick & Holler, asking if we'd like some 78s she'd been holding onto," says DJ Decca. "Of course we said 'yes,' and when we arrived at Lawn Gnome there were two boxes (50 or so records) waiting. We didn't see her in person, so would like to say thanks and add that Pick & Holler's monthly Square Dance event at Rhythm Room is about as bad-ass as it gets."
With their showmanship and camps help their maiden musical voyage went well, "our no-frills set went fine," says DJ Decca about the duo's first set at Lawn Gnome Publishing, from 7 until 8 p.m. With DJ Birch adding "nothing's broken, so it went well." The first set saw the two eccentric vaudevillians dance around on Lawn Gnome's front porch and really get comfortable in their characters.
At the beginning of the set, the DJs seemed timid, but by the end, DJ Decca had begun dancing with the two of the four or five people who were in attendance. "Dancing with the audience was fantastic," says Decca. The first set went well even while competing with the dulcet tones of the incomparable D.G. Scherrer coming from across the street at Jobot.
Decca said his favorite track of the first set was "My dreams are only getting better" by Doris Day, and Birch said his was "Feelin' High and Happy" by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra.
The second set, from 8:30 until 9:30 went even better than the first according to both of the DJ's. " I think we are getting into our groove, playing off each other on the 78s," says Decca about the second set. The odd tandem attracted a crowd of about 20 people to Bodega for their second set, and this time they were competing with both Northern Hustle at Jobot and some raging EDM from the pod in the lot of the Roosevelt Arts Market.
"It was a great turn out for the first show, we hope to double that next time," says Decca. The next show on paper for Wind Up Conspiracy is April 19 at The Firehouse Gallery, 1015 North First Street, for their Toy Art Show. Though Birch says they may try and book a gig in March as well.
Last Night: The Wind-Up Conspiracy on Roosevelt Row.
Personal Bias: I love weird shit, history, and situations which make me feel as though I am existing in a different time.
Moment of the night: A young lady shoving a dollar bill down DJ Decca's pants while he danced on a pillar on the porch of Bodega.
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