"If you had to nail down Team Tuesday to a single genre, I suppose you could call it tech-house," Feathericci tells me at his weekly Tuesday night event at Cowgirl. "But within those genres there are literally dozens of subgenres, so the variety is almost unparalleled."
I'll admit I'm not an electronic music aficionado, and that I haven't really heard much of what he's been spinning. While poppy, his song lineup borders on the underground, experimental techno side, with ever-so-subtle world music thrown in the mix. Not content to be one of those DJs who hits play on a computer and could easily be replaced by an iPod, Feathericci spins actual vinyl.
"Novel," I think. Followed by: "Why are we at the point where a DJ spinning vinyl seems novel?"
The medium Feathericci employs isn't the only novel thing about his sets.
"About 70 to 80 percent of what we're playing is underground people haven't heard," Feathericci says. "I try to spin outside my comfort zone, but still keep it accessible. It makes my day to see people getting into stuff they've never heard. Feeling it…dancing."
The crowd grows slightly, and the dance floor fills up steadily. I try to get over my fear of looking like an asshole when I dance, which proves harder than I ever imagined. These dancers look good, and I feel like I'm just going to embarrass myself.
A few more tunes go by, and Feathericci is joined by his partner in crime Ben Wright, aka DJ Bacon. Bacon begins his set by mixing a Beck sample with an African vibe. People love music they've already heard, and I can feel the energy of the crowd escalating.
Bacon seamlessly blends his songs, never sticking with one for too long, but transitioning so smoothly it's hard to tell at which point one ends and another begins. Watching him is kind of funny; he's entirely focused but still has a sly smirk on his face. The beat slows, almost imperceptibly, and enters hip-hop territory while staying dancey and funky. It's cool to see a DJ have as much fun as the audience; I notice quiet moments between Bacon and the dancers, as if he's saying, "This shit is the shit, huh?!"
Cowgirl doesn't seem apt for electronic music, but Bacon loves it.
"The room is amazing," Bacon says. "You can feel the bass in the wood. Sure, it's been challenging because, left to my own devices, I'll spin nothing but glitchy, harder stuff. It's been challenging to find more poppy arrangements, but also exciting because I've learned so much."
Team Tuesday isn't just about dancing—it's an experience.
"Team Tuesday is the hub where people can come and have fun and find out about the more underground things we do," Feathericci says. "At the core is D Numbers [Feathericci and Bacon's math-rock band, which includes Brian Mayhall]. When we tour, we meet incredible acts and bring them to Santa Fe. We're working on bigger things all the time. Our slant is towards techno, but we'll always book anything that sounds good. I love rock 'n' roll."
Feathericci proves his love for rock 'n' roll on D Numbers' new album, Onda. More ambitious than the band's previous effort, Onda mixes live drums, guitar and bass with non-stop jaw-dropping electronics. Recorded at Stepbridge Studios last year, this layered and nuanced masterpiece expands on the core genres of rock and electronica to create a stunning body of work; it's a wholly experimental album that manages to stay true to its roots while it heads in new and exciting directions.
As the night draws to a close and the snow falls in earnest, guest DJ Toast takes to the decks to provide the dancers with some house jams. House gets on my nerves pretty fast, but the tracks Toast is spinning are a little more on the funky side. The crowd wanes along with my energy, and I head out into the cold. I remind myself that I'll have to come back to Team Tuesday because it's just plain super-cool.
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D Numbers CD release party
8 pm Saturday, April 3
Moving People Dance Centre
1583 Pacheco St.
Tuesday, April 6
319 S. Guadalupe St.