Head Spins: Deejay Smeejay

A lounge-loving throwback.

Even when Deejay Smeejay is sitting, it's not at all difficult to imagine him being a go-go boy, despite the fact that he has probably not, er, bar-topped for a decade or so. I mean, the cat literally dances in his seat. And in the rare instance when his body is not all aquiver, his mind and his mouth are making up for the momentary immobility with a two-step that would leave less formidable folks racing to catch up. Mostly, though, the DJ known as Smeejay greets you with a cheese-filled combo of mind, body, and soul that can be described with only one word: groovy.

Yep, that's Smeejay in a nutshell, all right — a nutshell that's been cracked with care, cool, and cleverness. And you know what Leonard Cohen says about cracks: There's one in everything, and that's how the light gets in. And no head spinner is as full of inner glow as the utterly unaverage joe that is Smeejay.

Smeejay puts on the Ritz.
Smeejay puts on the Ritz.

Details

Deejay Smeejay: Thursdays through Saturdays 8 p.m. to midnight at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach's Lapidus Lounge. Sunday afternoons by the pool for Disco Brunch. Sunday nights at Aerobar.

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Born in D.C. and raised among Army bases in Panama City (the Canal Zone), San Juan (Fort Buchanan), and Cocoa Beach (Cape Canaveral, baby), Smeejay comes to DJing with a worldliness that befits the whole globe. More though, he's got an outer-earthly kitsch to his cool, based in large part from the fact that he spent his most formative years in Cocoa Beach's Satellite Motel. That was across the street from the very same stretch of sand where Jeannie sprang from her dreamy bottle, and the very same joint where Jim Jarmusch took it Down by Law.

You can hear evidence of Smeejay's eclectic upbringing in everything he plays, be it in soft-rock staples from the likes of America and Steely Dan, or kiddie classics such as the theme from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or "Your Momma's on Crack Rock" by the Dogs. In fact Smeejay says he's a bit of a split personality. There's the civilized side, which since 2004 has been getting play in the Ritz-Carton South Beach's Lapidus Lounge, and there's that kooky side, which most recently started up again at Aerobar's Sunday-night party, Clique. But no matter which Smeejay shows up, you can be sure he'll "always let the guest be the focus of the evening."

"To me the music is the Supremes," Smeejay states. "And the guests are Diana Ross."

What else would you expect from a fanatic who got his start simply "because [he] had, like, 10,000 records"? And if those Sundays in the now-defunct Liquid's Hustler's Room taught him anything, it was to spin as if the whole world were dizzy with delirium and desire. Then again, this is the very same Smeejay who back in the day headed a troupe of Torpedo boys who called themselves Dancers with Dicks. And if that's not indicative of a certain delirious, desirous dizziness, well, nothing is.

Still, whether it's go-go or gone, all is always in good fun, which is kinda the reason for swinging on that beach called South in the first place, isn't it? Of course it is.

Deejay Smeejay's current top five:

1. "Moments in Love," the Art of Noise

2. "Autumn Leaves," Coldcut

3. "The Power of Love," Frankie Goes to Hollywood

4. "Fly Me to the Moon," Astrud Gilberto

5. "Tristeza," Baden Powell

 
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