US - Texas - Full Moon 60 - 09/02/01
DJ Jester the Filipino Fist
River Walk Riots
Circa '92, early in my arrival to Texas, I had my first tea experience, involving not only
a pen cap and aluminum foil apparatus, the precious bowl of which was tenaciously pinched and
loaded so as to not crush it into a Juicy Fruit-type foil wad, one hit at a time, but also a
porch-based airing of Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted on a particularly breezy summer
evening, the June bugs sputtering and fizzing 'gainst the dim-lit bulb.
And here we are now, so soon after my move to New York, and by the time we reach the real
'end' of River Walk Riots, when DJ Jester drops the beat in and out of the fuzzy chord flares
of Summer Babe, I find that time is rendered obsolete, as these past lives of mine
squish together and also billow like a bandoneon, while I fizzle and bend accordingly.
The lights are flashing, my mind is spinning I feel like it is always the beginning of
another... Memory that can't wait, the way that Cronos himself might crack open the gates,
allowing both the San Antonio-based Hogwild Records and the St. Mark's Place locale of Mondo
Kim's to commingle and exist, one inside the other as I gaze into this bewildering case, which
not only shouts out to my old alma mater, KSYM, but also my favorite bar in the world, Bar
America. TIME quoting Nietzsche, "History repeats,
the first time as tragedy, the second as farce."
Such an irony is surely not lost on Jester, as he is always compressing and blowing the fuck
up on the anachronistic beats throughout the program. Be they from the beginning of time, or
the latest Neptunes remix, he keeps more to the ridiculous side of repetition. And beats are
always about repetition, right? Primitive man dances out his difficulties. Take as an
example Iron Butterfly, flattening out the dumb dough ball of psyche rock into a thirty minute
flat sheet, yet here it is cut back into a bite-sized cookie beat da vida, just treat enough,
before, I dunno, the theme for Night Court, or Yellow Rose of Texas, or Incredible
Bongo Band's Apache, License to Ill, or hell, even Willie Nelson himself, his
voice cutting in, then getting cut up.
It's all flushed into the spinning spring waters of South Texas' turntables. I'm playing
spades, or maybe it's hi-lo-jick-jack, a dinner of chopped bun and a scoop of Blue Bell Cookies
and Cream before we head next door to Floore's Country Store, where Willie is about to play. The
first song, of course, is Whisky River, and everyone starts to beller:
"Take my mind!" More chops and choppy white
water rafting are early into the disc, where it is swift and voracious fun, whirling. Further
down, where you have to paddle a bit to get into the current again, lazy looping sounds and
scratches resurface, calmer though. The Guadalupe now flows slow, with a soupy, algae goo, after
the heat of the day, when an early summer evening returns to cool things down, the waters mild,
the oaks spreading a shade over the river.
I am always high, I am always low. There is always change. And by the time the waters
finally emerge as that tourist-infested River Walk, in the heart of downtown San Antonio,
slipping like a snake, there is a cognizance that these waters are part Styx, part nepenthe, as
forgetful and foggy as an acute sense of deja vu. Perhaps the $1 beers at Bar America have
something to do with it, the way that the dew slides down the bottle in The River City.
"It's not the heat, it's the humidity." Jester
never sweats the technique, always floating between tricks and trickles. He's in two places at
once, and that's a mean feat.
Contact Jester at: PO Box 7060, San Antonio,
TX 78207, USA.
Copyright © 2001 Andy Beta