The first ever DJ battle between Bozeman and Missoula is this Friday at The Zebra Lounge. As I spend the next few days piecing together my performance I must also begin to mentally prepare myself. That's one of the key factors that play into any competition, be it boxing, football or any sport. And if I don't train my brain to cope with what lies ahead then that can potentially cripple any chance I have of giving it my best. So I figure it may be a little more therapeutic if I just write out all the thoughts that have been running through my head for the past five weeks, rather than keep it all bottled up. Here goes..

Let's start from the beginning:

I recall the feeling I had one afternoon when I sat in the student section of the Washington/Grizzly stadium during a Griz football event. The energy at our local games are indescribable. The cheering, the screaming and even the boos are enough to rally up the spirit of even the most hardened sports hater. It was at that moment where I thought perhaps we as DJ's could harness some of that energy from the stadiums and onto our area dance floors, if only just a little of it. After all, the Montana nightlife scene could always use a shot in the arm anyway, so why not stir up a little controversy? Why couldn't we attempt some of this fun rivalry in a different social environment? At that moment, the Cat/Griz DJ battle was born.

The next step was to get people excited.

That's when I decided to put myself out there and issue a challenge to Bozeman's best DJ. Right then and there was when the Cat/Griz rivalry seriously heated up in a new and very unique way. Bozeman was quick to nominate their finest, DJ Bones who I hear is one amazing performer. However, looking back now, If I would have done this in a different way I would have invited all Missoula DJ's to spin alongside Bozeman DJ's where there would have been no rules, no challenges, nothing but fun! Perhaps we can try that approach next year?

It was at about that time that my skill as a DJ was really put under a microscope. "Who is this guy? What kind of music does The Tallest DJ in America play? How good is he, REALLY?" I started to see that random strangers would stand a little closer to my decks and watch my moves at area parties. The fact is, no. I do not claim to be the best DJ Missoula has to offer. Yes, I may be the most well known, but does that give me the right to issue a challenge? Perhaps? Perhaps not. See, this is the part where I keep going back and forth with my thoughts. In one hand I'm confident enough with my skill, in the other maybe I put myself out there a little too much?

Then the rumors started to fly..

One of the rumors that kept popping up was that I was just a "push play" DJ. In fact, Bozeman now has commonly nicknamed me "DJ iPod" in reference to the fact that I incorporate a laptop into my turntable sets. I think this also may be stemming from the conversation I had with the owner of the Zebra Lounge when he asked if I would be using real vinyl and if he needed to set up the standard issue Technics 1200 turntables. When I told him that I'd be using my own gear and have long since ditched vinyl that's where the rumors surely began that I wasn't a "real DJ". Again, it's another one of those arguments that is similar to bands. If you are not using a real instrument, you are not a real performer. The same debate has happened with DJ's for decades. Supposedly you aren't a DJ if you can't scratch, or if you use CD's, or if you are running software other than Serato. Question: Since when did the audience care? Are you playing music that they want to hear? If yes, then yes, you are a real DJ. If you really must know. I'm NOT just a "push play" DJ and no, I don't use an iPod. That's all you need to know for now.

Back to getting people excited..

Did I go a little too far with the "Why Bozeman Sucks" intimidation video? Yes. Boy, did I ever... And it's moments like this when I have to give some major respect to DJ Bones for not feeding into the hype and has thus remained quite silent throughout the hoopla. He could have stepped up and made a public statement in regards to the trash talking about his state, but he didn't. He just remained calm and cool. It's people like this that make me really, really nervous because it almost seems like the kid has nothing to prove. The strong silent types always are the ones that carry the biggest sticks.

Are these thoughts of mine a way to say that I am backing out of the competition? In no way, shape or form. Am I a little reluctant to the way I went about it? Yes. I'm normally not the type to stir up drama or to brag or boast. However, I am certain that this idea is quite exciting for the Montana nightlife scene and that's what I had intended to make happen all along the way and I hope that we can do this every year. Just maybe not so hardcore as the first time around.

And now, the real question: Who Will Win?

With the help of writing my thoughts out like I did today I've already prepared myself for either scenario. If I win, then I take a bow and will never rub it into people's faces. I come back home and it's business as usual. If I lose, well, then it's much like one of those Hollywood scenarios where the enemy attempts to intimidate the hero only to lose because of the sheer willpower of his opposition during the climactic fight. The whole David and Goliath story keeps replaying in my mind... Either way, I'm now as mentally prepared as I can be and I wish only the best for Bones and Bozeman alike and I hope they know deep down that I am not trying to harm but to have some real honest fun.

As for this weekends football game? Hmm, let's not get me started on that...