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That's So Ravin': Funkmaster Fail

On bad bookings and squirrels with MDMA-related spine problems.

by Ravin Samoan
Jul 23 2013, 12:47am

Every music genre has its seedy underbelly, a world of unspoken tricks of the trade and a code that helps keep things alive (no matter how dirty and scandalous it may appear from the outside). Our That's So Ravin' columnists have been down… and around. Worldwide party purveyors and dancefloor makers offer up some party tips for ya, free of charge.

Dear Ravin,
I hate lame-ass DJs that come to the bar or club and all they do is play one-minute snippets of tracks and jump all over the place before they mix (or fail to mix) into their next track. Why can't these venues book better acts? I mean, I like to dance, but this is not danceable stuff. I'm talking about The Woods in Brooklyn—and yes, I'm naming names. It's like they think they're hip hop radio DJs.
Christine, NYC

Dear Christine,
Agreed. DJs that have sound schizophrenia are the things that bleeding eardrums are made of. Complaining about it is also a buzz kill. My advice is to stop going to bars or clubs where they book Funkmaster Flex wannabes. You live in Brooklyn. Have you tried Bossa Nova Civic Club or Tiki Disco? Clubs like Output in Williamsburg are also steppin' up their game, and the new Verboten venue is sure to be a game-changer as well. Party on!

Dear Ravin,
After 20 years living in the underground I have started to suffer from back issues. When I was a junior raver the government warned us against the side effects of ecstasy, showing that squirrels who had been repeatedly dosed suffered severe spinal deterioration. Has there been any continued research that would back this up? Or am I just paranoid?
Sam Brancher

Dear Sam,
Well done on making it through the ranks from junior to old-school raver! I'm no expert of course, but I've heard of the spinal cord studies. Ecstasy has been studied since the '50s, and so far, there is no proven causation between spine problems and ecstasy use. As with any drug, prolonged abuse can of course lead to problems. Everyone's body is different, and there are a number of variables that could lead to spinal problems. I think it's time for you to visit the chiropractor for an official exam and let the professionals take a look. And hey, if you have rave-deposits-on-the-spine, let the professionals diagnose!

Got a burning question for Ravin? Email her with your thoughts, dilemmas, and all-out rants at