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DJ of the Week — Tigerstripes

Matthew Kenneth aka DJ Tigerstripes

Every week we introduce you to a local LGBTQ party DJ and ask them about their experiences in the scene and feature an audio mix they’ve made. If you’re interested in being featured contact alley@qpdx.com.

So I’m starting to get to the ends of my personal arsenal of local queer DJs but I noticed a name pop up on several queer nights, including a brand-spankin’ new one starting this weekend that looks pretty good, Yes. So I asked one of the DJs on the bill if he’d like to participate and he said, unfortunately, he was straight. And it’s interesting, because my focus is definitely on promoting queer members of our community. But DJ Tigerstripes has been a name I’ve seen associated with queer parties for awhile. Yes bills itself as one, and the other two residents are most certainly queer, as well as being previous DJs of the week. So I asked Tigerstripes, aka Matthew Kenneth to participate anyway and include why he likes working with queer people and their awesome parties. 

When and how did you get started Djing?

12 years ago. I was working at a record store on Hawthorne (long since gone) and had my pick of a good many crates that came in. ’79-’83 became the magic years for me.

How did you get your DJ name?

Tiger Stripes is the name of a weirdo underground disco song by Arthur Russell.

Who are you influences/inspirations?

All the great Djs from the 70’s and 80’s from New York, Chicago and Detroit

Why do you dj?

It gets me out of the house. Plus I make new friends and I love making people dance.

What parties/clubs do you currently DJ?

Aalto Gaay Night last Sundays, First Sundays at Dig A Pony, and a new queer monthly at Saratoga called Yes.

What genres of music do you like to play?

Italo, underground disco, old school house, Balearic, AOR disco, soul and R&B.

What are some of your current favorite tracks?

I like a lot of edits being made these days. One thing that’s great about computers is the ability to take music from the last 40 years and make something new out of it. Editing allows you to turn an old favorite into something that sounds more contemporary. I am a bit of a disco traditionalist. Anything that takes its influence from the heyday of those clubs from back in the day appeals to me.

What do you wish would stop being played out right now? 

I don’t know. Ha. I only go to nights I already know are gonna be rad.

What was your WORST DJ experience?

There are no bad DJ experiences. There’s always something good to get out of any given night of spinning my favorite records.

What was your BEST DJ experience?

I deejayed at a club in former Yugoslavia for almost 8 hours. Drunken, crazy mayhem the whole time.
A house party on Lombard a couple years ago with my buddy Freaky Outty. Drunken, crazy shirtless mayhem. Also a recent Halloween house party I did with Bruce LaBruiser and Freaky Outty.

What makes a DJ experience good for you?

People feeling it hard. No pretenses, total loss of ego, everyone experiencing the same thing at the same time, forgetting their worries and letting their guard down. For the moment anyway..

What are your main pieces of equipment and your favorite?

I have the same crappy mixer I bought when I first started. It still works great. It has “punch” buttons that allow you to play something through the other channel in a way that sounds like a sample. I love big 70’s ear muff style headphones. Can’t do without those.

What else do you want qPDX to know about you? 

Even though I’m straight, I enjoy deejaying for the Queer community best because by and large those experiences have been the most fun. There’s a greater sense of being part of a community and feeling more appreciated than when I DJ to straight crowds. Also, it’s partly by virtue of the music I spin. Queer crowds like their music sexy. I can get behind that.

(So can we Tiger, so can we…)

Shalamar – Take That To The Bank (DJ Tigerstripes Edit) by DJ Tiger Stripes

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