A constant fixture in Portland's booming electronic music scene, Joee Irwin is packing his records and heading east. He'll be relocating to New York in early September, taking his DJ'ing ways and his blogging skills (he writes for a pair of tastemaking blogs: Palms Out Sounds and iheartcomix) with him. But before he bids farewell to cheap rent once and for all, we gave him his exit interview, wherein he talks about never visiting New York before and what he'll miss most about Portland living.
MERCURY: People are supposed to move from New York to Portland, not the other way around.
JOEE IRWIN: New York has always been my dream. But I haven't even visited there because it wasn't time. So in mid-September when I first step foot in New York as a New Yorker, I'll begin living a dream I've had since childhood. And I looked at a map—it's closer to Europe.
You've been known as someone who is fair and honest in your assessment of Portland's electronic music scene, so consider this your exit interview bonus round: What are the best and worst elements of the scene?
I love that there isn't a hierarchy in the scene with promoters, DJs, fans—everyone dancing knows everyone DJ'ing. Even across genres the scenes are really appreciated and support each other. I think the worst element of the scene is mismatched shows. Yes, I know that sometimes they can create diversity in the audience, but the show shouldn't be about diversity—it should be about the best experience possible for everyone.
What will you miss the most when you are gone?
The kids who grew up listening to Seattle change the world are about to do it themselves, right as I'm leaving. The Italians Do it Better acts here and Nightclubbing are turning Portland into a nü-disco mecca. Lo-Dubs and the Various Crew have pushed Portland into the dubstep spotlight. Starfucker's new album is going to melt the hearts of trolls everywhere. The Gossip's new album is being done by Rick Rubin and James Ford. Arohan's first EP is going to be huge. Basically I feel like I'm about to leave just as it's getting good, so I guess I'm going to miss not being around for it.
When you get to New York, are you going to be one of those DJs who plays for the "Bridge and Tunnel" crowds? I hope you have a lot of Bon Jovi remixes.
I haven't pandered up to this point so I don't see why I'd start just because I'm in New York. I'm hoping that my crowd will be lots and lots of Eastern Europeans who say things like, "I like you are DJ very good musics."
DJ Joee Irwin performs at Rotture on Friday, August 29.