4 Features The Nexus Dec. 18, 2009
Nakhonthap mixes up the
f fe as a D
Anna Buckley songs. If you don’t beat match [the two songs] cor-
Staff Writer rectly you can hear the two kick drums go off beat
and then the song sounds terrible.”
As the song ended, Calvin Nakhonthap (12) Nakhonthap now practices three hours a day
used his turn table to match the beat to the next to perfect his techniques and makes new sets for
song on his lineup, blending them together so when he DJs at parties.
they mixed perfectly. Nakhonthap felt the energy “I have small gigs because a lot of close friends
around him as he continued to DJ for the 50 people know who I am,” he said. “My friend Andrew Bron-
surrounding his turn table at the biggest party he te  is always helping me. He’s sort of like my
had ever worked. manager and he helps me get gigs. Most of the time
Nakhonthap began disc jockeying about six when I go DJ, it’s at his house.”
months ago, and now DJs at friends’ parties and Nakhonthap’s first gig was in Bronte’s base-
creates mixes for online radios, going by the name ment with around 20 friends and classmates.
DJ Layzee. “I wasn’t really nervous, I was just really happy
This summer, Nakhonthap developed a pas- to be DJ-ing somewhere,” Nakhonthap said. “My
sion for DJ-ing after watching numerous YouTube friends were having a good time and for me DJ-ing
videos of two well-known DJs, DJ Cotts and DJ Ra- isn’t just about me. It’s about seeing people happy
vine. when listening to my music.”
“I started DJ-ing because of [them],” Nakhont- Along with DJ-ing at parties, Nakhonthap cre-
hap said. “I listen to the kind of music that they do, ates mixes to submit to online radios. He recently
which is hardcore and hard-style. [They’re] both submitted a mix to DI.FM, which now plays his mix
unknown genres of electronic dance music. It’s once daily.
known throughout the world but not really here One day after school, Nakhonthap listened in-
because no one listens to techno here.” tently to one of these online radio stations. As the
Once Nakhonthap knew he had a desire to song ended, he anticipated what would come on
learn how to DJ, he did research online to find the next, hoping he would recognize the beat. As soon
best turntable he could buy. He used all of the $800 as it began he smiled in satisfaction, listening to his
he had saved since he was 7 and his dad pitched in own mix that he had spent weeks making.
the remaining $200, enough to buy his turntable. Of the four mixes that Nakhonthap has cre-
“My dad realized that I was really into this DJ ated, his favorite is titled, “Feeling Kind of Layzee,”
thing, so he helped me out,” he said. “My dad has which incorporates his own DJ name.
always been supportive of me.” Making mixes can take Nakhonthap up to
Nakhonthap began without any real knowl- three or four weeks. He takes his time perfecting
edge of how to use his turntable, a modern ver- the blend of songs and creating the right mood.
sion of the classic turntables, using CDs instead “My mixes are known for the track list for
of records. He taught himself through practice and them,” Nakhonthap said. “All the songs I pick go to-
learning from the Internet. gether and makes people feel [a certain] way. There
“After I bought it I had no clue how to use it are songs that are more upbeat, or have more lyrics,
so I went online, asked people, looked at forums or more breakdown parts, or [a] deeper meaning.
and just taught myself,” he said. “After about three From DJ-ing I’ve grown this instinct to know what
months I was able to do it pretty well.” songs make people feel what.”
But while learning to DJ, many complications Now that Nakhonthap has become more expe-
arose because DJ-ing incorporates many techni- rienced with DJ-ing, he is branching out into other
cal aspects, such as equalizing and beat-matching, styles.
which took Nakhonthap months to learn. “I’ve been learning electro and it’s been one of
“Beat-matching was really complicated,” he my goals to learn all of the genres I enjoy,” he said.
said. “Beat-matching is matching the tempos of two Nakhonthap plans to continue to DJ in the fu-
songs. It took me about three months straight of ture, and if possible, to pursue it as a career. Anna Buckley
just learning how to beat match [through] differ- “Hopefully I can turn it into a career,” he said.
ent practices. You have to bend the pixels of each “It’s definitely something I really want to do for my Using his turn table, Calvin Nahkonthap (12) adds effects to the song playing. Nahkonthap has been DJ-ing for
song [to] make it faster or slower just to match two life.” over six months and practices three hours a day to perfect all the technical aspects of DJ-ing, such as beat-matching.
Team Del Sol skates
its way to major win
George Jeng ers for what and how they should im-
prove for the next competition. The
next sectional competition that the
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2,584 team will be competing in is in Cedar
miles away from home, the Team Del Rapids, IO. In order to maintain their
Sol synchronized figure skating team position, the team must continue to
fell silent in disbelief before they improve the nuances of their routine,
jumped up in joy, screaming at the top constantly polishing their posture and
of their lungs. footwork.
One of the team member’s moms This constant progress requires
had just entered the locker room and countless hours of practice as a team
informed them of their first-place and from the individual skaters. The
victory in the Richard Porter Com- team practices Saturdays, Sundays,
petition. Westview Team members and Tuesday mornings, with Tues-
include Alicia Hernandez (11), Megan days being the earliest at 4:30 a.m.
Winslow (11) and Kathryn Luszcz at the San Diego Ice Arena in Mira
(9). Mesa. The Junior team’s performance
Junior Team Del Sol placed first included a move called the “Pivoting
out of 20 other teams from across Line” where the team forms a line and
the nation. This was Team Del Sol’s swings around like a windshield wip-
second competition of the season. er while perfectly synchronized.
The first came in Anaheim, where the Skaters describe the skating sen-
teams were generally less renowned sation as one of ‘a rush.’
and mainly from the West coast. “From practice we had so much
“I definitely didn’t expect the win drilling and muscle memory that
Anna Buckley because we lost a bunch of seniors as that’s not what we had to focus on,”
well as a lot of girls who quit because Winslow said. “The content should
Setting up the inflatable decorations in front of his house on Christmas Card Lane, Emil Salman (10) prepares his house for the
it was too much of a commitment,” come naturally from the practice. Dur-
crowds of people that will look at decorations on his street. Each year, Salman helps his family and neighbors decorate for the season.
Megan Winslow (12) said. “We didn’t ing competition we focus on our pre-
Christmas Card Lane spreads cheer
have a lot of people from last year and sentation aspects such as smiling and
a lot of younger kids had moved up so posture.”
I wasn’t confident that we were really Looking ahead, the team hopes to
good, but we worked hard and got stay on top of the competition.
Yoojin Kim When she had first moved deer with giant red bows around cheer,” Rachel Minarovich (12), first [place] so that was really satisfy- “It felt really good to beat the last
News Editor onto Christmas Card Lane five their necks, and also makes sure who also lives on Christmas Card ing.” reigning national team, Team Image
years ago, she and her mom created that the lights are working prop- Lane, said. “Some houses don’t get The team views this competition from New York, ” Winslow said. “The
On a clear December night, the card themselves. erly after a year. decorated which is kind of sad, but as a stepping stone for progressing to main thing is that we improved a lot
Anna Goemaere (10) and her After the family selected the “Sometimes it’s a drag to have then there are other houses on the sectional and national competitions. since the last competition and that
friends strolled through the light- image they wanted on their card, to put out all the decorations, es- end of our street that try to out- The results provide them with point- improvement is what really matters.”
filled streets of Christmas Card they projected it onto a large pecially this year with the rain and decorate each other, and that part
Lane. wooden board. Then they painted everything,” she said. “But the holi- is pretty cool.”
All along the streets, brightly the picture and took it to Home day season is just really exciting, Every day of December as she
lit deer bobbed their heads up and Depot to get it cut out. and that makes up for all the hard drives home, Minarovich passes
down, small trains chugged across “When you move into the work.” the yards full of snowflakes, snow-
front yards and snowmen waved house, [the previous homeowners] Also, during the weeks lead- men and Santas, which drives her
hello. tell you that it’s Christmas Card ing up to the holidays, Salman al- and her family to participate in the
Spotlights highlighted the Lane,” Goemaere said. “They tell ways helps not only his family, but Christmas Card Lane tradition.
various cartoon characters care- you that a lot of people decorate his neighbors with the decorations. “Just living on Christmas Card
fully painted onto wooden boards: their houses full-out and then it’s He untangles strings of lights, and Lane is definitely an incentive for
Charlie Brown and his pals in foot- up to [the new homeowner] to de- then he climbs ladders to set up decorating the house,” she said.
ball gear wished Goemaere a happy cide whether your family wants to rooftop decorations. “If we didn’t live there, our family
holiday; Superman, with his super- be a part of it or not.” “We all work together as a wouldn’t be as spirited as we are.”
hero allies in their colorful capes Unlike Goemaere, who cre- neighborhood,” he said. “People are With so many visitors to
and ultra-tight tights, sported a
Santa hat; and Yoda greeted Goe-
ated the card herself, Emil Salman
(10), Goemaere’s next-door neigh-
together a lot for the holidays, but
helping out with the decorations
Christmas Card Lane, during the
holidays, the streets get additional
maere with “‘Weesa’ wishing you a
bor, received his card from the pre-
brings us together even more.”
In the tight-knit community,
lights from passing cars, or an oc-
casional tour bus or even a horse Approved Online
After walking through the “Some families go with the the residents of Christmas Card carriage.
streets of Renato, Ellingham, Ovie-
do and part of Twin Trails, Goe-
card that they’re given and some go
with new cards,” Salman said. “It’s
Lane gather occasionally for bon-
fire parties. On chilly nights, the
“One of the best parts about
living [on Christmas Card Lane]
Drivers Ed Course
maere returned to her own house
located on Twin Trails.
a really good way to show the dif-
ferent varieties of decorations and
adults drink hot chocolate or tea,
while children munch on popcorn
is being able to see all the people
come to admire the work that Fast, Fun,
There on her own front yard show the spirit of Christmas in as they watch movies, and teenag- we’ve put out on our houses,” Sal-
stood the eight-foot teddy bear
Santa Clause that she helped set
Every year, Goemaere, with
ers walk the streets looking at the
man said. “It really does bring ev-
erybody together and the thought
Simple and Easy
up with her dad. her dad, puts out the lighted rein- “It’s just so much Christmas of it really brings you joy.”