Don Bauder 2:29 p.m., May 23
Vanja James Wednesday Ladies Night Debuts Feb. 1 @ Eleven
"I was thinking of telling dudes they could come DJ Ladies Night IF they come in drag," says Vanja James of her new Wednesday DJ residency at Bar Eleven. "By drag, I mean, the whole bit. It has potential to be hilarious."
Debuting February 1 with DJ Christy Huber and a live acoustic music set by Veronica May, the weekly ladies-only open mic DJ event will run from 5pm to 9pm. "It'll be females playing whatever the hell they want! Any women with good taste in music can sign up to DJ," says James, "but preference will be given to local female musicians who are in bands, local songwriters, etc."
To inquire about the DJ list, James can be contacted via Facebook or by email at idgafLetsParty@gmail.com . "We'll also have at least one songwriter a week performing, and then we'll open DJ tables afterwards. DJs must sign up beforehand by email, so I can promote them on the flyer and on Facebook."
"Bunco will come in time...DJs can bring your iPod, and make your own setlist of your favorite guilty pleasure tunes. DJs get free beverages. Vegan and vegetarian friendly food will be available. Just consider it a chill way to hang out with some other female musicians and whatnot."
She suggests that prospective DJs bring 60 to 90 minutes of music.
Born and raised in San Diego, Vanja James has been performing her acoustic and electric blues rock stylings for local audiences since summer 2002.
With a musical history that includes DJing, classical guitar, and gospel choir, she got her start in songwriting during her senior year at UCSD (where she majored in theater) at age 19. It was in a “Singing for Actors” class that she met her vocal instructor Linda Vickerman.
Vickerman took James under her wing, taught her jazz and blues vocal techniques, and introduced her to guitar teacher (and future cowriting partner) David Beldock. She has returned to Beldock many times to work with him on guitar arrangements for her songs, which have now become a trademark part of her bluesy roots sound.
In 2009, James was singing backup with the Gift/Curse and Laserwolf & Thunderbolt. Late last year, she began work on a new full-length (which she describes as “very rock oriented”) with guest players Tommy Andrews, Damon De La Paz, Ismael Velasquez, and others.