Keith Milgaten, San Diego DJ turned Brooklynite, says there is “tons of crap music” in New York City.
For the past ten months, producer/engineer/DJ Keith Milgaten (aka Jamuel Saxon) has been living in Brooklyn and, under the alias Keith Sweaty, dropping the occasional dance mix on Soundcloud, including his own spin on brother Jackson’s former band (Cuckoo Chaos), local electronic mainstays the Album Leaf, and fellow NYC-via-SD defectors Writer.
- Monday, March 17, 2014, 8 p.m.
3615 El Cajon Boulevard,
In anticipation of his March 17 return to Soda Bar (Jamuel’s first appearance since 2012, along with Mirror Pop, Spark Three, and Lorna Dune), Milgaten spent a stoney evening reminiscing on his move to NYC, touring with a couple of bands, and working live sound while a drunken David Cross sang karaoke show tunes.
“I flew into LaGuardia with two suitcases and a backpack. I crashed on couches for a month, lived in a sewage-y basement in Brooklyn, and went on my first tour of the East Coast doing sound for Guards. While on tour, I brought my laptop and worked on remixes for several artists in the green rooms of venues. I have also been endlessly supported by my San Diego friends and musicians, who have hired me to do their mixing, mastering, and other projects. After the Guards tours were over, I found time to work on several projects on my own and with my good friend Chris Braciszewski [a San Diego musician known as Snuffalufagus]. We started a sort of ‘future R&B’ project called Jackson Vibe and will be releasing a debut EP sometime this year. I also began playing with Chris in Snuffalufagus.
“Before I knew it, I had been asked to go on a seven-week tour with the band called Hockey, in which I would also be doing sound for their main support band, Saint Motel. After seven weeks driving across America and making some amazing friends, I went to Las Vegas to mix my mother Donna Milgaten’s new record, which she had been working on for close to a decade. Two weeks later, I was back in Brooklyn launching my own DJ party in hopes of pursuing the creatively focused life I had longed for in NYC. When necessity knocked on my bank account, I realized it was time to do more live sound in the city.
“I did sound for Writer one night at Mercury Lounge on the Lower East Side and met an audio engineer named Kevin. He asked me if I wanted to go on tour with a band called Yellow Ostrich, which I said yes to. I hit the road again with those guys for a couple more runs through the East and Midwest, then returned to Brooklyn to continue DJing and doing live sound. Little did I know that by the end of 2013 I would end up working for four venues in NYC. Since then, I have been scrambling around the city between Mercury Lounge, Knitting Factory, Pianos, and the brand-new über-hip Brooklyn club Baby’s All Right, where I got to do sound for David Cross doing drunken karaoke show tunes one night!”
How does the scene compare to San Diego’s?
The scene in NYC is definitely more versatile than San Diego, but that doesn’t mean that everything out here is actually “good.” Honestly, there is still tons of crap music in the city! It’s just a bigger pond, or sea, rather.
Do you see any familiar faces from SD around town?
There is a hilariously large population of former San Diegans in New York City, including the Writer bros, Travis and Paul of Tape Deck Mountain, Nathan and Gabe of Cults, Ivan of Claudio, and obviously Chris from Snuffy. The list could go on!
What do you miss about SD?
When asked if I miss SD and/or what I miss about California in general, two things come to mind: the overtly friendly people and the warm, sweet, and sometimes densely foggy air. I can live without the sunshine and palm trees.
What brings you back?
My main reason for throwing this show is that Jamuel Saxon never really had a proper conclusion or finale show. I’m not even sure if this will be an actual finale, but I felt like people wanted to at least have the experience one more time and re-live some of those great times we all shared over the seven years prior to my departure. In addition, I haven’t seen my drummer Jayson Ehm in quite a while and we thought it would be fun to re-light the Jamuel fire! I couldn’t have gotten to wherever I am now without the support of my friends all over the country (especially in San Diego) and the endless support of my family and my lovely better half, Lorna “Dune” Krier. Here’s to 2014! [raises glass of champagne].