Tomorrow: Stay Smooth X @ Columbia Yacht Club | Preview, Interview

stay-smooth.jpgIt’s finally here! Stay Smooth X is finally here! The smooth music themed party is taking place on Saturday at Chicago’s Columbia Yacht Club on a boat! Inspired by the now infamous Yacht Rock web-based TV show, Stay Smooth is a party celebrating all that is smooth in music. You see, there was a time when Captain’s hats, dark rum and smooth music reigned supreme. And this Saturday night, we celebrate these times.

A few of you may be thinking, “Yeah, I’ve been to a Jimmy Buffet concert,” but you should bite your tongue. Buffet is mellow — maybe even kinda shitty — but definitely not smooth. Smooth is the color of Michael McDonald’s silver hair and the lush tones of his voice. Smooth is Donald Fagen wearing sunglasses, sneakers and a suit. Smooth is John Oates’ mustache. Smooth is Kenny Loggins.

The parties were created and are thrown by DJ’s Bald Eagle of the Life During Wartime dance parties and STV SLV of the The Hood Internet. I recently got in touch with Steve Reidell (a.k.a. DJ STV SLV) to ask a few questions about the party, his love of smooth music and other random stuff that I wanted to know. Read on for the interview.

Stay Smooth X will run you $40 for four hours of smooth music, three hours of open bar — and did we mention it’s on a boat? You can get your tickets right here.


When Steve is not ironing out the wrinkles of the music world, he is one half of the mash-up duo known as The Hood Internet. The group plays a bunch of parties here in Chicago year round and will be at the Monolith Festival next weekend. Stay Smooth X: Overboard! was really the focus but I couldn’t help ask about all the projects and some personal stuff, too.

First CD, tape, record?

CD: The Police Every Breath You Take – The Singles (1¢ via BMG Music Service)
Tape: AC/DC The Razor’s Edge
Record: probably “We Are The World” on 45

What’s your favorite live music venue and city to play?

Chicago is my city (on the real), and there’s so many good places here it’s hard to choose. Stay Smooth got started at Schubas, so let’s just go with that one.

Last show you attended other than one of your own?

I saw Radiohead at this year’s Lollapalooza.

Most memorable concert moment, either playing or attending or both?

Daft Punk at last year’s Lollapalooza was pretty spiritual, as was Broken Social Scene there the year before. It seems like I keep talking about Lollapalooza, which is weird because I totally prefer small venues to large festivals.

Worst concert moment?

My band in college played in Portland to a crowd of 0 people.

The Hood Internet has been gaining steam this year, playing SXSW and now Monolith on top of dates here in Chicago. What do you see as the main engine behind the growing success?

The actual Internet.

Mash-ups are an interesting branch of production, are they here to stay or a fad?

Fad. I mean — people like Steinski and Clubhouse have been on this kind of idea since the 80s, and people like Girl Talk are destroying the notions of what a mashup is and/or can be, but in terms of just A+B style mashups, people aren’t gonna be interested in those forever.

Do you credit Aerosmith with inventing mash-ups? Or Run- DMC?

Neither, though I do think they invented the idea of rap-rock, which was improved upon by the Judgment Night soundtrack, then totally destroyed by shit like Limp Bizkit et al.

You’ve played in live bands and as a DJ, which do you prefer when it comes to the live setting?

Getting a dancefloor moving is pretty fun, but I personally think there’s something far more gratifying and exhilarating about playing guitar.

How did the Stay Smooth DJ’s come about? Did the idea for the party drive the project or was it the music?

We were largely inspired by the Yacht Rock series and the music from it.

What, in your opinion, is it about smooth music that’s so appealing?

Michael McDonald’s background vocals (applies to most smooth music).

Favorite band from the era?

I’d have to go with the Dan.

Did you see Steely Dan this summer?

Didn’t see thiem this summer but caught them two summers ago when Michael McDonald opened — and did background vocals with Steely Dan for a handful of songs.

Who is the face of smooth music?

Hollywood Steve.

What one song incapsulates what you do as the Stay Smooth DJs?

Loggins/McDonald “This Is It”

This is the tenth installment of Stay Smooth, do you expect a record crowd, anything crazy planned?

Record crowd, hopefully. In terms of planning crazy things, are you aware this particular edition of Stay Smooth is on a motherfucking BOAT?

Which of the previous nine do you look back on most fondly?

Stay Smooth III: Camp Smoothatonka.

Should everyone dress up? Sailor hats, late seventies garb?

Absolutely. Our usual suggested code is as follows: “captain’s hats, jean shorts, short shorts, sailor shirts, knee high socks, friendship bracelets, sunglasses, beards and staches, feathered hair, chest hair and flip flops.”

On a scale of 1 to 10 – how smooth is Michael McDonald?

10.

On a scale of 1 to Michael McDonald – how smooth are you?

Background vocals.

What do you say when people ask you if this is a joke?

“Your face is a joke.”

What would you say if I told you that on Sunday morning I will have seen two Hall & Oates cover bands this week?

You’re having the BEST WEEK EVER!

If you could be a member of one of the bands you cover, who would it be? Why?

Steely Dan. Walter Becker or Donald Fagen, man, they totally get it, man.

For our readers who don’t happen to be familiar with the genius of smooth music what are five essential songs to get them acquainted?

See our Smooth Top 10 on this Time Out article.

Stay Smooth X: Overboard!
7pm – 11pm $40
Columbia Yacht Club
111 N Lake Shore Dr