April 28, 2012
Despite the leering tone of the radio ads heralding her appearance at Milwaukee’s Silk Exotic, Megan Daniels wasn’t especially “scantily clad” in her appearance at the striptease club last Saturday. The plunging neckline and high hem of the dress Daniels sported stood out like a burqa compared to the breast-baring lingerie and stockings of the dancers sharing the stage with her.
But Daniels wasn’t booked as the same kind of entertainer for which the establishment is best known. She doesn’t go by DJ Megan Daniels for nothing, after all. In a business that specializes in roving eye candy, Daniels was hired to inject musical flavoring into the evening’s carnal confectionery display. It’s doubtful, though, that she would secure such bookings without benefit of the kind of high-cheekbone prettiness and bounteous curves that likely had many patrons wishing she would get out from behind the decks and show off more than her mixing skills.
It should be evident enough that the dynamics of DJing a party or club where those paying admission come to dance, not watch others do so, differ significantly from spinning for a venue where up to three women share the stage and its poles. It’s one thing for a gal to whip up a mix of three or four songs to individualize her act; it’s another to cater to multiple dancers at once, especially in a venue where music is necessary but obviously secondary to the visual attractions. Furthermore, tunes that are too arcane could alienate those performing to them and those watching the performers.
During her stage time, Daniels touched upon the sleek house music trumpeted by the aforementioned radio spots. But mostly she traded in pop-chart dance pop and hip-hop reflective of the sexual pantomime and player mentality that fairly well reflect Silk Exotic’s milieu. In this way, she excelled in her work.
There’s plenty of irony to be mined in such a setting, and whether consciously or not, Daniels dug deeply from that vein. Rihanna’s “S&M” may be a no-brainer for the situation at hand, but her “We Found Love” speaks some to the dichotomy of commitment and lust in the circumstances of experiencing a lap dance or placing legal tender between a firm thigh, hip or lower abdomen and panty waistband. She concluded her first set with Tupac’s “Life Goes On,” as it does for anyone who departs the fleshly spectacle surrounding Daniels for the real world outside Silk Exotic’s castle-like confines.
After a brief break, Daniels got a bit more adventurous in her second set, weaving harder tech house and techno textures among such numbers as Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Niggas in Paris” and Kelly Rowland’s “Motivation.” Then she dropped one of LM- FAO’s inexplicably popular exercises in ridiculousness, “Sexy and I Know It,” into the air. For me, that was as good a cue as any to get going.
Assuming she follows an even more creative, less chart-bound muse outside the function she was serving at Silk, here’s hoping Daniels returns to the city for a date where both genders can feel free to move to her sounds.