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For techie DJ, it's scratch, spin, Wii

August 02, 2007

It's no surprise that the video game Jimmy Lesondak, also know as DJ ! (pronounced "DJ Shift 1"), plays most on his Nintendo Wii is Cooking Mama. After all, in the game, players use natural motions of the Wiimotes to create spicy virtual dishes. (Peel the potatoes by angling the controller down, chop the onions by vigorously shaking it up and down, and so on.)

So it got the 26-year-old Lesondak thinking. "I was looking at other hacks that people had done with the Wiimote on the Internet," he said from his Turlock, Calif., base of operations. "I was kind of messing around with one of the mouse scripts that somebody wrote and I opened up the DJ software I use and started thinking, 'I wonder if I could point the Wiimote and control the DJ software without using the mouse.' "

And so was born DJ WiiJ, Lesondak's new alias, who makes his Los Angeles area debut as the featured performer at mash-up club Bootie this Saturday night.

Using his Wiimotes, Lesondak can control his DJ software to create mash-ups (like the classic video game Super Mario Bros.' theme over a hard-core hip-hop Cypress Hill beat) wirelessly and effortlessly. "It feels more like it's attached to you as opposed to you trying to manipulate it," he says.

It also enables him to do more than your average computer-using DJ, who is forced to stare at the screen to control the sound. "I can look around and hear what's going on and then change it or do whatever by pressing the buttons on the controller without having to think about [or watch] where my hands are going to move," he says.

Just like preparing a virtual beef stew.

-- Pete Metzger

Bootie, Safari Sam's, 5214 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday. 21 and older. $10 cover, $6 before 10:30 p.m.

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