Armand Van Helden isn't some regular touring spinner. Having the DJ do his thing for us fortunate folk is right up there with Plácido Domingo working his pipes on stage at the Wortham Theater, Johnny Cash commanding a sold-out audience at the Aerial Theater with just a six-string and his troublesome words, or Jenna Jameson sliding up and down a pole at the Colorado Bar & Grill.

The mention of East Coast underground ace Van Helden may fall on deaf ears for those who prefer the recognizable pop-chart exploits of the Rolling Stones and Janet Jackson -- but then again, maybe not. Apart from being one of the masters of house music, Van Helden has often been called upon to remix -- "funkify" seems like the right word -- hits performed by those artists, as well as tunes by the likes of New Order, Puff Daddy, Tori Amos, Sneaker Pimps and Daft Punk, to name a few. But when he headlines the Scooby Doo Crew's "Return to Shangri-La III" show, he most likely will bring his own brand of challenging, no-bullshit house, which he patented on his own singles and albums, like the 1997 breakbeat buffet Enter the Meatmarket or his most recent effort, last year's Killing Puritans.

Joining Van Helden will be another special spin man, Junior Sanchez. Like Van Helden, Sanchez is a New York-based DJ who specializes in house. He also belongs to the same remix outlet as Van Helden, X-Mix Productions, and has collaborated with such artists as Basement Jaxx and DJ Roger Sanchez (no relation). The boy definitely knows how to roll. With these two Eastsiders ready to drop skills in Texas's largest city, we should give them something as a token of our gratitude, something that could be useful to them but something we don't need anymore -- how about Anna Nicole Smith?

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Craig D. Lindsey
Contact: Craig D. Lindsey