When DJ Abilities' dexterous digits are in action, it's almost like watching an octopus stretching out its arms. Just YouTube this Milkwaukee-based hip hop DJ and you'll see his fingers manipulating vinyl records and a mixer with astounding precision and speed. He's a wizard behind turntables, and has been for years. In fact, in 1999 and 2001, he won the DMC Regional Championships, a highly regarded competition that's like the Olympics for hip hop DJing and scratching. Besides his deft skills behind the decks—which hip-hop heads would aptly call "dope"—you might also recognize DJ Abilities as the former producer and DJ for Eyedea and Abilities, a critically acclaimed but now-defunct Minneapolis hip-hop group. Essentially, he's a big deal in the American indie hip-hop scene. And according to his Twitter feed, he also puts on a kickass live show. One recent post by a fan gushes that he's "a god on the turntables." If that's not the ultimate endorsement to check out his fancy fingerwork this week, I don't know what is.
DJ Abilities plays the Palace Saturday, Nov. 18, with One Be Lo and locals Shaymlus and Codependents. $10/$8 advance at Ear Candy Music, with a $5 surcharge for those aged 18-20.