Hello, Kitty 

On the trail of a busy DJ.

"I don't know any women who spin what I spin," Kitty English says. Better known by her nom de turntable, DJ Kitty, she's been bringing the rare and groovy soul and funk to your ears for the past eleven years, both in the clubs and over the airwaves. For some unexplained reason, most other female DJs have tended toward contemporary, trendy material, yet Kitty -- who estimates she owns about two thousand pieces of vinyl -- has been into classic soul since her teenage days as a mod, when she hung out with the parkas-and-Vespas crowd. She considers herself more of a record collector than a "hardcore crate-digger," noting that, while she'll occasionally "geek out" on records, she won't spend several hundred bucks on a 7-inch that will never be played in a club, as some diggers do.

These days, Kitty holds down the 3 to 6 p.m. air slot on KALX on Wednesdays and presides over Oakland's Ruby Room later in the evening, as well as every other Tuesday at Luka's (her past residencies have included Blake's, 330 Ritch, Cafe Van Kleef, and Radio). She says DJing on the radio and in the clubs each have their pluses. While "you can be more creative on the radio," on the other hand, there's nothing like playing for a live audience. "I enjoy getting people to dance," she purrs.

When Kitty isn't behind the one and twos, you might also find her mixing up cosmos -- her special recipe includes fresh lime and a dash of OJ -- at her other gig as a bartender at the Ivy Room, or leading a knitting circle once a month at Rock Paper Scissors. Next month, she'll be adding another feather to her cap, when her brand-new club, appropriately named Kitty's, opens on Powell Street in Emeryville. "It's a cute name," she explains with a laugh. "You don't even have to know me for it to be a cute name." Once the venue opens, she plans to feature nightly DJs, maybe singer-songwriters some afternoons, and "next-level cocktails" -- as well as PBR on tap.

Don't be caught catnapping; for more info, e-mail djkitaytay@gmail.com

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