Eyewear and indie singles are model’s own
Les Talusan, also known as The Pinstriped Rebel, has a vast and eclectic collection of pop, indie, and underground hits, as well as rare, obscure gems that can help craft a uniquely personal sound for your event. A professional DJ with 16 years worth of experience, Les is known for her perfectly crafted mixes and commitment to artistic excellence. Les is currently a resident DJ at DC-based clubs The Black Cat, Marx Café, and is Sulu DC’s resident DJ.
The Pinstriped Rebel spins an eclectic and fun mix of music, maintaining the highest quality control across a freeform blend of soul, funk, disco, and old school hip-hop, even throwing in some 80s freestyle. Born and raised in Manila, Les fell in love with music at a young age, DJing at local clubs and playing in bands. Since moving to DC from the Philippines at age 20, she has continued to develop her talents, performing behind the decks throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Read The Pinstriped Rebel’s blog posts
How long have you been DJing?
How long have you been DJing weddings?
How often do you get on the mic?
Not too often, only if the couple requests that I make announcements. I prefer to concentrate on the music, but would gladly get on the mic if needed.
What are some of your all time favorite wedding songs?
- Prince “I Wanna Be Your Lover”
- Al Green “Let’s Stay Together”
- Hall & Oates “You Make My Dreams”
- Gloria Jones “Tainted Love” (not a romantic song but in my experience, it gets people dancing)
- Jackson 5 “ABC” (or “I Want You Back,” both are crowd-pleasers)
What kind of music do you DJ when you’re not at a wedding?
I have a regular monthly gig, Taking The P*ss at Marx Café, where I play indiepop/jangle. When I DJ at Sulu DC (a showcase for Asian American performance art), I play a mix of world music—everything from Pinoy funk to music from Pakistani films. I also love playing jazz-funk, disco and nu-disco, R&B, soul, deep house, and old school hip-hop, and I enjoy throwing in some 80s freestyle and the occasional obscure pop gem.
What is your philosophy on weddings?
Weddings are about the couple, and it’s my job to help make their day as memorable and enjoyable for them as possible.
What size wedding do you prefer to DJ?
I don’t have a preference in size. I enjoy both large and small weddings.
What makes you different from your competition?
I’m a music nerd and listen to all kinds of music, with a keen appreciation and love for so many genres (and sub-genres) of music. This makes it easy for me to recommend songs that meet the couples’ music preferences. With years of experience behind me, I have also mastered reading a crowd, feeling the floor and paying attention to the energy in the room.
What do you do to motivate the crowd if no one is dancing?
I try make sure the couple is out there dancing with their guests. To motivate the crowd if no one is dancing, I’ll change styles or genres and play guaranteed crowd-pleasers to bring people back to the floor.
What training have you received?
I’ve been DJing since 1997, when I had a residency at a club in Manila, and I’ve never stopped. I’ve DJed in clubs, bars, museums, stores, festivals, events and weddings to diverse crowds with diverse tastes.
What problems have you encountered at a wedding and how have you solved it?
I had a wedding DJ gig overseas and the couple rented the equipment for me to use. Hours before the wedding, while I was setting up the equipment with the guys from the rental company, we realized that one of the turntables didn’t work. Luckily, I brought my own Serato Scratch Live (SL3), and I was able to set it up so I could just mix with one turntable.
Who are your preferred DJ gear Manufacturers?
Technics, Vestax, Shure, EV, QSC
What are your favorite record labels?
él, Factory, Homegrown
What are some of your preferred clothing labels?
APC and Uniqlo. My husband Oscar also makes some of my clothes.
Where are your favorite DC nightspots?
If I want a chill night, I go to Marx Café. If I want to go dancing, U-Hall and recently Tropicalia.
What is the best DJ moment of your career (so far)?
I volunteer at Girls Rock! Day Camp, teaching DJing to girls ages 8-18. It’s such a rewarding experience to be able to share my love of music and DJing and maybe inspire these girls to become DJs or musicians themselves. We teach them everything from setting up (and breaking down) equipment to operating the turntables, mixer, and preparing and performing a DJ set. On the last day of camp, they perform at the 9:30 Club, and it’s always one of my best DJ moments (even though I’m not the one behind the decks).
What is your favorite live show(s) (strictly as a member of the audience)?
- My Bloody Valentine at Roseland Ballroom in NYC, September 2008
- Little Dragon at (Le) Poisson Rouge in NYC, November 2008
- Os Mutantes at Webster Hall in NYC, July 2006
- Guitar Wolf at Ottobar in Baltimore, February 2005
- San Francisco Popfest at Bottom of The Hill, July 2001 (Hideki Kaji, The Aislers Set, The Lucksmiths, Boyracer)
What are some of your favorite restaurants?
In DC: Ercilia’s, Everlasting Life
In MD (Rockville, specifically): China Bistro, A&J’s
In VA: Loving Hut, Lighthouse Tofu
“I can’t hear myself think in here!” Favorite spot for a quiet cocktail?
Our living room.
What are your five desert island discs?
Ask me tomorrow and I might give you a different answer, but today, these are what I would take to a desert island:
- The Wake Here Comes Everybody LP
- My Bloody Valentine Loveless LP
- Moscow Olympics Still 7″ EP
- Freeez Southern Freeez LP
- A Tribe Called Quest People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm LP
What’s your dream DJ gig?
Every time I get hired to play “whatever I like or want” is a dream gig. Luckily for me, I actually get to live this “dream” on a regular basis.
What clients are saying on Wedding Wire:
“Absolutely fantastic! We used Les, one of the DJ’s at DJ D-Mac & Associates. She played our wedding reception and was uber responsive and professional. I especially liked that Les requested a list of “must play” and “do not play” songs in advance of our event. This allowed us to hear all of our mandatory songs and prevented any of our “no” songs from playing. I appreciated both Daryle and Les’ responsiveness in the weeks and days leading up to our event. Daryle kept everything organized for us in Basecamp, which allowed us to to easily track communication. Les pro-actively reached out to confirm dates/times/venue logistics, etc. She worked with our planner and on-site point of contact to confirm her arrival time and allowed several hours for set up and testing. 5 stars all around!”
“…Les did an amazing job DJing our wedding! She is very friendly, very easy to work with, and super responsive with communication. We met in person so she could get a sense of our musical taste, and she also gave great suggestions, not only from a music perspective but also the flow for the evening. After meeting her in person we knew she was the perfect fit for us. During our ceremony our officiant was running a bit late and she was able to improvise and add in a couple of extra songs that fit in perfectly with our selection to stall, and the guests were none the wiser. During the reception there wasn’t a moment when people weren’t dancing, she played all our favorites as well as some great songs we hadn’t even thought of. Everyone kept talking about how awesome she was. Maybe we are being biased because it was our wedding, but of all the weddings we’ve been to she was by far the most talented DJ. Les also seemed to be having just as much fun DJing as our guests had dancing. Our only regret is that we wish the wedding was longer so we could’ve danced more! If you want to have the best time at your wedding we highly recommend Les!”
“Wow. What a night. The music was exactly what we wanted (Mix of Motown, Hip Hop, & Pop). My husband(!) and I were on the dance floor after dinner until the very end… but we didn’t want it to end. Our DJ, Les aka Pinstriped Rebel, curated the perfect music list for us, and every time people on the dance floor wanted to take a break, they couldn’t because the transitions to the songs were seamless, and you just wanted to dance! That’s the feeling we wanted every friend and family member to have at our wedding. Our DJ delivered and we couldn’t be happier with our choice.
Leading up to the big day, our DJ took every detail as to what we wanted. Our wedding was multicultural (Filipino, Chinese, Vietnamese), so there were some musical preferences we had to consider, which Les noted down. We gave her a list of 50 songs via Spotify that we wanted to play and she used it as a foundation for the night. She was prepared when family members walked up to her with music requests and adapted accordingly without sacrificing our wishes. In addition, Les and her crew provided the lighting and audio equipment for our venue, and we didn’t encounter any problems.
When we host another party, we are definitely using the Pinstriped Rebel again. She crushed it, and our only regret was not extending more time at the venue to dance some more!”