You read that headline correctly. Elijah Wood is a DJ, and performs under the stage name DJ Frodo Wooden Wisdom, alongside Zack Cowie. The first half of the duo refers to the actor, Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit), while the second half refers to Zach Cowie, who’s known for his work in supervising film soundtracks, most notably, Celeste and Jesse Forever. Cowie currently mixes under the pseudonym TurquoiseWisdom, and now the pair has teamed up and are spinning records on a five-city North American tour in January. Their first stop was last night in a cool, intimate venue in the heart of Miami.
Bardot is located in Miami’s Design and Art District in Wynwood and it’s one of the few places in the city where audiences get an intimate experience with whatever performer is playing that week. Set up as a small living room, the venue is lined with long, brown, lush couches with ornamental throws and pillows. Tea light candles grace small coffee tables, giving the room an intimate and warm glow. Antique cabinets line the walls with eccentric artwork, and a pool table stands off to the side with a classic chandelier hanging overhead. It sounds like an exclusive VIP section, and in any other venue, it would be. However, in Bardot, the whole room is a VIP section because the stage is merely a couple of steps from you, on a beautiful oriental rug. The audience and the artist are one as they essentially share the stage.
One of the cool and unique aspects about this place is that before an artist goes on “stage” they are just walking around amongst the crowd, enjoying the space as well as the opening act. The fact that the artists performing this week were big names in the movie industry did not hinder this rare custom. As the opening act, Mr. Brown, spun some tunes, and everyone in the crowd was enjoying the music, including Wood and Wisdom. Mr. Brown’s set was a smooth mix of mellow songs that were the perfect complement to the upcoming main set. Some of his mixes included La Tromba’s “Calaba Calabo,” Parvati Khan’s “Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja,” and Z Z Hill’s “Hey Little Girl.”
Finally, it was time for Wooden Wisdom to take the stage, and everyone was eagerly waiting to see if Wood could actually spin some tunes, and the final verdict is affirmative. Their set was rich and sweet sounding, a fusion of electronic music with ’80s hits. Some of their spins included Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes,” NYC Peach Boys’ “Don’t Make Me Wait,” Jimmy Ross’s “First True Love Affair,” and Roundtree’s “Hit On You.” They also intermittently filled the room with sounds that were reminiscent of Latin music. Finally, one of the best elements of the show was the fact that they used vinyl records to spin. It made the sounds all the more organic and enjoyable to listen to.
Overall, it was a great and unique show. Elijah Wood has apparently been spinning tunes for some time now, and it is clear just how much he enjoys it. From being a listener in the crowd to being the DJ on stage, he loves every part of it. Coupled with Zach Cowie, Wooden Wisdom creates a memorable mix that you won’t be able to get out of your head, or dizzy feet. They’re scheduled to play four more shows this weekend. If you happen to live in one of the cities where they’re appearing, go ahead and attend the show. It’ll be a different kind of night where you can say you got to see and hear Wooden Wisdom DJ Frodo spin.