Oh hey can you play...

So like I mentioned in the last post there was a Sweet Meet and fun was had.  As tradition dictates, for the last few years anyway, there is a dance that follows.  Once again I was lucky enough to be asked to DJ this dance.  Now I really do love to DJ church dances, if for no other reason than I am that arrogant guy that thinks he can do better than most of the DJs that do the church dances he attends and as such spends most of the night complaining about the music being played.  Now I do give a little bit of slack because I know how hard it is and I know that they are just doing their best, but my best is usually better unless the DJ is someone I actually know then I tend to shut up and enjoy myself.

Better than you.
 Now my preparation for these sorts of things actually starts long before the event.  From the moment I am asked to DJ the dance I begin researching the music that the kids are listening to these days.  I scour the iTunes and Billboard charts to see if there is something new out there that I should play, or that would most likely get requested.  Then I start downloading songs to fill my computer.  I want to make sure that aside from having all of the dance standards I try and keep it as current as possible.  Nothing really beyond 5 years unless it's timeless like Michael Jackson or the like is my general rule of thumb.

After downloading the songs comes culling a playlist.
You don't want it to be too top heavy.
It needs to be a steady incline in fun.
You can't focus too much on one or two genres because you then run the risk of alienating people who don't like those one or two genres.
You have to anticipate requests.
You have to include slow songs.
You have to include fast songs.
You have to properly space the songs.
You have to over plan and include more songs than you need.
You can't have any songs that swear.
You can't have any songs with inappropriate themes.
You have to achieve the impossible.

You would think this would be enough but in actuality it is only beginning.  Once your playlist is finally ready it's time for the dance to begin.  In a perfect world I could just set my laptop up to the sound system, walk away and go have fun with everyone else.  Sadly the world isn't perfect and I get to spend the entire evening (save for the slow songs) sitting on the stage trying to figure out which song I should play next to keep things going.  If your lucky your preset playlist won't change much.  If you aren't you will have changed absolutely everything by the end of the night.  On the night of the Sweet Meet I wasn't lucky.  I started with what was originally #17 on my playlist and it just went downhill from there.  Here's a link to a quick spreadsheet I put together for this blog of my playlist for the Sweet Meet.  It's color coded to show you everything I played and everything else I planned on playing.

A few notes that you might find interesting about that playlist.  You won't find Ke$ha anywhere on there.  Not only is she devoid of musical talent, she is also trash and her songs are all about being a whore aka not appropriate.  The song "Teach Me How To Dougie" was in fact played, though quite begrudgingly.  They requested it around song #5.  As you can see I held out until song #17 to play it.  The logic to that is simple really.  That song/dance is retarded.  You know who should be doing the Dougie?  Paul Wall.  You know who shouldn't?  Over privileged self-indulgent white people.  No.  Knock it off.  I only played it because they literally hounded me all night with requests for it and I wanted to shut them up.  It was futile however as with three songs left the self appointed voice of the people came up to me and said "Man you gotta play Dougie again!" I simply said "No.  No I do not." and went back to my business of playing good music.  Needless to say if I ever DJ a dance again I have learned my lesson and I will simply tell these annoying brats that I don't have their stupid song.

Generally speaking everyone had a good time and thought I did a wonderful job with the music.  Or at least that is what I heard from everyone that knew I was the DJ.  Last Sunday I overheard a conversation about the dance where someone mentioned that they didn't have a good time because I didn't play enough slow songs because "that's the only reason to go to those things".  Now I have more than a few issues with this logic.  the first issue is I only played 22 songs and two of those were slow songs.  They were spaced out to fit almost exactly to the ratio of 1 slow song every 11 songs.  In my eyes that's a good ratio.  Secondly, Do you know when I got requests to play slow songs?  When I was just about to play a slow song.  I know my audience and I knew when they wanted to dance and when they wanted to slow dance.  Thirdly if you wanted more slow songs, come up and ask for them.  There were people on the stage with me all night long requesting songs.  And considering how often I accommodated their requests I would have done the same for you too.  And Finally, I received many, many, MANY compliments from the women in attendance for NOT playing that many slow songs.  It turns out that because the ratio of women to men is so lopsided at these sorts of activities many of the women spend the slow songs sitting off to the side wondering why the many boys that aren't dancing aren't asking them to dance and questioning their beauty.  Now maybe you did dance these slow dances, but I would say the majority of guys don't.  That leaves even more girls sitting alone and bummed out.  I'm not going to disappoint these women any more than I have to, and so I chose to not overcrowd the playlist with slow songs.

Pictured: How Mormon Women Spend Slow Dances
So in conclusion, shut up and appreciate the work I do to accommodate everyone and make sure everyone who is there to have a good time has one.  If your only goal at a dance is to poorly dance in a circle while stumbling through small talk YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.


Lisa said...

A few things:

1. I have never heard of this Dougie song. Am I missing out? Maybe I'm not hip with the times anymore.

2. Good call on the slow song business. Slow songs generally end up making women feel a) unwanted because nobody asked them to dance, or b) uncomfortable because the awkward boy asked them to dance.

3. You changed your blog layout! How come?? ;)

Kristin said...

Regarding Lisa's #3: PAHAHAHAHA.

J. Frankenstein Lutes said...

Heaven forbid a chick ask a dude to dance.