Posted: June 30, 2009 Filed under: The "Life" Part, True Stories | Tags: barn dance, dance, dance floor, DJ, influential, laptops, lights, Michael Jackson, MJ, music, plastic surgery, sound system, soundtrack, Thriller
On Saturday some friends of mine threw a party for which I did the unthinkable… I DJ’d, well, MP3J’d. I have to admit, it was really fun. My husband and I brought two laptops, the sound system for our band and some crazy disco lights we were given by a past client to a friend’s barn, which was transformed into a rustic, but posh, dance hall. I got an opportunity to dance, which I never get to do, but I still sang every song (as loud as I could) along with the tracks. It was an amazing moment for everyone to cut loose and forget about things for a night.
Coming just two days after the sudden death of a man who could best be described as a legend in his own time, this party gave me a chance to pay tribute to Michael Jackson, whose music has been influential throughout my life. I haven’t gotten enough of an opportunity to play MJ’s hits live in the past few years. Although, I think that will be changing. Three of my upcoming event clients have asked for tribute sets to the King of Pop at their parties. I’m sad that it took his death for people to rediscover his contribution to the soundtrack of all of our lives, but at the same time thrilled to honor Michael Jackson’s music in any way I can. In the next few weeks and months the events surrounding Michael Jackson’s death will be scrutinized and publicized. Society will, no doubt, be as fascinated by MJ in death as we were in life.
That being said, I’m not going to talk about MJ as a tragic figure. I’m not going to talk about plastic surgery or odd behavior or accusations. I’m not going to postulate on the cause of his death. I’m just going to post my Michael Jackson tribute playlist and let the discussion about his life be one about his music.
I trimmed my list down to one solid hour of the songs that meant the most to me and, of course, kept the dance floor packed – for decades.
- Thriller – Thriller, 1982
- I Want You Back – Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5, 1969
- Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough – Off the Wall, 1979
- Billie Jean – Thriller, 1982
- Black or White – Dangerous, 1991
- ABC – ABC (The Jackson 5), 1970
- Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) – Destiny (The Jacksons), 1979
- Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’ – Thriller, 1982
- Beat It – Thriller, 1982
- The Way You Make Me Feel – Bad, 1987
- The Love You Save – ABC (The Jackson 5), 1970
- Rock With You – Off the Wall, 1979
- P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) – Thriller, 1982
- Off the Wall – Off the Wall, 1979
- Who’s Lovin’ You – Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5, 1969
We interspersed this playlist throughout the night in three song sets.
I can think of some tracks to add, what about you?
Posted: March 3, 2009 Filed under: Tips/Advice | Tags: alternative, budget, cash, DJ, entertainment, event, excitement, hip hop, live band, live instruments, motown, party, techno, wedding
So, you may think that for me this would be a cut and dry case of band band band. Since I am a wedding singer myself most people probably wouldn’t even ask me this question, but there is no answer that’s right for everyone. There are several factors to consider before deciding on the answer to that age old question, band or DJ?
OK, maybe it’s not an age old question, but is one that can define the tone of your wedding. Entertainment can make or break a party.
A live band brings an air of excitement to any event. There is something about watching and listening to real people making music right in front of you that takes the whole experience up a notch, and your wedding is a once in a lifetime event. A professional band should be able to cover all types of music, but this is an especially great choice if you are into rock, swing, Motown, alternative, and genres generally utilizing live instruments to create their sound. If your fiance proposed to you at a Bruce Springsteen concert, trust me, you’re band people.
However, if you are into electronic music, hip hop or techno, or you and your fiance never miss a Saturday night out at the club, then a DJ might be a better fit for you. A great DJ can play his or her turntables like an instrument, and this way you will know exactly what the songs are going to sound like. If you practiced your first dance to the CD for all those months, you can dance it exactly the same way that night.
Of course, I have to address the elephant in the room, cost. Bands cost more than DJs. That’s just a fact. There’ no way around it. Even with all of the equipment a DJ has to invest in, there is still less overhead for them than for a band, and less people to pay. So, if cost is the number one factor in your decision making process, you may want to hire a DJ. Determine your budget before you start your research, and be upfront about it with potential vendors. You might end up getting a great deal.
If you have the cash there is always the option of both, to give the evening two distinct flavors. You can alternate between the two, or start the evening out with one and end with the other. Also, many bands have the capability to DJ a portion of your event, and there are DJs who perform with singers or musicians to fill out their sound. Really, your wedding should be a reflection of your personal style, and you should have a great time at it. Decide which musical backdrop will facilitate a good time for you and your guests and go for it!