Thursday, August 19, 2010

Some reasons why the DJ can't play your song NEXT

I'm happy to take requests and I thank you for requesting a song you'd like to hear. Please know that I'll make every effort to play it as soon as possible (often with in 3 or 4 songs) but keep the following in mind:
  • In the old days, when carrying several road cases of vinyl or even CDs, it took a couple of minutes just to find your song. With my computerized DJ system, I can find any song in a few seconds but when you are asking as the current song is ending, it's too late. The next song is already in the queue.

  • Others may have requested songs ahead of you. Songs are 3 1/2 to 4 minutes each and if I'm beat mixing in and out of songs quickly, I still like to play at least 90 seconds of a song so that it has a chance to speak its message, its flavor, its groove. With 5 requests ahead of yours, it could possibly take 20 minutes to get to you.
  • We may be at a place in the event where I have other things to do such as speeches, presentations, dinner service, toasts, garter toss and bouquet toss or cake cutting.
  • I may have been specifically asked by my customer to NOT play that song.
  • The song you are requesting may have profanity or overtly sexual content that doesn't belong in mixed company.
  • The song you are requesting may not fit in the format that I've been hired to do or fit the nature of the occasion. George Strait's "All my exes live in Texas" doesn't belong at a wedding. Styx's "Come sail away" is one of the greats, and a personal favorite, and it may fit during cocktail hour at a Class of '77 Reunion, but it isn't danceable.
  • Even if it fits the format of the event, it may not fit what is being played at that moment. If I'm in a set of Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Sean Kingston and Timbaland, a request for a George Strait song wouldn't fit at that moment but I'll get to it shortly. Maybe I could play Taylor Swift after Ke$ha and then move to a couple of country songs so it's not so jarring.
  • Lastly, please choose a song that a few people might know. An obscure song that you and your two college buddies used to sing karaoke to and... "we used to... Hahhahahahaaa... we stayed up way too late and Hmm... I guess you had to be there... man, those were good times... Can you play that one?" If it's an inside joke, keep it inside with you and your buddies and allow me to try to appeal to the wider group.
Whenever possible, I always try to avoid setting up on a stage, I like to be on the floor where the people are. I can do a better job when I can feel the pulse of the room. When I'm on my game, when I've won the confidence of the dancefloor, people are hugging each other and getting into it, singing along with every word, dancing up a storm. I feel that energy, I dig down, crank it up, send a renewed energy back to them, and they feel it and nurture it and send it back to me and I feel it and I'm singing along and getting into it and I crank up some more energy and send it back to them and they are dancing and hugging and sweating and we have a rock and roll party going on!

I'm still happy to take requests, but the funny thing is, when I'm doing my thing, the requests just stop. The people trust me to take them on a ride and lead them through several waves of musical energy.

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