As we plan for the wedding, my future wife gave me the right to create the music set list for the reception.
I take music seriously, much to the bemusement of my friends and my fiancée.
I recently discovered a quote by the great “Dr. of Gonzo” Hunter S. Thompson that I feel perfectly encapsulates my thoughts and feelings about music: “Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”
Music is my life blood. It allows me to be filled with every emotion.
That’s why making a good dance mix for our wedding night is important to me. It’s not to be taken lightly, or worse put in the hands of some ding bat DJ who doesn’t know us.
Rob Gordon, one of my favorite fictional characters felt that, “The making of a good compilation is a very subtle art. Many do’s and don’ts…you’re using someone else’s poetry to express how you feel, this is a delicate thing,” said Gordon in Nick Hornbys “High Fidelity.”
I am sickened by the modern culture we live in and how they pay no heed to what they listen to.
Girls dancing to songs demeaning to women but shrugging it off because “the beat is killer” sends out bad vibrations.
When I began my journey of making a killer dance mix for probably the most important night of my life so far, my goal was to create something fun but also relevant.
If music is fuel then one must be sure to put the right fuel in.
We don’t put diesel into a gasoline engine, so we don’t include a song like Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” — a song about a woman accusing a man of having a child with her out of wedlock – in a wedding play list.
I swear I feel the rise in divorce rates in this country coalesces with the lack of caring what music you use on the night you tie the knot.
As I began compiling a set list I did run into songs that I felt had good elements but were detracted by the overall package.
For example, I want to use the chorus of Robin Thicke’s “Give It 2 U,” but for the love of god couldn’t use the rest of the song, so at that point I had to utilize what I know about audio production and make a remix, splicing Thicke’s song with Stardust’s”Music Sounds Better With You.”
A lot of songs had to excised from my first run compiling for over all lyrical content, killer beat be damned.
Others had more ambiguous lyrics that required me to research them before making the list, including The Romantic’s “Talking in Your Sleep.”
Song placement is as important as what songs end up making the cut. Its harder than it looks and can take ages to get right.
I recently found a couple old CDs I made for fiancée back in high school and was sinking into my seat, embarrassed by how terrible they were compiled.
Song placement is like music itself, there are dips and crests, highs and lows that must be followed so it’ll flow naturally.
You have to start off strong to get the attention of the floor, then raise it up a notch then cool it off a bit, you don’t want to front load the night with all the best songs, leaving the end of the night with slow jams.
My song list has swelled to a little more than 70 songs so far. I still have until November to get it all together.