Thursday, August 13, 2009
(picture of my friend Dan's excellent wedding reception- Lance, Dan's dad is in the zone during the Isley Brothers' "Shout!" An excellent example of a great wedding song.)
So I've been in charge of getting songs together for my wedding on October 3. Being a musician, it's important to select the right mix of songs for your guests. For instance, during the cocktail hour, I'm looking for songs that are classy, original, loving, and fairly low-key. During the dance portion, it's a whole different ballgame. We want songs that people will recognize and dance to. Anything too avant garde will kill the mood. That being said, there are some songs that are OFF LIMITS. Let's start with those:
"YMCA" by the Village People - This song is the lowest common denominator of music in general, let alone dance and disco music. Why in the world is it fun to dance around to a song about a gym? Why was it necessary for the Village People to dress up like a Policeman, Fireman, Indian, and whatever else they dressed up as? That answers: It's not and it's not, respectively. We as a generation need to stand up and ask- nay! demand that this song is no longer played within earshot of human beings. If aliens saw us doing the arm motions to this song, they would probably decide to conquer or blow up our planet.
"Celebration" by Kool & the Gang - Yeah, we get it. A wedding is a day to "Celebrate good times," blah, blah, blah. DJ's have a hard time resisting this one. I've even heard of weddings where the bride and groom ask the DJ not to play this, and it gets played anyway. Ugh. It's cheesy, overplayed and over-obvious. Needless to say, this will not be played at our wedding.
"My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion - I'm fairly certain this song has gone by wayside, and I'd like to keep it that way. While it was the lead song on the sountrack of the most financially successful movie ever ("Titanic"), it just gives me memories of rabid, foaming at the mouth teen girls waiting in line each day to see "Titanic" again and again and again. It's too bad we can't put the prints of that movie in another version of the Titanic and sink them to the bottom of the ocean. The worst part is that one print would probably survive just so Bill Paxton could interview it 70 years later... you're right, that is unlikely. Group this one in with every other Celine Dion song, and you'll know that none of them will be played at my wedding.
"Lucky" by Jason Mraz featuring Colbie Caillet - There was once a time when I thought this song was good. That was until hundreds of thousands of girls got their hands on the album and have since made statements like:
This song is soooo original!
No one else will have this be their first dance song!
Oh my God! That is soooo us! It totally is like me and my fiance are singing to each other!
I make a point to not let the masses decide my musical taste, but this song has already been played out at weddings. If you played this at your wedding- no sweat! Rock on with your bad self- and rest easy knowing it won't be played at mine.
"Forever" by Chris Brown - If anyone's seen that 5 minute long wedding video that has virally infected the internet recently, you have heard this song. Seems awfully poingant to walk/dance down the aisle to a song by a guy who just beat his girlfriend Rihanna. No thanks- we'll pass on that idea.
Now that I've ranted about songs that won't be there, what about some songs that, original or not, will be played. We'll focus mostly on dance numbers:
"No Diggity" by Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre - If you don't like this beat, something is wrong with you. Everyone loves the song, yet no one plays it. Rarely do I hear it, but come October 3, it's getting dusted off and bumped hard.
"Wild Thing" by Tone Loc - Great beat. Easy to groove to. Hip hop that rocks. And Tone's name matches mine! Wedding appropriate? Ehhhh [makes the so-so motion with hand], but who cares? People are there to have a great time and party, and this song helps to make that happen.
"I Want You Back" by Jackson 5 - A great danceable song that reminds us of the time when MJ was an innocent black child and not a white, mangled, pill-addicted child molestor. I have not a single shred of guilt dancing it up to this tune.
"Superstition" by Stevie Wonder - This could be the greatest beat ever written. Stevie might be blind, but his ears must have that extra special sense (to make up for his blindness.) This song is as legit as they come.
"Feel Good Inc." by the Gorillaz - A catchy infectious tune that makes everyone get down. If you don't move to this jam, you have no soul. Seriously, the devil may have stolen it.
"Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice - Ruining my creditability? Hardly. During my going away party in fourth grade (when I moved from Ohio to Georgia) fellow classmate and current Real American Hero Aaron Middleton and I rapped "Ice Ice Baby" in front of the class. True, that in fourth grade the meaning of all of the lyrics were a little over our heads, but we did a bang up job. Where was YouTube when you needed it!? From that moment on, I knew that "Ice Ice Baby" would be played at my wedding day (ok, so that last part was a lie, but it sounded good, didn't it?)
So there you go. Some examples of the good and the bad songs that can be played at weddings. If you're wedding is coming up, choose wisely- your guests will probably judge you for it.