Showing posts with label Weddings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weddings. Show all posts

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Booking for Private Events

If you'd like to book me for a wedding, party, or corporate event, just email me HERE and we can discuss how I can help make your event even more special!

I play over 350 covers songs and would definitely be open to learning specific songs for your event.

I have written over 100 songs and could write a song for your special day. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mark and Rebecca's Wild Wedding Weekend Adventure

I don't know where to start on this one.  I had Friday off of work and played a private show at an office party from 1-3pm.  I drove my equipment back home, picked up my friend Brandon, and got on the road to meet up with the rest of our group at the Peppermill in Reno.  They left around 1pm or 2pm.  Brandon and I had a pretty quick trip up (though we did stop at In-N-Out Burger for a quick meal.)  Upon arriving at the Peppermill we immediately went to the Tuscany Tower where my room was.  Mrs. B. had check in earlier and we were sharing a room with our friends Katrina and John.  The drinks were already set up and I started with a stiff Jack and Coke Zero.  I think it was 3 parts Jack and 1 part soda pop.  This was the first of (conservatively) 26 Jack and Cokes on the night.

Eventually we made our way down to Chi.  Once again, it did not disappoint.  Chi is easily my favorite Chinese restaurant anywhere.  Yes, even better than China Village in Walnut Creek (and it's not even close.)  Well done, Peppermill!

It was, of course, off to the Craps tables after that.  Before going any further, let's be clear, I realize I lost my damn mind during this next stretch of gambling.  My strategy on Craps these days is to place the Pass Line and two Come Line bets, and back them up with full odds.  This is a fantastic strategy when going well, and an awful strategy when the table is cold.  You cannot stomach more than four awful rolls before trying to pawn your wedding ring for gambling money.  I'm obviously kidding, but your money goes quick if it's bad.  Luckily, it started off alright.  The money was not pouring in, but we weren't down.

Then a douche in a Sharks shirt got the dice and started making ridiculous statements during the entirety of his roll.  "Alright everyone- let's go!  Let's make some money!  Everyone's gonna make money!"  This is what we call a jinx in the gambling biz.  I should've shut down my strategy immediately, but it was too late by the time I realized this guy was a idiot.  All my bets were laid and the inevitable 7 came out.  Side note, why was the 6+1 7 just showing up all over the place this weekend?  At this point, I'm down $300.

The Sharks guy left and came back some time later.  He asked us if the table was getting any better.  We responded with, "Eh, it's ok."  He started complaining about one of the stick men and how the dealer told him to be quiet.  I couldn't hold my tongue- "That's exactly what we were thinking," I said.  Not believing I'd be rude to his face, he said, "I know!  I can't believe he told me to be quiet."  I came back with a, "That's absolutely shocking!  SHOCKING."  He still didn't get it, and walked away.  Ok, where was I?

I decide to go play Poker.  Long short short, I was outkicked, drawn out on, and cold decked during my patient session.  Down $200 more.  I'm about to kill myself.

Why I went to the ATM again I have no idea.  I remember the ATM telling me twice to choose a smaller amount (thank you banking system.)  Brandon and I stayed out after everyone went to bed, and our Craps table caught fire.  Everyone's bets were hitting.  My Pass Lines, my Come Lines, I hit a Yo 11, and a hard 4 and hard 8.  At 5:45am, Brandon and I decided to call it a morning.  I cashed out with $600 which made me feel less like a piece of crap (pardon the pun.)

I woke up after sleeping for what felt like 5 minutes.  It was time to get a shower, breakfast, and make our way to Mark and Rebecca's wedding.  Mrs. B. was suffering from car sickness when we arrived there because she was doing make up in the van during the 1 hour plus ride.  Luckily, she didn't get sick and eventually felt better.

The wedding ceremony was awesome.  Mark and Rebecca looked quite happy and I fully enjoyed their pug Cooper walking down the aisle.  The reception was excellent.  They had a signature cocktail called "Cooper's Delight" (created by John and Katrina) that was getting gulped down by the gallon.  I had one, but stuck mostly with beer and/or water because of how wrecked I was the night (morning?) before.

I must say, the toasts at this wedding were excellent.  No one was long winded and everyone got at least one or two (some got more) laughs.  Eventually it was time for the meat-fest that was dinner.  Mark is into all kinds of meats and his father-in-law cooks up some of the best ribs, sausage and turkey I've ever had.  The beans were also out of control.  Well done Mr. Sy- well done.

After dancing and playing lots of ring toss, it was time to roll out around 8pm.  As you can imagine, a dinner filled with meats and beans after a hard night of drinking and an hour long van ride with 8 people might not be the best plan.  The windows of the van were going up and down based on the gases expelled from our respective sludge factories.


Luckily, the trip back sailed by and we got back the Peppermill.  Unfortunately, I was feeling quite run down from all the excitement.  There was still gambling to be done, though.  Back at the Craps table, we had quite a nice little session.  It was solid fun (though less rambunctious) and I ended up $100.

One quick tale, though- a dude with a shaved head came up and stood next to John during this session.  Brandon was to my right killing it on a roll.  He had a hit a few points and Come Line bets.  Any roller killing it like that, just leave them alone.  This mofo, lays down one $5 chip on the Pass Line.  He has no money besides that.  Brandon hits a 9 to win the guy another $5.  All of a sudden this guy starts yapping.  First he starts telling the dealer how many bets he is going to make once he gets a little bit of money.  Then while Brandon is in mid roll, he yells out "Don't crap out!"  This easily as bad as talking during Tiger Woods' back-swing (in fact, worse because I don't have money on Tiger Woods ever.)  Brandon didn't crapped out on the following roll and the d-bag left the table.  For any of you novice Craps players- DON'T DO THAT!  Get excited and boisterous after a win.  Otherwise, keep a low profile and never be overly boastful.  Don't be overly negative either.  Drink your drinks, smoke your cigars, and enjoy the ride.

Since I had driven separately, Mrs. B. and I had my car to go back in Sunday morning (the rest of the group left in the van around noon.)  I wanted to watch the A's game because I put them in a parlay (mistake!)  I actually was 6-2 on my baseball bets this weekend... unfortunately, that included two parlays (3-1 on each.)  Dammit.

The group that left earlier than us informed us that there was terrible traffic on highway 80.  On our way out, we got curious and decided to check out a couple other Reno casinos.  We literally have been to the Peppermill over 10 times in the last 3 years and never ventured elsewhere.

We recently saw a Travel Channel show about how to take advantage of casino coupons.  Our plan was to sign up for the casino rewards club at the various casinos, and use the coupons/free play we get.  Then we leave.  Easy, right?

First, we went to the Grand Sierra.  Interesting look to the casino.  Very different from the Peppermill with a more Country/Western/Darker look.  We signed up for the rewards club and got some free play on slots and $15 in chips for $10.  We went to the Craps table and had some fun.  The first guy rolled well, but Mrs. B. actually stole the show with her roll.  In fact, a guy next to me won over $300 quickly (he was betting a ton on the Pass Line with max odds) and tipped her $10.  I ended up winning $35, Mrs. B. won $44 and we played our free slot play and left.  Bad traffic was still around, and it was on to the Atlantis...

We signed up again, and got to swipe for a chance at free play.  Mrs. B. got $5 and I got $3.  Their free play was a bit different than I'm used to.  We played video poker.  You activate the free money, then deposit some money to play with.  If you lose, it replenishes your loss (up to the amount of free play you have.)  I won $2 of my $3 in free play (cashing out with my $5 base and $2 extra) while Mrs. B. hit 4 Queens and won $16.  She played a bit more and cashed out with $14.50.  BAM!  We walked around for a bit, and eventually decided to find our way back to Sacramento.

Overall, it was another fun weekend at the Peppermill with a centerpiece of a fantastic wedding.  Congrats to Mark and Rebecca- you both are awesome!  Back to the grind of the work week... when is Labor Day again?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My First DJ Gig

Yesterday was 8/9/10, and I had my very first DJ gig at a wedding.  The victims were my co-worker's sister Alex and her now husband Drew.  They got married at the Lions Gate Hotel in North Highlands and I was happy to bring my PA system, computer, and guitar to give a hybrid of entertainment. 

I worked hard to get playlists together in advance, and I realized right off the bat that while the prep work was helpful, I immediately realized I had to be on my toes.  I threw on some instrumental music while waiting for everyone to get into place (we all know this takes awhile at weddings.)  For the wedding party's walk down the aisle we went with "Such Great Heights" covered by The Section Quartet.  Alex's walk down the aisle was to Air's "Playground Love" (quite the eclectic choice- nice pick!) 

Once the ceremony was over, I threw on "The Best Is Yet To Come" covered by Michael Buble.  It seemed to work well.  The cocktail hour started and I strapped on my six string (poor choice of words there, I know) and sang a few songs.  I started with my original wedding song "Perfect For Me" and then went into other original songs "You're Not Just Another Girl," "Love For Me," and "50 Stories."  I was asked to cover a few songs including "Tainted Love" and "Brown Eyed Girl" so of course I obliged. 

After a few more songs, it was time to announce the happy newlyweds into the reception then throw on a playlist and relax.  At that point I was able to eat and have a couple of my preferred light beers (no, they don't get a shout out until they sponsor my blog.)  I almost forgot about my responsibilities until it was time to cut the cake (which we played "Cut the Cake" by Average White Band.)  If anyone is keeping score, A.W.B. and I have the same initials. 

After that it was time for the first dance ("The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson) and the parents/bride/groom dance ("How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" by James Taylor.)  After that I broke into the most difficult portion of the night.  It was time for me to spin songs (by spin I mean press play on iTunes) and by relatively entertaining.  I really did just load up songs that the bride and groom specifically told me to play and I did not stray from the list.  Luckily, they allowed me to play "Ice Ice Baby" so that pretty much made my night. 

In the end, my closer was "I Had The Time Of My Life" by I have no idea on the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack.  That seemed to go over well, and alas my night was done. 

My final thoughts on the night?  1) The Cubs are awful.  2) I think I did a decent job with my limited computer programs and wide selection of songs.  3) Being a DJ is actually more difficult than one would think.  I'm not sure if I'll continue on and DJ for people that I'm not actually friends with, but I at least know what I'm getting myself into.  Congrats Alex and Drew and thanks for letting me be a part of your day!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

Well that was a short and busy weekend! And if you think I'm going to talk about the Bears- well you would be wrong. There's a chance I might kill myself mid-post if I decide to wri-




That was close. Stopped typing just in time. Saturday was quite the busy day. I had to work early in the morning at the UC Davis/Cal Poly football game. The game sold out completely and UC Davis got the big win over the rival Mustangs 20-10. I left around half time because I had to...

Go to Harrison and Vanessa's wedding in San Jose. Because of work and since it was a two hour drive, we rushed to get there right on time for the reception. Upon arriving, I changed into my suit outside in a public park. I figured I wouldn't be the only bum in my underwear, so no one would care.

I fully enjoyed the entrance by the wedding party. Harrison had purchased personalized San Jose Sharks jerseys (do hockey people call them sweaters?) for each groomsman and one for himself. For the bride and groom introduction, they had the actual San Jose Sharks entrance music- which was a nice touch. I could've used an appearance from Sharky the mascot, but he was busy at the Sharks/Pens game down the street.

The buffet was really good. Salmon, beef, three types of pasta, two salads, regular and garlic bread. Very solid. Nothing more enjoyable than stuffing yourself full at wedding (unless you're drinking yourself full, I suppose.)

And of course that brings us to the live band. Take 2 was a very good cover band that was perfectly suited for the event. They played a wide variety of music. Journey, Bon Jovi, and Van Halen on one end of the musical spectrum- Gwen Stefani, Duffy, and "P.Y.T." by Michael Jackson on the other. That shhh- was bananas! They ended the night with "Don't Stop Believin'" by Harrison's request, and I believe there is a video floating around of it- so if you can find it- good for you! It was a fun sing-a-long and a great end to the reception.

The next morning I was excited to realize that the Bears and Cardinals were on local TV- but not for long (I just can't help myself can I?) Just awful. Words can't describe how hollow I think Lovie Smith's message is coming across to his players.

The Niners looked a little better, but not much. Can't wait for that monster Thursday Night match-up this week, right?! It might be time to give up on the NFL season already.

Sunday night, Mrs. B. and I decided to meet up with some of my friends from high school at the Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers show at Marilyn's in Sacramento. My friend Adam was doing sound and informed us that Stephen Kellogg had come down with laryngitis and would not be performing. The Sixers, however, still went on without him and were actually pretty entertaining. It was a bummer to not get the full show as SK6ers are from Boston and don't come around the left coast all that often.

The highlight came when bass player Kit Karlson stripped down to his underwear to dance around. Their final song was done completely acoustic with the band standing in the crowd (and yes, Kit was still in only his underwear) where they sang "See You Later, See You Soon." I still would've prefered to see Stephen there, but overall it was a fun show and I do recommend checking out their records.

So there was the not-quite-Bear-free recap to my weekend. I am so pumped for Veteren's Day on Wednesday. I might sleep all day (or record music all day- who knows?!)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Wedding Adventure

I don't even know where to start with this post, and I know at points it could ramble or be too brief, so I'll try to balance everything as best as possible.

On the morning of October 3, I woke to find my friend Woods getting up to go work out. He, my other friend Kevin, and I had gone out after the rehearsal dinner and bar hopped to each and every bar in Downtown Vacaville (sounds impressive, but it was only 3 bars, all within a block of each other.) I thought working out would be good, but I also thought extra sleep would be helpful, so I opted for the latter. Unfortunately, my brain was already too wired to go back to sleep so I laid in bed for an extra hour without getting anymore sleep.

Kevin and I went to get the surprisingly excellent complimentary breakfast at the Hampton Inn & Suites (every aspect of the wedding was just blocks from everything else, so everything I mention is in the town of Vacaville which is about a 30 minute drive from Sacramento.) Breakfast was excellent as Kevin and I talked about fantasy football. He mentioned that he had Matt Forte on his team the year prior along with a bunch of other savages. A woman at the next table over interrupted our conversation.

"Are you talking about the music software 'Forte?' My sister uses it and likes it very much."

Then we had to explain to her and her cowboy-hatted husband that, no, in fact we were talking about Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte. To which she said, "Oh, I thought you were talking about the software."

Now this begs the question, why were you listening in on our conversation? Why would you interrupt us after listening out of context? Last, why would you reiterate that you thought we were talking about something that we weren't? On the way back, Kevin made a good point. "You could start any conversation like that- 'Oh, you're using a fork. My sister eats her pancakes with a fork.'" People can be annoying sometimes (and by sometimes, I mean A LOT!)

After that weird interaction, I got ready to go on a hike. Woods, my best man Sean, and I were going for a hike in the Vacaville hills around Lagoon Valley Road. Kevin was invited, but did not have proper shoes so he passed. The hike was excellent. I needed to get some fresh air, do something active, and generally not sit around to wait anxiously. We went to the parking stop and accidentally stumbled onto a local Fun Run's finish line. McGruff the Crime Dog was walking around and I got my picture with him. I haven't gotten the pic from Sean just yet, but I'll make sure to post it once I have it. He was taking a bite out of crime, even with his human legs and tennis shoes.

Upon returning to the hotel. I needed to run a few errands. My shirt was a local dry cleaners, and I needed shaving supplies. I got my shirt, shaving supplies, and on the way out of the parking lot saw a Little Caesar's across the street. $5 for a large pizza on my wedding day? Yes, please! I brought it back to the hotel where Woods and I demolished the pizza. We both agreed we hadn't had Little Caesar's in years, so this was a good treat.

So the story has been tame so far- ready for some drama, yet? Ok...

As I mentioned in a comment before I left, our photographer was in a horrible motorcycle accident just days before our wedding. He is currently doing better and I've been told that he and his family will be in San Francisco for the next three to four months so he can complete a rehibilitation program. This came as a shock, and we wish nothing but the best to him and his family. He's a great photographer and a very cool person.

On Friday morning (the day before the wedding), the once future and now current Mrs. B. sent a message to her blog madam (that sounds bad, but Mrs. B. was/is blogging for a site called Wedding Chicks and she is a "Real Bride Blogger" there.) The Wedding Chicks lady sent out an email and a tweet about our situation and we had six photographers to choose from by noontime. We ultimately chose Mariea Rummel who ended up doing a fantastic job for us. Back to the story...

Mariea shows up to introduce herself and to get a few shots of me getting ready. She was great and very calming in the midst of everything else. In the meantime, our florist came to drop off all the flowers a few hours too early, so I had to take all of them to my room. A small meaningless detail, except when you start factoring in everything else. I really don't know, or care to get into the whole flower story except to say that I would NOT recommend Visual Impacts in Sacramento to anyone looking for a florist. The process was difficult, stressful, and culimnated in the owner yelling at my mother-in-law right before the wedding. As a vendor who relies on wedding business, you must be out of your mind to yell and add stress to a wedding. Your job is to follow directions that you didn't follow (wrong color flowers, you used cheaper ones to try and give us less value for what we paid you for, and you set up stuff incorrectly when we had another person who was supposed to set up everything for the ceremony) and that's pretty much it.

So I was finally ready to catch our limo and go a few blocks to the ceremony site. My brothers, Sean, and I were out front ready to go, and we had to wait as the limo driver attempted to overcharge us as well. You see, the limo service we hired told someone (not the correct person) that they couldn't make it, but they would send someone from their sister company. That sister company costs basically double and they sprung that one us right before they were supposed to drive the groomsman literally three blocks to the ceremony site. We waited for a few minutes while appropriate arrangements were made, and without warning, the limo driver jumped in his limo and drove off! Sean immediately thought it was hilarious, and I was pissed, but figured I would find it hilarious someday. Today is that day. Who just leaves a situation without even acknowledging the situation? That would be like you going into the return an item at a store and the clerk gets frustrated, leaves the counter and just walks out of the store. Who needs their stupid service anyway? We got in cars, drove 45 seconds to the ceremony, and started taking pictures.

Upon arriving, the wedding coordinator was freaking out about the limo and her inability to reach my almost mother-in-law (try calling her cell phone, rather than her house phone maybe?) I pretty much relayed to her that what's done is done, and we are now going to take pictures. Little did I know of her confusing plot to stress everyone out as the ceremony neared...

Mrs. B. had drawn up a detailed diagram of how everything was to be set up. Seats, seating placement, aisle runner, etc. Our set up guy, Zack (who is the man) had everything under control until the wedding planner and florist started telling him what to do. For instance, to make it more comfortable for everyone, we did not want to put either of our biological parents next to each other. Both our sets of parents are divorced, and why make things more uncomfortable, right? Oh, no. The wedding planner put the seat cards for our Moms and Dads to sit next to each other. Right next to each other. On top of that, as I found out yesterday, she told my mother-in-law to "put her emotions aside" and that "the groom's mom requested it." She told my mom that "the bride's mom and requested it." Hmmm.... seems a bit fishy that no one requested it, so why are both sides of the family being lied to just to make things more uncomfortable. If we wanted a more traditional set up and less freedom in the set up, we would've gotten married in a church (I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but many churches trump the bride and groom when it comes to some details.) As it stands, we were in a park so that WE could control every detail.

Rule #1 to wedding planning: YOUR JOB IS TO HELP THE BRIDE AND GROOM (mostly the bride) EXECUTE WHATEVER THEY WANT. DON'T MESS WITH IT!

As it stands, the wedding coordinator did set up a nice walk down the aisle for everyone, but really that's all she needed to do. In fact, she stayed through the reception (which was fine) and for reasons unknown, kept telling our DJ what to do (and consequentally rushed us through the cake cutting, garter toss and bouquet toss.)

Back to some fun details:

- I played the song "Sugar" by Tonic at the ceremony.
- I wrote an original song called "Are You Serious?" about us getting engaged and married which I played at the reception.
- I also managed to squeeze in an acoustic version of R. Kelly's "Ignition (the Remix)" (by request, of course.)
- During the toast portion, Mrs. B. made a wonderful toast thanking all of our family and friends, then missed her seat on the way back down completely falling backwards! I was worried, but since she is currently ok, we can laugh about it now.
- My friend JP was blasted, tied his tie around his head, and was creating quite a buzz throughout the wedding. JP's the man!
- My friend Phil gave me a lapdance. I'm certain there is a video on Facebook, so if you have the time you can see it there.
- We had a signature cocktail called "The Cosmo and Juliette" which was named after our cats. Everyone loved it (maybe a little too much.)
- I really tried to enjoy every moment, but it does seem like it flew by!
- After the wedding, Mrs. B. and I went back to the hotel to, ahem- consummate the union. We then went back out and met up with people at Cheers in downtown Vacaville (no, Woody, Cliff, Norm, Sam Malone, Shelly Long, and fat Kirstie Alley were not there.) There were however, many drunken heart to heart conversations between everyone.
- Our night ended at IHop. I think I got a waffle. Kudos to the group that stuck it out to the end!

The next morning, we gathered everything and got ready for our Jamaican honeymoon... more details on that soon.

Overall, the wedding was a success and we had a lot of fun. Like any big event, there were probably a few things that could have been improved, but all things considered, we had a lot of fun and I think most everyone else did, too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rehearsal Dinner Debacle

We're less than two weeks away from the wedding, and I must say, I'm ready for it to be over. It's like having a large project in the most important college class, and by the end you are just ready to turn it in and graduate. This is not to say that the journey hasn't been enlightening and sometimes fun, but it's definitely more work/stress than I ever thought it would be.

That being said, I've been trying to think of how to occupy myself the night before, and the day of the wedding before the ceremony. I began thinking back to last year, and what I was doing on October 3, 2008. My buddy Mike was getting married and I was a groomsman. His wedding was actually on October 4, and the 3rd was the rehearsal dinner located at his parents' house. Include a massive amount of Blue Moon and scene:

The group was already excited as I had to pick up another groomsman at the airport. JP was coming up from the San Diego area, and he, Mike, and I used to do a fair amount of partying in our younger years. It was like a reunion concert- that is, if our music was drinking and our instrument of choice was alcohol.

JP and I picked up our tuxedos near Mike's parents' house, then cruised over. Upon getting there I remember two things- 1) they had a large spread of BBQ food and 2) the Blue Moon was flowing like water. To this day, I don't remember everything about the night. I've heard multiple versions, but here is what I know for sure.

- I definitely said some inappropriate things around many people at the party. I don't have quotes, but I was told I was being an ass.

- I told Future Mrs. B., "I can probably drive home, but I'll let you do it just to be safe." Then I proceed to give her (probably bad and loud) directions on the way home.

- We were in Vacaville, so the freeway ride back to Sacramento goes Vacaville, Dixon, Davis, then Sacramento. It takes about 30 minutes. At about minute 25, I felt an uncontrollable grumble in my stomach.

- In the passenger seat of my own car, I yell to pull over, and I begin throwing up all the BBQ food out the window. Obviously, some got in the car.

- JP was passed out in the back seat, and witnessed none of this.

- Once we got home, I was not done, and I promptly threw up all over the bathroom that FMB had cleaned earlier in the day. She helped me eventually get to bed, then cleaned- again.

- The next day, we did not use my car, so it sat in the sun all day.

- My head was absolutely obliterated. Horrible hangover. But I did have to wake up to go golfing at 9am with Mike and the groomsmen. It was surprisingly theraputic.

- On Sunday I spent upwards of $100 to get it cleaned and detailed. It was necessary.

- A week later, we still found a few chunks on the ceiling of my car. That either means that the detailers didn't do that great a job, or my impression of the devil from "The Exorist" was very accurate.

Why even bother to tell you this story? Well, to start, I want to remind myself of it so I don't do anything stupid on October 2 of this year. Waking up on my wedding day with the worst hangover of my life would not be helpful.

Second, to this day, FMB points to this moment as stone cold proof that she really, truly loves me. Cleaning up after someone's wretched and unholy regurgitation is definitely one way to prove one's love- though I don't recommend it.

Third, since it is coming up on the year anniversary of this happening, I can now look back and laugh at the situation. Do I plan on repeating this? Not at all! But sometimes you need a rainy drunk time to enjoy a sunny drunk time- or something like that.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wedding Music!
















(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.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

Well that was an excellent weekend! While I didn't feel well on Friday (sore throat and ears, if you recall) I managed to get through my show at Pyramid in Walnut Creek without much trouble (besides the freezing temperature.) Thank you to all who attended!

On Saturday, I tried to watch as much of the NFL Draft as possible. While the Bears ended up not having a pick on the first day, I was quite interested in one Bay Area team gift wrapping the best wide receiver in the draft to the other Bay Area team. I really don't care if Darius Heywood-Bay ends up being a decent receiver. I'm almost 100% sure Michael Crabtree will have a better NFL career, and the Raiders absolutely showed why they will continue to hang out near the bottom of the AFC West. I'm not sure I'm qualified to grade any of the NFL teams for their overall drafts, but feel free to leave opinions in the comment section. If you say the Raiders, you will be banned from commenting forever.

Later in the day, I went to my friends Adam & Sarah's wedding. It was a great ceremony and a very rocking reception. I had an absolute blast! The tone was set by the bar being open for the ceremony. Let me repeat- I was drinking a beer during the ceremony. It was amazing. The music was great and the people there were even better. Solid all the way around.

Sunday, I forced myself to get up and play basketball with a couple friends. While I may be a bit out of shape, my jumper was not bad (if I do say so myself.) We're signing up for a summer league so I have to get my act together soon.

After that, I caught the end of the Bulls/Celtics game. I don't care who wins this series (OK, that's a lie, GO BULLS) I'm very happy to see the Bulls playing with heart and giving the Celtics all they can handle. Besides Game 3, this series has been ridiculously entertaining. The games are going down to the wire- and the level of competition has been second to none.

In the afternoon, I went to the recording studio to lay down vocal harmonies for "50 Stories" (yes, the song that I used in this blog's url.) I'm happy to report it is sounding great, and I'm fairly certain it is the first fully completed song for my new album. Once I get the full mix, I'm debating releasing it as a single on iTunes. I'll keep you posted.

Lastly, after my "woe is me" Friday blog- I have strong prospects for monthly shows in Davis, Sacramento, Roseville, and Walnut Creek. I guess things really do happen for a reason (lame cliche, but works in this situation) or at least I feel totally renewed about my music career. I'm ready to get these new things rolling and I'll be sure to update here with my new schedule.

PS: 3-0 in fantasy baseball! Oh yeah!