Winning big at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards

Winning a Grammy is a huge deal for artists and producers.  Winning 5 in one night is epic and the Foo Fighters did just that.  Winning 6 in a night is beyond epic and before last night Beyonce was the only woman to have done it.  Adele tied that record and for good reason.

Adele has launched into the American music scene in a big way.  Her album “21″ is an amazing look at her emotional roller coaster, and I’m sure something that most of us can relate to.  She shows how vulnerable she can be and at the same time demonstrates her strength and compassion.  Her voice is powerful and takes you on a journey that touches your soul.  Tender in one moment and overwhelming in the next.  Winning at the Grammys seemed inevitable.

Adele won for Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Short Form Music Video, and Best Pop Solo Performance.  ”Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone like you” were the two songs from her Album “21″ that stood out for the night.  She Performed “Rolling in the Deep” live, which was the first live performance since her vocal cord surgery.

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Foo Fighters performed their hit “Walk” which they won Best Rock Performance for.  They also took home Grammys for Best Rock Album (Wasting Time) and 3 others.  Dave Grohl (Frontman) pointed out that the “human element of making music is what’s most important, (it’s) not about sounding perfect, but what goes on in here,” pointing to his heart.

Kanye West also took home four, and Skrillet three.

Over all it was an amazing night for Adele and so many other artists.  I’m sure I’ll be bumping a lot more requests for these artists in the near future.

Thank you for reading this Phoenix DJ‘s blog.

 

Remembering Whitney Houston and her Music

Being a Phoenix DJ, I have the distinct opportunity to hear requests every weekend.  One thing is certain, Whitney gets her fair share of them.  Her music can be fun or serious and Whitney had the talent (and the voice) to make you believe every performance was coming from her heart.

Here are a few of the songs that show us why Whitney will never be forgotten.

I Wanna Dance with Somebody

This song is a great dance song.  It even has dance in it’s name; how could it not be great?  I’ve played this at more singles dances and parties then I can remember.  It just sends such an up-beat outlook on why we dance. Don’t forget the big hair in the video.

 

Greatest Love of All
This song was a big part of my early childhood.  My sisters and I used to sit in our play room and listen to certain songs.  We would belt them out as loud as possible, and we didn’t care if we sounded good or in my case not so good.  This was one of those that we went for broke with.  I think of that time in my life every time I here it, and I’m reminded of how important music is for all of us.

 

It’s Not Right but it’s Okay
Whitney was still relevant until the end.  In the last few years she was releasing great music.   This one was back in 2007 and she had another album with great music in 2009.  She never quit doing what she loved, and I’m thankful of that.

 

I Will Always Love You
This may be one of the most remembered songs of her career.  She belted this out will the power and grace that only Whitney can produce.  Even Jennifer Hudson singing “I will Always Love You” at the Grammys was only a shadow of how Whitney shined.  Dolly Parton may have written this but Whitney made it a legend.

 

We will miss Whitney, but her voice will live on through our speakers.

Thank you Whitney for everything you gave us.

How to choose music for your wedding

Why music is important

Music is such a huge part of a wedding. It can say a lot about the bride and groom, and it can make a huge impact on whether your guests have fun or not.

I’ve been a DJ for over 10 years and I’ve been a music lover for far longer. Music has a way of instilling emotion into a person. It takes them on a ride and can bring a crowd running to the dance floor, or leave them misty in their chairs. So choosing music for your wedding can be a daunting task. Luckily I’ve given some advice to help get you on your way.

Background music

At different times through out the wedding and reception the music won’t be the main entertainment. Whether it’s during the cocktail hour or while guests are sitting down to dinner you’ll need to set the mood with some great music. Of course all of this will depend on your personal tastes, but your DJ will be able to assist in picking the perfect mix of the genres you select.

pre-ceremony
The pre-ceremony music is usually very relaxed and light. Nothing with to much bass or too fast a tempo. The idea is to keep your guests in a calm mood.

classical (strings are usually better than piano here)
covers done by a string quartet (some great stuff here)
love songs (can stretch across genres but most will be slower/calming)

Cocktail hour/Dinner
For the cocktail hour and dinner you have a lot of room to play with. You can mix in different tempos and themes and it won’t throw off the crowd much. Stay away from heavy bass or long quite intros and you should be set. There are some genres that work better than others.

jazz (a mixture of true Jazz like Miles Davis and some Sinatra style standards)
classic rock
contemporary jazz (Norah Jones, Michael Buble, Diana Krall)
Adult Contemporary (again stay away from big bass or extremely fast tempo)

Cake cutting
This is not a place that you sit back for an hour and let music play but a few well chosen songs are nice here. You can get creative here is you like.

Motown (Sugar Sugar, Chapel of love, build me up buttercup, How sweet it is)
Rock (pour some sugar on me, sweet emotion)
Disco (cut the cake)
Love songs

Special Dances

There are a number of special dances that you can choose to do at your wedding and reception. Your personal likes will play the biggest part for these songs.

Processional
If you’re not going with the traditional then something like “Only Time” – Enya is great. You can always go extreme and have the Bridal party dance their way down the isle. If that’s not your style then just make sure it’s a song you can walk to, and isn’t too fast of a beat.

Recessional
I like to have fun with a recessional. It can set the tone for the rest of the night. Songs like James Brown – “I feel good” or U2 – “Beautiful Day” are a lot of fun


Grand Entrance
This is another place that you can have a lot of fun with. “let’s get it started” – Black Eyed Peas, “Sexy Back” – Justin Timberlake, or going old school with “Celebration” – Kool and the gang are fun upbeat songs you can use. Alternatively you can keep it classy (L.O.V.E – Nat King Cole) or corky (Slow motion running while “Chariots of Fire” plays). You can use your imagination and just have fun.

First Dance
Most first dances are slower songs that you can sway back and forth to. If this is your style then pick a song you really enjoy or one that has special meaning for the two of you. For the more adventurous couples you may try ball room dances or even start with a slow dance and switch it up half way through to a fast and fun song. You can find a lot of video on YouTube showing just that.

Father Daughter Dance
This falls in line with the first dance. Just think of a song that works for you and your dad. The one addition that I add here is, If you are looking to cut the time down for these dances you can combine the father/daughter and mother/son dance. Usually this is done by starting with just he bride and her father and about 30 seconds in the Groom will invite his mother on to the floor. You can take it one step further and 30 seconds after that invite everyone onto the floor, starting off open dancing.

Mother Son Dance
Same as for the Father/Daughter dance, but if you give the bride’d dad a full song then give the groom’s mom a full song too. If you let your DJ know ahead of time you can always have these songs cut short, so don’t worry if you picked a song that’s 6 minutes long.

Bridal party dance
In resent years fewer brides are having a bridal party dance. Most are have a few songs that they know the bridesmaids will dance to, and want the DJ to dedicate it to them at some point in the night. If you are doing a bridal party dance then songs like “Lean on Me” are great. You can keep it just the bridal party or you can let them bring their sposes and segnificant others out too. The DJ will normally let the other guests come out on the floor half way into the song, so it’s a great way to start open dancing.

Anniversary Dance
The anniversary dance gives you an opportunity to recognize the people that have been married the longest. There are two ways that this can work. The first starts with all of the married couples on the floor. You start asking the couples to leave if they have been married a day or less, then a year, and so on until there’s only one couple left. The second way has you start with the bride and groom on the floor then ask for people to join in on the dance floor if they’ve been married for a year or less, then two years then five years, and so on. The second way is great if you have elderly couples that can’t dance for very long, or if you know who the winning couple will be and they can’t dance at all. In this case you can have the DJ announce who they are at the end of the dance. Good songs for this are “Unforgettable” – Nat King Cole, or “Unchained Melody” – The Righteous Brothers. If you know the oldest couple and what their first dance was then using that can be extremely special to them.

Money Dance
The money dance is also not done as often as it used to be. If you have a lot of people at your wedding and won’t have time to go around and talk to everyone then use this dance to let them come to you. The DJ will direct your guests on what to do during this dance. They’ll also keep the people moving through the line. If you have 300 guests and they all want to dance with you, then the DJ will only allow about 10 seconds per guest so the crowd doesn’t get bored and so people in line don’t wait too long. Frank Sinatra style jazz works great here. Songs like “The way you Look Tonight” are perfect here. You may want to through in some slower songs too, but nothing that is too fast. The DJ should have a good play list for this, so either have them play what they want or give them suggestions of what you like.

The DJ will most likely have their own spin on any or all of these dance. Whether it’s roses given to the longest couple, or adding a voice over of your vows to the first dance, listen to the advice they give you. They have seen a lot of weddings and can be a great resource for you.

Dance Music

This is where the fun can begin. You know what you like to dance to and the DJ will want as many suggestions as he can get so he has a starting point for feeling out the crowd. Every crowd is different and some will dance to anything. Other crowds have to be pulled kicking and screaming in order to break the ice. Depending on which one you have will determine how hard your DJ will work to fill that dance floor.

Most weddings will have a wide rang of ages so it’s important to cater to all of them. I like to start the night of by playing some of the older well known songs that everyone can enjoy. This can include some disco, classic rock, Motown, and a few hits from the 50s through 90s. As the night progresses and the older crowd retires to the back of the room I start mixing in the newer music that the younger crowd will go crazy for. This is not perfect for every crowd so I find that I adapt and change throughout every event to find whats right for that crowd. This is why its important for brides and grooms to give there input prior to the reception.

DJs also have group dances at their disposal. Things like the cha cha slide and the cupid shuffle are a easy way to load up the dance floor. Make sure you let the DJ know if you don’t want a specific dance at your wedding. If you hate the chicken dance then put it on the do not play list. Your DJ should already be asking these questions. If they don’t then do the proactive thing and tell them.

Closing thoughts and shameless plug

As a DJ I welcome any suggestions or requests for your wedding. I wouldn’t enjoy being a DJ as much if every event was the same so working closely with a bride and groom to make theirs unique is part of what allows me to have fun too. I can only imagine other DJs feel the same, so don’t hold back your letting us know exactly what you want for your big day.

If you’re in the Phoenix area and looking for a Phoenix DJ for your next event please keep Black Tie DJ PHX in mind.

Thanks for reading.

Birthday Song Chart Topper

Recently I was checking out my Facebook newsfeed and I came across one of my good friend’s posts.  She had the song that was on top of the charts when she was born.  How fricking cool is that?  I’ve never even thought to ask that question until just now.  I clicked on the link to the app and started entering my info and gave the app permission to post on my wall.

I hit enter and waited to see what the most important song in the world could have been.  Before I could see it I first had to do some survey to verify my age.  Hmm sounds plausible.  I was too excited to worry about it then.  Okay JCPenny was about to find out what my favorite department in their store is.  Done now back to the song.  ”Waiting for completion” WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just give me the song!!!!!

Back to JCPenny’s tab.  Wait I have to complete offers there too?  1 Silver 2 Gold 4 Plat?  I just finished an offer!  I took your stupid survey!  I started to look through the list of offers.  Buy this/try this/signup here.  ”I don’t want to, you can’t make me”.

It dawned on me I might be able to cut out the “app middle man” and just google the song.  JCPenny tab closed, but what do I see on my facebook wall?  My song posted!!!!!!

Knock on Wood – AmiiStewart

Can you believe it?  I didn’t have to give any money away or anything.  I might have sold a piece of my sole but I’m not sure.

For your convienence I’ve done a quick google search and found this site. Birthday Song Database.  It takes a minute to load but you can search for you birthday song there.

As always thanks for reading, and consider Black Tie DJ PHX if you need a Phoenix DJ.

Top 5 Disco Song list that doesn’t include the Village People

Disco is one of those genres that can get a lot of people groaning when it hits the speakers, but it doesn’t have to be.  Sure, there are a lot of over played songs that leave you feeling dirty for liking them, but there are so many good ones too.  My goal is to list my top 5 songs and hope that it hits a cord for some of you.  At the very least I pray you will be more tolerant of the genre.

1)  September – Earth, Wind and Fire

This is one of my favorite songs period.  It’s definitively my favorite disco jam.  If you hate this one then you might as well stop reading.  We may never see eye to eye.

2)  Don’t stop ’til You get enough – Michael Jackson

Arguably one of Michael’s best dance songs, but he’s had so many great jams that the debate would be epic.  I am a huge fan of this one and play it often at both DJ events and on personal play lists.

3)  T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia) – MFSB

Another great disco song that just gets you moving.  This is memorable but not over played.  A must have for 70s/disco themed parties but can work across the board.

4)  Boogie Oogie Oogie – Taste of Honey

Listen to that guitar.  It’s got a lot of funk to it.  Great song.

5)  I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross

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Some people can’t get past how the gay community has taken hold of this song.  If that’s a big problem for you then pass right by.  This is a great song with one of the best hooks.  It’s no wonder Puffy sampled from it.

These are just a few of the truly great Disco songs out there.  There are a lot of others including newer music like “Murder on the Dancefloor” by Sophie Ellis-Bextor and “If I Ever Feel better” by Phoenix.  Jamiroquai has some great disco beats too.

Don’t ever give up on Disco.

Thanks for reading and check out the rest of my site.  Black Tie is on Facebook and Google +

My top 5 songs to Dance to

About This List
First off thank you for stopping by to read my lowly opinion. I’ve been playing music for some time now as a mobile DJ and love to get people out of their chairs and onto the dance floor. As a mobile DJ my music selection stays pretty main stream, so don’t be shocked that this list doesn’t get deep into b-side tracks that the general public may have missed. It really is a list of song that I enjoy playing and people like dancing to. Maybe it will help you select some songs for your next party.

Songs

Good Feeling – Flo Rida

I am a big big fan of this song.  It has a great hook and Flo Rida keeps the floor bumpin.  Definitively worth a listen.

Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO Feat. Lauren Bennett and Goon Rock

This song is and has been big over the last few months.  LMFAO followed it up with another very fun song “Sexy and I know it”, which is also great for most young crowds.

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 Feat. Christina Aguilera

Just go and listen if you haven’t heard it.  I’d be surprised if you haven’t though. It’s a great song and a good reason to hit the dance floor.

Dynamite – Taio Cruz

This song came in and hit big.  People love it and I’m not tired of it yet.

Give me Everything – Pitbull Feat. Ne-yo, Afrojack and Nayer

Just a fun song with a great beat.

Hopefully you’ll forgive my mainstream taste in this list.  The crowds like to hear top 40s, and I’m all about giving the people what they want.

Thanks for reading.