Thursday, April 12, 2012

Song of the Week (College ft. Electric Youth - A Real Hero)

You know what totally sucks? Flo Rida...

My sister, Zard, told me that recent SOTWs have been pritty weird. Well, I have good news/bad news: this is likely to continue.

This week brings us a hit from the minimalist synthy College (ft. Electric Youth). "A Real Hero" is the current front-runner for Summer-anthem. Past winners have included: Flaming Lips, M83 and Turquoise Jeep. This song was featured prominently (played like a music video) in the Indie film: Drive. I think this might be my favorite movie of all time. I don't just throw that around lightly. That movie straight up dominates, and this song is a critical aspect of said domination. Best listened to on Friday on your way home from work with the windows down and at a spring/summer party.

Now, I'd like to discuss a very important matter: the spring/summer party playlist. Most people, including this DJ, think they have the code cracked on party playlists. It's kind of like when you ask people if they are good drivers. Most people will tell you they are good or excellent, but this can't be true. This is a zero-sum game and not everyone can be a good or excellent driver. In fact, some people are terrible drivers. Likewise, not everyone can be a good or excellent party DJ. Now, the most interesting part is that when alcohol is introduced, these delusions grow, and I would argue this growth is exponential vs. linear. Around 3am, I've seen (been) some (one) of the greatest DJs of all the ears of said DJs.

I was recently told by a friend the elements of a good party playlist:
1) upbeat party music
2) throwbacks / 80s / 90s
3) old school rap

It's so simple, yet so effective. An objective analysis of playlists past, I abided by these tenets, yet I also threw in what I would call spice: Metallica, Health, Ween. What? That's good music! I realize the fallacy inherent in my arrangements: I play music I think a few people might appreciate (and everyone should!) rather than what the masses actually WANT to hear. It took me ~17 years to figure this out.

The problems with the spring/summer party playlist are manifold:
1) EVERYONE is a critic (tolerance decreases when alcohol is introduced)
2) Just one misstep and you're toast (I've yet to live down my Metallica - "One" selection from 2010)
3) Haters - some people are just not going to be happy with whatever is played
4) Interlopers - if you aren't careful, your Ipod will be replaced with Silly Mix 2000-late when you go to the bathroom

As you can see, the pitfalls are plentiful. Why open yourself up to attack like this? Well, because you could be responsible for an impromptu dance party. You could introduce a summer anthem that will get airplay all summer. In other words, you could "prove to be a real human being...and a real hero." Isn't that the goal?

Hope you Dig,