Category Archives: Music

Foot Stompin’

This weekend Collin and I went to a party which I put in the party hall of fame.  Some of the fun was sampling expensive beer and whiskeys, but I would say the main thing that made me say over and over, “I’m having such a good time!” was the dancing.  We danced so hard at this party that the force of our foot stompin’ literally knocked stuff off the shelves.  Repeatedly.

I want people to dance like that at my wedding.  Well, I mean, I hope they don’t literally knock things over.  I assume that could get expensive.  But I still hope for some figurative floor shaking/roof raising/structure verbing.

So now I care about finding an awesome DJ, which is something I was pretty unconcerned with earlier.  I have no idea how to accomplish this.  I find myself wishing not for the first time that I had more friends who’ve been married in this area to guide me.

So far the one person I talked to said she liked her DJ because “he pretty much played exactly what we told him to.”  That’s really not going to fly with us.  I do not trust myself to come up with a list of songs that other people will want to dance to.  I can make a list of songs I like, but that has little if anything to do with songs other people like.  Including Collin.  I just asked Collin what kind of music he likes to dance to, and he said and I quote: “Uh… most stuff?  I don’t know.  I don’t know music.  I’ll dance to pretty much anything.”

Which I suppose is true for me too, except for certain songs that make me run from the floor in protest, not because of any actual judgment on their danceability, but more because I find the artist objectionable because they hate women (see, e.g., Katy Perry, UGH), beat women, or if the song just reminds me of regrettable times or people in my life.  I wouldn’t expect any DJ to be able to anticipate my needs (hence the glory of the Do Not Play list, which I look forward to), and it makes me realize that everyone we’ll invite to our wedding will come with their own preferences and Would Not Play baggage, and I can’t possibly cater to them all.

But I want to find a DJ who can be all things to all people!  I want some serious foot stompin’ after I get married!

Toward a Unified Theory of Automatic Disqualification for First Dance Songs

This week The Knot offers “10 New First Dance Songs.” The first is a Sam Cooke song. Sam Cooke died in 1964, so you can tell that The Knot is operating under a wonky definition of “new.” But per usual, defying logic is only the beginning of The Knot’s offensiveness.

The second song suggestion is the Mamas and the Papas recording of “Dream a Little Dream of Me.”

Ok.  So, Mama Cass sings lead vocal on that track, and I just Wiki’d it and the single was released under her name alone in the UK, but… uh… you know what the Mamas and the Papas make me think about immediately?  RAPE AND INCEST.  Why, why why, whywhywhywhywhywhywhywhy, why why WHY is The Knot recommending anyone have their first wedding dance to a song by the Mamas and the Papas when we only learned last fall that Papa John raped his daughter a bunch of times?  Why don’t they at least attempt to bill the song as by Mama Cass to avoid that association by their readers?  [And honestly I don’t think that would be good enough for me.  If they recommended “How Do You Talk to an Angel” I would think about Jamie Walters’ 90210 character Ray Pruit being a loose reworking of his character on the Aaron Spelling-produced series The Heights, and about how Michelle Phillips played one of the Brenda replacements’ moms on Nine Oh, and then think about John Phillips, and then think about rape and incest, and probably decide that alone disqualifies “How Do You Talk to an Angel.”]

Ok.  So, to repeat: any song that employs a YouTube embed with John Phillips’ face in the background? UNACCEPTABLE WEDDING SONG.

I am working on a Unified Theory of Automatic Disqualifications for First Dance Songs.  For example, no songs that prominently feature a first name different than your own.  (So Bob Dylan’s “Sara,” even though it sounds like marriage more than any other recording ever in history, is eliminated if you are named Robin).  Also, no songs about real-life relationships that are unsavory in their beginnings or endings (So no Bob Dylan’s “Sara” for anyone, and also no Eric Clapton nor George Harrison songs about Pattie Boyd).

I have a third rule (applied above), but it is trickier: no songs by people who committed violence against women.  In application of this rule, I assume allegations are true.  I started to write a paragraph here about all the songs that disqualifies, but it is REDACTED because I started to WORRY ABOUT GETTING SUED by someone who according to him never beat anyone whose name rhymes with Schmaryl Schmannah.  [And I also started to worry about offending people who used or are using Lennon/McCartney songs.]

My third rule is pretty tough.  It also requires due diligence that you look up if someone allegedly beat women.  For example, when I started writing this entry, I knew that Sam Cooke was killed when he was young, but it wasn’t until I fact checked the year of his death to make a more specific  joke in the third sentence of this post that I read some more details about his death and realized he’s disqualified too.  When you cut out the misogynist musicians, you cut out a lot of tunes.  It’s like that killer third prong of the Bechdel Test.  No one said feminism would be easy.

On Friendors

This week’s inbox poison from The Knot is the “Top 10 Wedding Planning Myths,” the first of which is “hiring friends is the same as hiring wedding vendors.”  In the busting of this myth, The Knot warn that no matter how brilliant and talented your friends may seem, they are inexperienced with the delicate field of weddings and therefore will be one of your lifelong wedding regrets.

Does “shut up” go without saying?

Although honestly, and I can’t believe I’m about to say this, The Knot is right.  Hiring friends is not the same as hiring wedding vendors.  Allow me to mythbust:

1. Friends are generally more affordable than wedding vendors. Sometimes even free!

2. Friends are more pleasant to be around than wedding vendors. Personally, I prefer having a close friend hang out with me for hours on my wedding day, using his familiar photography catch phrases of “this is nothing!” (for test shots) and “Laa!” (to force natural smiles) than some stranger who might, for example, always try to shoot me from my right so you can’t see the scar on my eyebrow.  Because Stranger doesn’t know I like the scar on my eyebrow, and frankly I don’t want to have to put a scar-representation clause in my contract.

3. Friends care more about you than do wedding vendors. Wedding vendors want to avoid breach of contract and want to secure a nice tip and good word of mouth.  Your friends want to be a part of what makes your wedding wonderful. That sounds more valuable to me.

So we’re trying to use friendors as much as we can (almost definitely for photography, probably for ceremony music, but we have a lot of negotiating ahead).  I’m really not concerned about “not getting the same results.”  What does give me pause about hiring friends is I want them to enjoy our wedding instead of feeling on the clock.  If I wrote for the Knot, and I needed to soullessly terrify brides into hiring wedding professionals, I would definitely emphasize that concern.  [Dear The Knot, please see “contact” on the right margin to inquire about my freelancing rates when the time comes for next quarter’s wedding myth column.  Kisses!]

How about you? Are you using any friendors?  Have you any doubts?

P.S. I really enjoyed this post a few weeks back on A Cupcake Wedding, poking fun at how friendors are not necessarily available to all, nevertheless emphasizing that if you are so blessed as to have friends with wedding-adaptable talents, take advantage of it!

Movie Review: The Wedding Singer

It is one of the eternal debates: Batman or Superman? Chocolate or Vanilla? Beatles or Stones?

Band or deejay?

Perhaps The Wedding Singer will help us decide.

Whoopee-dee-doo!

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Idea For Someone Who Is Not Me

Someone who is not me (someone who could be reasonably expected to waltz with their intended spouse) should totally do their first dance to  “Married Life” from the Up score. [Grab tissues and watch!]

The song is sort of long, so I recommend combining the first dance and the “which couple has been married the longest” dance. [You may remind those long-married couples and everyone thinking about how cute they are of the grim specter of death, but as I intimated yesterday, there nothing like the threat of mortality to get people partying.]

You’re welcome.

Movie Review: Rachel Getting Married

I wish I had watched this one later, because it would have been even more refreshing.  Rachel Getting Married is not so much a wedding movie as it is a movie in which a wedding happens.  And the wedding actually happens, which distinguishes it from all the other movies I’ve thus far reviewed.

Anne Hathaway stars in both this and Bride Wars, suggesting she chooses scripts with an angel and a devil sitting on her shoulders.  The difference between watching the weddings that appear in Bride Wars and the wedding that appears in Rachel Getting Married is like the difference between watching a season of Platinum Weddings [disclaimer: I have never actually seen that show] and browsing through the Wedding Graduates on A Practical Wedding [newly relaunched, yay!].

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