June 02, 2004

Meet The Band

I know I had complained before about people who have their weddings on holiday weekends, but that was 1) before I got to know L's friends like I do now and 2) when I pictured a beautiful, sunny Memorial Day weekend filled with barbecues and days at the beach. The weather being the way it was this past weekend, L and I didn't miss much over the holiday.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was meeting Stuart Rosenberg, our bandleader. Stuart came to L's folks' house early on Sunday morning and, over bagels, discussed his philosophy of a band's role at a wedding.

There's no better word to describe Stuart other than "hepcat." He used lots of metaphors, comparing a good band at a wedding to a good bottle of wine. "If we're doing our job we're like a social lubricant that permeates the room and washes over your guests," he said and his cool, laidback style made it all seem so true. He compared weddings to snowflakes: "The basic structure is the same, but each one looks different." We talked about going over the schedule of the party and he's even going to call our caterer to coordinate the song-to-food-service details so that no Hora or Motown medley is played while people are eating their salads.

One task he assigned to us is to build our "wedding jukebox," which is basically our complete wishlist of every song we'd like him to play. Strangely enough, I'm more excited for building a "Do Not Play List," which I've already started. I've written before about songs that are inappropriate to play at weddings based on their lyrics, but what about songs that people simply hate or that are too much of a cliche to play at a party you hope will be unique? L already added "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang and I am deadset against songs like "Love Shack," "Hot, Hot, Hot" and anything by the Miami Sound Machine. What songs do you simply hate when you hear them at a wedding?

Posted by The Groom at June 2, 2004 09:22 AM

Our Do Not Play list involves any audience participation song (especially YMCA.... I still don't understand why that is played at every wedding I go to...), anything by the Jackson 5, Brick House, and all Karoke classics (Heart of Glass, I Will Survive, etc).

Posted by: Malinda (trevor.net's bride) at June 2, 2004 10:58 AM

YMCA and I Will Survive are on our DNP list, but L has a soft spot for Brick House.

Posted by: The Groom at June 2, 2004 11:19 AM

The one I really hate is "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge.

My husband and I weren't too concerned with the music at our wedding and let the DJ do as he pleased. We wound up having a wedding reception that was pretty much constant "Do Not Play" type songs.

Shockingly, the dance floor was packed all night and everybody had a good time. It seemed that for our friends & family, the dorkier the songs the better!

Posted by: Helen at June 2, 2004 12:05 PM

One word...Macarena.

There will be no Macarena at our wedding.

Of course, the Hokey Pokey is on our must play list, but that is because we have quite a few small children attending and I wanted something played just for them.

Posted by: christina at June 2, 2004 12:13 PM

My List Of "No's":
1. Macarena
3. Cheesy Overplayed Disco
4. Donna Summer
5. Anything from "Saturday Night Fever"
6. Top 40 Pop (made a couple exceptions though)
7. Chicken Dance
8. Electric Slide (okay, ALL group dances except the Hora and a Conga)

Posted by: Maggie at June 2, 2004 02:25 PM

The Chicken Dance, YMCA, Electric Slide, the Hokey Pokey, Celebration, yada yada yada....they were all on my DNP list and the DJ actually thanked me. He was SO excited about not playing any of those. I actually had people offering me money if I let him play some of them....I declined.

Posted by: Elisa at June 2, 2004 06:32 PM

Here are some fine songs that I have never heard at a wedding, yet they are still popular and danceable:

The Human League, "Fascination"
Talking Heads, "Stay Up Late"
Beck, "Mixed Bizness"
David Bowie, "Golden Years"
Siouxsie and the Banshees, "Peekaboo"

Party hits all. For a slow number, maybe k.d. lang's "So It Shall Be" or something along those lines.

Posted by: Francis at June 3, 2004 12:27 AM

We've got some Bowie and some Siouxsie on our Do Play list.... but not Peekaboo.... that one is about a prostitute...... maybe Kiss Them For Me or Face To Face?

Posted by: Malinda (trevor.net's bride) at June 3, 2004 10:02 AM

I agree with all of the selections here. I can't stand YMCA, I Will Survive, Electric Slide, and Macarena. Basically I would ban any group dance songs and anything with an "I Hate Men" theme.

Posted by: Heather at June 3, 2004 12:18 PM

I agree with your list D. That was basically our list as well however, somehow, the hot, hot, hot got played anyway.... After the wedding we were at this weekend I would politely add the Chicken Dance song to the list :-)

Posted by: Sis of the Bride at June 3, 2004 01:32 PM

Maybe "Peekaboo" is best for bachelor parties.

Posted by: Francis at June 4, 2004 02:33 PM

No conga lines. No limbo dances. Nothing that makes anyone imitate John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.

Posted by: steve at June 4, 2004 03:56 PM

Come on D & L...you need an "older" though wiser guy's perspective...no not wise guy, wiser. You know, as D's Dad always says (and I mean ALWAYS) "...we are now the old people, the Tante Annie's of the crowd who need to be put at the table far away from the band."

Anyhow...Here goes: No 1970's Theme from "Lovers and Other Strangers"...Love, look at the two of us" as brilliantly(?) performed by Karen Carpenter...steer clear of Ole Blue Eyes, 1980's "Strangers in the Night" and oh my God,
"Theme from Love Story."
I am certain, in your case, that we won't be hearing any "Oh Danny Boy", the uplifting lilt of the bagpipe, or "That's Amore." But, beware of "Sunrise, Sunset."
But do think Yiddish...you'll have 'em weeping in the aisles (or aisle as it where)!

What ever happened to the classics? No one would ever expect "The Blue Danube Waltz"...you know, "Oh how we danced on the night we were wed...," not even Tante Annie (she lived in a different part of the shtetl).

Anything by Kenny G is pure magic. I mean the vocalist, not the guy with the clarinet, but
"...definitely no more than four minutes."

OH, and no, "Love and Marriage"...rather,

Love and Knishes, Love and Knishes
Make a wedding party so delicious
Let me tell you D lad
You can't eat one
And not have fun
Weddings ain't for Carbo-free lad!


Posted by: Uncle Kenny at June 6, 2004 09:06 AM

Hmmm.. I'm a huge Siouxsie fan... but I don't think "Kiss them for me" is appropriate either - Jayne Mansfield's beheading isn't quite the romantica them for my wedding...

Posted by: Lucia at June 21, 2004 10:37 AM

Ooh, don't play Santana's "Smooth." Great song, but it is incredibly hard to dance to. Even the best dancer has trouble.

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