When I attend events these days I find myself puzzled by the music selection and the way it is presented. A friend had an engagement party last night and the music level perceptibly crept up over the course of the evening. At a certain point, fairly early by Saturday night standards, the DJ decided that conversation was no longer permitted and pushed the levels to club levels.

When the audience is friends and family that doesn’t make sense to me. Conversation is more important. Sure, crank it up a bit later when we’re all a bit too drunk to make sensible conversation, but early on it just curtails socialising.

Then there’s the music selection. Not for the first time the choices made by the DJ were bizarre. The songs themselves weren’t the issue – it was the order. Going from a figurative standing start to loud club music really isn’t the way to get people in the mood, well, unless the desired mood is “cringing uncontrollably”. Instead mirroring the room’s energy and then slowly working it up would make sense, surely?

There were plenty of songs I liked but when they’re presented like a mountain range it really doesn’t create a good experience for anyone.

Then there’s the concept of a “disco”. How is that term still in use at all?

To quote Wikipedia:

By the early 1980s, the term "disco" had largely fallen out of favour in most of the English-speaking world.

[source]

It’s so strange to go to “family” events and see these tired old concepts trotted out. They’re not fun, they’re just pathetic. Some things don’t go out of style though – I enjoy a good ceilidh, for example. We have those at the Wealside farmer’s barbecue these days.

For me the problem is partly that I have no idea how to dance to the kind of music one gets in most clubs. I have no idea where I was supposed to learn that. There’s no end of imagery for how women should dance but guys..? Yeah, we’re a bit left out on that front. Awkward gyration charms no one.

The thing being though that music selection is no longer limited to what’s available locally. Personally if I was hosting a similar party I’d throw in some music from the Fallout series to warm things up.

Perhaps it’s not to everyone’s tastes but it illustrates a point nicely – access to the internet and modern games has drastically broadened the horizons of those of us geeky enough to have paid attention. Music selection at events should reflect that.

This also extends to dance styles. These days learning swing dance, or salsa, or tango, or any number of other styles is relatively easy. There’s YouTube for the basics and then finding classes takes but a few keystrokes. Wouldn’t it be nice if that could actually be reflected in the selection of music played?

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