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Ask the DJ
Local wedding DJs tell all
By Chuck Adams
Visually, your wedding is a lush, hanging gardens-style romp. The wedding photographer snaps the bridal procession underneath an ivy-wrapped arch, and the table linens at the reception sparkle. You can see it in your mind. The only thing you can’t visualize is the music. Assuming you aren’t friends with a local band (and a reception-appropriate one at that), it’s time to find a DJ. You could go the economical route: a pre-programmed iPod hooked up to a stereo (see sidebar), but you’re not one to scrimp on such an important evening. Whaddya do? Order a DJ, of course. We queried local disc jockeys on their experience in the party-making business.
The Audio Schizophrenic (Shawn Mediaclast) firstname.lastname@example.org • 541/683-7357
Genres you play: Grooviest pop music of all eras and underground dance music.
Most requested songs: Requests are all over the map, and I rarely get the same request twice, although I seem to remember getting requested to play “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang more than once.
Oddest request: Tie between Weird Al’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch” and Captain and Tenille’s “Love Will Keep us Together.”
Most bizarre experience: One time I played a wedding of two ex-Microsoft employees. It was a well-catered event with lots of family and friends. It really was a fun group. At the end of the night they tried to pay me in food stamps.
Bass is Loaded Mobile Disc Jockey (Rick Whitehead) www.bassisloadeddj.com • 541/607-0027
|Rick Whitehead (Bass is Loaded) gets the kids to sing along|
Genres you play: Mostly I would say memorable tracks from the ’80s, classic rock, hip hop and mainstream. I’m actually not satisfied until I play genres for every family member and guest present at the wedding. I really try to cover everybody, keeping in mind that this all has to meet the requirements of the bride and groom.
Most requested songs: A national, well-respected magazine in my industry surveyed people’s opinions to create their list of the top 200 most requested wedding songs. They also found out the top 50 songs people thought should never be played at your wedding. Guess what? The list was the same. It’s always the same stuff: “Celebration,” “YMCA,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Old Time Rock and Roll,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Brick House,” “Play That Funky Music,” “Love Shack” … that kind of stuff. You truly love them or you hate them, but they remain some of the most asked-for tracks to this day.
Oddest request: Recently I had an 80-year-old great grandmother get down to “Erotic City.” Yes, that’s right. The “we can f–k until the dawn” song. I believe she may have done just that if given the opportunity.
Most bizarre experience: Summer of 2007. Most of the wedding party was drunk and/or high before it even began. That was one of the longest, most dangerous and awkward nights of my life. I actually changed some of my company policies because of that wedding.
Destination Events Inc. (Casey Westover) destinationevents.net • 866/345-4476
Genres you play: A good mix of ’80s, disco, oldies and new music, with some country music scattered in.
Most requested songs: Guests still love “YMCA” and “The Chicken Dance.” People still love the classics and good ’80s and disco always plays well to fill out the floor. We work hard to meet the client’s vision of the wedding they have in mind.
Oddest request: I did have a client ask me to play a full set of barbershop quartet music. Not a danceable choice, but it was their event and their request, so I happily obliged.
Most bizarre experience: I once sent a DJ to a local nudist colony for a karaoke event. He was welcomed and invited to come dressed or not (he chose to be dressed). He said it was the strangest thing he had ever done. Naked people singing karaoke. Not for everyone. But they seemed to have fun.
DJ Tekneek Entertainment (Kenny Morris) email@example.com • 541/221-3360
Genres you play: People email us the songs they want to hear, and we always come prepared with genres from ’50s to now. People want music from all walks of life. I always tell them that when they send out their invitations to tell people to RSVP with two or three songs that they might want to hear at the wedding.
Most requested songs: Country and hip hop are probably the top two for the younger generation. I always like to start the night off with Frank Sinatra and then move to funk like the Gap Band. I’ve never not played “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson at a wedding. And “Thriller” is becoming a popular song for weddings, too.
Oddest request: The groom got a little tipsy and inspired and wanted to hear some bluegrass to get his party on. I’m not too familiar with bluegrass.
Rising Phoenix Productions (Rick Moore) risingphoenixdj.com • 541/953-6222
Genres you play: The most requested types of music are the ’70s and ’80s. It just reaches a lot of generations. But we have all types of music available from the ’40s to the most current music of today.
Most requested songs: Some of the disco era, like the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive,” are ones I get a lot. Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” gets requested a lot toward the end of the night. And of course, Bob Carlisle’s “Butterfly Kisses” is always a big one for the father/daughter dance.
Oddest request: I’ve had a wedding where all the guys came out to “Who Let The Dogs Out?” I think the scariest request was at a reception that added karaoke. The bride’s first song was “Goodbye Earl” by the Dixie Chicks. The song still gives me chills.
Most bizarre experience: The most bizarre wedding I did was for a couple that hated pretty much every popular dance song ever made, and they specifically told me not to play them because they were too “cheesy.” The party was looking like a dud. Fortunately, the bride got a headache and left early with the groom. As soon as they left, the mother of the bride told me to play every song they had forbidden. We partied for three hours after the newlyweds left!
Robb Holloway Entertainment (Robb Holloway) eugeneweddingdj.com • 541/654-1333
Genres you play: Overall it would be ’70s, old-school and disco. That format gets everybody — young and young at heart — dancing more than any type of music. Big bands, swing and music from the Brat Pack movies get requested a surprising amount. Working every morning with music and taking calls for requests on KDUK I get a really good chance to hear what songs people are really vibin’ with. It’s great research.
Most requested songs: Abba’s “Dancing Queen,” Barry White’s “You’re the First, The Last, My Everything,” Cherry Poppin’ Daddies’ “Zoot Suit Riot,” Ohio Players’ “Fire,” AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough” and Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing.”
Oddest request: I wouldn’t call them odd … but one wedding the groom had taken vocal lessons so he could sing the song “Have I Told You Lately” for the father/daughter dance. We realized it would work better if we recorded it and not do it live. We played it, and it was pretty neat although I think some of the tears in the place weren’t of the joy variety. One interesting song to me, especially since I loved the movie, was the love theme from The Princess Bride. That was a great choice.
Most bizarre experience: One wedding involved the actual Duck mascot. The wedding march quickly ripped to the UO Fight Song and the bride, Alecia, was escorted down the aisle with the one and only Duck. Took everybody by surprise.
More Local DJ Services
3rd Kingz Entertainment 232-9754
About Sound aboutsoundoregondj.com 541/461-2749
A Hitman Disc Jockey 541/485-5792
AAA Mobile DJ 541/207-2469
Alliance DJ Service 541/345-6400
Caught in the Act Disc Jockeys jaredthedj.com 541/461-8568
DJ Stoltz Records Mobile DJ djstoltzrecords.com 541/514-9854
Eclectic Edge Events eclecticedgeevents.com 541/484-9883
Heat Productions 541/686-4386
NRG Entertainment 247djs.com 541/345-6262
Pied Piper Entertainment 541/747-8665
A Wedding Mix for Generations X, Y and Z
Let’s face it: Most brides and grooms these days came of age in the ’90s, went to college in the ’00s and built up their external hard drives with tunes decidedly off-the-radar of most traditional wedding DJs. So surprise! The bride and groom are calling on you to make them a wedding mixtape for their reception that plays well to twentysomethings who cringe at the thought of ’70s funk or ’50s swing. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Bright Eyes “First Day of My Life” The hipster’s classic love song — with lines like “I’m glad I didn’t die before I met you” — will play well with both gooey Goth chicks and folk-loving parents.
Björk “All is Full of Love” A building trip-hop classic from Iceland’s most valuable export.
The Cure “Lovesong” A pitch-perfect pop song that might actually get the dourest guests up and (at least) swaying.
Daft Punk “Something About Us” Get past lines like “I might not be the right one / It might not be the right time” and you’ll find a sweet ode to that mystery called “chemistry.”
Beach House “Wedding Bell” This beautiful, slow-burning chamber-pop song off the Baltimore duo’s Devotion will unleash a teardrop shower. Beware.
Prince “Kiss” “You don’t have to be rich to be my girl / You don’t have to be cool to rule my world.” Sweet, funky, danceable, timeless.
The Turtles “So Happy Together” Across all generations and music tastes, nothing quite says “This marriage is gonna be OK” than this track.
Jesus and Mary Chain “Just Like Honey” Used as a coda to possibly the best romantic comedy of all time, Lost in Translation, this song will taste just as sweet at the end of a long, emotionally draining ceremony.