Last week we discussed some crusin’ tunes: Dr. Tom – The Essential Summer Playlist (Part 1): Cruisin’ Tunes
Now it’s time to talk about how to set the perfect tone for your Friday night party/pregame/whatever. Let’s be honest, a party without (good) music is like a hamburger without cheese or a cherry Pop Tart with out butter…it’s useless and only enjoyed by people who are lactose intolerant. I have a couple of good friends who aid me in my musical discoveries. My buddy Nick has a playlist for EVERYTHING. I don’t mean that figuratively, I mean that extremely literally, and its awesome. Having an 80’s party? Check. Having a rager? Check. Barn party? Check. If you grew up in a city you have no idea what a barn part is, and the rest of us forgive you.
My other good friend is Tom. In college Tom unknowingly effected me for the rest of my life with one single quote. He was huge on having music always playing at his parties and would adjust it to the mood of the party. At one point during a party, someone paused the music by mistake and almost instantly followed by Tom shouting “What the hell is this silence? I’d rather listen to Bette Midler than this silence!” I’ve since quoted him on this at least 50 times over the last several years, because I also couldn’t agree more.
I preface it this way, because the music at your parties is probably terrible. You put on a mix of Top 40 and Nickelback or simply turn your Kenny Chesney Pandora station on, and leave the ambiance of your tunes to complete chance. I’m gonna share 4 solid songs that I promise people will tap their toe, nod their head or get down to in your living room/garage this summer. (Spoiler alert: I’m also going to give you 3 bonus songs).
1. fun. – “Some Nights” – At this point everyone and their mother (and I mean that literally) has heard “We Are Young,” which in it’s own right makes it a solid party choice with inevitable sing-a-long-ability. But let’s be original and interesting and make the cute girl you invited say “This band sounds familiar, who is this?” and you can woo her with your in depth musical knowledge which extends beyond the current hit. You’re welcome. “Some Nights” is so reminiscent of a modern day Freddie Mercury and Queen and is probably going to be the next single from the album. So get on it now.
2. Childish Gambino – “Heartbeat” – It starts off slowly and you’ll think, Dr. Tom this isn’t the right prescription. And then 49 seconds in, you’ll say, “Thank you.” Not sure if I can use any other word to explain this song other than sexy. So I’ll leave it at that. Disclaimer: He doesn’t use a sensor when writing these lyrics.
3. Skrillex (The Doors Mashup) – “Breakin a Sweat” Ok ok ok, it’s dubstep. You’ve heard about it. Maybe you like it, maybe not. I had a serious debate with my buddy Quint about whether or not it is actually “music.” Personally, I don’t care because it sounds awesome and its perfect for your Friday night party. Besides it blends new wave music with The Doors, I mean…come on. If you’ve never seen the movie “The Doors” see it. But at 2:38 in this song you hear Morisson himself talking about the future of music 40+ years earlier. This won’t let you down. Scout’s honor (I wasn’t a Boy Scout, so that is an empty promise).
4. Head Automatica – “Beating Heart Baby” – Another dance jingle for you. It has a cowbell in it. Need I say more?
These next 3 songs are because I care about your well-being and popularity amongst your peers. I’m kinda like the doctor who “over-prescribes” your aderall so you’re free to share. (I’m not an actual Dr. and don’t recommend this).
The theme of these extra three songs are songs we were probably too young to actually drink and party to, but EVERYONE at your party will know them and sing along happily. A little nostalgia mixed with some alcohol is ALWAYS a good thing. Save these for after the power hour.
5. Blink 182 – “Damnit” – You know the band. You know the song. And you know that you were younger than 15 when it came out. If you were drinking at 12, then me and your family would like to invite you to a show called Intervention. Crank this at your party, everyone will know it, everyone will sing it and if the don’t, please uninvite them to future parties.
6. Wheatus – “Teenage Dirtbag” – I threw this in here because for some reason I’ve always liked it. It’s not even that good of a song, honestly. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was kinda a nerd, or I like the movie Loser (no idea why). I just really wished we all still dressed like this. And who wouldn’t wanna be the guy in the band who plays nothing but simple hand instruments that no one hears? (maracas, tambourine, etc).
7. Chumbawamba – “Tubthumping” – My cousin dubbed this onto a tape when I was in 8th grade and I played this song on my Walkman until the tape actually ripped. Then I’d dance awkwardly at 8th grade dances with girls that I was too afraid to talk to with this song in the background. They talk about drinking multiple types of alcohol in this song…why were they playing it at an 8th grade dance? Anyway…drink a whiskey drink, drink a vodka drink, drink a lager drink, drink a cider drink (damn that’s redundant) sing the songs that remind you of the good times, and get up again.
Next up – Pool/Beach songs.
Party on Garth,