Thursday, September 13, 2012

You kids and your music!

What is with DJs these days?

No, really, that wasn't rhetorical, what is up?  I seem to be having an issue when I go to the club anymore.  It is very possible that I just don't "get it", but as far as I can tell, if you are a club DJ that means that your job (like it or not) is to play music that gets people dancing and drinking.  So, ideally, you want the dance floor to look like this:
Noc Noc.  Photo: Scott Eklund/Seattle Post-Intelligencer / SL
My confusion arises, my minions, because during the several club nights I have attended over the summer (where the point of the evening was drinking and dancing), the dance floor has looked far more like this:
Noc Noc.  Photo: Noc Noc's PR Department
This is not just a one-club phenomenon either.  Mercury at Machinewerks in Seattle, Noc Noc in Seattle, Club Sanctuary at Benders in Denver, The Fez in Portland, wherever that one place in Orlando was whose name I have forgotten because it was just that bad, you have all had these moments this year!  And it is not because people don't want to dance!  I don't club solo, it is always with a group, and our expectation when we go is that there will be dancing, with music that encourages the dancing.  Yet sadly, again and again, there has been disappointment.

Now, I am not saying that DJs should have no creative licence and that they should just take requests all night.  I definitely don't think that's a good idea.  I understand that time has been spent preparing playlists and considering the mood of the event.  I do not want to throw off your groove (no pun intended).  However, at what point does the evening stop being about throwing a good party and focuses on just letting the DJ play his or her favorite songs.  Shouldn't there be a point where the DJ looks up and says to his/herself "Wow, the dance floor has been pretty dead for the past twenty minutes, maybe I need to change it up a little.  Maybe the crowd just isn't into this right now."?  Or am I completely wrong?

Furthermore, shouldn't the DJ be playing what the night is advertised as being?  If it's goth night, why am I hearing dubstep?  If it's supposed to be "Old School" goth night, why are we listening to your friend's band that no one's ever heard of?  The dubstep or your friend's band may be very good, but they're not why I came.  Their style of music was not on the flyer that you used to attract people to your venue on this night.  A promise was made, and we appear to be short on delivery.

The one place (ONE!) that I have been this year, where I danced all that I had hoped to dance (and drank correspondingly, because I only pay for alcohol at club prices if I'm enjoying myself), was The Church in Denver.  I love this club very muchly, and had I the money I would open one like it in Seattle and do my damnedest to get their Friday night DJ from the Catacombs (the downstairs area) to come spin.  Seriously, I danced so much that night I think I lost weight despite the alcohol consumption.

So, there it is.  Step up your game, people.  I shouldn't have to fly 1400 miles to get my groove on.