On one hand I am a very easy going guy who rarely lets anything bother him. Show up late to my class...no big deal...Dent in my fender from a run-a-way carriage...I am unfazed...Throw my cigar away before I am done and I will likely buy us each another one. There is one thing that puts the fork in my shrimp cocktail and that is people who refuse to edjucate themselves about what they are complaining about. Never be the person who requests "Stairway to Heaven" while its already playing...In fact never ask any DJ to play that song EVER!
Recently I was called by a promoter (who will remain nameless) about DJing for a local West Coast Swing event. Everything was going well until they voiced their only concern: They heard that I only play blues when I DJ. When I asked who this person's "source" was (because they have not been to something that I have DJed in more than 2 years) they mentioned that it was another promoter and gave me the run around, ending the call before I got a definitive answer as to whether or not I am in fact DJing for said event.
For the record I play several genres of music when I DJ but it did get me thinking that perhaps I play so much blues that someone could misconstrue the data, so I began to look through my play history and I discovered something. I don't play nearly enough blues! On an average night only 10% of my music falls into the genre "Blues". Most of it falls into R&B or Soul and its not me naming the Genre its the record company putting their best foot forward to try and sell as many records as possible as they try to nail down what the listener might be searching for. I did find a similarity in the music that I choose for West Coast Swing...A vast majority of it swings!
Without getting too into the long history of BS that has plagued this dance for the last decade I do want to let my readers know about a fracture that has happened musically in West Coast Swing (WCS). WCS is being split into 2 major camps: The "Westies" and the people who still refer to themselves as "Swing Dancers". Sometime I will write out the difference in the actual dancing, but for now lets just say that 4 out of the 5 dances that happen on Saturday nights in the greater Boston area are starting to refer to them selves as "Westie" events and are leaving the "Swing" out of more than just the name of the dance.
Regardless of what the song's genre actually is, I think that the dancers that are coming up through the "Westie" program are hearing swing rhythms in the music and thinking it must be blues because it doesn't sound "contemporary". "Westie" dancers often use the word "Contemporary" when they are describing the type of music they dance to. For some reason it has become misconstrued as a genre of music when it actually refers to a time period. For example Elvis would have been considered contemporary music in the 50's, as well as the Beatles in the 60's, Hendrix in the 70's, Blondie in the 80's, Toni Tone Tony in the 90's, Timbaland in the 2000's, and Pink now. What ever music falls in the top 40 at any given time is that time period's "Contemporary" music. The Genre they are looking to describe is called "Pop" (short for popular aka top 40).
The question I have for you is what do you prefer?
C. It doesn't matter as long as it swings
D. I have know Idea what the hell you are even talking about
This Friday (Pizza Party)
DNE School of Dance
78 Princeton St.
Saturday I am the DJ at NHABDA's Monthly Dance
Pinkerton Academy, Derry, NH
Lesson at 6:30
Dance at 7:30
Details at: http://www.nhabda.com/
- See more at: http://www.mrjonathanismydj.com/#sthash.H5X1ZEkA.dpuf
6-6:45 2-Step lesson
7:30-? California Mixer
Longfellow's Club JoEllen
524 Minuteman Dr off of Boston Post RD (Rt 20)