A. Pop 0%
B. Blues 5%
C. It doesn't matter as long as it swings 90%
D. I have know Idea what the hell you are even talking about 5%
Some of you were not sure what "Swing" is but voted for the most of the music you hear on Friday nights. This is not to say that you can't have a great time on a Saturday night...of course you can. Most of the Boston DJs play a "mix" of music so if you don't dig a certain song you can sit it out and wait for the next one. What is missing in this "Mix" takes more time and effort to develop than the average DJ is willing to spend which is time spent "digging" for new music.
Gone are the days when night club DJs would "break" new music. In the late 70's and early 80's DJs in the night club would spend 3-4 hours a day "digging" through crate after crate of records to find that one song that would take the crowd to the next level. Crowds had longer attention spans back then and were conditioned to enjoy new music. The radio stations would call DJs to see what was hot in the club so they would know what to play on the radio. By the time music hit the radio the people that went clubbing all the time, were sick of that song and were hungry for the next and different tune.
As technology improved and musical mediums got smaller and lighter (Tapes, CDs, Mp3s) the work it took to find the new music dropped dramatically and music producers began to bribe the radio stations to play the songs that the DJs in the clubs wouldn't play. This caused a huge shift in how Jon Q Public became exposed to his weekly dose of music and it changed dramatically what people ended up considering good music.
When music broke in a club it was because it deserved to be played and earned its spot in the rotation. A good DJ would try out new stuff early on in the night and if it worked he would move it later and later into his set until it landed in the "peak hour". If a record company could simply buy its record onto the radio and be heard by the listener 20-30 times a week, the song would eventually catch on for no other reason than everyone knew all of the words and could sing a long. Really lousy songs made it to the radio and charted very high in an Emperor has no cloths kind of way. If it could get on the radio it must be good.
How does this effect West Coast Swing music? If a DJ that is playing a dance tonight, wants to guarantee a successful evening, he can simply download every song on the top 40, walk in, and play the set of his life. He no longer has to spend hours of his time "digging" for new music. Nor does he need to "test" out new music because "Westie" dance to "Contemporary" music. In fact 2 years ago, one of the better known Boston DJs asked me to lone him my collection of Top 40 music for an event that he was DJing that weekend.
Right now the "Westie" movement is pushing for "Pop" because they "...want to attract new and younger dancers". For any of us that have been dancing West Coast Swing for more than 10 years we remember when you couldn't wait to go dancing to hear what the DJ played that was new and exciting. You rewarded these new gems by rushing the floor and experimenting with your footwork, patterns, and partners. Ten plus people would rush the DJ's table to ask what "That" song was so you could all try and hunt down the CD and practice to it at home. Music was the drug that drove us into the venues. My questions are:
What will keep these new and younger dancers coming back if they can get their musical fix anywhere out side of West Coast Swing?
If we are all going to play the same music over and over again and only have something new when the radio introduces new music, then why do we need all of these DJs?
This Friday (Pizza Party and musicality 102)
DNE School of Dance
78 Princeton St.
6-6:45 2-Step lesson
7:30-? California Mixer
Longfellow's Club JoEllen
524 Minuteman Dr off of Boston Post RD (Rt 20)