Making A Party Playlist

Posted March 11, 2010 and tagged Blog, Listen, Music, Performing, Relationships by robsachs


Thinking about having a great party this St. Patrick’s Day? Well don’t forget to craft the perfect playlist. Famed “mashup” master DJ Z-Trip says that preparation is key whether he’s spinnig records for a Vegas nightclub or setting up his I-tunes playlist for a BBQ with friends. Here are Z-Trip’s top five tips for keeping the party going.

1) Build up your crowd to a moment of frenzy. Z-Trip alludes to the volleyball metaphor of “set, set, spike”. You set up people with songs they’re familiar with that maybe follow a particular theme or genre and then you spike it down with a great hit. Check out how Z-Trip weaves together Beastie Boys,AC/DC, Rush and then crushes it with Led Zepplin in this set (language advisory here).

No doubt for tonight you’ll probably want to spike with your favorite Irish Hip Hop song…

2) Don’t overdo any one band or genre. Z-Trip says having a lopsided playlist is like having a lopsided massage where after 15 minutes your “whole shoulder’s numb and it has the complete opposite effect of what you were trying to do.” So throwing in one or two Beatles hits is great. Throwing on their entire box set, not so cool.

3) Work in some curveballs. These can be something you’ve recently discovered that you can’t wait to share or even a forgottenclassic. Crowds love and appreciate when you’re going out on a limb, but he says…

4) Watch out for getting too obscure. While it’s great to introduce crowds to new types of music you have to be judicious about it. “If you’re too pretentious it’ll come off in your mix” he warns. But Z-Trip also advices against about being be too predictable and bland. It’s all about finding a balance between the two.

5) If you’re feeling really gutsy Z-trip says consider hitting shuffle on your iPod and see where the night takes you. This can be a dangerous thing depending on what’s in the full archives of your home music library, but it can also make for some really mind blowing juxtapositions. Who says Metallica and Carly Simon don’t mix?

Looking to discover some new songs for your playlist? Check out NPR Song of the Day curated by Stephen Thompson. But if you’re looking to find tunes on your own Thompson recommends the website Hype Machine which aggegrates music blogs. Or he suggests just hopping around MySpace or other music blogs to find bands similar too the ones you likes.

Good luck with your next party tonight or any other night!







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