Guilty Pleasures: Spring party mix
According to the forecasters, today in New York, the mercury will climb to 90 degrees (Farenheit, not Celsius for my Euro friends — fear not). The lilacs are blooming, the grill is up and running and the rum is flowing like water through the proverbial desert of my life. In short, folks, I’m in the mood for a party.
Some of you may recall an earlier foray into the party mix arena that we took at Christmas. I was somewhat surprised that my readers had any interest at all in the subject of what to fill the speakers with, though a good party mix is crucial to a festive evening, and essential if you’re hoping to stretch the evening well into the next day. In my opinion, it’s not a party until someone dons the lampshade, strips naked or frugs on the dining table. If one intrepid guest takes on all three at once, well, he’s probably a close relative of mine, and I’d hope others would join in the spirit of the moment and eventually call me to the ER. I realize not everyone keeps a stomach pump on hand, though for the life of me I don’t know why. Ours is right next to its pal the fire extinguisher, and I’d be lying if I said we frequently used one without the other, especially around the holidays. So there you go.
Now there are many definitions of a party, from an intimate gathering of 100 of your closest friends clustered around the portable bar, to a kegger for the neighborhood, to a two am solo dance party conducted in your underwear and while (or after) wearing one of these. I remember one particular . . . well, perhaps not.
So the party mix. As I said, I have found that the proper music is essential for party success. I like to use an eclectic blend of college era favorites, novelty songs, childhood chestnuts, current hits and always a guilty pleasure or two. You know what I mean: Come a Little Bit Closer by Jay and the Americans, Wild Thing by the Troggs, or even The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia by none other than Vicki Whatshername from the Carol Burnett show. Scoff if you will, but I guarantee that a strategically timed stinker like that can really get the party rolling. After a few hours around the punch bowl, people are delighted to sing along and they know. every. word.
So without further ado and in no particular order, here are a few of my party starting favorites. Obviously they need to be salted amongst better, higher quality offerings and of course, you will need to pick and choose judiciously to avoid overstimulating your guests, unless of course overstimulating them is what you have in mind.
Bye Bye Bye, *NSYNC
Aw c’mon you know you love it. One of the best car dancing songs. EVAH. You can keep one hand one the wheel while you do that wave bye bye thing.
American Woman, The Guess Who
Say what you will, Burton Cummings rocked pretty hard (for a Canadian) and he had really great hair. This was the first concert I ever went to, and I have nearly forgiven my dad for making me wear a dress. If you have guests you’re trying to impress, I guess you could substitute the Lenny Kravitz cover, but what’s the fun in that?
La Bamba, Los Lobos
Yeah I know, apostasy. But I just love the way that big guy plays. Use the Ritchie Valens original if you’re entertaining purists.
I’m a Believer, The Monkees
Don’t even try to tell me you don’t love this. Shake your money maker with Davy!
Antmusic, Adam and the Ants
What’s a party without a pirate? “Unplug the jukebox and do us all a favour. That music’s lost its taste so try another flavour -antmusic!”
What I Like About You, The Romantics
Dig the singing drummer. Then get your bad self up on that table.
Venus, Shocking Blue
Check out Mariska Veres and have yourself a Dutch treat!
Wipeout, The Surfaris
I have done entire parties with a surf instrumental soundtrack. I think. It gets pretty raucous once you get to Tequila. If you’re willing to spin the Mission Impossible theme, risky behavior may follow. I’d suggest locking the pantry.
And finally, the Big Daddy of guilty pleasure party music…get out your Close ‘N Play and let it spin.
You could try learning the lyrics, but no one knows what they are. Or maybe there just aren’t any. In any case, it’s more fun to slur. Believe me on this one.
I have hundreds more and could go on for days, but I’d rather hear your suggestions. So…
What’s your favorite party music guilty pleasure? Talk to me, people.