Music at home is a crucial ingredient for a good party, whether it's a small dinner party or grinding dance party, and you need to be prepared. I have seen many lovely parties break down as guests began to fight over the ipod and the music veered from one track to another.
A few years ago, we began collecting playlists from our editors and readers specifically for use at home during parties. It's time to start collecting again. I'm going to kick it off with four top picks that have been real nice lately....
I believe in having three playlists for every party. This provides variation and an arc of movement from start to finish:
1. Drinks - this is for the first drinks section. You want to be upbeat, accessible and social as your guests are welcome through the door. ie. Latin, Big Band, some Pop
2. Dinner - This is for the dinner section when conversation is most important. Quieter music that sits in the background and doesn't take over is best. ie. jazz vocalists, blues, folk
3. Dancing - After dinner, guests need a pick-me up and to be moved around. Dancing and accompanying music is the call here. This is the time to break out your favorite mix of house, pop, hip-hop and other groovy tunes.
Drinks - Ibrahim Ferrer, Feist
Dinner - Madeline Peyroux, The Be Good Tanyas
Dancing - Vampire Weekend, Lady GaGa
Send me three top picks from your 2008 playlist by putting them in the comments below. Here's what's been sent in via email just in the last few days:
Mel B's Hot Picks
Chill/Low key faves:
- Architecture in Helsinki- “Heart It Races” (Trizzy’s Rusty Tin Can Mix)
- The Blow- “Parenthesis”
- The Knife- “Heartbeats”
- The Format- “On Your Porch”
- Something Corporate- “Konstantine”
- Joshua Radin/Schuyler Fisk- “Paperweight”
Jen B's Hot Picks:
- Mermaid Avenue, vol 1 or 2, Billy Bragg & Wilco
- Flathead (The Fratellis), Wincing the Night Away (The Shins)
Eggroll Industries Hot Picks:
- Smile Smile - Anymore
- Little Pictures - Owl + Owl
- Leila - Little Acorns
Jeremy G's Hot Picks:
- St. Etienne, "He's on the Phone"
- Dizzee Rascal ft. Calvin Harris, "Dance Wiv Me"
- Estelle ft. Kanye West, "American Boy"
- Annie Lennox, "Something So Right"
- Pelle Carlberg, "A Tasteless Offer"
- Adele, "Chasing Pavements"
- Cansei de Ser Sexy, "Alala"
- Heloise and the Savoir Faire, "Disco Heaven"
- Kylie Minogue, "Wow"
Lisa M's Hot Picks:
- Peace - Norah Jones
- Circle - Miles Davis
- My One and Only Love - John Coltrane
>> Top 30: Albums for a Dinner Party #1 from 2005
>> Top 30: Music for a Dinner Party #2 (singles) from 2005
>> Holiday Party Playlist from 2007
>> The Most Important Part of Any Party, Big or Small from Unplggd 2008
>> Make A Soundtrack for Your Home from 2008
>> Enriques awesome collection of retro Holiday Albums from Flickr
And his top Xmas picks in 2007:
* Christmas Jollies - Salsoul Orchestra (album)
* (Mamacita) Donde esta Santa Claus - Charo (song)
* Holy Shit, It's Christmas - Red Peters (song)
* Xmas Number One - The Revenge (MP3 Re-Edit of Waitresses Christmas Wrapping via Ooft)