Monday, January 11, 2010

DJ Iron Mike's Top Ten Parties of 2009

It is an annual tradition where Ambient's mixologists (i.e., disc jockeys) list their top ten parties of the year. DJ Iron Mike kicks off this year's walk down memory lane. His list is presented in countdown fashion -

10.Mercer County Dragon Boat Festival @ Mercer County Park (West Windsor, NJ)
Typically this event is an endurance trial of epic proportions. Set up shop at 7:30am... Spin from 8:30am til 6ish in the middle of a field in front of a lake. After ironing out many details, I think the set up for this event was pretty comfortable in 2009. I played a serious variety of tunes throughout the race and received many compliments from many people of different age & race. I figured out the formula. Don't stick too long to any one genre and play tracks that will pump up the competitors.
Key Tracks: "Alone in The Ring" - Bill Conti, "Rock The Boat"- The Hues Corporation, "Empire State of Mind" - Jay-Z f/ Alicia Keys, "Proud Mary" - Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Smoke on the Water" - Deep Purple

9."Live @ The Tavern" Comedy Show w/ DJ Spinz @ Tavern on The Lake (East Windsor, NJ)
This was my first (of many) Relatainment Events. Teaming up with Spinzy, this was the first comedy show I ever spun at (definitely one of my all time DJing fantasies). I always wanted to do the Kid Capri thing at Def Comedy Jam, so this was a nice rendition of that. Before and after the comedians, Spinz & I set the tone for the evening with classic material in the pregame phase and party music for the post show. It's a cool thing when you can spin and get to check out a great comedy show in between... Trev's the Man!!! The buffet table was also conveniently close to the DJ booth, which is another huge plus.
Key Tracks: "Blame it on the Alcohol" - Jamie Foxx f/ T-Pain, "Before I Let Go" -Maze & Frankie Beverly

8.Randy Hill's Birthday Bash @ Celebrant's Residence (Franklin Lakes, NJ)
A staple for Ambient's Calendar, Randy Hill has had Gregg, (2 times), Marquez, Gary G and Myself once before all spin for his extravagant BDay bash in his "Scarface-like" backyard. The previous year was a solid party, but due to Randy's penchant for Doo Wop, 50's rock and The Song "Brown Sugar" by The Rolling Stones, I wasn't allowed to really entertain the young and sexy portion of the crowd. This year was slightly different. Battling a monsoon like rain storm, I played to Randy's musical tastes early and often. Following the first of three sets by the Disco band, I was encouraged by Randy's personal assistant to cater to the younger demographic. The results were amazing and even Randy got into it (kinda hard not to when you have several hot women in their 20's bumping and grinding against you). The party could've easily raged on, but the bus came to bring the guests to the hotel. Love this party!
Key Tracks: "Brown Sugar" - The Rolling Stones, "Calle Ocho (I Know You Want Me)- Pitbull, "I Gotta Feelin" - Black Eyed Peas, "At The Hop" -Danny & The Juniors, "Don't You Want Me" - The Human League

7.Susan & Arastu's Wedding @ The Princeton Airport (Princeton, NJ)
Ever DJ in an airport hangar??? Thanks to Gregg, I got the opportunity to spin where normally jet propellers do. The hangar was transformed into a lavish-looking Indian Palace with a huge Big Screen to show a slide show of the newlyweds growing up. The Groom (Indian), Bride (classic American) were one of the cooler couples I have ever worked for and the two families seemed to really bond. The dance floor was packed for the majority of the night, with both cultures dancing together to Punjabi beats and other world music favorites before the older crowd trickled out before the final hour. At that point I went Old school 90's by request and played A Tribe Called Quest's "Award Tour" to a good reaction. I nailed all the must have songs and covered 90% of the long playlist. Between there being a limerick contest running throughout the night, an eclectic cocktail hour selection (see Alice Coltrane & Fela Kuti), and a unique range of food, I'll never forget this wedding!
Key Tracks: "Jai Ho" - A.R. Rahman, "Beware of the Boys" (Remix) - Punjabi MC f/ Jay-Z, "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like That)" - Digable Planets, "Groove is in the Heart" - Dee-Lite f/ Q-Tip & Bootsy Collins

6.Lawrence High Senior Prom w/ DJ Spinz @ The Hyatt (Princeton, NJ)
Typically, teen-related events don't make my year end best of list. But as Spinzy would attest, this prom had a giant nightclub feel with a dance floor that never rested once it got started. Plenty of short videos available on Spinzy's Youtube Page!!!
Key Tracks: "Calabria" - Enur f/ Natasja, "Hot & Cold" - Katy Perry, "Boom Boom Pow" - Black Eyed Peas, "Kiss from a Rose"- Seal

5.80's Night @ Tavern On The Lake w/ DJ Jagged (Hightstown, NJ)
This is probably my all time favorite Collabo Gig with The Jagged One. Gregg dressed Miami Vice Style, I came in with RUN DMC apparel and Rel Reprised his Flavor Flav get-up. With an awesome lighting scheme, sound system fronted with a high powered bass & the projector screen showcasing classic 80's music videos & films, the room had such a nostalgic vibe to it. More people dressed the 80's theme than expected adding to the fun. Gregg and I weaved through over 100 80's tunes throughout the evening. The Trivia games were well received also. I hope we do another one in '10!!!
Key Tracks: "Like a Virgin" -Madonna, "Electric Avenue" - Eddy Grant, "My Prerogative"- Bobby Brown, "Walk This Way"- Run DMC w/ Aerosmith, "Raspberry Beret" - Prince

4.West Windsor Plainsboro High School Class of 1999 HS Reunion @ Mercer Oaks (West Windsor, NJ)
This gig had been a fantasy of mine for a long time. I started getting into DJing the summer following my Freshmen year, so by the end of Senior Year you either knew me because of that or because of my last name. I just wasn't particularly known as a "Good" DJ just yet. To come back and show my progress was a great feeling. Even though I vowed to mix in more current music, I kept the night 80% '95-99. Early detractors suggested the reunion would have no place for dancing. I proved the naysayers wrong and filled the dance floor for the last 90 minutes of the evening. Staying within the timeline and seeing the people's faces really made it feel like I took a ride in a time machine if only for a moment.
Key Tracks: "Hypnotize" - Notorious B.I.G., "Tonight is The Night"- Le Click, "What I Got" -Sublime, "1999" - Prince

3.Corporate Party w/ DJ Spinz @ The Radisson (Freehold, NJ)
I wrote an extensive gig log on this one back in October, so I won't go nuts talking about it now... but this was a banger of a party. Even with a group of less ostentatious guests than usual, Spinzy and I brought the Smauz Standard ("A Game") for those who don't know) and the results were off the wall. Shout out to Jay Lucas for his assistance with crowd control!
Key Tracks: "Sexy **" - David Guetta f/ Akon, "Let the Bass Kick" - Chuckie, "Ice Cream Paint Job" - Dorrough, "Bad Girls" - Donna Summer, "You Can Do It" - Ice Cube f/ Mack 10 & Ms. Toi

2.MY BIRTHDAY PARTY featuring Black Sheep @ Brewster's (East Windsor, NJ)
With so much hype and anticipation going into this one, execution was essential. Having several of my best friends Spin (Spinzy & Big Jae) & one of my best friend's rock a live set on the mic (Subliminal) and to follow all of that up with a classic group (Black Sheep) was a great way to spend my born day. Rel organized a hell of a show and even though it wasn't as big of a success in terms of attendance as it should've been, I hope he knows how much I appreciate him putting his neck, money and subsequently knee(!) on the line the way he did. Spinz set the tone with an insane Dancehall Hour, Big Jae blazed the current material and it all set me up to keep it classic. I felt like I was at the top of my game that night. Melinda even complimented me on my mic skills, she said she was blown away. Dres delivered a dope 25 minute set and rocked the crowd of 60+ like it was a crowd of 200+. This was an excellent night that I will cherish for a long time to come.
Key Tracks: "The Choice is Yours (Revisited)" - Black Sheep, "Flavor of the Month" - Black Sheep, "Dem Bow" - Shabba Ranks, "DWYCK" - Gangstarr f/ Nice & Smooth, Dreams- Notorious B.I.G.

1.NEW YEAR'S EVE @ Killarney's (Hamilton, NJ)
Maybe I'm still feeling the buzz, maybe not. Besides having continued success on the mobile circuit in 2009, I put in work at several establishments throughout the year. Many of these bars, taverns & restaurants had some good nights to boast, but none had the drawing power of Killarney's. With an eager staff and good sound set up (my speakers in the side room in front of me, sound wired throughout the bar elsewhere), this was a huge winner. On to the party, after a slow start, things picked up around 10:45 and a good crowd rolled in. I had at least 30-40 friends to mix in with the other 70 or 80 in the building by 11:15. I kept an all Decade theme for a while busting out everything from: Mr. Cheeks "Lights Camera Action", Method Man & Redman's "Da Rockwilder" to Mojo's "Lady" and Daft Punk's "One More Time". I also kept current crowd pleasers in the mix such as Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" and Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance". When the Ball dropped, I let a minute of The Drop Kick Murphy's rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" ride into LMFAO & Lil' Jon's "Shots". The height of the party came when I stormed the crowd with a barrage of early 90's Hip-Hop Radio Hits (The Humpty Dance, Shoop, Hip-Hop Hooray & Rump Shaker). The party ended around 2:15am. Shout-out to Anna for hooking me up with my first event at Kils (which lead up to this event) It was a Great Night and a great way to close out my first full decade of DJing parties!

To read DJ Iron Mike's professional profile, see

To book DJ Iron Mike for your upcoming party, contact him at or call 609.672.1270.

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