Friday, February 19, 2010

On the Winter Circuit

We have been having an unusually cold and snowy winter here on the East Coast. Just as winter surfing is not nearly as fun as summer surfing, winter DJing poses unique challenges. First and foremost is the weather. Events may be canceled or postponed due to predicted/actual snowstorms. Alternatively, clients may plow forward and NOT cancel their parties held during blizzards. For 2010, I had one party canceled due to predicted snow (the storm actually didn't start until the late night, and the party would have come off fine). However, given that it was a middle school event, I agree that the safety of the kids is paramount. Offsetting this cancellation, was the pick-up of a Thursday night gig from Gary G. The snow storm caused a massive backlog at his day job, which he direly needed to attend to, and thus called in a replacement DJ for a parent-child Valentine's Day dance! Finally, the mix of winter parties tends to be eclectic, since few weddings are held during the Winter. Winter parties tend to feature school events, Sweet 16s and other miscellaneous jobs (read on below).

On February 6th, I DJ'd a Parents Prom for the parents of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South. The event, held at the Nottingham Ballroom, was a formal dance, with profits going towards an overnight prom afterparty in May for the high school seniors. Great cause! Most of the parents attended high school in the 1970s, so the playlist stayed entirely in these years, with artists such as Led Zeppelin, Yes, Elton John (the top-selling artist of the 70s), Clapton, Lou Reed and the Moody Blues. Very cool!

On February 13th, I had the opportunity to DJ a foot race through Princeton. Sponsored by the Community Options, a non-profit organization that benefits disabled adults, the racers ran from the Princeton Shopping Center on North Harrison Street in Princeton, down Bunn Drive, and then hooked around Poor Farm Road, running back down Bunn Drive. I was stationed at the mid-point checkpoint in the 101 Poor Farm Road parking lot. The weather was about 25 degrees, and I rented a generator from Home Depot to provide remote power. My electronics worked fine in the snow, although there were two unique challenges. First, electric wiring gets very brittle in the cold and loses its flex! The wires can actually crack if you bend them too far. Second, white snow causes an awful glare that made it difficult to read my console screens. Those challenges aside, the event came off well, as I played upbeat music to pump up the racers as they hit the midway checkpoint. On the plus side, those big DJ headphones kept my ears warm! Some of my more noteworthy selections were Pump Up the Jam (Technotronic), High Energy (Evelyn Thomas), Paparazzi (Moto Blanc Remix), the Cupid Shuffle (Cupid), and Cupid (Reggae version by Johnny Nash).

The evening of February 13th, I DJ'd an Elks Club formal party commemorating the lodge's 40th anniversary. This group started slow, but ended up partying pretty hard! At 11 PM, as per tradition, the group joined in a circle for a "prayer," followed by sing-a-longs of Auld Lang Syne, followed by God Bless America (Kate Smith version).

Sales activity has been moderate for the past couple of weeks, with the economy as frigid as the weather. Some new noteworthy clients include the American Cancer Society and the East Windsor PBA.

Congratulations to DJ Spinz and his wife Danaya on the birth of their first child, Brielle Joi during Super Bowl Sunday! Good luck to DJ Jesse Lambros in the auto body repair work needed for his SUV, as he struck a deer on the way to a gig in Princeton this Saturday night.

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