Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ursula Rucker - Where Poetry Meets Electronica

I have long been fascinated with the Philadelphia electronica scene and its talented artist pool including names like Josh Wink, King Britt and Nigel Richards.  I first became exposed to a talented Philadelphia artist of the spoken word, Ursula Rucker, in 2004 when listening to a smooth house track by Josh Wink called "Sixth Sense" off the album "The Ovum Fall Collection."  Not only did this track feature an ultra-cool vibraphone, it had Ursula Rucker delivering poetic lines over the house beats, and I loved it!

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rucker wrote poetry through her adolescence, but did not make her public debut until 1994. According to Wikipedia, "Rucker garnered a reputation for unique poetry techniques and stage presence which were described as "strong, vulnerable, wounded and raging". King Britt gave Rucker recognition and invited her to create her first spoken word recording, the 1994 club hit, "Supernatural". Dance music fans and DJ's quickly appreciated Rucker’s vocals and rhythm, which was described as "mystical.""

Rucker went on to collaborate with numerous recording artists and producers, most notably, The Roots.   While I am not a huge poetry fan, I have always enjoyed Rucker's performances, particularly when delivered over the perfect electronic backdrop.  This past week I have been enjoying a collection of her greatest hits covering a variety of styles and themes including love, hate, hypocrisy, politics, AIDS, secrets, erotica and humanity's darkest side (Song for Billy).  I look forward to catching a live performance of Miss Rucker sometime in the not too distant future!  

To preview and purchase the works of Ursula Rucker, visit this link on the iTunes music store

Sixth Sense (Booty in the Butta Mix) - Josh Wink ft. Ursula Rucker

Millenium Sanhedrin - A Guy Called Gerald ft. Ursula Rucker

Spring - Ursula Rucker

Guest Blogger "Bella Beatz" Picks 7 Soulful House Tracks

Today we welcome guest blogger "Bella Beatz" to the Ambient DJ blog.  Who is Bella Beatz you might ask?  Well, Bella Beatz is a smart, sassy, music-loving party person.  She also happens to be the fiancee of DJ Iron Mike, one of our company's music mixologists.  Could we have a future DJ in our midst?  I sure hope so!

7 Soulful House Selections
by Bella Beatz

Ms. Bella Beatz
Most people mistake house music to be solely the sound of something 'trance-like' or associate it with Jersey Shore. Furthermore, there are so many styles of 'house' music, making  it very easy to get lost in the shuffle of what is what.  To give a little background on why house music started, let's take a trip back to the 1980s.  

House music originated in Chicago in the early 1980s and was initially geared towards the Latino and African-American communities. The base of this music was deeply tribal due to the elements of deep percussion and the ever-present African drums.  House music is centered around a "four on the floor" rhythmic structure and is upbeat dance music, typically in the range of 117 to 130 beats per minute.   Other features of house music may include a synthesized bassline, vocal samples, and effects such as reverbs, delays and filters.  House music spread from Chicago to other major metropolitan areas of North America, before eventually crossing the pond to Europe, where it exploded in popularity and morphed into new genres of house music such as progressive, tribal, electro and deep house (to see a graphic visualization of the branches of electronic dance music, visit Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Dance Music here).

So what exactly is "soulful house music?" Well, it is just that.  A touch of a little R&B voice, some funk, some soul and letting the bass kick and lock you into a groove.  It is upbeat party music, very easy to dance to, with an 'old school' feel.  House music is the perfect choice for those who love to dance but are looking for an alternative to hip-hop or pop music. I suggest that you check out a few examples of songs below.  Of course, allow time for all of the elements of the song to develop and lock you into a groove!  

Hugs & Kisses,

Bella XO

1. Pirahnahead feat. Eric King - Keep Lifting Me (Pirahnahead's Main Vocal)

2. Green Velvet ft. Russoul- Millie Vanillie

3. Beaten Soul feat. Selina Campbell - I'm Not Ashamed (Distant People Rmx)

4. DJ Garphie and Diviniti - Could You Be MIne (Pirahnahead Deep Soul Mix)

5. Black Motion Ft Xoli - Set me free (Deeper Mix)

6. Nastee Nev Feat. Donald Sheffey - I'm So Hung Up On You (0808 Sweet Soul Mix)

7.  Liquideep - Angel (Vocal Mix)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Montgomery High School Homecoming Dance

Ambient DJ Service was pleased to be invited back to Skillman, NJ to perform at Montgomery High School's Homecoming Dance this past Saturday night.  The 350 or so students in attendance were in fine spirits with the Cougars' Friday night football victory!  The cavernous Commons area was well-decorated by the students in a Candy Land theme.
Our package this year included an enhanced sound system (with sub-woofer), a deluxe lighting show and music video mixing on an 84 inch screen.  For those clients who opt for our VJ package, we typically create custom title slides that can be shown on the big screen from time to time.

Within the high school music scene, there are three primary styles of music that tend to be requested:
a) pop rock - Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, etc.
b) hip hop - Lil Wayne, Wacka Flocka Flame, 50 Cent, etc.; and
c) techno/electro/dubstep - Skrillex, Avicii, DeadMau5 and so forth (for those unfamiliar with dubstep, see our blog entry, "What is Dubstep?"

Most high school groups are primarily drawn to pop rock and hip hop, but there has clearly been in an increase in the techno/electro/dubstep category in the past year.  Also, the Princeton/West Windsor/Skillman area in particular seems to have a penchant for the harder electronic styles.

This was a full-on dance party with few announcements, just one "line dance" and a packed dance floor from start to finish.  Three or four ballads were sprinkled in throughout the evening to allow for slow dancing. Working solo, I had my hands full fielding a barrage of guest requests and working the audio/visuals.  

Listed below are 10 Key Tracks for a Princeton-area Homecoming Dance:

1) I'm Sexy and I Know It - LMFAO (dance)
2) Cinema - Benny Benassi (Skrillex Remix) (dubstep)
3) Turbulence - Steve Aoki, Laidback Luke, Lil Jon (electro)
4) We Found Love - Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris (dance)
5) Mr. Saxobeat - Alexandra Stan (dance)
6) Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO (dance)
7) Flightless Bird, American Mouth (ballad) (from the movie Twilight)
8) Vanilla Twilight - Owl City (ballad)
9) Levels - Avicii (electro)
10) Look at Me Now - Chris Brown, feat. Busta Rhymes & Lil Wayne (hip hop)

Ambient DJ Service is a Central NJ-based mobile DJ entertainment company that provides sensational dance parties for events such as high school formals, Sweet 16s, weddings and corporate events.  We always customize our music selections and presentations for your specific group.  Visit us on the web at or follow us on Twitter at

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

25 Songs for Your Halloween Dance Party

Boo!  There are just two weeks left until Halloween.  For those planning Halloween parties and building playlists for your iPod, here are 25 creepy selections to create the perfect backdrop for your celebration.  For added suspense, periodically play sound effects such as a creaking door, howling wind, roaring saw or a scream! 

The tracks are listed in suggested order, from slow and creepy; then escalating to horrific and intense.

1. Toccata & Fugue - J.S. Bach (classical)
2. Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield (soundtracks - from The Exorcist)
3. The Principles of Lust - Enigma (electronic/soundtracks - from Boxing Helena)
4. Wolfman is Everywhere - Tino (Dub)
5. Ghost Town - The Specials (ska)
6. Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon (party favorite)
7. Monster Mash - Manheim Steamroller (preferred artist) (party favorite) 
8. Ghostbusters - Ray Parker, Jr. (80s/soundtracks)
9. The Freaks Come Out at Night - Whodini (80s)
10. Thriller - Michael Jackson (80s)
11. Bela Lugosi's Dead - Bauhaus (rock)
12. Change (in the House of Flies) - The Deftones (metal)
13. Enter Sandman - Metallica (metal)
14. Killer - The Disco Fries feat. Clinton Sparks (see attached video below)
15. Dragula - Rob Zombie (metal)
16. Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare All) - Type O Negative (metal)
17. Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult (rock)
18. Monster - Kanye West, Rick Ross, Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj (hip hop)
19. Cowbell - DJ Shiftee (dubstep)
20. Rad Anthem - Rad Omen (electronica)
21. Don't Laugh - Josh Wink (techno)
22. Ghosts n' Stuff - DeadMau5 f/Rob Swire (techno)
23. Nightmare - Brainbug (techno)
24. Zombie Nation - Kernkraft 400 (techno)
25. Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites - Skrillex (dubstep)


Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ service based in Central New Jersey and providing service to eastern PA and Manhattan.  For those of you who don't own iPods, or prefer to hire a professional DJ service, please visit us at We promise to get your adrenaline racing faster than a walk through a house of horrors!  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gig Log - Wedding at Barley Sheaf Farm - Holicong, PA

This past Saturday, I performed at Christina and Jeremiah's wedding reception at the rustic Barley Sheaf Farm in Holicong, PA - not far from New Hope, PA.  An autumn wedding in this area can by idyllic, and this celebration lived up to that expectation with a gorgeous, comfortably cool early autumn day.  

Barley Sheaf Farm is a charming compound that contains an Inn, a barn and other amenities.  The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm has been featured in prestigious publications such as The New Yorker, National Geographic Traveler, and The Robb Report.  The Inn was formerly the home of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright George Kaufman.  Colorful mums brightened the landscape.

Christina - from New Jersey, met Jeremiah while studying for her doctorate in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area.  Planning a wedding from out-of-state can be a challenge, but I met with the couple at Barley Sheaf earlier in the summer to review the logistics of their partially tented wedding (some tables were located inside the Inn while others were located on the patio underneath a tent).

I was located underneath the tent and kept the volume low through a gourmet dinner.  The dance party kicked in hard for the final hours, and despite the falling temperatures, guests kept warm with a campfire in the backyard and a hot dance mix!

There were many special moments throughout the reception - a wonderful welcome toast by Mr. Dorio, and well-delivered, heartfelt toasts by the Maid of Honor Jen and the Best Man John later on.  Special thanks to Joe from Joe Craig Photo and Fred from Barley Sheaf who were great professionals to work with in making this event a huge success.

Key Tracks -

At Last (I Found a Love) - Taj Mahal (Grand Entrance of the Bride and Groom)
I Was a Fool - Roman Dance (First Dance)  (Roman Candle is a band from the Chapel Hill area)
Jump Jive and Wail - Brian Setzer Orchestra (an advanced swing dancing couple amazed guests)
Firecracker - Josh Turner (Cakecutting Song)
Hallelujah, I Love Her So - Ray Charles (Cocktail Hour)
Make You Feel My Love - Adele (Slow Dance)
Could You Be Loved - Bob Marley (Open Dancing)
Ignition (Remix) - R. Kelly (Open Dancing)
I Wanna Go - Britney Spears (Open Dancing)
Your Man - Josh Turner (final dance)


Ambient DJ Service is a boutique-style mobile DJ company that provides customized music and entertainment throughout New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and New York City.  Ambient DJ Service is a consecutive year winner of the WeddingWire Bride's Choice Award and has been featured in DJ Times Magazine.  To learn more about our services, visit us on the web at or our WeddingWire portal at

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Excuses People Make to Justify Music Filesharing

One of my longstanding pet peeves is illegal filesharing.  Filesharing refers to those individuals who enjoy music, but opt not to purchase it legally by purchasing a physical CD or downloading the song on sites such as, i-Tunes or; or for professional DJs, purchasing a subscription to services such as Promo Only or

Here is a list of the most popular excuses:

Top Five Excuses People Use to Justify Filesharing

1) The artists are rich already and don't need my money. 

2) I spent a bundle of money on music in the past, and have earned the right for freebies.

3) Money is tight and I really can't afford to pay for it.

4) Everybody is doing it, and I'll never get caught.

5) (For DJs) - By playing out an artist's songs at my performances, I am actually doing them a service by promoting their work, and thus am entitled to a freebie.

Not surprisingly, with these prevailing attitudes, music sales have plunged in the past decade.  According to Forrester Research, total revenue from U.S. music sales and licensing plunged to $6.3 billion in 2009 from $14.6 billion a decade earlier. Of course, the gap is attributable to illegal filesharing!  In terms of digital downloads, unauthorized downloads continue to represent about 90% of the market according to online download tracker BigChampagne Media Measurement.

Rather than lecturing on the logical fallacies on the five excuses listed above, I wanted to make the case for why you SHOULD purchase your music legally.

Throughout the ages, artists (such as musicians) have been cherished members of society.  As citizens, we toil every day to meet our basic needs.  We take no pleasure in paying an electric bill or the mortgage, but these are overheads which must be met.  What most people truly yearn for is to have disposable income to enjoy the finer things in life such as music, sports and travel.   As a society, we have no problem rewarding professional athletes with multi-million salaries for the enjoyment that they provide, so why should musicians be different?

Every time that you steal (for lack of a better word) an artist's work, you are making a choice to penalize the arts.  Perhaps these musical acts are not "starving artists" but you are making it harder for them to make an honest living.  For every band that makes it big, there are countless others who fail, quite possibly frustrated by financial difficulties in pursuing their passion.  Think about it, $8 billion that used to be paid to musical artists no longer is.  Think about all of the livelihoods affected by $8 billion.  Is it possible that the supply of quality music will drop in future years, since it is no longer economically viable for artists to make it their full-time profession?

Is a DJ a performance artist?  I would argue 'yes'.  Thus, we should be even more sensitive to support our fellow brothers and sisters in the arts.  Sadly, there are some unscrupulous disc jockeys who do not purchase their music, entirely relying on illegal filesharing.  This is the equivalent of an electrician who performs his work using a stolen work van and stolen tools!  It is no wonder that there are so many new disc jockey companies, as startup costs are low when the cost to acquire a music library is zero.  To learn about how illegal filesharing affects DJ pricing, click here.

For those who do rely on illegal filesharing sites, they can expect to face challenges like poor-sounding audio files with low bit rate MP3s, mislabeled files and possibly computer viruses.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Best Wedding Venues in New Jersey

Through the years, we have had the opportunity to work in many of the finer banquet halls located throughout the state of New Jersey.  While our company is based in the Princeton area in central New Jersey, we perform across the state, from Cape May to Bergen County.  That said, our selected 'best venues' are skewed towards Central NJ and the Jersey Shore.


Factors that impress us:
* Natural beauty and ambience (how does the venue look both inside and out?);
* Friendly and service-oriented staff (preferably with long-term staff retention);
* Delicious food (DJs  are typically provided a meal at wedding receptions and are qualified to review it!);
* Venues that strive to deliver a personalized wedding experience for the bride and groom, and are not 'wedding factories.';
* Well-maintained facilities - are the lobby, bathroom and parking lot clean and well-maintained?  If a facility doesn't care about its appearance, will it care about your once-in-a-lifetime celebration?

A bonus factor is a venue whose staff treats the DJ as a valued member of the 'wedding team' and not as an unwelcomed intruder!

Pick the Perfect Wedding Venue and You'll Be All Smiles!

* Research your venue on WeddingWire ( and see how other real-life couples found their experience on the factors of: 1) Quality of Service, 2) Responsiveness, 3) Professionalism, 4) Value, and 5) Flexibility.  If a bride spent $25,000 on her reception and the service was not up to par, she is going to speak out in reviewing the facility;
* Don't underestimate the factor of service; look beyond the room and the food;
* Ask your wedding planner, DJ company or other wedding vendors for recommendations.


In countdown fashion, here is a list of our 15 favorite wedding venues in the state of New Jersey.  Next to each venue, we have listed a description about what makes it special and a link to the venue's website.  The ultimate question was - which New Jersey venues would we consider for our own weddings?

15. Surf City Yacht Club - Long Beach Island. This summer beach club fronting Barnegat Bay is the perfect location for a  Jersey Shore wedding.  The management goes above and beyond in attending to its guests. ( 

14.Tim McCloone's Supper Club - Asbury Park.  Located on the newly renovated boardwalk in Asbury Park, this modern, Manhattan-style dinner club is the perfect choice for an intimate gathering with a live jazz trio or other musical act onstage. (  McLoone's Pier House in Long Branch also deserves an honorable mention, with the ability to stream fresh sea air into the party room.

13. The Inn at Lambertville Station - Lambertville. The Lambertville-New Hope area is historic and charming, particularly in the Fall.  The Inn at Lambertville Station has a high-ceiinged banquet room with large windows overlooking the Delaware River

12. The Carriage House - Galloway Township.  The Carriage House is relatively new, having opened its doors about five years ago.  The property is spacious inside and out, and beautifully designed as what is best described as a modern, opulent southern plantation. The Savannah Grand Ballroom is magnificent and somewhat reminiscent of an opera house.  Professional staff, great food, and very reasonably priced.

11. The Mill at Spring Lake Heights - Spring Lake.  I am particularly fond of this venue having worked there through high school and college when it was formerly the Old Mill Inn and owned by restauranteur Joel Amiel.  Amiel ran a tight ship and knew how to produce a superior food and service experience that has carried over to this day.  Have your ceremony outdoors on the lake with the beautiful swans swimming nearby (

10. Renault Winery - Egg Harbor City.   Have a Napa Valley-style wedding right here in South Jersey!  We recommend the wine-cellar "Burgundy Room" for cocktail hour, followed by a reception in the intimate "Vintage Room."  Friendly staff and delicious food.

 9. The Windsor Ballroom - East Windsor.  The thing that stands out the Windsor Ballroom is its friendly, smiling staff - many of who have worked there for numerous years.  With our company based in East Windsor, we always enjoy working at the Windsor Ballroom!  (

 8. The Smithville Inn - Galloway Township.  Located close to Atlantic City, the Smithville Inn has a rustic, country feel - with white brick walls, dark hardwood floors and wooden beams. The view from the dining room is of a picturesque lake, and don't be surprised if you cross paths with an exotic mallard strolling about.  A perfect venue for an intimate gathering among your closest friends and family  (

 7. The Prallsville Mill - Stockton.  Prallsville Mill began in the 1790s and has a Revolutionary War-era charm where you can have your reception in a rustic stone house.  Stroll the paths nearby to catch a view of the Delaware River, and stay at the Woolverton Inn bed & breakfast directly across the road.

 6. Lake Valhalla Club - Montville.  The Lake Valhalla Club is a building of Tudor-style architecture, rich in character with a dark, classical interior.  It is the antidote to large, impersonal banquet halls.  Great food and service.  (

 5. The Grounds for Sculpture - Hamilton.  The Grounds for Sculpture seem like an anomaly - located in a suburb of Trenton, the sculpture grounds transport you to Paris!  We highly recommend that couples have their ceremony onsite at the "Nine Muses" sculpture site, a surreal and mystical backdrop to exchange vows.  Afterwards, stroll the grounds, perhaps crossing paths with a peacock, before celebrating at the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts, a contemporary party space.

 4. The Liberty House - Jersey City.  With a jaw-dropping view of the lower Manhattan skyline directly across the river and the most delicious Chilean Sea Bass ever, the Liberty House shines.   Just check the website link immediately below to view a photo of the backdrop to your special day!

 3. The Stone House at Stirling Ridge.  The architecture and design of the Stone House stand out.  As per their website, "this space is designed with classic, clean lines, patterned wood and stone floors, a neutral color pallet and an appreciation for the scenic beauty that is part of this secluded location." The food is exceptional, utilizing vegetables and herbs grown on a local communal farm!

 2. Nassau Inn - Princeton, NJ.  Our company is based in the Princeton area, and the Nassau Inn, located in Palmer Square, has always been a favorite of ours, capturing the history of this great town.  The Inn offers several classy, prestigious party rooms to choose from.  In an industry where rapid staff turnover and transient workers are the norm, it is refreshing to see many of the same waitstaff and banquet managers year after year at the Nassau Inn.

 1. Clarks Landing Yacht Club - Pt. Pleasant, NJ.  With a new luxurious ballroom with high ceilings and panoramic windows fronting the water, a top notch management team and delicious food, Clarks Landing is our standout selection.  An added plus is that DJs plug their board into an in-house sound system with speakers built into the ceiling above the dancefloor.  The result is that dancers enjoy louder music, while those dining on the perimeter are not blasted out of the room.  Regarding the management, we were once setting up while the staff had its prep meeting - its attention to  perfection was impressive! ( 

Comments are welcomed, and please let us know what venues would be on your list!


After selecting the perfect venue to celebrate your wedding reception, start your research for the perfect music and entertainment to compliment your venue at Ambient DJ Service (   Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company that specializes in weddings, and enjoys customizing music and entertainment for cool couples.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DJ Iron Mike - Playlist, Fall 2011

DJ Iron Mike, the DJ world's equivalent of a prizefighter, weighs in below with his Top 25 dance floor bangers.  In addition to delivering extreme heat in a club or Sweet 16 party environment, Mike excels in a range of parties, from weddings to corporate events.  Also, congratulations to Mike for recently celebrating his milestone 30th birthday.  Hard to believe that he has been DJing for some 15 years!

In countdown fashion - drumroll, please.........

25. Sexy and I Know It - LMFAO (Editor Note: Watch this track!)
24. The Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga
23. I'm a Boss- Meek Mill feat. Rick Ross
22. Work Out - J. Cole
21. She Will- Lil' Wayne feat. Drake
20. Take Over Control- Eva Simons feat. Afrojack
19. Took My Love- Pitbull feat. David Rush and Red Foo of LMFAO
18. Cheers (Drink to that) - Rihanna
17. I Wanna Go- Britney Spears
16. Marvin & Chardonnay - Big Sean feat. Kanye West & Roscoe Dash
15. Alores on Danse (remix)- Stromae feat. Kanye West & Gilbere Forte
14. Where Dem Girls At- David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj & Flo-Rida
13. Party Rock Anthem- LMFAO
12. You Make Me Feel - Cobra Starship feat. Sabi
11. Countdown- Beyonce
10. Party- Beyonce feat. Kanye West & Andre 3000
 9.  Pumped Up Kicks- Foster The People
 8. My Last - Big Sean feat. Chris Brown
 7. Danza Kuduro- Don Omar
 6. Give Me Everything - Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo & Nayer
 5. Wobble - V.I.C. (HOT - most requested song of the month!)
 4. Moves Like Jagger - Maroon Five feat. Christina Aguilera
 3. In The Dark- Dev feat. Flo-Rida
 2. Mr. Saxobeat- Alexandra Stan
 1. Paris - Jay-Z & Kanye West (Editor Note: Be Sure to Use the Edited Version outside of the Club)

DJ Iron Mike
To book DJ Iron Mike for your next soiree, contact Ambient DJ Service ( at or 609.672.1270.

To view DJ Iron Mike's Top Hip Hop Party Jams of All-Time, click here.

To view DJ Spinz's Top Party Hits of Fall 2011, click here.

To view DJ Gregg Ambient's Top Party Hits of Fall 2011, click here.

We also welcome your comments and would love to hear about your current favorite tracks.

Wedding Reception at the Renault Winery - Egg Harbor City

Ambient DJ Service had the pleasure of performing at Mindi and Peter's recent wedding reception at the Renault Winery in Egg Harbor City.  What a perfect day for a wedding - sunny and warm with a hint of fall crispness in the evening. The couple learned of Ambient DJ Service from one of our preferred vendors, the Shrewsbury Strings, who performed the onsite ceremony music and referred our services.  Thank you Tony!

The Renault Winery offers a unique and intimate setting for a wedding reception.  Guests enjoyed cocktail hour in a wine cellar known as the Burgundy Room, walking through a wine casket to get there.  The wedding reception was held in the Vintage Room, an old-world style room that includes wine caskets.  The service was friendly, and the food delicious.  

Ambient DJ setup in the Vintage Room
Wine Casket entrance to the Burgundy Room
Mindi and Peter love good music.  There was to be no line dancing, no Kool & the Gang's Celebration or any other "cliche" wedding DJ fare.  With such great natural character in the room, we opted to use very sparing dance floor lighting, opting for a clean setup with a white facade backlit in yellow to match the flowers. 

Key tracks for the evening included:

Run This Town - Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West (Grand Entrance)
Theme from Superman - John William (Grand Entrance of Bride and Groom)
As Time Goes By - Frank Sinatra (First Dance)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow - "Iz" (Father-Daughter Dance)
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Robert Flack (Mother-Son Dance)
First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes (cocktail/dinner)
Here Comes My Baby - Cat Stevens (cocktail/dinner)
We're Going to Be Friends - The White Stripes (cocktail/dinner)
Everyday - Buddy Holly (cocktail/dinner)
Just One Thing - My Morning Jacket (cocktail/dinner)
Let's Go Crazy - Prince (Kick-off song for Open Dancing)
Life is a Highway - Rascal Flatts (dedication to Jack!)
You are the Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne (late night ballad)
The Seed (2.0) - The Roots f/Cody Chestnutt (open dancing)
The Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga (open dancing)
No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses (cakecutting song)
Bro Hymn - Pennywise (grand finale)

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Strahlendorf!


Ambient DJ Service is a boutique-style mobile DJ company that provides customized music and entertainment throughout New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and New York City.  Ambient DJ Service is a consecutive year winner of the WeddingWire Bride's Choice Award and has been featured in DJ Times Magazine.  To learn more about our services, visit us on the web at or our WeddingWire portal at

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wedding Gig Log - Dancing Under the Stars at Nassau Inn

On Sunday October 9th, Ambient DJ Service returned to the Nassau Inn for the wedding reception of Steve and Julianne.  The couple booked us relatively late after learning about our services at R. Mario Fine Clothing in the Princeton Forrestal Village (R. Mario is the only menswear/tuxedo shop that we recommend!).

After providing music services at the offsite ceremony in Princeton, the reception party commenced in the evening on the second floor of the Nassau Inn in what is known as the Palmer and Witherspoon Rooms.  The Palmer Room is a cozy dining room, and the Witherspoon room is a connected room with a space for the DJ and dancing.

DJ Gregg Ambient and DJ Spinz provided a tag team effort for this celebration.  For lightscaping, we provided blue uplighting via Chauvet Color Strips, and staying in a similar color scheme, projected moving clouds and twinkling green laser stars onto the ceiling using an effect known as the Bliss Lighting Effect or "Dancing Under the Stars".

Experience the Ambience!
Sunday evening weddings can sometimes be duds, as guests are tired or else focused on returning home to get ready for work on Monday morning.  In the case of Steve and Julianne, despite being Sunday - and despite the fact that we were somewhat disconnected from the guests, the dancefloor action was excellent all night long! During dinner, guests enjoyed a slideshow of Steve and Julianne's professional photo shoot.

Congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. Chen!
Key tracks for the evening included:

Life in Technicolor - Coldplay (Grand Entrance)
Imperial March (from Star Wars) (Grand Entrance)
Star Wars Theme Song (Grand Entrance of Bride & Groom)
First Dance #1 - Flightless Bird - Iron & Wine 
First Dance #2 - Let's Stay Together - Al Green 
100 Years - Five for Fighting (video slideshow)
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (Steve serenades Julieanne)
Falling in Love With You - Elvis Presley (slow dance)
Jasmine - Min Huifen (classical Chinese music, dinner)
New York, New York - Frank Sinatra (group dance)
Mr. Saxobeat - Alexandra Stan (open dancing)
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO (open dancing)
Can You Celebrate? - Namie Amuro (final song)

Thank you Steve and Julieanne for entrusting us with your special day! Special thanks to photographer Dariusz Kobajlo from JDKProPhoto who provided photography on a very special day in his own life... his 40th birthday - what dedication! (the photo immediately below is courtesy of Dariusz).

DJ Gregg Ambient poses with Julianne and Steve!
DJ Spinz & DJ Gregg Ambient is always a winning Combo!

Ambient DJ Service is mobile DJ entertainment company based in the Princeton, NJ area that provided customized, unforgettable wedding DJ services for its clients.  Please visit us on the web at

To read about another one of our unique Nassau Inn wedding receptions, visit this link.

Wedding Reception in Brooklyn (DUMBO)

This Saturday I had the pleasure of performing at the wedding reception of Mike & Kelly in Brooklyn's "DUMBO" neighborhood.  DUMBO stands for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass."  The ceremony was held on Pebble Beach, with the reception following at the Water Street Restaurant.  Ambient DJ Service, with electric generator in tow, provided a sound system for the ceremony.   

On this warm, sunny early October afternoon, DUMBO was buzzing with activity.  The ceremony was held in a public area and in the midst of a cacophony of sounds (jet skis, dump trucks crossing the bridge and trains!).

Mike and Kelly are long-time friends of mine.  This artistic and quiet couple, originally from the same suburbs of New Jersey as me, embraced the lifestyle of New York City which they now call home.  They reside in a nearby suburb of Brooklyn with their cat "Lord Byron."  Like me, Mike enjoys alternative music.  He is also an enthusiastic fan of karaoke - and requested that Ambient DJ Service offer karaoke at the wedding reception.

The wedding reception began with a cool cocktail hour of alternative music, 80s and punk rock.  Thereafter, Mike and Kelly enjoyed their first dance to Iron & Wine's version of "Such Great Heights" followed by Kelly dancing with her dad to "Cinderella" - Steven Curtis Chapman; and Mike with his mom to "Song For My Son" - Mikki Viereck.  

For dinner music, I worked off a list of alternative, acoustic rock tracks provided by the groom.  Dancing kicked in hard after dinner to a mix of disco, 90s and current dance music.  A flamboyant guest who called himself "Burge" initiated the karaoke with a soulful performance of Gregory Abbott's "Shake You Down."  The karaoke performances became increasingly outrageous, with many excellent singers in attendance.  With spirits running high, an hour of overtime was commissioned, allowing the party to hit a new peak!

Special thanks to DJ Emm Bangkok for assisting, to Mike Z. and Chris K. for helping with logistics, and to photographer Tanveer Badal (check out Tanveer for NYC-based creative and affordable photography at

Key Tracks:
Such Great Heights - Iron & Wine (First Dance)
First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes (Dinner)
Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop - Landon Pigg (Dinner)
Baby I'm Yours - Arctic Monkeys (Dinner)
There is a Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths (Dinner)
Islands- the XX (Dinner)
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) - Arcade Fire (Dinner)
Brand New Colony - The Postal Service (Dinner)
No Sleep Til Brooklyn - Beastie Boys (DJ Choice)
Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan (Karaoke Performance)
Don't Stop Me Now - Queen (Karaoke Performance)
The Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra (ballad)
Creep - Radiohead (Karaoke Performance)
Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve (dinner)
Fumble - Architecture in Helsinki (dinner)
It Take Two - Rob Base & DJ EZ-Rock (dance)
She Don't Use Jelly - The Flaming Lips (karaoke performance)


Ambient DJ Service is a boutique-style mobile DJ entertainment company that enjoys customizing entertainment options to cool couples like Mike and Kelly!  Please visit us on the web at

Monday, October 3, 2011

Album Review - "Tony Bennett - Duets II"

Tony Bennett is an all-time favorite vocalist of ours.  He is cool, classy and still singing well at the age of 84!  Another plus, Bennett also is an avid tennis player and a fixture in the crowd each year at the U.S. Open in New York City.

In September, Bennett released his much anticipated follow-up album "Duets II" featuring performances with superstars including Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Amy Winehouse, John Mayer and even Lady Gaga.

Bennett's voice and jazz stylings are still strong and pleasant, despite his age.  Yet, when paired with younger artists at the top of their game like Buble and Groban, Bennett's voice sounds a bit thin.   The duets on the album offer fresh interpretations of American classics.  In duet form, Bennett trades licks with  his fellow vocalists, followed by exciting harmonizations on choruses.

The most moving track on the album is the duet with Amy Winehouse on "Body and Soul."  Sadly,  this was Winehouse's last recording before her untimely passing in July.   Winehouse's voice is huge, and the harmonies thrilling as her sultry voice takes the lower notes on the thrilling harmonizations.  Goosebumps!

Other standout tracks include:

The Lady is a Tramp - w/ Lady Gaga (Lady Gaga would make a wonderful cabaret singer, and her talent cannot be underestimated!)
Don't Get Around Much Anymore - w/ Michael Buble
Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Loves Me) - w/ Queen Latifah
Speak Low - w/Norah Jones
This is All I Ask - w/ Josh Groban
One For My Baby (and One More for the Road) - w/ John Mayer

While many of these songs would be disqualified from a wedding playlist based on their bittersweet lyrics, the entire album would be fabulous for a dinner party or romantic evening at home with somebody special.  We love Tony Bennett and Duets II!  

Three key Bennett tracks for a wedding include:

1) I Left My Heart in San Francisco
2) The Best is Yet to Come
3) The Way You Look Tonight (downtempo and more romantic than Sinatra's performance)

To view the full tracklisting or purchase the album on Amazon, click here. To read Ambient DJs' tribute to Amy Winehouse, click here.