35 Things Learned in 35 Years # 24
Musical taste is a strange and wonderful thing. Everyone has songs they love – and songs they just can’t stand. Humor columnist Dave Barry received more reader mail after a column on bad songs than he got for anything he ever wrote! This prompted a book, that is one of the funniest things ever written:
Dave Barry hits the nail squarely on the head in this book. But he also strikes a nerve, by naming some of your favorite songs among his list of bad ones. It’s hard to read this book, without taking offense about one of your favorites being labeled “bad.”
So it seems musical taste is not so simple! One man’s bad song is someone else’s sentimental favorite.
For a DJ to be effective, it’s important to suppress any tendency to play his own favorite music, and instead to become a sort of “musical chameleon,” reflecting the varied and complex musical tastes of the unique individuals in the audience of the event.
Each person has their favorite songs, and preferences for certain genres of music and certain artists. And, many of them will have a particular musical genre or artist they really hate.
In a great scene from the 1980 comedy classic “The Blues Brothers,” they pretend to be the band hired to play at a rough honky-tonk bar. The manager informs them, “We like both kinds of music: Country, and Western!”
The resulting chaos is hilarious:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5N35kQAPv0]
Most people are not as polarized about their taste in music as those bar patrons. The majority of us are pretty tolerant, and will gladly suffer through a song we know somebody else likes – as long as we know we will get to hear what we like too.
It was early in my PM Celebrations career that I learned a simple fact: every genre and category of music has its great songs – and some real stinkers, too. With a diverse group of people, I can always keep them happy with an eclectic mix of different styles, by playing the truly good songs from every genre.
I always run out of time before I run out of good music.
Take a simple test: think of your least favorite kind of music. Maybe you don’t like rap music, or you just can’t stand country. Now, try to think of some song in that style that’s maybe not so bad. Now try harder. Listen to some songs in that genre. Open your mind, and get a friend who likes it to play some of his or her favorites.
It’s a fact: every genre has great music. At PM Celebrations, we understand this, and can and will play the best of all kinds of music.