Taking a Break

For the last 10 years or more I have held a part-time job that I refer to as my weekly diversion from the rest of life. I am a DJ a local roller rink for their weekly Wayback Wednesday. I usually post the playlist at the end of the night on another social media platform and used to get some comments, but that platform seems to have lost popularity of late so I am looking at another means to post the playlist where there are links to the songs. I used to do this through this blog and a perl script, but there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get all of that accomplished anymore.

Over the years, I have started to recognize the various types of customers that show up on a Wednesday night. There are the small group of friends that want to do something different and will probably not be back for a couple of years. The best of those groups are the college students that raid mom and dad’s closet for some Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons gear to wear when they come out. Then there are the skaters that come to relive their youth a few times a year. We also get some parent and kid pairs that seem to be getting in some family time. Finally, there are the “regulars” where skating never stopped being part of their lives from their childhood. The age range on these skaters goes all the way up to the 70’s. The common thread among all of the skaters is the music. As the DJ, my task is often a daunting one in that I know what the regulars want to hear, but I also have to try and meet the listening needs of all the skaters.

I never go into the night with a set playlist. Any good DJ knows you will almost always have to adjust the music to the make up and mood of the crowd. I might have a couple of songs I heard on SiriusXM or found by perusing the charts on various music services, and then there’s the Promo Only subscription that attempts to provide all of the latest chart toppers and trending songs. If I can get the time to go through the new songs in the subscription, I actually can come across some new dance EDM songs that fit in the mix for the later part of the session when the focus us on shuffle skating. The latest one is by Dom Dolla – Take It. In the earlier portions of the night, I try to focus on the 70’s pop and disco scenes between 7 and 8. Eight to 9 is mostly 80’s pop and R&B with a beat and also the time for a fast skate and a couples skate just before 9. Nine is when the fun starts for me as the skaters want the beats per minute (BPM) on songs to stay the same so their long shuffle lines of multiple skaters pushing off each skate in sync with each other can continue. This is not as hard as it seems and I often start the 9 o’clock hour with something in the 110 BPM range and can end up in the high 120’s before the bell tolls 10. I love doing the blended mixing to keep the regulars going and these songs can be anything with a beat, but mostly 80’s funk and break dance beats along with some 90’s freestyle and now some newer house and EDM stuff like “Take It”.

As I type this blog entry and confess its purpose, I must admit that I am getting tired of the of some of the things I have to deal with when attempting to make everyone a happy skater. At least from the perspective of music. I am pretty good about taking criticism if I am not reading the crowd’s mood and routinely entertain requests made at the snack bar, but a 16 minute Grateful Dead song requested at 9:15 is never going to fly. My gauge on success is how many skaters can I keep on the floor because they want to skate to the music I am playing. When I see a crowd forming off of the floor, I can tell I need to do something to get them skating again. Whether it’s finding something new or going to a tried and true Freestyle Project song or Planet Rock, I can usually get them back. I want everyone to go home having heard at least a few songs they liked and exhausted from skating the whole night. Over the past year I feel like this has been a tall order to fill. At the end of the night, the posted playlists seem almost identical to the week before with the same old tired 80’s funk filling out the last hour. So what to do?

First, after missing Christmas and New Year’s Day, I am taking the month of January off. Yes, I am having a bit of withdrawal and miss my skating friends. But, I am taking the opportunity to spend more time with my parents who happen to be in the same nursing home for the moment. And, most importantly, I am taking time to reflect and make a game plan for my return. So stay tuned…

For some reason this post missed its scheduled date to get published by WordPress. But it gives me a chance to update it before making it final. While I was supposed to come back in February, I got a call from the owner that the staff for Wednesday night did not have right skill set to cover all of the positions if I wasn’t there and asked if I could come in. To be honest, I was glad to get the call. The withdrawal from DJ’ing was more than I expected. The night went pretty well and I was able to get in some of the new house and EDM stuff I have been researching to play. Here is the playlist as posted on Facebook.


Jellybeans Playlist for 4/15

Play list for Tax Day.

Title Artist
Daydream Believer Monkees
Get Ready Rare Earth
Madonna – Material Girl (Jellybean Dance Remix) Madonna
Billy Ocean – Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run) Various Artists
Good vibrations The beach boys
Shake Your Groove Thing Peaches
Ain’t Nobody Rufus w Chaka Khan
Turn The Beat Around Vickie Sue Robinson
Never Knew Love Like This Before Stephanie Mills
Neutron Dance Pointer Sisters
Good Times Chic
Can U Feel It 3rd Party
You Spin Me Right Round (techno mix) Dead or Alive
The Glamorous Life Sheila E.
Let’s Dance David Bowie
Breakaway _Full version_ Kelly Clarkson
Wishing On A Star The Cover Girls
Planet Rock Kraftwerk Remix Kraftwerk
Who Let the Dogs Out Baha Men
Pac Jam (remix) Freestyle Project
Supersonic Various
Dance & Shout (Klub Kings Klub Shaggy
Twilight 22 – Electric Kingdom Various
Smooth Criminal Alien Ant Farm
The Politics of Dancing re-flex
Perfect Day (Rock Version) Cascada
Piece Of The Rock Mother’s Finest
Firestarter Prodigy
Shake Your Body Down To The Gr Michael Jackson
Thriller Michael Jackson
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough Michael Jackson
Thriller Michael Jackson
Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll Vaughan Mason & Crew
Caught Up Usher
Set It Off Strafe
Freak Like Me Adina Howard
Boom Boom Pow Black Eyed Peas
Egypt Egypt Egyptian Lover
Baha Men Who Let The Dogs Out
Beautiful Stranger RMX Madonna, Victor Calderone
Fergalicious Fergie
Get It Shawty Lloyd
Fight For Love Elliot Yamin


Jellybeans Playlists for April 1 & 7

Okay, so I went in last night to DJ and someone had complained that the Wednesday night music is the same music all of the time.   I think, hmm, I wasn’t here last week; the week before I played like a full rock pop set for the first hour and the regulars have their favorites that they want (sometimes demand) to hear and I am not sure if they were talking about last week or all Wednesdays as a whole.  What to do?  Make it through the night and start using my Wednesday nights for better things in the future or try to work on coming up with sets that will keep the regulars happy, entice new people to keep coming back and make this lone complainer see the effort the it takes to do this "fun DJ gig".   I think my solution will be a combination of the two options.  If there is event or class I want or need to take on a Wednesday night, I will take it off.  But if I get a chance to record a shuffle skate set for the fill-in DJ to play on Wednesday, I will.  I will start taking more requests which are not limited to the 80’s and the weekly requests from the regulars may not get weekly play.  So that’s the plan.  And here is the play list (after the break) from this week with me as the DJ and last week with John as the DJ. Continue reading “Jellybeans Playlists for April 1 & 7”

Jellybeans Playlist for February 18, 2009

Mostly requests tonight, except for the 70’s disco at the beginning.

Song Artist
TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) MFSB Feat. The Three Degrees
Play That Funky Music Wild Cherry
Best Of My Love The Emotions
Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now McFadden & Whitehead
More, More, More Andrea True Connection
Fly, Robin, Fly Silver Convention
Shame Evelyn "Champagne" King
Turn The Beat Around Vicki Sue Robinson
Heaven Must Have Sent You Bonnie Pointer
Shake Your Groove Thing Peaches & Herb
Upside Down Diana Ross
I Want Your Love Chic
Hot Stuff Donna Summer
Take Your Time (Do It Right) (Part 1) S.O.S. Band
Disco Inferno The Trammps
Ring My Bell Anita Ward
Glory Of Love Peter Cetera
1999 Prince
Word up (full length version) Cameo
Sexy Back Justin Timberlake
Jam On It Newcleus
White Lines (Don’t Do It) Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel
Fantastic Voyage Lakeside
Down Under Men At Work
Working For The Weekend Loverboy
You Got Another Thing Coming Judas Priest
Rapture (Long Version) Blondie
Grooveline (Disco mix 1978) heatwave
Ain’t Nobody Rufus w Chaka Khan
Cha Cha Slide (Radio Disney Edit) Mr. C The Slide Man
More Bounce to the Ounce Zapp
Beautiful Akon Ft. Colby O’Donis & Kardinal Offishall
Somebody`s Watching Me (Hi Tack Club Mix) Beatfreakz
Womanizer Britney Spears
White Horse Laid Back
Freaks Come Out At Night Whodini
Work Baby Work (The Prep) Quad City DJ’s
shackles on my feet 80’s R&B
More And More (Extended Version) Captain Hollywood Project
When You Say Nothing At All Alison Krauss
Set It Off Strafe

Jellybeans Playlist for 2/4/2009

This a little late, but I was trying to use an old laptop loaded with Ubuntu Linux to convert the raw xml into a list and as usual trying to get Linux to do anything other than server stuff or light PC duties was going to be a multi-hour challenge of package searches and learning the command line conversion program.  So via MS Excel, here is the list.  It looks a little short this week as the night started out with some old disco played from CD.  To see the play list….

Continue reading “Jellybeans Playlist for 2/4/2009”

JellyBeans Classic Wednesday Playlist

Pretty good crowd tonight. There were a couple of groups including a the Cary Girls Night Out meet-up.  A lot of what was played was from requests.  Weird how the regulars want to shoot the DJ for playing other skater’s requests, and really give you grief for a slow song one of them requested at the end.  CW4L.  I skipped the after party tonight as I have tinge of upper respiratory crud coming on and I really need the rest.  To see the playlist… Continue reading “JellyBeans Classic Wednesday Playlist”