Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Features · DJ your way to 2008
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DJ your way to 2008

Emily Manthei - December 27th, 2007
The New Year’s song from time immemorial, “Auld Lang Syne” is the perennial favorite of merriment makers at the stroke of midnight. But maybe you’re looking for a little more musical originality on the Eve of 2008. Here are a few suggestions for your party’s playlist to help you be the DJ that ushers 2008 in with a little of the old, a little of the new, and a little bit of timeless cheer.

EARLY IN THE EVENIN’
How to get that perfect party started? Well, everyone knows that while the opening cuts from your digital jukebox have got to be smart, quirky, and clever, they can’t steal the show from what will come later: the gems of style and taste which you don’t want those fashionable latecomers to miss.
So what does one start with on an occasion such as this? I usually opt to occupy that first hour with some of the classics. Holiday jazz from the ‘50s and ‘60s creates the perfect ambiance, but won’t steal the show. Pull out your Nancy Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Dean Martin, and Ella Fitzgerald and make sure one of them asks, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” Besides the classic versions, nearly every known artist has done some cover version of this song, so you have a variety to choose from, whether it’s the Carpenters, Brian Setzer, Patti Labelle, or even Clay Aiken. Personally, I have a hard time deciding between the ever-popular Nancy Sinatra cover and the so-good-the-record-crackles version by The Orioles.
As for jazz, there are a variety of Christmas-themed holiday jazz compilations out there spotted with New Years tributes, but if this isn’t thematic enough for you, there’s always instru-mental Vince Gauraldi, which somehow manages to fit the part no matter the season. And you can’t go wrong with a track or two from Michigan’s own Sufjan Stevens’ excellent Christmas album, Songs for Christmas (and New Years). Pad this collection with New-Years-specific songs like “It Was a Very Good Year” and “Happy New Years, Baby,” which are sure to prep your audience – I mean guests – for transition time.

GET THIS PARTY STARTED
Yes, transition time. By now you might be feeling the need to really get the party started, but how do you shift from such a smooth sound to something a little more energetic without ruining the mood you’ve so carefully created? The answer is of course Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. With brassy ‘70s ensemble songs like “Five Minutes More,” “Our Day Will Come,” and “Thanks for the Memory,” you can keep the New Year’s spirit going while bringing up the tempo and probably inspiring a few brave dancers to take the first few steps onto the dance floor or onto your living room coffee table. Just move all the breakable knickknacks.

NOW WE’RE COOKIN’
After Herb successfully starts your friends dancing, you will have your guests’ attention – now it’s time to show your musical smarts from 2007, abandoning the lyrical theme of the New Year for a showcase of all that was great about the old one. Party hits, personal faves, and iconic sounds from the year gone by are all fair game. For me it’s an international line-up of new, emerging, and good old stand-by performers that remind me of the musical diversity of 2007. We saw music from all over the world give us something to sing about this year.
Some of my top picks include the smart pop/dance female singer-songwriters of the year, such as improper Englishwoman Lily Allen’s debut release, Alright, Still, Nellie McKay’s Broadway-style extravaganza, Obligatory Villagers, and the lady herself, Feist, who released the wonderful The Reminder this year.
Now it’s time to make your friends really sweat: for sheer musical bliss, turn to Arcade Fire’s action-packed Neon Bible, or the hipster Swedish trio, Peter Bjorn and John, who released Writer’s Block over the summer; throw in a little Franz Ferdinand for good measure. Give them a breather with the exceptional lounge-y release from Koop, Koop Islands, and the next fabulous batch of Eastern European waltzes from Beirut, The Flying Club Cup.
Don’t forget about retro Motown lady groover Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, who released 100 Days, 100 Nights. Then slide over to the Latin side of grooving with Pacha Massive, an explosive, multi-instrumental collective who hit the music scene this year with All Good Things. Mocean Worker’s energetic and eccentric Cinco de Mowo! and Mexican Institute of Sound’s manic Piñata will continue to charge things up. And finally, before everyone gets too tired, throw some Brit-born Sri Lankan DJs at ‘em: MIA’s Kala will not disappoint; and a couple of Beastie Boys tracks (old or new-ish) will bring a little retro in for good measure.

THE GRAND FINALE
And now comes the most precarious part of the night. At the pinnacle of success, you must ditch 2007’s greatest hits. Bring it down. Knock it off. Turn on the classics – you know what your friends want to hear, and as party host and DJ, you aim to please…
As the millions in New York stand freezing, waiting for the ball to drop, they should be listening to the same thing as you are right here in good ol’ Northern Michigan: the oldies, the goodies, those legendary New Year’s songs.
You might want to start your set by playing “The Future” by Leonard Cohen (or Diddy’s “Future,” if you prefer), Duran Duran’s “What Happens Tomorrow,” and “Tomorrow Never Dies,” – be creative and apply some of your own favorites to the occasion! You might even find the Eagles’ “Funky New Year” appropriate. And of course, who can forget to include the U2 classic, “New Year’s Day”? But when Times Square erupts into cheers at the count of “zero,” there is really only one option.
One of the innumerable “Auld Lang Syne” covers is sure to please. Personally, I’m kind of a sucker for the Brian Wilson version.

So now you’ve DJ-ed your way into the new year – 2008, here you come! As a parting post-bash chill-out mix, head for the acts of 2007 that can be sweetly hummed all the way home: Jose Gonzalez, Eleni Mandell, Ed Harcourt, Cinematic Orchestra, and the excellent soundtrack to perhaps one of the (past) year’s best music-themed films, Once. If the new year offers anything as nice as these, we’ve got something to look forward to.

Filmmaker, theology student, and Petoskey native Emily Manthei is also one half of the L.A.-based underground DJ duo The Undertwins, hence her
DJ-ing expertise.

 
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