The Jukebox Effect

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I deejayed a Valentine's Day party at the Horseshoe Lounge on Saturday. The bar had a great vibe, as always, and the ample crowd was in the mood for a good party. It was the first time I ever had to play music for four and a half straight hours, and I was initially worried that I would: a) run out of songs I wanted to play, or b) not have the right music to keep the party going. I underestimated both the strength of my music collection and the self-sustaining power of a party.

As I played my ridiculously long set of tunes, I realized that most people out socializing don't want to hear new music (unless it has the kind of slammin' beat that, when mixed with alcohol, yields dirty dancing and or vigorous head bobbing). They want to hear songs they know. And so do I. This might not be a particularly profound realization, but it got me thinking.

Familiar songs - even when mixed or scrambled in new ways - tickle the brain, turn up the corners of the mouth and fondle the groin. I'm sure there are complex neurophysiological explanations for this feeling, but I'll just call it the jukebox effect. It's the reason that people will spend a dollar just to half-hear their favorite songs in a crowded, noisy bar or restaurant. It's the reason that crowds at live shows prick up their ears when they hear a cover tune. And it's the reason that wedding DJs command much higher fees than club DJs. This is more than just embracing the familiar. It's that powerful, autonomic response that the Doors called lighting my fire and Iron Butterfly called in-a-gadda-da-vida. And it feels really, really good.

And so, in the name of feeling good, here's my set list from Saturday night. My apologies for not capturing an audio equivalent of this one. You'll just have to keep your ears peeled for the next one.

We Are The World - Cassetteboy vs Obama
No Karma - Jaydiohead
We're All Going To Hell    - The Bastard Fairies
Never Gonna Get It - En Vogue
Something in the Air - Information Society
The Payback - James Brown
Mahna, Mahna - Cake
Your Revolution - DJ Vadim
Fuck and Run vs. Loose (the lost kid from atlantis mix) - Bangers & Cassettes Won't Listen
Loose (f. Amanda Blank) DJ Ayres Potion remix - Spank Rock & Benny Blanco are Bangers and Cash
Stumble Out Of Bed - The Bran Flakes
Mama Said Knock You Out (Z-Trip Remix) - LL Cool J
How I Could Just Kill A Man - Cypress Hill
Jump Around - House of Pain
My Dick - Mickey Avalon
Miss You - BABY
Beethoven's Fifth Gold Digger (Kanye West vs. Beethoven vs. Walter Murphy) - A plus D
Sympathy For Teen Spirit (Rolling Stones vs. Queen vs. Nirvana) - DJ Moule
It's Fun To Smoke Dust (Queen vs. Pastor Gary Greenwald vs. Midfield General) - Lobsterdust
The Message (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five vs. INXS) - PopChop
Need You Tonight - Cassettes Won't Listen
Cheer It On (Trey Told Em Remix) - Tokyo Police Club
Cannibal Queen - Miniature Tigers
What Have You Done For Me Lately    - Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Can You Feel It (Barack H. Obama Mix) - Mr. Fingers
Sexy Peek-A-Boo (Justin Timberlake vs. Siouxsie & the Banshees) - A plus D
Bring The Noise (Public Enemy vs. Ray Parker) - PopChop
You Know I'm X (Ray Parker vs. Michael Jackson) - sounds of ((((((x))))))
Pussy Whipped (Hot to Death Remix) - Orange Peel Moses
DO IT LIIIIVE!!!!!!!!1111 (DiscoTech Mix Version 2) - Bill O'Reilly
Walk This Way, Don't Bring Me Down (ELO vs. Run DMC & Aerosmith) - Pytski
Womanizer (JUSTICE Remix) - Britney Spears
...Baby One More Time (Davidson Ospina 2005 Remix) - Britney Spears
Kryptonite Pussy - Yo Majesty
Don't Go (Class X Remix) - Yazoo
Whos Your Daddy - Benny Benassi
Wild Thing on the Dance Floor (Tone Loc vs. Peaches vs. Yazoo) - DJ Matt Hite
Can't Get Blue Monday Out Of My Head - Kylie Minogue
Hung Up On Soul (Death Cab For Cutie vs. Madonna) - Party Ben
Wrecked One Ton Gun Remix - Astra Moveo
Alala (Billion Dollar Djs Bombosity Remix) - CSS
Dont Trust Me (DJ Hot to Death Mix) - 3OH!3
Bulls On Parade (DJ Kue Remix) - Rage Against the Machine
Me So Horny - 2 Live Crew
I Love My Sex - Benny Benassi
Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
True Romance - She Wants Revenge
Black Liner Run - She Wants Revenge
Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
Smooth Criminal (LAZRtag remix) - Michael Jackson
Bad Ego (Michael Jackson vs. Alter Ego) - DJ Earworm
Passenger Fever (Peggy Lee vs. Iggy Pop) - Go Home Productions
MSTRKRFT vs Sean Paul - Temperature in Paris - MSTRKRFT
Detox (Amy Winehouse vs. Britney Spears) - King Of Pants
Yeah Toxic (Blades Blend Remix) - Usher and Britney Spears
Funky Goes to Hollywood - DJ Earworm
Smells Like Teen Spirit (Patirck Alavi Rerox) - Nirvana
Booty Klap - Yo Majesty
Chase Money - Trouble Andrew
Just Dance to New Order (extended) (Lady Gaga vs. New Order) - DJ Earworm
Purple Pills (D12 vs. Depeche Mode) - PopChop
Intergalactic Human (Beastie Boys vs. Daft Punk & Sebastian) - DJ Earworm
Flat Beat Master (Mr Oizo VS Wildchild + The Village People) - The Young Punx
Farewell Valentine (Cigarette Homecoming Queen) - Hearts of Palm
Girl U Want - Soundgarden
Black Sabotage (Beastie Boys vs. Led Zeppelin) - DJ Moule
Microphone Fiend - Eric B. & Rakim
Stairway To Heaven - Dolly Parton
Dance With Me - 3OH!3
Girl You Know It's True (NYC Subway Remix) - Milli Vanilli
Paid In Full - Seven Minutes Of Madness (Cold Cut Remix) - Eric B. and Rakim
Lip Gloss (Kid Fresh And Haterboy Refix)(Mc Homebrew Edit)    Lil Mama
Straight Outta Compton - NWA
All Night - Hail Social
Annabelle - Hail Social
I've Got the Power - Snap!
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) - C&C Music Factory
Planet Rock (Westbam Remix) - Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force
What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) (Club Mix) - Information Society
Killer - Seal
Cool It Now - Robbers On High Street
Can You Feel It (Martin Luther King Mix) - Mr. Fingers
Without Me (Eminem vs. Survivor) - PopChop
Bust a Noise (Young MC Vs. Erick E) - DJ Earworm
USB Dick - Teenage Bad Girl
White Rabbit (Rex Buchanan Remix) - Jefferson Airplane
Smoke on the Water - Señor Coconut
B.O.O.T.A.Y. (Stereobaits Technics Edit) - Spank Rock & Benny Blanco are Bangers and Cash
Digitalism in Cairo - Digitalism
Coldest Winter - Kanye West
Dawn Raider - Renegades
Snowball - Devo
Sex (I'm A...) - Berlin

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