There's always at least a half hour prior to a wedding ceremony where people gather around and wait to be seated. Sometimes refreshments are served, but basically it's a mini cocktail party. The one thing that can make a half hour seem endless is silence as a backdrop. I DJ many ceremonies, and often there is quite a bit of time prior to the ceremony, and it's always great to paint a gorgeous backdrop to that period of time with some music. It can really set a sweet mood to start off the day.
I've made an updated playlist here that can be played 'as is' or to use as a springboard to make a playlist of your own. I've played many of these tunes at various weddings and they've all felt warm and cozy. Have a listen, & enjoy!
SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: PRE-WEDDING CEREMONY COCKTAILS
As some of you know I've been throwing all sorts of 60's dance parties over the years. Ever since I made my mark at Heartbreak back in the 80s doing this, I got so addicted to this music, and it seems, all generations enjoy dancing to Motown, Soul and Rock. It's kinda infectious. Btw, Heartbreak was a blast to work at. The famous Monday nights were off the hook, and it wasn't unusual to see artists like Cher, Bruce Willis, Micky Rourke, the Brat Pack, the Mets, Yankees, Rangers... (I could go on and on, it was like a celeb fest) hanging w/me in my DJ booth or around it. It was truly as Johnny Thunders would say 'An Endless Party'. So lately, I've decided to do a few test drives to see if it's time to get the party started again, no celebs.. just us common folk having a good time 😂.
I've recently started doing these little pop up Shindigs at Ethyl's Alcohol and Food up on 2nd Avenue between 84th and 85th street and they've been a whole lot of fun. 9pm start time till late. Good cocktails, Good eats (awesome bar menu), Good music (but of course) and we even have a Go Go girl as well! Free to get in.
So get down uptown, and let me help you shake your booty!
Beautiful wedding w/a beautiful couple last week at the St. Regis Hotel here in Manhattan. It's bee awhile since I've worked there, and it is still as gorgeous as ever. Have a look at the setup we did for the reception.
I had the time of my life this past weekend DJ-ing the Nuggets anniversary show at the gorgeous City Winery here in NYC. I was jazzed to be invited by my buddy Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group) to DJ this show. Lenny is the producer who curated the Nuggets cult classic collection of songs on vinyl back in the day, and it's now celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Now, that's an album that has stood the test of time (insert applause here)! The team at City Winery were so amazing to work with, from the sound crew, to the wait staff, all organized by Shlomo Lipetz who runs the space. Let me just say, it was a joy to see all the things that had to fall into place, fall into place sans any drama. It's a beautiful thing.
Also, the sunsets on the Hudson River just outside the club are not shabby!!! Win Win!
I did a two hour set of 60s music to open the show both nights that featured an all-star cast of eclectic artists, as well as a half hour closing set after the live performances (which were all off the hook). Lenny closed both nights with everyone onstage singing the classic rock anthem 'GLORIA'. I opened my closing set on both nights with a Velvet Underground song, Friday - 'Rock and Roll' and Saturday - 'Sweet Jane'. I couldn't think of anything more perfect to follow an anthem like 'Gloria', and of course, we all do love Lou Reed. It's been a long time since I've been able to dig deep into the crates to pull out so many gems to spin from that era, to a crowd that spanned more than 6+ decades in age. I've always said that great music has no boundaries, and this past weekend proved my point. Everyone all grooved, danced and sang along together. As one. There was a lot of joy in the house, and that's what it's all about. Unity through music.
Speaking of unity, it made me so happy (and a bit teary eyed) to also see everyone come together to support my friend, our dear friend, Jesse Malin who recently suffered a rare spinal stroke. Lenny Kaye gave a wonderful shout-out to a roar of applause for Malin (who was also supposed to be in this show). City Winery made a custom wine blend wine for him with a stunning photo on the bottle by Danny Clinch. The proceeds are going to help Jesse during this rough time as he's trying to heal. The wine sold out at the show but you can go to their website to order a bottle online. You can also go to to the Jesse Malin fund via Sweet Relief to donate. We all call Jesse the Mayor of the LES, touring musician, songwriter, club owner, the guy who is always there to help those in need in our community. I've seen him put together so many benefits over the years to raise money to help friends when they found themselves in trying times. He shows up. So it's our turn to show up and help, and if you can, please do consider donating.
Also, that wine is a pretty darn good Cabernet!!!
All the guest artists all did brilliant covers from the Nuggets collection, with a KILLER band holding down the fort featuring Lenny Kaye, Tony Shanahan, Jack Petruzelli, Glen Burtnik, James Mastro, and Dennis Diken (and all the band members did a feature song or 2 as well). Patti Smith kicked off the two hour celebration (so good), followed by (not in any order here) artists Tom Clark, Joe McGinty, Vicki Peterson (The Bangles) w/ John Cowsill, James Mastro (Ian Hunter Rant Band) and Peter Buck (REM), Tammy Faye Starlite, Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate), Joan Wasser (Joan as Policewoman), Mary Lee Kortes and Eric Ambel, Richard Lloyd (Television), Edward Rogers, Link Cromwell (aka Lenny Kaye), Juliana Hatfield, Marshall Crenshaw, Ivan Julian, & Bob Mould.
So that was my spectacular Friday and Saturday night, not only DJ-ing, but getting to watch all these wonderful performances too. I slept till 2pm on Sunday, and it was a glorious sleep! I sometimes have to pinch myself when life gets a little rough round the edges, and remind myself how lucky I am to make a living being creative with all the things I do. I never take my blessings for granted. I will say this ... after seeing all the enthusiasm this past weekend for this brilliant music, I am now more excited than ever to get my 60's dance party/hang (SHINDIG) off the ground. Tune in for more info on that later next week, I'll tellya all about it!!!
I'm on a roll ... Rock'n'Roll baby!
Here's a few snaps from this past weekend. Photos of me by Jini Sachse.
Welcome to my virtual loft party, make yourself at home. I'll put on the kettle, pour a few, and order a pizza. I've many tales to tell, some fun stories, and lots of helpful hints to share to help ignite your imagination when planning a party, grand event or wedding. Stay tuned!