Thursday, October 8, 2009

Song for Your Supper

Music is not critical to a great meal, but it sure can help. And it can, as well, make it a disaster. I prefer to play music at my dinner parties, employing a Bang & Olufsen Beosound 1, JBL "Ghost" speaker system and my trusty iPod Touch.

Creating a playlist for my dinner parties is relatively easy when I adhere to the following guidelines (versus rules...these guidelines are made to be broken, depending on your guests' taste or lack thereof):

  • Avoid music with shrieking vocals or spoken word...these overwhelm your own intelligent table talk
  • Keep the volume at "background" level...forcing your guests to shout over your music will make them feel you value the music more than them
  • Mix it up...I love to follow Ben Watt with Mae West or jump from Frank Sinatra to the latest precocious band from Scandinavia and back again
  • If your guests have Facebook pages, look at their Favorite Music lists and pick a few songs from each...this will make them feel more comfortable
The number one rule is, if any of your guests say they absolutely hate a certain song or genre of music...take that song off immediately and play something they do like. Be a host, not a music Nazi.

Here's a recent playlist from a dinner party at my house:

Jealous of Roses - Bibio
Before Today - Everything But The Girl
Miracles - Jefferson Starship
Paris Is Burning - Ladyhawke
French Navy - Camera Obscura
Blame (Fabio Remix) - Everything But The Girl
With Your Love- Jefferson Starship
Poor Leno - Royksopp
Pop - The Aluminum Group
My Maudlin Career - Camera Obscura
Wait for Me - Dean & Britta
The Only Living Boy In New York - Simon & Garfunkel
Bless This Mess - David Bazan
Never Forget You - Noisettes
Europa - Suburban Kids With Biblical Names
Wot - Captain Sensible

What kind of music do you like to play at dinner? Do you ever hire live musicians to play at your meals? Maybe you have a harpist on your household staff? Let me know in the comments!

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