Non swing - when and how?

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Bob the Builder
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Non swing - when and how?

#1 Post by Bob the Builder » Sun Apr 18, 2004 5:13 pm

To mix it up once in a while and to give some dancers a little trill, it can be worth inserting one or two "non-swing" into a nights set.
If you are to do this,

- when is the best time in a night to do it?
- how do you do it?
- what type of "non-Swing' music have you found works best?

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Toon Town Dave
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#2 Post by Toon Town Dave » Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:40 am

We have a lot of people that do westie or ballroom so depending on the crowd, I try to mix it in a lot.

With a more swing (music) crowd, I tend play something just to break up a set or change the flavor of my set.

Usually I'll put on something a little hip-hop-ish or some sort of remix like Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby remix or Blu Cantrell's Swingin' or A Little Less Conversation remix. I usually keep it to just a track or two if a lot of people sit it out.

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Ron
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#3 Post by Ron » Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:02 pm

Hmmm, seems like we've done this topic to death before. But anyway.

I would only insert 1-2 per night, like you said, and in the past I've played the following types: slow blues, soul-jazz, current modern pop, hip-hop or a non-swinging rock n roll. Once I played a Waltz song. I've never played a polka, a tango, a heavy-metal, or a disco song.

One recent song others have played that seems to go over well is that Outkast song.

Problem is, once you've played a novelty song once, maybe twice, its no longer novel.

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#4 Post by mousethief » Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:26 pm

Worse, if people come to expect the novelty songs, then they become a feature of the night and inherently get out of control.

It always freaks me out that people feel a need to inject non-swing (however you define it) music into a swing dance, when there's just so much great music out there. We had a Dallas DJ once that played a solid hour of novelty songs.

Eeep.

Kalman
"The cause of reform is hurt, not helped, when an activist makes an idiotic suggestion."

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gatorgal
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#5 Post by gatorgal » Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:58 pm

Bob the Builder wrote: - when is the best time in a night to do it?
- how do you do it?
- what type of "non-Swing' music have you found works best?
I usually play my non swing stuff later in the evening.

Because our main dance is in a ballroom studio, we get the occasional request for a west coast song, salsa or hustle. Depending on my mood, and what I perceive as the mood of the room, I'll play it.

The folks here in So Fla like "Hey Ya" and "I Like the Way You Move" by Outkast. I've also been playing a track from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Soundtrack called "What You Feel". One of our dancers suggested I give it a listen and I liked it. It's a fun little tune.

Good luck!

Tina 8)
"I'm here to kick a little DJ a$$!"
~ Foreman on That 70s Show

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#6 Post by sonofvu » Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:42 pm

mousethief wrote:Worse, if people come to expect the novelty songs, then they become a feature of the night and inherently get out of control.

It always freaks me out that people feel a need to inject non-swing (however you define it) music into a swing dance, when there's just so much great music out there. We had a Dallas DJ once that played a solid hour of novelty songs.

Eeep.

Kalman
Here we go again. I agree with Kalman. There is no need to play a non-swing song during a swing dance. But, dancers feel like they have to have non-swing to keep things interesting. My gosh, swing music is not interesting enough? In any event, I usually do not honor request for non-swing songs.
Yard work sucks. I would much rather dj.

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#7 Post by mousethief » Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:14 pm

Is it always dancers or is it DJs? There's a big difference between someone asking for something and my read of the night as DJ, a decision that leads to my playing "Hanky Panky" or something like that.

Some of the best DJ advice I've ever gotten was from Frank "Frankyboy" Dellario, who told me that NYC dancers would not break under faster tempos.

It's a pity Frankyboy can't say the same for alcohol...

Kalman
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sonofvu
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#8 Post by sonofvu » Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:17 pm

I guess I did lay too much blame on the dancers. The djs also participate in this.
Yard work sucks. I would much rather dj.

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#9 Post by Nate Dogg » Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:32 pm

sonofvu wrote:I guess I did lay too much blame on the dancers. The djs also participate in this.
You can blame the other DJs, they are the ones who polluted the dancer's minds with the thought that it is ok to play the occasionally non-swing novelty song.

Until they start to DJ correctly, you are likely to continue to get such requests.

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#10 Post by Roy » Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:38 pm

I think that we should be playing soul music at swing dances
<insert sarcasim here>

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#11 Post by Doug » Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:45 pm

Essentially the only time I play a non-swing song is last song of the night. In the venue in which I DJ regularly, that has come to be expected and is the sign that the dancers should pack up and leave. But I usually try to make the tune jazz, and I usually try to make it danceable - dontcha know that Take Five is danceable????

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#12 Post by Toon Town Dave » Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:47 pm

I use non-swing at a mostly swing event sparingly, I use it as kind of an intermission. The people who don't like it have 5-7 minutes to take care of business and come back for swing music if they desire. I find it has the effect of lightening the mood.

I agree that excessive novelty songs is absurd.

Country music, that's where it's at ... and none of this country swing crap!

Take 5 works for waltz, a little fast-ish or a slow viennese. Of course the usual rise and fall is not quite there swing dancers don't know about that stuff anyway.
Last edited by Toon Town Dave on Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#13 Post by mousethief » Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:48 pm

Nate Dogg wrote:
sonofvu wrote:I guess I did lay too much blame on the dancers. The djs also participate in this.
You can blame the other DJs, they are the ones who polluted the dancer's minds with the thought that it is ok to play the occasionally non-swing novelty song.

Until they start to DJ correctly, you are likely to continue to get such requests.
Not entirely true. I've gotten requests for polkas, waltzes, hip hop and f***ing "I Love This Bar" from dancers and I almost never play a novelty song.

Damned if ya do, damned if ya don't. Sometimes, you're turning down a request from an excited dancer, sometimes you're clearing the floor and sometimes you're digging a hole for yourself when the request resurfaces.

Kalman
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yedancer
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#14 Post by yedancer » Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:52 pm

Nate Dogg wrote: Until they start to DJ correctly, you are likely to continue to get such requests.
wow
-Jeremy

It's easy to sit there and say you'd like to have more money. And I guess that's what I like about it. It's easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.

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#15 Post by Nate Dogg » Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:47 pm

yedancer wrote:
Nate Dogg wrote: Until they start to DJ correctly, you are likely to continue to get such requests.
wow
Since it looks like I was unclear, yes I was being sarcastic about the DJing correctly stuff.

The true part is that DJs like me who slip in the occasional West Coast, Hip hop, etc... song in their set (usually towards the end) encourage dancers to request such songs later during the sets of other DJs who are less to prone to alternative music.

Hence, if I play a 60s/soul/R&B/whatever song one week, George might get an Aretha Franklin request the next week when he is DJing.

But, it cuts both ways, I got a Django request not too long ago. I figured George's influence had something to do with.

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