We threw a small end of summer bbq that went long into the night. The last few stragglers that remained into the twilight all gathered around the firepit with a drink, and we started playing my favorite game, one that I love to think I invented. It’s basically giving everybody a chance to be the DJ for a song, a mix between a jukebox, and that game where you start telling a story and then the next person finishes. I love that it gives you a glimpse into each participant’s mood, personality, and of course, musical tastes. It’s also a great way to get shyer folks to come out of their shell and share. Kind of like getting to take a peek into a musical diary. I also love watching one how one person’s musical selection can influence the next person’s pick. And the best part is the absolute hodgepodge of music that ends up being played, and the conversations and story telling it helps spark. I’ve loved going back and listening to some of these albums after being reminded of them from the game. These days, music libraries are so vast and so easy to access, I sometimes find myself overwhelmed and staring at the screen. That’s why I still love from time to time going through my record collection and picking out an LP. No skipping, no sorting through thousands of choices.
The rules of the game are simple. Pick a song, pass the controls to the next person, they pick a song, pass to the next person. No skipping or groaning (well almost none).
In my younger days, this would have involved picking a song from memory and trying to scratch out the chords on a guitar and not butcher the lyrics too horribly. With modern day marvels, the game has evolved quite a bit. I had my iTunes running on my computer inside the house, scouring my entire library of 60,000+ songs (I am a DJ as well so chances are I have most songs). The signal is then carried via WiFi to my Apple Airport Express, which outputs the audio to a receiver which fires my outdoor speakers, pointed right at our firepit and deck seating. The most modern of the marvels in this setup is an app called Itunes Remote, which I have installed on my Android smartphone. It accesses my iTunes library, and allows me to do exactly what it says, act like a remote for my library. So each of us would pick a song on my Android, add it to the DJ queue, then when the previous person’s song is over, it would begin playing and they would pass the remote on. You could also do this with any iPhone, they have an iTunes remote app built in as well.
As you can imagine, the songs were eclectic to say the least. I was more than a few drinks into my celebration, but I’ve done my best to try and recall some of them from my hazy memory and share with you here, to help illustrate the musical cornucopia. Always sparks great creativity and people telling stories about memories tied to the current song etc.
** Note: My musical selection here was somehow abrubtly interrupted by the sudden playing of this next song. The offender claims it was accidental and denies all responsibility for having actually looked up this song – I think it was a deliberate scheme, and a revenge play for me mocking their last song, a proverbial “nobody puts Baby in the corner” move.