I had a few experiences this past weekend at bars that play music and have some thoughts about what is played. There was also a jukebox at one of the bars which is a good way to test out how an audience of unknowns reacts to music.
Songs that everyone knows are considered sing-a-long songs. Say It Ain’t So by Weezer is a prime example. There are a couple of facets for a song to reach sing-a-long status. #1 is that people need to know the words. Not every word but the primary chorus is a must. It takes time for people to learn songs like this so these types fall in the older music category beginning with early 00’s and everything before. This is prime white people music and activity. I was at Time on Friday night and Green Day’s Welcome to Paradise came on and the black dude next to me was like, “what the fuck is this?” I also think it’s funny if a hip hop song is played and there’s a word that sounds like Pooh’s friend, do you sing it?
I have grown to like EDM. I don’t do the drugs that generally make this scene better but even still, the science behind creating this music is fascinating to me. The control of the beats per minute and how the crowd reacts is awesome. I also find that this is great drunk music, as in, the drunker I get the more I like it. Unfortunately it helps if you have some “rage” dance moves but even with a simple head bob or fist pound, you can fit in. Another anecdote from the weekend, Weens was hammered at Morgan’s Pier and fits into th EDM scene and in my mind kills it on the dance floor. Overbearing perhaps but you could tell it wasn’t his first time in this atmosphere.
My least favorite music category. Smith’s on Friday night was a relevant example to playing a lot of pop. If Timber comes on, you are in a pop bar. Girls love this music because it’s what they are listening to currently but I find the music difficult on the ears and even harder to dance to. This kind of music is cringe worthy and I usually run to the bar. I also have a dislike for early 2000’s pop like the Backstreet Boys. Personal opinion, I feel like a homo singing a long to anything by the Backside Boys. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I don’t go to too many places that solely play Hip Hop but I’m out of the game of what’s popular in this community. Back when it was Snoop, Dre, Tupac, and Biggie, I knew some music. Since 2000, I couldn’t name a song. Even when the songs from the aforementioned artist come on, I can’t really get into it. For me it isn’t bar music.
You won’t hear much Classic Rock in a bar unless it is a white person, sitting down bar. Bars that have this setting sometimes have a jukebox and that’s when people will play older songs that they like. I’ll give a quick suggestion, don’t play Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. Overplayed classic rocks songs aren’t just overplayed at this point, they are played out. A personal bar favorite that I played on Friday was One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer because it’s 8 minutes long and a fine drinking song. That’s the key, if it makes you want to drink, it should be played.