Friday, January 20, 2012

A SPECIAL REQUEST FOR THE ALOTT5MA FRIDAY PLAYLIST:  Frequent commenter (and longtime friend of many here) Jenn is wondering: can you suggests some songs to be loaded onto an iPod playlist for her upcoming wedding reception?

I'll note that we've already done Songs That Compel You To Dance, and note that our general rule that "there's no event that can't be improved with Morris Day and the Time" is definitely in effect here.


  1. Dancing? Background music? Happy relationshippy stuff for the pregame sitting? What are you looking for? Whatever, here's a few.

    Look at the Girl, Otis Redding (ideally, just run the entire STAX catalog along with the Morris Day)
    Clap for the Couple, Paul Cebar (She Found a Fool is also good...Lovely as the Day is Long...get the whole album, The Get Go)
    Oh Me, Oh My, Abigail Washburn
    Feels Like Home, Bonnie Raitt
    Absolute Beginners, The Jam
    The Madison Time, Ray Bryant Combo (screw the normal group line dances, get the John Waters' Hairspray and learn this one -- when I say hit it, I want the big strong basketball with the Wilt Chamberlin hook...HIT IT.)

    Hobo Humpin Slobo Babe, Whale (because it's loud and fun)

  2. Meghan9:22 AM


    I'm going with a standard because I've never seen it not work to get everyone involved: The Isley Bros' "Shout."
    For our first dance, we had the band do a slowed-down, jazzed-up version of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" but I'd think the regular version would be a surefire hit too.

  3. Congratulations!  The Mark Ronson/Amy Winehouse version of "Valerie" was a hit for dancing at a few weddings I've been to, because it's (a) great and (b) kind of straddles eras.

  4. I forget where Jenn stands on the Sting Debate, but Sting's "Whenever I Say Your Name," performed with Mary K. Blige, is probably a great wedding slow-dance song.

    I assume the bridal party will be entering to Chris Brown's "Forever," right?  

  5. Genevieve10:04 AM

    Take Me As I Am, October Project
    Power of Two, Indigo Girls -- for background, first dance, anything else for upbeat mood and fitting lyrics.
    Let My Love Open the Door, Pete Townshend
    I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever), Steve Wonder
    Thank You (<span><span>Falettin</span></span> Me Be Mice Elf Agin)- Sly and the Family Stone
    Sweetest Thing, U2
    Everybody's Gonna Be Happy, The Kinks
    Walking on Sunshine, Katrina and the Waves
    What I Like About You, Lillix
    Stuck Like Glue, Sugarland
    Love Comes Down, or Nadas Por Free, or Are You Ready, Ozomatli

  6. Shout and Jungle Love seem like sure bets to me. Here are some other possibilities:

    I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You - Black Kids
    I Don't Feel Like Dancing - Scissor Sisters
    Now That We Found Love - Heavy D and the Boyz
    I Want You Back - Jackson Five
    Rock Your Body - Justin Timberlake (unless sensitive ears would be bothered by the "i'm gonna have you naked by the end of this song" line)

  7. Don't forget some of my favorite romantic standards:
    "Fly Me to the Moon"
    "La Mer"
    "Cheek to Cheek"

    I also have a quirky sense of humor, so I'd add on:
    "Something Stupid" (I vastly prefer the Mavericks cover to the Sinatra/Sinatra original)

    And, it's a local band from Rome, GA, but I love the old-fashioned swoony sound of "More than Everything" by Little Country Giants:

  8. Just don't listen too too closely to the lyrics on that LCG song. :)

  9. teamhay10:55 AM

    Consider cherry-picking a few from the I Am Sam soundtrack for "dinner music", great Beatles tunes without being all Beatles all the time.  Now I'm going to have Blackbird and Here Comes the Sun running through my head all day...I'm excited about that.

  10. Thank you, Adam!  Just a little background:  It's a really small wedding at the Tabard Inn, which is a lovely place, which we love, but with a hard limit on attendees, which, yes, has been hard.  So:  largely family.  Not sure that there actually will be any dancing, so background music / happy relationship stuff is probably the key, although I'm not adverse to mixing in some more upbeat stuff.

  11. Anonymous10:57 AM

    Cee-lo's cover of "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care" is totally danceable and romantic. And congratulations!

    - Goghaway

    1. Anonymous11:22 AM

      Whoops- then I withdraw this as well, and just recommend it for rocking out at home. Congrats again!

  12. then I'm withdrawing Hobo Humpin Slobo Babe. Congratulations and enjoy.

  13. Christy in Philly11:26 AM

    The James Taylor/ Yo Yo Ma cover of Here Comes the Sun is completely lovely. I also adore The Bird and the Bee's cover of How Deep is your love.

    Best wishes for a lovely wedding and an even better marriage.

  14. Neato Torpedo11:27 AM

    On The Street Where You Live from My Fair Lady is always an easy one
    Pretty much anything by Vince Guaraldi that's not on the Charlie Brown X-Mas record 

  15. Not the Robbie Williams/Nicole Kidman version, which was after all a Christmas #1?

  16. Can't go wrong with that Buble kid.

  17. isaac_spaceman11:53 AM

    I don't know if it counts as happy wedding music, but when I hear "Astaire" by Matt Costa, I sometimes think it's a song you'd like, and it is appropriate background music. 

    And while we're on the topic of "music I learned about from Chuck," I will note that "Christmas TV" by Slow Club is so "happy relationship stuff" that it was actually used over Chuck's sister's wedding to Captain Awesome. 

  18. teamhay12:00 PM

    Another vote for a Here Comes the Sun cover!  That Harrison guy doesn't do a bad version either.

  19. Maggie12:05 PM

    Congratulations - I love the idea of Tabard Inn for a wedding!  It's so lovely.  (Will they be making the homemade donuts for you?)

    I don't have any good song suggestions, although some of the Tony Bennett duets might offer a slightly different take on standards.

  20. Tosy and Cosh12:34 PM

    For pretty/happy background music I find the first two Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong duets albums to be completely delightful. For our first dance, my wife and I went with Nat King Cole doing Our Love Is here to Stay, which the wedding band wasn't thrilled at, but sorry wedding singers but you are not Nat King Cole.

  21. bella wilfer12:38 PM

    Everyone's suggestions are fabulous - I just wanted to say that this thread made me pine for another thread, which is "what song do you never want to hear at a wedding ever again?" (Mine is "Come on Eileen"...)

    Congrats, Jenn!

  22. Macarena, Celebration, anything by Sinatra.

  23. littleredyarn12:55 PM


    Great suggestions so far, too. For background music, I'd suggest some Pink Martini, Lyle Lovett, kd lang, Allen Toussaint and Melody Gardot.

  24. Jenn C1:16 PM

    Ohh..I was just going to ask the donut question too!


    I realize I am late to this game, but I really, really, really like the artist channels on Pandora and have heard a lot of music that I now like but normally I wouldn't have even considered. So if you give the Buble or Beatles channel a listen you might find some artists/songs that we haven't thought of yet. Right now I am listening to the Adele channel which makes really good background music (Adele, Florence+the machines, John Legend, Regina Spektor) but not all of it is "happy relationship" (though if you don't listen to the lyrics it would be nice at a wedding!).

  25. Anonymous1:20 PM

    I love the Madison Time, it used to be on a rotation at the worldy eclectic chain home goods store I work at and a college kid who worked there learned the dance on you tube and when he and I closed together we would dance it.

  26. Heather k1:21 PM

    guest above is me!

  27. "At Last"

    RIP Etta James.

  28. Squid2:17 PM

    I thought I was the only one who bought October Project!  (I performed "Always" at my friend's wedding.  First 5/4-time song I ever learned.)

  29. Watts2:23 PM

    Eh, it's ok - but I've always been in love with Raul Malo's voice.

    I mainly just avoid the Sinatras version because of the "ICK ICK FATHER DAUGHTER" thing.

  30. Watts2:24 PM

    That Cha Cha slide nightmare. Although a guy I know who's a wedding DJ says that as awful as it is, it really draws people to the dance floor.

  31. Watts2:25 PM

    I forget that weddings outside of Tennessee aren't legally required to have "The Tennessee Waltz" and/or "Rocky Top."

  32. lisased2:31 PM

    I hear he's doing well.

  33. lisased2:35 PM

    We enjoy dancing to "She's No Lady" by Lyle Lovett at our anniversary party.

    Our wedding song was "Like I Used to Do" by Tim O'Brien -- choice lyrics about growing old together. O'Brien has a great CD of Bob Dylan covers too.

  34. The Pathetic Earthling3:12 PM

    We hired a great trumpet and standup bass duo for our wedding reception.  Mind you, this was entirely on the strength of his rendition of "Spiderman."

  35. Genevieve3:24 PM

    The Tabard Inn will be beautiful for your wedding!
    Artist channels on Pandora are indeed a great way to find some great music.  We do the Adele channel a bunch, and the Eva Cassidy channel gets you a lot of great acoustic covers.

    And now that I know what kind of music you want, I definitely suggest some Eva Cassidy -- Songbird, What a Wonderful World, Kathy's Song, and others.
    Lisa Loeb "Garden of Delights"
    Eddie From Ohio (local NoVa band) "Woman of Faith"
    Shawn Colvin "Every Little Thing He Does is Magic" (Sting cover), "Object of My Affection" (with John Leventhal)

  36. Genevieve3:26 PM

    Mary Chapin Carpenter sings "Grow Old Along With Me" (I think John Lennon originated it, from the poem).

  37. Jenn.4:19 PM

    Yet more proof that Genevieve and I have bigtime overlap of our musical tastes....

  38. What, no Golddigger?

  39. Jenn.4:46 PM

    I actually do love Astaire.  I'm not sure that I remember Christmas TV, but I'll definitely check it out.

  40. Jenn.4:47 PM

    My brother-in-law is from Tennessee, so the Tennessee Waltz actually did make an appearance at my sister's wedding.

  41. Jenn.4:49 PM

    BTW, Watts, any time that you want to alert me to Athens/Atlanta area music I'm missing, I would appreciate it.  I do miss being so near to that musical corridor....

  42. isaac_spaceman5:07 PM

    Excellent.  I am dialed in on your taste. 

  43. Adam C.5:11 PM

    We instructed our band very specifically:  NO MACARENA, NO CHICKEN DANCE.  They did not listen to us; they listened to the then-10-year old cousin who requested both.

  44. Watts5:39 PM

    In my pretend-wedding, I do a back-to-back of "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul and "Never Pick a Pretty Boy" by Dee Dee Sharp.

    This probably goes a long way to explaining why it will only ever be a "pretend" wedding.  That, and wanting to use the vows from Ming & Dale's ceremony in "Flash Gordon." (Clearly, I want to be the Ming)

  45. Watts5:43 PM

    Oh, I'm too old and too unwilling to go to shows that start after my ostensible bedtime to keep up with local music. (Although, Matt Hudgins and His Shit Hot Country Band are local and awesome.)

  46. djdebs6:12 PM

    Bill Withers, Lovely Day

  47. Big Joe6:31 PM

    Josh Turner, Would You Go With Me?

  48. Maret6:55 PM

    What no Springsteen yet? One of my best friends and her husband danced to "If I Should Fall Behind," which I think is a great song especially for background/atmosphere.

  49. Genevieve7:00 PM

    So we just need each others' Pandora stations. :)  (Also, I've mentioned EFO enough times on this site that I can probably stop identifying it as 'local NoVa band' for everyone.)

  50. Nancy7:12 PM

    When you're in a mellow, let's slow-dance-and-make-everyone-cry mode, Marc Cohn's "True Companion" CANNOT. BE. SURPASSED.

    Baby I've been searching like everybody else;
    Can't say nothing different about myself;
    Sometimes I'm an angel,
    And sometimes I'm cruel,
    And when it comes to love
    I'm just another fool;
    Yes, I'll climb a mountain
    I'm gonna swim the sea
    There ain't no act of God girl
    Could keep you safe from me
    My arms are reaching out
    Out across this canyon
    I'm asking you to be my true companion

    So don't you dare and try to walk away
    I've got my heart set on our wedding day
    I've got this vision of a girl in white
    Made my decision that it's you alright
    And when I take your hand
    I'll watch my heart set sail
    I'll take my trembling fingers
    And I'll lift up your veil
    Then I'll take you home
    And with wild abandon
    Make love to you just like a true companion
    You are my true companion
    I got a true companion
    True companion

    When the years have done irreparable harm
    I can see us walking slowly arm in arm
    Just like the couple on the corner do
    Cause girl I will always be in love with you
    And when I look in your eyes
    I'll still see that spark
    Until the shadows fall
    Until the room grows dark
    Then when I leave this Earth
    I'll be with the angels standin'
    I'll be out there waiting for my true companion
    Just for my true companion

  51. katiya10:18 PM

    Lady Antebellum's When You Got A Good Thing~

  52. victoria11:54 PM

    I had (have?) both of those albums too!

  53. victoria12:12 AM

    I think there are two philosophies on wedding reception music: (1) do all the standard wedding reception/party songs, or (2) go for more of a curated, cocktail-party type feel. I think there's something to be said for (1) -- people will expect those songs and will be a lot more likely to get up and dance -- but I'm firmly team (2) (as you could probably have guessed from my wedding, Jenn). I think it's a really nice way to inject y'all's personality, it's less distracting when you get into a good conversation, most people hate at least one of the standard wedding reception songs, and it can still be just as much fun.

    A couple songs that I could see fitting you guys: "When It Comes to You," Buddy Miller; "There's Too Much Love," Belle & Sebastian; "The Way I Am," Ingrid Michaelson (a good friend used this as their first dance song, and it was really sweet). The common denominator of every wedding I've been to lately has been "Don't Stop Believing," which strikes me as weird, but whatever. And Phil believes strongly that the only appropriate first dance song is "Holiday in Cambodia." That was a fun negotiation, let me tell you.

  54. Heard of Madeline? New album last fall that's pretty good and there's some good stuff on her B-side collection. Maybe a little like Neko Case.

  55. Tarynista11:23 PM

    Congratulations, Jenn! Wedding planning was just about the most stressful thing I've ever done, but I had lots of fun making playlists. Here's a Google doc of the stuff we played (tabs at the bottom for different parts of the day). You are welcome to browse for ideas:

    My favorite was using "Lips Like Sugar" by Echo and the Bunnymen for the cake-cutting, even if no one else got it. :)

  56. Y'all rock! I will check everything out and let y'all know what happens.

  57. Jim Bell2:01 PM

    For couples with a particular sense of humor, I like Warren Zevon's "Lawyers, Guns and Money."
    I don't think any wedding is complete without Elvis - Might I suggest "I can't help falling in love with you."
    And, I don't think Simon Cowell was wrong about Unchained Melody, so play the righteous brothers "unchained melody."
    Maybe there should be something from dirty dancing.
    Oh, and Grease.  If you do dance, people like Grease. I like Grease.  Grease is the Word.

  58. Watts2:27 PM

    I have no idea if you'll ever revisit this thread again Jenn but I was reminded of one of my favorite romantic songs today: "Dance Me to the End of Love"  It's originally a Leonard Cohen tune, but my favorite version is by Madeline Peyroux.  Although, the Civil Wars also did it last year, as a duet which is interesting.