Hail to the Self-Appointed DJ: A Rebuttal
1. Like a pickup basketball team that gets to stay on the court as long as it wins, the host's music remains as long as it rocks. Do not change the house music unless it is a problem. If the tunes are good, no need to be a hero in an attempt to make them great.
2. Keep party themes sacred. If you are at an '80s party, sorry, but you are stuck with Dexys Midnight Runners, Taco and Falco (by the way, why these two never teamed up is beyond me). The only exception is if you can significantly improve the quality of music within the established genre. If you hear "99 Luft Balloons" for the third time and you have a truly unstoppable '80s mix on your iPod, have at it.
3. Leave the volume where it is. While sometimes the hosts prove themselves incapable of controlling the music being played with their irresponsible choices, they do have the right to control the volume.
4. Know your room. Yes, it is obvious that a skull-thumping industrial beat from Skrillex would give this lame suburban party where people are relentlessly discussing their children and comparing their mortgage rates the jolt it desperately needs. However, you must have the foresight to know that it will go over like a pregnant pole-vaulter and might encourage the host to overcorrect with something unwelcome to anyone with functioning ears, such as Michael Buble or John Mayer. Being a good DJ, whether appointed or not, is about pleasing the crowd.
Taking over the music is rooted in good intention -- the understanding that you have the ability to make a party better, not just for you, but for all of the guests. Is the guy who hauls in a Crave Case labeled as rude because the host has provided a nice plate of crudité? No, he is hailed as a hero as partygoers gleefully ignore the celery and carrot sticks in favor of greasy White Castle sliders. Is the girl who brings a couple of aggressively dressed friends with certain morally casual attitudes who are not on the guest list shunned from society? No, she has just secured an invite to every male-hosted party for the rest of her life. Is the guy who brings his acoustic guitar hated for attempting to slow things down with a campfire-style sing-along? Yes, because that guy sucks. But for those who seek to improve a party and have the requisite musical taste to do so, I say rock on.
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