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Thursday
Aug182011

For those about to rock...

 

Jen & Evan (January 2011) were looking for suggestions to be introduced rockin' & rollin'...not fist pumpin'. Drums/bass/guitar, not glowsticks/techno/fog. They wanted high energy but didn't want to sacrifice taste or class. They dig OAR, Coldplay, Gogol Bordello, U2, The Cure and Mighty Mighty Bosstones. "Rock the house without scaring my mom.  We just don't want to come in to 2 Unlimited 'Get Ready For This," is what they wrote. Here's a shortlist that'll give that big moment of walking through the door a little indie-rock twist.

"Lovers in Japan"  – Coldplay

"Wonderful Day"  – OAR

"Chelsea Dagger"  – Fratellis

"Can't Hardly Wait"  – The Replacements

"City of Blinding Lights"  – U2

"How You Like Me Now"  – The Heavies

"Straight Cold Player"  – Lenny Kravitz

"The Impression That I Get"  – Mighty Mighty Bosstones

"Love You Madly"  – Cake

"Mint Car"  – The Cure

"Beautiful Day"  – U2

"Not A Crime"  – Gogol Bordello

"Song 2"  – Blur

"Life in Technicolor"  – Coldplay

"The Adventure"  – Angels & Airwaves

"Two Step"  – Dave Matthews Band

"You Always Make Me Smile"  – Kyle Andrews

(BONUS!)"Moth's Wings"  – Passion Pit

Tuesday
Aug092011

BEST OF: SIMON and/or GARFUNKEL

Do you remember how great/awesome/talented Simon + Garfunkel are?

Sometimes I need to be reminded of this. It usually happens when a couple or guest requests an obscure, hard-to-find S+G tune.  This was the case at Heather + Ed's wedding and Heather's dad asked if I had a little-known song called "Something about a zoo."  He used to sing it to her when Heather was a little girl.  

After searching for anything with "zoo" in the title, I found it, they danced and had a great, impromptu daughter/father dance.  Here are a few other favorites that aren't "Bridge Over Troubled Water."  

 

Friday
Aug052011

THE ORIGINAL: FREDDIE SCOTT

You'll recoginize this one...

Monday
Jul112011

Real Playlist: Grace + Ian's Totally Awesome Indie/80's Wedding


The cool thing about Grace + Ian's Memorial Day Weekend Wedding at Liberty House was that they went 80s....but not lame 80's...and threw in a nice list of indie favorites for good measure -- everything from Talking Heads to Belle + Sebastian, Kenny Loggins even made an appearance.  

When I meet with each couple, I always say "You know your guests better than me..." and this wedding was a perfect of example of why that approach to selecting music works -- pick what you think you and your friends and your family will enjoy dancing to...and I can fill in the blanks.  

Two notable always-crowd-pleasers Grace + Ian had on their list: "Pump It Up" (Elvis Costello) + 500 Miles (The Proclaimers).  

For their complete playlist, click here.

Friday
Jul082011

Playlist: Summer Cocktail Hour + Dinner

Throw in the sunshine, a cold glass of Sangria + the playlist below and you've got the perfect Summer wedding. Whether its outdoors, on a patio, under a tent or in a ballroom, light acoustics with a splash of reggae make for a nice mix during cocktail hour or dinner + can kick off the night in summer style. Summa summa summa time!  


Friday
Jun032011

Real Playlist: Lily + Jason's Wedding (Top 40/Pop)

Lily + Jason's wedding was definitely one of the biggest dance crowds this year.  Il Tulipano's beautiful black granite dancefloor was the perfect place for 200+ guests to dance it up to some of Lily + Jason's Top 40 favorites.  

[see more playlists here]

Introductions/Formal Dances:

Parents of the Bride + Groom: "The Adventure" - Angels and Airwaves

Godparents: "Starlight" - Muse

Bridal Party: "Sleigh Bells" - Rhythm

Bride + Groom: "Lovers in Japan" - Coldplay

1st Dance: "How Deep Is Your Love" - The Bird + The Bee

Bride and Father: "How Sweet It Is" - James Taylor

Groom and Mother: "My Wish" - Rascal Flatts

Cake Cutting: "First Day of My Life" - Bright Eyes

Do Not Play:

The Chicken Dance

YMCA

Neon Trees

Macarena

Bruno Mars

Boy Bands

Kids/Disney (i.e., Miley Cyrus)

 

Open Dance:

Just Can't Get Enough - Black Eyed Peas

Sexyback - Justin Timberlake

The Way I Are - Timbaland

Just Dance - Lady Gaga

Dynamite - Taio Cruz

Forever - Chris Brown

I Know You Want Me - Pitbull

Let's Get Loud - Jennifer Lopez

I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas

Yeah 3X - Chris Brown

I Like It - Enrique Iglesias

Please Don't Stop the Music - Rihanna

Dessert

Lucky - Jason Mraz

Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra

Reasons to Love You - Meiko

Falling in Love At a Coffeeshop - Landon Pigg

The Book of Love - Peter Gabriel

Don't You Forget About Me - Nada Surf

Open Dance:

Single Ladies - Beyonce

On the Floor - Jennifer Lopez

Fire Burning - Sean Kingston

Firework - Katy Perry

Hey Baby - Pitbull

OMG - Usher

Like a G6 - Far East Movement

DJ Got Us Falling in Love - Usher

Tik Tok - Ke$ha

One More Time - Daft Punk

Low - Flo Rida

Stronger - Kanye West

Mo Money Mo Problems - Notorious BIG

Empire State of Mind - Jay Z

New York, New York - Frank Sinatra 

 

Wednesday
May112011

An unexpected time-lapse photography proposal.

My good friend Michael Porco over at Michael Justin Films caught this wedding proposal by chance. Thought I'd share his post in hopes of tracking them down...

http://michaeljustinfilms.com/an-unexpected-time-lapse-memory/

I find that the best things in life are often unexpected.

I woke up this morning to a beautiful day in New York City. Rather than waste it, I decided to take my camera into Central Park and snap some photos. After putzing around for about an hour and taking some [rather lame] pictures, I decided to do a time-lapse of the Bethesda Fountain. Often a nice tourist spot, I figured I would get a cool looking time lapse of the crowd. I set my camera and my intervelometer to take a photo every 5 seconds. About a minute in though, it started to drizzle. I packed up my gear and headed home.

The time-lapse amounted to less than a half of a second when played back at normal speed. Not surprising since I only recorded a photo every 5 seconds for 1 minute. I was about to delete the sequence when something in my head said “review them before deleting.”

And that’s when I saw it. Directly in the middle of the frame, as if I had planned it: a man proposing to his girlfriend. 50 seconds. 10 pictures. A fleeting moment now relive-able.

I don’t know who this couple is or where they’re from. I don’t know if they’re New Yorkers or here on vacation. Finding them will be near impossible. But in this social world of Facebook and Twitter, I’m hoping we can track them down. This is something they should have.

UPDATE 5/11: So far no leads have turned up, yet the word is slowly spreading. I realize adding the time might be helpful, so… I was taking these photos on Saturday May 7th at around 12:41 pm in Central Park. Please post it on Facebook/Twitter, maybe go back to Saturday’s posts and see if any of your friends congratulated anyone on a recent engagement. Anything might and can lead us to this couple!

 

 

Wednesday
Apr202011

Jay-Z @ Your Wedding Ceremony

Michelle + Michael were recently married in a beautiful rooftop ceremony in Manhattan. Just before the ceremony, they treated their guests to a piano version of Jay Z + Alicia Keys' Empire State of Mind.  A perfect, classy, fun welcome for their out-of-town guests...and a great idea!

Empire State of Mind - Piano Tribute Players

 Download this song full-length:
 
 
Wednesday
Mar162011

AMDJ featured in New York Weddings Magazine!

 

Tuesday
Mar152011

Playlist: Alejandra + Eugene


During Alejandra + Eugene's wedding in January, I was reading the back of the ceremony program where they included a passage from the introduction of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It ends: "...above all, have a good time."  It was perfectly fitting since Alejandra is a talented food writer, baker and blogger.

And when you think about it, what better sentiment to share (and remember) on the happiest day of your life:

"...above all, have a good time."

 You've probably spent the better part of a year or more planning, meeting with vendors, traveling all over the NYC area making appointments, attending to so many little details to ensure the *perfect* personal, unique wedding.....now today's finally the day. So remember to take a few moments, just soak it in -- and have a good time.

Alejandra + Eugene's wedding at the Metropolitan Building had so many amazing, personal touches, I'm not sure where to start.  Well, how about the cake? Some brides do their own makeup, Alejandra baked her own cake. And iced it the morning of her wedding.  And she made her own bouquet. A friend read I Like You during the ceremony (I went out + bought the book for my girlfriend the very next day); Eugene's brother delivered one of the funniest (and classiest) best man toasts I've ever heard; guests sat at these loooong family-style tables making it more intimate for conversation; her father surprised the couple with a mariachi band.

Their music playlist? Fantastic: everything from Duke Ellington to Pink Martini; Marvin Gaye to Katy Perry. They chose music that got everyone up + dancing, some tunes with a little Puerto Rican flavor.  Check out their full playlist here.

I can't remember being around such a warm, friendly group of people. Alejandra + Eugene, their parents, friends and family were eating, drinking, smiling and dancing all night...having a good time.  And that's what a wedding should be.

All photos by CMOSTR Photography. Coordination by Kate + Green Apple Weddings.

Tuesday
Jan182011

Ceremony/Entrance Song: "Moth's Wings" by Passion Pit

Last night, Evan + Cherish entered their wedding to the song "Moth's Wings" by Passion Pit -- my new favorite for couples looking for an entrance that's sophisticated, classy, indie but fun.  They were intro'd right at about the :24 mark, walked through the doors of the Manhattan Penthouse and went right into a special version of "Somewhere Only We Know," sung the groom's band, Letters Lost.

 

"Moth's Wings"  – Passion Pit

 
Download this song full-length:
 
 
Wednesday
Jan052011

Videographer: Michael Justin Films

I wanted to share some recent work of a talented NYC wedding cinematographer, Michael Justin Films.  I've worked with filmmaker Michael Porco on a few projects; I really can't speak highly enough of his fresh perspective...

Thursday
Dec232010

Happy Holidays from AMDJ!

 

Friday
Oct152010

New York Magazine - Winter Wedding Issue

Aria Melody DJ is listed in the 2010 Winter Wedding Issue of New York Magazine.  Sweet!

Wednesday
Sep292010

Aria Melody DJ on The Indie Bride!

Thanks to Erika & friends over at The Indie Bride for their blog entry today featuring Aria Melody DJ:

HEY MR. DJ: TIPS FOR A ROCKIN' WEDDING PLAYLIST

For many couples researching their wedding music playlist, it’s a daily routine of polling friends, scribbling down songs heard on the radio or running their Shazam app while in Starbucks. How do they ensure their playlist isn’t the same old, tired wedding playlist?

John of Aria Melody DJ lists his favorite 25 unique songs, compiled from client playlists, commercials, movies, his own iTunes library and of course running his Shazam app while in Starbucks. “Many guests go to several weddings a year. I’ve been invited to four this year alone. It’s a great idea to come up with a playlist unique to you as a couple and offer your friends’ and family’s ears something different and guaranteed to keep them dancing.”

25 Songs Your Wedding Reception Playlist is Missing

Dinner/Cocktail Hour:

  • The Littlest Birds – The Do Good Tanyas
  • Better Than Love – Griffin House
  • Neopolitan Dreams – Lisa Mitchell
  • Just Like Heaven – Katie Melua
  • Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
  • Bim Bam Baby – Frank Sinatra
  • Gotta Have You – The Weepies
  • Today – Joshua Radin
  • Your Love is a Song – Switchfoot
  • The Book of Love – Peter Gabriel
  • Us – Regina Spektor
  • Nightswimming – REM
  • Dreamgirl – Dave Matthews Band

Dancing:

  • Skokiaan (South African Song) – Louis Armstrong
  • Jump In the Line – Harry Belafonte
  • Get Ready – Temptations
  • Give It Up (Pt. 2) – Marvin Gaye
  • Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) – The Jacksons
  • Get Up Off That Thing – James Brown
  • A Little Respect – Erasure
  • (I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles – The Proclaimers
  • Late in the Evening – Paul Simon
  • La Vida Es Un Carnaval – Celia Cruz
  • Shut It Down – Pitbull featuring Akon
  • When Love Takes Over – David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland

Ready to start working on your own playlist? Keep reading for some helpful tips!

Tips for Crafting a Unique Wedding Playlist

 

Ceremony/Processional: Check out Vitamin String Quartet on iTunes for classical/string covers of your favorite classic & contemporary rock titles. They’ve performed what seems like every artist out there: Billy Joel, U2, Coldplay, Tool, The Killers, The Beatles, Kanye West and more.

Editor’s Note: I couldn’t agree more! I personally have a huge collection of Vitamin String Quartet on my iPod, and it’s a laidback and sophisticated way to let your inner rockstar shine through during your ceremony.

- Consider alternatives to classical music when walking down the aisle. Composer Mark Mothersbaugh (The Life Aquatic, Rushmore, Royal Tenenbaums) does some great song titles perfect for a wedding processional or recessional. Sparkplug Minuet and Let Me Tell You About My Boat are two of my favorites. Orba Squara also has some great titles (Warm Fuzz, Sky Cloud Winter Breeze).

Photo by Daniel Krieger PhotographyCeremony/Recessional: Other favorites to give your ceremony a funky (but appropriate) vibe, perfect for the moment after “I now pronounce you…”: Blinuet by Zoot Sims, Joy by Apollo 100, Another Sunny Day by Belle & Sebastian.

Cocktail Hour: Consider a “never-spoken of” theme for cocktail hour or dinner. Maybe you want to recreate the vibe of your first trip together to Spain with a little Spanish guitar. Or, complement your urban chic city-view wedding with some favorites from Hotel Costes, Zero 7 or Imogen Heap. I worked with one couple who met in Brooklyn. Their cocktail hour was all BK-born artists: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Neil Diamond, The Strokes, Barbra Streisand and MGMT. Another wanted all cover songs of their favorites: Obadiah Parker acoustic version of Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” Jack Johnson’s cover of Sublime’s “Bad Fish” and Cat Powers doing Phil Philips’ “Sea of Love.”

Dinner: Couples don’t have many opportunities to slow dance outside of wedding receptions. Let them share in your wedding day joy by playing a few of their first dances. Ask your parents, siblings, friends or coworkers what they danced to on their wedding night and add a few to your dinner playlist. They’ll appreciate hearing “On the Wings of Love” after so many years.

Photo by Ann Constance PhotographyDancing: Consider your favorite artists’ OTHER songs: Think Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady” instead of “Respect;” “Meet Me Halfway” by Black Eyed Peas instead of “I Gotta Feeling;” MJ’s “Workin’ Day and Night” instead of “Billie Jean.”

- Include Paul Simon’s “Late in the Evening” on your playlist. People. Love. This. Song.

- If parents insist on “dances” – Harry Belafonte’s “Jump In the Line” is a tasteful alternative to “The Locomotion.” Similarly, guests will twist to Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell” – so forget Chubby Checker’s overplayed “Twist.”

Aria Melody DJ was founded by brothers Paul and John Sinclair in 2004, promising “No lights. No fog. No gimmicks.” Since the company launched, they have provided soundtracks to more than 200 weddings in the New York and New Jersey area. Please visit www.ariamelody.com for more details as well as the company’s blog for recommended playlists, wedding music advice and inspiration.

Monday
Sep062010

Music shuffle!

Joshua Radin

I was cleaning off an old music drive this week (in anticipation of a busy fall wedding season) and found a few random favorites that don't seem to fit into any particular category.  So I'll just call it a random music shuffle...

"Sweet Disposition" - The Temper Trap

"North By North" - Faded Paper Figures

"End of the Line" - Traveling Wilburys

"Each Day Gets Better" - John Legend

"Skokiaan" - Louis Armstrong

"Today" - Joshua Radin

Purchase these songs on Amazon or iTunes:

 



Thursday
Sep022010

Always Order Dessert.

I'm particularly excited to work with Alejandra & Eugene on their January '11 wedding.  We met a few weeks back in Starbucks, hit it off and were completely in-sync with musical tastes. As we talked about likes & dislikes, Eugene explained there was a certain Doobie Brothers song he wanted to add to the playlist to which I said "Oh, I was just in the car last night and heard a great Doobie Brothers song on Q104.3 -- I couldn't remember the name of it...so I turned on Shazam.  It was 'Long Train Runnin'."  "Thats the one!"  

In addition to working in the fashion industry, Alejandra is creator & writer of the delicious blog "Always Order Dessert."  So if you've ever wondered how to make the perfect Peppadew, Peach & Feta Side Salad or amazing Salted Honey Butter Caramels, check it out here!

Now that I've got a fancy kitchen in the Aria Melody World Headquarters in Hoboken and a girlfriend who loves healthy desserts, I'll need to try some of these recipes.  Girls dig guys who can cook.

Tuesday
Aug242010

PHOTOGRAPHY: Daniel Krieger

Daniel Krieger's work is amazing: he's voted one of NYC's best wedding photographers by Time Out New York. And he works on assignment for The New York Times. And he's one of my favorite photographers to work with.

I met him a few years back at Emily & Rob's wedding at Liberty House and since then, we've run into one another at a wedding here...a wedding there....and I've always been impressed by his laid back, unobtrusive and low key style.

There are a lot of wedding photographers out there who take stale, generic, posed pictures but Daniel is one of the best because he sees things differently and captures a moment you never knew was there.
 

Here are some favorites from his site, Daniel Krieger Photography.  - John


Thursday
Aug052010

On vacation 5 August - 18 August...

Thursday
Jul292010

Old School Wedding Playlist: (AKA This is How We Do It)

Top 5 Moment of My Life: Meeting Shock-Q (AKA Humpty Hump) from Digital Underground. He even let me wear his nose which explains why I was sick for like a weekA relatively new obsession that's emerged over the past few years is my drop-everything compulsion to track down the origin of catchy hooks and beats whenever I hear them sampled by songs on the radio.  "Think" by Kim Weston is at the top of the most-sampled list - pieces of that song have been sampled (mostly by 8os & 90s hip hop artists) in everything from Doo Doo Brown to It Takes Two.  (click here to read that blog entry).

So I'm in Starbucks meeting with Jen & Ira to talk about their July '11 wedding and I hear what sounds like the intro to House of Pain's "Jump Around."  A few notes in, I realize its the original "Harlem Shuffle" by Bob & Earl.  I never put two-and-two together and realized where the sample was from.  That brought up the topic of 80s & 90s hip hop - one of my favorite areas/styles of expertise. I may not know country or trance inside & out but 80s & 90s hip hop....that I know.

 If you're in the market for a solid 80s/90s hip hop wedding playlist, here are some of my favorite picks:

RUN DMC- Run DMC: It's Tricky, Walk This Way, It's Like That

- Salt N Pepa: Push It, Shoop, Whatta Man

- Tribe Called Quest: Scenario

- Notorious BIG: Hypnotize, Juicy

- House of Pain: Jump Around

- Rob Base: It Takes Two, Joy & Pain

- Black Sheep: The Choice is Yours

- Young MC: Bust a Move

- Digital Underground: Humpty Dance, Kiss You Back, Doowhatchulike

- Wreckx N Effect: Rumpshaker

- Arrested Development: Tennessee, Mr. Wendal

Mama Said Knock You Out- LL Cool J: Jinglin' Baby, I Need Love

- Tone Loc: Funky Cold Medina, Wild Thing

- Beastie Boys: Hey Ladies, Brass Monkey, Intergalactic, She's Crafty

- Slick Rick: Mona Lisa

- Warren G: Regulators

- Skee Lo: I Wish

- Paperboy: Ditty

- Naughty By Nature: OPP, Hip Hooray

- Lauryn Hill: Doo Wop (That Thing)

- Tony Toni Tone - Feels Good, If I Had No Loot

Hat 2 Da Back- Missy Elliot - Get Ur Freak On, Work It

- Montell Jordan: This Is How We Do It

- Nelly: Country Grammar 

- TLC: Hat 2 Da Back, No Scrubs, Unpretty, What About Your Friends

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