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What is your favorite dinner party music?

Fowler Jul 17, 2011 07:27 PM

If I am hosting I usually play jazz. If the food is very specific to one region I will play the music from that region. Maybe that explains why I rarely serve Polish food. :-)

What is your favorite dinner party music?

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  1. b
    beevod RE: Fowler Jul 18, 2011 07:10 AM


    13 Replies
    1. re: beevod
      Fowler RE: beevod Jul 18, 2011 07:36 AM

      More of a TV type of person?

      1. re: beevod
        pikawicca RE: beevod Jul 19, 2011 06:42 PM

        I'm with you. I no longer play music during dinner parties; I find it intrusive.

        1. re: pikawicca
          cedarflat RE: pikawicca Jul 20, 2011 04:35 PM

          Yep. Used to; don't any more.

          1. re: cedarflat
            Fowler RE: cedarflat Jul 26, 2011 10:23 AM

            Based upon some of the comments about not doing it anymore, I wonder if age is a factor? I know I am having a harder time hearing the spoken word over music in restaurants so that is why I keep the music very low when hosting. A level that will not interfere with conversation.

            1. re: Fowler
              Bill Hunt RE: Fowler Apr 10, 2012 07:14 PM

              "What did you say... ?"

              For music, I still play it, but chose carefully, and attenuate the volume well.

              When someone notices, and asks me the performer, or the composer, I know that I have failed.


        2. re: beevod
          benila RE: beevod Jul 24, 2011 03:51 PM


          1. re: benila
            benila RE: benila Jul 27, 2011 11:37 PM


            1. re: benila
              Fowler RE: benila Jul 28, 2011 10:20 AM


            2. re: benila
              Bill Hunt RE: benila Apr 10, 2012 07:14 PM


              They said that you were a person of "few words," but I had not expected this... [Grin]


              1. re: Bill Hunt
                hill food RE: Bill Hunt Apr 11, 2012 01:19 AM

                yes really. on every thread benila just rattles on and on and on...

                1. re: hill food
                  Bill Hunt RE: hill food Apr 11, 2012 07:58 PM

                  {Insert big grin here]


                2. re: Bill Hunt
                  benila RE: Bill Hunt Apr 12, 2012 12:35 AM


              2. re: beevod
                pine time RE: beevod Jul 30, 2011 08:10 AM

                Agree--none. Maybe it is age. We're over the speed limit (55++) and find music often intrusive. And don't even get me started about music in malls, altho' I tell hubbie that we're not the target demographic...

              3. b
                beevod RE: Fowler Jul 18, 2011 08:05 AM

                No. Generally, dinner party music tends to be intrusive and "easy listening" second rate. Now if my hosts hired a string quartet playing Mozart or Haydn, I'd stay until dessert.

                15 Replies
                1. re: beevod
                  Bill Hunt RE: beevod Apr 10, 2012 07:17 PM

                  We have hired a "string quartet," but I instruct them to keep it low, and work to pick the portfolio, that they play. Again - no one should ever notice. The local symphonies have provided some very talented "youngsters," who "got it."


                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                    Chinon00 RE: Bill Hunt Apr 10, 2012 07:33 PM

                    You want the music to be unobtrusive so you hire a string quartet?

                    1. re: Chinon00
                      Bill Hunt RE: Chinon00 Apr 10, 2012 09:42 PM

                      Yes, and instruct them on what I want for my background. What is so hard to understand about that?


                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                        Chinon00 RE: Bill Hunt Apr 11, 2012 04:28 AM

                        If your goal is for the music not to be highlighted, wouldn't recorded music be a better choice; versus hiring four musicians to play (even quietly) in one's home?

                        1. re: Chinon00
                          Bill Hunt RE: Chinon00 Apr 11, 2012 08:13 PM

                          It depends on the overall mood, that one wishes to create. Sometimes, a little "show" is a positive, so long as the music does not intrude.

                          To date, the "kids" from the symphony have gotten it, and performed beautifully. Plus, it gives them a "paying gig," and wife is on the Symphony board, so is doing her part.

                          On the other side of the "live music: coin, we hosted a party for about 350. The owner of the venue strongly recommended a band, as they had a broad repertoire. Without an audition, we agreed.

                          Now, in my youth, I photographed live rock, so know what loud is. These guys were LOUD. After a half-dozen guests complained to me, I approached the band on a break, and spoke about the dB level. At first, I was told that they always played their music loud. I responded that I was the person paying for their gig, so they needed to make me, and my guests happy. They toned it down, but kept upping the volume. When they did, I just walked by, shaking my checkbook at them. Going to a concert is one thing, but paying for a band at an event is totally different. The guy with the checkbook holds all the cards, and is "the boss."

                          We learned to NEVER hire a band, or allow one to be hired, without a formal audition, and a long discussion about what the band's real role is to be. If they cannot do "background," then I seldom hire them, unless I am promoting a concert.

                          At least the symphony "kids" have all gotten it. Never one question, and never anything but a high degree of professionalism. I like that.


                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                            Fowler RE: Bill Hunt Apr 11, 2012 09:40 PM

                            " They toned it down, but kept upping the volume. When they did, I just walked by, shaking my checkbook at them."

                            Interesting, Bill, how some try to resolve a simple issue.

                            1. re: Fowler
                              Bill Hunt RE: Fowler Apr 11, 2012 10:22 PM

                              The monetary aspect seemed to be the only "common ground," that we had.

                              To me, it seemed to be "simple," but then to others, not so much.

                              Now, I am an "artist," but in other areas, but when a client has hired me, I understand that they "make the rules." When I am being hired, there are certain conventions, to which I must adhere. When I am doing "my own thing," then I can cut loose. When I am doing pro-bono, and am in complete control, I can do my "David Lynch/Mark Frost" thing, but when I am "on the clock," then I have a boss, to whom I must answer.


                        2. re: Bill Hunt
                          Fydeaux RE: Bill Hunt Apr 11, 2012 06:20 AM

                          Even for a dinner party where the music is not the main feature, telling a musician to play so that they wont be noticed is just not right. Would you tell an artist to paint something that no one would bother to look at, so that people will look only at your new rug? Or tell a chef "Dont cook anything so tasty that will distract from the candidate's speech."?

                          As a musician, and one who has played plenty of weddings and other social occasions over the years, I understand what you are saying. People are coming to socialize, not to hear the band, and those events would usually be better served by recorded music.

                          But unless you are telling the musicians point blank, "Here's a chance to practice for money. Just do it quietly", you are (I am certain unintentionally) insulting them.

                          1. re: Fydeaux
                            Fowler RE: Fydeaux Apr 11, 2012 08:40 AM

                            " Would you tell an artist to paint something that no one would bother to look at, so that people will look only at your new rug? Or tell a chef "Dont cook anything so tasty that will distract from the candidate's speech."?"

                            Excellent point, Fydeaux! There are some hosts (not Bill Hunt, of course) that would hire a string quartet to perform in their home and order them to be almost unnoticed so they (as the host) can maintain the center of attention. Because to them, it is not really about entertaining their guests, it is about the host being the focus of attention. The food, wine, music, etc. must not get in the way of their goal.

                            1. re: Fowler
                              Bill Hunt RE: Fowler Apr 11, 2012 08:31 PM


                              Yes. I have instructed several artists to create objects d' art for a particular purpose. To date, all have taken the commission. I had one artist travel from San Diego to Phoenix three times (I paid for the trips), to get one wall-piece just right.

                              My event, my meal, my wines, etc. ARE the "center of attention." I never am, and do not wish to be.

                              I think that you are getting much very wrong, and am not sure why, but that is your problem.

                              Sorry that you can just not understand.


                              1. re: Fowler
                                hill food RE: Fowler Apr 11, 2012 09:42 PM

                                c'mon remember there is a difference between an artist (of any type) working on spec and pouring out their heart and one that has been hired contractually on commission.

                                you don't tell a painter you tracked down and say "wow great but can you match my couch?" you just say "oh that one" or a contract is agreed upon and something is done within certain parameters like general size, colors, subject ("I want it to be a portrait of my SO in the desert if s/he had died of malnutrition after gnawing my thanatopic limbs in desperation. only make it cute."). then if you criticized saying "nah too Warholian" the artist could say "what the hell did you expect?" and file for breach of contract against you. saying it's too loud or not the jazz that was expected is sort of acceptable in a pay for play situation.

                                every musician I know has bread and butter gigs yet also lines up spots to do the stuff they truly love and plays (changing names) accordingly.

                                1. re: hill food
                                  Fowler RE: hill food Apr 11, 2012 10:15 PM

                                  Hi hill food,

                                  I am guessing you did not actually intend that to be a response to my reply? I noticed the re: Fowler in your note.

                                  1. re: Fowler
                                    hill food RE: Fowler Apr 11, 2012 10:30 PM

                                    Fowler - Hi, it was meant in general, as the line between commission and spec was getting confused. nothing personal directed at you.

                                    and while I DO respect the integrity of any artist, when one agrees to produce a specific work...well

                                  2. re: hill food
                                    Bill Hunt RE: hill food Apr 11, 2012 10:28 PM

                                    Yea. There are different gigs. Some are "open," while some are to set specs. If one is not comfortable with restrictions, they should not accept.

                                    For me, sometimes I am the "artist," and sometimes, I am the "client."

                                    There have been many assignments, where I knew that I was not the right choice, and declined, often giving a rec.. Then, there have been times, where the provider said the same thing (or very similar), and also declined. Such is life.


                                2. re: Fydeaux
                                  Bill Hunt RE: Fydeaux Apr 11, 2012 08:27 PM

                                  I think that you might be missing the point. It is NOT that they should not be "noticed," but that they should be the "background." [Think that I used that same word, but maybe not?]

                                  Maybe it is easy for me to see the differences, as I often score motion pictures for release on DVD-Video and BD, so I understand the nuances. Perhaps others just do not?

                                  As I mentioned to Chinon00, music at an event is totally different, than attending a concert (not just rock). It appears that you fully understand that difference, though some have not.

                                  At two outdoor parties, we have hired Dixieland Jazz bands (wife is from New Orleans, and those parties were NOLA-themed), and we were able to sort of "let 'em go," but after that previous party, I did have a little talk about the dB level. I learned a lesson that night, and have tried to incorporate it into every event afterward.

                                  We also produce a couple of charity events per year, and there is almost always live music. I now know to be very, very detailed about the role of the musicians.

                                  Though I have a very nice sound system, if possible, I prefer live music, where appropriate. When it's a quiet dinner for 10, no live music. When we're hosting 250, then I would always go with live, with a little pep-talk (now - "once bitten - twice shy").

                                  We just did an intimate event, and hired two harpists. That was great. I want to support the musicians in my area, even if I have appropriate recorded material. As I mentioned in the reply to Chinon00, a little bit of that is the "show," but then, I love to give some really good musicians a gig.

                                  Considering your involvement in the business, I think that I might not have been adequately clear, in what I expect. Sorry about that, and my bad.


                        3. l
                          LeoLioness RE: Fowler Jul 18, 2011 08:26 AM

                          My "dinner parties" are fairly informal (both those that I host and attend) so I think musical choices more reflect the crowd and host's favorites as opposed to "what will set the tone" here. This weekend a friend had a few of us over for dinner and we listened to a lot of Guided by Voices.

                          1. e
                            escondido123 RE: Fowler Jul 18, 2011 08:29 AM

                            If I'm having at least 10 and we're starting out with cocktails I'll try for something that sets a mood. Summer often is Harry Belafonte Gold, in the winter it could be Pavarotti if the menu is Italian or maybe Jango Rinehart. But once everyone has arrived, the music goes off--people want to talk!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: escondido123
                              Bill Hunt RE: escondido123 Apr 10, 2012 07:18 PM

                              I also agree on the "mood," and try to pick the right BACKGROUND music for that event. So long as it stays, in the background, I am pleased.


                            2. Chinon00 RE: Fowler Jul 18, 2011 08:30 AM

                              We were invited to a dinner party once where the theme was French. Everything was nice but the music.. It was that common French accordion music. Made things seem really forced. So I tend to stay away from at least the more typical ethnic music that might be associated with the cuisine (e.g. "That's Amore" and Italian). If I wanted to have some association between the food and music I might choose to play modern pop music from the country. Something interesting but nothing too intrusive tho' (i.e. Francois Hardy's album "La Question").
                              And like you I too default to jazz for a typical dinner.


                              1. missmar79 RE: Fowler Jul 18, 2011 01:40 PM

                                i like loungy music - like the budha bar cd

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: missmar79
                                  Fowler RE: missmar79 Jul 18, 2011 01:42 PM

                                  I'll have to take a look into that CD. Thanks.

                                  1. re: Fowler
                                    LorenM RE: Fowler Jul 18, 2011 05:01 PM

                                    I cooked in a restaurant that had live jazz on weekends- I kept a noose in the walk-in just in case I couldn't take it any more. Actually I do kind of like some new-agey stuff for casual background music, Ray Lynch, Jean Michel Jarre- that kind of thing or even some Ravi Shankar. Not too intrusive, mostly instrumental and just kind of hangs in the background and isn't something my grandmother used to listen to and isn't Barry Manilow, either.

                                    1. re: LorenM
                                      Fowler RE: LorenM Jul 19, 2011 07:15 AM

                                      "I cooked in a restaurant that had live jazz on weekends- I kept a noose in the walk-in just in case I couldn't take it any more. "

                                      Hahaha! I waited tables in a restaurant where the owner played the same Kenny G. CD in the dining room over and over and over night after night. I thought I would go crazy.

                                      1. re: Fowler
                                        Chinon00 RE: Fowler Jul 19, 2011 09:57 AM

                                        Kenny G isn't jazz;]

                                        1. re: Chinon00
                                          Fowler RE: Chinon00 Jul 19, 2011 10:23 AM

                                          I know!

                                      2. re: LorenM
                                        Bill Hunt RE: LorenM Apr 10, 2012 07:21 PM

                                        Ah, live music can be an issue. Though I have hired local strings, for background, I have been to too many restaurants, that had talented performers, but they were not something that I would want, at one of my dinner parties.

                                        If I notice it, it is too intrusive.


                                  2. Will Owen RE: Fowler Jul 18, 2011 06:03 PM

                                    My personal choice is either nothing or calm chamber music. Mrs. O likes her kinda punky '70s and '80s faves, B-52s and Blondie and the like; when she's in charge of the sound track she used to tune in a cable music channel, but now it's an iPod mix. It's okay, I just do the food and we're all happy.

                                    1. lilmsmuffin RE: Fowler Jul 19, 2011 03:14 PM

                                      Electronic, "lounge" style

                                      1. hill food RE: Fowler Jul 19, 2011 06:52 PM

                                        if there must be, Gilberto Getz, some Tom Waits, Nino Rota.

                                        10 Replies
                                        1. re: hill food
                                          Will Owen RE: hill food Jul 20, 2011 04:27 PM

                                          I'd go along with that. So would Mrs. O - she's a total Rota freak. Sometimes I think that's her only reason to watch Fellini movies.

                                          We aren't really addressing music in restaurants, but I'd like to say that there's an expensive-but-friendly Japanese/French place here in Pasadena, Maison Akira, where the music is classical and Baroque chamber music played just loud enough to listen if you want to, but you can still converse in normal tones. Dang, I wish that were more common!

                                          1. re: Will Owen
                                            hill food RE: Will Owen Jul 20, 2011 07:12 PM

                                            "just loud enough to listen if you want to, but you can still converse in normal tones"

                                            if only that were the trend. why restaurants started hiring dj's during the dotcom years and didn't dump the noise when that bombed is beyond me.

                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                              escondido123 RE: Will Owen Jul 21, 2011 10:16 AM

                                              There is a restaurant near us that is split into a formal dining room and then a lounge/bar with a less formal menu. The formal side has no music so you can hear every word said at the tables around you while the lounge side has music that's way too loud. Last time we were there, a group of women were whooping it up at the next table so we asked whether the music could be turned down. Hard sometimes to great the right levels. Now if the trend toward TVs in non-sports bars could only be reversed!

                                            2. re: hill food
                                              Bill Hunt RE: hill food Apr 10, 2012 07:22 PM

                                              I was thinking of Dee Snider, and played very loud...


                                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                hill food RE: Bill Hunt Apr 11, 2012 01:28 AM

                                                Hunt - yes I had you pegged for a Twisted Sister fan. (I KNEW it!) admit it. you even have the wig right?

                                                I've always thought a good idea for recorded music in a club/restaurant/bar would be to attach the woofers to a 'sprung' floor (built like a dance floor) so everyone feels the bass line and rhythm w/o really hearing it so if one chose one could don limited broadcast headphones (like a self-guided tour in a museum) for the rest of it.

                                                1. re: hill food
                                                  Bill Hunt RE: hill food Apr 11, 2012 08:40 PM

                                                  Until a recent "Kitchen Nightmares" episode, I did not know who Dee Snider was. I had heard the name, but could not quit place it. A quick Google Search turned up the answer. Then, this thread gave me an opportunity to use my new-found knowledge... [Grin]

                                                  Sorry, but I go way, way back, and seem to have missed many "pages" in the history of rock music. Shoot, Alice Cooper is younger than me (and beats me in golf at our club), but I still try to stay somewhat current on music, of all genres.

                                                  I am still bidding on Alice guitars for my younger brother, who is much more of a contemporary, than I am.

                                                  In many sound systems, with which I have worked, a "sprung floor" is not necessary. One can be made to FEEL the LFE (nowadays), by other means. However, LFE is not something that I want featured at one of my events - just the opposite. I can create sounds, that make one's insides vibrate, but only use such, where required. Dinner is not one of those instances.

                                                  The Dee Snider reference was more "in fun," but thank you for noticing.


                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                    hill food RE: Bill Hunt Apr 11, 2012 10:00 PM

                                                    I didn't think that idea would work for you I was thinking more of nightclubs that don't want to annoy the neighbors (much) I'd forgotten that Alice lives somewhere near Camelback. haven't been around there in years.

                                                    1. re: hill food
                                                      Bill Hunt RE: hill food Apr 11, 2012 10:33 PM

                                                      Yeah, he's a bit "young" for me, but then my little brother has always been a big fan.

                                                      OTOH, he is very generous with his time, and supports many common causes, plus is a great fellow, so I support him, though I could be his father.

                                                      I always try to support those, who give so openly to the community, and Alice does just that.

                                                      That said, I doubt that I would "hire" him to do one of my events, but would gladly INVITE him to attend. Big difference. Personally, I would rather have him sipping wine with me, and explaining how he beats me on the links, than "working."


                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                        hill food RE: Bill Hunt Apr 11, 2012 11:03 PM

                                                        same here. although while I do like some of his songs, the venue is crucial.

                                                        but it would be a hoot to see a bunch of folks at a fundraiser in evening wear trying to "rock out" to him in full gear circa 1975...(and if I were him I wouldn't agree to it "oh get a cover band if that's what you want")

                                                        1. re: hill food
                                                          Bill Hunt RE: hill food Apr 12, 2012 08:21 PM

                                                          Ah, the venue! That CAN be a great determinate. So much of the early shows were great, theatrical productions, and one (well, myself) often sort of forgot the music, due to the theater on stage. Many bands/performers, just before, or during that time, did similar, and often with great effect.

                                                          Now, I have to say that Alice has attended many of our events in Phoenix, and has never hesitated to mount the stage and perform. Even without any theatrics, and with, say David Foster's band, can really rock. I kinda' wish that I had been younger, and had paid a bit more attention to his music, when it was current. Nah, hat's off to him as both a performer and a philanthropist. He has never let us down. Now, if I could only be the high-bidder on one of his autographed guitars, for my little brother, who adored Alice Cooper, in his prime. If I keep missing by only one bid, at the last second, I might make a plea, when I pay him off on the golf course, for my losses?


                                            3. g
                                              golfer1 RE: Fowler Jul 21, 2011 09:07 PM

                                              Some Van Morrison, David Grey, Sam Cooke, Miles Davis, Beatles, Steely Dan...depends on the crowd, and my mood.

                                              1. f
                                                Fydeaux RE: Fowler Jul 28, 2011 05:59 AM

                                                I choose a variety of types of music, nothing that will be interuptive, but interesting enough to cause comment and provide a new topic for conversation when the inevitable lull occurs. The East Village Opera Company is very good for this, as is Rhythm Del Mundo, and Susan Werner.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Fydeaux
                                                  Bill Hunt RE: Fydeaux Apr 10, 2012 07:24 PM

                                                  Personally, I want it to be below that level. I want it to just barely enhance, but never make notice of itself.


                                                  PS - I realize that this is an older thread, and some of those, who I am replying to, might not be with us any longer, but the subject is still viable.

                                                2. ttoommyy RE: Fowler Jul 28, 2011 08:57 AM

                                                  We usually burn a mix of what my partner likes and what I like; heavy on the music preference of the person who is cobbling together the CD. This can range from classical, big band and movie theme music (his tastes) to 60s and 70s classics and contemporary alternative (my tastes). With that broad spectrum of music, at some point in the evening something will eventually play that each guest will comment on.

                                                  1. MGZ RE: Fowler Jul 29, 2011 07:43 AM

                                                    I like to abdicate some control at gatherings permitting a certain degree of spontaneity. Thus, I find that using one of the online services like LastFM or Pandora is a great way to provide some background without pretending that I can (or am interested in trying to) soundtrack the party. Pick a genre, an artist, a song, whatever and see where things go. If you think it hits a dead end, you can always pick another.

                                                    1. inaplasticcup RE: Fowler Jul 29, 2011 07:51 AM

                                                      Depending on the mood and menu, I choose from Ella, Sting, Sade, Gipsy Kings, Ottmar Liebert, Buena Vista Social Club (people always seem to LOVE this album), Putumayo lounge CDs, and other selections with a generally Latin and/or Jazz backbone...

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                        MGZ RE: inaplasticcup Jul 29, 2011 08:05 AM

                                                        If you set BVSC as your Pandora, for example, "station," you wind up with a night of music (and maybe discover some other interesting stuff, like Compay Segundo recordings) instead of only 70 minutes. Given your tastes, I think you might enjoy trying it.

                                                        1. re: MGZ
                                                          inaplasticcup RE: MGZ Jul 29, 2011 08:18 AM

                                                          Thanks, MGZ! Love Compay Segundo and will definitely check out the Pandora station.

                                                          I do, however, get a lot more airtime because I compile songs into itunes playlists. I know there are a lot of detractors, but GAWD do I love itunes, and this is but one of the many reasons... :)))

                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                            MGZ RE: inaplasticcup Jul 29, 2011 09:20 AM

                                                            In that case, you might find the LastFM design more interesting as it will synch with your iTunes and play both tracks off of it as well as recommendations based upon what is contained on it. (What can I say, we listen to a lot of music.)

                                                            1. re: MGZ
                                                              inaplasticcup RE: MGZ Jul 29, 2011 09:50 AM

                                                              I've heard of LastFM, but haven't really looked into it. Thanks for all these great music tips!

                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                hill food RE: inaplasticcup Apr 11, 2012 10:10 PM

                                                                p-cup - last.fm can lead you into all sorts of interesting segues

                                                              2. re: MGZ
                                                                hill food RE: MGZ Jul 29, 2011 06:17 PM

                                                                oooh I didn't know that thanks MGZ

                                                        2. b
                                                          benila RE: Fowler Apr 10, 2012 04:23 PM

                                                          Lonnie Donegan - Ham 'N Eggs

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: benila
                                                            Bill Hunt RE: benila Apr 10, 2012 07:27 PM

                                                            Irrespective of the title, I could only imagine that song at breakfast at Blackberry Farm, and then, only if the volume was greatly attenuated. Still, I could see a logical place for it, around a meal, but with major reservations.

                                                            Guess that it's just me?


                                                          2. Bill Hunt RE: Fowler Apr 10, 2012 07:11 PM

                                                            I have some music, that I would typify as "background," and often rely on it. I hope that no one even notices it, and as I have heard most pieces dozens of times, never even pay attention to it. It is there, but should never be noticed.


                                                            1. Veggo RE: Fowler Apr 10, 2012 07:36 PM

                                                              I have a Barry Manilow Christmas song CD I put on when my guests stay too late.

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: Veggo
                                                                Bill Hunt RE: Veggo Apr 10, 2012 09:43 PM

                                                                You know, I will bet that that DOES clear the house!


                                                                1. re: Veggo
                                                                  hill food RE: Veggo Apr 11, 2012 01:38 AM

                                                                  Veggo - that's good, but I used to get REALLY hardcore with Diamanda Galas (Wild Women with Steak Knives) or the Residents (Vileness Fats or was it DUCK STAB! - i don't recall) they always did the trick except for the stoners but they were harmless so I'd just toss a blanket on them and they'd be gone by AM.

                                                                  polka works too

                                                                  1. re: hill food
                                                                    Bill Hunt RE: hill food Apr 11, 2012 08:43 PM

                                                                    Wow! You are speaking a language, that is far beyond my "pay grade." I feel that there might be a wonderful "joke" lurking in there somewhere, but am just not qualified.

                                                                    Still, thank you for getting me to think, even if I sit, with that "old-guy blank look" on my face.


                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                      hill food RE: Bill Hunt Apr 11, 2012 10:14 PM

                                                                      google them Bill, and turn the volume down, way down, I like the Residents and there's a lot going on in there under the surface, but either them or Diamanda can make your ears curl in a protective gesture similar to the phenomenon of the cremaster reflex... yer warned

                                                                      and as for the Polka? blast it and say to yourself "ehh screw the neighbors I have slugs"

                                                                      1. re: hill food
                                                                        Bill Hunt RE: hill food Apr 11, 2012 10:36 PM

                                                                        I will do that, though will likely hide my eyes, when I get to their Web site.

                                                                        I have a feeling that I am about to encounter Captain Beefheart, and his Trout Mask Replica album. Totally uncharted territory.

                                                                        Should I book them for my next event?

                                                                        Thank you,


                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                          hill food RE: Bill Hunt Apr 11, 2012 11:10 PM

                                                                          oh the Residents love Beefheart and usually perform in tuxes and head-sized eyeball masks. nothing bad to see, but some songs are found annoying. they're a semi-anonymous collective and nobody really knows who they are or even if the line-up now has anything to do with that of the early 70's. but in a way it doesn't matter

                                                                          if they accept bookings you would be the talk of the town....but who knows. I haven't heard anything recent so who knows what toboggan ride their work has taken them down.

                                                                          1. re: hill food
                                                                            Bill Hunt RE: hill food Apr 12, 2012 08:23 PM

                                                                            Wow! Sounds interesting. I think that I am learning something, and even at my advanced age.

                                                                            Thanks for the info - though not sure that I would be playing their music at dinner (same for the good Captain).


                                                                2. wekick RE: Fowler Apr 10, 2012 09:05 PM

                                                                  We always have music but keep it low. If I am having a theme--the music goes with it and sometimes we will get a little kitschey. My only problem is my husband has a little trouble hearing and he turns it up.

                                                                  1. BubblyOne RE: Fowler Apr 11, 2012 10:29 AM

                                                                    Anything but strolling mariachis.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: BubblyOne
                                                                      Bill Hunt RE: BubblyOne Apr 11, 2012 09:08 PM

                                                                      That brings back memories!

                                                                      We were doing a great "road-trip," with a great friend. He had a major headache, and the "strolling mariachis" kept playing in his ear. He could not take it anymore, so stepped out to the parking lot. When he did, someone in a car, passing on the near-by Interstate, fired a shot at him. Really bad night. Every time that I see, or hear, "strolling mariachis," I think of that night.

                                                                      Thanks for the memories, even though I was not the "target."


                                                                    2. w
                                                                      wyogal RE: Fowler Apr 11, 2012 08:18 PM

                                                                      Live music. Our "dinner parties" around here are pretty informal. In fact, they are usually jam sessions with food.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: wyogal
                                                                        HillJ RE: wyogal Apr 12, 2012 05:15 AM

                                                                        A few of us play instruments so music is def part of most dinner parties but I have learned that if you play music that doesn't contain lyrics then you don't have that additional 'talk' competing with your dinner conversation. Volume on the low and that often changes as the dinner conversation winds down and guests are enjoying that last cocktail or coffee before heading home.

                                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                                          Chinon00 RE: HillJ Apr 12, 2012 07:30 AM

                                                                          I recall my uncle (who is a audiophile) mentioning that he'd simply reduced the mid-range in the music at parties and it always served him well; in terms of being able to have music but also have it not interfering with conversation. My current equipment doesn't have mid-range adjustment but it does have a loudness button; which boosts the bass so that it can still register at very low volume. Sort of the same thing I guess.

                                                                      2. f
                                                                        Filmm8kr900 RE: Fowler Apr 11, 2012 09:55 PM

                                                                        I am a huge fan of the station on Pandora based off of Andrew Birds album "Bowl Of Fire" check it out.

                                                                        1. njmarshall55 RE: Fowler Apr 12, 2012 07:42 AM

                                                                          "Mob Hits" played softly and in the background. Mangia!

                                                                          1. Novelli RE: Fowler Apr 13, 2012 08:08 AM

                                                                            Usually soft Italian pop/folk...Mannarino, Vinicio Caposella, Brunori SAS, Bandabardo, Il Parto delle Nuvole Pesanti, etc, but not blaringly loud. It's enjoyable sitting on the front porch with some wine and cheese, looking out into the veg garden, wind chimes clinking away.
                                                                            Very relaxing.

                                                                            1. Tangerina RE: Fowler Apr 13, 2012 09:16 PM

                                                                              Cool jazz. for dinner parties. For a romantic dinner, Billie Holiday or Frank Sinatra.

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