...here's the thing: I'm not a trained monkey, and I'm not anyone's minion. Even though I do spin music for the enjoyment of others, I DO actually put a ton of time, energy and thought into my setlist for Right Round.
Seriously, I do.
In fact, I work on it and it only for the week prior to the gig. Always have, always will. I don't schedule any other meetings, events, dates, ect. Ask my man-friend. Instead, I come home, start working at around 6:30, and stop at about 10:00, occasionally stopping to take the odd phone call - although if you know me well, you know not to bug me during that period of time, unless someone is going to the hospital or to jail - or unless you're my mom; then you're off the hook. If you want to hang out with me during said week, you will do so under the guise that you are going to basically sit there and watch me work, and can expect little more out of me than a muttered swear when mixes don't work, or the occasional "woo hoo" when they do. Not many people enjoy this kind of fun and frolic, and I can't say I blame them. Sounds about as interesting as watching an ant carrying one of those big leaf thingys over a rock or something.
That said, I am now going to go on a ridiculously long rant. It may seem unreasonable, but I just need to spew this one out, k?
Okay, so I'm guessing it's easy to see that I consider the flow of Right Round to be a very important ingredient in whipping up the appropriate music-induced dancing frenzy - I practice transitions over and over, I work on mixes till I'm blue in the face, and I take copious notes, so that I will stay extraordinarily aware of what I've played for the last 5 years - then none of us will get super sick of hearing the same stuff every time.
So now I must admit something that may be understandable, but that, on another level, I find mortifyingly embarassing about myself: I find it incredibly (and almost inexcusably) offensive when someone gives me grief regarding what I do not or will not play during the course of any given Right Round. I say that this is embarassing because I am not a diva or a snob by nature, am quite flattered that anybody gives a crap whatsoever, and in spite of some fairly ridiculously huge social phobias, actually work hard at being quite pleasant and approachable. And, after all, I AM just spinning records, not re-designing the Louvre or building a better ice cream cake, or something equally stunning like that...
SOOOOO, all of THAT said, here (finally) is my point: Last Saturday, a Right Round attendee came up and requested a particular artist (I will not name said artist, or later said song in order to maintain this person's anonimity - I have nothing against this particular person as a fellow human being sharing this planet with the rest of us, I just have issue with the manner in which this request and its follow-up were handled. And I have a blog, so I'm now free to complain my heart out. You follow me?) This person soon came back and changed their request to a particular song by a different artist. I actually already schemed a way to get the first request done, so I did it. The second was a kind of upbeat song that didn't quite fit with where I was in that moment, so I was taking my time getting to it.
Can't remember the actual timing, but eventually this person came back again, and had the audacity to reprimand me in a rather obnoxious fashion about not playing their requests. NOW, keep in mind that not only had I played one thing this person wanted to hear, but between the 3 visits I received from this person, I had NUMEROUS other requests - some I honored, some I didn't. No biggie. Happens all the time, and only on 3 occasions, including this one, have I received flack for not playing a song - there was the guy in the "Party Your Ass off - New Orleans" shirt who, I believe, drunkenly insisted that I play The Cult during a hip hop night (remember him?), and some other guy who asked me to play hip hop (when I was playing hip hop of an old school nature) - then, when I told him I was, in fact, playing hip hop, said, "I mean CURRENT hip hop". UGH UGH UGH. What is it with you naysayers?????
Again, remember, I am generally a nice person - however I am also almost unreasonably protective over my process - so, to that person, if they are reading this - what did you expect me to say in return, exactly? Maybe, "Oh thank you SO much for interrupting me again, I REALLY appreciate how much you would like to hear this song, and will bust right into what I'm doing to play it for you." or maybe, "geepers, that request is so stunning - maybe you should stand here and dictate the rest of the evening for me, since your taste supercedes that of both the other people here and the person who you paid to spin records that they chose for your enjoyment. " Hmm, something like that? That's kind of what I'm thinking.
You're wondering what I really said, right? It's really not that clever or stunning, but it was how I felt in the moment.
First, I said, "Dude - I'm not a jukebox." The person didn't hear me, but instead REMINDED me that this was the THIRD time they'd had to come up to tell me what they wanted. So I told them, "Relax - I'll play it when I play it IF I play it, K?" It wasn't actually intended to be a great retort - or even necessarily very obnoxious, but apparently it was a really effective way to make the person go away and not come back. Which they did. Or did not... whatever...
The irony was that I had this person's song queued up, and as they stormed from the room, I started it up. Everyone else really enjoyed it, by the way - good job, my friend - I wouldn't have thought to put that one there.