When the DJ is Killing You, What Do You Do?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by 1 Improbable Salsero, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. Lately I have been having a lot of nights out where the music choices are just killing me. It may be due to the fact
    that the more music one hears, the more discerning and selective one becomes. As a newbie everything is great, but the longer one dances, the less tolerant one becomes. In my case, I have had a couple of nights where I just left early because it was bad and not getting better. One place (not a regular venue) played 75% bachata. Another played 50% romantica. I can take a romantica or two per night, but I have to force myself to dance, as I just don't do well with it - it doesn't make me want to dance. I find many of these songs are just too chill, too spineless, too bleah for me. I have found that if I sit out dances and mope about the music it detracts from the fun I have, so I have taken to just dancing whatever comes up and making the best of it. This is still my best bet, but certain DJs and certain nights just make it so hard if they neglect the kind of music I enjoy . Give me salsa dura, mambo, the classics, something with clave and I am fine. But when most of the night is everything but, it makes me want to not stay. I now avoid certain places because of bad experience with the music played. Many of the regular places I go have different DJ's rotating through, so I have a hard time knowing where to go

    My limited experience in the big cities - SF, NY - seems to indicate the quality of the music is much more in tune with my tastes, but in my neck of the woods it is very inconsistent.

    Do you ever talk to the promoter or DJ about the music? I have taken to making sure to thank and praise a DJ who has a great playlist; but I feel like if I take the opposite tack and point out the things I don't care for it just sounds like whining. So I just try to dance every song, and maybe leave early and try another place next time if it
    is too bad for me. This seems to be happening frequently lately.I know they can't please everyone every song, and I don't mind an occasional bachata, merengue, or kizomba, but if the playlist is not 80-90% salsa, it is not my kind of place.

    Do you find it harder and harder to find enjoyable music to dance to? How do you handle this?
    MAMBO_CEC, Zaperoko, matty and 2 others like this.
  2. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    If the DJ is clueless / the line is about playing 'anything but good salsa' - I just stop coming there.

    If the DJ is not clueless, but does play some very annoying songs (or avoid some genres that I really adore) - I have a habbit of befriending them. Most would quickly learn what I like (or hate) and consider it, just as they should consider the rest of the crowd. (Those guys usually have a good collection of music and refined taste, but they know that many dancers do not dance to such music).

    In fact, some DJs already have a habbit of asking me how the music is. As a friend, my enjoyment is important to them. :)

    -What you describe, however, sounds like the first case, though.
    Zaperoko likes this.
  3. you buy a cowbell and play it when you are bored. Thats what i do. Although for me assuming they are playing mostly salsa what i don't like is when they play guaguanco after guaguanco after guaguanco.
    Salsaurus Mex and MAMBO_CEC like this.
  4. Tomm

    Tomm Tumbao

    Did you ever get complaints about you banging the cowbell? Did you mute it somehow ?

    What do others think about people playing the cowbell? Is it cool or annoying?
  5. MrR

    MrR Son Montuno

    I have the same trouble with DJs that are advertised with "Salsa all styles" and it's only (very slow and unenergetic) "mambo" mixed with bachata and kizomba. But i also know a casino DJ that plays extremly slow songs all evening (whenever he is single as he uses those songs, nobody other is trained to dance to, to stand out of the crowd and pick up girls.). Everytime this happens the venues have a tendency to empty an hour earlier as usual, no matter how full it was before, and the crowd never gets really hot.

    The method "stop coming" is bad if it is one of two venues during the week.
    As long as i like the crowd i have trained myself to interpret the music how it speaks to me. Luckily, playing mambo after mambo around here quickly makes room on the floor as, aside from the elitist core, few people really feel like dancing to it (no matter what they verbally say).
    I have developed a style of slow and very room dependent dancing with very expressive moves. The typical mambo-normalized follow here is too uncreative for that, but i have met quite some that like that way of moving a lot. While i still think the music is the essence of boring, i manage to get good dances to it because i invest more in the connection to the partner.
    Typical comment of the follows: "I have no idea what we just danced, but it is great!"
    It was often assumed, that i took the moves from Zouk - which i did not know before, i took the moves from the follows i danced with. :)

    With romantica songs, there are many which i think are nice for partying, singing along etc. but are not that good for dancing. Those are often good to get a fun dance with some pretty beginner, who cannot manage her feet anyway ... ;)

    When the (dance-)quality of the music decreases, the importance of the connection to the partner increases. So after a few bad songs in a row i start looking out for partners with an intense connection. I have the benefit, that the partner to me counts more than the music anyway - if i was a music-junky, who needed the partner only as a completion for his musical experience, that would differ a lot i guess.
    1 Improbable Salsero likes this.
  6. Chris_Yannick

    Chris_Yannick Shine Officer

    My song tastes were destroyed the moment I moved to a city where the predominant style is different than mine.

    Complaining will maybe get you a few nicer songs out of the evening, but nowadays I don't even bother.

    I've made the best out of a bad situation. I am no longer as picky with songs as I used to be. I am a happier person because of it. But my motivation for improving as a dancer has disappeared.

    If you have choices, just go to a different venue.
    Slowdance likes this.
  7. Zaperoko

    Zaperoko Son

    As a DJ where I now live (moved here 3 years ago), the crowd mostly wants Marc Anthony and Colombian Salsa. They'll tolerate a few Salsa Dura songs here and there, but I certainly can't roll out a long set of classics. I try to sneak in as much Salsa Dura whenever there are many members of the salsa academy at the club , but otherwise I have to stick to the most ripe and overplayed songs from groups or artists such as Sonora Carruseles and Oscar D'Leon. I can't push the envelope too much or the non-Salsa crowd grows restless. The music taste is much different here than where I used to live. I used to DJ in Washington D.C. where the crowd was very open to Salsa Dura.
  8. Zaperoko

    Zaperoko Son

    THIS. As a DJ, I am much more likely to play Salsa Dura if I know them and they are friendly!
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  9. Slowdance

    Slowdance Descarga

    I'm not too up on what constitutes salsa dura. I thought I was, but now I'm uncertain. Can you list a few artists you consider to be salsa dura?

    As a more general reply to the rest of the thread, I've become less a fan of jazzy salsa tracks than I used to be. But it depends on which kind of jazzy. I'll never get tired of Ray Barretto style jazzy tracks, but a lot of jazzy tracks I hear when watching social dances on youtube are a more cheesy or saccharine style. Too syrupy for my tastes.

    I have also grown weary of songs that have tons and tons of hits and breaks and an extra 2 counts here or an extra 3 counts there, and its all throughout the song, and you more or less have to know all the breaks in advance because they arent merely breaks telegraphed by the rise and fall of the tension but rather they are more about the musicians playing off the page and showing their stuff. And thats cool, I like breaks. But at a certain point it becomes like dancing to a 19 minute long track by the band Yes from the 70s where the song is in some crazy time signature, like something off Tales From Topographic Oceans. Which is my favorite Yes album. But I like breaks and hits and tension to feel melodic and organic, I dont like dancing to the musician show-off music. Because it invariably becomes dancer show-off music, and those who know the exact pattern of strange hit and silent moments over a nonstandard section with extra beats, well those folks look cool doing their moves to the weird 7/8 6/8 4/4 9/16 King Crimson sections before it goes back to 4/4. And everyone who doesn't know the exact hits looks like a fool.

    So yeah, breaks are cool, but show some restraint please, DJs. :)

    Also, from a Bachata perspective, and I know lots of you dont like bachata, but I have grown to hate all the pop mix sensual bachata that people kizombachata to or whatever. DJs, Give me some hardcore Dominican, or get out! :)
  10. Zaperoko

    Zaperoko Son

    I am using the term Salsa Dura label very loosely. I'd say Angel Canales, Ismael Rivera, Ray Barretto, Johnny Colon, Cuco Valoy or Marvin Santiago just to throw out a few names. But I'll also consider a Gran Combo song if it is some of the less commercial stuff like Irimo, for example. I could list out a lot more names, but these are the more well known artists that I try to work in from time to time.

    Jazzy stuff definitely doesn't go over well here. Good way to clear the dance floor though. ;)
    Slowdance likes this.
  11. Tomm

    Tomm Tumbao

    good taste in music outside of salsa :)
    Slowdance likes this.
  12. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Could you give examples of these 2 phenomena please?
  13. Slowdance

    Slowdance Descarga

    Unfortunately I can't list any by name because usually when I hear them I don't go on the dance floor, and I usually don't Shazam/Soundhound them. I use them as a chance to hit the restroom or chat. But next time I hear some, I'll try to Soundhound them and make a small list, if I can remember.
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  14. MrR

    MrR Son Montuno

    Would interest me too. Probably, because i guess, that in many cases it's the same kind of song that wasted more than a few evenings. But i have the same tendency - when the DJ plays music that i cannot dance to i take a break instead of wasting energy into that thing.

    I actually would dare to declare that kind of music objectively "bad" - at least for social dancing with the "just dance" concept, that is typical for salsa, because it breaks this concept and requires you to learn the song first.
    Based on this i dare to describe the DJs, that play this music a lot (on occasions where there is no communication, that it is about this kind of music) actually bad DJs.
    This is not about a taste of music, it is about using the wrong combination of music-concept and event-concept. It is like a movie that only is interesting if you watched it 2 or 3 times before.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  15. Slowdance

    Slowdance Descarga

    Of course, its possible that what appears to be Emerson Lake and Palmer to me is merely Asia to skilled dancers, and they have no problem dancing to it in the Heat of the Moment. But to my brain its just the Endless Enigma. :)

    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  16. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    'Like It or Not', but keep this 'Trenpassing' here on the Salsa Forums, and you may end up finding yourself 'Alone Tonight', and with 'No Replay' at all.

    If, however, you really insist on 'Looking for Someone' who can 'Read Behind the Lines' and have an 'Open Door' for such jokes, then I suggest that you should 'Duke' it in the 'Foxtrot' forums instead.

    *And if you wany to impress them in 'Your Own Special Way', I recomend that you first store an 'Aisle of Plenty' referrences, and then, 'One Day', once you already have 'Many Too Many' - Let 'Em Out by Friday', all in one go. :)
    Slowdance likes this.
  17. just curious what do you think is slow mambo? i have a feeling that you really aren't talking about mambo. real mambo.

  18. I only know of one salsa song that has 2 extra beats. are you talking about extra measures/bars?
  19. Personally i haven't got any complains about it. But make sure you learn how to play it nicely before you do. Its very annoying when somebody plays the cowbell incorrectly.
    matty, Slowdance, DJ Yuca and 2 others like this.
  20. MrR

    MrR Son Montuno

    That's why i put it in " ".

    Ok, i do not like the "real" label as it often points to some elitarian ideal. But i myself do not see it as the core of the music, that makes people want to dance. I more think, that people think it is a superior music because only the superior dancers (the ones who can make sense out of it) really dance to it and then make the wrong conclusion ("better dancers" => "better music" instead of "harder to dance music" => "only better dancers can really dance to it")

    But the music that i meant here is more described by the slow AND unenergetic way, with the latter being the problematic. It is often accompanied by unnecessarily complex or at least hard to get patterns - which slowdance described. (On the other hand, some of these songs have very simple patterns but sound like their should be something more behind all the time ... unsatisfying)
    I have learned it to be mambo because the people that try to dance on 2 always say it would be the great mambo music (they look like it was their own funeral when they dance to it - i think it's more some learned superiority complex than a real preference for the music). And as i do not like the music and am not into music theoretics i just never bothered to learn the official labeling.

    I know the same problem with a local cuban scene, where it of course are other genres but the same kind of boring music with and elitarian inner circle. It is not about the genre, it is about the individual song.

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