We are having a Halloween dance party on Friday, and I have been put in charge of the music. Apparently my living room dance parties are now the stuff of legend, and so I gladly took on this task. But if I was going to do this, and it wasn’t just going to be in-house, it was going to have to be perfect. And there was only one way to ensure that my lame taste in music did not spill through into the ultimate spooky party mix. I needed to give my kids the final say.
I constructed a list of just over 200 songs, totaling twelve and a half hours of musical euphoria. The plan was that all the local kids and parents would do a bit of pre-gaming, with food and snacks, and then we hit the neighborhood for trick-or-treating. Once we were back from that, it would be “stuff our faces with candy and dance till the sun comes up” time! 12 hours seemed like enough music. And I wasn’t sure my kids were going to make it till dawn. Also, my wife (who is co-planning the party) informed me that it was ending at 9 pm, rather than 5 am. So I was covered.
Now that the list was in place, it was time for quality control to take over. There were only a few caveats, mainly being that actual Halloween themed songs were ineligible for booting (I hope you like Thriller, kids!), but other than that there was only one rule: if my kids weren’t dancing like crazy people, the song was cut from the list. This was the only way I could do this and be objective as my favorite songs were slowly executed, one by one.
Actually, I think I did a pretty good job. My kids seemed as happy with The Vengaboys and Donna Summer as they were with Pharrell and Taylor Swift. What we lost were all of the songs from the 50’s. Rock Around the Clock is apparently not quite as rockin’ when played directly after C+C Music Factory. Sorry, Bill Haley. You see I wanted to provide something for every generation, so my basic structure was: Halloween song, Current song, 90’s song, 80’s song, 70’s song, 60’s song, and then back again. Don’t Fear the Reaper. Everything is Awesome. Zoot Suit Riot. Groove is in the Heart. Le Freak. Mustang Sally. Shake Rattle and Roll. “DADDY! THAT SONG IS BORING!” Ok.
Shake Rattle and Roll.
It was all going pretty well, with my children having a great time at what became a continuous, week-long dance party, until I hit a snag. They fell in love with a song from the Curious George Halloween special. It is called “Kinda Sorta Haunted House,” and I knew that it had to be in the mix. There was just one problem. The songs from the Curious George Halloween special are not available anywhere. There is no album to buy. You cannot download the songs from iTunes, or Amazon, or anywhere else. There isn’t even a Wikipedia page! No YouTube videos that I could hack the audio from. No scratchy, homemade, terrible version on a torrent. Nothing.
I tried a lot of things. I spent way more time than I should have on this. And finally, I remembered that I have a program that can record the audio that is running through my sound card. Thank goodness the special is on Netflix. I played that special, recorded the song, and finally the mix was complete. If only I had thought of this hours earlier. But, come on! It’s 2014! Everything should be available everywhere! I just couldn’t believe that a program that is over a year old is not well documented on the internet! Ah well.
So now I just have to wait until Friday to see if my children are tuned in to the pulse of the community and know what is good for dancing to. And if people don’t like my awesome mix, I am totally blaming the kids. Because, as we all know, the best part of giving up control is blame shifting. Happy Halloween Week!