Thank you to everyone for coming out to our four year anniversary at the Fez Ballroom. We only made it four years because of your dedication to packing the dance floor the last Saturday of every month. We’ll keep showing up and playing as long as you want to keep showing up and dancing. You guys even finished all of the ten kilogram Tres Leches cake! That has never happened before. And early!! I couldn’t believe it when I got done with a DJ shift and I went over to the cake table and saw that it was empty. Anjali and I would also like to send out a big “Thank you” to John, Sumeet, Rakesh and Ravi for the special Bhangra dance performance. You guys were great. Your energy was infectious and the crowd really appreciated your dancing.
For those of you who didn’t make it longer than 2am I’ll tell you how I managed to clear the club.
Because of the incredible amount of old and new Indian music in the world, there are always hundreds of songs that could get played for every one we actually get a chance to play. Even if we just stuck to music from the Indian diaspora that has come out in the last couple months, we would not be able to do more than scratch the surface of what gets released. Then if we try to throw in stuff from the last ten years, and some songs from the prior four decades, it is like picking a few shiny grains of sand to present from an endless beach. Lately I’ve been thinking about how much classic sixties and seventies Bollywood music doesn’t get played at Andaz outside of our first hour and some classics dropped in the last hour. Except for a few Amitabh Bachchan songs all our filmi requests tend to be for songs from the last five years. I decided at 2am that I wanted to play some classic seventies Bollywood songs to see what the response would be. “Laila O Laila” from Qurbani went over really well, with impassioned singing from the crowd I could hear over the song all the way back in the DJ booth. I then dropped “Dum Maro Dum” from “Hare Krishna Hare Ram.” Very lukewarm response, and I know we have fans who are into that song. So then I go into “Pyar Zindagi Hai” from “Muqaddar Ka Sikandaar” and watch as 80% of the club clears out. So, what does a DJ think when he plays an absolute classic and watches as an entire club clears out? Does he quickly switch to something predictable that will have everyone turn around and mob the dance floor? Fuck that. If you have no respect for the classics then get the fuck out of my room. I know all the contemporary tripe that people want to hear (both the Hindi and the English songs) and I’ll often play it if I’m looking for a particular crowd response, but I wasn’t in the mood. Now, did EVERYONE leave? No, some people stayed and continued to dance and there was a dance floor all the way up until my last song. The point is that a large majority of the crowd left when I went in a seventies direction. Maybe the crowd was just too young on this particular night. Sad. The joke is that those are the well-known, popular songs from that era. Anjali and I have so many amazing Bollywood albums from the seventies and eighties with CRAZY little-known funk and disco songs. Aside from the beat-diggers I fear there aren’t that many people who would be into this incredible music.
Thanks for dancing.