Tired. Ringing ears. Another Andaz is past. Very different night. Anjali and I always say that. It always feels like a largely new crowd. Lots of people wandering around confused not sure what to make of any of it. Where was my filmi crowd? Or did they just want different songs? We certainly had a large if not the largest gathering of Panjabis this night. Its good to have excitable crowd members but treading lightly is always a better idea than trying to dictate to the DJ. Some people get very enthusiastic and aggressive with their requests. Don’t get in the DJ’s face and don’t piss the DJ off. Of course the people who need to hear this aren’t the ones reading this.
So many crowds to balance. The Panjabi crowd. The filmi lovers. And in the middle the goras who generally don’t appreciate filmi cheez and don’t necessarily appreciate the slower Bhangra numbers that are often most coveted by the Panjabis. How many people recognize that in order not to lose any given faction the DJ has to try to balance all of them. Then there are people who are making requests that aren’t even for Indian music such as American Hip-hop and reggaeton. I love hip-hop and reggaeton dearly, but the majority of the crowd at Andaz (whether white or brown) comes so focused on Indian music that Hip-hop gets met with blank stares and still feet. So much Panjabi and filmi music is so clearly influenced by or directly derivative of American Hip-hop that it is ridiculous to play the imitations (whether pale or inspired) without featuring some of the genuine article. Easier said than done at Andaz. Regretfully the most succesful numbers would probably be the most predictable and overplayed. My one Hip-hop request all night was E-4o “Tell Me When To Go.” I appreciate that E-40 and the Bay are getting some much deserved national attention but that song has yet to make me want to jump up and dance. Maybe it’s just a case of 95.5 oversaturation.
Thank you to everyone who came out. I feel like I had a hard time hitting a homerun tonight. Maybe I had too much of my own agenda without doing a good enough job of determining what the crowd really wanted to hear. I certainly have my own perverse filmi interests and steppy Bhangra fusion favorites that few others (if any) appreciate to the extent that I do. Balance, balance, balance. Too bad dancefloor factions are often intolerant of anything other than the sound (if not the very specific songs) that they want to hear. Boys (and boys at heart) like boy songs, girls (and girls at heart) like girl songs. And some guys are smart enough to tolerate girl songs because they like watching or dancing with girls who like to dance to girl songs. Off balance. Out of gear. Sore throat and signing off.
PS Thank you to Deai for the visuals and Shira!!! for coming through as always and making sure the sound was dialed in just right. Thank you!!