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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
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Discussion Starter #1
I was reading the "jazz standards....a must to know" thread where people have posted song lists and added to it. There have also been lists of blues and r&b tunes that are "must know" if you're playing that style of music. And I remember seeing a thread about wedding band song lists. For these threads, most of the tunes are 40, 50, 60, even 70 years old. If you wanted to put together a list of dance tunes that would be familiar to people in their 20's and 30's, what are the "must know" tunes on that list?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks, Neff. I wonder what others might add to this list.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So far this has gone nowhere. I'll give it a bump. And I'll be provocative by saying that most (all?) of the songs on Neff's list are more than 30 years old and would already be ancient music to people in their 20's or 30's. This is exactly what I'm talking about. Is there no music more recent than 30 years ago that will be familiar to younger people? What are the "must know" rock and pop tunes from the 80's and 90's and *gasp* the 2000's? Are there any? Or is all rock and pop music from the last 3 decades simply forgettable? Are there any modern classics?
 

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Neffs list is good. Most of the party bands are still playing the same stuff and most of the newer songs dont really have sax parts so you kinda have to come up with something or cop one of the other instruments lines. To add to neffs list off the top of my head would be Superfreak and You can feel it all over. Theres some more Ill see if I can find some old set lists.
 

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cut the cake, pick up the pieces, fire(ohio players)
You can feel it all over is actually sir duke ithink(on neffs list)
Earth wind and fire stuff esp. Shining star
Easy-commodores
We want the funk-Parliament
Sitting on the dock
Send me forget me nots-kim rushin
umm...lots more...ugh...tried to block most these gigs out of my memory but if you get with the right group it can be fun. Its coming back to me. More later.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm not really looking for songs that have sax in them. (Sax parts can be added to many tunes anyway.) This came up because a club stopped having music/bands that play these older tunes and is trying to draw a younger crowd with younger music, including hip-hop. I have no illusions - I'm an old guy and I'm not about to join or form a band playing this music and my main band will never play this stuff. I was also asked to play a wedding for 20-somethings. I declined because I don't do the wedding band thing. But if I wanted to put together a set list, I was wondering what should be on it. And it's also part of the discussions we have here on SOTW. I maintain that we're always talking about very old music and not about what young people listen to. Even the young people on SOTW are talking about and playing old music.

I appreciate clwomack's list, but still most (all?) of those tunes are from the 60's and 70's. The one tune from "modern" times that I hear bands play is Santana's Smooth. That's from 2000. If I was putting together a top 40 set list now, I'd probably have Bruno Mars' Grenade on it. But I'm not up on current hits or popular tunes from the last 20 years. I'd love to poll a bunch of 20-somethings and find out what the soundtrack to their lives has on it. If it turned out to be largely hip-hop, I'd stop right there and go on to some other musical project. :)
 

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The reason why everyone still plays theold songs is because they get that people dancing and drinking. People that can afford 5-10 bucks a drink. In most markets, young people are looking for cheap drinks and/or original music. Most modern "rock" tunes dont get people dancing. A few modern tunes will make it in the set list every now and then like some Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, Christina Agulera, Kelly clarkson---I cant think of the song titles but I know them. Modern Hiphop/R&B stuff is good to dance to, somewhat, but band have to play songs with actual musical instruments being played. Most hip hop doesnt have that. Real bands dont know this stuff. Whenever a club hires a band trying to do hiphop they realize that the"band" sucks, and more importantly, doesnt keep people drinking. DJs are way cheaper and you know the music will be performed well. just some thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks for your thoughts, clwomack. I agree with them.
 

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New "Music":

Thump, thump, thump, thump......

Lyrics:
Word that rhymes with obscenity, obscenity, word that rhymes with obscenity, obscenity.....

Repeat ad nauseum.
 

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Sad but true. I was watching the Grammys last week and it was really obvious that being a "musician" these days is more about choreography, production and putting on a show than about the performance from a musical standpoint. That doesn't translate well to doing cover versions. The days of bands doing 4 sets a night in a club are long over. Either a band comes out and does a showcase of less than an hour, or else the club hires a DJ.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The days of bands doing 4 sets a night in a club are long over.
While I agree with much of what you say, I disagree with this part. I've been playing in bands that still do 3 sets a night (9:00-1:00 or 9:30-1:30) for several years now. But these are bands doing old school blues, rock, and r&b. It's true that these gigs are getting scarcer, and they don't pay well for a 6-piece band, but at least in the SF Bay Area they still exist.
 

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All the old stuff still resonates with younger audiences. No doubt about it. Especially the Funk and RnB stuff. It's all a matter of the asthetics of the sonic presentation. As long as the band sounds big, and plays with some intensity (read: ****, vinegar, and JAM!) then all those songs are still very relevant and awesome. I'm very much the youngest guy in one of the bands I play with, and their audience goes from 18 yrs to 100 yrs old. It's kind of rad, actually. The young'ins love it because the tunes get played "larger than life" and as such lends itself well to dancing of all kinds. The older members in the audience love it because its the music of their youth played with some real conviction (read: ****, vinegar, and JAM!).

If you had an audience that was primarily under 30, you could play an entire evening of nothing but James Brown, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder and so long as the band was rocking, it would rock.
 

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All the old stuff still resonates with younger audiences. No doubt about it. Especially the Funk and RnB stuff.
.......(quote omitted)
If you had an audience that was primarily under 30, you could play an entire evening of nothing but James Brown, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder and so long as the band was rocking, it would rock.
I definitely agree with this. A lot of these kids grew up listening to their parent's music. The cynical old fogies among us would say that it was because they didn't have any "real" music of their own. Whatever the reason, it still works for the most part. Occasionally, you get that strange request - that's when you pull out the classic line "We don't know that one, but here's one with a lot of the same notes!"
 
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