Thursday, September 28, 2006

Halloween Hootenanny 2006 -- Planning...

Well, we're in the midst of planning our almost-annual Halloween party, and this one looks to be the biggest yet. I just sent out the invites about a week ago and we've already got over 30 people attending, with about 15 maybes and over 100 invitations still out and 3 weeks to go before RSVPs are due. Plus I'm doing a general invite to all of the students at the dojang, all ages, and their families, so we'll probably get at least a dozen or two extra folks that way. I'm anticipating total attendance in excess of 120.

Ummm. Yikes. Largest previous party attendance was about 70 or so. I think part of the party supplies will be 5 gallons of kerosene and a match. I'll just burn the house down the morning after the party. Much less trouble that way. Seriously, though, this one is going to take planning and work -- already have one person lined up to work the upstairs kids' party for a few hours, after which we'll just let the kids that a hanging in there mingle at will or hang upstairs unsupervised. Mostly we like to get the kid's party going so that friends with small kids get a chance to come by and take a load off without worrying, plus it keeps our kids out from underfoot while we're trying to run the party. Our kids (and thus their peers) are getting older now, and therefore require less maintentnce, thank God.

Anyhow, as usual the biggest effort in the initial planning, for me, is to get the music selected and mixed (using MixMeister) into a grand, 5+ hour music-scary-sound-FX-and-movie-quote-trivia extravaganza. In previous years I've tended to let this go until a week or two before the party, at which time my OCD kicks in and I begin having a nervous breakdown trying to get the thing finished to my satisfaction. I can tinker with music mixes for literally weeks before I'm happy.

This year I was determined not to let the music mix get away from me -- I'm so busy between work, training, and other projects that I really need to budget my time effectively. So I knocked out the first iteration of the mix this weekend and polished off the timing and crossfades over the the last few nights. Haven't selected my movie quotes yet (as in previous years, 30-second dialogue clips from famous horror fils will be played between songs every now and then. First person to tag me and correctly identify the movie gets a scratch off lottery ticket), but that's the easy part -- it's the nuances of the cross fades and beat matching, coupled with the overall pacing and feel of the mix, that can really take me weeks to get right, and I think I've got most of that buttoned down already.

So, these mixes are always interesting efforts -- I try to get lots of cool stuff in there, but also try to avoid going to overboard on the undeerground or lesser-known artists. The crowd tends to be large and mixed, so I need to stay toward the middle of the road to keep it as entertaining as possible for everyone. But still, I can sneak in some cool stuff when no one's lookin'! Here's the current list of artists that are included in this years mix (so far -- things can always change):

A Perfect Circle; Adrian Belew; Alison Moyet; The All-American Rejects; Angels & Airwaves; The Avalanches; Barenaked Ladies; Beck; Beth Orton; Beyoncé; Björk; Blondie; Blue Öyster Cult; Bobby Pickett and the Crypt Keepers; Bow Wow Wow; Britney Spears; The Caesars; Christina Aguilera; Concrete Blonde; The Cramps; The Cure; David Bowie; Death Cab for Cutie; Deee-Lite; Depeche Mode; Disturbed; Donna Summer; Elbow; Evanescence; Fall Out Boy; Fishbone; Foo Fighters; Franz Ferdinand; Gnarls Barkley; Gorillaz; The Gossip; Grant Lee Buffalo; Guadalcanal Diary; The Hold Steady; The Housemartins; Jesus Jones; Kasabian; Kate Bush; The Killers; Kirsty MacColl; KT Tunstall; Lloyd Cole and the Commotions; Los Straitjackets; Madonna; Morningwood; Nerf Herder; Oingo Boingo; OK Go; Panic! At the Disco; Pet Shop Boys; Pink; The Pixies; Poe; The Postal Service; Prince; R.E.M.; The Raconteurs; Raul Malo; The Red Hot Chili Peppers; The Replacements; Rob Zombie; Scissor Sisters; Screaming Blue Messiahs; Sloan; Snow Patrol; Tool; U2; Violent Femmes; The White Stripes; William Shatner; XTC; Yeah Yeah Yeahs


Two days until my 6th gup test. Not really nervous, yet, but I'm sure it's coming. My technique feels solid, but I'm sure I'll still have to deal with jitters sometime before Saturday. Still, it's going to be amazing. I can't wait to put on my new dobakh and green belt.

Mood: Warm (A/C is on the fritz again kit seems)
Now Playing: Halloween Hootenanny 2006 - Alpha Version

No comments: