Monday, September 22, 2008

Christine And Kirk's Moroccan Paradise

In the heart of downtown LA, hidden between the skyscrapers, is an exotic, Moroccan oasis known as Hotel Figueroa. This is the one-of-a-kind location that Christine and Kirk chose for their nuptials on Sept. 20, 2008. Their goal was to create an unforgettable and unique experience for their guests and by all accounts, they succeeded!

The ceremony and reception, being lit mostly by candle light, added to the ambiance of the well decorated surroundings. The officiant actually quoted Dr. Seuss as part of the vows. Another hint that this was not your typical wedding! Christine's choice for the end of the ceremony recessional song was Shirley Bassey's incredible cover of Pink's "Get The Party Started".

The owner of the Hotel, Uno, was actually on site, making sure every detail was taken care of. Uno is a man with an eye for detail. During set up, he even straightened out some of the reception tables that were slightly out of place. Now that's service!

Kudos also go out to Laura, from Rebel Belle Weddings, who was invaluable in coordinating and keeping the reception flowing.

In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, these newlyweds opted for a gourmet cupcake pyramid. Their first dance, another unusual choice, was Springsteen's "Drive All Night". Party music ranged from "Islands In The Stream", "It's Raining Men", "SexyBack" to an actual tango (by request).

I closed the evening out with another of Christine and Kirk's favorites, "To Make You Feel My Love" by Garth Brooks.

Here's to another great beginning!

DJ Craig

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gina & Aaron's Reception At Coyote Hills

Sept. 19, 2008

The newlyweds made their grand entrance to "Another One Bites The Dust" by Queen. Then, in a bit of a break from tradition, the bride and groom went immediately to the dance floor. "Lost In This Moment" by Big & Rich rang out while an adoring crowd of family and friends witnessed the first dance.

After the usual toasts, Gina and Aaron grabbed the mic to thank everybody. The bride took this opportunity to present her bouquet to her grandmother, who had been a lifelong inspiration to her.

Once the party got started, musical highlights included "Low" by Flo Rida, "Smooth" by Santana and the guilty pleasure of 80s flashback, "You Give Love A Bad Name" by Bon Jovi!

We used a 2 speaker digital Yamaha system for the dance floor and two satellite speakers to provide sound for guests in the dining area.

Here's to another great beginning!

DJ Craig

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cliff Top Wedding In Dana Point

There's nothing like looking out at the horizon and seeing the blue Pacific stretching out endlessly. Especially when you are about to say, "I do" to the one you love! This is what Marie and Chris choose to do for their September, 2008 wedding in Dana Point.

Adding to the visual appeal, The "Tall Ship" festival was going on this weekend. The harbor was seemingly filled with these ancient mariners, their masts reaching to the sky.

I addition to the spectacular views, The Chart House features about THE best reception buffet you'll find. Guests enjoy an incredible salad bar complete with capers, hearts of palm and, oh yes, even caviar! The salmon was tender and the roast beef was quite juicy.

Chris and Marie's playlist ranged from Santana to Phil Collins to Gloria Estefan and the guests enjoyed dancing to it all. Marie's father, "Red", cautioned me to keep the father/daughter dance short, as he wasn't much of a dancer. No problem. I invited the guests to join in after just a minute or so.

We used a four speaker system and two wireless mics so that guests could hear the nuptials and enjoy sound coverage throughout the reception areas.

A special thanks to Chart House manager, Ken Rosnagle and his experienced staff, who attendeded to every detail of the ceremony and reception.

Here's to another great beginning!

DJ Craig

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Unique Slow Songs

Hint: Press the center button just below "menu" to start music.

Looking for an unusual, original slow song? You've come to the right place.

Here are some overlooked gems that aren't getting the attention they deserve. Use the iPod player above to sample and scroll through the suggested songs.

1. "You Give Me Something"- James Morrison

Never heard of him? Give it some time. Morrison is new to the music scene but his soulful voice will make you wonder why he isn't already a household name.

2. "You Take My Breath Away"- Queen

The band that brought operatic, Pomp Rock to it's pinnacle could also perform an inspired ballad. This song is stark and captivating in it's naked emotion.

3. "Falling Slowly"- Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

From the Academy award winning soundtrack of "Once". You may have missed this song if you didn't see the movie. In the film and in real life, Hansard and Irglova bring a refreshing innocence into a world of corporate, commercial muzak.

4. "The Way I Am"- Ingrid Michaelson

On this simple and straightforward song, Michaelson wants to "catch you" when you fall and "buy you Rogaine" when you start losing your hair. Now that's love.

5. "Breathe Me"- Sia

Sia's already making a mark for herself as a talented performer. The fact that her music ranges from percolating Pop to deep, reflective, Alternative Rock doesn't hurt. "Breathe Me" is simply arresting, Sia's voice crackles across it as if she's just had a good cry.

6. "The Golden State"- John Doe

You may remember John Doe as front man for the 80s Punk band X. His guitar still has a biting edge, as do his lyrics. He wants to be "the aching in your heart" even if you are "the hole in (his) head". Doe knows that love is not always easy but he is still willing to give it all he has.

7. "God Only Knows" (1967 Rehearsal)- The Beach Boys

This recently released "lost" track shows that even in rehearsal, Brian Wilson and company could create pure magic. No studio trickery here, just great harmonies.

8. "The Very Thought Of You"- Frank Sinatra

When is the last time you heard this? If you can't remember, that's a shame. When "The Chairman" sang about love, he meant it. It's still Frank's world, we just live in it.

9. "One"- Mary J Blige & U2

Mary revamps this classic 80s ballad and adds an R&B edge. Bono helps start the song and later gracefully steps out of the way to let Blige's power kick in.

10. "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair"- Nina Simone

Sang in nearly a cappella style, Simone bares her soul with a stunningly unabashed vulnerability. This is earthy, real and inescapable.

11. "We're All Alone"- Boz Scaggs

Boz starts off singing with a soft solo piano. By the time the orchestra crescendo hits full force, it's too late- you have been teleported into Romanceville with no return ticket.

12. "Stay Awhile"- Journey/ 13. "Patiently"- Journey

Choosing between these two is like deciding which twin to keep. Before Journey hit it big with their Arena Rock anthems, Steve Perry's voice rang out to the universe on these odes in search of divine love.

14. "What a Wonderful World"- Tony Bennett & k.d. lang

Tony and k.d. do Louis Armstrong proud on this classic duet. Bennett is smooth as silk and Lang simply sparkles.

15. "Never My Love"- The Fifth Dimension

Back in the Summer Of Love, The Association had a huge hit with this devotional anthem. The Fifth Dimension's subsequent cover may make you forget all about that. Marilyn McCoo's vocals soar over a soulful horn section, making you wish the song would go on and on.

Happy Listening,

DJ Craig

Monday, September 1, 2008

Reid and Victor's "Hairspray" Extravaganza!

August 31, 2008

Reid and Victor, having been together 20 years, were planning a big celebration for their anniversary. Their idea was a "Hairspray" inspired, kitschy cocktail party.

After some consideration, they finally decided to take advantage of the recent changes in California law and officially tie the knot. "Having been together for 20 years, we know what it takes to be married", Victor said.

So the newly engaged couple incorporated the ideas for their party and had a "Hairspray" wedding, complete with giant aerosol can props and brightly colored turquoise and pink linens and decorations.

The gala was held at The Wyndham Hotel in Costa Mesa's South Coast Metro area. The couple took advantage of the scenic lakeside area as their ceremony location. Wyndham's coordinator, Marcy Hail, was incredibly nice and very accommodating.

I had the pleasure of introducing them into their reception as, "...celebrating their 20th anniversary, the newlyweds- Reid and Victor!", to a thundering ovation.

The party was a smash as guests enjoyed Victor and Reid's eclectic playlist which included such diverse choices as Diana Ross, Elvis Costello, The Monkees, The Go-Gos and the guilty pleasure of Quiet Riot's "Cum On Feel The Noise".

Before the party, I was able to track down a copy of Madonna's "Dress You Up" (Formal Mix), at Victor's request. This certainly brought the 80s aficionados onto the dance floor. And then there was young Dalton, our white jacketed ring bearer. He did his best to keep the party hip by requesting "Low", "Walk It Out" and "The Cha Cha Slide".

We used a two speaker, digital Yamaha system for sound and a couple of Martin Raptors to light up the dance area.

Here's to another great beginning!

DJ Craig