The scene: a Somerville house party, late 2008, me playing DJ for a room full of drunk hipsters. I leave to refresh my drink, confident that my brilliantly conceived playlist will get everyone dancing. Imagine my horror when I hear strains of “Billie Jean” coming from the living room. NO! I cry, rushing to the scene of the crime, slapping people’s hands away from my iPod. IT’S TOO EARLY FOR MICHAEL JACKSON!
Michael Jackson is a legend. Thus it is extremely important to deploy his music very carefully. For maximum effectiveness, Michael Jackson needs to go on AFTER people have already started to dance. Putting on Thriller, for example, before people are good and ready for it (around 12:30-1 a.m. for any parties that start between 10 and 11, which, at my age, is all of them – I’ll check with Van Hammersley to see when the old folks get hammered) is a total waste. People simply aren’t prepared. They’re still wandering around, checking out who’s who and what’s what, and may even still have some semblance of game. Michael Jackson needs to go on after party guests have abandoned their dignity.
By following this simple guideline, you will not only honor Michael Jackson’s memory, you will also win the (temporary, drunken) admiration of your friends.