Dance music emergency!!!! Also seeking Gogol Bordello-ish recs!
September 20, 2013 8:34 AM   Subscribe

I need some additional music to play at an event tomorrow night, and I have exhausted all the AskMes on this question. Recent dance music and dance music that meets the somewhat bizarre criteria inside needed.

Okay everyone, I am unexpectedly on the hook for a longer set* tomorrow night. I've read all the previous questions about dance music that I can find. I've looked at those Murderbot mixes that everyone always recommends. And I still need more music because this is sort of a funny crowd. If it were 10,000 Frowners, I would just play old house music and Janelle Monae and we'd have a great time, but that won't work here.

Things that I am already playing that are good choices for this group: Santigold ("Say Aha"); Janelle Monae ("Tightrope", "Dance Apocalyptic"); Polar Bear ("To Touch the Red Brick"); Talking Heads ("Born Under Punches"); Yelle ("A Cause Des Garcons"). Things I am playing that will be right on the edge of what people will dance to: Meat Beat Manifesto ("I Got the Fear"); Zebda ("Tomber La Chemise"). Plus some other stuff.

They do not go for old disco - normally I'd just be all "oh, let's play 'I Feel Love' and call it a night". They are not confident when faced with old soul or motown. Garage rock and punk are right out. They do not like industrial, but I sneak a few things in because I like to dance to some of them.

But whatever it is needs to have a fairly fast and mobilizing beat.

However, if a song is pretty fast and sort of Gogol Bordello-ish (not unlike "To Touch The Red Brick"), they'll go for it.

So anyway - what's new this past year, dance-wise? What recommendations do you have? I am not familiar with most Gogol Bordello or things like that except for slow tracks - can you recommend some faster stuff?

For my personal preference, not too much explicit sex in the lyrics because I'll feel really awkward in front of an audience of people I actually know.

*Not really a set, just basically a nice selection of dance-able music that blends together well and can be played via iTunes. I mean, I don't mix or have DJ skills, I just fill in when there's no one else. But I like to do a good job.
posted by Frowner to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
For Gogol Bordello-like dance-y stuff check out Rotfront's Visafree. The title track is rather sexually explicit, but the rest of the album is not. "Revolution Disco," "Money Money Money" and "Real Berlin Wedding" are particularly upbeat.
posted by griphus at 8:50 AM on September 20, 2013

With that mix, I'd probably go for some M.I.A., Daft Punk, and Justice. Maybe Miss Kittin, Mstrkrft, and Thunderheist too? If you want to go weird, there are also some really dancy Man Man tracks.
posted by gone2croatan at 8:53 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm probably not cool enough to answer this, but I love Gogol Bordello and some Yelle, and when I just listened to the beginning of "To Touch the Red Brick" it made me think of Balkan Beat Box. (Sunday Arak comes to mind, but a lot of their other songs are extremely danceable. Bonus: lyrics mostly not in English.) And maybe The Young Professionals? (They actually made me like a Lana Del Ray song.)
posted by DestinationUnknown at 9:01 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

check out this reddit thread for some suggestions.
posted by pyro979 at 9:03 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

With the reference to Man Man, I thought of a weird bellydancing comp: Tribal Beats for the Urban Streets, which features an interesting mix of artists and styles, all dance-able.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:15 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

If they dig Remain In Light they'll probably dig early-mid Brian Eno. I'm thinking specifically of side one of Before And After Science, which has this awesome Talking Heads pastiche plus a few more bits of vigorously danceable surrealism. Maybe also dip into some of the stuff on Taking Tiger Mountain. But maybe that's getting too weird? (If it's not too weird, then there's a lot of freaky dancey no-wave stuff you can start digging into from there.)

Seconding M.I.A. and Man Man.

The Gogol Bordello thing makes me want to suggest Goran Bregovic, who is one of the current rockstars of straight-up Balkan dance music and is fucking awesome. Again possibly a bit out there — but if it seems like something that will work, there's a whole bunch more where that came from.

And everyone I know who likes Gogol Bordello is also very fond of Oingo Boingo, but maybe that's not totally universal?
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 9:17 AM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

(Ugh, never mind, just saw you're specifically looking for new releases. Sorry.)
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 9:18 AM on September 20, 2013

Response by poster: Not new is okay! I only said "new" because there are so many excellent suggestions of older stuff on mefi already. But old is good! I just didn't want people feeling that I had ignored their earlier suggestions, had they made any (since this is not my first dance-related ask).
posted by Frowner at 9:36 AM on September 20, 2013

Gold Panda

Saw this performed live saturday night, blew me away.
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:55 AM on September 20, 2013

Maybe this is heading the wrong direction, but what do your crowd think of Cumbia? If they dig that kind of upbeat Latin America dance sound, there's also Nortec, which can get slower in some instances, but there is a lot of cheeky, upbeat fun stuff to be found.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:14 AM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

DeVotchKa has always reminded me of Gogol Bordello in a funny way.

If you're going to play ANY Gogol Bordello, you MUST play American Wedding.
posted by janey47 at 10:45 AM on September 20, 2013

The Pretty Lights, Gramatik, etc stuff might fit your audience. It seems like it would be pretty palatable to non-electronic music leaning dance party.

If you do go Cumbia direction be sure to check out the Ondatropica stuff or anything Quantic-related
posted by J0 at 11:00 AM on September 20, 2013

Looking at my dusty mp3 folder (so nothing that's actually a new release, sorry!)
Buraka Som Sistema
The Ting Tings.
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:00 AM on September 20, 2013

Jessy Lanza 's album just came out and there is some maybe too-forward electronic stuff but also some stuff that might be appropriate
posted by J0 at 11:02 AM on September 20, 2013

So I got curious if I could do a beats per minute analysis of available songs, and found this sonic analysis of Tightrope: "The tempo is 83.81 beats per minute, surprisingly laid back given how lively the groove is." !!!! And then googled my way to people's running playlists which had the BPM for Tightrope at 168 (which feels more correct).

Anyway, all that to say The Ting Tings (That's Not My Name) clocks in at 145 but feels faster to me... and that you can use software like Cadence to figure out the bpm of songs.

But then I actually went and listened to some of the songs listed with 170 bpm and higher and realized that even if Pharcyde's Passin' Me By is supposed to be 170 it's actually a way way mellower song than Tightrope.

Um. So I just figured out music is subjective. You're welcome.
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:34 AM on September 20, 2013

World/Inferno Friendship Society? It might too close to punk, but I love "Zen and the Art of Breaking Everything in this Room" for fast-paced dancing around.
posted by inertia at 11:39 AM on September 20, 2013

> If you're going to play ANY Gogol Bordello, you MUST play American Wedding yt

I love that song, but there's a some swearing in it ("And this whole fucking thing / Is just a one huge disappointment"). Is that going to be a problem at the event?

I believe that all of Continental Hustle is safe for all ears. Or at least the bits in English are.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:46 PM on September 20, 2013

Response by poster: I love that song, but there's a some swearing in it ("And this whole fucking thing / Is just a one huge disappointment"). Is that going to be a problem at the event?

Bad language isn't a problem (and I mean, for personal listening I don't actually care) but for example, Le1f's song "Wut", which is awesome, is maybe a little too much with being-all-about-sex for me to play at this event. This is as much because of the role I play in the various organizations that will be at this event as anything else - I am sort of the resident Old Person With Theories And Book Learning Who Wears Glasses And Doesn't Cuss And Is Thus Kind Of A Fuddyduddy, and it's enough of a headtrip for them all to realize that I intend to dance rather than standing on one side without confronting them with my willingness to listen to music that has sexual content. Basically, it would make everyone, including me, uncomfortable if I were to play music that were explicit in the style of Peaches or somebody.

This has nothing to do with what I listen to in my free time. (Which is nearly all loud and squeaky music without words, actually.)
posted by Frowner at 1:03 PM on September 20, 2013

Seconding Goran Bregovic. He's a fucking treasure.

Also, on the Gogol Bordello wavelength, try Firewater, who also mix bhangra in with their gypsy/punk/klezmer madness.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:52 PM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Goran Bregovic - Kalashnikov

Firewater - This Is My Life

The Bombay Royale - You, Me, Bullets, Love
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:23 PM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

yes yes yes good call on Firewater!
posted by janey47 at 12:48 PM on September 24, 2013

Oh god, Firewater! YES. Thanks for reminding me of their albums and songs. The Golden Hour, in particular, has a bunch of very foot-shuffling, foot-stomping songs. Their older albums are excellent.

iTunes just now magically randomly hopped over to Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Anyway, just popping in to give my own thanks to everyone's suggestions and links, useful for future reference!
posted by herrdoktor at 10:28 PM on September 24, 2013

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