ideas for a New Year's Eve playlist
November 12, 2005 1:23 PM   Subscribe

I need ideas for a New Year's Eve playlist for a restaurant.

I'm looking for festive music that will appeal to a broad scope of people. Styles can vary - some ideas I have come up with is Paul Anka's latest, Rock Swings, Bedouin Soundclash's Sounding a Mosaic, perhaps a Harry Belafonte compilation, maybe Carly Simon's latest, Moonlight Serenade, or the Gotan Project. No out and out rock, please. Electronica, Nu and Acid Jazz, World music is okay too, as long as it's not too loud (wall of sound-ish), too drummy, too techno-y, or too quiet, introspective and soft.
posted by ashbury to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
Ugh. You're not giving a very good description of what you want. I'm sure that it's clear to you, and you're being vague on the thought that it's better to get too many rather than too few suggestions.
What's the demographic served by this restaurant? I know you said "broad," but I'm part of a broad set and it would bug the hell out of me to hear Paul Anka anywhere. What's the clientelle like? How hip? Are they going to appreciate Herb Alpert or Prince Jazzbo or Duke Ellington? Or Banco de Gaia? Can you get away with Can or Prince?
What kind of restaurant is this? Could the music sync up with any ethnicity, or are you trying to keep it intentionally vageuly worldy? Is there a lot of talking there, so you'd want mostly instrumental stuff, or is it a place that has dancing?

I have a couple of recommendations based on what you've put up there. I'm gonna say "Leave Luck to Heaven" by Matthew Dear on Ghostly International, and more broadly microhouse in general, as it's good for a mellow yet upbeat space, and isn't overwhelming. Along those lines, you might play Sea and Cake's Two Gentlemen earlier in the evening,
You might also look for Fela Kuti albums, or try the band Nomo, who has an excellent afrobeat sound. Other options are Theivery Corporation (even though I think they're really bland, that sounds like what you're going for), Digable Planets' Blowout Comb, which'll be jazzy hiphop for a bit of a hipper late 20-something crowd. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is an upbeat and not very rockin' album from The Flaming Lips, and there are quite a few albums on the Accretions label that sound like the type of almost-techno you're describing. There's also Saturday Looks Good To Me's Every Night, which is bouncy and poppy without rocking.

If you want more, you can always send me an email and I'll zip up a sampler for you and yousendit to you.
posted by klangklangston at 2:43 PM on November 12, 2005

Response by poster: You're right about the vagueness. I'm looking for a lot of different answers that I can sift thru and get what I need, but since you asked, Can and Prince aren't acceptable, nor is Banco de Gaia; Herb Alpert and Sir Duke are perfect. Bear in mind that while some almost-techno is acceptbable, I'd really prefer not going in that direction.

As to the restaurant, it's a casual/fine dining place that has had many of the city's hoi polloi come in. We usually stick to jazzy material, but we're trying to branch out to different genres. I've recently introduced Jack Johnson, Bedouin Soundclash, Richard Cheese (I know, you'd think it wouldn't work, but it does), Michael Gordon and Leo Kottke, Fila Brazillia, the Gotan Project, Jazzanova, and so on with great success. We are trying to attract that covetted 25 to 39 crowd and while the food is usually the best hook we offer, some nice hip tunes would be nice too.

All that said, this is a pretty specific playlist, despite the vagueness of the question. New Year's Eve music for a wide range of tastes and ages, from jazz to anything else, so long as it's festive and not abrasive, which would fit a good gourmet restaurant.
posted by ashbury at 3:41 PM on November 12, 2005

Response by poster: By the way, Paul Anka isn't my cup of tea either and yet I really like his Rock Swings album. Track down a few tunes and give it a chance.
posted by ashbury at 3:42 PM on November 12, 2005

New Year's Day - U2
posted by Wild_Eep at 6:42 PM on November 12, 2005

"Hello Mr. New Year" by the Coolbreezers (from this album) is about as festive and jazzy as they come. You can preview the track on the site to see if it fits your needs.
posted by boomchicka at 8:14 PM on November 12, 2005

By far the best resource for finding the perfect mix: Tiny Mix Tapes
posted by Sagres at 8:18 PM on November 12, 2005

Baz Lurhmann's "something for everybody" might suit your needs.
posted by Tarrama at 3:53 AM on November 13, 2005

I love Abba's "Happy New Year." It's cheerful and upbeat, but it won't knock you down.

I think it's on the Super Trouper album.
posted by SlyBevel at 2:06 PM on November 13, 2005

"We are trying to attract that covetted 25 to 39 crowd and while the food is usually the best hook we offer, some nice hip tunes would be nice too."
Heh. You're not going to get "hip" tunes if Banco de Gaia is too far out, and Jack Johnson is the edge. The music will not be a hook, while it might be pleasant.

Good avenues to explore: The Kronos Quartet, John Zorn's Tzadic work (klezmer-ish downtown jazz), FSOL's Lifeforms, Gilberto Gil, Bebe Gilberto, the Funkstorüng Bossa Nova series, Kraftwerk's Concert Series (Kometen Melodie, particularly), Eno's Music for Airports, Neu 2, Femi Kuti, Ziggy Marley, Cowboy Junkies, The Golden Palominos middle period (A Dead Horse through Drunk with Passion), Syd Straw, Lori Carson, Chris Cunningham (I particularly recommend those last two— similar vein to Johnson, but a little more literate), Andi Camp (female piano mellow piano pop), The Ragbirds, Kris Kristopherson, Ticonderoga, The Sharking, Majesty Crush, PS I Love You, Lush, Slowdive, St. Ettiene, Pale Saints...
posted by klangklangston at 9:58 AM on November 14, 2005

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