Along with Halloween, New Year’s Eve is the greatest night of the year that allows adults to behave on a level of immaturity unparalleled by any sociologists’ theory out there. There is destined to be an abundance of alcohol-fueled “Lifetime Movie Network” drama, someone who started too early and passing out at 9pm, the party-goer that is going to vomit, police sirens, and Prince songs. New Year’s never fails to entertain us all and gives us something to talk about until next year’s party.
Love it or hate it, “Ice Ice Baby” will set any party off into the stratosphere. However, until your night gets to that point of Vanilla Ice or Biz Markie blowing the roof off the party venue, allow me to present readers some New Year’s themed musical suggestions to move the night in the right direction.
8:00 PM-Many times the party starts out slowly. Nobody wants to be the loser who shows up first, therefore everyone delays an entrance. During this time of the party, when there are a few people standing around having a chardonnay and eating finger foods it is a good time to go ahead and get the staple songs such as “Just Another New Year’s Eve” by Barry Manilow and “Next Year” by the Foo Fighters out of the way.
9:00 PM-By this time, things should be starting to pick up into a higher gear. More people are arriving, the refrigerator is slowly filling up with bottles champagne brought by guests, and more than likely tequila has made its first appearance along with its German friend Jagermeister. This is the time of the night that can make or break your party. The people already there, if not impressed or enticed to stay, they will surely find their way to another party that promises to be better at someone else’s house. (And there is still plenty of time before midnight for your guests to get settled into another party). It’s do or die time. The secret is this: if women are having fun, then everyone is going to have fun. There are two certainties in life about women; women love Mexican food and 80’s synth-pop. Now is the time of night to put out the queso dip and fire up “Take on Me” by Ah-Ha, “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson, “Like a Prayer” by Madonna, and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper. This will inevitably get your party started, women dancing, and drinks being heard popped open in every corner of the party.
9:13 PM-The first guy that mixed queso dip, Patron, and pink champagne trying to dance with the women to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” gets sick and vomits.
10:00 PM-If the above advice has been followed, then this party is in full swing for one reason alone, that the women are having a good time. Now that everyone has a few drinks in them, getting more contemporary is an acceptable move. Enter “The Time” by the Black Eyed Peas. Following that with “On To the Next One” or “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z would be a good move. By this time of the evening, the party can either be dampened or elevated by an arguing couple that probably shouldn’t be together to begin with. One of them has drunk too much already and is picking a fight or one of them is getting too frisky with someone else at the party. In most cases, the humor of this event elevates the party. It only dampers things if it gets violent or the drunkest one tries to get in the car and leave. Don’t let that happen.
10:29 PM-That couple has broken up. A group of women has gone to the restroom with the female involved to talk about what a jerk the guy is being. The guys are corralled together by the designated liquor area feeding the man involved shots of cheap whiskey to turn this event into as much of a country song as possible.
11:00 PM-The time has come for music to save the party. It’s t-minus one hour until the ball drops in Times Square. It’s an appropriate time for “1999” by Prince to get the party back in full swing. It never fails. To keep the New Year’s anticipation alive in the final hour, “Waiting for the End” by Linkin Park can help continue your momentum.
11:15 PM-There must be one last push in the final hour to get everyone prepared for midnight. It is time to elevate the party to another level. It goes like this: “Right about now you are about to be possessed by the sounds Rob Base and DJ EZ-Rock….Hit it!” At that moment, faster than you can lose your money at a strip club, your dance floor is completely full. But don’t stop it there, continue here: “Have you ever met a girl that you tried to date….” Yes, “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie. Not only is your dance floor now full, but you have a full-out sing along on your hands. Wait, wait, wait, don’t stop. “Get up on this!” Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” has to be the next track on the playlist. Just before everyone at the party starts filling champagne glasses for a midnight toast and going to take their final restroom break as to not miss the ball drop, there is still an opportunity for this party to rage up until a few minutes before midnight. “Yo, VIP. Let’s kick it!” That’s right. “Ice Ice Baby” is the song everyone in the world pretends to hate, but somehow loves. The enjoyment of the crowd at your party will be evident. You’ll regret it of you don’t put that Vanilla Ice on the stereo.
11:55 PM-After that blistering set of classic hip-hop awesomeness, everyone in the party should have a glass of champagne in their hand, a dumb hat, and some of those noise makers. You should have the scene in New York City on your massive television so that everyone can see.
12:00 AM-The clock has ticked zero, everyone is cheering like cavemen, couples are kissing, and single men are running around mental patients trying to find an unoccupied woman to pounce upon. At that moment, there is only one thing you can do. When your party hears those first piano chords of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, you as the host can sit back and watch your party go into full effect. Your dance floor is full, people are pounding drinks like the rapture is coming, and those people from Jersey that showed up randomly are fist pumping like they are trying to put a hole in your ceiling.
12:10 AM-The boisterous party you’ve created with my advice now calls for tradition. There are many versions of “Auld Lang Syne,” but none quite equal Jimi Hendrix’s version from “Live at the Fillmore East.”
12:15 AM-At this point in the evening, going with a New Year’s theme is a must. Begin with Death Cab for Cutie’s “The New Year. (However, you’ll want to set the track to begin about 30 seconds in because of the intro which is just a long tone.) “New Year’s Day” by U2 will be your next musical staple to keep your party at a fun pace as well as following it with “The End of the World as We Know it” by R.E.M.
12:30 AM-It is now OK to break out those dusty old disco records you found in your Dad’s attic along with those shirts with butterfly collars. It is the time of night when KC & the Sunshine band is acceptable.
1:02 AM-Someone is vomiting off of the balcony and a pair of random panties are found by the punch bowl.
1:30 AM-What are we waiting for? It’s the time of the evening when “Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC should ring out of the party like a battle chant in Middle Earth.
2:00 AM-Most conventional parties begin to wind down at this point, and that’s OK. My final piece of musical advice is to not go cliché and bust out “Closing Time” by Semisonic. Go with something a little classier such as “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You” by Tom Waits. Both songs are about the same thing. The major difference is that one of them is by Tom Waits, and by definition, just flat-out awesome.
2:30 AM-Waffle House. What Else?
Happy New Year! Be safe. Look after everyone you love. Have a great 2012 and keep in mind some words of wisdom: “Dream the dreams of other men; you’ll be no one’s rival.” –Eddie Vedder
Dustin M Pardue