Yesterday a co-worker challenged me to help her name and compile a playlist for her 20’s-themed New Year’s Eve party.
Coming up with the name was easy: “N*ggaz in Paris at Midnight”
I cohered the most popular song off Watch The Throne with Woody Allen’s charming movie starring Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard. How clever and appropriate considering the plot of Midnight in Paris celebrates the glitz and glamor of Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Cole Porter. (In Paris! At Midnight!) If you still don’t understand the genius of my party name, you need a lesson in 2011 pop culture as both the song and the film were big hits this year.
Coming up with songs was the hard part. The first NYE song that usually comes to mind (unfortunately) is Tonight’s Going to Be A Good Night by The Black Eyed Peas. I hate that song, but I associate it with Pepsi commercials and Superbowls and that terrible romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele. I just imagine Mazeltov toasts and jumping off sofas when I hear The Black Eyed Peas, and therefore consider it a fitting New Year’s Eve anthem. (This is irrelevant, but eating actual black eyed peas is a New Year’s tradition too).
Furthermore, consider DJ Earworm’s 2011 Zeitgeist – 80% of this is Katy Perry, whose songs are catchy, but ultimately pretty bad. How do we sum up the year without wanting to slice our ears off?
A few gems come to mind: Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks and SuperBass by Nicki Minaj strike me as really enjoyable pop songs that have some merit. They’re simple, catchy, fun and not stupid – my personal criteria for a successful pop song. Rihanna and Calvin Harris’ We Found Love is starting to grow on me too. However, this could easily deteriorate into a hopeless mess if I hear it too often. I think LMFAO is really dumb, but at least Party Rock Anthem and Sexy And I Know It always incite dancing. Or shuffling, or wiggle-wiggling etc.
Left to my own devices, my New Year’s playlist would consist of Death Cab For Cutie’s tragic song about existentialism and pretending to feel different as time passes by. I’d possibly add Auld Lang Syne by the Beach Boys for tradition’s sake, but ultimately – New Year’s Eve should be celebrated with friends, a special someone (if you have one) and champagne (mental note: add Like a G6 to hypothetical playlist). You should be Partying Up with DMX and Jumping Around with House of Pain. Then you should kiss someone and laugh.