Everything Pop Punk

John Scalzi

I’m traveling today to DJ a friend’s birthday party this evening (yes! You can hire me as a DJ! For weddings, birthday parties and bar/bat mitzvahs!), and aside from what I usually play, this friend also requested a sprinkling of mashups and/or reinterpretations of popular songs into other musical subgenres. Well, as you may know, YouTube is positively rife with such things, so I spent last night a couple of hours trawling about for fun and/or surprising takes on hit music.

Alex Melton, the fellow you see above, has made a nice YouTube career on taking hits and swapping their genres, particularly making them “pop punk,” so I thought it would be fun to show you one I’m not adding to my DJ mix, not because it isn’t good, but because I’m just more likely to play this actual particular song itself. But it’s fun to listen to this take of it. It is relevant to my musical interests, shall we say. For the actual DJ set, I have some nice mashup/revisions that I think people will enjoy. I guess we’ll find out tonight!

And, yes, in fact, no one is more surprised than me that I have developed this weird little side gig as a DJ. To be very clear, I am not one of those DJs who beat matches and has a light show and wears head-encompassing masks, since all that sounds like too much work to me (and in the case of the masks, very stuffy). I am the quintessential “wedding DJ,” i.e., the guy who will play the biggest damn hits of the last several decades so that everyone, even your grandma (heck, especially your grandma) will hit the dance floor.

But it seems to work, since I get asked a lot to do it, especially at science fiction conventions, where, aside from anything else, the fact that a Hugo-winning novelist will be your DJ for the evening has some weird appeal. And of course, I enjoy doing it, not the least because if I’m DJing then I at least know there will be music I want to dance to, and I enjoy dancing a lot. It’s how I met Krissy, after all. “Science Fiction Convention DJ” is a deeply specialized subgenre of the field, but one I can reasonably say I’m at or near the top of. I am in fact an award-winning Science Fiction Convention DJ. I should put that on my CV.

(Also, actually, I have DJ’d a wedding. And, clearly, a birthday party or two. Maybe don’t hire me for your kid’s bar/bat mitzvah, I don’t think they’ll really want someone who looks like their dad up there spinning tunes.)

Anyway, I’m off for the weekend. Enjoy yourselves while I’m off spinning tunes.

— JS

11 Comments on “Everything Pop Punk”

  1. PS: A funny little DJ story:

    I was at my high school Alumni Weekend in October and in the evening after dinner they had a dance, with professional DJ Richard Blade (these days from Sirius XM’s “First Wave” station, and also the biggest DJ on the legendary KROQ radio station when I went to high school) spinning tunes.

    During the dance one of the coordinators of the alumni weekend came up and said, hey, we heard you DJ too, want us to ask Richard Blade to let you do a set. I looked at them in horror, since that was basically asking someone who can maybe bake cookies if he wants to go up and fool about with a Michelin-starred chef’s dinner service. Their heart was in the right place by asking! But no!

    I politely declined.

    Richard Blade, by the way, did an awesome set.

  2. Aaww man! I wish I had known about this several weeks ago. My wife and I recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and had a vow renewal ceremony for family and friends. We would have totally booked you!

  3. Not sure if you found this or not, but DJ Cummerbund’s “YYMilk” (Ke$ha’s “My Milkshake” mixed with Rush’s “YYZ”) is pretty inspired in this genre, and maybe also in or near your musical wheelhouse.

  4. Now I really want to convince my partner to book you for our wedding. I’m not sure we could afford you though!

  5. I’m also a big fan of Alex Melton’s series where he takes emo/pop-punk music and does a country cover of it. “I Write Sins Not Tractors” is one of my favourites:

  6. When I was a wee bit older than you are, I found myself updating from “I’m old enough to be their parent” to “I’m old enough to be their grandparent!” (yikes)

    I was in a community theatre production of “Tom Sawyer,” and I played the mother of a 10-year-old. I was 53. Yikes!

%d bloggers like this: