Sound Off

Dear Wannabe DJ With the iPod: You're Sabotaging the Party!

By Mary Grace Cerni

There are party fouls that can be forgiven. Really egregious ones, even, like peeing in the indoor plants.

But disrupting the music by unplugging the host's device in favor of your own iPod or smartphone? Now that's fucked up.

I was at my friend's house last year, near San Luis Obispo. He was throwing a party, and he put me in charge of the music.

I spent hours grueling over a hot MacBook attempting to form the perfect collection of songs for the event. The playlist would evolve as the night went on - there would be chill, indie-electronic tunes for pre-gaming and beer pong and then hip-hop and pop bangers to go with the later stages of dancing and drunkenness.

The order of the playlist was impeccable, the songs were carefully chosen. It was perfect.

And as the night began, everything was going as planned. My playlist was creating a relaxed vibe and people were having a good time.

Before the inevitable happened.

Some random dude unplugged my MacBook from the speakers and connected his iPhone to start playing the Steve Aoki remix of "Pursuit of Happiness." I wished Steve Aoki could've actually been there to cake this guy in the face. Not only did this dingleberry ruin the party atmosphere with a totally overplayed, outdated, and shitty song, but he also performed the rudest act of modern-day partying - playlist sabotage. You know what I'm talking about: When some loser gets really drunk and thinks he should be in charge of the music, he simply plugs in.

Idiots messing with party playlists has been happening forever, of course, but at least in the old days, the disrupter had to choose music from the host's own collection. No one came to parties armed with a bunch of cassette tapes or 8-tracks. (That would have been kind of cool actually.)

But nowadays it's just too damn easy. Everyone's got their whole music collection at their fingertips, and the more they drink (or smoke, or whatever) the more they want to hear their own crappy favorite songs.

No one likes a playlist saboteur, because:

A) It's rude. You wouldn't bring your own band to someone else's wedding reception, so don't play your own playlist.

B) It's awkward. The transition is almost never smooth, and nothing is worse than a jerky, mid-song change.

When this happens, people get angry. There's usually yelling and booing involved, and that random dude who decided to steal the show will probably never get invited back.


This happens all over the place. At one after party in Santa Barbara, I heard the song "Gas Pedal" by Sage the Gemini over a dozen times, each one from a different drunk bitch's iPhone. (Seriously.) The problem was that no one person was in charge of the music, so therefore everyone was, and it was hell.

If you're throwing a party, be warned: A speaker and an auxiliary cord set up in the middle of the room is just asking to be messed with by partygoers. It's best to keep the source of the music out of sight.

For everyone else, remember to observe the new rule of party etiquette: It's always okay to BYOB, but please don't BYOiP.

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