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a little night music music for your party pleasure 
by Yee-Fan Sun 
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I grew up in a noisy household. There was always talking, loud enthusiastic talking, a trait we kids inherited from my dad, who comes from a great big family full of loud talkers. There was often the sound of the TV in the background and my mother bustling around in the kitchen. And then there was music, lots of music. Whether it was from us kids practicing our instruments, my dad testing out the volume limits of his newest stereo component, or my brothers and I holed up in our bedrooms, listening to our favorite alt-pop-rock CDs away from the criticism of my dad (for whom anything other than classical or the Beatles was undeserving of the title "music"), there was a steady and constant musical soundtrack underscoring all our family activities.

For me, music just makes life better. It makes cooking more fun, reading more relaxing, cleaning house almost tolerable. And when it comes to parties, music is that essential element that so often makes or breaks the event.

People have a tendency to get so stressed out about what food to make and what drinks to serve that they completely fail to think about music. The guests will be walking through the door, and the frazzled host will still be struggling with something in the oven when s/he realizes that s/he's neglected to get any music going. S/he'll turn on the CD player, play whatever happens to already be in the changer, hit random and hope for the best.

The thing is, just because a CD is your new favorite album in the world doesn't mean it's going to be a great album for your particular fete. Music has the amazing ability to create a sense of mood. Choose the right party music and your guests will feel sexier and hipper and funnier and more brilliant, without consciously knowing why. Choose poorly, and folks will be painfully aware of every awkward break in conversation, all the stupid things they've said, and just how bad that song playing in that background actually is. So before you host your next soiree, it's a good idea to do a little thinking about how to choose your party music…

sidle this-a-way folks! 


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