STYLE CHATTER

This frigid Chicago weather has me thinking about other places in the world with similar climates. It’s no wonder so much great music comes out of Iceland, they’re cooped up all the time! We’re long time time fans of the Icelandic exports, Sigur Ros, and we’ve been suggesting this tune for wedding ceremonies since our inception in 2006. If you’ve never heard it (which would be surprising, as it’s been in umpteen commercials, movies, etc.), you’re in for a real treat.

My Etta James post the other day got me thinking about what a rich musical history we have here in Chicago. The legendary label, Chess Records, had a wonderful run and was located right on Michigan Ave during it’s heyday in the 50s & 60s. I’d be willing to bet that between all the DJs on our squad, we own every release the label ever put out. Along with greats like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Fontella Bass, and Chuck Berry, the Stones even recorded here. Their two minute instrumental “2120 South Michigan Avenue” (the address of Chess Records’ headquarters…stay tuned for more about the significance of this address for our team) appeared on their second EP, Five By Five. Also, the 2008 film (starring Beyonce who plays Etta James) Cadillac Records was very loosely based on Chess’ rise to international fame.

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We rocked Thrift Shop for the right crowds at the end of last year’s wedding season and we were all curious if it would catch on with the mainstream. Looks like that question has been answered. Can’t even imagine how many requests we’re going to get for it this year.

PS – Late last “season”, before the clean version was available on iTunes, we made an edit of this tune in the studio. It. Is. Effing. Awesome.

Just admit it, fellas. Justin Timberlake is kind of the man.

A few years ago his records were being requested left and right at wedding receptions, and for good reason. We were always happy to oblige but these days, the thrill is gone. Well, put on your nicest suit and tie, because look who’s bringing sexy back.

We’re ready too, JT.

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A very kind bride-to-be just wrote this in her initial inquiry to Style Matters:

“What I like so much about your company is how much you encourage your clients to communicate their tastes, then combine that with your own skill & mastery to customize sets for each event.”

We like her already.

This is something we really pride ourselves on. Most couples tend to plan their wedding receptions well in advance, so this gives us a great opportunity to try and understand what kind of vision you have for your event. We encourage everyone who’s signed on to use us to come up with as many music ideas as possible. Think not only about your own tastes, but your guests’ tastes as well. We’re all highly versatile DJs (not to mention massive, massive music nerds) and we like to think we can play to just about any kind of crowd. You like top 40? Great, let us know. Want us to stray away from country or hip hop? No sweat. Want us to secretly incorporate your parents’ wedding song into our set? We’ve got you covered. All we ask is that you communicate these ideas to us before your party so we can create something that will be unique to you.

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Flo-Rida/Avicii/Pretty Lights fans, did you know that “Sometimes I Get A Good Feeling” riff was taken from an Etta James tune? The Style Matters gang has absolutely no problem with contemporary artists sampling music from yesteryear (in this case, 1962), as long as credit is given where credit is due. Check out this cool version Etta did with B.B. King, Paul Butterfield, and Dr. John. At last!

This off-season, the entire team is working on compiling a list of some unique and moving processional songs. While the classics can certainly be very nice for many brides, we want to remind you that this is your time to shine. You’ll likely never forget the song you walked down the aisle to…so give the people something to talk about. Here’s an idea from deep in the crates that I’ve been sitting on for awhile. While it’s probably not for everybody, I think this will work well for one of our brides getting married at Room 1520 next month.

This beautiful piece of art was created by a young German musician named Erman Erim. The tempo is just right, it will appeal to all generations, and it’s sure to invoke some deep emotions. Oh, and there are probably only a small handful of brides worldwide who have ever processed to this song.

Here’s to daring to be different.

This just in: Our very own <heart>beat maker Max Davis will be rockin’ the decks of love this upcoming V-Day. Fellas, forget those plans of giving her a dozen roses and treating her to a fancy dinner. That’s tired. Do something unexpected. Surprise your lady and take her to a show. The true romantics will be gettin’ down, down, doin’ their dance at the Bottle.

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Here’s some iPhoneography from the infamous DJ booth in the sky at The Millenium Knickerbocker Hotel. Even though it wasn’t a particularly large wedding, because the room is so massive, John Simmons went all out and set up a 6000 watt sound system. What was he gonna do next?

Light it up, duh.

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Here’s some iPhoneography from the infamous DJ booth in the sky at The Millenium Knickerbocker Hotel. Even though it wasn’t a particularly large wedding, because the room is so massive, John Simmons went all out and set up a 6000 watt sound system. What was he gonna do next?

Light it up, duh.

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People often ask us what kind of gear we use at weddings. We get in to great detail on the FAQ page about what brands we prefer, and what we’ll show up to the gig with, but we’ve never posted a picture of what it actually looks like after it’s set up. Here’s a picture from a recent event at one of our favorite venues, the River East Arts Center. This was for a rather large function (over 300 people) so we had a bit of sound reinforcement. In general, though, this is what our set up looks like. Two turntables, a mixer, a subwoofer, a monitor, and 2-4 main speakers on stands. Everything fits easily on a six foot table and the reason we ask for linens in our contract is so we can cover up our cords, while at the same time, match the rest of your color scheme. The idea is that everything is very streamlined.

Wedding cake and uplighting not included (!):

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We here at Style Matters have kind of had it with Chris Brown.

Sure, he can dance his tail off but his music is totally forgettable (that legendary/touching YouTube video of the wedding party processing to “Forever” had much more to do with the act than the specific song they chose). Admittedly, his tunes can work for most pop/mainstream crowds at SM events but we just can’t seem to wrap our heads around the fact the music industry hasn’t completely shunned him for hitting a woman. Now he’s getting in fights with real artists like Frank Ocean? Over a parking spot? GTFO. We’re Team Ocean for life.

Mr. Brown, we’re not Thinkin’ ‘Bout You.

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While there aren’t a whole lot (or really any) Kendrick Lamar singles we can play at Style Matters events, that doesn’t change the fact that he put out one of the best albums of 2012. If you missed him on SNL last night, here he is doing Poetic Justice. We think Janet Jackson would be very happy with how this turned out. It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty years since “Anytime, Anyplace” was released on her monumental album, Janet. That simple little riff was sexy then, and it’s sexy now. Kudos to Mr. Lamar for doing the song…justice.

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After Coachella finally released their lineup yesterday, I tweeted (@orchardlounge) that I predicted Daft Punk to make a surprise appearance with Saturday night headliners-who-don’t-quite-yet-deserve-to-be-headliners, Phoenix. Today, word is Daft Punk has signed to Sony and a new album will be released in 2013. I know one thing, I’ll be front and center during Phoenix’s set in the desert this April. Wait, I know two things. Daft Punk records well programmed (read: late night) at a wedding reception will almost always cause a frenzy. Even your 65 year old auntie will want to cut a rug One More Time before taking off. Trust.

PS-I think Jay-Z needs to do a collabo with Daft Punk. Illuminati conspiracy theorists would be thrown in to a tizzy.

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People often ask us about how we’ll be dressed at their event. It’s difficult to answer that question because what we wear is always dependent on what kind of party we’re playing. For example, what we put together for a formal affair at the Ritz Carlton or The Ivy Room is very different than what we’d wear at a laid back outdoor wedding at Promontory Point or Galleria Marchetti. One thing’s for certain, there are some fashion conscious cats (and kittens) on our squad. Here’s Vans’ 2013 OTW Pritchard Military Pack. These babies are getting us hyped for the warm weather. Style Matters.

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SM TIP#2: If your friends and family members are going to be so bold as to give a toast at your wedding, make sure they know how to use a microphone.

Contrary to popular belief, there’s not a whole lot we can do about sound levels when your Best Man is holding the wireless mic at his belly button. The closer the mic is to your mouth, the better. Easy.

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Maybe not lyrically appropriate for a Style Matters event (“I can’t decide if you are my love”), but a great tune and beautiful video nonetheless. The entire album is worth picking up.

We partied with SNL’s Tim Meadows backstage at a Toro Y Moi concert once. Good times.

Act…ually,  there are loads of incredibly talented videographers in Chicago.

Strictly based on talent, our top choice is still Ben Mahoney Productions/Leap Weddings. We invited them on stage to film the Orchard Lounge (Style Matters’ founders) set at Lollapalooza this past August and here’s here’s a quick recap of that stormy Chicago Saturday eve.

Have you seen the back cover of the most recent CS Brides? Here are the last two adverts we used for our “Tell Only Your Closest Friends” campaign. These lovely couples are Spencer’s grandparents’ wedding photos, taken in 1941 and 1942.

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There’s a reason we don’t have an office: Style Matters is opening an event space.

While that idea certainly isn’t a novel one, we’re not sure we’ve ever seen a private event space operated solely by a collective of DJs. Well, we’ve kicked our venue search into high gear and we’ve already seen a handful of properties that have piqued our interest. We’ve got some very lofty ideas for what we want to accomplish with this project so watch this space.

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We’ve got to be honest, there’s not usually this much action during the month of January. Well, the local wedding industry is a buzz after what went down this past weekend at Salvage One. Here’s the bride & groom’s touching recollection of what turned out to be a magical evening for everyone involved.

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No, this isn’t a post about gratuity. That’s not as important about what we’re going to tell you next. Here, ladies & gents, is SM Tip #1. The first of many suggestions we’re going to make to help ensure you throw the best party possible. Listen closely, there’s a reason we decided to put this one first.

SM TIP #1: Don’t seat your grandparents at the table right in front of the DJ booth.

We can’t tell you how uncomfortable this makes us. And them. We certainly don’t want to offend any of your guests by playing the music too loudly (and rest assured, we are always wary of our levels), but we also want the people in the back of the room to hear our super rad dinner jams. So, please, put your friends at the tables closest to our station. We promise, everyone will appreciate the gesture.

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Greetings and salutations, music lovers!

We hope your new year is off to a splendid start. We’re enjoying some much needed down time and because we don’t have a Twitter or Facebook page (rebels!), we’re going to be using this area of the website to tell you about upcoming events, give you some useful party planning tips, post pictures from gigs around town, etc. Who knows what this blog will become over time. We’ll guarantee one thing, it won’t be boring. We hope you find Style Chatter helpful and highly entertaining so hit that bookmark icon and check back often.

Cheers,

Style Matters

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