(Reynoldsburg, Ohio) — Columbus area resident Eric Gardner, 37, was ridiculously pleased with himself for managing to program music that didn’t annoy his guests at the dinner party he hosted last night. Boasting a playlist that was spontaneously DJ’d, Gardner insists it was nonetheless ”tailor-made” for those in attendance.
“I have to give myself a lot of credit,” smiled the Columbus State English Literature professor, “for knowing not only what my guests would like, but what this particular mix of people would like. And also having the wherewithal to react when I sense the mood needs to be changed”
“For instance, I know Pauline [Goodings] doesn’t really like jazz, but a number of the other people are partial to it,” he explained. “So I started off with Oscar Peterson’s Night Train Lp: it’s not too frenzied, a bit R&B, you know, not likely to scare any jazz-phobics off while at the same time not so mainstream that Kevin [Bruce], who’s a bit of a snob, would roll his eyes.”
The “brilliant” mix included a “variety of genres and critically lauded artists” that Gardner was convinced inspired an ambiance which allowed for a free-flowing conversation and convivial atmosphere. After Night Train, Gardner played Blue by Joni Mitchell, followed by the Louvin Brothers’ My Baby’s Gone. Other Lps spun during the evening include Studio One Dub, Voodoo by D’Angelo and People…Hold On by Eddie Kendricks. “You can mix up the genres,” he claimed, “while still maintaining a consistent feel.”
“Another trick is to play only one side of the vinyl so people don’t get, say, ‘reggae fatigue’. It’s a little more work,” he smiled, ”and more than once I had to interrupt an anecdote to switch tunes. Still, I find it’s worth it.”
Guests at the party were seemingly unaware that their musical needs were being catered to so minutely. “I’m not sure, but I think Eric played some Fleetwood Mac [sic] and some Bob Marley [sic],” guest Rene Thompson stated when asked about the dinner party’s music. “To be honest, I wasn’t paying that much attention.”
“It was a bit weird,” claimed another guest, Carrie Matthews. “I thought Eric was off doing lines [of cocaine] because he kept disappearing every twenty minutes, but [husband] Peter [Matthews] says [Eric] never does blow. Anyway, Karen [Gardner] cooked up a nice pasta in creamy salmon sauce, so it’s all good.”
“I feel like my playlists are an education,” said Gardner happily. “And even if the people at my party don’t know it, their minds have been expanded.”