Hearing a song that was popular during your bar or bat mitzvah season is like traveling back in time. The first few notes creep in and you’re transported into a temple auditorium filled with sweaty 12- and 13-year-olds, the rainbow strobe lights flashing and party motivators directing your arm movements—high, middle, low, repeat—usually to a song like Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration.” But with age comes understanding: there’s actually more to play at a bar mitzvah or wedding than number one hits from the 1980s. Our newest Friday feature finds those songs for you, condensing each week’s new music into a short list of guaranteed party hits, plus a suggested time during the party to play each of the songs. There’s never been an easier way to ensure you’ll look hip at your cousin’s nephew’s wedding next month.
Who: The mother monster is back with her fourth album ARTPOP, for which she brings in Jeff Koons for the album cover, makes a video with Marina Abromovic, and attempts to convince the world she is a work of pop art. Or her art is pop. Or whatever makes you think she is a 2013 version of Andy Warhol.
Song: In “Applause,” Gaga jumps on a pulsing electronic pop beat to tell us how much she loves when we clap for her. Warning: this song is catchy. Not-so subliminal messaging apparently works.
Moment: So what if you’re not the next Sam Horowitz, bar mitzvah entrance champion? When your cake comes out, stand in the middle of the dance floor and raise your arms until everyone in the room is standing and cheering for you.
Who: Drake, our favorite Jewish rapper. His most recent album came out in September, but Drake just released this video for “Worst Behavior.” It’s a whopping 10 minutes long, but you can tell he worked really hard on it, so we’ll support Drake one more time.
Song: The video takes place in Memphis, TN, where Drake’s extended family lives (Drake’s dad makes an appearance in the video). In it, Drake raps about how people didn’t always love him, but look at him now. Everything he touches, after all, is music gold. Very inspirational.
Moment: This one’s for the haters. Look that mean kid from class in the eye and smile, because today, everyone is celebrating you and only you. Then act like you’re on your worst behavior because no parent can punish you on your big day.
The Killers, “Shot At The Night”
Who: The Killers, an American rock band who rose to fame with hits like “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me,” have been around for a decade. In a time when a song lives about three minutes before it’s forgotten, that’s a very long time to remain popular. So to honor the occasion they released a greatest hits album. Lucky for us, it included two new songs.
Song: “Shot At The Night,” with its lilting piano and uplifting lyrics about a break from the regular for one spontaneous night, is a welcome return from The Killers. If only they gave us more than just two songs to work with.
Moment: A middle of the party jam, when everything seems right, this song will inspire one of those moments when you close your eyes and feel invincible. Tonight, anything can happen.
Check out the rest of the Tablet playlists here.
Lauren Schwartzberg is an intern at Tablet Magazine.