November 16, 2012
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Bar mitzvah ideas

Start a simcha stampede

for The Brooklyn Paper

Piecing together the right mix of songs for a bar mitzvah isn’t easy business.

“You need to blend songs that are age-appropriate and universal,” says Jewish DJ Gilad Aldad, who has entertained bar and bat mitzvah guests for more than two decades.

And what can be more universal than PSY’s “Gangnam Style?” The catchy single performed by a stocky Korean rapper with a penchant for pastel blazers has raked in well over 650 million (and counting) hits on YouTube, making the music video — and it’s signature “gallop dance” — a global phenomenon.

Aldad admits that Top 40 singles and kitschy, pop culture delights like “Gangnam Style” are usually the first to make it onto his playlists, but he also stresses the importance of bridging the generation gap. For instance, the professional purveyor of pop suggests wisely selected classics like “I’ve Had The Time of My life” from the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack. The song, which was hugely popular two decades ago, appeals to both nostalgia–loving adults and less-familiar tweens who will recognize the song’s melody from the modern hit “The Time,” by the Black Eyed Peas.

So, what other oldie-but-goodies get everyone at a simcha up and moving? We asked Aldad for his picks:

• “In the Mood” — Glenn Miller, 1939

• “Twist and Shout” — The Beatles, 1963

• “Sweet Caroline” — Neil Diamond, 1973

• “YMCA” — Village People, 1978

• “You Shook Me All Night Long” — AC/DC, 1980

• “Forever Young” — Alphaville, 1984

• “I’ve Had The Time of My Life” — Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes (“Dirty Dancing”), 1987

• “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” — Journey, 1988

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