Friday, September 30, 2011

Clifton Park Elks Lodge Wedding VENUE REVIEW

- Wedding Venue Review

Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of being the disc jockey at The Clifton Park Elk's Lodge. Two things that I always look forward to when doing a gig at The Elks is some really great cooking, and the fact that the people are very easy to work with.

At the Elk's, they provide a quality venue at reasonable pricing. They also allow quite a bit of freedom to the bride and groom to customize outline of the night's events and how they will unfold. In today's wedding industry, this is not always so.

VENUE - According to their web site, The Lodge's facilities at the Clifton Park Elks are said to be, "a great place to have the wedding of your dreams or enjoy a great barbecue." This is true. Know this. Guests there can choose from their indoor facilities with 2 connecting rooms, dance floor and complete bar, or their out-door pavilion with a large grill and on-site sporting games. The Elks Lodge can also custom create a combination package of both upon guest request.

FOOD - The food really is great considering they cook all their own food without a cateror. It has a more homey-like feel to it, rather than the mass-produced feel that some of the bigger venues have, and I think that the guests appreciate that.

SERVICE - They do serve their guests the buffet food portions which slows down their buffet line to some degree. However, the hand-carved prime rib was high quality and great for a smaller-to-medium sized venue. The sides were really good, as well, and they even featured their own home-made sauces, like a great bistro horse-radish for the beef.

One more thing I really like is that they are super easy to work with. For example, the lodge doesn't force the cake, or toast on you. Wedding halls and catering venues sometimes push to have the cake cutting activity happen very soon after the dinner. This push for early dessert helps them organize the employees' duties in the back and an early cake activity can actually maximize employee potential and save the hall money.

However, an early cake is not always the best for the party, as many people leave right after the cake, and the activity can really slow down the fun. At the lodge, they are really cool with letting it happen later. I also don't think they try and soak the bride and groom with a cutting fee.

If I could change one thing, I would probably change the buffet line up to both sides of the table to speed up the actual serving, and set up a separate food station for the hand-carving roasts. However, because it is a smaller venue, maybe 80-120 guests in full capacity for the dinning room, it is possible that space is an issue.

BAR - There is a cool little bar in a separate room for the drinking enthusists, as well as a small bar in the large extended dining room.

LOCATION - The lodge is conveniently located at 695 Macelroy Road in Ballston Lake NY. This site is right on the border of Clifton Park and is an easy place to get to. It is still far enough away from the commericialism right off of the 87 exit.

If you need to book your small to medium sized wedding and are now thinking about the Elks as an option, the phone number is (518) 877-5200.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wedding Cake Cutting Song Ideas - Song List

The idea of the wedding cake has been around forever, though it has morphed into what we know it as today. During the Roman Empire times, the groom would crumble a bread-like cake over the brides head. In the 17th century a large wedding pie was used, with a glass ring hidden inside it somewhere to symbolize that the finder was the next to be married. By the 19th century, cakes started to look and taste a little more like we are accustomed to now.

No matter how you cut it, music makes everything better, so having a cake theme song is a fun thing to do for the people surrounding the bride and groom. The best thing to do when choosing a song is to think about what kind of atmosphere you would like to set during your cake cutting activity. Happy, party, fun, serious, nostalgic, classy, and romantic are all moods that you could set. Remember to pick a song that goes along with the feeling you would like to convey.

Here are some songs that you may like:

Ain't That a Kick in the Head - (Dean Martin)
All My Life - (KC & JoJo)
Banana Pancakes - (Jack Johnson)
Better Be Good To Me - (Tina Turner)
Cut the Cake - (Average White Band)
Eat It - (Weird Al Yankovich)
Happy Together - (The Turtles)
Hit Me With Your Best Shot - (Pat Benatar)
How Sweet It Is - (James Taylor)
I Got You Babe - (Sonny Bono & Cher)
I Wanna Grow Old With You - (Adam Sandler)
I'm Yours - (Jason Mraz)
If I had $1 Million Dollars - (Bare Naked ladies)
It Had to be You - (Harry Connick Jr.)
It's your Love - (Tim McGraw & Faith Hill)
Love and Marriage - (Frank Sinatra)
Lucky - (Colbie Calliet)
Mack The Knife - (Bobby Darin)
Pour Some Sugar on Me - (Def Leppard)
So This Is Love - (Cinderella Theme)
Sugar, Sugar - (The Archies)
That's Amore - (Dean Martin)
Theme From 'Jaws' - (Jaws Soundtrack)
This Guy's In Love With You - (Herb Albert)
When I'm 64 - (Beatles)

Friday, September 9, 2011

TheCoolTV - New Local Music Video TV Channel you will love!

During the hurricane/tropical storm two Sundays back, I was fortunate to still have power, so I decided to put in hardwood floors in the master bedroom with my friend Justin. We did a great job, but the furniture wasn't in yet. (It comes this weekend.) Therefore, my wife and I moved into the spare bedroom.

I put up flatscreen TV and had to run a channel update on it. I had never done that and it actually found new channels. One of them, I thought was MTV2 (a channel that actually still plays some music videos,) but I was wrong... It is called TheCoolTV, and it plays really cool retro music videos mixed in with today's modern hits; just like MTV would have done. It also has the underground feel that MTV used to have, before they went mainstream. You will love it!

I called our WXXA's program director in Albany, NY, Paul Pelliccia, and he gave me the low-down on what Dash-2 channels are and what is up with TheCoolTV.

A few months ago, WXXA Fox canned their Hunting Channel affiliate on the digital channel 8's, which nobody watched. It was all fishing and hunting shows, and I guess it was pretty lame. In looking for a replacement, they decided to go with some hip syndicated programming, in totally the opposite direction of the redneck channel that they had. They replaced it with an all music video channel that really is great.

THE HD TV "DASH TWO" CHANNELS - In case you didn't know, with the advent of FCC creating all digital channel programming in America, all local netwoks now have access to additional channels available to them for alternative programming. Local Network affiliates like CBS, NBC, FOX and ABC can now opt to have two more channels of programming under their banners on most Cable providers like Time Warner. Most network providers opt to use the "-1" channel for their all-day news programming, and the "-2" for cheap retro programming for now that doesn't cost the company very much money to make some extra advertising dollars.

HOW TO FIND IT - If you have a HD flat screen without a cable box, when you put it on channel 8, bump up the channel button twice. You will see it go, "08", "08-1", and then finally "08-2" and there is TheCoolTV. If you have a cable box set up, it is now channel 423.

WXXA's program director, Paul Pelliccia, said the "HD - 2 channels are often a tough sell," and sometimes people don't get to see them well, because they are kind of hidden. Hopefully, people will watch this and enjoy it like I did and let WXXA know.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lady Gaga's New Track sounds like...

Many people are scratching their heads, asking themselves, "That Lady Gaga new song sounds just like... Umm... Just like.... Hmmm. What does it sound like?"

In case you are like the others and believe that Lady Gaga's new track "You and I" seems to sound like something else you have heard before, you are probably right for two reasons. To me, I think that the music sounds like one song, and the the way the lyrics are sung sound like another. It's almost as if Lady Gaga has created her own mashup remix for all the little monsters for this song.

So which songs have been mashed up for this new hit? After hours of racking my brain and searching, I think that music sounds like Shania Twain "Man, I Feel Like a Woman," and the way she is singing the lyrics suspiciously sounds even more like Anna Nalick's "Breath (2am)."

PRODUCTION/MUSIC - First off, the song was, in fact, produced by Robert “Mutt” Lange, the producer and ex-husband of Shania Twain’s Come on Over, as well as cmany other rock/pop blockbusters hits. “You and I,” the radio release, which is actually a remix from the original studio track, is now sort of country/pop and, can arguably be said to resemble Shania’s choppy guitar riff from her mega party anthem, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman." Take a listen here:

LYRICAL ARRANGEMENT - Okay you little loyal little monsters. Here is the big one. Just like that other track, "Born This Way," sounds a hell of a lot like Madonna's "Express Yourself," listen Anna Nalick's 2007 hit "Breath (2am)" and tell me you do not hear any similarity. Listen:

LINE SIMILARITY- Okay, I am still stuck on this one. There's also to line "It's been a long time..." that bugs me. I feel like that exact line is somewhere else, sung identically, but It is not in Nalick's song. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know. I thought at first maybe, "What's Up" by The 4 Non-Blondes, but that wasn't it, though it too, does sound a little like this track. Your thoughts?

LADY GAGA's "You And I" - So here it is... Leave a comment below and tell me what you think. You can also email me at