On the eve of Learning Secrets' eight-year anniversary, co-founders Ian Orth and Jeramy Neugent credit Austin as being "a city where you can take creative risks and have the end result be something that actually works."
Back in 2004, the two teamed up to fill a party void in Austin — that of sweaty dance floors and international DJs. They formed Learning Secrets that winter, and in the years that followed, they saw their fledgling party company turn into a fully developed event planning, PR, talent management and design boutique.
Now, Learning Secrets has earned cache in showcasing a certain type of music — dance music, mostly — that might not get exposure in Austin on a regular basis. On their roster of artists who've stopped by (rather, flown in) and played Learning Secrets parties are Woolfy, Moby, Pat Mahoney of LCD Soundsystem, Classixx, Annie Mac, Phoenix, Peaches and The Juan Maclean.
What's cool is that Learning Secrets parties are rather unpretentious considering the crowd drawn and the talent booked. Packed, but unpretentious. We're not talking bottle service and velvet ropes, we're talking divey dance floors of sheer abandon.
For Learning Secret's 8th birthday celebration on Saturday night, Orth and Neugent will fly Midnight Magic in from New York — a six-piece disco ensemble comprised of members of Hercules & Love Affair — for a special, one-off show.
Since Orth and Nuegent are so damn good at creating the "anything goes party vibe," we threw several social scenarios at the guys and asked them to flex their DJ muscles by telling us what tracks they'd play for each. Check out their unexpected answers below and start planning your next laud-worthy playlist.
Learning Secrets Party Pop Quiz
I don't have a single guy buddy that doesn't like this song, so I'd put it on to find out if there is an impostor.
Guys like feeling badass, duh. This song helps to make us think we are.
Jeramy: Dead Prez "50 In The Clip"
Girls want you to think they get together and talk about crafting and boys while listening to Björk; reality is, they talk dirty and listen to gangsta rap.
There's a long back story to my choice, you'll just have to trust me on this one.
Jeramy: The Strokes "Is This It"
Let's face it, dinner parties are a little awkward until everyone finishes their first glass of wine. This album makes people feel comfortable. Put this song on and your guests will start saying things like, "Remember that one time when..." and "This reminds me of that time..."
Sweetest love song ever written, and when everybody is sitting around the table waiting to break the ice, this song has to the power to bring people together.
Nothing makes me feel more lose than classic 'rock steady.' Sure, Skank if you want to? I just flop around like a giddy toddler.
Yeah, the Silence of the Lambs song. It slays on the dance floor every single time.
The album this song is on, 'Electric Pocket Radio,' is all over the place and just plain fun, which is exactly where I'll be and what I'll be having.
On a road trip sometimes you just want to zone out and mouth the words to a song to yourself. Next to Son Volt, Tom Petty does that for me every time.
Jeramy: Madball "Set It Off"
This song works you out so you don't have to.
Ian: Isan "Fueled"
I actually enjoy jogging to something as ambient and beatless as possible. This classic album by Isan is hands down one of my favs of all time.
Jeramy: Not Jeremy Enigk's 'Return of The Frog Queen'
It's tainted by once having that on and the girl was singing along the whole time...
I can't have music on in the bedroom. I've been known to stop and say, "Oh this part is so amazing!" True Story.
Learning Secrets' 8th anniversary party will go down at Beauty Bar Jan. 28, 9 p.m. You can purchase tickets here.