The Juan MacLean Curates Your 2014 NYE Playlist

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Photo: Tonje Thilesen

By Adam Wenger

On New Year's Eve, the Juan MacLean will open for Cut Copy at the Mezzanine. It'll mark the 12th straight year the veteran DJ has worked on the 31st. Seeing as he knows a thing or two about dance music and New Year's Eve, I asked him to curate a playlist for those who weren't able to score tickets to his sold out show. But first, here's a highlight of some of his reflections on New Year's Eve, the life of a DJ, and the one artist he always gets asked to play.

Every DJ I know is always playing on New Year's Eve. It's just one of those things as a DJ. Honestly, there's quite a bit more money involved so I think it's pretty popular.

You get a front row view of how New Year's Eve plays out, especially if you're DJing at the turn of midnight (usually it just turns into mayhem after that).

My favorite club [in San Francisco] is Monarch. There's an amazing sound system. The vibe is great. People come to dance. It's just really fun.


For a DJ, New Year's Eve is fun, but it's a lot of pressure because people have such high expectations. Because everyone is drinking so much, people can get angry if things aren't going the way they think they should be going.

One New Year's Eve, a guy came up to me and said I was the worst DJ he'd ever heard in his life. I think this was after I told him I couldn't play Lady Gaga. He was really mad that I was ruining his night.

I'm just amazed that, in the middle of the night of playing house music, people still come up and will ask. It always seems to be Beyonce. It's just such an inappropriate request.

For me, [the rise of dubstep] is a positive [thing]. If it brings more kids to something that is close to the dance music world, maybe at some point they'll get curious and venture out.

Poor Skrillex gets blamed for the downfall of the human race.

I usually play things a little differently on New Year's Eve. My DJ sets tend to be darker, deeper, but on New Year's Eve I feel a responsibility to play stuff that's a bit more fun -- classic songs that aren't even dance music songs, like an edit of a Michael Jackson or Prince song.

And without further ado, a NYE playlist from the Juan MacLean to you!