When you walk in and hear, "Food's here, Irish is in the front room, klezmer in the basement, oldtime on the front porch - oh, yeah, and shape note in the kitchen," it is likely to be a good party. (Okay, maybe i have weird criteria, but give me food and a chance to play some tunes, especially with people who are better musicians than i, and i'm a pretty happy camper...)
So this year, we'll be going back to Marc's, to wander happily from genre to genre playing music, chatting, and munching. I think the blurring of the sounds between the different musical styles is a good an illustration as any of the "melting pot," and therefore a tremendously appropriate way to celebrate an American holiday. Some years, the music's good enough that we don't bother to leave for the fireworks.