So, for the last week I’ve been really big on dance music. Don’t ask me why, becuase I have no idea. It all started last Tuesday with the prom episode of “Glee” (I know I said I was done with the show, but Kurt and the bully keep me coming back). In that episode Blaine, of the Dalton Academy Warblers, covers the song “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You” by Black Kids. It’s a great song, and one that I hadn’t listened to in far too long. So the next day I turned on Partie Traumatic and listened straight through.
That led to turning on We Are Scientists records, plus their fantastic song “After Hours” from the Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist soundtrack. If you read this blog at all, you know that last Thursday night I went and saw Wolfgang Jay at Beat Kitchen, and in my review of their album And We Move, I compared them indirectly to WAS. So what do you think I turned on after I finished Barbara? Yeah. You guessed it.
With Wolfgang Jay’s constant callbacks to 80’s synth-powered dance music, I decided to take things a little further with my next choice. I was kickin’ it old school with a jam from 1997, “Don’t Stop The Rock” by Freestyle. That is absolutely one of my favorite songs of all-time. Every time I play it for someone, they look at me like I’m an idiot, but I don’t care. And while I’m on the subject of 80’s and 90’s dance music, I may as well tell you where I went next on this musical oddysey; If you’re a “Scrubs” fan you may be able to guess. No? Ok.
Erasure’s amazing “A Little Respect” has been a part of every playlist I’ve put on my iPod since 2006. It’s one of those infectious hits that you can listen to over and over (and I have). That gem came out in 1988 (before some of you were born, probably) so I decided my next step should come from that era as well.
A lot of people think that Madonna had a bit of a return to relevancy in the early 00’s, but for me, nothing will ever get her back to the brilliance of her 1983 self-titled debut. “Lucky Star,” “Holiday,” and my personal favorite “Borderline” introduced the world to an absolute star that would shape pop music for the next two decades. Yes, I own a copy of this record on vinyl, and yes I still sing along to every line like I did when I was a kid.
The next leap through dance-tory (doesn’t really work as a word) was not as logical, but kept me going. There are few people in American music that I think are truly talented. There are people with a good voice, people who can make a beat that makes your booty go (smack), and there are those that can do everything. I’ve taken a lot of shit for liking this dude, but more than that I get people saying, “Yes. Absolutely, you’re right.” That dude, of course, is Justin Timberlake.
He’s one of those guys that I can’t stand because they’re so ridiculously talented it makes me sick. He sings, he dances, he acts (surprisingly well), and he’s got a great sense of humor. I hate him. But, I respect the hell out of him and I think in twenty years or so, we’ll be saying that, yeah, he really was the next Michael Jackson. Justified is basically a debut record that could also act as a greatest hits collection. Every track on that album is better than the one before it. And then Futuresex, Lovesound picks up where Justified leaves off and adds to the pile of gold records that must be filling up JT’s living room.
Since I went super popular with the last couple, I decided to reign it in a bit, and went with Passion Pit-but only the Chunk of Change EP. I’ve decided after much deliberation that I really like Passion Pit, but only in short bursts. The EP is perfect for me, but Manners gets boring after a while. I realized this when I went to see them perform at UNI. After watching K Flay and Black Joe Lewis rip the place to shreds, Passion Pit came to the stage and delivered the most “meh” performance I’ve ever seen (even worse than Band of Horses at Riviera Theater last year-not an easy feat).
With all that out of the way, I flipped over to the UK and hit up some Hot Chip and Franz Ferdinand (s/t only for Franz). Then I played Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.’s cover of Justice’s amazing “D.A.N.C.E.” And that led to The Crib’s cover of Kaiser Chief’s “Modern Way.” I finished out my trip through the Kingdom with Lily Allen’s “Fuck You.” Not as danceable as the others, but a great song nonetheless.
Returning to the states to finish off my week of dance music, I went a bit more hip-hop: Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers is an awesome rap record. One of the better albums I’ve heard in any genre in a while. That got a spin right after Atmosphere’s When Life Hands You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. A slight detour through R Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” landed me at the doorstop of LCD Soundsystem, where I ended my journey with “All My Friends.”
All in all, a pretty good week. What were you listening to? (So help me Jebus if any of you say Lady Gaga I’m gonna scream!)