Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Best Songs In Which The Solution To Your Problems Is To DANCE! (SemiDaily List.)

Apropos of nothing, I'm feeling dance-y. Not that I'm actually dancing right now; it's 6:52 a.m. and I'm sitting at my desk drinking Mountain Dew because I forgot to tell Sweetie to get coffee when she went grocery shopping, and I feel guilty if I actually take a whole can of coffee from the office, so my home is currently sans coffee right now, which isn't the reason I'm not dancing.

I'm not dancing because I'm typing. But maybe if I danced, it would alleviate the effects of not having any coffee?

As an aside, people make a lot of jokes about pilfering from the office -- King Missile made a whole song about it, a song that really has nothing to do with dancing but which I'll post here anyway, 'cause what are you going to do about it? Report me to Blog Command?

Please don't report me to Blog Command. I can't take another Instruction.

So taking stuff from work is wrong? Or is it? I can drink all the coffee I want to at work; I can refill my cup for free millions of times if I want, drinking all their coffee in a single day if I'm capable of it... but I can't take it home?

What if I took one of the cans of coffee home, but never drank coffee at work again? Would that be fair?

In other taking stuff from work news, you'd think the movie studio Pixar would be a fun place to work, but you'd be wrong because, as pointed out in this New Yorker story,

1. Buzz Lightyear and Nemo do not actually work there.

2. Although they don't come right out and say it, Pixar kind of expects that you will never go home, and they have all kinds of things right there at work to ensure that you pretty much live at your job. Which is a nightmare, notwithstanding that they have a free cereal bar for workers.

3. That's right: Pixar, as revealed in The New Yorker, offers a free cereal bar to employees, but don't get all uppity because that story also reveals that Pixar head John Lasseter (who's got kind of an old West-y sort of name) once fired a worker for complaining that the free bowls for the free cereal are too small.

4. Which, I mean, sure, the guy shouldn't have been complaining about it, but firing him? Seems kind of harsh.

Also, the article didn't actually point out that Buzz and Nemo don't work there. I inferred that from the fact that they are fictional characters.

So back to the list, which is, as I said, a list of

The Best Songs In Which The Solution To Your Problems Is To DANCE!

This list occurred to me while listening to one of the songs on this list, a song that urged me to dance for some reason or other, and then I started thinking about all the other songs that had told me I should dance, too, after which I compiled this list.

Which, it now occurs to me, didn't really require that explanation. Sorry for wasting your time. But I previously enlightened you about Pixar, so you're breaking even so far on this post. Let's push that into the black with the list:

1. Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen):

Dance-related advice:
"Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room."

Problem dancing solves: It's actually unclear, as the song is a list of advice, but the suggestion to dance follows immediately after "Enjoy your body, use it every way you can... it is the greatest instrument you will ever own." So it seems like dancing is the cure for poor body image.

2. Let's Dance (David Bowie)

Dance-related advice: "Put on your red shoes and dance the blues."

Problem Dancing Solves: Fear: Dancing the blues is the best way to avoid the sticky topic of whether or not your loved one is all she/he claims to be, and also whether or not this relationship will last:

Let's dance for fear
your grace should fall
Let's dance for fear tonight is all

3. Let's Dance (Miley Cyrus)

Note: I was not actually aware this songs existed until I went to Youtube to search for Bowie's Let's Dance. The only Miley song I like is "Seven Things I Hate About You", which I like because it's catchy and it's 70% of The Taming Of The Shrew.

Dance-related advice:
"Let's dance/Grab your girlfriends/Grab your boyfriends/Sweat it out/ Let's dance."

Problem Dancing Solves: One similar to Bowie's problem: relationship troubles. You're dancing "To the number one girl to make her go crazy/I need you to dance with me baby." So when things are getting dull, or your girl might be thinking of leaving, make her go crazy with some sweatin' it out dancing.

4. Flight 180 (Bishop Allen)

What, you thought all the songs had to have dance in the title?

Dance-Related Advice:
"if you feel like dancing/dance with me."

Problem Dancing Solves: Loneliness, and disconnection from the world. The singer is on a flight and imagines that the waitress, and the captain, and the man next to him reciting times tables audibly, are all in fact saying If you feel like dancing, dance with me, as he watches the country pass below him, lights shining on people he knows, etc.

It's really kind of sad. Or beautiful. Or both.

Let's pick up the mood a bit, shall we?

5. Dance, Dance (Fall Out Boy)

Remember when Pete Wentz was a budding emo rock star, instead of an ex-Husband to Ms. Looks Like Kate Hudson and comic book creator? That was cool.

Dance-Related Advice: "
Dance, dance."

Problem Dancing Solves: Being awkward; the singer can't tell a joke, isn't much with the ladies, and in fact appears to be getting female attention only out of pity. Pity he doesn't want, unless it's the horizontal kind:

Why don't you show me the little bit of spine
You've been saving for his mattress
I only want sympathy in the form of you crawling into bed with me

Which is not to say there's not some self-pity going on amidst the rug-cutting:

Dance this is the way they'd love
If they knew how misery loved me

Which suggests that dancing is not just a way to get around being awkward, but also to emphasize just how awkward you are.

Which, in turn, is exactly how dancing works for me.

6. Our Most Brilliant Friends (Slow Club)

Dance-Related advice:
"So just dance with me/Move your body round this time machine/Start it again."

Problem Dancing Solves: At first, I was going to say "Time Machine breakdown," but then I listened again to the lyrics -- which go into the slower part of the song; it's a long one. And that closer look showed it's again fear:

And we're scared about the world
The atmosphere, our bodies, and our health

The dancing takes care of that and celebrates that our bodies can recreate, urging people not to think so much (our most brilliant friends are doubting themselves) and just lose themselves in the dance!

There's a cautionary message, though. The slower part of the song at the end drives home the point that too much dancing can be harmful to your health:

I just wanted to see that new Tim Burton movie
Or hang around with Laura, Jane, and Suzie
And I definitely want to be a rapper
But I'm just a northern girl from where nothing really happens
And the bones inside my shins are crumbling
It's from all the crunking I've been doing

But a song about how all our most brilliant friends doubted themselves, did a moderate amount of dancing, and then saw that new Tim Burton movie would have been not quite as compelling.

7. The Twist/Let's Twist Again (Chubby Checker)

Dance-related advice: The Twist: "Do the Twist/Take me by the little hand, and go like this." Let's Twist Again: "TWIST! YO!"

Problem Dancing Solves:

The Twist: Problems? What problems? This is the 50s! Or maybe the 60s! I'm not sure when it was released! The only problem that existed in this song is what to do when my daddy is sleepin' and mama ain't around and my girl's here... but don't get to thinkin' smutty, because this was the 1950s. Or the 1960s. Whatever.

Let's Twist Again: Possibly crime. Consider these lyrics:

Who`s that flyin' up there? Is it a bird? Noooooo! Is it a plane? Noooooooo! Is it the twister? YEAAAAAAAHH!

That suggests that, instead of being an innocent activity to pass the time when Mom and Dad are out doing whatever parents did in the 1950s/1960s (voting for Ike, probably), Twistin' is morphing into a way to fight the rising social problems that the 1960s would see: Twistin' is clearly a stand-in for Superman. What Chubby is saying is that we're all supermen, and through Twistin', we can help society.

Heeee, and round and round and up and down we go again! Oh, baby, make me know, you love me sooooo! And then:

Or not. Whatever.

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