So, yeah, I’m a day late on this, but I’m hoping I can make up for it with this playlist. Also I hope it makes up for the fact that I haven’t written on this blog for, I dunno, forever? Too long.
This playlist arises out of a conversation I’ve had a few times with Claire about the music at her upcoming wedding, namely that Claire has exacting standards when it comes to music. The basic idea was good music, and a complete lack of things you hear far too often at these types of gatherings. I’m of course talking about any song that requires a large group of people to do the same steps in the same order for 5 minutes – basically any song with the word “slide” ending the title. I get that. It’s tough to “program” for a wedding – you have to appeal to the drunk 20-somethings that comprise the friend group while still allowing for the parental groups to get their groove on as well.This is a task I’m usually uniquely suited to. I love obsessively putting together playlists that appeal to a wide demographic, and I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at it.
This, however, was a real challenge for me, because of the fact I cannot, for the life of me, dance. Not even a little bit. It’s really weird, too, because it’s not a matter of time keeping or feeling the rhythm – I’ve played bass for two-plus decades. I can stay in the pocket no problem, I can set myself up behind the beat no issue. I can wait 140 bars not playing anything and come in on the and-of-three without a second thought. Can I move my arms and legs in a pleasing fashion to a beat? Not to save my life.
Still, I had to try. I decided the best way to do this effectively was to come up with a theme appropriate for a wedding put on by Claire. That theme is this: middle school dance, circa 1997 meets coked-out disco, circa 1978 meets the dance club from Walk Hard: A Dewey Cox Story where people go to dance erotically. I can almost hear the squeal of joy across the coast when Claire hears this list – it’s chock full of those tracks that makes a dance floor go, “Ooooohhhh!”
Some quick hits:
- I had to start the list off oddly and awesomely, with the New Orleans-style bounce jam from Mystikal, “Bouncin’ Back (Bumpin’ Up Against The Wall).” It’s ridiculous and the beat does, in fact, bounce. And those horns!
- There was no way I was going to make a list for Claire’s birthday or wedding that didn’t include “Return of the Mack.” I think she might walk down the aisle to it.
- “Go Your Own Way” isn’t perhaps the most danceable, but it is a song to jump up and down and shout and play air drums. Maybe it can be played after the chicken dance.
- I did keep to a couple wedding cliches – you can’t have a wedding without some Michael Jackson. I think it’s actually illegal in most states.
- The real crown jewel of this list is, as it was always going to be, “Ignition Remix,” which is why it’s the last song. I toyed with playing it first, but I didn’t wanna blow my wad on the first song. It’s such an awesome song, I’m not sure I remember what it was remixing.
Happy birthday, Claire, and I cannot wait for your wedding.