5/1/17: Monday Funday Dance Party

It’s going to be one of those weeks; I can just feel it. The week when you do the thing you need to do.

This is the week when you’ll make that call, find that great job, finish the project and make it awesome. This is the week when you ask out that cute co-worker, sign up for skydiving lessons, or start a rock band (or all three). This is the week when you grab the world by the tater and twist until it does what you want.

With that in mind, let’s listen to some nineties Japanese electronica. Because it is AWESOME.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Elizabeth Walsh

4/10/17: Monday Funday Dance Party

My favorite things about this song? Inez Foxx’s fabulous voice, first of all. It’s like honey, but is so powerful. And she’s got great vocal control.

 

The rhythm track is great, too. There’s so much going on, you just get pulled into the music. And the next thing you know, you’re dancing on top of your desk while you sing into a fake mic made out of a paper towel holder. Then you have to have a meeting with your boss, but it all turns out okay because he also loves the Foxx siblings, and he has his own fake mic/paper towel holder.

Sometimes, it all works out.

1/16/17: Monday Funday Dance Party

Way back in 2005, a man named Dr. Cliff Arnall looked at things like weather, debts following the holidays, and all those New Years resolutions we haven’t been following, and came up with a date for the most Depressing Day of the Year. It’s the third Monday in January, if you want to mark your calendar.

You can find out more in The Telegraph:

Blue Monday 2017 could be bluest ever, says expert behind equation

This year is slated to be extra depressing, what with Trump and Brexit, and all those celebrities who died in the past year.

Anyway, in my mind, that’s all hooey. I am a lady with depression, and although the illness and the mood are different things, I know a thing or two about both of them. Let’s all decide to make today the most awesome Monday of 2017 – until next Monday, of course.

Also marking the third Monday in January in the U.S. is a holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He died before I was born, and oh God, I wish he was still here with us today.

mlk-jr-earnoize-11617

Photo: The Seattle Times

11/28/16: Monday Funday Dance Party!

I remember seeing Mos Def play this on “Letterman,” and immediately bought the single. I love the way the way everything is so laid back and restrained, but there’s also this underlying tension that permeates the whole song.

 

And of course, the timpani. From the Ronettes to Pizzicato Five, I love my pop music with a big side dish of kettle drum.

The clip at the beginning is Fela Kuti, by the way.

10/24/16: Monday Funday Dance Party!

I sometimes work as a dance class accompanist, and have spent a certain amount of time hanging around ballerinas.

First of all, I want to point out how much respect I have gained for dancers through this job. Dance requires the strength and coordination of an athlete, extraordinary self-control, and dedication to the craft. If you don’t believe me, go take a class. You will be lying on the floor weeping in pain within the first eight minutes. I know I would.

It also appear that everyone who studies western classical dance for a while will have to learn some version of “Four Little Swans,” from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gApOfm4qd0

I was goofing around on the piano one day between classes, and began to play the music to this. Immediately, a row of dance teachers came through the door in perfect formation. I laughed so hard I had to stop playing.

Ballet Fun Fact: The technical term for four people dancing together is “pas de quatre.” 

Here’s an interesting interpretation of the piece. The swans have become frogs, and the choreography reflects that. It’s a lot of fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDy_XrWfxHY

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

9/26/16: Monday Funday Dance Party!

It’s one of those rough allergy mornings, the kind where you feel like all the sinus cavities in your head have been filled with cement.

In times like these, all I can say is: thank goodness for Gloria Estefan.

The video’s fun, too. Yes, ladies really had hair like that back in the 80’s. And grumpy foreign ambassadors could always be relied on to fall prey to the seductive rhythms of a Miami evening.

Image: Royalty-free, courtesy of British Museum

9/12/16: Monday Funday Dance Party!

If you’re on the East Coast, it’s pushing 3PM right now. Which means it’s just about time for some B-52’s.

See if you can get a conga line going around the office.

And BTW, the whole album is great. Treat yourself to a copy for the next time it’s 3PM and you need a conga line.

 

 

Image: JD Hancock. Creative Commons License 2.0

7/18/16: Monday Funday Dance Party!

There’s something about African music (old and new) that pulls me in. I adore it.

My theory is that it has something to do about tonality, but I should really do a little research before I pontificate online. In the meantime, here are three dances by Rwandan folk troupes:

This last one is my favorite. The dancers project such a sense of peace and serenity.

I haven’t listened to Rwandan music before: like the dances, it’s slow and dignified and minimal. So beautiful. I love how dramatic the dances are, and also the overlap in roles: some musicians are dancers, and vice versa.

Image: Public Domain, Courtesy of the British Library

June 27, 2016: Monday Funday Dance Party!

Guaranteed to get you up and moving before the boss notices you’re late (Actually, it’s 11:00 AM my time right now, so I think that ship has sailed).

Chris Kenner wrote “I Like It Like That,” and while both versions are great, Kenner’s version charted higher on Billboard’s Hot 100 than the Dave Clark Five’s 1965 cover version did (#2 vs #7).

Now you go on and dance until you lose your shoes.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of the British Library.