Here are days 8-14 of the 30 Days of Music Challenge that I’m doing, thanks to Mr Knitter!
Day 8: Song from the ’70s
“December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” by The Four Seasons
How did a song about a guy losing his virginity to a woman whose name he didn’t even know in late December, back in ’63 become a #1 hit here? A fantastic groove, a catchy piano riff, and the sweet verses from drummer Gerry Polci, that’s how! Not to mention Frankie Valli’s classic vocals in the chorus. I first heard this song during promo interstitials for what was then the WB Network (which later merged with UPN to become The CW), and I still get images of Michigan J. Frog in my head when I hear this song!
Day 9: Song from the ’80s
“Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats
I just love this song and all its quirks: the monotonous vocal from Ivan Doroschuk over such a bright-sounding backing track, the lyrics, and in the full version (posted here), you can hear Doroschuk spelling out the song’s title in his very obvious Montreal accent (and Anglophone Montreal residents have a very distinct accent to my ears, even more distinct than the model of all Canadian accents, the Toronto accent).. And of course, the line “We can dance / We can dance / Everybody look at your hands” makes me think of Z quoting Homer Simpson saying “Dance, dance, everyone look at your pants.”. And finally, only this song can get away with using the word “imbecile” in the lyrics.
Day 10: Song from the ’90s
“Too Close” by Next
Here in the States, the two music genres from the 1990s with the most lasting musical legacy are Grunge and Hip-hop/R&B. This song was a pretty big hit here on both the R&B and pop charts. In a decade that decided to throw all sorts of romantic and sexual subtlety to the curb, this is a textbook example of that. This song is essentially the musical version of “Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”. And yes, I do remember this song playing on the radio.
Day 11: Song from the ’00s
“Ms. New Booty” by Bubba Sparxx
Two reasons why I picked this song: 1. Most songs from the 2000s sound incredibly dated these days and don’t give me the feels, and 2. Epic Movie. That is all.
Day 12: Favorite Song from a Cowboy Movie
“Blazing Saddles” by Frankie Laine (opening theme to Blazing Saddles)
The movie that this song appears in holds a special place in my heart: it was the first R-rated movie I ever saw (with my parents’ permission, too, as my dad was the one who bought the DVD) and it also sparked my love of Mel Brooks movies.
Day 13: Favorite Song from a Western
“Django” by Rocky Roberts (theme from Django and Django Unchained)
I first heard this song in Django Unchained, which is Quentin Tarantino’s tribute to spaghetti westerns, but the song originally appeared in the 1960s spaghetti western classic, Django (and that film’s star, Franco Nero, is the one to whom Django in the latter film informs that “The ‘D’ is silent”). My dad is such a huge fan of both Quentin Tarantino and western films, and his fandom of Tarantino may have rubbed off on me. One thing I love about his films is his incredible skill in selecting music that not only enhances a film, but in some cases also advances its plot (“Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” in Pulp Fiction, “Stuck in the Middle with You” in Reservoir Dogs, “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” in Kill Bill, “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” in Inglourious Basterds). He was able to take a song from the film that inspired Django Unchained and capture the essence of what Jamie Foxx’s Django is after: freedom and the woman he loves (“Django, after the showers the Sun will be shining.”). And the original Django is a legendary film itself, having spawned many sequels and spiritual sequels. Next to The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood’s character in the Fistful of Dollars trilogy), Django is one of the most legendary characters in the Western and spaghetti western film genres.
Day 14: Favorite Song from a TV Show
“MST3K Love Theme” by Har Mar Superstar (theme song for Mystery Science Theater 3000)
I am relatively new to this fandom (the original run aired in the 1990s, usually late at night, so I was too young at the time to watch it), but so far I have really been enjoying it. I’ve watched episodes from the original and new runs and I love how it plays into one of my favorite things: snarking on stuff. From the episodes I’ve seen on Netflix, my favorite episode from the old run so far is Eegah!, and my favorite from the new run so far is Starcrash (the former being a caveman/teen romance movie featuring the creepy and, as a fellow Raveler put it, “cantilevered” hair of Arch Hall, Jr., and the latter being a gloriously bad knockoff of Star Wars starring Christopher Plummer, a former child preacher, a future video vixen, a young David Hasselhoff, and some redneck robocop). The song was a no-brainer, as I usually find myself singing along in the intros.
Next week, it’s Days 15-21!