Posts from 26th June 2009

Jun 09

I Got Ants in My Pants and I Need to DANCE

FT4 comments • 1,911 views

On a recent radio program I heard some old dude talking about how kids dance these days: “Just all by themselves! Jumping up and down with their hands in the air!” This guy goes to some good parties, I thought. “Not like in my day – some elegant music, your hand on the waist of a girl, both of you moving together with the music.” Well that sounds pretty good too, I admitted.

Somewhere around the birth of rock and roll, dancing did indeed start becoming more of an individual pursuit. American Bandstand showcased this new style every week – kids in cardigans, bopping along in their own little space, sock hops and the jitterbug left far behind. But what dancing had lost in physical closeness it was gaining in originality. Disco music became the ultimate backdrop for random individual creativity on the dance floor, and the Jackson Five was right there with it. Then, wriggling free even of his own band and family, Michael Jackson in his Thriller years (and don’t forget Victory) became the ultimate expression of this change that had happened to popular dancing.


After Pop

FT7 comments • 2,110 views

If you take pop history from the emergence of Elvis to right now, the release of Thriller– the highest selling album there will ever be – sits at the midpoint. This coincidence nagged at me when I reviewed the album’s reissue, not very well, for Pitchfork. My original draft (rightly rejected) was built on multiple ideas of Jackson as a “black swan”: a graceful exotic creature, an event that resets its context, a freak.


Poptimism Pays Respect

FT3 comments • 265 views

Just a short front page reminder to everyone that it is Poptimism TONIGHT at the Horse Bar, and as you might imagine we will be paying our respects.
Respectively to:
a) Sky Saxon (you’ll hear Pushin’ Too Hard)
b) Farah Fawcett (you’ll hear The Day Farrah Fawcett Died by the Vandals)
c) Steven Wells (some Daphne & Celeste)
d) Michael Jackson. Lots.

So don’t be sad, celebrate all these lives with dancing and raise a glass or two while you are at it.