I’m not particularly known for my moves on the dance floor. I’m usually reluctant to jump in when the music starts. But there is a handful of songs that, no matter what the occasion, will at least get my toes tapping and likely lead to an all-out dancing spree. I’m also slow to realize which songs do this to me, most of the artists on this list having earned my ridicule or ill will at one point or another (I’m an old codger at heart here, people.)
You’ll notice not a single song on this list was produced after 2009. That’s because I hit my dancing prime at the tender age of 22. Or maybe my constant state of legal inebriation during the preceding year led me to believe that’s the case. To be completely honest, I didn’t do nearly as much drinking when I turned 21 as many of my peers did, which makes this list doubly embarrassing.
I hope you enjoy the admissions made hereafter. Some of them were pretty painful to realize and put into words, which I hope translates into some sort of sick entertainment on your part.
5. MGMT – “Electric Feel,” Oracular Spectacular
You can blame my former roommate who’s currently serving in the Peace Corps for this one. Every single day there would be a steady rotation of the same ten songs blaring from his room, this being one of them. Admittedly, I’m quite a bit more fond of the other artists on that ten-song playlist but this one holds a special place in my heart. Whenever it came on the shuffle, Mario would drop whatever he was doing and launch into a full-on workout. Okay, so maybe “full-on workout” isn’t the best way to describe it. But he did do a continuous set of push-ups while this song was on and it was just as entertaining as it sounds. As a tribute to my old roommate’s wackiness, I’ll shuffle my feet whenever this MGMT gem comes on regardless of where I am at the moment.
4. Justin Timberlake – “My Love,” Futuresex/Lovesounds
Honestly, I can’t help but, as the kids say, “shake my money-maker” whenever JT’s “My Love” is on. When I worked at Old Navy and this song would emerge on the store soundtrack, a couple of friends and I would start moving to the groove, an act that soon evolved — or devolved, depending on your point of view — into a little game we liked to call “How Ridiculous Can You Look At Any Given Moment?” The dance started innocently enough: I’d move my arms robotically to the beat and shuffle my feet in a jerky fashion. Before you knew it, however, I was crab-walking down aisles while other folks did the Charleston and other ludicrous things. Good thing much of this was happening between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. while we did shipment.
3. Chromeo – “Bonafied Lovin,’” Fancy Footwork
Yet another holdover from the Old Navy days, this is one of those songs I just “didn’t get” until I was exposed to it under the right circumstances. I have a certain married friend who’s currently on his honeymoon — I joined them for a moment yesterday, at least in spirit — and he’s a bona fide Chromeo nut (sorry, but I had to.) I wasn’t too big on the duo until Jason started playing them nearly every time we went on a drive. Well, it was that or The Strokes, but that’s another post for another day. The two of us once did a short bar crawl in the area known as the Barmuda Triangle, known for its high concentration of public inebriation and panhandlers. We happened into an establishment called Cowfish for a turn on the dancefloor, where I shuffled around awkwardly while Jason was approached by and soon danced with a fairly aggressive gentleman. This guy was obviously looking for some action, something my pal had noticed a little late in their interaction. So what else is a good friend to do other than jump in the middle and ruin somebody’s evening? Now every time Jason mentions Cowfish, I politely remind him that, had it not been for my intervention, his wedding might not have even happened. You’re welcome, Mrs. Iverson.
2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Dull Life,” It’s Blitz!
Late-night Rock Band or Guitar Hero sessions are pretty common after I’ve been out for a night, the usual instance lasting until 3 or 4 a.m. And this is one of those songs that’s guaranteed to have me dropping my guitar and dancing along instead of 100-percenting it because I’m just that damn good. Okay, so I’ve never even come close to getting a 100 percent on “Dull Life” in Guitar Hero 5, but you gotta talk big to make it big. This song always reminded me of “Ballroom Blitz,” more specifically the version from Wayne’s World. Hearing them back-to-back the resemblance dies a bit, but I’m sticking to my guns on this one.
1. Cobra Starship – “Send My Love To The Dancefloor, I’ll See You In Hell (Hey Mister DJ),” While The City Sleeps, We Rule The Streets
Back before everyone and their mother was singing along to “You Make Me Feel …” Cobra Starship was just the side project from Midtown’s Gabe Saporta known for its connection to Snakes on a Plane (For those of you unfamiliar with one of the best pop-punk outfits this side of New Found Glory, here you go.) Well, that Samuel L. Jackson cash-in has come and gone, but Cobra Starship remains and — I say this with a kind of pointed pride — the group is bigger than I ever imagined it would be. While I’ll admit the song’s chorus made me cringe at first, the “hey, mister DJ” portion reminding me of Madonna’s Music, it’s certainly grown on me and, as the other four songs on this list, is more than enough to get me moving and shaking.
It doesn’t need an introduction (at least it shouldn’t.) I’ll just let Carlton Banks’ jazzy two-step do the talking.