Apr 8, 2014

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3 Songs: “Dance Your Ass Off” edition

Today’s post was originally scheduled to be Part 2 of my Zolas piece from last week, but after a somewhat stressful day I think this piece is more relevant. I’m no stranger to awesome dance parties; they cheer me up, get me out of bed on bad days, and it’s how I put on makeup half the time (though prospective employers have yet to recognize the benefits of being able to apply liquid eyeliner while also doing air drum solos). Overall, they’re a great way to boost your mood. While my dance party mix does include dumb pop songs, it also includes some kickass rock, and these three are guaranteed to get my feet moving.

Library Voices – If Raymond Carver Was Born in the 90’s
Good golly, Miss Molly, if this isn’t one of the best songs of the past five years. The drumbeat is infectious, the chorus is energetic and catchy, and the melody is well-layered and very memorable. To top it all off, “If Raymond Carver” is one of the most personally relevant rock songs I’ve ever discovered. The chorus—“All my friends are buying diamonds for their girls / and bringing children into this world, / Signing their names to a home on land they’ve captured, / me, I’m still writing songs I hope you’ll hear someday”—is a pitch-perfect description of my life after university. While many of my high school friends have gotten married, bought houses, and settled into careers, I’m still discovering what I want to do when I grow up—and furthermore, I graduated with an arts degree on the heels of the economic collapse, and was often blatantly told that I would never be able to get a job. For those of us whose lives are permanently altered by the effects of the 2008 recession, it’s a highly cathartic song detailing exactly how lost we feel as we realize how the normal markers of adult life—marriage, children, home ownership—is still a very long way away.

Raymond Carver was a mid-20th century writer whose work was often characterized as “dirty realism”, a subgenre focusing on the lives of lower-class or marginalized people and the seamier aspect of everyday life. If Carver was our contemporary, he’d have plenty to write about now; luckily, Library Voices has it covered.

Buy it on iTunes

The Wombats – Let’s Dance to Joy Division
A brief foray into mathematics, then. One of the most beloved post-punk bands on the planet has a legacy equal to the positive limit of music snobs in the former British empire. A Liverpudlian indie rock band is traveling at 90 km/h down the one-way road of music history. If they release a fantastically catchy song that lovingly references Joy Division’s most successful song while also gently teasing at its infamously depressing history, how many Canadian music fans will make this their go-to random dance party song on days that end with Y which also coincide with a full moon?

*disclaimer: this math is probably incorrect. But “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” is nonetheless equal to the status of “fucking great”.

Percussion Gun
This is the opening track to White Rabbits’ second album, It’s Frightening, and that’s an apt title because it is frightening how many times I’ve listened to this song. I believe it was over 1000 before I reset my iTunes play count in shame. But it’s not for nothing; “Percussion Gun” is one of White Rabbits’ best songs, full of their trademark witty wordplay and frenetic energy, including one of the best drum lines you’ll ever hear outside of a Rush concert. The song isn’t even particularly about anything, but it has emotional ups and downs all the same—and a keyboard-centric bridge that comes out of nowhere like Booker deWitt on a skyline and knocks you right out. White Rabbits aren’t always the most consistent of bands for me, but when they’re on point they don’t mess around.

Buy it on iTunes

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