Friday, December 14, 2012

No. 538 – The Safety Dance

Performer: Men Without Hats
Songwriter: Ivan Doroschuk
Original Release: Rhythm Youth
Year: 1982
Definitive Version: None

Of course, considering that I’m following up a Nirvana song with Men Without Hats, who am I to criticize anyone for lameness? I don’t care; I reached the point long ago where I had to admit I loved this song from a totally nonironic standpoint (and I’m looking at my hans). My 9-year-old niece loves it, too.

Leah has a pretty solid backbone of music to build on later. Scott and Shani always have played music around her. We can debate about the coolness of the said music; I think it’s cool for the most part. When she was a little girl, as in 2, her driving-around music was They Might Be Giants. Her first concert took place three months ago; it was Rush. I kid you not.

Scott and Shani are huge fans of what I like to call ‘80s synth-pop crap, aka the MTV bands back when the M stood for music and not moron. They put it on their TV in the evening before dinner.

A few years ago, I was in Cincinnati, possibly for Thanksgiving. (Laurie and I typically celebrate Thanksgiving—my favorite holiday—with my family and Christmas with hers.) Scott was showing me all the stuff he had downloaded to his new Apple TV streaming box. It was mostly all the old awesome MTV videos off YouTube.

He put on The Safety Dance, and as the familiar bizarre images of minstrels and dwarves marching across an English landscape flickered across the scene, Leah followed the Pied Piper.

She danced around the room EXACTLY like the blond pub-wench babe in the video, complete with nailing the “S” with her arms at the appropriate moments. It was one of the most simultaneously amusing and cool things I’ve ever seen. This was obviously not her first rodeo, and I could tell she was so into the music that she learned the steps and went with it: She still hadn’t yet learned the weakness of self-consciousness.

Scott also is a huge videographer. I don’t know whether he has video of Leah doing the Safety Dance. My guess is he does, and my next guess is that will be one video Leah will die of mortification of if Dad were to, say, pop it on the big screen the first time a boyfriend came over to visit.

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