The Savage Animal 06.30.11: Top 10 Songs with Instructions
I enjoyed Jackass in really small doses. Some people REALLY liked it. It’s all subjective and another entertainment option. When it first came out I liked it. I saw the first movie at the theatre and caught the second on Comedy Central a few years ago. I just outgrew it. I think it was the spin offs, but after awhile I just started to get annoyed with those guys. Knoxville and Pontius are cool, Steve-O has his moments, and for me that’s about it. I did NOT like anyone else involved. To me they were rich upper-middle-class kids doing stupid shit on camera. It just wasn’t for me. They weren’t stunt men, but rather stunt boys. Last week Ryan Dunn and his passenger died when he got into a car crash after driving over a reportedly 130 miles per hour drunk. The way the internet and media has handled his death reminds me a lot of the deaths of certain professional wrestlers. Being a professional wrestling fan I’ve had the displeasure of attempting to rationalize all the deaths that have occurred in the past ten or so years. Overdoses, murders, suicides, and toll of the life style are the culprits. The toll on the body is often to do with the drugs, so depending on how you look at it overdose is the most common occurrence. It sucks having to try to defend to those who don’t share the same passion for wrestling as you. Let’s be realistic here, outside of Chris Benoit, no one’s death put anyone else in danger or killed anyone else. Ryan Dunn’s drunk driving killed not only himself but his passenger. Yeah, “it was the passenger’s choice to get in the car” but it doesn’t change anything. Thankfully it didn’t happen, but there’s that big “what if” in the situation that Dunn defenders are blatantly avoiding… what if his car would have hit another car, or caused an accident, or if the car hit a person? He made his living by taking chances with stunts and silliness on Jackass. Ebert chimed in on twitter with “Friends don’t let Jackasses drink and drive”. People were PISSED. I read in some places they were telling you to write his editor to have him fired over it. I think Bam even chimed in on his statement with some babbling nonsense insult. Yep, his friend is gone. That REALLY sucks and I hope he get through it but you should keep quiet about people making statements against drinking and driving. The second he got behind the wheel in that condition he was taking chances with not only his life but anyone else who was on the roads at that time. Those people would have had families and friends to mourn them too. Again, it’s sad for everyone involved. It’s just sick that these ignorant people standing up for anyone saying anything against Dunn are out there. I just can’t understand some peoples perspectives. Stupid.
Rules to Rock By…
Music provides us with a lot. It’s a form of art we can appreciate, it’s expression we can connection to, it’s a groove we can dance to, it’s a ballad we can cry to, it’s memories, it’s everything. Music can cut to the core and go into the deepest depths of a soul as one will allow.
Sometimes music is just bossy.
I put probably way too much thought into this, but I came up with a list of ten songs with instructions. Some are popular choices for weddings, some are dances, and some are just odd-ball songs that are trying to tell us what to do WITH instructions. I’m 100% positive this list is incomplete. I’m sure that I’m missing some obvious tunes. That’s fine. Share your picks if you’d like. If not, sit there, read this, and stop gritting your teeth.
X. “WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN” by THE BANGLES
Instructions:“… Walk like an Egyptian…”
I was barely out of diapers when this song came out, but I think even then little Mikey MiGo knew this was hot and sexy. As an adult not much has changed. There is something really sultry about the vocals in this song. I won’t lie, I have no idea what any of the other lyrics are other than “oh yay oh” and “walk like an Egyptian”. But dammit, if they want me to walk like a penguin I’m going to highly consider it.
IX. “JUMPER” by THIRD EYE BLIND
Instructions:“I wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend. You could cut ties with all the lies, that you’ve been living in. And if you do not want to see me again, I would understand…”
This song was cool and all, but I think they shot themselves in the foot with giving us knowledge that they’d understand if we never wanted to see them again. To most people, this is the only exposure of Third Eye Blind we got. It’s cool if we avoid them… they understand! In recent years this song got a little attention when Jim Carrey sang in it in a movie. It’s a decent song and it has a good message, but you can skip this one. They understand! I like how this one tries help people in hard times, but on the other side of the coin I hope anyone in this situation does not hear the next song on this list…
VIII. “JUMP” by VAN HALEN
Instructions:“Might as well jump. Jump ! Might as well jump. Go ahead, jump. Jump ! Go ahead, jump.”
I have often claimed this song as the most upbeat suicide song of all time. Imagine your life is coming undone and you’re on a ledge. Out of nowhere you hear the wailing riffs, awesome synth, and amazing voice that was this version, the only real version, of Van Halen. You are literally told to JUMP! In a more “non-weird” sense, this is a great rock song. We are told that we might as well jump. I know other songs tell us to jump or to “jump around”, but I don’t think the world even knew what jumping was until DLR preached the good preach.
VII. “THE TWIST” by CHUBBY CHECKER
Instructions:“Come on, baby, let’s do the twist!…”
It was released in 1960 and then covered two years later by Chubby Checker. That’s the version we all know and love. There are plenty of songs with their own dance. Off the bat, “Electric Slide” and the “Macarena” come to mind. The difference is that these songs leave it up to the dance floor to explain the rules. “The Twist” takes that extra step and tells us what to do and when to do. Anything that gets a female’s hips moving is cool in my book.
VI. “THE CHA CHA SLIDE” by DJ CASPER
Instructions:“…Turn it down, to the left, Take it back now ya’ll, 1 hop this time, right foot let’s stomp, Left foot let’s stomp, Cha Cha now ya’ll..”
It’s hard to believe this song is well over ten years old now, but not by much. I vaguely remember this video from my high school days. I thought it was stupid then and I still do now. This guy has pulled some magic. DJ Casper/”Mr. C” is from Chicago so that’s cool, but his is a watered down dance techno song. Now arenas, school dances, and other places designated for “fun” play this song or at least some variation of it. The only cool part is the “now everybody clap your hands!”. I refuse to participate in any other rule this song lays down.
V. “WALK THIS WAY” by AEROSMITH
Instructions:“Walk this way, talk this way… Walk this way, walk this way… Walk this way, walk this way… Walk this way, talk this way… Just gimme a kiss… Like this!…”
Clearly this is one of the coolest rock songs of all time. This live 1977 rendition is gritty and raw, but the song doesn’t lose any of its impact. We are told to walk THIS way, talk THIS way, and to give Steven Tyler a kiss. I have to decline the last part, but still. That riff is amazing.
IV. “TOOTSEE ROLL” by 69 BOYZ
Instructions:“To the left, to the left, to the right, to the right. To the front, to the front, to the back, to the back. Now dip baby dip, come on let’s dip baby dip baby. Dip baby just dip, baby dip baby dip. Just Dip, Cotton Candy sweet and low…let me see that tootsie roll..”
In 1994 the world was a much different place. Large groups of people had no problem in provocative dancing. I remember doing this at a Halloween party as kid. The rules were rough for a small child who had trouble with his lefts and rights, but the song was cool enough. This song still gets referenced by cool people. Translation, I bring this song up a lot. Like I said, I was a kid at the time so anyone older might be able to answer this for me. Was there a really big problem with people getting this song confused with “the butterfly” because they seem to go out of their way to make sure we know it’s NOT. And the Orlando Magic jerseys were cool too. This was when pop/dance rap and the Orlando Magic was cool.
III. “SAFETY DANCE” by MEN WITHOUT HATS
Instructions:“We can dance if we want to.We can leave your friends behind. ‘Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance,… well they’re no friends of mine…”
Holy shit. There is a live version of this song. I hate to say it but this song was so awesome that the band’s name and existence was lost within its magic. I know that’s not fair to Men Without Hats, but they made one of the greatest songs of all time. They should be happy with that. I always pictured them more DEVO-like. Apparently not the case. The lyrics here are way deeper than I remembered. We are told we CAN dance, but it seems like we have to leave our friends who don’t dance behind. Kind of harsh, but who are we to argue with Men Without Hats?
II. “TIME WARP” by RICHARD O’BRIEN
Instructions:“It’s just a jump to the left, a step to the right, you bring your knees in tight, with your hands on your hip you bring your knees in tight, then the pelvic thrust, hip swivel, and then do the time warp AGAIN…”
If you’ve gotten then far in life without doing “The Time Warp” then you’ve failed. The Rocky Horror Picture show is a far from perfect movie. I went weekly for a small period, but I never got how people could go every week for years of their lives. The live experience is MUCH more entertaining than watching at home. I remember going with a friend a few times and we’d just do our own “WWE-verison” that involved Booker T’s “5-Times Hand Shake and Stare”, the Goldust torso rub, and then the Edge and Christian five second pose. That’s how long ago this was. But you notice, I still remember the rules. Even my own.
I. “HOKEY POKEY” by LARRY LePRISE
Instructions:“You put your right leg in, you put your right leg out, you put your right leg in, and you shake it all about…”
This song traces back a good ways. There are multiple versions and multiple titles that include the original “Hokey Cokey”, “Okey Cokey”, “Cokey Cokey”, and my favorite “Hokey Tokey”. Whatever you call it, it’s pretty much the same. We’re told to put a random body limb in… then out… then in… then out… then we are told to shake it all about. There are a lot of redundant rules to this one. I’m pretty sure this song comes preprogrammed into children’s brains when they’re born. I honestly don’t remember learning this song as a kid. It’s just something I feel like I’ve always known. I’ve done it at multiple school functions and I believe a few drunken weddings. There are certain human traits that feel like they just come natural. It’s because it’s part of the norm of what’s around you. The “Hokey Pokey” is up there with tying your shoe and riding a bike. You just know it… and you MUST follow the rules!
What is YOUR favorite song with instructions?
I love movies like this. We have the VERY underrated Colin Hanks playing a normal blue collar guy who wins the Iowa State Lottery. The twist here is that Hanks is a crazy serial killer. He killed the woman who actually won and then uses the winnings to try to win over his lifelong love. He is then investigated by the awesome Jeffrey Tambor. It’s a dark and hell looking comedy and I’m all for that. It’s like if “American Psycho” and “Very Bad Things” were put together. At least that’s a comparison I hope rings true as both of those movies are two of my favorites. I’m sure this movie won’t be for everyone and I’m sure it’ll be hard as hell to get my hands on this one once it makes it to DVD. I’m still excited. I’m excited that people are still making movies like this and it gives me a bit of hope that our softening culture will still find time to smile at the darker things in life. Colin Hanks has a pretty big shadow cast over him, but he’s doing very nicely for himself. I’ve seen him in some really solid roles and he seems to keep building on that. He makes movies I enjoy. I can’t complain at all about that. Then we have the rest of the cast. Ari Graynor looks cute as hell, Tambor is always awesome, and on top of that Ann-Margret? Thank you very much… I’m in! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit excited for this one. Now the hard part… waiting.
I like being caught off guard by movies. In this case I had a familiar movie on my TV for background noise. That movie ended and I looked over as the next movie was coming on. It ended up being “The Consultants” this time around. It’s a 2009 comedy that looked to clearly be a lower budget independent. I don’t say that as a jab because I like it. A looser and grittier look is livelier than a cold and sterile bigger budget flick. Here we have a corporate slacker named Paul, played by Paul Hughes, who gets caught up in the middle of some inner-office war. He has to hire the worst people to run the company into the ground. He hires his vulgar slacker friend, a trashy girl, and a big guy who calls himself “The Captain”. The corporate stuff becomes more exposed to Paul as he and the team bond and start proving themselves. This is not a movie that I would have wanted to watch based on description or cover art. I’m pretty open about movies, but it just doesn’t grab me. The movie was pretty good though. There was the right about of cheese, right amount of drama, right amount fun to make it a worthwhile movie. I enjoyed the three consultants and Paul’s story with the company’s secretary. I understood what was going on with Paul having to hire the worst candidates, but I found myself losing interest during the corporate stuff. The good definitely outweighs the bad. At first I didn’t know what to make of Paul, but I ended up wanting to cheer him on by the end. The characters that were the consultants were all entertaining in their own right at different times. They also include a little pro wrestling. In all, it’s a pretty pleasant viewing. Solid B-.