Friday, June 27, 2014

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 27: A Song You Make Fun Of

I'm just going to go ahead and concede that I am also guilty of all the things I make fun of in this post.

My pick for today is the song that everyone loves to ridicule while also acting ridiculous.  I don't know if there is an official organization for professional wedding/reunion/conference DJ's-- if not, there should be, 'cause y'all have nothing to lose but your chains, yo!-- but if there is such an organization, I am 100% confident that one of its by-laws must include a requirement that all members play that funky music at every event.  And I'm not talking about any old funky music, of course.  I'm talking about THAT funky music.

You know what I'm talking about, white boy.

If you've ever been to a wedding, a reunion, a conference reception, a dance party-- hell, if you've ever stuck around to hear a dive-bar band play past midnight-- you have most certainly heard the one-hit wonder by the (otherwise faded-into-obscurity) American funk-rock band Wild Cherry, "Play That Funky Music."  Among its many, even if highly questionable, virtues is that "Play That Funky Music" was released near the tail-end of the Disco Era in 1976 and (at least according to Wikipedia) represents one of the last impassioned cries by bell-bottomed, tassel-vested, funk-loving people that we DO NOT LET DISCO DIE.  The 80's came and went, of course, and in the course of that decade disco took a pretty mean beating by punk and hard rock and new wave... but disco didn't die.  Thankfully.  That's due in large part to the feisty resilience of disco's constitutive parts-- funk, soul, Latin and psychadelic music--  none of which have ever laid down for nobody, but more so due to the fact that disco is and has always been about dancing, about night life and club life, not to mention also about sin and sex and drugs and loving to love you, baby.

It's hard not to make fun of "Play That Funky Music" when you hear it, even as you wallow in the pleasure of it like a pig in shit.  Just go ahead and try not to dig this shit:

I'm not gonna even pretend that it isn't the case that one of the things I love most about this song is that, when played live, it somehow convinces every single white boy, regardless of how little rhythm or groove he has, to lay down and boogie when he hears this song.  C'mon really, is there anything more satisfying to make fun of than a white boy who isn't funky, but who is FEELING IT and, what is more, who is being called to feel it in the very lyrics of the song?!  There's something adorably pathetic about that whole spectacle, kind of like the audition rounds on American Idol, that just makes you point and laugh and at the same time say "awww, poor baby, you go on and GO with your bad self."

So, in the future, just when it hits you, when somebody turns around and says play that funky music, white boy!, remember that you can ridicule all you want, we all do it... just as long as you also lay down and boogie and play that funky music so disco never dies.

Here's your quick-access link to the entire 30 Day Song Challenge 2014 prompt-list and my picks for each day.

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