Last weekend, Yancey and I were talking about the oh-so-BK phenomenon of the summer anthem. It’s not like certain songs don’t drop big all over the place, but it sure is something to watch a Hot 97 hit spread Brooklyn-style: thumping out of cars, earphones, boomboxes propped precariously on garbage cans, stoops, shoulders, even; everyone stopping in their tracks to nod heads, shuffle a few steps, shimmy hips and shoulders, mouth lyrics at each other laughing, whisper lyrics alone. There’s nothing like that song we all know will get us out on the dance floor and through washing dishes, will inspire us to schlump a little faster (wiggle even) in the mad, sultry heat to the deli. Sssssummer summer indeed.
This year it’s “We Belong Together.”
Just as we were walking down the street saying, “Can a ballad really be the summer song?” a moving violation (glossy black BMW, massive tires) rolled out those first few measures of tinkling piano, and we cracked up. Mariah dangled her apologies over that simple bass, three knock-kneed six-year-olds in too-big shorts danced by us singing,“Turn the dial/Try to catch a break/Then I hear Babyface,” and we knew we had a winner. ‘Tis Little Miss Comeback — Emancipated Mimi, of all people.
Ruth, it’s the truth.
A few other Rosmanias (all substantially older) during this fucked-up, funky-ass season:
Sweet Thing—Mary J. Blige
Ain’t No Way—Aretha Franklin
Here I Am—Dolly Parton
I Want A Little Sugar in My Bowl—Nina Simone
A Mistake—Fiona Apple
Coffee and Cigarettes—Otis Redding
Heard It Through the Grapevine–The Slits
All in Love Is Fair—Stevie Wonder
Que Sera Sera—Sly and the Family Stone
Got to Give It Up—Marvin Gaye (for that patented Felix Hernandez experience)
Under Control—The Strokes
Human Nature—Michael Jackson
P.S. Let the record show I still need a new gig. As if this list doesn’t make that patently clear.
P.P.S. I’m afraid to write about movies right now lest my antipathy for Miranda July and marching penguins leak out. Done done and done, I spose.