Michael Franti

It's not every vacation where you get to meet one of your heroes.

I will go ahead and say it, this has been a pretty incredible week.  You all broke my best traffic day ever on Tuesday.  Then you turned around and did it again on Wednesday.  This means you crushed my record for most views in a week.  I also found out that I was voted best server in KC.  Sunday I went to see my favorite crafty blogger in all her Renaissance Festival splendor.  Then it was out of town with my favorite girl to see my favorite band in my favorite city on the fifth anniversary of my last drink (Boulevard’s Bob’s 47 if you were curious).  The surprise of the trip was getting to meet Michael Franti, lead singer of Spearhead and one of my personal heroes.

Some times you just feel like dancing.  I personally don’t dance very well.  My dancing mentors were Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, Ed Lover, and Carlton Banks.  Needless to say the mix is something to behold.  Yet it is very rare that I exhibit my skill in the presence of the public.  Monday night though I expended some of the happiness of this last week in the second row of a Michael Franti concert.

I don’t want to be dancing with myself though.  I want to dance with somebody.  Just to dance the night away.  I don’t care if we are dancing in the moonlight or dancing on the ceiling.  It reminds me of my dance hall days and that last dance with Mary Jane.  Whether it is the safety dance or the humpty dance, my goal with this post is to make you feel like dancing or even like a dancing machine.

Now that we have covered those who did not make the list, on to the top 10.  Here were the parameters.  No songs about a particular dance.  No country because honestly no one looks good dancing to country and I am still a little bitter about a reservation that canceled on me an hour late this week.  No disco or super cheesy 80s songs.  Unless you lived through them the first time around, you may not complain about this rule.  Finally, no songs about dancing that are not danceable.  I love Van Morrison and Tom Petty as much as anyone, but neither is really danceable.

With that in mind, on to the countdown:

10) Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen)- To steal Ali’s favorite line, “This is the only boss I listen to.”  Except for any current or future bosses who might be reading this.  I listen to them and their infinite wisdom any chance I get.

9) Dancing In The Streets (Bowie and Jagger)- I know Martha and the Vandells did it first.  I just like this version a little better.  Seeing this video on Night Flight made realize for the first time that video may indeed kill the radio star.

8) Bust A Move (Young MC)-  Barely escaped my no cheesiness rule.  This was still early on in MTV playing hip-hop or rap.  There was definitely a time when this was the jam.

7) Give Up The Funk (Parlaiment Funkadelic)- If you aren’t knowin about some P Funk, you best be askin somebody.  George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Starchild, and the whole crew together in this one.  I wants to get funked up.

6) Shake Your Rump (Beastie Boys)-  If my generation has its own P-Funk, it is the Beasties.  It was tough to pick one song, but of their songs about dancing I think this is the best.

5) No Myth (Michael Penn)-  One of my five favorite songs for the 80s.  Sure his brothers Sean and Chris are probably more famous, but Mr Aimee Mann wrote my emo anthem of the 80s.

4) And We Danced (The Hooters)- The Hooters, The Rainmakers, and The Replacements were The quintessential “The” bands of The 80s.  I still get happy every time I hear this song.

3) Shake Your Tail Feather (Ray Charles and The Blues Brothers)- Why a song about just one dance?  This includes more dances than the stupid “evolution of dance” guy and a band that could turn “goat piss into gasoline.”

2) Let Me Clear My Throat (DJ Kool, Doug E Fresh, and Biz Markie)- There has never been a better dance song made ever.  This would win the honor if it were just based on that.  It is counted as a song about dancing because of the great Ed Lover.  If you ever want to see me dance, just drop the needle on this.  It is an involuntary reaction.

1) Shake It (Michael Franti and Spearhead)- It’s my damn list and on Monday night this was what you will find me shaking it to.  The album came out at the end of last month and this single is going to blow up bigger than their last hit.  Besides, if anyone else on this list would have been gracious enough to pose for a picture with me this week, their ranking would have improved as well.

There you have it.  That is my list.  What did I leave out?  What were you hoping to see?  Which song got you up and moving?  This is a fun thread of celebration.  I will be back to writing about serious topics soon.  In the meantime, some tunes to keep you all dancing along.