Archive for the ‘FND’ Category
I have a confession to make. I actually purchased Milli Vanilli’s Girl You Know It’s True album AFTER it was revealed that the two dreadlocked males we’d come to believe were singing, were actually lip synching frauds. Much of the music on the album had been everpresent in the late ‘80s but as I hit upon my first dose of ‘80s nostalgia in college, I wanted a copy of that album. However much of a fraud the guys in the video were, that doesn’t take away the enjoyment of the music. Sure it’s a bit overwrought, even by ‘80s standards, but if that many people were buying into the popularity, than they were hitting some notes right.
I think the bigger issue is that the real Milli couldn’t even find guys who could dance to put in his videos. While some could laugh at many of our Friday Night Dances, they were mostly delivered by people with groove (or, in Paula Abdul’s case, outright skill). I’m not quite sure the flying chest bump became something anyone ever embraced, at least outside of the NBA. Or the side-by-side, shoulder-enhanced-blazer-wearing shimmy, for that matter. (Axl Rose had better rhythm than these guys.) That all said, girl…you know it’s true.
I loathe American Idol and everything it stands for which puts me in the tiniest minority among friends, family and the world’s population. Part of the disappointment of it is seeing an old crush reduced to a doting nutcase. But in the ‘80s, Paula Abdul struck my fancy. She was one of the best combinations of exotic sex-appeal mixed with cute innocence. She could give an adorable look that made you want to hug her and then turn around and engage in some scantily-clad dance that made you want to, well, you know.
Here’s the video to her first hit. Not my favorite song of hers (that would be the immortally fantastic “Forever Your Girl”) but a pretty fine showcase for her dancing skills.
This week’s Friday Night Dance helps celebrate the start of the new school season. The J. Geils Band hit gold with “Centerfold,” both the song and the video. The song has a sort of bar band feel to it and lyrics that I happily sung along to in the ’80s despite not necessarily comprehending the beauty of fuzzy sweaters. The video depicts a school that I attend frequently in my dreams. It’s not necessarily the greatest song to dance to, but there are some great moves by singer Peter Wolf as well as his “students.”
I wonder if any of my friends who are teachers engage in such classroom activity.
Wanna go to the Mall?
Growing up in mall-infested Northern New Jersey, Tiffany’s mall tour was particularly relevant to me. It was also profound being an 8th grader and watching this cute 16-year-old redhead making me wonder what we’d do if there didn’t seem to be anyone around. I still melt a little when I hear the way she growls “trying to get away…into the night.” This song inevitably reared its head at 8th grade dances. I know because I watched my classmates dance to it while I sipped punch and talked to Gary about ALF.
I don’t even remember seeing this video when I was younger but the song is incredibly prevalent. My mind is actually so twisted that when I hear this song and ELO’s “Calling America,” I know the exact chopped up Casey Kasem outro and intro that connected the songs on my mix tape. I’m in the midst of creating Eightiesology iMixes and unfortunately there is no iTunes version of this song. But as long as we have this cinematic masterpiece of a video, we’ll be allright.
I never danced. Ever. My first memory of a school dance was the 8th grade dance during our Stokes Forest trip. I distinctly recall the view of the empty dance floor, from the seats with my friends. This was right around the time the entire Dirty Dancing soundtrack was ever-present on the charts and in dance halls. No girl was going to ask me to dance and I was too chicken to ask the same. And I would’ve failed miserably anyway since I had no practice other than bopping around my bedroom to the music of the time. It never really got better. From WRHS dances to Youth Night events at the Assumption, I wasn’t partaking in any of it. While I might’ve participated in some charity slow dances at some events or the Prom, I really didn’t hit the floor with any confidence until my college years. Whether it was inebriated trips to Façade or college-break visits to the Grasshopper Also, I finally started to come out of my shell and cut the rug. In the years since, I’ve enjoyed forays onto the dance floor at weddings.
Truth be told, I have a hard time taking it seriously. Dancing is inherently laughable to observe. Declarations of skill are a little absurd given what goes for dancing these days. And honestly, who cares. When you’re in the moment and feeling the rhythm (and the alcohol) coursing through you, enjoying a great time, who really should criticize that style of happiness?
With that, I open the floor to Friday Night Dance, a weekly compilation of YouTube videos highlighting the most memorable 80s videos involving dance skills. I start with Bobby Brown and a video that should negate the theory that white people were the only ones who danced funnily in the 80s. Of note, this is pretty much how I dance today. Ya, ya, ya know it!