Dance, rock boy, dance

I am an unapologetic music snob. When I go out to bars, I tend to spend more money on the jukebox than I do on drinks. I do whatever I can at parties to be invited to play DJ. And no car trip is too short that it doesn’t require me to make a mix CD. I know my behavior is prickish, but nonetheless I dare not change it. I am motivated by an evangelical fervor to expose you to my taste in music, no matter the cost. I can’t help that I listen to better music than you do, but I do know that if you let me DJ, I’ll really get this party going.

Additionally, I am in no way a hipster, as I tend to believe that most great music has already been made. New bands are annoying to me, as they muddy up the repertoire and force me to devote memory to knowing them when I could be mastering more of Jimmy Smith’s catalog. When I do start to like something recent, it’s because it’s so good that it overcomes this bias.

Which brings me to Muse’s kick-ass song, “Supermassive Black Hole”:

Funky groove? Check. Falsetto vocals using the word “baby”? Check. A heavy debt to Cameo? Check. I’m in heaven. Thanks to 94.9 San Diego (the best radio station in the country) for turning me onto this song.

I’m sensing a trend of nominally “indie-rock” bands cutting at least one dance track amongst songs that mostly feature pretentious preening and prog rock retreads. Call it “disco-punk” or “funk-rock” or whatever, all I can say is that I’m all for it. The world needs more dance music done by real instruments; these bands combat the electronic menace while also providing me with some catchy tunes. Keep discovering Prince, hipster bands. You make this world a better place when you do.

A couple of choice nuggets from this trend:

The Washington Social Club – “Bigger Than Your Boyfriend”: It’s a shame that this is the only song of theirs I like, but it’s proof that a great guitar riff and a good beat is all you need. Also, I’m completely in love with their bass player.

Spoon – “I Turn My Camera On”: A little older, but yet again another song I like that is completely unrepresentative of that band’s sound. Sweet.

Leave your examples (or refutations) in the comments.


2 comments so far

  1. Matt Zeitlin on

    Bloc Party’s Banquet. What about Franz Ferdinand, they made an entire album of dance-rock songs.

  2. bananatree on

    While I love a good synthesized laptop computer jam (it’s in my robot blood), I can’t agree with you more about disco-rock/dance-punk whatever.

    Canadian elephant lovers Death From Above 1979 did a great job getting punks on the floor, and even transcended the breakup to last as rock influenced dance floor killers MSTRKRFT.

    I’m sure you knew that already.


    P.s Never change.

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