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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Musical Movement Musings

My, my, my…music and movement are on my mind this morning! (alliteration too, apparently) Last night I experienced an amazing evening of music by the über-talented Elvis Costello and his latest band of merry men – The Sugarcanes. (Nashville legends Jerry Douglas and Jim Lauderdale and more!) Playing songs from their new CD, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, as well as some Costello classics with new arrangements perfectly suited to the bluegrass sound of his band.

We were literally sitting right beneath Elvis, and it felt like the band was playing in our living room. They’re all stellar musicians and the sound was uplifting, and yet…something was missing. What was it? My husband, Doug, and I discussed this on our drive home and concluded the missing element…there was no drummer on this tour. There was a stand up bass player and the music had rhythm, but there was nothing driving the beat the way a drummer does. No drummer equaled no dancing.  You wanted to tap your foot and clap along in time, but getting up out of your seat and dancing was just not in the picture. Not the norm for an Elvis show. As a Dallas Observer review said, “…the songs lacked a bit of propulsion.”

Isn’t it cool how certain music can really propel you? This summer, my daughter, Riley Anna, and I began compiling a list of songs that absolutely make you dance every time you hear them. (You know - like the happy, Snoopy dance!) The idea began when we watched “Madagascar 2” – and the silly, yet infectious, song “Move It, Move It” had us both dancing around the room as if we had the proverbial ants you know where.  “Wouldn’t it be great to have an entire compilation of these kind of songs?” I thought.  “Songs guaranteed to lift your spirits and get you dancing and smiling when you need a little pick-me-up.”  Songs deliver Instant Oasis Moments – five to ten minute bite-size bonbons of joy! Which songs have the power to levitate you from your chair and get you moving – even on the worst of days? What song always makes you dance? (whether you want to or not!) I’d love to hear your favorites and check them out.

Here’s my short, but growing, list of songs that absolutely make you dance every time you hear them:

Move It Move It by will.i.am

It’s Your Thing – James Brown

Pump It Up – Elvis Costello

Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) - C&C Music Factory

Love Shack – B52s

You Drop the Bomb on Me – The Gap Band

A,B,C – The Jackson 5

Most any Putayamo Worldbeat CD

I don’t listen to music as often as I’d like during the day, because my brain will not allow me to read and write and talk on the phone with my coaching clients while listening. I have to sing along, even if only in my head. But, music can be a great motivator in other ways. For example, I “get to” listen to an entire CD as a special treat while I do something like clear my desk or spend time organizing and filing. In fact, I was able to reorganize my mailing list this morning while listening to music and the time flew by!

Listening to good music almost always inspires me to start making some music of my own. So, I’m off to the keyboards right now! Why not treat yourself to an Instant Oasis Moment right now and listen to a song that absolutely makes you dance every time you hear it!