Song of the Week: Miss Piggy Edition

It hasn’t felt much like Christmas yet.

Which, yeah, I know. It’s TOMORROW.

It’s on a Wednesday, which doesn’t help. The Real Job has been nuts, which doesn’t help. I’ve been writing nonstop, which doesn’t help. Brain filled to every nook and cranny with words and characters and plot and swirl and omg when will the end come??

Ahem.

When you were a kid, there was always a slowdown before Christmas. A pause, a deep breath. The moment after the first sip of hot cocoa, when everything is warm and savory and right. Now, the days go by faster, and the world never really stops spinning.

Fortunately, though, there is one lady who can always get me in the Christmas spirit. Or should I say — one pig.

My BFF Mary and her family introduced me to John Denver and the Muppets. As kids, we walked around her house at Christmastime, singing this song in rounds — Mary, her mom and me. And now I’ll sing it with whoever will join in. With proper Muppet voices. Duh.

Tonight after I get off work, I’m going to crank this jam and try to rewire my brain. If only for the next 24 hours. After all, there’s only one time of year where I get an excuse to sing along with Miss Piggy.

In the meantime:

Song of the Week: I’ve Got the Blues

I grew up in a blues household. I’m pretty sure “Hit the Road Jack” was the first song I knew all the words to. Family-room walls featured New Orleans Jazz Fest posters from ’79 and ’80. I semi-seriously planned on walking down the aisle to R-E-S-P-E-C-T (a plan that, sadly, did not come to fruition).

But you know — we all go through phases. Without rhyme or reason, I stopped listening to the blues. I mean, it’s not like I stopped liking the blues. It just wasn’t in the rotation. I started listening to more rock, hip-hop, “alternative” (whatever that genre is supposed to mean).

Then Byron — my darling NPR nerd — started listening to this Sunday night program that exclusively plays the blues. And damn but it is good. I had kind of forgotten how it feels to listen to a really great blues song — how it starts out slow and builds, you kind of lean into it, and before you know it BAM!

The blues have been on heavy rotation at work this week, but the number one spot has probably gone to this oldie-but-goodie:

Dr. Feelgood, man. It starts out unassuming and then just hits you like a ton of bricks. And let’s face it — Aretha is the Queen of Soul for a reason. Forget the voice, do you SEE THAT DRESS?? That is Grade-A Diva dress and it is amazing.

So if you need a Friday pick-me-up, I prescribe the good doctor. He’ll get us to the weekend.

Song of the Week: Girl Power Edition

Growing up, my best friend’s family had the “Song of the Week.” That song played on repeat, ad nauseum, for (you guessed it) one week. The chosen one was blasted through the house’s speaker system, and there were a LOT of dance parties in the kitchen. There wasn’t a cutoff date or anything — one week just seemed to be the lifespan of any given song. And the song was never “officially” selected. It came about naturally, an aural contagion that took hold and spread to the other members of the household.

I apparently never ditched the “song of the week” habit, because I still tend to choose one or two songs during the workweek and listen to them over, and over, and over. When you’re sitting at a desk for 8 hours, you need something to keep you going.

A lot of people prefer soothing background music while writing — not me. I want something with a bit of drive, something that keeps me animated and bouncing and write write writing.

Now, this week, it wasn’t the song of the week — it was the SONGS of the week. Two tunes kept vying for space in my head. And it soon became apparent that they had a common theme: girl power. Not something I intended, but perhaps it’s what I subconsciously needed this week.

So if you want some jams to power you through Friday, might I recommend…

Janelle Monáe is one of my long-time faves, and her new single “QUEEN” does NOT disappoint. Not only does it make you want to get up and dance (or, you know, dance in your work chair) — listen to those lyrics. Kick-ass feminist anthem? YES, PLEASE. (If this convinces you to check out some of her other work, get yourself Metropolis.)

My BFF Mary introduced me to Icona Pop. This song apparently plays over the opening credits of some Jersey Shore spin-off? Which at first made me a liiiiittle ashamed to include it here, but then thought, I DON’T CARE, I LOVE IT. This song makes me grin big. It’s loud and unapologetic and fun. It makes me want get in a car and drive down the highway on a sunny day, arm out the open window. And sometimes, you need a daydream like that.

What’s your song of the day? Let’s turn this Friday into one big dance party.