what’s your pleasure


Lucy had a temperature of 105.1 last night, which was odd, not because she temporarily became the hottest human being I’ve ever touched, but because the rest of the night I couldn’t stop thinking about 105.1 FM, a radio station I loved when I was a kid. It was one of those stations that played all the new music first: REM, early Thompson Twins, Erasure, the Vapours.

Then one day they said they were switching to an “Urban Contemporary” format. And sure enough, I tuned in at 8am as the station switched over. Their first song? “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. I have never been so depressed by a song in my life, and now, when I hear it, I feel gloomy.

Lucy’s temperature is back to around normal – you know, because babies are made of rubber and titanium – but her worried parents need a little more time. Plus, I need a song to get “Celebration” out of my head. Suggestions welcome.

0 thoughts on “what’s your pleasure

  1. Annie

    I hate to mention this song, but I remember how much you loved “You spin me right round baby right round like a record baby right round round round…”

  2. kjf

    i hate to do this to you….but your post reminds me of something i heard on NPR way too many years ago. some academic was on explaining his study of the types of songs that stick in your mind. after he explained all the science behind his analysis, he declared the “winner” to be “the candy man” (talk about your childhood wishes….you can even eat the dishes!) try very hard not to think of this song….because i think he was right.
    glad to hear lucy is better!

  3. Greg T.

    I can recommend a foolproof prescription for “Celebration” – watch an entire hour of “The Alternative” on VH1 Classic. I guarantee you’ll find a gem. Right now I’m watching the vid for “The Metro” by Berlin. Nope, now it’s Ministry… It really doesn’t matter, Kool & the Gang will be history.
    Speaking of which, does anyone besides me think that reruns of the original “120 Minutes” would instantly become the best thing on television if MTV/VH1 Classic would bring it out of the archives?

  4. CP

    celebration is the eternal bar mitzvah song.
    we are family
    it takes two
    hava nagila
    try dick dale’s hava nagila.
    or def leppard’s new album, where they cover a bunch of songs including 20th century boy, stay with me, rock on, and the happy mondays’ she’s gonna step on you again. surprisingly cool, if goofy, stuff.
    happy to hear the little one has returned to a resonable temperature. yikes.

  5. kate from the DTH front desk

    Ew, 105.1 FM around here is the worst radio station! The same 4 songs in rotation, and the absolute worst DJs on earth.
    One of the four songs is “My Humps.” You may not like “Celebration”, but I’m willing to bet it’s better than that mudflap.
    Oh yeah, mudflap is the filter word for shit on another blog I was on.
    Glad Lucy’s feeling better!

  6. CP

    he’s gonna step on you again. (which incidentally was a cover for the happy mondays as well, which I never knew.)
    anyway, had just woken up from a nap, a deep one, and was foggy.
    now I go to bed.

  7. CL

    You want a new song to get into your head?
    How ’bout this>
    “She’s a smalllll wonder
    a smalllll wonder…”
    No thanks necessary.

  8. Neva

    She hasn’t had a tick bite lately has she?
    We are over run with ticks down here in the land of Rocky Mt Spotted Fever.
    Here’s another song option – Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire. It burns, burns, burns….

  9. kent

    There’s few things in modern life as sad as good radio stations gone bad.
    KAAY was a clear channel station that throughout the late 60s and early 70s that played what was then called “underground” music — all the really good stuff off the commercial radio map — after midnight. It could be received all the way into Canada. I used to listen when I was supposed to be sleeping. The music was great, but it was also enhanced by having to bounce off the ionosphere…

  10. kent

    Sorry, misfire on the post. KMFH in Ottumwa Iowa was a great redneck-hippie-rock station that went down the tubes in the early 90s….

  11. Chris M

    So true, Ian. Why only ‘Celebrate’ when there are these other Kool & The Gang wonders that are not only better songs, but appropriate to Lucy’s feverish night and, hopefully, this morning’s cool recovery? Songs like these help a loving husband and father cherish the love, indeed cherish the life, he has. First there is:
    …I remember love’s fever
    In our hearts, girl,
    And in our minds
    Can’t imagine that this love is through
    Feeling the pain girl
    When you lose
    Ohh it’s too hot
    Too hot lady
    Gotta run for shelter
    Gotta run for shade
    It’s too hot
    Too hot lady
    Gotta cool this thing girl
    What a mess we made…
    Second, don’t forget this mega hit…
    …She’s a lady
    That I really wanna know
    Somehow I got to let my feelings show
    She’s fresh!
    She’s so exciting to me
    She’s fresh!
    She’s so inviting to me, yeah

  12. scruggs

    Wow, so many comments before I’d even gotten my coffee. The song that never fails to put me in a good mood and stays with me is “Here Comes Your Man” The Pixies.
    Growing up in Columbia SC meant NO exposure to any decent music. If it hadn’t been for a buddy’s big brother in college, I wouldn’t have even known who REM was. Then a new guy at school who moved from A Big City and was miserable to be stuck in Redneckville spent hours introducing me to U2, Erasure, Cockteau Twins, etc.
    But the best radio station I’ve ever encountered was the old WDRE 92.7 in NYC/LI. Back in the early 90’s when I first started going to visit my now husband, I couldn’t wait to get close enough in NY to pick it up. Unfortunately, its not there in the same format and I think the call letters are a 105ish station.

  13. Kevin from Philadelphia

    I recommend that you purchase a Sirius Satellite Radio. Ian, it would be perfect for your cross-country excursions. Commercial free music, only the occasional interruption by the DJ – most of whom are actually entertaining – and every possible type of music you could want. Just in the 30 minute commute this morning, I heard Mozart’s Symphony #41, that damn S.O.S. song by Rihanna, some song by the Smiths that I can’t remember the name of right now, Cheeseburger in Paradise, and a few minutes of Howard Stern – who is actually funny and entertaining now. Not trying to sell anything, but I just had to sing the praises of this gadget.

  14. caveman

    I’ve never been
    The one to raise my hand
    That was not me
    and now that’s who I am
    Because of you
    I am standing tall
    My heart is full
    of endless gratitude
    You were the one
    The one to guide me through
    Now I can see
    And I believe
    It’s only just beginning
    This is what we dream about
    But the only question with me now
    Is do I make you proud
    Stronger than I’ve ever been now
    Never been afraid of standing out
    Do I make you proud
    Everybody needs to rise up
    Everybody needs to be loved
    To be loved

  15. Tim

    You’re a bastard, caveman. The AI singles are uniformly terrible, and this is no exception. And also, I call BS on Taylor not being one to raise his hand.
    My infallible earworm is Blister in the Sun. You may not like it, but it’s guaranteed to (at least temporarily) replace whatever else is stuck.

  16. cullen

    (Crowded House) ….Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you, everywhere you go, you always take the weather, you always take the weather……

  17. emma

    I agree with Scruggs. I love Here Comes Your Man and that leads right into the Breeders’ Cannonball.
    Caveman makes me laugh, as usual.

  18. Bill

    Blondie’s “The Tide is High” — first thing that popped into my head, and I don’t know why.
    Unfortunately, in my book, “Celebration” forever besmirched Kool & the Gang’s reputation. I prefer “Ladies Night” or “Too Hot” or “Misled”. “Cherish”? Bleh.

  19. Ian

    Alan (and any fellow Tar Heels) – that Gunther video on iTunes looks like JJ Reddick, which makes it quite a surreal experience.
    Kevin – we have XM, and LURVE IT!
    Re: radio stations, I used to take road trips from North Carolina going north just to hear WHFS in the D.C. area. I loved that station so much that I looked into a directional antenna to put on top of the Purple House, but was told it was just too far away (Annapolis, MD). Apparently it’s not as cool now.
    By the way, we don’t know exactly that Lucy had, but (correct me if I’m wrong, Neva) apparently toddlers are supposed to average eight viruses a year. Our pediatrician called it “doing their viral homework.” It might be Roseola, but there’s no rash. Either way, she’s back to being a little delight today.

  20. noj

    oh yeah…ian, i’m contemplating going to see Toto (yes…Toto) at Irving-fucking-Plaza in late June. You should contemplate the same thing.

  21. huffdaddy

    Anything from Ben Fold’s latest album “Songs for Silverman”. Particularly “Jesusland” and “Sentimental Guy”. I haven’t heard songwriting this smart in quite a while, and either of these songs would pound “Celebration” out of your head like a sonic sledgehammer.
    Go Heels!

  22. Brian from the Spanish House

    WHFS was truly great and was a pathbreaker for a ton of good bands. It is now WLZL, an all Spanish station, playing salsa, merengue, and reggaeton.
    Which is bad.
    Unless you studied abroad in Mexico while you were a heel and developed an obsession with all things Latin. In that case, you longed for a station like WLZL for years. (But I would have gladly traded another of DC’s corporate crap stations rather than give up HFS.)
    Speaking of bad Latin music, have you considered that paragon of artistic Brazilian music excellence, K-Fed’s “Popozao”, to get you out of your Celebration funk?

  23. Auntie War

    Ian (& JBoogedy if you’re listening), maybe Dubya’s tune du jour to keep him skipping tight along is “Killing An Arab” by the Cure. Anybody remember the fun lyrics to that one? Am too lazy to search’em. Sorry to be caustic and Happy Meme-orial Day!

  24. xuxE

    if you like latin music you should check my husband’s band spigga, they are rock and electronica en espanol/spanglish/english. they are charting on latin alternative and latin urban radio so wlzl is probably playing their reggaeton or hip hop rework of RATM’s people of the sun. and they are on tour right now. http://www.myspace.com/spigga. check their song “bionic” if you want to get one stuck in your head for days, that one is in english. i tunes, amazon, tower records, etc., etc.

  25. Greg T

    WHFS was dead before they cahnged the format. They had eliminated all the fun and were just playing the same lame 15 songs every 45 minutes that all the rest of the Clear Channel stations (technically, they weren’t CC they were Infinity broadcasting, but I can’t tell the difference) that claimed to be alternative were playing that week.
    If anyone cares, the DJ who made WHFS work (Weasel) has a show on a classic rock station now and it’s become the best thing on radio in the DC area. Check out 94.7 if you’re ever in the area – especially if you’re listening around 9pm when Weasel is on.


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