When I was in college I used to go to open DJ night at the (now defunct) Lava Lounge in Wicker Park. Every Sunday night, anyone could bring their records and play whatever they fancied on the turntables for 30 minutes. I remember getting all dressed up, inviting my friends, and acting like this was my big break into the DJing circuit. But I was a total idiot about it. I loved getting everyone up and dancing, and then squashing it with a song no one could dance to, or would even want to hear. It would go a little something like this… Worked Up So Sexual by The Faint would get people interested, like maybe I was gonna play some good jams. A few more songs and I would throw on PYT by Michael Jackson to appeal to everyone’s inner youth to incite ridiculous dancing. Then, at the crux of passion, I would throw on a symphonic version of Carol of the Bells. The looks on peoples’ faces was priceless! Disappointment, anger, confusion… I was successful!
Needless to say, I never became a legit DJ. But over the years, I still fantasized about becoming one. I bought records with the explicit thought, “I could play this at a party when I’m a DJ.” Maybe weddings? Bar mitzvahs? Dive bars? But I never bought mixing tables. I never bought gear or travel crates. I never even sought out opportunities. So now I have some 12″ singles that are fun, but were specifically purchased with the idea in mind that I would one day be a DJ. Which I definitely will not be.
BRANDY & MONICA – THE BOY IS MINE
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Who didn’t love this song when it came out?! It’s really the best of both Brandy and Monica’s careers. And the video is so epic. It feels dated now, but at the time, it was pretty flawless. Who else misses the weird trend TLC started of wearing silk pajamas in music videos? You have exactly one week to hire me to play this at your party. Hurry!
CHRISTINA AGUILERA, LIL’ KIM, MYA, AND PINK – LADY MARMALADE
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This reboot of the classic performance by Labelle is fantastic. The original was no joke–written by Bob Crewe and produced by Allen Toussaint. Geniuses! But Missy Elliott’s reinvention of Lady Marmalade is nothing to shake a stick at either! It’s edgy enough to be original, but true enough to the original to keep it timeless. The best part of the song is so obviously Christina Aguilera. She blows all the other ladies out of the water. She sure is the best voice of current pop, and has been for over a decade now. If only she could get the right songs to catapult her career to legend status. But, dang! Girl got pipes! I remember when this song came out, I still was not into radio or mainstream pop, but this song is undeniably catchy. I was reeled in. Still am. Plus, the video is hot!
CYNDI LAUPER – SHE BOP (DANCE MIX)
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I love Cyndi Lauper. She’s such a kooky and unexpected pop icon! Girls Just Want to Have Fun was one of my favorite songs when I was a kid. It’s the perfect young, feminine anthem. Her cover of Prince’s When You Were Mine is better than the original, and her choice to not change the pronouns is brilliant. And finding out that She Bop is about masturbation simply tickled me as a kid. I probably found out on VH1’s Pop Up Video or something. Nothing but love for Cyndi Lauper.
Goodbye, The Boy is Mine, Lady Marmalade, and She Bop.