Monday Motivation: Keep Things Groovy and Weird


I always got the feeling when I was working in the full-time office world that – despite the diverse and disparate personalities that surrounded me in the newspaper business – I was always considered one of the worker bees who was a little … off.

Former co-workers can render their own opinions on this, but a few might agree that there was something a bit different about that Pruden guy (whether it was in a good or bad way is up for discussion). I distinctly recall this conversation between me and the day city editor at one newspaper who was filling in for the normal Sunday city editor.

Her: Scott, you’re not wearing shoes.

Me: Shoes? It’s Sunday. You’re lucky I put on pants. Continue reading → Monday Motivation: Keep Things Groovy and Weird

Funky Friday: Finding the Funk in Surprising Places

Anyone who’s spent more than 10 minutes reading past posts from this blog know that I’m a fan of fusion – both literary and musical. Some of the best examples of both come when someone known for one genre or style tries something new, or just decides to incorporate elements of the “other” into their own work.

Musically, Prince is one of my favorite examples, since his funk credentials are extensive, but the Little Purple One also has an incredible talent for penning an infectious pop song when he feels the urge. Continue reading → Funky Friday: Finding the Funk in Surprising Places

Funky Friday: Featuring Special Surprise Guest Star Christopher Walken

Musically or thematically, “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C+C Music Factory wouldn’t be my first (or even fifth) Funky Friday pick for today, simply because it’s a somewhat generic example of late 1980s-early 1990s dance club rap fusion now more likely to be heard at weddings than anywhere else. It stood out at the time, but you, dear readers, can let me know in the comments how well you think it’s aged. Continue reading → Funky Friday: Featuring Special Surprise Guest Star Christopher Walken

For Today’s Funky Friday, Don’t Be Afraid to Shake It!

twist-and-shake go go dancer 60s

My son and I had a conversation the other day that went like this:

Him: “Dad, I don’t understand how some people can listen to music on their earbuds and stay perfectly still.”

Me: “Me, either. Sometimes when I’m listening to music on the train I worry that I’ll be unable to control myself and leap into the aisle dancing like a maniac.”

Him: (Gut-busting laughter)

“I would move rhythmically, but if only if it was being done ironically.”
The big, honkin’ headphones – from 1970s necessity to 21st century hipster affectation.

Granted, the sight of me dressed for “legitimate” work and suddenly busting a move on the commuter express into Philadelphia is pretty funny, but that’s not really an exaggeration. Despite the near ubiquity of earbuds (discrete, once considered cool) or those giant headphones I remember bumming off my dad to make mixtapes (now inconvenient, burdensome and therefore hipster cool), you see very few people publicly responding to the music they’re listening to.

I’m a little biased. I’m the guy you pull up next to on the road who’s singing at the top of his lungs in the car. I’m the guy on the train who simply can’t restrain some little form of rhythmic movement, whether it’s a finger tap or a head bob. God help me if I was a hardcore Rush fan, because I’d either careen off the road or injure my seatmate on the train during the drum solo for “Tom Sawyer.”

Even at live shows it’s unusual these days to see folks really getting into music. Exuberance seems to now be placed alongside social disfunction or mental illness. Honestly, I’d much rather be the crazy guy at the front of the stage dancing and singing the lyrics to every single song than the self-important turd standing in the middle of the room displaying no response whatsoever – no head bop, no finger pop, no air guitar … nothing.

Is that really how you enjoy music? If so, I’m revoking your music card, because you’re obviously not worthy of it.

I’m not going to call for you to dance like no one is watching, A) because that’s been said so many times it now only belongs on lame motivational posters, and B) because someone is always watching. But I will say this. Remember to feel the music once in a while. Tap a foot, play bass on your thigh, or break down and push your pelvis.

So for those about to shake your groove thangs, I salute you.