July 13th, 2011



The Onion's AV Club has a list of songs about dancing that they claim are undanceable. They are wrong.

1. Iggy Pop, “Nightclubbing”
Nice groovy beat. Good for west coast swing or a particularly dirty foxtrot.

2. Neil Young, “Dance, Dance, Dance”
Slightly harder. It's not as slow as they pretend and it's got a pretty clear QQS rhythm. A faster nightclub two-step would be my choice though it could also work for a slow polka.

3. Roxy Music, “Do The Strand”
How is this not danceable? It's got a very clear driving beat. East coast swing, baby. Or hustle. Or merengue. Or tango. Or paso. Come on, AV Club! Even if you're not doing ballroom how can you not hear this beat? Next.

4. Lou Reed, “Sally Can’t Dance”
Okay, they admit this one's danceable but that due to the lyrics it wouldn't be fun to dance to this one.

5. Bauhaus, “St. Vitus Dance”
Works for an awkard hustle.

6. Leatherface, “The Bastards Can’t Dance”
No sample, can't evaluate.

7. Violent Femmes, “Dance, Motherfucker, Dance!”
Great rhythm! This would be a hilarious jive! I will never get a chance to use this song (for obvious reasons) but I bet it'd be a lot of fun.

8. Modest Mouse, “Dance Hall”
Another jive. Feels like a satire of 50's rock and roll movie songs. Would actually be pretty fun to do a satiric beach-party showcase piece to this.

9. Lykke Li, “Dance, Dance, Dance”
Okay, this is really awkward because of intentionally disruptive percussion. You could do hustle to it, though I wouldn't try.

10. Patti Smith, “Dancing Barefoot”
Nice blues feel. This could be a great west coast swing. Why is this song on the list? It's groovy, it flows, it pulses. Why is this on the list?!?!

11. Pavement, “We Dance”
I imagine a lot of people would slow dance to this song. For me it's nightclub two-step but that doesn't mean other people couldn't do something. $5 says I get a wedding couple with this song in the next year.

12. King Harvest, “Dancing In The Moonlight”
Again, they admit you could dance to this but claim the lyrics are too irritating to make a good dance song. Um, no? It's happy, it's perky, it's celebratory. It's calm and casual but that doesn't mean you can't dance, it means you dance casually. I've had this song in my rumba playlist for years.

13. Pop Will Eat Itself, “Dance Of The Mad Bastards”
Strong driving rhythm. Would make an excellent hustle. If you're into punk you could also slam dance to this.

14. Prince, “Batdance”
Another easy hustle, though this song really is everything wrong with Prince in one place. I'd really hoped never to hear this song again.

15. T. Rex, “Cosmic Dancer”
What "awkward rhythm" are they referring to? Very clear QQS beat. Nightclub two-step. Next.

16. Dead Milkmen, “Instant Club Hit”
No link, no comment.

17. Sebadoh, “Dance”
Okay, this is on the list for excellent reasons. Too many breaks, horrible lyrics. You could force choreography if you really wanted to, but why would you ever want to?

18. Pere Ubu, “The Modern Dance”
Okay, it could be a hustle but an uncomfortable one. Still, if you're dancing club style the rhythm's clear enough that I don't know why this song doesn't work (save for the weird break about 50 seconds in, but that passes).

19. Nik Kershaw, “Dancing Girls”
Oh, more techno! It's more hustle! It's a bad song, but it's still a hustle.

20. Lindsey Buckingham, “Slow Dancing”
I was intrigued enough from the AV Club write up that I actually looked the album up on Amazon to hear the sample. It's not as bad as they say. I would never slow dance to it, but it would make a good slow (wait for it) hustle.

21. The Clash, “Rebel Waltz”
THEY TELL YOU THE DANCE IN THE TITLE! Okay, it's actually a Viennese waltz, but still. The write up is an endorsement of why one should dance to this song. Waltz is not primarily a romantic dance (although it can be); it's primary feel is that of a dream. Waltz is dream-like, it's a fantasy. The song captures that. Fail, AV Club! Fail!

22. Sick Of It All, “G.I. Joe Head Stomp”
Fast. Real fast. Not sure why this doesn't work for slam dancing (according to AV Club it doesn't). I like the rhythm. Maybe a real fast tango or quickstep. A punk quickstep to this could be kind of fun, actually.

23. Iron Maiden, “Dance Of Death”
Another waltz. Fast tempo though not quite in Viennese range. Could probably be a great showcase piece, though I'd rather get a different vocalist.

24. Death Cab For Cutie, “Stay Young, Go Dancing”
Guess we're saving all the Viennese waltzes for the end. This actually quite a beautiful song. I'm gonna go buy it from iTunes and play it at my next party.