Baby Are You Down Down Down Down Down: Summer

Summer is the best time for pop music.

In fact I would even venture to say that it is THE time for pop music, and pop music at all other times of the year is just trying to recreate the feeling of summer.

I should clarify my terms: in this case I mean "pop music" as in the stuff of the current day (and oh what a day it is currently).

I've thought about why summer is the best time for pop music and I think it's because summer is the season of the body, while winter is the season of the mind. Summer weather, whether it be pleasant or terribly terribly humid (my own kryptonite), irretrievably reminds us that we are physical beings and that those physical beings need attention and care.

So that's why summer is the season of pop: because you're not supposed to think, you're just supposed to move.


I've said before that I don't think there should be such a thing as a guilty pleasure song, but let me tell you about this thing I do. Sometimes I say something that even I think is too extreme for how I actually feel, but I just say it and hope my reasons will fill in behind it. That works occasionally but other times, mleh.

So yes, I understand why people have guilty pleasure songs but for me personally I can't hide what songs I like because otherwise what am I even doing here?

That's why I'm going to tell you today about one of my favorites in a genre that, for all of us, is extremely personal by design: the songs we work out to.

I am intrigued by this genre because it's one of the few that has no infusion of ego. It's private, and meant to motivate you at a vulnerable time, and meant to be sheerly enjoyable. So I think you can tell a lot about someone by what they like to listen to when they work out, and I've never been less than charmed by this knowledge of another person.

Here's one of mine:

The song: Jay Sean ft. Lil Wayne, "Down"; 2009

You have to admit it is catchy as hell.


Other things I like about this song:

1. Lil Wayne: Like many rappers, Lil Wayne looks super tough but is, I suspect, about as actually tough as a toasting marshmallow. And his verse on this is so short and weird that it's hard to even process that it's him before it's over. My favorite lines: "got me look like baby Cupid shootin' arrows from above" (see previous point about toughness) and "And honestly I'm down like that economy" (which, points for topicality I suppose? but not many points for clarity, WAYNE.)

2. It's all about wanting to actually do things and having an adventurous spirit. Which is something I have struggled with in the past, but that I increasingly see is probably one of the most important ingredients of a happy life. This revelation was really hammered home for me when I caught Up on TV over the weekend. But then AFTER I watched Up I did go out and ended up being whistled at at 2 in the morning by a biker gang which is just one of those things that I never knew how much I wanted to happen to me until it happened to me. So, lesson learned, Pixar. Lesson learned. And when I work out I see it as training for the general adventure that is life, hence the connection to exercise with this song.

Makes sense? Does this topic intrigue you as well? I always welcome comments and stories over e-mail.

I hope it is beautifully summery where you are too.