Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"These are mountain people."

So I just got back from a wedding in eastern Tennessee, just a few miles south of the Virginia border. My father-in-law had lived there for five years or so, and when he described the area for us as he drove us around, he often condescendingly said of the locals, "These are mountain people." The bride, my sister-in-law, was marrying one of those mountain people, a very nice and responsible man, and she asked me to create a playlist of '80's music for the reception.

Not long after the festivities began, it became clear that there had been a slight change of plans, as a large South Pacific islander from New Zealand (if I heard correctly) took the stage with his wife, several microphones, and a computer-assisted karaoke machine and sang "Can't Help Falling In Love" to the dancing couple. I love Elvis's version of the song, and I had suggested it to them for their first dance and brought it with me on my iPod. He also sang something by f-ing Engelbert Humperdinck. Anyway, we spent most of our time playing suicide karaoke. I gave my wife an assist on The Talking Heads's "Burning Down the House." And because my wife hates it so much, my sister-in-law wanted me to sing "Achy Breaky Heart" to her, and I gleefully did. (One of my brothers-in-law told me afterwards, "You're family, so I feel I can be honest with you: you're not a good singer, but you're one hell of a showman.") I got to try my first moonshine, and it was incredible. It tasted like apples and cinnamon and burned all the way down. My father-in-law complained that, at 40 proof, it was weak, but I liked it.

I think everyone had a good time, in spite of the two teen-aged girls in attendance who insisted on singing a few contemporary dirges like Rihanna's "Stay." And so did I, in spite of the fact that my playlist wasn't used, even though I had spent many hours and a significant amount of coin to put it on the iPod for everyone's amusement. Perhaps it was the sight of my 18-month-old daughter on the dance floor.

So here it is: my playlist for an '80's-themed wedding reception:
  1. George Michael, "Faith"
  2. Duran Duran, "Hungry Like the Wolf" 
  3. Bangles, "Walk Like an Egyptian"
  4. Depeche Mode, "Just Can't Get Enough"
  5. Dead or Alive, "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)
  6. Paula Abdul, "Straight Up"
  7. Dexys Midnight Runners, "Come On Eileen"
  8. Peter Gabriel, "In Your Eyes"
  9. Whitney Houston, "So Emotional"
  10. Thomas Dolby, "She Blinded Me with Science"
  11. Billy Ocean, "Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car"
  12. The Human League, "Don't You Want Me"
  13. Belinda Carlisle, "Heaven is a Place on Earth"
  14. Micheal Jackson, "Beat It"
  15. Bon Jovi, "Livin' On a Prayer"
  16. Heart, "Alone"
  17. Devo, "Whip It"
  18. MC Hammer, "U Can't Touch This"
  19. a-ha, "Take On Me" 
  20. Fine Young Cannibals, "She Drives Me Crazy"
  21. Bruce Springsteen, "Dancing in the Dark"
  22. Guns n' Roses, "Sweet Child O' Mine"
  23. Van Halen, "Jump" 
  24. Men without Hats, "The Safety Dance"
  25. Def Leppard, "Pour Some Sugar On Me"
  26. The Power Station, "Get It On (Bang a Gong)"
  27. Soft Cell, "Tainted Love" 
  28. Phil Collins, "Two Hearts"
  29. Cyndi Lauper, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
  30. Simple Minds, "Don't You (Forget about Me)"
  31. Yello, "Oh Yeah"
  32. Janet Jackson, "When I Think of You"
  33. David Bowie, "Modern Love"
  34. New Order, "Blue Monday"
  35. Thompson Twins, "Hold Me Now"
  36. INXS, "New Sensation"
  37. Prince, "1999"
  38. Robert Palmer, "Addicted to Love"
  39. Adam Ant, "Goody Two Shoes" 
  40. Eurythmics, "Missionary Man"
  41. The B-52's, "Private Idaho"
  42. Talking Heads, "Wild Life"
  43. Aerosmith, "Angel"
  44. Big Country, "In a Big Country"
  45. A Flock of Seagulls, "I Ran"
  46. The Cure, "Just Like Heaven"
  47. Scritti Politti, "Perfect Way"
  48. The Police, "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
  49. Talk Talk, "It's My Life"
  50. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, "Two Tribes"
  51. Howard Jones, "Things Can Only Get Better"
  52. The Psychedelic Furs, "Love My Way"
  53. Paul Simon, "You Can Call Me Al"
  54. ABC, "The Look of Love (Part One)"
  55. Oingo Boingo, "Weird Science"
  56. Wang Chung, "Dance Hall Days"
  57. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, "So In Love"
  58. Madonna, "Into the Groove"
  59. Billy Idol, "Dancing with Myself"
  60. The Buggles, "Video Killed the Radio Star"
  61. Vanilla Ice, "Ice Ice Baby"
  62. The The, "Infected"
  63. Electric Light Orchestra, "Hold On Tight"
  64. The Smithereens, "A Girl Like You"
  65. Gary Numan, "Cars"
  66. The Fixx, "One Thing Leads to Another"
  67. Adam and the Ants, "Stand and Deliver"
  68. XTC, "The Mayor of Simpleton"
  69. Tom Tom Club, "Genius of Love"
  70. The English Beat, "I Confess"
  71. Bryan Ferry, "Kiss & Tell"
  72. Roxy Music, "More than This"
  73. Golden Earring, "Twilight Zone"
  74. The Vapors "Turning Japanese"
  75. Asia, "Heat of the Moment"
  76. Daryl Hall and John Oates, "Private Eyes"
  77. Rush, "Time Stand Still"
  78. Wire, "Ahead"
  79. The Smiths, "How Soon Is Now?"

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson