I was in the bathroom taking a look at me now and I heard one of my neighbors singing by himself.
“Celebration, across the world! Everybody Wang-Chung tonight!”
Cross my fucking heart, this happened. He was rocking it, too. On key and everything. He must have American Idol for the Wii, and I’ll bet he plays for keeps. I would pay so much money to see them in the bar, so I could play embarrassing tracks on the jukebox and watch them try to resist singing along. Bet they know (and sorry for the hater embed-disablers):
Howard Jones– “What Is Love” (1983)
You should really go watch some Howard Jones videos. The music will pull you way the fuck back in such a delightful case of nostalgic whiplash, you won’t even mind the tears over your age. It’ll be all John Hughes movies and packs of Mambas and cassingles in cardboard sleeves. Did you make mixtapes from the radio with your boombox? I knew someone who even recorded her voice in between tracks like she was a DJ.
Human League– “Don’t You Want Me Baby” (1981)
- His earring is badass.
- I think the motorcycle repairmen would have an apoplectic attack if they tried to resist singing this song in a bar (or any other context). They were made to sing it as a duet. Like peas go with carrots, the repairmen go with this song.
Thompson Twins– “Doctor, Doctor” (1984)
Then they turned that shit into a Dr Pepper commercial. Ugh.
Pet Shop Boys– “West End Girls” (1985)
Always so funny to watch a band that’s just synthesizers perform live. I know, some people feel the same way about seeing Alex Paterson or Aphex Twin mix live. I can tell you from experience that DJs do spin differently every time they’re on stage. But seeing Depeche Mode live? It was pretty much like listening to the album. Three guys at keyboards and one guy singing. But I was nine and a fan and I was going to go, damn it.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood– “Relax (Don’t Do It)” (1984)
Hahahahahahahahahahaha. I’m seven years old.
Dead or Alive– “You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Record)” (1985)
I clearly remember getting very annoyed with a popular girl when I was in I think the third grade over this song. Recess was over, and the bell had rung, and we were lining up to go back into class. And she said, “What are they saying in that song, ‘You spin me rice round? Rice? What’s that mean? Rice!'” As if that was clever. I liked the song. “‘That doesn’t even make sense. What would rice have to do with a record? It’s ‘righttt round,'” I said. She glared at me. I think she had been working up with this remark for a long time. Lining up in the third grade is kind of the equivalent of a cocktail party, and time to bust out your wittiest repartee. Yes, I was only continuing to ostracize myself, but I wasn’t going to stand for her bullshit. I remember something her mother said once, too, that was weird, about how one of her daughters was going to have to learn to be right-handed, because “she couldn’t stand to have a left-handed child.” Huh. That’s a disconcerting scrap of memory. Like finding a photo behind the stove where one of the heads was torn off on purpose. Anyways.
A-Ha– “Take On Me” (1985)
Everyone’s favorite ESL [English as a second language] song ever. I think it might be the greatest obviously second-language song of all time! If anyone can give me a weird song that a non-native speaker did in another language that’s as great, I’d like to hear it, because I think the Norwegians went and kicked everyone’s ass.
Kate Bush– “Running Up that Hill” (1985)
This is a wild card, but I would pay fifty dollars American to hear the motorcycle repairmen sing Kate Bush.
Falco– “Der Kommissar” (1982)
Oh, fuck yeah. I busted out the Falco. I have this song in my iTunes. Jealous much? Once upon a time I found the greatest site ever in the world and it was dedicated to Falco. That was nearly something like seven years ago. It was magnificent, and I am surprised its power did not explode the tubes of the internet. It was entitled something like, “THANK YOU, FALCO, FOR YOUR INSPIRATION.” I am a fool for not saving an HTML version to my desktop. A fool!
Yes, Falco sings and dances for our entertainment, but he is truly here to inspire us to be our greatest selves.
There are so many more songs I would love for them to sing! But these, these are the ones that I would play first and position myself in the corner of the booth and watch them. I wouldn’t even pretend to listen to my friends. They would know I was watching the repairmen. Watching their heads bob, mouths move, their hips sway, their shoulders rock. Does anybody love anybody, Howard? I am growing rather fond of these dudes and the stories I’m writing for them.
Wang Chung this weekend, my brothers and sisters. Wang Chung, indeed.