||HANG THE DJ!
TEN SONGS YOU WILL ABSOLUTELY HEAR AT THE WEDDING PARTY.
Its that time of year, everybody. Time to watch your friends and
family kiss their privacy and sanity goodbye as they weld a gold ring
on their finger and tie the frigging knot.
We at The Black Table have nothing against marriage, just against the
world of wedding music. Some of its great, some is just there,
and some should be taken out behind the barn and disposed of. Behold,
we have gathered here together to list the ten wedding songs you're most
likely to hear. And if any of you has just cause as to why we should not
name these songs, please clamp your cakehole shut.
Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle, "A Whole New
Im sorry to be the Grinch that crapped on everybodys music
parade, but the fact that this song has become a wedding slowdance classic
is sick. Sure, its actually a beautiful song, and Peabo Brysons
voice is all Gospel-y and profound, but has it escaped everyones
notice that this song was written for a children's movie (Aladdin)? I
once babysat for a 2-year-old and the little bitch used to chant "Lada,
Lada" when she wanted me to play the movie again, which was approximately
every hour-and-a-half. I can still hear her shouting, every so often,
in my sleep. I suppose all this fury goes back to my hatred for the American
fetish for infantilizing ourselves. Like 40 year-old women whore
convinced that Harry Potter is legitimate literature, and collect those
black and white photos of children dressed in baggy adult clothes, handing
each other bouquets of roses. I want to scream the word "menopause"
to break their spell. Sorry to everyone who danced to this song at your
wedding -- this is mood music for child molestors.
Kool and the Gang, "Celebration"
My friend Samantha does a fantastic dance that involves moving your ass
as if its separate from your body, and then, as it shakes, you turn
around and point at it in surprise like youve been possessed from
the waist down. This song is about 20 years past cool, but still maintains
some kind of hold on me as a song that gets people of all ages shaking
their junk. Celebration is as classic as a Buick and recognizable
as a McDonald's commercial, and Im fairly certain that Kool and
the Gang even own the rights to the word "Celebrate" (were
paying $400 in royalties just to print this). The best part of this song
is the lyrics that are as bland and one-size-fits-all as "Happy Birthday":
"Bring your good times, and your laughter, too, we're gonna celebrate
a party with you!" Oh, and your cocaine. If you could bring that
too, itd be great, because were tapped out.
Los Del Rio, "Macarena"
Have you ever seen the footage on TV
Carnage of Wayne Newton dancing the Macarena with Daisy Fuentes on
the "People's Choice
Awards"? It will make your bowels turn inside out on themselves,
no fucking joke. Pay special attention to Wayne during the section of
the dance in which you have to put your hands on your hips and swirl them
around. It's like a million old-lady vaginas in a heap all burning at
the same time. Seriously, nightmares forever. 9, 10, never sleep again.
||Bryan Adams, "Everything
I Do (I Do It For You)"
In middle school, my mom made me take a ballroom dancing class that I secretly
looked forward to, since I thought itd be full of boys
||with nicely-textured suits who
would whisk me away to Paris and tell witty jokes about our math teacher.
The reality was more like a roomful of sweaty fat guys, smelling like Stetson
and trying to keep their half-boners off my leg. This song will forever
live in infamy as the soundtrack to those evenings. If you want confirmation
on how much this song sucks, just imagine the strained, bulgy-veined look
on Bryan Adams face as hes squeezing out the notes like its
his death gasp. In a backwards way, its a
||pretty little tune, but people
that choose it as a wedding song are about as original as the Zima-swilling
invertebrates that still say "Wazzzzup!"
Etta James, "At Last"
Id like to think that Im too sarcastic and agitated to let
a song this straightforward get to me. I lie to myself a lot. The first
time I heard this song at a wedding, I didnt know or care for the
bride and groom. I attended as a guest and was enjoying the booze and
the peel-and-eat shrimp, but doubted that Id get choked up like
a cliché of a woman at a wedding: dabbing a lacy handkerchief at
her eyes and whimpering. Unfortunately, this song is too perfect to smart-ass
your way around, and before much time had passed, there was a golf ball-sized
lump in my throat and my eyes were welling up. In the midst of most weddings,
I whimsically think about what the couples divorce proceedings would
look like, but "At Last" slaps those thoughts right out of your
head. Id like to meet the person who claims they can resist the
romantic pull of Etta James, just so I can call them a liar.
Marcia Griffiths, "The Electric Slide"
One of my fondest hopes is that this song will somehow turn itself
into human form, so that I may punch it in the face over and over again.
Ive never been a big fan of doing anything in unison with a crowd
of people, and the way that man-woman sings, "Ill teach you
the eeelectric sliiiiid," makes me want to scour all my skin off
with a cheese grater.
Special hatred props go to the way it makes your classy grandma and
grandpa feel like shamed losers, since they never learned the semi-retarded
dance moves that accompany the song. Theyre just stumbling around,
turning at the wrong intervals and clapping their hands. Oh, how the mighty
Heatwave, "Always and Forever"
Right when I first moved to New York, I was on the subway at about 10
at night. The car was packed tighter than a suitcase after a family vacation
in Orlando, jammed with goofy drunks and tired moms. In the middle of
the subway car was a chubby black guy, wearing headphones with his eyes
shut tight, singing poorly and loudly. It took a minute, but people started
to giggle, and recognize the lyrics of this workhorse classic. Bit by
bit, a few intrepid folks joined in on the chorus, murmuring, "Every
day, love me your own special way," and the whole thing escalated
until almost every person on the jam-packed subway was singing, as loud
as they possibly could, "And well share tomorrow TOGETHER!"
After wed crossed the Williamsburg Bridge, the headphone man got
off the train, with his eyes still closed, never realizing that hed
had a backing band of about 80 subway riders. And if youd seen the
way he got into the song, even in his tone-deaf, screechy manner, youd
fall in love with this song, too.
The Commodores, Brickhouse
Maybe Im relying too heavily on the cliche of what weddings are
||supposed to be, but isnt
the use of Brickhouse a little racy for your typical affair?
Granted, Ive got no problem with it in particular, and Im certain
Ill be playing songs much nastier at my own wedding (do you think
Darling Nikki is a bit too much?), but it goes without saying
that Im perverted. I say this more for the benefit of those couples
that have candle-lighting ceremonies, and pick Lionel Ritchie and Diana
Ross Endless Love as their first-dance song. I know a
bride who specifically told her DJ to abstain from any black music,
but that this song was A-OK. Why does Brickhouse get to slip
through the cracks? Probably because no ones paid attention to the
many years, and its eased its way into the pantheon of acceptable
wedding songs. Just to clarify, though, this song is about a girl with
a fat ass and a huge rack that the singer would really like to manhandle.
Just wanted to make that clear to everyone. If, after being aware of that,
youre still interested in seeing your niece dance to it with her
geriatric great-uncle, then Godspeed.
Pink, "Get the Party Started"
I feel a strange sense of kinship and sympathy for poor Pink. She and
my mother came from the same dinky town in Pennsylvania, which is amusing
enough. But more than that, I imagine it must be tough to simultaneously
maintain stratospheric record sales, attempt a bad ass "grrrl"
image, and hide the fact that youre a closeted lesbian (does this
seem obvious to anyone else?). "Get the Party Started" will,
undoubtedly someday become a wedding classic on par with "Hot, Hot,
Hot," but for now it has to fight for its place alongside "Love
Shack" and "Play That Funky Music." Even still, if the
weddings Ive attended recently are any indication, grandpas everywhere
are loving this number. Theyve popped a couple of Aleve for their
sciaticas, and headed out on the dance floor to practice their "pumping
feeble fists in the air" dance. When Pink sang the lyrics, Pumping
up the volume, breaking down to the beat, I dont think she
imagined your dads boss sweating through his tuxedo shirt while
doing the Cabbage Patch, but the damage is certainly done.
NSYNC, "This I Promise You"
Nothing like a one-hit wonder band composed of former members of the "Mickey
Mouse Club", organized by a team of music industry Svengalis to spell
true love. Im trying to imagine the situation in which someone would
be lazy enough to pick this as their wedding song. Did you just come back
from a huge dinner at TGI Fridays, and think of this song, and simultaneously
give up on life? Theres like, what, 100 bozillion songs you could
have picked, and this was the one that touched you deep, deep inside?
Im allowing a special exception here for people who got married
in their teens, but seriously, folks. Its like they thought about
originality, and then thought, "This shit is hard. Uncle."
PUT ON THE SUNBLOCK, JIM.
THESE TEN SONGS CAN CAUSE SUNBURN.
THESE TEN SONGS WILL MAKE
YOU FEEL TERRIBLE FOR LOVING THEM SO.
NINE SONGS WILL MAKE YOU SUCK DOWN THE HOOCH LIKE NOBODY'S BUSINESS.
THESE TEN SONGS WILL MAKE YOU
DRY HUMP YOUR STEREO SYSTEM.
Molly Simms, the former music editor of Bust magazine, writes
for money. Sadly, the Black Table doesn't pay any money. We are
now in hiding.