REWIND: Take the edge off a bad week with LMFAO and Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul on Sept. 9, 1988 in Munich. Photo by Fryderyk Gabowicz/Getty Images.

This week, huh?

My original column topic was going to be songs with extremely memorable 20-second segments that made for good hand-washing timers. That was Tuesday morning. By Tuesday night it was already a driven-into-the-ground meme, and by Wednesday it was downright quaint bordering on too late.

After that I was going to do jokey disease-related songs to try to bring some dark-humor levity to the outbreak. Then Tom Hanks caught it, then the market crashed, then all concerts were canceled, then the market crashed again, then sports as a concept got canceled, then all the schools, and now even I think things are too bad to joke about. And I have the least tact of anyone you’ve ever met!

On top of it all, remember that conference in New Orleans I talked about in last week’s column? Well turns out another attendee tested positive for coronavirus! So I’m quarantined until the end of the month and quickly developing an acute case of cabin fever. I was having full-on conversations with the cat by the middle of Day 2.

So, you know what? I think we all need a pick-me-up. Let’s listen to some dumb, fun songs that can’t help but cheer us up a little, before the next round of bad news breaks. We all need a recharge.

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes — “Straight Up”

This could really be literally any song by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, but “Straight Up” sparked my latest obsession with the band so it gets the nod.

If you’re not already a fan, this is your lucky day because you’re now introduced to an awesome new thing. They’re a band of punk rock stars who do aggressively fun covers of catchy songs from a variety of genres, and it’s amazing. It’s downright impossible to listen to any of their music and not feel just a little bit better.

Once you decide this song is the best thing you’ve ever heard and want to listen to an entire album, might I recommend Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Have Another Ball?

Paula Abdul — “Opposites Attract”

Not only are covers of Paula Abdul songs good for your mood, so is Paula Abdul herself. How can you see her dance with a rapping cartoon cat and not crack a smile? You can’t! It’s awful in the best possible way; like musical junk food.

Plus, it implies she’s dating that cartoon cat! How does Paula Abdul even meet a cartoon cat in 1988? Who asked whom out? Is Paula Abdul hallucinating all this? Are we? Does it matter?

It’s so worth pointing out that this song has a spinoff: MC Skat Kat, created for this music video, has an entire album called The Adventures of MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob. It’s terribleYou’ve gotta hear it.

Bee Gees — “Stayin’ Alive”

Oh, so you’re too good for disco now? Listen, we’re living through 1918 and 1929 in the same month. You’re not too good for anything. Quit pretending to be cool and get your disco on.

Put this song on, turn it up loud, and let yourself groove to it. Right there in your chair. You’re actively stopping yourself from moving to the music and that’s not the way to get through all this madness. Just let the beat and the falsetto take over. Then maybe listen to it again, because there’s another week coming up after this one.

Gorillaz — “Feel Good Inc.”

Not just a clever name, this song never fails to make me feel good. It’s just so catchy!

Fun Fact: The rap verses are done by none other than De La Soul! The song is so good on so many levels that legends perform on it and it that doesn’t even merit a mention in the YouTube description. This is why Gorillaz narrowly edge out Dethklok as my favorite cartoon band of all time.

LMFAO — “Party Rock Anthem”

As I explained back in 2018, this song is objectively terrible. The members of LMFAO are an uncle and cousin, which makes the whole concept of the band a little uncomfortable. None of this makes any sense. Andrew WK taught me to never, ever apologize for party-rocking. There’s a lot wrong with this.

What’s not wrong with this? Everything else. It’s so much fun. Seriously, how can you be worried while listening to this? You can’t. So listen to this. I know you’re stressed. We all are. But the only thing we can do to help right now is nothing, so listen to more stupid, fun music to keep your sanity until further notice.

And to think, in that column I linked at the beginning of this entry, I complained about how bad 2018 was. How naive we all were.

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