When it comes to music, I’m no sophisticate.
I shop organic on college radio stations and I’ll slum it in the vinyl shops so’s my turntable can keep its groove going. But my funk doesn’t bunk in any one place or time or genre. Which is why I think I’m old enough to admit that my solo car ride musical choices oftentimes go girly.
Listen, I’m chill with potpourri and candles. And I don’t know how many times I catch myself going “I know, right?” during an Ani DiFranco song. I get where Sex and the City was coming from. I’ve eaten tiramisu. In public, even. I can watch women’s volleyball WHILE paying attention to the score. I happen to think vodka tonics are totally refreshing . . . . The Vagina Monologues had me kibitzing with gal pal for days . . . and who doesn’t watch the Super Bowl for the commercials?
But all that? Ain’t this. Nah, this collection of car jumping melodies is something you would get if Miss Kitty and iCarly formed a record label and they called it American Girl Doll Productions.
I blame Laura Branigan for creating a song that left my wheels breathless back in the day. There I was, cruising home on the Van Wyck, perfectly content to go metal on my pedal . . when Branigan made her way through the hairspray smog of my ride with those curly boom pipes, shaming my Kenwood woofs into a secret hiding place forevermore.
Here then, a few songs I listen to with windows shut . . .
Genie in a Bottle (Christina Aguilera) My daughter used to love this song and was plenty fine with me cranking it up. Then she turned five, after which she learned about Starbucks. And extortion. And so I went deep cover.
Heart Attack (Demi Lovato) If I ever had to admit I crushed on this whilst pushing eighty? Hell, I would definitely have a heart attack.
Crush (Jennifer Paige) If a song was featured in an episode of Sabrina The Teenage Witch, you probably shouldn’t be jamming to it if you’re a grown man. Unless you’re Ms. Paige’s father, which I’m not.
Bitch (Meredith Brooks) Come on.
Black Horse and the Cherry Tree (KT Tunstall) Almost passes muster with its hard rock beat. I say almost, because the content makes it damning.
Not Gonna Write You A Love Song (Sara Baraeilles) It’s cute AND it’s catchy. Testosterone doesn’t lend itself to either.
Taking Chances (Celine Dion) I’ll jump off the edge, but the windows gotta stay closed.
Unwritten (Natasha Bettingfield) As a writer, my love of this song is completely professional in nature. It’s a write off, in fact. Not that I would ever write it off.
You Oughta Know (Alanis Morrisette) There actually was a time when playing this tune with the windows down was acceptable. And then Alanis went and thanked India in her followup to Jagged Little Pill. Game over.
Man! I Feel Like A Woman! (Shania Twain) When Shania boot kicks that twang ’bout her prerogative to have a little fun? Well man, you know. Obviously, I reserve this ditty for highway driving.
Miss Independence (Kelly Clarkson) For the love of Perez Hilton, pumping up this jam would be a Miss-Take.
Call Me Maybe (Not Carly Rae Whats Her Name) I realize this will not absolve me of the musical crimes committed against testosterone and hemi, but check out this reboot if you haven’t already.
Oops, I Did it Again (Britney Spears) Any song with ‘Oops’ in the title . . windows stay closed. In my defense though, I can go with just about any Britney song while driving. Okay . . . that’s not helping.
Jumpin’ Jumpin’ (Destiny’s Child) I was at the Clevelander on Ocean Drive after Lebron James signed on with Miami back in 2010, and the streets were absolute pandemonium. D. Wade was in the house that night and lemme tell you, the man knows how to shimmy. The roof came off when 11:30 came looking for daybreak and let’s just say you really had to be there. Of course, my recollection ain’t gonna help me if I get pulled over by a Statie whilst doing the century mark with Beyonce kicking.
Before He Cheats (Carrie Underwood) What American Idol created, let no man laugh asunder. Pretty please?
Emotions (Mariah Carey) This ditty makes me giggle . . .
Un-Break My Heart (Toni Braxton) . . . until I cry.
Your Love is My Drug (Ke$ha) I don’t care what people say, the rush is worth the price I . . . umm . . pay.
If You Had My Love (J Lo) Well, me and Jenny are Bronx born and proud of it. But, yanno, this ain’t got cred when you’re a dude . . yo.
It’s Raining Men (Weather Girls) The song has a killer beat that is wasted by its female-centric title. I understand that Mother Nature is a single woman and she did what she had to do, I get it. But unless my name is Mauricio and I’m a hairdresser with a couple of teacup dogs named Givenchy and Liz, the giddyup to these lyrics remains sealed by windows high.
Yes, it’s the height of insecurity. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
(And whaaaat? You thought I’d forget Taylor Dayne? Nah. Uh. Girlfriend.)