I wish that I lived in a simple world – Music, The Internet & Me.

A sixth form computer room in 1998, and it’s hard to imagine how excited I was to hear a low-quality 30 second clip of a song by Brazilian-American metal band Soulfly. It was the first time I had used this new-fangled internet thingy people were so excited about, and of course the first thing I wanted to use it for was to listen to music. I sat, headphones on, in awe and wonder at the idea that I could hear a bit of a song without buying the CD or waiting for it to come on the radio. Little did I know where it would lead.

Stepping back a bit, to 1993, when music began to truly matter to me, options for hearing the kind of music I loved were very limited. Evenings on Radio 1 were pretty much the only place you could hear indie or alternative music and I listened religiously to the Evening Session, John Peel and Mark & Lard. MTV existed (and was still primarily a channel that played music videos), but not in my house. You might get the occasional band or video I liked on Top of the Pops or The Chart Show (the first place I heard Nirvana incidentally), but you could hardly rely on it.

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Playlist of the month – Songs about dancing

I wrote about my daughter’s (and my) love of dancing earlier in the week, and that’s inspired my favourite playlist of the month yet, songs about dancing. As usual, the full playlist can be found below, and I’ve written a little about ten of my favourite songs from the list:

Los Campesinos – You! Me! Dancing!

I love this song for many reasons. It was one of the highlights of the last Glastonbury I went to (which I just had to google to figure out was in 2007. My memory isn’t what it once was), but I was also listening to it a lot back in 2009 when I first met my wife, so I always associate it with the rush of new love. It’s that kind of song in any case, giddy, delirious and deserving of every one of those exclamation marks in the title

Black Kids – I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You

One of the joys of putting together this playlist is finding songs you either haven’t listened to for ages, or had forgotten about entirely. The lengthily titled “I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You” was all over the radio in 2008, to the point where it got a little annoying. Black Kids released debut album ‘Partie Traumatic’ the same year, and have pretty much disappeared from view since, not splitting up, but not releasing anything new either. Hearing this song for the first time in 7 years reminds me of just how joyous it is.

The Pipettes – Pull Shapes

Speaking of forgotten bands, I had forgotten completely about The Pipettes until a friend mentioned them on Facebook whilst I was looking for suggestions for this playlist. They were a strange kind of manufactured indie girl group with choreographed outfits and dance routines. People grew tired of the image pretty quickly, but some of the songs stand up well, particularly ‘Pull Shapes’. I especially like the bit where the music cuts out as they sing “What do you do when the music stops?” Cheesy, I know, but I’m a sucker for that kind of thing.

The Sleepy Jackson – Good Dancers

The first Sleepy Jackson album Lovers is one of my favourites of all time. I fell in love with it from the first bars of this, the first song on the album. So I’ll crowbar in a mention of them whenever I can, even if I’m not entirely sure this song is really about dancing.

Justice – D.A.N.C.E.

I’ll always be fond of Justice after a fantastic night watching them DJ at Manchester’s Warehouse Project. D.A.N.C.E. is of their most fun songs, and also inspired a lovely acoustic cover by Get Cape Wear Cape Fly

Daft Punk – Lose Yourself To Dance

Whilst Get Lucky was the world dominating hit (the sound of the summer as Limmy might say), this is my favourite Pharrell featuring Daft Punk, a wonderful slinky slow burner that makes me want to, well, lose myself to dance.

Dee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart

There are many, many, many pop songs about dancing, a few of which make this playlist, many more of which don’t. But the one which more than any other makes me actual want to dance is this one. It may be partly because I was ten years old and just starting to get into music when it came out, but mainly it’s because both song and video are pure distilled fun.

Men Without Hats – The Safety Dance

I don’t normally pay much mind to novelty songs in these lists, but this is a fine exception for two reasons. One, the video never fails to make me smile. Two, it was referenced in Futurama. Good enough for me.

The Magnetic Fields – Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing

Most of the songs on this playlist are, appropriately enough, songs you can dance to. This is not one of those songs, but like so many of the others on The Magnetic Fields epic ’69 Love Songs’ album it is beautiful, romantic and has fantastic lyrics “Be we in Paris or in Lancing” being my particular favourite.

Joy Division – Transmission

Saving the best for last this month. Some of the songs on this list are fun, some are romantic, but only Joy Division could fill a song about dancing with such a sense of foreboding and dread. It’s appropriate that a man famous for his own manic dance should appear on this list. Oh, to have seen them live and danced to their music myself.

Any great songs about dancing I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments.