Tag Archives: cowbell

So You Think He Can Dance

Christopher Walken came up in conversation today.  You may be wondering what exactly this has to do with music.  It was his dancing.  More specifically, his dancing he did several  years ago in the Fatboy Slim video for Weapon of Choice.

What brought about this seemingly random conversation of Walken’s dance stylings? It is thought, quite accurately I must say, that Christopher Walken is long overdue for another video featuring his dancing.  But what song to choose?

Before I launch into yet another Top 5 list, let’s reflect back to the early 2000’s. Fatboy Slim was huge.  The video for Weapon of Choice was an instant classic. Thanks, in large part, to Walken’s inclusion and the direction of Spike Jonze. Of course, the song itself featured Bootsy Collins, who provided lead vocals.  Interesting side note: Bootsy also collaborated on Dee-Lite’s Groove is in the Heart, which was featured on my last Top 5 list.  And so my world of interesting coincedences continues. Apropos.

On to the list.  The Top 5 Songs Christopher Walken Should Get Down To:

#5 Foster the People – Pumped up Kicks

It is synth-pop at its finest and it’s current. Both which I am enjoying lately.  But this song got picked for no other good reason than a whistle solo.  My storyboard would include Walken pausing in dancing in his own pumped up kicks and whistling along. I want to see the Walken whistle. Call me odd.

#4 Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor

First of all, a fantastic dance-able beat. Second, it’s a kick-ass song.  Third, who can deny great little coincidences?

Arctic Monkeys say: “Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984..”

One of my favourite Walken scenes in film? True Romance. Best moment: when he shoots Dennis Hopper. His line? “I haven’t killed anyone… since 1984.

The song was a given.

#3 Beastie Boys – Make Some Noise

Walken needs to reprise his role as The Bruce Dickinson (classic SNL More Cowbell moment) and pull out some cowbell of his own with this dance. Will Farrell is already on YouTube with a cowbell in a viral video of this song, why not Walken’s own version? Dancing, Beastie Boys and cowbell.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

#2 Radiohead – Lotus Flower

My only request for this song would be to produce it as a dance-off.  Thom Yorke versus Christopher Walken.  Who would be more eclectic and compelling in their eccentricity.  I’m fairly certain Walken wins.  When doesn’t he?

#1: The Black Keys – Lonely Boy

It was the original choice that prompted the discussion, so it gets first place on merit alone.  It’s also a song that inspires toe-taps and great choreography.  A bit of a rock-out for Walken. You know the dance that is done in the video –  a lot of those moves need to be kept. I’m laughing just at the vision.  Classic.

I think this is where we thank Wikipedia for telling me that Christopher Walken trained as a dancer in musical theatre at Washington Dance Studio early in his career.  And now it all makes sense.

Side note – collaborative gratitude to the Man of Steel for a superhero-sized idea for a Top 5 list. Extremely well played. I’d gush, but he’d hate it.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Lila has a friend, Ross. I don’t know Ross. But Lila told me today that had a Facebook status the other day that said, “Every Breath You Take” needs cowbell!”

Interesting, considering I had my own cowbell conversation today. Namely that there seems to be a seemingly subconscious draw for men to songs that feature cowbell. Now, I often think more like a guy. So I considered this theory and realized, why yes, I actually do enjoy a little more cowbell from time to time. Of course, this is not my theory. It was provided by someone who I often have the pleasure of discussing the most eclectic and interesting things with. Side note – it makes my days far more enjoyable.

So, what is with the cowbell? Yes, there was that whole Will Ferrell SNL skit. Blue Öyster Cult and all that. And it was damn funny. But, does cowbell make a song better? I’m not sure. My favourite aforementioned theorist seemed to think so – pointing out his distaste for Red Hot Chili Peppers and confessing their newest release, The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie, has grown on him. Why? Cowbell.

Could this be the secret to music industry success? This little idiophone hand percussion instrument? Could it really be that easy?

Let’s examine the evidence. Our Top 5 “More Cowbell!” Songs:

#5 Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie

I know we mentioned it above. But I like the song, it’s like a fungus (read: it grows on you.. I know, I know.. it’s one of those nights) and it has some pretty damn wicked cowbell going on.

 #4 Knock on Wood – Satisfaction Soundtrack

Okay. Start laughing. I’ll tell you when to stop. This is the song that holds my earliest cowbell memory. It was the first song I thought of when discussing cowbell today. And it’s from a terrible, cheese-ridden 80s movie that Julia Roberts won’t even admit she was in. But it had a lot of music and featured girls in a band, living like summer camp and singing their guts out. It’s not really a wonder it struck a chord (ha, punny) when I was a tween.

Covering Eddie Floyd’s, Knock on Wood. I don’t even think these actresses sang. I have no idea who performed it. But it is sheer cowbell goodness.

 #3 The Dismemberment Plan – You are Invited

This is what happens when cowbell doesn’t have to be such an obvious part of the back beat and percussion. It’s there. That you have to really listen to hear it means you’re paying attention. Or just accept the fact the cowbell is there and enjoy it. It’s in your nature, right?

 #2 Hey Ladies – Beastie Boys

You know I love them. It had to be mentioned. Of course they used cowbell. And used it well. Who is surprised, really? Classic.

 #1 Blue Öyster Cult – Fear the Reaper

You know I had to. I’m even linking to the SNL skit instead of the actual song. Why? It’s damn funny and it’s my blog, so I can. Click the pic to watch More Cowbell goodness.








Okay, boys, hit us with it.  Does cowbell really make a song better? Ladies, go ask your men-folk what they think. In a completely unscientific Beat & Lyric-style study, we are curious to see if this theory has any merit.  Stay tuned.

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