It's Gettin' Hot In Herre: Is Summer Jam Timez Nao?

Ladies, gentlemen, web citizens, it is time we discussed a matter of utmost urgency and national importance. We can wait no longer and must act now, take the symbolic bull by its horns and decisively strike while the metaphorical iron is theoretically hot to select this year's Canción Del Verano... Which I'm pretty sure roughly translates to Summer Jam (at least according to Google Translate it does).

Oh Summer Jam 2009, wherefore art thou? The irresistible, rump-shake inducing, head-bob-generating tune that will effectively decimate all the borders and divisions between us -- racial, ethnic, class, and gender among them -- extinguishing difference in the undeniable, infectious, sing-along-inducing harmony that is The Summer Jam's consummate earwormocity. Hipsters will lie down with trust fund babies, your Mom will embrace death metal-loving fans of body modification... It will bring balance to the force and remind each of us that, indeed, there are some tunes so packed with pure win that both you and the person whose taste you most loathe will download the MP3 from iTunes and play it on repeat until all four of your eardrums bleed. Oh, you know the songs I'm talking about I'm sure. But allow me to take a moment and refresh your memory:


Destiny's Child, Bootylicious


Outcast, Hey Ya!


Nelly, Hot in Herre


Kelly Clarkson, Since U Been Gone


The Killers, Mr. Brightside


Justin Timberlake, SexyBack

Yes, we could go on and on. And I'm sure we'd all enjoy that. But I really need to sleep at some point tonight. I think you feel me.

These are those rare songs that almost every person you knew at the time they were released -- fans of hip-hop, alt-rock, pop and metal alike -- danced to and sung along with all summer long, until finally The Jam was wrung bone-dry.

*Cue the backlash.*

Because with rare exception The Summer Jam becomes so ubiquitous, aggressively infiltrating as it does all public and private spheres with claustrophobia-inducing relentlessness, that there is ultimately no response possible but repulsion, denial, and rejection. So bring on the SNL skits and Weird Al Yankovic parodies!


Weird Al Yankovic, White & Nerdy

The life cycle of The Summer Jam is brief but brilliant to be sure -- The Jam blazes brightly and dies quickly, like a shooting star glimpsed in darkest night, or an M-80 shot into a bowl of potato salad at a 4th of July cookout. Its beauty is not something that can be captured or preserved... Well, except on those NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC! compilations. But you know what I mean.

As for this summer? Well there's that Black Eyed Peas song of course. And I've been told there are a few songs by Lady GaGa in the running for the title, and at least one Jamie Foxx tune that has a shot at is (please don't let it be the one with the vocoder, oh please please please). But overall, it seems to me that the field is still pretty wide open, though I'm still holding out hope that Animal Collective's My Girls will come through.

What do you think might be this year's Summer Jam? And of Summer Jams past, which still remain favorites?

. . . . .
Tracey, aka Sweetney, writes about Pop Culture & Entertainment at MamaPop, and is crossing her fingers that Justin Timberlake comes out with a new single.

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