Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons - "Grease".
Neil Cicierga - "Imagine All Star People".
Bee Gees - "Night Fever".

There were two perfect disco-related moments on my recent trip to New York. One was when I was running down Avenue A because it was raining and I didn't have an umbrella, so I kept trying to position myself under store awnings and billboards so I wouldn't get soaked. I had just bought a pair of high-waisted mom jeans that I tucked into a wife beater that I was 80 per cent sure I was pulling off and all the rain had slicked my short hair back, David Bowie style. (Now I'm like 8 per cent sure I just didn't look like a depressed Portuguese landlord, but whatever.) Anyways, suddenly I hear the Bee Gees' "Night Fever" blasting out of a hair salon, a purely iconic 70's New York disco song that sounds like someone whispering a compliment right into your ear. It's pretty much impossible not to feel crazysexycool while listening to it, even if you're wearing said recently acquired $10 mom jeans. Anyways, this Hispanic teenager suddenly runs out of the store and starts dancing hard in the rain to "Night Fever." I was feeling it, too. I watched him at the corner and as the light turned green I started bolting down the street in the rain as life felt pretty much perfect. Shout outs to the universe and Barry Gibb.

The second moment involved driving in my cousin Kent's car through Brooklyn, listening to the radio, windows down, an inexplicably hot May day. The song "Grease" by Frankie Valli comes on the FM gold station he's particularly into, a track that I literally haven't listened to in years. My cousin tells me that for months he thought this was just an incredible 70's disco song. And I can feel that. Like the best pop songs, it evokes a powerful feeling while having particularly dumb lyrics. For instance, I remember saying "H to the Izzo" for years. Just casually, to like parents and teachers and stuff.

Anyways, my cousin Kent didn't know that this was obviously from the hit musical Grease, a song therefore loaded with signifiers like Bad Sandy and how a hickey from Kenickie's like a Hallmark card. Now every time I listen to it, I like to imagine hearing "Grease" in its absolutely pure state, free from meaning. "Grease is the word" could mean sex, power, cash, hair oil, a sweat-slicked dance floor or even a possible Studio 54-related STD. I always feel like people give each other songs like presents and my cousin Kent just bequeathed me an impossible summer jam.

Picture yourself at my funeral. Stop crying. Okay, please cry harder, it would be nice if somebody looked really upset about this 'cuz I'm not coming back, okay? Pull all the hotties to the front. Tell my mom to be cool and stop messing with the catering. (BTW if there is lasagna or mac and cheese being served, I will literally ghost-flip the table. I understand those are the carb-y comfort foods that might be needed during the truly traumatic fact of my early death when I resembled a young Catherine Keener and my ass was in fact a badonk-a-donk, but I think both foods are disgusting and I would appreciate if you respected my wishes, okay? Why not serve clubhouse sandwiches with like, a ton of mayonnaise to piss off my ex-boyfriend? Or just like a giant malted milkshake served in a bathtub that everyone drinks out of with cute little pink straws? Even though I currently have a problem digesting milk, I'm sure ghost-me will not be lactose intolerant.)

Then at just the right moment, let the priest or John Stamos or whatever, dim the lights and ask for a moment of silence at the request of the deceased. Tell my aunts and uncles and Maltese grandmother to shut it. I mean, really Tommy, is this the right time to tell everyone you used to be a rodeo clown? This is my moment! Get one of my autistic cousins to hit play on my iPhone and then this jam kicks in. At first, listening to all those soft pianos, the people weep respectfully. "Chandler's really classy," they think. But then, slowly but surely they realize it is Smash Mouth's "All-Star" being played over John Lennon's "Imagine" in the most necessary mash-up of our time. The brutal irony is not lost on anyone because this is the perfect Tim and Eric-ish track to go out. Mic drop. We out. I will haunt you all forever.

Love, Ghost Chandler

Posted by Chandler at May 22, 2015 7:37 PM
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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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