Dance like a fool
October 14, 2008 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Everytime the "Futurama" theme song comes on, I'm compelled to gleefully dance around my living room. What other songs will make me do the happy dance?

I'm not musically inclined, so it's hard for me to pick out exactly what it is about the song that makes me happy. The tubular bells? Yes. There's also something "driving" about it, for lack of a better word. It's happy but aggressive. What else will inspire the same giddiness? And what are the characteristics that make the song what it is? And did that make any sense?

I discovered that the tune was actually based on a 1964 French song called Psyche Rock by Henry Pierre. While I like this song a lot, the rest of Pierre's music didn't do much for me. Oh, and I've heard the Fat Boy Slim remix, which I like a lot.
posted by Evangeline to Media & Arts (57 answers total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
 
the Katamari Damacy themesong gets me everytime.
posted by sephira at 8:58 AM on October 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


LOL--That song makes me do a happy dance too! I actually looked for a full-length version to perform to (I'm a belly dancer).

I know what you mean about the "driving", although I can't describe it in better words than that. Fat Boy Slim, as you mentioned, some Moby, Placebo, and Omar Faruk Tekbilek's "Shashkin" (Hefner remix) inspire the same feeling for me.
posted by purplecurlygirl at 9:04 AM on October 14, 2008


I do the same thing, the instant dancing at the Futurama song. Have you had much exposure to They Might Be Giants? A lot of their songs have that sort of aggressively-friendly-with-slightly-nontraditional-instrumentation-for-rock-music thing going on. Try their cover of New York City, or Twisting, or See The Constellation, or Til My Head Falls Off.

And what are the characteristics that make the song what it is?

I think a large part of it, for me, is the tubular bells, as you mentioned. They signal that PAY ATTENTION BECAUSE SOMETHING EXCITING IS HAPPENING!. Bells also play in New York City, above, and the same function is served by the weird yelps in See The Constellation.

I'm sure I have a lot more music that instills the same jumpy glee in me; I'll think on this further and consult my iTunes.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:11 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Invader Zim! Although that might be less friendly than you're looking for.

And YES on Katamari Damacy.
posted by fuzzbean at 9:20 AM on October 14, 2008


Response by poster: Have you had much exposure to They Might Be Giants?

I also break out in spontaneous dance when I hear "Birdhouse in Your Soul" and "Constantinople"!

Thanks guys - keep 'em coming!
posted by Evangeline at 9:21 AM on October 14, 2008


Any movie score by Danny Elfman?
posted by jozxyqk at 9:23 AM on October 14, 2008


Not so much a happy dance, but I find I just have to strut every damn time I hear Loungemeister by Ugress.
posted by JaredSeth at 9:24 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Twiggy Twiggy" by Pizzicato Five
The theme song to I Dream of Jeannie (esp. as performed by Ferris Bueller)
posted by mkultra at 9:24 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Check out this old AskMe of mine.
posted by orange swan at 9:27 AM on October 14, 2008


Gnarls Barkley - Crazy causes immediate bouncing.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:31 AM on October 14, 2008


You'd probably like E.V.A. by Jean-Jacques Perrey. Here's the original version. Here's the more bombastic Fatboy Slim remix.
posted by O9scar at 9:51 AM on October 14, 2008


The theme to Northern Exposure. It's cheerful, the full-length version has a reggae feel to it, and it's hard not to be giddy when you hear a song that most people associate with a moose.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:55 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


sephira is right. You should get the soundtrack to Katamari Damacy. Just look at the title list:

6. Lonely Rolling Star
9. You Are Smart
11. Wanda Wanda
posted by AloneOssifer at 9:58 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Blue Rondo à la Turk by The Dave Brubeck Quartet does it for me.
posted by elmono at 10:06 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have the same reaction to game show music, especially the 'Come On Down' theme from the price is right. I just associate that genre of music with jumping up and down excited people waiting to win fabulous prizes. It's a mood lifter.
posted by Alison at 10:24 AM on October 14, 2008


The 30-Rock theme song puts ants in my pants, but that might just be my massive Tina Fey crush talkin'.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:25 AM on October 14, 2008


The much too short Moral Orel theme song has the same effect on me (starts at 1:45 here), as does this 10+ year old Gina G song.

I'll also concur with the Katamari Damacy soundtrack recommendations -- and that you should spend some time checking out the Fatboy Slim catalogue.
posted by gnomeloaf at 10:35 AM on October 14, 2008


If you're in the US you can use Pandora to find songs which have something musically in common with any song you pick out. Back when we had access to it in Europe, I found some great stuff this way.

Apart from that, I'm guessing it's the funky, driving quality you like (me too). Try:

(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone by the Monkees
96 Tears by ? and the Mysterions
Brakes On by Air (off Premieres Symptomes)
Romeo by Basement Jaxx (great video too)
Black Tambourine by Beck (lots of stuff off Guero and other albums too)
Legal Man by Belle & Sebastian
Music is My Radar by Blur (another great vid)
Dirty Harry by Gorrillaz


it seems i have a thing for tambourines and sixties pastiche
posted by tiny crocodile at 10:49 AM on October 14, 2008


Response by poster: Sadly, I'm going to have to wait until I get home to listen to these. Dancing at your desk is not encouraged in my workplace.

Can't wait!
posted by Evangeline at 10:53 AM on October 14, 2008


"Mah Na Mah Na"
posted by jtfowl0 at 10:56 AM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Newton - Streamline - the song from that pepsi ad
Cornershop - Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook mix)
posted by nomisxid at 11:05 AM on October 14, 2008


Poster's name tipped me off to this one...Matthew Sweet "Girlfriend". I defy you to stay still through it.

Ah...memories of my youth(although I never got the anime video).
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 11:11 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think this fits the bill. Where's Your Head At, by Basement Jaxx. Fun video as a bonus!

Happy + some drive = Tubthumping, by Chumbawamba, at least in the chorus.

Can't but dance and bounce around to REM's It's The End Of The World As We Know It

This 90s dance gem, Slave To The Music, by Twenty 4 Seven, leans more towards the very happy/joyful but the guy's voice parts have a bit of driving forward confidently to them. It's on my workout playlist.

On the equally happy but less drive-y front, is this one from the same era/genre. Cut n' Move's 90s dance club remake of KC & the Sunshine Band's Give It Up.

Super happy with driving pulsing beat. The Child Inside by Qkumba Zoo. Was in a Sea World commercial.

On the fringe of eligibility for this question is a song that makes me very happy and yet is aggressive at the same time. Gets me charged up and happy. Debaser, by the Pixies. It's less about dancing than really satisfying visceral singing to a happy tune.

This Lick The Tins cover of Can't Help Falling In Love (Japanese video completely unrelated) couldn't be any happier, and the drums at the beginning and end maybe add a bit of drive.

Yellow Skies, by The Cranberries is a fantastic mix of really happy and aggressive. It's like eating a mouthful of wasabi as the rocket you're strapped to shoots off into a really pretty sky. It's less of a dancing song and more of an open up your window and sing your head off to the neighborhood song. Must be played at top volume.

This one from the World Cup in France starts off all French and nighttime sounding, but then the drums kick in and it gets aggressive. But then the Scots show up with their bagpipes and somebody hops on the steel drums and perma-grin ensues.

This one by the same group is pretty much just joyful but I'm including it anyway, so ha.
posted by Askr at 11:16 AM on October 14, 2008




Oooh, I just remembered 'Bodyrockers - I Like the Way'. Cannot sit still when that is playing.
posted by sephira at 11:35 AM on October 14, 2008


It's a Kid's World, by Disco Inferno, released on their EP of the same title. All five of their EPs are collected here. They're out of print, so it's probably OK to download them. They're all great, but that song in particular. Note: not actually disco. Just rock.
posted by Rinku at 11:36 AM on October 14, 2008


Opening theme of Ren and Stimpy
posted by zippy at 11:57 AM on October 14, 2008


Theme song from the cartoon "The Oblongs".
posted by Area Control at 12:30 PM on October 14, 2008


The Polyphonic Spree's "Night and Day." Any cover of "Mickey." Daphne & Celeste's "U.G.L.Y.", to my eternal shame. Among a few hundred others that I'm sure I'll dig up when I get home.
posted by WCityMike at 12:43 PM on October 14, 2008


"March of the Nucleotides" by Bit Shifter. Oh yes: http://bit.shifter.net/audio.php
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:58 PM on October 14, 2008



A little bit off the beaten tracks:

The opening theme to Paranoia Agent by Susumu Hirasawa:

"Dream Island Obsessional Park"

I like the ending them too but it doesn't suit your "make me dance" theme.

I know it's way old school, but seriously, hard to top Linus and Lucy for happy feet syndrome.
posted by zueod at 1:10 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Another by Basement Jaxx: Do Your Thing. I put it on and dance around like a maniac.

I also break out in spontaneous dance when I hear "Birdhouse in Your Soul" and "Constantinople"!

Istanbul (NOT Constantinople)! (Sorry, couldn't help it...)
posted by Ms. Informed at 1:18 PM on October 14, 2008


It sounds nothing like the Futurama theme song, but as soon as you said happy dance I thought of Shakedown Street by the Grateful Dead. I figure, I dance around like crazy when the Futurama theme song comes on, and I dance even more whenever I hear Shakedown Street.
posted by MaHaGoN at 2:21 PM on October 14, 2008


See Daddy dance!
Look at Daddy dance!
Har Har!
Laugh laugh!

Ray Barretto : Soul Drummers
posted by Dr.Pill at 2:36 PM on October 14, 2008


One of my favorite dippy happy songs is Walking on Sunshine. (The very 80s video is a bit lame.) Another 80s video that often gets mentioned (but doess less for me) is Safety Dance. It's loopy fun, I'll give it that. I also like a lot of early Madonna, particularly Lucky Star and Open Your Heart [NSFW theme]. I also love Hung Up more than anything else of hers in a long time. And for happy songs by R.E.M., Stand beats End of the World hands down.

More recently there's Feist's Mushaboom and 1 2 3 4 (both with much more innovative videos).

I love watching Pork and Beans a lot, and the new Where the Hell is Matt? is fantastic to watch and I think the music is pretty nice by itself.
OK, not always based on musical qualities.
posted by dhartung at 2:58 PM on October 14, 2008


after Katamari Damacy, your Japan list should include WEEEK. I'm not usually a fan of J-Pop, but there's something unbelievably catchy and happy about this song. (Basically the lyrics are about getting through the week and then hooray it's the weekend and let's go have fun!)
posted by whatzit at 3:27 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Put a Banana In Your Ear from the Charlie The Unicorn video short series (notably part 2). The mere mention of a put a ripe banana right into your favorite ear gets me smiling just as much as Dumbledore Calrissian.
posted by Quarter Pincher at 4:29 PM on October 14, 2008


> The Polyphonic Spree's "Night and Day." Any cover of "Mickey." Daphne & Celeste's "U.G.L.Y.", to my eternal shame. Among a few hundred others that I'm sure I'll dig up when I get home.

"Red Sweater" by the Aquabats.

"Mr. Wendal," by Arrested Development. (It's the back line that does it for me.)

"Rocking the Suburbs," by Ben Folds.

"Block Rockin' Tori" (remix/mashup of Tori Amos songs).

"Tourettes 678," by Brighton Drag Queen Massacre.

"Sherry Darling" by Bruce Springsteen.

"Another Saturday Night," by Cat Stevens.

"Tubthumping," by Chumbawumba (and the French version).

"Gypsy Woman," by Crystal Waters.

"Pask V. 1000 Foot Indian Accordion," by Digital Cutup Lounge.
posted by WCityMike at 4:49 PM on October 14, 2008


(Hey Evangeline!) Ask what about music touches a human's emotion center and get almost as many answers as their are humans!

And it saddens me that Birdhouse is on your list and not "The Sun is Hot" by TMBG, my personal fav.

So..."Hey ya" by Outkast? or (on my FB list Obediah Parker, though his version not a dancer)
posted by Kensational at 5:34 PM on October 14, 2008


Also, it is deeply important that you dance along with this chimpanzee when viewing Les Rita Mitsouko's C'est Comme Ça.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:38 PM on October 14, 2008


Response by poster: Kensational, "Hey ya" is on about 8 of my Ipod mixes, I think!
posted by Evangeline at 6:16 PM on October 14, 2008


Response by poster: You guys, I'm not going to favorite any of your comments because they're all so good, so I'd have to favorite all of them, and then the word "favorite" becomes meaningless, yes? Then the universe implodes, my head falls off, etc., etc.

BUT... thanks to all of you! Can't wait to listen to these. Should keep me off the streets and out of trouble for a few days.
posted by Evangeline at 6:20 PM on October 14, 2008




If I might presume, I think the exact thing you are looking for is Pierre Henry "Psyché Rock". So much so, that it is regularly confused with the futurama opening theme.
posted by Freen at 7:00 PM on October 14, 2008


Response by poster: Hi Freen - yes, I traced back Futurama to "Psyche Rock". Now I just need to find more songs that sound like it!
posted by Evangeline at 7:07 PM on October 14, 2008


Oh yes, the Futurama theme. I enjoy it even more than the show itself, and I really, really like the show. The good news is that there's more like it.

The trick to finding songs like the Futurama theme, I think, is to find reinterpretations of 60's French psychedelic or American synthesizer experimentation, backed with syncopated shuffle beats and highly percussive melodies or bells in the rhythm track.

Let's see how close I can get to that. The song アデューは悲しい言葉 by Karia Nomoto combines those elements, and ends up with something not wholly unlike the Futurama theme. Pretty much everything on The Fantastic Plastic Machine qualifies, but I can only find a link to Bachelor Pad since it was on the Austin Powers soundtrack. And wow, Last.fm will actually allow us to listen to Hugo, a track by Japanese artist Mansfield, and available on the completely danceable All Systems are Go-Go by Ursula 1000. Someone already recommended Twiggy Twiggy by Pizzicato Five, but I'd recommend Groovy is My Name or A Room With a View.

Now, the Japanese aren't the only ones who can create that blend. The weird thing? Smashmouth does it, with Walkin' On the Sun, which is a reinterpretation of Perrey & Kingsley's Swan Splashdown. But if Smashmouth is a bit too mainstream or expected, Nice Day by Persephone's Bees comes close (wait 'till the drums kick in).

Let's say that you want to go back and listen to the real thing, the kind of upbeat 60's cheese that makes you want to boogie. First, you have to start by listening to Esquivel's Mini Skirt, which is required listening for, um, everyone in the universe. Next, check out The Sound Gallery -- a collection of 60's sound library music -- Volume 1 and Volume 2. Wizzz - Psychorama Francais may have something close to what you're looking for too.

Finally, let's just say you want to hear some triumphant tubular bells in a modern anthemic pop song -- I recommend Lightning Strikes Twice by Saint Etienne, but I'll be damned if I can find a sample that includes the damned triumphant bells.

Also anthemic with bells: Stop Me by Mark Ronson. If you like, see also: Oh My God and Ooh Wee.
posted by eschatfische at 7:21 PM on October 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Junior Senior's Move Your Feet!
posted by dunkadunc at 4:59 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just thought of this one (while listening and walking to class and trying not to start dancing) - Dubstar's St. Swithin's Day
posted by fuzzbean at 1:15 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh, duh! I forgot about The Rock-a-teen's/5-6-7-8's "Woo-hoo!" (The 5 6 7 8's version is the one you've probably most likely heard.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:33 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh, and I'm favoriting this thread for ideas for "how do I shake myself out of the depressive state I get into after listening to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujiah". So, yay.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:36 PM on October 15, 2008


Okay, last comment in a row (I keep hitting "post" and getting ideas): not quite the same feel as the others, but the Allman Brothers' Jessica and Traffic's "Glad" always make me want to dance.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:40 PM on October 15, 2008


Here Comes the Money - Naughty by Nature

Anyone who watches or used to watch wrestling should get the reference.

Yes I watch wrestling. It's the grown man's soap operas
posted by deezil at 6:07 PM on October 15, 2008


Evangeline: Perhaps you should check out the album that Psyché Rock comes from, Messe Pour le Temps Présent, available at amazon as well.
posted by Freen at 7:48 PM on October 15, 2008


Response by poster: Oh, and I'm favoriting this thread for ideas for "how do I shake myself out of the depressive state I get into after listening to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujiah". So, yay.

That song gets me every time. Doesn't matter where I am when I hear it. One time on the train I listened to it on my Ipod and just sat there weeping like an idiot. Probably didn't help that that I was already depressed, of course.

But it's such a beautiful song. Sometimes "Famous Blue Raincoat" has a similar effect on me.
posted by Evangeline at 8:20 PM on October 15, 2008


I love happy dancy songs. Here's one that hasn't been mentioned yet: Ca Plane Pour Moi by Plastic Bertrand

I am also liking Vampire Weekend for my internally dancing when jammed into a crowded tube train at 8.45am moments.

There are more, but I don't have my mp3 player on me, which has my happy dancy playlist.
posted by Helga-woo at 4:56 AM on October 16, 2008


uh Freen, that's twice you've mentioned Psyche Rock, but the posters original question already said "I discovered that the tune was actually based on a 1964 French song called Psyche Rock by Henry Pierre. While I like this song a lot, the rest of Pierre's music didn't do much for me. "
posted by kev23f at 9:36 AM on October 21, 2008


While it may seem like a terribly uninspired suggestion, D.A.N.C.E. by Justice.

Also:
Burning Down the House, as covered by Tom Jones and The Cardigans
Over and Over by Hot Chip
and
Don't You Evah by Spoon (though, I think the bouncing robot might have a lot to do with this one).
posted by hip_plumber at 1:08 AM on October 23, 2008


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