Every so often, a new song comes along right around this time of year that takes me back to those days of riding around in a car with the windows down waiting for the big song of the summer to come on. When it came on, you'd blast the radio (which never shook the streets the way car stereos do today when people blast them), and sing along, and anyone driving by would know how cool you were. You never really had to wait very long for this exciting moment, even where I lived. One of our three favorite pop stations would be playing it at least once an hour. Sometimes, if you got really, really lucky, you'd hear it on one station and then switch to another one in time to catch it again, before going home to listen to it over and over on the record player. You know what kind of song I mean. It's the one that the cutest couple on American Bandstand announced they liked because it "has a good beat, and you can dance to it."
This summer, that song is by Foster the People. I first heard about them on NPR (sixteen-year-old me can't believe that, these days, you can hear about such cool bands on NPR). They played "Pumped Up Kicks," and there I was, tempted to roll down the window, blast the radio, and sing at the top of my lungs. Oh, and sixteen-year-old me, if she'd seen this video, would have thought these guys were so-o-o-o cute! (Actually, 47-year-old me thinks they're cute, too, but in a very different way.)
Forget that the lyrics completely contradict the happy sound of the music. Crank it up, everybody, and let's hit the dance floor.