Last week was the worst traffic week I’ve seen in this town since, well, the Snowpocalypse. 128 was a parking lot every morning, all morning, and every afternoon beginning at 3:00 and going straight through til 7:00. Seems like we all forgot how to drive in warm weather.
And in a week when sports radio had only one thing to talk about (something you may have heard about regarding football deflation) my fingers were pushing the preset buttons on my radio in rapid fire. You can guess the current rotation on the assorted playlists- a heaping of T Swift, a side of Maroon 5, a little Nick Jonas, every now and then a taste of One Direction, a whole lot of Ariana Grande and the awkward at-least-just-temporarily breathless lyrics, and, for good measure, a Klezmer-spiced beat from Fifth Harmony entitled “Worth It” that is starting to take off.
Oh, Fifth Harmony. You’ve come a long way, girls.
Remember X-Factor 2012, when they shocked America’s sun-bleached California heartthrobs Emblem 5 in Week 7? I remember that well, as Emblem 5 represented everything that I hated about that show. Well, not really, because I also had a real problem with eventual runner-up Carly Rose Sonenclar from “Westchester,” which somehow became a city in New York that was worthy of civic pride. But I digress.
The point here is that Fifth Harmony made that final show on the airiest of airy-princessey performances of Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen.” Remember that? It was sweeter than sweet and for those two shows they really were America’s darlings. Relive the glory right here.
But have a look at “Worth It.” It’s not exactly NSFW, but I wouldn’t recommend watching it at work since your co-workers might give you sideways glances. I wouldn’t even venture to call it innuendo either, because the lyrics and, um, choreography are pretty straightforward, but right off the top you get a little sax loop that, if you close your eyes and turn off the rest of the beat, is nothing if not straight up Klezmer sample.
Rewind the clock to Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty To Me” and you’ll realize we’ve been down the Klezmer-sample-in-raunchy-music rabbit hole before, as they lifted Balkan Beat Box’s riff in that single (see my piece from last spring about that), and then reflect on whether or not Klezmer music has ever gotten you, well… y’know… in the mood. I guess it’s not a reach, as Klezmer is traditionally played at celebrations and, yes, weddings, but I chuckle a little every time that lilting melody pumps through my car speakers.
In a cruel twist, so far the traffic this week is just as bad and sports radio has gotten even more out of hand, so I’ll be Klezmering up 128 at a snail’s pace every 10 or so minutes flipping through the stations.