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10 Songs Indelibly Stamped Upon My Cortex - #2

2007-10-11 - 7:45 a.m.


It's early. And it's raining out. And I think I may have left one of my car windows open. Grand. Well, the only thing I can do at this point is:

#2. Jane - Jefferson Starship

I'm going to hold off on the clip for this song until the end, so I can set the stage. "Jane" was released in 1979, after Jefferson was an Airplane but before it was only a Starship. So long after, "White Rabbit" and long before, "We Built This City". How one band can be responsible for those two songs AND "Jane" is amazing because none of them sound anything alike. Which makes sense, as the band changed line-ups more often than Warren G. Harding handed out plum political jobs to the "Ohio Gang". Hmmmmm, too soon? Anyway, I have no serious recollection or emotion towards this song until 2001. Though I'm sure it was all over the radio when I was toddlering around, it wasn't until Wet Hot American Summer came out that this song became synonomous in my mind with, "Oh snap, get. ready. to. party. DOWN." Now, in 2001, no one was saying, "oh snap", in fact, people in 2007 aren't really saying it anymore either. But I just made a President Harding joke, so I hardly feel my stylistic tics are beholden to any current fads.

Seriously though, "Jane" opens the movie - which makes since as it takes place in the Summer of '81 - and not only is it a party atmosphere on the screen as soon as the credits and the song begin, but if you've ever watched Wet Hot even once, and you know the insane hilarity that is about to commence, you're already excited. And those opening piano bits to "Jane" just get you/me pumped. And I'll say "pumped". I've put this song on my gym mix on my iPod and I'm telling you - nothing can get you that extra 1/2 mile like a good helping of Jefferson Starship's "Jane". I know very little lyrics to Jane outside of, "There's a time for love and a time for lettin' it be . . .", "Jane, you're playin' a game you never can win girl!", and of course, "Jaaaaaaaaaane!" Although, according to a lyrics site I just checked, one of the lyrics is: "Like a cat and a mouse (cat and a mouse) / From door to door and house to house / Don't you pretend you don't know what I'm talkin about!" That only makes me like this song even MORE! I have no IDEA what they're talking about. But apparently Jane does.

I've certainly watched Wet Hot in a million places over a million times, but I certainly equate it with all the legendary parties that went down in Rollinsford in that leafy bygone Business District. So it's when I hear that slowly rising piano part, getting louder and louder, until the guitars wrecking ball their way in, that I've already melted - before the lyrics even start. How many late night parties was Wet Hot on repeat in front of passed out party goers, and people just passing through and someone looking in the window from the porch and mumbling, "Oh no, not that movie again!", while Aly, Shan-Y, Hayley, Kate and myself keep restarting scenes only so we can annoyingly say the lines at the same time and act surprised by something the 500th time we've seen it?? Those were heady times. I miss watching that movie with all my fronds. I have friends that I'm constantly forcing the movie down their throats introducing the movie too, and they like it, but it's just not the same as your first Wet Hot fronds. So I don't just think of Wet Hot as a movie unto itself when I hear "Jane", but I think of flat beer Peter's still struggling to drink, burned burgers grilled by Jeff, strawberry cake eaten by Kate, rest of strawberry cake taken away from Kate and eaten by Monique, vegan cupcakes from Aly and Shannon, quesadillas handcrafted by Andrea, tents set-up by Hannah & Brian, Nintendo shirts worn by K-Slopp, confusion displayed from Frederick, late night exits from Snorts, beer drenchings on Mike, and gallons of Juicy Juice imbibed by Hayley. I defy you not to think of Wet Hot and party time exellence the next time you hear "Jane". It's impossible my friends. Now, excuse me, I have to go fondle my sweaters . . .

It's been real,

Alan Shemper

Next: A "reggae" soundtrack favorite!

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