I’m very sensitive to my environment. And when I’m in Miami, I channel all the douchebags and degenerates from all 2000 square miles of Miami-Dade County. So I spent all summer blasting this song while weaving in and out of traffic on the 836 like I own that motherfucker. This song is me at my most vain, checking myself out in the rearview over my fake Ray Bans. But most of all, this song is Miami on a sunny day, palm trees swaying in the wind and an endless blue sky. I don’t go clubbing much, and I’m sure this song is great on the dancefloor. But it’s even better in my car at 70 miles per hour.
Of course, Miami doesn’t always have beach-perfect weather. One evening the night before flying to New Orleans, I arrived at my girlfriend’s house in the middle of a downpour. I was wearing my only shoes and I was not going to get them soaked. So I stayed in the car. And though I’m normally really impatient, I was in that car for at least 20 minutes doing really a impassioned carpool karaoke of this song. Maybe it’s how perfectly dramatic it sounds with a backdrop of lightning and rain pouring down the windows. Now when I hear this song, I always think of that moment and how perfectly amused I was.
I have to give this song credit. No matter how much time passes, when you hear the first 15 seconds of “Back that Ass Up,” you lose your fucking shit. And the last time I heard it was in Juvenile’s hometown of New Orleans. It was just off Bourbon Street where music kind of comes at you from everywhere and most of it is performed live. But the first few bars of this song cut through the air and drew everyone’s attention. Instantly we were all looking around to see where the party was going down. Well.. the party was coming from a little rickshaw, and breaking it down in the middle of the street to the song was an old lady in an I Dream of Jeannie costume. People like that are the reason I love New Orleans. I hope when my hair is that gray that I, too, can still back that ass up.
Honorable Mention: The band at my favorite jazz bar in New Orleans played the Star Wars Cantina song with an Imperial March coda, and it was beautiful.
I saw Paul McCartney live in Prague last year, something I never thought possible. And as luck would have it, a year later the former Beatle performed in Miami while I was in town, and I got to see him again. I’ve never won the lottery, but now I feel like I know what it’s like to win it twice. This song was performed at both shows and each time, it was one of my favorites. And later on in the summer, when it was time for me to fly back to my little slice of the USSR, the song welcomed me to my second home. I can’t think of more appropriate lyrics to describe the hassle of flying and that feeling when you get to say “Gee it’s good to be back home.”
Right after I got back to Prague, I saw that someone I worked with over 6 years ago was going to be in town. I made plans to meet up with her and her friends. And like all travel reunions, it felt like no time had passed. It was Saturday night and we went to a burger and beer place in Old Town. There were two guys playing acoustic guitar. Somewhere in the middle of their set, they pulled out this old Oasis hit and everyone went nuts. Even the guys smoking outside sang it through the window. I’m a sucker for a good sing-a-long.
When you spend an entire weekend at Oktoberfest, you’ll hear this German drinking song approximately 713 times. Because it’s played every 20 minutes in between “Fliegerlied,” which is basically German Duolingo as a song, and “Hey baby I want to know if you’ll be my girl.” It instantly makes everyone stand up and toast, even if you’re already sleeping on the table. And like any song that’s four words long, it gets in your head for days. I couldn’t fall asleep without mentally chanting this for two days. And I can’t think of a more appropriately raucous tune to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall.