We appreciated the Pride theme “It Only Gets Better,” but it also sounded a little like a self-help mantra. Now that Pride is over, we’re looking to keep our groove going with a little fun. These tunes should turn a frown upside-down.
“I Could Be Happy” — Altered Images: Of course you can, especially after this 1981 New Wave hit by Scottish post-punkers fill your brain with its bouncy, joyful sound.
“Dreams” — The Cranberries: Bubbling with optimism, it is pretty hard not to think your dreams will come true after this alt-pop classic plays.
“A Little Less Conversation” — Elvis Presley: The King isn’t on a self-help kick here, but who could resist this kind of beat? For those who can, you need far more than this mixtape.
“Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do” — Robyn: This popster takes a different approach to self-empowerment, but it works. Listing everything that bugs her, she sounds just like us. Sometimes we just need to vent and curse.
“Firework” — Katy Perry: Don’t deny it: You get a rush when Perry builds to her chorus and then the beat drops.
“Louder (Put Your Hands Up)” — Chris Willis, pictured: While we keep waiting for his full- length debut, the out singer delivers the ultimate uplift anthem, and it’s a good dance tune, too.
“I’ll Take You There” — The Staple Sisters: There are few lyrics in this song, but all we need to know is I know a place / Ain’t nobody cryin’ / Ain’t nobody worried. Let’s go.
“Roam’” – The B-52’s: Sometimes the B’s are out there, but they make the world a better place here. Who figured permission from the band to roam around the world would feel so good?
“Hell With You” – …Silenze: These queer-centric metalheads don’t take crap. Declaring I’m someone unlike you, the band forgets the fuzzy-wuzzies and takes a stand.
“Move any Mountain” – The Shamen: Though their hit “Ebenezer Goode” came off rather dark, the rave house band gets all Dr. Phil with this addictive and encouraging dance track.
“I’m Sorry Baby, But You Can’t Stand in my Light Anymore” – Bob Mould: Sometimes it’s the one you’re with that’s bringing you down. Kick ’em to the curb the way this queer indie rocker says: Hate to leave you standing in the corner on your own. Fact is, sometimes you have to.
“Express Yourself” – Madonna: You had to see this coming. Truer words have never been sung than Don’t go for second best, baby. Even if it is a song about relationships, it’s always said so much more.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2011.