Friday on My Mind: Bike to Work, Work to Bike

The KEXP Energizer Station last year // photo by Renata Steiner

It’s time again for Friday on My Mind, our weekly blog post where we look at videos centered around one common theme. This is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News.

Happy National Bike to Work Day everyone! In keeping with tradition, KEXP served as an Energizer Station again this year. Thank you to everyone who came on out to our parking lot and participated in the activities. Seattle is all about being committed to improving bike infrastructure and encouraging bicycle commuting. Besides Bike to Work Day, May 16th is also National Sea-Monkey Day, so make sure to also hug a sea-monkey today. During the last few years, Friday on My Mind has focused on songs about bikes. Since we don’t know any songs about sea monkeys, we’re going to look at songs about work…

Godfathers – Birth, School, Work, Death

Formed in 1985 by brothers Peter and Chris Coyne, Godfathers stood out from many of their counterparts at the time who were creating music via synthesizers. They’ve released six albums total during the course of their career. Over the last few years, the band reformed for reunion shows and released a full length, Jukebox Fury, which contains all new material. Here’s their most well-known single and title song to their 1988 album, Birth, School, Work, Death.

R.E.M. – Finest Worksong

With songs such as “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”, and “The One I Love”, REM’s 1987 full-length Document is considered by many to be the album that broke them through to a more mainstream audience. “Finest Worksong” sets the tone for the album and states REM’s presence with authority. And now here is the official video for “Finest Worksong”:

PAPA – Put Me To Work

Here is one from the LA based duo PAPA. You can catch them at this year’s Sasquatch Music Festival. Here is the official video for “Put Me to Work” from their 2013 debut full-length, Tender Madness.

Honorable Mentions:

Dolly Parton – 9 to 5

So to sum up the movie that this song is the theme to… Jane Fonda is forced to find work after her husband who is a dick AND named Dick (can’t be a coincidence!) squanders their savings, loses his job and runs off with his secretary and totally pleasing the conservative right. Jane finds employment as a secretary where Lily Tomlin (described as the feisty widow in the movie I remember her both as the incredible shrinking woman, look it up, and as the telephone operator on Laugh-In reruns) works and warns her that their boss is scum of the earth (Dabney Coleman). It is rumored that Dabney and his secretary, Dolly Parton, are having an affair but in reality its just Dabney hitting on her and reinforcing the decade of the 80’s as the “Year of the Dolly Tit Jokes”. Dabney treats these three terribly and drives Dolly Parton to tell him she’s going to shoot him after she gets drunk. This was common in the Parton household with Thanksgiving celebrations often dreaded affairs where most did not make it to leftovers the next day. Later the three women smoke “some grass” and joke about executing, hang him and poison him….I’m not sure in what order. Usually when I get high, I just eat cookies and watch Super Troopers. Then, oops, they accidentally kill him with rat poison. Sure sure, happens all the time. You get high on the marijuana, talk about hanging someone while shooting them and boom, the very common “rat poison in the drink” happens (pretty sure that’s what happened to Grandpa). You won’t find that ride in Dollywood — hey oh! Anyhoo, turns out they didn’t kill him and for some reason the ladies steal a body from the hospital and just go ahead and kidnap him to avoid any confusion with the authorities.

Anyhoo, they put him some weird bondage device, he escapes, takes them back to work at gunpoint where Dabney gets all the credit for the great changes, I’m guessing in a ball gag while heavily armed and he is promoted. Proving that… I have no idea what was proven here to be honest. Anyway, the post-credits have some show that Dabney was abducted by a tribe of Amazons in Brazil and never heard from again. Working 9 to 5!

Loverboy – Working for the Weekend

Not only is this the greatest video ever made but… well, let’s face it, it’s the greatest video ever made. Top 10 things about this video:

1. Mike Reno. I always thought, what’s the guy from Breakfast Club doing in this band? I later learned this same actor was in Young Guns.

2. Mike Reno’s headband. FUCK, it’s great.

3. Paul Dean. Not to be confused with Paula Dean the racist sausage queen. That’s what Paula Dean is right? Anyway, Paul Dean clearly looks like he is that guy at the bar who is hitting on you at 2am in his pink jacket making his guitar rock faces and telling you he’s in Loverboy and is Paula Dean’s son. Seriously, that happened.

4. Mike Reno’s headband scarf. Now, I thought this was covered on #1 but he has clearly converted his headband to scarf. Young guns!

5. I was running the half marathon in Vancouver the other day and this goddamn song was playing near the finish line. Seriously Canada, you don’t make it easy do you?

6. It is rumored that the band came up with this song while be inspired to work for the weekend. It’s never been confirmed though.

7. Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley.

8. Drummer face in this video is not only awesome, but they freeze frame it when he looks in the camera. You don’t want to miss this drummer face and they make sure you don’t.

9. There are no less than 2 yellow tank tops, 1 yellow blouse and 1 pink and 1 red blazer in this video. Seriously, Canada, you don’t make it easy do you?

10. Keyboard player has three levels of keyboards for this video. This song is so complex it requires no less than three.

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