Summer In Stereo #31

"Vivrant Thing" is another record store heard it, loved it, bought it at first opportunity story of HERC's. It was a hot Saturday night in the Summer of 1999 and after putting his kids to bed, HERC zipped across the street to the mall with full permission from MRS. HERC.  (Not that he needed it or anything.)  Upon walking into the store about 15 minutes before they closed, this song was blasting; probably a few notches higher on the volume knob then usual, probably in a vain effort to overcome the noise of the vacuum cleaner near the rear of the store.  HERC did not hear the very beginning of the song, maybe just the last minute and a half (?)  He walked back up to the checkout to see if they had a "Now Playing" stand and they did but it was empty so, trying to sound as hip and cool as a thirty-three year old married white guy with three kids and a purple Dodge Caravan can,  HERC asked the guy if it was A Tribe Called Quest's new joint cause he recognized the unmistakable sound of member Q-Tip.  The guy said "Nah, it's Q-Tip solo.  It's called Favorite Thing."  (At least that was what HERC heard him say the title was.)  "Is it in?" HERC asked.  "Not until next week, man." is what he was told.  Life happened and HERC didn't go back in the following week to follow-up on the single or a possible album.  About a month later, one of HERC's workers asked him if they could play a CD he brought in after they closed for the evening and HERC allowed it.  They closed, the guy popped in the CD and the second track was that song, "Favorite Thing".  HERC got up form his desk, walked over to CD player to check out the CD case.  The album was Violator: The Album and featured various rap artists/  Q-Tip had exactly one song on the disc and it was track 2 which was NOT called "Favorite Thing" but "Vivrant Thing".  HERC asked the guy to dub him a cassette copy of the CD and two days later, HERC was listening to the song on repeat on his programmable tape deck after pressing Track 2, Repeat and Play.  It was another three months or so before 'Tip's Amplified album dropped and HERC bought it just before Thanksgiving.  The appeal of the song, in addition to Q's playful pick-up lines is that driving beat.  One day, he was listening to it in his music room at the old house when he thought he saw MRS. HERC walk by in the nude so he jumped up, headphones still on (he had an extension cord that could reach to the bathroom) and peaked out the door and down the hallway.  She had pantie hose on but as she walked there in front of him her nylon covered, swaying hips somehow impossibly synced to the beat of the song she couldn't hear and an indelible musical memory was etched in HERC's head.  Long story short, HERC loves this Summer Song for a couple of reasons: his wife's left and right hips.

And speaking of women and hip-syncing to the beat, HERC saw this commercial in 2009 and picked up Mos Def's The Ecstatic album soon thereafter.  (Watch the commercial closely to see how HERC figured out the artist/song/album.) He was surprised to hear Fela Kuti speaking at the beginning of the song on the album because the commercial just used a quick 30 second snippet but was easily able to edit the song for his playlist purposes.  And yes, HERC tried listening to this song while MRS. HERC was working around the house, hoping there might be some sort of hip-syncing going on but alas the experiment was a failure.  Still the song is a favorite and usually comes to mind after hearing "Vivrant Thing".  And watching MRS. HERC coming or going is always a pleasure.

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