This woman is my destiny
September 9, 2015 2:38 PM   Subscribe

As the video on YouTube reaches 100 million views, Shut Up and Dance by the Cincinnati band Walk the Moon continues to sell and receive frequent radio airplay.

The song, which "opens with a shimmery arpeggio that reminds me of a guitar sequence from U2's 1987 track “Where the Streets Have No Name.”", is popular with the US Open crowd and has now led the Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart for a record 24 weeks of its now full year on there.

Described by Rolling Stone as "a Killers-style update on Eighties pop hits like the Hooters' almost-forgotten "And We Danced"", the song may be catchy due to repetition, or the simple lyrics.

The Cars, Rick Springfield and Pat Benatar provided some inspiration for the song, which Taylor Swift has duetted and the Mountain Faith Band have performed a Bluegrass version, while the Holderness Family have parodied, as have two expectant couples.

The song has also been covered by the Temple University Diamond Marching Band, (in Spanish) GM5, Alex G and Mike Tompkins, Devin and Kyle, Twenty One Two, and Tyler Ward

And cousins 13-year-old Sara Arkell and 15-year-old Nathan Schaumann played the song on several pianos (YouTube version).

Previously on MetaFilter: 89 clips of dancing from movies set to Shut Up and Dance. Bonus: clips from 66 TV shows.
posted by Wordshore (71 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is my 9-year-old's favorite song right now.

Sigh. I'm really going to miss him.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:42 PM on September 9, 2015 [25 favorites]


Naw, come on man.
posted by chrchr at 2:42 PM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Interesting how the long running trend for indie/college music that sounded like moody synth new wave from the 80s mutated when it hit the mainstream top 40 radio into making music that sounds like pop-y dance music from the 80s. Same well, different springs.
posted by The Whelk at 2:45 PM on September 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


My son has learned in kindergarten that "Shut Up" is not a nice thing to say, so when the song comes on in our car, my girls scream "She said TAKE TURNS and dance with me."
posted by ColdChef at 2:46 PM on September 9, 2015 [105 favorites]


I love pop music, and my daughter actually did a great version of this song at one of her recitals on ukulele, but I do not like this song. It's in a category with "Cheerleader" of "Songs I would think I would love but I actually hate".
posted by Rock Steady at 2:47 PM on September 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm sorry, "And We Danced" is not any kind of forgotten.
posted by 1adam12 at 2:48 PM on September 9, 2015 [25 favorites]


one of a rarified few singles that fit in the category "songs titled with advice everyone wishes the band had just taken instead of singing at us"

(also, I would count Walk The Moon as a big strike against Cincinnati, but they gave the world Wussy, so I think they get a gimme)
posted by koeselitz at 3:00 PM on September 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


"And We Danced" side note: it is unbelievable to me on quick research that that song didn't crack the Billboard top 20, which goes to show that your memories from your youth cannot be trusted and that if you love a song when you're 10 years old, it will seem hugely popular and important.

"Shut Up and Dance" is one of those songs that was around for a while before I noticed it and then it was SUPER popular when we drove across country earlier this summer (and since we don't have a car usually, we were listening to lots of radio just for the hell of it). It became our joke* "Song of the Trip" , and on our trip home, we ended up crashing the after party of the rehearsal dinner at the Holiday Inn bar in Somewhere, Ohio, and "Shut Up and Dance" came on, and we pretty much lost our shit. It is a song that is very easy to lose one's shit too, which I think accounts for its popularity.

* Joke song of the trip, but I also totally dig it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:01 PM on September 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


As a massive music fan, I'm constantly amazed at how out of touch with the current pop scene I am. I've never heard this song.
posted by davebush at 3:02 PM on September 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


The Hooters: And We Danced
posted by bonehead at 3:04 PM on September 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


My 6 year old adores this song, not least (I'm pretty certain) because it lets him say "shut up," which is Absolutely Not Allowed at home, and then innocently insist that he had no choice, he had to say it, because it's the words to the song.

Time to hide my copy of Add it Up.
posted by Mchelly at 3:04 PM on September 9, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm a huge pop fan, and I think this song has a great hook, but honestly the rest of the song sounds like a guy improvising nonsense over the first royalty free track he could find with Edge guitars.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:05 PM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Metafilter - Where an earworm becomes a 45-minute distraction.
posted by Chuffy at 3:06 PM on September 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


I attribute it to some deep subconscious desire for 2015 U2 to sound like 1987 U2 again.

They won't, so this is what we got.
posted by JoeZydeco at 3:06 PM on September 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


"When did The Edge join Journey?"
posted by Sys Rq at 3:06 PM on September 9, 2015 [13 favorites]


I spent most of this summer in rural Iowa. Quiet streets, pork tenderloins, the mowing of lawns, local ice cream, county fair cattle shows, Pizza Ranch buffet and Culvers Butterburgers, stranger who slow and smile and say "morning", cakes at a farmers market and tractors in the 4th of July parade, a flat plain of corn fields scissored by straight roads, places less travelled, places that felt all the better for it.

Every evening after sunset, I'd go for a walk of several miles, still perspiring as night fell, while listening to the wildlife, strolling sometimes down lanes with walls of fireflies on either side, rarely encountering cars, more often slow and long freight trains.

Then I'd get back and turn on the radio, listening while still breathing air that had ambled across the great plain, through Kansas or Nebraska before reaching me, two thousand miles unhindered by mountains. Only one station could be picked up clearly, the local town affiliate or something. Minimal talk, mostly music. And, inevitably, this song would be played, every night between 11 and 12.

Every single night. And it grew, from strangeness and puzzlement, to pleasant familiarity.

And that's why I'll always associate it with rural Iowa in the summertime.
posted by Wordshore at 3:09 PM on September 9, 2015 [33 favorites]


Heh, I discovered this song the way I discover all my cheesy pop music, as a Steven Universe video on YouTube.
posted by Erasmouse at 3:09 PM on September 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


I really have no idea how to process the success of Walk the Moon. I was in a band with Nick Petricca in college (hi Nick!), and it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I was not in the band that made it big.

I would love to think that I helped contribute to that success in some way (I arranged and performed strings on his demo! The stenciled poster of all of our faces that I made for our band's first performance makes a cameo in the video for Anna Sun! We had a kick-ass band who won a lot of campus and local acclaim!), but somehow that just makes it feel like even more of a near miss. For posterity, here are some self links to The Expert, the band I was in with Nick:

MeFi Music Short Video Clips It's still weird how famous he is. I've gone on to do some pretty cool things both musically and non-musically, but, man. If you try to compare yourself to a rock star, you will go crazy.

p.p.s. The earliest incarnation of Walk the Moon had the way shittier name Wicked in the Mix, and they made their name in the Christian battle of the bands scene of Cincinnati, OH.

p.p.s. The first time I heard Walk the Moon on the radio, in Portland, I nearly drove my car off the road.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 3:11 PM on September 9, 2015 [50 favorites]


Am I supposed to not like this song for some reason?
posted by Modest House at 3:12 PM on September 9, 2015 [11 favorites]


It's a mystery to me what creates a runaway hit out of all the potentials. I mean, this song is just as good and just as boring as any other pop song from the last year.

These things become a thing almost because it is recognized as a thing. The quality of the pop expression is, at best, tertiary to the whole phenom.

I admit I didn't watch to the end. The first minute is all I needed.
posted by clvrmnky at 3:13 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


My kids love this song.

They also think "shut up" is a bad word.

(What's worse than 'shut up'? 'Shut up right now.')

So they sing the song in the car whenever it comes on the radio or Spotify, and switch back and forth between "Shut up and dance with me" and "Bad word and dance with me."

It's all very taboo to a seven year old.
posted by zarq at 3:22 PM on September 9, 2015 [12 favorites]


I'm sorry, "And We Danced" is not any kind of forgotten..

Apropos of nothing, my now-wife and love of my life saw a double bill of Squeeze and The Hooters on September 6, 1985 (that's 30 years ago, kids) at Poplar Creek music theater, which no longer exists.

It was our first date.

We're still a thing.
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:28 PM on September 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


This thread has inspired me to write a children's song entitled "Shut Up Isn't a Bad Word (Skullfuck Is a Bad Word)".

Anybody here have Raffi's contact info?
posted by item at 3:29 PM on September 9, 2015 [38 favorites]


My 6 year old adores this song, not least (I'm pretty certain) because it lets him say "shut up," which is Absolutely Not Allowed at home, and then innocently insist that he had no choice, he had to say it, because it's the words to the song.


I'm impressed. I think I've been hearing six yr olds say all kinds of words I once thought would cause the gates of hell open up and swallow me whole into them. I would have thought shut up would get a free pass in the age of "fuck this" and "fuck that."

Interesting!
posted by discopolo at 3:35 PM on September 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


I continue to be embarrassed by how out-of-touch I am with current pop music (which I owned up to here a year and a half ago). A combination of cord-cutting and being able to stream Pandora in my car have insulated me from pop culture, for better or for worse. This song has been on the Billboard charts for a year? I've never heard it, heard of it, or heard of the band, which is disconcerting and disorienting.

On the other hand! Having absolutely no background information or context for the song's history and popularity was a positive, I think, when watching the video. I had (and have) no clue how ironic any of it is. Was it a spoof of what MTV was like in the 80s, back when they showed music videos and I watched them? Was the crunchy 80s guitar (which sounds like it comes from 80s favorites -- Benatar, Scandal, other poppy stuff) an homage? Was the video lightheartedly poking fun at itself? Or is this a band that takes itself seriously, and this song is a serious song about love and finding the person who is your 'destiny,' and the lyrics they penned are about as deep as they're going to get with this group??

I HAVE NO IDEA!!!!!

Which makes it all the more interesting, actually.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:39 PM on September 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


Fuck this and fuck that
Fuck it all and fuck a fucking brat
She don't wanna baby that looks like that
I don't wanna baby that looks like that
posted by item at 3:40 PM on September 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


I would have thought shut up would get a free pass in the age of "fuck this" and "fuck that."

We're holding down the fort for as long as it's holdable. If we make it to 8 before he catches on to how archaic we're being, I'll be thrilled.
posted by Mchelly at 3:40 PM on September 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've heard this song so much recently that I think I've been fooled into believing it's been popular for about the last three years.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:47 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, we just watched the video. Wife says the song is cute, video kinda sucks. I say meh.

It's definitely a pop song with a definite hook that you can count on hearing at weddings for the next few years.

Not the Hooters.
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:56 PM on September 9, 2015


I learned about this song via MeFi and I am unapologetically in love with it.

I tried so, so, so hard this summer to get my 2-year-old niece to like it, but I could not get her away from Shake it Off and Jump in the Line.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:58 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


This thread has inspired me to write a children's song entitled "Shut Up Isn't a Bad Word (Skullfuck Is a Bad Word)".

Anybody here have Raffi's contact info?


Raffi? Try Agoraphobic Nosebleed. That's a fucking tune I would fucking listen to.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:00 PM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Walk the Moon is actually a very competent band. Their albums are solid if you like their sound. In person, they put on a good show, although "Shut Up and Dance" was their weakest song of their set. I hate that their video makes me feel old - it's not the parody, it's the inaccurate parody. It's a photocopy of the reality that was the 80s interpreted by those that did not see the original. *sigh*

However, give the band a break. I'm a Minneapolis person so consider this -

In 2011 they played the 7th Street Entry, which holds 250 if everyone crams in. By 2013, they were playing The Fine Line, which has a capacity of around 800. They only made the Main room on the victory lap in 2013 and still played it for this 2015 tour in March - it's a 1500 person capacity room.

Now suddenly they are playing huge festivals and venues for thousands upon thousands of screaming fans. It's been a rocket ride, and you know what, they seem like nice folks who have, despite Dance With Me's success, continually pressed a different song and theme on their media and at their shows - Different Colors, which is about LGBTQ equality. So, good for them.
posted by Muddler at 4:03 PM on September 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


I just want to comment to say I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH. It's so very danceable and the opening just sucks me in. It's like half "memories of childhood!" and half "yes indeed I too want to star in a feel-good teen movie about various flavours of dance".

It's the musical version of Bring It On, is what I mean.
posted by E. Whitehall at 4:06 PM on September 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


To my knowledge I have never ever heard this song before but, knowing how these things work, I am certain going forward to hear it blaring from every car radio, mall, fast food joint, even insistently tinning its out of subway headphones. Ed Sheeran, you know whereof I speak.
posted by xigxag at 4:12 PM on September 9, 2015


Look y'all, if you want to make royalty money in perpetuity and are a half-decent pop/rock band, write a song that will be played at every wedding that year.

It'll go on countless mixes and get bought over and over again for sentimentality's sake.

That said, it's really a nice song and the lyrics can be easily adapted for kids or in other, more parodical ways.

If anyone's looking for a guaranteed one-hit formula, it's WEDDING SONGS. Preferably released as a single to radio mid-spring.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 4:12 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, weddings is exactly it. I had no idea it was so popular with the younger youth of our world, but the only review I give of this song is "sorority rock."
posted by rhizome at 4:16 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's definitely a pop song with a definite hook that you can count on hearing at weddings for the next few years.

Yes. Also [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] ...
posted by Wordshore at 4:21 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, Elvis Stojko's music career is taking off!
posted by Poldo at 4:22 PM on September 9, 2015


ColdChef: My son has learned in kindergarten that "Shut Up" is not a nice thing to say, so when the song comes on in our car, my girls scream "She said TAKE TURNS and dance with me."

I'm glad to hear that other people have kids who police their use of "bad words." It's usually adorable, until you're really pissed off about something.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:34 PM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I actually really dig Walk the Moon, and I think it's kinda funny that this, of all things, is their huge breakout hit - it's always been one of my least favorite songs of theirs.

If you're curious about their other stuff, my personal favorite is probably Anna Sun.
posted by Itaxpica at 4:35 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Remove a the software post processing and then play it backwards and forwards at 1/3 speed, the lyrics change to: Shut up and vote Hillary. This woman is our destiny.
posted by humanfont at 4:38 PM on September 9, 2015


It feels like something I should be against on sheer cussedness. (Especially given that I am not much for dancing , though there are a couple of exceptions.) But at some level I have to admit that I'm just a sucker for a great hook. My capitulation to this fact is a playlist on my Spotify that I call "modern crap". This song is on it because, well, hook.
posted by graymouser at 4:40 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can appreciate a good pop song as much as the next guy, but no goosebumps here. Credit to the band however, for covering Talking Heads. I'll fantasize about some current teen discovering "Fear of Music" because of this - and having their mind blown.
posted by davebush at 4:46 PM on September 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


There is a line that goes directly from The Hooters to this song through the "Friends" theme. Make of that what you will.
posted by rhizome at 4:51 PM on September 9, 2015


First time I've seen the video. MetaFilter needs to restart Sassy's Cute Band Alert.
posted by roger ackroyd at 4:54 PM on September 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Catchy.
posted by xqwzts at 5:06 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Buffalo News:

"The tune is made up of three primary elements, and together, they conspire to make “Shut Up and Dance” the stuff of pop-hit dreams. First, there’s the chiming, digital delay-fueled guitar riff, which owes an obvious debt of gratitude to U2’s the Edge. Then there’s the disco/’80s alt-pop mélange that forms the tunes basic musical bed – this is dance music, after all, and the melody is subservient to the four-on-the-floor groove. Finally, there’s the lyrics, which are not exactly deep, but boast the sort of everyman relatability that is required of a pop hit.

The story is an old one – dude is out at a dance club trying to impress the ladies, talking too much to ward off self-consciousness, and is finally told by the far more in tune with the rhythms of the body female object of his desire to can the philosophizing and start shaking it.

That’s pretty much the whole story, though there are some nice flourishes – a nice distorted bass line, the open/closed high-hat pattern that fuels the relentless forward motion of the groove, handclaps, reverb-drenched backing vocals, a hyper-cheesy synth solo, and a breakdown tailor-made for the “everyone wave your cell phone in the air” moment that is invariably a part of every modern arena-pop bacchanal."
posted by Wordshore at 5:08 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would have thought shut up would get a free pass in the age of "fuck this" and "fuck that."

We're holding down the fort for as long as it's holdable. If we make it to 8 before he catches on to how archaic we're being, I'll be thrilled.


We're in the fort with you, and my son is 9 and watches endless YouTube. Also on the list of swear words in our house is stupid (although inanimate objects, like computers and the chair you stub your toe on can be stupid, no living thing can be stupid), which has actually caused him to unsubscribe from some YouTubers he likes, because "they use bad words".

Yeah, this song is a conundrum. But a catchy one. And he already knows that sometimes songs use bad words, as he started playing Rock Band with his dad way. too. young.
posted by anastasiav at 5:23 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


We're holding down the fort for as long as it's holdable. If we make it to 8 before he catches on to how archaic we're being, I'll be thrilled.

We're in the fort with you, and my son is 9 and watches endless YouTube. Also on the list of swear words in our house is stupid (although inanimate objects, like computers and the chair you stub your toe on can be stupid, no living thing can be stupid), which has actually caused him to unsubscribe from some YouTubers he likes, because "they use bad words".



Hahahahaha! This sounds like a pretty typical American parenting experience now, and perhaps resistance is futile:


It often seems that my brother and I were raised in two completely different households. He's eleven years younger than I am, and by the time he reached high school, the rest of us had all left home. When I was young, we weren't allowed to say "shut up," but by the time Paul reached his teens, it had become acceptable to shout, "Shut your motherfucking mouth." The drug laws had changed as well. "No smoking pot" became "No smoking pot in the house," before it finally petered out to "Please don't smoke any pot in the living room."
posted by discopolo at 5:35 PM on September 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Enjoyment of the Temple Band video hampered by the group on the right side of the field (1) having trouble dressing to make up for the missing person in their block, and (2) the person right in front of the hole at, 1:04, moving from hitting their dot on the 45 to taking a step after they've stopped and getting out of set.

#bandnerdproblems
posted by damayanti at 5:37 PM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I came across "Shut Up and Dance" a little bit before it became huge and the tune ended up being in stuck in my head and was trying desperately to remember the lyrics/band name and having to search several music sites until I finally found it on like page 4 of a top music videos list. Like a month later it started playing every hour on every radio station and I can't get away from it. (I'm only bitter because it took me like 2 hours of my time to find the song initially). I actually do like the song, but I NEED A BREAK.
posted by littlesq at 6:19 PM on September 9, 2015


I was nearly done liking this song and then I saw the video! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I love it again.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:27 PM on September 9, 2015


I hate this song (and feel like it's clogged radio for yearssss already), but I really dig that trumpet solo in "Cheerleader" and the pan flute (!!!) in the new Justin Bieber song.
posted by sallybrown at 6:48 PM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm glad that I watched the video at least three and a half minutes in, because the conceptual stuff was really funny.

(The next video in the Vimeo queue was Maroon 5 "Sugar", with maybe 750k views, and to my coarse and jaded ears sounds almost like the same song;)
posted by ovvl at 7:09 PM on September 9, 2015


and the pan flute (!!!) in the new Justin Bieber song.

I hate to ruin it for you, but that was actually Beiber's voice edited beyond any semblance of human voice. The Times did a great behind-the-scenes video on the making of the song that hit the blue a little while back
posted by Itaxpica at 9:41 PM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am stirred to wish that every device built to amplify and broadcast music, built since 1939 and into the infinite future, causes instant and infinitely terribly painful death if you touch or use or listen to this particular thing ever again.

Cast it all off and destroy it. I am perfectly prepared to lose the Beatles, your favorite band, etc. to make sure nobody has to ever see or hear this ever again. Les Paul, the peak of amplified music.

The rest is just global warming and Trump. This is the sound and sight of humanity destroyed and gunfire roaring and nuclear bombs screaming victory as they atomize our grateful, formerly-vulnerable-to-this-ears.
posted by mississippi at 10:09 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


And live music, the only form of music. What a terrible wormhole we've gone down. This needs to end if our souls are to be saved.
posted by mississippi at 10:21 PM on September 9, 2015


I love this song. It's so fun. I love Walk The Moon. Might I recommend their song "Avalanche" as well?

Does anyone else ever think, "This woman is my density" while hearing this?
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:41 PM on September 9, 2015




This song hit my Pandora 'shut up and code' channel a while back.

I did a little rummaging and found this nice cover that gives it a warm folksy feel.
posted by mikurski at 12:45 AM on September 10, 2015


I love their whole album and I feel no shame.
posted by Gordafarin at 3:52 AM on September 10, 2015


Nothing makes music fans try and out snark one another as quickly a simple catchy pop tune.

See: Carly Rae Jepson, Back Street Boys (or New Kids.. whoever did that damn "Bye Bye Bye" song), Hall & Oates, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, The Kingsmen
posted by DigDoug at 4:33 AM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


'N Sync did the Bye Bye Bye song.
posted by zarq at 4:50 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't dance (don't ask me) with anyone who told me to shut up. That's just rude.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:32 AM on September 10, 2015


I hate to ruin it for you, but that was actually Beiber's voice edited beyond any semblance of human voice.

No, that's the old-new Bieber song. The new-new Bieber song has a cheesy flute sample.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:07 AM on September 10, 2015


I used to love this song until an overbearing "nice guy" I know declared his love for it, and now I can't hear it as anything but Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The Song!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:32 AM on September 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Modest House, I used to wait tables in the building where they shot the Anna Sun video, and two of my friends, dancers with Pones, Inc., are in the dance scenes. Pretty slim connection, right? But it seems immediate to me! So, yes, I get why you almost crashed your car, and I'm glad you didn't.
posted by tizzie at 9:13 AM on September 10, 2015


Ooops, above comment should have been to Overlapping Elvis.
posted by tizzie at 9:20 AM on September 10, 2015


Nothing makes music fans try and out snark one another as quickly a simple catchy pop tune.

You leave Cyndi Lauper out of this!
posted by mudpuppie at 10:33 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


As far as I know I've never heard this before but it sounds so much like classic rock station fodder that I might have heard it and not even noticed it.
posted by octothorpe at 10:27 AM on September 11, 2015


"And We Danced" side note: it is unbelievable to me on quick research that that song didn't crack the Billboard top 20

Yeah, but I know there were at least six months where they played it every 90 minutes on MTV.
posted by straight at 4:00 PM on September 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


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