Tunesday: Joe Jackson — “Steppin’ Out”

It’s Tuesday so that means at ilisteniwatch.com, it’s Tunesday! Every Tuesday, we will share a song with you that we love and hope you will too.

Picture it. Oceana and Athens, WV, 1997… ’98… or thereabouts…

Insert Wayne’s World-esque flashback effect.

As a passenger in the countless vehicles I trekked in throughout my years, I almost always managed to secure control of the car radio. Obviously, there were concessions to this rule, but I won’t weary you with my personal manifesto on acceptable automobile behavior and stereo guidelines. Just know that if I ride with you and I don’t control or attempt to control your speakers, there is a reason.

Now, I’m not sure if I outright demanded or if I subtly and manipulatively obtained control or if other people simply and casually relinquished power to me, but I realize now that I have abused this power, and for that, I am truly sorry. For I, Katherine Shook, obligingly raise my hand and wholeheartedly confess to being a bratty music-peddler as well as an obnoxious, obsessive over-player.

During my freshman year of college, one of the discs that accumulated aggressive wear wounds was a soundtrack loaner from my best friend, Jonathon—More Music from the Motion Picture Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (by the way, still one of my favorite movies). That soundtrack remains in my custody, and to this day, my favorite song from that disc is Joe Jackson’s “Steppin’ Out”.

Jackson’s song reminds me of those youthful, exuberant college car times, like the time when I was home for a holiday or weekend visit and one of my younger sisters accused me of cruising topless through my hometown. I was not topless, dear sister. And I will stand by that statement until I cannot stand—because for the last time, I was wearing a flesh toned blouse! No, not my proudest fashion decision (although one could argue its comeback in the form of a bodysuit for Sia’s “Chandelier” video), but why would I make that up?

This song reminds me of late night rides with my best friend as we burned and chatted through our weekends. I warmly remember rolling between 7-Elevens, drinking tons of coffee, giggling—and prattling on about crushes. Hey Jon, do you recall that collection of ‘70s classics we listened to (I believe they were cassettes) and do you remember singing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”? Well, “I couldn’t if I tried.” Great times, my friend.

Maybe I played “Steppin’ Out” in your car, perhaps you can’t remember what I played because I’ve played so many things and because those songs weren’t really pertinent to the fun (at least, I hope it was fun) we had.

On this Tunesday, I urge you to spin back to the days of your youth, not to dwell or pine, but to sip from that existence and remember the light-hearted freedom we experienced before reality and wisdom began nudging us toward growing “old before our time”. Let’s save that old nonsense for NEVER.

Keep stepping forward, fall under the exhilarating spell of anticipation and excitement of a night out, dance—and always enjoy your life.

Read more from Kat here and on Twitter.