So you’ve got a date tonight…presumably you’ll be taking a shower, choosing an outfit, combing your hair, all that good stuff, and you’ll need some music to listen to in the process. The right selection here can put you in the ideal state of mind for romantic success. The wrong one can set the stage for disaster. Avoid anything too deep or dark, anything that reminds you of ex-girlfriends or personal failure of any kind. Keep it light, upbeat, but not over the top. This is not the time for the “Rocky” theme or AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells.” Satanic imagery is not good for the pre-date psyche. We’re looking for something that reinforces the required self-image: suave, debonair, laid back but totally in charge. That’s you. Here are five musical suggestions (in reverse order) that can help take you there:
5. The Eagles – Key Songs: “Peaceful, Easy Feeling”; “Take it Easy.”
Music snobs may look down on the Eagles, but these guys can serve you well in small doses. Sure you’re a bit nervous for the big date, we can almost see the wheels turning upstairs as you play out potential scenarios in the shower. Perfectly natural, but, hey, “Take It Easy.” Let Obi-Wan Don Henley remind you: Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. Close your eyes, picture yourself standing on a corner inWinslow,Arizona, and there’s that girl/guy, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at you. That’s how hot you are. Feel the power. “Peaceful Easy Feeling” is packed with relevant insight here as well. We all found out a long time ago what a wo/man can do to your soul. Ah, but s/he can’t take you anyway you don’t already know how to go. Just remember, there’s no way your date can let you down- because you’re already standing on the ground.
4. Bob Marley – Key Song: “Three Little Birds.”
Three little birds upon your doorstep. What could possibly be wrong with that? Answer: Nothing. Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing…is gonna be alright. Nobody conjures up the pure joy of stress-free living like Bob. One caveat: Avoid the temptation to spark up a joint. Otherwise you may spend the majority of your night smiling and nodding while having no idea what your date is talking about. Or self-consciously wondering about that offhand comment s/he made about your shirt. Does s/he not like your shirt? What did s/he really mean by that? Lay off the dope and just soak up those positive Marley vibrations. Now go out on your date and sing sweet songs of melodies pure and true.
3. Steely Dan – Key Song: “BabylonSisters.”
In college we referred to this as the EDT’s. Easy Drinking Tunes. It works equally well in the pre-dating context. Just pop in “Decade of Steely Dan,” let it play through, and you’ll be in good hands. Not only does the music strike up an ideal pre-date mental image of hedonistic good times, but, in “Babylon Sisters,” you’re provided with a ready-made visualization (particularly for those on the left coast): “Drive west on Sunset to the sea. Turn that jungle music down. Just until we’re out of town. This is no one night stand, it’s a real occasion. Close your eyes and you’ll be there. It’s everything they say. The end of a perfect day. Distant lights from across the bay.” And if there’s an age gap in play, who cares if your date don’t know Aretha Franklin? Just have her take you along when she slides on down.
2. Sinatra – Key Songs: “My Way”; “Summer Wind.”
Now we’re venturing into the rarefied air of pre-date listening. Not only does Sinatra’s music take you where you need to be, but the man himself personifies what we’re going for. Much as we like the Eagles, you’re not gonna wanna head out for your date picturing yourself as a latter-day Don Henley. Marley was great, but unless you’re a dread-locked chronic pot smoker fromJamaicait may be hard to work the Marley persona into your repertoire. Steely Dan? Cool enough, but a tad dorky. Francis Albert Sinatra. Now that’s someone you can channel as you head off into the night. All swagger and attitude. Warmth and romance without an ounce of sentimentality. Feeling a little pre-date anxiety? Fix yourself a nice martini and let it drift away with the warm Summer Wind. Now go out and do it your way.
1. Joao Gilberto & Stan Getz – Key Song: “Girl from Ipanema.”
Stan Getz may not be as hip as Sinatra, but he’s plenty hip himself. More than close enough to suit our purposes here. Start off with “Girl From Ipanema” and let it go from there. Soak it in. The Brazilian bossa nova. A sublime dose of Latin romance. The musical personification of cool. This music is so cool that anyone who listens to it automatically becomes cool. It’s impossible not to. Picture yourself negotiating your date like a Getz sax solo: effortless, mysterious, self-assured, playful, timelessly sexy.