My six-year-old niece recently acquired a Barbie Sisters’ Deluxe Camper set. I was visiting, and got to help her put it together and apply all the decals, which took seven hours. The Barbie Sisters’ Deluxe Camper has lots going on with it. There’s a shower, a stove, a telescope, a toilet, and a hot-cocoa maker. And a barn. With a horse. Pretty sure there’s also a tanning bed. Or maybe it was a large waffle-iron. The top accessories, however, are the miniature fake tree limbs for roasting miniature fake marshmallows.
I was playing music off my phone as we assembled the camper. The International Space Station has less accessories happening on it than the Barbie Deluxe Camper. I told my niece, she was in charge of what music we listened to. When she didn’t like something, I asked her to give it the thumbs-down, and I would fast forward to something else.
Barbie sticks for Barbie marshmallows.
For some reason, I thought Rush’s “Fly By Night” would work, but it got the thumbs-down after Geddy Lee started singing. Rush, as it turns out, is not the best Barbie building music. The next 20 minutes was spent shuffling through the beginnings of songs only to have them get the near immediate thumbs-down. Nothing worked. Not Bieber, not the Bee Gees, not Blondie, not Otis Redding, not the Bangles. I tried Macklemore, Muppet Movie soundtracks, Dora the Explorer, James Brown. Nothing was right. I didn’t think the camper was going to get off the ground.
Then I tried the Meters, “Yeah, You’re Right” off their 1969 release Look-Ka Py Py. and no thumbs-down was given. The Meters—she loved them. Their pristine instrumental New Orleans funk did the trick. From there, we went “Smiling” into some vocals with "My Name Up in Lights." The rest was Meters mix radio.
Many decals. Many amenities.
In the end, the camper was completed, minus a decal for one of the cabinets on decal sheet 5-C, subsection 4. I was able to convince my niece it was not necessary. Thus, the camper finally flew. I would soon learn that in order to successfully play Barbie, you have speak for your Barbie and give her character. And my Barbie voice is terrible.
My niece is right, you can’t beat the Meters. For Barbie construction, regular construction, or any life activity at all, spin the Meters, and let some of the tightest pockets of groove ever made in music move you to whatever you’re doing.