Line Out Music & the City at Night

Friday, January 31, 2014

I Played with Dolls (For an Entire Day), and Almost All Music Was Wrong

Posted by on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 11:36 AM

When they say Deluxe, they mean Deluxe.
  • When they say Deluxe, they mean Deluxe.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

At least the toilet paper decal wasnt missing.
  • At least the toilet paper decal wasn't missing.


Comments (7) RSS

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Fnarf 1
There's a compilation of their complete recordings on Josie, "Here Comes The Meter Man", on Snapper Records (Charly) that's a great way to just get everything in a shot. Great stuff. If you don't want 50 tracks, "Look-ka Py Py" or "The Meters" have both been reissued on vinyl recently. They're loose where Booker T. & the M.G.s are tight, but not wholly dissimilar -- you should try them on your niece, if she's still speaking to you after trying to foist Geddy Lee on her.
Posted by Fnarf on January 31, 2014 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Gonna try the Meters with the unassembled Barbie Camper that is my life. thanks.
Posted by cracked on January 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM · Report this
Trent Moorman 3
I gotta get that Here Comes The Meter Man. Thanks Fnarf!

I will try no more Geddy Lee on her.
Posted by Trent Moorman on January 31, 2014 at 12:42 PM · Report this
The ergonomics of that bathroom could stand improvement.
Posted by Joe Glibmoron on January 31, 2014 at 12:49 PM · Report this
Fnarf 5
@3, I got mine at Silver Platters Northgate. Amazon will save you a couple of dollars but keep retail alive!
Posted by Fnarf on January 31, 2014 at 1:11 PM · Report this
To this day, I cannot hear Tempted by Squeeze and not remember that it was my Barbie's favorite song. She "played" it to death on her pink plastic turntable (it was actually coming via my 2XL robot 8-track) in the Barbie Dream House, only to occasionally give it a break for Blondie's Eat to the Beat. Every girl knows that Barbie is super particular about her songs.
Posted by mitten on January 31, 2014 at 3:25 PM · Report this
Simone 7
The toilet needs flushing sounds just like one in a doll house I saw at costco last year.
Posted by Simone on January 31, 2014 at 11:08 PM · Report this

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