FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Pump Up the Jam, Pump It Up

tea party (just image)

image by rory midhani

Hello there, groove masters!

It’s Friday and goshgollydarnit, I’m so ready. SO READY. It’s been a week. A week of good, but exhausting things, like a red-eye flight on a weekend for a whirlwind fabulous Halloween party trip and having Indian food with a good friend I haven’t seen in a while. And a week of work deadlines and a grad school paper due yesterday and feeling like I’m probably behind on a lot of things. I am definitely behind on a lot of things.

But it’s almost the freakin’ weekend. I took today off from work and I’m going on another little road trip this weekend. I get to hang with my boi toy today and probably will eat an Egg McMuffin at some point and generally, TGIF.

This is what I think of when I say, "TGIF" aloud but you might think of that chain restaurant or I dunno, whatever else "TGIF" stands for in your heart. (via RedCarpetCrash)

This is what I think of when I say, “TGIF” aloud but you might think of that chain restaurant or I dunno, whatever else “TGIF” stands for in your heart. (via RedCarpetCrash)

Mostly I’m just feeling like this right now.

But also kind of like this a little bit?

What I really need is a good dance party in my underwear, maybe singing into a hairbrush. Are you game?

What are your favorite jams to shake yourself out of a funk and into a frenzy? Personally, I can’t sit still if I put some Big Freedia on. I mean, seriously, try not to work it out to this.

I can also get really into some cheesy pop. I’m still having a slightly-troubling-but-really-I’m-fine-with-it-because-isn’t-everyone-in-the-same-boat-here crush on Demi Lovato. I know it’s the fall, I know. I’m still not over her.

Oh, and my slow jam right now is definitely Alessia Cara’s “Here.” I mean, it’s kind of a downer I guess, but like… I just relate so much, you know, and also so catchy and also great for singing into a hairbrush.

And sometimes I just like to put this song on blast and play it over and over and over, especially on car trips. I just love this song so much. And Laura Jane Grace makes me swoon.

Finally, this song always gets me pepped up like a radical cheerleader at a queer rugby match. It’s a go-to. It’ll get me revved up every damn time.

What about you? What makes you feel tingly in your toes and jiggly in your hips? What makes you want to dance like no one is watching but also feeling yourself (or whatever that inspirational quote is)? What jams get you pumped up and ready for the weekend? Post a link to your fav songs if you can! Let’s make a pump up the jams comment mix-tape!

(Pro tip: For Vimeo and YouTube videos, you can just cut and paste the plain ol’ URL into a single line in your comment and it will show up when you hit submit. No HTML needed!)

Also, also, tell me about your life, boo. What are you doing this weekend? Are you getting enough Vitamin D? Give me your life updates. Let’s jam!


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2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.


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KaeLyn is a 37-year-old (femme)nist activist, word nerd, and queer mama. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, over-caffeinating herself, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 222 articles for us.

99 Comments

  1. I’ve been jamming out to Cliff’s Edge by Hayley Kiyoko on repeat the past two days! Catchy beat, AND the music video had smooching ladies! How ever is vibe is less “I wanna get up and dance” and more “omg I wanna make out my girl -right now-. But I thought I’d still share!~

  2. This is my battle song for life:

    In case this doesn’t work, it’s Stromae’s “Alors on danse”.
    The song, according to my crappy French, roughly deals with the tediousness and disappointment of life, but the refrain goes: “And then/so we dance.”
    Life isn’t full of starshine and sunshine at all times, but it’s important to go out there and you know, dance anyway.

  3. Because I’m a nostalgia monster my favorite get-the-party-started jamz are BSB, Britney, and N*SYNC. (BSB forever though.)

    But also, this song. It’s literally about how you can’t wait for the weekend to begin, now with ladies dancing in an office.

  4. Justin Timberlake is my main man when it comes to motivational/driving/workout/get shit done music.

    Specifically-I love around 2:12 when Jay Z just starts making ridiculous noises in the background. Anytime I’m home alone, there’s a 50 percent I’m dancing by myself to this song.

    Also, this

    And if I’m not rocking out to JT, I’m probably listening to this:

    Also, there’s never a bad time for Destiny’s Child.

  5. It doesn’t make me want to dance, or anything, but Killswitch Engage – Hope is…. has always helped me feel better. But, more recently it has been Sleater Kinney(“Why don’t you shake your tail for peace and for love”), and as always The Doors. I can’t say what gets me for the weekend as it changes, but if it’s satruday night and I am feeling really green ;-) I’ll probably put on some Radiohead OK Computer or Kid A.

    I very much remember TGIF, and also think of the line-up when someone says it. In fact there is that one Scion commercial playing now where White(Steve Urkel) is saying his famous line. It kind of brings back nostalgia, but I feel like he needs the money(though the other one they have has Franco in it, and I doubt he needs the money). Also, remember Step By Step with Susan Summers, & Patrick Duffy? It was like the modern day Brady Bunch, but I think one of the daughters was butch-ish.

    Saturday was Halloween so it was nice to be out and queer. I went to the WeHo parade, which is fun as always, though I am always surprised how many straight families are there with 5 year old kids at 10:30pm(really not the place for kids). I was the DD so I had to keep my drinking to a minimum, but I forgot how good absinthe is(had a small under $10 bottle). I did have a bit of an awkward moment when I went to get some coconut water, at the liquor store. My great uncle owns it, and I assumed he and his wife would be home with their new grandchild. I guess I was wrong as I ran into them. I tried to pay, but my uncle’s wife escorted me out saying no need to pay. I don’t think she noticed I had a great shade of purple lipstick on(wasn’t part of the costume, I just look good with purple lipstick). Pics can be seen here(a tad dark as I haven’t had the chance to work the RAW files yet), but please do not share out of respect for my friends, and I. https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=7B38C0E4F6613EB8!10269&authkey=!AHgaVO1lbQGcb3w&ithint=folder%2cJPG
    Rest of my week has been slow, and I’ve realized that I need to stop giving every queer woman who shows a faint of interest a chance, until we meet up in person, cause all it does is this game of texting.

    Other images from this week.
    This was monday

    And days getting darker earlier means I get to do this again.

    As always, thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

    • YES I REMEMBER STEP-BY-STEP. I forgot all the characters names. But the one who was the hot popular daughter gave me the idea to start mixing my nailpolish colors after she did it on the show. And yeah, there was the youngest daughter who was a tomboy, right?

      Glad you had a fun Halloween! Purple lipstick rocks–makes you feel so punk and glam and visible, you know? Looks like you had an amazing night!

      • Yeah I think it was the youngest daughter who was the butch-tomboy, but I think older daughter also wouldn’t be out of place reading Autostraddle. And there was erfect big mac I think, and the mysteriously disappearing sibling(in this case the youngest son), which was all too common for the time, if I remember correctly.

      • I agree, as it gets darker earlier(and of course colder, or at least here less warm), and I did less. And at night it does, which allows to me to do such things like long exposure photography at night.

  6. This is a video that caught my attention recently. I’m normally against the ever-encroaching monster that is Christmas taking another chunk of the calendar for itself (the last time I was in my local Target store, I was kind of hoping they would ask if I needed help finding something so I could snarkily reply “Yes, Thanksgiving themed items.”, but that’s just the kind of bitch I am), but this is a good rendition of an old Christmas song with an adorable video. I have a feeling that One Million Moms will vehemently disagree with my analysis, however, but that just makes me love this video even more.

    Other than that, life has been life. More homework, more tests, but also a possibility that I might get to join a professor’s research team (so I may get a job soon… I REALLY need to email that professor).

  7. So sad, so much longing, so good: Sam Smith Cover of “How will I know?” originally by Whitney Houston. Also hate the song, but the Lea Salonga cover is pretty cool: blurred lines.

    Also just Lea Salonga.

    • Oh, Lea Salonga! I need to get to NYC to see Allegiance so I can see her in it! Even though Miss Saigon has LOTS of issues and really probably shouldn’t be slated for a revival, it was the first musical I ever saw with a principle Asian cast! And I listened to that soundtrack over and over. She’s amazing! Maybe she can even rescue “Blurred Lines.” I’m open to it and to Lea in my heart.

  8. my music jams are fairly eclectic. I don’t really dance, but I use music for waking me up on early morning work shifts, usually the local alternative station. I think this morning I was grooving to Smells Like Teen Spirit while trying to keep my eyes open at 5 am.

    Good luck on your grad school paper!

    I miss school… But I’m going back! I am so excited. This is getting real. I am almost done with my applications for grad school!! AAHHH!

    Here is a rainbow photo because it has been a mix of rain and sun and autumn storms all week.

    And here is a photo of jack-o-lanterns out on wooden piling in the water. Whoever did this was very industrious. First, you have to carve seven pumpkins, then row out with each pumpkin in a kayak or canoe at peak tide in order to deliver each of the pumpkins to the wooden posts.

    Anyway. These past few weeks have felt very hopeful. Not an unrealistic, over-confident “OMG I’M CURED!” sort of optimism. I’ve had that feeling before, and it hasn’t lasted. No, this is a slow, cautious hope. One that I’ve very gradually worked towards through trial and error. And maturation. And even medication – no shame in that. And although this process takes years, the past few weeks have been unique in that I finally got serious about pursuing grad school again.

    I have a looming fear of failure. I tried a different graduate program a few years ago, and I left the program. I won’t elaborate. I don’t want to re-live that time. But I’m in a different place, a healthier place, and I’m pursuing a different field, one that is more in line with what I want as a future career. And I’m determined. Failure is not an option. And besides, it’s pointless to let fear of failure rule your decisions. I’m nervous, but also incredibly excited. I have a goal. And for the first time in a couple years, I am genuinely excited about my future. My brain is hungry for academia.

    And nothing is ever as scary as anticipated. So far, all the roadblocks I’ve encountered in working on the applications have ended up resolving themselves. Everything that I thought might stymie my application or hinder my acceptance has ended up not being a big deal after all.

    Basically, this is my superpower: (credit: Natalie Dee, web cartoonist)

    But things will be okay!

    • You’ve got this! I also tried a difference grad program several years ago, ditched it, and am not finishing up a different degree. FINALLY. Honestly I’m ready to be done with school forever and ever. Working full-time and going to evening grad classes in your 30’s isn’t really as fun as 24/7 fun time college was in undergrad.

      It is great to have your brain stimulated again, though, and to have interesting discussions and things to read and whatnot. I’m sure it is going to be really greatt! Good luck with your apps!

      • Working full time while taking evening classes sounds like quite a challenge! I’m feeling a little scared reading about how burnt out you feel… especially after my past attempt.

        I’m not going to continue work outside of grad school when I go though. The programs I applied to (related to ocean biochemistry) typically provide students a stipend and tuition remission through graduate assistantships (usually teaching assistantships at first, then later research assistantships). It will certainly be a lot of work – I’m not naive to that – but all the work will be directly tied to the school – you aren’t even allowed to seek employment outside the program if you have a full time assistantship.

        Honestly, my undergrad wasn’t really the “college experience” a lot of people think of. I was burdened by extreme perfectionism and an (at the time) undiagnosed anxiety disorder. I got straight A’s, but I isolated myself a lot. I didn’t allow myself to have a social life or to really do anything outside of school, and it made me burnt out. I was a nonstop worrier about everything. But I loved the learning environment. It made my brain so happy. I love science and research. I’m ready to get back to it.

        When I return to grad school, my goal is to be more balanced. and to make my health more of a priority.

    • This song is so perfect for you and also in general. I didn’t know tiny desk concerts were a thing. Now that I know, I can’t unknow.

      Glad you had a great week! Hope it was a good weird or at least a neutral weird day and not an awful weird day! The weekend is here, thank god(dess)/es!

  9. It hasn’t been a good week. I’ve had insomnia all week, and it’s been making me pretty non-functional. My AC broke and dripped water all over my bathroom, and it took my complex 3 hrs to fix it. the first time I got more than 3hrs of sleep this week some kid starting dribbling a basketball under my window so I went outside and told him I had 100 degree fever and if he didn’t scram I was going to go down there and cough on him.

    Plus there was the Houston election. I actually took time off work and went to two different poling stations (Houston has a lot of laws that making it hard to vote if you don’t have a permanent address) to vote for prop 1. In a way that actually makes it worse. Particularly when I have so many people on the internet yelling at Houston for not voting- we actually had a higher voter turnout this year than normal. If you want to yell at someone about prop 1, yell at those assholes at Campaign for Houston- they’re the ones that made those horrible ads. I had to straight up stop listening to the radio the last month because there was at least one on every day for the past 3 months. It frustrates me that no one is placing any blame on those assholes who made the ads.

    • All I have to say is that I’m sorry and that all sucks and I hope that you get to sleep in this weekend and have some chill time without any assholes dribbling balls or being the scum of society getting in your way.

  10. Liberty University ads have been showing beneath the Autostraddle banner all week and it is the best. thing i have ever seen. I hope they’re paying dearly for the opportunity to advertise “degrees in christian ministry from the world’s leading evangelical college” on a site dedicated to everything they abhor (like women’s rights and movies rated higher than PG).

  11. I’ve had a crazy rough week. My coworker and I got fired on Tuesday because of this horrible mistake that my supervisor made (that we had absolutely nothing to do with!), and I’ve got what has to be the worst flu in the entire long and disgusting history of flus, so I’ve basically been riding out the whole sudden unemployment thing in a sad puddle of snot. I don’t know what to do! And none of my other coworkers will text or call me back to let me know what’s up (which is weird, because we usually talk a lot), so of course my sad flu-brain is completely convinced that the company is doing some elaborate smear campaign against me.

    Sigh! I don’t know. I can’t worry about it. I’m going to call on Monday and make sure they’re sending me my final check, but besides that, I’m trying not to think about it. I think I might have to head back home for a while. Job prospects are pretty slim down here, and I think it would be nice to have a pause for a while. Write, tutor, walk my dog by the lake, play my mandolin, and eat thai food with my dad while I apply to grad school… I just need to find someone to sublease my apartment first. I’ll be okay.

    I’ve mainly been listening to a lot of podcasts this week (radiolab is my favorite!) but also a LOT of classical music. I trained to be a concert pianist growing up, and even though I switched my major to Creative Writing when I was a junior, classical music is still a hugely-super-duper important part of me. Today in particular has been a big Chopin’s Nocturnes day. Hope they help you like they’ve been helping me!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIA9QNHsAf0

    • Oops, I meant for that video to embed and also to start playing at the beginning. Sigh! Alas! Etcetera.

      I sort of wonder if someone put a curse on me. Not solely because of the youtube link not embedding correctly, but also kind of because of the youtube link not embedding correctly. Burn some sage for me!

      • I fixed it for you! NP!

        Sounds like it’s a good time to get back to what’s good. I actually used to play classical piano, too, Suzuki method, but I quit in high school so I definitely was not as good as you. When I need to focus, I still listen to classical sometimes–especially piano. And I was also a creative writing major as an undergrad. NBD. We might be twins separated at birth.

        As for your former employer, all I have to say about that is:

    • Yikes, you’ve had a rough week! I know how stressful it can be being unemployed, but it sounds like you’re making the best of it. Writing, walks, time with family, and applications for grad school sound like great ways to spend your time. And I love radio lab! And TED talks.

      Sending you kleenexes, vitamin C, and hugs if you want them.

      • Thank you so much, you’re the sweetest! Kleenex, vitamin C, and hugs are always welcome! Particularly hugs from nice human beings. I just hugged my dog a minute ago and he returned the gesture by head-butting me in the face.

        And, oh – I just saw the best TED talk about how squids will change color to attract a mate (like you do), but if they’re ever in a situation where they’re simultaneously trying to make a move on the squid they have a crush on AND happen to be super pissed off at a different squid in the vicinity, they’ll make themselves be a nice, flirty color on the side their lady love is facing and an angry, intimidating color on the side that their rival can see! I wish I could do that. Cephalopods are the best.

  12. SLEIGH BELLS – Riot Rhythm
    LITTLE DRAGON – Klapp Klapp
    PEACHES ft. JOAN JETT – You Love It
    PATTI SMITH – Gloria
    BABES IN TOYLAND – Sweet ’69
    MAVIS STAPLES – I Like The Things About Me
    TINA TURNER – Steel Claw

  13. I’ve been traveling since yesterday. First by plane, and then by car. Found my way down to South Texas, near the Mexican border, for to be second shooter for an old friend of mine who’s shooting her first wedding. While I’m down here, neck-deep in conservative Christians and only days after the HERO-fail not too far north of here, I have to (badly) pretend to be male–for my own safety, mostly. And also so my friend isn’t black-balled from this market.

    Anyway, I accidentally had an emotional breakdown and have spent the better part of an hour trying to stuff an ocean of feels into the back of my head, like a stubborn shirttail into tight pants. I need to give my co-shooter the files from today so she can back them up, but I can’t walk all the way there as a gibbering mess.

    I’ve just about reached the point where I can make the trip over to her room and deliver the memory card, but I can guarantee that my playlist tonight will be full of melancholy, just like the sort that I adore from several Little May songs, such as this one:

  14. FRIDAY!!!!!!!!! Hey all! How is my favorite Straddleverse? This week has been dragging/crazy/I’m not sure what to make of it anymore. Everyone’s hair still looking great? :thumbsup emoji

    MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC. I love it. ♫♪ My jams are on opposite ends sometimes. Like Metallica then Eminem then Whitney Houston? Like what? I usually listen to something along the lines of The Script or Nickelback. When I’m in the gym I usually have something that gets the blood going like Disturbed.

    Currently learning to play this:

    But I REALLY REALLY AM IN LOVE WITH THIS KID AND THE WAY HE PLAYS:

    Own arrangement?? On an already difficult song to play on the guitar?! I can practically hear his chords singing the lyrics.

    I found all the new Star Wars metal earth and I am determined to have all 4 done before the movie comes out. Also just FYI my Iron Man one (YES THE ONE THAT’S COLORED RED AND GOLD) is scheduled to arrive and I am so so SO excited to it and build all the tiny things with my hands.


    The SnowSpeeder from Star Wars Episode VII


    Kylo Ren’s Command shuttle. I took a top shot to show all the tiny details Fascinations Inc makes on their Metal Earth models =)


    I was Steve from Minecraft for Halloween. The best part was carrying that sword around and people yelling ‘Hey Steve!!’ And yes I waved back and nodded and said ‘Heyyy!’

    Christine and Andy are doing great if you guys want to know…She’s very excited about getting here very soon next year and so is the cat. He’s been a bad boy, knocking all the shampoo bottles off the shelf while Christine’s in the shower. LOL.

  15. Oh man well this week I set off the security alarm at work. Twice. Could not figure out how to turn it off either time, and had to have coworkers figure it out once they got in, and then call the security company to ask them not to send the police. Just good times basically.

    On the positive side, I finally have health insurance, since my benefits kicked in on the first of the month! I can go to the dentist yay! Definitely a relief.

    And my jam to get energized to? An oldie but a goodie haha. I hadn’t actually seen the music video before, but it makes me love it even more. George Michael, people!

  16. Advice please? I have 2 good friends at work. We work well together, grab lunch together and we text and talk outside of work.

    Until recently, we also spent time together outside of work. Now the other 2 aren’t inviting me. I still get phone calls and texts from them, but no party invites. I see pictures of them together on facebook, so I know they’re still hanging out.

    Last time we hung out, I drank too much and got sick. That might be why the invites have stopped. I don’t know.

    What should I do? Ignore it and move on? Ask them about it?

    • It could be something or it could be coincidence. How long have you been feeling “left out”? It’s possible they just happen to have had some last minute hangs together that weren’t planned in advance. Of course, if you feel like it’s been going on for a while and they are purposefully avoiding you, that’s another thing.

      I’d also suggest inviting them out instead of waiting for an invite from them. If you still feel like something is up and you want to preserve the friendships, you may need to bring the topic up. Not in an accusing way, just like, “Hey, I feel like we haven’t been hanging out as much lately outside of work. I just want to be sure that we’re cool and you’re not upset with me or anything because I really value our friendship.”

      Good luck!

  17. I’ve been listening pretty much non-stop to the soundtrack from Hamilton #noshame.

    But for chilling, I really like Thunder Body. It’s not really dancey music (I mean you totally CAN dance to it; everyone was dancing at the concert they played I went to), but it’s just really chill reggae. It’s my “get ready to go on the river music” because I don’t need to get pumped up, especially if it’s a new run or big water day–I need something that’s chill and helps me find a calm place so my nerves don’t get the best of me+I start shaking.

    It’s more a summer sound (which maybe because it was the music I blasted with my windows down all summer driving through the ‘dacks for work), but Walk the Moon. It’s very dancey. Or at least very car-dancey, sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs music.

  18. I’ve been listening to a mix of Lovers and Cannons this week for my mellow everyday soundtrack, but for dancin’ I’ve been pulling out MisterWives! Not Your Way makes me want to shake it and also punch the patriarchy with my feelings? It’s amazing.


    My halloween costume! I was a garden, sorta. Kinda thought of it last minute so it was a bit slapdash (luckily I had a bunch of paper flowers I had already made, but I want to make some grass epaulets to go with the crown for next time!

    Yesterday/last night I got to do flowers (and set up and serving) for a quinceanara for the first time–it was so fun and happy! Super special AND got to see an old friend AND got to eat the most amazing mole and tamales I have ever had the honor of putting in my mouth. Afterwards I still had time to go see the new james bond movie with some friends (it was pretty cool) and go see Holly afterwards, too–it was a really good day!!

    And, of course, some flower pictures to end my post :)


    Dahliaaaaas


    I did this rad bouquet class a while ago that was taught by BRRCH and ISA ISA, two floral designers that I LOOOVE. It was rad and I liked how my arrangement came out!


    a quick arrangement for a rehearsal dinner in purples!

    Love you guys!! Kaelyn, I hoped your weekend was FULL of dancing!! :)

  19. I just saw Hippie Sabotage live at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland last Thursday! Their song “Your Soul” is really fun too. I went with the girl I had been seeing for two-ish months. Lo and behold, we had all of the fun and made our relationship Facebook official (signalling my coming out) the next day.

    So, yeah, it was a lovely weekend.

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