If I make a mix tape to play at my wedding (I’ve been thinking about it, but I have my doubts about whether I will get my act together enough to do it), one song that will certainly be on it, to play during the champagne-drunk-dancing-around part of the affair, will be “This Could Be The Night” by Half Japanese.
Because it’s got some of the things I really like in songs: talking, and spelling, and whistling; as well as a saxophone that sounds like an accordion, multiple examples of the word “like” used as a slangy place-filler, and an incongruous “word” (Jad Fair doesn’t have the right kind of voice or delivery to say “word” convincingly, but the wrongness is what makes it so good).
And it’s about being with (not only sexually, which is pretty easy to find in pop songs, but also romantically in a way that resists sappiness) the most amazing, perfect person. “I have an angel,” Jad Fair says, and “I mean, like, you know, what’s better than an angel? A, a princess? Huh-uh. Um, like, you know, a cheerleader? No.”
But mostly because it’s one of the happiest love songs I know. “Well, what do you think? Do you think, like, I’m happy? Well, you’d be right,” he says. He’s so happy, he can’t believe his luck ("When I was little I used to dream, and now that, you know, I’m older, well I still dream, and guess what? All my dreams are coming true . . . "), he can hardly, like, you know, express himself adequately. I swear there are places in the song where you can hear the shape of his mouth changing, smiling while he sings. It’s a song that should be listened to while jumping up and down in the arms of one’s lover/brand new husband/what have you.