Last week, we offered a dose of songs to help you through a sick day. But, the only thing worse than being out sick is wishing you actually were ill so you could skip out on school or work. In the interest of playing a little hooky, here are nine (not 10, because that would be a full day’s effort) songs for (cough) calling in sick.
1. Blind Melon, “No Rain”
Every rock ‘n’ roll fan knows the tune within the first few notes dropping in like the rays of sun in that perfect day—any day, that is, when you don’t have to slave away at a desk. The late Shannon Hoon & Co. lived the life of the true hippie, a life that embraces living in the now, embracing all that is life and knowing what a waste of time it is to work. So, make like the infamous bee girl from this seminal music video, and be free: get wild and dance in a yellow jacket costume! Just do it somewhere other than your place of business.
2. Dave Brubek, “Take 5”
Another instantly recognizable jam, this breezy epic from the bespectacled avant-garde jazz artist is about one thing—chillaxin.’ If you weren’t feeling heading off to the grind to begin with, one play of this cool cocktail of piano, percussion and playful horn will have you whistling your way to an off day.
3. The Lonely Island, “Lazy Sunday”
The trio of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone are the modern day Three Stooges so they should know the art and true awesomeness of killing time in lieu of real work. This one is a shout out to us freelancers, service industry workers and churchgoers, for whom Sunday is a day of responsibility just like any other. Which makes it just as fun to shirk it for ridiculousness, instead.
4. Andreea Banica, “Hooky Song”
Andreea ain’t pulling any punches when it comes to song subjects. This swinging piece of modern salsa-flavored pop gets right to the point. She puts the center of attention on a subject that’s really on any working person’s mind at any given time.
5. Michael Jackson, “Smooth Criminal”
Now that you’ve caved into the greatness of the day and realize you’d rather do anything than what you’re supposed to, it’s time to figure out how to pull it of. Needless to say, you can’t do it as cool as Jacko, with his unmatched vocal prowess, dope bass line and a straight killer moonwalk that would make any boss have to consider giving you an extra PTO.
6. Radiohead, “How To Disappear Completely”
“I’m not here / This isn’t happening,” pouts Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke amidst the purgatorial jangle of string, percussion and guitar. Only Radiohead, the masters or mercurial moodiness, can convey such gloom, and you know you’ve been there before—a bit lost, a bit full of lust over something, and more than a bit sure that you won’t sort it out unless you sit by yourself far away from whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing.
7. Sheryl Crow, “All I Wanna Do”
One of the preeminent voices of female rock got it right on the nose when she set this scene of perfect hypothetical hooky playing back in 1994.
“They drive their shiny Datsuns and Buicks
Back to the phone company, the record stores, too
Well, they’re nothing like Billy and me
‘Cause all I wanna do is have some fun”
Mic drop, Sheryl. Mic drop.
8. Band of Horses, “Lying Under Oak”
With its new record Why Are You Ok? hot off the presses, these South Carolina good ole boys are staying true to their late career arc—kicking back and cooling out over all. This particular effort strums easy like an indigenous palm swaying in the summer breeze—all things that sound pretty tempting to keep going in the face of a looming workday.
9. Todd Rundgren, “Bang The Drum All Day”
The giant, whopping epic of taking a left turn in he face of the realities of a hard-day’s work, Todd Rundgren broke the mold when he simply note that he didn’t want to work. He just wanted to bang on the drum all day. It’s a maxim he repeats about a million times over the course of this easy rock jam, perfect for doing anything but doing something.