Hypothetical Foot Tapping Music

Griffin Fillipitch

Converse has recently teamed English genre benders Gorillaz with James Murphy, leader of the now defunct LCD Soundsystem, and Andre 3000 for a song called "DoYaThang" as part of their "Three Artists, One Song" series. (Previously the series has featured a collaboration from Kid Cudi, Rostam Batmanglij and Best Coast.)  It's an odd and exciting collaboration, and has made music headlines for several reasons. For one, it riles up outdated accusations at artists for "selling out" by allowing their music to be used in commercials. Also, the song features yet another in a long string of absolutely filthy guest verses from Andre 3000, loudening the cries from fans for him to make a full-force return to music. 

Feel free to talk about that stuff amongst yourselves. What this collaboration commissioned by Converse has me wondering is, if other shoe companies were to gather three musicians for original songs, who would they get and how would these things turn out? All hypothetical, obviously, but I'd like to venture a few guesses. Here they are, your favorite shoes in fake song form.

Skechers: "Dreaming of U (The Dream Song)" performed by Dream Street, Dream and The-Dream

Skechers just give off a very tween-y vibe to me. So obviously two of the biggest tween groups of the late '90s, Dream for girls and Dream Street for boys, would represent them. It would be a ballad, so the members of those two groups (which includes a young Jesse McCartney) could awkwardly slow dance to it, possibly even stepping on each others' Skechers. Someone has to actually write the song though, which is where R&B singer-songwriter The-Dream comes in. He'd be wearing Skechers Shape Ups, like all adults do, and chaperoning the Tween Royalty Dance (that's what we're calling it now). 

Sperry: "Channel Swam Her, Improper Grammar" performed by Vampire Weekend, Christopher Cross and Tennis

I hate to be another person labeling Vampire Weekend as preppy. Discussion of them too often gets bogged down by ill-advised class warfare when it should really just be about how great their music is. And yet, they fit the bill too perfectly for the Sperry boat shoes collabo to be left out. The songwriting process here would be more collaborative: Tennis (recently profiled by A&E) would provide anecdotes about their almost year-long sailing expedition. Christopher Cross would take those stories and craft another "Sailing"-esque, smooth crooning yacht-rock masterpiece. Then VW jumps in to throw some strings and yelps on top, while correcting the grammar and including some grad-student-only inside jokes.

Etnies: "System Breakdown Rock" performed by Agent Orange, Gang Starr and Alien Ant Farm

This could really be any skateboarding shoe company, so let's just go with Etnies. I used to watch a lot of skate videos, and they were always soundtracked by '90s gangsta rap and '80s punk rock. So you've got to merge the two, Gang Starr and Agent Orange, for the skate shoes collaboration. Awesome Anthrax/Public Enemy collaborations notwithstanding, chances are this would sound terrible which is why you keep Alien Ant Farm around. Though they don't fit either category, they do fall somewhere in the murky middle. When things go downhill, you just get them to play their cover of "Smooth Criminal," which is probably the only song they know how to play anyway, and everyone's happy. 

Crocs: "In God's Arms" performed by Creed, Switchfoot and Jars of Clay

It has to be all Christian-rock bands for the Crocs collaboration, since they are all just like the shoes: holy. Get it? (I'm truly sorry for that one. That's your punishment for reading all the way to the bottom of the page.)