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by Sean Murphy

21 May 2010


You know what the best part of that picture is?

Everything.

And now you are probably thinking: wow, is that guy for real?

Oh, he’s real. And we have footage.

I know.

I mean, I know.

There’s so much going on here one scarcely knows where to begin.

Like: who knew Jackie Gleason had a show? (I didn’t.)

And: Can you say “The White James Brown”? (or, as Wayne Cochran was drolly known, The White Knight of Soul). Seriously, every single move and mannerism is ripped wholesale from The O.G. (Original Godfather). What we have here is not an instance of someone using another artist and incorporating his own style or making it his own. This is complete and transparent larceny. And its shamelessness is what makes it tolerable. It even manages to make it, in a circus freakshow sort of way, irresistible.

I have to confess, I’ve gone my entire life without seeing Wayne Cochran in action. (That, of course, is what YouTube is for.) He was briefly—and amusingly—referred to in the classic “Maury Sline” sauna scene from The Blues Brothers.

Wait… I can’t believe you are actually reading this and not watching that video again.

Let’s briefly break it down.

Okay, so how about Jackie Gleason “spontaneously” lighting up his cig as the camera pans in? Suave.

And how about the (obviously paid and staged) people at the tables? At first, it’s not quite as obvious (if you’re like me, your initial impression was: well, they were prepped and implored to “get into the spirit of the thing!”), but about half-way through, it’s undeniable: look at them, dancing along and grooving. The only way white people can approximate this type of synchronized movement is if they’ve been paid, or drugged. In this instance, it’s quite likely both.

Oh, yes. There is a second video.

Key takeaways:

1. Wow.

2. That is just epic late ‘60s shlock.

3. This choreographed, insanely over-the-top audience participation also reminds us that a bunch of wealthy, utterly out-of-touch, supremely dorky old white men were calling the shots in Hollywood back in the day. And let’s face it, not too much has changed. But don’t kid yourself: it could never get this bad—and by bad I mean bad and good, as only the late ‘60s and early ‘70s could ever be—again.

by Arnold Pan

21 May 2010


It’s really nothing more than a tease, but Arcade Fire has followed up last week’s postcard missive sent to “The Internet” announcing a new single with a very, very short sample from the imminent release. Click on the virtual record and spin it a bit to hear a very Arcade Fire sounding instrumental intro. You might not learn anything at all about what “The Suburbs” sounds like, but it’s still kind of a fun interactive promotional gimmick.



A. The Suburbs




AA. Month of May

by Quentin B. Huff

21 May 2010


Rappers Donwill and Von Pea, two-thirds of the crew Tanya Morgan, jumped into a side-project, a “FreEP” called The Sandwich Shop. The coolest food-themed work of rap since Doom’s Mm… Food, the project consists of the Tanya Morgan emcees running rampant over instrumentals wrought by the Roots for The Jimmy Fallon Show‘s commercial breaks.  Check it out.

<a href="http://donwill.bandcamp.com/album/the-sandwich-shop">Spaintro by donwill (of tanya morgan)</a>

by Dean Blumberg

21 May 2010


This Sunday is the series finale for TV’s Lost. Are you staying in and watching it in the comfort of your living room or headed down to a locale gathering spot for a group viewing?

Better yet, venues and community groups around the country are organizing Lost viewing parties complete with costumes and themed decorations.

by Arnold Pan

21 May 2010


So maybe the latest trend in diva-pop is to look to their poor indie stepsisters for some needed inspiration. It might still take a little bit wrap your head around it, but at least we’ve known about the Le Tigre-Christina Aguilera hook-up for the latter’s Bionic album for a while now—the fruits of their collaboration on “I Hate Boys” can be heard now on a snippet released on Xtina’s YouTube channel. Even though the two acts are about very different kinds of desire, there’s really nothing too incongruous about the Aguilera-Kathleen Hanna combo on the track.

On the other hand, you’d think the xx, those masters of expressing understatement and introspection, would be the last band that Shakira would look to cover. But you’d be wrong, since there’s a leak of a one-minute clip where the bombastic, rumpshaking diva offers her take on the dark pop of the xx’s “Islands”. What’s maybe more surprising is that it’s a fairly reverent version of the original, or at least as muted as anyone can expect Shakira to get. Just Google “Shakira xx” at your own peril!

Christina Aguilera with Le Tigre - “I Hate Boys”

Shakira covering the xx - “Islands”

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