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February 25, 2011 8:47 PM   Subscribe

"Dance Yrself Clean" by LCD Soundsystem - performed by Muppets. [SLYT]
posted by i less than three nsima (30 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Those are some low-rent looking muppets. It really shows what a difference the real muppet puppeteers make in bringing the characters to life.
posted by willnot at 8:55 PM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, seconding willnot. Cool song, but it's hard to recover from the disappointment of this not being a real muppet production.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:00 PM on February 25, 2011


And no Rowlf on the keyboard? Totally non-canon.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:02 PM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


:(
posted by humannaire at 9:02 PM on February 25, 2011


Sorry guys, should have given a heads up. Still fun, though!
posted by i less than three nsima at 9:09 PM on February 25, 2011


Fun for certain values of fun, yes. But when you use the word "Muppets" the expected level of fun is a minimum of 11 (and even the Genuine Authorized Muppets occasionally fall short... just NOT on a MetaFilter post).
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:15 PM on February 25, 2011


Those are some low-rent looking muppets. It really shows what a difference the real muppet puppeteers make in bringing the characters to life.

My reaction too. Not bad, just striking how much goes into making the real thing as good as it is. For example there are moments in this where the puppets' faces (eg Kermit and Piggy) are just "dead", as if there's no hand in there but they are just filming the empty puppet figure - and it's disconcerting, uncanny valley type disconcerting.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:39 PM on February 25, 2011


I know this will be unpopular, but Jesus I hate The Muppets. Muppets ruin everything. And I'm part of the first generation that grew up with Sesame Street, I get it, but sheesh let them go. You know how if something is going to suck? If it features The Muppets ironically. What has been made better with the addition of The Muppets, aside from LCD Soundsystem that is, (I kid, put down your pitchforks.) Nothing, nothing has ever been made better by throwing some felt and googly eyes in. Grow up already.

There is nothing as creepy as having a Muppet appear on a show directed at adults.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:46 PM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


"The Muppet Show" was directed at adults, as well as children.
posted by raysmj at 10:28 PM on February 25, 2011


The Muppets' history goes all the way back to the '50s on TV (at least in the DC area), from my understanding, and they only became identified with children's shows with "Sesame Street." Henson never wanted them to be strictly ID'd with children's programming.
posted by raysmj at 10:35 PM on February 25, 2011


I know this will be unpopular, but Jesus I hate The Muppets. Muppets ruin everything

Put down the ventriloquist's dummy, sir.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:39 PM on February 25, 2011


You sound like a joyless shell of a man, Keith.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:40 PM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


There is nothing as creepy as having a Muppet appear on a show directed at adults.

Them's fighting words! Mefites! Muppet up!
posted by fishmasta at 10:46 PM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Keith, you must be real fun at Muppet parties.

Which are AWESOME parties.
posted by item at 10:58 PM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nothing, nothing has ever been made better by throwing some felt and googly eyes in.

EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH FELT AND GOOGLY EYES
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:08 PM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


What has been made better with the addition of The Muppets

Keith Moon and Marilyn Manson?
posted by cortex at 12:14 AM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


My reaction too. Not bad, just striking how much goes into making the real thing as good as it is.

Yeah, I was thinking that too. One example is how Kermit is all squashed down and funny-looking; it makes him look like, well, a puppet. I don't ever remember seeing the original Kermit's body show too obviously that it was made of cloth like that. I was thinking that Henson would be rolling in his grave to see that, and that the new generation of puppeteers wasn't keeping up with the Old Master.

But then I realized it's not actually Henson's group, just some random people with off-the-shelf puppets. As you say, it's not bad, but you can sure see the difference between this and the "real thing", as it were.
posted by Malor at 2:52 AM on February 26, 2011


Oh, and:

I know this will be unpopular

Well, you got that part right. The rest of your comment will, I think, go down in history as the Felt Heresy.

Burn the witch!
posted by Malor at 2:57 AM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know this will be unpopular, but Jesus I hate The Muppets. Muppets ruin everything.

Which one are you, sir, Statler or Waldorf?
posted by Skeptic at 4:35 AM on February 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


What has been made better with the addition of The Muppets

Muppet Munch!
posted by jaynewould at 5:12 AM on February 26, 2011


This would have been great had it contained:
A) Actual Muppets, and
B) Actual Comedy
posted by JeffK at 6:16 AM on February 26, 2011


" You know how if something is going to suck? If it features The Muppets ironically."

That's why I love the real, actual Muppets: they aren't ironic. To me, Muppets are basically the most sincere form of entertainment around. All they want to do is have fun.
posted by Nedroid at 6:33 AM on February 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


What has been made better with the addition of The Muppets

Gummo Bergman's lesser works come to mind.
posted by Beardman at 7:16 AM on February 26, 2011


Well I liked it.
posted by wires at 10:17 AM on February 26, 2011


It's been done before.

No, really. And there's some amusing backstory.

Right after Sound of Silver came out, somebody said on the LCD message boards that the final track ("New York, I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down") sounded a lot like Kermit singing. James responded:
the "kemitness" in the vocal was totally intentional. in fact, had the song sung, and went back, saying "it needs to be more like kermit". i know this sounds like i'm taking the piss here, but it's 100% fact.
So the NYILYBYBMD video appears on a videographer's website, people flip out, then it goes down a few days later, and people flip out more that the label might've pulled it. James explained:
the reason it's getting pulled down is basically that it was just a fun thing a guy was doing, and we ran into each other in a bar and i went and shot with him for less than an hour... it was just a fin thing! but then it got very widespread... and, uh, kermit is sort of now owned by disney... and, uh... they scare me.
LCD Soundsystem: The Kermitness Is Intentional.(tm)
posted by Remy at 10:58 AM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


talking like a jerk,
except you are an actual jerk
and living proof that sometimes friends are mean...
posted by kaibutsu at 11:09 AM on February 26, 2011


Your puppet snob training for the day:

Probably the first thing hand puppeteers learn is to drop their thumbs instead of raising their fingers when operating a mouth. Part of the logic is that jaws drop and skulls don't flap. But the more important factor is that it maintains level eye contact... The more a puppet can remain an active part of its environment, the more alive it appears.

It's easy to judge the skill of a puppeteer simply by watching for flipping lids. It's not completely avoidable, and raised fingers can be used to accent certain syllables... but you'll see particularly low dips of the jaw used just as much for emphasis from a good puppeteer. You can just tell that they have precise control of what they're doing.

Watch Jim Henson's Kermit, for instance.

A lot of signature Jim Henson movements (gentle lateral rolls, dropping the head slightly down or pushing it slightly forward) are very natural maneuvers for a puppeteer focused on abiding to a jaw drop style.

One of the things I enjoy about this Elmo performance is how at about 1:00 the puppeteer (presumably Kevin Clash) alternates between high head flips and low jaw drops for comedic effect. There's cute caricature going on, but again what's clear is that the puppeteer — and thus the puppet itself — has control of its movements.

Even puppets that are particularly flappy, googly characters like Cookie Monster still show very tight jaw-dropping control.

Since this is probably the only time I'll ever be able to mention it, I do want to say: I hate the way the Jack's Big Music Show puppets are constructed in this regard. But it makes the job those puppeteers do even more admirable. Head flaps, as they should be, are used for emphasis, and you can see how the characters' bodies move quite a bit in order to retain level-headed eye contact. (Support, I suppose, that the technique is more about the eyes than realistic jaw movement.)

Okay. So, now understanding all of that... Just try and watch the FPP video and not want to flip your lid.

Also, I totally had that Animal puppet at one point and it's pretty awesome for the mechanical eyebrow movement alone.
posted by pokermonk at 12:02 PM on February 26, 2011 [14 favorites]


I've never really deliberately looked at a Muppet performance analytically and watched them as puppets being controlled by operators. I just watched the Elmo video in pokermonk's comment, though, and during the tug-of-war with the microphone suddenly the scales fell from my eyes and Kermit was just a piece of cloth stretched over someone's hand. It made me so uncomfortable I had to stop watching. It was like watching somebody play with a corpse.
posted by contraption at 12:48 PM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks for articulating one of the things that's going wrong with the performance in the FPP video.

We've been re-watching the Muppet Show, and it is amazing how hard it is to bring yourself out of the performances and see the character as being puppets on hands rather than autonomous beings. Even in trying to analyze performances I find myself thinking of how interesting it is that Rowlf is doing it this way or that way, not that the puppeteer is doing this or that.

I second contraption's feeling that watching these characters be badly handled is "like watching someone play with a corpse", viscerally disturbing. It's an amazing achievement on the part of Henson et al over the years, to create these independent lives.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:51 PM on February 26, 2011


I liked LCD Soundsystem... but this left a bad taste in my mouth:

http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/24/james-murphys-role-in-the-lcd-soundsystem-ticket-fiasco/
posted by veryblue1 at 6:20 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


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