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Have A Cow, Simpsons Fans.
April 16, 2013 7:30 AM   Subscribe


 
“Do The Bartman” even inspired a modestly popular dance craze.

No it didn't.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:37 AM on April 16, 2013 [14 favorites]


A poorly-written article viciously attacking a minor product that wasn't respected when it was released and that's long since been forgotten? Ah, AV Club. You'll never let us down. It's really anyone's wonder why you've been steadily losing money for the past half-decade.
posted by item at 7:43 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq: "“Do The Bartman” even inspired a modestly popular dance craze.

No it didn't.
"

You clearly weren't in my neck of Tennessee in the early 90s. That stupid song was everywhere for a few weeks.
posted by barnacles at 7:49 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


If it involves Lisa singing, it's already the worst. I need no convincing.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:53 AM on April 16, 2013


You clearly weren't in my neck of Tennessee in the early 90s. That stupid song was everywhere for a few weeks.

The song, sure. But the dance?
posted by Sys Rq at 7:59 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


> "Ah, AV Club. You'll never let us down. It's really anyone's wonder why you've been steadily losing money for the past half-decade."

Their film reviews are pretty much the only ones (other than, perhaps, simply looking solely at the aggregated rating on a site like Rotten Tomatoes) that have ever given me a good idea of whether or not I might actually want to see a given film.
posted by kyrademon at 8:06 AM on April 16, 2013


the predecessor cash-in ablum (mentioned in the article) The Simpsons Sing The Blues was a brief favorite of my 11-year-old self. Relive it now!
posted by namewithoutwords at 8:08 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


The Simpsons Sing The Blues showed up at my college's radio station in 1990, and it was treated with the contempt it deserved. Nobody would touch it (not least because the station, WZRD-FM in Chicago, had a rule about never playing anything that would get play on a mainstream station) except me; I saw it as a chance to mix choice bits of it in with music of a more counter-culture nature, just to make a point. I couldn't bring myself to do it more than once, though, because it was just so god-awful. I like to think that the record is still there, in the uncatalogued stacks, and that it gets pulled out at least five times a year by an unsuspecting new DJ pulling things at random who finds it, looks at it, says "ugh" and shoves it right back in.
posted by davejay at 8:09 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Parents just don't understand.
posted by slogger at 8:09 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq: "You clearly weren't in my neck of Tennessee in the early 90s. That stupid song was everywhere for a few weeks.

The song, sure. But the dance?
"

You clearly weren't at my middle school in my neck of the woods of Tennessee in the early 90s for a few weeks. :) Or maybe you were, in which case this might get awkward!
posted by barnacles at 8:13 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Springfield Soul Stew"

ow ow ow
posted by thelonius at 8:14 AM on April 16, 2013


A better The Yellow Album.
posted by Foosnark at 8:17 AM on April 16, 2013


or the punkrock/hardcore version - This Is Springfield, Not Shelbyville!

check out my band doing Lisa's Union Song/Nelson's Song For Lisa if you dare
posted by capnsue at 8:24 AM on April 16, 2013


Jesus I must be going through a bitter streak. Sorry for that ugly comment early on up there in this thread.
posted by item at 8:29 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


But to the businessmen over at Fox back in the early 1990s, it was silly animated nonsense designed to sell toys and entertain small children. It also entertained everyone else, but that was just a nifty bonus.

I always found this dichotomy interesting. In elementary school, I had a copy of The Simpsons Ultra-Jumbo Rain-Or-Shine Fun Book which was this totally sweetly nostalgic activity book a la The Dangerous Book for Boys about different hopscotch games and how to make sun tea.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:34 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


There was also that whole thing of parents not letting kids watch The Simpsons because it was too sexual/vulgar/subversive/blasphemous/etc despite it not being more edgy then any of the live action sitcoms at the time because all animation was still seen as for the under 10 set.
posted by The Whelk at 8:38 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I wasn't allowed to watch it in its first season because my mom found Bart Simpson crass and it was on just past my bedtime (I was in first grade--I would stay up and listen to my sister watching it down the hall.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:40 AM on April 16, 2013


I still technically own that CD, or at least the jewel case. I have no idea where the actual disc is and am better off for it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:43 AM on April 16, 2013


The cassette of The Simpsons Sing the Blues is on at least once-yearly rotation at our place.
posted by redsparkler at 8:47 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I always had a weird fondness for "Deep Deep Trouble."
posted by jonmc at 8:55 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


You clearly weren't in my neck of Tennessee in the early 90s. That stupid song was everywhere for a few weeks.

Another Middle TN ex-pat checking in here to verify this. I remember group dancing to this song at middle school parties in that strange fall and winter of 1990.

(Random Digression: Another strange fact is that one year later Nirvana's Nevermind came out. This seems wrong to me, even though I just checked the dates on wikipedia. So in the winter of 1990 I was a happy middle-schooler dancing to cartoon songs and in the winter of 1991 I was a moody high-schooler mumbling along to ballads about drug use and depression. How odd that summer must have been.)

I actually heard the Simpsons denounced from a pulpit (with a hearty AMEN! from the congregation ) back in the early 90s. I'm pretty sure I remember merch burnings happening at various churches, and students not being allowed into school if they were wearing Simpsons t-shirts.

That I lived in an environment where "Doing the Bartman" could become a subversive act is probably why cognitive dissonance rarely fazes me any more.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:56 AM on April 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


A poorly-written article viciously attacking a minor product that wasn't respected when it was released and that's long since been forgotten? Ah, AV Club. You'll never let us down

I thought it was an entertaining piece on an interesting subject, and part of a series I absolutely love.

In conclusion, Metafilter is a land of contrasts.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:04 AM on April 16, 2013 [19 favorites]


I graduated from highschool (in Middle TN no less) in the spring of '90. My first college roommate had a copy of Simpsons Sing the Blues - although now that I think about it clearly for the first time in many years I may have bought it for him for Christmas - and I have clear memories of driving around with the stereo up and other kids on campus doing the stupid dance as we came by. This was a fairly small liberal-arts school in Central KY, not like the big state school across town - we thought we were wayyy cooler of course - but the memories of a group of fresh Tri-Delt pledges shaking their butts to Bart Simpson just proves how naive we all were...

the Yellow Album was pretty roundly panned across campus though. We had matured by that point I guess...
posted by pupdog at 9:09 AM on April 16, 2013


Jesus I must be going through a bitter streak. Sorry for that ugly comment early on up there in this thread.

Maybe take another nap.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:47 AM on April 16, 2013


Is it Middle Tennessee day on MetaFilter? 'Cause I concur with the popularity of "Do The Bartman" and also the psychotic reaction on the part of the fundamentalist churches that run rural Middle Tennessee to The Simpsons. Literally, right up until just recently, my mother still thought The Simpsons was one of the most evil shows on television and had never even watched an episode. I think this attitude also probably has something to do with the fact that it airs on Sunday night.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:13 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it Middle Tennessee day on MetaFilter?

I guess it's true what they say: Tennesseein' is Tennebelievin'!
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:24 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I actually heard the Simpsons denounced from a pulpit (with a hearty AMEN! from the congregation ) back in the early 90s. I'm pretty sure I remember merch burnings happening at various churches, and students not being allowed into school if they were wearing Simpsons t-shirts.

For some reason this has reminded me of my mother's first exposure to The Simpsons, sometime when it was first starting to get big - she wandered into the room where I was watching and just stood silently, looking at the screen, for a few minutes. Then she turned to me with a sincerely baffled look, and all she said was, "why is her hair blue?"

I do not recall whether she stayed to watch the rest of the episode, and I have never heard her make any further comment. But the blue hair, man, that stuck with her.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:31 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


This may be the thread where it is revealed what state The Simpsons' Springfield is in!
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:34 AM on April 16, 2013


vibrotronica: "the psychotic reaction on the part of the fundamentalist churches that run rural Middle Tennessee to The Simpsons."

Probably upset that the show visited Knoxville, rather than something closer.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:39 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe we were just miffed at how they treated native son, Al Gore.

I'm kidding of course, I don't know anyone from Tennessee who likes Al Gore.

Is it Middle Tennessee day on MetaFilter?

Yeee-haw! We'll have ourselves a meetup at Toot's!
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:52 AM on April 16, 2013


Maybe we were just miffed at how they treated native son, Al Gore.

Interestingly, one of Al Gore's daughters, Kristin, was a writer for Matt Groening's other animated series, Futurama, and Gore himself did voice-over work on a handful of episodes.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:02 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeee-haw! We'll have ourselves a meetup at Toot's!

But WHICH ONE!?!?
posted by pupdog at 11:05 AM on April 16, 2013




item, I don't think that it's necessary to walk back all of your initial comment, as Nathan Rabin has been criticized by AV Club commenters in the past for sometimes just phoning it in (saying, for example, that adaptations of Elmore Leonard's novels before Get Shorty had been B-movies, when in fact several of them had been commercial and/or critical hits), and I have to single out this bit:
The Yellow Album (remarkably, the title, redolent of hot, steaming urine, is one of the lesser miscalculations involved)
...WTF?
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:15 AM on April 16, 2013


Not everything Rabin writes can hold up to the elegant, minimalist genius of his classic Simpsons reviews. The mastery of craft involved in deciding when to simply recap the plot, when to explain the jokes and when to actually show the jokes in streaming video players that don't actually shows all the aesthetic dexterity of a Philip Glass piano piece that wrings maximum emotional effect from shifting one note in a repeated suspended chord.

If memory serves, it's a good one.
posted by arto at 11:36 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


A poorly-written article viciously attacking a minor product that wasn't respected when it was released and that's long since been forgotten?

Hey, attacking a minor unrespected product is a victimless crime. Like punching someone in the dark.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:46 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hmm, I actually like Rabin's work a good bit, but I think his Simpsons episode reviews are his weakest work. He all to often simply recounts the plot/jokes, frequently with mistakes. When he talks a bit about bigger themes, he's often better, but I still mostly go to the reviews for the comments.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:50 AM on April 16, 2013


If it involves Lisa singing, it's already the worst. I need no convincing.

This is wholly true when the subject is the Jazzman testifying, wholly false when the subject is who needs the Kwik-E-Mart.
posted by gompa at 11:57 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


when the subject is who needs the Kwik-E-Mart.

FUN FACT: If your social circle has heavy overlap between raging Simpson nerds and musical theatre majors, you can arrange and perform a flawless a capella rendition of Who Needs The Kwik-E Mart complete with gestures, choreography and group harmony in about any location with minimal prep time.
posted by The Whelk at 12:11 PM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


But could they do "We Put the Spring in Springfield", Whelk? That's a better song.
posted by emjaybee at 12:56 PM on April 16, 2013


Requires too much in the way of kicklines.
posted by The Whelk at 12:59 PM on April 16, 2013


who needs the Kwik-E-Mart

We Put the Spring in Springfield


This is why it's baffling to me that they released "Songs in the Key of Springfield" (which is excellent) between Blues and Yellow (which are not excellent).
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:14 PM on April 16, 2013


What's ironic is that Nabin's Classic Simpsons reviews are some of his worst writing.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:20 PM on April 16, 2013


This may be the thread where it is revealed what state The Simpsons' Springfield is in!

Um.... no. THIS is the thread where it is revealed what state The Simpsons' Springfield is in.
posted by hippybear at 5:26 PM on April 16, 2013


The AV Club rejected my review of the album because I kept using words like "Pasghetti" and "Momatoes," made numerous threatening references to the UN and at the end repeated the words "Screw Flanders" over and over again.

In my defence, it's so hard to get to 500 words!
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 7:20 PM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


it not being more edgy then any of the live action sitcoms at the time

You cannot have been watching live action sitcoms in 1989. There were some that were more sexual than Simpsons (Cheers, for instance). Possibly some more vulgar (was Roseanne on then?). But no way were there any more subversive and probably none more blasphemous. They showed a minister hating his congregation! And made fun of the Flandereses!
posted by DU at 4:33 AM on April 18, 2013


There were indeed much edgier shows at the time, and they were all right there on Fox: Married... with Children, In Living Color, COPS, Get a Life, etc.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:49 PM on April 18, 2013


who needs the Kwik-E-Mart

I DOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo
posted by stevil at 8:56 AM on April 20, 2013


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