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In the Air Tonight
February 17, 2007 2:09 PM   Subscribe

In The Air Tonight. Acapella R&B group Naturally 7 perform their version of the Phil Collins classic on a Paris Metro.
posted by empath (76 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
The a capella is strong on MeFi these past few days.
posted by disillusioned at 2:13 PM on February 17, 2007


Wow, they are really good.
posted by Malor at 2:20 PM on February 17, 2007


God, I love the faux-vocoder "I remember..." stop.
posted by cortex at 2:22 PM on February 17, 2007


Impressive! I like the guy with his back to them, cranking up his iPod louder and louder, and trying not to look.
posted by fish tick at 2:22 PM on February 17, 2007


Yeah, the most interesting thing about the video is some of the people's pathological urge to ignore them. That would probably be me.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:26 PM on February 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many of those people missed their stops?
posted by empath at 2:28 PM on February 17, 2007


"... trying and failing not to look", you mean.
posted by Flunkie at 2:53 PM on February 17, 2007


What an asshole! He has this really pissed off look the entire time and refuses to even turn around when the entire train seems more or less captivated.
posted by geoff. at 2:56 PM on February 17, 2007


I love how someone who imitates the sounds of a drum set with his voice is called a beatboxer if he's black and a vocal percussionist if he's white... :)

These guys are great though, and you know I would have missed my stop if they were on my train in the morning.
posted by Inkoate at 2:58 PM on February 17, 2007


What an asshole!

Well, maybe he doesn't like Phil Collins. Or maybe he wasn't in the mood for being sociable that day (god knows I've been there myself), and was all ready for a nice normal subway ride listening to his Bach or whatever.

I thought these guys were awesome and everything, but someone not wanting an impromptu art piece forced upon them in the course of their day while also being filmed for the intertubes doesn't make them an asshole. It's not like he turned around and yelled at them to shut up.
posted by chrismear at 3:05 PM on February 17, 2007


Caroline... was it real?
posted by Simon! at 3:07 PM on February 17, 2007


I might excerpt ~30s for a mixtape, but it gets boring fast. And people who ignore attention-seeking assholes are not themselves assholes.

The video also features a significant amount of editing and production work..
posted by unmake at 3:11 PM on February 17, 2007


We should have impromptu art pieces like this forced upon us more often.
posted by basicchannel at 3:14 PM on February 17, 2007


And people who ignore attention-seeking assholes are not themselves assholes.
Not necessarily, at least.
posted by Flunkie at 3:17 PM on February 17, 2007


I was riding the F train in the early 90's and four very aggressive panhandlers got on. The "leader" was freakin rough looking and was getting up in people's faces demanding change. I could see everyone trying not to make eye contact and pulling their valuables closer. Then the dude said something like - "this ain't working, well what about this" - and they broke into a perfect four part harmony version of "This Little Light 'o Mine."

Everyone realized that they had just been punked and started digging in their pockets for large bills. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.


cool post
posted by vronsky at 3:19 PM on February 17, 2007 [9 favorites]


This is great! Which means, I love this! Which means, thank you for posting it!
posted by cgc373 at 3:19 PM on February 17, 2007


[this is good]

I think is what you are looking for.

posted by chrismear at 3:21 PM on February 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cool stuff. Thanks.
posted by dazed_one at 3:31 PM on February 17, 2007


Fuck myspace.
posted by dobbs at 3:34 PM on February 17, 2007


That was awesome. Try that on a DC/VA metro train and everybody will look like ipod-guy.
posted by itchylick at 3:35 PM on February 17, 2007


C'est magnifique!
posted by sfslim at 3:38 PM on February 17, 2007


Naturally Seven Message Board

Naturally Seven on YouTube
posted by ericb at 3:41 PM on February 17, 2007


I love how someone who imitates the sounds of a drum set with his voice is called a beatboxer if he's black and a vocal percussionist if he's white...

Buh?
posted by cortex at 3:43 PM on February 17, 2007


This reminds me of freestyle sessions on the back of the Seattle Metro buses. The breakproof glass would give the best bass when you thumped it.
posted by yeloson at 3:51 PM on February 17, 2007


I love this so much. What a fine arrangement, taking all the emotion and intensity of the song and cranking it up to 11.
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:01 PM on February 17, 2007


Do they do a version of the Mario Brothers theme? Because that would be sweet.
posted by nanojath at 4:11 PM on February 17, 2007


Phil Collins' solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way. Especially songs like In the Air Tonight and Against All Odds.

Sabrina, don't just stare at it, eat it.
posted by SeanMac at 4:13 PM on February 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


That is pure joy, empath! My favorite Phil Collins song + wowesome a capella. Thank you! I also really enjoyed that upstuck guy with the earbuds rolling his eyes. I don't know how to say harrumpf in French but that was it. Great counterpoint to all those who were recording it.
posted by nj_subgenius at 4:20 PM on February 17, 2007


Bof.
posted by matthewr at 4:20 PM on February 17, 2007


People have favourite Phill Collins songs now? Wow, I guess time really is the greatest healer.
posted by vbfg at 4:25 PM on February 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


People have favourite Phill Collins songs now?

I've got two ears and a heart, don't I?
posted by gyc at 4:33 PM on February 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ipod guy probably thought it was an elebaroate intro to being mugged.

This makes me miss my brother's acapella group. Thanks for posting.
posted by eunoia at 4:48 PM on February 17, 2007


vbfg, I feel so silly now. Sill...great song. Get stuffed.
posted by nj_subgenius at 4:48 PM on February 17, 2007


Sill=Still (argh)
posted by nj_subgenius at 4:49 PM on February 17, 2007


It's not bad, but it's ain't no Bitches Ain't Shit.
posted by dbarefoot at 5:08 PM on February 17, 2007


Yes, dbarefoot. It's not, thank goodness.
posted by nj_subgenius at 5:14 PM on February 17, 2007


No kidding, nj. I don't know whether the video is edited and fiddled with after the fact, as unmake claims above, but I know it looked like found footage, a spontaneous event on a Metro train. It's wonderful for that, whether it's faked or not, in my view. The "Bitches Ain't Shit" clip is sort of fun, and it does look like one take, so it's a genuine performance, but there's no audience except whoever watches the video. If "In the Air Tonight" were a music video, it would be a good one; if the choir video were a video, it would be unremarkable, at best.
posted by cgc373 at 5:18 PM on February 17, 2007


It's not bad, but it's ain't no Bitches Ain't Shit.

that sucks ... they're OFF, damnit!! ... keep those tone deaf frat kids off my computer, please!
posted by pyramid termite at 5:21 PM on February 17, 2007


FWIW Phil is a very popular in the Hip Hop. Samples galore.
posted by Gungho at 5:22 PM on February 17, 2007


It gets fairly annoying towards the end. Like Forrest Whitaker as the singing waiter on SNL last week.
posted by ColdChef at 5:23 PM on February 17, 2007


I would just like to flesh out SeanMac's comments if I may.

Do you like Phil Collins? I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn't understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where, uh, Phil Collins' presence became more apparent. I think Invisible Touch was the group's undisputed masterpiece. It's an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums. Christy, take off your robe. Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument. Sabrina, remove your dress. In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, the sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism. Sabrina, why don't you, uh, dance a little. Take the lyrics to Land of Confusion. In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority. In Too Deep is the most moving pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as, uh, anything I've heard in rock. Christy, get down on your knees so Sabrina can see your ass. Phil Collins' solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way. Especially songs like In the Air Tonight and, uh, Against All Odds. Sabrina, don't just stare at it, eat it. But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group, than as a solo artist, and I stress the word artist. This is Sussudio, a great, great song, a personal favorite.


It takes a Patrick Bateman to truly express how we all implicitly feel about the wonder that is Phil Collins.

I fucking love this post.
posted by inconsequentialist at 5:33 PM on February 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


This was wonderful, thank you!
posted by obeetaybee at 5:40 PM on February 17, 2007


For me, this performance is appealing because it's something I've often fantasized about: me and a group of friends just busting out with something awesome, like a musical brought to the stage of real life. I bet other people fantasize about this, too.
posted by SPrintF at 5:42 PM on February 17, 2007


I feel like the beatboxing/vocal percussion snark isn't fair. The terms are used in different contexts. I mean, no one's ever talked about Justin Timberlake and his vocal percussion; he's so beatboxing and everyone knows it. It's called vocal percussion when you're part of an a cappella ensemble; it's beatboxing when you're blending in with other instruments or performing by your lonesome.
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 5:54 PM on February 17, 2007


Not quite found footage, given that the audio was obviously studio-recorded and -mixed and then post-synched to the video, but, still, cool. But where's the a capella realization of signature titanic tom-tom intro (at 3:40 in the version on Rhapsody). That's what would have made it transcendent...
posted by MattD at 5:57 PM on February 17, 2007


For me, this performance is appealing because it's something I've often fantasized about: me and a group of friends just busting out with something awesome, like a musical brought to the stage of real life. I bet other people fantasize about this, too.

I'm familiar with the sort of fantasies you have in mind, but this particular instance of spontaneous singing doesn't fit in with my normal conception of those. This seems rather to fit into the category of fantasies that relate to being a member of Boyz II Men (of which I've had many!!!!).
posted by inconsequentialist at 6:08 PM on February 17, 2007


, like a musical brought to the stage of real life. I bet other people fantasize about this, too.

You'd win that bet.
posted by odinsdream at 6:14 PM on February 17, 2007


It's too bad none of the acapella singers were willing to take a try at Phil's famous "stu" drum pass when the song kicks in.

I'll always remember this song as the one used to promote the introduction of stereo broadcasts to regular television.
posted by furtive at 6:18 PM on February 17, 2007


Listening to them now on Rhapsody. Damn fine stuff. Thanks for the introduction.
posted by Optamystic at 6:22 PM on February 17, 2007


AWESOME. I want them in Brisbane. Now.
posted by divabat at 6:45 PM on February 17, 2007


While the recording may have been edited, the all-too-familiar buzzer of the m├ętro doors closing certainly occurred often enough to seem realistic.

This is great. As somebody who's been doing some work on popular music in Paris and urban experience, this is gold. Not just for the great performance, but also for all the reactions you could see in the video.

Merci, monsieur empath!
posted by LMGM at 6:58 PM on February 17, 2007


This is the kind of thing I never would have sought out, or discovered, on my own. But taking a shot at clicking on this link paid off. Thanks.
posted by evilcolonel at 7:26 PM on February 17, 2007


I'm with evilcolonel here. Thanks for posting this!
posted by frecklefaerie at 7:40 PM on February 17, 2007


Clearly those guys are huge Miami Vice fans.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:40 PM on February 17, 2007


I thought it was great, if a bit long.

Although I would wager that the 5 minutes would have flown by if you were stuck on that subway and had this to entertain you instead of whatever else people do on subways for 5 minutes.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:42 PM on February 17, 2007


Duhdum. Duhdum. Duhdum. Duhdum dum dum dum.
posted by sourwookie at 8:04 PM on February 17, 2007


Being underwhelmed by the other a cappella links, I wasn't expecting much... but I completely enjoyed this.
posted by the_bone at 8:20 PM on February 17, 2007


I thought the unappetizing dish of acapella + Phil Collins might make me barf. But if I was on that train, I would've been crying at the silly beauty of people. Thanks.
posted by simonemarie at 8:38 PM on February 17, 2007


I heard they were performing that song because someone on the train had watched them drown when they were little kids, and did nothing, but sat on the shore and laughed.

That's what I heard.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:27 PM on February 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Astro Zombie, you're so crazy.
posted by dazed_one at 10:03 PM on February 17, 2007


Surly iPod Guy reminded me powerfully of Ben Stiller as Mr. Furious. "Rage...taking over..."
posted by Drastic at 10:15 PM on February 17, 2007


As good as they are, it's still annoying when people sing on the train, or the bus, or anyplace where people have no choice but to listen. I like jerking off and everything, and I'm really good at it, but I don't whip it out on the light rail and make people watch.
posted by notmydesk at 10:37 PM on February 17, 2007


But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group, than as a solo artist, and I stress the word artist.

Check out the work he's done with Brand X.

As good as they are, it's still annoying when people sing on the train, or the bus, or anyplace where people have no choice but to listen.

Even creative panhandling is still panhandling. Tourists and suburbanites seem love this shit, but speaking for myself, I am sick to death of being hassled for coin on my cross-town commute.
posted by three blind mice at 11:00 PM on February 17, 2007


notmydesk: I bet most of the singing you hear in public is also not seven-part professional acapella, either. I'm not even particularly a Phil Colllins fan, and I think this is just a great clip, if even only on a social experiment level by seeing how people would react.
posted by SeanMac at 11:01 PM on February 17, 2007


Awesome! Thanks for the post, empath.
posted by deborah at 11:12 PM on February 17, 2007


As good as they are, it's still annoying when people sing on the train, or the bus, or anyplace where people have no choice but to listen. I like jerking off and everything, and I'm really good at it, but I don't whip it out on the light rail and make people watch.

Thank you. All the best analogies involve masturbation.
posted by Tube at 12:11 AM on February 18, 2007


Best a capella rendition of a Phil Collins song I've ever seen on public transit. Top-notch.

Sourwookie: Are you referring to the awesome drums in the song? Because that part is awesome.
posted by hifiparasol at 1:55 AM on February 18, 2007


Ah, thanks, that was nice. A good break from the African stuff I like but have gotten too accustomed to.
posted by Goofyy at 3:12 AM on February 18, 2007


Absolutely excellent!

And horrible to think that here in Amsterdam they'd get busted for having their feet on the seat and creating a public disturbance in about five seconds...
posted by Djinh at 3:25 AM on February 18, 2007


the audio was obviously studio-recorded and -mixed and then post-synched to the video

Nonsense.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:49 AM on February 18, 2007


sourwookie writes "Duhdum. Duhdum. Duhdum. Duhdum dum dum dum."

Actually:

Duhdum. Duhdum. Duhdum. Duhdum. dum dum dum.

</drumpedant>
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:38 AM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's called vocal percussion when you're part of an a cappella ensemble; it's beatboxing when you're blending in with other instruments or performing by your lonesome.

This was pretty much the point I was trying to make. In the context of this video, and from my own experiences with a capella music I would call what two(?) of the guys in Naturally 7 are doing in this video "vocal percussion" because they're part of an a capella ensemble, but one of the tags assigned to the video on this random site we've linked to is "Human Beatbox". I just thought that was interesting.
posted by Inkoate at 6:38 AM on February 18, 2007


Hell, I must be in a bad mood today because my immediate response was "jesus, how fucking annoying." I get plenty of "this little light of mine's" sung at me every other day on the 1 train. A bunch of guys blocking the aisleway with a couple of asshats stumbling around with their eyes to video recorders would just annoy me.

/jerk
posted by papercake at 6:57 AM on February 18, 2007


OK, I sleep on trains in the morning, but in the evening commute, I'd love to hear this stuff.

But doesn't anyone get that the idea for doing this number on a train directly relates to the (oh too mild) sex scene between Rebecca DeMoray and Tom Cruise in Risky Business?
posted by Sk4n at 7:09 PM on February 18, 2007


"DeMornay" - sorry becks.
posted by Sk4n at 7:12 PM on February 18, 2007


I can't believe that gyc won the thread and nobody noticed.
posted by hue at 9:36 PM on February 18, 2007


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