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Afterwards: jelly and ice-cream
June 6, 2009 9:09 PM   Subscribe

Hey Mom! Bobby wants to know if we can come out and play!
posted by urbanwhaleshark (53 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
i didn't understand what he was doing at first, but that is pretty genius.
posted by empath at 9:20 PM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


He just plains loves people and having fun with them. It's interesting in this clip that the audience are completely up for it. I don't know whether people went along because they wanted to sing or whether they were planted there to aid his perfomance. I hope the former. Just as interesting is his performance of Ave Maria - the audience knew the whole song. Incredible.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 9:30 PM on June 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm worried. not happy.
posted by philip-random at 9:30 PM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know about genius. It's kind of cool in a very mild, been-on-Youtube-since-2006 kind of way.
posted by msalt at 9:42 PM on June 6, 2009


Don't Bogart that joint my friend!
posted by ericb at 9:49 PM on June 6, 2009


That's clever. There probably aren't many music festival crowds with which you (I mean he) could have done that.
posted by ATXile at 9:56 PM on June 6, 2009


I love the moment where he finally gets the audience singing the first two notes, and then he cautiously tries the third note. When the audience sings it just right, he just can't resist giving them a little cheer.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:05 PM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Post was a little thin. Then the comments sold me.


I love this man. So, so much.

Thank you.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:18 PM on June 6, 2009


As taken from a clip from his appearance on Sesame Street: "...I like to get everyone together and sing together." I think the beauty of the original clip is how quickly he gets the momentum going. He teaches, quickly; by showing rather than telling. He isn't treating the audience like idiots, just others he would like to enjoy time with. The process is almost magic.

It's kind of cool in a very mild, been-on-Youtube-since-2006 kind of way.

It's sad that everything pre-twitter is dead to your cold cold heart. Maybe this short video of him playfully molesting a female member of audience will warm those frozen cockles.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 10:19 PM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wanted to hate it but could not, whaleshark. Ye ha!
posted by vrakatar at 10:20 PM on June 6, 2009


It's kind of cool in a very mild, been-on-Youtube-since-2006 kind of way.

That doesn't even make sense.
posted by empath at 10:21 PM on June 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


Me: It's kind of cool in a very mild, been-on-Youtube-since-2006 kind of way.
Empath: That doesn't even make sense.

Which part is not making sense? The crowd interaction is mildly cool, but nothing to shout about (or call genius). I think miuch of Bob Marley's "Babylon by Bus" to pick one example has more elaborate crowd singalongs. Also, there's not much to the music. And the clip has been on YouTube since 2006, so as a SLYT post there's not much there there.
posted by msalt at 10:26 PM on June 6, 2009


What I think msalt might be saying is: If you are going to do a Bobby McFerrin post, this ain't the way.

But you know, he's like Mr. Rogers or President Obama to me. I don't care, I just want to spend more time looking at and listening to him.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:29 PM on June 6, 2009


The people in the audience probably all walked out feeling years younger.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:29 PM on June 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


genius
posted by juv3nal at 10:44 PM on June 6, 2009 [4 favorites]




I think he's been doing this type of show, or at least getting paid to do this type of show, going on twenty years now. I'm sure he spent another previous ten singing in front of a crowd on one of those popular LA beaches.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:59 PM on June 6, 2009


I guess I'm the only person that found that boring and pointless? I've never liked that guy, though.
posted by dead cousin ted at 11:20 PM on June 6, 2009


I guess I'm the only person that found that boring and pointless? I've never liked that guy, though.

Probably. When it comes to music I'm the most cynical, jaded motherfucker you're likely to find. Hell, I hate the Beatles and my favorite bands' albums have never even come close to touching the charts. There's something otherworldly and completely captivating about McFerrin's act, though, so thanks urbanwhaleshark for exposing me to it.
posted by item at 11:39 PM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Probably. When it comes to music I'm the most cynical

Apparently you aren't.
posted by dead cousin ted at 11:45 PM on June 6, 2009


I guess I'm the only person that found that boring and pointless?

God I hope so. That was fun.
posted by nudar at 12:20 AM on June 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I bet it's murder waiting for this guy to get out of the shower.

By the way, here is Bobby's dad singing a little Verdi.
posted by pracowity at 12:24 AM on June 7, 2009


By the way, here is Bobby's dad singing a little Verdi.
For completeness' sake, he's no beardyman, but here's his son droppin' some beats.
posted by juv3nal at 12:47 AM on June 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Me:It's kind of cool in a very mild, been-on-Youtube-since-2006 kind of way.
Urbanwhaleshark: It's sad that everything pre-twitter is dead to your cold cold heart.

Wow, defensive much? That's sure an unnecessary (and offbase) ad-hominen attack. Which doesn't change the fact that a single 2006 YouTube link, with no added context, that's not much of a song and has fairly standard audience participation is not the best of the web.

Ditto your clip of him teasing the woman -- charming, sure, great fun for the audience there no doubt, but a thousand performers from singers to jugglers to comedians do the same kind of thing every night in various clubs.
posted by msalt at 12:48 AM on June 7, 2009


okay mr cranky-pants, we got your point, now go outside and play.
posted by empath at 1:21 AM on June 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Most of his work was pretty much carnival level entertainment. I have been exposed to this mass rater unwillingly before. The original post took me aback. The video documents the inborn universality of the pentatonic scale.

If you are not a musician the first video in this recent post conveniently explains the pentatonic scale in the first ten minutes or so. Bobby only uses three notes of the five in the scale.
posted by dagosto at 2:31 AM on June 7, 2009


Excellent. Truly awesome. Hey urbanwhaleshark, where did you find this?
posted by crunchyk9 at 3:07 AM on June 7, 2009


Last year Woolworth in UK closed down and I was in my local store checking over some of the last minute bargains. Usually the music that's piped over the PA is your usual chart material aimed primarily at the younger shoppers but, that afternoon, someone decided to put on Don't Worry Be Happy. I hadn't heard that song for years. But it took me right back to my schooldays, remembering how odd it was, not really sure if I should like it or not (a song weirdly congruent with my thoughts about the jumbled mercantilism of Woolworth), trying to work out why many of my school friends derided it so much.

So I leave the shop with my cut-price DVDs, animal feed, chicken-wire and some pick 'n' mix and head home to google Mcferrin. And in the journey to find more about the man, I discovered the video that I posted.

In answer to the question about whether a SLYT post was justified, I had actually created a more verbose version containing many of the videos that have been posted in the comments, but thought that this video, despite its short length, stood on its own merits. And, in retrospect, it gave those who were genuinely as wowed by his performance to go and dig some material out for themselves and share it.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:12 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the best bit about it, which the grouches are either missing or don't care about, isn't the fact that the audience were joining in, it's that he was playing them with his movements. He didn't get them to repeat a phrase so he could sing over the top, like so many other things and times before, he was playing the 'audience keyboard' with his feet, crescendo's and everything.

I can't get my head around whether the naysayers missed that bit completely, or whether they just like to shit on the Bobmeister. The variation of the notes once he got them on side and how they responded was the best bit, to me. I thought it was great.
posted by Brockles at 6:22 AM on June 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


When I worry, I call him. He makes me happy.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:27 AM on June 7, 2009


Wow, McFerrin père and McFerrin fils are talented in their own rights, but totally not interesting to me musically. Ave Maria gave me chills.
posted by emelenjr at 7:48 AM on June 7, 2009


Sometime in the mid 80's, my mom took 2 sullen teenage girls to see Bobby McFerrin perform with Twyla Tharp's company. She wanted us to have some "culture". This was a couple of years before "Don't Worry, Be Happy" came out. My sister and I protested and whined the whole way there. We sat in our seats, arms crossed, determined to have such a horrible time that she would never take us anywhere again. Then Mr. McFerrin walked onstage and started to do his thing. By the time he had divided the audience up into groups so we could all participate, my sister and I had decided that maybe Mom was right. By the end of the evening, we were very disappointed it was over and were asking her if there was another show we could go to.
posted by dogmom at 8:39 AM on June 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Brockles: "I can't get my head around whether the naysayers missed that bit completely, or whether they just like to shit on the Bobmeister. The variation of the notes once he got them on side and how they responded was the best bit, to me. I thought it was great."

The former I think, sadly. MeFi has become too big, I fear, such that every thread will find people coming into it to loudly and ironically complain just how little they care about the subject matter. This was OK when were a few thousand, or even a few tens of thousands - it was mild background noise that others could steer to better the discussion of the link. Now it's a groundswell - the naysayers begin to overwhelm any semblance of conversation those who might be interested in the link care about...

It's time people realised that MeFi is too big to behave that way - it's changed and you have to change or it will die. If you don't care, show us how much you don't care by ignoring it. The strength of MetaFilter is that it offers a place for discussion of a wide range of subjects - with 50-60k users, there's always going to be thousands who don't care for one particular subject or another. Be restrained, move on, don't kill the 'Fi...
posted by benzo8 at 9:59 AM on June 7, 2009 [12 favorites]


Watching internet people casually dismiss Bobby (in about 1997) is one of the first things on the internet that genuinely upset me. 12 years later and a lot more jaded, I am surprised to once again feel the desire to launch Bobby haters directly into the sun.
posted by jake at 10:02 AM on June 7, 2009


The video documents the inborn universality of the pentatonic scale.

Yeah, I was like -- are these people a bunch of Sacred Harp singers in the audience? How do they know what to sing? Have they got a copy of the McFerrin revision of Dennison on their laps, in which the shapes are translated to hops?

He generally leaves me pretty cold, but the juv3nal link to a performance of My Favourite Things was awesome.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:04 AM on June 7, 2009


meh McFerrin -
it's impressive, but I've always found his work too annoying to be really enjoyable
(apologies if not being rapturous about your favourite SLYT of the day heralds the end of MeFi).
Although, I think pointless is a weird word to use for criticism of a live performance at a jazz festival...

but - as always - the youtube comments didn't fail to live up to form:


"i really like how he's in his bare feet...this man is incredible... his inspiration seems to never wear off"

If McFerrin Impressed you, then you should really see Arkansas!

posted by sloe at 10:12 AM on June 7, 2009


Brockles: "I can't get my head around whether the naysayers missed that bit completely, or whether they just like to shit on the Bobmeister.

Benzo8: MeFi is too big to behave that way - it's changed and you have to change or it will die. If you don't care, show us how much you don't care by ignoring it.

On the contrary. Precisely because Metafilter is so much bigger, it is MORE important to maintain high standards for posts. If everyone of 10,000 people adds half-assed posts of some youTube clip they like or their favorite band, Metafilter will become ... well, youtube without any original material. Basically one big forwarded email.

There is apparently not a single comprehensive Bobby McFerrin post in all of Metafilter. If you want to make one, great. But attacking anyone who's unimpressed with a lame post is not going "save" Metafilter, and it's pretty self-important of you to say so.
posted by msalt at 10:18 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


what the grouches are either missing or don't care about, isn't the fact that the audience were joining in, it's that he was playing them with his movements.

BTW, I can't speak for other "grouches" (way to personalize!), but I totally saw this. Are you a performer? It's a very old bit, goes back to vaudeville or earlier. It's great fun, just not that amazing or original.
posted by msalt at 10:23 AM on June 7, 2009


msalt: "On the contrary. Precisely because Metafilter is so much bigger, it is MORE important to maintain high standards for posts."

Dropping "Boring" into a thread is not going to change a poor post into a deleted post. We have a perfectly good flagging mechanism and five excellent mods to decide whether a post belongs on the front page or not.
posted by benzo8 at 10:23 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


the audience knew the whole song

Yeah, it's pretty obvious from these clips that his audiences attract a whole pile of amateur singers who know him for being more than a one-hit-wonder, so it's not really *that* impressive.

If he showed up unannounced at a Britney Spears gig and was able to pull the same thing off, then I'd be impressed.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:24 AM on June 7, 2009


We have a perfectly good flagging mechanism and five excellent mods to decide whether a post belongs on the front page or not.

The more restrictions and prohibitions in the world, the poorer people get.
The louder the call for law and order, the more thieves and con men multiply.
So a wise leader might say:
I practice inaction, and the people look after themselves.
-- Tao Teh Ching
posted by msalt at 10:48 AM on June 7, 2009


Flag it and move on
-- mathowie
posted by benzo8 at 10:53 AM on June 7, 2009


...the juv3nal link to a performance of My Favourite Things was awesome.

Wow. It really is.
posted by ericb at 11:07 AM on June 7, 2009


Metatalk is thataway.
-- me
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:09 AM on June 7, 2009


If you haven't heard Bobby and Robin (williams) do Come Together, you haven't ever really heard it.

from an excellent album by George Martin to close out his career, which also should be required listening for any Beatles fan.
posted by hippybear at 11:14 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love Bobby McFerrin's soundtrack for the Academy Award winning documentary about the AIDS quilt: Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt.
posted by ericb at 1:07 PM on June 7, 2009


You know, I know this music, and yet I had no idea who Bobby McFerrin was. When I was a child, my father brought home a record on which there was a story that prominently featured these odd, polyphonic, plop-bitdi-tibop sounds. Over twenty-five years have passed since I've heard that record, but those sounds live on in the strange hinterland where my trippy childhood daydreams dwell in eternal sweltering summer. All I remember of the story is a jungle, elephants, numb fascination, and vaguely bewildered feeling of horror at what I was hearing. It was so cool.
posted by zennie at 7:43 PM on June 7, 2009


That was cool.
posted by nola at 7:46 PM on June 7, 2009


is this what you had in mind, zennie?
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:55 PM on June 7, 2009


What a happy man. I want to smoke some of whatever it is he smokes with him.
posted by tehloki at 9:06 PM on June 7, 2009


is this what you had in mind, zennie?

Wow, I wish I had that record as a kid, too. But no, that wasn't it.
posted by zennie at 5:37 AM on June 8, 2009


As a courtesy, MeTa.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:16 AM on June 8, 2009


In answer to the question about whether a SLYT post was justified, I had actually created a more verbose version containing many of the videos that have been posted in the comments, but thought that this video, despite its short length, stood on its own merits. And, in retrospect, it gave those who were genuinely as wowed by his performance to go and dig some material out for themselves and share it.

And that, my friends, is what you call MetaFilter'n.
posted by Chuckles at 12:12 PM on June 8, 2009


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