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Don't make me sing this part of the song, the lyrics are so bad, so we're going to skip ahead — to the single ladies part instead.
September 25, 2009 2:55 AM   Subscribe


 
Best use of Single Ladies this week, on Glee twice - one, two.
posted by crossoverman at 3:14 AM on September 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


FYI, Nataly of Pomplamoose is my new internet crush, so would the rest of you please keep moving along, thank you!
posted by Tubes at 3:54 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


YOU DID A GOOD JOB NATALY, AND IMMA LET YOU FINISH, BUT ANTONY HEGARTY DID THE BEST BEYONCE COVER OF ALL TIME!!!1!
posted by pxe2000 at 3:59 AM on September 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


I must protest this song in the strongest possible terms. After listening carefully to the lyrics, it seems to be encouraging women to trade sexual favors for jewelry.
posted by dortmunder at 4:14 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


She is freaking me out with that stare. Please blink!
posted by orme at 4:17 AM on September 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is great -and way more listenable (though no less weird and ... weird) than the original.
thnx
posted by From Bklyn at 4:28 AM on September 25, 2009


I must protest this song in the strongest possible terms. After listening carefully to the lyrics, it seems to be encouraging women to trade sexual favors for jewelry.

I'm not sure you listened carefully enough.
posted by asciident at 5:02 AM on September 25, 2009


Songs are great! Cutesy faces, not so much.
posted by creeky at 5:03 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


This might be the whitest thing I've ever seen.
posted by AwkwardPause at 5:34 AM on September 25, 2009 [14 favorites]


"Don't make me sing this part of the song, the lyrics are so bad, so I'll just skip ahead to the 'single ladies' part"

QFT
posted by idiopath at 5:40 AM on September 25, 2009


Great post - never heard of this band before now, but love their spirit and take on this song.

Here's another one of theirs with most excellent gratuitous His Gal Friday footage thrown in for shitzengiggels
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:42 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Because I will never be brave enough to turn this into a post of its own, I offer you this bright gem of the internet: Beyonce Clown.
posted by hermitosis at 5:43 AM on September 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


hermitosis that lady looks like you

not the clown lady the singing one
posted by Greg Nog at 6:03 AM on September 25, 2009


I always wondered what a female Michael Cera would look like.
posted by dfan at 6:16 AM on September 25, 2009 [8 favorites]


By the way, I appreciate this post for introducing me to the band (and I guess that's why they did the cover), but now I'm checking out their original tunes and they're a lot more interesting than this. I recommend browsing them on YouTube.
posted by dfan at 6:20 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Has nobody posted the Single Ladies in Mayberry vid yet? Because they should.
posted by hangashore at 6:24 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Those guys on Glee were totally off-sides.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:40 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


orme: She blinks at 2:34. You must have missed it!
posted by pharm at 6:58 AM on September 25, 2009


I see your indie cover and raise you Beyonce's tiniest back-up dancer, who ranges from adorable to creepy animatronic creature. OK, I think you still win (the baby has limited dancing abilities, and the head-swaying bit spooks me out).

Antony and the Johnsons (official video) cover of Crazy In Love is the spookiest take on the song I've heard, yet still beatiful. My personal favorite take of the song is a remix by Ben Sage. Warning: trancy DnB, may be offensively pop to DnB-heads.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:01 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think I remember hearing at least one conservative pundit say that this song was proof that the sexual revolution was over and losing ground fast. And to think, "I Kissed a Girl" was the big song just a short while before.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:18 AM on September 25, 2009


Damn, that's pretty groovy.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:23 AM on September 25, 2009


This Pomplamoos duo has talent. This might just be the most dissonant cover of "My Favoriate Things" ever. And the verse is in 5-something time. Awesome.

Sadly, I fear that in our Coldplay-culture, they're doomed to obscurity.
posted by cleancut at 7:49 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Beyonce Clown.

There ought to be some kind of Juggalo crossover with that one.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:00 AM on September 25, 2009


*sigh* This video has really underscored for me the utter lack of melodic creativity in this song. I mean, the video linked to here is great, full of musicality, but very little of that resides in the actual song they are covering.

I guess it's a "get off my lawn" moment, but I really find the playground chant sensibility which pervades most of pop music these days stupefying. Put some work into the melody! Make it something people WANT to sing because it's clever, not something people can't help but sing because their parents were jumping rope to it 50 years ago.
posted by hippybear at 8:00 AM on September 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh God, I gotta quit taking these damn antidepressants. I am falling in love with every cute girl I see anymore.

And the bit is awesome. I am a big fan of the "Less is More" school of life.
posted by Xoebe at 8:01 AM on September 25, 2009


I love it, but the video is full of O_O
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:07 AM on September 25, 2009


hippybear: "the video linked to here is great, full of musicality, but very little of that resides in the actual song they are covering"

But this, like every other cover I have heard, leaves out the most challenging bits of the original. They simplify the rhythm into something much more conventional, and they leave out the repeated upward electronic arpeggio (which is to me, the distinctive element of the song - it's caustic insistence meshes with the attitude in her voice and movement).

There is more to musicality than toe tapping and melody.
posted by idiopath at 8:12 AM on September 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


I wrote the previous on memory, on review of the original, there are actually a number of electronic atonal and dissonant elements in the original (including a second upward shifting, more mechanical part during the chorus, almost like a camera motor) that establish a menace underneath the sexiness and sass - and at the same time the mix is sparse enough that it all comes through very clearly, despite the number of layers of what is going on sonically.
posted by idiopath at 8:22 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wanted to post Pomplamoose today :(

I absolutely knew that someone would post the Single Ladies cover as a SLYT today after seeing it on Waxy and a few other blogs, so I was working on a post to post as soon as I could post a new one. No offense meant, nfg, but people should really check out their other songs, as linked below. Jack and Nataly are wonderful.

Original Songs:
"Hail Mary"
"Be Still"
"Centrifuge"
"Beat the Horse"
"Twice as Nice"
"Little Things"
"Expiration Date"
"Le Commun des Mortels"

Covers:
"My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music.
"La Vie en Rose" by Édith Piaf
"Gatekeeper" by Feist
"Mrs. Robinson" by Simon and Garfunkel
"Nature Boy" by Nat King Cole
"Single Ladies" by Beyoncé
posted by flatluigi at 8:25 AM on September 25, 2009 [20 favorites]


flatluigi: Apologies! I certainly didn't meant this in a SLYT'y way to diminish them, their other stuff really is great also — I mostly was emphasing this song because of MeFi's recent interest in it. I did have the feeling I would step on someones toes…
posted by nfg at 8:34 AM on September 25, 2009


idiopath: There is more to musicality than toe tapping and melody.

Agreed. But there has to be a point at which one steps back a bit and realizes that the exact same jumprope chant melody has been featured in a large number of the pop songs which have been foisted upon the public in the past couple of years.

I don't deny the production of the Beyonce track has merit. But the actual songwriting, the bit which people will sing to themselves when they are not being supported by the track itself, really lacks any true voom.

Yes, yes, I know. Atonality and dissonance and autotune magic all add into making the track what it is. I've read your links to noisemuzik and such. I'm not ignorant about the musical qualities of industrial sounds, etc. But if you boil this track down to its basic element, that being a female singing a melody, it ends up really being a schoolyard chat with little innovation beyond that. If songs are only about the layers of production featured on the original track, and that is all we are allowed to use as a source for commentary, then all of jazz stands for naught.

(And, well, if you want to get right down to it, the track was BUILT for toe-tapping, and many of the most long-lived songs lack that quality. So yes, there is more so musicality than that.)
posted by hippybear at 9:07 AM on September 25, 2009


Thanks for this. I've now bought their entire album and downloaded all their free covers and wasted away a perfectly good morning of work. Fantastic stuff.
posted by papercake at 9:07 AM on September 25, 2009


But this, like every other cover I have heard, leaves out the most challenging bits of the original.

Sadly, I'm not quickly finding either Boingo's cover of "I Am The Walrus" or Yes' cover of "America", both of which would likely blow your mind.
posted by hippybear at 9:11 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really don't think you can boil it down to a schoolyard chant, and beyond that, Beyonce Knowles is actually doing a number of things vocally that Natalie Dawn does not match.

Technically in terms of tone, pitch, and dynamics, Knowles not only has a much larger range, but has a greater control of the range she has. Also, she has much crisper diction.

In terms of the artistic choices (which we can credit to some degree to producers and collaborators as well as the vocalist), this is of course a much more subjective question, but Knowles sings the song in a way that conveys resolution, bitterness, and pride, while Dawn seems to my ears to be disappointed and whiny. Then again, she seems kind of depressed and whiny in all the tracks I hear from pomplamoose, so it is probably more a question of her lack of stylistic range or my inability to appreciate her work than it is a decision made in performing this song.

Regarding songwriting, I don't know what that has to do with comparing the two performances, and discussing Christopher Stewart, Terius Nash, and Kuk Harrell seems a bit of a tangent here.
posted by idiopath at 9:24 AM on September 25, 2009


But the actual songwriting, the bit which people will sing to themselves when they are not being supported by the track itself, really lacks any true voom.

No true voom puts sugar on his porridge.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:27 AM on September 25, 2009


Is it really necessary that we continue with the whole "slightly nervous blank emotionless hipster thousand yard stare while belting it out" thing?
posted by stenseng at 9:30 AM on September 25, 2009


No, so feel free to stop bringing it up.
posted by flatluigi at 9:37 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


So I'm glad Beck's sister is working.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:38 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


hermitosis, did you notice the little flash of light on the screen right when the clown lady smacked her head on it? Weird.
posted by orme at 9:50 AM on September 25, 2009


previously
posted by Bookhouse at 9:51 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


did you notice the little flash of light on the screen right when the clown lady smacked her head on it? Weird.

That happens when you jostle or poke any LCD screen. Also, I may be a bad person for clicking that 0:22 comment link over and over and watching a loop of the head smash.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:16 AM on September 25, 2009


Then again, she seems kind of depressed and whiny in all the tracks I hear from pomplamoose

And how! Definitely not my musical bag.
posted by Go Banana at 10:40 AM on September 25, 2009


great. another kooky girl singing in a slightly flat, disinterested way. ground breaking. Move over Lily, Kate, Katie - one more on the way in.
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 10:46 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


This isn't usually the kind of thing I'd notice (so I might be entirely wrong) but isn't she singing flat throughout most of the song? It really grates on my ear, somehow... maybe I'm just thrown off-kilter by that unnerving stare. Or maybe it's just a song I associate too strongly with Beyoncé's mighty talents, and the strength and conviction she brings to it in her performance, which seem to have been discarded in this one.
posted by Drexen at 10:46 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


A few months ago someone told me in passing that I "looked like that girl from Pomplamoose" and I didn't know who they meant but, whoa, Nataly is my doppleganger. Creeeeeepy.
posted by dragonette1 at 10:47 AM on September 25, 2009


Beat The Horse is some funky shit! Gonna get some of these tracks.
posted by autodidact at 10:50 AM on September 25, 2009




great. another kooky girl singing in a slightly flat, disinterested way. ground breaking.

You can snark all you want, but at least she's not being unintentionally ironic.
posted by Zambrano at 10:51 AM on September 25, 2009


But the actual songwriting, the bit which people will sing to themselves when they are not being supported by the track itself, really lacks any true voom... But if you boil this track down to its basic element, that being a female singing a melody, it ends up really being a schoolyard chat with little innovation beyond that. If songs are only about the layers of production featured on the original track, and that is all we are allowed to use as a source for commentary, then all of jazz stands for naught.

As a critique of the original song, this is just another form of rockism. There's more kinds of musical art than the kind of songwriting you're talking about here. If that's what you like, then fine, but understand that the people who like the Beyonce song are enjoying it for different reasons.

On the other hand, I think it's valid to use your critique to say that it doesn't make a very good cover song, and that people covering it are maybe missing the point.

I wrote the previous on memory, on review of the original, there are actually a number of electronic atonal and dissonant elements in the original (including a second upward shifting, more mechanical part during the chorus, almost like a camera motor) that establish a menace underneath the sexiness and sass - and at the same time the mix is sparse enough that it all comes through very clearly, despite the number of layers of what is going on sonically.

Yes. I really don't like this genre of music at all, but I keep hearing tracks from this latest Beyonce album and getting sucked in because both the production and Beyonce's singing are really interesting and different from all the other top-20 radio pop crap. (I'm sure there's other stuff in this genre that's even better and more interesting, but I don't care for the genre enough to seek it out. Beyonce is ubiquitous and keep being surprised at how much I don't hate it.)
posted by straight at 11:01 AM on September 25, 2009


I think this might the first time I've caught something before it's shown up on the blue. I feel internet-savvy today!

I'll echo flatluigi in that there are similar gems to be found in their other videos. And orme in wishing that she would blink. (Oh if only I had the time to create a tepidly amusing mash-up of Doctor Who's "Blink" and Nataly...)

Aside from personal taste, what I find interesting about Pomplamoose is their approach regarding the release and composition of their music: video/song combos released on a (roughly) monthly schedule. The Autotune The News guys have the same approach, and I'm finding that I like this style of release more and more. The urgency of the release schedule keeps me following the band, with a new song arriving just as I get sick of the previous one, while the piecemeal approach allows me to assemble the songs into an album/EP/mix that I feel works best, thus raising my personal stake in their music.

I wonder if anyone else is taking advantage of this kind of formatting for their music. If not, maybe we're seeing the beginning of that trend?
posted by greenland at 11:12 AM on September 25, 2009


great. now i want grapefruit.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:14 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I see dead people hipsters.

Please, drummer guy, put on some shoes or something. Please, dead eyed hipster girl, blink once in a while.
posted by Justinian at 11:44 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


And you know, the thing about a hipster, 'e's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes.
posted by fleacircus at 11:48 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's nice to see that Sid's great-grandkids are carrying on the family traditions.
posted by maudlin at 12:27 PM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, that Pomplamoose video was just awful. That totally sucked all the life and fun out of the original.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:18 PM on September 25, 2009


I really love Pomplamoose and their originals are much better than their covers, I think.

Haters can suck it! :p These two folks seem like fun people. and Nataly has been my internet crush for a while now, so back off.
posted by utsutsu at 1:39 PM on September 25, 2009


This is really good music, thanks.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:58 PM on September 25, 2009


Bonus points for using a polaroid camera as a musical instrument.
posted by starman at 2:02 PM on September 25, 2009


utsutsu: "I really love Pomplamoose and their originals are much better than their covers, I think.

Haters can suck it! :p These two folks seem like fun people. and Nataly has been my internet crush for a while now, so back off.
"

I think the haters are mostly responding to the video linked in the post itself, which frankly is far from the best they've done.
posted by flatluigi at 2:59 PM on September 25, 2009


Do all indie/hipsters use the same vowel soundset? What is it I'm picking up on here--an affected (or real?) accent?
posted by Decimask at 4:12 PM on September 25, 2009


I think the poor eye contact (alternate creepy stare and awkward look to the side) and strangely unergetic off-key singing are on purpose to signal how unusual and quirky they are.
posted by maciej at 7:00 PM on September 25, 2009


That was delightful, thank you. I am delighted.
posted by smartyboots at 7:57 PM on September 25, 2009


> great. now i want grapefruit.

I spent my Canadian childhood breakfasts reading the French sides of cereal boxes and juice cartons, and it was thus that I learned the French translation for pink grapefruit is "pamplemousse rose." When I was a kid I loved the sound of that phrase, and I decided it would be a very nice thing to name a baby girl. As of yet there are no hurdy gurdy children, so my plan has yet to see fruition (ha!).

I really liked the "Nature Boy" and "My Favourite Things" covers. The singer's voice reminds me of Regina Spektor a bit. I like Regina Spektor, despite the fact that I find her kind of twee. Given that I am enjoying Pomplamoose, I guess I'm going to just have to admit my secret fondness for twee.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:22 PM on September 25, 2009


I was going to put this in youtube doubler along with the original, but it doesn't seem like the real beyonce appreciates embedding.
posted by delmoi at 11:31 PM on September 25, 2009


Beyonce's music all sounds like a bad dream. It's so overproduced, bombastic, and trite, and she indulges in far to many vocal flourishes. Not to mention most of the themes are centered around not being in control. She's got a lot of raw talent but I just find myself kind of loathing her. I like things like this that take the piss out of her songs.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:35 PM on September 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I always wondered what a female Michael Cera would look like.


Heh. Checkout a similar comment on this This youtube video
girls that look like michael cera give me a broner to the max.
posted by delmoi at 11:40 PM on September 25, 2009


I don't think this song really "takes the piss" out of her song. This song and the original are both good. I think some people just have a reflexive hatred of anything mainstream. But occasionally things that are popular are also good.
posted by delmoi at 11:53 PM on September 25, 2009


I don't think this song really "takes the piss" out of her song.

Huh? Did you hear how she said how "bad" the lyrics were?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:00 AM on September 26, 2009


Huh? Did you hear how she said how "bad" the lyrics were?

And did you read the video info where she said "we love this song. the chord progression in the chorus is genius. hooray for beyonce and her songwriters"? That's an odd definition of 'taking the piss.'
posted by purplemonkie at 12:16 AM on September 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know that Beyonce has little to do with the actual music writing of her songs other than nodding and going "oh yeah, that's dope", right?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:19 AM on September 26, 2009


But anyway, this to me takes the piss out because the video so non-sexually charged and sober compared to the original. The swipe at the bad lyrics are a bonus.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:24 AM on September 26, 2009


I have listened to this song 4...maybe 5 billion times today. It makes me very, very happy.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 1:12 AM on September 26, 2009


She had me at the Batman shirt.
posted by ooga_booga at 3:06 AM on September 26, 2009


"Beat The Horse is some funky shit!"
I love that one. When she's singing the chorus with herself in splitscreen, I can't help smiling.

Being close to some musicians, and something of a video editor, I really appreciate the skill & effort involved -- not just in writing this stuff, but in capturing it, with all the looping, and on camera too, then assembling all the disparate footage together into a pretty elaborate little video. Not a simple thing at all.
posted by Tubes at 3:55 AM on September 26, 2009


You know that Beyonce has little to do with the actual music writing of her songs other than nodding and going "oh yeah, that's dope", right?

I'm not sure what that has to do with anything.

But anyway, this to me takes the piss out because the video so non-sexually charged and sober compared to the original. The swipe at the bad lyrics are a bonus.

This is an odd statement, as it implies that any song cover or video remake whose tone differs from the original is necessarily a mockery. Pomplemoose themselves say they love the song, right there in the video info. Why not just take them at their word? (And the "swipe" refers only to the lyrics in the bridge.)
posted by purplemonkie at 7:00 AM on September 26, 2009


For all y'all hipster haters:
Hipster Runoff has thoughts on this.
posted by stvspl at 7:09 PM on September 27, 2009


I actually can't tell if Hipster Runoff is supposed to be a pro-hipster or anti-hipster site, but I can tell you I hate it. Those comments make YouTube look like MetaFilter.
posted by straight at 12:50 PM on September 28, 2009


New Pomplamoose cover: Earth Wind and Fire's 'September'
posted by flatluigi at 9:01 AM on September 30, 2009


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