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The Eight Finest Seconds in Europop History
July 27, 2010 10:36 PM   Subscribe

Epic Sax Guy

Sergey Stepanov blew his way into the hearts of Europeans when his band Sunstroke Project and singer Olia Tira represented Moldova in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Run Away. While the song itself isn't anything special and finished 22nd out of 25 in the finals, the eight second saxophone part and Stepanov's performance in the semi-final became an instant internet sensation, with plenty of sax heavy remixes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), videos which loop his performance over and over again, an 8-bit tribute and an a capella version. Stepanov may never break through into the global consciousness again but he, and his band, have given the world the eight finest seconds in europop history.
posted by Kattullus (51 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
No meme post is complete without the obligatory Know Your Meme and Facebook Group
posted by Throw away your common sense and get an afro! at 10:59 PM on July 27, 2010


Is this what causes stampedes in parades?
posted by DonnyMac at 11:00 PM on July 27, 2010


Bah! Know Your Meme links to the wrong performance! The final instead of the semi-final.
posted by Kattullus at 11:07 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dammit Kattullus, now that's going to be stuck in my head all day.

Da! Da dadada da! Da dadada da! Daaaahda dada doo doo doo doo!
posted by bwg at 11:09 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's pretty pointless to have a dead mic on a sax that you're just going to wave around like a prop.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:14 PM on July 27, 2010


Did anybody else think it said "Epic Gay Sex" at first?
posted by Corduroy at 11:19 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is there something about the red gloves that let him play without moving his fingers?
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:22 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read this in last week's New Yorker Letters to the Editor section.

....."As a newly minted and fanatical follower of Eurovision, I greatly enjoyed Anthony Lane's piece on the contest ("Only Mr. God Knows Why," June 28th). My only disappointment is that Mr. Lane did not mention what has arguably become the most widely beloved phenomenon of Eurovision 2010. The saxophonist from Moldova known as Epic Sax Guy entranced millions with his white Wayfarers, thrusting hips, and muscle vest. Epic Sax Guy has claimed the hearts (and perhaps minds) of new Eurovisionistas everywhere. He is Eurovision in precipitate form, with all else boiled away until nothing is left but hips and kitsch. Long after we are dead in the ground, Epic Sax Guy's hips and horn will be thrusting through the digital Zeitgeist."

I drew Moldova in the Eurovision party lucky draw and was ELATED.
posted by mdonley at 11:31 PM on July 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


It doesn't make me ashamed to be white, but it does make me a little uncomfortable about it.
posted by stavrogin at 11:41 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I read Anthony Lane's piece too. It was funny, but being sarcastic about Eurovision is like making fun of the only guy dancing at a concert. You're gonna have a lot more fun if you join him on the floor, no matter how poorly he dances. Eurovision may not be of a high aesthetic standard, but at its worst it is harmless fluff and at its best it is joyous, transcendent kitsch.
posted by Kattullus at 11:44 PM on July 27, 2010 [10 favorites]


Oh God, it's hypnotic.




Lena Meyer-who?
posted by louche mustachio at 11:48 PM on July 27, 2010


But is he more or less awesome than Epic Saxophone Horse?
see also
posted by en forme de poire at 11:48 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Europeans are cool. They're like your little sister putting on plays in your backyard.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:53 PM on July 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


Did anybody else think it said "Epic Gay Sex" at first?

Umm, no. I did think it was going to be about oily Tim Capello though. Thanks for this, Katullus.
posted by sleepy pete at 11:55 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Those Moldavians are like Berlin except with less soul. I'm trying to parse out cause and effect here: could Eurovision be the reason Europop sux so bad? It's like they're trapped in the evil alternate universe '80s.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:23 AM on July 28, 2010


I don't know from horses, but the walrus, I like.
posted by Chichibio at 12:23 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


More Tim Capello.

There can be only one. Um, sax guy.

(I'm sure there's a Lost Boys / Highlander crossover fanfic out there somewhere in which Tim Capello is an oily immortal fighting vampires, but I'm afraid to Google it.)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:08 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's completely mesmerising (thrust! turn, thrust! turn) and makes me fall in love with Eurovision just that little bit more. Evgeni Plushenko ice skating around the Russian entry in 09 started a serious appreciation and Epic Sax Guy just reminds me of my determination to one day get to a final and experience it IRL. Surrounded by Europop, fluro lycra and costume reveals I could die right then and there and be a very happy woman.
posted by latch24 at 1:42 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jon Hamm playing his own Epic Sax Guy, Sergio.
posted by gman at 3:52 AM on July 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


The Soviet Union broke up so that this could happen.
posted by felix betachat at 5:22 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did anybody else think it said "Epic Gay Sex" at first?

Dear Eurovision,

I never believed it would happen to me, but....
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:33 AM on July 28, 2010


ogod make it stop

(clicks link again)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:44 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Europeans are cool. They're like your little sister putting on plays in your backyard.

cf.
MacBeth
posted by From Bklyn at 5:58 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read this in last week's New Yorker Letters to the Editor section.

This is the second time in a few months the New Yorker published a 4chan-originated meme totally straighfaced. The last time was a profile of two young chefs who, among other things, published a cookbook called "Two Guys One Pan."
posted by griphus at 6:04 AM on July 28, 2010


This is frickin' catchy, and this post has also helped me make sense of a forum avatar I keep seeing on NeoGAF. I knew today would be special.
posted by Monster_Zero at 6:25 AM on July 28, 2010


Europeans are cool. They're like your little sister putting on plays in your backyard.

Whereas Americans are like businessmen putting on focus-grouped, Major Play Events in a theater.
posted by DU at 6:29 AM on July 28, 2010


I'll see your Epic Sax Guy and raise you Sex Sax (SFW) by Drop The Lime, with it's own set of remixes (personal favorite of the moment: Bart B More remix). Sadly, I think that 8 second loop is more of a pop-radio earworm than Sex Sax.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:47 AM on July 28, 2010


You know who's spinning in his grave right now over this style-over-substance pretender? Boots, that's who.
posted by beelzbubba at 7:32 AM on July 28, 2010


I still cannot believe this thread isn't about Kenny G.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:37 AM on July 28, 2010


I love it when I'm staring down the barrel of a dreadful day at work - the kind of day where I'm going to spend at least 10 hours in the office in a grumbling funk - and MetaFilter comes through with some gorgeous bit of nonsense that keeps me from losing my cool entirely. Thanks, Katullus!
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:57 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know squat about saxophones and the playing of music, yet this must be some of the least convincing "playing" I've ever seen. Is that blatant phoniness part of what strikes people as funny / striking about it? These kids, should they get off my lawn?
posted by Western Infidels at 8:46 AM on July 28, 2010


Boots Randolph and Tim Capello were great, but he didn't have a man standing behind them with a violin bow cum lightsaber. The more often I watch the weirder the whole thing gets. I don't think I've ever seen anyone get off a plinth more awkwardly than Olia Tira.
posted by Kattullus at 8:48 AM on July 28, 2010


Gaaaaaaawwwwdd that is infectious..!
posted by pyrex at 8:49 AM on July 28, 2010


First, lemme just say that I do know squat (enough squat, anyway) about saxophones and the playing of music, and second... GOOD GOD WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS TO THE INSTRUMENT?! WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS TO MUSIC? WHY THE FUCK DO PEOPLE DO THIS TO MUSIC?! I MEAN MUSIC, LIKE JOHN COLTRANE AND RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK AND MACEO PARKER AND COLEMAN HAWKINS AND SONNY ROLLINS AND FATHEAD NEWMAN AND NED ROTHENBERG AND EVAN PARKER AND TIM BERNE AND CANNONBALL ADDERLEY PLAY?

WHYYYYYYYYYY?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:08 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I know squat about saxophones and the playing of music, yet this must be some of the least convincing "playing" I've ever seen. Is that blatant phoniness part of what strikes people as funny / striking about it? These kids, should they get off my lawn?

According to current Eurovision rules, all songs are performed with pre-recorded backing tracks; all vocals must be performed live, but instruments are there only for visual effect.

It's like the additive inverse of lip-synching.
posted by delfin at 10:16 AM on July 28, 2010


I don't think I've ever seen anyone get off a plinth more awkwardly than Olia Tira.

Kind of hard going up and down wearing boots that won't let you bend your knees.
posted by francesca too at 10:17 AM on July 28, 2010


I MEAN MUSIC, LIKE JOHN COLTRANE ...

... AND HUEY LEWIS!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:19 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


... AND HUEY LEWIS!

haha! ha.... ha... ha...

*sob*

posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:21 AM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


francesca too: Kind of hard going up and down wearing boots that won't let you bend your knees.

True, and to Tira's credit she had figured out how to do it by the time she performed in the final.
posted by Kattullus at 10:27 AM on July 28, 2010


This thread DEMANDS a link to "Supersonic Electronic"!!
posted by Xoebe at 10:33 AM on July 28, 2010


I see your Supersonic Electronic and raise you Illusion.
posted by Kattullus at 10:49 AM on July 28, 2010


sweet, Epic Sax Guy made flapjax have a meltdown.

also this made me think of the Squirmy Sax Guy in The Lost Boys
posted by mannequito at 10:56 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love the looped version because it makes me think of this Duke Nukem dude who is just NOT retreating to the back after he is done playing this 8 seconds of sax coolness, so he just keeps going on and on and on.

Also, I had to figure out the riff for guitar because, man, I intend to fully distribute this video amongst my friends and then play this randomly.
posted by lizarrd at 12:06 PM on July 28, 2010


These men. These men have no use for sleeves.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:33 PM on July 28, 2010


That sax solo has been my ringtone since the finals.
posted by gyc at 3:49 PM on July 28, 2010


@ flapjax at midnite

GOOD GOD WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS TO THE INSTRUMENT?! WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS TO MUSIC? WHY THE FUCK DO PEOPLE DO THIS TO MUSIC?! I MEAN MUSIC, LIKE JOHN COLTRANE

Uh, because "music" is not finite? A process, not a noun? It's not a zero-sum game. This adds to Coltrane!

Sure, it's cheesy. So what? There should be pleasure in music. Epic Sax Guy makes me smile. Coltrane makes me smile too, but for different reasons. At the end of the day they're just smiles.
posted by Tom-B at 3:51 PM on July 28, 2010


there's 8 looped seconds I'll never get back. I'm positively underwhelmed, but hesitate to squander still more time listing the many levels on which that link put me in this shocking awful place.
posted by herbplarfegan at 4:00 PM on July 28, 2010


@ flapjax at midnite

No, no. No @ marks like that here at Mefi. Uh-uh. Read the rule book.

Sure, it's cheesy. So what?

Yeah!

Uh, because "music" is not finite?

Uh, wow! Tell me more! Your ideas are very interesting. I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

There should be pleasure in music.

No, there should be suffering and pain in music. Nothing but suffering and pain.

Oh, and Tom, use of ALL CAPS at Metafilter should be understood to indicate a certain, shall we say, humorous intent? Comprende, amigo?

At the end of the day they're just smiles.

Maybe at the end of your day. My day runs a little differently, though.

Let me just close by saying I love your stuff at Flickr, Tom, I really do. It's great!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:32 PM on July 28, 2010


Hi, sorry about the @! Too much twitter. Slight meta derail: what's the socially approved way to respond to someone specific? Didn't find anything in the faq.

So, epic sax guy. OK, so he's the lowest of lowbrow! Excellent things have come out of lowbrow. OK, maybe not him. I was just trying to say that there's space for everyone. Dude's all about cheese, we should use cheese when discussing him. ("smiles" lol). Metacheese.

Suffering and pain sax guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7yB4wcOoy4

(how do I embed this?)
posted by Tom-B at 5:54 AM on July 29, 2010


There's a couple of different conventions, but the one I use and find most elegant is

username: italicized quote

To embed links you can either highlight a portion of your text and click the blue link button below the comment-box or you can just write out <a href="http://www.example.com/">a link to example.com</a>.
posted by Kattullus at 6:14 AM on July 29, 2010


Tom-B, if you're using Firefox or Chrome + Greasemonkey, there's a script that will automate the quoting style Kattullus recommends, and turn the username into a link back to the original comment. (There are a number of other scripts for customizing MeFi, too.)

Other approaches: just call the user by name, like you would if you were trying to politely get someone's attention in a group conversation, or put the text you'd like to respond to (no username) in italics if you'd prefer to address the point, rather than the person. (At least, that's how I distinguish between different quoting conventions.) Some folks will use quotation marks or blockquote in HTML, but italics is the most common form around here. Just remember to mark your quote somehow, but not with the @ symbol.
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:00 AM on July 29, 2010


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