It may not have set the charts alight when it was first released in 2003, but it’s entirely possible that Maps by New York art-punk outfit Yeah Yeah Yeahs has been the single most influential song of the 21st century so far. How? Let’s look…
Field Peas, a Southern Good Luck Charm [The New York Times]
Eating a bowl of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is not the nation’s sexiest food ritual. Peas are not as beloved as Thanksgiving turkey. They lack the easy appeal of Super Bowl guacamole or the religious significance of a Hanukkah latke. But for a day, a broad swath of the nation stands united in its belief that black-eyed peas simmered with cured pork and served with soupy greens like collard or folded into rice for some hoppin’ John promise a year of luck and money.
In the last decade, no organ of music criticism has wielded as much influence as Pitchfork. It is the only publication, online or print, that can have a decisive effect on a musician or band’s career.... [W]hatever attracts people to Pitchfork, it isn’t the writing. Even writers who admire the site’s reviews almost always feel obliged to describe the prose as “uneven,” and that’s charitable. Pitchfork has a very specific scoring system that grades albums on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, and that accounts for some of the site’s appeal, but it can’t just be the scores.... How has Pitchfork succeeded where so many other websites and magazines have not? And why is that success depressing? A lengthy history and review of Pitchfork [Media], from an inexpensive online alternative to a music zine, to "indie" music kingmaker, and thoughts on pop music (criticism). [more inside]
Bluegrass covers of popular songs, by The Cleverlys: The Bangles' Walk Like an Egyptian, Beyoncé's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), Shaggy's Angel, The Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling, Yes' Owner of a Lonely Heart, Fergie's Clumsy, Stevie Wonder's Superstition, Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl
Not too excited about the upcoming Black Eyed Peas Super Bowl halftime show? Take heart, it probably won't be the worst one ever.
"My Humps" translated into sign language. (SLYT) via Reddit
A couple of years ago Connected Ventures produced an office miming video to Harvey Danger's Flagpole Sitta. Lots of people liked it. Now London advertising agency Publicis has also made their own office version of I Got A Feeling.
On September 10th, to celebrate their initiation week, 172 communications students at the University of Quebec at Montreal decided to put on a show. After weeks of preparation, the costumed and prop-wielding crowd enacted an exuberant, complex, and flawlessly-choreographed performance of the Black Eyed Peas song "I Gotta Feeling" that sprawled through the campus's multi-story Judith Jasmin Pavilion... and they did it all in one continuous take (on their second try). The feat is just the most recent example of "lipdubbing" -- a video phenomenon where a single camera moves through a crowd of highly coordinated lip-syncers in a single seamless take, with the original recording dubbed over the finished product. [more inside]
Alanis Morissette covers "My Humps". This is a single link YouTube post. Thank you.
My humps. My humps. My Lovely Lady Lumps. A song described as being "the very subversion of pop music, a depraved attempt to destroy our common cultural heritage" (that's a bad thing) and Slate calls "proof that a song can be so bad as to veer toward evil." Interestingly, it's a song that was not indented to be released as a single, but became popular without any promotion. That same slate review states: "For now, 'My Humps' has become the standard-bearer for the direct-democracy cultural possibilities of the Internet." Horrible pop music, or the hip-hop version of Carl Andre's Equivalent VIII? Either way, it's inspired some hilarious videos