“There are thousands of acoustic versions of ‘Umbrella’ on youtube. What made you pick this one? Is it really worthy of FRIDAY FACE-OFFS?“
Umm. . . maybe you didn’t notice one little thing. . . that the keyboard player is the baddest kid in the universe? Umm. . . maybe you should notice that?
Maybe you should notice how hard he sets off the beat right from the get-go, then scratches his ear, like “Whatever, I’m holding this beat down like a total bad-ass,” and then at 0:33, he’s like “Yeah maybe I should start dominating this Casio right about now and crush all other keyboard players ever.”
Simply put, this is one of the greatest short films ever made.
Here’s what they’ll talk about when they induct this film into the MoMA Museum of Best Films Of All Time That You Love:
1. 0:09 - 0:21.
2. 0:29?!? Pardon me?!? Umm, does that camera pan open up the world of this video very hard? Are we suddenly confronted with the endless possibilities inherit in our universe very hard?!? You thought there was only one guitarist? You thought we would never see the guy with the pizza again? You thought someone wasn’t going to make a silly face at the camera? YOU THOUGHT WRONG. M. Night Shyamalan wishes he could make a movie with this many twists and turns.
3. 0:44 - 0:53. Pure joy. (This is what takes the video into the stratosphere.)
4. The ending. One of the guitarists hit a total clam that disrupts the easy, familial warmth. A subtext of dread intrudes. LOVE IT.
One of the criteria I use for deciding whether a video deserves inclusion in Friday Face-Offs is whether I wish I had been in the room at its creation.
I really, really, wish I had been in the room (i.e. enormous gigantic stadium) when this video was created.
When I first saw this video’s title (“TxSU vs PV Umbrella Battle 2007″), I thought, “Please God, let this be what I think it is.”
And then the graphic came up: ROUND 1.
And it was good.
You know why America is a great place to live? Because it’s a country where marching bands have the freedom to face off and do battle, trying to out-rock each other by playing “Umbrella” extremely loudly.
This video is like a motherfucking meta Friday Face-Off!!!
I love the booing. I love the umbrellas. But most of all, I love 1:30.
From the comments to the video:
“BOTH these bands wreckin i don’t see why we can’t just say it sounds great from both but need to say one of em won… at least on this song. =) lol”
“Hey dude, congratulations on the band! I heard you guys opened for the Decemberists and played Bonnaroo and signed with Matador!”
“Ugh. We totally broke up. I realized there’s no point in trying to make music.”
“I was watching Friday Face-Offs, and there was this video of some band called Rubberband 101 doing a version of ‘Umbrella,’ and while I was watching it I realized I was the biggest, most pathetic poser of all time. I can’t rock. I know nothing about rock. Those dudes shamed me with their rock.”
“Any particular moment when you realized that Rubberband 101 was operating on a higher plane than 99% of all other bands?”
“Well. . . you could say that the Elvis Costello move (1:55 - 2:05) kinda destroyed my sense of self and made me feel about one inch tall.”
“Can I tell you something that might make your head explode?”
“That video you watched? That’s not even Rubberband 101’s best version of ‘Umbrella.’”
I’M SORRY DID YOU THINK THERE WERE OTHER ROCK BANDS ON THIS PLANET BESIDES RUBBERBAND 101? BECAUSE I THINK YOU ARE MISTAKEN. BECAUSE WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THESE VIDEOS IS SOMETHING KNOWN AS “MAKING SOME ROCK HAPPEN.” CHECK OUT 1:40, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ALL OF A SUDDEN LIGHTNING BOLT SOUNDS LIKE ESQUIVEL.
FRIDAY FACE-OFFS!!! We have a winner!!!
Rubberband 101! Putting all other bands on notice!!!
FRIDAY FACE-OFFS!!! NOW YOU KNOW!!!
Have a great weekend. I hope you spend it working for the presidential campaign of your choice. See you Monday . . .
What a week, ladies and gentlemen! Didn’t we have fun, with the banks and the bailouts and whatnot?
And now it’s Friday . . . time to unwind . . . and enjoy:
Welcome to the second installment of an internet legend!
This week’s FRIDAY FACE-OFF is: “The Suffering” by Coheed and Cambria. Watch the original version here:
When I first saw this video on “Headbangers Ball,” I was like, “Ho-hum, kind of catchy, nothing special.” Then something happened. Something called 0:39. Then you could say my interest spiked. Then you could say this became my favorite jam of the year. Then you could say it was literally the first song I ever bought on the Apple Music Store. Then you could say I listened to it about fifty times in a row every day.
Also, can I just say? 0:47 - 0:49? When he sings, “The web you spun,” does he pronounce “spun” very tough? “Spahn.” That must be how they pronounced it in mythical times.
LET’S ALL GET OBSESSED WITH “THE SUFFERING” BY COHEED AND CAMBRIA!!!
Check back later this morning for our first contestant. . .
What a hectic week . . . maybe we should just hang out in the attic with our Roland keyboard and lay down some smooth tracks . . . maybe record a chill version of “The Suffering. . .”
I just pray that at some point in the near future, I’m in a hotel lobby somewhere (maybe on a book tour for my hot new collection of GYWO cartoons which is going to be published soon), enjoying a grown-up beverage, and then I notice the cocktail pianist is playing “The Suffering.”
Seriously, can I ask a question? SERIOUSLY: What if I was hanging out in a fancy hotel lobby and then I realized the cocktail pianist was playing “The Suffering” by Coheed and Cambria? Would I get very excited? Would I start screaming “Friday Face-Offs” very hard? Would I start singing back-up very hard? Would I sing the “Hey! Hey!” chorus with very much RELISH and JOY?
AN OPEN MESSAGE TO ALL THE HATERS ON YOUTUBE WHO ARE HATING ON THIS VIDEO:
FIRST OF ALL, THE SONG IS ACTUALLY KIND OF COMPLICATED AND TRICKY TO PLAY. They should get credit for trying.
SECOND, I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW STEVE BALLMER COULD PLAY THE DRUMS. SO STEP OFF.
Could you imagine trying to play this song at some sort of work function in a cavernous conference room in the middle of the day? These guys are probably following a PowerPoint presentation about the new invoicing software. The official video of “The Suffering” features centaurs and mermaids and all that mythical-creature shit, and you’re gonna bring the ruckus with your crew from Systems Administration? GOOD ON YOU. YOU HAVE MY RESPECT.
When I watch this video, I like trying to figure out which one of the musicians chose “The Suffering” for this lunch-break gig. Who’s most into the song? Bass player? (2:25 makes me think it’s him.) Lead guitarist? DRUMMER????
Also, what do you suppose is in the box in the foreground (2:00-ish)? Maybe the new training manuals for the new invoicing software?
Remember that Martin Scorcese movie that came out a couple years ago called “The Departed?” Remember the best scene: When Leonardo diCaprio’s character recorded a version of “The Suffering” on his webcam?
He does a great job with the “Heys!” They make me excited in the original song, but they make me more excited when this young fellow does ‘em. Why? BECAUSE HE FREAKIN’ GOES THERE.
This is the kind of dude who constantly surprises and impresses you, like: “Yeah I made first team all-American, but I skipped the game because there was a Dererk Jarman film festival the same weekend and I didn’t want to miss it.”
Friday Face-Offs!!! MARTIN SCORCESE WISHES HE INVENTED FRIDAY FACE-OFFS!!!
This kid wrote an arrangement of “The Suffering” for marching band, but his school is too small to pull it off, so he freakin’ programmed it into MIDI.
I would say the first, oh, ten seconds of this video could be looped and then bumped in a bangin’ system to great effect while you roll down the street. YOU COULD ROB A BANK TO THIS SHIT.
The part where it goes, “Toot-tweeet!” is fuckin’ off the hook.
No joke, this is the first time a MIDI file gave me goosebumps.
FANTASY TIME: What if we could get the bands from last week’s runner-up video to perform this arrangement in full battle mode? Forget about some dumb-ass bank bailout, I’d pay a trillion dollars to see that.
I swear to God this song could knock 99% of all other songs the fuck out. If I was some other song, trying to be all tough, I would not want to meet this song in a dark alley. Because it would roll right over me.
I like to watch this video and think about how quiet it must have been in the room . . . LOL, anybody mind if I drop a pin, or would that be too noisy and distracting? LOL, is that a butterfly passing gas under a blanket that I hear so clearly in this silent environment? LOL, it’s pretty quiet in here, anybody mind if I whistle quietly to myself, just so there’s some sort of noise or sound perceptible in this enclosure?
Also, 2:07? Who are the dudes on the floor? Bodyguards? Or maybe Quietness-Assurance Testers from the National Quiet Institute?
Because it’s pretty quiet in that room.
BONUS: I wish I knew musical terminology so I could describe how these kids seem to have changed up the chorus. I think the bass is playing a different note in the first couple bars(?). And the guitar chords seem jazzier? I can’t really explain it, and I’m not sure if it’s deliberate, but it sounds great.
EXTRA BONUS: The bassist is looking like a TOTAL ROCK GOD. Are you kidding me? That kid is STRAIGHT DOMINATING. Check out 0:21, is he looking like he’s laying down a very heavy groove?
Few things on the internet get me more hyped and excited than this video. What “Eat, Pray, Love” is for unhappy women, this video is for me. This video keeps me going. I love this video.
Let’s review some of the factors in this video that make me love it and watch it more than twenty times:
1. The clankety-ass keys, because he’s pounding the “ess” out of them. STRAIGHT CLANKIN’.
2. The visual composition of the shot is actually kind of cool and hypnotic, and if you watch it with your eyes blurred, eventually it starts to seem like the arms are coming out of the piano.
3. The first time I watched this video, I noticed the chin bobbing in and out of the upper right-hand corner of the frame. I started to get really excited, like, “I hope we get to see this guy’s face, and when we do, I hope he is grimacing like a motherfucker.” And then guess what I saw? I saw 0:43 - 0:50. A moment of pure, total unstoppability.
4. Also, I saw 1:59 - 2:01.
TO ALL MY GROWN-UP READERS: Sweet Jesus, don’t you remember what those moments felt like? When you were surging on a hot jam in the prime of your youth? When you were loving some pop song so much that you wanted to pound right through your keyboard or smash your guitar over your own head, or at least not study for algebra so goddamn much? Just rock out in your rec room, or basement, or whatever? (By the way: Pinball machine in background?!?)
As much as I love “The Suffering,” I’ve never really understood what the guy was singing. The only lyrics I could ever make out were like, “And now to drink this vial I dare,” and “Burn in hell you sinner,” so I assumed he was singing about making out with a witch or something. Little did I know what he was really singing . . .
I’m not a military analyst, but I would guess 0:41 - 0:54 is basically invincible.
When Spiderman comes up, I’m like, “Am I really allowed to be on the same internet as this?”
I love this version, because it features the original recording of the song, which — let’s face it — is so bad-ass and tight and rockin’, no cover can really top it. A BOLD STRATEGY FOR WINNING FRIDAY FACE-OFFS, BUT IT WORKED.
Friday Face-Offs!!! YOU’RE NOT CANOEING!!!
Have a great weekend . . . I’m off to Pennsylvania to knock on some doors . . . hope you are too.
PS: FRIDAY FACE-OFFS IS CRUSHING HARDER THAN EVER!!!
Dinosaurs and debates! Wow, I thought we couldn’t pull off a week crazier and wackier than last week, but we did. Hooray for us.
But now the week draws to a close. Saturday and Sunday beckon us. Must we drive to Pennslyvania to knock on peoples’ doors for hours and hours? We must. But before we do, we shall draw inspiration from:
Welcome to the THIRD INSTALLMENT of an internet legend!
This week’s FRIDAY FACE-OFF is: “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Watch the original version here:
Guys, I have watched dozens and dozens of versions of “Fortunate Son” over the past few weeks. And one thing I’ve come to appreciate is: TEMPO IS EVERYTHING WITH THIS SONG. If you’re playing a straight-up arrangement of this song, you better hit this tempo exactly or it’s gonna fall apart and sound like ass. Kudos to Creedence Clearwater Revival for nailing this tempo.
Another thing I’ve come to appreciate is that I have the world’s best taste in music. This is one of my all-time favorite jams, and you know what? FULLY JUSTIFIED. This song is, basically, four dudes holding down a groove so freakin’ hard you can’t believe it and you can’t get up.
One more thing: People always talk about this song’s relevance vis a vis our current President. I never talk about that.
Because that man doesn’t deserve to be in the same conversation as this all-American jam.
Check back later this morning for our first contestant. . .
FRIDAY FACE-OFFS! WE BRING IT STRONG LIKE DINOSAURS!!!
Remember how I said tempo was crucial to a successful performance of “Fortunate Son?”
This guy totally nails it:
LOL, I hope you didn’t think this guy didn’t own a copy of the original “Fortunate Son” 45 RPM single. LOL, if you thought that, this video must make you sooo mad and frustrated!!!
Another thing about this video: BEST TRACKING SHOT OF ALL TIME? Better than “Touch of Evil?” Better than “Russian Ark?” See, this is how you KNOW the dude owns a copy of the single — one take, baby. No cuts. Zoom on the label: BAM. Then he starts moving the record towards the turntable, and you’re like, “Awww shit, we’re about to hear a hot jam,” and then, before you know it: BAM. The record has been placed upon the turntable. Basically, at this point the dude officially enters “I’m-about-to-set-it-off” mode.
And then: BAM, the highlight of the video — 0:15, when he’s like, “I’m outta here; nobody wants to see me — they want to see my “Fortunate Son” 45 RPM single, which I totally own!”
At that point, it’s basically all about you watching a digital video of an analog record spinning around . . . and enjoying a quality jam.
But then the most amazing thing of all time happens: 0:53 - 1:05.
And then . . . what can I say? 1:37 - 1:50. (Was the guy very pumped and excited when he did that? He was probably thinking, “Fuck it, you only live once. Let’s give ‘em something to remember.”)
FRIDAY FACE-OFFS! WE’RE SPINNING AROUND AND AROUND!!!
Can I just say? That guitar tone? Sounding not very bad-ass? Also, sounding very QUIET? Mom’s probably happy when the band rehearses while she’s trying to watch her shows? Because when that band rehearses? It’s probably pretty easy to hear Alex Trebek? Because that guitar is quiet???
One more thing? Girls in the audience? Screaming pretty quietly at the end? Dudes in the band, probably feeling pretty sad about that?
One final thing? Lead singer? Kickin’ very much ass? Voice sounding weak? Tummy looking small at 3:20?
LOL, if only the people in this video were enjoying themselves.
By the way, LOL, is the lead guitarist holdin’ shit down very hard at 3:42 - 3:51?
PS: You know what I just realized? This Sleater-Kinney gig was at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC! TARHEELS REPRESENT!!! How we do!!! (Go to Visart after the show, rent a video . . . LOL, that’s some local knowledge I just dropped.)
IT’S TIME TO CHANT “FORTUNATE SON” AS IF IT WAS THE GREAT LITANY AT CHURCH.
Pare down that melody and let ‘er rip.
And for all the haters, let me add that this is the first time I’ve ever understood the “When the tax man comes to the door” lyric. “It looks like a rummage sale.”FINALLY. I never knew what the deal was when the tax man came to the door.
User’s description of video: “This song is very common in vietnam war movies so i decieded to play it on the bass”
My description of video: “The guy’s username is ‘lynyrdskynyrdgod2112.’ How are you NOT watching this?”
Okay, something beautiful about this video: Mike Watt (who, as we all know, recorded the greatest version of “Fortunate Son” ever, which is not at the top of today’s FFO only because I have recused the Minutemen from FFO competition, lest they win every week, even for songs they never recorded) learned to play bass by plucking along to “Down on the Corner” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. And you know what? When Mike Watt first started playing bass, it probably sounded a little like lynyrdskynyrdgod2112.
So all we can say to lynyrdskynyrdgod2112 is, keep practicing that bass. The world needs more Mike Watts.
I know I’ll get angry emails saying this doesn’t deserve 2nd Place:
Whatever. You think I’m gonna apologize for being mesmerized? I never apologize! AND THIS BLOG NEVER APOLOGIZES!!! I’ve made my decision, you deal with it!!!
Here’s how I feel about this video:
And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can’t be learned; it’s either something you have or you don’t, and man, she’s got it.
Anyway, the weekend is almost here. Time to relax, right? WRONG. We’ve gotta stay busy this weekend, my friends. We’ve gotta hit the pavement to ensure the total, irrevocable defeat and humiliation of John McCain and Sarah Palin. But before we mount up, we must get pumped up . . . with:
Welcome to the FOURTH INSTALLMENT of an internet legend!
This week’s FRIDAY FACE-OFF is: “Ignition (Remix)” by R. Kelly. Watch the original version here:
I always thought it would be fun to play this at the end of a GYWO reading. I don’t know why . . . I guess I thought it would take the audience by surprise, and they’d be so happy and excited they’d buy fifty copies of my book!
Check back later this morning for our first contestant. . .
I was skeptical — until he looped the “bounce bounce bounce” beeping sound. That showed a deference to the source material that is sadly lacking in many covers of “Ignition (Remix).” Then I was like, “He’s building something special here . . . lemme grab another Harvey Wallbanger and change into my nice bathrobe and take a journey into sound . . .”
(Also, having reviewed 53,000 shoddy acoustic versions of this song, it’s nice to hear somebody shred just a little.)
From the youtube comments: “this guy is my husband how great is he”
That lady just earned the FIRST EVER FRIDAY FACE-OFF CYBER-ROSE!!!
Speaking of which, if I had one of those stupid “How-does-the-debate-make-you-feel” dials, it would be PEAKING during the chorus. Seriously, this is a KILLING arrangement of “Ignition (Remix).” These lads put in a little extra effort. THANK YOU.
(Also, they’re in high school, right? Isn’t that what it looks like? In which case, they probably strike a SMALL AMOUNT OF FEAR in the other acts at high school talent shows. And does the piano player sit in the back of English class and make very many jokes about diminished sevenths that nobody else in the class understands???)
When I first read the youtube user’s description of this video:
“Dropped a bomb signing on R. Kelly’s Ignition Remix!!”
I thought I saw a typo. It took me a minute to realize: no typo.
THEN. I. GOT. SAD.
(By the way, this video has some intense, mystifying cutaway shots that make me love it more and more each time I watch it. Hello, 0:58!!!)
BUT THE IMPORTANT THING ABOUT THIS VIDEO IS:
Sometimes I watch this video and focus on the guy in front, to see how R. Kelly is translated into his language (answer: soooooo smoothly). But sometimes, I focus on the guy in the back. And when I do that, I FEEL STRONG JOY.
Could that guy be jamming any harder? I would say that from 2:52 - end, he is manifesting pure light.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME WITH HOW HARD HE’S JAMMING AT THE END???
Bonus points for the ending! LOL, can’t believe you got David Chase to direct your video!
Goddamm, I think I discovered a straight-up classic ass-banger with this one. Fifty thousand gold stars.
This dude should change his name to “Destroyer McJaunty,” because he freakin’ destroys this jam and kicks the jauntiness factor up to +12,000%.
That piano lick would make an AWESOME sample. In fact, right before I researched this video I was researching the video for “My Block” by Scarface; do you remember how sick that Donny Hathaway piano loop was? This kid is dealing with something on that level of unstoppability.
(By the way, I only wish his arms weren’t so short and stubby, LOL are you sure they’re long enough to reach the piano keyboard, LOL, because they’re pretty short, could you put the piano in the next room and he’d still be able to play it, LOL best arms ever this kid is destroying.)
THE GUY WHO
RUNS THE BOWLING ALLEY
HAS GONE CRAZY.
FRIDAY FACE-OFFS! THE WINNING VIDEO IS NEXT!!! YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE YOUR EYES OR EARS, I HAVE UNCOVERED A MASTERPIECE.
What a week, ladies and gentlemen! (I never get tired of saying that.) The weekend is almost here! We’re gonna relax and chill and — wait, what? — are you kidding? Do we really have to go back to Wilkes-Barre and knock on more doors? Seriously? What is this, a super-door-knocking-on contest or something?
Fine, fine, whatever. We’ll go back to Wilkes-Barre. Hmm. Better get motivated . . . this calls for an EXTRA JAMMIN’ JOINT for this week’s Friday Face-Offs . . . fortunately, I know just the one . . .
Welcome to the FIFTH INSTALLMENT of an internet legend!
This week’s FRIDAY FACE-OFF is: “What You Know” by T.I. Watch the original version here:
Check back later this morning for our first contestant. . .
Nothing silly to say about this, really. Just a nice arrangement. I think it’s in a different mode(?) than the original. (You know what I’m talking about? That musical term, “modal,” where someone’s like, “Yeah, that version of ‘What You Know’ has a nice melancholy modal vibe within the minor scale?”) Anyway, it works for me.
FRIDAY FACE-OFFS! SOMETIMES WE JUST LISTEN TO THE PIANO!!!
I love the beat to “What You Know.” It intensifies any emotion I’m feeling. So if I hear it while I’m happy, I’m like, “GRRRR, I’M SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW! ARRGH I’M SO HAPPY I COULD EAT A CAR! WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT?”
Or, if I hear it while I’m angry, I’m like “GRRRR, I’M SO ANGRY RIGHT NOW! EVERYBODY OUT OF MY WAY, I’M GOING TO EAT A CAR!”
So when I first saw this video and the beat kicked in, I was like, “GRRR, KELLY-MOORE PAINTS RULE! THEY MAKE THE BEST PAINTS, NO OTHER PAINT CAN STEP TO KELLY-MOORE!” but by the end I was like, “WE MUST DESTROY KELLY-MOORE PAINTS! BOYCOTT KELLY-MOORE PAINTS!” (Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.)
(Note: The end of this video features adult language, which is not endorsed or condoned by Friday Face-Offs.)
Basically, as far as I can tell, what happened was: These guys went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and had the best, most incredible meal of their lives — really just had the most fun ever — and then got in their car, and then “What You Know” came on the radio, and then . . . things just got taken to a whole new level of Cheesecake-Factoriness.
Here are some of my favorite lyrics from this incredible song:
What you know about cheesecake
We ate a strawberry shortcake / and I feel like throwin’ up
This makes me sad that I’ve never eaten at a Cheesecake Factory. I tried to go once, but the wait was something like three-and-a-half days, so I left. Maybe it’s time to try again? I can’t wait until the waitress asks for my order and I say:
Actually, before I reveal the winner, I’d like to acknowledge that this wasn’t the greatest Friday Face-Offs ever. I think the lesson I learned this week was: Just because you love a song, and it has the best beat with the coolest synthesizer sounds, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find many great interpretations on youtube.
Frankly, I didn’t fully vet this song before picking it for Friday Face-Offs. I can’t help but feel I let you down . . . and I let the country down. Therefore I am resigning from the presidential race and urging all my supporters to buy fifty copies of my book instead. God bless you and God bless the United States of Buying Fifty Copies of My Book.
And now, without further ado, here’s the winning video:
“On a serious note, this is a very important year.
This is probably one of the most important years of my lifetime.
So if any of y’all ain’t accepted your responsibility and fulfilled your obligation of registering to vote, you need to do that.
Because us as young people, us as the hip-hop generation, we are the most influential genre of music there is.
When we move, the world moves.
So for us to not be politically involved, it’s gonna keep being laws passed that do not represent us.
If you don’t like it, then do something about it.
If you ain’t part of the solution, you a part of the motherfuckin’ problem.
And if you don’t goddamn get out there and vote, then shut your motherfuckin’ mouth and stop complaining.
Now let’s get back to the party –”
LOL, best youtube video title ever? “T.I. tells you to vote then drops ‘What You Know’”
Many can do the former, few can do the latter.
FRIDAY FACE-OFFS! WILKES-BARRE, SEE ME IN YOUR CITY SITTIN’ PRETTY, KNOW I’M SHINING DAWG!
WHAT A WEEK, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Have you ever seen anything like it? And now the weekend is almost here . . . and once we again we find ourselves going BACK TO PENNSYLVANIA. Dude, since when am I spending every weekend in Pennsylvania? What am I, the Quaker Oats guy?
Anyway, quick story:
Back during the Democratic primary, I went to hear one of the major candidates give a speech in Connecticut. And while we were waiting for this person to take the stage, a certain song was played over the PA — a song that made me think, “First of all, please turn the music up. This is not an old folks’ home. Second of all, I’m going to vote for this individual. Because this song is a stone jam.”
And that song is the perfect pick for this week’s . . .
Welcome to the SIXTH INSTALLMENT of an internet legend!
This week’s FRIDAY FACE-OFF is: “Move On Up” by Curtis Mayfield. Watch the original version here:
Ohhhhhhhh shit, you know it’s on when you hear this! Are you kidding me? How are you gonna slack off and be complacent about phone-banking and door-knocking when you’ve got those horns coming right at you?!? You can’t be serious, thinking you can listen to that bassline without spending a few hours this weekend trying to get a certain someone elected!
MOVE ON UP!
First contestant is up next! THIS IS FRIDAY FACE-OFFS! BITE YOUR LIP AND TAKE A TRIP!!!
LOL, you knew I had to get this one in . . . because, are they burning shit up very hard in this performance???
My only complaint is . . .
I wish the audience member in the red polo shirt (1:44 - 1:46) had been into the song. I wish he had been feeling it. I really, really wish he had been emotionally engaged in the moment, and that he was maybe feeling the song. Because . . . man, he is SO NOT FEELING THE SONG. He is so, so, so totally bored! He looks like he’s about to doze off, due to how non-excited he is about being on the front row as The Jam performs “Move On Up.”
And then, amazingly, at (1:56 - 2:06), the guy actually looks EVEN MORE BORED.
(In fairness to that guy, it was a low energy performance of a low energy song, LOL x 100)
You think this little dude sits at home hitting refresh on fivethirtyeight.com all day, watching polls and telling himself he doesn’t need to volunteer for the campaign because it’s looking good? You can’t be serious if you think that. This dude keeps it moving. Look how hard his legs are pumping!!!
He’s not gonna stop until they call the last state and that motherfucking map turns blue.
This is it, gang: The last weekend before the election.
Gee, I wonder what this week’s FRIDAY FACE-OFF will be?
Are you kidding me? Could there be any doubt?
From reader AM a few weeks ago:
Suggestion for Friday Face-Offs. I don’t even like Led Zeppelin that much. And I’ve been lame about helping Barack Obama become president — I knocked on doors for the MD primary back in the day but for the general I’ve just given a bunch of money and stared hard at www.fivethirtyeight.com.
But when I hear “bring it on home” then I get very excited. I know that if “bring it on home” is the Friday Face-Off on Halloween, then I will get very excited every time I see a song and I’ll want to “bring it on home”. I’ll definitely hit the local phone bank and maybe even drive down to Virginia.
I’m not trying to strike a bargain here — I’m making a prediction. If “bring it on home” is the Friday Face Off for election day weekend, then I — and perhaps many others - will feel compelled to BRING IT ON HOME so hard.
This week’s FRIDAY FACE-OFF is: “Bring It On Home” by Led Zeppelin. Watch the original version here:
FRIDAY FACE-OFFS. GET MOTHERFUCKIN’ FUCKIN’ PUMPED LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER. WE ARE DOING THIS.
Who says Hungarians play Led Zeppelin songs five times too fast? WHO SAYS THAT??? Old wives’ tale, LOL.
LOL, best singer ever. Style = so chill. How is it some singers can just talk their way through a song and make it sound twenty times more rockin’ than the most throat-shredding singer could? Is that what “panache” is?
Jazz-funk freakout at 2:00-ish = working for me. (LOL, kidding, I’m not totally crazy.)
And the bassist’s mullet? Totally inscrutable. If these were American kids, I’d put the odds of it being ironic at 50-50. But these kids are Hungarian. So that totally confounds my likely voter model. BASICALLY WE NEED MASSIVE TURNOUT NEXT TUESDAY FOR THIS MULLET TO BE SINCERE.
But seriously? These guys were trapped in a cinderblock prison cell so they built a guitar and a drum set out of table scraps and now they’re teaching themselves how to play Led Zeppelin jams. How inspirational is that?
FRIDAY FACE-OFFS! WE TWIRL DRUMSTICKS!!! (2:01)
PS: Those drums sound so incredible, I can’t stop thinking about them. What is it about placing your drum set two centimeters away from a cinderblock wall that makes it sound so good? Was that John Bonham’s secret?
You know that old saying about the theatre, “If there’s a gun on stage, it must go off,” or something like that? Maybe Ibsen said it? (Or was it Tennessee “Florida” Williams, the famous playwright who wrote “There’s a Cat on the Roof” and “Old-Timey Southern Secrets”?)
HOW ARE YOU GONNA PLACE A BONGO DRUM RIGHT IN THE CENTER OF YOUR “BRING IT ON HOME” VIDEO AND NOT USE IT?!?
I was preparing myself for the wildest song arrangement of all time . . . instead I had to settle for an unintentional Sonic Youth impersonation that made me LOL with how slammin’ some of those microtones were!
Also, check out some of the tags they used for this video:
young talent guitar skill
LOL, hell yes! When you got game, YOU LET THE WORLD KNOW. You knock on doors and let ‘em know.
Okay, we’re on the eve of a historic election and I’m trying to get people psyched to volunteer all weekend . . . with my special ELECTION EDITION of FRIDAY FACE-OFFS, “Bring It On Home” . . . and then I find a video of a guy singing “Bring It On Home” PLUS “Turn The Page” by THE SEEG?!?
And you think I’m not posting it?!?
LOL, did this guy read my mind very hard?
Because are we turning the page very hard on Tuesday?
LOL, small page in history not about to get turned with very much force on Tuesday . . .
2:30 is BANGIN’.
We all need to LIVE the lyrics to “Turn The Page” for the next four days:
Every ounce of energy, you try and give away,
As the sweat pours out your body like the music that you play.
Later in the evening as you lie awake in bed,
With the echo from the [door-knocking you did] ringing in your head
LOL, if you are phone-banking or canvassing this weekend, remember to be friendly and calm. If you sound like this guy (5:20 - END), you’re doing it wrong.
Save your “outside voice” for Tuesday night.
FRIDAY FACE-OFFS! BRING IT ON HOME AND TURN THE PAGE AT THE SAME TIME!!!
Mastermind alert! EMPOWERING PEOPLE TO BRING IT ON HOME.
Check out 0:27 — he’s actually using SARAH PALIN’S KNOWLEDGE OF FOREIGN POLICY as a pick! LOL!
Also, was I very psyched at 4:10? Kid’s just gonna play the whole song through his computer and film himself listening to it? Then he gets so excited for “the good part,” he totally jumps the gun with the now-it’s-time-to-rock index finger!
I used this regression analysis software for my latest poll . . . it gave me a nice sigma-3 curve, which I smoothed out and stuffed in a pie chart . . . the pie chart showed McCain up by 526,012,703 votes . . . they should call it the “Dems Should Worry” software . . .
The patter of rain . . . a thunderstorm . . . the healing vibes of reggae music . . . must be time for some Correlation and Simple Linear Regression Analysis . . . everything feels so irie . . . let’s get that analysis sooo regressed . . .
Welcome to the NINTH INSTALLMENT of an internet legend!
This week’s FRIDAY FACE-OFF is: “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass. Watch the original version here:
This is one of my top five karaoke jams. I will always murder this song at karaoke, and yes, you will get goosebumps. Are you kidding about what a stone jam this is? You can’t be serious if you don’t pump this LOL-loud whenever it comes on the radio.
That doo-doo-dee-doo-doo-dee-doo-doo-dee-doo-dum chorus will put all other choruses in traction. BELIEVE THAT.
Is it just me, or is the energy in this room sort of intense? Definitely seems like one of those nights where, deep down, the kids are thinking, “This is weird. Grown-ups are weird.”
I empathize with the singer and his UFC shirt, though . . . sometimes with this song, you want to go so far beyond your normal singing voice, it’s hard to know what to do with the melody . . . you wanna wrap the mic cord around your arm like Henry Rollins and jump up and down in your bike shorts and get all energy-drink on everyone . . . . . . when I karaoke this song, I’m usually screaming by the bridge — definitely by the final chorus . . . “MY LIFE MY LOVE AND MY LADY — IS THE SEA!” . . . how do you not scream that line and immediately put your foot in a wall?
She’s in love with a sailor but the dude is always out floating around on the sea and whatnot. All she has is that locket.
Then again, you could always kick it in mellow mode, like this fellow — this performance seems less fraught than the one above:
I downloaded this Girl Talk album to feel young . . . guess what, LOL, mission absolutely not accomplished . . . LOL, I’m old-school when it comes to mash-ups, I prefer more than 5 seconds per song, come on, give a senior citizen time to mix his Metamucil . . . but this little taste of “Brandy” is so freaking neck-snapping, I almost snapped my neck in half when I first heard it . . . it’s like the guy drilled into my head when I was dreaming and extracted my ultimate musical fantasy . . .
This gives me the biggest mash-up headrush since “Bring The Noise” got mashed with “Come On Eileen” back in olden mash-up times …
Again, like with Mr. UFC (below), I empathize: It’s hard to keep from straight-up YELLING THIS SONG. Why?
Because Brandy is stuck working in that crap-ass harbor town, and the only guy she’s ever liked, the sailor of her dreams, is always going off in his goddamn boat somewhere out on the stupid-ass sea.
If you have a heart, you will have a hard time singing this song. You want to take it to that next level — that level of emotional turmoil — but then you run the risk of sounding like a bellowing maniac.
I FOR ONE WILL RUN THAT RISK. And I have, many times, in karaoke rooms across Manhattan. (Don’t even get me started on how I rip “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” — another of my go-to karaoke jams. I make the dude from Burning Witch sound like Luther Vandross.)
Anyway, I award this video a FFO-5-STAR BONUS for the arrangement of the “doo-doo-dee-doo” part; cool harmony.
I picked up on a really deep vibe when I first watched this video, and I couldn’t figure out why:
It took me about 15 minutes of hardcore internet research to figure out what’s going on here:
This is one of those online games, like “World of Warcraft,” where everyone lives in a virtual medieval landscape (and by “everyone” I mean fifty trillion people from all over the world).
What happened was, one of the players of this game died of organ failure (in real life). This young man’s character’s name was “Fat Wrecked.” So this is footage of a virtual-world memorial march for Fat Wrecked.
I love that he’s on his break from work. How much do I wish I was in the car with him? And no, not just so I could correct his continued misstatement of the song’s title and feed him lyrics when he’s totally mumblefaking it — so I could freakin’ ROCK with him! The dude is taking requests from youtube users about what songs to SING IN HIS CAR WHILE HE DRIVES AROUND.
Dig how he immediately starts singing a harmony over the melody! I COULD HARMONIZE OVER TOP OF THAT AND MAKE IT SOUND THICKER THAN BETTY CROCKER’S ICING.
Also, goddamn, does he kill “locket” very hard? (1:44)
Love this guy’s style. Especially when he tips his cap at 1:25. Only one problem — I wish the brim of his cap was a little longer. I don’t know why, but for some reason short, stubby little brims on baseball caps drive me crazy.
Remember how I was complaining in the last video about the guy’s cap brim — how short and stubby it was?
THIS IS MORE LIKE IT.
This woman gets it. She just gets it.
FINALLY, SOMEONE WEARING A CAP WITH THE PROPERLY SIZED BRIM.
My favorite moment is 1:55, when she turns her head a little and you finally see just exactly how freakin’ enormous and unstoppable that brim is.
“If you like it then you shoulda put a brim on it.”
LOL, seriously? I love how she just rocks the hat with no apologies, no explanations . . . a true diva. And another thing? In the comments to this video? SMALL CONTROVERSY ABOUT THE SIZE OF HER CAP’S BRIM.
LOL, could she more good-natured? If you went on a road trip with her, driving across the country buying novelty hats and singing Beyonce songs, it would be the greatest vacation of your life. BELIEVE THAT.
Sigh . . . it always makes me sad to see folks not enjoying themselves. . .
I felt the Holy Spirit on this one — 1:50, when the tenors come in, is the total jump-off. Had to place this vid just a little higher than the gospel duet below.
If you’re pressed for time, just start at 7:00 and enjoy . . .
LOL, if only the woman in glasses on the front row had a voice on her . . . wish I could hear her . . . LOL, is she putting mumbly indie-girl singers on notice very hard? LOL, for that matter is she putting Beyonce on notice very hard?
How much do I wish I was in this band? Shoot, I’d be happy just standing in front of the kit to keep it from sliding around. That could totally be my job.
LOL, girl in background holding down that triangle very hard? Ringin’ that triangle very much? I’m surprised 10,000 ranch hands don’t rush the session, wondering where the soup is. That’s a “clang-clang, soup’s on!” triangle if I ever heard one.
FRIDAY FACE-OFFS!!! IF YOU LIKE IT THEN YOU SHOULDA PUT SOME SOUP ON IT!!!
YESSSSSSSS!!!!!! Forget Sarah Palin. She’s done. Forget EVERYTHING you thought you knew about Alaska.
Alaska is BRINGIN’ IT, back in the game, HARDER THAN EVER!!! Are you kidding me?
ALASKA, I LOVE YOU!!! THIS IS HOW TO REPRESENT FOR YOUR STATE!!!
THIS IS THE REAL AMERICA!!! ONE LOVE!!! LOL, BRINGIN’ ME A SMALL AMOUNT OF JOY!!! BLOWING MY MIND IN ABOUT ELEVEN DIFFERENT WAYS!!!
Because I’m watching this like, “Alaska? For real? ALASKA???”
From the comments:
The strangest part of it was that I thought he was a girl that was dancing in below 17 weather!! That was very catchy to me… (best use of “catchy” ever — ed.) This vid deserves to be viewed by Miss B. herself! I hope to God that was worth it for this guy, cause had enough balls to freeze them!
For real, of all these videos, this is the one where I was finally like, “This song is a banger. I have to give it up for this song. This is a nine-alarm banger. Because just look at this dude in the snow, doing the Beyonce stomp (0:56), I weep.”
THIS VIDEO MAKES ME HAPPY.
“If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it.”
I know, I know, you were terrified that the economy would lead to massive Friday Face-Off Layoffs.I don’t think so. We’re not some wimpy-ass Broadway show that closes at the first sight of a downturn. We’re not some creepy Ponzi scheme that collapses under its own weight. We’re not some under-regulated financial instrument nobody understands that’s allowed to grow to fifty times its natural size and consume everything in its path before flaming out in a conflagration of capitalist excess.
We’re something else:
We’re Friday Face-Offs!!!
We’re not going anywhere!!!!!
Welcome to the ELEVENTH INSTALLMENT of an internet legend!
This week’s FRIDAY FACE-OFF is (what else?): “Red Red Wine” by Neil Diamond. Watch the original version here:
This is in honor of WINE WEEK, the week when we blogged from a wine shop!!!
Pay attention, first contestant up next!!!
FRIDAY FACE-OFFS IS BACK!!! POUR SOME MERLOT AND GET READY TO ROCK!!!
You know, I went to the Glastonbury Festival way back in olden times. The Velvet Underground played a reunion show. BORRRRING! Why does everyone think that band was so great? “Let’s plonk around on two notes and sing through our noses while Andy Warhol films a skyscraper for twenty hours.” WAY TO ROCK, GUYS.
If I had a choice between seeing a Velvet Underground reunion show and a “The Guy In This Video” reunion show, I would be choosing the latter faster than you can say, “Drank a whole bottle of Cabernet for breakfast,” which is obviously what he did.
(Only six contestants this week, because I’m behind schedule.)
What’s crazier: The fact that these guys practice in the acoustical abattoir of a COMMERCIAL STORAGE SPACE . . .
Or that they follow the “No Girls Allowed In Our Rock ‘N’ Roll Man-Zone” rule even while including a girl in their band?
C’mon guys, why make her set up her “keebs” in the storage space hallway? And also, is her keyboard even plugged in? Or did she win some kind of local cereal-box contest where first prize is you get to pretend to practice with the hottest band in Milksboro Storage Facility?
LOL, the other girl in the video is having the time of her life. You can tell from her body language, LOL. Man, if somebody could figure out how to bottle the body language of “girls watching their boyfriends’ bands practice,” they could make a million dollars selling it to people who want to look like they’re ten seconds away from jumping off a bridge out of boredom.
Then again, I can’t really hate on these guys for their practice space, since it looks cleaner than 90% of the places I used to practice in (yes, I used to play in a ROCK BAND, I’m that cool). LOL, “Sound Museum” in Allston, MA — that was a nice practice space. LOL, loved the beer bottles everywhere, the smell of beer . . . LOL, shared the space with a guy who drew a huge CHARLES MANSON MURAL on the wall of our room . . . good vibes . . . conducive to our musical project of writing retro love ballads, LOL . . .
Friday Face-Offs! GIRLS STAY OUT IN THE HALL!!!
(By the way, thanks to reader CV for suggesting this week’s FFO.)
This is like a fine glass of Moltepichianno (sp): Big, brassy, BOLD!
Let’s see . . . which of these images is my favorite?
1. 0:21 - “A nice place for wine-sipping”
2. 0:25 - “Taking a nap in a pool of white wine”
3. 0:31 - “Entering the Lord’s wine shop; 10% off all cases of Eucharist wine”
4. 0:57 - “Who put LSD in my wine?”
5. 1:13 - “Feeling drowsy from all the wine”
I had to put this video on the list because the singer is singing in Italian and Italians make the best wines! I think all the best red wine comes from Italy, and all the best white wine comes from California. France, you can try again next year! All the other countries like Argentina, Australia, etc. — they’re all a bunch of bullshit. All their wines suck and nobody should buy them.
Also, beer is better than wine.
LOL, just kidding, wine rules and everyone knows it!!! ANYBODY WHO’S NOT DRINKING WINE RIGHT NOW IS A FREAK.
(Just kidding, don’t drink wine until nighttime. “Night time is the right time for wine time,” that’s what I always say.)
(NOTE: This video features adult/bizarre content, which is not endorsed or condoned by Friday Face-Offs.)
Having said that, may I now say this is the GREATEST VIDEO OF ALL TIME?
If you’ve ever wanted to know how kids view grown-ups’ relationship to wine, watch this video.
This video almost makes me feel ashamed of my love of wine, because when I watched it, I was like, “Yep, I gotta admit, they kinda nailed it — that IS how I feel about wine. I would TOTALLY rub two wine bottles together (1:14) in the hopes of producing more wine.”
Then again, they started losing me at (1:25). At first, I thought “OK, masturbating the wine bottle, who doesn’t do that, it’s all part of the wine game,” but then? (1:28?) The neck braces? Umm . . . that doesn’t feel normal to me. I rarely wear my neck brace while enjoying a glass of wine.
But then I thought, “Maybe the neck brace will catch any wine I spill while slugging straight out of the bottle!” So I got on board with the neck brace.
Then the bear comes into it (1:32), and I’m like, “Hmm, not really sure where this is headed . . . not sure this still reflects my relationship to wine. . .”
AND THEN WE HIT (1:36). OK GUYS, YOU LOST ME. I mean, yeah, I like drinking wine, but come on.
Was it Shakespeare who said, “If music be the wine of love, drink up?”
I think it was Shakespeare. Anyway, this vid is Shakespearean in its Tempest-ness of AWESOMENESS.
LOL, at (0:24) you can really hear how quiet the bass is. Like a fine Pinot Noir, the bass is so dark and rich!
And can I ask a question? At (0:56), is the guy in the white t-shirt feeling very good? I swear, it’s like he’s a Cabernet Sauvignoun (sp)– so smooth and well-balanced, with all the right notes!
Seriously, if they could make a wine that tasted the way that guy is feeling, I would buy it by the case.
But: Arrgghh, one thing about this video that makes me so frustrated is that they’re NOT DRINKING WINE! Dudes, you KNOW that when it comes to good times with old friends, wine is your best beverage choice! YOU’RE EVEN DANCING TO A SONG ABOUT HOW AWESOME IT IS!!! You could have bought a bottle of Rheisling (sp), Malbeck (sp), or MERLOT, so why are you drinking big bottles of Heineken, a.k.a. “the poor man’s Pinot Grigiot (sp)”?!?
Anyway, just had to get that off my chest.
LOL, back to the guy in the white t-shirt: Feelin’ sad at (1:29), would you say? Right after the little beer bottle boat floats by? He’s feelin’ glum? LOL, then the Sunkist bottle makes a cameo? Hello? Party off the hook much?
One more thing — (3:28): Guy reppin’ Toyota Corollas very hard?
Great video, congratulations to our winning team. (And now, finally, can I just say for the record that “Red Red Wine” is one of the worst songs ever recorded. Thanks.)
Friday Face-Offs! HERE ENDETH WINE WEEK. Thanks to everyone for their nice emails about wine and especially those who wrote in with messages of support re: MERLOT.
NEXT WEEK: THE LAST WEEK OF GYWO; I’LL BE POSTING GYWO MEMORIES ALL WEEK.
Gets the artist name and song title wrong! Love it! (Unless he’s saying “Eddie Money’s;” I thought he was saying “Eddie Monies.”)
A classic snap at 1:01.
Also, look at the right-hand side of the screen; how did he manage to get the WTC Memorial inserted in there? Is this a WTC Memorial Memorial? (a la Stewart Lee’s routine about the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain Memorial Fountain, classic comedy bit.)
YES. Why hasn’t Apple put this song in one of their iPod commercials? I guarantee that in a blindfold test, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this song and the gruesome infantile plunking on the Juno soundtrack.
Also, this video has one of the all-time great endings. The unresolved chord, the sigh, the nod of resignation … it’s like Beckett. Would someone please write their master’s thesis on this guy so I know how to feel about him?
This is the video where I realized Eddie Money was almost like an American blue-collar version of Robert Palmer. He could wear shiny suits and the “touch of class” saxophone pin, but he couldn’t quite pull off the “I’m so debonair, I’m surrounded by babe androids“-thing that Palmer perfected (to his eternal discredit).
If Eddie Money and Robert Palmer were both eating lunch at a fancy restaurant, Eddie Money would order a steak and Robert Palmer would order some kind of special tiny bird with eleven different cream sauces on it. Then Eddie Money would walk over to Robert Palmer’s table and be like, “Hey Mr. Palmer, I’m Eddie Money, I’m a big fan, I love what you’re doing.” And Robert Palmer would be like, “Thank you Mr. Mooney, you’re too kind.” And then Eddie Money would stand there, like, “Doesn’t this poof know who I am?” and then his manager would tug at his sleeve and be like, “Let’s get back to that steak, Eddie,” and they’d walk away and Robert Palmer would turn to his consort and be like, “Who was that American fellow? And did you see his suit? It was shiny, but it was off the rack. Pooh-pooh, isn’t this caviar-roasted quail gizzard delightful?”
And Eddie Money would just sit there, back at his table, staring at his steak, sweating.
In other words, EDDIE MONEY CRUSHES ROBERT PALMER!!! USA OVER ENGLAND EVERY TIME!!!
By the way, at 2:36, is the Late Show guitarist burnin’ up very hard? LOL, just two questions though, number one, is his guitar yellow enough, and number two, is Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable missing a sweater very much?