The Force Is Strong In This One.

Despite being unrivaled in pop culture as The Coolest Thing Ever when it debuted in 1981, MTV has long since fallen off the radar (mine and, I suspect, everyone who was mesmerized by its novelty). Needless to say, I haven't looked at the channel since sometime in the late '90s; I know for sure that I’ve never seen a minute of any MTV Movie Awards telecast, either.

So I’m all the more grateful to Amelie Gillette at The Onion A.V. Club for posting this on her blog, The Hater.

I really can’t explain what I find so appealing about this. Or why I’ve been replaying it like some kid with a 45* of “Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers. It’s a terrific neo-soul pop song, sure. And the Star Wars costumes are a delight, not least because they're all old-school, Episodes IV-VI characters. Thank god they resisted the urge to put Cee-Lo in Mace Windu garb.

Mostly, I think it’s the complete lack of acknowledgement that they’re in SW gear. I love how, instead of Look at us, we’re so cool with our Wookie drummer and our Rebel backup singers, it’s just, Listen to us, we’re a really tight band channeling Sam Cooke by way of Was Not Was. If the song were anything less than the real deal, the whole thing have come off as desperate and cheesy. Y’know, pretty much what you expect from the MTV these days.

While this hasn't done much to revive the stature of MTV (in my eyes), I will say unequivocally that Gnarls Barkley, Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse all have a new fan.

*For all you whippersnappers out there, this is a reference to a cultural artifact that pervaded in the early days of the republic. Before the dark times. Before the empire: A grooved, double-sided vinyl record, or “single” that played on a “turntable” at 45 RPM. An elegant medium for a less digitized age.


Mister Underhill said...

Well, the problem with mtv is they don't play videos any more, and they also have become increasingly pop and hiphop oriented. How exactly are they different from WB any more?

Mr. Seed said...


comment dit-on said...

So, yes.

Speaking of crazy, I'm also afflicted with CCS. I'm careful about how much I let it manifest, as it is easy for those who know me well to point out one more fact: I lost on Jeopardy!

Steve said...

In the words of Chris Rock, "That's a catchy-ass song." I suppose this Gnarls Barkley project means I can forgive Cee-Lo for the aggravating unevenness of his two previous solo albums.