There’s been so many Harlem Shake videos made around the world in the past two weeks, it’s frankly a shock I haven’t accidentally wandered into the filming of one of them.
The backstory: Last summer, a New York electronic producer called Baauer released a track called Harlem Shake, the title of which was inspired by a dance move which featured in a lot of mid-’90s R&B and rap videos where the dancer’s limbs looks like wobbling jelly. Baauer’s track became reasonably well-known over the last eight months or so until, inexplicably at the start of February, the video meme based on it exploded.
The Makers Studios office version:
The formula for the meme is simple which no doubt helped it spread quickly. One person dances to the first half of the video in a public place while their co-conspirators nonchalantly get on with their day. Then, the beat drops and the video cuts to a scene of loads of people going completely nuts to the song.
The original by vlogger Filthy Frank:
It all started with vlogger Filthy Frank who made one in his college dorm room. From there it spread to offices, TV show studios, musicians, military academies, gigs and the top deck of a bus in Dublin. As of February 14th, up to 40,000 different versions of the meme were uploaded to Youtube with a combined total of 173 million views.
Matt & Kim version:
With so many different versions, it’s impossible to keep track of them all but the Tumblr features some of the best. My personal favourites include the versions by T-Pain, the Sea World Trainers and their seals, Matt & Kim’s live gig freakout, the Makers Studio widescreen office version, the Norwegian Army in the snow and the ADHD ’90s Cartoon version. The Dublin Bus version with the guy poring the Coke over himself has been the Irish highlight.
The Dublin bus version:
Bauuer’s track has jumped back up into iTunes downloads charts and Diplo’s label who released the track, Mad Decent say it’s the the biggest thing they’ve ever released. And it shows no signs of stopping this week. You may know it’s over when your boss sends a mail around the office requesting mandatory attendance to “boost morale with a bit of fun on a Friday.”
You’ve heard Todd Terje’s infectious Inspector Norse all over the dancefloor in the last year. This short mocumentary explains the inspiration behind the title, which is the alias of a lapsed musician who makes Youtube dance videos and his own drug recipes.
Every Friday, John Meagher reviews a selection of new release albums in Day And Night and we’ll publish a Spotify playlist of the albums (where available) so you can listen and judge for yourself.
This week’s reviews included Push the Sky Away, the 15th album from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (“a frustrating listen”), the self-titled fourth album from Jamie Lidell (“think Cee Lo Green meets Prince”), Haunted By You, the singer-songwriter Rachael Sage’s 10th album (“Everything has the bones of a fine song but doesn’t quite get out of the starting blocks.”), Mogwai’s soundtrack for a French TV series Les Revenants and the return of a Swedish Euro-pop singer Emilia Mitiku under a “retro-pop” guise.
It’s not just the 17 Irish bands heading to Austin, Texas that will be hoping to make a break in their careers at the annual South by Southwest festival (SXSW) in March. The festival may have started as a music one but it’s the interactive portion that gets equal billing each year with thousands of budding young technologists flocking to the city in an attempt to spread their message, apps or new platforms. And the Irish are in contention on a worldwid stage once again. (more…)