Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Video of the Year

For a brief period in the late '90s, among a small group of people, I was part of a world-famous performance trio on the NU campus.

It all started with Will Smith and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. During two different mid-90s episodes of the critically-acclaimed sitcom, Will and Carlton performed a well-choreographed dance to the Sugar Hill Gang's "Apache," an amazing old school hip-hop tune that samples an 1960 song by the British band The Shadows. If you've never seen the dance, it's basically a synched hip-gyration with some funky 360 rotations and arm movements thrown in for good measure.

Like the Macarena and the Electric Slide before it (and even the Meatstick in Japan), the Fresh Prince's Apache became a genuine dance craze at my sleepaway camp in the summer of 1998. One of the boys groups performed it early in the session, and there it was for the rest of the summer. Everybody loved it, everybody did it. This was the new Macarena.

Returning to campus as a sophomore after that summer, I introduced it to a number of people in the Red Room, the basement of our house where like-minded folks used to congregate for a myriad of bong hits and pseudo-intellectual discourse -- it was our own little Renaissance salon. And like it did at camp, the dance caught on instantly; people really dug this hilarious jig.

So it began. A handful of times over the course of the first few weeks of the fall semester, after a night out or an evening in the Red Room, we'd inevitably crank up the Apache. Hoobs, Mule and I -- a funny-looking trio -- would lead the group in dance, then sit down and basically pretend like it didn't happen. After a few bingers, we couldn't remember it anyway. Then as a joke, the philanthrophy chair of our house put the three of us on the flier for the annual coffeehouse, billing us as The Jump On It Crew.

If I had to guess, I'd estimate as few as 150 and as many as 300 coeds packed the house that night for the event. Mule, Hoobs and I spent about an hour in the Red Room prepping for our first official gig, which basically meant smoking a full eighth between the three of us out of a four-and-a-half-foot bong named "Bubka." Then it came time to hit the stage.

We were nervous, but not really. I mean, it was just a joke, really. We were planning to go out there, do a minute and a half of the song (the chorus, first verse, the chorus) and then exit gracefully. We planned our routine, walked out into the room, did our thing and ambled off stage giggling like schoolgirls. The applause from the stunned crowd was deafening. There were some pretty good amateur acts that night -- a capella groups, college rappers, singers -- and our jokey routine smoked 'em all.

It didn't happen often, but on occasion shortly after that night, someone would come up to me on campus and say, "You're that guy from that thing," and I remember Hoobs and Mule reporting something similar. So we kept it going on a quarterly basis for two years -- fall quarter we'd reprise the dance at the charity coffeehouse, winter and spring quarters at the fraternity formals. Mule missed our winter quarter junior year performance, and after spring's I deactivated from the house and we stopped altogether.

But we had a good run. It sounds kinda nerdy (kinda?), but really it was hilarious. For one we donned silly costumes and for all after the first we added original haikus to the act (e.g. Six months of weight loss/Oh my God, I'm a D-G/Pull down those black pants). We really had a good time being completely nonsensical. Good times. For as long as I live I'll always remember those five or six nights...

All that being said, I came across this video yesterday and nearly lost my shit at the desk. This guy's act blows ours out of the water. So, Slackers, I present to you, the Danish King of Pop Tommy Seebach and his band -- here's Apache

(If that doesn't work, here's the non-QuickTime version).

Slack Reminder of the Day: Tonight kicks off the first NHL season in about 10 years, or so it feels. How is the league expecting to be taken seriously when the six hockey experts are picking either Calgary, Vancouver or Tampa Bay to win the Stanley Cup?! Not exactly your major American media markets...

Slack Song of the Day: Let's go back to a little Tea Leaf Green -- here are the boys playing with w/ Sean Layhe And Ryan Smith from Four Year Bender on guitar and vocals on Marshall Tucker Band's Can't You See from 9/24/04.


At 11:05 AM, Blogger hoobs said...

that video is flippin' amazing! if there is a heaven, i imagine it looking something like that. here's one of my favorite haikus:

your love is like bread
rub butter on my biscuits
gravy on the way

At 1:38 PM, Blogger poophopanonymous22 said...

i heard barry melrose breaking down the new rules changes the other day on espn, and let me tell u, they sounded fantastic.

At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

never shit a shitter... what? didn't think we'd recognize the ol' ace cowboy on drums in that gem of a video? c'mon, great beats ace, you deserve some credit here.

At 6:07 PM, Blogger MDS said...

The real obvious rule change is the one the NHL didn't implement: Just make the damn goals bigger.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger misterlister said...

Yeah, that video was pretty much the best thing ever filmed in a back yard (except for the classic pornographic film "Jungle Gym").

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

There's an R Kelly sex tape in a backyard, I underage sex. That's the tops, always.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger misterlister said...

I believe that last nite they played some sort of Apache remix over the PA system when the Braves' catcher McCann hit a homer into the empty right field stands in Atlanta. Can you confirm or deny? It would be yet another notch on the organization's civil rights record, as well as a great theme song to the team's 437th uninspiring playoff run.


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