April 2007 Archives
From my pal Brooks Hamaker:
"When they make it into a video game, you know you've got something going on...
In another video game industry first, Atlantic Records recording artist Cupid, with his hit single "Cupid Shuffle," will make a personal virtual appearance in the game. Other artist-related announcements will follow where the artists will create their own avatar and play the game live online and chat with fans. The game will feature some of the latest music from select artists and personalized virtual items including artist-branded clothing, accessories and more. Upon the game's full launch later this year, players can compete to win autographed merchandise and other artist-branded products.
Read the rest of the press release here.
Re: my last entry about people submitting videos of themselves doing the Cupid Shuffle to Cupid's myspace page, a friend pointed out that it's not Cupid, but Myspace and Youtube that are the real hula hoops here. I have to admit, he's got a point.
I shuffle corrected.
Still, I get more excited hearing the Shuffle being blasted from car steroes -- as it was just now outside my window -- than I would have had I only seen/heard it online. Maybe my expiration date is showing as I say this, but I like that the craze is corroborated -- not created -- online.
I've seen old videos of people doing the Twist, the Harlem shuffle, and the Mashed Potato, but I'm not sure I thought I'd ever live to see a similar 'sensation' take off in the 21st century. Thanks to Lafayette, LA R&B artist Cupid and his dance hit "Cupid Shuffle," I now feel like I know what it must have been like when the hula hoop first happened.
Cupid is currently in the midst of a career take-off, one that was happening on a grassroots level even before he signed with Atlantic records earlier this year -- it wasn't uncommon to see entire families doing the 'Cupid shuffle' on their front porch as someone blasted the tune from a car stereo -- and maybe Atlantic will figure out a way to capitalize on his myspace page, where thousands of fans of all sizes and colors have submitted videos of themselves doing the shuffle. It's hard to imagine how corporate backing could improve on this one, though.
Check out more videos here.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a letter to a colleague in which I commented on New Orleans' curiously high poverty-to-culture ratio:
"I left New York in the early fall of 2001 in pursuit of "a real life," by which I suppose I mostly meant "a bigger, brighter, cheaper apartment," and I found both in New Orleans... New Orleans has been a real tonic for me in many ways, not all of them real estate-related. I don't know whether abject poverty breeds depth of culture, but this city makes a strong case in support of that argument...."
I was reminded of it again recently when I read Andrei Codrescu's column in this week's Gambit Weekly, in which he writes:
"The "culture of New Orleans" generally means good things: music, food, easy-going people, street festivals. It is invoked to bring business and tourists to the city. There is, no doubt, a real culture at the origin of this bloated gumbo, but that culture is not so easily described. For one thing, culture is poverty: the expression of people who can't afford the ready-made. Most Americans appreciate such a thing only if it comes packaged as a ready-made. Live culture, in New Orleans or anywhere else, is difficult to package because it is an evolving artistic activity whose purpose is to undo such generalities as the "culture of ..." In other words, most of what marketers, journalists and academics call "culture" is not."
Now, I haven't always read Codrescu's work very closely, and in fact it always feels a little accidental when I happen to, and I will confess that whenever I heard him on NPR, I used to picture The Count (Von Count). But I'll always remember hearing him on the radio just two desperate days after the storm as he delivered a beautiful eulogy for New Orleans. I had friends from elsewhere tell me later how they found it to be sort of annoyingly pretentious, especially coming from a non-native, which seemed to me to be missing the point. I'm not a native either, but just the same I remember how grateful I felt finally hearing a national report from someone who clearly got it, the whole awful picture.
I listened to it again recently, and picked up on a line I'd missed before. Again, there's this same theme of "the saving grace of New Orleans was it's music, it's food, it's festivals, and the poor..."
I don't quite know what to make of it, if anything really, but you can hear the rest of that piece here.
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Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Rebuilding Gulf Culture after Katrina
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Elizabeth Zimmer on time-based art forms
Public Art, Public Space
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog