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.

April 20, 2007 10:58 AM | | Comments (1)

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.

April 19, 2007 11:24 PM | | Comments (0)

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.

April 15, 2007 2:34 PM | | Comments (0)

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.

April 3, 2007 11:06 PM | | Comments (0)


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