Like many good lefties, I'm pretty pissed off about the whole debt ceiling disaster, and am pissed at Obama's capitulation. Sheesh, I think I need a little escapism today. Monsieur le Bouffant posted a couple of videos of Tighten Up by Archie Bell and the Drells. In 1979, mad geniuses Yellow Magic Orchestra (the number one dance band of Tokyo, Japan) covered "Tighten Up", and performed it in their hilarious "when worlds collide" appearance on Soul Train:
I don't know if it's from the same episode, but YMO also performed their cover of Martin Denny's song Firecracker on Soul Train:
Martin Denny's Firecracker was a bit of "exotica", a fanciful take on what would now be termed "world music". YMO's version is sort of a "right back at ya" gesture- it appropriates a song which appropriates a sound, and holds a mirror up to Western notions of "Otherness", no matter how sympathetic. YMO's version, preceded by Computer Games gained enough popularity among New York D.J.s that it was eventually sampled in singles by Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey.
It's the kind of day when it's not a bad idea to turn off the news, and to enjoy a long-past moment in which, however haltingly, Don Cornelius and Yukihiro Takahashi tried to conduct a dialogue.