Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lend Me Some Sugar

Happy birthday to Andre Benjamin, a.k.a. Andre 3000, a.k.a., one half of OutKast: musician, actor, kid-show creator, vegan, Erykah Badu's babydaddy, and seemingly all-around good guy. I would love to post the brilliant video for "Hey Ya!" but it's not able to be embedded. (You can see it here.) The conceit is that Andre 3000's band - not OutKast, but the Love Below - is performing on some mid-Sixties-type TV variety show, with hundreds of screaming girls in the audience, and Andre plays every single member of the band... Does that sound like any other band you know of? And does that video sound like another video for a song we've been discussing?

Of course, in Paul McCartney's video for "Coming Up," the studio version, he also plays every member of the band performing the song, just like Andre 3000. (If I'm not mistaken, on both records, the genius in charge actually did play all the instruments, except that Andre didn't play bass on "Hey Ya!") (OK, the late Linda McCartney does portray the two background singers.) The more I think about it, the more I'm certain that this "Coming Up" video directly influenced the "Hey Ya" video.

In the comments to that other item, Gavin disputed my claim that this version of the song wasn't going anywhere before the live version caught fire, but if you listen to this, I think it's undeniable that the live version had a lot more energy, and this one has a lot more dead spots in the music.

Just so as not to leave you with any "Hey Ya" at all, here's "Hey Ya, Charlie Brown," the amazing pastiche of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Hey Ya!," which I thought had been erased from the Internet for good about a week after its creation back in 2003 owing to threats of legal battles:

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