This week’s The Greatest Video You’ve Ever Seen has got connections. It’s about videos with guanxi, an influence that remains apparent today, even though the original names might have become a bit obscure.
At least, that’s the nebulous connection I made so I could show all of these videos in the same post.
At any rate, on to The Greatest Video(s) You’ve Ever Seen.
A Number of Names – “Sharevari” on The Scene
I gather that this is a local-access, Detroit-area, Soul Train knockoff show (why doesn’t Shanghai have one of those? Come on, ICS!), recorded, as the opening states, “February 15th 1982.”
The track is “Sharevari” by A Number of Names. It is often cited as one of the first Detroit Techno tracks, which means it was one of the first techno or house songs ever, hence its inclusion in this “Connections Edition” of TGVYES.
The song is pretty awesome, but the dancing on this video is just amazing. I can’t stop watching it at all, which kind of ruins my life, but it makes me happy. I’m like a catatonic person whom everyone feels sorry for, but is really having an awesome internal journey. I hear in Luxembourg they have a convalescent retreat for people who can’t stop watching Youtube videos.
Not really, but they should. (You just Googled that, didn’t you?)
This is one of the all-time dance lines. The swag is off the charts. Let’s pick out some highlights, shall we?
0:34 – Hello, Jheri curl. Glad to see you let your soul glow. I’ve heard of popping your collar, but I’ve never seen someone pop a tie. That’s fantastic.
0:47 – Nice prop use with the bass, guy, but your dance moves leave a little to be desired. I’m not a huge fan of the “tip-toe down the dance line like you’ve got a turtle head poking out and are trying to keep it from advancing any further onto your shorts” move. Some people are, but it’s just not it for me.
1:05 – This guy goes completely out of control. Or maybe he just seemed awesome because he followed turtle-head guy. Let’s watch it again to make sure. No, he’s awesome.
1:50 – Nice suit, terrible dance moves. He starts out with a bastardized version of The Sprinkler and it goes downhill from there.
2:30 – This dude sucks. Maybe I was wrong about the dancing on this video.
2:33 – Hold on now! He’s on ROLLERSKATES. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING. All-time.
2:58 – Token White Dude Alert. He’s wearing a khaki prison jumper with the sleeves cut off. Do I need to mention that he doesn’t garner a whole lot of screen time? I didn’t think so.
3:50 – This host looks a little bit out of it. He’s got the glassy eyes of, well, me, after I’ve watched this video for five hours non-stop. I especially like how he messes up the musicians’ name. But he is still fresh to death. I wish he was my dad.
Indeep– “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life”
However, the key to this video’s superpower is the DJ, a hilarious white dude in a mullet and sunglasses, who looks really serious. You’re wondering what he’s doing there, and then, at the 3:13 mark, he raps! And it is spectacular. Spectacular in a bad, bad way.
I’m sorry; I just don’t believe there’s not a problem that you can’t fix. No, not even if you do it in the mix.
Finally, check out the dude getting all the way down on the balcony at 3:49. He is in deep to Indeep. Dub time!
Frankie Smith – “Double Dutch Bus”
I’m not sure how this man made the connection between Double Dutch jump roping and riding the bus (sounds dangerous) but I’m sure glad he did.
Not much to say about this video other than it rules. The spirit and the culture are real things that you can feel through the computer screen, can’t you?
Also, I hope Snoop Dogg has written a series of very large checks to Mr. Frankie Smith, or at least smoked him out a couple times. He got his whole language from him! You’ll see what I mean in the next video.
Snoop Dogg – “Snoop Dogg”
I love this video, though, especially the beginning.
So, there you have it. I brought it back to today (well, 2004). How’s that for connections?
Now, you’ll have to pardon me. I’m going to tune up my roller-skating dancing skills.