City Paper is not for tourists
I won’t call it a trend—-I’d need more than two examples for that—-but I’m already exhausted by white guys deploying acoustic guitars to make ironic commentaries about hip-hop. Last fall a Chicago act called Nice Peter got some attention with “50 Cent Is a Pussy”, a diss track that isn’t exactly sure what it’s dissing. (Frontman Peter Shukoff‘s hamhanded attempt to explain the song is here.) And currently rising up Technorati’s list of most popular YouTube videos is a cover of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” by Brooklyn singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton. The guy has clearly spent too much time reshaping the song into an oozing adult-contemporary number for it to be a total goof, but the joke’s obvious ten seconds in. It’s also kind of a bore—-doing the song James Taylor—style stretches it close to six minutes.
Cover track, guy making a funny, or example of sublimated anxiety about race? Mark your calendars: Coulton plays Jammin’ Java on Sunday, March 11, which may answer the question.