Harlem Shake (And Westport Too!)

First there was “Call Me Maybe.”

Next came “Gangnam Style.”

The latest dance craze video to sweep the world — inspiring a universe of responses, parodies and parodies-of-parodies, ranging from amateurish and juvenile through interesting and amusing, on up to awesome and hilarious — is “Harlem Shake.”

It is so not my cup of tea, I’ll leave it to that great website Pitchfork to explain:

The irresistible appeal of “Harlem Shake” owes almost everything to the type of menacing, world-smashing bassline that would cause even the Cloverfield monster to shudder in his gills. Along with this purely visceral pleasure, it’s hard not to marvel at how awesome those growling-lion samples sound.

This would normally make me fear for the future of our planet.

But — as every “06880” reader knows — everything on our planet has about two degrees of connection to Westport.

Or, in the case of “Harlem Shake,” one.

The song that’s heard in “all 40 million videos” (ABC News may or may not be exaggerating) comes from a Brooklyn-based producer named Baauer.

And Baauer is Harry Rodrigues.

Westport’s Harry Rodrigues.

Baauer, aka Harry Rodrigues

Baauer, aka Harry Rodrigues

His mother — Celia Neiman Rodrigues — graduated from Staples in 1977. Harry would have graduated from there too, in 2007, but he did his senior year at the American School of London.

According to Wikipedia — in prose less breathless than Pitchfork — Harry

produces trap and bass music. He has been producing dance music from the age of 13, mostly making house music and electro. He previously produced a track under the name Captain Harry, which was played by Kissy Sell Out on BBC Radio 1…. Baauer has produced remixes for Nero, The Prodigy, Flosstradamus and No Doubt.

No doubt, that last sentence means he is quite The Dude (in certain circles). In any event, “Harlem Shake” is the #1 dance song in the country right now.

But back to ABC News, which knows as squat I do about Harlem Shake, Baauer and Flosstradamus, but apparently put a 21-year-old intern on the story and then ran it past a 52-year-old editor:

The “craze” (again, oof) has even made it onto Today. Whenever something that originated on the internet makes it onto a morning show, it is sure to become: 1. increasingly ubiquitous and annoying in a very short amount of time, 2. until it implodes and disappears, making way for whatever we’re going to become obsessed with next.

That’s today’s modern culture report. But “06880” is a full-service blog, so — courtesy of ABC News — here are a few Baauer/Harry Rodrigues’ “Harlem Shake” videos, for your enjoyment/amusement/horror:

The University of Georgia men’s swim and dive team do it underwater:

Portuguese TV does it awkwardly:

Firefighters do it heroically:

9 responses to “Harlem Shake (And Westport Too!)

  1. Had no idea this was by Harry. I know the Rodrigues family well and although I do not entirely understand it, I am very happy for Harry. Hope he is making a killing off all this press and attention…

  2. Babette d'Yveine

    I must be getting old.

  3. I love the fun of all of this! Think every age can/might/could have fun with the incredible power of something going viral! I was at a concert in NYC last night (a cappella no less) and even they did a Harlem Shake riff! Just fab.

  4. I think these are incredibly funny- my fav is the UGA meNs swim team!
    I posted it as a psych for the SHS boy Swim team meet against Darien and they won! Power to the Craz!!!

  5. Hey Dan, You may have just blown the lid off a pre-vaca Friday afternoon flash mob. Let’s just hope our downtown merchants have a sense of humor!

  6. Kerstin Warner

    Here’s another Westport connection – I was a performer in the Improv Everywhere surprise event on Feb. 1st, as part of the 100th anniversary of Grand Central Terminal. Here’s a link – I’m in the bottom row of the center window:

    http://improveverywhere.com/2013/02/05/grand-central-lights/

    The founder of IE, Charlie Todd, took a clip from that video and set it to Harlem Shake – here’s the link:

    I used to teach Harry’s brother, James, when he went to Bedford – such a delightful and creative family! So, there you go – I’m dancing to music by Harry! How’s that for less-than-six degrees of Westport separation. :)

  7. Great connection by Kerstin Warner!

  8. It should be noted that Harlem Shake is currently #2 on the iTunes Top 100 songs! Congrats to Harry!