Calvin Klein kind of, North Carolina!
I mistakenly and regrettably thought I had already posted a work by the fantastic and terrifically named Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine. They produce lounge covers of Hot 100 hits, which I suppose in an age of YouTube parodies is no longer notable, if it weren’t for the fact they are so damn well done. I don’t know if it’s scientifically possible for everything to be oversaturated, but it sure feels that way – I just watched a Grimes video and was left thinking how in the fuck did this rack up 33 million views? Damn Daniel just rocketed to fame and achieved calling-in-a-false-report-of-matricide-level backlash in a 24 hour period. The level of sweeping unjustified visibility just makes it all the more confusing that Richard Cheese isn’t raking in the bitches in a snow leopard fur coat.
It’s difficult to pick one song to illustrate the creative genius of Richard Cheese. He covers a variety of hits from the 1980s to “Hotline Bling,” and at least for me, the emotional impact of a lounge cover of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” is very different from Khia’s “My Neck, My Back.” I settled on Nirvana’s “Rape Me” because I think it illustrated the personal appeal of Richard Cheese best. I find a rapid (but pleasant) oscillation between giggling at the silliness of the concept, being impressed by the actual product, and falling down the mind-fuck rabbit hole wherein I realize the place of genre in music and the level of assumptions and conditioned emotional responses that go along with it.
Nothing like the bleakness of grunge to highlight the sense of ease that accompanies lounge music, and a man in a animal fur tuxedo doing it well to confuse the fuck out of you.
“Let’s go, Michael son, we’re taking you home.” has got to be the most depressing lyric in all of musical history. But goddamn this song is beautiful.
No need for safe return, it’s no need for your concern
There is no warning, I’m not ignoring
I follow you across the county lines
These beads of sweat feel like a flood
You motherfucker I want your blood