In 2004, there was a presidential election in Ukraine between between leading candidates Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych. A run-off vote won by Yanukovych was widely perceived to be interfered with, which led to the Orange Revolution. Widespread demonstrations, protests, and disobedience led to the vote being annulled, and the Supreme Court ordered a new vote, which showed Yushchenko to be the clear winner (although not before he was poisoned by Agent Orange and scarred for life). Yanukovych is currently exiled in Russia, wanted for treason.
This happened less than a decade ago, and back then it seemed like the plot of Mission: Impossible VII to me. Now it’s a bit more… visceral. This song became the unofficial anthem of the revolution, the title translating to “together we are many, we cannot be defeated.” In this case, orange was the color of the resistance movement, not the Oompa-Troumpa color of an asshat-elect… think what you will of the song and even the movement, but people got behind it and it helped them get up into the actual streets, into the actual cold, and demand something different. Razom nas Bahato.
Even though the begining of this week felt like this to a lot of us, Stevie Wonder is always a great way to take a breath and enjoy a timeless song. It’s amazing to me that Songs in the Key Of Life starts with this 7:00 minute rambling jam. An odd choice, but I suppose when you are writing one of the greatest albums of all time, you’re allowed.
If you ever get close to a human
And human behavior
Be ready, be ready to get confused
And me and my hereafter
There’s definitely, definitely, definitely no logic
To human behavior
But yet so, yet so irresistible
1993 Bjork, introduced as “Bjerk,” lead singer of the Sugarcubes, is as incredible then as she is today. She floats around the stage in front of several cartoon character ’90s musicians and just kills it. Also worth noting: the melody of this song is, for the most part, a whole step down from the arrangement, so if it feels like something is off, that’s probably why. And if it feels like something is awesome, that’s also probably why.
Two performances. The first is by two guys doing something great that will never sell. The second is by a group doing something great whose sole purpose is to ask for money… presumably so they can do something great that will never sell?
Forget the election. Forget conservative media, liberal bias. False equivalence. Forget how pundits spin, how voters react. Establishment. Elites. Forget them. You’re wasting time. It might be over soon:
America this is quite serious, and Bon Iver’s new album “22, A Million” is out today and worth a listen. That’s the opening track up there.
Read more in our election year series “America This is Quite Serious.”
Throwbacks and re-purposing are so common in our media culture that I find it increasingly useless to pin anything to a particular decade anymore. But this chillwave re-hash of the Seinfeld theme is about as ’90s as it gets, so tell your mom to get off the phone, start the dial-up modem, click this link and in 15 minutes you might be able to hear something!