Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More of my award-winning rock photography

Here are a couple shots of Radiohead at Lollapalooza, and one of Tortoise at Millennium Park since I heard Matt and David used to be able to play "Millions Now Living..." note for note.

Seen at Millennium Park Califone show

Probably the only time you'll ever see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Pharoah Sanders being referenced together.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Who was MC Skat Cat, anyway?

If you're curious, you'll find that The Wild Pair is credited with duetting with Paula Abdul on "Forever Your Girl," "Opposites Attract" and "The Way That You Love Me" (all written and prodocued by Oliver Leiber, 1988). That's right, the duets are with a pair of dudes. Their names are Bruce DeShazer and Marv Gunn, and all I could find out about their career were the duets with Paula Abdul. It seems somewhat unjust that the voices on those songs wouldn't be credited as such (none of the videos were ever listed as "Paula Abdul with The Wild Pair"), and that you'd have to look so hard to find them. And I really thought I'd find something that acknowledged how funny/strange it is to have a duet with a pair.

I guess the 2 dudes just worked exclusively together -- their harmonies are pretty tight, after all. The Wild Pair appeared on yet another track duetting with a (far less famous) female pop artist, Stacy Earl (what a pseudonym!). In the video for "Romeo and Juliet" there's a few different dancers lip-syncing the 'Pair's parts, but I like to imagine DeShazer and Gunn as more of a behind-the-scenes secret weapon, employed as one would a cutting edge synth patch. Maybe it's so difficult to dig up their details because The Wild Pair is precisely that -- the name given to a synth patch designed by Mr. Leiber (and later foisted upon Ms. Earl's "Romeo and Juliet" -- which he also wrote and produced).

There's more. The Wild Pair supply only the singing portion of MC Skat Cat's vocals on Abdul's "Opposites Attract" (written and produced by Oliver Leiber). The rap-rap-rappity-doo was laid to tape by Derrick Stevens. There are, in fact, two versions of "Opposites Attract": the original with only The Wild Pair featured; and the video version, which adds in a couple raps (intro and middle breakdown) by Mr. Stevens. You may notice that when you hear the song on the radio, there's no MC Skat Cat rhymes, but in the video he's right there at the beginning giving a shout out to his homegirl, Paula Abdul. It's not hard to tell that the voice rapping isn't the same as the voice(s) singing.

And more. MC Skat Cat released an album in 1991 (something like "The Adventures of...."). And while it didn't exactly take him to the next level, it did produce one very popular music video, "Skat Strut." It's worth noting that even though Paula Abdul appears in the video (teasing MC Skat Cat all the while), she recorded no vocals. She busy.

So finally, and but anyway, the point is that "Opposites Attract" is a duet with not one, nor two, but three guest artists -- all performing incognito. The voices of Bruce DeShazer, Marv Gunn, and Derrick Stevens are paired with that of Paula Abdul [she won the suit brought against her by a former backup dancer claiming to have sung the majority of Abdul's debut album]. And while I'm at it, let's give a little credit to Michael Patterson, the film artist who created MC Skat Cat (and the animation in A-ha's "Take On Me"). It wasn't as teched out as Roger Rabbit, but hey.

The end.

Thanks to Allmusic, Wikipedia, and the fans and relatives posting and commenting on Youtube.

Hey Internet! What have you done for me lately?!