Random Song of the Day – 10/25/17

Today, Taco:

Two observations I want to make, right up front:

1.) I’m sure there are a few people out there who are either assuming that me calling him Taco is some kind of asinine joke or that he was one of those weird-ass 80’s performers who went by a singular, bizarre name, but nope! Dude’s birth name is apparently Taco Ockerse, which… is a thing, and

2.) I had to search longer than I wanted to for this version of the above music video, because for reasons I don’t entirely understand, when you search for this song, you generally turn up either live versions of the song, or the original version, which features women in blackface singing the “Super Duper” line, no I am not fucking kiddingI don’t know who thought that would be appropriate in the 80’s, holy shit. I understand why he did it, but for fuck’s sake Taco.

So! Taco.

Now, I want to note that this is yet another cover song, specifically a cover of “Puttin’ on the Ritz” from Irving Berlin, a song written in the 1920’s about opulent wealth that was most heavily popularized by Fred Astaire in the film Blue Skies. I also want to note that basically twenty or thirty acts have covered this song in its lifetime in addition to Astaire and Taco, including Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Robbie Williams and Shiny Toy Guns, but I tend to like the Taco version the best out of all possible versions, and not just because of its goofy 80’s aesthetic. Rather, for as weird as this video is, Taco’s video has a very minor something to say about the opulent lifestyle of “the Ritz”: it’s bullshit.

Seriously, watch this video and note how it frames the idea of “puttin’ on the Ritz” against homeless people diving around for a dollar. It’s kind of amazing as a weird social commentary attached to a silly dance version of a popular 40’s song, and I can’t help but love that it’s almost accidentally subversive in its own way, even if that’s not entirely what Taco might have been going for (though the dancers in blackface seeming like a callback to the song’s origins could mean it was intentional… or that Taco’s producers are idiots, which is also possible).

Plus I kind of want a light up cane, sorry.

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