Monday, 7 July 2014

The Nerdiness of Dark Comedy: Part 2

Open Mike Eagle: On that "laugh to keep from crying" tip.

Open Mike Eagle: On that “laugh to keep from crying” tip.

Continuing last Thursday’s article, I am now going to analyze the back half of Open Mike Eagle’s “Dark Comedy” album and talk about the nerdy references of the final seven songs. What’s that? You haven’t read the first part of this article?? Well, fellows, just click here:

[PART 1]

You back? Okay, let’s continue…

7. Jon Lovitz (Fantasy Booking Yarn)

Jon Lovitz is a comedian and actor, known for being on “Saturday Night Live” in the early 1990s, for being the voice of Jay Sherman in “The Critic” animated TV show, and for being on the last season of “NewsRadio.” He has a very distinctively whiny voice.

We listen so we know how you travel sirAnnotate
Fire up your helicopter flux capacitor

The flux capacitor is the device that allows a DeLorean to travel through time in the “Back to the Future” movie series from the 1980s. In Mike’s song “Helicopter” from his “Unapologetic Art Rap” album he had a time-traveling helicopter. Perhaps it is powered by a flux capacitor?

8. Idaho

Slidin’ in the shimmership, hidden by the riverbank

I must admit, I don’t know what a shimmership is. It sure sounds like it’s something, though. Anybody enlighten me on this one?

9. Sadface Penance Raps

No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful

This line is a quote from the classic They Might Be Giants Song “Don’t Let’s Start.” Mike starts to sing the second line, Everybody dies frustrated inside and that is beautiful, but then gets cut off by a music malfunction, which is very funny.

10. A History of Modern Dance

Cruise ship in the Pacific, we can bend the rules
And do the Transylvania Boogie to forbidden blues

The “Transylvania Boogie” is a Frank Zappa song! Take a listen:

She did the peanut butter jelly, ain’t nobody looking

11. Deathmate Black

Deathmate Black

Deathmate Black

Ah, Deathmate Black. Deathmate was a comic book crossover series between the Valiant and Image comic book companies at the height of the comics boom of the early 1990s. The issues were meant to be read in any order (other than the prologue and epilogue), so instead of being numbered they were identified by color: Deathmate Yellow, Black, Red, and Blue. Each company was responsible for three issues. Valiant’s all shipped on time. Image’s issues (which included Deathmate Black) all shipped about six months late. The whole affair was kind of a disaster, almost entirely due to Image’s incompetence. It kind of sounded the death knell for the whole comics speculator boom of the era.

It’s in the sky in chemtrails from a Dorner drone

Chemtrails is a common conspiracy theory wherein conspiracy nuts believe that the government is spreading chemicals across the nation via jet exhaust, or something like that. It’s stupid. Christopher Dorner was a former police officer who was the subject of a manhunt in southern California in 2013.

So Mister Frankenstein, dead your experiment
Body so African and head so American

Victor Frankenstein of course created Frankenstein’s Monster in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” from 1818. Interestingly, Victor Frankenstein should have been addressed as Doctor, not Mister.

12. Informations

My first power-up was a flip phone
And I could feel the power moving up through my hip bone

A “power-up” is a common gaming term, wherein the player-character either acquires a new ability or increases proficiency in an existing ability. Mike might be feeling power in his hip bone because he’s wearing his new flip phone in a hip holster, and there were many fears that cell phone radiation might cause cancer.

Living Brain

Living Brain

I’m all full of data like a Spiderman villain

I’m not entirely sure, but this might be a reference to Living Brain, a somewhat obscure Spider-Man villain who first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #8 in 1964.

Taking flights it gets really really deep
I put myself on airplane mode and go to sleep

Airplane mode is a universal setting on cell phones that blocks all incoming and outgoing transmissions on the belief that such transmissions might somehow interfere with the operation of an airplane in flight.

My body’s full of information!

In the background of this chorus you can hear a man shouting, “I have the power!” This is from the 1980s “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” cartoon, and was shouted by Prince Adam during his transformation into He-Man.

Motherfuck your Spotify, my mind is an iPod
Both of my feets is iPads really
And this hand here’s an iPad Mini

Spotify is a music streaming service, whereas an iPod is a music storage device. Mike doesn’t need to stream music; he’s got it all in his head already. The iPad is Apple Computer’s tablet computing device.

And this other hand is an old Wired magazine
When I pass gas it sounds like a fax machine

“Wired” is indeed a tech magazine. Who reads magazines anymore? Fax machines make some rather distinct noises.

What’s a computer, man? I don’t even know what that is
I don’t even watch TV, what’s Catfish?

Catfish” is a television reality series about people trying to discover whether or not the people with whom they’ve been conversing online are real or fake-fake liars.

My raps run laps around tracks like Pistorius
Wonder how he finna do the new Harlem Shake at the wake

Oscar Pistorius is a double-amputee (both legs below the knee) sprint runner. In 2013 he shot and killed his girlfriend. The Harlem Shake is a song by Baauer and the associated dance.

Jukebox money dance, Dumbbob Funnypants

Likely a play on “Spongebob Squarepants,” and extraordinarily popular cartoon on Nickelodeon.

Somebody run me down the basic premise of Thundercats



Thundercats” is a 1980s cartoon about a group of anthropomorphic cat people from the planet Thundera who settle on Third Earth after their planet is destroyed. Their arch-nemesis is Mum-Ra, a mummy that transforms… into a better mummy. A reimagined version with a slightly different premise was made a few years ago.

Kid’s so high, he didn’t know how to play the Playstation

There have been four versions of Sony’s Playstation since its introduction to the home console video gaming world back in the mid-1990s.

13: Big Pretty Bridges (3 Days off in Albuquerque)

I’m far away from my house, wrote this song in the hotel room
On a day of the show, got canceled, now this room feels like Bellevue

Bellevue Hospital in New York is (in)famous for its psychiatric hospital, commonly referred to as an insane asylum.

The drive here was like five years
I swear I only made one gas stop, I’m the Batman of the minivan

C’mon. You know who Batman is. Batman could drive five years in a minivan while only making one stop for gas.

And my plan’s choking these rap fans who think rap shows are like Disneyland
What the fuck is you doing here with no roller coasters, no souvenirs?

Disneyland is, of course, the ultimate family tourist destination.

And I think that does it! I prolly missed a few, but if you let me know I can add them in. This really is a masterful album, and all y’all should git it as soon as possible.

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