Mark Frauenfelder at 12:02 pm Tue, Jan 13, 2009
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Here's Danielle of Danielle Ate the Sandwich singing "Dream a Little Dream of Me" and playing the ukulele.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His latest book is Made by Hand: My Adventures in the World of DIY
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Performance is good, but faux “street” accent in front of an open fridge at the beginning? What’s up with that?
#1 I saw her first!!
Totally in love.
Wow, girl can really sing.
Cool video but. . .who keeps syrup in the fridge?
Love…is what I’m in.
Jack, I came to say the same thing. It’s insufferable when white people strive for idiosyncratic irony by talking “street” or emulating television-black.
“It’s unfair to compare it to redneck or Italian-American accent affectations as neither group has such a long history of being oppressed.”
Irish people do, though, and we (like I know them all, and did a quick poll) can be over-sensitive too. But there are definitely times when affectation is just eye-level whimsy, rather than over-standing mockery or ignorant broadstrokes.
Also, imitating black rappers is not necessarily imitating black people, it’s imitating black rappers (or just rappers). Some of the language is as specific to hip hop (and not black culture in general) as surf-speak is to international surfers (and not Californians in general).
Shorter: Black people don’t own hip hop, hip hoppers (whose roots are mostly black) own it. If I could draw a Venn diagram here, i would :)
She describes herself as sounding like Gloria Estefan and Selena, but she’s clearly channeling Cass Elliot.
I must say, I’ve been thoroughly enjoy the super-cute-girls-playing-the-ukulele theme that’s been going on lately.
Let’s make that a weekly item.
I can’t believe it! She totally dissed Paul!
Anyways, thanks to this, I’m changing my name to Will.
Don’t bother objecting, the paperwork’s already in!
The line forms *behind* me!
OCD… taking over…. Close the fridge door!!!! Ahhh the power wastage!
Jack & Clayton – check out her other videos. I saw three so far – one she opens as a robot from the future, one starts as a valley girl, and the other one as a cowboy (complete with fake mustache).
But, more importantly, she’s from Fort Collins, CO!! Just an hour away!! I’m so looking forward to seeing her live this friday!! Oh, also, she’ll be touring NYC and Allentown, PA at the end of the month.
Why is everyone so beautiful and talented?
I’m sick, I’m forty and I can’t fix this bug.
Oh, and I feel sorry for myself today.
I’m going to try and derail the high-falutin’ talk and simply declare my undying love for this young woman.
Also, Clayton is right – it’s about time WASPs were horrendously oppressed for a century or two. I’ll see you all in the ghetto.
Annoying intro. Beautiful voice. Annoying when singing off the tune. Slightly off timing only works when it’s not slightly off on every single damn word.
MORCHEEBA: The fact that she emulates other stereotypes doesn’t make it less problematic. I’m not sure if that’s what you’re saying or not, but if you are, remember that spacemen don’t function in every instance of public life weighed down by a plethora of negative stereotypes. It would be nice if this wasn’t a problem, but it is.
But there are definitely times when affectation is just eye-level whimsy, rather than over-standing mockery or ignorant broadstrokes
Absolutely, but this is not as much about Danielle’s design (which I am sure is harmless) but the possible consequences. There are, after all, millions of white Americans who think calling Barack Obama a “Magic Negro” or comparing him to Curious George is completely OK.
Also, imitating black rappers is not necessarily imitating black people
I wasn’t saying otherwise. I’m thinking you need to spend a few years in the U.S. before you can see where I’m coming from.
Hilarious intro! I was a fraction of a second away from clicking it off when she said “Syrup…”
And then that beautiful voice. But she had me at syrup.
Jack, no I’m not. And am not gonna take the time to find out who you are negatively comparing my valid opinion to.
Do you believe hip hop is only for black people? Or that words and phrases common to hip hop shouldn’t be used by white people (who are involved in hip hop)?
Clayton, I think you have valid points, and your assertion that America is different, is true. America definitely has huge underlying race issues that a lot of other countries just don’t compare to (of course, lots are worse. Gaza anyone?).
UK has race issues, but not in the front-brain way I’ve seen people talk of it in the US. I heard someone on BB relate someone else asking them: “the SideKick, isn’t that for black people?”
I can’t fathom the mindset that it would take to make this comment.
Wally, help away.. but lets not lose the ukulele magic :)
what a q t Ï€
Where is this cache of beautiful ukulele playing women? Are there many more left?
Clayton, you’re reaching.
I’ve got a lot of accents. And a few vocabularies. They’re part of my tool box. When Twain parsed for the reader the different accents in Huckleberry Finn he said it was because he didn’t want people to think his characters were all trying to sound alike and failing at it.
I used to introduce the humorist Marshall Efron to my radio audience as “The man of a thousand identical voices.” Untrue but he liked it. The one that he said gave him the most trouble â€” odd for a SoCal boy â€” was Mexican. When he went to work in the movies, his first role was…
a Mexican bartender.
Whr’s th ct grl vrybdy’s tlkng bt?
ls, cls th frdg, y’r wstng nrgy, dmmy.
VRYBDY LK T M!!!!!!!!
I hate to be a downer but this is too derivative of the Mama Cass version, which I love. I mean really, we’re in Rich Little territory (cute intros aside).
Very sweet. And one of my favorite songs.
But agree with the intro, guh.
Arkizzle makes us all sigh. Just in different ways.
Before we get further into the race and class war discussion, can’t we just all go back to commenting on how very talented and extremely cute the performer is?
I mean, come on, Clayton. Your point about white Americans’ perceived okayness of “Magic Negro” is only valid inasmuch as it invites the rejoinder of millions of black Americans thinking “babymama” and “sho(r)tie” are OK. You’re really stretching Arkizzle’s argument to make a point that, really, gauged in the context and scale of of an in-refrigerator shout out to cheddar melt topping, is a bit hysterical. Cultural appropriation occurs everywhere; Americans don’t have a corner on that market.
Oh, and one more thing: she’s really talented and cute.
Another good ukulele playing babe is Hayley Legg.
What is it about babes and ukes?
It’s like guaranteed smarts and humor, with a high probability of cute.
I just found more of her music (including a cover of Rythmn is a dancer which really shows off her voice – http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=x-kWy7ob4Wg ). She rocks!
#11 – no kidding, the whole way through that I was on edge about the open door. Interesting sort of tension.
Can’t watch it. The open refrigerator… the power loss… won’t someone think of the poor diet coke?
It was drilled into me as a child to conserve. No wasting water. No wasting power. Wear a damn sweater if you’re cold you bastard child! Err sorry… memories sometimes creep up on me.
Anyway, I must now purchase a ukulele and learn to play Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots.
could easily riff into a condiment dance animation.
Stuff white people like #107: Self aware hip hop references
I mean, come on, Clayton. Your point about white Americans’ perceived okayness of “Magic Negro” is only valid inasmuch as it invites the rejoinder of millions of black Americans thinking “babymama” and “sho(r)tie” are OK
I don’t follow. Are you thinking that they’d be wrong?
You’re really stretching Arkizzle’s argument to make a point that, really, gauged in the context and scale of of an in-refrigerator shout out to cheddar melt topping, is a bit hysterical.
I wasn’t stretching Arkizzle’s argument, but I also wasn’t being clear. I mentioned the Magic Negro bit to put the conditions of race in the U.S. in perspective. Buh. This is futile. I shouldn’t have opened my mouth. May your son’s and daughters be born black, Amen.
Cultural appropriation occurs everywhere; Americans don’t have a corner on that market.
I thought I was done, but I’m not.
Really?? This is not cultural appropriation.
Just a reminder that clicking on a commenter’s name takes you to his/her comment history.
Great stuff and yes! about the cute girls playing ukelele… These ladies hail from my neck of the woods… http://www.vimeo.com/2344503
#33 POSTED BY ARKIZZLE , JANUARY 13, 2009 4:57 PM
Shorter: Black people don’t own hip hop, hip hoppers (whose roots are mostly black) own it.
Are you Ken Burns? Because this sounds like the explanation for his odd choices in his “Jazz” PBS film.
#31 POSTED BY CLAYTON , JANUARY 13, 2009 4:16 PM
…but the things she said could just have easily been read as a Brooklyn accent…
I was born and raised in Brooklyn and never once knew one person who spoke like that… Until 2006-ish and suddenly Williamsburg and other parts of Brooklyn became filled to the brim with non-New Yorkers living in a crappy apartment and pretending they are “street” and “authentic”…
FWIW, the only place in NYC where there were arrests for disorderly conduct on election day was: Hipster Williamsburg!
So yeah, she’s cute and talented, but that faux “street” is really annoying.
I see you one ukulele girl, and raise you one Julia Nunes: http://www.youtube.com/jaaaaaaa
Don’t misss her version of “It’s Raining Men”.
“Arkizzle makes us all sigh. Just in different ways.”
I hope it was good for you, too :)
Clayton, my point wasn’t that stereotypes don’t exist (they do, for every group large enough to have self-similarity and trends), or that they can’t be negative, or that they don’t sometimes get misappropriated.
It’s just that there’s nothing particularly ‘black’ about what she is saying in this intro. I know it’s not just black stereotypes you were railing against, but the things she said could just have easily been read as a Brooklyn accent or a Puerto Rican one, white or black or brown.
As an Irish person who lives in England (and Australia, which was ten times worse) I can tell you plenty about stereotypes and bigotry, but I also know when to pick my battles. (I’ll own up to taking someone to task the other day, here on Boing Boing, for something similar. I tried to make a small point and came across like a dick. I’m not saying you are, at all, I’m just being honest about my position.)
Everybody emulates everybody, for all sorts of reasons. There are definitely negative connotations to some of this, but really, in subtler ways its something we all do, unconsciously, a lot.
The ‘redneck’ voice, the ‘posh English’ voice, ‘Italian mobster’, ‘black street’, ‘snooty French’, ‘asbo UK’, ‘Jamaican yardie’, ‘Irish yokel’, ‘emo dread’.. Do you never josh around in another accent?
We do emulate the ‘other’, and that isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes the intention is far more important than the manner.
combing all the strands straight; a young maiden sings and plays sweetly and for a moment all the dross of the world slips away – hush now, I’m listening.
Thanks, Arkizzle. I was going to make a point about acting, and how I didn’t put any racial or negative connotations with her affect, and then go off on a tangent about the Cosby show and its exploration of racial identity… but then I figured someone else would say it all far better than me. And they did.
I like her.
And I like many of you also, because of your silly tangents. I feel a little less nerdy by comparison.
Another hot ukulele babe..
Ok, I’m at her show!! She’s awesome live – great voice!!
She did a great uke cover of “Rich Girl” (Hall & Oates)
I’ve never quite understood what a Magic Negro was. Luckily there’s an entire wikipedia article on it!
What a truly interesting idea. I’m afraid I haven’t seen enough movies or read enough books with it to really understand it.
I’m in love ;)
Truce, Clayton, truce. I shouldn’t have jumped on you so hard about the “Magic Negro” comment. My bristling was about how hard you were pushing the race card regarding the intro to the video, and the fact that you appeared to have missed Arkizzle’s point about “sometimes the intention is far more important than the manner.” I read the song-beginning-with-a-cavalcade-of-shoutouts as fun being poked at self-important hiphop artists, not as a comment on the race of the artists. I’m not going to presume to speak for Arkizzle, but that’s how I read Arkizzle’s comments as well, i.e. criticism/satire of the style not the ethnic group most commonly associated with the style. It’s not always about race.
Okay, granted, growing up here in the States, yeah, a good 90% of the time it turns out actually, at an issue’s core, to be about race — but it’s not always. To read into this artist’s motives an underlying racism without more knowledge of who she is, what she thinks, what else she’s said about race, and so on, isn’t fair to the artist. Race and racism aren’t fair game topics based on a few seconds of humor, whether you think she’s funny or not.
I agree that race relations in the US are not where they should be. Americans don’t like each other much. There are rare moments when we can all rally around the flag (Olympics, wars, 9/11), but even then we find parts of our community to single out (sorry, GLBT community and 1st gen Hispanic immigrants).
An opinion that I’m hoping doesn’t provoke a negative response is that “length of time oppressed” and “strength/measure of oppression” are not useful rhetorical yardsticks. Saying that “it’s unfair to compare it to redneck or Italian-American accent affectations as neither group has such a long history of being oppressed,” in reference to the 300yrs of black oppression in the States has to fall a bit short for an Irishman living in the England (i.e. Arkizzle). The Irish have about a 500yr headstart on black Americans. And the Jews?
Why am I so vigorously defending Danielle Ate The Sandwich? Because she’s talented and cute? Sure. Because she’s white? No. In fact, despite watching/listening several of her vids on YouTube, I can’t determine her ethnicity based solely on low-res, poorly-lit webcam movies (of charming, witty original songs! and delightful covers!), and I’d prefer not to condemn a person as racist without having a few more facts in hand.
For the sake of clarity, Clayton, I’m not saying or in any way implying that:
- You’re calling her a racist (clearly, and you’ve already commented that her “design… is harmless”)
- You’re saying one group is qualitatively more oppressed than another.
- You’re a racist.
- You’re saying you know more about race/racism/oppression than Arkizzle/me/anyone.
- Arkizzle agrees with me.
- Arkizzle wants me to keep “helping.”
Y’know, I’ve been re/writing this post so long that I’m not sure what my point is. Is it that a cheeky hiphop shoutout by an ostensibly white(ish) girl is or is not a slippery slope into institutionalized racism? Is it that simply acknowledging that white-v-black racism exists is not enough in addressing the deeper social ills in America that the racism perpetuates? Aw, heck, Clayton, I dunno. My post pissed you off and I didn’t want it to, and I just couldn’t find a short, constructive way to say “my bad, poor word choice; I agree with some of your points, but not all of them.”
Thx Jonoellis – check out this rusted root cover!
I think people (Black, White, Fuchsia) who talk like “Yo yo, word out to my homes on the street.whut up…beeatchh” are linguistically retarded. Theirs seems to be a limited vocabulary, and when they do use a word outside of their normal syntax, they emphasize it , so it stands out from the mumbling that has come before, and is to come after. It’s like a ‘moment’ for them, listen people, I say this word some have not heard.. listen… this is a word non-us people use, I’m stealing it from them, they think they are all that because they say this word! I can say it too. Only from my mouth, it’s punctuation.
I try my best to understand telemarketing calls from people who have barely mastered the English language, but when you are born with English as your first language, and you devolve to this gutter speak… why ?? Does the hanging low jersey and sideways cap mandate the language you use ? Why is it the more you gesture and form incomplete sentences, the more ‘street cred’ you have ?
I can deal with regional accents, but I get angry, then I get dismissive when I run into people like this. I’m not racist based on skin colour, but I do discriminate based on one’s voluntary downsizing of language skills.
I’m still trying to figure out the point of the refrigerator. Does it concentrate the sound, like a band shell? Is she using it for back lighting?
Nice tune, but the whole icebox thing is a huge distraction.
I’m still trying to figure out the point of the refrigerator.
She’s singing a Cass Elliot song. Her band is called Danielle Ate The Sandwich. It makes perfect sense.
Thanks for the reasoned response. I see where you’re coming from. Her accent certainly sounded more Brooklyn than anything else, but she used keywords and mispronunciations that originated in Black-American culture (Shout-out, to name one) and led me to believe her intentions were to affect a stereotypical Black-American speech pattern. I might have over-reacted, and I might be completely wrong about her intentions, but still, there’s a blurry line where this sort of thing becomes harmful and hurtful and she was awfully close to it. Racism in the U.S. is not only deeply isntitutionalized, but socialized into unwitting folks of all races, and in general, I think it’s best to avoid impersonations that could be perceived as mockery.
As an Irish person who lives in England
I grew up in the American south where black affectations are used by white people almost exclusively to hurt blacks. It’s unfair to compare it to redneck or Italian-American accent affectations as neither group has such a long history of being oppressed.
Mark et al: Keep this link in your back pocket. The next time a unicorn chaser is called for, use this clip instead…
IFH, you sound a bit elitist.
I’m sometimes annoyed by the way people speak, but who the fuck am I?
People shape the way they talk for all sorts of reasons, community being one, societal-expectation being another. US “street” isn’t the only lingual affectation, people talk ‘up’ and ‘down’ their base accent depending on their circumstances all the time. For jobs, for their friends, for talking to parents, for talking to an audence; people change their dialect and rhetorical clarity on a whim – some just more extremely than others.
There are people who do it for shallow reasons and people who do it out of a genuine need to blend into their daily environment (‘up’ or ‘down’). It sounds like you are saying there are quantum states of English, and anything in-between is ‘gutter speak’.
Nighty night. Mwah!
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