LOGLINE: A live-in-the-studio dance show (á la “Soul Train”) presenting the explosion of oddball and lo-fi music videos on YouTube, both terrible and wonderful, with features that include single-song deep-dives, meet-the-artist, and dance lessons.
“Music Mop” is meant to be super-quirky, fitting in with Adult Swim or any other streaming service or channel that wants to flirt with “underground comedy,” retro programming, and (deep breath) intentionally lo-fi post-postmodernism. Or just stupid fun.
This show is inspired by the explosion of amateur music-makers posting their work on YouTube, much of it completely overlooked.
A host presents oddball or lesser-known music videos from YouTube and elsewhere, all of them wonderful in their own way, even when awful. Think: The new generation of Tiny Tim, Daniel Johnston, The Shaggs, and Harry Partch, but throw in your dad’s awful cover band on their best day and a New Orleans second-line brass band performing an astounding marriage of jazz and R&B. Also included are strange music scenes from lesser-known movies, international lost-in-translation oddities, and YouTube classics, like “It’s My Life What Ever I Wanna Do” by Vennu Mallesh, the songs of Jan Terri, or “Schizophrenic Breakdown” by Chainmale. Intercut or overlapped with the video footage is live dancing in the studio. The studio dancers would be a crowd of all ages, encouraged to dress in any creative way they like, including retro, formal, or in costume. Occasionally the performers would come to the studio to either be interviewed amongst the dancers, or to perform live. The whole thing would have a low-fi public access vibe.
There would be rotating themes, like “Cover Me,” a deep dive into one specific song, in which multiple cover versions of that song would be presented at once. If the original artist or songwriter is available, this would include a guest appearance. Another theme would be “Dance Lesson Day,” in which a YouTube dance teacher instructs the viewing audience and studio dancers how to do a certain dance, like the Bus Stop, the Watusi, the Hustle, or a dance designed to go with the song. This dance could then be repeated over multiple songs.
Done as a streaming show, there could be many “tangents” a viewer may follow as they are watching, guided by floating clickable links. For example, a floating link at the end of a song could lead the viewer to an interview with that artist, an exploration of their other work, or other examples of songs and performances of dances.
The purpose of the show is to celebrate this content, and aside from humor and fantastic songs, there would be poignancy, as seen in some of the examples presented in my playlists. These are performers who are sincere in their efforts, who are performing out of love for the song, and who, without YouTube, would never otherwise be allowed a public forum due to their limitations. Check out the video of residents and staff from a home for the mentally disabled performing The Spinners’ “I’ll Be Around” for a sweet and moving glimpse into a world that is seldom exposed to the public.
(NB: No permissions were granted for this pitch, but of course nothing would be shown without the creator’s full approval.)
Examples of wonderful, crazy, lovely stuff
Karen Muenchen covers Neil Young’s “Lotta Love”
The Promise “Ah Youth”
Ginger Root covers Wings’ “Silly Love Songs”
Anna Godbold covers Kenny Rogers’ “Through the Years”
Matt Mulholland’s looping cover of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”
Vitas “The 7th Element”
Shandor H. covers Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”
“Idhi Oka Nandanavanam” from the film Adavi Donga
Dance instructors who could guest on the show
Examples of same song cover playlists
Covers of “I’ll Be Around” by The Spinners
Covers of “Hangin’ On the Telephone” by The Nerves
Covers of “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson
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