Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cansei de Ser Sexy - Translation: Lucky Break

Back in the day, to gain favorable airplay, record execs would pony up cash to guys like Alan Freed to get their artists on heavy rotation. This was called Payola. Nowadays, some kid makes a YouTube video with a song from an unknown band, which goes viral. It catches the ear of some hipster art director at an ad agency and voila, instant worldwide hit. The kid is Nick Haley, the agency is Chiat/TBWA, the product is the Apple iPod Touch, the song is 'Music Is My Hot Sex' and the band is CSS. Not exactly Payola, but definitely one of the luckiest breaks ever.

CSS, abbreviated from Cansei de Ser Sexy, is the Brazilian Electroclash troupe that enjoyed explosive overnight global success just weeks after the spot broke in 2007, propelling the song to a level of international recognition not seen (or heard) since Los Del Rios scored with the hip-gyrating, wedding-reception staple, the Macarena.

The iPod Touch ad has been viewed over 112 million times, subsequently pushing 'Music Is My Hot Sex' right up the charts. It reached #63 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the highest charting song ever for a South American act.

But who are these guys and gals? The name of this San Paulo band, formed in 2003, translates literally from 'tired of being sexy', a quote from R&B diva Beyonce. Not unlike their nomenclature, the band is steeped in pop culture references. Driven by infectious beats, their music is unpretentious and fun. A killer live act, their innocent, juvenile approach translates well onstage. They also sing in both English and Portuguese. Bonus.

Fortunately, CSS isn't another international fluke (read; Bay City Rollers). They haven't fallen prey to the sophomore slump and their latest release 'Donkey' is filled with the acerbic wit, frivolous lyrics and shake-your-booty groove that has become the band's trademark.

With so many 'important' bands around, it's refreshing to hear some good old mindless pop. Reminds me a lot of the stuff I listened to in the 80's.

I'm just sayin'.

Lets Make Love And Listen To Death From Above
Rat Is Dead
Bay City Rollers- Saturday Night

iPod Touch Ad (Original Nick Haley)

CSS- Lets Make Love And Listen To Death From Above

CSS- Alala

Bay City Rollers- Saturday Night

No comments: