Friday, October 17, 2008

I Spent Christmas Down in Africa

A few weekends ago I read an article in the paper (my weekend subscription to the New York Times) about a college acappella group called Straight No Chaser.  It’s a group of 10 guys from some school in Indiana (who knew anything praiseworthy could come out of Indiana!), only they were there in the mid-90s.  As it goes, one of the guys uploaded a few videos of their songs onto YouTube, so the guys, now all in their thirties, could relive old memories.  But then a funny thing happened- it went viral (as they say) and suddenly their songs became internet sensations with millions of views.  Big name recording studios caught wind of this and one decided it wanted to offer these guys a 5-record deal.  So there these guys were, scattered all around the country, working in finance, advertising and wherever else, presumably some married and with children, and they are being reunited to do a Christmas album together.  Holy.  Awesome. 

So I read this article that detailed their story and thought, “Ok, fair enough, they’re acappella, probably decent, but are they really THAT good?”  Yes infriggindeed.  Their big “hit” is 12 Days, as in the 12 Days of Christmas.  But it’s nothing like the monotonous Christmas carol we all love to hate.  Though not originally written by them, they took an already creative version and made it even more creative and quirky and innovative, most notably with the addition of Africa.  I watched it no less than 5 times in a row, straight through, hearing new things each time.  It’s incredible.  Even better than my all-time favorite college acappella song- “Yeah” sung by Oregon’s Divisi.  The guys are amazing singers, and they have creativity on top of it, so they are just- wow.

This all may be old news to you, but if it isn’t, check them out.  You will not be disappointed.  I may or may not have pre-ordered their Christmas album, due out at the end of October.

Oh, and I was just kidding about the Indiana comment earlier.  PLENTY of good things come out of Indiana.  Corn, soybeans, and nascar, obvi.  

No comments: