Sunday, July 13, 2008

Jermaine, Devo, Le Omnichord

Jermaine Jackson - Let Me Tickle Your Fancy

Jermaine Jackson performs Let Me Tickle Your Fancy with DEVO

A wonderful archival WTF: tv performance of this Jackson brother lipping it to a hit 80s synth-boogie jam, 'backed' by "Spud and Pud Devo." Who are clearly engaged in the sort of top-shelf hamming one would expect from members of Devo pretending to be a pop backing band on national television. Also Jermaine's guitar "solo" is fire.

The instrument that Mark Mothersbaugh is so robotically smacking is called an Omnichord, first introduced to me by my friends Heather, Erika and Annie, who have a band called Au Revoir Simone.

You don't have to play keys on this chord, instead one has the option of depressing a chord button and then gently stroking the little magic strip, in order to produce a casionically ethereal synth twinkle.

For more on retro-future instruments you have to check out Music Thing, an amazing blog dedicated to such and related matters, as well as this recent article in the New York Times on the dinosaur Omnichord's more contemporary descendents.

"Turning Guitar Heroes Into Composers"

Addendum: as noted Jermaine Jackson enthusiast Alan Hicks notes, Jermaine's 7th and youngest child is named "Jermajesty." Look it up.

No comments: