Video: Medium Leslie

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Video: Medium Leslie

Worse than cats: NaJo outtakes. This is from a chapter in that magnificent epic wot we all wrote last month called '30 Hours in Hooverville'. It will explain the video. Or not. For reasons that are reasonably clear if you know Freewayriding, and totally inexplicable if you do not, there needed to be a musical genre with the word 'Leslie' in it. So here we go.

Wlad is back on the keyboard with his video camera set up on the tripod. He's putting together a little thing he secretly thinks of as his 'break video'. It's based on the popularity of certain songs with radio DJs, which they called 'bathroom break records'. Weak bladders were one of the main causes of the excessive airtime devoted in the 1960s to 'MacArthur Park', length 7:21. This one's shorter, but the bathroom's closer.

Wlad's video is for one of the afternoon sessions at the River Pirates' Inn. The restaurant has found a way to fill tables during the dead period between lunch and dinner by touting itself as a musical venue for niche tastes. The management hires Wlad for these things, because Wlad is local, he's popular, and he works cheap.

This afternoon, Wlad will be performing for the aficionados of the Medium Leslie Movement, an artistic and musical craze that's sweeping college campuses right now. Musically, Medium Leslie is to the Sixties Standard what '50s jazz was to the standards of old: a way to bring them back with a twist. Medium Leslie's aesthetic is cool, detached, knowing: ironic in such a deadpan way as to seem totally un-ironic. Where headbanger music is loud and 'in your face', Medium Leslie is so distant as to seem broadcast from the far side of the moon. In other words, it doesn't meet you halfway, or anywhere near it. Wlad's break video is his Medium Leslie version of 'Don't Sleep in the Subway', a 1967 hit.

Click here for the video, or watch the embedded version in your Pliny-skin page.

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