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August 2, 2006

Hurra Torpedo
Posted by Teresa at 11:03 PM * 56 comments

Hurra Torpedo, Total Eclipse of the Heart. Mystery and simplicity. Norwegians. Re-somethinged 80s rock. Patrick showed it to me and I fell in love with him all over again.

More than this I cannot say.

(Okay, except that the guy stirring the pot looks like Tollund Man. But that’s all.)*

Comments on Hurra Torpedo:
#1 ::: Arete ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2006, 11:50 PM:

I'm not sure whether that ruined the original for me forever, or whether it made it just that much better.

#2 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2006, 11:55 PM:

This one has everything but the kitchen sink.

#3 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 01:16 AM:

Are you sure, Kip? Could it be on the floor behind the, er, percussionist/appliancist?

#4 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 01:32 AM:

At last, Jim Steinman has found the perfect interpreters. (And I wonder if the Worldcon Masquerade committee is hastily making a couple of rules changes.)

But, please, it's Kitsch N'Sink.

I'll go away now.

#5 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 01:41 AM:

But, please, it's Kitsch N'Sink.

better than Kitsch N SYNC.

#6 ::: Little Mr Square Eyes ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 01:42 AM:

Judging by the coin slot on display I'm surprised it wasn't pay per view.

(I'll follow Mr Ford out)

#7 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 02:21 AM:

Oh, I really didn't need to see that much simultaneous butt crack.

#8 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 02:51 AM:

I think my heart just stopped.

#9 ::: daelm ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 04:35 AM:

(delurk)

paste magazine circulated a short film about them a couple of months (?) back. really wonderful. wonderful, wonderful. wonderful.

(relurk)

#10 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 05:45 AM:

Whoah. Dude.

#11 ::: jane ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 05:51 AM:

But did you all miss the best part? The bouncing guitar string ends? That totally made it for me, dude.

Jane

#12 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 06:48 AM:

Wow, and I thought it was odd that Jim Steinman eventually put the song into into his musical, Dance of the Vampires (Tanz der Vampire).
For fans of the song, there's also a good a cappella recording by the USC SoCal VoCals. It got into Best of College A Cappella 2001.

(Shouldn't the guitarist have been playing tuned mason jars or something?)

#13 ::: Michael Walsh ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 07:27 AM:

"Hurra Torpedo is the world's leading kitchen appliance rock group." http://www.hurratorpedo.org

There's competition?

#14 ::: Adam Lipkin ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 08:56 AM:

I don't think I've ever seen another band do so much with kitchen appliances and a terrible case of plumber's crack.

#15 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 09:03 AM:

Are they going to branch out into laundry music?

#16 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 09:34 AM:

Beats the heck out of this one.

#17 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 09:41 AM:

A song I hate, done justice at last.

#18 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 09:42 AM:

Avram...we need to talk.

#19 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 09:50 AM:

This one has everything but the kitchen sink.

Speaking of which... Does anybody know where one could buy a key ring with a tiny kitchen sink attached to it? I did some googling and wound up being pointed to something about Britney Spears.

#20 ::: Cathy ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 09:54 AM:

Well I rather liked this song in the original, but this has to be seen to be believed. Thanks TNH for slogging through the internet to find these things for us!

#21 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 10:35 AM:

Serge, your best bet might be to find a dollhouse kitchen sink and attach the keychain yourself.

#22 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 10:45 AM:

That's an idea, Avram. This is something I'd like to give my wife. That way, next time we go on a trip, I will be able to say that she's bringing everything and the kitchen sink.

(Which reminds me of the Bugs Bunny cartoon where, dressed as Granny about to elope with fortune-stealing Yosemite Sam, Bugs actually throws the kitchen sink down to Sam.)

#23 ::: everstar ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 10:51 AM:

I think I just sprained my diaphragm trying not to laugh as hard as I wanted to.

#24 ::: jim ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 11:12 AM:

I don't know. The original was gloriously over-the-top, so camp it came out the other side, where this version has only the one gimmick. I think Avram is wrong, though. The upside down mouths lip-synching is a better gimmick than beat-up kitchen equipment (though I did like the freezer).

#25 ::: Adam Rice ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 11:13 AM:

This is the most annoying, most suffocating example of hipster irony I've ever seen. It's half a step away from choreographed nosepicking.

#26 ::: L.N. Hammer ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 11:36 AM:

Don't hold back, Adam. Tell us how you really feel.

---L.

#27 ::: Meredith ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 11:41 AM:

I'm ... speechless.

Except to note that you'd think they'd find running pants that fit. I didn't need to see that much Viking buttcrack, either.

(Huh, now *there's* a band name...)

#28 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 11:56 AM:

Viking buttcrack... (Huh, now *there's* a band name...)

Reminds me of those Capital One commercials with their out-of-work Barbarians. I caught a new ad last night where some of them try to reinvent themselves by starting a rock group called the Pillage People.

#29 ::: Mr. Velocipede ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 12:08 PM:

Hm, yes, it may be a total eclipse of the heart, but it appears to be only a partial eclipse of the moon.

Jane: I also enjoyed the bouncing guitar string ends.

#30 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 12:10 PM:

Adam: We're hipsters? When did that happen?

What you're seeing here is sincere amazement. An ironic viewpoint couldn't possibly do justice to that video.

#31 ::: --E ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 12:37 PM:

My eyes can take abuse, but my ears will never forgive you. I suppose this should have made me remember that Vikings may yowl like cats.

#32 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 12:39 PM:

I believe Adam ascribes that irony to the band, not to us.

Between this and the cut of the Carpenters doing "The Rainbow Connection" I was just given by a friend, I think I may need a new brain.

#33 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 12:53 PM:

Oh, okay. Thank you, Andrew.

Adam, sorry for misreading that.

#34 ::: D ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 01:01 PM:

Regarding the kitchen sink - you may be able to find a kitchen sink made for a charm bracelet - I found one on eBay with a quick search on froogle, but I can't post a link to it because a link to eBay seems to be questionable content.

Regarding Hurra Torpedo - Here is their wikipedia entry. My favorite quote: "During recent years Hurra Torpedo have had annual split- and reunion tours."

#35 ::: Roy G. Ovrebo ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 01:39 PM:

Wow, this is an old one. "Lille LÝrdag" was shown in the early nineties. Ok, 1995.

Hurra Torpedo has an official web page, and there's a link to a wmv clip of the song that's actually got audio and video in sync.

The, er, drummer of the band is Kristopher Schau, alleged comedian and musician, and frontman of a band whose name the comment system won't allow me to post - most infamous for a [perhaps not worksafe] wardrobe malfunction on stage during the 2004 Quart Festival. There's a video of the event [certainly not worksafe] here.

#36 ::: Lucy Huntzinger ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 02:38 PM:

You must watch this video: go to http://www.okgo.net/news.aspx and click the YouTube link.

This is the greatest thing I have seen all year.

#37 ::: Martin G. L. ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 02:40 PM:

Shout-out from the Norwegian readership: How amusing to see Lille LÝrdag here. I'm so sorry people the world over can't see the brilliantness of these comedians in Norwegian. They're brilliant. They're brilliantly brilliant. I would describe this as one of their mediocre jokes. It's not just hysterically funny, they have a sort of zen approach to humour (it mostly revolves around seeing how far you can take a joke until it stops being funny, and then taking it so far beyond that it becomes all pomo and beyond-funny funny again) which comes very close to being art. The voice of a generation in Norway (and they're off-pitch and all)!

#38 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 03:34 PM:

It's got a great beat; it's easy to dance to -- I give it an "8."

#39 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 03:43 PM:

My cherished memories of the 80's are in tattered, flaming ruins.

Ugh!

Maybe I'd like them in Norwegian.

#40 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 03:57 PM:

In the event that anyone needs their cherished memories of the 90s ruined as well....

(Or, for that matter, their memories of 70s movie themes.)

#41 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 04:00 PM:

i'd seen the hurra torpedo video several months ago, but here's a related video that was new to me:
music for one apartment and six drummers

it was nominated for a golden palm at cannes 2001, and has won awards at several other short film festivals.

swedish, not norwegian, and they are all properly clothed, but still very strong on making music out of ...things.

#42 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 06:19 PM:

::falls over laughing::

#43 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 06:30 PM:

Ah, that's what I love about fen: One person throws in a reference to Tollund Man (without bothering to include a pointer), and no one else bats an eyelash.

#44 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 06:40 PM:

(stereotypical radio announcer voice)
That was "Careful with that axe, Eugene" by the Viking Buttcracks. Up next, "Uncomfortably numb" by Fat Guys in Speedos, right after these commercials.
(/)

#45 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 08:19 PM:

Best musical use of major kitchen appliances since the Triplets of Belleville retired.

#46 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2006, 08:33 PM:

From Roy's linked story.

They have sex in public in order to put focus on the rainforest.

I'm simply not able to apply the deserved amount of snark here.

#47 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2006, 04:46 AM:

After he stopped gasping for breath, my teenage son said "I just wish my middle-school talent shows had something like that."

#48 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2006, 12:35 PM:

That certain cherished 70s movie theme is a favorite busking tune for bagpipers, guaranteed to get money thrown in your case, if only to get you to stop.

Also with pipe bands as a march by itself or in a medley (couldn't find a sound clip for that -- aren't you glad?). And it makes a reasonably sprightly jig played on traditional celtic instruments. Not that I'm admitting to have done this myself, you realize.

#49 ::: Fred ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2006, 03:06 AM:

...and suddenly, I find myself wondering if Phish ever covered this. Bat Out of Hell for one of the Halloween costume shows, perhaps?

#50 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2006, 08:55 PM:

Meanwhile, an analysis or two of the original video for the song. Because you can never have enough pirouetting ninjas.

#51 ::: Flora ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 01:32 AM:

Oh dear. I literally laughed until I cried. That is fantastic! I want more of these guys!

#52 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 10:36 AM:

(Comment here removed to the front page.)

#53 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 12:04 AM:

(it mostly revolves around seeing how far you can take a joke until it stops being funny, and then taking it so far beyond that it becomes all pomo and beyond-funny funny again)

This reminds me of the brilliant "Fire Ant" episode of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. While interviewing Conan O'Brian, Space Ghost gets bitten by an ant and decides to follow it home to its nest and kill its whole family. In the regular version of the episode, they just cut from the studio to the ants' nest, but in the double-length version they filled out the extra 10 minutes or so with... Space Ghost following the ant. It went right through boring and annoying into hysterical.

#54 ::: A. J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 04:38 AM:

It has the same well-crafted brain-eating sensibility as intentional badfic by a good writer.

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