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Obama, Grateful Dead and Joy Division

By Mike Breen · January 24th, 2012 · Minimum Gauge

Some Guys Have All the Luck …

Barack Obama’s persona often seems so perfect, we wonder if he isn’t some sort of android. It now appears Obamabot 3000, or, uh, the President even has the ability to sing. Falsetto. Like Al Green. During an appearance at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Obama smoothly let out a few lines of “Let’s Stay Together” (in honor of Al Green, who was performing later) to swoons and squeals of delight. As Obama noted, the Sandman didn’t sweep him offstage, but he still ended up losing to a Japanese breakdancing troupe and an adorable 9-year-old girl singing a Patti LaBelle song.  


Dead Inc.

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart recently told Rolling Stone the band has long resisted offers to license its image to sell products, saying “You didn’t want to turn the Dead into a knickknack-trinket business.” But, he added, “Times and attitudes have changed.” Read: the group is ready to sell out in grand, gawdy fashion.

The Dead’s new “knickknack-trinket business” will feature a slew of Dead products, including a video game, coffee mugs, skateboards, lunchboxes and the dream item for any tie-die-hard fan — a Grateful Dead-themed Monopoly game. Because nothing exudes the Dead’s essence more than a game about high-price real estate.


Disney For Hipsters?

The album cpver of Unknown Pleasures, the seminal album by gloomy Post Punk icons Joy Division, has been co-opted by Disney for a new t-shirt. The “Waves Mickey Mouse Tee” turns the cover’s waveform imagery into the shape of Mickey’s head. Disney’s website makes no bones about the source: “Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album, (the shirt) incorporates Mickey’s image within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That’s appropriate given few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!” Who’s spinning in his grave more vigorously, Ian Curtis or Walt?



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