Do The Macarena (On A Fishing Boat In The North Atlantic With An HP Printer)


Do you like this HP Office Jet Pro commercial?  I think it is very effective.  The people are of all ages, attractive (including adorable little kids in commercials, TV shows, video and film is usually a no-brainer) and very happy.  The colors are beautiful.  Everyone seems to be having fun in the upcoming celebration of AnnaBel’s birthday.  The fishermen look like good wholesome hard working Scandinavians or Scandinavian-types, and the ocean is a sapphire blue – it must be the North Atlantic.  The wood of the ships is good wood (that sounded like something Mitt Romney would have said  –   “the trees are the right height, the wood is good wood”) .  Everything that needs to be good is good.  Everything that needs to have color has color.  And so on.

But what first caught my attention is the music of this HP Office Jet Pro commercial.  Because I am always multitasking, I am always hearing television before I am watching television  For me, the trick is – if the music and/or sound is interesting enough or familiar enough, I look up.  If not, I keep writing/goofing off at my iMac while I am also looking at my iMac, not a television screen.

While working on a project, I heard this HP Office Jet Pro commercial and looked up.  What distracted me and attracted me to the commercial was the manner in which it referenced the way-too-big hit song from the mid 1990’s, “Macarena.”  (When I just wrote, M-A-C-A-R-E-N-A, WordPress thought perhaps I meant, “Macaroni,” or “Macaroon.”  No, I meant M-A-C-A-R-E-N-A.  It might take a few more years to convince the world of words that Macarena is Macarena, just as it took a long time to make “Beatles” not be “Beetles.”

“Macarena” features its hook at these eleven (11) places in Macarena:












The hook in the “HP Office Jet Pro commercial” is heard once in HP Office Jet Pro commercial:


Do you think the hooks between these two songs are similar?

Which of the following do you think is/are true?

HP Office Jet Pro commercial  copies  Macarena

HP Office Jet Pro commercial  infringes the copyright of  Macarena

HP Office Jet Pro commercial  references  Macarena

HP Office Jet Pro commercial  does not reference  Macarena

Please post your thoughts.  Maybe I’ll post mine.

One final thought re these videos:

“I like, uh, I like seeing the, uh, I like seeing the videos.  I love the videos.  There’s something very special here.  The great videos but also all the little inland videos that dot the, uh, the, uh, parts of Michigan. Um…” 


Did Big Happens Here Do Digable Planets?

I love the 1993 Digable Planets album, “Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time And Space).”  Their big single from the album, “Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat),” might have been overplayed and overhyped but I still like it.

I love seeing how others view music that is not their native music.   By “native,” I mean this is music that is not their primary music – not the music that they first performed or were “into.”  Many in hip hop came to R & B and jazz after they were first immersed in hip hop, just as many in jazz may have started in rock, and so on.  One of the things that intrigues me is how someone from outside a musical tradition can latch onto a small phrase that might seem not extremely interesting or important to those who are the REAL practitioners of a style, i.e., musicians who are inside that tradition.  For example,  what a hip hop musician might think is important in a jazz composition can be much different from what a jazz musician might think is most important.

I know that many traditional jazz players, especially in the early and mid-1980’s, would not likely latch on to a short phrase, repeat it many times and make this small and almost “throw away” motif into something big.  This tiny melodic gesture, in the hands of an outsider (with respect to a musical tradition), could become the most important part of the melody, or sometimes the only melody that matters to someone from outside of that tradition.  This “how does a foreigner view our music” idea is one I will explore later.  I’ll include myself in this – how and why did I get into hip hop, or Senegalese, Malagasy, Brazilian or Cuban music.

All of this to get back to that famous Digable Planets song that samples some jazz.  Digable Planets were not the first group to sample jazz but this song did influence a lot of people and inform others that something new was happening.  And that this new thing was happening from the confluence of more than one musical style.

I got thinking of Digable Planets a few days ago (during Hurricane Sandy) when I saw a television commercial promoting the idea that New York state is a great place to have technology companies – that New York is “home to the fastest-growing tech sector in America.”   (Massachusetts needs a “tech is our kind of place” and “we are the [tech] champions, my friend” commercial to top New York, but I digress.)

As always, I was doing something other than watching television passively.  I must have been playing on my iPad waiting for the winds to blow harder (as they did).  I heard music that seemed quite familiar – my instant thought was that this music on the tube was a “write around” aka “writearound” aka “reference” of Digable Planets’ “Cool Like Dat.”

Fortunately, the tech commercial was on YouTube, so I lassoed it and placed it here:

Big Happens Here:  Technology

Now here is Digable Planets’ “Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat).”

Digable Planets – “Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)”

What do you think?  Do you hear a relationship between Big Happens Here and Digable Planets?

Is Big Happens Here a ripoff of Digable Planets?

Is Big Happens Here somewhat similar to Digable Planets?

Is Big Happens here not related to Digable Planets?

I think there is a relationship.  I’d rather not divulge my thoughts but read of yours.  I’ll explain my thoughts later.  Soon.  Maybe tomorrow.  But I await your responses.  :  )