It seems that parody will get you nowhere with the Beastie Boys. The hip-hop group is not amused by the use of its song “Girls” in a viral advertising video by GoldieBlox, a San Francisco-area start-up that designs toys encouraging girls to explore science and engineering. (You’ve probably seen the video — it’s the one with the adorable little girls who built an incredibly cool Rube Goldberg contraption.)
GoldieBlox, say the Beastie Boys in an open letter, has the right to fight to encourage girls to become engineers, but not to use their music for commercial purposes.
The toy company, on the other hand, thinks it has every right to put out a parody version of the song, whose original anti-feminist lyrics speak of girls who do the dishes and laundry (in the GoldieBlox version, the girls build spaceships and code apps).
It seems the start-up knew Beastie Boy members Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz (third member Adam “MCA” Yauch died in 2012) would not approve of its use of “Girls.” The company filed a preemptive lawsuit last week against the Beastie Boys, their record label and producer, asking the California federal court to classify the video as an example of fair use.
Here’s some of what the musicians had to say about GoldieBlox’s actions:
Apparently this video has been around since the summer of 2011, but now there’s an expanded version. Watch the characters from Sesame Street performing the Beastie Boys’ “Sure Shot” (via boingboing):
Adam Yauch, a member of the seminal hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, has died at age 47. Yauch, also known as MCA, had been treated for cancer since 2009.
Brooklyn-born Yauch founded the Beastie Boys in 1979 with Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz. They achieved fame in 1986 with their first full-length album, “Licenced to Ill.”
The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, though Yauch was unable to attend due to illness.
“Rip Adam Yauch,” the Beastie Boys’ first manager and Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons wrote on Twitter today. On his website, globalgrind.com, he added: “Adam was incredibly sweet and the most sensitive artist who I loved dearly. I was always inspired by his work. He will be missed by all of us.”
Read our review of the Beastie Boys’ most recent album, “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two,” here.
“Beaufort” director Joseph Cedar has made a splash at Cannes with “Footnote,” a film about a competitive father-son pair of Talmudists.
The LABA fellows at the 14th street Y will culminate their year-long journey into eros with the LABA festival, starting tonight.
The National Yiddish Book Center is raising money to restore a collection of recorded Yiddish books.
I imagine the hot sauce committee to be a studious and dour group, as dispassionate in their judgment of peppers and spices as the academy is of Red Peter the talking ape in Kafka’s “A Report to an Academy.” Which is to say, that if the Beastie Boys are not quite the heir to Kafka’s fantastical humor, they are at least a multimedia Marx Brothers, deviously pushing absurdity to new heights with each of their albums.
How else can we explain their latest project, “Fight For Your Right Revisited,” a 25-minute sequel to “Fight for Your Right (to Party)”? Released to accompany their new album, “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two,” the aesthetics of “Revisited” are perfect: There are the boys in their Adidas track suits and chunky gold chains leaving a party for a day-lit street that looks like the “Paul’s Boutique” album cover. Only instead of appearing themselves, the band cast Danny McBride and Seth Rogan as fatter, less whimsical versions of MCA and Mike D, and Elijah Wood as an even more awkward Ad-Rock, whose cherubic face hides his dark core.
In May 1942, around three months before some 300,000 Jews were sent from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka, Nazi filmmakers shot 62 minutes of propaganda footage intended to illustrate the inhumanity of their victims. Staged scenes showed rich Jews living in luxurious indifference to the poverty and death around them, purportedly demonstrating their callousness, even toward their own people.
Chances are you’ve seen this footage, though not in its entirety. One of the only film documents to emerge from the Holocaust, bits and pieces of it have been used in nearly every Holocaust documentary ever made. But only recently has a filmmaker undertaken to examine the footage as a whole, as well as the circumstances in which it was produced.