Part of our ongoing Cinema Sounds series, Mike LeSuer brings us “Jane 2: Electric Boogaloo” from Pedestrian’s 2005 album Volume One: UnIndian Songs.
The Artist: lyricist, rapper, writer, and pseudo-Evangelist-preacher Pedestrian
The Influence: Noah Baumbach’s highly-quotable 1995 film Kicking and Screaming
The Result: Pedestrian’s highly-quotable 2005 song “Jane 2: Electric Boogaloo”
Buried in the catacombs of incomprehensible haircuts and too-big clothes of mid-‘90s romantic comedies lies the timeless tale of post-grad ennui afflicting a highly-literate friend group as one of its members attempts to realign his romantic life after his long-time girlfriend, Jane, heads to Europe without him. Kicking and Screaming, not to be confused with Kicking & Screaming, is Noah Baumbach’s directorial debut, which feels much closer to an early episode of Seinfeld than The Squid and the Whale as it succeeds mostly as a collection of unrelated witticisms that wavers only when a plot emerges (it also features an unforgettable appearance by Ramon The Pool Guy).
Fastforward a decade and L.A.-based label Anticon has amassed a roster bursting with screwball hip-hop worthy of Baumbach’s eccentricities. Taking its name from an off-hand comment made mid-film, the boom-bap playfulness of “Jane 2: Electric Boogaloo” also mirrors the movie’s distinctively ‘90s sense of humor (“damn girl, what’s your sign? Prozac? Nah, it’s Zoloft ain’t it?”) recalling a time when astrological signs were inexplicably used in pickup lines and Breakin’ 2 was a thing people knew about, and matches its post-breakup despair (“open call for bioengineers: if you clone this one girl I’m thinking of, I’d gladly wait the 23 years for another shot”). It even features an Otis-like refrain by Why?’s Yoni Wolf (“What’s a 3D girl like you doing in a place like this?”).
UnIndian Songs is available for purchase on Anticon’s website.