Smells Like Team Spirit

The Go! Team were already a word of blog sensation last fall when major labels circled the Brighton crew for a domestic release of their infectious Thunder, Lightning, Strike. Problem was, all the obscure soul samples Memphis Industries snuck in across the pond would face harsher copyright laws stateside. How would Go! Team’s electrofunky stew taste after the lawyers had their say?

Pitchfork spoke to head cheerleader Ian Parton about this back in June.

“The album coming out in America will be a slightly different version compared to the import … Hopefully, you won’t notice too much of a difference when it’s out properly in America. We have to change things slightly to make them different in some way; it’s quite complicated. It’s like working to what a judge in court would think really, and I certainly won’t sacrifice the songs for money. I’d say keep it as it is if that was the right thing to do musically. However, if there are things we need to dispose of I’d happily do that as well, such as the ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ in ‘Ladyflash.’ Somebody’s going to want a lot of money for that. I might actually be giving away more of the song than I own. If 10 people want 15%, then that is over 100%, and I have to get the money from other songs, which is a ridiculous idea, that you have remake the loss on a song.”

We feel ya Ian. At least it sounds like you got your “yeah, yeahs” out…

The Go! Team – Ladyflash (Original Mix) (MP3)
The Go! Team – Ladyflash (American R&C Remix) (MP3)

Virtually indistinguishable to the casual listener? [A little help: do I even have the right versions posted?] Sounds like you won’t be missing out if you pick up the domestic version (hey, maybe Sony BMG will buy it back from you!). The album was one Stereogum’s Top Catorce Of 2004 and P-Fork gave it a 10.9 or something. But you don’t have to take Levar Burton’s word for it; sample here.

And to those of you who are all “The Team is so last year boy” … well hold on to your wifebeater K-Fed: The Team’s #1 fan Kevin fucking Shields fused “Ladyflash” with “Huddle Formation” and you can hear the result on MySpace.

It’ll be on the official “Ladyflash” single along with remixes from RJD2 and Simian and a new tune “The Wrath of Mikey,” which sounds menacing but will probably be really fun and have lots of cheering and hand clapping.

On a final note, we still love you Sufjan but the Go! Team would totally kick the Illinoisemakers’ asses in a fight.

Photos from Go! Team’s Southpaw show earlier this year:

Ninja’s got killer moves. Katrina Noisemaker doesn’t stand a chance.

Oh, and I just had to share this too: Three Park Slope fourth-graders review Thunder, Lightning, Strike for New York:
They immediately start dancing to the first song?a good sign. When I ask what they think of it, one of them simply says, “Wooooooooo!” I agree. We all love the trumpets, the little bits of funk, and the cheerleaders. Especially the cheerleaders. We spend at least three songs jumping straight up and down. One of the kids says, “Right now, this is the most energy I ever had. This music gives me superpower energy.” RATING: 9 OUT OF 10. (Sadly MMJ didn’t fare as well.)