Damn You, Public Service Broadcasting, for Making Learning Fun

by nylon

Quick, name the first human to visit outer space.more

No, it wasn't Alan Shepard or any other American for that matter, and after watching Public Service Broadcasting's new video for "Gagarin," you'll never forget the answer to this particular trivia question. It was Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, and as we learn in the first 30 seconds of this clip, he rocketed into orbit on April 12, 1961. For the next four minutes, as vintage news reports play over a sturdy funk beat and blasts from a six-piece brass section, the British duo of J. Willgoose, Esq. and Wrigglesworth prove that bulky spacesuits don't necessarily prohibit dancing.

In fact, the pair spin, jump, pop, lock, and bust all kinds of moves, as if their helmets and unis ain't no thang. The clip premiered yesterday on NPR, and given the over-the-top language in the propaganda soundbites, Willgoose said they didn't want to get "too literal" with the song or accompanying visuals.

"It seemed more appropriate to try and re-create some of that triumphant air with a similarly upbeat song—and when it came to creating the video, the best way we could think of to communicate that sense of joy was to get our dancing shoes on," he said.

By pairing guitar-powered dance tunes with samples from archival footage, Public Service Broadcasting aims to teach lessons through music. To wit, the group's next album, The Race for Space (due out Feb. 24), centers on that storied period from 1957 to 1972 when the United States and Soviet Union spent massive amounts of money building rockets and spaceships, all in a bid to one-up one another.

The Race for Space will teach you something, in other words, which kinda sucks, but if it inspires dancing like this, it's probably at least as much fun as getting baked and watching Cosmos.