Phoenix, as Interviewed by Snooki: This Month’s Most Important Cultural Artifact
If your head didn’t explode by reading that headline, then watching the video will. Yes, Phoenix was interviewed by Jersey Shore‘s Snooki on the red carpet at the Grammys. One of the best things the universe has produced over the last decade (Phoenix) came into contact with one of the most important (and stupid) anthropological studies of our time: Jersey Shore. In case you can’t deal with watching the figurative Two Girls One Cup of red carpet interviews, I’ve provided play-by-play commentary to spare your face the harm:
00:06 Snooki tries to understand whether or not they know who she is, and whether or not they know what Jersey Shore is.
00:08 Shockingly, they don’t. “We are French.”
00:10 “So you guys are called Phoenix?” They answer in the affirmative.
00:14 “What kind of JON-RAH are you?” They answer what any other band would say: “Rock, I guess.” They start to try to understand how humans like Snooki could understand their music without hearing it by explaining what category they’re nominated in. They’re cut off.
00:22 Snooki asks for an a cappella performance: “Can you sing me a song right now?” They decline, because they’ve probably never sang a cappella. And also, they don’t want to make any sudden movements. Which they shouldn’t. “We are terrible at this.”
00:34 Snooki tries to bridge the gap between her culture and theirs. First attempt: Twilight. She explains that their guitarist looks like Robert Pattinson, which he absolutely doesn’t. “Ah, that’s good, no? He’s sexy, no?” Success!
00:48 Ambassador Snickers now goes for the hail mary. “I have a serious question,” she demands. “Do you guys know what guidos mean?”
00:40 They don’t. They’re confused. Snooki tries to help. “Italian people who look really hot and tan, they have blowouts.” She’s still trying. “Do you have Guidos in France?”
00:59 Phoenix responds: “It’s the equivalent of a cagole.” Lead singer Thomas Mars tries not to crack up as he deathstares guitarist Laurent Brancowitz.
01:02 Snooki replies in kind: “HUH?” Snooki explains that a “Guido” is a man and a “Guidette” is a woman. “They have girls that look like me in France?” Paging MTV, we found your next show.
01:10 Brancowitz tries to explain what a “Cagole” is but gets nowhere. The interview ends on this note.
Only so much diplomacy to be had on the red carpet, but truth be told, Snooki did okay, considering her marching orders were probably something like “Ask everyone if they’re aware of your native culture. Use the word ‘guido’ a lot.” A search in some French web pages and a trip to Google Translate yields the following:
Cagole an ordinary girl who talks loudly making mistakes in French, who dress in clothes lights, bearing an impressive amount of jewels (the Cagole wants only gold … Let’s shine, whether seeing), who whistles the guys on the street & moving band. The Cagole talks incessantly, gives his opinions on everything even if she does not know what it is parle. Bref exuberance prevails, the finesse is banned. VERY IMPORTANT: Cagole feels elegant & distinguished & wants to be shown respect as she gives the right to be hypocritical and she loves the music to fashion.
So, basically, the French version of a guidettte or whatever, except, not, because they’re not spending their summers in Seaside Heights. Now that we’ve sufficiently fried your brain, please enjoy this recently televised performance by Phoenix, and try to remember what’s awesome about this band, other than the fact that they managed to dignify Snooki for 90 seconds without a black hole forming somewhere in a neighboring solar system.