Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

This "Bulls On Parade"-Owen Wilson mashup is still probably better than Prophets Of Rage

Did you know that Owen Wilson says “wow” a lot? Probably, considering not only did some genius make a supercut of it, but some other wiseasses worked that “wow” into things such as lightsaber duels. Now, Wilson’s slacker-chic rasp has leaped, inevitably some would say, from the corporeal world into the musical one, his mellifluous declaration of wonder melding with Tom Morello’s wow-worthy guitar work.

Rage Against the Machine’s 1997 song “Bulls on Parade” is iconic not just for Zach De La Rocha’s scorching vocals, but also for a central guitar riff mimicking a vinyl scratch. It’s a striking effect, one Morello made by rubbing his hands on the strings above two pickups, one turned on and one turned off. Many would describe it as producing a “wah-wah” kind of sound, though, for Wilson at least, it’s probably better described as “wow-wow.”

Of course, what makes this mashup so funny isn’t the “wows” so much as it is the intrusion of Wilson’s breeziness into an anti-authoritarian song that has soundtracked furious weight-room sessions for decades. It’s a far cry from the intensity of Rage’s proper albums, but still probably better than that Prophets Of Rage record. Listen to the Wilson version above, preferably while rallying around your family with a pocket full of wows.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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