Glenn Close put her backfield in motion last night to EU’s “Da Butt,” causing a good portion of the Washington area to go berserk. “It was a classic song by the great Washington, DC, go-go band EU,” she said. “Shoutouts to Sugar Bear, the Backyard Band, and the whole DMV.”
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) April 26, 2021
Well, bad news: The whole thing was a work, the Los Angeles Times reports, revealing that “Close’s twerk-tastic performance was part of a scripted bit designed for laughs.”
But really, who cares? The bigger takeaways here are: 1) lots of people still recognize a 33-year-old single by a DC go-go band; and 2) The weirdest Oscars in recent memory showcased some music from the DC area. Perhaps salutes to Washington music are even a burgeoning trend at awards shows—the 2019 BET Awards opened with a salute to go-go, after all.
The story behind “Da Butt” is less of a celebration of DC music, as Sarah Godfrey wrote in her indispensable oral history of go-go-‘s biggest national hit. The song was confected in New York for the School Daze soundtrack, and only a few members of EU actually performed on it. (It was originally intended to be recorded by Cameo.) Still, the record’s success followed Chris Blackwell’s ill-fated attempt to take go-go national with the movie Good to Go a few years earlier, and EU is still playing. The term “Experience Unlimited” was even trending on Google Monday morning.
Even if Close’s dance was a set-up, that’s a win for DC’s culture at a time when arguments against its statehood focus on what critics say the city lacks. We’ve still got “Da Butt,” and everyone knows it.