Yoko a-go-go

November 11, 2013
(Chimera Music)
(Chimera Music)

I’m a bad dancer. I blame early exposure to the Moody Blues and a teenhood of grunge and hardcore. I can mosh a circle pit or nod gravely with the best of them, but I have no idea how to coordinate my feet, body and arms.

Yoko Ono also claims to be a bad dancer. At 80, she’s released “Take Me to the Land of Hell,” her third album since re-forming the Plastic Ono Band. Last week, she premiered the video for the single “Bad Dancer.”

“When your heart is dancing/ Your mind is bouncing,” Ono singsongs at the track’s opening. A silver ball bounces on a white plate. “Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce!” Ono gently demands, like a tiny, mystical Big Freedia. She paints black streaks in time to the song, clad in a black tap outfit, heels and top hat. Beastie Boys Ad-Rock and Mike D, who mixed the track, pop in. Questlove takes her for a spin. Ira Glass and Roberta Flack shuffle through. Just a normal Tuesday with Yoko!

I met her briefly a few weeks ago at the Hirshhorn, where her 1965 video “Cut Piece” is on view. She was so small, and she moved slowly and stiffly in the supportive clogs of an elderly woman. But her mind was dancing — and my heart was definitely bouncing.

Connect with Shauna and Sound Bets on Twitter @Shaunajmiller.

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Rick Snider · November 11, 2013