YouTube video

Last month we brought you news of a Berkeley boy, now living in L.A., whose clever music video about shopping at Whole Foods went viral — our story about “getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot” garnered 400 Facebook Likes alone and the video itself has notched up more than 2.3 million views on YouTube.

While the video’s subject was familiar to many Berkeley Whole Food patrons — a lack of parking spaces, some more than precious food items and maybe a certain sticker shock — the story was set in Santa Monica, not our fair city. So perhaps it was inevitable that someone should do a remix which is actually shot at the Whole Foods on the intersection of Ashby and Telegraph.

Such an endeavor could have been a feeble flop, but the person behind it, one LaeCharles, has done a fine job of making the concept his own. Check it out above, and, if you would like a reminder of David Wittman’s original oeuvre (Berkeley High class of ’92), we bring it to you again below.

The question is, who is LaeCharles Lawrence Jr.? If you know, or indeed if you are he, please get in touch. You know where we are.

Update, 4:40pm: We’re glad to say Berkeleyside tracked LaeCharles down and here’s what he had to say:

Q: Are you a musician? What do you do?
I am a musician, vocalist, MC, voiceover actor and viral video producer. On the entertainment side, I produce and license music for my company Get Mine Publishing and Entertainment. I’ve had songs on “The Bernie Mack Show”, “So You Think You Can Dance”, “Saturday Night Live” and “Meerkat Manor”. I’m working on a new album “Lovey Love the Plus Size Player”, that I hope to have finished by October, which I’ll perform out, with my band L.A.E. (Live Audio Explosion) coming up soon.

I also work for SunPower Corporation in facilities management. Go solar!

Q: Where are you based?
I’m based in North Oakland, in the Temescal area, right down the street from the Berkeley Whole Foods.

Q: Why did you decide to do this video?
Well, I saw the original video, and laughed SO hard, I thought it was great! Some of my friends said that the guy in it (DJ Dave Wittman) was from Berkeley, which I thought was cool. I really enjoyed their (Fog & Smog) style of humor. It was like Lonely Island [guys who are] also from Berkeley High. I went to the Fog & Smog website and found the track, and as the video said, I felt like I wanted in!

Q: Tell us a little about the making of the video.
After recording the song, I started thinking of ideas for the video. The treatment actually was a lot different at first. It was more a straightforward following of the song. But in the week following I started to get new ideas. It took me a few days for new ideas and storyboarding, two and a half days of shooting and then two days of editing. I wasn’t sure I would be able to shoot in the store, because of the first video. But my crew and I had a ball making this video!

Q: Do you shop at Whole Foods? If so does your experience match the message in your video?
I shop at Whole Foods all the time, as some folks from Berkeley will or will not admit, we shop at three stores, Whole Foods (which is down the street from my place), Berkeley Bowl (the new one is niiiice!), and Trader Joe’s. Each store has different stuff I like.

The silent film part of my video actually happened. One morning before work I went there to get breakfast, and when I came out the SUV had parked so close that I couldn’t get in, so I had to wait for the person to come out before I could leave. She acted like she didn’t even care — no sorry or nothing. I was late for work of course.

Q: Did we see a comment from Fog & Smog on YouTube saying they love your video?
Yes Fog & Smog did say they liked it, which is also cool! DJ Dave is from Berkeley. Maybe there might be a collaboration, who knows. Stay tuned!

[Hat-tip: Laura Menard.]

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...