1. These are the Harlem Shakes.
They were a short lived, well-dressed New York indie rock band that formed in 2006 and disbanded in 2009. They wrote happy songs with titles like “Sunshine” and “Unhurried Hearts (Passaic Pastoral).” They played with bands that are only memorable if you lived in New York in 2009.
2. Here’s their song “Strictly Game.”
It’s also their only single, a guitar pop anthem with a doe-eyed chorus: “This will be a better year.” It too is a happy song. Six months after it was released, in September 2009, the band called it quits.
3. Four years later, and the “Harlem Shake” meme came along.
6. You may have heard about it.
8. Funnily enough, a lot of people assumed the band was responsible…
10. And felt the need to show them their dance moves.
12. (Not totally sure what this girl was expecting…)
14. Even The Guardian was confused!
Seriously! We can’t blame teenagers on the internet for everything because one of the biggest British newspapers effed up, too. They did take the image down (bummer!) but not before the band sent screenshots to their moms.
15. Then the Harlem Shakes’ Twitter exploded.
Proof that no one reads Twitter bios. In one month, Harlem Shakes went from 1,000 twitter followers to over 20,000. They were verified last week. They had 3,000 more likes on Facebook. But mostly, no one reads Twitter bios.
16. It got to the point where some people even want to buy it from them.
“We’ve gotten a few requests to buy our twitter account from Internet harlem shake video obsessives weirdos,” says guitarist Todd Goldstein. “We’re @harlemshakes! That’s a valuable property if you’re a tasteless moron. This is like one of those things anthropologists of the future will be puzzling over. What the hell were they doing?”
17. Though they have nothing to do with the meme, they are more popular than ever.
“We’ve gotten new fans from it,” Goldstein tells BuzzFeed. “I mean, it’s unequivocally a good thing. Attention is attention, even if it’s mostly from Internet robots. Some of those robots actually like indie rock.”