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"Gangnam Style" song channels New Yorkers' power woes

By Jilian Mincer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Move over Psy. The next hot thing - at least on Long Island, New York - is a music video parodying the South Korean rapper and dancer's blockbuster hit, "Gangnam Style."

While the locally produced "LIPA Style" may not attract millions of YouTube views, it's channeling the frustration of thousands of disgruntled New Yorkers, many of whom went weeks without power after Sandy slammed the East Coast last month.

"There's been this outpouring of thanks," said John "Online" Mingione, a correspondent for a Long Island radio station, who created the video after going more than week without power.

After watching the video, people "are saying this is the first time they've been able to smile in weeks," said Mingione.

The response to the cleanup by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has resulted in lawsuits and investigations. The chief operating officer of the state-owned utility also quit under fire for the company's slow response in restoring power.

Mingione, 23, did not initially mind going without power at his Long Island home. But after five days, the food and friends were gone, and he started to get lonely and bored. A colleague came up with the idea for the song, which was inspired by thousands of complaints the station - WBLI/106.1 FM - received from listeners.

In less than a week, the video with its lyrics about life without power, pleas for help from LIPA and absurd dance moves performed by Mingione and two co-workers in faux LIPA uniforms with a local 5-year-old has been viewed more than 250,000 times on YouTube.

Mingione's favorite line: "I'm running out of formula, my baby won't stop crying" which included footage with a co-worker's infant son.

"I know they're working their hardest," he said. "It's not the linemen's fault, but at this point it's ridiculous that people are still without power."

(Reporting by Jilian Mincer; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Jackie Frank)

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