To the chagrin, no doubt, of readers who arrive here from classy and classical weblogs such as AC Douglas' Sounds & Fury, I remain something of a sucker -- a fool, if you will -- for crafty summery guitar pop tunes. Thus, it is with no little pleasure that I have been driven recently to study the oeuvre of the band OK Go.
At this point, it seems that everyone has posted a link to the OK-Go-on-Treadmills video for "Here It Goes Again." Michael Blowhard succumbs to its charms here. Aaron Haspel linked it in his sidebar [hence no permalink] back on August 6 with the apt observation, "I thought George Balanchine was dead." And the thing certainly deserves a place of honor, alongside the work of Astaire and Kelly, as an example of the "building a dance out of mundane objects" school of choreography -- Jackie Chan meets Hermes Pan. (For the few among us who may not have seen it yet, the video's YouTube page is here.)
Unlike many another video, this one has also done the job it set out to do in increasing the band's sales, as reported by Coolfer.
This is not the first time OK Go have produced a clever, low-budget, single-take stationary camera video. Here, they dance with fewer props but equal aplomb in support of "A Million Ways:"
The Million Ways dance spawned a slew of homegrown imitations, many of which are accessible at YouTube. Here, though, is an "offical bootleg" version, in which the band treats the crowd to a hoppy, boppy rendition during an in-store appearance in London:
In proper contemporary style, OK Go has embraced the use of their songs in commercial contexts: They -- seen fleetingly as a poster come to life -- and their song "Do What You Want" are the foundation for this year's J C Penney back to school advert. [Flash intensive site; click on "'The Spots" to view "the spot."] Also, as reported in this release, the band's song "Invincible" will feature as the theme for ABC Television Saturday evening broadcasts of NCAA football.
Here is the official video for "Invincible," which has a nice look to it but is decidedly more conventional than "Million Ways" or those wondrous treadmills. It resembles the sort of trippy-trendy-shiny ad that Target stores have perfected, other than the part in which an array of tasteful consumer goods are blown to colorful smithereens:
It is always good to be reminded that the pop-song form can wrestle with real world problems. Here is a timely example from the band Sprites, via stereogum. Surely we all know someone, perhaps ourselves, who has gone through this sad, sad experience:
- Sprites - I Started a Blog Nobody Read [MP3 link]¹
Zombie fanciers -- paging Radley Balko -- will enjoy Sprites' sprightly "George Romero," also in that stereogum post. The title tells you all you need to know.
And speaking of zombie fanciers . . . , please take note that my worthy pal Rick Coencas has revamped his own weblog, Futurballa, and has begun posting actual posts in addition to putting up examples of his skills as a photographer. Apropos of popular culture, he has recently confessed his sad addiction to certain Marvel comics. Poor fellow.
¹ When I mentioned the title of this song to my lady wife over dinner the other night, she immediately assumed that it must be a send-up of the Bee Gees' "I Started A Joke." She was most disappointed to learn otherwise.
It says here that the Bee Gees' song is "considered by many to be a great example of lyrical story-telling." Elsewhere one can find at least one rather overblown Interpretive Study of the song. Message boards have been devoted to teasing out the meaning of the song. Indications here are that it has none. I, for one, thought that everyone knew that it's about Hitler.