Sunday, August 6, 2006

YOUTUBE KILLED THE MUSIC TELEVISION STAR: Have you seen the video for obscure not yet hugely famous Swedish Chicagoan pop-rock band OK Go's Here It Goes Again? No better evidence that the collective intelligence, backed by YouTube's democratic format, is now serving in the aggregator/filter/tastemaker role that used to be filled, at varying times, by top DJs, influential critics, MTV, payola purveyors (note: I have absolutely no problem with payola; in fact, I think that laws against it are indefensible), and label executives.

Witness the mania surrounding Here It Goes Again. The band posted its video on July 31. The video is cheap -- allegedly shot for $25 -- but fun (a synchronized treadmill dance) and the song is well-crafted and catchy. In other words, the kind of stuff that would never get onto MTV has a reasonable probability of being ignored by MTV. On YouTube, however, where people get to choose for themselves what to view, it took off like a rocket. By August 3, OK Go's popularity had grown so much that it had to cancel its free concert at the Glendale Galleria; on August 4 the band appeared in a segment about YouTube and their video on CBS's The Early Show.

Granted, it's just Julie Chen, but that's still better than Hot Topic and Cinnabon.

Edited to add: Aw, for chrissakes, just watch the video. It's catchy and cool-looking. It gets the Spaceman Seal of Spacepproval.

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