Saturday, March 13, 2010

Living in the Future: Applied Technology and the Triumph of the Nerds

Here is a NPR story about the band, the team of volunteers behind the great wondrous machine, the updated revival of 17th century style patronage that made it possible, and what I'll call kudos culture.

In an interview with All Things Considered host Robert Siegel, OK Go singer-songwriter-guitarist Damian Kulash says that he — and the rest of the band — view videos not as a potential source of income, but rather as another creative outlet.

"This is all sort of part of the creative project for us," he says. "I mean, the animating passion for us is to get up and chase down our craziest ideas, and sometimes those are filmic, and sometimes they're purely sounds."

The band's label, EMI, didn't see things the same way. In an effort to maintain some control over the dissemination of the music video, EMI denied listeners the ability to embed it on their own Web sites and blogs. After receiving a deluge of complaints, the band eventually persuaded EMI to enable embedding. Soon afterward, however, OK Go parted ways with EMI to start its own record label, Paracadute.

Here is a video announcing the new label and their new business partners, a pair of dogs in ties.

We live in interesting times.


Steve Muhlberger said...

A while back someone was wondering how long it took them to get this Rube Goldberg device right-- since some recent TV show had taken many iterations to do something similar. This time I noticed how many broken televisions that were piled along one wall, so I guess that answers the question.

Will McLean said...

The number of takes is given in the NPR audio: about sixty. However, they didn't even count it as take until they got past the dominoes and ball bearings at the beginning: they sensibly put the least reliable parts at the start, and said that only about 40% of the tries got past that point.