Internet Killed The Video Star

22 01 2009

It’s been rumored for years, but now I’m pretty sure that MTV doesn’t care about music videos anymore – and people really don’t seem to mind. They’re too busy catching up on Bromance or Tila Tequila, or like my boss, watching The Hills and The City, to worry about the visual accompanyment to that Coldplay song they ripped off LimeWire last night. And the response from the music world isn’t one of desperation, but instead more of freedom. Freedom to try something completely unique or ridiculous, or be creative or experimental, without having to worry about what wide audiences will think and where you’ll land on TRL. Heck, even TRL, that show that paved the road for the bubble-gum infused late 90’s – early 2000’s has kicked the bucket. And yeah, the VMA’s are still around (as far as I know) but they’re no more a real authority on music videos than this guy.

So over past several months, I’ve been keeping tabs on some innovative music videos that are relying more on internet buzz than golden spacemen. For example, there was that Gnarls Barkley video that was banned from TV, not for content, but because some of the visuals were believed to be seizure-inducing. No, I’m serious.

Or that Radiohead video that didn’t even use cameras or lights, but instead used 3D plotting technologies that collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects, creating the video entirely with visualizations of that data.

Or that Weezer video that showed like an homage to internet video stars, and subsequently almost overnight became the most watched video on YouTube.

Or that Kanye video where he was an Olympic muppet (you can’t make this stuff up…).

Which is similar to that brand new Coldplay video where they are performers in a puppet show at a birthday party.

And then the creative culmination of this whole idea comes down to the Arcade Fire, who’s videos for “Black Mirror” and “Neon Bible” are interactive, with viewers given the controls over the instrument mix or the floating hands of lead singer Winn Butler.
BlackMirror NeonBible

And without needing MTV as a video crutch, more and more artists will hopefully continue to branch out creatively and not let this medium die with the times, but rather reinvent itself for a new audience. So here’s to flipping MTV the video bird. And if you have any videos to add that I’ve forgotten or maybe haven’t seen, please let me know.

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2 responses

23 01 2009
davejenk

nice insight and i could not agree more with your take on the MTV lameness. As far as other videos you may have forgotten…I had some in mind until I had a seizure a few minutes ago, so i too have forgotten. thanks alot.

2 02 2009
Jill Dunning

Wow Love The PUPPETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL so much!!!!!

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