Tuesday, September 05, 2006

OK GO at the VMA's

It's not often on a Tuesday night that I turn on the television and have MTV as the first channel I see. Even less likely that I feel the need for such a strong dose of pop culture that I watch what's currently on - the VMA's (video music awards). But tonight, prompted by my appreciation for the well-chosen Jack Black to host the show, I watched it.

The first hour or so was typical. But then Chris Brown came on stage to announce OK GO (who I was first exposed to by Stephen Colbert),

These next performers recently put the video on the web and within weeks, they had over like 3 million hits. But the budget was, maybe, bout $4.99.
I love what OK GO has been able to do. They have been one of the first artists or groups to propel themselves through the viral market to hit mainstream success, having a choice spot in the VMA's. They didn't need a major label or distributor. They didn't need a large production studio. They instead took advantage of democratized tools of production and distribution, posted their low-budget videos on YouTube, and let the fans do the rest of the work.

OK GO still needed talent to be able to do what they did. The music is catchy and fun, and the videos are great - Chris Anderson called it the best treadmill music video ever made, which is a huge understatement. What impresses me most is that they could do their Treadmill video live on MTV (posted on YouTube within minutes, shown below). Definite talent. And it speaks volumes for the crowd's ability to filter the signal from the noise.

There is a lot of junk out there, but it is very encouraging that everybody now has the tools to pick the winners without (old?) MTV culture decide for us.

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