Saturday, November 26, 2016

OK, Now Go Buy OK Go's Records

Someone's Gotta Pay for These Videos

A lot of people are justifiably enjoying OK Go's latest video for "The One Moment."

More than 14 million views, as of this writing, notwithstanding the fact that the album the song comes from was actually released in 2014. This prompted me to revisit some of their other other-worldly videos for tracks like "Upside Down and Inside Out"

and the one that started it all in 2006, "Here It Goes Again," you know, the treadmill video.
All of these may obscure the fact that OK Go is a pretty damn good band, which deftly knows how to embrace pop conventions without being swallowed up by them. The beats may sound familiar, but they're hardly derivative.
Still, despite the viral tag that's automatically conferred on their videos, I was hard-pressed to think when was the last time I've heard them on the radio. And the Billboard charts have not exactly burned up with the group's record sales. We're too busy trying to figure out how did they pull that off to buy their music. Viral success doesn't always pay the bills, after all, as this Guardian article noted in 2010.
I'm as guilty of that as anyone, with only "Here It Goes Again" on my iPod back in the days when .99 typically bought you a single. Not that this is news to OK Go. "We're that fucking video band," frontman Damian Kulash once said. Still, they've embraced the moniker, corporate sponsorships and all, and it's safe to say they're getting a few pennies every time someone watches the ads before clicking on the videos.
Nonetheless, if the music was crap it wouldn't matter how elaborately choreographed or ingeniously executed the videos are. That's a right a band to listen to rather than just watch. This could be the one moment for that to happen.

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