Green Day “Last of the American Girls”

10 04 2010

Sorry about the subtitles, both in English and Espanol! It’s the only video I could find. How anyone could care so deeply about what Billie Joe has to say is beyond me.

One of the unavoidable facts of life is that Green Day is still around.

Seriously, if you asked 10 million people in 1994, which popular band would still be extremely famous 16 years later, I bet none of them would have said Green Day. Punk has been dead for eons. Commercially viable, pseudo-punk is pretty much deceased as well, yet this band has their finger on the pulse of America. What the hell is going on?

I don’t actually dislike Green Day. I think they’re perfectly fine. I just don’t know why they get to have a Broadway play named after them and say, I don’t know, Sum 41 is missing in action. (or maybe they’re still around, but who cares?)

This video (like the band who made it) is alright. I can’t tell whether the dark-haired girl in the video is supposed to be the quintessential “American girl” or not. She watches TV, she shoots stuff, she brushes her teeth. These are all things people certainly do in America, but I have to imagine they also take place in other parts of the world as well.

Also, this video looks like it cost about $4 to make. I mean, maybe the car explosion at the end set the record company back, but I doubt it.

The setting reminds me of South Eubank where we used to go as teens in Albuquerque. It was an illegal dump where youths could start bonfires and worry about police hassling them.

I hated it. Everything was covered in glass. Where was all that glass coming from? How much glass could there possibly be in Albuquerque, and how did it all end up getting inserted into my hands? Youch!


Spreading the Message

3 04 2010

One of the biggest challenges I face in getting my idea off the ground is spreading the word about the website.

I have to figure out the best way to let people know about my site’s existence.

I don’t really have a network of musicians that I could use as messengers. I know some, but probably not enough to create the spark that fuels a PR campaign.

I suppose I could pay for advertising on relevent websites, like YouTube’s Musicians Wanted, but I don’t want to spend a lot on marketing. I suppose I could use YouTube’s site to find videos that interest me, then contact bands and let them know I’d like to post their video on my site and see if they’ll upload it. Using that method, it could take a while for any large number of people to really notice me.

This is a situation in which it would be great to have a partner to launch the site with that had valuable contacts to help the site grow. Maybe I’ll ask a few of my musician pals how they would tell people about something like this.

If they can’t help, then it’s back to my professor who may be growing tired of holding my hand.

Kid Cudi “Pursuit of Happiness”

3 04 2010

Champaign has never tasted so crisp hey Mr. Cudi?

It’s not a true hip-hop celebration video until women are doused with Champaign. Somehow, when Kid Cudi does it, it seems less pornographic and lascivious than when Dre and Snoop do the same thing. Maybe it’s because Cudi has glasses? I don’t know.

Just once, I’d like to go to a party that even approaches the level of debauchery, tomfoolery and favorable guy-to-girl ratio depicted in this video.

The lyrics are not as rosy as the visual stimulation. Cudi even mentions night terrors. I’m not there yet, but I do often find myself waking up in the morning, feeling as though everything is going to collapse, no one loves me and I’ve accomplished nothing. But that’s totally different from a night terror. Night terrors are for wieners.

What is the stuff that keeps falling on everyone? Is it just tinsel, or some other form of shiny what not? I find it very distracting, and it troubles me that no one at the party seems to notice that they’re covered in silver crap.

At the very end, Cudi gets sick from all the partying. That’s a good message for the kids. Sure, alcohol is closely linked to the most fun you’ll ever have in your entire life, but you know, it hurts your tummy, so don’t do it.

YouTube Scoops Me

2 04 2010

This article was recently brought to my attention.

It’s about YouTube’s plan to put together a subsection of its website called “Musicians Wanted.” After I read it, I shot off this email to my Entrepreneurial Journalism professor:

I think it could mean YouTube is already basically doing my project, but my hope is that this can be an example of when competition is good. YouTube is inviting bands to become a part of the “Musicians Wanted” section. Bands that are selected to be a part of Google’s YouTube Partner program.

“Artists will also make money when their YouTube videos are embedded on external websites, including music blogs. Considering the importance of blogs to the music scene, we’re inclined to agree with YouTube that this could turn into a significant source of revenue for independent bands and labels that make videos people that want to see and music they want to hear.”

Further, “To make participating bands easier to find on YouTube, which ingests more than 20 hours of video every minute, the site will gather them into a browsable, searchable section dedicated to independent music.”

Bands that make the grade will get to add links to merchandise and MP3s (which I was already planning to allow for any and all bands that wanted to add them).

Do you think this is too similar to my site for both to co-exist?

I would allow all bands to post links to merch and mp3s as I said, and I would have a top ten videos section on the site every day, which I think is different from the way YouTube plans to run the site. I could put more emphasis on an artist meetup section where people looking for say, a PA could meet someone who has a PA to rent, or a guitar to sell, etc. But I’m not sure if that’s enough to make my site stand out.

I look forward to your input. Thanks.
My professor spoke with me yesterday and urged me not to worry. He said I can differentiate my website by providing higher-quality sound than YouTube, which has notoriously poor fidelity. I just need to figure out how I can ensure a better sound experience for visitors. My professor also said I needn’t worry too much, for the purposes of this class, about YouTube scooping me a bit. “The journey is the most important part.” He wrote.

Jay-Z “Young Forever”

31 03 2010

If this video is a depiction of various activities that take place during one’s youth, I have to admit, I did very few of them when I was a kid. Fireworks were always a source of terror. I never ran through a cornfield or dunked a basketball (though I did develop a decent midrange jump shot). I wasn’t even tough enough to attend football games. Skateboarding was too cool.

I had roller skates when I was in 5th grade. Once I skated to the corner store, but couldn’t really slow down or stop very well so the whole journey took two hours. I put the skates away shortly after that episode.

I did, and still do, enjoy a good slice of pizza, so there’s that.

Whenever I hear Mr. Hudson’s “Forever Young” I think of the school dance scene in Napoleon Dynamite. I really liked that movie. It became a little obnoxious when everyone and their mom had a “Vote For Pedro” T-shirt. Its glory was further sullied when it was discovered that Jon Heder is the worst actor to ever be in more than one motion picture.

He is so bad. What was that movie he was in with all the people who ride Adam Sandler’s coattails? The Wieners? I see now it was called The Benchwarmers. Yikes that was unenjoyable! It didn’t even have Adam Sandler. At least give us the Sand Man!

Also, I like how Jay-Z invited Mr. Hudson to be in his “re-imagined” version of his song. It’s sort of like saying, “it’s not ripping this guy off if he’s standing right next to me. He’s cool with it, see? He showed up to the video shoot.”

Selling After Viewing

28 03 2010

My friend Jason suggested it might be a good idea to make it possible to buy band merchandise on my music site (not just MP3s). At the end of videos, there could be links to various T-shirts, stickers, CDs, shot glasses, etc. from the band whose video you just watched.

He stipulated that might turn some viewers off, but it would almost certainly entice bands to upload videos. He said he would stop using YouTube as his primary music video placement location if the merch option existed on another site.

That sounds good to me. I’d have to make it as easy as possible for people to buy the goods. Preferably, I wouldn’t just be directing viewers to another website where they could buy the merch. Instead, they could just buy it on my site, and I could take a cut of the sale.

That will drive up start-up costs because I’d have to devote a whole section of my site for people to purchase things. It might be worth it, because it would add another revenue stream and potentially increase the number of bands likely to use the site.

I don’t think I’m going to go with the option of just curating videos hosted on other sites. I wouldn’t necessarily be adding that much value if all I was doing was selecting my favorite videos from YouTube.

Gorillaz “Stylo”

28 03 2010

Note: I can’t find an embeddable video so please just follow the link  above to the video on YouTube and return here for my saucy commentary. Sorry for the hassle!

Buckle your seat belts, because this video involves cars driving! One of the cars is filled with Gorilla-faced fellows and another has Bruce Willis! What’s happenin’ Bruce?

I am so glad artists still put effort into making music videos. Maybe you don’t like this video, but it seems like there was more thought put into the “Stylo” vid than say, I don’t know, the “Hot Mess” rape van debacle.

I think this is pretty sweet. The Gorilla-faced gentlemen are some bad dudes, but nobody beats Bruce Willis. I mean, just look how long he stares into the camera! That is an offensively long stare!

One potential problem is that I have almost no idea what “Stylo” sounds like, because I was so engrossed in the car chase. Mos Def and Bobby Womack guest star on the track, but I would not have noticed had I not read the video description on YouTube. They’re just the background noise to gun shots and tire screeching.

One thing I don’t get is why the Gorilla-face in the backseat shorts out all of a sudden. Did he have a drug overdose? Why is he a robot? I thought they were Gorilla-faces, not robots. Is Bruce Willis a robot? What’s Happenin’ Bruce? (again)