OK Go Fights the Man

Full disclosure (how often are we reading that line these days?), I am a big OK Go fan.  So I was psyched when they released their new CD and totally blown away by their new video.  Clearly it cost them a lot of time, but probably not as much money as a full blown, dancing babes style video.  I’ll get into the corporate nuttiness in a second, but first, please take a gander at  the  marching band insanity from first video they put out for their new album:  This Too Shall Pass: 

(warning, this will take you to the YouTube version —  they turned off the embedding feature)

And now, they’ve released a second video for the same song.  Enjoy this video and enjoy the “Rube Goldberg” insanity:

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So why do we get two videos?  Well it turns out that OK Go’s first version was funded by their record label, EMI, who made a deal with YouTube to recieve really small payments when the video was played on YouTube, but not if the video was embedded elsewhere (…like my blog.  Yes, I am certain that they are targetting me specifically!!)

So now OK Go created a new version, with corporate funding from State Farm.  And they broke away from their old record label and started their own.  The record business is so ugly these days.  Bands like OK Go can listen to their fans, deliver them content they will love, survive on money from touring and digital music sales.  Small acts willing to tour non-stop can eke out a very meager living.   The days of the big record label are in their final death throes.

But the good news for us — more wonderful videos and great music from one of our most creative bands.

Further reading:

Here’s the link to the NY Times Op-Ed from a few weeks back on the topic by Damian Kulash, Ok Go’s lead singer and guitarist.

And here’s a link to the NPR interview with Kulash that goes into the details of the financial dealings with EMI and the engineering details of the 2nd video production.

Final treat, a You Tube version with the video playing backwards.  (Extra credit if you watch the whole thing with the sound on…)

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