Tag Archives: YouTube

Gratuitous Bike Videos

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I wrote a pretty long post last night, so instead of boring you with my words, I’ll just share a couple of videos that I found today.

The first is for Anchor Butter, which I’d never heard of, prior to my internet-browsing this evening. It’s a New Zealand-based free-range butter company, churning out spreads that may not be any better for you, but at least come from happy cows. Here’s a fantastic stop-motion felt advertisement they put out:

It’s cute, and the fact that it’s stop-motion-craft-y makes it a winner for me.

Speaking of cute, I recently saw a video (via Boingboing) that made me realize I live in the wrong country. Now, the USA isn’t all that bad, and it’s getting better (I hope), but check out what these policemen are doing in Denmark:

Hugs! And free helmets! Nice ones, too. I guess when the Danes embrace their two-wheeled bretheren, they really mean it. While I’m tempted to go to Denmark anyway, now I know for sure I’m not going to be wearing a helmet. Just in case.

All of tonight’s mashups will be courtesy of the Illuminoids. Click on that link. And appreciate their fantastic intro/jump page. You actually have to click, though– the “SnapShot” image when you hover over the link isn’t the one I want you to see.

The Temptations never sounded so electro-pop as they do in this first track.

I was interested to see where they went with LCD Soundsystem in this second track. Turns out, they used one of the only songs I really like on Sound of Silver. I guess I’m still not sold on the rest of the album.

This final track does a great thing: it takes the Velvet Underground and keeps Nico away from the microphone.

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Alt. Browser

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While some people are suspicious about Google, I like them. They’re innovative, convenient, and offer some damn convenient services. Sure, Google Scholar may have somewhat reduced my ability to flip through a book and find what I want (command-F is just SO much more useful), but it’s also found me things I would have never located otherwise.

The same goes for Gmail. I remember snobbily snickering when I accepted the “invitation” back in the days when it wasn’t open to public use, and it’s one of the few services that I’ve used from those less-enlightened high school days that I continue to enjoy. I have a secret habit of fishing through the spam, too, and picking out the best bits, such as this one:

Alaarm!
Nocera Sinclaire to me

Of tupi stories was made by the late prof. Charles peer at
erik with moist possessive eyes. Yes! These horseman who
advance so rapidly from glasgow, mrs. Leonides, said taverner
easily. I’m sorry that she has no thoughts whatever. And
even if.

Most are much more explicit, but a few of these pop up every month.

The real reason I’m talking so much about Google today, however, is because of their internet browser, Google Chrome. And the real reason I’m talking about Chrome is because of this commercial:

PRETTY COOL STUFF. It’s especially good if you watch it on YouTube directly, in HD.

I’m a bit divided on Chrome as a browser, mostly because it’s a bit buggy at the moment. It’s simply not as integrated as Safari or as highly developed as Firefox. It also doesn’t run on OSX yet, which is a real drag. I use it on my Windows side, but since Netflix wouldn’t play on it (a problem which has been offset by Netflix streaming on the Mac side), I would often have to use IE7.

That said, it’s wonderfully designed, as most Google creations are, and it came up with a few nigh-“must-have” features, such as the “Most visited sites” page and tabs being on the top, instead of being below the address bar. Of course, Safari 4 (beta) ripped them off immediately, but such is the cut-throat world of computer design, and I’m now a (mostly) happy user of the new Safari browser.

Anyway, try it out. Or not. If you’re using Safari or Firefox, it may not be worth it, but if you’re using Internet Explorer or that SBC Yahoo! Netscape mess, do yourself a favor and make the switch.

To the music.

Ever feel like there’s not enough Bon Jovi in your life? Then this first track will cure what ails ya! Kinda!

Dr. Dre probably wouldn’t like that he’s been mashed with Dolly Parton in this second track. So don’t tell him.

And I’ve never felt as good during a rap song as I did in this final track.

I think I’ll blast that last one as loud as I can on my earphones to wake myself, when I have to get up in five hours. Foolproof!

Dis-Unity

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I suppose one of the greatest strengths of the internet is that anyone can use it, and anyone can post their opinion. It’s curious to see just how much dissention this very fact can cause, though, even within groups that are “on the same side.”

I recently came across an Adbusters article claiming that brands are dead:

The monolithic notion of a “brand” – an infinitely dependable symbol of prosperity, happiness, comfort and security – is over… Our daily lives are now inundated by a torrent of dead images and meaningless symbols from a bygone era.

It seems interesting that a magazine such as Adbusters would claim this, since a large portion of their readership is… How do I put this… Of the hipster persuasion. Now, the true, committed, hxcore hipsters may be exempt from this, but many people who are simply trying the lifestyle on are devoted to a brand. If nothing else, it helps them focus their style down, so they can work on the other aspects of hipsterness. Or something. Hipster Runoff certainly doesn’t think its readers will be forsaking brands anytime soon:

Alternative lifestyle brands are the present and the future of the arts & entertainment industry. Bands will no longer be bands; they will be lifestyle brands. Designers are lifestyle brands. Films must exists as lifestyle brands. Blogs and Websites are lifestyle brands. Humans will be lifestyle brands.

At the same time, Hipster Runoff is something of a parody of itself, and claims that memes will be the future.

And in this sense, I think both parties are correct. Brands certainly aren’t going away, but memes are the future, at least in the capacity they do best: advertising. Take, for instance, GEICO’s new advertisement on YouTube:

While the hits on this particular video fall well below the mark set by the “Numa Numa” video it channels, 1.25 million views is nothing to scoff at. Too bad their motorcycle insurance is still more than double what Allstate is quoting (POW!).

I don’t know if that qualifies as particularly alternative. And it’s certainly not guerilla. In fact, it’s playing off of the popularity of a horrendously well-known meme, while including memes of their own (the dancing gecko, for instance). But wait! Isn’t YouTube the pinnacle of alternative media? By its simplicity and ubiquity, doesn’t it set a new standard for what an alternative media outlet should be? Perhaps, but it’s decidedly mainstream. Much the same way that all those worthy indie bands get played on the radio and lose their original fans (I, like, heard them before they even recorded stuff!), YouTube has lost a good deal of its alternative credibility.

And that seems to be the way things are going these days. Alternative media outlets are becoming mainstreamed, and actual alternatives to them aren’t surviving. Perhaps we should stop calling them alternative media, and start calling them “new media.” Or “not- necessarily- owned- by- a- huge- corporate- conglomerate-, but- might- be- media.” Or maybe it’s time to come up with an entirely new name for this altogether.

If my brief time examining alt./guerilla media has taught me one thing, it’s that the cycle of creativity-to-corporate-absorbtion will continue forever. Some innovator will come up with a radical way to present something (guerilla). Then someone will find a way to reproduce that in substantial quantities (alternative). And then, if they don’t sell out to corporations, the corporations will steal those ideas out from under them (mainstream). Which of course will make someone angry, so they’ll create some innovative/radical way to respond… And so on.

If nothing else, it should at least get us consumers some better-designed products. Just look at what Target has done.

Had enough? Here’s the music.

Speaking of mainstream, this first track is an avalanche of pop. But in a glittery, endearing way.

This second track brings much more to the table, both in terms of raw numbers of samples and genres. And it sounds incredible (better?) because of it.

Because that last one was so good, we’ll close out the night with this final track, which, like the last one, was made by the venerable Lenlow.

PS– This is my last “official” post for class, but that doesn’t mean I’m discontinuing this blog. I’ll keep writing as long as I have internet access, so keep checking back!

More Making-Of

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If you haven’t heard me say it before, Vimeo is really a great video-hosting site. If I spend a few minutes surfing YouTube, I’ll most likely end up watching things like this, but on Vimeo, I often find videos that are simply much more interesting.

Part of the draw of Vimeo, I think, is the design aesthetic of the site, but another thing is that it’s not YouTube. YouTube can just seem so… Average. Mediochre. That’s a big part of why I don’t use it. Will I lose some hits on my videos that way? Probably. But I’d rather have Vimeo-users see my work anyway, as snobby as that sounds.

Admittedly, I didn’t find the following video by surfing Vimeo itself– I found it via Kitsune Noir. But the fact that it was hosted on Vimeo in the first place should say something. Anyway, it’s a cool look into how an art installation was made. One of the things that I really like about it is how the installation seems to evolve while the artist (Cody Hudson) is working on it. He seems to come back to it and embellish it through time. That may be just a trick for the camera to make it seem like he was doing more, but I like it better my way.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The scoring for the piece is pretty cool too. Also, notice how the hanging light fixture moves at one point– I can’t see what happened, but I can’t imagine what hit it.

Speaking of scoring, here’s tonight’s music.

All the way from 2005, this first track is something of a throwback. But it sounds incredible. The Blackstreet vocal track reminds me of Feed The Animals, too, which just goes to show Girl Talk’s influence.

For a pretty simple A vs. B mashup, this second track sounds perfect.

I’m not a Korn fan. But this final track sounds great with them. Maybe they just need to be mashed, for me to like them.