Friday, November 30, 2007


1. Courtesy of RKW. A Galliano runway show. Note the outrageous cover version of Prince's Jack U Off that shows up about 30 sec into it. It sounds like Daniel Johnston or something, and has a kind of wanton childlike perversity to it. R pointed out that it makes the whole show really bizarre, more like a happening than the kind of lifeless affair that promotes Roland Barthes' essential linking of fashion with death. Listen to the songs after Jack U Off ends: they're fucking boring. That is, they're completely what you expect to here, worthless club remixes.

2. Courtesy of like ten people who sent it to me. You've probably seen Snoop's new video for 'Sensual Seduction' already, because it went viral like two or three days ago. Viral videos are like jokes: who starts them?
Points of interest here: Snoop is using the very in-vogue autotune device to roboticize himself. It's more effective than that super annoying T-Pain song (aka every song).
Also, there are several close-ups to him with the pipe in his mouth, which looks as well strongly like a hookah pipe. It's an interesting image for Snoop: is weed smoke going in, or are electronically funky vocals coming out??
And around 1 minute the Snoop Dogg appears to be dressed like the Church Lady?

What's remarkable about viral video is how it radicalizes a logic of instant gratification. It has to be instantly digestible, even more so than a 30 sec commercial. Because for a commercial, you're already watching TV. But for an internet clip, most often you're in the office avoiding doing work or something and someone sends you a link via email, so in order for the clip to get your attention it has to shock your senses directly. Tarkovsky or Antonioni would never go viral. Viral clips are bits of media intended for the most distracted consciousness imaginable. In ten years they'll be underfoot, like dust bunnies, or fluttering along the street the way that tumbleweed does in Hollywood westerns.


Plus I really want you to notice the trance synthesizers in the background, which have been a significant element in Timbaland, Timberlake and Kanye tracks for the last couple of years: call it afro-rave.

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