Tapehead – End of the Decade, Part 2

     |    Friday, der 24. December 2010

The first decade oend in one year, depending on if you count 2000 as the first year of the new or last year of the old.) The music clip has weathered a momentous decade and despite reports of its demise, is going strong. Thanks to cheaper video equipment and the internet, there are more clips than ever. So even if music TV as we know it is dead, the internet (as well as the DVD, smartphones, tablet computers and even art galleries) provides ample presentation outlets that are bi-directional and less filtered. This results in uncontrolled glut (too many CD cover stills or bad slide shows set to music) but also YouTube success stories like Chicago indie pop band OK Go’s 2006 low budget and high precision video for “Here It Goes Again” (directed by Trish Hie)- which was viewed over 50 millions time on YouTube alone and made them international recording stars.

In the 2000s, the clip also transcended the boundaries of the rectangular TV screen. The image became smaller but also portable and accessible 24/7 on the web and mobile devices. Or it was blown up and even multiplied for crossover with installation art and VJing, coming almost full circle to past immersive forms of music-vision-synthesis like Expanded Cinema, 60s psychedelic light shows or the Prague’s Laterna Magika. (Recommended viewing: VIDEO OUT.)

Speaking of immersion, Missy Elliot (with her regular clip director Dave Meyers) presented the first 3D music video in 2008, for Ching-a-Ling/Shake Your PomPoms. Even without glasses, it’s amusing to watch how Miss E’s choreography constantly reaches out from the screen to the viewer. Doubtful Comfort’s clip for “Blue Roses” achieves a 3D effect without necessity of glasses. With acts as diverse as U2 and Hannah Montana aka Miley Cyrus announcing production of 3D music films, this looks like a trend that will continue.

After being reached out to, literally, the viewer might want to reach back. So Iggy Pop, Arcade Fire and Broken Bells all laid claim to the first interactive music video. Depends on how you define interactive – a Flash game set to music, a new opportunity for product placement,  painting lines along with the music with your mouse, an application that allows you to assemble sequences differently with each viewing or change the space by drag and drop? Do the Pet Shop Boys qualify with their use of QR (quick codes) that enable cellphone users to receive supplemental information? So ‘2007′, but also a forerunner of the Augmented Reality that we’ll be seeing more of in the coming decade. One thing is for sure: no matter what technologies are used or in how many dimensions the clips unfold, setting music to images will be with us as long as people can see and/or hear. (Stay tuned for Tapehead’s January 2011 post about music videos for music fans whose auditive or visual senses are impaired.)