The Future Of Music Videos: Do We Really Want To See Kid Rock’s Pit Stains In High-Definition?

Jan 25th, 2008 // 13 Comments

As many of you already know, American television is going entirely high-definition* digital in 2009, which now means the opening half of this sentence has nothing to do with the technology of high-definition TV’s promising us a world where we’ll be able to count the nose hairs on our favorite stars in real time and without the aid of gossip blog paparazzi snaps. Maura recently converted to HD herself, and though certain music videos (she cites Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” as an example) look totally rad, the drawbacks of this industry-wise format change are already becoming apparent to music fans. It’s all good when it’s a luminous Rihanna strutting across that expensive plasma flat screen, but what about being confronted with Rascal Flatts at a resolution the human psyche was not intended to process? As we await our blemish-filled immediate future, please help us decide which musician will prove to be the least HD-friendly when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31.

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* My unfrozen caveman’s grasp of technology is why they keep me here, where I can be left alone to write about old Huey Lewis videos, rather than on Gizmodo.

  1. Maura Johnston

    Additions to the list:
    Trace Adkins
    Richie Sambora

    However, Jack White’s skin in the video for “Portland, Oregon” looks really nice!

  2. GhostOfDuane

    Johnny Winter in HD at Crossroads II scared the bejeezus outta me. He looked like Powder’s grandfather. You could see every vein in his body. Truly haunting.

  3. Chris Molanphy

    On a less funny note, you know what looks like ass in HD? Any music video that’s more than, like a decade old, meaning most of the good ones. The stuff shot in the early days of MTV looks especially bad when blown up and pixellated on a 32″ or larger LCD.

  4. Maura Johnston

    @dennisobell: Yeah, the few older videos that MHD has shown have not looked so great. Which is probably why they’re filling out their music-video blocks with clips by the likes of Cheyenne.

    Also, not that this is music-related, but you know what’s terrifying in HD? Mike & The Mad Dog. Yikes!

  5. Thierry

    I love Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but I genuinely fear the sight of him in HD during next week’s Superbowl halftime show.

  6. Audif Jackson Winters III

    @maura: I’m not normally one to make an easy fat joke, but I’m not sure how Nutri/System can, in good conscience, continue to run ads featuring Mike Golic when the guy’s neck fat rolls are on stunning display in high def.

  7. Camp Tiger Claw

    @Thierry: When he was on the Jumbotrons as Bonnaroo two years ago he was like a rootsy, All-American Nosferatu.

  8. Swankster

    Jess – Television is actually not going to be entirely in HD in 2009, it will be entirely DIGITAL. There is a big difference.

    Without getting too into it,…on Feb 17, 2009 all analog frequencies will cease transmitting television and be “returned” to the FCC. All broadcasters have until that date to convert and begin transmitting digitally.

    Sorta like DVDs replacing VHS. An HD mandate would be like Blu-ray replacing VHS.

  9. El Zilcho!

    By the same token, a lot of porn stars (I don’t follow their industry, but I do follow TV) are not happy with the move to HD. They don’t want all their flaws to be exposed in High Def. And, you know something, I don’t want to see their flaws in High Def.

    For the record, my pick was Lemmy.

  10. squashed

    Mommy… I am scared.

  11. 30f

    I had a post last March about the “music video – porn – high def” convergence. I went for jokes about low-rent rap video hoochies in HD, so I got that going for me.

    [30frames.blogspot.com]

  12. ZLevee

    I didn’t think there’d still be somewhere to see music videos by the time HD becomes ubiquitous. I’m having trouble finding any now, except for hip-hop and country which are the two genres i don’t give a fuck about.

  13. blurey

    i din’t know the movie/music video industry had so many performers in veneers & has them wear so much make up/mascara until hi def came along. hi-def will have to push the bar up for the masters of illusion.-blurey

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