Nearly two years ago, Google dropped $1.65 billion on YouTube. As one can imagine, the company’s imagineers are trying to come up with all sorts of fun ways to make money, including a doohickey that links to Amazon’s MP3 store and iTunes from videos. There are also plans to sell concert tickets and merch and other things. Sounds neat, right?
Prog-rock giants Yes are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, but one person isn’t feeling festive: Lead singer Jon Anderson, who’s on doctor-ordered bed rest for the rest of 2008 after suffering “acute respiratory failure” in June. Anderson’s illness resulted in the band canceling its milestone-celebrating jaunt earlier this summer, but as the leaves turn, so does the membership of Yes: The remaining members have announced that it’s recruited Benoit David, lead singer of the Montreal-based Yes tribute band Close To The Edge (tagline: “It wont be Yes playing, but if you close your eyes, you might think twice…”), to serve as Anderson’s replacement for a North American tour that kicks off in November. So how will David sound? Well, since Yes is apparently flogging the “we found him on YouTube” story that worked so well for other band’s lead-singer swaps, I figured the time was right to go right to the source. Clip of David performing with his now-former band after the jump.
After Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama finished his (terrific) speech last night, the twangy chords of Brooks & Dunn’s “Only In America” flooded Invesco Field, as well as the speakers of all those people watching at home. With its lyrics about big American dreams and how they sometimes fail, it was a natural fit with the “let’s make America great again” thrust of Obama’s speech. (Curiously, the track was also used by George W. Bush’s campaigns in 2004, although I’m going to chalk that up to another case of “campaign song choice that’s the result of only listening to the title being sung.”) But how did the song choice play out there? Let’s go to what is, for better or worse, a representative sampling of our citizenry: The comments section of the video’s official home on YouTube.
A Pennsylvania woman can go ahead and sue Universal Music Corp. for making YouTube take down a 29-second clip of her baby dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” according to a judge in San Jose, Calif. More »
When I think about slow news days, or the ever-diminishing cultural potency of music, I moan (well, IM-moan) to my friends about starting a new feature called “Does Anybody Give A Crap About Music Anymore,” in which I examine concerning developments from my RSS reader. Today’s YouTube music-videos chart could be Exhibit A: The No. 1 clip, outpacing its closest rival by a ratio of about 4:1, is a rip of the new single by Ali “Possibly Less Screwed-Up Sister Of Lindsay” Lohan, a piece of ’80s-throwback twaddle that has the production values of the “make your own karaoke tape” booth at Adventureland. The vocals are mixed high (and not pitch-corrected at all), the keyboards are sub-Casio, but none of that matters, since Ali’s famous, and listening to this is a way to participate in the celebrity-industrial complex that, at the very least, is less grueling than sitting through her sister’s star turn in The Georgia Rule. I guess I can comfort myself with the knowledge that The Soup will make a joke about the track during its contractually obligated E! cross-promotion this Friday. Screenshot of the chart after the jump.
Obviously taking a lift from the Web series Yacht Rock, a series of videos titled Memoirs Of Michael McDonald have been released to promote McDonald’s latest album, Soul Speak. Introduced by music historian “Alistair Pennywhistle,” the clips share scenes from the singer’s past, which usually consist of a young Michael (already with white hair and a beard) consoling children on the playground with a classic cover after bullying or a hamster funeral. Sounds like it could be another online hit, but Universal Music Group is rather protective of its advertising campaigns, and the allegedly promotional films can only be seen through AOL and the label’s YouTube page. Which means most of the people seeing the clips are Michael McDonald fans, who aren’t really feeling them.
There are people out there who must get excited for live albums, since there have been so many of them over the course of rock history. There have been a few great ones (Live At Leeds, Live At The Apollo, Johnny Cash at San Quentin, all those awesome Rush discs), but don’t expect any new ones in the future. According to The Independent, the era of the live album is over.
Avril Lavigne’s video for “Girlfriend” is currently YouTube’s all-time No. 2 clip, having been viewed some 88,739,107 (and counting) times; it’s playing second fiddle by some million views to the “inspirational comedian” Judson Laipply’s “Evolution Of Dance,” a clip that jerks the “OMG, remember this?!?!” chain harder than Girl Talk and is even less enjoyable to experience than Gregg Gillis’ most recent nostalgia trip. (How many people have actually sat through its entire six minutes? Surely it has to be a fraction of the 89 million-plus views it’s garnered.) Well, now that Avril Lavigne’s fanbase is home from school for the summer, its members have started a campaign to oust “Evolution Of Dance” from the top spot–and they’re not above engaging in some HTML trickery to get the result they so desperately need.
When even the Associated Press is sending up trend-story signal flares about the current, crappy state of the world, there’s only one song to sorta-fit the collective mood: Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day,” which I have come clean about enjoying before and which has an attendant YouTube comment section that’s 45% semi-anonymous support group, 35% incoherent assholes, 20% comments along the lines of “I’m eating chips right now! Wow that was random lol,” and 100% desperately in need of The Elements Of Style being thrown its way: