Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's been far too long.

I realize I haven't written on my blog in forever. I think part of it is that I feel like I've gotten settled here in Germany and nothing is as surprising or as new as it once was. Looking back at my entries from 2005 make me laugh, especially if I wrote something in German. I've noticed my written German and grammar in general has improved. That's always a plus. Another part of not writing on the blog so often is that I feel with the growth of other short social media forms, especially Facebook, it's been a bit unnecessary to write longer entries. Lastly, I still write in my handwritten journal that I've been keeping since the first grade, so writing this seems perhaps a bit superfluous. (I mean, let's face it, does anyone actually read this?)

On the other hand, since I stopped writing I've gone back to studying and I'm almost done with my master's. I just need to write my thesis. It's refreshing right now to take a step back from it and just write about writing it (if that makes any sense whatsoever). I've been reading a lot, but I found it surprising that very little material is available on my topic specifically -- music videos and YouTube. It probably isn't a shock that that's the topic I've chosen to write about, especially considering that:
1. I am a child of the 80s.
2. I love watching music videos.
3. I'm always online and I love the fact that I can watch old music videos that I haven't seen in years.

My hypothesis is that with the rise in YouTube and technology like iPods, iPads, and smartphones, music videos are seeing a renaissance. Two artist have inspired me so much that I'm going to dedicate a whole section to their videos in my thesis: OK Go and Lady Gaga.

OK Go seemed like the obvious choice because I've been a fan of theirs since 2004. Seeing their videos go on viral on the internet was exciting and fascinating. How is it that this little known band came to be so popular purely through the use of the internet? If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's their video for their song "Here It Goes Again:"

OK Go - Here It Goes Again from OK Go on Vimeo.

Since then, their music videos aren't just music videos; they are works of art. (Check out their videos for "This Too Shall Pass", "End Love", and "Last Leaf")

For me, I wasn't ever a huge Lady Gaga fan and I certainly never considered myself a Little Monster. Then I saw her video for "Telephone":

I still don't consider myself a huge Gaga fan or a Little Monster, but I don't know what it is about this video. I can watch it over and over again without getting tired of it. There's just so much material in it: Jailhouse Rock homage or maybe Chicago, the weird ad placements (Virgin Mobile, Wonder Bread), references to Tarantino movies (most blatant with the Pussy Wagon) and Thelma & Louise, the fact that it's a continuation from her "Paparazzi" video. But "Telephone" isn't Lady Gaga's only interesting video; they're all really highly produced, well-polished spectacles and they're the complete opposite of OK Go, who tends to do more low-production stuff. Neither is better than the other, but that's why I want to look at both artists. How do they use YouTube/developing technology to their advantages? Are their music videos more relevant to developing their image because the videos are actually accessible and visible? It's questions like these that interest me in particular.

So with that in mind, I guess that's where I'll be picking up this blog again. It's not so much a blog about being an expat in Germany, though there will still be observations about that. Maybe then I'll actually keep up with it.

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