I recently heard an OK Go song when I was inside a Jamba Juice (I’m sorry David Rees), a Barnes and Noble, or some other national food or retail chain that plays a corporate headquarters regulated list of tracks both “hip” and “family friendly.” I thought, “Hey…this is OK Go! They’re probably being played in all of the [insert name of whatever national food or retail chain I was in here]s across the country. I saw Damian Kulash speak at a conference. He seems like a great guy! Good for them! This song is the one with the dogs.”
Then I thought, “Hey…that’s interesting. My mind makes a near instantaneous association with the video. Have I ever done that before? I mean sure, when I listen to Thriller I can picture MJ doing that graveyard dance, but the song and the video are still two uniquely distinct and different things. I can hear Thriller or I can envision Thriller. I can’t do that with OK Go.”
But that makes sense. The band’s members might be out of Chicago and DC, but the band itself was born on YouTube. Possibly the first and most renowned of a growing number of musicians who are known as much for their music videos as their musical talent. You can’t disassociate OK Go from their online videos no more than you can listen to Nirvana without feeling the Seattle grunge. It’s not only where the band came from, it defines the band’s work.
And all that’s okay. And all that means though OK Go’s music might not necessarily be on par with talents like Andrew Bird or a My Morning Jacket, their music videos most certainly are. That’s why, if you’re a 50+ year-old enduring children’s entertainment brand that’s forever been able to maintain relevancy with adults by incorporating things hip into your marketing and programming and you’re producing a cover album of your most popular songs, OK Go is a great band to tap to create the music video for – and sing – your single.
To kick of the Muppets’ The Green Album, OK Go made an extend version of the The Muppet Show theme song. It’s a synthesized, tripped out track and dream sequence of a music video complete with appearances by all your favorite Muppets.
It’s great. The song itself may not be as good as Rachael Yamagata’s rendition of I’m Going to Go Back There Someday, Bird’s Being Green, or Weezer and Hayley Williams’ Rainbow Connection, but the music video is. And when it comes to OK Go you have to remember, the song and the video are kinda the same thing. Enjoy it/them here.