Thom’s Up, Thoms’s Down

Story by Thom Fountain

Thom’s Up: Interactive Music Videos

The Internet is pretty awesome. And the current driving force behind much of it, Google, is branching out more every day. One recent accomplishment bridged the gap between music, video and intense interactivity, all culminating in a “music video” (if you can call it that) for The Arcade Fire’s song, “We Used To Wait.”

The interactive experience utilizes a web browser as a medium, rapidly opening and closing windows full of animation, video, and even a drawing pad for the viewer to contribute their own material. The project also takes Google Maps’ geographic data to infuse a local experience to the video, which focuses on growing up in a modern suburb.

The Arcade Fire video is certainly not the first use of web interaction when it comes to music videos, but it certainly sets a benchmark for future projects to match and surpass. This kind of participatory art can only help the floundering music business, and hopefully propel independent artists to the forefront of pop culture, at least online. All in all, this hybrid art form is still young and has a long way to go, so expect it to only grow bigger and better in coming years.

Experience The Arcade Fire’s interactive music video here: http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/

Thom’s Down: The Loss of Print Publications

The Internet is pretty awful. I guess it does create some pretty great, innovative opportunities (see above), but only at the price of print publications. Just this week, Paste Magazine (a stalwart of independent music, film and art) announced they were suspending their print issue and continuing with an online-only mentality. Frankly, this sucks.

There is a lot the Internet can provide that you can’t get on printed paper, but the same goes the other way. Publications like Paste have an emphasis on clean, smart design that is lost on a computer screen. And I hate to get all sappy with you, but it’s tough to cozy up with a laptop before bed to get your reading in.

This is becoming an old, annoying issue that only gets worse each time it rears its ugly head, but it is still disappointing to see such a quality magazine go out of print.

The List
The Best Interactive Music Videos

Publications That Should Never Go Out of Print