Laser Floyd: The Next Generation
As an avid Radiohead-head I'm both thrilled and unsurprised by the band's latest innovation, a camera- and light-free music video, the making of which is yesterday's featured ArtsJournal video. The song, "House of Cards," comes off their industry-shaking internet freebie In Rainbows, and though the idea is cool, the lasers they employ are still too primitive to succeed as much more than a gimmick, though I have to admit they've come a long way since Laser Floyd. (What can I say? The critic in me needed to weigh in.) Still, anything new by Radiohead--audio or video--is guaranteed to be more daring than just about anything else on the pop culture radar.
But it's not up to their usual standards in much other than capturing media attention and embracing new technology. It's a bit like watching the laser video version of Pong, exciting in its debut, but almost immediately passe. For this completely frivolous post that has little to do with theater (though having just reviewed Mamma Mia! let it be known that I'd really appreciate it if someone took it upon themselves to craft a musical around a decent band, like, say, Radiohead), I offer my favorite Radiohead video, which features fairly basic stop-motion animation and is now several years old, but fully realized both visually and conceptually. It's their ode to Jan Svankmajer, "There, There (The Boney King of Nowhere)," which is a whole lot better than sitting through two hours of Little Otik.
And as a bonus, here's my favorite tech-themed video, Bjork's Chris Cunningham-directed video for "All Is Full of Love." All the alienation of "House of Cards," but twice the impact.