MTV doesn't play many videos nowadays.
This is a fact that has turned into pop culture's favorite joke made by everyone from Stephen Colbert to Kanye West.
Whether MTV plays them or not, videos are still being made for new singles by artists all over the sound and visual spectrum. Pop culture still has a place for the music video in its realm of interests.
Arcade Fire recently put out another obscure link on their website to an incredibly interactive music video for their newest single "Reflektor." I will be the first to admit it's probably one of the coolest things I have seen in a while.
The user connects a mobile device – cell phone or tablet – and links it in to the video. Your computer's webcam then turns on and syncs with the device. The result allows you to control the kaleidoscope effects of the video simply by moving your device. Albeit, waving your arm around during a track that is well over seven minutes is a bit tedious, but having my face pop up in a broken mirror within the video had me giggling like a child.
Then we have our newest viral music video. "Wrecking Ball": a video flaunting a now-grown child star, mostly naked, shedding tears due to her achy breaky heart. Much like my family's English Setter, Miley Cyrus inexplicably licks everything she can.
So, what we now have is a video that employs intricate technology to create an experience larger than images on a screen or sound in your stereo co-existing with Hannah Montana, naked, riding a wrecking ball.
"Reflektor" is only one of several groundbreaking videos that Arcade Fire has put out in their short time in public light. The first single from 2010's The Suburbs, "We Used to Wait," had the viewer put in an address from his or her childhood home and used Google Earth to bring in satellite images of one's neighborhood coexisting in the video.
This is by no means saying that Arcade Fire is the only band making good music videos. Its acknowledging that no one has taken a visual experience in the directions they have within the music video genre.
Finding an idea or concept that hasn't already been done to death is one of the biggest challenges facing artists today. Teary and scantily clad music videos have been done before. Large-scale destruction music videos have been done before. Lots of the actual video in Arcade Fire's "Reflektor" is not that unique, so the group chose to change up the way you watch it.
Lets tally up the score, how many videos in the past two months have included a naked or close to it blonde on a white back drop licking things? Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," Miley's "Wrecking Ball" and "We Can't Stop" and Lady Gaga's "Applause."
Now, how many videos employ your phone and webcam to allow you to toggle on screen effects in real time?
It's obvious that technology is not going to plateau anytime soon. Why settle for the same videos that "killed the radio star" when there is something completely new and unique crashing into pop-culture like a wrecking ball?