Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Night Video

I was able to see Yellow Ostrich twice during this year's Rocktober, once at the contemptible Masquerade and once at the redoubtable Earl, so it seems only appropriate to put the above up for this week's installment of Monday Night Videos.  There's a lot I like about this video, including the way the multiple dancers appear at the same time as Alex Schaff starts over-layering his vocals, the expression on the dancer's face at the song's somewhat anticlimactic climax, and the multicolored finale.  I hope that you enjoy it, too. 

In a recent issue of The New Yorker, film critic Anthony Lance compared the experience of going to the cinema with the experience of video on demand, and expressed his preference for watching a performance on the  theater's schedule and committing to stay with it, rather than clicking a video on at any convenient moment and turning it off and on as one's attention wanders.  The communal participation in accordance with a fixed schedule and for the duration of the movie compels one to pay more attention and thereby enhances the experience, he argues.

I think this is part of what I enjoy about going out to see live music.  A touring artist has scheduled a performance in your town months in advance, and you participate by aligning your schedule with theirs.  On the appointed evening, you go to the venue and wait for the performance to start, sometimes longer than you anticipated.  When the lights dim and the music begins, all attention is focused on the stage and sometimes bodies start to dance.  Individuality melts away, and you become part of a larger whole, The Audience, and together with The Performer on the stage, you collectively collaborate in an experience unique to that evening.  Your satisfaction is directly proportional to your involvement.

By the way, speaking of ostriches, did you know that their eye is bigger than their brain?

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