Don't let the barriers you have built to define who you are blind you from appreciating the unfamiliar.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

M.I.A. - Born Free (again)

I am still talking about this video.
The major critique of this video around the internet is the concerning the graphic sex and raw violence, but the shock scenes are not glamorous. If the director wanted to make an indelible mark on the viewer, he had to startle the view with the stark consequence of xenophobia and racism.

The problem with sex and violence is that it can be glorified. The director made the right choice by making the sex and the violence to ugly to glorify. The sex scene is dirty, frightening and humiliating, with two particularly unnappealing naked people.

The violence is uncomfortable. The most vivid scene portrays an officer shooting a child in the head. There is nothing to glorify in this scene. Even a fan of ultra-violence will feel uneasy watching a child get shot. The sex and violence really punctuates the injustice without glorifying it.

This video is about xenophobia/racism and power. The video tries to illustrate in stark detail what happens when the state or the group in power uses xenophobia/racism to maintain power.

The result is that people the people in the in-group (the naked couple) and those outside of the group (the redheads) are dehumanized. The dehumanization allows the state to rationalize denying privacy and denying rights and enacting violence and murder and eventually genocide.

I am pretty sure the point of the video is to allow you to draw parallels to conflicts around the world. The conflicts between Hispanics and Blacks in the US and Muslims in Europe are less violent right now, but as xenophobia and racism grow, they can lead to situations that we see in Israel with Palastinians, with Kurds in the Middle East or with Tamils in MIA's own Sri Lanka. If conflict is not resolved, it leads to what we saw in Rwanda, Armenia, Bosnia, and the Holocaust. Share/Bookmark

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

M.I.A. - Born Free

You can also watch it here,
or here,
***Contains some nudity and violence

This is one of the best music videos I have ever seen. It features police that look like US SWAT violently breaking into apartments looking for someone and some intense music. Initially, Universal Music Group pulled the video from YouTube, but after some shaming by M.I.A. and other groups, the video has been put back up. Watch it, all the way through.

M.I.A. is the most important musician in the world. Her music is fuel for revolution.

M.I.A. is Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, the daughter of Tamil Tigers and a refugee from the Sri Lankan conflict. She grew up in London studying art and slowly made the move to music. After touring with Elastica and Peaches and even directing a music video for Elastica, M.I.A. recorded a 6-song tape with a 4-track, an MC-505, and a mic. One song on the tape, Galang got a couple remixes and eventually being a world underground club hit.

The song Paper Planes off of the second album Kala is what made M.I.A. an international sensation. The song is a mix of genres with a strong political message about life in the third world and immigration into the first world. In the last years of the 00s, you couldn't watch a movie with a socio-political message without hearing Paper Planes. You have heard it even if you don't know you have heard it.

I say that M.I.A. is the most important musician in the world because her appeal spans rap, electronic, dance, indie, and even mainstream pop. You can hear her all across the globe, in the richest and the poorest areas in the world. Her music is not about heartbreak and love or sex and drugs, its about war, violence, domination, and most important, struggle for freedom. Share/Bookmark

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Babybird - Unloveable (dir. Johnny Depp)

Johnny Depp as a director? Well its pretty good. Depp does a music video version of the popular high school literature class short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek by Ambrose Bierce. This is a plus for me because this is one of my favorite short stories from my teenage years. If you have a half an hour and want to know the inspiration for thousands of other novels, stories, television episodes, movies, and even video games, you should read the original Bierce short story.

This video is a good interpretation of the short story. Johnny Depp proves he is more than a multitalented actor...he can direct.

Babybird was a big name in the UK from 1995 to 2000, but Stephen Jones, Babybird's heart, hasn't done much for the last decade. If you like this song, you can check Babybird's 1996 albums Fatherhood and Ugly Beautiful, but even if you don't like the son, you should still check out these albums. Share/Bookmark

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nurses - Winter

Nurses "Winter" by Hans Lo from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

The Nurses are psych-rock out of Portland OR.  Their music is intimate and entrancing with a touch of haunting weirdness.  Most of the songs feature an old echo-y piano that drifts beautifully in and out of tune supplemented by some other oddly altered instrument.  What gets you are the ethereal vocal harmonies that span several octaves.

This song is off of The Nurses latest album Apple's Acre.  The first time I played the album when the LP came out, everyone in the house came out of their rooms at some point during the album and said, "Who is this?  I know I have heard them before."  I don't think anyone had heard The Nurses before, but there is something that feels so at home, so natural and familiar about their music while being completely new.  Apple's Acre isn't an album that needs to grow on you.  It just feels right the first time you listen to it. 

The VCR kaleidoscope collage really compliments the music.  It has the same calming, homemade simplicity the makes the song so wonderful. Share/Bookmark

Friday, April 23, 2010

Weezer - Pink Triangle

Rivers Cuomo wrote two of the greatest and most important albums of the 90's.  Both albums fathered entire sub-genres.  In 1994, Weezer's The Blue Album is a cornerstone of geek rock and it inspired countless nerdy high school garage bands and even some famous ones (see Ok Go).  Two years later, Pinkerton was released, but wasn't well received.  Rolling Stone called it one of the worst albums of 1996.  However, as you well know, Rolling Stone was barely relevant in the 90's and isn't relevant at all in 2010.  Pinkerton grew in popularity after 1996 and is one of the cornerstones of both Blue Sweater Emo and Eyeliner Emo.

Unfortunately, Rivers Cuomo took the rejection of his masterpiece pretty bad and Weezer stopped playing for nearly four years.  As the early Internet was starting to explode, the online fan base was exploding with it.  Armed with 14 new songs and minus Matt Sharp (bass player, founder of The Rentals), Weezer sold out several tours in 2000.  With tons of hype and excited fans, they went to the studio to record their third album.  They enlisted Ric Ocasek of the Cars, the producer of the Blue Album, to return and produce number three.

This is where the story goes sour.  An exec from Geffen, their record label, came by to hear the songs and he didn't like them.  So what did the band do?  They moved to a new studio and Rivers wrote an album's worth of songs on the spot.  Instead of recording meticulously crafted, interesting, heart-felt music as they once did, Weezer recorded 10 simple, formulaic, bland, lifeless songs for the Green Album.  

And that was it.  Weezer, one of the most important bands of the 90's, died, and in its place and empty space. 
Pink Triangle was a song on Pinkerton, but this video wasn't released until 2004.  It was created by Karl Koch, the super roadie and band documentarian.  He is a great guy.  Back in 2000, me and some friends followed Weezer around the Midwest for three tours.  I had been talking to Karl every night after the shows, he was an awesome guy.  We didn't have tickets for a show in Columbia, Missouri and it was sold out.  It looked like we weren't getting in, but then I bumped into Karl.  He said we were lucky Weezer didn't have many friends in Missouri and he let us in as guests of the band.  We got in before everyone else and stood right in the front.  That was the best rock show I have seen. 

Thanks Karl.  I love the video. Share/Bookmark

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Crystal Castles - Crimewave (with HEALTH)

I can't say this video is really that great. It is about the hard life of the alienated, ostracized zombie. I posted it because the song is just so damn good. HEALTH should have recommended Eric Wareheim to direct because he did a great job on their amazing video. Share/Bookmark

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The xx - Islands

The xx was all the rage last year. Their calm, minimalist stylings have made them a favorite of music critics and anyone that wears all black and has a dramatic hair swoop. Their music is good, but all of the songs sound the same. Hopefully there will be a bit more diversity on the next album.

Islands is a good song and the music video makes it so much better. The video really fits well with their entire sound as a band: a well-choreographed, artful construction played over and over again with hypnotic repetition. I am really not a fan of interpretive dance, I am drawn to this video. There is so much simultaneously going on in each short clip that you find yourself focusing one person or one dance move for several cycles. You can't really take in everything that is going even in one viewing. I guess if you can appreciate the repitition and subtle beauty of the video, you should be able to appreciate The xx. Share/Bookmark

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Flaming Lips - Powerless

The Flaming Lips are still making albums after over twenty-five years and they are still on the cutting edge of rock, more relevant than ever.  Any band can continue to tour and record far past their expiration date and riding their previous fame to sell a crappy new album that is forgotten after the first week.  (I am looking your way Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osbourne, and Brett Michaels.  Sure, you made good music at one time in your life, but you partied too much and you really don't have any soul left to make good music.  Stop pissing on your legacy.  You don't want to be remembered as sad old men churning out trash.)  But The Flaming Lips are still making influential albums that will one day have an effect on our unborn children.

This is a simple but effective video.  As with all Flaming Lips visuals, there is a mix of creepy and happy, absurdity and beauty, unsettling and erotic.  I love the ending.  Blind freedom. Share/Bookmark

Monday, April 19, 2010

LCD Soundsystem - Drunk Girls

Welcome back to music videos Spike Jonze. Over the past half a decade, Jonze has only done a handful of videos, the only one of note being the Kanye West's Flashing Light, which Jonze only co-directed.  Spike Jonze is one of the best, if not the best, music video director.  I could go through the list of amazing music video that Jonze has won award for, but I should probably just post them.  Someone remind me to a week on Spike Jonze. 

This video is madness.  James Murphy, the man behind LCD Soundsystem, along with the keyboardist and drummer are just trying to sing about drunk girls when a horde of grinning pandas start hazing them like a bunch of drunk frat boys.  It revives memories of fourth grade bullies in the boys bathroom minus the swirlies.  As the song goes on, the assault on the musicians gets more and more violent and a little unsettling. There are parts that remind me of the gang rape scenes in A Clockwork Orange. 

Jonze is really successful at capturing the raw energy and the creepiness in the room and converting it to music video. There is also an eerie similarity to the latest Ok Go video, This Too Shall Pass .  While this LCD Soundsystem video is not an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine, it is one uncut, hand camera  shot following around the mayhem and people in white suits make a mess in a big white warehouse.  Also, both of these video include live sound from the video recording on top of the music track.  Perhaps this is a trend we will begin to see more of.  Share/Bookmark

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chairlift - Evident Utensils

Chairlift is a band that got its name because of a video...well a IPod commercial.  Their song Bruises will forever be associated with the 4th generation IPod Nano.

This is a video is made possible by the rise of the online digital video. It is inspired by the problems that occur in compressing video and streaming video online.  Sometimes when a video isn't displaying properly, you see a leftover image that is stuck on the screen.  Slowly as the video progresses, the stuck pixels are replaced and the video goes back to normal.  The director is replicating these residual artifacts to create a unique visual style.  All made possible by broken music videos. Share/Bookmark

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Major Lazer - Keep it Going Louder

Major Lazer is a music project from DJ's Diplo and Switch. You may know the them from their work with MIA and Diplo from remixes of tracks by artists from Kanye West and Brittany Spears to Radiohead and Daft Punk. Both Diplo and Switch do some killer remixes, but Major Lazer is the best thing that either of them have done.

The music is pulling from some of the more popular dance music of the past decade with a handful of characters doing over-autotuned vocals.  It might not be music you want to listen to while you are sitting around the house but the live show is where it is at.

I saw Major Lazer last week and the live show is unbelievable.  Smoke, a hi-tech laser show, simulated sex, and thousands of sweaty hipsters jumping up and down.

The video is not far from the feel of the live show.  Its like tripping through the cover of one of those old geometric Trapper Keepers.

The creepy, weirdness of the video isn't surprising being that it is directed by Eric Wareheim, Eric of Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job.  He has directed nearly ten music videos in the past several years but they aren't all orgies of the absurd.  Wareheim has shown a great range of ability in his last video he directed.  For the band HEALTH, Eric Wareheim has created a stark homage to the slasher films of the last decade.  If he is going to be making videos as fresh as these two, he may need to dump Tim and just do music videos. Share/Bookmark

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Apples in Stereo - Dance Floor


This first video is a short film prequel to the actual music video.  Its funny and has a kitschy 70s public access television or instructional video aesthetic.

The Apples in Stereo are part of the greatest music collective of all time, the Elephant Six Collective.  Ok, so maybe they are the greatest, but the E6 Collective has made some of my favorite music.  Bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, The Gerbils, Elf Power, and Of Montreal (who are technically "friends of Elephant Six").

In the videos, Robert Schneider plays the bearded scientist who has harnessed the power of space and time and the genius behind The Apples in Stereo, but he is oh so much more than that.  He is the also the genius behind the recording and production of the greatest album pressed, Neutral Milk Hotel's Aeroplane Over the Sea (so my love of Neutral Milk Hotel is really showing through here).  He also recorded, mixed, produced NMH's On Avery Island, Olivia Tremor Control's Dusk at Cubist Castle, all of The Apples in Stereo's albums and a couple more.

The Apples in Stereo have been playing for nearly 20 years and have continued to stay relevant while still maintaining their original sound.  Heavily influenced by the Beach Boys and the Beatles along with some Pink Floyd, they have created their own pysch-power-pop sound.

The video is is fun and funny.  Elijah Wood, who runs a record label that is putting out the album, is a great addition in the video.  Of course I was also thrilled to see all of the Elephant 6 references (Schneider's t-shirt and the name of the time machine). Share/Bookmark

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Glee - Vogue [Madonna Cover]

Another cover of a female pop artist was released yesterday and I feel compelled to talk about it. This video is a promo for the FOX musical television show Glee. In case you are you have been out of the loop, Glee is a new show about a struggling glee club in a small Midwestern town and it is one of the most watched shows in the United States.

After watched the first couple episodes of Glee, I said, "This show is too good to be on television. It will never make it through a season on FOX." I had good reasons to think Glee would get canceled:

1. Network television tends to prematurely cancel anything with a unique concept that don't fit the well established tv format (with the exception of Lost). Shows like Arrested Development, Freaks and Geeks, Twin Peaks, and My So-Called Life get canceled but shows like Baywatch, The Nanny, Step by Step, Life According to Jim, and hundreds of pointless reality shows go on for five, ten, even fifteen season.

2. Television musicals never last. There have been only three television musicals.
Fame: The television version of the musical Fame, about a students at a performing arts magnet school. It was canceled in the middle of its second season, but went on to be a cult classic worldwide.
Cop Rock. A cop drama/musical from the 90s. Seriously, this show existed, check out the link. There are 11 episodes and all of the songs are original.
Viva Laughlin: A murder mystery/drama/musical set in a casino in the desert with Hugh Jackman and Melanie Griffith. What? Again not a joke. Character broke out into really bad cover songs. Really bad covers. Only two episodes aired before it was pulled. Check out this video to understand the suck that was Viva Laughlin.

3. Glee doesn't know what it wants to be. It has the cheesy and wholesome feel of High School Music with the quirky and controversial feel the film Election. Really, Glee is just a television version of Election with songs thrown in. It has some of the same characters, the same voice-overs, the same focus on student and faculty interactions. The creators of Election should really be suing, be I hope they don't because the reason I watch Glee is for its the Election-like qualities.

I couldn't have been more wrong about the failure of this show. Glee is everyone's new favorite show.

The video is a remake of Madonna's 1990 hit Vogue, which made vogueing cool for a second. (See the Malcolm McLaren post of the first vogueing video in the US) Its very close to the original video.

This video is excellent because it isn't a joke or parody, its an homage to Madonna, a well-done homage to one of the greatest pop singers in history. Share/Bookmark

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pomplamoose - Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) [Beyonce Cover]

Pomplamoose is another band whose popularity is due to the music video.  The band is Jack Conte, a small time multi-instrumental singer-songwriter with a couple of EPs, and Nataly Dawn, Conte's girlfriend.  Jack Conte got a name after his first YouTube music video for Yeah Yeah Yeah featuring some interesting stop motion animation.

This video is one of ten new songs that Pomplamoose has recently released for their digital album Tribute to Famous People.  The covers range from dance tracks like Michael Jackson's Beat It to more wholesome songs like My Favorite Things from the Sound of Music Soundtrack.  

The innovation that Pomplamoose brings to music is a new concept for the music video, the "VideoSong."  Conte makes video recordings of the actual audio recording process of each song.  As he mixes the song down, choosing the best sounding cuts for the final product, he also meshes together the video from these cuts.  The final product is an assemblage of the actual videos that form the final song. 

Here is how Conte describes his first recorded "VideoSong" on his mySpace page:

This is called a VideoSong. It's the recording of a song, start to finish. There are two main rules:

1. What you see is what you hear (no lip-syncing for instruments or voice).
2. If you hear it, you see it at some point (no hidden sounds).

The "VideoSong" isn't a necessarily new idea as much simpler versions are all over YouTube, but Conte has given the idea a name, a set of definable characteristics, and some pretty stylish examples.  This may be a passing fad, but for now, its is giving Conte and Pomplamoose a name.

This Beyonce cover is the most popular of the Pomplamoose "VideoSongs."  There is no denying that Single Ladies is a good pop song, and Nataly Dawn's interpretation is cute.  Listen for her refusal to sing some of the less interesting lyrics. Share/Bookmark

Monday, April 12, 2010

Attack Attack - Stick Stickly ( CRABCORE !!!!!1!1 )

For those not in the know, Crabcore is here!  Its the newest, best sub-sub-sub-genre of every angry, depressed thirteen year-old living in a privileged white suburban neighborhood.  Fight the power. 

Hardcore, which is now called emo/screamo for some reason, is an off-shoot of metal.  Well, not really an off-shoot as much as Hardcore is what you play while you are living with parents and are still in high school.  Metal is what you play after you have moved back into your parents basement after you have either dropped out of college or lost your job as a cook at Denny's.  One graduates from Hardcore to Metal just as one graduates from High School.  You realize that you don't want to sing about how awesome it is being sober and hating your parents, and instead you want to sing about how awesome it is getting wasted and how much you hate society.

This sub-sub-sub genre is called Crabcore not because of the lyrics or the music or even the way the "vocalist" growls.  Crabcore gets its name from way the teenagers that make up the band do their Hardcore Crab Dance.  Oh, they are so cute!  Squatin' and Crabbin' around like a gothic Jane Fonda exercise video.

Will this video turn the band Attack Attack into an internet sensation?  Perhaps, but not in the way that they wanted.  Can a band that becomes and internet joke also be a serious band?  Well I guess we should ask Tay Zonday of Chocolate Rain fame how his music career is going.

Thanks WFMU's Beware of the Blog for the heads up.
HGJ2K4A4JMQX  Share/Bookmark

Sunday, April 11, 2010

HEALTH - We Are Water


This is a crazy ass video.  Taking inspiration from the slasher film resurgence of the mid 00s, the video is a bloody mess.  Like a scene out of one of the many torture-fueled slashed flicks of the last decade, like Hostel, Saw I-VII, and the Passion of the Christ, HEALTH has created a horror postcard.

HEALTH is sort of a noise rock band with synths.  They got a reputation for playing shows for free, which has been good and bad for them.  Good in that it gave them a name, bad in that they have a hard time getting venues to let them play.  Musically, they are most well known, not for their own albums, but assisting on another record.  Their featured performance on the song Crimewave on the Crystal Castles self-titled album is both the best Crystal Castles song and the best HEALTH song.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

RIP Malcolm McLaren

On April 8, 2010, Malcolm McLaren died of mesothelioma. He has had a long career, primarily pulling strings behind the scenes. He managed some of punk rocks most important acts, The New York Dolls and The Sex Pistols, and some less important acts, Adam and the Ants and the splinter group Bow Wow Wow.

McLaren also had a music career, but only two albums Duck Rock and Waltz Darling really had an impact. McClaren's music is more along the lines of collage and collaboration than a solo act. He recruited artist and DJ's from the New York hip hop scene and combined their talents into a record.

While McClaren's music isn't particularly genius, it introduced several styles to mainstream music and culture. Here are two good examples:

Buffalo Gals is the first single off of Duck Rock and surely the most important song he released. Buffalo Gals introduce record scratching, live vinyl sampling, and the early stages of turntablism to the pop world. The video is a mash of early 80s New York street culture.

On Waltz Darling, McLaren's only number one hit ever was Deep in Vogue. Unseating Madonna's hit Express Yourself, the song was number one for only a week. Deep in Vogue introduced the world to the dance style of voguing. Oddly enough, Madonna would come back the next year and turn voguing into an international phenomenon with her music video for Vogue.

McLaren was always ahead of his time, bringing new forms of music to the mass public.  Even in 2003, he was pushing to bring awareness to Chiptune or 8-bit electronic music.  In an article he wrote for the tech/culture magazine Wired, he called the new sound "a new kind of folk music for the digital age."

I will leave you with my favorite McLaren music video, a reinterpretation of the Puccini opera Madame Butterfly. Also influential, hints of this music video can be seen throughout Lady Gaga music videos.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Tony Carey - A Fine Fine Day

Tony Cary has been music pretty much non-stop since the early 80's but he never really bit it big with anything. He was part of Ritchie Blackmore's band Rainbow and then went on to do his first solo album, from which this song is taken. This is perhaps his biggest hit.

The song isn't much to rave about, but the video is a good example of a storytelling video. The narrative of the song coincides with the video, including the characters lipsyncing lines from the song.

I like it because it is sort of like Mafia Brokeback Mountain. Share/Bookmark

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Erykah Badu - Window Seat

Link to official site with video in case this one gets deleted.

Erykah Badu is one of the biggest names in neo-soul.  Harkening back to 70s soul artists like Marvin Gaye, Roberta Flack, and Al Green, the neo-soul movement has modernized smooth R&B.  Along with Erykah Badu, some of the bigger names in neo-soul are Sade, Lauren Hill, D'Angelo, Alicia Keys, and John Legend.  Badu's flavor of neo-soul is more focused on social, political, and poetic lyrics.  This video embodies the way she tries to challenge listeners with her lyrics. 

This video is all the rage right now. It is said to be controversial, but it is controversial in the way that a PETA protest is controversial.  Either way, it is an intriguing short film and a great concept for a music video.

The entire video is shot in one take.  Badu pulls up to a meter in downtown Dallas, TX near the place that John F Kennedy was assassinated, gets out and starts walking down the sidewalk.  As she is walking, she starts to take off clothing.  She takes off her jacket and throws in on the ground.  Then she slips her shoes off and tosses them behind her.  All the while, other pedestrians are walking by, starting to take notice.  You can see one guy in the background start to pickup her clothes as she drops them.

She continues to derobe until she is naked, in front of couples, parents, children, whoever is around.  When she finally arrives at the place where JFK was shot, completely naked and surrounded by tourists, she cracks her head back as if she was shot and falls lifeless to the ground. 

While the nudity is blurred out, its a confrontational political statement. I am not quite sure what the statement is supposed to be, but the video is good enough that it doesn't really matter. Share/Bookmark

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Seeed - Ding

Seeed is a multi-instrumental reggae group from Berlin, Germany. They may have a reggae flare, but they are upbeat, dancey music.

The music is fun, but the video is the highlight. Claymation animals at a dance club getting wasted and hooking up. What is better than an animated ape getting wasted? Animated badger boobs, thats what. Share/Bookmark

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Dead Weather - Treat Me Like Your Mother

The Dead Weather is a super group made up of the best people in two good bands, White Stripes (Jack White) and The Kills (Alison Mossheart) and supporting members The Raconteurs and the Queens of the Stone Age. They don't really sound like any of those bands, but if you mixed them altogether it would pretty much sound like The Dead Weather. They play dark, brash, garage rock.

The video is gritty and visceral. It is an interpretation of a Clint Eastwood styled Western shoot out with a dark and sultry, modern day veneer. Automatic rifles and leather jackets instead of pistols and ponchos. One of the coolest parts of the video is a reminiscent of a shoot out from Sam Raimi's "The Quick and the Dead". We see the light shining through the bullet holes peppered across the duelers backs. Sexy. Share/Bookmark

Saturday, April 3, 2010

HURTS - Blood, Tears & Gold

Tears for Fears 2010!  I think these two guys fell asleep in the 80's, woke up in Manchester this year, and just started playing music.  And the video?  I love the aesthetic, but I am not sure whats up with the leg. Share/Bookmark

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up

Its April Fools Day and what better to celebrate than with Rick Astley and the greatest internet prank in history...RICK ROLLED!

The Rickroll started on the internet board 4chan in May 2007. A user named moot posted a link to the trailer for GTA4, which at the time was one of the most anticipated games. Interested users who clicked on the link were directed to the YouTube video of Never Gonna Give You Up and the Rick Roll was born.

Since then the prank phenomenon has spread. Everyone, from Scientology to local news to your grandmother has been rickrolled. In May 2008, YouTube linked every video on their homepage to the Rick Astley Video. After that people got wise to the trend and would recognize the link. To counter this, some enterprising young punk decided it would be a good idea to start hiding Rick Roll videos all over youtube. Hence the Covert Rick Roll was born.

The Covert Rick Roll videos take two forms. One version is just the Rick Astely video with a different name like "Anchorman 2 Trailer" or "Secrets from LOST revealed" or "Hot Lesbians Kissing." Anything to get you to click on the link. The other version is a split video. The first part of the video would be anything from kittens playing to the start of a strip tease. After 30 seconds or so, the video would then cut to Rick Astely.

Here is a good example of the Covert Rick Roll video cut-in: Speaker Pelosi Presents Capitol Cat Cam (Yes, this is the actual Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and she has a Rick Roll video on her YouTube account)

Covert Rick Roll videos are much harder to find now. They spread because people forwarded the link around, but once the chain broke, the video was lost. Who knows maybe there are people still out there looking for Anchorman 2 (which doesn't exist) and are getting Rick Rolled. Share/Bookmark