BillyRadd Music

Monday, June 20, 2011

OK Go 180/365 = FUN!

OK Go!
Ok, I will.
This is my first album review, and it may be my last.  The reasons I’m writing it are two fold.  First, I might not even know about the digitally hip American rock group OK Go except that my youngest daughter, Samantha, is employed by their record label, Paracadute, and has been for about a year.  They even gave her a credit on this, their latest album, 180/365.  Nice.
Second, I think their music is really cool which, as a seasoned citizen, I need to explain a bit later since OK Go appeals mostly to those of a much more recent vintage. 
Plus, one more reason I think OK Go is way cool is that they produce great music videos that stand alone as exemplary of the entire genre of music videos (we’ll call this the Reason I Like OK GO 2a, since it’s not a great point except that I had seen their video popularly named the Rube Goldberg Machine Version for their song This Too Shall Pass released in January 2010. The YouTube video was forwarded to me by a good friend who knew that I had worked as a special effects Director of Photography for a video production company for some years because he thought it was FUN.  It was and is).
Each OK Go video is creatively unique and worth watching even with the sound turned all the way off, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  My point is that the video stands alone as Pop Art, Op Art or Mop Head Art, whatever. Art.
Anyhoo, I think OK Go’s new album 180/365, 15 cuts recorded live at venues all across the US, deserves a critical listen even for someone as gray and tarnished as myself because it is very FUN.  That’s it and that’s all.  Why do I think that?  Because I know FUN when I hear it.
As a rockin’ and rollin’ child of the 60’s so-called British Pop Invasion I was aurally inundated by twanggy vibes from slap-happy groups like The Who, The Kinks, Manfred Mann, Herman’s Hermits, The Dave Clark Five, The Beatles, The Stones, and yes, even the sour-faced Yardbirds. Just their names were FUN. Like most of my generation, I didn’t consciously realize what hit me.  Peace and Love, Flower Power, End the War, yeah, yeah, yeah, groovy and FUN!  This OK Go album reminds me of all that.
So, in my mind, Ok Go’s 180/365 equals just plain FUN - funny, soulful but irreverent, musically simple but original, entertainingly toe tapping, funky and trippy, driving but sensitive, now and then, here and there, and the voice of the future with the smell of the past.  I just regret that I wasn’t living in Asheville when they played here at the Orange Peel last November. I might even have gotten the award for being the oldest member in their audience (or a back-stage pass, even better).
This very live newest release makes me think a thought that I haven't thunk for many years - I wish I was them.  I just simply like to listen to it.  Cowbell in a little ditty called WTF?  I ask you, what could be more FUN?  More cowbell?  Maybe.
So, OK. Go get the album 180/365 and have some FUN.

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