Showing posts with label Lipdub. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lipdub. Show all posts

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Experience a city fighting back

Sorry, Newsweek.

A city that can produce a lipdub deemed "the greatest music video ever made" by Roger Ebert can't be one of "America's dying cities." A dying city isn't just a matter of population losses; a dying city is one that has lost its spirit.

A dying city is one in which the civic culture has unraveled and no one is his brother's keeper.

A dying city has no answer to the question "Why try harder?"

IF THIS LIPDUB is any indication of Grand Rapids' mettle as a metropolis -- albeit a small metropolis -- it's a lot healthier city than Newsweek is a magazine. Is what I am submitting for your approval, as Rod Serling might have said.

Now, I'm not qualified to judge whether Ebert is correct in Grand Rapids having produced the best music video ever, but I'd say this one is at least in the ballpark.

Experience Grand Rapids, indeed!

HAT TIP: The non-profit media conglomerate formerly known as National Public Radio.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


When high schools meet lipdub, it's kind of like giving Junior the keys to the Plymouth. You fear the worst and pray for your car -- and, by the way, Junior -- to come back in one piece.

And with a full tank of gas. (OK, sometimes prayer is a long shot.)

Jaded old fart that you are, you are surprised when the old heap comes back not only in one piece, but topped off and detailed, too. Applying the analogy back to the world of lipdub, that's what Shorewood High School did in Washington state

And you find yourself thinking, fossil that you are,
"How did they do that?" Then Junior gives you that "This moron is the BOSS OF ME???" look, and explains the patently obvious to the Old Man.

IT GOES something like this:

AND THEN Junior's slacker friend drops by, and you're thinking, "Holy crap . . . here we go," and you discover, to your amazement, that he's been working hard on a project for a principal who's stationed in Iraq with his National Guard unit . . .

. . . AND THEN, a tribute for another one who's retiring at the end of the year:

DISORIENTED, you struggle to understand when the kids tell you about other youth just like them in Florida.

"What the f. . . ?" you start to ask them, then you remember what your wife told you about cussing in front of Junior, and how you're a bad example, and to knock it the . . . hell . . . off.

Then the kids show you this:

"WELL . . . HECKFIRE," you think. "Maybe I've been all wrong about the next generation. Maybe they're smart enough, they're good enough and -- doggone it -- I should like them."

Then the phone rings.

It's Junior's homeroom teacher.

SUDDENLY, your equilibrium restored, you feel much better. And you yell at Junior about that little scratch you just found on the rear-left quarter panel of the Plymouth.

Damn kids.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The LipDub Revolution

The "University LipDub" phenomenon, it occurs to me, may be the perfect example of the one big thing the Internet has done -- and which traditional media do not "get."

In 1964, Canadian scholar Marshall McLuhan famously said "the medium is the message," meaning that the medium by which any message is conveyed changes how the message is perceived or experienced -- that the qualities of the particular medium (whether it be print, film, radio or television) embed themselves into the message itself. Now, what we have discovered -- and what traditional media has not yet -- is that the audience is the media.

Trusts have been busted, monopolies atomized and gatekeepers cast aside. The audience is the media. The Internet is the medium. The message has gotten "off message."

AND A CHILD -- or at least bunches of enthusiastic college students -- shall lead the revolution. The University LipDub project, which started in Germany (see the above video) and is spreading around the teen- and twentysomething globe, is the concept's embodiment.

Want to see a music video? Make one. What University LipDub adds to the mix is the power of academia and a critical mass of fertile young minds.

The product, as seen above and in an earlier post, is as professional as anything done at corporate behest and on a corporate (read: $$$$$$$) scale. And it's a lot more "real."

And . . . it's a lot more infectiously joyous and entertaining, too.

LIPDUB REPRESENTS the existential dilemma for radio, television and newspapers. The conversation is two-way now, and everybody owns a press, a radio transmitter and a TV station.

Traditional media, faced with this new reality, either can join the conversation and add meaningful things to it in a compelling manner . . . or it can go away.

These are not suggestions. It's an either-or choice, and reality will enforce it strictly.

Now, let's enjoy some more LipDub, shall we?

LIKE THIS ONE, for example, from l'Institut des Hautes Etudes des Communications Sociales in Brussels, Belgium:

Chantons en Québec avec LipDub!

These videos done with Québecois college kids are so good, they'll make you want to emigrate. Maybe I'll start knocking 30 years of dust off my high-school and college French skills.

Really, I'm not going to be any colder in Montréal than I am this fall south of the border.