Thursday, April 06, 2006

YouTube, Me Addict

Sure, I love those goofy lip-synching shorts as much as the next YouTub-er. There's something very endearing and refreshing about the fact that one of the most popular sites on the web is a repository for rec room silliness, sans potty-mouth humor or other scatalogical antics. It's as if thousands of webcam exhibitionists have been infected with some virulent virus contacted from saliva-swapping with Napoleon Dynamite.

But that's not why I keep clicking back to YouTube. For me, it's all about the music clips. So, so many clips. For any TV rock junkie, like myself, who has had to swap umpteenth-generation David Frost shows like Samizdat in order to get that coveted clip of Trini Lopez from Shivaree, YouTube is the greatest web thing ever. It's as if all of the insane TV rock bootleggers collectively stepped out from the shadows, sqinted into the light, saw YouTube, and decided to set their booty free. And I for one say, thank you, whoever and wherever you are.

I can punch anything in the search engine - Captain Beefheart, Can, Roxy Music, Grand Funk, Minor Threat, whatever - and find a handful of clips that blow my mind. Stuff I've never seen before, things that have been mere rumors for years and years. Some of it IS nth-generation crude, which is part of the charm; it gives you a little frission of illicit kicks to see, for example, a very fuzzy clip of the Clash performing on the rotten SNL ripoff Fridays, or Captain Beefheart trying his level best to be a coherent guest on a very early Letterman show (from 1983?)

Problem: Too much time wasted on YouTube, which can bring on severe lumbar and neck pain, and put you way behind in your work. So I must click on to it judiciously, lest the thrill be gone too soon. Ah, I don't think I've ever seen B.B. King actually perform "The Thrill Is Gone" when that song was new - I wonder if YouTube has it. Let me just check......