Watch Bruce Springsteen performing “Prove It All Night” with its famous opening guitar solo in the video above, and then click-through to see more videos from 1978, the golden age of The Boss: http://nyr.kr/OTWVs4
Wire is functional for me; I use their music at least once a week. On the critical side, I can assert that the three-album stretch that begins in 1977, with “Pink Flag,” and ends (not the band, just the period) in 1979, with “154,” is one of the most impressive and expansive runs that rock has ever seen. Those three albums include songs as short as voice mails and noisy as auto-body shops, as well as smeared, floating music as harmonically delicate as any pop recorded in the state of California. Wire made it their business to ignore the byways of every cohort they almost joined (punk, New Wave, old punk, old New Wave) and rumpus through the noisy and pretty aisles as they saw fit. If art-pop is a thing (probable) and the Beatles invented it (pretty sure), then Wire did it better and faster than anybody, the Beatles included (a stretch, but it feels true much of the time).
But the music of Wire has not shown up recently in commercials or T.V. shows, or as samples in Rihanna in songs. The band has a small profile in current pop culture, so credit the power of their material and the efficiency of the Internet when viewing the Wire Tribute Videos made by Sara Poirier. How else would they come to be? We asked, via e-mail.
- Sasha Frere-Jones writes about Wire and interviews Sara Poirier, the fifteen-year-old superfan who makes music videos like the one above: http://nyr.kr/AhkoiP
But there is one category in which YouTube has made little progress. The average ’Tuber spends only fifteen minutes a day on the site—a paltry showing when compared with the four or five hours the average American spends in front of the TV each day. The standard block of programming on TV lasts twenty-two minutes; on YouTube, it’s three minutes. As Rick Klau, a former YouTube product manager who is now a partner at Google Ventures, said, “We give people seven or eight opportunities in the course of a half hour to opt out.” People tend to watch YouTube on their computers at work. A three-minute break every couple of hours isn’t really goofing off; it’s more like a trip to the virtual water cooler. On TV, programmers bracket certain shows together in the hope that you won’t change the channel, and channels promote upcoming shows during commercial breaks. But on YouTube you’re the programmer, and every time a video ends you have to make a programming decision: what should you watch next? All too often, the algorithm isn’t much help.
- In this week’s issue, John Seabrook on the future of YouTube - and television: http://nyr.kr/zmaaZP
On the evening of April 23, 2005, Karim uploaded the first video [above] to YouTube—an eighteen-second clip of him, standing in front of the elephant enclosure at the San Diego Zoo, wearing an ill-fitting hiking jacket. He says, “The cool thing about these guys is that they have really, really, really long trunks, and that’s cool,” smirks a little, and ends with “And that’s pretty much all there is to say.” Civilization would never be the same.
- In this week’s issue: YouTube wants to change the face of television. John Seabrook talks to the two men mapping out the future of TV: http://nyr.kr/yDrODs
In this week’s issue: Connie Bruck on Philip Anschutz and Tim Leiweke; John Seabrook on YouTube TV; Wendell Steavenson on Alaa Al Aswany; and what Santorum’s popularity means for the G.O.P. primaries: http://nyr.kr/Ln2M