Linus Volkmann / Tanita Sanft

Why do people actually hate the nerds of OK Go that much?

1. April 2015,

Once upon a time…in a time, when even I still thought that I was certainly going to become a fan of OK Go soon. I mean, why the hell not? Their pale imitation of Weezer-style poprock certainly did have potential and with their choreographed video for “Here It Goes,” they were very hard to miss in the early days of web 2.0. Said one-shot shows the band on four treadmills, delivering an incredibly versed, all in all pretty wicked performance. Props for that!

It has been 10 years now since “Here It Goes” was released. My take on it has since changed, which shows when yet another notification like this pops up – “Crazy video by OK-Go – how did they do it? Genius!” – I cannot help but think: somehow I am really having a bad time on the internet. I should probably go for a walk more often or meet up with friends…
The Chicago group is to be blamed for sinister thoughts such as these. For many years I have tried to come to terms with this vague aversion of mine, closed off in a confined space. The notes that have been the result of this experience can now be found on kaput-mag.

The Obvious
Their music sucks. Big time. Having watched one of their clips, something may stick in mind afterwards, but certainly not the song as such. This circumstance gives the whole viewing experience a bitter aftertaste. In fact, the spectator of this kind of digital choreographed pomp has fallen victim to a promotional campaign – for a bad product, that is.

The Media Coverage
The fact that OK-Go-videos seem to possess the power to go viral, has by now been turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. A prophecy that is almost as empty as the background music. Since everybody seems to have picked up on the fact that OK-Go-video clips generate clicks, the videos are shared online and thus propagated. A mere concession to duty, instead of genuine fascination. And the texts written about OK-Go by their army of eager cleaner fish reflect just that. At this point I actually wanted to present one of these texts, but the ones I found were so tedious that featuring them here would also just have been excruciatingly dull.

The Sellout
This step is as obvious, as it is depressing. If as a band you are nothing but a false front and operative in aesthetics that are solely geared towards being as attention-grabbing as possible, why not give in already and be sponsored, branded or allow yourself to be bought altogether? As it goes, Chevrolet snapped up the band three years ago and had the band drive around in their car, but more importantly made them the the driving force behind what was a hybrid of a car commercial and a song – aptly named Needing / Getting.

The Dirty Tricks
In medieval times a certain “sense of wonder” was an inherent part in people’s mentalities. The world was a mystery and at best God’s creation, at worst the work of Satan. However, we, the people of the third millenium, do no longer fancy having mysteries in our lives – except for religious fanatics of course – no homo! With their videos, OK Go represent the ultimate tease. “How did you do that?” No reply whatsoever. It may be just enough to keep people interested a few times. On the long run, however, these tactics simply evoke physical pain. Either the sorcerer is finally willing to disclose his magic tricks or I will have him executed!

The Redemption
OK Go will at least not manage to rid themselves of one essential flaw: despite their acrobatics and despite their being celebrated as brilliant, they will be perceived as an incredibly unsophisticated act for good. As geeks, yea-sayer, as epitome of uninspired all too compliant neo-liberal pop … but ultimately never as truly creative or cool. Well, that’s at least something.


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Herausgeber & Chefredaktion:
Thomas Venker & Linus Volkmann
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