OK Go have been doing fine without a major label, though, and they’re not alone. Casey Rae Hunter of the Future of Music Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, says there has been an explosion of independent musicians who can now reach their fans without a label or radio.
“In the old days, they would still have to navigate this pretty complex system of bottlenecks and gatekeepers to reach the fan,” Hunter says. “The Internet means that you can develop and cultivate these sort of one-on-one relationships. They can become viral, like as in the case of the amazing OK Go videos that you see on YouTube. Or it can be just a sort of like, ‘Holy crap, I’m talking to my favorite rock star on Twitter.’ “
Here’s the good news: more and more people are recognizing that the open internet is crucial to everything from innovation to free speech. Musicians and independent labels depend on net neutrality too — it’s what lets them compete on a level technological playing field with the biggest companies. read more
In 2006, OK Go’s video for “Here It Goes Again” — also affectionately known as “the treadmill video” — became a web sensation. By decade’s end, it had been viewed approximately 50 million times — no small feat for a homemade clip. Although the video made its biggest splash on sites like YouTube, many fans embedded it on their personal pages and social networks. At which point “Here It Goes Again” went viral, increasing the band’s exposure on a global scale and boosting the band’s record sales (and the bottom line of their major label, EMI). read more
NEWORLEANS, LA ? On January 10, Nellie McKay, Jon Langford & Sally Timms of The Mekons, Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket, Charles Bissell of The Wrens, Kimya Dawson (who recently contributed eight songs to the hit movie Juno), Timothy Bracy of the Mendoza Line, Janet Bean of Freakwater and Craig Klein, Mat Perrine, Eric Bolivar and Bert Cotton of Bonerama come together in a benefit for musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The following night, OK Go and Bonerama play a show to aid New Orleans music legend Al “Carnival Time” Johnson and Sweet Home New Orleans ? a coalition of non-profit organizations that helps find affordable housing and provides rental assistance for the city?s cultural ambassadors. OK Go and Bonerama have also collaborated on an EP for the same cause, to be released in February. read more
The other day we promised to show you some pictures of the February 2 show with OK Go & Bonerama at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club.
Well, here they are, freshly loaded onto our Flickr page.
If you haven’t yet picked up your (digital) copy of OK Go & Bonerama’s You’re Not Alone EP, click here. Remember, it’s for a great cause — proceeds go towards building a Habitat for Humanity home for New Orleans music legend Al “Carnival Time” Johnson.
With more than 20 million views of their treadmill video, OKGO has the kind of exposure and constituency that politicians dream of. OKGO and the Future of Music Coalition took that political muscle to Capitol Hill last Thursday to talk about two very important issues: low power radio and net neutrality.
The boys, who looked natty in vintage suits, also got to fill in the lawmakers on their recent trip to New Orleans, along with FMC, to raise money for artists displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
As you may recall, Damian recently testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the importance of net neutrality to the music community. And just this week, the New York Times published his opinion piece on the same subject. (Extra props for mentioning FMC in the first paragraph!) read more
WASHINGTON, DC â€” On March 11 and 12, Damian Kulash and Andy Ross — members of the band OK Go — met with members of Congress to discuss net neutrality. On Tuesday, March 12, Kulash delivered rousing testimony complete with audio-visual accompaniment before members of the House Judiciary Committee, including Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich). â€œIf people wonder whether the music industry will benefit from Net Neutrality they can look no further than us,” said Kulash. “There is a real consensus with us that Net Neutrality is good for music. I’m here to ask Congress today to preserve Net Neutrality and the future of the Internet.â€ read more