There”s a scene at the 2:39 mark of OK Go”s new video for “This Too Shall Pass” that really says it all. A huge pinball sets in motion an anvil that smashes through a TV screen. Playing on the TV? OK Go”s now legendary synchronized treadmill video for “Here It Goes Again.” In other words, move on. Yes. That 2005 video was a marvel in video making and in marketing and virtually everyone on the planet saw it, but OK Go is much, much more.
And how. If there”s any one making videos as clever or smart these days as OK Go, we don”t know who they are. For the quartet, the visual and the audible are inextricably combined. In “This Too Shall Pass,” lead singer Damian Kulash and his band mates have constructed a two-story Rube Goldberg machine that runs the duration of the nearly four-minute clip. Dominos topple causing balls to scatter causing chairs to fall causing a typewriter to type. It goes on and on in a fascinating smorgasbord of cause and effect. It”s like something out of a Tim Burton movie but better and a million times cheaper.
The contraption is a modern, living breathing art installation, really. It took the band three months to create it in a warehouse in Los Angeles with help from friends at NASA and Jet Propulsion Labs. They should open up warehouse and bring in school kids to see it.
As far as we can tell, the video is shot without a editing (there”s one scene we”re not so sure about). Plus, since it opens with bassist Tim Nordwind covered in paint (all band members are sprayed with paint balls in the final shot) this clearly isn”t a first take.
I was at lead singer Kulash”s house to interview him and Nordwind a few months ago before they started this project and it”s clear that Kulash is one of those exceptionally rare people who”s right and left brain are equally engaged. In addition to writing very clever pop songs, he has a mind that loves puzzles-he was working on a very intricate 3D puzzle that day and had the biggest collection of Legos, all color coordinated and very neatly arranged in rectangular tubs, that I”d ever see. This video must be his absolute dream.
Watch it over and over. You”ll catch something new every time.