Drive-by music

I think this is best described as bizarre, and best described in their own words:

“The new music video from OK Go, made in partnership with Chevrolet. OK Go set up over 1000 instruments over two miles of desert outside Los Angeles. A Chevy Sonic was outfitted with retractable pneumatic arms designed to play the instruments, and the band recorded this version of Needing/Getting, singing as they played the instrument array with the car. The video took 4 months of preparation and 4 days of shooting and recording. There are no ringers or stand-ins; Damian took stunt driving lessons. Each piano had the lowest octaves tuned to the same note so that they’d play the right note no matter where they were struck. Many thanks to Chevy for believing in and supporting such an insane and ambitious project, and to Gretsch for providing the guitars and amps.”

They said the magic word… insane… but it looks like it was fun :). The group’s website is here, and has some behind-the-scenes photos. I thought the guys had pinched their suits from The Wiggles until I realised they’d used green instead of purple.

From the tragic to the bizarre

“It could only happen in the United States” is a sentiment that people in other countries often express, usually accompanied with a shaking of the head. Germany too? Surely not! The Germans are way too sensible to do bizarre.

In the last week a severe cold front has caused havoc in Europe, and the death toll is mounting (it’s up to 220 at the time of writing this) as people succumb to the freezing temperatures. The thermometer dropped to minus 38°C in the Czech Republic one night.

The tragedy has been in the news a lot, with each report seeming to bring worse news.

The bizarre popped up a couple of days ago in the midst of all the chaos. The US and Germany are apparently the only two countries in the world that allow sponsorship of weather events. In a publicity stunt intended to show that the Mini Cooper is really cool, BMW in Germany decided to sponsor a cold front… as it happened, the one that’s now been responsible for so many deaths. They named it Cooper. Adding its own touch of the bizarre, The Age reported Mini stunt goes horribly wrong as if the sponsorship was somehow responsible for the severity of the weather. I guess they meant it went horribly wrong for BMW. In a more balanced article (if you’ll excuse their poor-taste pun) they filled in some detail: ‘Cooper’ weather in Europe leaves BMW in the cold.

In identically named articles SBS and The Age detail the tragedy of the extreme weather.

The Boston Globe, in its The Big Picture section, kind of combines the human tragedy and the natural beauty of a winter landscape in Extreme cold weather hits Europe. There are some beautiful scenes of snow and ice, but the human face of the disaster is shown, too, with a series of photos of homeless people coping with the weather.