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Somebodies
August 12, 2012 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Gotye makes a mashup/remix of youtube covers of his hit single - "Reluctant as I am to add to the mountain of interpretations of Somebody That I Used To Know seemingly taking over their own area of the internet, I couldn't resist the massive remixability that such a large, varied yet connected bundle of source material offered.

" [SLYT]
posted by radiosilents (93 comments total) 75 users marked this as a favorite

 
this is rad.
posted by nadawi at 11:47 AM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Did he include the Elliott Smith cover?
posted by WhitenoisE at 11:51 AM on August 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


rad this is.
posted by mochapickle at 11:52 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


is this rad? (yes)
posted by whitneyarner at 11:58 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I clicked in here to say that this is rad, and two out of the three comments so far are using the word rad.. so I think that pretty much confirms the radness.
posted by pwally at 11:58 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Did he include the Elliott Smith cover?

That one took me a second to get.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:59 AM on August 12, 2012


Me: What hit single? *clicks* Oh, it's that George Lucas song.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:05 PM on August 12, 2012


This is beautiful! (And rad.)
posted by peacrow at 12:08 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed this quite a bit.
posted by jessamyn at 12:12 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


SO RAD. STILL LOVE THE SONG.
posted by saul wright at 12:14 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is rad. Particularly rad is the fact that Gotye must have had to slog through hundreds of people covering his song on YouTube to make this remix, so he has some slight idea of how the rest of us feel wrt his song's inevitability.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:15 PM on August 12, 2012 [15 favorites]


That was pretty damn rad. Well played.

Brings back happy memories of the Sydney Opera House promo using "The Ship Song."
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:15 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is ridiculous! Nobody can play a whole guitar by themselves!

*insert clip of someone playing the whole guitar*
posted by hippybear at 12:21 PM on August 12, 2012 [17 favorites]


Stripping out the main vocal track was a smart move, makes it listenable again. There are so many rad things about this - an excellent outcome for a summer of earworm. (Better than just ennui.)
posted by mek at 12:21 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Love the batman guy.
posted by ropeladder at 12:21 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have to admit to having never heard the actual track before this post. (Which I watched the official video to after having watched the video which is the focus of this FPP.)

The mashup track is excellent. The original track, I'm not exactly sure what all the apparent fuss is about. But then I feel that way about a lot of popular music, and a lot of people who like popular music feel the same about music I try to share with them.

Still, this is an excellent example of the way that artists inspire, and in turn are inspired by, strangers on the internet.

I'd like to see a lot more of this kind of feedback loop going on. I think it's a quality way to breathe life into the modern music scene in a giant collaborative way.

Glad to have seen it. Thanks for posting.
posted by hippybear at 12:25 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I ever had any doubts that Gotye was a serious and talented musician (and I did) they are gone now. This is a fantastic mashup and also led me to a fantastic a cappella cover by Pentatonix.
posted by capricorn at 12:29 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I ever had any doubts that Gotye was a serious and talented musician (and I did) they are gone now.

The Single is amusingly unrepresentative of the rest of his work, which odd. At times he reminds me of Paul Simon. I definitely got more into him after I saw him at Coachella, where after he played The Single, 2/3 of the crowd left, and then the real show started.
posted by mek at 12:37 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


The only other thing by Gotye I've heard ("State of the Art") is totally unlike "Somebody I Used to Know", and is great.
posted by kenko at 12:47 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Boss video, too.
posted by kenko at 12:49 PM on August 12, 2012


Wow. Ouroboring AMIRITE?

kidding! this is well done--i was just looking for a chance to use the pun
posted by sourwookie at 12:49 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh, I like this!

And it gives a good idea about the kind of guy Gotye is, too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:54 PM on August 12, 2012


I accidentally a whole guitar. This was great.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:59 PM on August 12, 2012


Add "rad" to the tags?
posted by Flunkie at 1:02 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Flunkie : done!
posted by radiosilents at 1:06 PM on August 12, 2012


Wait, he's not suing the crap out these people? He gets a gold star for that alone.
posted by tommasz at 1:09 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, tis Rad. All it needs is the mother of all funk chords.

The only other thing by Gotye I've heard ("State of the Art" yt ) is totally unlike "Somebody I Used to Know", and is great.

Yes, yes. All I knew about Goyte before the big hit happened was that he was a fan of vintage home combo organs. Bizarre.
posted by ovvl at 1:12 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oddly touching to see so many people's efforts brought together like that. Well done!
posted by idest at 1:14 PM on August 12, 2012


Ha, there's a tiny clip of the original, just for a moment, at 2:44 and 2:48. And I love the way it goes metal crazy at 4:45.

I love this. It's irreverent, silly, creative, and still mostly works as a piece of music.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:30 PM on August 12, 2012


Yeah, tis Rad. All it needs is the mother of all funk chords.

He actually explicitly credits Kutiman for inspiring him. Which I thought was totes gracious.
posted by contrarian at 1:32 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Worth noting he just released a new video of one of the least interesting songs on his current album. The video, however, continues some of the 'walking robot' theme of past videos. Seriously, check out ALL his video stuff (most of which I posted months ago); there are far worse way to kill an hour-plus.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:34 PM on August 12, 2012


Utterly fucking brilliant.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:37 PM on August 12, 2012


capricorn,

If I ever had any doubts that Gotye was a serious and talented musician (and I did) they are gone now

Truly a sign of times: It's not enough that Gotye can write, record, and perform a pop masterpiece - to get real credibility as a musician he has to be able to mix a mashup?

My musical heart is weeping.

posted by j_curiouser at 1:39 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, yes, rad.
posted by j_curiouser at 1:40 PM on August 12, 2012


to get real credibility as a musician he has to be able to mix a mashup?

This is, I'd like to go on the record as saying, no ordinary mashup.
posted by capricorn at 1:46 PM on August 12, 2012


This was great. Just realized he was coming to Bumbershoot in a couple weeks. This mashup gives me good incentive to go to his performance and buy some merchandise.
posted by the_artificer at 1:54 PM on August 12, 2012


But then I feel that way about a lot of popular music, and a lot of people who like popular music feel the same about music I try to share with them.

Hippybear, based on your post history and such, I would have said you're the king of popular music. Perhaps only of a certain era.

This is fabulous, and I rather like the original song, it's definitely an earworm. I don't listen to radio or regularly get exposed to broadcast media in other ways so I haven't really been overexposed.

When a musician creates a song like this, they must know in their bones it's going to be played at a million talent shows, covered by every cover band out there and be the focus of endless youtube clips. It would be a fascinating place to be in.
posted by maxwelton at 1:55 PM on August 12, 2012


Truly a sign of times: It's not enough that Gotye can write, record, and perform a pop masterpiece - to get real credibility as a musician he has to be able to mix a mashup?

The original was based around sampling anyways.
posted by mannequito at 1:57 PM on August 12, 2012


j_curiouser:
In earlier times I may have agreed with you, but I think Bill &conditioning Ted's Excellent Adventure depicted Beethoven right: thrilled with the marvels of today and to the interpretation of others. (I'm stretching a bit.)

Each fan covered the song because it meant something to them. Sure, for some it was the technicala challenge, for others there were the words, or even a chordal structure that just moved them. The song was a curation of each of their talents. And up until the moment they recorded their own version the song was Gotye's. And then it becsme theirs. And in that instant, all the meaning became theirs.

Now here's the thing, the song is (to me) lonely sounding. There is a longing expressed by Gotye that even the polish of today's studio producers can't eliminate. And yet here are hundreds of voices in unison, singing about that on the internet -bertuccii's a medium that connects us all yet leaves us isolated. Gotye recognized this - or some other platitude and mixed it - as the song is now bigger than the song he recorded.

So as a homage to them, he gave them back to themselves, and in doing so, he took back part of his own song.

Hence my first comment: utterly fucking brilliant.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:03 PM on August 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Hippybear, based on your post history and such, I would have said you're the king of popular music. Perhaps only of a certain era.

My musical interests run wide, but they are only deep in spots. I welcome exposure to a lot of things, but only really dive in to specific pools. I'm much more ignorant of current pop and rock than I am of stuff from a few years back, largely because commercial radio makes me crazy and there's no quality equivalent to MTV anymore. Doesn't mean I don't like current stuff; just means I'm not familiar with a lot of it.
posted by hippybear at 2:04 PM on August 12, 2012


Since nobody else has mentioned her yet, Kimbra (the female part of the song) is also awesome.
posted by inigo2 at 2:08 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hi Nanukthedog,

I tend to agree with your analysis. I'm just think it's philistine to condescendingly grant musical credibility based on this as opposed to, say, the music.

It's a fabulous remix. Cheers.
posted by j_curiouser at 2:18 PM on August 12, 2012


For those who enjoy the album (and it really is worth checking out,) this short documentary on the creation is fascinating.
posted by saul wright at 2:23 PM on August 12, 2012


Simply awesome.
posted by mrbill at 2:30 PM on August 12, 2012


think it's philistine to condescendingly grant musical credibility based on this as opposed to, say, the music.

For me I basically knew about Gotye as the suddenly overplayed pop musician on the radio station and didn't know much else about him. As much as I think that one song is catchy and interesting, it doesn't alone make me think "Hey this guy really knows what's up" it might have meant that he had talented songwriters and/or musicians working for him, or maybe he was the new flavor of the month for some record label. I decided I thought he was neat when I saw him on Saturday Night Live appearing in one of those goofy digital shorts and was pleased to note he seemed to have a sense of humor about himself and his music. And he didn't seem to be suing the hell out of everyone who put up a cover of his song.

So for me it really wasn't until I'd seen this mashup where I really saw the range of his talent based on what I'd seen thus far. Now after seeing that and reading through this thread, I'll go back and listen to more of his stuff. I don't think people are being condescending so much as just admitting to not having paid much attention previously. At least that's where I'm coming from.
posted by jessamyn at 2:31 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ok I'd never heard of this guy before but I am gratified that google confirms I am not the only one reminded of The Police.
posted by juv3nal at 2:47 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's certainly nice to hear a pop track that has some dynamic range and interesting changes in intensity and musical density.
posted by davidpriest.ca at 2:52 PM on August 12, 2012


As a wierd wtf captured in time &conditioning and -Bertucci's from my comment were added by my phone. Given that I haven't been to a Bertucci's in ... i have no idea how long ... I think my phone wants to go out for crappy chain-italian food. Or i am unknowingly a spambot hell bent in advertizing subliminally and this comment was the longest ever markov chain just to advertize for a restaurant ever.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:55 PM on August 12, 2012


This song is the earworm that haunts me at night, that keeps me up. I medicate to fall to sleep. I wake up at 2am, the refrain coursing through my ears. Tears form in my eyes, because I know rest will not be with me.

So I took this remix and played it into an envelope. Into said envelope I also places a playing card, a lock of my hair, two sugar packets, and a penny minted in the year I was born.

I buried the bundle beneath a moonless sky. I drank arum and spat rum over its mount. I cried and begged at a moon that was not there for this song to haunt me no more. Fire became involved.

That the police showed up was expected. That I spent several days in the Restful Cove Center was not. The song has yet to return to me, haunting my sleepless hours, but the little bottle of pills the doctors gave me has yet to empty. Soon, though, soon... next week, my last pill will be gone and I will again become somebody I used to know.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:05 PM on August 12, 2012 [28 favorites]


MetaFilter: Fire became involved.
posted by hippybear at 3:09 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tubular.
posted by homunculus at 3:29 PM on August 12, 2012


Oh, robocop is bleeding, you always know exactly what to say.
posted by clockzero at 3:43 PM on August 12, 2012


The senior thesis I wrote for my BFA in Creative Writing was a roman a clef about the college summers I'd spent working at a franchise casual dining restaurant. I called it Bennigan's Wake.

I can't remember much about it...I haven't dared open it in fifteen years, certain that it will make me itch and squeal in embarrassment. But I remember that the first line was a take-off on the famous opening of The Good Soldier; it begins "This is the raddest story I've ever heard."
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:55 PM on August 12, 2012


Aw, he didn't include my favorite. It was done as a response to Ellen's comment to the group she had on her show.

Thank you for this post. I'd wanted to FPP the cover I mentioned, but a) I'm a friend of a friend of one of the people involved in it, and b) lots of Gotye already. This is fun good new Gotye stuff, and I'm happy to have a chance to share this particular cover.
posted by booksherpa at 3:56 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love the a capella hand and bounce.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:31 PM on August 12, 2012


So I've known Wally aka Gotye since about 2005. He's a pretty good friend of mine, though I haven't seen as much of him for the past couple of years. I'm really proud of his success and definitely think he deserves it, even though I like some of his stuff more than other pieces.

The guy has an incredible and encyclopedic knowledge of music. He's a mad op-shopper and spends hours riffling through records gathering as many weird and wonderful albums as he can. He's a raging nerd and was the reason that I decided to give Buffy a shot, as he'd written a song (for his band, The Basics) called "Bitten by the same bug" that was pretty much about how his friend Simon had infected him with a reluctant love for the show. He has a great sense of humour and laughs at himself easily.

He works 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, more or less. I spoke to him one day and he'd just spent over an hour listening to different cow bell tones trying to find the right one. He's a perfectionist, and has higher standards for himself than for others.

Anyway, I'm proud of him and I'm really glad to have him as a friend, and I have been since he was working in a library and living back at home with his parents and nobody had really heard of him. Seeing him gain more and more recognition has been incredibly surreal, but knowing him and the work that he's put into this, it makes me so glad for him that it's paid off - even though it means that I don't see as much of him as I used to.
posted by jonathanstrange at 4:50 PM on August 12, 2012 [52 favorites]


That is great, and I agree with others above that this gives me a much better sense of what he's about than just his one very catchy song did.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:06 PM on August 12, 2012


So far I've only heard remakes and parodies of this, someday I'll actually get around to listening the song itself.
posted by octothorpe at 5:48 PM on August 12, 2012


octothorpe: it's easy to find -- it's linked in the comment section of the featured video of this FPP, as it's posted as a response to the official video. just scroll down a bit, and you'll see it.
posted by hippybear at 5:54 PM on August 12, 2012


I greatly enjoy examples of celebrities behaving in classy ways and doing cool things.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:01 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


hippybear: "octothorpe: it's easy to find -- it's linked in the comment section of the featured video of this FPP, as it's posted as a response to the official video. just scroll down a bit, and you'll see it."

Oh, OK, I'll do it.

.... listens ....

Seems inoffensive enough, I guess.
posted by octothorpe at 6:07 PM on August 12, 2012


he'd written a song (for his band, The Basics)

People who like Gotye and also—perhaps even more importantly—people who don't like Gotye should check out The Basics. They're a great modern interpretation of classic rock 'n' roll, and you can listen to all of their albums on their website.
posted by infinitywaltz at 6:46 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Agreed, infinitywaltz! I've always preferred all the Basics stuff to the Gotye stuff. Especially live. Their earlier stuff (pre Gotye becoming more successful in Australia) was their best stuff. I thought that they tried to go a bit more mainstream after that, and the things I loved about their music was lost a bit. Stand out / Fit in was a great album though!
posted by jonathanstrange at 6:49 PM on August 12, 2012


I like their newer, more mainstream stuff, honestly, but Stand Out/Fit In is indeed pretty awesome. Get Back I'm a bit less into, just because a lot of the songs have sort of a '50s pop thing that I've never really enjoyed.
posted by infinitywaltz at 7:40 PM on August 12, 2012


Oh, this is very nice. The strings mixed with random bits of found narration remind me a lot of The Books (clip).
posted by schmod at 8:03 PM on August 12, 2012


From Gotye's twitter:
How did I forget to include Tay Zonday in Somebodies? Like slapping the internet in the face (yt)
posted by schmod at 8:11 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is fantastic.
posted by flatluigi at 8:30 PM on August 12, 2012


This is fantastic, classy move.

Sticherbeast, thanks for the Ship song link, hadn't seen it before and I love me some Nick Cave.
posted by arcticseal at 8:42 PM on August 12, 2012


for some reason, this is the only song on my husband's iphone. which autoplays on bluetooth when he starts his car. he still hasn't figured out how to turn it off.
it's a perfect prank and I didn't even have to do anything.
posted by changeling at 9:04 PM on August 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


omg this is awesome. The only one I wished was there that wasn't is the queer ASL version, that would have been lovely. But Pentatonix! and Dogtye! and all the awesome. And that it's the original artist that put this together? love love love.

hint hint darren hayes hint hint
posted by divabat at 9:10 PM on August 12, 2012


I have a whole new respect for Gotye after seeing this. (It's not that I had a disrespect for him before, this was just, as has been noted, rad.)

I have some friends who find this to be the perfect messy breakup song and while the song really is great, it makes me worry about those friends. Which speaks even more to the power of the song, really.
posted by maryr at 9:22 PM on August 12, 2012


Awesome remix and a seriously classy way to handle the remixes, even if the recursion hurtses us. The soundses do not hurtses us.
posted by Samizdata at 9:27 PM on August 12, 2012


Oops, it was SO RAD! Radder than rad.

Radder, possibly, than Chernobyl, even.
posted by Samizdata at 9:28 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, he's not suing the crap out these people?

I think technically they might be able to sue him now.

No, I'm not an intellectual property lawyer. How did you guess?
posted by ODiV at 9:38 PM on August 12, 2012


Usually when I use the term 'pop is eating itself' I mean it as an insult.
In this case, I use it and what I mean is RAD.
Thanks for sharing it.
posted by Megami at 1:13 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ack, it's 1:30 in the morning, I can't sleep, and this song is still playing in my head. robocop is bleeding, what have you done to me?!
posted by homunculus at 1:36 AM on August 13, 2012


CRISSAKES PLEASE LET THIS SONG DIE
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:44 AM on August 13, 2012


I have some friends who find this to be the perfect messy breakup song and while the song really is great, it makes me worry about those friends.

If I may ask - why? It is a good messy breakup song. It's the only song I've heard that captures just how weird and painful it is to have someone who was once so intimately involved with you now suddenly acting like you're a total nobody. Even when you know that it's for the best that you broke up, it still...it's weird, you know?

I may or may not have some bitterness towards an ex for treating me like a total stranger. The previous may have some bias.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:27 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


This.
And this (McKayla making fun of the Not Impressed meme).

make me think the kids today are going to be okay. They grok the ouroboros of the modern age better than we do.
posted by DigDoug at 6:25 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The remix itself is pretty darn good. That the remix comes from an artist who's near the top of the pop charts, and who has been all summer, strikes me as a very good cultural omen.

As societies grow larger and more inclusive – as most of our societies have been growing for centuries – there's been a question of how important an individual is within it, and the answer to that question is almost always one-to-many. That is, there are some unique individuals who are given tremendous importance, but many more who have no value to the greater society. These many form their own subcultures, and those subcultures rise and fall in power, but always there's a central hub around which those subcultures revolve.

As mass media grew more and more massive, pop culture turned into a powerful machine, dedicated to finding our lowest common denominators and exploiting them. Not the best situation for culture to find itself in, generally, because the lowest common denominator is cheap and not exactly the best display of humanity. This lowest common denominator became our cultural center, and celebrity has become one a universally-cherished value. I've known people, many people, who aspired simply to be famous – to be a pop star or a movie star or a TV personality – and for whom fame seemed to be all that mattered. Fame at the cost of everything special or unique about them was an acceptable bargain.

This is a problem not just culturally but politically. First off it gives voices to the "powerful" and not to the masses. Second off it manipulates the worst tendencies of those masses to score cheap, temporary points. Finally it encourages those worst tendencies by making it easier for us to imagine other people as ugly and shallow and worthless. So much easier to deny somebody her personhood when you don't think of her as a person to begin with.

But there's been no other option in industrial society. Our only media forms were a one-to-many distribution. Whoever owned the press had freedom of press, and everybody else had freedom to read that press, no more. As our media became faster, our myths became cheaper: the stories we told weren't meant to last for centuries, but rather for weeks, days, hours. The men and women we worshipped became idols meant to last fifteen minutes instead of a lifetime – and this was more "democratic", because it meant the odds of one of us becoming an idol was a thousand times greater. When you spend your lifetime paying attention to idols, why wouldn't you want to become an idol in your own right?

The Internet gave everybody a voice, and there was a significant, subtle change. People had always known that their idols were manufactured (and transparently so, in the case of a show like American Idol – it's worth pointing out that the summer's other hit song, Call Me Maybe, is the product of a former Idol grad). Now it was possible to become, not just an idol, but an idolmaker. We could become the pop machine ourselves! Culture junkies like Perez Hilton and Gawker turned celebrity watching even more fetishistic; net-based artists like Jonathan Coulton learned to market and brand and sell themselves; and the new trendy business was the one that let its consumer "express herself". Sites like Facebook and YouTube provide would-be idols with a way to put themselves at the center of the world, and simultaneously give the rest of us a choice of which idols we care to occupy our time with.

There comes a point where there are as many idols as there are worshippers, or more even. We're not at that singularity yet, but we're getting close.

And when you hit that point, suddenly the distinction between the one and the many becomes ridiculous. People are people! Everybody has the potential to be interesting or beautiful or worthwhile. The people we are about are people, just people, only ever people. Then being a person, and being able to appreciate other people, is the only thing worth aspiring to. Not a new ideal – it's been around for basically ever – but never an ideal which, until recently, looked actually attainable.

Now we're seeing a sea change, as celebrities and icons bring themselves closer to their would-be audience than ever before. Basketball stars take to Twitter and respond to everybody that tries to talk to them. Actors participate in take-all-comers interviews on Reddit. Comedians like Louis CK and Aziz Ansari try selling specials directly to their fans, cutting out the distribution channel that used to be strictly necessary. And musician-editors, first Kutiman, now Gotye, make songs about the former masses, showcasing a plethora of beautiful musicians who we'd never know if they hadn't been revealed to us through somebody else's effort.

Pop culture doesn't hugely matter in and of itself. But pop is ephemeral, whimsical, faster to shift than the set-in-stone institutions which actually affect people's lives. And we all participate in pop culture, to some extent. It's a barometer which measures something else about our society. When pop culture becomes about the masses, about the music which formerly faceless people are capable of creating, then it shows that this sort of many-to-one communication is readily possible. If it's possible to unite hundreds of musicians who've never met into a single mashup song, then either it's possible or it soon will be possible to highlight those unheard voices in other arenas. And when new voices are heard, people change.

Last year, people posting pictures of themselves holding signs saying "I am the 99%" changed the tone of our national discourse. We don't remember the people who created that slogan; we just remember the people who use it. We remember the people talking on YouTube to tell gay children that it gets better, or the eagle scouts who are sending in their badges to protest the BSA's ban on homosexuality. Individuals are creating a collective voice which we haven't seen in decades, not since television learned to ignore mass protests, because now the Internet is becoming the central media, and the best Internet is the part that lets people express themselves in interesting ways.

I don't know what the future of this collective expression will be – whether it will make this musical expression economically viable, whether it will be corrupted by some manipulative sonofabitch, whether it will change society abruptly and startlingly or just slightly speed up the simmering transformation. But I do know this: the shift is going to be an individual thing. Not the cultural machine deciding this is the best way to turn a profit (though they'll try to imitate this), but instead individuals deciding they want to leave the machine behind. We're seeing it among entertainers now, but we're also seeing education attempt this with things like the Khan Academy. What happens when politicians try this, or rather when this approach becomes politically viable? What happens when scientists and economists and mathematicians figure out a way to reach the people who never tune into their channels? A lot of unanswered, exciting questions.

Put aside the fact that this mashup is musically interesting, entertaining, beautiful at parts. The real beauty is that Gotye saw this tremendous success, and instead of simply using that to catapault his fame, created this mashup to show how grateful, how moved he was by his success, and also to show the incredible diversity and talent of the people who responded to his song. Pop is the people who listen to it. Pop that shows how incredible those listeners are is about the best kind of pop I can imagine.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:50 AM on August 13, 2012 [13 favorites]


"Yo dawg, I heard you liked to remix my song "somebody that I used to know" so I put remixes of my song "somebody that I used to know" in a remix of my song "somebody that I used to know" so that you can remix my song "somebody that I used to know" while you remix my song "somebody that I used to know.""
posted by illovich at 6:56 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


He didn't use remixes. /pedant
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:14 AM on August 13, 2012


make me think the kids today are going to be okay

Gotye is 32.
posted by kenko at 7:25 AM on August 13, 2012


Gotye is 32.

Yeah. That's what I said. Kids.
posted by DigDoug at 7:58 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm kind of mystified how the original song became an international mega-smash hit. It's not that catchy.
posted by rubber duck at 8:14 AM on August 13, 2012


How did I forget to include Tay Zonday in Somebodies? Like slapping the internet in the face

Okay, now I officially love the guy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:23 AM on August 13, 2012


Hi jessamyn,

That makes sense to me...I'm probably a little too 'get-off-my-lawn' about the whole mashup culture.

I must say, I remember when the Playing for Change video of Stand By Me first came out. I heard a lot of props for the creativity, vision, and production skills of filmmakers Mark Johnson and Enzo Buono. I don't think I heard anyone say, 'Sweet, now I totally get that Ben E. King isn't a pop hack.'

My mistake - I think - is not realizing that this thread is mostly saying, 'Cool, Gotye has creativity, vision, and production skills.'

s'all good.
posted by j_curiouser at 10:19 AM on August 13, 2012


This is seriously rad!

But, once again, I find it so strange that no one ever discusses the fact that you can sing the chorus of In A Big Country over most parts of Somebody That I Used To Know and it works disturbingly well. Why has no one else mentioned this? It was the first thing I thought, the first time I ever heard the song. Am I all alone in the world?
posted by audacity at 4:23 PM on August 13, 2012


Oh for crying out loud. Somebody put me out of my misery..... what's the story with all the "rad"?

What new meme am I now looking like an idiot for not knowing?
posted by taff at 5:00 AM on August 14, 2012


Taff: I think it was just a coincidence of the first two comments using the term and everyone's just running with it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:18 AM on August 14, 2012


EmpressCallipygos: "Taff: I think it was just a coincidence of the first two comments using the term and everyone's just running with it."

Well, that's why I decided to dust off "rad", FWIW...
posted by Samizdata at 10:16 AM on August 16, 2012


My "rad" comment was intended to be read as a remix of the first comment. It didn't really work. So.
posted by mochapickle at 11:04 AM on August 16, 2012


Is that a Mac SE right around the one minute mark? What on earth could it be doing?
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:01 AM on August 18, 2012


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