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Pretty much devolved by this point.
October 7, 2007 11:43 PM   Subscribe

It's 1984. Let's spend 32 curious minutes with Devo as they convince us to purchase a Pioneer Laserdisc system.
posted by item (49 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ok, so Akron's finest only occupy the first 12 minutes of this video, but still...
posted by item at 11:45 PM on October 7, 2007


LOLBUCKETS
/obligatory
posted by Poolio at 11:47 PM on October 7, 2007


Let's not and say we did.
posted by sleepy pete at 12:01 AM on October 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


VIDEO FOR THOSE WHO REALLY CARE ABOUT AUDIO
posted by boo_radley at 12:10 AM on October 8, 2007


That's a great video.
posted by Lord_Pall at 12:13 AM on October 8, 2007


Somewhere on the interwebs, there's probably a Devo fan club, and some of its members own this video and watch it regularly. Just think about that for a minute.
posted by katillathehun at 12:19 AM on October 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


*cries*
posted by item at 12:24 AM on October 8, 2007


Oh my goodness, katillathehun, I had the exact same thought. I think it was because of the video description that says “you can hear this in stereo and with better picture quality if you download and then play it!” And I was like, why would anyone do that? And then I thought of people watching this regularly, and felt sad.
posted by tepidmonkey at 12:25 AM on October 8, 2007


Saying "somewhere on the interwebs, there's probably a Devo fan club" is like saying "somewhere on the interwebs, there's probably porn".
posted by item at 12:31 AM on October 8, 2007 [12 favorites]


I remember being annoyed that Devo sold "Whip It" to Swiffer.

Then I remembered that Devo are SubGeniuses, and that while they may be pink, their money's still green.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:35 AM on October 8, 2007 [5 favorites]


Ok, so Akron's finest only occupy the first 12 minutes of this video

Wow, someone made it past the four minute mark? I'd want the free iPod if I had to watch the whole thing.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:37 AM on October 8, 2007


They didn't just sell Whip It to Swiffer, they re-recorded it themselves for the commercials.

Swiff it good!
posted by item at 12:39 AM on October 8, 2007


MUST. BUY. LASERDISC.
posted by tracert at 1:23 AM on October 8, 2007


After Ray Charles, it went straight downhill.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:29 AM on October 8, 2007


I know that Willem Dafoe owned a Laserdisc player, back in the day, cuz I was behind him in the checkout line at Tower Video in on Lafayette street, 1980-something, and he was buying some laserdiscs.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:33 AM on October 8, 2007


Now listen to Ray Charles compressed on Google Video through a laptop speaker.
posted by hal9k at 1:35 AM on October 8, 2007


Great item, item! Since jonmc hasn't entered this thread yet, I guess it's up to me to present Frank Zappa for General Electric.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:56 AM on October 8, 2007


..We were no longer little women...we were DEVO!!
posted by doctorschlock at 4:47 AM on October 8, 2007


Yes hal9k, it's strange how far backwards we have come with video quality.

An interesting about thing about video disc is that the video signal is analog. Instead of 1s and 0s, it's the distance between the pits that carries the information.
posted by bhnyc at 4:58 AM on October 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


We had these at work from the late 70's (IIRC) to the late 80's for training.
This was a big, big improvement over the previous training method, which was essentially a teletype.

Ray Charles does not sound good on teletype.
posted by MtDewd at 5:02 AM on October 8, 2007


oops "An interesting about thing about laserdisc...
posted by bhnyc at 5:04 AM on October 8, 2007


Not to pull old geezer rank, but it seems that no one so far gets the promo. It's a tricky place to be, for sure, even if you're DEVO, but DEVO made an industry of mocking corporate media, even while they recognized they were of it. I think the only time they failed to ironize the material they were delivering is a blip in a Diet Coke commercial back in the 80s.

This said, DEVO is making fun of the entire process. At the time the video was made, they might have been hard up for cash. But regardless of the financial incentive, if you pay careful attention (and even not-so-careful attention) you will see that their mocking their corporate overlords, the features of the Pioneer device, and their own role in promoting a new-fangled gadget.

The video is funny even as it is demoralizing. Try it with your irono-meter on.
posted by mistersquid at 5:14 AM on October 8, 2007


I think it's great. I mean, sure, if you have some little band with "integrity" that wants to never sell out and do only your little thing, wonderful. But DEVO was more about getting involved with the culture, in order to destroy it.
posted by fungible at 5:26 AM on October 8, 2007


Let's not forget DEVO's Dell Commercial

That one's new and, as I understand it, Mutato Muzika's doing fairly well...so it's not like they're hard up for cash. I, for one, am absolutely stoked that this song probably heralds a new album. Let's hope it's a far sight better than Smooth Noodle Maps. I hope they tour more for it, too. Saw them last year in Dallas, and they were still amazing.

Regarding selling out? Maybe an issue when they were younger and hungrier. I think at this point in their career, they've earned the right to both have fun playing and make money from their efforts.
posted by kaseijin at 5:47 AM on October 8, 2007


I'm wondering how people pronounce "DEVO"? I've always put the accent on the DE (as they do in "Jocko Homo" when they say "We are DE-VO") but in this video they put the accent on the VO.
posted by brevator at 5:55 AM on October 8, 2007


I'd argue that its true purpose of the promo is to serve as a definitive compendium of every nightmare-inducing 1980s pop culture reference.

This is the most disturbing thing I've seen in a very long time. I think it might even beat out Goatse. I'm not going to sleep very well this week. I also just broke out in hives.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 6:08 AM on October 8, 2007


Was Pioneer completely out to lunch in choosing Devo to be their spokesmen? Everything that comes out of Devo's mouth in this commercial sounds utterly sarcastic.
posted by Dead Man at 6:33 AM on October 8, 2007


I always wanted to send away for one of the items DEVO had on offer in the catalogues contained with their LPs.

Weird postcards so you can "correspond with innocent strangers" or the yellow suit for protecting yourself from dangerous human radiation.

I could always understand why DEVO could do commercials. They were unselloutable.
posted by mattoxic at 7:00 AM on October 8, 2007


Metafilter: try it with your irono-meter on.
posted by killdevil at 7:18 AM on October 8, 2007


Not long ago, DEVO released a DVD with a bunch of their music videos on it.

Interspersed among the videos are snippets from this laserdisc promo. The self-mockery of putting these clips on a DVD is quite arch and quite amusing.

Within the past year, I ran across a laserdisc player in a thrift store, asking price $20. I thought really hard about getting it, but declined.
posted by adamrice at 7:56 AM on October 8, 2007


Yikes, it's like some surreal time capsule.

Devo: Beautiful World
posted by madamjujujive at 8:12 AM on October 8, 2007


I just like the thought of Devo hanging out with Ray Charles.
posted by spoobnooble at 8:33 AM on October 8, 2007


The only laserdisc I ever played with was a copy of the Aspen Movie Map. That one is worth trying out.
posted by rongorongo at 8:43 AM on October 8, 2007


Devo promoting DiscoVision...
posted by NortonDC at 8:49 AM on October 8, 2007


A DVD of this promo video, and much more can be found at Booji Boy's Basement.
posted by SansPoint at 8:54 AM on October 8, 2007


The Dell advert is a bit of a rip of the second, pornoish video for Benassi's Satisfaction (you know, glossy women, power tools, and so on). Which is kind of ironic, because the original video for Satisfaction was all Devo-ish.
posted by meehawl at 9:19 AM on October 8, 2007


"Somewhere on the interwebs, there's probably a Devo fan club, and some of its members own this video and watch it regularly."

(Please note: said site may not actually contain this exact video content)
posted by mwhybark at 10:01 AM on October 8, 2007


I'm wondering how people pronounce "DEVO"?

Noticed that too. (Subgenii at play?)
posted by progosk at 10:05 AM on October 8, 2007


"Somewhere on the interwebs, there's probably a Devo fan club, and some of its members own this video and watch it regularly."

It does.
posted by SansPoint at 10:34 AM on October 8, 2007


The band themselves have pronounced it "deVO" in interviews and such as long as I can remember. IIRC they once explained that pronunciation in a magazine interview, but darned if I can remember their reasoning.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:05 AM on October 8, 2007


Rock on with your irono-meter on.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:18 AM on October 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


It should be noted that the films in the video are shown in a full screen aspect ratio [1:33 to 1] rather than letterboxed.
Letterboxing was not yet in fashion. A short history of letterboxing can be found here.
The first video to feature letterboxing was Amacord released in January 1984 on a format called CED [Capacitance Electronic Disc]. Eight months later came Woody Allen's Manhattan on LaserDisc.
posted by Rashomon at 2:22 PM on October 8, 2007


Not as good as Spirit of '76...


We had a LaserDisc player. We owned the following discs: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Silkwood, a compilation of J. Geils band videos, some Disney cartoons, Star Wars, Grease, and a disc of Korean interpretations of classic fairy tales. We had to go to a local Radio Shack (or independent version thereof) to rent others.
posted by nekton at 4:31 PM on October 8, 2007


I lived 2 blocks north of that store in the 90s f@m:) Saw Spike Lee, Kid and Play and even Laurie Anderson on different occasions.
posted by vronsky at 4:53 PM on October 8, 2007


Don't forget that "really stupid idea" known as 3-D video. (FFWD to 4:30 for very interesting real-time commentary from Booji Boy.)
posted by Reggie Digest at 6:31 PM on October 8, 2007


I lived 2 blocks north of that store in the 90s...

Wait a minute... if you were 2 blocks north, you weren't in the 90's, you were down around Astor Place!

Har har har!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:46 AM on October 9, 2007


And yeah, I'd agree with mattoxic, they were "unselloutable". They were beyond "selling out". They were... DEVO.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:48 AM on October 9, 2007


NO OAR = NO SALE!!!
posted by Dirjy at 10:30 AM on October 9, 2007


"Har har har!"

more like Groan, groan, groan! ;)
posted by vronsky at 11:49 AM on October 9, 2007


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