YouTube.com is this year’s free-for-all Internet time-manslaughtering fad. It’s a quick way of uploading poor quality videos for the world to see, as long as they’re only a few minutes long. So although most YouTube videos are home recordings of friends at home with a camcorder, usually dancing in their underwear, the format also lends itself to airing pop videos from dusty VHS collections. One can have a jolly time watching wonderful, obscure clips of favourite bands for hours on end. Or at least until the boss catches you. Whatever that’s like.
Doubtless it will only be a matter of time before the site is closed down due to copyright infringement, or because the next thing has come along to replace it. I remember first being told I should sign up to MySpace, “because Friendster is getting too commercial”. And now MySpace is riddled with adverts and is owned by Rupert Murdoch. And so shall it be until the next fad comes along, and we all have to open new accounts yet again, think of yet another password, try to remember what our favourite films are, and so on. All that changes things is someone somewhere thinking about money – and doing something about it. Which is the case with most angles of life.
So I’ve succumbed to YouTube, and am keen to share a few choices before they vanish into the ether. Forgive the indulgence.
First, here’s Galaxie 500 – “Strange”, from UK TV circa 1990. A weird drum-less kazoo performance. Dean Wareham’s incredible voice and guitar. A wonderful song.
Here they are again, this time from “Transmission”, an indie music programme that went out at about 3AM. They’re introduced by a Melody Maker writer from the time, called ‘Ngaire’, though I think she was also known as ‘Ngaire-Ruth’. Note her baggy hooded top – 1990 indie fashion personified. I’m afraid I had one too. We all did. No time is more distant than the recent past.
Still, I agree with her bit about them making perfect music to listen alone to. In your hooded top.
How beautiful is Mr Wareham here? “I see myself as the American Morrissey” he jokes. But he was, in a way, to me.