Weezer seems to be having a love affair with YouTube lately. As I was rewatching “Pork and Beans” today, I started thinking about how the video is a testament to the fact that user-generated content has become ubiquitous. Ordinary people have become viral celebrities (or ceWEBrities, as some are calling them). So much so that real celebrities are collaborating with them.
P&B was “written by Rivers Cuomo as a reaction to a meeting with Geffen where the band was told it needed to record more-commercial material. Cuomo remarked, ‘I came out of it pretty angry. But ironically, it inspired me to write another song.'” [Wikipedia] Reminds me of Sara Bareilles and her “Love Song” inspiration that we mentioned in another post…
Other than being a catchy song with the “familiar, self-assured lameness” of Weezer’s glory days (as Marc Hogan of Pitchfork Media put it), the cast of the music video is peppered with many of the oddball YouTube celebrities that we love to hate/hate to love. For those of you who aren’t so addicted to YouTube that you recognize all the characters, here’s a helpful version of the video with clickable annotations.
Their making a video like this (whether it was just a fun idea or a clever viral marketing ploy) coupled with Cuomo’s mission to make a song together with YouTube users is, to me, indicative of a new era of collaboration that is rapidly gaining traction – one in which fans want to interact with their favorite artists in new ways, musicians are willing to be more accessible to their fans, and where ordinary people have many more opportunities to do creative things, share them, and possibly achieve more than just their 15 minutes of fame.