I lost my virginity to a girl obsessed with light-hearted, quirky electronica. She could sing "99 Luftballoons" in the original German and had "Bring Me Edelweiss" on vinyl. Ever since then I've been a sucker for electropop rife with irreverence, and modern acts like Hyperbubble and Freezepop prove it's still a viable commodity.
Freezepop you've seen in the various Harmonix video games, and being a band that started out composing on a Yamaha QY70 that already resembles a Tyco handheld electronic, they made a more than perfect fit. This time, though, they've exceeded the art of the music video in a way that hasn't been done since things like "Take on Me" or "Scream," and they've done it in a way that only the Internet can make possible.
The original video for 2010's "Doppleganger" was a fun-filled romp through personal identity that followed a basic Jekyll and Hyde premise. It was a good piece directed by Mike Gill. If I'd seen it when it came out I would definitely have covered it, but now it's amazing.
The video is basically two videos shot concurrently, one being an overly idealized all-American wholesome goody-two-shoes pastel nightmare, and the other being something that Taylor Momsen would do on a greatly shortened budget with smoking eyes, drinking, drugs, and sex. Obviously, you have to edit between them... or at least you used to.
Using the unedited footage and two remixes you can effortless switch back and forth between the versions on the Freezepop Web site. The transitions are flawless, and literally allow you full control over which incarnation of the video you want to see, Nice or Douchey. Even the backing on the site matches up with the action of the screen, so that a watcher is completely able to enter the appropriate atmosphere.
"I loved the Chairlift Choose-Your-Own-Adventure video that came out earlier this year, or the crazy Google Chrome/Arcade Fire HTML5 experiment from 2010," says Christmas Disco-Marie Sagan, the band's synth mistress and Web designer.
"At this point, web browsers are practically their own little virtual machines for relatively powerful applications. The Internet is just another form of creative expression bands can use, that is both somewhat mature at this point and always changing and growing. I love the Internet!"
Once again, proof positive that the music video as an art form most rightly now exists online, and that that medium allows bands to do things they never would have been able to do with something like MTV.
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So which will you choose? Do you hurt yourself smiling in the Nice world or do you strap on your boots and flip off a puppy in Douchelandia?
You can experience "Doppleganger" as it was meant to be seen here.