This week’s Net Office spot went live today. Read the raw copy here, or go to the Statesman for the final version.
Even media types need holidays sometimes. But what do you do when your loyal readership demand their daily dose of desire or doom despite your destination dictating otherwise? One failsafe, is the top 100. It doesn’t matter what – movie soundtracks, lawn dressings, sausages – a list of favourites from back through the ages is easy to compile in advance, leaving you free to enjoy your break and your audience none the wiser.
The list is an online stalwart, too. It’s common knowledge among successful bloggers that the best way to get people to read your opinion on something is to break it down into numbered, headlined paragraphs and call it a list. Look up the most popular pages sent to social bookmarking site del.icio.us on any given day, and you’ll find at least half a dozen lists. These, though, are for slightly more specialised tastes: top ten Internet Explorer rendering tips, 9 reasons to switch to Haskell.
“Eclectic Method goes Phish” is an altogether different proposition. Already viewed over 23,000 times on video-sharing website Vimeo, this 4 minute mashup consists of no less than 99 different tracks. It was commissioned for the opening of a special Hallowe’en concert at Festival 8 in Indio, California for cult jam band Phish, the University of Vermont’s greatest export (not counting Ben Afleck) and the true heirs of the Grateful Dead.
To promote the gig, Phish drew up an online list of their top 99 albums of all time, to drive speculation as to what record the band would play as their “musical costume” for the event – a Phish tradition dating back 15 years. During the countdown to the event, one by one each album was axed, until only one remained. On the night, after they opened with Eclectic Method’s video, they covered the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street in its entirety.
The video exists online not only as a testimony to the event, but to digital media’s power to turn the old into something new. Engaging and rhythmic, it plays like the life of Phil Spector flashing before his eyes, as Bowie cuts to Cohen, and images of Kiss, Metallica and The Clash strobe over a baseline provided by the Beastie Boys. As we reach the end of another decade, let’s hope the editors of our weekend supplements are watching. Because reminiscing doesn’t get much better than this.