Something strange is happening on local affiliate news programs across the country: Circuit benders and other weirdo musicians are being asked to drop by and discuss their art for the American Public.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d be a little confused and freaked out if I woke up and saw this first thing in the morning (and I lived in Ohio):

And it’s not just Dan Deacon. Dynamic duo Beatrix*Jar had a similarly awkward experience. There’s something strange about what’s going on here. The news people conducting the interviews are are genuinely enthusiastic, but there’s something not quite connecting in their approach. I don’t know if it’s an intentional lack of arts-based analysis or if they just like to keep it light & fluffy for the morning viewers, but the ultimate result is surreal.

Maybe it’s because it’s really early in the morning and these musicians are night owls? They seem a bit out of their element, trying to connect to that internal place that makes music happen, but they seem to be working uphill in that particular environment. When they do connect, the newspeople look a bit alienated and confused, like they just let a wild beast loose in their studio.

Here’s Getlofi.com’s Talking Computron and Igloo Martian on an evening news program in Madison, WI:

Don’t get me wrong- I think this trend is awesome. It feels like the media companies are really starting to get a whiff of this whole DIY-Maker-Bender movement, and they like what they smell. And really, what isn’t there to like? In many ways, this is human ingenuity and creativity manifest. People making the most of what’s around them, creating solutions instead of buying them, only limited by their creativity. It’s not just a fluff piece, it’s what got us to where we are today, and a sneak peek at where we might be going in the future.

That’s assuming that the future is strange, nerdy, glitchy and loud. I, for one, salute our future weird overlords.

Note: BENT festival 2008 takes place this week in NYC and next week in Minneapolis, and you can read all about it on the festival website.

  • http://ryangowen.wordpress.com RyanG

    That first video is the most disturbing thing I've seen so far today…

  • http://www.myspace.com/mdvlmusic MDVL

    yeah, what's wrong with that picture? how come it looks soo out of context. Oh. Because it is!

  • Thomas

    Damn, I didn't even realize it when I started the first video, but its from a local station in my town, Savannah, GA. They mentioned a street that I recognized and I looked at the logo, WSAV.

    I would love to get in touch with this guy if he is local. Does anyone know who upped the video or who the guy is?

  • Dick Fink

    The person is the first video is Dan Deacon. He puts on a great show and has some great stuff on his newest album, "Spiderman of the Rings"

  • magropp

    john cage also did talkshows.

  • Sizzurp Sippa

    I don’t think the mainstream media is “discovering” anything more than, in their minds, novelty. When I was a kid Tiny Tim was on a lot more talk shows than Leonard Bernstein. The talk show isn’t a context for creative energy, be it conventional or not (for those who care about such things). It’s a contrived context of presenting information and novelty as entertainment to sell soap and other miracle hygiene products. I don’t think it’s the kind of attention that’s desirable unless you mean financially beneficial…?

    This kind of media attention isn't desirable if you are an insufferable pompous ass and take yourself too seriously.

    A cool person realizes that, hey, some young person could be listening, find out something new, and have it change their lives. And even if it isn't life changing, most people will be entertained, which is a positive thing in itself. And if someone sells a little soap doing it, it is fine by me… many hardworking people feed their families by selling soap, so I don't begrudge them that.

    Like magropp said, John Cage did talkshows. Thats cause John Cage wasn't a prick.

    Bravo to the circuit benders who get mainstream recognition for your creative work!!!

  • http://wowcool.com/engine Marc Arsenault

    Points of Entry.

    Yeah, really, it's great that this happens. It's easy to forget about the straight world or whatever. But things like this are great, because there is some kid out there who will see this and it will change their life. And seriously, why can't more people get something out of that? It's the new DIY age, right?

  • ERS

    I love circuit bending, but it always strikes me as one of those activities that is more fun to do, than to listen to. I could twist knobs and make squelchy sounds all night. Listen to someone else do it, eh not so much.

  • sunship

    I don’t think the mainstream media is “discovering” anything more than, in their minds, novelty. When I was a kid Tiny Tim was on a lot more talk shows than Leonard Bernstein. The talk show isn’t a context for creative energy, be it conventional or not (for those who care about such things). It’s a contrived context of presenting information and novelty as entertainment to sell soap and other miracle hygiene products. I don’t think it’s the kind of attention that’s desirable unless you mean financially beneficial…?

  • http://www.professorwhimsey.com Dr. Apostrophe X

    I don't know… the reporter in the first clip did a pretty good job, in my opinion. It'd be hard to take anyone seriously in those glasses.

  • http://fallsastar.com Foosnark

    Wow. I was expecting that first video to get less awkward when he had a chance to perform.

    The second one seemed much more comfortable; maybe some of that was simply as a result of the "sofa" format rather than having to stand around. The most awkward moment was the shot where they're performing but we're seeing the two interviewers just sitting there wondering how to react.

  • josh g.

    John Cage didn't just do talk shows – he did game shows. When I thought about this again today it totally reminded me of this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSulycqZH-U

  • http://theycontrol.us eisnein

    the optimist in me says "hey great maybe if not even some teenager watching this show gets its BUT his/her parents get it, then it will create a more creative environment for that person"

    the pessimist in me says "surreal because of how good those musicians' PR/managers are?"

  • JonBro

    nobody noticed the super important part of the dan deacon vid… his fly is open!

  • zenzen

    ERS, I thought it was just me!

    Yeah, short attention span. Though I do love most of the sounds coming out bending and other non-mainstream techniques.

    I liked that first TV reporter. He seemed comfortable with the equipment. Dan Deacon was way out!!!

  • http://www.deltasleep.net deltasleep

    I have to disagree- I think that local Dan Deacon appearance was the absolute most appropriate for him to have done.

    You just have to understand OHIO for Dan Deacon to make sense.

  • zenzen

    deltasleep,

    If it helps, I meant "way out" in the Flintstones sense of "that's where the fun is". I thought he was amazing! Can't claim to understand Ohio, but I'm from Ontario. I should head down and check it out.

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  • Peter

    Dan Deacon is a Baltimore legend. He's still performing.