The present met the past today as Kanye West and Bob Dylan both released new videos. The Kanye video is for Bound 2, the beautiful closer to Yeezus. The Dylan video is for Like A Rolling Stone, a song that is almost fifty years old. The Dylan video beats the living shit out of the Kanye video, and does it by being more innovative, more forward thinking and more wonderful than Bound 2 could hope to be.
In Bound 2 Kanye and Kim Kardashian writhe on a stationary motorcycle in front of a shitty green screen. She's naked, but her nipples are always hidden. It's a shitty video - cheap, boring and stupid. Is it satire? Is it a transgressive attempt to be lo-fi? It's fucking garbage, either way. You can watch this dismal shit here.
As for the Dylan video: it's an interactive piece where you're given a TV and you flip through the channels, and on every channel people are lip-synching to Like A Rolling Stone while going through their usual TV motions. So the guys from Pawn Stars are ripping off a seller while singing Like A Rolling Stone. Drew Carrey is hosting The Price Is Right while mouthing Like A Rolling Stone. The BBC is presenting the news while... you get it. In the middle of these 15 channels (more are being added, we're told) is a classic live Dylan performance from the 70s.
It's pretty incredible, and it's fun and it's very well done. I'm still unpacking the exact meaning of the video - Bob is omnipresent, even in the most middling pop cultural stuff? That we, as channel surfers, are like rolling stones (that message is a little late - this should have been a collection of Chrome tabs to really sell that). We can talk about it in the comments, but first click here to watch it.
I think Kanye West is a genius, but man, did another genius show his ass up today.