Sunday, August 19, 2007

YouTube Nights @ BrilloBox

It's easy in this modern age to believe you have seen it all. From the time we are children, we are inundated with visual information representing every minor phenomena anyone has ever thought to capture on camera. If you are jaded and world-weary... I understand why. But it could just be that you are missing something extraordinary, amazing and/or entertaining. And you'll never know unless you are open to exploration.

The same thing applies to nightlife. You say you've been to the fetish balls, the water balloon fights AND naked karaoke? You couldn't possible imagine seeing anything new? Well here's your chance... the BrilloBox has started YouTube nights on Sundays. Katie (your host) is not only sharing her favorites, but also playing requests. Last week I stumbled into the bar, only to see a large projection screen fed by K.'s laptop. With the virtual world and sophisticated volume control at her fingertips, the place was transformed into an unusual brand of theater. That in itself is nothing new at this spot. The owners relish turning newbies on to some of the strangest and most compelling DVDs available. If you find yourself becoming sick and tired of looking at the same old people, you always have the option to direct you attention to one of the monitors around the bar.

But this is a fresh concept. In some ways, it's almost a "no-brainer". Every single day hundreds (if not thousands) of new video recordings are uploaded into cyberspace. Quite obviously, a vast proportion of this stuff is amateurish, juvenile and utterly unwatchable. But if you spend some time digging, there are truly some gems to be had. And that's the charm of a weekly series like this. Perhaps you'll see something that you never dreamed existed. Maybe you'll laugh, or cry, or be turned on. It's the element of surprise that matters.

Last Sunday was the very first YouTube night, and K. was still working out the kinks. There's not really any sort of benchmark for this type of thing, so there's going to be some trial-and-error. Many of the requests people were making were (to my mind) cliche and/or just plain silly. We got to see Asian youths lip-synching songs by bad pop girl-bands, and other clips you could easily catch on America's Stupidest Home Videos. But there was some quality animation, and there were Wonder Showzen clips. And then there were some things that were frankly beyond categorization. Those oddities make the entire evening worthwhile.

Whether or not this experiment will catch on is really beside the point. The concept does runs counter to a few realities of "standard" bar behavior. Most prominently- people want to talk when they go out. Whether or not there will be a balance between the buzz of conversation and the audio tracking remains to be seen. It does make sense to schedule such entertainment for a slow night. Therefore it is possible that the idea could be a victim of its own success. If YouTube videos become a significant attraction, the crowd could become a distraction in its own right. But then again... if K. can figure out a way to get people hooked with an interactive element- then the communal nature of amusement could be harnessed to make it a unique party, a rite of passage or a weekly staple.

Even if the show never rises above a background noise level, it will be an interesting sociological experience. I'm curious to see what K. can find. Because I am so tickled by the possibilities, I sent her a list of videos I particularly like. Here are a couple of examples- from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home