Thanks to the Internet, artistic expression has gotten curiouser and curiouser, and the channels through which viewers receive art have led to some head scratching as well. Yesterday, Pitchfork Media posted Los Angeles pop act Best Coast's new video, which was released through the feline-centric website I Can Has Cheezburger.
The video features Best Coast, a.k.a. the lovely and leggy Bethany Cosentino, singing and strumming her über-poppy tune “Crazy for You” from the eponymous 2010 LP on a sound stage. The twist? The production crew is manned, er, pawed, um, controlled by a herd of kitty cats.
Cosentino takes direction from the furry little critters with aplomb, even when they get frustrated with her performance. The viewer is privy to these exchanges thanks to little subtitles flashing across the screen as the song plays. There's also a funny scene in which one of her band members sits down with one of the fuzzballs and busts out a plastic bag full of the green stuff: a large stash of catnip.
This may or may not sound odd to many people, notably cat-lovers who are obsessed with their cross-species brethren. In any event, music videos have long been known to rely on unconventional visual storytelling devices and gags. What makes this particular instance unusual has less to do with Best Coast's music and more to do with the phenomenon surrounding the website that posted it.
For those not in the know, I Can Has Cheezburger is a site, started in 2007 by two Hawaiian bloggers, that posts photos of felines, often with quizzical expressions. These pics are accompanied by funny captions, which most cats, since they don't speak, would never say in real life.
It's hard to imagine something so silly would generate multimillion-dollar investments.
Yesterday, Time reported the Cheezburger Network which owns, among other sites, I Can Haz cheezburger, recently raised $30 million in venture-capital funding. If money talks, the backers of this domestic-pet endeavor are singing like alley cats. And it makes perfect sense from a money-making perspective; Time also reported the Cheezburger Network averages 16.5 million viewers per month. Simply put, people really like cats. And Cosentino is one of those people. In fact her cat “Snacks” has his own Twitter page.
Begging the Question:
What the fuck is all this madness involving cats? I ask because this subject hits close to home. I am bombarded daily with 8-by-10-inch color-print images hanging from nearby cubicle walls of cats fudging with Rubix cubes and other such nonsense courtesy of my co-worker, a fully grown man whose obsession knows no limits.
Normally such antics would annoy me, but I, like the Cheezburger group investors and Ms. Cosentino, find it hard to resist the charms of a photo of a kitty with massively dilated pupils looking into a camera with the caption “Whoah, I shoodn't have eated that hippie.” And when it comes to Best Coast playing beautiful pop music while capering with four-legged felines operating cameras and sitting in director's chairs, it's almost hard for me to figure out which I enjoy more. And the crazy thing is I'm a dog person.