Saturday, February 23, 2013

Beck Says "Hello, Again" to David Bowie's "Sound and Vision" (Presented by the Lincoln Motor Company)

As part of its "Hello, Again" campaign to reintroduce its Lincoln brand, Ford commissioned Beck to cover David Bowie's "Sound and Vision" (from Bowie's 1977 album Low):

Hello, Again

For the live concert, director Chris Milk utilized three rotating circular platforms, with Beck on the center stage, the audience on the middle ring, and an eclectic mix of 170+ musicians playing on the periphery. The performance was captured with 360-degree cameras and 360-degree binaural microphones (whatever those are). The "fully immersive" (and incredibly resource-intensive) experience offers multiple camera views and even involves the use of your webcam (if you have one) to dynamically direct the viewing angle by tracking your face.

It's certainly epic, but I personally don't care to "interact" with the presentation by clicking around constantly to check out different angles. For a more passive viewing experience (and to skip past most of the corporate branding), you can just check out the YouTube video:

So is this cool—Beck unironically covering a David Bowie song for the Lincoln Motor Company? Or is this extravagance everything wrong with America's flagging domestic automotive industry? Or maybe it's both? Personally, I think the cover itself is a pretty neat, inventive reinterpretation. I don't think you can really accuse Beck of lowering himself by his involvement in this. If his integrity wasn't already compromised by his contributing to the Twilight movie soundtracks (nor, heck, by the Scientology associations that have accompanied him his entire life), then this certainly won't ruin his cool. And, from a car company, it's about as classy an ad campaign as one could hope for (much better, at least, than Lincoln's MKZ commercials that unaccountably include a shadowy Abraham Lincoln figure spying upon the 2013 luxury car).

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Coincidentally, as a bonus, here's an amazing photo posted by Milla Jovovich to her Facebook page, easily the winner for the week's "Best of the Internet":

Milla "at some concert with Beck"

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