So when I was growing up, the then-fledgling internet was a place where creepy lonely people were trying to connect. The introduction of AOL and AIM narrowed the circle, so to speak, carving out a space in which naturally paranoid pre-teens like me could interact with pre-approved friends and acquaintances. The internet was about people then, real people, creepy or not, and our ridiculously slow dial-up didn't make them any less real. (The fact that Jamal had dial-up didn't make Ghostwriter less real, did it? Did it, Julia Stiles?)
Nowadays, though, OKCupid aside, the internet isn't really about people. It's about content, speed, and commerce. (Which I suppose was inevitable - this slickification of the 'webs - given the sick genius of our corporate sector and its hardwired instinct for profit.) Nowadays, fortunately or unfortunately, it's all about weed-whacker selection on Amazon.com, and Rihanna's channel on VEVO, and Google's (um, Topeka's) decision on whether or not to give super-high-speed internet to Topeka (um, Google), Kansas. In college, most of the fun of the internet was sitting around with friends and having them dude-you-gotta-see-this Will It Blend? and Homestar Runner. These days, though, you can keep current on the latest viral videos by watching Inside Edition, and there's nothing fun - or friendly, or communal - about that.
But never fear, friend(s). There are still real people out there on the interwebs, and they come complete with delightfully quirky bouts of self-expression. Today, in the spirit of a bygone age, I come as their ambassador. (There are only two of them for today's post, but hey. I'm grandiose.) And so, without further ado - dude, you gotta see this:
1.) Pomplamoose. Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte's DIY hipster-music duo has suddenly become almost famous for their covers of Lady Gaga's "Telephone" and Beyonce's "Single Ladies." But the real heart and soul of this ensemble is on better display in lesser-known tracks like "If You Think You Need Some Lovin'" and their outstanding cover of "September," by Earth, Wind and Fire (complete with Grover and a ridiculously groovy grandma). Ms. Dawn and Mr. Conte are pioneers of a brave new web-music genre called the VideoSong, in which every sound on the track is made by the performers and documented in the video. That's right, people, the industrious man and woman of Pomplamoose made those recordings themselves, in that curiously wallpapered room. (The multitracking alone must have taken days!) However they pull it off, though, their music really is the antidote to all the overproduction and AutoTuneage out there on the 'webs. Support them when and how you can!
2.) "The Loneliest Astronauts." This delightful web comic, written by Kevin Church and drawn by the fantastically talented Ming Doyle, chronicles the adventures of two grumpy astronauts stranded on an uninhabited (?) moon in THE FAR REACHES OF SPAAAAACE, and is glib and cheeky, and sometimes unexpectedly deep, and always thoroughly wonderful. Ms. Doyle's atmospheric inks make the strip for me, to say nothing of the almost Hans Christian Anderson way she draws aliens. (Oh, no, I gave it away!) It's clear that Ms. Doyle is going places, since she contributed a chapter's worth of art to the graphic-novelization of Jennifer's Body, and since - rumor has it - she just did some (probably awesome) work for Marvel. I can't wait to see how that turns out, but for now I'm plenty happy with "The Loneliest Astronauts" every Tuesday, and the kick-butt legacy it's leaving behind on Earth.
So there you go. The iPad is out today, so the interwebs will probably be slicker and more razzly-dazzly than usual. Watch your step! And if you need a break from the hype (and if you've already danced your way through Pomplamoose and laughed your way through Astronaut), why not check back in at Let Them Eat Cake! to see what shenanigans I have in store? All new on Monday, I absolutely promise.