Damian Kulash: Wikis

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OK Go

OK Go performing in May 2006
(from left) Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka, Andy Ross, and Damian Kulash.
Background information
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Washington, D.C., United States
Genres Alternative rock, power pop, glam punk
Years active 1998–present
Labels Capitol, Paracadute
Website www.okgo.net
Members
Damian Kulash
Tim Nordwind
Dan Konopka
Andy Ross
Former members
Andy Duncan

OK Go is a rock band originally from Chicago, Illinois, now residing in Los Angeles. The band is composed of Damian Kulash (vocals and guitar), Tim Nordwind (bass guitar and vocals), Dan Konopka (drums and percussion) and Andy Ross (guitar, keyboards and vocals), who joined them in 2005, replacing Andy Duncan.

The original members formed as OK Go in 1998 and released two studio albums before Duncan's departure. The band's video for "Here It Goes Again" won a Grammy Award for "Best Short-Form Music Video" in 2007.

Contents

History

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Formation (1998–2002)

The band's singer, Damian Kulash, met bassist Tim Nordwind at Interlochen Arts Camp when they were 11. Kulash was in for graphic design, Nordwind for music. The band name comes from their art teacher, saying "OK...Go!" while they were drawing. They kept in touch after camp, often exchanging mixtapes which influenced each other's musical taste and their future sound. They met the band's former guitarist and keyboardist Andy Duncan in high school, and drummer Dan Konopka in college. OK Go was formed in 1998.

The band served as the house band for public radio program This American Life on the show's fifth anniversary tour. Ira Glass, the show's host, wrote their first official bio, calling them "living catnip" and describing their songs as "part indie rock, part stadium rock, part straight up pop with the occasional whiff of Weezer or The Cars or Elliott Smith".[citation needed]

OK Go (2002–05)

After OK Go's exposure on This American Life and their relationship with They Might Be Giants, the band released its self-titled debut album in 2002. In the United Kingdom, "Get Over It" debuted at No. 21[1], in the UK singles chart on March 16, 2003, and the band performed it on that week's edition of Top of the Pops. Also that week, the single's video was named video of the week by Q magazine. The single was featured in the EA Sports video games Triple Play 2003 and Madden NFL 2003. Also, their song "Do What You Want" was featured in the video games EA Sports NHL 06, Guitar Hero On Tour, and Burnout Revenge, while their song "Here It Goes Again" was featured in Rock Band and SSX on Tour.

The band contributed a cover of the Zombies "This Will Be Our Year" as the lead track of Future Soundtrack for America, a political benefit album put out by Barsuk Records in the fall of 2004. Lead singer Damian Kulash wrote a how-to-guide entitled "How Your Band Can Fire Bush" for bands hoping to help unseat President George W. Bush.

In 2007, OK Go wrote the fight song for the Chicago Soccer Team, Chicago Fire S.C.. The song was offered on the team's official website as a free download. Also in 2007, OK Go covered the Pixies "Gigantic" for American Laundromat Records "Dig For Fire – a tribute to PIXIES" CD.

Oh No (2005–2009)

The band's second album, Oh No, was recorded in Malmö, Sweden, and produced by Tore Johansson (The Cardigans, Franz Ferdinand) in the fall of 2004. After recording, in 2005, Andy Duncan left the band and was replaced by Andy Ross, who auditioned for them in Los Angeles. The album was released in August 2005.

Oh No gained popularity for its first single, "A Million Ways", in 2005. The video featured the band in their back yard performing a dance choreographed by lead singer Kulash's sister, Trish Sie. By August 2006, the video had become the most downloaded music video ever with over 9 million downloads.[2] The band performed the dance live on British TV show Soccer AM, as well as on the late-night American comedy show, MADtv.

They also performed a choreographed dance for the song "C-C-C-Cinnamon Lips" at shows after the release of their first album. It was based on N'SYNC dance routines, which they had developed for the cable access show Chic-a-Go-Go, which required bands to lip-sync their songs.[3]

On July 31, 2006, the band released a video for "Here It Goes Again" featuring an elaborately choreographed dance on treadmills, also directed and choreographed by Trish Sie. This video was viewed by over one million people on the media site YouTube in the first six days. As of July 2009, the original video upload for "Here It Goes Again" has been viewed over 48 million times, putting it in 42nd place for the most views of any video and 29th place for most viewed music video as well as the 7th most favorited video and the top favorited music video of all time on YouTube. The band has worked with directors including Francis Lawrence, Olivier Gondry (brother of Michel Gondry), Brian L. Perkins, Scott Keiner, and Todd Sullivan. On August 23, 2006, Damian Kulash appeared on The Colbert Report to talk about the videos "A Million Ways" and "Here It Goes Again". The latter video won 2006 YouTube Award in the Most Creative category.[4] Emcee Common references the video in his song "Drivin' Me Wild" ("She was the type to watch Oprah and the Today Show, be on the treadmill, uh, like 'OK Go'").

In OK Go's choreographed videos, their bassist Tim Nordwind lip-syncs instead of their lead singer, Damian Kulash, following the format from the dance choreographed for the song "C-C-C-Cinnamon Lips", which Tim sings. On August 31, 2006, OK Go appeared live at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards performing their treadmill routine for "Here It Goes Again". On November 7, 2006, OK Go released a deluxe limited edition CD/DVD of the album Oh No. The DVD contains their music videos (dancing and playing instruments), a video of 180 fans performing the "A Million Ways" dance for a YouTube contest, previously unseen footage, and a behind-the-scenes look at their treadmill rehearsals for the "Here It Goes Again" video and for the MTV VMAs.

In May 2006, they toured with Panic at the Disco; in September they were in the U.K. supporting Motion City Soundtrack, and continued their U.S. tour supporting Snow Patrol into Spring 2007.

On January 12, 2006, OK Go made a guest appearance on the NBC show, Las Vegas. The episode, entitled "Fleeting Cheating Meeting", incorporated many songs from their Oh No album. The music video for "Here It Goes Again" was also parodied in a Simpsons episode aired later that year.

On February 11, 2006, OK Go and Trish Sie took home a Grammy award for "Best Short-Form Music Video" for their music video "Here It Goes Again".

In 2008, Damian Kulash said that the band had not produced the YouTube videos as part of any overt "Machiavellian" marketing campaign. "In neither case did we think, 'A-ha, this will get people to buy our records.' It has always been our position that the reason you wind up in a rock band is you want to make stuff. You want to do creative things for a living."[5]

After visiting New Orleans in 2006, the band recorded an EP with New Orleans funk rock band Bonerama, to raise money for musicians who were still displaced by the 2005 Hurricane Katrina. The EP, entitled You're Not Alone, was released on February 5, 2008.

Of the Blue Colour of the Sky and Paracadute Recordings (2010–present)

On October 12, 2008, OK Go announced that they had finished writing new songs for their third album and were in the studios in upstate New York with producer Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, MGMT).[6] The band previewed their third album, titled Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, on a short sling of dates on the East Coast of the United States that March, starting in Philadelphia on March 6, 2009 at the TLA Theatre. They have stated that these songs are the "danciest, most anthemic, most heartbroken, and honest songs", of their career, and the album itself takes a much more funky, dancy, yet melancholy sound to it, drawing influence from Prince. On May 7, 2009, a song from the album, titled "Skyscrapers", was released for streaming online.[7] The first single, "WTF?", was released on November 10. On January 8, 2010, OK Go appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and performed a song from the album, "This Too Shall Pass". Of the Blue Colour of the Sky was released on January 12, 2010.[8]

On March 10 it was announced that OK Go had cut ties with EMI and Capitol and formed the independent label Paracadute Recordings.[9] Of the Blue Colour of the Sky was re-released on April 1, when the new label took over the promotional campaign and all distribution responsibilities for the album.[10] While the official statement was that the two parties were departing on good terms, it was speculated that the split was caused by the band's discontentment with the major label over efforts to block viral distribution of the the music videos from Oh No and Of the Blue Colour of the Sky.[9][10][11] On January 12th, 2010, the first video for the song "This Too Shall Pass" (Marching Band Version) was released. On March 1st, 2010, OK Go released their second video for "This Too Shall Pass"(Rube Goldberg Machine version). Now, they are currently working on creating a music video for "End Love"[12]

Other media appearances

The band also appeared in the 2009 comedy film I Love You, Man. They appear briefly at the end during the credits as the wedding band playing alongside main characters Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. The song "Do What You Want" has also appeared on the games Burnout Revenge, Guitar Hero: On Tour series on the Nintendo DS and in a minigame on the video game Thrillville: Off the Rails. "Here It Goes Again" was also a playable track in the video game Rock Band and was a background song in SSX on Tour for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The song "A Good Idea at the Time" was also featured in the movie I Love You, Beth Cooper. OK Go was also featured in the New Moon soundtrack with a song called "Shooting the Moon".

Other live members

  • Burleigh Seaver – keyboard, percussion (2002)
  • Ara Anderson – keyboard, percussion, trumpet (2002, 2004)
  • Tom Brislin – keyboard, percussion (2004)

Discography

Studio albums

Awards

  • Grammys:
    • Best Short Form Music Video (2007) for "Here It Goes Again"[13]
  • YouTube Video Awards:
    • Most Creative Video (2006) for "Here It Goes Again"[4]

Nominations

OK Go has also been recently nominated "Best Music Video That Should Have Won A Moon Man" for their hit video, "Here It Goes Again" in the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards.

References

  1. ^ "OK Go – Get Over It – Music Charts". αCharts.us. http://acharts.us/song/8615. 
  2. ^ Kaufman, Gil (2006-08-29). "YouTube Faves OK Go: The Band Least Likely To Become Famous For Their Dancing". MTV News (MTV). http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1539637/20060828/index.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  3. ^ Maney, Kevin (2006-11-28). "Blend of old, new media launched OK Go". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2006-11-27-ok-go_x.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  4. ^ a b "YouTube Presents First Awards". CBS News. 2007-03-26. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/03/26/earlyshow/main2608313.shtml. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  5. ^ Kirsner, Scott (2009). Fans, Friends & Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age. Boston, MA: CinemaTech Books. p. 88. ISBN 1442100745. http://www.scottkirsner.com/fff. 
  6. ^ "The Rock is Cooking". News. OK Go. 2008-10-12. http://www.okgo.net/news.aspx?StartingDate=10-12-08#11977. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  7. ^ Pastorek, Whitney (2009-05-07). "OK Go's Damian Kulash talks new album, plus exclusive stream of 'Skyscrapers'". Entertainment Weekly. http://music-mix.ew.com/2009/05/ok-go-skyscrape.html. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  8. ^ "Shooting the Moon with OK Go". LivInTheLimelight. Retrieved 2010-01-13. http://livinthelimelight.typepad.com/home/2010/01/okgo.html. 
  9. ^ a b Peoples, Glenn (2010-03-10). "OK Go Splits With EMI". Billboard. http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3id98ddd2a7feb2ad800e58a6a9d37d36d. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  10. ^ a b Karan, Tim (2010-03-10). "OK Gone: OK Go leave EMI; create their own label". Alternative Press. http://www.altpress.com/news/okgone.htm. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  11. ^ Collins, Clark (2010-03-10). "OK Go depart EMI following criticism of the company, set up own label with two dogs". Music Mix. Entertainment Weekly. http://music-mix.ew.com/2010/03/10/ok-go-depart-emi-following-criticism-of-the-company-set-up-own-label-with-two-dogs/. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  12. ^ http://news.therecord.com/arts/NightLife/article/685432
  13. ^ "49th Annual Grammy Awards Winners List". GRAMMY.com. The Recording Academy. http://www.grammy.com/GRAMMY_Awards/49th_Show/list.aspx#31. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  14. ^ "Nominations for MTV Europe Music Awards announced". NME. 2006-09-19. http://www.nme.com/news/justin-timberlake/24395. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 

External links


Template:Infobox musical artist

Damian Joseph Kulash Jr. (born October 7, 1975) is the lead singer and guitarist for Chicago-based rock band OK Go.

Contents

Early life

Born in Washington D.C., Kulash graduated from St. Albans School in 1994, and later Brown University in 1998 with a concentration in Art-Semiotics.

While in college at Brown, Kulash played in at least three bands - A La Playa, Calixto Chinchile, and Square. He released three CDs his senior year: an album of experimental Elvis covers (for his senior project), an eponymously-titled 5 song EP from his electronic pop band Square (tastefully packaged between two metal disks held together by a large bolt), and Appendices, a collection of more than a dozen miscellaneous recordings from his time in college, including solo songs, collaborations with friends, class projects, studio experiments, and recordings from previous bands.

Included on the Appendices record are the original recordings of "Bye Bye Baby," which was later re-recorded for OK Go's debut record, and 4 songs from a never-finished EP for his Pixies-meets-Shudder to Think punk band A La Playa, which was a very popular band during its short existence (and which played several shows with early incarnations of art punk legends Les Savy Fav and Lightning Bolt).

In May 1998, Kulash won Brown University's Weston Prize in music composition.

The family name was originally "Kulas" when Kulash's great-grandparents lived in Europe. His maternal grandfather, Edward J. Maher, invented the modern day fish stick.[1] His other grandfather discovered a species of click beetle which was then named after him. It is called Glyphonyx kulashi.

Musical career

As a result of courses he took in electronic music, Kulash became interested in more highly produced, carefully crafted music. After graduation from Brown, Kulash moved to Chicago, and it was not until 1998 that the band OK Go officially formed. After becoming popular in Chicago as a result of regularly playing top clubs and appearances on National Public Radio's "This American Life", OK Go signed to Capitol Records. They have released two albums. Prior to this, in 1996, he was in a band named Calixto Chinchile in which he played an early version of the Ok Go song Hello My Treacherous Friends.[2]

Kulash's music is considered to be a geek form of rock, much like Weezer's music (Kulash has the geek background - at least two of his former bandmates from one of his bands at Brown are now professors). Kulash married his girlfriend, a Brown graduate and artist, in 2005 and currently lives in Los Angeles. He was greatly influenced by many bands from the Washington D.C. area such as Fugazi, Q and Not U, Lungfish, and The Dismemberment Plan. He is also a fan of post-hardcore and indie rock. He was also one half of the short-lived Washington, D.C. based independent record label Level Records (1994-1996). Level Records released various 7"s, compilations, and CDs for bands such as Branch Manager (who later went on to Dischord Records) and Frodus, which actually had previous OK Go member Andrew Duncan on bass guitar/vocal duties for a short time).

On March 12, 2006, Kulash was arrested while standing in front of the Orlando House of Blues talking to fans. He was charged for resisting a police officer without violence. During his arrest, Kulash convinced the police officer to watch the video of "A Million Ways" on his computer.[3]

In August 2006, Kulash appeared on an episode of The Colbert Report to discuss the band putting their music videos on YouTube instead of going through the normal corporate video-making process.

Personal Life

Damian currently lives with his wife and their two dogs in Los Angeles. He has a part in the upcoming movie Taking Woodstock, in which he plays a guitar-playing hippie.

References

External links


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