Damian Kulash - OK Go


Every time I think of Damian I think of Pamplemousse, his favorite french word. Long story, which you can read here.

This photo was taken the first time I met him/dressed him, for OK Go’s New Year’s Eve performance atop the Pontiac Garage Stage in New York City’s Times’ Square. OK Go took the stage—a roof really—right before midnight and performed their Backyard Dance in front of (or on top of) an estimated 1.2 million people, just before the ball dropped; the grainy SONY Jumbotron replacing the grainy web video I and and about 3 million others had so recently watched for the first time on our own laptop screens, and promptly shared with one friend or another.

And here was another video rendition of that dance—a screen within a screen this time, probably taken by camera phone at one of a thousand or so angles—soon to be added to the many other renditions performed by dance troupes to high school talent show audiences across the country. The world, in fact. The basic adolescence of a genuine, certifiable internet meme—more or less announcing, or at least tracking, the growth of YouTube and many other video sharing and social networking websites.

I also remember Damian calling his girlfriend as the ball dropped, from within a cordoned-off square in the middle of Times’ Square—an abstract space existing solely as a consequence of its own logic amid a crushing crowd of a million dots, where we stood as less-crowded dots, atoms under vastly less pressure for the moment, with Mayor Bloomberg, his attendants and the members and girlfriends of two other bands-of-the-moment, P.O.D. and System Of A Down.

Moments-past, moments to come. Auld Lang Syne, indeed. Cheers to the members of P.O.D., btw, who graciously bought us all pizza later than night.

But the moment—and a new zeitgeist—was not lost on the members of OK Go, who quickly followed up with another dance to top the one done in their backyard (and eventually on the Jumbotron). This next one was on treadmills, and doubled the downloads of their first video, winning them the Grammy for Best Short Form Video. I hate to brag, but I was one of the few who got to see the thing before it hit the web, and I have to say, I did see it coming; and said to myself like the title of the song, “Here It Goes Again.”

Also, btw, Damian is wearing a red velvet vest and grey wool chalkstripe suit by Don Robbie Paris (made in Argentina), circa 1976. Shirt and tie, his own.