Video: OK Go's "Needing/Getting"

Here is OK Go's excellent video for "Needing/Getting." And yes, it was done "in partnership" with the maker of that particular car. According to the video description, the car "was outfitted with retractable pneumatic arms designed to play the instruments, and the band recorded this version of Needing/Getting, singing as they played the instrument array with the car… There are no ringers or stand-ins; Damian took stunt driving lessons. Each piano had the lowest octaves tuned to the same note so that they'd play the right note no matter where they were struck."


  1. That was awesome, but is it a bad thing that I’m now looking forward to the copycat fan videos even more?  

  2. These guys obviously have a blast doing what they do. That’s fun to watch, even with the annoying advertising.

  3. This might be the first time where the song is better than the video. I really enjoy both their music and their creative videos but this came across a little phony and like a car commercial to me, what with the engine and road noises and drifting around and such.

    1. I keep thinking that maybe there’s a cleaned-up and edited version (without artificially added “car sounds”) that actually sounds decent.

      Well, hoping anyway.

      1. The sound quality is suspect and the legality not even that, but there is a non-automotive version on Youtube

        This youtube link also leads to a number of live performances, with different audio problems. It seems to me (as a non-musician, a mere casual listener) that something about the percussion (cymbals) really isn’t working in any of the instrumental versions, and needs at the least to be taken down in the mix.

          1. If it works for you, that’s great. To me, it came through as static that obscured everything else. To each their own.

        1. You really can’t judge the sound of a live performance by how it sounds on a camera phone.  It’s going to compress audio in ways that were designed to enhance a single voice from centimeters away.

        2. The cymbal thing is a problem with MPEG-style audio compression. It just becomes one big wave of mushy sound and compression artifacts. Totally ruins music for me.

  4. jesus. what are these guys going to do for their tenth video? they’re trapped in an endless game of oneupsmanship with themselves. by 2050 they’ll be detonating the moons of saturn just to get our attention….

  5. Reminds me a bit of the sponsored artwork of the patronage era.  You’re painting a portrait of your sponsor, though it is often serious art.  I enjoy it in this case, largely because it would have been impossible without some sponsorship.  This is a massive undertaking, turned out damn well.  I do hope they simplify a bit for the next one, though.

    1. Agreed. The phrase “the maker of that particular car” is just childish. These videos cost a ton of money to produce. OkGo was able to get a car company to bankroll their video without sacrificing their artistic integrity. Good for them. Chevy, to their credit, didn’t stick their logo on every surface either. 

    1. Nor me.  It was certainly a less obtrusive ad than, say, those for watches, which I have to keep skipping past in the BoingBoing RSS feed.  Now THAT’s annoying advertising, so it’s a bit rich for BoingBoing to suddenly get squeamish about it.

  6. Obviously wasn’t done as one take (there’s no camera fixed to the front of the car in the external scenes, but there has to be one for some of the shots looking back at the front of the car).

    Still impressive. I like what OK Go do, I just wish I liked their music a bit more…

    1. Not just all one take, but 4 days of filming, after 4 months of preparing according to the text on the YouTube site. Also apparently one of the biggest problems they ran into is the various rods sticking out of the car would break off and need to be replaced.

      Incredibly awesome and amazed that they manage to keep coming out with such amazing videos. They seem to be video artists who happen to be in a band together.

  7. Chevy’s getting into the stunt world in order to sell cars. My friend Greg filmed a commercial of a Sonic being pushed out of an airplane for them.  I would rather see them do that with a trashed 1959 Caddy, though.

  8.  Not in one take And the sound was heavily edited as well. I have a hard time thinking that they’ve would have been able to isolate the different sounds from the motor/tires/gravelly road to make it sound that comprehensible.
    Also, didn’t see any amps for the guitars. Maybe they had linked a lot of wireless ones to a common hub, but again, when he swerves Into the guitars, the sound of the doesn’t change. And the vocal harmonies sounded edited.
    My guess: this was either entirely pre-recorded, or, mixed together with bits of what they got from making the video.
    It does not detract from the fact that the video was very cool though.

    1. Fat chance.  In about six hours you’ll see a cover band performing this song with a Subaru WRX in a crowded parking garage.

  9. I’m going to confess straight up that I like parts of that version better than the album version. The refrain (where they’re gunning through that “tunnel” in the video) just seem to sound better with the raw, “Stomp-esque” quality of those improvised instruments.

    Also, I like to hear pickle and mason jars suffer. Serves them right for never opening smoothly.

    1.  I’m not particularly familiar with how this sounds otherwise (I did click on a link to the album version in someone’s comment upthread) but I can say with authority that I did like the way this sounded. It was well-produced and the way the sounds worked (even if not entirely “real” as recorded live) was really nice. Could have done with a bit less car noise, but even that added to it for the most part.

  10. Wow, what a bunch of malcontents! It’s an amazing clip, regardless of how good the music is. The effort these guys go to to produce something that’s outside the box is really inspiring and I hope they always push themselves to keep going.

    1. Amen to that!

      It was fun to watch and they had put some amazing work into it. I liked it! Their music style is generally not my cup of tea, but I don’t care, I _love_ their videos! They are fun, they make me smile, and I always push the “play” button with great anticipation. Can’t really say that for all the other music videos that are just… more of the same packaged in a nice wrapping paper.

    2.  Let the malcontent play.  He’ll click through a few times to find things to gripe about.  The earworm will burrow in his brain without his noticing.  And one day, he’ll realize that she’s never going to be in a place that he can be with her.  And the earworm will say “Hi”.  And the malcontent will think “I need that song”.

  11. Fun!

    And the big furry things on the car look like mics? so maybe they pick up the sound of the objects being slapped by the arms?

    Just saying ;)

  12. I enjoyed doing the noncommercial version on bicycle at Burning Man a few years ago.    This has a weird Lexus-Waffle vibe.

  13. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another “driver singing the song loudly” video that has had a better rationalization for why the driver is singing.

    And, with all the percussion being external to the passenger compartment (aside from the roof-slapping at the beginning), the driver never has to drive one-handed while slapping the steering wheel with the other hand. So now it’s a music video, Chevy ad *and* safety PSA all in one!

  14. “[M]aker of that particular car?” Chevrolet, a brand of General Motors, producer of no doubt fine American automobiles.

    You can say it! Be courageous!

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