According to Billboard, the Hot 100 chart ranks "the week's most popular current songs across all genres." How it has calculated that popularity has changed several times since its inception, most recently in the February decision to factor in streaming play alongside radio play, digital downloads and physical purchase [cue sound effect]. The YouTube change belied the Hot 100’s more elusive but possibly more important mission: to reflect the most influential, culture-defining sounds in America, even if their effects only last for a couple of weeks at a time. Looking back through Billboard archives should be (and is!) like looking at a fossilized pop cultural thumbprint, objectively documenting our changing tastes in all their alternating brilliance and stupidity. But in its recent efforts to improve its snapshot of the zeitgeist, Billboard has strayed outside its original, music-only frame.
As tired of soul-deadeningly long award telecasts as the rest of us, YouTube is entering the arena and keeping it to the point. Airing November 3, the 90-minute YouTube Music Awards will feature performances from Eminem, Arcade Fire, and Lady Gaga as well as still-unannounced acts who'll "provide taped performances from cities as far-flung as Seoul and Moscow, YouTube's way of emphasizing the global nature of its audience," writes USA Today. The live show will be taped at New York's Pier 36. "Instead of bands performing to an audience on a stage, we're going to have a warehouse with all these different sets and try to make live music videos throughout the night," says Spike Jonze, who's playing creative director for the event. "The idea is let's get a bunch of interesting artists together and have a night that's all about making things."
In this episode of Inside Joke, Dave Attell takes us through a set at New York City's legendary Comedy Cellar. After rummaging through his notes, Attell works on some new material about the unrest in Egypt and that guy who walked a tightrope across the Grand Canyon.
The Lonely Island have become grown-ass men. In a new video for YouTube's Comedy Week, the trio take on the mature subjects of wife sex and cemetery real estate ("wobble-dee-wobble-dee drop into my grave plot"). It goes hard, because it's #DIAPERCORE. Reggie Watts also debuted a video for YouTube's celebration with his variation on the Rickroll, faithfully re-creating Rick Astley's outfits and letting his upper lip dance to '80s synth like no one is watching.
The attractiveness-rating website Hot or Not was founded in 2000 by Silicon Valley engineers James Hong and Jim Young to serve as "a technical solution to a disagreement they made one day over a passing woman's attractiveness." Phrased originally as a question ("Am I Hot or Not?"), it dropped the "Am I" for the catchier "Hot or Not," whose lack of question mark makes the interrogation feel more grim and reminds you that it is a mechanized poll conducted by a non-person. Hot or Not eventually evolved into a matchmaking site, one that falls somewhere between OkCupid and Adult Friend Finder on the yardstick of creepiness. While Hot or Not came after RateMyFace (1999) and AmIHot (also 2000) and didn't add any new functions to the Y/N photo-rating concept, it was more popular than either of its forebears.
Mark Zuckerberg was inspired by Hot or Not to create Facemash, the early version of Facebook, as mythologized in The Social Network. Likewise the founders of YouTube originally planned to develop online video content just so they could create a site like Hot or Not with video.Jawed Karim, who cofounded YouTube and designed much of PayPal, has said that Hot or Not was so monumental because "anyone could upload content that everyone else could view. That was a new concept because up until that point, it was always the people who owned the website who would provide the content." It probably didn't hurt that most of these developers were teenage boys when Hot or Not launched, placing them firmly in the site's target demo.
In which the Grantland staff unearths previously unheralded snippets of greatness so that a wider audience may enjoy them.
I may or may not search YouTube for live Bob Seger performances from the 1970s from time to time, just to see if anything good has been added since the last time I may or may not have searched for live Bob Seger performances from the 1970s. Don't judge me. (In my defense, the 1970s Seger-Springsteen rivalry was the musical equivalent of the Tom Hanks–Michael Keaton 1980s rivalry — in other words, it was a MUCH better argument for a short time than anyone remembers.) My latest Seger search led to me stumbling across a shirtless guy named Ricky performing a surprisingly good cover of the underrated Seger song "Till It Shines." I'd argue it's the best shirtless acoustic cover on YouTube right now, and much better than Ricky's other shirtless acoustic performances of "Man of the World," "Shoot You Down," "She Belongs to Me" and "My Song." This is everything that's right/wrong/confusing/creepy/inexplicable/entertaining/haunting about YouTube in just 163 seconds. I wish I could unsee Ricky, but I can't ... and now, you can't, either.
I love movies. More specifically, I LOVE Star Wars.
So when I found out I was going to get the opportunity to create some content for the Grantland Channel, I knew the first thing I wanted to do is go up to San Francisco and visit Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic. Somehow, stupidly, they said yes.