By Peter Sagal
Watch OK Go's first video, above. Can you name the (fake) bassist and the (fake) drummer? No? I can.
OK Go is getting a bit of attention for their latest video, and while it has bowling balls, a piano smashing to the ground, and flights of paper airplanes, it does not have a back-up band composed of four public radio hosts pretending to play their instruments. Unlike, say, OK Go's first video, taped on a local public access music show in Chicago in 1999. One could argue that this development -- from having videos with public radio hosts pretending to play musical instruments, to having videos without public radio hosts pretending to play musical instruments, is not a positive trend, but I'll leave that judgment to others.
The band's lead singer Damian Kulash explains the back story here, but doesn't mention, for some reason, the people pretending to play their instruments behind the band. Since the actual band members were going to be dancing, and thus too busy to pretend to play their instruments themselves, why not ask four local public radio hosts?
The fake band is:
Pretend Bass: myself
Pretend Keyboard: Jerome McDonnell, host of WBEZ's foreign affairs show, Worldview.
Pretend Guitar: Gretchen Helfrich, host of the late WBEZ daily talk show, Odyssey.
Pretend Drums: Ira Glass, host/creator of WBEZ's This American Life.
Please note the fake bassist's attempt to make bass-playing facial expressions. I practiced making those faces. Seriously.