This is rather a big moment for me – after having had a YouTube account since what I’m assuming is 2006 (that’d be the first video I uploaded there, anyway), I’ve FINALLY had something magical happen.

Nearly 2 years ago my mate Brett & I went along to Wembley Arena to see German industrial rock outfit Rammstein – blogged about on this very website, don’t you know – and the spectacle & over-the-top-ness of it all had me reaching for my camera.  It made for a more illustrative blogpost in the end than me saying, “And then all this FIRE happened – it was AMAZING!”, etc.

Having kind of let the experience move to the back of my brain due to the ceaseless march of time, it was something of a surprise to get an email saying that someone had commented on my video:

Evidently “illpickanamelater” wasn’t happy with my 49 second capture of the band’s paean to flame, “Feuer Frei!” (which I think translates to “Fire freely”, or “Fire at will”), and felt that I needed to know the following:

what a shitty video, you’re the usual dickhead recording with the only shitty and cheap phone you could afford instead of listening to the music

I don’t get many comments on my videos – they’ve all been uploaded to nearly universal disinterest, but that’s ok.  To get such an impassioned response from a total stranger is a real buzz.

I’ve got to take my hat off to illpickanamelater for cramming so many concepts into such a concise phrase.  It’s very different to know how to respond to it with similar brevity whilst addressing all of the points raised.  There’s artistic critique, initially.  There’s mistaken identity (although I’ll concede there’s a slim chance that this person has also been to only the same NIN, Spinal Tap, U2, and Duncan Hemstock Trio gigs that I made recordings at).  There’s some sort of socio-economic commentary about the sort of recording equipment I can afford, but perhaps it’s a wider statement of frustration that the consumer electronics market isn’t a more egalitarian place – forcing some of us to use inferior gear.  Or indeed some sort of personal statement of superiority, in that I was using the only shitty and cheap phone I could afford, whereas illpickanamelater has access to a vast array of shitty & cheap phones.

So far I’ve come up with the following:

  1. You’re mistaken I’m afraid, I’m not the usual dickhead.  He was sitting 2 seats down from me.  I’ll tell him you said hello if I see him again.
  2. I know what you’re saying about shitty phones – it’s a Panasonic Lumix TZ5, and the reception on it’s terrible.
  3. In hindsight I wish I’d realised that taking video meant I’d be unable to hear the music.  It’s amazing how having both hands free gives one a faultless understanding of German.
  4. Thanks for the feedback and my apologies for offending you so. Please give me your postal address, and I’ll forward any Rammstein tickets I mistakenly buy in future.  It’s clear I’m not capable of enjoying this band correctly.
  5. I’ve taken your comments on board – I now have 2 HTC Desire smartphones, can probably borrow an iPhone 4, and I’m going to see Rammstein again on Feb 24th.  Hopefully I’ll be able to hear the music better with my multiple, slightly more expensive phones.  If these are still too shitty & cheap to meet standards, what phones would you recommend I take to the gig for maximum enjoyment?

None of them really come close to emulating the craftsmanship of illpickanamelater’s initial statement however, and I don’t want to lapse into being too wordy in my riposte.

What should I do, viewers?

The other thing that’s (bordering on) interesting is the number of views the video itself has had.  In stark contrast to all of my other videos (most of which have achieved double-digit views, with the odd exception like the one of the naked blue chick wiggling around on a plinth hitting the 4,000 mark), this short and inexpertly recorded bit of Teutonic pyromania has racked up over 32,000 views for some reason.

Equally intriguingly, most of these appear to have taken place since December last year:

According to the Traffic Sources information, in that period of increased activity, the main link in to my video has been as a Suggested Link by YouTube from the official Feuer Frei! video, comprising over 27% of the linkage.

But that also strikes me as odd, because that official video was uploaded in April 2010.  So why the sudden spike in interest?  Is it an algorithmic thing because the date of the UK Rammstein tour date is approaching?  I guess if there’s a noticeable slump in traffic after Feb 24th then that could be it.

For now, I’ll just rejoice in my newfound avenue of fame.  Perhaps I’ll ask illpickanamelater why they still haven’t picked a name since registering their YouTube account in November 2007…

Oh… I just noticed – there’s been some other comments which I must have forgotten about.

An individual called TheTeAgE offers:

die qualität is kacke und normaler weise müsste er das lied von anfangan zeigen sonst müste er sein namen ändern

My conversational German isn’t up to much, but I suspect the first part of the sentence is along similar lines to that of my other learned colleague.  I don’t know how these people cope with the constant disappointment of going into YouTube and finding that amateur video after amateur video isn’t in full HD quality with 5.1 sound.

In fact, a friend of mine the other night showed me how wearing 3D glasses makes objects in real life appear 3 DIMENSIONAL!  They’re a little hazy though, so ultimately, it’s shit.

When will everything be awesome?  WHEN?!

Finally, somebody noticed!