By Ariana Hwang
Amid music videos and Spotify, there is a hinterland of Youtubers creating unofficial videos with your next favorite song. As soon as you find them, it won’t be long before a Cigarettes After Sex song is playing and Scarlett Johansson is peacefully resting her pink-wigged head on Bill Murray’s shoulder. These accounts, run by dedicated fans of good music and film, emphasize existing art with the loveliest combinations. Old and obscure, or iconic film pieces suddenly fit in with the modern viewer’s taste as they casually listen to an indie rock song. It’s in my belief that these thematic channels with unofficial videos are the new playlists.
David Dean Burkhart is one of the few channels and people who can connect these dots, video after video. I must have found him in my museum of “Recommended” thumbnails one day and thought, “This looks cool.” Or maybe it started out like this: I was searching up a song for my favorite dream pop band, Wild Nothing, and then I click on some random video which happened to be content from David Dean Burkhart. All along, I’ve admired his work and shared my favorites with friends. I’ll never get tired of his Future Islands – Like the Moon video with footage from the 1981 Russian sci-fi film, “To the Stars by Hard Ways”. His King Krule – Border Line video with old Hollywood dance numbers synchronized to the song’s fast-paced guitar. And his Saint Pepsi – Cherry Pepsi video, an epic compilation of old Pepsi commercials. In each upload, David Dean Burkhart inspires awe in less than five minutes; it’s no wonder why he has over 200,000 subscribers.
Many summers ago, David and I attempted to meet at a Wild Nothing concert. That failed. We tried again at an outdoor music festival encircled by skyscrapers and the Hudson River. That failed too. Our meeting never happened, but I was still connected to him online. Connected through Youtube and social media. We spoke about cities we adored— Iceland and Portland— and dreamed of going to someday. The remainder of our conversation was about our proclivity for music curation and how we’d hope to find careers related to this hobby. Fast forward to the present and now, I listen to his weekly Spotify playlist called “Compact Cassette”, and often return to his channel for his daily song posts, as though I’m some dedicated listener to an online radio station. Since then, 300 hours of video have been uploaded to Youtube daily. I just make up the 1.3 billion people who think fan-made videos won’t get old.