Oh man, EBN. Eli introduced them to me in the best possible way, by showing me the videos at the end of their only full-length CD ("Telecommunication Breakdown").
Through some obsessive-compulsive technique that nobody else would dare reproduce, EBN created video-songs using reams and reams of recorded footage. They didn't have a "video sampler" (as the sort of shoddiness of their VHS tape makes clear)...they just meticulously catalogued and sampled and trimmed. And in the process they made songs with themes, usually involving television overload and media manipulation.
EBN is no more, but every month it seems like more and more goodies are appearing on YouTube, both full-length videos and strange experiments from the EBN archives. This song, "3:7:8," is my favourite, and I'm thrilled to finally see an unedited version (with the "Beginning of the End" section at the end). It doesn't have a "theme" and it's one of their more polished efforts, and it's a great song to boot.
Are you a savvy culture-spotter? See what you can recognize. I'll put my discoveries below the video.
I think the falsetto boy at the beginning is from "Prospero's Books," but I haven't seen it in a long time. The Dalai Lama is laughing in one clip, and Danny Kaye is definitely yelling "CONGA!" (Jeez, his mouth!) That's Ann Miller doing "I've Gotta Hear That Beat" from "Small Town Girl" (two bars forward, two bars backward, but no audio from the actual number). The surprise footage in the "Beginning of the End" segment is partially from "Carnival of Souls" and "Brainstorm." The singing woman looks and sounds an awful lot like Virginia O'Brien, ol' stone-face herself.
So what did I miss?
PS: When the fancy menu pops up at the end, do yourself a favour and watch the next EBN video, "Rock This Base." Shiver.