From The Desk Of OK Go’s Damian Kulash: A.J. Pleasonton’s “The Influence Of The Blue Ray Of The Sun Light And Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky”

OKGoThis past winter was an eventful time for OK Go, between the release of third album Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky, disputes with EMI over its YouTube videos and an eventual split with the label and the creation of Paradacute Records. But even after all the dust settled, the music is still stuck in our heads—because OK Go definitely still has it. Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky brings us little nuggets of unbridled optimism set to catchy pop beats with Damian Kulash’s funky falsetto soaring overhead—and, in typical OK Go fashion, some of the most awesome videos ever made. OK Go is taking time between dates on its worldwide tour supporting the LP in order to guest edit magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with Kulash.

Pleasonton

Kulash: In the 1870s, retired army general (and, I think, demi-celebrity) A.J. Pleasonton conducted tests filtering sunlight through glass and determined that blue light is more or less the essential life force. His tests suggested it multiplies the productivity of crops, makes livestock hale and hardy and also curbs or cures all manner of human ailments, including psychosis. He was so convincing, and so convinced, that the US Patent Office awarded him a patent on blue light. That’s right: He got a patent on a color. With flowery Victorian pomp, he collected his arguments and evidence in the 1876 book The Influence Of The Blue Ray Of The Sun Light And Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky, printed in blue ink on blue paper, which instigated a two-year world-wide frenzy for exposure to blueness. It ended when American Scientific published a series of articles that explained how totally bat-shit insane the theory was. We named our most recent album after Pleasonton’s book, which I was introduced to by Paul Collins’ wonderful Banvard’s Folly: Thirteen Tales Of People Who Didn’t Change The World.

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