Caught in the Net: How to be a number one fan

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The Independent Culture

If your usual concept of a fan video tends to involve someone with sad eyes wearing a wig, miming badly in their bedroom, don't turn away immediately when I mention a Death Cab for Cutie fan video that has been getting some notice lately.

Ross Ching is that rare beast: an unemployed film student living in LA ( After hearing "Little Bribes", a track from Death Cab for Cutie's latest EP, 'The Open Door', he decided to make his very own video for it (left). Using various time-lapse, stop- motion and live action effects, he put together a pretty great clip. After seeing it, the band and their record label were pretty impressed, too, and decided to use it as the official promo for the song. To top it all, the label, Atlantic, has signed Ching on for another project. A good news story. Watch the video at lcsm9z. It's perhaps the best use of fan videos since the promo for Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Cheated Hearts" single in 2006. For it, fans were asked to film themselves imitating the band - all of which was then turned into a lovely montage video –

Masters' pieces

Just as fan videos get attention (see above), mentor videos, too, are all the rage now. Baltimore rapper Rye Rye was previously best known for performing with MIA. Recently, though she's struck out on her own. The video for her excellent new song, "Bang", is directed by MIA – tinyurl. com/nct7cr. Meanwhile, Drake is a Toronto rapper headed for the major league. His new single "Best I Ever Had", which has risen to number three on the US Billboard charts, owes a debt to Kanye West, so it was only natural that Mr West would direct the video. By the looks of things, both Drake and Kanye are rather fond of breasts. Take it away, fellas –

The beats of San Francisco

There's an interesting series on the San Francisco music blog With the help of a recording studio in the same city, New, Improved Recording, bands are invited into the studio to record some songs – new, old, covers – and then post high-quality MP3 downloads of the results. For the latest session, pyschedelic rockers Citay (right) trooped into the studio and rocked out. Be warned, there are lots of solos and perhaps a few windmills –

Beck tries to cover himself in glory

I have previously written about Beck's web relaunch, which kicked off a while back with his 'Record Club' album-covers project. Last week, the second instalment of the new site arrived: called "Planned Obsolescence", it's a weekly DJ set of mixes put together by Beck and various guests. The first set was catchily titled "Autobahn Hologram", and was a soup of krautrock, funk and plenty of strange sounds in between. Hear it at

All mapped out

The BBC World Service has launched a fascinating new project. To go along with their 'Save Our Sounds' documentary series, its has launched the 'Save Our Sounds' map – nzvwqx – and invited people from all over the world to upload their sound clips of the everyday and the extraordinary. The aim is to provide an archived aural map of the world. You can offer up your own soundclips and explore the ever-expanding bank of sounds by scrolling through their map and hitting on links to sound clips dotted around the world – anything from trains chugging in Adelaide, to a flute performance in the Mitake Forest. If famed archivist Alan Lomax was still alive he could have used it to collect even more music.