Crowd-sourcing a music video is becoming a tried and true practice for many a musician, but generally the audience that those artists reach out to comprises young adults or, to use the jargon-y term, “digital natives.” Now, it seems, the band They Might Be Giants is giving the even younger set a chance to be sourced with their new video for “Alphabet of Nations.”
The band has teamed up with international children’s charity organization The Global Fund For Children and director Emily Oberman of Pentagram NY in order to make the video, which is for a song off of their 2002 kids’ album, No! The album was rereleased in June on Idlewild Recordings.
Fans are asked to take three photos of themselves for submission: 1). A self snap, 2). A picture of their country’s flag, 3). An image that represents their culture. Kids can also submit “action pose” shots. The song is, quite literally, an alphabet of nations, so submissions should be for countries mentioned in the tune. Images should be then tweeted to @TMBG with the hashtag #TMBGnation or posted to the band’s Tumblr. Fans have until August 1 to submit snaps, since the video is set to premiere in September.
The idea is in some ways reminiscent of what the band Atari Teenage Riot did for their song, “Black Flags.” The band asked fans to take pictures and video of themselves in front of a black flag and submit them for inclusion in a series of music videos. While Atari Teenage Riot’s video was a protest against corporate greed rather than an educational children’s song, both allow fans to represent themselves in time to the respective band’s music.