It was a rare case of a product of Web culture jumping the species barrier and becoming a pop hit.
The song’s source material could not have been more unlikely: A local TV news report from Huntsville, Ala., about an intruder who climbed into a woman’s bed and tried to assault her.
But with some clever editing and the use of software that can turn speech into singing, the Gregory Brothers, a quartet of musicians living in Brooklyn, transformed an animated and angry rant by the victim’s brother into something genuinely catchy.
The resulting track, “Bed Intruder Song,” has sold more than 91,000 copies on iTunes, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and last week it was at No. 39 on the iTunes singles chart. Its video has been viewed more than 16 million times on YouTube.
And to top it off, the song was No. 89 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for the week of Aug. 20, ranked among singles by Katy Perry and Usher. The chart takes into account sales and radio play as well as online streaming.
We’re tracked everywhere these days, and not just by the growing number of CCTV cameras in our cities or the effortless traceability of cellphones.
Rather, I’m talking about the cameraphone user who automatically uploads her photos to Flickr or Twitpic, who with the tap of a screen can post a video to YouTube or stream a scene live on Qik. I’m talking about the immediacy and accessibility of Twitter messages that make private conversations public; tools that open up the very real possibility that every action you take, whether in a public space or in seemingly private emails and text messages, is being logged and possibly shared with thousands of people.