Brent Johnson’s Lost Songs: ‘Needing/Getting’ by OK Go

brent johnson digs up a semi-lost treasure from OK Go, one of the stars of this year’s batch of Super Bowl commercials …

Technically, OK Go’s ‘Needing/Getting’ isn’t a lost song anymore. Not after the millions of people tuning into the Super Bowl on Sunday saw the alt-poppers play it during a Chevy commercial.

Well, at least a version of it.

The clip features the Chicago band driving a Chevy Sonic through a desert lined with 288 guitars, 55 pianos and more than 1,100 homemade instruments — playing them with rods protruding from the vehicle, while frontman Damian Kulash steers the wheel and sings the lyrics. Just watch. It’s too cool to describe correctly …

Videos like this have become OK Go’s trademark. In the clip for ‘A Million Ways,’ they do a dance routine in a backyard. In ‘Here It Goes Again,’ they perform choreography on treadmills that would make Busby Berkeley proud. In ‘This Too Shall Pass,’ they lead the strangest marching-band number ever created.

It’s all genius. Groundbreaking, even. And it’s very 21st century — where bands need to get noticed any way they can in this now-tumultuous industry.

But OK Go deserves more attention for its music alone. Kulash and Co. craft wonderful modern power pop. They’re like Cheap Trick but with less crunch and more melody. The studio version of ‘Needing/Getting’ is a prime example — with its fuzz bass, stomping drums and jittery guitar riff. It’s one of the best tracks off their criminally underappreciated 2010 funk-pop album Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky. And it’s a pleasure even when it’s not played by an SUV.

Listen to any of OK Go’s three great albums, and you’ll find plenty of fantastic songs. Like ‘What To Do’ from their 2005 self-titled debut …

In concert, it’s even more of a treat. They play it with handbells …

Then there’s ‘Maybe, This Time’ from 2005’s Oh No. It’s one of the most subtly menacing pop songs you’ll ever hear — with a killer riff more guitarists should know …