“kenvinnewsman56” is the channel of Kevin Rand, member of the Michelin Gang, a group of three British dudes who make music and post videos on YouTube. The other two members of the gang are Simon Morris, a.k.a. simongamer987, and Tim Brand. Michelin Gang’s videos are all pretty diverse and unpredictable, each one highlighting the distinct and strange antics of the group’s members. Often, the videos take place in a field or in the woods. Of the three members of the Michelin Gang, kenvinnewsman56 has improved the most in 2016, releasing videos that have a dry sense of humor, and are artful, too.
In his video “ENTERING THE MATRIX Step 1: Fitness,” Kevin explains to viewers how to enter the matrix, a process that involves pushups and climbing stairs. “In the matrix, you’ve got to have balance,” he says in a forest, his eyes obscured by a blue, tie-dye bucket hat that wouldn’t look out of place if worn by a character from the “Lilo and Stitch” movie. “You’ve got to have strength, agility, perception, charisma, intelligence, and finally…one begins with L.” Kevin shows viewers just how painstaking the process of entering the matrix really is, screaming in agony as he steps up and down 15 times from a branch elevated maybe an inch off the forest floor.
While Kevin’s videos have become better-produced and more creative as of late, his videos from 2015 highlight his deadpan sense of humor. In one of my favorite videos from this era, “London Sightseeing with Kevin,” Kevin points at various tourist attractions in London and says,“wow.” Another of my favorites from this era is “Kevin and Simon go to Mcdonalds,” in which Kevin and Simon eat food from McDonald’s in a car. A repetitive jazz groove plays over the video; it has the chord progression and general feel of the song “Autumn Leaves,” but the last chord of the progression sounds wrong for some reason. As Kevin and Simon drive through the town eating McDonald’s, they try to pick up some ladies on the street by shouting things out the window. One of the ladies shouts her number back at Kevin, but you have to listen very closely to the video to hear it.
kenvinnewsman56 highlights an exciting new frontier for the Internet, in which a YouTube personality simply acts as himself within the matrix of mundane day-to-day life, and it’s enough. Because of this, kenvinnewsman56 videos have an unvarnished quality to them that might strike the viewer as utterly unspectacular at first.
However, within the mundanity of his videos, Kevin’s dry and sometimes puzzling sense of humor is a reminder of the beauty in all places, whether it be the woods or the supermarket.
The next time you’re walking through your town’s new outdoor shopping mall wondering where you disappeared to and how earth shifted under your feet so suddenly, you might need that reminder.