Friday, December 31, 2010

Lady Gaga, Beyonce - “Telephone”

  Note: This is the explicit version. You have been warned. If unseemliness makes you itchy, perhaps you should just have a nice cup of tea instead. And, by the way, this video is LONG, as in 9 minutes. Brace yourselves.

  Wow, looky here, seems we’re going to have us a big-ass production. We’ve got opening titles, a director, co-stars, and even the faint whiff of over-priced popcorn and annoying people who insist on yelling out “What do you think is going to happen next?” during the really dramatic parts. Somebody spent some money on this thing. Should be a good time. Here we go…

  We start out with an opening shot of a chain link fence, topped with that razor wire that will slice off a limb in a mere second, so I’m thinking this is not going to be a laugh-filled comedy where people meet cute and have pretty hair. The credits roll as we see scenes indicating that this is one serious prison. Cut to inside the facility, where Lady Gaga is being escorted onto a cellblock by two of the harder-living Pussycat Dolls. (You’d think somebody would have mentioned to them that they should probably button their shirts. Seems a little unofficial to me.)

  Then again, we’re not really supposed to be looking at the Dolls. We’re intended to focus on Lady Gaga, wearing an interplanetary outfit that would make her look like a zebra if she was standing on an African plain. The trio struts down the cellblock while we learn that the inmates in this place are all female and apparently are so horny that if a small earthquake tremor hit the building, the power of the unleashed orgasms would alter the alignment of the planet.

  Gaga doesn’t care about the musk in the air. She’s more concerned with taking off her designer shades and handing them to one of the Dolls. Then the Dolls drag Gaga into one of the cells, and proceed to rip off her clothes. (Ever notice that Lady has no problem being naked in a public setting? I wonder if she went to private schools. They learn different things there.) Then the Dolls leave, probably so they can go learn some new dance moves. Their departure inspires Gaga to climb the bars so we can see she has electrical tape on her nipples and that there seems to be a pixilation issue with her crotch.

  Now we’re in the “Exercise Yard” of the Big House, because everyone knows that physical fitness is the number one priority of people who have to shower in monitored groups. Lots of very muscular women are fiddling with barbells and hormone supplements. And here comes Gaga in another startling outfit, this one requiring that heavy chains be draped across her body and that her sunglasses be accessorized with burning cigarettes. (Can you imagine the pissed-off prop person that had to keep that thing going through hundreds of takes?)

  The other prisoners stare at Gaga. Gaga stares at the other prisoners. This doesn’t resolve anything, so Lady sashays her way to a convenient table so that one of the butcher ladies can sniff Gaga’s hair. I guess Gaga used just the right conditioner, because this leads to a lusty kiss and requires that somebody’s hand (it’s unclear because there’s a tremendous amount of fondling and pawing) snatch up Lady Gaga’s cell phone. (Because everyone gets issued those in Alcatraz, right?)

  Cut back inside the prison, where we seem to find ourselves in the midst of an odd daycare where the kids are really big. And felons. Now Gaga is sporting a hairstyle that involves Diet Coke cans and Gucci sunglasses. (Where the hell is the bitch getting all these accessories?) We watch an altercation of some kind, which involves lots of violent slapping and name-calling. (The Pussycat Doll guards don’t even bother to stop the ruckus, because they’re saving their strength to straddle stripper poles at a performance they have later that night.)

  The intercom system announces that Lady Gaga has a phone call, so she and her studded-leather panties march over and pick up a receiver on the wall. Instead of having a normal conversation or confirming her pizza order, Gaga starts singing the song. (About damn time. We’re 3 minutes into this thing.) We don’t get to hear what the person on the other end of the line might have to say, but whatever it is, it causes Lady to hang up and break into a dance routine. One that involves Gaga tugging on her jacket and making Evil Hello Kitty scratching movements in the air. (I guess this is another private school thing that I don’t understand.)

  Now we’re back on the cellblock, where everybody is wearing just bras and panties as Gaga tromps around and wails the song. (I understand that prisons can be pretty cold, so you know these thong-clad people are suffering for their art.) This goes on for a bit, with the strutting felons really getting down with their bad selves, and showing that some girls still firmly believe in the power of peroxide. (And where did they find so many pairs of hooker boots?)

  Brief shots of Lady Gaga prancing around wearing nothing but “crime scene” tape. That girl can wear anything. She also likes to assume positions that prominently feature her pubis. She really loves that thing.

  Next we have Lady Gaga apparently being bailed out by some unknown person. (A lawyer from Interscope Records?) She’s sporting an aerodynamic hat that could probably make it to Jupiter with the right wind thrust. She also performs some odd dance steps that one really shouldn’t do if they want to appear of sound mind and body. She sashays outside and hops into a tricked-out pickup being driven by…

  Beyonce. Wearing black lipstick, an outdated hairdo, and no bra. Beyonce berates Gaga for her badness, munching on what might be a burrito or maybe the latest Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Then Beyonce offers a bite to Gaga, who takes a voracious rip at the thing, then they peel out and drive off to… I have no idea.

  They roll down the highway, having a strange conversation about cows, burgers, cracked mirrors, and Lady’s ability to use the F-word freely. They seem to be plotting something, but it’s not clear if it’s a robbery, a drug deal, a murder or a Brazilian wax. Then Beyonce fiddles with the radio, and starts belting out her part of the song. (Lady Gaga, still wearing that stupid hat that takes up half the car, whips out a Polaroid and takes pictures of Beyonce and her lips singing the song.) I’m not sure what kind of issue Beyonce is having while singing and driving, but it requires that she lean over a lot so we can see that she is still not wearing a bra.

  They roll up to some roadside diner, where we see a modified cowgirl wearing tight yellow leather making her way to a table, where some guy is sitting acting all street. Wait, the cowgirl is actually Beyonce, so I’m confused because I really don’t know when she had time to change her outfit. Home Boy, for no apparent reason, decides to wander around the diner and either rough up people or slap their butts. This allows Beyonce time to pour some poison into Home Boy’s coffee. It’s probably not a good day for Home Boy, which is fine, because he’s wearing a cap that is too old school for cool. It’s understood in Gaga videos that if your headwear can’t compete with the Lady, you have to die.

  Home Boy, finished with his random molesting of the ladies, heads back to the table and swigs his tainted coffee. He starts to cough, and we cut to Lady Gaga somewhere else that looks like an industrial kitchen, with lots of pretentious queens flitting about and dancing with rolls of French bread. Oh wait, now Beyonce is in a skanky, badly-decorated hotel room, singing while wearing a jacket that she stole from Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation tour. The obvious theft doesn’t stop her from throwing her legs wide apart while sitting on the bed. Some things just come naturally no matter what you’re wearing.

  Now we have some jump cutting, with shots of Gaga and the Queens making sandwiches, Beyonce apparently being given shock treatments while standing up, and a line dance in the industrial kitchen involving the waving of cookware implements and some breast touching (along with some choreographed hand-clapping). We don’t learn anything from this, but it’s fun and energetic, and Gaga gets to eat one of those sandwiches, so she should be able to keep her energy up regardless of what they stick on her head in her next scene.

  Back to the diner, where Home Boy is still coughing. (I guess they didn’t need to use a fast-acting poison, since this video is tremendously long.) Whoops, now we’re in the industrial kitchen, where Gaga has decided to do an impromptu cooking show on how to use poison to kill people who piss you off or don’t understand the concept of turn signals. Then she snaps up one of her creations and marches out into… the diner. Okay, so this industrial kitchen was really the kitchen diner, which makes perfect sense, because all roadside diners have kitchens large enough to hold a chorus line of Desperate Housequeens with reality issues.

  Gaga marches up to the table where Home Boy and Beyonce are pretending to like each other, and she slaps down her death-dealing patty melt or whatever it is. We watch while HB pours syrup on the entrĂ©e, gobbles it up, and starts choking again. (You know, it’s really time for Home Boy to head to the Pearly Gates, because they’ve been trying to kill him for a while now.) He finally kicks it, which allows Beyonce to also utter the F-word and then cover her mouth with fingernails painted with the American flag. (What the hell? And seriously, B-Girl. What’s up with those bangs?)

  Now we see lots of people snarfing up their meals and proceeding to choke, while Lady Gaga strikes dramatic poses involving finger-pointing and close-ups of her vibrantly yellow wig. With all this sudden death, one would naturally resort to a line dance to move the story along.

  So they do. Gaga is now in a hippie outfit and Beyonce is in a leftover costume from “Wonder Woman” while the surviving people in the diner bust some fancy moves while stepping over the sprawled bodies of the people who ate the Tuna Surprise. As the dancers shimmy and shake, we get shots of all the dead people, including a dog, so I’m thinking PETA is not going to endorse this video. As if Gaga cares whether they do or not.

  While this very extended dance extravaganza is going on, we see more shots of Beyonce receiving shock treatments in that tacky hotel room. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to think about that, but based on the wide-open eyes of Beyonce while she vibrates, it looks like we might have a replacement for Botox therapy. (“Hello? I’d like to remove some wrinkles using a live electrical wire. Yes, I’ll hold.”)

  We see the tricked-out truck peeling away from the diner, interspersed with shots of Gaga wearing something inspired by leopards and/or people who like to wear fur-covered hats. She appears to be standing in front of the tricked-out truck while prancing around in this latest outfit, so I’m going to assume that they are at a rest stop where they play disco music while you pee. This rest stop is probably not in Oklahoma.

  Leopard Gaga dances for quite some time, long enough that we get to see her waving her fanny a number of times, so we’ll also have to assume that there’s not a “no loitering” policy at this rest stop. I don’t see any truck drivers, though, which is odd. But maybe Gaga has killed everybody here as well. (“Would you like a sample of my sushi?”)

  Now we’re watching a “breaking news” story about a mass homicide at the diner. Cut to Lady and Beyonce dancing behind their “Pussy Wagon” truck, and wearing outfits that drug-taking nuns might choose. Then the girls hop back into the truck, have a conversation about going “far, far away from here” and “never coming back”. Then they clasp hands in a nice “Thelma and Louise” tribute, but they don’t actually drive off a cliff.

  Because that already happened about eight and a half minutes ago.


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Enrique Iglesias, Ludacris - “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)”

  Oh my, this one gets a little steamy. If images of bodies writhing in ecstasy make you a little uncomfortable, you might want to skip this one and go talk to your pastor, therapist or overbearing mother. Then again, it’s not like there’s frontal nudity with glistening body parts shoved at the screen, so I don’t think the world is going to end just yet.

  Anyway, we start out with Enrique on some street, looking a little sad, and then BAM, a quick glimpse of the mentioned writhing bodies. This kicks off a montage of Enrique, some blond girl who appears to be walking backwards, people getting off of planes, and more writhing. Cut to a sex club where Enrique, looking effortlessly hot, is wandering around. Nasty tramps in cages are waving their booties and all that. (Some of them are extremely limber, so we need to give them credit for that. Not so much for their apparent need to straddle metal poles.)

  Enrique stumbles around a corner, and we are presented with a dark-haired woman sitting in a well-lit chair like some type of royalty. She runs her finger around the rim of her martini glass, so we know that she’s sexually liberated. Enrique doesn’t immediately go up to her, instead choosing to mosey through the crowd while throwing furtive glances, which is kind of stupid. If you look like Enrique, all you have to do is walk up to a woman and she will toss her panties skyward.

  Appropriately, they manage to hook up right when the beat of the song gets to really thumping, and within 3 seconds tongues are being shoved where they shouldn’t be if you’ve just met. Before you know it, fishnet-clad legs are reaching toward the ceiling. Apparently Enrique doesn’t like to mess around once he comes to a decision. (It also appears that they might be playing squat tag in a bathroom, and  I can’t really say that I find that intriguing. Or sanitary. Maybe it’s just me.)

  Then the music starts doing a weird “underwater” thing, and we start jump-cutting around so fast that I have no idea who is doing exactly what. All I know is that there seems to be some issue with the electric bill, because it gets awfully dark up in there. And somebody seems to have a really bad case of asthma.

  Cut to a fancy car driving down a city street. Inside we find Ludacris, and he’s typically surrounded by a bevy of horny women who normally wouldn’t even look his direction if he didn’t have a recording contract. Initially, they are listening to Shirley Temple sing “Good Ship Lollipop”, which would make anybody suffer a psychotic break, so Ludacris makes the chauffeur jack with the radio. Of course, the chauffeur (who is way too white and old to be Ludacris’ real driver) manages to find Enrique’s song right at the point where Ludacris does his guest vocals. How convenient.

  So Ludacris does his rap thang, which includes manly hand gestures but does not include taking off his sunglasses even though it’s midnight. He seems to be crooning to the skanky women, but if you watch carefully, it seems that the skanks are much more interested in each other than what Ludacris might have to offer. (We probably shouldn’t mention this to him.) Oh wait, Ludacris pours everybody some cognac, which helps the girls regain their focus. They are once again fighting each other for the chance to rub their boobies on Ludacris’ designer suit. The world is now back in order.

  (Quick shot of the old, white chauffeur jamming and getting down. There are just some things that old, white people shouldn’t do.)

  Cut to shots of some resort, where Enrique has just arrived on an airplane. (Although it looks just like the same arrival shot we briefly saw earlier, so this might be a flashback. Or a flash forward. Or a flash sideways. Perhaps the producers of “Lost” were involved in the production of this video. Maybe Hurley will walk by munching on a chocolate bar.) We cut back to the old chauffeur, but now his passenger is… maybe… the aggressive asthma person from Enrique’s fun time in the public toilet. Not sure. She tells the chauffeur that she’s headed to Mexico “for pleasure”. Isn’t that why we all head to Mexico?

  Now we’re in a casino of some kind, where Enrique is playing poker because, well, he’s the star of the video and has to be in a certain number of scenes. One of the ladies watching the goings-on is really pretty and smoking a clove cigarette, so we know she’s a tramp. Enrique realizes this, and we learn that even though he has the winning hand, he folds so he can follow Blondie to wherever tramps go when they want to lure away hot singers.

  Turns out that tramps lead potential bedmates to a fancy room loaded with other hormone-blazing women. They all secretly watch while Blondie puts on lipstick and then jumps on Enrique like a wildebeest felling a gazelle. It instantly gets dark (somebody really needs to check into the electrical situation) and we have jump-cuts of Blondie and Enrique ripping off couture and fondling sensitive body parts.

  Cut to the next morning, where Blondie is leading Enrique up a curving staircase because it’s really pretty and will look good on film. Halfway up, they encounter Bathroom Tramp, sporting a severe hairstyle and looking none too pleased that Enrique has moved on to the next stall. She glares at him, looking like Joan Crawford did just before she killed somebody in a 1950’s movie.

  Now Enrique is sitting at the end of his hotel bed, singing, and we can see about 20 people having group sex behind him. Why he would continue to sing while this is going on, I don’t really know, but he doesn’t seem to mind. Oh look, I guess they need some fresh meat, because Enrique gets pulled into that undulating mess. Does this guy ever sleep? And judging by the free-for-all on the bed, he’s got more than just the music in him.

  Another montage, this one of Enrique touching a window, expensive yachts racing about on pretty blue water, the grope fest on the hotel bed, rugged cliffs with birds flying and squawking, and blurred images of breasts, because it’s perfectly fine to kill people in videos but you don’t dare show an exposed nipple. Right.

  Cut to Enrique on one of the yachts, currently trolling about in some cliff-lined harbor where the water is gorgeous and poor people are hidden from view. And, lo and behold, his boat companions are Bathroom Tramp and Poker Face Tramp. You’d think this would be awkward, but Enrique is wearing a stylish hat, so that makes things better. And then the tramps lean in to kiss one another. End video.


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christina Perri - “Jar Of Hearts”

  We start out with Christina facing the camera, singing, and we know right away that she’s distraught, because she apparently tried to color her hair at one point but got too despondent to finish the job. She’s sitting on some steps somewhere, and she’s nonchalantly catching things falling from the sky. It might be bits of a burning building, or it could be some really ugly, dead butterflies. I’m not sure.

  She finally stands up so the director can superimpose an image of something inky exploding from her chest, followed by a quick shot of an empty jar. (I’m not sure what that’s about, either, but Christina might want to speak to a cardiologist if that happens a lot.) Then she walks around the end of a car so we can see that, one, she’s wearing combat boots, so she’s that kind of girl, and something unfortunate has happened to part of her dress, and it no longer exists. Poor thing. No wonder she’s so sad.

  Christina wanders through more cars while an odd smoke billows around. Something somewhere is seriously on fire, or maybe she lives in a city with bad-ass smog issues. We cut to a couple in a car, necking. We get a closeup of the woman’s heaving chest so we can see that inky image again, but this time we watch a heart being sucked out of the woman’s jar, out of her mouth, and into the wicked yapper of the guy. (I’m going to guess he’s the jerk in the song that Christina is singing, the one she really hates, causing her to have unfinished hair issues.) The now-heartless girl realizes that something is amiss, and she struggles to get away from The Evil Boyfriend.

  Christina keeps singing and wandering through the battlefield / smog zone / school playground.

  Now we have The Evil Boyfriend and another girl, necking again, this time in a phone booth. (Because there are so many of those around these days, right?) He’s pulling his deviltry again, sucking at her primary organ. She figures it out as well, and tries to get away from him, but instead of either dying from lack of blood or running for the hills, she chooses to do a very dramatic swoon dance around the side of the booth. Some people just can’t get enough attention.

  Christina again, still walking through the fog and bellowing about the pointlessness of relationships and tofu. But now she’s joined by a bevy of her friends, who decide to do an impromptu line dance behind Christina as she and her boots keep marching to wherever they’re going. It’s not clear what they are trying to convey with this choreography, but it must be important, because everyone looks very serious, they try to rend their hair several times, and most of them were busy concentrating on their special moves and forgot to put on a matching outfit.

  The Evil Boyfriend once more, and now he’s got another floozy trapped under an umbrella. He pulls the suckage thing with her as well, and she also dances away rather than drive a stake through his heart, so apparently, even if you lose your heart, you will have the art of dance to take its place. Seems fair.

  Oh look, now we have Evil Boyfriend surrounded by Christina and her posse. It appears that they are now going to dance him to death, or something like that. The first girl isn’t very successful. She forgets what she’s doing and tries to fly, which allows Evil to pull a move that looks like the Heimlich Maneuver, and she’s out. Another girl tries some special judo that includes high-kicks and backbends, but this doesn’t really get anywhere, either. Evil contorts her body until she looks like something a mule would drag when plowing a field.

  (In case you’re wondering, Christina is standing off to the side, still warbling and not helping her Girls fight Evil. Seems a little selfish, to me. Maybe they aren’t that close.)

  Now Evil is making one of the girls stand on his knees and act like the figurehead on the prow of a boat that sank a few hundred years ago. (She doesn’t like that and runs away.) Evil drags somebody else across the hood of a car, which is so not good for her couture. This girl gets really angry about that, and hurls Evil off the hood of the car after a brief scuffle. (Okay, then. This is the girl I want on my side in a rumble. None of that dancing crap.)

  Evil scrambles off the ground and manages to catch another girl, who looks like she was just late for a pedicure and not really that threatening. I guess Evil doesn’t like pedicures and/or women who wear billowy white pantsuits, because he hoists the woman on his shoulder and twirls her around while her legs fly open. (It’s nice that she can do the splits, kudos, but I really didn’t need to see that.) Evil finally tosses her to the ground.

  Now we finally see Christina approaching Evil. He looks slightly unnerved, but not really in the terrorized mood he should be in after being ambushed by a chorus line. This makes Christina even more mad, so she moves in for a kiss, and then sucks out his heart. Very nice twist, but do you really want any of his essence in your body? I don’t see how that can be good. But it’s not my video.

  Evil slumps to the ground, while Christina casually watches, making sure he doesn’t despoil her combat boots. Then she marches away, with the heavy black ash turning into puffy white things that kittens might play with, so we can understand that Christina is moving on with her life, which is good. Who has time for heart-sucking death walkers?

  As Christina disappears, we see Buffy and Angel run around the corner, just a tad too late to help with the demon-vanquishing. But at least they tried…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Lady Antebellum - “Hello World”

Okay, folks, this video is one of the rare few that I don’t dare get snarky about, because of the plotline. It’s a moving little story that happens to compliment the song, rather than something contrived that really has nothing to do with the lyrics. This is only the second time that I’ve had to hold my sarcasm tongue, and if this combination of story and song doesn’t tug at your heart, you might be a little cold inside. Just push play…

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reba McEntire - “Turn On The Radio”

  We start out with Reba somewhere at night, looking kind of shady with dark sunglasses and a designer, all-black outfit covering her from head to toe. (She makes sure that a lock of her trademark red hair is showing, so we don’t get confused and wonder if this is really her.) Reba is staring at a train-crossing signal that is currently activated, with the gates down. She seems to be waiting for said train to cross, and when it rolls through, she scurries across the street. Apparently Miss Reba is about to do something that needs a loud and rumbling distraction.

  Reba and her high heels enter some building, and as she works her way through the hallways, she keeps glancing around furtively so you know she’s not here to sing in a gospel choir. The music starts just as Reba rounds a corner while ripping off her outerwear, and she looks smoking hot, so even if she’s up to no good the tabloid photos of her arrest will probably land on the cover.

  Reba enters some room with a variety of boom boxes lining some metal shelves, stacked all over the place. Even though this seems like plenty of equipment to do whatever she needs to do, Reba is not satisfied and takes a fancy knife out of her satchel so she can open cartons with even more sound ware. (While doing this, she makes sure that we see her interesting designer bracelets. Reba is always a professional, even when banging around in an unknown warehouse.)

  Reba fiddles with a few knobs, then turns to an old-timey microphone stand and starts belting out the song. It seems that her audience consists of just one man in a chair, and considering the way she’s spitting the lyrics at him, he done her wrong in some way. But he’s super cute, so she really needs to prove her case or we’ll just have to forgive him, based on his beard stubble alone.

  Reba gets to her prosecution, slowly walking around the man while warbling, and managing to tie him to the chair with the microphone cord as she does so. (She does caress his face a few times, which seems to dispute her anger, but we can forgive her for that.) She does this for a while, looping the cord around him several times, although she does pause back near the microphone stand when she gets to really interesting parts of the song that require her to make flamboyant country-diva hand gestures.

  After she sings the rousing chorus, Reba scampers over to some of the boom boxes and turns up the volume, but this isn’t really necessary because we can hear the song just fine. (Maybe she’s still being a professional and is keeping in mind the fans with crappy seats.) Then Reba gets back to taunting Stud Boy in his little prison chair, doing some more arm choreography and jewelry-waving. She also likes to smirk at Stud like he’s in really big trouble now, but I believe he may already have the message.

  More shots of Reba caressing various body parts on Stud, because she is a woman with needs after all, but now that Stud has figured out he might be late for dinner, he seems a bit standoffish with his response to the physicality, turning his head to the side so we can learn that his profile is just as appealing as the front view. (This is one prop that Reba better keep for her own after the video shoot is done.)

  Reba circles Stud some more, wrapping him in more loops, so that must be one really long microphone cord. (I guess Reba is not really invested in those new-fangled wireless microphones, probably because you can’t tie people up with something that doesn’t exist.) Oh, and Reba continually flounces over to the boom boxes and jacks up the sound, probably not realizing that the dang train out there is not going to do its crime-covering work if she doesn’t settle down.)

  During the “oh oh OH” part of the song, Reba performs a nifty high kick toward Stud, but he doesn’t even flinch, since it’s really hard to do so when you can’t move. Reba is proud of her footwork, and seems to be waiting on a compliment from Stud, but chances are that he’s not really going to be supportive of her athleticism at this point in time. Dissatisfied with his response, Reba loops some more cord around Stud (singing the whole time, because that’s her first love and no cheatin’ man can take that away from her), then she tosses the old-timey microphone into his lap.

  Done with her performance and her kidnapping, Reba takes Stud’s keys and then gathers up all of her couture (that stuff is too expensive to just leave lying around a warehouse). Once properly covered to venture into the seamy night, Reba marches back down one of the hallways, doing a flippant diva wave as she rounds a corner. (For his part, Stud Boy squirms around in his chair and looks distraught.)

  We close it out with Reba scampering back across the street, her signature red hair glowing lovingly despite the darkness of the night. She gets distracted when she spies what is apparently Stud Boy’s SUV parked nearby, marching toward it while whipping out a smart phone of some kind. Apparently Reba does have a soft spot for new technology after all, because she uses her toy to program her song into Stud Boy’s radio so that it will play over and over. And over.

  But she’s not bitter…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Coldplay - “Christmas Lights”

  Preliminary Note: Just before watching this for the first time, I noticed a YouTube comment from somebody claiming “the fish eating the boat is the best part!”. What the hell? What am I getting into with this one?

  We start out with the camera focused on an old phonograph, with somebody getting ready to play a record of Cold play’s “Christmas Lights”. Okay, that’s what I’m wanting to hear, so that’s good. A mysterious hand gets things going, and we pan down to a strange piano that is playing by itself. Aside from the paranormal angle, we’re also distracted by all of the keys having been painted different colors back in about 1918. Hmmm.

  Camera moves away from the piano and we pan along the band members lying on their backs on old wooden floor. (What, they’re too lazy to actually perform in this video? Was the mayo bad in the tuna salad? Has Gwyneth put them in time-out?) We finally get to lead singer Chris, and he starts singing while still laying there. I spy an “X” on one of the floorboards near his head, and I find myself much more interested in what might be under that floorboard than where the rest of this video is going. I need to focus.

  Chris is singing really low on this part of the song, and I’m straining to hear, so it’s kind of a relief when the camera pans away. Sadly, we’re back at the creepy piano that is being played by the Ghost of Christmas Past, or maybe his cousin, the Ghost of Videos Where You’re Not Sure What Is Going On. The camera pulls back, and we see that Chris is still on the floor, but the rest of the band is gone. (I didn’t receive a memo on where they might have went.)

  Suddenly, Chris levitates from the floor into a standing position. Oh? There is just something really wrong with this place. Chris isn’t bothered that his body was just transported against his will, and he starts playing this Piano of the Dead. The camera pans again, and we see a nice, billowy red curtain, which is hopefully not possessed. The curtain parts, and hey, there’s the rest of the band. They’re playing their little instruments on an old-timey stage. There are cut-out props shaped like buildings in the background, and for some reason I think of Istanbul. I’m probably supposed to think of something else, but I’m very confused.

  The guys jam for a bit as the camera moves backwards so we can get a better gander at this stage thing, and we can see that there are some pretty Chinese lights strung across the stage. Okay, are we supposed to be thinking of Christmas around the world? Not sure. The camera moves back in so we can watch Istanbul slide into the wings, and then we have an apparent ocean and a moon rising out of the water. Suddenly, three drunken Elvis’s zip by while playing violins.

  Did anybody talk to Graceland about this?

  The camera pulls back again so we can see that the band is still playing, but that wasn’t really necessary since we can hear them the whole time. Then we zoom in on Chris still banging on that piano, and he’s singing to somebody that must be in the balcony because he sure doesn’t want to look at us. In the back of the stage, the Elvis’s zip by again, followed by one of Lisa Marie’s lawyers.

  Oh wait, there’s that boat getting eaten by a giant fish. Well, then. I can’t really say it was the most exciting development in this video, filled as it was with carnage and violence, but I’ll agree that it was unexpected.

  Chris gives up the piano and moves closer to his mates, allowing for a great photo-op. The camera pulls back from the stage, pretty far, so we can see there’s a little marquee above the stage with the words “Credo Elvem Etiam Vivere”. I’m sure there are scholarly people who can interpret this slogan for us, but I’m going to assume it means some character from “The Lord of the Rings” is now living in Las Vegas and helping Santa deliver presents.

  The camera pulls back far enough that we can see buildings in the distance over the top of the theatre. One of them looks like the Capitol Building, but I’m going to assume that it’s not, since we’re dealing with British folk who would prefer that the Pilgrims had just stayed home and sucked it up like everybody else. The camera zooms back in on the band, still doing their thing. Now we’ve got fake snow falling down, but it’s clearly just scraps of shredded newspaper, so the magic is a bit thin. But Chris is wearing a carnation, and that makes everything better.

  The fake newspaper bits fall for a while. Somebody was really invested in this part of the goings on.

  Then the camera pans to the left, and we’re looking at what I’m guessing is the River Thames. There’s a triple-decker boat floating about, with tons of people on the top deck releasing balloons at just the right lyrical moment. Fireworks light up the sky, which isn’t really something we do in the Colonies during the Yuletide season, but it’s very festive.

  Now we’re zooming back into the old-timey theatre, with the Elvis’s playing their violins with a passion and more fireworks exploding from where the seats should be if there had been an actual audience. Chris is really interested in doing hand movements over his head, so we’ll assume that this part of the song is super important to him.

  The curtain closes, the camera gives us another glimpse of the creepy piano, and then pans over the top of the theatre so we can see the cityscape once again. More fireworks explode as the music fades and, presumably, Tiny Tim convinces Scrooge that world peace is possible as long as everyone has enough figgy pudding…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

J Geils Band - “Centerfold”

  We start off with a quick shot of lead singer Peter Wolf high-tailing it down an otherwise-deserted high school hallway. He’s way too old to be up in such a place, so he’s probably running from the police after some type of incident involving the proffering of candy or a startling request to a Girl Scout.

  Then we see the rest of the band, and I believe they are supposed to be performing, but it’s really hard to tell what they are doing with all the jump-cutting, uncontrolled hairstyles and generally unattractive people. Peter marches into one of the classrooms, and immediately goes into a dance routine that no one else would ever attempt or even want to do so.

  Brief shots of all the band members actually playing now, as opposed to whatever they were doing a few moments ago, and then Peter starts singing. He cavorts around the room, sitting in a chair for exactly 1.5 seconds and then bouncing some more. (That boy has had too much caffeine.) Peter then peruses a magazine for 2.7 seconds, then throws it into the air with far more flourish than necessary.

  The setting free of the periodical causes a bevy of mid-twenties women to come parading into the room, acting like they’re high school students but succeeding about as well as Stockard Channing did in “Grease”. Their attire consists only of slips, silky bras and Mary Jane shoes, because that happens all the time in high school. They insist on doing this very annoying line dance where they take a step while staring forward, then take another step while leaning way over to one side. Rinse and repeat. Wow. Somebody actually sat down and thought “wouldn’t it be cool if…”

  Oh look, now all the girls are properly dressed, sitting in a classroom and passing notes. Peter comes tromping in, doing more of his awkward dance movements. (We get a quick close-up of the outright fear in one of the co-ed’s eyes.) Peter jumps on one of the desks so we can see his fancy golden shoes, then he follows one of the girls out of the classroom. I seriously doubt that he just wants to help her with her algebra homework.

  More annoying choreography, with the girls attempting to do some jazz hands while wearing pink sweaters. That completely doesn’t work, so they switch to the girls wearing nighties and straddling the desk tops like hookers in detention after school. Then they do another line dance which mostly involves waving their arms about and smiling at where they think the camera might be. (Oh, and there’s a nifty thumb-out hitchhiker move that they must have practiced really hard on, but still can’t manage to do it in synch.)

  I do have to say that the chorus girls do much better with the next bit, because it involves bouncing in place and playing patty cake with their slumber party neighbors. Peter jumps on the teacher’s desk so he can clap and show his approval. (Wait, is that Faye Dunaway in the shadows behind him, wielding a ruler and wearing a nun’s habit?)

  Then we have some mess where Peter plays fashion stylist and selects new outfits for the girls to wear. This is followed by Peter drawing a primitive car on the chalkboard, and then a short sequence where people are checking into a sleazy motel. We don’t see any faces, but there’s the unmistakable aroma of sex and candy.

  We’re back in one of the classrooms, where Peter does a squat-tag dance on yet another desk, then he jiggles his way to a different part of the room where the girls are wearing only white sweaters and doing that soul-killing line dance of step, lean pointlessly, step again. The girls are all really proud of their footwork, and it saddens me a little that this was probably the pinnacle of all of their careers.

  The girls join Peter for a rousing part of the chorus (probably because it only has one word, “nah”, repeated endlessly, and everybody assumed the girls could handle it.) Then they all take their schoolbooks and pile them on top of Peter. Because that makes perfect sense, right?

  Brief shot of drumsticks hitting a drum, which turns out to be filled with milk. No idea.

  Now we’re apparently at the prom, or at least a dance of some kind. The girls are wearing just sweaters, naturally, but somebody has put a “C” on all the sweaters so at least the girls can feel like they’re a part of something special. They’ve also been given pom-pom’s, which may not be the smartest move. The girls then bounce all over the room while the band plays, happily shaking everything they’ve got, natural or not.

  We end back in the hallway where we started, only now it’s crowded with extras trying to appear ten years younger than they really are. Once more, Peter runs down the hallway, but this time all the co-ed’s turn cartwheels as he zips by, so we can see that they are all wearing skimpy panties and that they have absolutely no shame in their game.

  Wonder how many people are going to be on Welfare at that class reunion?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kesha - “We R Who We R”

  We start off with an intergalactic digital message from outer space. It’s probably a distress signal, warning us that Kesha has made another video. Or maybe they’re just letting us know that there’s a sale at Macy’s in the Alpha Romeo galaxy. Aliens can be so confusing sometimes.

  Anyway, we’re in some traffic tunnel, where we have flashing police lights and somebody’s dripping-wet hands placed on a side wall like they really don’t understand how to do push-ups. Oh, and there’s about 5 billion of Kesha’s party friends marching toward us in skanky outfits, which has become Kesha’s patented video dance move. Something has exploded behind them, but no one seems to care.

  Close-up of Kesha, and somebody has glued Mini-Cooper car bumpers to her eyebrows. Kesha doesn’t seem to mind this, but she’d much prefer that we pay attention to her fingernails, waving her hands about like a Geisha girl on crack. Looks like someone spent a long time creating little metal cityscapes on each nail, and while this is interesting in a way, I’m not sure this is something I would recommend. It seems like they’d be heavy, throwing you off balance all the time when you try to walk to the bar for another round. And how in the world does this woman get through airport security?

  Anyway, doesn’t matter, now we have Kesha tromping around in the tunnel, doing a tribute to old-school Madonna when Madge went through that Ponytail Blond Ambition phase. Sadly, this look isn’t quite successful for Kesha. Maybe it’s because she mysteriously chose to wear a strap of machine gun bullets with her outfit. Or maybe it’s just that Kesha is too short, with the big-ass ponytail making her look like something the Evil Stepmother would pick up and ring when she needed Cinderella to wash her feet.

  Okay, time for more close-ups of Kesha, only now she’s wearing sparkly-blue eyeliner and a severe hairstyle that is reminiscent of that tarty youngster that sang with “Bow Wow Wow” back in the day. (Maybe Kesha is doing a tribute to all of her musical idols? Probably not.) Back to Ponytail Kesha, who feels inspired to grasp her breast whenever possible, as well as make hand motions that could be interpreted as a death threat if she wandered into the wrong part of Los Angeles.

  More explosions in the tunnel, to keep things lively, followed by Kesha modeling more fingernail jewelry for QVC. Then Car Bumper Kesha seems to be having a migraine, or maybe her eyebrows are actually magnets that keep pulling her metal-tipped fingers toward her head. It’s a lot of work being hip and fashionable.

  Two cars race through the tunnel and then disappear, signaling all the Kesha Kids to pile into the now-vacant street and begin to gyrate without breaking the shellac on their hairdos. Throughout this mess, we keep getting glimpses of a police car at the far end of the tunnel. Why he’s letting these people pogo about on a public thoroughfare, I don’t really know. Maybe he’s scared of them. Or maybe he’s been instructed to keep the Kesha Kids in the tunnel as long as possible so maybe their parents will stop drinking.

  Now we appear to be at a dance club, but it’s hard to tell these days when you’re not sure if people are actually dancing of if there’s just been a mass reaction to some over-ripe shrimp dip. There are two ladies who might be DJ’s, but they might also be lifeguards, considering their attire. Oh, and we have lots of bottles of tequila, with some bodiless hands pouring the contents into shot glasses so we can understand how that process works. This leads to a montage of somebody’s booty shaking near the tequila bottles, and Kesha convinced that rubbing her hand on the side of her face is alluring.

  At one point, Kesha waves about a crucifix on a chain, another shout-out to Madonna. Unless Kesha thinks that she just invented this look, not having been born when Madonna first rolled around in a wedding dress on the MTV stage, letting us all know that she was going to be a star whether we wanted her to or not. Luckily, we did, so that worked out okay.

  We also get shots of somebody using a laptop and scrolling through the available faces for an online dating service. I’m thinking Kesha really doesn’t have a need for that sort of thing, but who knows. Maybe it’s hard to get a date when 50 million people have already seen your naughty bits in music videos.

  More happy, bouncing people. Lots of them. During this bit, Kesha is wearing a modified, and mostly torn, American flag for her outfit. And her hair has been forced to look like amber waves of grain billowing in the wind. Kesha loves her country. Especially the profit part.

  The music suddenly stops and Kesha appears to be standing on the roof of a building. (It’s hard to tell, because we can see her sparkly panties under the torn flag shirt, and we can’t really focus.) Kesha raises her hands (in an “Oh Mighty Isis!“ stance) and commands a DJ to turn it up. Well, this unseen DJ misunderstands and instead starts chopping up Kesha’s vocals so that she says “up” 46-thousand times until you’re ready to claw your face. Even Kesha can’t stand the sound of her voice for that long, so she hurls herself over the side of the building.

  She then plummets for a quite a while before landing, unscathed, in the arms of the dancing Kesha Kids. The Kids then crowd-surf Kesha’s adored body around the tunnel while another intergalactic message is received from outer space. (It’s probably High Command, inquiring if one of their spacecraft crashed, but no, it’s just Kesha, trying to get more attention.)

  And that’s about it. We have another montage of all the Kesha’s either singing, dancing, wiggling their arms, or waving jewelry about and screaming that there are only 20 items left so we better get on the phone, pronto. And we have some more explosions, but that is SO two minutes ago and we need to move on.

  The video ends with a final intergalactic message. This one probably translates into “Hey kids, run out and buy the new Kesha album right now or you will be social outcasts in school come Monday morning!” Or something like that. I’m still distracted by the sparkly panties….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hoobastank - “The Reason”

  We start out with one of the band members standing across the street from some crappy-looking establishment named “Monte Carlo Restaurant”. As we wonder why anyone would ever want to eat there, we notice that one of the people in the crowd walking past the eatery is slowing down. She gazes at our boy, and our boy grins back, in that “aw shucks” way that has led many a teenager to lose her virginity. The girl steps into the street and is immediately hit by a car.

  Well, then. 14 seconds into the video and somebody is already dead. This looks fun.

  Quick shot of the girl not moving, then a shot of birds flying overhead. This is either symbolic of her passing on to a higher plane, or we’ve rudely interrupted some type of migration. Cut to the mean car that took the life of an innocent supermodel, and inside we see the lead singer. He starts singing the song, then grabs at the rearview mirror so he can make sure his eyebrows have been plucked correctly. Apparently he’s satisfied with what he sees, so he hops out of the car.

  Lots of folks are milling around the sprawled supermodel, so you know we’re not in New York City because none of those people even blink when bodies appear in the streets. The lead singer (I believe his name is Doug) shoves a few people out of the way so we can see that the supermodel (Let’s call her Gertrude. She won’t care; she’s dead.) is kind of bloody, so there’s going to be some stain issues with the laundry later in the day. The people standing in a circle around Gertrude all look tragic and pale, with one of the extras really getting into her acting craft by slightly clawing at her face and making her eyes widen in shock.

  Brief glimpse of Gertrude and Doug (I think) lying on a floor somewhere else and gazing at each other with silly grins on their faces. What’s that all about?

  Oh, look, Gertrude is walking down that same evil street again, just before the bump and grind, but this time we get to see her shoes really close-up. They’re ugly and pointy, so this might be why she had to die. We see her get hit again, from a few new angles, so someone clearly went to film school and wanted to prove it. The guy working in the “Lucky Loans” place behind our first guy (let’s call him Hector, shall we?) comes rushing out with his phone. Hopefully, he’s going to use that phone to call someone for assistance and not just make an intrusive video that will get a million hits on YouTube.

  Wait, Hector, upon seeing the Lucky Loans Guy go stomping off to be a hero or at least a viral sensation, turns and slips into Lucky Loans, locking the door behind him. Is this whole thing a setup? Or just a primer in how to take advantage of every business opportunity that you see, even if a supermodel had to give up a life on the catwalk?

  Hector cuts the alarm to this place, then opens the back door to let one of his equally-unkempt buddies join the party in the pawn shop. Dude Number Three grabs his little tool case thing, which probably contains ultra-secret theft technology and a rocket launcher, and runs inside. Cut to Unkempt Dude Number Four, fiddling with one of those old-school overhead projectors your fifth-grade teacher would use to present you with spelling words that you would never use again the rest of your life. Number Four seems to be studying a map of the pawn shop, but I can’t really tell because I’m looking at his hair and wondering how much peroxide it took to do THAT.

  Back to the pawn shop, where Hector and Three start breaking into the safe, although Three might be a little confused about his actual duties, because he’s wearing headgear that Thomas Dolby would sport in one of his artsy but head-scratching music videos.

  Now we’re back on the street outside, where everybody is still pale and tragic over Gertrude’s final time on the runway. Lead Singer Doug is still there, not looking the least bit guilty about having narrowed the field of contestants for the next Vogue cover. He sings some more, then we get to see the accident one more time from another angle, apparently taken by a mini-cam attached to Gertrude’s crotch. (No idea why we needed that.)

  Wait, very quick shot of the supermodel’s face, and there’s not any blood. And she opens her eyes. Oh? (See, it’s just not fair. Ugly people have to die when hit by a car, but the beautiful people just take a short nap and then they’re ready to head to Bimini for the swimsuit edition. ) Lead Singer Doug, since he didn’t really care about his actions in the first place, hops in his car and takes off. The shocked bystanders run to tell the cop in a squad car that just pulled up, which is totally unrealistic. Normally, when the po-po arrive, people throw their bongs out a window and run.

  But the policeman must be a rookie, believing the crowd’s story, so he slaps on his police lights and gives chase to Doug. (Shot of Hector and Dude Three finally getting the safe open. Shot of Dude Four making a giant red “X” on his overhead projector thing, so he might have decided to do some bowling until his little friends got back from cracking safes and not brushing their hair.)

  Dude Three goes through a few nifty compartments in the safe, until he finds a secret spot where a large jewel sits all alone in some sort of precious-stone timeout. (Well, I’m assuming we’re supposed to think it’s an expensive gem. It really looks like something you would get out of a gumball machine, or maybe some crafty pre-schooler made it out of jello and a cookie cutter.) Dude Three snatches it up and goes to look for some whip cream to spoon on top of it.

  Cut back to Doug, still eluding the police, even though he’s driving a nasty, broke-down hoopty compared to the squad car. Then we see an extra from “Hogan’s Heroes” receiving a phone call, with the caller instructing him to hop on a motorcycle and drive really fast down an alley. Back to the supposed crime scene, where a sad EMT is starting to work on Gertrude. She’s not really interested in his ministrations, so she hops to her feet, then hops on the back of Hogan’s motorbike as he conveniently putters up right at that time.

  This leads to a montage of all the apparent duplicity that we’ve seen so far, with the Pawn Shop Guy finally figuring out the gig and racing back inside to see that his jello jewel has gone AWOL. We see Doug, Gertrude and Hogan all racing off to wherever they are going, and shots of the band performing in the lobby of an older hotel where everyone checked out a long time ago. The bystanders wander away from the accident scene, a little pissed that no one actually died, and considering writing their congress people about this injustice.

  The final scenes are at what we’ll assume is the gang’s hideout, where they are all grinning dopily and using the jewel to make red-tinted refractions flash about the room.

  That’s right, folks. They staged an accident, burgled a pawn shop, and ruined a perfectly-good blouse, just so they could lie on the floor and watch pretty shapes dance on the ceiling. Great…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bruno Mars - “Grenade”

  We start out with Bruno sitting in what is presumably his bedroom, with rain pouring down outside and splashing against the window. (I’m going to guess the rain is symbolic of the money that Bruno is now making.) But despite his wealth, Bruno’s a little blue, staring at a picture of a couple with sadness and non-dancing. Perhaps he should just put the picture down since it’s so traumatizing.

  Cut to Bruno and his fancy shoes fiddling with some rope. It’s not immediately clear what he’s doing, but judging by his strained expression we’ll assume that it’s not fun. He struggles for a while, then we see that he’s actually using the rope to drag a piano down the street. We have no idea why he’s doing this. He has the cash. Can’t he just hire some movers?

  The dragging continues, with passing motorists not even slowing down to help him, so he must be in L.A., because people never get out of their cars there, let alone offer roadside assistance. We also see a homeless man, who seems to be staring in amazement at the vision of Bruno toiling, but I think he’s lying. He lives on the streets, so you know he’s seen much worse, like Lindsay Lohan not wearing panties while she staggers home from an after-party.

  Okay, some of the motorists are honking, which is a bit rude. Can they not see that this man is trying to make a video here? Sheesh. Anyway, we cut back to Bruno in his sad bedroom. It’s still raining, in case you’re keeping track, and Bruno is touching the window with despondent little fingers, but at least he’s tossed aside that picture that started this whole mess. It’s really amazing how often photography can lead to misfortune and lyrics about loss.

  Now Piano Bruno appears to be schlepping his furniture through a part of the Barrio, because we have men with dogs comparing tattoos. (This is probably not the best place for Bruno to be lugging a piano while wearing pretty shoes, but I didn’t write the script.) Naturally, because the street thugs are bored waiting for a drive-by to happen, they mess with Bruno and his friend. One of the guys is super aggressive, and tears up Bruno’s picture, so he’s probably heard about the evils of photographs as well.

  The thugs finally get distracted by something else, and they let Bruno pass. Oh look, there’s that homeless guy again, scrounging for dinner in a dumpster until he spots Bruno. Homeless tries to tell Bruno something really important, but Bruno doesn’t care, so Homeless runs off to think about the last time he might have changed his underwear.

  Now Bruno is going downhill, still sweating and tugging on the rope, and I don’t really understand that. It’s a hill, people. Shouldn’t the piano be running him over now? But I guess it’s not important, since Bruno soon arrives outside some house, and he drops the rope. Bruno spies his girl in an upstairs open window, and his face lights up. Then we learn that Girl is a tramp, because some stud boy walks up and starts using his tongue to dig for buried treasure in Girl’s ear.

  How sad. Bruno stupidly but sweetly dragged furniture across town to win his woman back, and she done found another chew toy. Maybe Bruno should have called first.

  So dejected little Bruno picks up the hateful rope and drags his piano away from the house. Slut Girl watches him do so for a bit, then she runs off to play squat tag with her new beau. And now poor Bruno has to push the piano up the hill that it should have rolled down. (It really might be time for Bruno to look at playing some other type of instrument, especially if there’s going to be any more emotional breakups in his future. Just sayin.)

  Okay, where did this big-ass bridge come from, with the steep slope? We didn’t encounter that on the way over. Why would Bruno go back home a different way, especially a way that has more serious hills? And it would probably be a lot easier to push the piano if Bruno didn’t insist on singing while he was doing it. Slut Girl can’t hear you any more, so it’s kind of pointless to be vocalizing. Perhaps you should just hum until you get over this damn bridge.

  Bruno meanders for a bit more, passing a priest and a nun who look at him with barely-disguised disdain. (Bruno must have missed confession again, probably because he was working out so he could move the piano that didn’t need to be moved after all.) Now he’s at a railroad crossing and it’s completely dark outside, so either I fell asleep and missed something or night falls really fast in this town. As a train approaches, Bruno pauses to play a little ditty on the piano, mainly because the flashing-red warning lights look really pretty splashing on the ivory keys.

  Then the train hits the piano and the video ends.

  Um. What?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Black Eyed Peas - “The Time (Dirty Bit)”

  We start off in outer space (which is where we usually start with the Black Eyed Peas, but I digress), with meteors or something flying about and exploding. It doesn’t look healthy at all. Then we whiz past some planets and zoom in on one that happens to have streets and buildings just like ours. Yay! The camera whizzes down these streets at an amazing rate, so we really don’t have time to determine if we like this place or not.

  We finally end up in some somewhat-trashy alley, where is standing, wearing funky space gear or maybe a futuristic jogging suit. He puts on some headphones and starts singing, and it doesn’t take long to realize his digitized voice is bellowing lyrics from one of the songs in that movie where they tried to put Baby in a corner and Patrick Swayze didn’t really care for that.

  Then some Film School graduate starts jacking with the pixels of the video, making’s face turn into little cubes. The cubes keep getting bigger until they turn into just one box with Fergie’s face in it, and she picks up the lyrics. I have no idea why we had to do that, but we did.

  While Fergie BoxHead continues to warble, the camera pulls back so we can get another gander at the weird jogging suit, then the camera zooms back in on Fergie just as her vocal track starts skipping and she gets an evil expression like she just ate a Chihuahua.

  Now we’re flying through some digital outer-space mess like a Galaga game is short-circuiting back in the day, and then we arrive in a nightclub. Lots of people are dancing around with their requisite hands in the air and proving that none of them really know a whole lot of dance moves. The camera maneuvers through the crowd, which takes a little bit because it’s hard to get that much hair product out of the way quickly.

  Eventually we make it to on stage, where he’s messing with turntables while skanky go-go dancers gyrate in front of fake giant computers. And here we go with more of the pixels and cubes business, making everyone look futuristic but still skanky. The pixels are fun at first, but it only takes about three seconds and you’ve seen enough. Sadly, somebody thinks we haven’t, so we keep seeing it.

  And here comes Fergie, doing one of her trademark entrances where she rap-sings while strutting in high heels and touching every reachable body part with far more self-pleasure than is really necessary. Fergie works her way through the bouncing throngs of people, happily shoving extras out of the way when they stupidly step into her dance patch. I’m surprised to learn that we actually can’t see her panties with this outfit. Maybe she was tired during this part of the shoot.

  Quick bit with Taboo leading the crowd in some shout-out to having a good time, then back to, doing more of the BoxHead thing while he stands on another street. He uses his Blackberry to point at a billboard, making an animated version of come to life and drop to the street. Then mini-Will climbs back up to the billboard and tries to look all ghetto and shifty. (I have no idea how I’m supposed to interpret this.)

  Fergie starts singing again, and somebody makes a mini-Fergie pop off another billboard and start sashaying on top of a building. Great. Just what this country needs, an army of tiny Black Eyed Peas terrorizing the neighborhoods and sampling songs from the 80’s. Then the BoxHead thing is back, with everybody’s face flashing across the screenhead while Fergie’s vocal track gets stuck again. (You’d think somebody would figure out what’s wrong with that thing and fix it.)

  Back to the nightclub again, where some woman is supposedly dancing but looking more like she snagged her hoo-hoo on some barbed wire. (Fergie briefly tries to keep up with her, then decides it’s safer to just snap her fingers and make her curls bounce.) Suddenly, joins Hoo-Hoo Girl for a quick dance routine, then he shoves her out of the way so the camera can focus on him while he raps and shows us his Mohawk. (While he’s doing that, we see an image of someone throwing up pixilated yuck, and I bite my tongue not to make a comparison.)

  And the BoxHead guy once more, releasing mini’s of and Taboo, so they can run be tiny together with Fergie and (There’s so many exciting things to do when you’re little, like walk under doors and go on a float trip using croutons.) Nightclub again, with the music slowing down a little bit and somebody digitizing somebody’s voice so that it’s really deep. (Um, have we EVER heard any of these folks’ real voices? Just curious.) Taboo leads another group cheer, then the huddle breaks so people can go score touchdowns.

  And we have more dancing, with lots and lots of pixel jackery, so that it looks like a bunch of drunken Lego People at a frat party. Fergie seems to be really enjoying this part of the song, jiggling about and thrusting her arms like she spilled hot sauce on her panty shield. In fact, everybody in the room seems to be having misplaced condiment issues, jumping and cavorting with a frenzy that will most likely lead to regret in the morning.

  Brief shot of the camera dangerously close to some nymphet’s two-moon junction. It’s just not a Black Eyed Peas video unless there’s butt crack.

  The song winds down and we zip away from BoxHead in the alley, traveling backwards through the streets and back out into space. The BEP’s are probably headed to the Intergalactic Music Awards, because they’re already won everything on this planet. And they might finally find someone who can fix Fergie’s vocal track…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rihanna, Jay-Z - “Umbrella (Orange Version)”

  Editor’s Note: I’m not sure why this is called the “Orange Version”, but it does sound considerably different than the radio single that dominated the summer a bit back in the day. I actually like it better, and with 20,000,000 YouTube hits, I’m thinking other people feel the same, so let’s go with this version…

  We start off with a shot of Rihanna in one of her typically trampy outfits, this one involving leather, a hat, and lots of Rihanna’s glistening sweat. She’s reclining on a fog-filled stage somewhere, probably trying to build her strength back up after saying “ella” 246 times.

  Cut to Jay-Z, also on a stage, and surrounded by a bevy of slightly-Asian beauties wearing hoodies and dark sunglasses. There’s a constant shower of sparks falling down during this segment, and I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean. It looks kind of dangerous, but Jay-Z is down with it since it seems kind of fun as long as nobody gets electrocuted. (We get brief glimpses of Rihanna still lounging on that other stage, doing the “eh…eh” part of the song.)

  Jay-Z keeps doing his rap-sing section of the song, and it’s abundantly clear that his lyrics really have nothing to do with the original words, but this is not important because it’s Jay-Z and everybody knows that you should just let him do his thang. (The slightly-Asian girls continually cast their eyes at Jay-Z like every word he raps is the most important thing that they’ve ever heard. One of the girls is so inspired that she turns around to show us that her hoodie is emblazoned with something sparkly.)

  Jay-Z finishes up and runs off to collect his paycheck. Cut to Rihanna, finally standing up after her catnap, and we can see that she’s wearing another one of those outfits where she has to be really careful with her arm movements or ta-ta’s will be set free. She performs a few dance steps, which mostly involve touching her head and shoving her booty at the camera.

  Then Rihanna does a nice “Flashdance Tribute” move, which causes giant ice blocks to melt and suddenly waves of water are splashing our girl. To deal with this deluge, Rihanna changes into a white outfit that clings to her body when it’s wet, because if the rivers are going to rise, you might as well look sexy for the rescue party. This goes on for a bit, with Rihanna slapping away the attacking water in ways that are sure to accentuate her heaving breasts.

  Oh look, now Rihanna is a ballerina walking across the stage on her toes. (Interestingly enough, we don’t see the upper half of Rihanna doing this very difficult toe-balancing, so I’m thinking “body double”.) We do get some upper-body shots of Rihanna waving an umbrella about, but you can’t see her feet. You can see that Rihanna’s current outfit is putting a lot of pressure on her nether regions. How can this girl even breathe?

  Now Rihanna is in another room, with fancy moldings on the walls and her wearing some odd fishnet stockings that indicate the girl really didn’t pay any attention in church. Somebody has given her an umbrella do dance with (imagine that, considering the name of the song) and she does so with gusto. This also goes on for a while, with Rihanna making it very clear that she loves devices that can protect her from the elements. (I hope that umbrella remembered to wear a condom.)

  Wait, what’s this? Rihanna is now completely covered in silver paint and touching herself with aggressive self-appreciation. What has this got to do with anyone standing under her umbrella? Does she have mercury poisoning? Oh my, it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with wearing clothes, because Rihanna isn’t doing so during this sequence. She strikes a number of artsy poses that let the world know she has a personal trainer. (And I’m here to tell ya, if a man tried this, the video would never make it to the airwaves. Word.)

  Okay, we’re back to Rihanna without any Rustoleum spray-paint, and she’s now invested in singing to us over her shoulder, so someone must have mentioned that this is hot in some way. Her vocalizing causes lots of extras to come running on stage with umbrellas, and a shower of sparks to start falling from the ceiling. (Didn’t Jay-Z just do the same thing a bit earlier? What up?)

  Oh, now I see the difference. The stage is now flooded with water while these umbrella people cavort about and do synchronized movements. Well, that’s a good thing, to mix electricity with water. Nothing bad can happen when you do that, right? Clearly, these dancers must not be in a union of any kind, or they wouldn’t have to do any of this life-threatening crap.

  This goes on for a while as well, probably because it costs a lot of money to flood a soundstage so you might as well make the best of it. Rihanna shows us her belly button while the extras do some water-and-sparks choreography. (The take-away from this sequence is that it’s really important to arch your back when sparks are falling on your head. And if you can synchronize your movements with other people in your posse, then things will look really cool even if you die in the process.)

  The video wraps up with Rihanna twirling her umbrella while the extras dive face-first into the deadly water gushing about the stage. To make sure that we understand Rihanna is the sexiest woman on the planet, she fondles her breasts and then beckons us to come take the place of her crappy umbrella and put out her fire.

  Sorry, honey. I am not wading into that water filled with electrocuted bodies. If you ever make it to dry land, give me a call…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Evanescence - “Bring Me To Life”

  We start off with a fly cam zooming through some metropolis, where the buildings are all dark and angsty, so this might be some sort of tribute to “Blade Runner” or another movie where unhappy people live bleak futuristic lives. Of course, we’re also hearing the lovely opening part of the song where a piano is playing, which should be soothing, so we’ve already set up a dichotomy of sorts. Are we going on a picnic or are we going to drown ourselves in gothic doom? Some of us face this decision every day.

  As Amy, the lead singer, starts wailing, we focus in on a particular window in a particular building. All the other windows in the building are closed, but this one isn’t, with curtains billowing in the wind, meaning a free spirit lives here. Or at least somebody who hasn’t figure out how to close the window. The camera intrudes through the window (because it’s not a real rock video unless there’s voyeurism of some kind) and we see Amy lying on a bed, looking all lethargic and unsatisfied.

  Suddenly, Amy is falling through the air in front of the building. She probably wasn’t expecting for this to happen, since she’s still wearing her slinky negligee and not something more helpful like a parachute. She’s not opening her eyes, which is probably good, because who wants to see a street rushing toward their ass when they unexpectedly fall out a window that they probably should have closed before they started drinking absinthe?

  Oh wait, now we’re back in the bedroom, with Amy tossing and turning on her strangely-long bed. Is she dreaming? Does she have sleep apnea? So many questions. (Another shot of Falling Amy, still falling. This must be a very tall building.) Sleeping Amy appears to be singing parts of the song as she writhes in the bed. She seems to be in a lot of emotional turmoil. Maybe this wouldn’t be happening if she had bothered to remove her gothic makeup and piercings before she retired for the evening. How can you rest comfortably with a metal stud shoved through your eyelid?

  Brief pause in the music, then the camera rolls up the building a bit to another apartment, where the rest of the band is performing in a nice room with padded walls. (Symbolic, much?) They rock out for a bit, which apparently causes Sleep Apnea Amy to rise from her strange bed and head toward the window of her own boudoir. (Is this really a good idea? I’m still not seeing a parachute anywhere, and something tells me you might need one.)

  Montage of the band jamming and Amy unable to resist the allure of the Death Window, slowly working her way to the opening, but pausing here and there to look tragic and pale for the camera.

  Amy, still not properly dressed, climbs out her window (hey, that’s a good idea) and stands on a tiny ledge. She starts working her way around the corner of the building (instead of going back to bed like a non-suicidal person would) while gale-force winds are whipping her hair and nightgown around. (Where is this severe wind coming from, anyway? Is the Republican Convention in town?) Brief sequence where Amy wanders past a window where an older couple is watching something on TV. They don’t seem to mind windblown rock stars strolling outside their window.

  Amy also passes a few windows where people wearing creepy masks are dancing with balloons and wearing unfashionable attire. (I’m going to guess this is a jab at pretentious music critics. Otherwise, I’m at a loss.) More shots of the rest of the band bouncing around in that padded room, and it appears that Amy wants to join them, gazing skyward as trees and cows blow past her.

  She starts climbing up the building toward the floor where her mates are rocking comfortably in a room that doesn’t have open windows. (Say, Amy, that’s a really good idea. Climb even higher so you can fall even further. Smooth move.)

  Hey, is that Jack Nicholson at 2:03?

  Mount Everest Amy finally clamors her way to the floor with the rest of the band, which is pretty impressive considering she’s barefoot and doesn’t have any actual superhero skills. The band doesn’t immediately notice her arrival, so she stands at the corner of the building and lets the wind whip her hair about while she writhes against the stone masonry. She finally gets bored with that, and staggers over to one of the windows, pausing to sing in a manner that indicates she might be enjoying what the wind is doing to her nether regions. Just a guess.

  The other lead singer (no idea what his name is, but if memory serves he’s just a guest on this song, so it doesn’t matter that we don’t know who he is) finally notices Morticia on the tiny ledge. He shoves the window open with far too much exuberance, causing Mount Everest Amy to lose her balance. She tumbles, but manages to grab hold of the tiny ledge just below the window. (It totally sucks when you scale giant buildings in the middle of the night, so many things can go wrong.)

  This other lead singer climbs out on the ledge, and tries to rescue Morticia, which is initially a good thing. But they both keep singing, which is kind of stupid, and makes the rescue attempt much more difficult than it needs to be. This goes on for a while, with Morticia dangling, unknown other lead singer weakly trying to hold on to Morticia, but really more invested in his vocals, and shots of the rest of the band rocking out and not even trying to help in any way. Inevitably, other lead singer loses his grip and Morticia Amy plummets.

  Really sad. But we were expecting this, yes?

  So Morticia Amy falls for a really long time, in that slo-mo way they do things when we’re supposed to pay attention. The other lead singer seems a wee bit torn up about this development, but he doesn’t stop singing, so he’s probably a little jaded about the sudden death of people he’s performing with. (The rest of the band still couldn’t care less, strutting about in the padded room.) The other lead singer does have a quick shot of him looking off to the right and appearing distraught, but he’s probably thinking “dang, if Morticia is dead, how am I going to get another gig?”

  Oh, now we’ve cut back to Sleep Apnea Amy and she’s still in her bed. So, did any of this really happen, or was all of it a shifty dream, aided and abetted by the recreational use of controlled pharmaceuticals? We may never know.

  The camera pulls away from the Building of Death and Falling People, leaving us all to ponder the significance of our lives and whether or not Rock and Roll might kill us at some point.

  Fade to gothic black.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stone Sour - “Through Glass”

  We start out in some kitchen where “Pizza Hut” boxes are stacked all over the place, and some guy we don’t know is looking for…

   Oh, wait. This is just the advertisement before the actual video. My bad.

  We start off with the lead singer (Corey) sitting in a chair in some house, where there seems to be some type of party going on, but I don’t think it’s possible for him to look any more bored than he seems to be. Cut to some woman looking equally bored. (Even her hair is drooping limply, non-stimulated by the hemp shampoo she probably used.) If it’s that bad, shouldn’t they just leave?

  And another woman who is bored, despite wearing an absurd little hat on the side of her head that would make most people feel all gussied-up and ready to party. Then there’s a small explosion. No, it’s just some guy taking pictures with an unnecessarily big camera. Tiny Hat girl gets up and wanders off, letting us see that there is something seriously wrong with the lower half of her outfit. Like it’s basically not there.

  Pointless Camera Man takes a close-up of Corey, which is not something that he particularly cares for, so gets up as well and saunters off. (At least he has the decency to be wearing pants.) He walks around the room, looking at all the other anemic, non-partying people, mostly rail-thin girls who haven’t eaten since circa 1987. One of them, in a black dress that wouldn’t fit a Barbie doll, appears to desire tremendous rounds of sex from Corey, but he keeps walking, convinced that if he even breathed in her direction she would snap in two and then there would be a pesky lawsuit.

  At one point, another barely-clad butt moves out of the way, and we can see another member of the band sitting near another woman with a floral hair accessory. (I’m assuming he’s in the band. He could be Grizzly Adams come to town for more beef jerky before the hard winter sets in.) Grizzly just sits there. He might not even have a pulse, so we should probably check on him a bit later.

  Next up is a couple. The woman is another copycat supermodel, but the guy? Oh my. His hair alone could cause instant psychosis for entire societies, but his jacket is even worse. Anyone who would put those two components together in the same ensemble clearly should be loaded into a Hummer and drive to one of those swanky health facilities where superstars hide out until someone else is on the front page.

  How Corey is even able to keep singing after seeing that, I have no idea, but he does. The rest of the band members get up from their various locations, and it appears that they might be leaving, but nothing in this video is guaranteed to be what you think it is.

  Like the lobster and champagne on the tray being carried by the slutty server as she marches toward us? We learn that it’s just a propped-up cardboard cutout as Trampolina makes her way past.

  Corey sees this, but doesn’t seem to be too concerned, so maybe he’s used to these things. He sings some more as we start to see shots of the band setting up their instruments at the base of that ginormous “Hollywood” sign that we’ve all see a million times on that hill. They’re moving very slowly, so there might have been something unexpected in the bean dip.

  Back to the party, Corey is still warbling and walking past uninteresting people that no one would really want to talk to if record contracts and hooker-availability weren’t at stake. (Sure seems like it’s a long way to whatever door Corey is heading towards. He needs to pick it up a little bit.) Another shot of the band at the base of the hill, starting to get their groove on. I don’t know why they’re doing that, because Corey is not there yet, still walking through the apparently mile-long house, and the band can’t do much with the song unless there’s somebody to take care of the vocals.

  Montage of the band playing without Corey, Corey singing without the band, women wearing swimsuits and high-heels (which has always seemed like the pinnacle of pointlessness to me), fab people swilling champagne, and Corey unable to find the freaking door out of this place.

  Whoa, hold up. Some guy just picked up one of the fab people, and turns out they’re cardboard as well. What in gay hell? And he picked up another guy, with the same sudden flatness happening. This party just became very uncomfortable with that kind of action going on. And the weirdest thing of all? The guy picking up the now-cardboard people looks like Chris Daughtry. Word.

  Checking back with Corey, we see that he’s not concerned about the invasion of the body-flatteners, or maybe he just hasn’t noticed. He’s wailing away, now marching around the pool, because you can always find the front door out there, right? Wait, now he’s singing with the band over at the hill. What about the paper people at the party? I don’t know any of them, so I’m really not invested, but we should probably learn what exactly happened. Mainly so I don’t serve the same combination of appetizers that might turn my friends into things that people steal from movie-theater lobbies.

  Oh, good, we’ve jumped back over to the party, so maybe we can get the scoop. (Have they called CSI yet? We’ll probably need them, especially if George Eads needs me to hold something for him.) But we really don’t learn anything. Instead, we just watch Daughtry continue rounding up the flat folks and… I don’t know… using them to fix uneven table legs. (I will say that the technology here is pretty trippy, with folks looking very real until they’re not. But an actual plot would be nice.)

  Back to the band at the hill, where one of the members (might be Grizzly, hard to tell) is squatting down, apparently in the midst of doing something one should not do in a mixed setting. This is soon followed by one of the guitar players shoving his instrument at us so we can see that he really is playing it. (Got it. Thanks.) Then the band launches into a powerful part of the song and things get very energetic. They really like to play this song. Sure do.

  Back at the party, Daughtry is still snatching up flat low-level celebrities and carting them off. Oh, look at that. Snatcher Man is no longer satisfied with just taking the people. (See, once you turn evil, things start to snowball. Just ask Dick Cheney.) Now he’s turning other things into posters, like swimming pools and wings of the house. There’s no telling when this madness might end.

  Oh, wait. There is telling, after all. Because it’s the end of the song, with Corey belting out the last line and then wandering off the set, so we can see that the hill was fake, too. And so Corey can go find some new friends. Because his old ones will probably get sold in bulk to the International House of Pancakes.

  We probably shouldn’t eat there for a while. Just sayin.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pink - “Who Knew”

  We start out at a fair/carnival thing, where people are walking around doing carnival stuff, while Pink gets ready to sing while wearing an interesting-choice green gown. We start seeing shots of a couple having a good time in that “they’re still so young they really don’t know what they’re doing” mode.

  Pink finally starts to do her thing, sporting a hairdo that is an homage to that one time Marilyn Monroe got her head stuck in a cotton candy machine. More shots of the loving couple doing moony high-school infatuation moves as they try out the various rides and act like they are hip and cool. One of these activities involves the two of them playing tag (don’t really remember that from high school) until the guy gets bored and decides to throw the girl over his shoulder so we can see her cute butt shoved at the camera. Ah, young love.

  Pink bursts into the rousing chorus of the song, so we have to watch her emote for a while, which includes her being really dramatic and pulling on the grass. (Quick shot of the girl offering the guy what might be a tortilla chip, and he turns it down, so I know right away that something is seriously wrong in this relationship. What teenage guy turns down food of any kind unless he’s unhappy?) Judging by Pink’s eye makeup, whatever the issue is, it’s pretty bad.

  Shots of the girl riding piggy-back on the guy, and he’s about to drop her. She’s laughing her head off like it’s the best time ever, so she might be a little simple. Whoops, there she goes, tumbling to the ground, and somehow their scrambling looks amazingly sexy. When you’re young, anything you do can look sexy, without even trying. When you get to be my age, even trying to look sexy turns into some violent-death scene on the Nature Channel, with gazelles running into trees and such.

  Pink and her hair are still singing, by the way, in case you were wondering.

  Cut to the couple on one of those rides where they spin you around in a circle. The girl seems to be having fun, but the guy looks like he’d rather be doing anything else in the world. This is another sign of relationship instability. What teenage guy doesn’t like to have his body whirled around by mechanical contraptions operated by people who sleep under bridges when the circus isn’t in town?

  Pink is back on the ground, pawing at the grass, so she must be feeling a little blue. Or she lost a contact.

  Shot of the guy putting a necklace on the girl. She thinks that’s really neat. Uh oh, what’s this? We’ve cut to the couple in a bedroom, with the girl dozing while the guy is shooting up. Wow. We just went from innocent teens to troubled addict, all in one verse of the song. This revelation causes Pink to spin around in circles while she’s singing. It causes the girl to keep sleeping.

  More scenes of rides whirling and people eating fried things.

  Now the couple is playing some type of carnival game. The girl must be doing really well, because she’s all perky. But the guy turns and stomps off. She chases after him, which is good training for later in life when she does the same thing in honky-tonk bars and men named “Buck” get an attitude. She catches up to him, but he wants nothing to do with her, shoving her away. Oh, no he didn’t.

  Now, normally in a Pink song, at this point the girl would be done with the jerk that doesn’t know how to treat a lady, and Pink would proceed to write a song that ridicules the guy to a thumping beat, but Girl realizes that something is just not right. (Other than Pink and her inspiration for that hairdo.) Quick scene of the Guy shooting up again, while the Girl searches desperately.

  The jump shots kick into high gear, with happy scenes of the couple in less anxious times, coupled with the Girl finally discovering the strung-out boy. (All of this narrated by Pink wailing the best part of the song.) Girl tries to get the Guy’s attention, but he’s way gone. She kisses him and puts her necklace on him. Then she turns and stomps away while we are treated to images of people drowning. (When Pink goes dark, she pulls out all the stops, yo.)

  Shot of Girl calling someone on a payphone, then sadly placing the receiver back on the hook. Minutes later, the Guy comes back to reality long enough to spy an ambulance headed his way. Girl wanders through the night, crying, most likely because of Guy’s tragic situation, mixed in with a bit of wondering if she can find a date for the Prom before it’s too late.

  Final shot is of Pink and her all-knowing eye makeup gazing wistfully at us, and then turning to her right for a dramatic closeup.

  Wait, maybe Girl can go with Pink to the Prom. Pink’s already wearing a fancy party dress, and you know she knows all the latest dance moves….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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