Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rihanna, Young Jeezy - “Hard”

We start out with Rihanna at some military camp, at night, where she is trouncing around in front of some soldier types and apparently barking out orders in Swahili or some such. I suppose she might be informing them of the details on their stealth mission, but it’s really hard to pay attention because her outfit has shoulder pads shaped like the Sydney Opera House. There’s no telling what this means. Maybe she has a crush on Hugh Jackman?

Then we start flashing to some scenes where Rihanna, looking really overheated yet tired at the same time, prances around in her panties sporting bits and pieces of military gear. None of these pieces would actually protect her in any way on the battlefield, but she’s definitely aiming for some type of look. Enlisted Erotica? Curiously, she’s got strips of electrical tape over her nipples, even though she’s wearing a shirt and there’s no need to hide the little critters. What is this all about? Do her nipples sometimes fall off if she dances too hard?

Complicating the plot even further is that Rihanna appears to be doing the panty-dance in some trashy shed that houses some serious looking weapons. It’s a little hard to see what’s going on, because the lighting is really dim and spotty in an effort to make Rihanna look mysterious and naughty. I’m thinking the panties and the electrical tape already took care of that angle.

Now we start cutting back and forth from the soldier training camp, where Captain Rihanna is making the men perform aerobics of some kind, to the sex shed where Enlistee Rihanna is gyrating and jacking around with the helmet on her head. It seems that she might be having comfort issues with the headgear, because she keeps glancing all over the room while tugging on tufts of her hair sticking out of the helmet. Or maybe she’s just really fidgety.

Oh, look at that. Now we’ve got some new scenes, with Rihanna marching across some desert while unseen planes try dropping bombs on her. She’s wearing this mind-boggling outfit that appears to be made entirely of very long and very skinny pyramids, so that she looks like a porcupine on acid. This would explain the planes that are trying to kill her. If something like THAT came strutting toward me, I’d bring in the military as well.

It takes Rihanna a very long time to make it across the desert, not so much because she has to avoid the exploding shells all around her, but more because she stupidly keeps stopping to twirl around in her futuristic outfit and makeup, and stare into the camera with pouty defiance. Girl, get your ass off that field or you’ll never make it to the Grammys on time.

Then we’re back to more scenes of the dancing cadets, where they have picked up some special moves while we were gone, and the slut shed where Rihanna is showing us that she picked up some moves as well, and most of them emphasize the fact that she has breasts. Other than that, nothing new is really going on here.

Whoops, I lied. Captain Rihanna suddenly pulls out a machine gun (where the hell was she storing THAT) and she starts firing it into the night sky while the cadets stand completely still in perfect formation right behind her. (I wouldn’t move either, not when Grace Jones is anywhere near me and has a weapon.) Then we have more of the slut shed, where Rihanna has discovered that she also has lips and is showing those to us as well.

Okay, now we’re cutting between Porcupine Rihanna still not done crossing the desert, and a new personality that we’ll call Mud-Wrestling Rihanna. This new chick spends some of her scenes thrusting her pelvis while standing on sandbags and surrounded by armed and muscled soldiers, and the rest of her screen time wallering around in some pig sty that appears out of nowhere.

Mud Girl spends a lot of time rubbing the oozing muck all over her barely-clad body, helping us understand that she has womanly curves, in case we hadn’t noticed before or didn’t get the Twitter post. Somewhere, a costume designer is crying as Rihanna insists on destroying call-girl couture with slimy mud.

As Slut Shed Rihanna is singing and showing us that she doesn care for small penises, we get shots of another personality where she’s playing cards in some tent with a lot of swarthy-looking men in t-shirts. I guess this version of Rihanna gets bored with the card game, because she suddenly kicks over the table and then makes the men arm-wrestle each other as she walks out the door with all their money.

Now we have Minnie Mouse Rihanna. Not kidding. She’s still in panties, but she’s also wearing a mouseketeer hat and standing on top of a tank that has been painted pink. Since she can’t just ignore the huge cannon sticking out of the front of the tank, she decides to hop on the gun and squeeze it with her legs while still managing to look sweaty and unsatisfied. (Um, did anybody clear this with the Disney people?)

Then Rihanna is in another military outfit, this one involving netting of some kind over her head but still does not involve pants or even a nice skirt to cover up her business. The netting covering her face is also trailing behind her, making her look like a widow and a bride at the same time. (It’s slightly possible that Rihanna is making a political statement, but more likely that she just though the look was cool.)

Then here comes guest rapper (isn’t there ALWAYS one of those these days?) Jeezy, doing his bit of the song while tires are burning nearby and extras drive jeeps to stir up the dust and make everything look gritty and realistic. Then Jeezy jumps on a tank that is not pink and helps liberate a village or something as fires flare here and there.

Shortly after this, he throws down the lit cigar that he’s been chomping on to show that he’s all macho and stuff. Dude, do you not see that crap burning all around you? Damn, son. Put your butt where it goes. Besides, Rihanna is around here somewhere, probably still wearing all the dried-out netting. One spark and she might REALLY have something to sing about.

Then we have more scenes jumping around to all the Rihanna personalities, so I guess she’s still alive. Just to keep things interesting, there’s one final outfit for Rihanna to show us. This one is some kind of Mongrel Warrior versus Cher-on-the-aircraft-carrier getup, where only very thin strips of leather are keeping us from an FCC ruling. Rihanna then performs some type of flag corps drill routine where it appears that the rest of her squad did not show up. Just guessing, but something tells me that Rihanna had never waved a flag in her life before this scene.

And that’s about it. We run through all the Rihanna incarnations one more time to make sure we’ve seen all her cute outfits. She’s still barking orders at cadets, trudging across the desert and dodging bombs, and straddling a cannon with gusto and military precision. We end the show back at the slut shed, with Rihanna making more of the Swahili vocal noises to indicate that she is still unsatisfied and sure could use something hard so she can end her tour of duty.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Train - “Hey, Soul Sister”

As the video starts rolling, the camera pans down from the sky and focuses on a little corner café, where the band members are just kicking off an impromptu jam session as they stand outside the café. Apparently this is one of the risks involved with dining at corner cafes. Rude musicians can suddenly break into song when all you want is your cobb salad with the dressing on the side.

There’s a handy street sign informing us that this hoedown is taking place at the corner of “Echo Park Av” and something else. That name rings a faint bell, so this is probably some really famous place that means a lot to people who live in California. For the rest of the country, there is no emotional attachment whatsoever. We just know that we shouldn’t eat at this place if we have a migraine.

Before the song gets very far, we are completely distracted by the band member playing what might be a ukulele or perhaps just a guitar that somebody left in the dryer too long. This dude looks just like Howie Mandell, which is actually a frightening thought if you let your mind dwell on it. Whoever he is, he’s very proud of his toy guitar.

Then we jump to an apartment of some kind, where all the furniture and accessories are completely white. Since this is not a realistic design choice, we know right away that something tragic is going to take place with the furnishings. There’s a woman sitting in the midst of all this, looking a little confused, maybe because the white shapes are all blending together and she’s really not certain where the door might be. She’s probably very hungry and sad.

Then we jump over to another apartment, this one inhabited by some guy dressed in black. We can’t really see HIS furniture just yet, so we don’t know if his belongings have a monochromatic theme as well, but we CAN see that there is a large, blank canvas on one wall. (I’m guessing all the hip, young people who live near cafes with spontaneous live entertainment have canvases on their walls.)

Oh look, the next line of the song lyrics suddenly appears on the canvas. That was very thoughtful on someone’s part. I don’t think I could have continued living if I didn’t know exactly what Pat Monahan was singing right at that moment. I am truly blessed.

Well, look at THAT. The next set of lyrics appears, and starts sliding off the canvas, along the wall, out the window and across the building. This is certainly a surprising development. Words shouldn’t really do that, you know? I’m starting to get a little unsettled and we’re just thirty seconds into the show.

Then we have more shots of the band members, Howie included, as they jam along to the perky fake happiness of the song and do cute little dances. Pat Monahan does get credit for perfecting the bed-head look that is still fashionable, but he will not be appearing on “Dancing with the Stars” anytime soon. Just sayin.

Then we realize that the slightly-creepy lyrics are now crawling around on all of the buildings are starting to leak on the sidewalks. I really don’t care for this. I know it’s supposed to be whimsical and fun, but it’s not coming across like that for me. It looks more like, I don’t know, the evil spread of the Dictionary Virus. I’m sure that if this video was playing in Hong Kong, the citizens would be running for those surgical masks they are so fond of.

More shots of the band dancing and singing. Pat has a really big chin, never noticed that before. Not a bad thing, just an observation, I’m trying to give you all the details you need. He still can’t dance, though, jittering around like somebody misplaced a stethoscope. And I hope someone tells the band that the crawling lyrics are now just above them, infesting the building where the café lives. I really don’t trust those words.

Uh oh, it’s too late. The lyrics are now appearing on other people sitting around and reading the paper because they are already bored with the chirpy song. I knew it. Those words are evil. But wait. The people don’t seem to mind. In fact, they seem quite pleased to be sporting the alphabet on their bodies. So are these crawling lyrics good or bad? I’m so confused.

Meanwhile, Pat and the gang are still playing and singing, completely unaware that mobile words have taken over the planet. The lyrics are all over the street, joined by these vicious thick arrows that are pointing in all directions, adding perplexity and mayhem to the scene.

Then, horror of horrors, the words and black lines invade the pristine all-white apartment, appearing on the walls and vases and couches. Sad girl ignores all of this and just pours herself a nice cup of coffee. Why is no one paying attention to what is happening around them? THIS is how criminals get elected to public office and nations go to war. Wake up and smell the copy!

Okay, we’re back to Pat and the bouncing band. It seems Pat got a memo from the corporate office while we were gone, and he’s stopped trying to dance. Now he’s making hand gestures that look like something out of a really bad junior high play. Big, bold and just too much, especially since he’s currently singing about his “untrimmed chest”. Do those two words belong together in a song? I don’t think so.

Then we spend a while cutting back and forth between the band and the sad girl in her now zebra-themed apartment. She seems to be in a better mood, having had her coffee and all, but she’s still not paying any attention to the letter invasion, instead choosing to read a large white book that doesn’t appear to have a title. (I guess the title decided to join the Noah’s Ark line of scampering letters as they frolic about town with mad abandon.)

Finally, sad girl notices the arrows vibrating all over her apartment, determines that they might actually be trying to get her attention, then she rushes out the door, happily following the arrows. This would not happen in Texas. Here, people would pull out a shotgun and shoot the arrows, then ask questions later. But I guess they do things differently in California.

Then we have a shot of the guy dressed in black jogging out of HIS apartment, also following the arrows. We haven’t seen him in a while, so who knows what he was up to, but at least he’s not dancing or reading nameless books.

The next few scenes involve sad white girl and brooding black guy wandering along the city blocks, following the helpful arrows that are leading them to their destination. I would assume they will eventually meet cute and have mixed-race children.

And the video ends with them doing exactly that, with their bipolar selves staggering toward each other in front of the very café where the Last Train to Rockville is finishing up their set. Pat finally quits dancing and making grand gestures, much to everyone’s relief, and the metropolis-dominating words are no longer in sight. You can see the diners in the café visibly relax as they realize that the alphabet is once again their friend. And the sun quietly sets on the corner of Echo Park Avenue and Sesame Street.

Today’s video was brought to you by the letters “B” and “W”….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube...

Monday, January 18, 2010

David Guetta, Akon - "Sexy Chick"

  We start out staring at David’s boarding pass for some plane apparently bound for Barcelona. This is incredibly boring, so luckily we soon switch to a shot of this supposed plane flying overhead. Of course, you may not even notice the plane because of what’s standing on the ground and watching the plane fly.

  There’s some rail-thin supermodel-type, with her behind poking right at us. This woman is wearing the tiniest bikini known to the human race. Seriously, it’s basically an inch-wide piece of see-thru material stretching from one hip to another. And of course she’s dripping wet in case the “see-thru” part isn’t providing enough of a slut factor.

  Why is she even bothering to WEAR anything? There’s nothing left to the imagination. Honey, your momma must be really proud of how you turned out.

  So right away I cringe. This is going to be another one of those videos filled with mindless, skimpily-dressed tramps doing everything they can to hook up with some butt-ugly singer because apparently that’s how it works in America. You have a hit single on the radio and everyone wants to have sex with you immediately.

  Then  there’s a brief shot of women swimming underwater, because I guess that’s what you do after you have the sex, yes? Wash away the nasty and then climb out of the pool for another shot of tequila and the next guy in line.

  Cut to Akon waking up in some totally white hotel room, with hundreds of Polaroid pictures scattered all over the place, as if something exploded. (Perhaps Akon’s ego?) This scene is undercut with quick shots of more women floating around in a pool. They don’t seem to be alive, probably because it’s very clear that they haven’t eaten a morsel in several years.

  Akon, flopping around in the bed, starts having flashbacks where it appears that he was showing some appreciation to quite a few of his fans, if you know what I mean. No wonder he was all worn out and asleep when this video started.

  But it seems that Akon quickly regains his strength, notices an invite to another pool party, scrawled on his mirror in lipstick (because these girls are really classy, don’t ya know), and he rushes out the door on a quest to show more appreciation.

  Now we’re at the pool party, at some fancy mansion, with a long line of people working their way into the building. There’s some rude bouncer lady with a clipboard deciding who gets in and who doesn’t. She refuses admittance to a group of guys, and they wander off to the side. I think we’re supposed to feel sorry for them and all, but I really don’t. None of them look like they have bathed since Clinton was President. I wouldn’t want them near my kitchen, either.

  Then we jump around back to the pool, and here come the scantily-clad tramps, sashaying and stretching and making their chests heave. It would be minimally interesting if they did a line dance or something, but no, they just stand there and heave. Meanwhile, we have shots of Akon underwater, singing the lyrics to the song. No explanation is given for this, he’s just doing it.

  Then the banished dirty guys find a wall they can climb over and sneak into the party. (Where is the security guard that a place like this should have? Is he off trying to sleep with Akon as well?) They join the gyrating, basically-naked people around the pool and everybody dances.

  A few seconds later, Akon picks up David Guetta, holds him in his arms, and then jumps in the pool with just a little bit too much enthusiasm, sinking all the way to the bottom. After a bit, they break the surface, both of them grinning madly and seeming to be in a state of euphoria, making you wonder just exactly what happened while they were down there.

  And that’s it for the plot, assuming that there was a plot in the first place. Yet we still have over two minutes left in this three-minute video. What to do?

  Well, they fill most of the time with the same basic shots, over and over: slutty women busting out of their paper towel bathing suits, party bros high-fiving each other like this is them best time ever (because THAT‘s an original thing for people to do), and drunken people throwing each other in the pool. I’m sure by the end of the day there was a three-inch layer of hair product on the surface of that pool.

  That’s it. Over and over. They don’t even try any fancy editing or special effects. Just hundreds of shots crammed together with no rhyme or reason. And to think that some producer got paid a lot of money for this crap. THIS is what’s wrong with America, people. RIGHT here. Some folks actually consider this video to be entertainment. Good God.

  Toward the end, just as I was dozing off, the pool scenes are gone and Akon is marching along in some building, possibly underground. He walks into what appears to be a dressing room, where he meets some woman that looks slightly familiar. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to know her or not. After all, everybody has the same look in videos right now so you basically don’t know who you’re watching until the end credits.

  This woman has some other female friends in the dressing room, and they all hug and smooch on Akon as well. He sure has a lot of fans. He must be exhausted giving out all that appreciation.

  The woman leads Akon upstairs to party central, where tons of people are dancing while David Guetta is playing DJ. I guess he’s doing the most amazing things with his record spinning, because the crowd is dancing in a rapturous frenzy. (Translation: Everybody is jumping up and down in one spot, because that’s what passes for dancing these days. No one has rhythm anymore. They just have stylists.)

  Akon joins David on his fancy DJ platform, and Akon sings some more. Of course, the crowd considers this the Second Coming and goes even wilder. Then Akon actually jumps into the mass of people so they can crowd surf him around.

  Really? Akon jumped in the mosh pit? They’re still doing that? Wow. They had mosh pits back when I was in high school, and that was shortly after the Pilgrims landed. It’s kind of sad, really, these kids thinking they invented something new when they haven‘t. Everything’s already been done, folks. Everything.

  We end with Akon in another hotel bed, drifting off with another batch of Polaroids thrown all over the place. (These people are just plain trashy, there’s no way around it.) He wakes up long enough to try looking at some of them, but he can’t seem to focus and decides to just pass out.

  I’d like the last five minutes of my life back, please. Thank you.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Iyaz - "Replay"

Okay, folks, there are multiple versions of this video out there, for whatever reason. They all basically involve the same thing, with hot women wearing a tea bag as a bathing suit and Iyaz jumping around and grabbing his crotch. The two most popular versions seem to be the “street cred” video with Iyaz wearing bling and the “Ivy League” version where he wears a preppy sweater in a few scenes.

I decided to go the sweater route, because apparently that outfit somehow restricts his arms a wee bit and he’s unable to juggle the rocks as much as he would like. Trust me, this restriction is a blessing. After 34 shots of that hand being where it shouldn’t be in the “street“ video, you’re more than ready for something else.

And here we go…

We start out with Iyaz slipping on some fancy headphones, then glancing up at us seductively as the music starts. Then we quickly jump to a beach, where Iyaz is facing away from us, fiddling with what looks like a giant iTouch screen in the sky. (Wow, that’s really high-tech.) He’s flipping through a bunch of photos, and of course every one of those pics involves beautiful women dripping with desire and appearing on the verge of ripping off the last of their clothes.

Oh, and then we get to the preppy part, with Iyaz in the sweater, bouncing around in front of what looks like a giant flag of the Virgin Islands. Or at least I’m assuming it’s the Virgin Islands, since that’s where Iyaz grew up. Otherwise, who knows. Memorizing flag design is not something I take seriously.

Then we’re back to another beach scene, with Iyaz wearing the headphones from the first scene, sitting on the sand and jamming out. Wait a minute. We can clearly see the connector cord hanging down from the headphones. Where the hell does he have that plugged in? There’s nothing around him. Obviously, somebody didn’t think this shot through all the way.

We jump between these three locations for a while, then a new member of the cast starts appearing. We have quick shots of her lounging on the beach in what appears to be leopard-print muumuu of some type, all draped and heavy-looking. I’m sure THAT’s really comfortable in the hot sun. She’s fiddling with her sunglasses like she has a massive headache. Poor thing. Hey, maybe if you take off the Eartha Kitt outerwear you might feel a little bit better.

More jump shots involving Iyaz wearing the chastity-belt sweater, Iyaz sitting on the beach listening to music that can’t be coming from the prop headphones, and Iyaz fiddling with the women on the giant touch screen in the sky. Oh, and they throw in some palm trees here and there to remind us that Iyaz is from the Virgin Islands. Or that your life really sucks because you don’t live on a beach. Or something.

Then Iyaz wanders down the beach with some buds, comes across the leopard-print woman wallering around in the sand and trying to breath under the weight of her costume, and they instantly fall in love. She basically spends the rest of the video clinging to him like a snapping turtle.

Now we’re on one of those beaches at night, and there’s some type of party going on. We know this because everybody has their hands in the air as they shimmy around and smile knowingly at each other. To set the atmosphere, we have close-up shots of tropical fruit, bonfires, lit torches, and fruity beverages that no one is touching because they’re fake and don’t have alcohol.

And that Snapping Turtle girl? She’s pretty and all, but she clearly wasn’t hired for any other skill set. She certainly can’t dance, moving around stiffly like somebody lost a bowling pin and she just found it lodged in an unexpected place. She can’t remember where the camera is and keeps looking in the wrong direction.

And her mouth? Oh my. She’s fine when it’s closed and she just looks lost and confused. But when she opens it to yell “Hey!” along with the song? A crop-dusting plane could fly in and turn around without ever touching flesh.

And that’s about it. We spend the rest of the video jumping around these four scenes, although we spend the majority of time at the night-party on the beach, with everybody dancing like Iyaz is singing the most fantastic song they’ve ever heard and they can’t help but move. Sadly, these people also weren’t hired for anything other than the ability to smile on cue. They only know two basic dance steps, which they perform repeatedly until it looks like an aerobics class gone terribly wrong.

We end the video with Iyaz and Snapping Turtle alone on the beach, with a nice little bonfire in the background. The flames of the fire leap and spark, signifying that their lust is forever and there will never be a pre-nup in this relationship. As the song fades, they lean in for a kiss.

He better watch out for that plane….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jay Sean, Lil Wayne - "Down"

First off, there’s a lot of choreography in this video. I’m not saying it’s GOOD choreography, I’m just bringing up a point. In the crowd scenes that dominate several minutes of the video, there’s not a single person on screen who hasn’t been thoroughly grilled on exactly where to move, what to do when you get there, when to dance and how, and when to just stand there and look at the camera in a pouty but sexy manner.

Anyway, we start off with Jay in some fancy bathroom, shirtless and looking at his pecs in the mirror. There’s not much else going on so we don’t have any choice but to stare at his pecs as well. Apparently he’s very proud of them. Got it.

Then there’s a clap of thunder and some lightning, and Jay goes into the other room (is this a hotel?) where a sad woman is standing at the window and staring out at the rain. Maybe she misses the sun or is possibly regretting what looks like a bad lip job. Who knows.

Then there’s a close-up of somebody’s finger activating what looks like a blinged-out iPOD. It seems that this device has mystical powers, because not only does the music start, but this slightly-creepy blue light appears out of nowhere and leads us downstairs in what actually IS a hotel after all, or at least some big building with lots of rooms, doors and people pretending to be cocktail servers.

Now we’re in really big a room, crammed full of dressed-up party folks dancing and waving around glasses of champagne. They are really happy, and no one seems to be concerned about the weird blue light swirling through the crowd.

The camera weaves around a bit then zooms toward a set of doors leading into the room. A nearby dancing couple conveniently opens the doors for us and then they scamper away just as Jay bursts into the lyrics of the song while walking through the door.

Apparently this dramatic entrance really excites all the women in the room, and they can’t help but run by and touch various parts of his body as he marches along. One of them even brings him a nice dinner jacket to wear, which is a clear sign that she is horny.

And then the choreography kicks in. Jay starts snapping his fingers to the beat and instantly the lusty women assume a V-formation behind him and they all scoot a synchronized boot for a bit. And then suddenly the girls all disappear, and some dudes rush in to take their place in the V-formation, and they have been assigned even more complicated moves, with hand motions and such.

Oh really? What was that all about? Surely Jay doesn’t play for both teams. But it certainly got my interest when THAT bit happened. It’s a nice change to have men in music videos actually do something other than stand around and wait for the sweaty dancing women to worship them.

Then Jay wanders into another room that kind of looks like the first room, but darker. There’s another wave of women begging to have Jay’s baby, then the boys are back in another intricate line dance, and they dance for a really long time and do lots of fancy things. There was no way they did this shot in one take, especially if all that champagne was real.

Suddenly, we’re in a hallway bathed in blue light, and Jay is having an intimate moment with some woman, standing very close to each other and talking. (It might be sad Lip Girl from the hotel room, but it’s hard to tell, because it’s so dark. These people really don’t care for adequate lighting or the ability to identify cast members in a music video.) Then they either do an odd dance step or there was a small earthquake on the set, because they kind of stagger and then look concerned for their lives.

Then they’re done with whatever they were talking about (why are the boys getting more screen time?) and they head back to the party. Now THIS room is bathed in that blue light, and people continue to not care about the stupid light. The women also continue to touch Jay and his pecs, because he’s a star and they are nobodies with bad agents.

Whoa, what was that? In the background is some dorky-looking guy wearing a flannel shirt and a ball cap. What’s a redneck doing in this video? Really confused now.

And we’re back in the original dance room, with both the boys and the girls joining Jay in one big ole orgy of rhythm, and everybody has been assigned very important dance steps, which they carry out with great energy and precision. These people are quite pleased at the opportunity to thrust their pelvis and simulate orgasm.

Couple of cut shots with Jay slow-dancing with his girl, and she’s smiling now, so I guess the rain stopped.

Back to the massive line dance, and now everybody is doing hand motions because both hands are glowing like their fingers have been magically transformed into glow sticks. No explanation is given. Are these pod people of some kind? Are they communicating with the mother ship?

As they continue to dance and glow, we start getting glimpses of Lil Wayne in some place that has a really red wall. When the camera finally focuses on him for longer than a second, Lil breaks into his guest vocals. I’m sure he’s singing something important, but I don’t really catch it because I’m focused on wondering who in the hell told him the outfit he’s sporting is something you want people to see you in. It’s not.

As Lil rambles on, we get lots of jump shots of various people partying, Jay insisting on doing things with his hands and the weird blue light, more people drinking, and a few scenes with some guy that might be a pimp or a Mafia boss or a record producer, I don’t really know.

Now they both sing for a while, standing side-by-side and acting all street and bad-ass. (I guess Lil Wayne didn’t bring his own dancers, and Jay didn’t want him to feel bad about that, so it‘s just the two of them.) At one point, there’s a close-up of Lil squatting down for no apparent reason. Then he grins wickedly and sticks out his tongue in what I believe he thinks is a sexy manner. It’s not. Jay keeps singing and dancing, so it seems he’s fine with the tongue action.

We keep getting shots of this pimp boss producer guy, along with stills of some other guy with his arms raised in victory, so I’m assuming that they’re paying tribute to some people that I don’t know. I’m old. I don’t always know what these youngsters are doing. I’m not Lil Brian. Word.

Anyway, the song winds down, with shots of Jay once again slow-dancing with the big-lipped girl to clear up any confusion about his sexuality, shots of Lil Wayne confirming that he is perhaps not the most attractive man on the planet, shots of Jay and Lil performing hand gestures that they all street and stuff, and a final shot of the two clasping hands and doing that chest bump thing to prove they all tight.

But I still don’t know what the hell the blue light was all about…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Owl City - "Fireflies"

Gotta say right off the bat, this video is just creepy. I know they were trying for artsy and symbolic, but we took a wrong turn somewhere along the way.

We start off rather simply, with close-ups on the lead singer (I guess that’s who he is, it’s not like he’s wearing a name tag) powering up a rather antiquated synthesizer thing, flipping switches and turning dials. Then the odd, child-like music starts, and we’re off.

We get a long shot, and discover the guy is sitting in somebody’s bedroom, hopefully his, playing this fancy but old piano. The room is crammed with all kinds of toys, but most of these things are old-school, like they’ve been sitting in the room since the days when you could get cigarettes for 50 cents a pack.

Oh look, the piano has magic powers. When the guy hits certain buttons, things start turning on in the room: lights, an old record player (hey kids, do you know what THAT is) and toys. It also activates this primitive digital type pad thing, that helpfully types out the lyrics (all by itself!) when the camera cuts to it. That’s very sweet, helping out the slow learners who might be listening.

Then a couple of old TV’s come to life, but there doesn’t seem to be much on, so my guess is that they don’t get cable in this house, which is tragic and sad, since nobody IN the house can actually watch this video.

Then we have a bit where the guy is singing and playing softly, and we learn that the piano keys also activate little dome lights on top of the piano. This is interesting for about three seconds, but jump cuts showing this magical connection go on forever. Somebody thinks it’s very important that we see this, but I don’t get it.

Oh my, the music gets louder and even more toys and things in the room whir and blink to life. More things than you can really focus on. I’m starting to be a little troubled by this video. Why must there be so much activity? Why aren’t there any NEW toys? Is this guy poor or just lazy?

Okay, we have a quick shot showing that the guy isn’t wearing any shoes, so I’m guessing the poverty explanation is the proper option. Or maybe he’s showing that he’s a free spirit, like all those hippie singers back in the 70’s showed on stage just before they overdosed.

And then there’s a disco ball spinning. Yay. We like disco balls. Then the chain snaps and the thing crashes to the ground. God this video is depressing.

Then the music gets louder again, and we have a shot of the record player spinning faster, just in case you weren’t paying attention and didn’t realize that the music had changed. There’s this toy thing sitting on the record while it spins madly, so you know it’s going to fly off at some point and put an eye out or maybe even kill you if the impact point is a critical one.

Let’s see, so far we have poverty, depression, possible injury and death, and a non-functioning disco ball. This is one feel-good video, let me tell ya.

Meanwhile, more toys are coming to life, until it seems like thousands of things are spinning, clapping, bashing cymbals, crashing into the wall and generally creating a situation of severe potential threat. But the guy keeps playing his little piano like this happens all the time and you might as well sing.

Quick shot of the namesake fireflies flitting around in a jar, and that’s real pretty and all, but we only see them for a second and it’s not enough time to calm down and quit worrying about the toys that might kill you.

Then the guy hits another piano button and a blimp flies out of the closet, which is exactly what you would expect to happen, right? The thing floats around the room while the manic toys whir and clank and appear poised to overrun the planet. To reinforce this mood of panic and anxiety, we have about 400 jump shots in a row, so many that your eyes start to twitch and you begin to wonder if you’re going to need medication when this song is over.

Oh no! Some claw thing just reached down and snatched up one of the toy dinosaurs. Do you think it was Sarah Palin trying to eliminate all evidence of evolution?

Finally, we get to the slow ending of the song, where the guy is singing in that Cher-tribute digitized voice. (Hey, both of those people have songs with “believe” in the lyrics. Maybe this IS Cher. She’s finally been able to turn back time! And change her sex.)

The guy starts hitting more switches, and now we’re basically in rewind, as things around the room start turning off and the toys wind down. (It’s just like that decompression feeling at the end of the tilt-a-whirl ride.) He finally turns off the last few switches and then sits at the piano with his head down, looking sad.

Two things, guy. What did you do with the fireflies? We only got a brief glimpse of them. They were the only things that brought any happiness to me in this video. And dude, clean your room. My mother would have whacked me good if my room ever looked like that….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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