Friday, June 25, 2010

Lady Gaga - “Alejandro”

Preliminary bit wherein I absolve myself of any blame for what’s about to follow: We’re talking Lady Gaga, here, not Charlotte Church, so things in this video get a bit eye-opening. It’s also a very long video, so Lady Gaga can throw in lots of artsy stuff that may not make sense but is certainly interesting. So, if you’re not a fan of The Lady or can’t sit still for longer than four minutes you might want to skip this one and go check the lint in the dryer.

And in the spirit of this high-end soft-porn, my commentary might get a little off the tracks and take a detour through Smut Town. These things can happen when you watch tele-films created by a woman who has recently bellowed about her yearning for Disco Stick transportation. You have been officially warned.

Still with? Great. Here we go…

We start out with a giant “GAGA” logo, because she may not want us to call her name, but she damn sure wants us to remember it. Then we immediately cut to a very tired military-type man who is wearing little more than fishnet stockings as he lounges on some dreary patio. Yes, it took Lady Gaga exactly two seconds to get twisted.

  Then the camera starts panning around, and we learn that there’s LOTS of tired military people sitting around at what might be a bar where no one is very happy. This could be because there aren’t any drinks on the table and the music hasn’t started yet. Who knows. We still have over 8 minutes of video for the producers to explain all this.

  Cut to some shadowy figures standing on what looks like a ramp that probably leads to an underground laboratory where anti-social scientists named Hans conduct experiments involving plutonium and death. These figures are apparently practicing a dance routine where the theme appears to be stomping while carrying odd symbols and looking angry.

  Oh good, they turned the lights up a bit and we can see that the dancers are wearing jock straps that appear to be vaguely Sumo-wrestling in nature. (So far they haven’t spent a lot of money on the costume budget for this production.) The dancers all have the same bowl-cut hairdo for some reason, probably because Lady Gaga was going for that “we might be poor but we have rhythm” look. The dancers march their way down the ramp so that Hans can begin dissecting them.

  Finally, we have a close-up of Gaga herself, sporting a hairstyle that has been inspired by the handles on wicker baskets. She’s looking through some very funky binoculars, trying to determine where the sad music is coming from that has started to play. This is followed by someone carrying what looks like a human heart on a black satin pillow, and then a shot of Lady Gaga messing around with her mouth. Maybe she’s got some spinach caught in her teeth.

  Quick scene, possibly back at the boring bar where they still aren’t serving any drinks. It’s snowing outside, and people are sad, or at least lethargic, so somebody probably died. Then we’re out IN the snow, and yep, there’s been a death. People are carrying a casket, while Lady leads the way, lugging that heart on a pillow while violins play. Did Ingmar Bergman direct this?

  We switch to a man wearing leather panties and holding a gun in his crotch. It’s a pretty gun. He’s also wearing a strange helmet that doesn’t seem to fit, and there are very large holes in the wall behind him, which is letting in some of the snow. Perhaps he should call Maintenance.

  Gaga again, with a severe blonde hairdo that is not kind to her facial bone structure. She might be wearing a modified veil, so perhaps she is familiar with the person in the casket, but this doesn’t explain why she’s acting like Eva Peron on some balcony, when the people still liked her, and before they made that Broadway show and then the movie where we finally learned that Madonna can actually act as well as get pregnant via a personal trainer.

  Back to Wicker Basket Gaga, still screwing around with the pointless binoculars while she smokes a cigarette, watching the jock-strap dancers through a conveniently large but still gloomy window. The dancers apparently learned some new moves while underground, so there’s less stomping, but we still don’t know what happened to the rest of their clothes.

  Oh look, Lady Gaga is able to flip just one lens of the binoculars away from her tragically-pale face so we can watch her not emote while she sings. THAT’S why she wanted those things. She doesn’t need to see anything, she just wanted a cool accessory that she can manipulate to the beat of the song. So she does that for a while as the dancers continue showing off their new moves, including the ability to arch their backs so that their crotches bulge even more.

  And those dancers have some stamina, because they frolic around for quite some time. They seem to be really fond of doing this group-hug thing where they spin in a circle while war-like scenes flash on a screen that some crew person has helpfully erected in the back of the soundstage. Then the dancers pair off and things get a little heated, with some grunting and such, and for a moment I don’t care if Alejandro ever shows up.

  Now we have Lady Gaga in a red-leather nun’s habit, lying on a bed and being overly affectionate with her rosary. This very personal time is inter-cut with scenes of possibly some barracks, where people are either having naughty relations or emotional breakdowns while they writhe on metal cots. Whips and high heels are major design elements, along with some line dancing where Gaga joins the Jock-Ettes for some synchronized choreography. (And who spread the kitty litter all over the floor?)

  This goes on for a while as well (hey, they’ve still got 4 minutes to kill), with lots more simulated and symbolic sexual slap and tickle, where it’s clear that gender and manners are completely unimportant. (They definitely won’t be showing clips of this part on the morning talk shows. Well, maybe on the FX channel.)

  Things finally cool off a bit, with the Jock-Ettes doing some comparatively mundane hand movements, lying on their backs while Lady Gaga stands in the middle, wearing something Greta Garbo would wear just before she took her own life in a tragic 1930’s movie.

  Scratch that. We get a closer look at the outfit, and Greta would never go near this, even after she became a recluse and started drinking. This close-up comes courtesy of the Bowl-Cut Boys, as they lift a spread-eagled Lady Gaga over their heads, and we learn that there’s an inverted red cross in Gaga’s business section. The boys continually thrust Gaga at the overheard camera to Make. Sure. We. Can. SEE IT. This wholesome scene is followed by one where Gaga crams her beloved rosary into her mouth.

  At this point, I’m sure the switchboard at the Vatican is very busy. I’m assuming that Lady Gaga won’t be getting a contract with Pepsi.

  Back to the spread-eagled Gaga in case you missed anything the first time.

  Suddenly we have Lady Gaga in another outfit, this one with shades of Liza Minnelli in “Cabaret”, minus Joel Grey or any of the startling eye shadow. She does a few solo dance steps, and then the Jock-Ettes are back, parading down the stage in pairs, wearing leather jackets while Lady does some more dance steps that make it clear she’s hoping for a remake of “Saturday Night Fever”.

  Then Gaga and the Jock-Ettes switch over to the laboratory ramp, where Lady has decided to one-up Madonna by wearing a bustier made out of machine guns. She’s very proud of this piece of couture, fondling the gun barrels as she shimmies. Meanwhile, the Jock-Ettes twirl, leap and touch their faces dramatically.

  Now we’re jump-cutting all over hell, with brief bits of everything we’ve seen, mixed in with new material that fully expresses Lady Gaga’s art. (Or possibly the fact that the art director didn’t refill his prescription.) The metal cots are still filled with angsty couples, the Jock-Ettes are still flinging Gaga through the air, and the amorous nun is lying on her bed, belching contentedly after eating the rosary.

  Wait a minute. We are suddenly getting shots of some non-bowl-cut guy standing around, looking forlorn but still trendy in his leather outfit. Is that Alejandro? Dude, where have you been. That bitch has been calling your name for the last half hour.

  More jump-cutting and sexual hi-jinks involving uncomfortable positions. This time through there’s some business with the Jock-Ettes shoving Sacrilege Gaga all over the playground. (I guess they found out she had a better dressing room.) To get back at them, Lady Gaga straddles one of them, and then rips off her top. The chorus boys do a dismal job of pretending to be interested in her wares, so they just go back to dancing.

  Final shot has Gun-Crotch Boy and Nun-Jandro on a bed, with wires coming down making them look like marionettes. Oh? So is Lady Gaga saying that she didn’t have all this sex of her own free will, that other people were making her do it? Uh huh. The camera zooms in on the face of Nun Gaga and the film begins to melt.

  That was probably the Pope doing that. Just guessing.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kesha - “Your Love Is My Drug”

  Wow, they sure didn’t spend any money on this thing.

  Anyway, we start out with some close-up shots of Kesha’s various body parts because she’s all about “her art” and isn’t a tramp at all. She’s waking up way out in the desert some place, because this is where you have to live when people get a little tired of hearing you on the radio. She’s apparently using some guy’s stomach as a pillow. Or maybe she just fell.

  Kesha takes a closer look at the guy, and is startled to discover he’s wearing a nasty headband, which is a sure sign of trouble. She leaps to her feet and runs away across the sand. I’m guessing she doesn’t remember his name and she’s trying to avoid any social awkwardness.

  Next thing you know, Kesha is riding an elephant and wearing a bonnet that she stole from the Statue of Liberty. That’s really stupid, so we cut to a tight shot on Kesha’s boots as she staggers through the desert. The heat makes her burst into song and wave her arms like she just spotted a taxi.

  Oh wait, there she is on the elephant again, followed by her sporting a tiger mask and assuming a squat-like position. (She likes zoos? She likes to hunt game?) Then we have several shots of her Native American jewelry as she twirls around and can’t keep still, singing about her inability to stop banging her head against the wall. Perhaps she should speak to a physician about that.

  Now she seems to have made up with the Pillow Jesus Man, because he’s back in the picture and they hold hands while a fan blows somewhere off to the side. More animal references, wild arm movements, and clunky jewelry that has GOT to be on her nerves by now. She weighs about 40 pounds. How is she managing to stay on her feet with all the wind and accessories?

  Then they start screwing around with a kaleidoscope or something, because we suddenly have six refracted images of Kesha as she prances around in the sand. This unnerves me somewhat, because I don’t think the world needs six of her. But she keeps dancing anyway, delighting in the concept of an army of her body parts conquering the planet.

  Elephant again.

  Oh, now she and Jesus are in a boat. She’s being really rude and jumping around while he tries to row them back to the Garden of Eden or maybe a place where bushes burn. Then again, I guess it doesn’t really matter how obnoxious she’s being, because there’s not any water and they aren’t actually moving. Kesha makes a reference to a “lovesick crackhead” and I officially quit trying to determine the plot.

  Good move on my part, because they’re still in the boat, but now some untalented artist is messing around with the film, using crayons to create water and buoys and giant crabs. Kesha reacts to the added d├ęcor by… I don’t what she’s doing. Pointing is involved, and wiggling around in Daisy Dukes. Then a giant cartoon wave covers up the boat, and I’m hoping the video is over so I can go harvest sugar cane in Farmville.

  Nope. Now we’re in underwater cartoon world, where the fish have human faces and they are singing. (Well, THAT just ruined Sea World for me.) The oddities continue, with a nearly naked man covering his harmonica with an absurdly-long beard, carnivorous fish that turn into mermaids, and a general theme that life in the ocean can kill you.

  Back to the desert, where Kesha is struggling to escape some evil cargo netting that she apparently got tangled in during the chorus. She flails a bit, but she’s really not trying that hard and I don’t feel especially sorry for her. Besides, doesn’t she have an assistant that can just cut that damn thing off of her? Where is he? I guess even rock stars have trouble with the help.

  Then we start jumping around, with more shots of Kesha lamely trying to fight off the Net of Death (twirling and trying to fly seem to be her signature defense moves), Kesha and Jesus standing on some big rocks and waiting for additional Commandments that might possibly be delivered, and the realization that Kesha really likes the feel of sand on her body, as well as turquoise streaks on her cheek.

  As Kesha sings about having a slumber party in her basement (just say no, kids), we are treated to images of Kesha in an outfit splattered with day-glo paint, cavorting with more boulders and a snake (music executives?), looking like there was an incident at the Play-Doh factory. I’m thinking more than just “love” is her drug.

  We’re back to cartoon world, with animals mutating and a giant billboard to remind us what the name of this song is. This is possibly a tribute to Sergeant Pepper and/or the Beatles, but really, how is Kesha going to know about that? This is clearly the work or an art director with OCD, a fondness for hemp, and a membership in AARP.

  Now it’s night time in the desert, and Kesha has settled down a little bit. She and Jesus are making S’mores at a campfire, and perhaps writing a few things down in case Moses has some extra tablets. Kesha is still really happy about her jewelry and her ability to wave her arms like she’s signaling rescue workers in helicopters.

  The song and the video wind down with Kesha doing that weird baby talk business at the end, only now Jesus is watching her and probably wondering why this disciple has proven to be so challenging and flirty. Kesha doesn’t care. Does Jesus have any gold records? I don’t think so. So she laughs a lot and plays with her hair, because she’s still young and doesn’t understand things like consequences, mortality, and an agent that really knows what he’s doing.

  Final shot is of Kesha on that damn elephant, sporting the Statue of Liberty headdress. Give me your tired, your poor, and your teenagers with disposable income….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Jason Derulo - “In My Head”

  We get things started outside some convenience store, because that’s apparently where all the hot girls hang. There’s some people standing around that we don’t know, some of them flirting, others posing in a way that indicates how much they really like wearing odd clothing. Jason is just standing there, looking a little bored or maybe he forgot his lines, not sure.

  Then three girls come prancing out of the store, looking like RuPaul just rang a bell and the drag race is on. Jason is immediately infatuated with the third girl, probably because her hair is the prettiest and she has more zippers than anybody else. Jason decides that the best way to impress her is to start singing a Top 40 hit, despite the fact that she might not care for such things and just wants to eat her beef jerky.

  Of course, the first line Jason sings is his name, because that’s what people mystifyingly do these days. (I don’t really get that. What serious songwriter is going to go “hey, what this song really needs is for you to product place YOURSELF, right here. That will make the song perfect!”) Once Jason gets to the less self-involved part of the lyrics, we start getting flash cuts of Jason (I’m guessing) shadow-boxing with himself.

  Anyway, while Jason sings, Pretty Girl just kind of struts around the parking lot. She know she hot. In fact, she decides to play hard to get, and starts flirting with one of the extras standing nearby, which makes Jason jealous and he snatches her away. Now that they are officially a couple, because that’s all it takes these days, Pretty Girl now gets to appear along with Jason in the flashing shadow scenes, where the first thing she does is grab her breasts, because she’s a good Christian girl and all.

  Now that Pretty Girl has been upgraded to co-star billing, she smiles a little bit more and lets the camera get close-ups of her high-heeled boots. In the shadow scenes, she kicks the “dancing” into over-drive, raising her hands over her head and really thinking she’s in a scene from “Flashdance”. (Jason, if you’re keeping score, is still doing some kind of kung-fu crap that isn’t very sexy and doesn’t help move the story along.)

  Meanwhile, in the parking lot, the rest of the folks are pairing off into couples and making eyes at one another. They don’t seem to be paying any attention to Jason, which is kind of rude considering all the trouble he went to setting up a sound system at the convenience store. Jason doesn’t seem to mind, focusing on Pretty Girl, because he’s never seen anyone stay on their feet this long wearing heels that high, although she’s cheating a little by leaning against a car.

  Then we a have a bridge in the song, where Jason breathes really heavily like he’s doing a voiceover for an Advair commercial. This causes the shadow couple to do a few naughty moves, and we learn that Pretty Girl is very limber and just might possibly be going into labor. She disappears from the shadow scenes for a little bit, probably looking for someone who can hold the baby until she’s done dancing, which leaves Jason by himself, pretending to be a mime in France.

  Back in the parking lot, some loser tries to steal Pretty Girl away from Jason, which means they have to dance away from him, making sure they stomp on the beat. Pretty Girl looks a little irritated, mostly because of the attempted abduction, but she’s also not pleased that she can’t lean on the car anymore. Maybe she’s anemic.

  Oh wait, now the two of them are in what looks like a jail cell, while an odd blue light makes their outfits look shiny. Pretty Girl is back to her happy place, because she can lean on the bars while Jason sings, staring at his chin and wondering why he didn’t finish shaving that morning. The prison bars apparently make her feel pretty sexy, because she squirms a lot and pouts her lips.

  We are still getting jump cuts of the shadow dancers, but I’m pretty bored with that. You can’t really see anything, it’s hard to tell what they’re doing, and Jason is still convinced that marital arts are somehow romantic. But at least Pretty Girl found a daycare center, because she’s back in the action, touching herself like the Divinyls said she should.

  It’s the parking lot again, with PG back against the car, and we get close-ups of Jason comparing his shoes to her boots. (I guess footwear is really important to the younger crowd.) It looks like Jason somehow wins the shoe competition, because then he and two buddies get to have a dance-off in two conveniently-empty parking spaces.

  So they hop around in formation for a bit, because synchronized dancing is always happening at places where you can buy Slushees and rolling papers. We’ve seen it all before, and better, so even Pretty Girl gets bored and starts talking to somebody else, because she can’t be in a relationship with someone who has better shoes.

  Jason, realizing he needs to kick things up a notch, sends his backup dancers scurrying into the night, and then does a solo dance, which clearly shows that although he may have seen the “Billie Jean” video a lot, he didn’t really pay attention and can only half-ass do the moves. In desperation, he does this weird spinning thing that causes his shadow self to start wearing a red shirt. The backup homies race in just long enough to remind Jason that no dance sequence is complete without a crotch grab, so they all do that.

  Finally, Jason stops dancing and we can relax a little bit. As the song fades away, we learn that Jason was only imagining the encounter with Pretty Girl, and now he approaches her without all the singing and dancing and shoe-comparing. She smiles at him and asks “Haven’t we met before?”

  Uh, yeah. You were giving birth to his child just three minutes ago. God these people have short attention spans…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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