Friday, October 29, 2010

Divinyls - “I Touch Myself”

  Editor’s Note: This is another one of those jump-cut videos where we don’t linger on any one scene longer than a few seconds, so there’s really no point in trying to develop a story. Basically, the lead singer, Christina Amphlett, wanders around some mansion, looking for provocative locations where she can touch herself, and then she does. Rinse and repeat. So we’re just going to do the timestamp thing with this one, mmmkay? Ready, go!

  0:02  Some guy playing a guitar.

  0:03  Christina pouts her lips.

  0:06  Some guy carries a woman across room, as if they just walked in the door after getting hitched. She’s wearing a white dress, but we know this is a lie, because she looks awfully trampy. And we basically get to see some lower cleavage as it bounces toward the camera.

  0:10  Christina starts singing, rockin’ that hairstyle which so many found incredibly stimulating back in the day. I suppose it has its charms, but really, how can the poor girl see anything?

  0:11  Christina admires her lips in a mirror.

  0:15  Chris is wearing just a towel while sprawled on a bed. One of her hands is precariously near the danger zone. I’m expecting Cyndi Lauper to walk in and provide a tutorial.

  0:17  Christina singing with the Guitar Guy. Chris seems to be having an issue with her hand stuck to her face.

  0:21  Black-and-white shots of people being moody.

  0:25  Chris on one of those fancy fainting couches, caressing the fabric with animalistic desire. Or maybe her short-shorts are too tight and she’s signaling for an intervention.

  0:28  We start seeing shots of these two girls who don’t sing or anything, but sure like to pose seductively while clutching things like garden hoes and each other.

  0:30  Chris and that mirror again, waving goodbye to her anonymity.

  0:37  One of the twins appears to have snagged her panties on a chair.

  0:39  Christina singing and sort-of dancing with Guitar Man again, but I’m more intrigued by the woman on the left who seems to have been nailed to the door jamb even though her golden dress is really pretty.

  0:44  Here come the Sex Twins marching along, wearing super-tight shorts and providing a clear example of how the phrase “camel-toe” originated. They strut right past the tortured woman in the golden dress without even bothering to help. I don’t think I like the Sex Twins. They’re rude.

  0:48  Christina back on the fainting couch, where she’s suddenly inspired to purse her lips and flip to the other side of the couch, so we can see one of the Sex Twins. This twin has her head between her legs and is carefully studying her cooter. Not sure what she’s expecting it to do, but it most be something fancy if she has to contort herself like that to get a gander of the goings on.

  0:52  Brief glimpse of a hot guy and I’m suddenly inspired to pay more attention.

  0:53  More of the Sex Twins, rubbing their backs against one another and chewing gum.

  0:58  More of Christina and her Special Towel.

  1:06  Christina and another mirror, where she finally seems to be realizing that maybe those bangs of hers are a bit much.

  1:08  Another shot of Golden Woman, still in the same pose of anguish and suffering. Poor thing. People are still not helping her with whatever her issue might be. In the background, Christina twirls around so we can see she has something frilly on her butt.

  1:12  Quick scene of somebody wearing go-go boots while they iron something red.

  1:14  The Sex Twin who really enjoys watching her squeeze box is still watching it.

  1:21  Number 17 in the ongoing parade of gratuitous cleavage shots.

  1:24  More of Christina and her pouty lips, thinking they’re in an Estee Lauder commercial.

  1:26  More frilly butt.

  1:33  Christina looking like Paula Abdul’s sister just sat on something intrusive.

  1:39  Rod Stewart?

  1:44  Towel again.

  1:45  Couch again.

  1:48  Courtney Cox in a Mardi Gras hooker outfit.

  1:58  Somebody (maybe one of the Sex Twins, not sure) furtively picks up a phone and calls the SPCA and reports that livestock on the property might be in sexual danger.

  2:06  Christina, on the fainting couch, showing us that she can stick her leg straight up in the air and sing at the same time.

  2:17  Another somebody (hard to tell with the artsy sunlight) is standing at a window and showing the landscaper outside that she has her own bush that needs tending. She also appears to have velvet ram horns on her head, but I have no idea what that might mean.

  2:21  Christina has a brief mental breakdown, messing up her hair in a frenzy of despair. But things must not be too bad, because she manages to keep her lips sexily protruded throughout the psychotic snap.

  2:23  Ram Horn Girl turns away from the window and the landscaper, unsatisfied. What did she expect, with that stupid thing on her head? Then again, maybe the landscaper prefers tree trunks to bushes. We’ll never know.

  2:26  Christina really, really loves her right leg.

  2:32  Is that Helena Bonham-Carter just before she lost her mind and married Tim Burton?

  2:35  Some Lady in Red seems to be tormented by the fruit bowl on her left. She then kicks the hated thing over, vowing never to eat citrus again.

  2:41  The fruit tumbles downward, spilling all around Cute Guy who has apparently been sleeping on the floor. I’m going to take this as symbolism that he plays on my team. Yay!

  2:46  Ram Horn Girl is still looking for love in all the wrong places.

  2:52  Christina is suffering from a really bad gas bubble.

  2:54  Christina gets poked in the eye. This just isn’t her day.

  2:59  Christina has found a stripper pole, so things are suddenly looking up.

  3:01  Which inspires Christina to pretend that she’s in “The Sound of Music”.

  3:12  The Sex Twins pose seductively in the baptismal chamber at a failed church in Old Mexico, circa 1867.

  3:15  Christina sings into the armpit of Golden Girl, because it just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. It wasn’t.

  3:21  More Ram Girl twirling. Someone should really speak to her about just taking that damn mask off and trying to find a guy the normal way, like getting drunk and wallering around on the pool table in some trashy joint named “Bubba’s Grunt and Run”.

  3:25  The Sex Twins want us to be very quiet about the naughty things they have done in the last three minutes. No problem. I’ve already forgotten, trust me.

  3:32  Christina violates a potted plant.

  3:39  Christina and her lips finally get some rest.

  Despite the warbled encouragement, I really don’t want to touch myself. Maybe next time.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

The Human League - “Don’t You Want Me”

  We start out with a car driving through some foggy countryside, then the car makes a turn and nearly runs over one of the female singers in the band (she’s wearing fur, so the car was probably driven by one of the founders of PETA). This woman just glares at the car, like something as minor as an automobile could take her out. She and her dead animal then jump in the car and the vehicle drives away.

  Oh, look at that, another nearby car has apparently been waiting for this rendezvous, and someone turns on the headlights of this car so we can realize that it’s there. Cut to Philip Oakey in a very tight camera shot, wearing a lot of makeup so we don‘t notice that his teeth aren‘t in the greatest shape, singing the opening lines of the song. Back to the spy car as it pulls up near the parked fur car as it sits outside what might be a house. Once more to Philip, where the cameraman has thankfully realized that maybe we need to pull back from the intense close-up of Philip because it‘s a bit much, and so the cameraman does. (Fair disclaimer, it doesn‘t really help.)

  Back to the house, where Fur Woman dashes out of the dwelling and proceeds to do something suspicious with the trunk of her car. Her ESP kicks in, and she turns to glare at the spy car. The driver of the spy car stops filming her doing dramatic things, and then is magically transported to some studio where he can review the video he has taken. Philip Oakey is sitting behind him, hair all slicked up, looking depressed and befuddled about the footage. Quick close-up of Fur Woman just so we can remember what she looks like.

  Cut to Blond Woman walking into the studio, and she actually looks exactly like Fur Woman, except Blond Woman is a blond and Fur Woman is not. (This was always an issue with the women in Human League. They all went to the same stylist and never established a unique identity.) Blondie hangs up her coat on a hook that is stupidly placed in the middle of the door, then she gets to work doing something that is never explained.

  Cut to some private viewing room where people are watching clips of whatever, with the limited audience including Simon LeBon holding a coffee cup and not looking pleased. Fur Woman is there, and she’s mad about something. (This might be because Blond Woman is also there. But it’s hard to tell, because nobody is smiling about anything. Even Philip Oakey, so I guess he got the memo about his teeth.)

  The focus shifts to the screen, and we realize that we are watching clips of Fur Woman acting in an infomercial or maybe Stanley Kubrick’s latest mystifying epic. Whatever they are filming is fairly boring, so the camera pulls back to show Blond woman trudging along in a trench coat and looking perturbed. She starts to vocalize her part of the song, but some rookie in the lighting department keeps her in the dark most of the time so we can’t fully enjoy her performance. They finally get the lighting right, just as Blond Woman decides to turn and look behind her at Philip Oakey, bellowing the line “I still love you.”

  She still loves Philip Oakey? Girl, you need to wake up. He and his makeup don’t want what you got cookin’. Philip stares back at her, not exactly running up and vowing eternal fidelity. Blond Woman doesn’t care, and keeps strutting toward the moving camera, proclaiming her need for freedom. She walks a really long time, even after Philip picks up the lyrics. Obviously, there were some editing issues.

  Another shot of Philip wearing more makeup than Miss Georgia.

  Back to the private viewing room, where Blondie is looking sad and Philip is still pretending that he wants her. They keep watching clips of Fur Woman on the screen, even though no one cares. Cut to another band member pretending to be a film editor and jacking with the clips. Blondie puts on her coat and leaves, because she’s heard that they have fresh sushi down the block. Another close-up of Philip, and it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t like fish.

  Quick shot of Fur Woman, showing that she knows at least one line of the song.

  Another shot of Philip, showing that he’s really proud of his dangly earrings.

  Now we have Blondie messing around with strips of film, and she must be totally confused, because she’s holding a film strip in her ungloved hand while her gloved hand isn’t touching anything. This sacrilege leads to a montage, with the film editor, Fur Woman, Blond Woman, and Philip, all looking tragically dissatisfied and posing lethargically in the murky lighting.

  Another montage of people wrapping up the shoot on Kubrick’s set.

  Cut to the film editor looking like a pedophile as he gazes into the camera. The camera pulls back and we see Philip Oakey stand up and march toward us, which is very unsettling. Philip then walks toward some people sitting in some chairs, probably intent on giving them makeup tips, but the camera cuts away before this can be confirmed.

  Yet another montage, with Blond Woman glancing askance at who knows that, Philip pretending that he’s Valentino, Blond Woman still marching along in the bad lighting, and then a final scene where the camera pans to a makeup mirror where we can see tech people that we don’t really know caught in the headlights of whatever this video is supposed to be about.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Josh Turner - “Why Don’t We Just Dance”

  We start off with a lovely couple sitting on a couch. They’re decked out in late 50’s/early 60’s attire, that boring and innocent time just before it hit the fan and everybody started taking drugs and having sex with anything that moved. They appear to be watching TV, then the guy makes a weird smirk (probably shouldn’t do that anymore, not attractive at all) and then leaps up to slap off the TV. The girl just looks at him in shock, because nobody did anything spontaneous in those days.

  He turns on the record player, and this causes both of them to completely lose control. Next thing you know, they’ve shoved the couch up against the wall and are dancing away. (See, your grandparents were right, Rock and Roll is of the devil and can lead to reckless furniture rearrangement.) Josh suddenly appears, bellowing the song. Personally, I’d be a little leery of strangers vocalizing in my house, but the couple doesn’t seem to mind.

  They bop for a little bit, with all that twirly crap that always seemed like too much work to me, the woman grinning like somebody splashed Fresca on her panty shield. The guy thrusts the woman in the air, and I guess he saw something inspiring because he starts to take his clothes off. (The girl looks a wee bit startled, wondering if perhaps she shimmied too much at the wrong time. Momma always warned her about doing that.)

  Lo and behold, it seems they are both wearing hippie drag under their Eisenhower clothing, and the accessories in the room suddenly update to stoner gear. Now the couple is doing one of those odd, self-involved dances that people did when they had drugs for breakfast. They wave their arms and try to channel Mother Earth, along with her daughters, Doobie and Bong. (For the record, Josh’s clothes don’t change, so either there was a budget issue or he’s lazy.)

  The interpretive dance continues for a bit, as the couple celebrates long hair, granny glasses and the absence of bras. Then the girl leads the next wardrobe change, slinkily ripping off her top and transforming them into 70’s disco dancers. Now the dance is a tribute to excessive polyester and hair spray. (The girl’s hair could qualify for its own zip code.) They strut to the end of the room and out into a hallway, where they perform some interesting choreography that indicates the drugs are not completely out of their systems.

  They line-dance into a bedroom, where Josh is sitting in a chair and still not explaining his presence. The couple continues to not care about the intrusion, doing some more dance moves which seem to center on airing out their armpits. They also point with their fingers in random directions, so they might be giving somebody directions, but it’s not clear. (Perhaps they’re trying to show Josh the door, but they just can’t remember where it is.)

  Suddenly, the girl has had enough synchronized foreplay, throws the guy on the bed, and then straddles him. (She’s come a long way, baby.) Josh gets a gander at this steaminess and skedaddles out of the room. I don’t know why. The couple hasn’t had a problem with him watching everything else.

  But instead of any salacious activity, we have another costume change. Now the duo is wearing punk outfits with lots of bright colors. Relieved, Josh comes back in the room and warbles some more while the couple does a strange dance where they kick each other. (That doesn’t look like something you would do in a healthy relationship, but they seem to be having a good time.) They then do some aerobics, followed by some of those robotic dances that everyone thought was cool in the 80’s but really just meant we were stupid and bored.

  The couple marches back to the living room, where we now seem to be in the current day. They wander back to the couch and then just kind of hold each other, because nobody really dances anymore, what with the way the economy is and all. But people DO still get horny, and the girl throws the guy on the couch and straddles him once more.

  Josh makes a “what the heck” gesture, turns out the lights so the lusty couple can bump uglies in privacy and darkness, and then leaves. Which is kind of rude, really. If you’re going to come up in my house and sing for no apparent reason, the least you can do is toss me a beer on your way out the door…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Motels - “Only the Lonely”

  There’s a brief “opening credits” shot that we don’t really care about, especially since it doesn’t fit with the rest of the video and we could have done without it. Then we start the real business, with the camera focusing in on a ceiling fan, then dropping down into the lobby of an old-timey hotel. Here comes the lead singer (Martha?) strolling across this lobby and wearing all black, so you know she’s really sad about something. She’s headed toward a little table, but before she can get there her inner tragedy overwhelms her and she starts warbling the song.

  She turns toward the camera, and we really want to listen to her woeful tale and support her in any way that we can, but we’re completely distracted by her hat. (Did a bird fall out of the sky?) I guess even Martha realizes that the dead bird thing is a bit much, so she turns and wanders out of the scene.

  Cut to Martha stomping into an empty restaurant, chairs on the tables and all that so it’s either really late or really early. She hasn’t lost the hat, probably because there were too many bobby pins holding it in place, and she’s too tired to deal with that right now. She wanders through the restaurant, looking for something, but doesn’t seem to find it. Since she hasn’t bothered to let us know what the missing thing might be, we still can’t help her out. We’re not being very good friends at all, so maybe we should sing something sad as well.

  Martha walks up to the bar just as the counter starts glowing and the bartender pops up from behind the bar. (Not sure that I care for this development. It looks all “Jack Nicholson finally losing his mind in the Overlook Hotel” just before he picks up an axe.) The bartender already has her drink ready, so he’ll probably get a great tip, if Martha can stop singing long enough to figure out where her purse is. (Maybe that’s what she was looking for a bit ago. Poor thing. Sad and possibly penniless. But at least there’s alcohol.)

  Oh, look, the bartender just quickly served her three drinks in a row. I think I need to find this bar.

  We don’t actually see Martha drink these beverages, but she must have, because when she turns around to walk away from the bar, the restaurant is now filled with patrons, all of them wearing increasingly dramatic hats, so there must be some type of pageant going on. Martha doesn’t care and just keeps walking, still not having found what she’s looking for.

  Quick shots of some of the other patrons. The guys look shifty and untrustworthy, but that’s normal for guys, so we don’t really learn anything. Martha keeps walking, but suddenly a new guy walks into the place and up to her. They kiss passionately, even though Martha is magically able to keep singing the song. Unfortunately, there must have been something wrong with the lip-lock (bad breath? too much tongue? fangs?), because Martha shoves him to the side, clutching at her offended mouth as she runs along.

  More shots of the other patrons. Most of them look drunk or unsure of what they’re supposed to be doing while the camera rolls. Next thing you know, Martha is finally ripping off that stupid hat, bobby pins be damned. She gets really invested in running her hands through her hair and tilting her head in ecstasy, so perhaps someone should tell her she’s not in a commercial for Head and Shoulders.

  Now we have a montage of a band playing, people ordering more drinks at the bar, some dancing, possible gambling, a creepy duo dressed alike and looking at each other in an odd way, more drinking, and what might be zombies coming to life at one of the tables. (No idea what that last bit was about.)

  Back to Martha, her hair still blowing about like Hurricane Zelda just hit shore. The utter self-love that Martha is expressing for her hair causes a guy sitting nearby to knock over his table and spill his drink. This is probably the most tragic thing I’ve seen happen in the entire video.

  Once again with Martha sitting at the bar, chatting with the bartender who likes to hide behind things. She’s got another drink, naturally, and she’s smoking, which means she’s a total tramp. Apparently the bartender says something rude to her, because she gets up and stomps off again. (Can this woman simply not sit still and enjoy her cocktail? Relax, honey.) The bartender gives her a friendly wave as she leaves, meaning he doesn’t understand that he’s a chauvinistic pig and will never get married.

  Suddenly, we have a close-up of Martha, and based on her orgiastic expression, it would probably be very helpful to learn just what the hell happened between the last scene and this one. Martha’s not saying, instead choosing to finish up the song. The camera pulls back, and we see that Martha is sprawled out on top of one of the tables, clearly in a post-coital position. (I told you. Alcohol and nicotine lead to wanton encounters on furniture.)

  The camera keeps easing back from the scene while the music slowly fades, showing us that the restaurant is completely empty, meaning her lusty suitor made a beeline for the door as soon as he was done. Poor Martha. Now she’ll have to write another sad song about abandonment. Just as soon as someone can help her get off this table…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bon Jovi - “Living on a Prayer”

  Disclaimer: Okay, I lived through the 80’s, and I remember most of them, but it still scares the hell out of me when I see the Big Hair from that time. What were people thinking? Seriously. And here we go…

  We start out with the band marching into some arena where they are setting up for a concert. How these guys got their hair into the arena is unclear, but somehow they did, and they seem really psyched about having accomplished this mission. Quick shot of the band members’ feet, and we can see that they are all wearing go-go boots, another oddity from that time and place. You know drugs were involved. You know it.

  We kick off a montage of the band and their hundred or so roadies running around and getting things in order. Lighting people are doing their thing and sound technicians are testing this and that and lots of other people seem to have no real mission but they’re running around anyway.

  And the whole time I’m thinking “The Hair. Oh my God, the Hair.” (Sorry, I just can’t get away from it. It’s just… everywhere.)

  Oh look, now people are strapping various band members into flying gear so they can be yanked around the stage as if they were in a revival of “Peter Pan”. The band members seem really excited about this part, but if it was up to me, I’d like to remain stationary on the stage, thank you very much. If my ass is flying over the audience’s heads, I’m thinking they’re probably not listening to my heartfelt lyrics, and that’s an issue with me.

  Quick scene where showers of sparks are falling from the sky, with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia running to escape the Death Star.

  The lyrics finally start, and we have a close-up of Jon whipping around with his microphone and bellowing at the camera. Two things of importance about this scene. One, Jon looks to be about 12 years old. Two, he has more fringe on his jacket than drunks at a Saturday night barn dance. This does not stop him from singing.

  More montage, with people still testing out the flying-on-wires thing, people drinking coffee, people fiddling with guitars, and Jon hamming it up for the camera because he has validation issues. Some bonehead operating the flying-wires thinks it would be fun to make people crash into each other on the stage. This is fun. For about two seconds. After that, not so much.

  Then somebody else decides that the camera needs to zoom in on the crotches of the flying men. I can’t say that I completely disagree with this decision, but I’m disappointed with the results. I’m not seeing anything of interest. Perhaps it’s really cold in the arena.

  Quick shot of Jon playing one of the other guy’s guitar as it dangles in his nether region. Discuss amongst yourselves.

  Another shot of Jon jacking with his hair to make it even bigger. Not kidding. He’s trying to make it bigger. Can our planet support that?

  The montage continues for a very long time, showing more of the same. Technicians diddling, band members acting like they are in the midst of orgasm as they sing the lyrics, and people zooming through the air like it’s completely natural. At one point, Jon bends over to show us that his jeans have a patch right in a very personal place. What are we supposed to do with this information?

  Then Jon decides that he needs to use his microphone stand as a means of transport. He’s pole-vaulting all over the place, tilting his head just right so that the jet stream will get under his Neanderthal hair and keep him aloft for decades. Jon also likes to run, in case you were wondering. Run, run, run. What he’s running from, nobody knows. One minute he’s on the stage, the next second he’s clear at the other end of the venue, the rest of the band mere ants in the background.

  And, um, well, the montage continues. More of the same. They really need to do something new or different, or I’m going to quit watching and go pay bills. And I hate to pay bills. Tease me, Jon. Make me want more.

  Right at that moment, Jon turns to the camera and slaps his hand over his mouth. Oh? Does he desperately want me as well but can‘t admit his hidden desires? Probably not, but let’s go with that. It’s at least interesting, and will help me get through the rest of the video.

  Hey, the video has changed from black-and-white to color, and now there’s an actual audience. The people at Bon Jovi concerts are very intriguing. Naturally, there are the thousands of women wearing no panties and wanting to have sex with Jon, right here, right now. But watch the guys as well. They seem very, very enthusiastic about watching someone perform who doesn’t have breasts. Jon touches us all, right? I sure hope so.

  The live concert is really more of what we’ve already seen. Big-haired men wearing fringy leather and go-go boots, running about and bellowing. This causes all the women in the audience to raise their hands over their head and gyrate. They want some New Jersey lovin’, preferably as soon as possible. This is SO much more fun than going to church. Me love you long time.

  At 3:12, we have a crotch shot while some band member lies on his back and strokes his guitar. The other band members seem to be encouraging him. (The band member in the background looks like Amy Grant, but I’m assuming it’s not.)

  At 3:19, Prince makes a cameo.

  And here we go with the flying business, with Jon zooming out over the audience like the Wicked Witch of Newark. The women may have been horny before now, but at this point they lose all thought and reason, ovulating with the ferocity of a machine gun. (And look at that, so are some of the men.) I’m surprised Jon isn’t ripped from the sky and devoured by lip-glossed she-wolves. (Pause at 3:26. Does that look mentally healthy to you?)

  And the video works its way to an end, with Jon and the Bovi’s wailing and running. (At 3:45, an exorcism takes place. Not lying.) We have high kicks, pounding drums, flashy guitar work, leather jackets, and the Hair. Always the Hair. The final shot is of more of those sparks showering down on the stage. One lone person runs off to the right to escape the madness.

  Now, watch the entire video again, and think: “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. Seriously. Do it.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paramore - “The Only Exception”

  We start out with a couple lying on a somewhat ugly couch. They guy is quite comfy with his snoozing, but the woman is restless. She decides to get up, and she leaves a note saying “I’m sorry.” We aren’t sure what she regrets, but it might be her decision to color her hair an odd shade of orange. She gazes longingly at the still-sleeping man (guys will sleep through anything, especially if sex has already taken place), and then goes out a door.

  Which leads to another room with another guy. (Just what kind of place is this?) The woman hugs this other guy, then rudely proceeds to screw around with some knick-knacks on a shelf and steal a photo. Then she joins the guy at some table covered with a really giant doily, so I automatically don’t care for the table. (Doilies are not my thing.) They converse for roughly 3 seconds, then the woman apparently has to jet, so she hugs Guy Number Two and then dashes out another door. (Starting to think that this woman has an attention-deficit disorder of some kind.)

  The next room is unoccupied, but looks vaguely like a college dorm room. The woman tucks the photo into the corner of a mirror, and the guy in the photo is not the other two guys that we’ve seen, so now we have to consider the fact that orange-haired woman might just be a bit of a tramp. She stares at the photo and looks really sad.

  Cut to the woman somewhere else, lying on top of thousands of what I’m assuming are Valentine’s cards. So it’s official. She’s either sleeping with the entire planet or is a really good pen pal. Just to make sure that we understand that this woman knows a lot of guys, the camera pans over the billions of cards for confirmation.

  Now the woman is with her band while they slow-jam on a stage. Everyone is very somber and unsmiling, so it’s probably not a dance band, but there’s not a lot to dance about when you’re overly promiscuous. Instead, most of your songs will be about missed chances and bad decisions, sung at a slow tempo while people wear black clothing and make blog posts about misery and dissatisfaction.

  Cut to a brief shot of jewelry, and then the woman applying lipstick. She’s back in the unoccupied room where she did the picture-tucking, so I guess the concert with her band was really short. Maybe this is the room where her personal stylist lives. Or a drag queen friend. I don’t know, nobody is handing me explanatory brochures while I watch this.

  The woman goes out another door, which leads to the costume department of a small theatre company. She paws a few garments, and then is suddenly wearing a sexy little dress and has a new hairstyle. (Those must be some magical clothes up in there.) She goes out yet another door, and is apparently now in a place where they do speed-dating. She sits at a table and rejects a long line of potential suitors. (This is somewhat understandable, since the only cute one in the line clearly wants her cocktail dress more than he wants her.)

  So, naturally, the woman races through another door, and she finds herself in a church. (Didn’t see that one coming.) The folks in the church have conveniently left her a deluxe seat in the front pew, so she takes that one. The front doors of the church fly open, and in marches some woman in a bridal dress like Godzilla attacking the city. Our orange-haired woman is not impressed with this development, so she turns and runs out the front door. (So, it makes her uncomfortable when people make commitments whilst wearing formal wear? Got it.)

  Back to the band performing (with the authentic touch of some groupie crouched in the wings, clearly waiting to be impregnated by one of the band members hopped up on single-malt Scotch). The band has an audience now, which is nice, but they seem rather rambunctious and appear to be dancing to a different song that what we are hearing. (Wait, orange-haired woman is both on the stage and IN the audience? So does this mean that she really likes watching herself perform, or that she has multiple personalities leading to black-outs and abrupt ends to relationships? If it’s the second, I’m finally starting to understand this video.)

  At 2:56 we cut back to the woman lying on the cards from her many lovers, and she sings the phrase “I’ve got a tight grip on reality.” Really? Because I’m not seeing that from where I sit. Then again, I’ve never colored my hair, so maybe there’s something fundamental that I don’t understand. Just trying to be fair.

  More shots of the concert, with orange-haired woman scanning the crowd and spotting the man from the first scene in the video. He gazes at her with a look that could mean “I want you more than anything”, but could also mean “skank, you ran out the first of many doors without making me breakfast, and I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of a girlfriend”. Orange-Hair doesn’t care, beaming as if Bob Barker just asked her to “come on down”.

  Now we have a montage of the woman lying on all those cards, the band performing, and Orange-Hair and First Man maybe or maybe not realizing that they were meant for each other. (Admittedly, it’s hard to determine your relationship status while attending a concert where people are drunk and have forgotten basic manners.)

  And now we launch another montage, revisiting some of the twisty rooms that we’ve already been in, only this time the First Guy is in all of them, gazing at Orange-Hair with fairly undisguised longing. (Which is my favorite part of the video, showing that Orange-Hair really wanted this man in all of her life scenes. Awww.) She suddenly starts running backwards through all of the remaining rooms, and finally makes her way to the starting room, with the couch, rips up her “I’m sorry!” note, and nestles up against her still-sleeping lover.

  Which is very sweet. But seriously, girl, why’d you leave in the first place? Now do you understand why guys have no clue what you want?


  (But really, great song. Truly.)

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nu Shooz - “I Can’t Wait”

  We start off with a snapshot of a dog wearing sunglasses, so we already know we’re in trouble. This is quickly followed by wrenches and what might be a voodoo doll being dropped on an odd piece of metal with holes in it. The metal slides to the left, revealing a series of rooms. Hey, there’s that dog again. He’s in the far room, staring at us with no intention of coming near or sharing his kibble. He must be one of those moody dogs that you never quite understand what he might be thinking, and then he tears your arm off.

  The camera starts to roll forward, going slowly enough that we can see quirky things happening in the rooms on the sides. Something is flapping, and the dog house has horns, that sort of quirky. Oh, and every so often some Egyptian symbol will fly through the air. We finally get to the dog, and he doesn’t move a muscle despite somebody shoving a camera in his face, so he’s either very well trained or is in a coma. Doesn’t matter, because now we’re focused on the lead singer sitting at a desk, looking slightly bored while waiting on us. (Sorry, I hurried as fast as the camera would let me.)

  As we approach the desk, knowing full well that this woman is not going to do anything normal, based on the rest of her apartment, she becomes more active. She opens a wooden box, takes out a glass slide, holds it up to the light, then slaps it back in the box, no longer interested. And all through this, she’s singing the words to the song, so she’s very talented, even if a bit weird. She shoves the box off to the side of the desk, probably so her creepy butler can put it back in its place later before he heads off to a graveyard or Satan’s lair.

  The lead singer (I think her name is Valerie, so let’s call her that) turns to the other side of the desk and picks up what looks like a double boiler from 1857, but I really don’t know what it is. Valerie opens the thing and pulls out something flopping that looks like a baby shark. Well, that doesn’t really satisfy her, so she tosses the thing next to the slide box, so the poor butler is going to be very busy with restocking before he can run off to his satanic appointment.

  Next, Valerie reaches into the drawer of a nearby stand, and pulls out one of those tool-pouch things that you can unroll, so absolutely anything is possible at this point. She grabs a pair of needle-nosed pliers and starts jacking with the lid of the double pot, probably adjusting the settings so it will start making coffee again and not things that can bite you. A giant magnet hovers over her head while she does this, so apparently the process requires a magnetic force of some kind. Oh, and the dog floats by in the middle of the screen, trapped in a box with a porthole, and he’s watching a combination lock swing back and forth.

  I told you we were going to be in trouble.

  Turns out that jacking with the pot lid didn’t do the trick, so now Valerie grabs the wicked devil-brewer and holds it in front of her. We can’t see her face now, but she must have chanted a spell, because suddenly the coffee pot turns into an old-timey drawing like Jules Verne might have made, and the diagram starts breaking into various sections. This mess is overlaid with another image of Valerie, where she sings the “when you look into my eyes” bit of the lyric, then touches her head so that lightning bolts and warning symbols can fly out of her forehead. (Which means that you should never play around with giant magnets while unsupervised, or deadly forces will build up in your body. Watch and learn, people.)

  Back to the first Valerie, still messing around with the coffee pot. She’s got a screwdriver now, which doesn’t seem like a really good idea with all the electricity flying around. And there’s that dog again, still trapped in whatever and watching the lock swivel back and forth. Oh wait, here’s another box with the same dog, only now he’s watching a strange deck of cards that somebody pierced with drink stirrers. The poor dog. You know he didn’t ask for any of this. I hope he fired his agent when they got done with the shoot.

  Most troubling about the floating dogs is the fact that we can’t see what Valerie is up to, and that can’t possibly be a good thing. She realizes this at the same time, and knocks the doggie boxes to the side. But it’s too late, she’s already worked her mischief with the coffee pot and is setting it back in place on the desk. She makes a gesture like an irate Italian grandmother, and then packs up her tools. We may never know what horrible things she did to that appliance.

  Finally, Valerie grabs yet another box and pops it open. This unleashes hundreds of those Egyptian symbols to fly about the room. She snags something in the box, and then slaps the lid back on. She’s now fiddling with somebody’s false teeth. They aren’t hers, because they clearly are way to big to fit into her mouth, which is just nasty. Valerie obviously had a very unstructured upbringing if she doesn’t understand that it’s not right to play with other people’s teeth, even if that person doesn’t need them anymore.

  Valerie makes the teeth sing along with her in a musical duo that will never win a Grammy. The song and the video fade.

  No word on whether or not the dog ever got out of that box. Or the other box. Or… I really don’t think it matters.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Darius Rucker - “Come Back Song”

  We start out coming over a hill to see a pretty view of Charleston, with the sun shining and flowers growing and crime currently not happening. (Wow, there’s a lot of church steeples in this town.) Oh look, there’s Darius standing in the middle of a field, waiting for the part where he gets to sing.

  But it’s not quite time for that, since we still need to see a very cool bridge, some fishing boats, several old but nicely restored houses and a lack of Confederate flags. Back to Darius in the field, finally getting the signal that it’s okay to warble. So he does. Based on the words, his morning completely sucked. This doesn’t explain why he’s standing in the middle of a field, but we’ll let that go for now.

  Now he’s walking down a narrow street, or maybe a really tidy alley, not sure. He strolls along, and we can see that things grow very well in this climate, with greenery everywhere. We don’t know where he’s going, but that doesn’t seem to be important, and Darius is in no hurry to get wherever it is. People take their time in the South, probably because they lost that Big War back in the day, and they’re resting up to make sure they win the next one.

  Quick shot of the field again, where Darius is patting himself down. Perhaps he’s making a self-arrest for something he’s done, I don’t know. Then he’s on another street, where we can see that some folks have lovely courtyards for their homes, and that Darius is wearing some fancy boots with really pointy toes. He’s still singing, and the note at 1:30 apparently gave him a gas bubble. He eventually poses in front of a nice iron fence, with stairs leading somewhere, probably to a relaxing, shaded area where you can drink alcohol. Because that’s always a good place for steps to take you.

  Next we have a nice montage of all the places that Darius has been walking, along with more shots of the pretty, restored houses that probably cost a fortune and people have to die before you can get one. (Right at that moment we see a graveyard, so the cinematographer is thinking the same thing.) At one point, Darius just sits down, because singing AND walking can wear a person out.

  Now we’re on a boat, sailing about in the harbor. (I’m assuming it’s a harbor. Old cities on the coast always have one.) Darius sings while we get shots of things on the boat like life preservers, coiled rope, and the fancy pointy boots. It’s very calming, but we still don’t know where Darius is going. It must be a hard place to find, because he’s been looking for it throughout the whole video.

  Cut to Darius on a balcony thing, with the harbor in the background and, presumably, people with lots of disposable income floating around in sailboats. Darius keeps singing, of course, but he does take time to admire the view. Right at 2:46 Darius claps his hands excitedly, so something special happened, we just didn’t see it. At 2:53, he does a cute little dance move, so I’m going to guess that the gas bubble has found it’s way home even if Darius hasn’t.

  And now we have a very long montage, re-visiting all the nice, sunny places that we’ve been. It really is a beautiful city, so I don’t mind the review, and then it hits me: Why haven’t we seen any other people? Sure, somebody must be piloting those sailboats, but we haven’t seen any actual proof. And those narrow streets should be crowded with folks looking for the perfect antique spittoon. Something is seriously wrong.

  But I guess Darius likes the solitude and doesn’t really care that the local population has mysteriously vanished. He keeps singing and smiling, he and his boots having a swell time as they traipse about. In fact, he’s so giddy that he no longer even tries to remember the words to the song, instead bursting out with a round of “na-na-na-na’s” while a light breeze blows his shirt around and other people continue to not exist.

  We eventually wrap it up after another montage, and Darius wanders out of frame. Now the town is completely empty. This is probably the point where the alien spaceship shows up, their evil forced-evacuation mission complete so they can move into the fancy houses without having to pay for them. But we don’t actually get to see this part.

  Great song, though.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Naked Eyes - “Always Something There to Remind Me”

  We start out with some couple just getting married, dashing out of the church while bystanders throw rice and probably gossip about them, because that always happens at weddings. Cut to the lead singer off to one side, watching the goings on but clearly not part of the procession. Perhaps if he had combed his hair he might have gotten an invite.

  We’re suddenly in a tabloid office, with people wearing skinny ties and rushing about. They’re prepping some headline story about a “Surprise Wedding”. We don’t know enough yet to really care, so I’m not invested.

  Back to the lead singer, who is tromping along and looking sad. He walks up to one of those newspaper stands, and rudely snatches up the tabloid and begins reading it without paying for it. He seems stunned when he sees the story about the surprise wedding, even though he was just there when it happened. Maybe he’s a little slow, yet another reason why he wasn’t invited to the damn thing.

  Cut to what appears to be a press conference, with some woman wearing a stupid little hat and too much lipstick. We can’t hear what’s being said, but the lead singer is there, so maybe he can fill us in later. Suddenly, the woman gets all bothered about something and runs out of the room. (Maybe she saw her hat in a mirror?)

  Hat Girl runs across a nice lobby area, too anguished to relax and take in the fake tropical beauty, while people chase her and reporters continue wearing skinny ties. (The lead singer stays behind in the now-empty conference, singing, so I’m still thinking he has some mental processing issues.) Quick tabloid picture of Running Girl wearing that hat, so she’s not going to be able to live down her unfortunate accessory choice. People talk.

  Back to the lead singer, who is now wandering across some street and nearly gets hit by a car, but he doesn’t seem to notice. Okay, maybe he’s just drunk, not stupid. He wanders into a café, where he spies some woman dancing with a man. (I’m not sure if it’s the same woman, because her hair looks different and there’s no hat, but who knows.) She laughs it up with her dance partner, but it seems fake and she keeps glancing at the lead singer to make sure he sees her pretending to have fun. He broods, she twirls.

  Once again with the tabloid office, where now the story is “Seen Last Night” and it’s the dancing couple. Next thing you know, hordes of paparazzi are racing to the café and interrupting the waltzing duo. (News sure travels fast in this town. Or maybe people dance for a really long time.) Dancing Girl is thoroughly unpleased with this development, hiding her face and knocking things over to get out of the building. She thunders down the street while poorly-dressed reporters hold their hands in the air while running. Is the hand thing supposed to make her slow down, or do they all want the same taxi?

  Meanwhile, Lead Singer stays behind in the café and just watches. If he really wants to hook up with this girl, maybe he shouldn’t spend so much time worrying about the lyrics and leaning against walls in a depressed state. Move your ass, buddy.

  Montage of the tabloid office, the wedding, the stupid little hat, newspapers being printed, people running through a mysterious sheet that somebody draped in the way, and a frightening close-up of the lead singer’s mouth. He really shouldn’t have let us see that, because it’s not pretty. Why is it that British people never get their teeth fixed? I don’t get it.

  Oh wait, new tabloid headline: “Courtroom Drama!” We see some extra riding a bike and throwing a copy of the tabloid against a door. The door opens, and the lead singer, wearing jammies that no grown man should wear, peruses the story while still not worrying about ever brushing his hair.

  Cut to some (presumably) court building, where Mystery Girl comes running out, knocking those hateful paparazzi left and right as she fights her way to a waiting car. We see Lead Singer wander up, still singing and not really doing anything to fix whatever his issue is with this woman. She drives off, and he leans against a pillar in a depressed state.

  Shots of what I’m going to assume are reporters dashing to file a report, using phones with rotary dials. (Rotary dials, people. Remember those?) Lead Singer also picks up a phone, but of course he sings instead of getting his depression medication refilled. Despondent, he lets the receiver dangle forlornly, representing the sorry state of his love life and his probable impotency.

  In a nifty transitional trick, we cut to another dangling receiver. This one is in some trashy apartment where Mystery Girl is hurriedly getting dressed after an apparent tawdry night of slap and tickle. She races out of the apartment in a flurry of primping and garment-tucking. (Does this woman ever walk anywhere calmly? Settle down, honey.)

  And we have another montage. Lead Singer being sad and voyeuristic, that wedding again, Lead Singer missing opportunities to converse with the Mystery Girl because he’s too slow, the press conference where Mystery Girl apparently saw the image of the devil in a tortilla, Lead Singer singing to a potted plant (which actually might be a compatible relationship for him), and Mystery Girl dancing with that man and pretending she likes him, even though she doesn’t, and has no plans to sleep with him.

  We end with Mystery Girl walking down a sidewalk, Lead Singer Puppy running after her, and Mystery Girl turning to pose for another tabloid photo before racing off to destroy some other reporter’s self-esteem.

  Dude, she is SO not worth it. Move on.

  (And get your teeth fixed.)

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bow Wow Wow - “I Want Candy”

  We start off with what looks like an album cover splashing onto the sand as an ocean wave rolls in, then we cut to an aerial view of what might be a remote “Survivor” camp. Quick shot of some dude wearing sunglasses, then a shot of the lead singer splashing around in the ocean waves. While all of this is going on, some tech person is making everything look really purple. No idea what this means. Then again, I don’t think this band ever really knew what they were doing.

  We start cutting between zooming into the remote camp and lead singer Annabella enjoying the foaming waves far more than one would expect. Oh look, now we’re finally at the camp, and there’s the band playing their instruments in the sand. (I think it’s fair to say that none of these people went to a hair salon anywhere near you.) We get close-ups of the guitar players, as well as the drummer, who is smiling as if one of his drumsticks got misplaced and he really likes where it ended up.

  Shot of some of the band members buried in the sand up to their necks, theirs heads bopping to the beat. (Note to everyone who knows me: I don’t ever want to be buried in the sand like that. Not my thing. Nope.) There are giant candy canes randomly shoved into the ground, because that’s something you always see in the African desert. Wildebeest, Hippos, and giant pillars of sugar. That’s what everybody talks about when they go on a safari, right?

  Whoops, Annabella leaps out from behind one of the candy canes and starts bellowing the song. She’s wearing some sack dress that looks vaguely tribal, but could also be a window curtain from a trendy West End eatery. Someone has accessorized her with an odd hat. She’s apparently been told that waving your arms and bucking your hips is called “dancing”. She does this a lot.

  Back to the guys buried in the sand, but now Annabella’s joined them, and she’s lost that hat, so now we can see her trademark mohawked hairdo. (Drugs were plentiful in the early 80’s, what can I say? Lift up any rock and you could find brightly-colored pills, rubber bracelets, and a subscription form for “Interview” magazine.) Annabella is not buried like the others, though, bouncing around on the sand in an outfit designed to accentuate the fact that she might not be wearing panties.

  Zip back over to the band playing, and another mohawked somebody is trying to impress us with his smooth guitar moves. I’m really not, and this is the most boring part of the video. Where’s the bouncing girl and her liberated couture?

  There she is, still with the buried guys, and still not really understanding how to dance, jerking awkwardly. (Perhaps she also found the drummer’s missing drumstick?) Now she’s in the sack dress again, trying to remain standing up in the shifting sand. In the background, the sad giant candy canes are leaning precariously. There clearly wasn’t a really big budget on this video.

  Sudden close-up of Annabella licking a malformed ice cream cone. I suppose it was meant to be sexy, but all you can do is stare at her (missing) hair and wonder, where did you read that that looked good? They lied to you.

  Now Annabella is running about and playing tag with the giant candy canes. (Perhaps someone should tell her that if she’s the only one playing, she can’t actually win. Candy canes don’t know how to run, so it’s not really fair.)

  Next up, a montage of the boring guitar players, the weird purple sky, sand, and Annabella jumping in the air and screaming “Yeah!”, like no one has ever done that before. (The drummer is still very happy, in case you were wondering.)

  Back to Annabella in her peekaboo dress, still shimmying and rocking to tantalize us about the panty factor. She whips her braided mohawk around like she’s trying to take flight. Then she apparently gets cold, because she hugs herself but doesn’t dare let go of her designer sunglasses, which is probably the most expensive item on this whole shoot. Then she does a convulsive dance move indicating a jellyfish just bit her on the ass.

  Now she’s back in the sack dress, playing tag once more with the sand-blasted and decaying candy canes. More guitar playing (stop doing that, no one cares). The song winds down as Annabella wanders into the purple ocean, then turns to look at us seductively before turning back and plunging into the ocean to wash off the funk of this video.

  The drummer’s still happy, though. He and the drumstick later had a commitment ceremony on a nearby island…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Brandon Flowers - “Crossfire”

  We start out rather slowly, with a close-up on Brandon’s face. He seems to be studying something on the ground off  to the side, but no explanation is given. The camera lingers for quite some time, apparently so we can be sure to notice that Brandon has been in some type of physical violence and his cute little nose has been damaged in some way. Poor thing. The life of a rockstar is really, really hard.

  Okay, Brandon, you’ve been staring at whatever for too long now. Do something.

  Oh, he finally does, warbling the opening part of the song. This triggers the camera person to start walking backwards, so we can see that Brandon is wearing an outfit circa “Bonnie and Clyde”.  We can also see something to the left of Brandon that looks like Lady Gaga left her props out after an especially exuberant performance at the American Music Awards. Something involving bondage and swarthy characters running amuck.

  Brandon keeps singing, while the camera person keeps walking backwards, apparently into another region of the country. Suddenly, for no discernible reason, some guy holding something flaming flies through the air and lands on Gaga’s leftover props. I really have no idea what that might mean.

  Then some woman comes marching into the… warehouse?… where Brandon is warbling. At first, it looks like Sarah Michelle Gellar, so I’m all ready with some Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Joss Whedon comebacks. But as she gets closer and stares at possibly wimpy Brandon, I see that she’s way too tall to be the Girl from Sunnydale. As Brandon gazes at his savior, she guts some Ninja guy running in the door behind her without even checking to see who it is. She hawt, and Brandon smiles.

  Next up, Brandon is somewhere else, once again held captive and standing in front of what looks like mattress springs. He’s a little more tattered than before, so I guess it hasn’t been a really happy time for him. There’s more Ninja people running about, and one of them rudely throws a bucket of water on Brandon. He just puts up with it and waits to be rescued. Not really sure that Brandon is coming off in a good light here.

  No matter, he keeps singing, because after all this is HIS video. The Ninjas prance around and prepare implements of considerable pain while Brandon remains framed by the mattress springs. Suddenly, something like tear gas erupts, causing the Ninjas to assume slightly-stupid confrontational poses and brace themselves for what might be coming their way.

  And that would be Too-Tall Buffy, coming down an elevator shaft without using the elevator and hanging upside down with her hair in a cute little ponytail. In a surprising example of random Animal Planet violence, she whips out these star disk things and nails the two Ninjas in the forehead. They collapse to the floor, because really, who’s going to argue with accurately-thrown metal projectiles? Big Buffy drops out of the elevator shaft and stares at Brandon, with him gazing back like “my bad, got trussed up again in a discount mattress warehouse. Did you pick up a pizza on your way here? Kinda hungry.”

  Big Buffy doesn’t really say anything, but she does manage to take out another Ninja with a strategically-placed elbow thrust. Brandon smirks like he can’t wait to have the same thing happen to him when both of them are naked. I’m thinking somebody has some sexual fixation issues that even Oprah won’t dare talk about.

  Now we have Big Buffy driving some truck, and still able to annihilate random Ninja
people springing out of the shadows, without Buffy even breaking a sweat. Buffy is really starting to scare me. I mean, it’s nice that she’s got Brandon’s back, but seriously, does she have to kill everyone?

  Apparently she does. More deadly mayhem transpires as Big Buffy single-handedly eliminates everyone wearing a hooded ski mask. Once the thugs are immobilized, Big Buffy marches into yet another warehouse and whips out a giant sword thing. Maybe she’ll use it to cut the umbilical cord between Brandon and his Mommy. Let’s hope so, because Brandon clearly has some functional issues. What the hell is he doing that keeps pissing off the Ninjas?

  Big Buffy kills one remaining Ninja who apparently was watching “Seinfeld” in another room, and didn’t understand this his black-clad brothers might need some assistance. She then marches into another part of the warehouse where Brandon is hanging upside down and waiting to be rescued once again. She stares at him while he makes a smirky face, along the lines of “good to see you again, thanks for saving me once more from homicidal, attention-deficit Ninja-fixated people. I’m worthless in physical situations wherein I need to prevent people from killing me.”

  Cut to Brandon and Big Buffy in her startlingly macho pickup, headed off to who knows where. Buffy gives him a look like “dude, can you not do anything?” Brandon and his battered face indicate that the answer is a resounding, non-lethal “no”. Buffy sighs, driving the truck with one hand while using the other to pull Brandon closer to her so he can whimper in her armpit.

  Fade to black.


  Seriously, the song is great. But the message of the video? I have no idea. Something about do whatever the hell you want, even if it pisses off Ninjas, because blonde-haired women are waiting right around the corner and will rescue you at the precise moment when your failure to be all that you can be becomes most evident…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Daughtry - “September”

  We start off with just Chris and his guitar on an empty stage, which is stark and moody. He’s strumming his instrument and staring at the floor like he’s really sad, or maybe he’s trying to remember if he put cashews on his grocery list. He finally starts singing to… no one. We see that the auditorium is completely empty, so either he’s rehearsing or somebody really jacked up the ticket sales.

  As the camera moves around to show us that this is a really nice theater, with pretty wallpaper and stuff, the other band members start arriving and prepping their own instruments. (What’s up with that, not being here in time to play the song? Were they watching the end of “Dexter”? You’d think these people could afford Tivo.) Chris doesn’t bother to yell at them, continuing to sing and look pensive about things he probably shouldn’t have done.

  Somebody turns on some home movies, which begin to play on a fancy screen at the back of the stage. (The first image is of a little boy running his ass off in a yard, and I think it’s a little Chris, because there’s an empty tube of eyeliner tossed on the ground.) The rest of the band finally starts playing, and I can’t help but wonder why they are all standing so far away from him. Is this distance thing in C-Dawg's contract, or are they just scared of him?

  Next we have Chris sitting by himself in the audience, so I guess it was really bothering him that no one showed up at his concert and he took matters into his own hands. He starts watching the home movies and pictures playing on the screen, still looking sad and unsatisfied. (Does this man ever smile?) One of the snapshots is of a horrified youngster holding up a pair of underwear that he got for Christmas, probably from that one weird aunt we all had who smelled like old perfume and insisted on buying us crap like that instead of real toys.

  As the song starts to pick up speed, we get even more videos and pictures on the giant screen, which makes things a little confusing. (Bell bottoms and bad perms are flying all over the place.) We also start seeing Chris singing in some other room with gray walls (because you can’t have perky colors in a Daughtry video) that I guess he picked out as a place to sing the really loud parts of the song, so the acoustics must be pretty good. (Hey, is that the girl from the “Thompson Twins” on the screen at 1:52?)

  And we go on like this for a while, with Chris singing on stage, in the audience, and in the mysterious room where something is causing him to bend over a lot. The giant screen is still filled with embarrassing and awkward clips of days gone by, but Chris isn’t bothered by the pictures, because he now has enough money to buy new friends if anybody is stupid enough to poke fun.

  Then the really fast part of the song kicks in, with folks pounding on their guitars like somebody spiked the fruit punch, and a curtain drops off the big screen, revealing an even bigger screen where fast things are happening. Cars are zipping down highways, bad 70’s clothing comes flying at us like we’re the Death Star under attack, and big-haired women are frantically hurling pea salad at long-ago Sunday picnics.

  The band is really jamming now (even though they are still maintaining their possibly court-ordered distance from Chris), with flashing lights, jump cuts, and hundreds of yearbook photos proving that nobody had any sense in high school. (And to think that we all actually looked at ourselves in the mirror, approved of what we saw, and then we and our braces marched into Algebra class thinkin’ we all hot and stuff. God.)

  Several shots of people fishing, so I guess that was important to Chris at some point. And, big surprise, there were birthday parties in his childhood, with munchkins mainlining sugar and then cheesing for the cameras. (Ah, those were the days, back when you ate whatever you wanted because the only people who knew anything about healthy food all lived on communes and gave birth to children named Bean Sprout and Roach Clip.)

  The song finally starts winding down, the pace of the old-school videos tapers off, and Chris stops singing notes that require us to see his uvula. We wrap it up with just him and his guitar again, strumming quietly and reflecting. The stage lighting fades to just one spot on Chris in the middle of the stage. Very nice.

  Then they slip in some brief video of… I’m not sure what that is. An ultrasound? Solar flares? Alien beings sending Sarah Palin her next instructions?

  Fade to black.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Berlin - “No More Words”

  Interestingly enough, we start off with shots of the band decked out in circa 1930’s outfits and wandering around on sets for that time period. Words are scrolling up the screen, explaining that the Depression-Era 30’s were not a fun time for a lot of people, with some of them turning “to a life of guns and crime”.

  Well, yes, that’s true. But how does that apply to the lyrics of this song? Looks like we’re in for a fascinating ride. For now, I’m going to be polite and assume that drugs were not involved in the making of this video.

  The music starts, and we see the Berlin band members dolled-up in gangster outfits, with one of them eating an apple, so maybe he was an early supporter of the vegetarian movement. Suddenly, the band/gang members start shooting, and Terri Nunn comes running out of a bank with what we can assume is a bag of cash. We can also assume that it’s not hers, since bank guards are trying to kill her, and bystanders look unpleased with this development.

  Terri jumps into the getaway car with her other gang members, and they peel out. (Well, as much as you can peel out when the roads are made of dirt.) Guns appear out of the back window of the escaping vehicle, and violence ensues. A dweeby guy runs out of the bank and starts shooting at the car, but we know he’s not going to hit anything because he’s wearing glasses and isn’t cute. Dweeby guy tells a nearby sheriff, but the sheriff just wants to chaw on his tobacco and is of little use.

  Cut back to the getaway car, where most of the folks are generally happy that they were successful with the escape, but Terri is especially excited and is moved to sing about it, belting out the chorus of the song with slightly-scary determination. Things are even more complicated because her odd, duo-tone hairdo is completely distracting.

  Okay, maybe the gang didn’t get away after all, because the other band members are hanging out the windows and firing at cars that are following them. Terri’s not helping at all, because she keeps singing with an intensity that is unnatural, but the other guys are doing what they can to prevent their bloody deaths. Well, except for John Lennon, sitting to Terri’s right. But we all know he was a pacifist and didn’t believe in violence, so that’s okay. (And if John’s there, you know Yoko is somewhere nearby, like in the trunk or under the hood.)

  While the car chase continues, we cut back to the bank, where ugly people in tired outfits are figuring out what to do next. Since it’s the 30’s and they don’t have the Internet to look up options, their choices are limited.

  Now we’re at some dust-bowl camp where poor people are not being successful at providing their children with a better life. These dirty children are wandering about, proving by their bushy hair that nobody in the camp has a decent brush. As the getaway car rolls into the midst of the camp, Terri is staring at the unkempt children, her own hair perfectly coiffed despite running from the law and fighting for camera attention with that one guy in the band that is kinda cute.

  Oh wait, now we’re back on the highway, with Terri leaning out a car window and belting the chorus again, so I’m not sure what happened to the continuity. The other gang members are all celebrating, so I guess we can assume they killed all their pursuers. John Lennon, driving the car, is not as happy as the others, probably because this video goes against his invective that we should “give peace a chance”. Terri leans further out the window to show that she has cleavage, something that women weren’t allowed to do at the time unless they were in movies about strumpets who killed their lovers for the insurance.

  Now we’re back at that squatter’s camp, with Terri still in the car and studying the homeless people who have forgotten about hygiene. She glances over and sees one of her band members carrying a gun and marching toward one of the dusty urchins. I have no idea what his intentions are, but since Terri has been on a tour bus with him, she realizes he’s up to no good. She screams the famous “NOO!” in the song, and then Bonnie jumps out of the car and starts snatching away weapons from her various Clyde band members.

  Then Terri staggers around the camp, all frustrated, while the band members try to figure out what the hell the diva wants them to do this time. Well, I guess she just wants to sing some more, and she does. Once her concert is over, and it’s getting late, the gang drives off into the sunset, but not before throwing out the bag of money.

  Okay, hold up. You’ve robbed a bank, you’ve killed people (presumably, because guns were involved and no one is chasing you any more), and you’ve committed glaring fashion crimes with unsettling hairdos and outfits that are less than flattering. Now you’re going to litter? Oh no, that’s just not right.

  Quick scene with one of the homeless people running up to the spilled cash, holding bunches of it over her head, then letting it fall to the ground while looking sad. So… you haven’t had any money for so long that you don’t even know what it is anymore? No wonder you live in a tent.

  Cut to the getaway car parked outside one of those roadside motels where each room is its own little bungalow. We see shadows in one of the windows indicating that either somebody is having sex or there’s a real festive round of polka dancing going on. Ominous cars slip up to the perimeter of the motel, indicating the party might be on the verge of turning sour.

  Officers get out of the cars, turn on lights, and demand that Terri Nunn stop singing and that everybody come out with their manicured hands up. The door opens, and hey, isn’t that the dweeby guy from the bank? (Maybe not, maybe so. No one sent the script to me for approval and fact-checking.) Anyway, this guy is wearing long underwear, which makes the po-po advance on him with shotguns drawn.

  We hear the roar of a car, and suddenly the real band members are racing out from behind the building and gunning for freedom. For once, Terri’s mouth isn’t wide open as she huddles against John Lennon. (Her position would probably irritate Yoko, if she could see it, but they’ve forgotten about her and she’s still in the trunk, scribbling the lyrics to a song about Indonesian refugees.)

  Gunfire erupts, but this doesn’t stop Terri from suddenly turning to the camera and bellowing more lyrics. The sheer force of her voice helps the car move even faster, and the gang gets away, despite 700 law enforcement officers firing millions of rounds of ammunition into the back-end of the speeding car.

  As the getaway car races down an unnamed highway, we see one of the other band members scream the next occurrence of “No more words!” in the song, which I would imagine does not sit well with Terri. I’m sure that he will be fired shortly, forced to leave the band and become part of the production team that comes up with Milli Vanilli in later years. These things happen when you don’t respect the rules of vocal ownership.

  Back at the cheesy motel, the officers finally figure out that the gang got away, and they pile into cars to give chase. A bit late, since the Berlin Mobile is two states away, but they jump into their cars and race into the night anyway, because people eventually have to stop for a pee and they still might catch them. Or not.

  The video ends with that one sort-of cute band member firing a weapon into the twilight sky. This doesn’t make any sense, but most things produced in the 80’s didn’t. Except for the business with the Berlin Wall coming down.


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sara Bareilles - “King of Anything”

  We start off seeing a multi-screen image, with tributes to complacent 1950’s housewives on the bottom and disembodied hands playing a piano on the top. Oh wait, the editors helpfully show us that the “piano” is actually some carefully-arranged flatware. Perhaps this is a signal to the hands that they should eat more so that they can have an entire body.

  Oh look, there’s Sara on one side, launching into the vocals of the song. She’s wearing a tie, which no woman in the 1950’s would dare do (well, there were a few women who did, usually the same women who had an inordinate fondness for gym class), proving to us that Sara is a progressive spirit who refuses to bake pie. Good for her.

  We get a few more scenes, and we realize that Sara is sitting in some café, across the table from a man whose face we’re not allowed to see. Someone has drawn a crown over the faceless man’s head, letting us know that he’s apparently the “king” that Sara will soon be bellowing about. I like it when videos are instructive and educational. Much more refreshing than supermodels wearing eye-patches for bathing suits and constantly splashing water on themselves to cool off their steaming bodies.

  While Sara continues to sing, Faceless Man refuses to just shut up and listen to the lyrics, continually babbling about something that we conveniently can’t hear. We’ve only known him 10 seconds, and I can fully understand why Sara would want to leave him. Let him have it, girl.

  Now the bodiless hands are clapping to the beat, which is kind of festive and not quite as creepy, but is still a little disconcerting. Seriously, if you were alone in a darkened house and saw those hands coming at you, you certainly wouldn’t invite them to play a concerto or keep rhythm while you did aerobics. You’d run like hell.

  The hands clap for a long time, sliding us dangerously toward boredom, so I hope we switch it up pretty soon. I guess Sara heard me, because she suddenly stomps away from the table where the worthless king is still talking about himself and not quite understanding that he now needs to update the contact list on his phone. For some unexplained reason, Sara is wearing an outfit that looks like something Julie Andrews would make out of upholstery in “The Sound of Music”. (Maybe Sara is headed to a yodeling contest.)

  Sara trots out the door of the café, and hops on a passing city bus, which is completely empty with plenty of seats and no trash on the floor, so we know this is a dream sequence. As Sara sings some more, continuing to share the worthlessness of her just-ended relationship, we start seeing quickie snippets of marching band members playing instruments, with folks popping in and out of the bus. It seems that Sara really likes messing with things like time and space, qualities she probably picked up in her poor days in the Indie music scene.

  The bus finally gets wherever, and now Sara is in.. a store?… where they sell really flat guitars. We still have the multi-screen thing going on, and in this case it makes Sara look like she has a really long neck. (My mind, for whatever reason, instantly flashes to ancient Egypt and Cleopatra abusing charcoal as makeup. Then I remember other things, like cheating lovers and death by snake venom, so maybe I wasn’t supposed to go there.)

  Sara keeps singing, and now she’s got some cute little dance moves to go with her vocals, so everybody’s having a really good time. (The band members keep popping in and out of the frames, and I don’t really care for them, but at least they don’t stay around very long.) The whole time Sara is there, I don’t see a single customer buying the flat guitars, so I don’t think this shop is going to make it.

  Here’s a slow bit of the song, with Sara looking really pretty amid a collection of Polaroid’s that have come to life. Pale green is definitely her color. And I’m so glad she ditched the Austrian Hooters outfit.

  Next thing you know, Sara’s in some garden where the dress code includes lacey support garments and poofy ballet tutus. The creepy hands are back, but everything’s so pretty that you don’t really mind them as much. (Of course, this is exactly what the hands want. They wait until you’re distracted and complacent, then they will take your life quicker than a politician can change his story.)

  Sara and her underwear sing and dance for a while, performing some intricate choreography that includes raising her hands over her head and wearing bright lipstick. (The flowers in the background keep changing, so you know they’ve got this poor girl running her butt off to get all these shots.) Quick glimpse of one of the horn players from the band, but it doesn’t really add anything to the emotion of the scene, so he probably could have just stayed on the bus.

  We end the song with the multi-screen business really going crazy, and we get bits and pieces of flowers, keyboards, Sara, her ring in the shape of a crown, and those murderous hands just waiting for their moment of evil and destruction. The video ends with Sara gazing into the sky and considering her new life where she doesn’t have to accommodate useless monarchs with no actual land titles.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Far East Movement, Stereotypes - “Girls On the Dance Floor”

  Okay, a few confessions up front. I had no idea this group was so huge in the rest of the world, proving that I don’t get out much. Second, there are about 400 million people in this video, so I don’t know which people are from Far East Movement and which people are from Stereotypes. Besides, with all the hundreds of bouncing people and the thousands of shimmying breasts, I can’t tell what body parts belong to whom.

  Oh, and because I don’t think any scene in this video lasts longer than 1.743 seconds, with constant jump-cutting from here to Buffalo and back, there’s no way I can develop a storyline to go with this thing. So I’m just going to make observational commentary at critical time points in the video. Ready? Go.

0:01 Some guy standing on a mountain.

0:03 Some guy trying to jump-start his crotch.

0:05 Some girl having sex with air.

0:07 More of the mountain guy.

0:09 Extended shot (for this video) of a girl being very friendly with a pillar.

0:18 Three guys trying to do the Macarena, but only one of them kind of remembers the moves.

0:19 Astronauts in a car.

0:23 People wearing tinfoil on stage.

0:26 Somebody screwing with a blue record on a turntable.

0:32 The Macarena guys are still trying to remember the steps.

0:40 Some guy throws a gold, sparkly purse at some paparazzi. Two people die.

0:47 Some guy is trying to swallow a microphone. His homeys keep dancing.

0:50 What’s up with that ponytail?

0:54 The two remaining members of TLC bump fannies while a lost cheerleader in the background tries to find the rest of her squad.

1:00 A woman’s chest is being attacked  by colorful fishies. She raises her arm to signal for medical personnel.

1:05 The guy on the mountain has gas.

1:08 The astronauts in that car are really mad about something.

1:12 Chewbacca from “Star Wars” makes a cameo. No explanation is given. Nobody screams, so I guess things are okay.

1:14 Some guy grabs his crotch. Thank you, rappers of America, the need to fondle your junk has now gone global. Makes me proud.

1:17 Some drunk girl with an odd red belt thinks she’s all that. She’s not.

1:24 Some guy poses in front of a leftover publicity still from Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”.

1:26 Slutty girls dance with a guy sitting on a toilet. Seriously. I can’t even begin to understand what this means. And I don’t want to.

1:30 Metropolis guy shows us how to count tequila shots. Thank you for that. Couldn’t have done it without you.

1:41 Are those guys flipping us off?

1:45 Toilet guy sings a few words while one of the sluts prevents him from gaining access to the seat liners. She mean. Then Toilet Guy takes a call while the sluts continue to dance. I think this scene right here might explain everything that has gone wrong in Society.

2:01 More astronauts. Shouldn’t these guys be trying to fly something somewhere?

2:03 Limber woman shows her cooter to anybody that wants to look.

2:09 Is that Eminem?

2:13 More bouncing.

2:26 Trying not to judge, but something about this shot says “Ku Klux Klan”.

2:30 Chewbacca proves that he got street moves. Not that he’s going to remember them in the morning.

2:27 Another girl having sex with air. Is this the new thing?

2:43 Moby?

2:49 Can that girl look any less impressed about being groped by a stranger?

2:52 Shout out to the lesbians in the audience.

2:58 Some girl on stage gets electrocuted. Poor thing.

3:06 Drunk girls holding signs. If they try really hard, they might find work at wrestling matches.

3:13 Drag queen gone wild.

3:18 Woman with exposed  butt-crack proves that she likes metal accessories.

3:23 Chewbacca loses his mask. This would never have happened if George Lucas was in charge.

3:28 Astronauts, still not reporting for duty.

3:32 Guy on mountain tries directing us back to a place where things make sense.

3:34 Some girl doesn’t understand that “In Living Color” was cancelled a long time ago and she can’t be a Fly Girl.

3:41 People not understanding that you really shouldn’t stand up in convertibles traveling at high rates of speed. (Is that Michael Jackson leaning over the windshield?)

3:42 Confused individual dancing upside down, while a young Shania Twain watches from the right.

3:54 The song ends and the camera pans to some bright lights on the ceiling. I’m thinking the last thing these people need is more stimulation.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, October 11, 2010

One Republic - “Secrets”

  We start off with a woman in a trench-coat thing rudely jaywalking across a suspiciously un-busy city street in some downtown area. It’s either very overcast or very smoggy, so the rest of the population might be inside their homes, trying to breathe. The woman gets to the other side of the street and touches her hair sadly, which causes the screen to go black. (That’s some powerful hair.)

  Cut to One Republic performing in some big room where the walls are composed of giant dirty sheets, so we can understand that everybody’s kind of moody today. Quick shots of the lead singer, then the other band members playing their instruments. These people are clearly not happy.

  Back to the woman, who has arrived at a cute little restaurant with tables outside. No one else is there, so she’s either really early or the food is terrible. She and her trench-coat take a seat and wait to see if anybody actually shows up to take her order.

  Back to the band, with everybody still looking morose and the lead singer refusing to look at the camera. (What has he done that he’s so embarrassed about? Did it involve farm animals and/or outfits with lots of shiny buckles and strategic bits of clothing removed?)

  Back to the restaurant with Unnamed Woman (let’s call her Greta) sitting at her table. A serving wench finally wanders up, holding out a menu, and Greta does an odd Wiccan hand movement to indicate her desires, which includes the wench removing the empty glass on the other side of the table. The wench snatches the glass and then runs off to neglect other patrons.

 We have the band performing again, and now the lead singer has discovered that if he hides behind the giant, billowing dirty curtain, we can see him in silhouette. The first time he does this, he looks oddly pregnant, so there might be a lot more going on here than we realize. The drummer doesn’t care, and continues to bang out the beat.

  The restaurant again, with Greta being served both a glass of champagne and what looks like a gin and tonic, so she’s either a speed drinker or an alcoholic. She doesn’t seem very inspired about the double beverages, so there might not be any way we can stop her from a downward spiral into endless depression. This happens when you wear trench-coats and jaywalk.

  More of the band singing the song, even though the lead singer still refuses to face the camera. More shots of Greta being dissatisfied. Oh wait. A few tables behind Greta, we can see the lead singer with his hand covering an empty glass. Perhaps he doesn’t want to drink, knowing that Greta is keeping the bartender busy with her double-fisted consumption.

  This goes on for a while, with Greta at one table and the lead singer at another, neither of them having any fun and looking very distraught about pointless things that we don’t understand. Then the lead singer disappears, probably because the rest of the band is getting a little irritated that he ran out in the middle of a slow-jam session.

  Whoops, he’s back at the restaurant, proving that he has special magical abilities and putting a whole different spin on things. Then he’s with the band again, so I’m thinking maybe I should just ride this out and quit trying to think of witty things to say until the lead singer decides where he really wants to be.

  So we go into this long montage of various scenes, with Greta sad at her table, the lead singer alternating between shadow play with the band and toying with Greta at the restaurant, and Greta diddling with her napkin, doing some sort of linen origami. (It’s probably not necessary that I should mention that none of this is making any sense.)

  Oh look, now Greta is fed up with whatever, and is stomping away from her table. (It doesn’t appear that she left a tip, so in support of food servers everywhere we must hate her even if she’s pretty.) Greta heads out into the streets of this unnamed city, and during her stroll she passes the lead singer. Neither of them appear to notice each other, even though we know they are intimately connected in some mystical way, so it’s not clear if they have amnesia or if this is one of those spy movies where bitter people do torturous things to each other in the name of international justice and then pretend that they didn’t really do anything.

  Quick shot of the lead singer standing near a lamppost and singing, still avoiding the camera even though we’ve already seen his entire face and could easily pick him out in a police lineup. In the distance, we can see Greta trying to cross a street against the light and narrowly avoiding death from an impatient black car. That girl needs to pay attention or she’s never going to be happy. Or alive.

  More montage, with Greta still stomping about the city and angry about the developments in her life, and the lead singer unable to stay in one place, transporting between the quickly-getting-boring jam session in the room with the stupid window treatments and various locations on the city streets where he watches Greta in her forlorn quest to walk herself to death. (If she can’t figure out by now that she’s being stalked, then she deserves to wear drab clothing and not have satisfactory dining experiences at trendy but deserted restaurants.)

  Suddenly, Greta turns a corner and is heading down an alley. There’s no one around, so she’s not in any immediate danger, but she decides that this is not her career path and she turns back around. (She’s really flighty, this girl.) The lead singer watches her go, but still does nothing, because the script clearly says that he should remain aloof but watchful.

  Wait, we’re back at the restaurant, and some guy we don’t know is fiddling with Greta’s origami napkin. He’s also pawing her unfinished glass of champagne. (Some people really don’t understand the concept of personal space. Granted, she left without tipping anybody, but still, you don’t mess with other people’ things, even in unnamed cities where the sun never shines and the citizens don’t pay enough attention to detail.)

  Well, there goes Greta jaywalking again, then she re-enters the restaurant and spies the new man playing with her props. She pauses and considers her next move. The lead singer wanders up and whispers something into her ear, words that appear to be the line “all my secrets away” from the song. Greta understands this whispered warning much more than we do, and she turns away, leaving the restaurant and probably planning to jaywalk again, because she’s too busy avoiding confrontational situations to pay attention to pedestrian regulations.

  The song ends with New Man still piddling around with the napkin, the lead singer wandering off to who knows where, and Greta once again stomping the city streets, possibly smiling at her latest decision, but it’s really unclear. The final shot is of a pigeon taking flight.

  No idea.

  So the moral of the story is…. be indecisive about the men in your life and where you want to eat, and eventually you can fly. Got it.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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