Tuesday, November 30, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Evanescence - “Bring Me To Life”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Hey, is that Jack Nicholson at 2:03?

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

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

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

  Really sad. But we were expecting this, yes?

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

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

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

  Fade to gothic black.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stone Sour - “Through Glass”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pink - “Who Knew”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  More scenes of rides whirling and people eating fried things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Pink - “So What”

  We start out with Pink at a tattoo parlor (imagine that!) where she’s having them cover up tatts concerning her now ex-husband, Corey, with a big ole “VOID”. Cut to Pink driving a lawn mower down a busy highway, swigging from a go-cup that probably doesn’t contain chamomile tea. People are not happy with her slow-ass contraption, but we know it doesn’t bother Pink for one second.

  Interestingly enough, real-life Corey is playing video Corey (guess they parted amicably, but you wouldn’t know it from the lyrics of this song), and we first see him covering Pink’s eyes when she warbles the bit about “I just lost my husband, I don’t know where he went”. More shots of Pink on that lawnmower, giving attitude to the other cars that seem to have a problem with her.

  Pink has such a fun life. Just sayin.

  Now we have Pink in a guitar store, wearing a pantsuit that we haven’t seen since “Charlie’s Angels” went off the air. She torments the sales guy by taking one of the expensive guitars and banging it on the floor like she just spotted a cockroach. He stupidly tries to stop her, so she naturally punches him in the face and gets all Rambo on his ass. Don’t mess with a girl that has unlimited access to peroxide.

  Next up is Pink marching out of her house and up to a tree that has “Alecia and Corey” carved inside a heart. She’s lugging a chainsaw, so it’s probably not a good day for the tree. She starts sawing away, wood bits flying while a nosey neighbor stares from the next yard. (Dude, there’s been a breakup, get your ass back inside and watch ESPN.)

  But Dude doesn’t listen, until the tree falls toward him while Pink does a high-kick in the air. She then does a victory dance involving thrusting the chainsaw over her head while raping the air with her pelvis. She must be really happy about her deforestation efforts.

  Cut to Pink in a bar setting, where she’s singing the bit in the song about the waiter giving her table to Jessica Simpson. (Why either of them would be in this place is not clear, because it’s not that cool and they both have buttloads of cash.) Anyway, Pink is irritated by some slacker guy at the bar who thinks it’s still okay to do the “Wayne’s World” shtick. Pink decides that there are better things in life to be doing.

  So she hops on a motorcycle (after apparently stopping at a drive-thru salon so she can get a new hairdo) and heads out. While waiting at a stop sign, a couple of newlyweds make a bad career choice by pulling up alongside her. Pink takes one look at the happy nerds, and decides to unleash. Next thing you know, she’s throwing beer cans at the duo, erasing the shoe-polish “just married” crap, popping their balloons, and climbing on top of the car to pound on the roof.

  Pink might have some unresolved issues that she needs to work through. Just a thought.

  Then, in my favorite shot of the entire video, Pink sits down in the middle of the road next to her motorcycle, and has another beer. This woman has her priorities in order. Screw Corey.

  But Pink isn’t done with getting the anger out of her system. We cut to her on some paparazzi runway, where she whips off her purple slicker while the cameras flash at her completely naked body. Oh my. She then performs a dance move from the “Thriller” video, which is just icing on the cake. I so want to be Pink in that moment. (Yes, I have my own issues which require public nudity for resolution. Sue me.)

  Now Pink is at a hair salon again (surely she gets frequent-flyer miles considering how many times she shows up there) while some confused queen works on her Tippi Hedren hairdo. Pink is stupidly playing with a lighter, so when the queen activates his high-pressure hairspray, Pink’s head goes up in flames. No idea what this is supposed to mean, but Pink has fun pretending to scream and writhe in pain.

  Now real-life Corey is back, with him and Pink pretending to hate each other but you know that they don’t. Despite the distraction of Pink wearing a Dogpatch, USA outfit, Corey is able to act like he’s bored with Pink’s whining.

  Cue Pink in an alley somewhere, sliding down the wall so she might have some motor-skills issues, then zip over to Pink performing on a stage where there’s lots of out-of-control fires burning. (Did she not learn from that surprising salon visit?) Scene with Pink signing autographs on the foreheads of adoring and probably-stoned fans. More of the performance on the fire stage, with Pink wearing enough eyeliner to fund several third-world countries. She sure likes to bounce a lot.

  Back to that alley where Pink had trouble standing up, and we see two guys peeing into beer bottles. (I’m so scared right now I can barely breathe.) Pink takes the bottles and hands them to two other guys, who take a swig and then spew.

  Okay, I’m all for complete destruction of ex-lovers via music and lawnmower-riding. But what the hell was that, Pink?

  Now she’s in a hotel room where guys wearing underwear are having a pillow fight, with the requisite goose feathers wafting about. (There’s a few girls in the mix as well, but we don’t care.) This leads to a montage of all the angry Pink’s we’ve seen up to this point, and the over-riding theme seems to be, if you break up with me, I am going to destroy life as we know it. Which is perfectly understandable. Men are pigs and global destruction is an inevitable result of that.

  Final scene is of Pink and Corey, still pretending to be mad at each other. But we know it’s a lie. Pink would never change her hairstyle this many times if she wasn’t still in love….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Rob Thomas - “Someday”

  We start off with shots of lots of cars stuck in gridlocked traffic, and no one is very happy. People are arguing and making strained faces at one another, taxi cab drivers look even more bitter than usual, and there’s a general sense of unease, disappointment and the wrinkling of expensive dry-cleaning.

  Rob hops out of his taxi to see what the hold up might be, but since it isn’t immediately clear, he decides to start singing for the hell out it, walking down the street and warbling. (Note the blond-haired woman on the right, shoving as much of her body out the car window as she can, struggling to make the best of her tiny cameo. She is determined to be a star, damn it.) More shots of depressed people sitting in their vehicles and pondering the worthlessness of non-moving transportation devices. (Even the little kiddies seem to need therapists.)

  Rob keeps strolling along, and a few other people hop out of their cars and start following him. After all, if his destination is making him sing, then they want to go there, too. Maybe there will be free alcohol. Yay!

  As Rob breaks into the chorus, we see that some of the despondent people are starting to feel a little better, which means Rob must be a shaman of some type, healing troubled psyches through the power of rhyming couplets. (Rob smirks at the camera, as if we’re only beginning to see the first of his many amazing abilities.) One sad woman that was leaning against a building is now so overwhelmed with joy that she appears prepared to sleep with Rob right there on the street if they can find an empty stretch of pavement.

  Quick shot of some youngish folks running along and carrying giant fake trees. They are really excited, but they don’t bother to tell us what’s going on. (No one in any of the cars even bats an eye, so this must be a common site in this city.)

  Some lady in one of the cabs starts singing along with Rob as he passes her open window, and her face completely lights up, like the pleasure of her vocalizations is so intense that she will never need another sexual partner for the rest of her life. Meanwhile, Rob is still strolling, and a tiny girl dressed like a bumble bee comes flying around a corner and slams into him with the force of an American Gladiator on steroids. But instead of chastising the tyke for reckless driving, Rob just pats her little belly and sends her off to slam into someone else. (Dude, children, especially children with identity issues like this one, need guidance in life, not belly pats.)

  Next Rob encounters one of those street musicians playing her guitar. There’s something really wrong with her hair and the way she’s dancing to her strumming, but Rob doesn’t seem to mind. He sings with her for a bit, then pays her for her part in the video by throwing some coinage in her hat. Rob saunters away while the musician grins madly and shows us a profile shot of her mystifying hair.

  We have a montage of all the previously-displeased people we first encountered, showing that all of them are now having the best time of their lives, hopping out of their cars to join Rob in his march to a Better Someday. Rob eventually makes his way to a barricade in the street, where folks are pawing at each other to get a shot of something. Well, Rob just has to see what’s going on, so he easily slips through the crowd, with people practically leaping out of his way because he’s the star and all.

  And we see what appears to be a Love Parade, with people waving colorful signs sporting up-with-people and earth-positive messages. (It’s actually pretty cool, so I don’t want to dampen the effort here with snarkiness. I shall now have a moment of sarcasm-silence in tribute.)


  Okay, done. The parade of uplifting imagery continues, including a walking and waving mini-forest that explains the tree-dashing we witnessed earlier. We have a giant dove, the littler slammer girl and her bumble bee friends, an angel choir, dancing “world peace” symbols” that are having some coordination issues because nobody thought of putting eyeholes in the costumes, and a groovy bus covered with vibrant and happy symbols. Throughout all of this, we are treated to shots of Rob singing in the crowd, inspiring those around him to swoon with biodegradable and nontoxic fervor.

  The angel choir decides that Rob’s heavenly vocals are just what they need to make their ensemble complete, so they wave them over to their float and he hops aboard. (One of the women is a bit too enthusiastic, wrapping her arms around him from behind and appearing unwilling to let go until she gets a ring out of it. Rob politely ignores her until he can perform a dance step that will “accidentally” shove her back into her section of the choir.)

  And that’s how we wind things down. Rob and the Divine Thomases bellowing in unison, the rest of the people in the parade joyously shimmying with their placards, and the watching crowd showing all the love they possibly can, fully supportive, without a single counter-protestor in sight to detract from the celebration.

  Which is how it should be, right?


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Pink - “Glitter In The Air”

Folks, I can’t even dare try to make fun of this one. It’s a beautiful, LIVE performance that is just beyond description or critical analysis. It would be wrong of me to belittle this in any way. And therefore, we have my first “Just Watch the Video” award. Enjoy.
The original video released by Pink:

And Pink live at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Basically the same performance, but watch the sometimes jaded audience go from stunned amazement to standing ovation:

George Michael - “Faith”

  We start off with the iconic image of that jukebox in black-and-white while we hear a scratchy recording of “I Want Your Sex“. The camera moves in so we can watch the inner mechanisms of the machine while it slaps another disc on the player, and we cut to George’s butt in those decade-defining acid-washed jeans while the first strains of “Faith” seep into the soundtrack. And there’s that leather jacket that he will later destroy in another video. Ah, memories.

  Zip to another shot of the jukebox, but this time we see the lower half of some chippie wearing startling purple high heels, so we can understand that she’s daring but still trampy. Slide to the right, and there’s George’s lower half as well, so we can understand that he’s daring but still in the closet. The camera pans up to show George’s face, with him sporting an immaculately-groomed starter beard, the sunglasses, and the cross earring that tells us he’s religious (or something) but still hip.

  George starts tapping his cowboy-booted foot against the jukebox, then we cut to him playing a guitar, followed by another gratuitous butt shot. (Let’s face it folks, George was hot in this video, so they might as well show him shaking one of his money-makers.) Next we have a montage of George still banging on that guitar, with the scenes flopping around from black-and-white to color, so we can understand that somebody on his crew had access to a really fancy video editor at the time.

  The guitar-playing goes on for a while, and even though George is cute and everything, it starts to get a bit repetitive. Luckily, someone on the production staff changes things up a bit, so we switch to George’s leather-gloved hands clapping over his head, and the original tart on the left side of the jukebox tapping her slut heels in time to the rhythm. This is an improvement, but I can’t really say it transports me to a nirvanic place and time.

  Now George is playing his guitar next to the jukebox, and shaking his booty like something really irritating is in his jeans. He does a couple of twirl moves to show that he’s really serious about his mastery of this instrument, but I really don’t see that it’s necessary for him to act like he’s got crabs once again. (At 2:10 in the video he performs a stunning squat-thrust move that will have you re-thinking any prior conception of what might happen in the privacy of a bedroom.)

  More shots of some hands without gloves snapping their fingers in the air. George is really appreciative of percussion, apparently. This is followed by George waving his hand in the air and not even touching his guitar, so I guess this is something you have to do if you want the music to sound right on the single. Shortly after that, George shoves the… top end? not sure what to call it… part of the guitar at the camera, which seems kind of threatening to me. Does George hate us? Why is he doing that?

  Quick montage of cowboy-boots tapping, slut heels tramping, and anonymous fingers snapping. It might just be me, but I’m thinking somebody was being a bit of a slacker in the story department here. Then again, it was the 80’s, and all hell broke loose when it came to music videos. I miss that, compared to the auto-programmed crap that comes out these days, so I should probably just shut up and watch.

  Now we have George in silhouette, still pounding on that guitar that nobody cares about. (We want butt shots! We want butt shots!) He looks vaguely like a young Elvis, so that might be what George was going for, but since drugs were involved with everything that happened in the 80’s, there’s really no telling. At one point, George squats on the ground and aims his guitar at the losers who thought he should never have left “Wham”, which was a big brouhaha at the time. But seriously. Andrew Ridgeley? He just wanted to race cars. Cut the cord.

  And once more with shots of the tramp tapping her foot on the jukebox, only now she’s wearing pink shoes instead of purple. Not sure what this means, but her footwear doesn’t really matter when it comes to George. She ain’t gonna score. Unless she can somehow magically transform herself into an undercover cop at a park bathroom. I’m thinking that’s not gonna happen.

  And back to George banging on that damn guitar that I’m starting to really not like. Dude, we don’t know you as a guitar player, we know you as a singer with a great voice. Quit frontin’. But he’s not listening to me. More of the guitar-playing, and more of the pointy cowboy boots shuffling about the stage. The boots have steel tips, which George is going to need when the paparazzi turn on him in a few years.

  The song winds down with George and his sunglassed-self  still insisting that he be all street with the guitar. Luckily, somebody got the memo about his ass, so he’s back to shaking that thing. George does one final twirl so we can once again read the words on the back of his leather jacket.

  “BSA” and “Revenge”. A misspelling of “USA” and a Eurythmics album. That pretty much sums up the Reagan 80’s, don’t you think?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lifehouse - “First Time”

Editor’s Note: Not a whole lot happens in this video, but that’s why I’m here, to help you through the rough spots. And, go!

We start out in a really white room, with the band members wearing white as well. There seems to be a classical motif to the design of the room, but that might just be a flashback from me watching too much HGTV. They play for a bit, so we can get used to them in this sterile setting. In the psychological field, this is known as “conditioning”. In the music video field, this is known as “we really weren’t sure how to start the video”.

The lead singer starts in with the lyrics, and we immediately cut to a couple strolling along in some place that we don’t know. (There are payphones on the wall, so at least they have communication with the outside world, should it be necessary.) Oh wait, there’s another couple somewhere else, with the guy riding a skateboard, so you know the woman is bored out of her skull with the childish actions of her beau. (Why is it SO hard for women to find men who have left the playground behind? Seriously.)

Back to the lead singer, who breaks into the chorus, causing his guitar to change from white to something a bit more colorful. Oh? This red color then bleeds down onto the lead singer. The other band members don’t seem to think this is odd, so I’ll let it go for now, but on a personal level, I don’t want music that changes my personal color palette. It’s just a thing with me.

Whoops, now the red color is seeping onto the drummer as well, so I’m starting to really not like this evil invasion of a primary color. First, it’s just rude, and second, I don’t care for the Republican symbolism. But I guess it’s not all about me, and I should just shut up and keep watching.

Well, maybe I can’t. Now the red color is on the guitar player. This is clearly an invasion of some kind, and people need to be notified of the emergency condition. (Would YOU think kindly of me if I noticed that people were being transformed against their will and I didn’t alert the authorities? I think not.) Trouble is, who do you call in a situation like this?

Now the red color is climbing the walls, so all hell must be breaking loose. (It’s just like the mid-term elections! Save us all!) But there is at least one calming factor, in that the band members are not bothered in the least, so I’ll try once again to remain calm and just try to absorb the artistic vision of the director for this video. (Which is apparently Sarah Palin.)

Cut to some people frolicking on a beach, which seems much less lethal and destructive, so let’s see what those folks are up to. Well, before we can learn anything, we cut to another couple walking on a bridge. Then back to the beach couple, with the woman drawing a heart around her man as he lies in the sand. Um, love will build a bridge? Who knows.

We revisit the previously-white room with the band, where the red has taken over the ceiling and part of two walls. This can’t be good. I’m assuming that the band will be killed fairly soon, so I hope they said loving things to their partners before they left for the video shoot this morning. The band still seems to be happy, so I guess as long as you have music, you can face any obstacles. That’s a nice message. They’ll still probably be killed, but it’s nice.

The lead singer kicks some device on the floor that accelerates the vengeful red color, and now most of the room is awash with the blood of manic perpetrators. This is intermixed with shots of the beach couple on the verge of having sex. I should probably warn them that doing so will result in sand getting in crevices that they didn’t know they had, but I’m more concerned with the fate of the band, so I’ll let it go.

Quick shot of happy people riding bicycles and waving their hands in the air. Typical. Folks are being slaughtered in other parts of the world, but jaded people don’t care and choose to pursue recreational activities.

Back to the band, where the red paint has just about achieved dominance over the room. The band is still playing, unaware of their dooms, although the lead singer is scrunching his face up like he knows something is wrong, or maybe he just wore that one risky pair of underwear that can ride up at the wrong moment. Then the stupid guitar player actually helps the red paint finish up it’s transformation of the room. Well, fine, then. I can’t save you people if you’re going to willingly consort with the enemy. You’re on your own, and I’m just going to blog.

Zip over to another scene, where it appears that a soldier is returning from deployment to be with his family. And I will not say a word against this. Wish it could happen for everybody that has been called to serve in military conflicts that are not based in truth. (Liberal? Perhaps. Reality? Most definitely.) The couple smooches, and all is good.

Quick shots of the skateboard couple (I think) at a tattoo parlor, fully in love and tonguing each other while they wait for their skin to be pierced. Not sure what we’re saying here, but let’s call it freedom of choice and be happy about that.

We wind things down with the band performing in the totally red room, the beach couple not caring about where the sand might get, the bridge couple happy that they crossed the bridge, and the skateboard couple deciding that if one of them wants to risk his life while riding a skinny something on wheels, well, that’s just fine. Everybody loves everybody, and all is good.

But seriously. If that red crap starts appearing on my walls, there’s gonna be a fight. Sayin.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Rihanna, Drake - “What’s My Name?”

  We start off with random shots of some city. It’s probably New York, because I seem to recognize the bridges, but it’s really not important. Cut to a convenience store of some kind, where Drake is standing around doing nothing, and Rihanna, and that new vibrant hair of hers that I’m not used to, comes waltzing in with a piece of fishnet caught in her ‘do.

  Drake decides that he’s got to have himself some of that, so he follows Rihanna and her mismatched outfit to the dairy aisle, where Rihanna presumably just wants to buy some milk. Drake starts rapping, and his words make it very clear that the most important thing to him, ever, is having sex with women who accessorize with fishing gear. He bumps up against Rihanna, and instead of slapping him like a normal New Yorker would do, Rihanna wants him so bad that she drops her little carton of milk, creating a mess on the floor. She likes her spilled milk however she can get it.

  At one point, with both of them humping the reach-in refrigerator, Drake waves his hand like Rihanna all stinky, but she lets this pass as well, proving that she must be drunk because a sober Diva would not put up with hints that she’s unclean in some way.

  Now we start getting shots of Rihanna sitting in a plastic chair, and glimpses of various people on the streets. We don’t know who they are yet, so we don’t care. More shots of Rihanna making love to herself, followed by shots of Drake trying to take over that job assignment. (We also seem to be focusing on Rihanna’s choice of various shades of nail polish. No explanation is given. Maybe we’ll find out what that means later.)

  Next we have Rihanna, in her… I don’t know, Pussycat Dolls-joins-the-circus outfit, parading up and down various streets. (At one point she feels the need to shake her booty outside a discount clothing store, so I guess she really likes a good sale.) We’re also seeing more of those other people walking around, and most of them seem to be carrying drums, or things that could be used as drums in a pinch. Are we headed to a tribal celebration of some kind? Stay tuned.

  Rihanna decides to pour Drake some alcohol, even though I’m thinking it’s really not necessary, he’s already willing to do anything that Rihanna wants, as long as that anything includes nakedness and the sounds of bed springs creaking. They toast each other, probably because they both got invited to perform at the MTV Music Awards.

  Back to Rihanna still marching around on the streets, and people tromping along to somewhere that requires them to bring percussion instruments. Brief shot of what might be Jason Castro from that one season of American Idol where questionable people made it really far. (Oh wait, that would be all of them.) Jason is just carrying a set of drumsticks, without the drums, so maybe he didn’t read the whole email.

  At some point, Rihanna decides that she really loves a particular stretch of chain-link fence, so she proceeds to cootchie up to it and rub body parts on the metal to show that she’s hot for things that keep people away from her. Except for Drake. More inserts of Rihanna and Drake fondling each other’s fine couture and acting like they can’t live, if living is without some slap and tickle.

  Rihanna sings the amazing line: “Every door that you enter, I will let you in.” First, if he’s already entered, then whether or not you want him to enter is a moot point. Second, you nasty. (To underscore this point, we have a quick shot of Rihanna from behind, wearing short shorts so tight that I’m surprised her love box isn’t waving a white flag.)

  More people walking with drums. They really need to resolve this angle of the story. How many times can you see people jaywalking with modified things that you can beat on?

  Montage of Rihanna and that hair from various angles. And more shots of Drake trying to score him some Umbrella Ella. Lots of shots. With no actual scoring. Dude needs to carry through or get out, know what I’m sayin?

  And finally, we get to where all these drum people were heading. It appears to be one of the portals to Hell, so I don’t really know if this is a good thing. But folks don’t seem to mind, especially Rihanna. While most of the party happily beats on drums, Rihanna takes advantage of yet another opportunity to gyrate in her skimpy outfit. In fact, she marches to the center of the gathering so we can clearly see that she is wearing some badly-manufactured pantyhose. This inspires the drummers to beat even harder, so I guess nobody cares about quality craftsmanship anymore, as long as there’s a rhythm that they can follow.

  Pointless shot of Rihanna and Drake eating Chinese takeout, followed by a shot of Rihanna hitting Drake with a pillow, because that’s super sexy.

  And we close things out with a montage of Rihanna and Drake not really having sex, Rihanna still in love with metal fencing, Rihanna still in love with hair that could help a plane land, Jason Castro pounding on drums at the entrance to Satan’s lair, Rihanna straddling that plastic chair in a blouse that somebody forgot to finish making, and another cameo from Rihanna’s nails, clutching Drake’s hand in a firm grip indicating that Drake will probably not get to spend the night.

  Final shot is of Drake leaning in to do something with his mouth to Rihanna’s ear. Based on her expression, it doesn’t matter what he does. Nobody gets to stay in a Rihanna video any longer than she wants them to…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Train - “If It’s Love”

  We start off with a disclaimer that after years of touring, Train took some time off. And the following is what they did in their spare time. Okay, then, let’s see.

  Zoom in on Pat sitting at a makeup station, while some specialist makes sure that his hair retains that “just got out of bed look even though I paid someone hundreds of dollars to individually place each strand of hair”. The technician finishes and scurries off, so Pat stands up to admire the work as well as his all white outfit. He then puts on a black jacket and goes off to apparently not tour.

  He walks into a bedroom that might have been decorated by the first person kicked off of this season’s “Design Star”. (Vern would scream and run from the room.) He sits on the bed and starts singing. Right in the middle of his vocals, he decides to take a nap, pulling the blankets over him. Well, I suppose you can sleep whenever you want if you’re not touring, but seriously, dude, we’re in the middle of a video.

  Whoops, Pat is sitting back up on the bed and the covers aren’t messed up, so maybe I only imagined that last little bit. Pat sings some more for a while, and it gets just a wee bit boring, so my mind wanders and I wonder about things like where did he find that old-fashioned TV tray and what the hell happened to that lampshade.

  Cut to Pat singing with the band, which I thought they weren’t supposed to be doing right now, but everybody looks happy so I guess I shouldn’t quibble. They appear to be performing at some fancy shindig with velvet ropes keeping the unpopular people away from the good stuff. Paparazzi are dashing about and I’m sure Paris Hilton is around somewhere, trying to figure out how she can make this event about her.

  Now we have the story of what Jimmy did on his down time, when he apparently “tried new and inventive ways to raise money”. We see him at a pawn shop trying to unload a guitar, and I hate to break it to good ole Jimmy, but that’s not really a new and inventive thing to do. People have been going to pawn shops since they invented expensive drugs. Jimmy does get some cash, but he’s dissatisfied with the amount and stomps out of the store, realizing that with a tight budget he can only get his head waxed every other week.

  More of the band singing, and I notice that there are several people not even watching the band do their thing. These people get on my nerves at concerts. Why are you even here if you’re not going to hold your hands over your head and quiver like orgasms are wracking your body? And I don’t care if you are just an extra hired for this video shoot, not knowing the difference between Train and Caboose, get into character or you will never be hired for another fake audience.

  Next up is what Scott did last summer, which involves trying to sell his songs while standing beside a busy road. (Just me, or is this band not all that creative when they aren’t making music?) Some rich guy finally pulls up in his fancy car, handing over some cash for one of Scott’s CD’s with its crappy album art. Scott then does a jig of happiness before racing off to meet his inbred relatives for the barn dance over in Vagina Holler.

  And more of the band singing. This time the crowd seems far more enthusiastic, so they must have gotten the memo I sent earlier. The paparazzi go crazy with camera flashes when Pat does one of his signature moves, an interesting mix of street cool and Herman Munster changing a light bulb. One girl in the front of the crowd is so excited she nearly gives birth.

  We now learn that Train “even made some TV appearances”. Oh? Cut to Pat wearing some farm boy getup, complete with ball cap. It’s not that attractive, but the other guys are dressed as giant chickens, so Pat should really keep quiet or they’ll find something even more embarrassing for him to wear. The show they are taping appears to be some version of “Dancing with the Poultry Stars”, with the giant chickens trying to pop-and-lock without tripping over hay bales. Pat is not impressed with any of this, so he just stands there and waits for the shame to recede.

  The little director guy doesn’t like something about the scene (you might wanna start with the whole concept of animals that talk and dance, eh?), so he stomps up and waves his hands around. Pat doesn’t care, and signals the video editor to cut back to the band in happier times, which includes shots of Pat eating dinner and watching “his favorite TV show”, which is him and the band accepting a Grammy award. This vision thrills Pat so much that he can only chew on one side of his mouth.

  We get to the quiet part of the song just before the grand finale, so we head back to Pat and his bedroom, where he’s had it with his fancy clothes and starts ripping them off. But instead of titillating partial nudity, we are treated to Pat wearing his regular clothes underneath. Pat wanders out of the room, and the next thing you know the whole band is performing at a real concert.

  And that’s how we wind down the song and the video, with Pat and the gang giving the audience just what they want. (With a few shots of a poultry uprising back on the film set, with the giant chickens and Farmer Pat hurling eggs at the irritating director.) We fade to black.

  But not before we see a fleeting image of Paris Hilton trying to storm the stage to warble her new single, “If It’s Not About Me, You Need To Leave”…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tina Turner - “Private Dancer”

  We start off with Tina sitting at her makeup mirror, fiddling with some lipstick and looking very dissatisfied. Cut to a spinning disco ball, and Tina sashaying into a rundown dance room where the couples have no rhythm and don’t seem to be having a good time. Tina walks around looking for a partner, which might be a little difficult since her hair has been jacked to the ceiling and I doubt if anyone wants to get intimate with a haystack. Who knows what might fall out of that mess.

  Whoops, she catches the eye of some guy who smirks and offers her a subway token. (I guess this is the going rate.) They proceed to slow dance, with Tina lethargically leaning against him without letting go of her shawl and purse, because a girl has to have priorities.

  Cut to a highly-caffeinated Tina (can her eyes bulge any more?), wearing a glittery stewardess outfit from Big Shoulder Airlines. She turns and starts strolling through a room where people are doing odd things, and there are cobwebs everywhere. One of them is a ballet dancer twirling in front of a mirror, even though no one asked her to do that. Another woman is on the floor, reenacting a birthing scene. There’s nothing the least bit sexy about any of this, so I really don’t see how there’s going to be any “private dancing”.

  Next we have Tina brushing past a strange man in Phantom of the Opera gear, holding his foot out like it’s a turnstile that she can pass through. He lowers his foot and throws glitter on her, and Tina is none too pleased with that mess. The Phantom Guy doesn’t understand that we aren’t impressed, and he does some stupid hand movements with his gloved fingers.

  Then there’s a couple of newlyweds dancing near a window. For whatever reason, they are both wearing white makeup and looking deathly pale, so perhaps neither set of parents approved of the union. This is followed by a sailor doing more ballet moves, so he obviously doesn’t understand “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Cut to Marie Antoinette and some guy dancing, but their movements are limited because they are tethered to the floor with toilet paper. (I can’t even begin to imagine what the symbolism is behind this stunt.)

  Quick shots of band members trying to play their instruments, but hampered by the bloody cobwebs that are strung about. (There’s just no happiness anywhere in this place.) Cut to a guy wearing a bullhead behind a clear screen, while a woman dances in front of the screen wearing Annie Oakley attire. She’s proud of her moves, but we don’t care. Next up is a soldier marching in the door and being attacked by two orange-haired women wearing children’s sleepwear. They do an odd dance, and then drop to their knees. (Probably so they can pray for forgiveness, because that dance was just wrong on so many levels.)

  Then Tina is singing in front of a line of chorus girls wearing modified Hugh Hefner smoking jackets. Money is falling from the ceiling, but nobody’s bothering to snatch it up and go buy a better script. Oh look, the people in the main dance room are now doing some synchronized line dancing that involves rolling tramps over your back and then dragging them off to parts unknown.

  Cut to two youngsters dancing about in one of the cobwebby rooms, and I’m kind of scared where this might go. All the sudden the boy gets all snippy and stomps out of the room, leaving behind the little girl in her pretty dress. Wait, is that supposed to be a little Tina? How long has she been in this place?

  And now we roll into an extended segment where lots of couples are wearing pale-blue spandex and performing somewhat-questionable moves, reminding you of that eye-opening experience as a child on Grandpa’s farm when you first realized that maybe a stork wasn’t actually responsible for the arrival of baby animals. (One of the dancers tries to get Tina’s attention, but she’s in a coma and doesn’t want to play.) The Blue People do their thing for a very long time.

  Finally, they wander off to do something else, and we now have Tina and a random selection of the hookers we’ve met so far, all of them striking curious poses while Tina stands on top of a birdbath and bellows the closing lines of the song. This is followed by a montage of more people doing things we don’t understand. (What is wrong with that Geisha girl?)

  Then Tina is lying on the floor, probably because she’s really tired of these people and can’t go on. Folks start throwing roses at her, and she grins maniacally as if this is all she’s ever wanted out of life. (Then perhaps she should live next to a florist instead of in a cathouse.) As the roses continue to fly, all the extras in the video clap snootily. (Like they actually have careers. Tina’s not worried, she has a record contract.)

  The final scene is of Tina dancing with yet another man who will only disappoint her. A single tear races down her face, and she turns and flees the room, staggering a bit. After all, with hair that big, it’s hard to walk in a straight line.

  Fade to black.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

The Script - “Breakeven (Falling To Pieces)”

  We start out with the lead singer driving along in his car, destination unknown, while we hear a woman repeating herself in voiceover. We don’t know if it’s a flashback or a haunting. We get glimpses of the band performing while the lead singer (Danny) watches a big blue boat float past. He’s really sad, which probably has nothing to do with the “Where’s Waldo?” tower behind him. We also get brief shots of some presumably naked people having a swell time.

  Cut to Danny sitting all alone in the dark, fiddling with his cell phone, proving that society has issues if people need to check their text messages when they should be singing in a music video. He finally does start with the singing, triggering some more flashbacks where his girl is doing something with wheat as well as more intimate nap time. (There’s that tower again.) It appears that Nameless Girl really likes to have videos taken of her while she wears a coat, so she’s probably high-maintenance.

  Back to Danny sitting again, this time in what we’ll assume is his bedroom. He checks for head lice, but doesn’t find any. He’s still sad. I’m no counselor, but maybe if he got off that damn bed things might improve a little. Oh look, I guess he heard me because the band is performing once more. The guitar player seems pretty happy, so maybe Danny should have a few beers with his buddy and figure out the secret.

  But no, Danny instead has some more flashbacks, this time of Nameless Girl getting fed up with him and marching out his front door with one tiny suitcase, so either the relationship wasn’t that serious to begin with or she’s misplaced a lot of things. Danny just watches her go, already writing this song in his head and wondering if Fiona Apple is available for the tragic backing vocals. He runs back inside to get a pencil.

  And more of the band performing. The audience really seems to be enjoying the music, so maybe they don’t understand that it’s not exactly a joyous song. Danny likes to wave his hand at something in the upper balcony, so we’ll assume that he and Nameless had a good time or two up there. Of course, he’s still having flashbacks, this time of Nameless auditioning for a shampoo commercial. Or lipstick. Something that requires Nameless to gaze at the camera with barely controlled yearning for the latest beauty products.

  Extended montage of the couple being intimate again. Did these two do anything besides have sex and wear jackets on a cloudy day? Danny is singing on stage again, and he’s completely ignoring his keyboard, so this must be the most emotionally-wrenching part of the song for him and he can’t multi-task. (Another shot of the duo showing their fondness for L. L. Bean outerware.) Danny waves to the other balcony, so I’m guessing that second floor is a really happening place.

  Now we have Danny singing by that striped tower again, and I’m starting to think it might have something to do with the breakup. It’s always there, and everyone knows that three-way relationships are very difficult to maintain. No wonder Nameless finally packed her minimal things, she was tired of playing second fiddle to something that’s taller than her and doesn’t talk very much.

  Scene with Danny realizing that his keyboard isn’t even plugged in, while the audience waits for him to realize where they are. Another shot of the couple in bed, and Danny is wearing a shirt that probably didn’t help the relationship, either. Back to the stage, where something very bright just landed on the audience. Danny looks up and sings to the ceiling, so I guess he and nameless did it on the roof as well. They were very busy people back in the day.

  Another shot at the seashore, where Nameless thinks she’s on a high-fashion runway, followed by more footage of the couple walking in that wheat, and Danny checking his inbox. The song winds down as we see Danny brooding in various locales, and snippets of Nameless apparently already with another guy. Danny sighs, adjusts his coat collar, and then goes to see what the Waldo tower is doing for dinner…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Rihanna - “Only Girl (In The World)”

  We start out with Rihanna wearing a headband and a billowy outfit, making her look like she’s on her way to Woodstock, but just a bit late. She’s in the middle of some field, with amber waves of grain and such, and she’s slowly waving her arms about, so maybe she’s praying to the Earth Mother for another hit single. Wait, she’s already got enough of those, so she doesn’t really need any more.

  Cut to Rihanna standing in front of a wall of flowers, none of them blooming as much as Rihanna’s hair. We also have shots of Rihanna in a small, barren valley, wearing a bustier and some sparkling panties. Back to Flower Rihanna, where she’s doing something odd with a caterpillar boa. Whatever she’s doing, it’s making her happy, and that’s all that really matters. Oh look, the boa is making her shake her booty and thrust her chest forward. That’s one naughty boa.

  Back in the valley, Rihanna is throwing clothes around, which is kind of rude, but she gets bored with that and starts playing with her massive hair. (Maybe she’s looking for Amelia Earhart?) She struts around and claps her hands, because she’s got the music in her and her body just can’t stay still. More shots of Flower Rihanna and her caterpillar friend.

  Long shot of Rihanna doing something on a hill, then another long shot of her twirling near a really big-ass tree. (I didn’t realize that Rihanna liked nature so much.) Valley Rihanna is still fascinated with her hair, but this doesn’t stop her from occasionally caressing her lips like they are the finest silk on the planet. Flower Girl does a weird thing where she falls back into a bed of roses, and you know the poor thing snagged herself on a thorn or two. But Rihanna’s a trooper, writhing around in the roses like she can’t wait for somebody to butter her bread.

  We jump-cut around for a bit, then we have Rihanna prancing around in a river of flowers. For whatever reason, the wind is really blowing in these scenes, like Dorothy and Toto better scoot for cover. Again, Rihanna doesn’t really mind, because the strong gusts of wind make her tiny little skirt fly up and cool things off. River Rihanna sure does love those flowers, running about and fondling stems. She’s even inspired to use one of the flowers as a microphone, probably the one thing that Lady Gaga hasn’t thought of doing.

  Now Rihanna is somewhere else, fiddling around with a flimsy shawl that appears to have rabbit tails attached to it. The soft dangling fur inspires Rihanna to once again perform moves that accentuate her breasts. (Speaking of, this scene also has lots of balloons floating around for no apparent reason. Rihanna might be the only girl in the world, but she’s not the only balloon.)

  Yet another scene, with Rihanna wearing an outfit as if a circus performer was getting dressed for a show, but then got distracted and never finished. She finds a giant wooden rose just laying there in the field, and naturally assumes that the rose needs some lovin’. So Rihanna, because she wants to make ALL her fans happy, practically rides the rose as if it’s a Revival at the Church of Panting Tramps. (Based on the wooden rose’s reaction, I think the rose likes it best when Rihanna does aerobics while wearing high heels.)

  And now we have Exploded Tutu Rihanna, as she twirls on another hill and belts out the rousing chorus of the song. This dress makes Rihanna wave her hands some more and jump around, which is probably not a good idea because her ass could go tumbling down the side of that craggy hill, and Lingerie Sales around the world could plummet, losing their best customer and all.

  Thankfully, Rihanna finally gives up on singing on that particular hill. But instead of going to sing somewhere safe, like a nice, flat pasture or a recording studio, Rihanna clamors on top of this rickety wooden structure sticking out of a lake that we didn’t notice before. (Rihanna probably had the lake special-made for this shoot. She’s got the cash.) Once at the peak of this obvious deathtrap, Rihanna starts up again with the arm-waving and the posing like a Greek Goddess flying through the sky to destroy lovers who have disappointed her with their couture choices.

  Oh, and look at that, now Rihanna has managed to find a swing that is apparently anchored to a cloud. She’s swinging to and fro, making even an innocent childhood activity look overwhelmingly sensual, and then she apparently has at least one small orgasm. (Does this woman ever do anything that doesn’t sexually stimulate her in some way?)

  And we roll into our final few set-pieces, with Rihanna thrusting herself into the sky while fireworks explode around her. Now she’s wearing something really fringy, which might not be a good idea what with all the sparks from the fireworks, but she didn’t consult me. She dances around for a bit, and if she was going for the Ann-Margret look, she found it, although I’m not sure Rihanna would know about such a thing.

  Now Rihanna is gyrating in front of that giant tree we glimpsed earlier, but it’s nighttime at this point, and they’ve hung what looks like giant glow sticks all over the tree. The glow sticks flicker a little bit. (Girl, quit dancing on the power cord!) The song winds down as Rihanna turns and runs toward the tree. I’m guessing one of the thicker branches caught her attention…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Slash, Fergie - “Beautiful Dangerous”

  We start off with some shots of a motel, then cut inside to one of the rooms where Fergie is living in total filth and squalor, so we know right away that she’s got some special issues. At the moment she’s wearing a Pebbles Flintstone outfit while cutting up some more pictures to put on her already-covered wall. (There’s an old TV plopped on the bed, showing footage of Slash so we can keep in mind that this is really his song even though the video is clearly all about Fergie.)

  Fergie starts crooning a few notes, which causes the camera man to give us a few shots of her panties. Then Fergie touches her stringy hair, which helps her remember the actual words to the song, and she starts singing. (Quick glimpse of lots of prescription bottles, which is no surprise.) While Fergie warbles, we are treated to images of Slash that Fergie has used as accessories in her dump of a room. Fergie clearly loves her some Slash.

  But just in case her obsession is not obvious enough, Fergie stands up on the bed, leans against the wall, and then performs some booty-centric moves, with the camera lens right there at the two-moon junction. She also rides the TV for a little bit because, what the hell, we already know that this Happy Meal is missing some fries. Fergie artfully reaches between her spread legs so she can caress the TV screen, proving that big girls may not cry but they can be really, really slutty.

  Fergie wallers around on the bed for a while, not seeming to mind that she’s sharing the bed with other things like old food, bugs the size of a Chihuahua, and most likely the body parts of her last infatuation. Once she tires of that, Fergie hops into the shower, because it isn’t a true rock video until someone with remarkable breasts does just that. She scrubs really hard, but you know she will never be truly clean again.

  Fergie then proceeds to get dolled up for some outing that she’s apparently about to embark on. The lipstick looks pretty and all, but I don’t know why she’s even bothering with that outfit, since it doesn’t cover anything up. She’s now somehow even more naked than when she was taking the shower. Once she has thin strips of leather firmly shoved up her crack, Fergie is good to go.

  She strolls down the street wearing her minimalist attire, and no one else even takes a second look, so she must be in New York City. She marches into some place where Slash and his band are playing. She watches him do this for a while, but no one is talking to her so she must not be a people person.

  Cut to Fergie walking into a strip club, because everybody does that right after a concert. As vaginas twirl on poles, we watch Fergie spy Slash in this den of wholesomeness. He’s surrounded by thousands of women who just want to serve him shots from between their chi-chi’s, so Fergie’s gonna have to do some special things to get his attention.

  So Fergie humps a bar stool until she catches Slash’s eye. He struts up and they converse briefly, about the weather or her fondness for Brazilian waxes. Then some other skank wanders up and tries to lure Slash away. Fergie is having none of that subterfuge, so she slips a drug into Slash’s drink, like any nice girl would do when they just wanna be loved.

  Next thing you know, woozy Slash is following Fergie’s gash out the door. He wakes up in Fergie’s town dump, to find her giving her own interpretation of how a stripper should really dance. He admires the view for a bit, until he realizes that he’s tied to the bed. It’s not Saturday night, so he knows he shouldn’t be strapped down, and he tries to escape.

  But nope, Fergie’s an excellent Girl Scout and the knots are secure. She then starts crawling up his body while Slash plays a nice guitar solo on the soundtrack. It takes Fergie quite a while to do this, so either Slash is really tall or Fergie needs a GPS to get where she’s going. She takes up a straddle position right over his crotch so she can do her own solo and flip her hair about.

  She then snatches his hat off and pops it on her own head, a move that reminds her of party pics so she hops off the Slash ride for a bit so she can take some Polaroids of her drug-addled, unwilling lover. (Something tells me she has boxes of snapshots with the same motif.) Once she’s bored with that, Fergie climbs back on the Slash wagon.

  Only she brought a friend this time, in the shape of a switchblade. Fergie decides it would be great fun to tease Slash by dragging the tip of the knife around on this chest. This causes Fergie to become so excited that she jumps all over the room like a howler monkey before she settles back down and resumes her position on Slash. She briefly tries to smother him with her breasts, but that must have taken too much coordination and she quickly gives it up, satisfied with running the knife around his nipples some more.

  Out of nowhere, she rears back with the knife and plunges downward.

  Cut to outside the motel, and we see Fergie’s light go off.

  I guess for Slash, it’s not gonna be a good, good night…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Re-Flex - “The Politics Of Dancing”

  We start out with a title card explaining who Re-Flex is and how they have a secret radio station where they are transmitting directives to destroy the forces of evil and… oh, screw it. It’s really too much to read, let’s just wait for the less challenging parts of the video to play.

  We’re in a car, driven by somebody with sunglasses, headed toward… whoops, we don’t know, because we cut to somebody else wearing sunglasses spying on somebody else who isn’t wearing sunglasses. (With me so far?) Then we cut to a street, where another somebody in an overcoat is waiting for an old-model car to drive toward them. Cut back to the… um… second sunglass guy peering over a balcony and looking very suspicious. (I’m so lost right now it doesn’t really matter.)

  Then some guy in a poor-choice outfit (overalls are involved, I really don’t need to say any more) races up to a sign-posting thing and slaps up a poster for “Re-Flex Radio”. Then he runs off to ask his guidance counselor why he can’t get a real job.

  Now we seem to be in the recording studio for this mysterious Re-Flex Radio, and some guy wearing glasses and an aggressive mustache is waving his hands about. (Quick shot of a radio antenna with fake beams billowing outwards. I guess this is supposed to mean that we are live, on the air.) The second sunglass dude (let’s make this easier and call him Blue Jacket Guy) marches up to the sign-posting area and rudely rips the “Re-Flex Radio” announcement off the wall. We’re probably supposed to hate him, so let’s keep that in mind.

  Back to the studio, where Mustache Man throws something across the room, and then begins singing the song. He’s really not very cute, so thankfully the camera cuts to the rest of the band playing their instruments in another part of the studio. The song is now being broadcast at least ten blocks, based on the puny radio antenna which we briefly reviewed. But the signal is strong enough that a couple in a passing car gets the message, even though it doesn’t inspire the female half of the couple to take off the stupid handkerchief on her head.

  Back to the studio again, where the band is still playing, and based on how people are acting, the term “drug use” pops into my head. Then we have a scene with some mysterious woman shoving markers around on one of those “war strategy” boards that old people used in black-and-white military movies. Quick montage of various people turning on their radios and receiving the anarchic message of Re-Flex.

  Studio once more, with the band playing. The overriding theme would be “why are there mannequins placed about the stage in sexual positions?”. (The “drug use” phrase rears its ugly head once again.) Cut to that one guy waiting for the old car. He’s finally made it inside and the car races off to either save the world or get an oil change.

  More of the band playing. The mannequins seem to have multiplied, which can quickly happen if you turn your back. The guy playing keyboards is skinny enough that he could easily slip through a storm grate, so I’m a little worried about him. Another shot of Blue Jacket Guy, peering over yet another balcony. I’m thinking he needs to find another hobby. Or get laid. Something.

  Cue some woman typing on an old-fashioned typewriter and smoking. She turns her radio up, which triggers a shot of old-car guy barreling through the streets of some vaguely British town, followed by Mustache Guy wadding up some paper that displeased him. Then we have a montage of Blue Jacket Guy (well, he’s not wearing the blue jacket this time, so it might be his evil twin) ripping down more Re-Flex posters, some people we don’t know talking on the phone, and somebody hooking up wires to a device. If people are hooking up wires to a device, somebody is going to die. This much I know is true.

  Things get even weirder. We see Mustache Guy singing in a newspaper photo, way before Harry Potter did that, somebody being interviewed next to a bus, a trollop talking on the phone with images of beaver on the wall behind her, and more shots of the mysterious woman moving markers around on that damn military board.

  Back to the studio, where people seem to be having a really nice time, but we still don’t know what the hell these people are trying to prove. Cut to several people on roller skates, whizzing about on some parking lot while a nun stands in the background (2:47 in the video), contemplating the level of blasphemy that she is witnessing. I’m sure she’s more than ready to contact Rome.

  Now we have an odd woman with brightly-died hair at the top of a flight of stairs. There’s a man behind her, and it would be perfectly understandable if he shoved her down the stairs, but he doesn’t. Cut to the one guy in the blue coveralls (I know, there’s way too many “guys” in this video, just ride it out) running like hell. He’s clutching a tube of paper, so we’ll just have to assume that it’s important in some way.

  Back to the people skating in that one parking lot. Everyone is going backwards, so I don’t know if this is a political statement or if these people are just really confused. They seem to be enjoying themselves, so I really shouldn’t complain about the clarity of their actions. The skaters then race past another guy with red shoes who is dancing with manic frenzy. He seems to be very talented and rhythmic, but I don’t understand why he’s here.

  Shots of that old-timey car still racing to wherever, mixed in with the Skater People terrorizing other people in the vicinity and glimpses of the band still performing the song in the underground (I’m assuming) studio. Quick scene with an older couple listening to the radio but acting like it’s 1943 and the Germans are about to drop bombs. Some people just can’t keep up with current events.

  The old-timey car finally arrives at its destination, and Overcoat Guy jumps out, ready to work whatever evil he has been assigned by shadowy management people that we’ve never seen. Quick shot of Red-Shoe Guy still rocking to his own personal soundtrack, and then cut to the radio studio, with the band still jamming.

  Final shots are of obviously mean thugs breaking into the radio station, intent on destroying free will and the natural right to make cryptic videos. They find the studio completely deserted, which means that somebody is not going to get a Christmas bonus. The camera pans to the still active radio antenna, and the words “To be continued” flash on the screen.

  Which is a total lie. Because Re-Flex didn’t do a damn thing after this song.

  Or did they?

  Cue evil, underground laughter…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Pitbull, T-Pain - “Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor)”

  Editor’s Note: This is another video set in a dance bar where nothing actually happens, so we’ll have to do the time-stamp thing again. Here we go…

0:01  Pitbull shows up, standing in what might be a police lineup in the year 2035.

0:04  T-Pain makes his debut in the same lineup, yelling out his name in case we weren’t sure who he was. He’s got on some glasses that would instantly kill anyone who dances too close.

0:07  Quick shot of some woman with an accusing finger.

0:09  Woman on the left has been placed in timeout for an undisclosed infraction.

0:14  Pitbull is apparently about to leave for a safari.

0:21  Patti LaBelle left her wig on the ceiling.

0:30  Accusing woman is startled that we are still in the room.

0:35  Accusing woman changes her tune and decides to have sex with us.

0:41  A giant hand almost crushes T-Pain. Good thing he had those glasses on to scare the hand away.

0:45  Pitbull uses his eyes to shoot laser beams at people who don’t understand his music. (Did I just hear something explode in the other room?)

0:54  Is Pitbull pregnant?

0:59  Okay, maybe it’s not Patti LaBelle’s wig after all.

1:01  Some audience members are confused and think this is a Duran Duran concert in 1985.

1:07  Accusing Woman has Pitbull’s head growing out of her side, which can’t be very comfortable.

1:11  T-Pain has a personal religious moment.

1:18  Pitbull is having some balance issues.

1:28  Pitbull has lost his glasses somewhere. Can he sing without them?

1:40  On the right, Eva Longoria makes a wrong turn and stumbles into the nightclub.

1:42  T-Pain really wants us to stop, in the name of love.

1:45  Or he wants us to fly like a bird. He needs to make up his mind.

1:46  Gratuitous booty shot.

1:51  Gratuitous crotch shot.

1:54  Gratuitous boobie shot. (Look, I can only work with what I’m given.)

2:09  Pitbull is waiting for Scotty to beam him off the Enterprise.

2:13  Pitbull is waiting for someone to throw panties on stage. Trouble is, nobody’s wearing any, so it’s gonna be a long wait.

2:16  Futuristic yoga.

2:21  A radiation blast happens for no apparent reason.

2:23  Is that a giant spider?

2:30  T-Pain would also like to leave the Enterprise. Where the hell is Scotty? Is he drunk again?

2:25  A former flight attendant conveniently points out the exit doors. (Some skills you never lose.)

2:43  Pitbull loses control of his lower jaw.

2:46  Bob Marley’s former DJ is in da house.

2:54  Somebody wearing boots with enormous heels decides to mace the entire audience. They don’t seem to notice.

2:56  Accusing Woman gets her hand stuck in her hair.

3:07  Lady Gaga has arrived to reclaim her planet.

3:12  Pitbull is looking at a row of chopsticks.

3:16  In the lower left, that guy from “Full House” shows up to the wrong set.

3:24  Pitbull is back in the police lineup. No one is surprised.

Fade to black

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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