Friday, December 30, 2011

Rihanna, Calvin Harris - “We Found Love”

  Wow, this one’s a wee bit depressing.

  But anyway, we start out with Rihanna doing a voice-over while we see images of her, random buildings, and she and Calvin sitting in a bathtub, drinking beer and hating each other. She’s rambling on about how sometimes it takes a while to figure out that a relationship might not be healthy, but I’m thinking “honey, if your man makes you let your hair get that trashy, it can’t be good”.

  We get more shots of Rihanna and Calvin in a self-destructive spiral of drugs and hot-but-meaningless sex in random locations, so we know where this is going, we just have a song to get through before we reach that point. Of course, none of this stops Rihanna from wearing skimpy outfits and parading around in a manner that highlights her booty.

  The actual song starts with an exciting lightening storm and Rihanna holed up in some place where the decorating theme involves Christmas lights and the inability to wear pants or a bra. She’s a little blue, and she wants to sing about how she got that way. But before we can provide any comfort, the rest of the video is off and running.

  First we have some mess with Rihanna and Calvin riding on a bicycle and waving about a road flare, more mess with Rihanna running through a wheat-field without her top, and she and Calvin having sex in any location where they can get some traction. She might be troubled about the worthiness of the relationship, but she horny. They drink beer, light fireworks, ride skateboards, and fornicate. Everywhere.

  Next up we have Rihanna and Calvin in a fast-food restaurant, where they find it necessary to take drugs and dance on the tables, much to the chagrin of people who actually have to eat there without the promise of energetic and inappropriate sex. This transitions into a rave scene where the duo apparently can’t shove pills down their throats fast enough. This might explain why some folks question the bottom-line value of a rave. Just sayin.

  Quick re-visit of that place where Rihanna is bellowing the song while Christmas lights blink in non-judgment, then we cut to Rihanna and Calvin basically stealing everything they can from a local convenience store, including a shopping cart which Calvin then uses to transport his jacked-up partner through the streets of the city. They apparently and eventually make their way to a casino that doesn’t mind if the patrons physically violate slot machines when they don’t win.

  Cut to a montage of Rihanna and Calvin not understanding social etiquette, Rihanna and Calvin unable to properly drive a car, and Rihanna and Calvin having huge arguments that result in Rihanna storming away from the improperly-driven car whilst wearing an outfit that no one in their right mind would purchase. (Did somebody design that after watching old reruns of The Mickey Mouse Club? And not the one with Christina, Justin and Britney?)

  But no worries, the bickering duo are soon reunited over a six-pack joint that they happily share, leading to shot-gunning and more bouts of animal sex. Sadly, Rihanna eventually gets to the point where she has a wee bit of a drug reaction outside a sleazy bar, and the authorities have to step in and explain that drug ingestion is not a part of the Food Pyramid.

  Unfortunately, Rihanna doesn’t pay any attention, so we’re back to the cycle of co-dependent pharmaceutical abuse that really doesn’t look good on a resume. But Rihanna must have taken some notes somewhere along the line, because she finally gets fed up, throws up in a really graphic manner that would make George Lucas proud, and stomps into the Christmas-light trashy apartment to pack her things for good. But not before she has a final scene in the apartment where she throws her legs wide open for the world to see, so somebody might need some additional therapy.

  But leave she finally does, and all self-power to her. Which leads to just one question. What the hell does Calvin Harris have to do with this song? It was all your singing, girl. Did I miss a memo?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

David Guetta, Usher - “Without You”

  We start out with a shot of our planet rotating complacently, then we focus on Brazil, where it is apparently 6:07am according to a handy title card that pops up. (Why anyone would be up at that unnatural hour, I don’t know, but something must be going on.) We have lots of happy people on a beach, or so it seems, and everybody is waving their hands in the air to the song, so maybe they’ve been up all night at a rave or some such and they’re just waiting for the drugs to wear off.

  Cut to South Africa (9:07pm), with other happy people, but before I can figure out where they are or what they’re doing, Usher suddenly appears on screen. He’s on a beach as well, but it looks suspiciously photo-shopped, so somebody might be lying to us. No matter, he kicks in with the vocals and some arm choreography. His vocals rawk in this song. The choreography, not so much.

  Quick shot of David Guetta taking the stage somewhere, his trademark locks blowing in the artificial breeze of a nightclub. Zip over to Thailand, where it’s 4:07am. (Which also sounds suspicious, since it’s supposedly only two hours later in Brazil. Who’s making the facts up here? Must be a Republican.) This is confirmed when we get a shot of the United States, where it’s 2:07pm, totally ignoring reality, another Republican trait.

  More shots of Usher, thankfully toning down the arm movements for a bit, and a few snippets of David, doing some product placement with a pair of snazzy red headphones. David fiddles with a soundboard, amping the song, and the various crowds around the world get their groove on in a multi-cultural tribute to the joys of a synthesizer.

  Sadly, Usher gets invested in the arm choreography again, but this is balanced by the song kicking into the driving beat that apparently makes everybody on the planet jump up and down. Sadly, part two, this jumping causes seismic faults to split open across the same planet, with parking lots buckling and walls crumbling. In the real world, this would be an issue. In a music video, apparently not.

  As the thumping beat continues and tectonic plates shift, Usher pauses on his fake beach so we can fully study his new hairdo. It’s fetching and all, but it’s not really why we paid the cover charge. So he resorts to more of that arm-flapping business, throwing in some subtle dance moves and some extra falsetto.

  Cut to a couple of blonde girls, sitting on yet another beach and reading on their electronic tablets (because everyone takes those to the beach, right?) that the continents seem to be shifting. Oh? This is something that we didn’t plan for. Are we sure this is covered in the budget?

  As we get more images of those continents going AWOL, Usher keeps wailing away and the rude planet-changers keep bouncing around on the beaches. In fact, they seem to be inspired by the fact that alcohol-fueled rhythmic expression can alter history, so they ramp up the shimmying and shaking. It also seems that applying day-glo face paint makes things even better. You should probably write that down.

  There’s a brief montage of David fiddling with more knobs, then we’re back to the National Geographic footage of dance-inspired global realignment. It seems that all of the continents are heading toward each other and closing the ocean gaps, which is really going to piss off the cruise-line people. But the dancing people don’t care, as long as the music continues and they get to keep wearing glow-in-the-dark headbands.

  The continents finally meet-cute, and all of the various beach-partiers go running toward one another in a universal symbol of togetherness, totally thrilled that they can now increase their Facebook friend total. Everyone seems to get along swimmingly, even though they don’t speak the same languages and a ton of folks just had the market-value on their formerly beach-front properties just hit the toilet.

  We wind things down with everybody partying like it’s 1999 and Prince is still relevant. People are still jumping up and down, which they should probably stop doing or there might be another global shift, but who’s counting. Usher comes out to close the show, although he’s technically not really there, inspiring all the jumping people, including David, to make a heart-shape with their hands. We love everybody. Awwww.

  But somebody still has to pay the bar tab. Just sayin.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Marc Anthony - “I Need To Know”

  We start out with what might be Enya playing a violin (apparently she showed up at the wrong recording studio), then we have a bit with Marc and what we’ll assume is Baby Girl talking and flirting in some place where the electricity isn’t working (well, at least not the kind that powers the lights), and finally we’re on a stage while Marc starts performing the song. We’ll be here a bit, so you can get comfortable.

  Because it’s very important to the story, we get close-up shots of Marc’s backup dancers, a bevy of lovelies wearing what can only be described as feline-inspired minimalist couture. (They even appear to have tails, so apparently somebody finds that sexy.) We get random shots of people gyrating in the audience, with belly buttons here and arched backs there. But we’re really supposed to be paying attention to Baby Girl, who likes to wave her hands in the air to a different song.

  As mentioned, this section goes on for a bit, so the Cat Girls do their best to keep us entertained, performing some low-challenge choreography that basically consists of them taking two tiny steps and then assuming another sultry pose. (Oh, and they like to touch Marc, a lot, constantly racing up to caress one of his body parts and then dashing back to the chorus line.)

  Baby Girl, for her part, continues to dance to that other song, but at least she appears to be having a good time, so we’ll just let her keep doing that. Based on the way the rest of the audience keeps writhing about and pawing at each other, I’m guessing we’re not at a Christian fundamentalist board meeting. Then again, maybe we are, I don’t really keep tabs on what those people might be up to these days.

  Oh wait, now we’re some place that might be an apartment, where Marc is standing near a window, wailing away, while Baby Girl is wallering around on a bed. The sheets must feel really good to her, because she’s inspired to touch herself and make pouty faces. Then she parades around in the sheet for a little bit, so she might have misplaced her clothing. Sadly, she can’t ask Marc for some tips on where her panties might be, because he won’t quit singing the song long enough for her to get a word in.

  Then we’re back at the concert for more of that business, what with the Cat Girls parading around in their catnip outfits, Marc crooning seductively into a microphone while still managing to allow his shirt to flap open so we can see his flat belly, and Baby Girl doing the lambada with lots of men in the audience who are not Marc, so she might be a little bit of a tramp.

  Back to the apartment. Marc is still invested in singing the song and not paying attention to Baby Girl, so she starts to look a little blue, wondering if maybe she shouldn’t have changed her Facebook status to “in a relationship”. But before she can attend a couple’s therapy session, we cut to a murky stairwell somewhere, with Baby Girl and… I’m not sure who he is, might be Marc, might not. They are too busy canoodling with each other for me to get a real good look.

  Then we have another extended concert sequence, but we already know what’s happening over here, and it’s more of the same, what with the Cat Girls and the overheated audience. They throw in some snippets of other things that we’ve already seen as well, like Marc singing to the window instead of his maybe girlfriend, and Baby Girl pretending that having sex on a staircase is not uncomfortable at all.

  We wind things down with Baby Girl climbing up what might be a fire escape or just a really interesting entrance to a nightclub in a place where it rains a lot. Marc is nearby, still singing and not helping Baby Girl climb like a real gentleman would do. He’s making hand gestures like his heart is broken over Baby Girl leaving him all alone, but she’s looking at him like, dude, what are you talking about? Quit singing and get your ass up the stairs.

  But he doesn’t, choosing instead to stand there in the rain because the really dramatic finale of the song is coming up, and he knows that he looks good all wet and yearning. Baby Girl just sighs and goes inside to see if there’s anything decent on TV.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers - “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”

  Note: Okay, folks, we’ve got another video that’s basically a live performance, so we’ll have to do the timestamp thing…

0:03  Overhead shot of the band setting up on top of a short building, with a crowd of people on the street below placing bets on who is going to fall off first.

0:06  Title card informs us that we’re in “Venice Beach, California”. Which means that there’s probably not a sober person in a 10-mile radius.

0:08  Anthony first performs the odd, twirling dance that will become his signature move for the rest of the video.

0:12  Not to be outdone, Flea breaks out his own dance, some kind of tribute to a chicken.

0:13  Another title card: “July 20, 2011”. Because if we didn’t know the exact date when this was filmed, we would be unable to fully enjoy the video, right?

0:18  Title card: “6:33p”. Okay, folks, I think we’re getting a little too detailed with the intel here, let’s move on.

0:23  Anthony finally starts singing, wearing a hat that says “OFF!”, and doing something interpretive with one hand. (Is he signaling that now is the time to bring out the giant banana?)

0:31  Two men are shown watching the performance while wearing matching outfits and holding parrots. No idea.

0:36  Incredibly stupid woman has chosen to sit on top of a high chain-link fence. One tiny gust of wind and home girl gonna bust her head.

0:42  Debut of the cowbell, the real reason we all came to the show.

0:46  Long-shot of one of the streets leading to the building, confirming that most people are not even paying attention. This is what happens when you let people stay out in the sun too long.

0:57  Flea impresses us with ability to play his instrument while walking backwards.

1:06  Flea attempts to swallow the cameraman, just to see if he can.

1:10  Random shot of two guys running through the crowd. We’ll assume that Justin Bieber has been spotted and an escape plan has been initiated.

1:11  There’s a look that will never make it to a Milan runway.

1:19  More random running. Changing possible cause to reactionary burritos purchased at questionable taco hut.

1:25  Man apparently has small tree growing out of his back, does not seem to be complaining.

1:29  Another woman scales the fence and bobs breasts to the beat. This is probably the most attention she will ever get for the rest of her life, hope she enjoyed it.

1:33  Drunk people on tiny balcony.

1:45  Anthony does extended version of his arm-waving dance, apparently really enjoying how his suit jacket is flapping in the wind. It’s the small things, people, it really is.

2:00  Possible body being thrown into ocean, shot too brief to fully confirm.

2:02  Proud woman displays tongue-piercing, people around her couldn’t care less.

2:09  Lost cast member of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert spotted on nearby roof.

2:11  Flea decides to sit on the very edge of the roof, over-enthusiastic crowd immediately forms mosh pit, clearly not understanding things like gravity and long-distance-falling can kill you.

2:20  Shot of young girl having no clue what is going on, but deciding to dance about it anyway.

2:40  Anthony performs dancing leap apparently learned whilst watching The Nutcracker as a child.

2:59  Flea is suddenly very tired, and decides to play his instrument and take a short nap at the same time.

3:03  Shot of happy women who obviously took advantage of happy-hour prices.

3:09  Anthony also sits on edge of building, but he has smartly chosen a spot that has a supporting ledge below it. (Hey, if the lead singer bites it, people gotta find a new gig, sayin.)

3:11  Man dressed as devil and carrying large cross dances on tennis court. (Is he a Republican running for office?)

3:17  More happy hour participants are very excited about waving their hands in the air.

3:20  It’s not only white men that can’t dance. Exhibit A.

3:35  Hey, is that Michael Moore on the far left, finding something on the floor that he can blame on corrupt government officials?

3:52  Flea, still trying to win the dance-off against Anthony, performs new minimalist choreography that involves only moving one shoulder.

3:55 More stupid people, this time in bleachers trying to do the wave with only two participants. They will go home dateless.

4:04  Flea is now humping the sky. Folks on adjoining roof appear to be both mortified and turned-on. Possible offering of flying panties, but it may have just been a passing seagull.

4:08  Cowbell returns, people offer praise to higher beings.

4:16  Overly-muscled man dances with cowboy hat, apparently does not own mirror.

4:22  As the song winds down, Anthony launches into final bid for dancing supremacy, with interesting, slow-paced duck walk across the roof, followed by more twirling. He is determined to win this thing, and goes on for quite some time.

4:42  Flea concedes defeat, secretly plots to be victorious on the next rooftop.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Foster The People - “Pumped Up Kicks”

  Note: Another mix of concert footage and random scenes of people and food, so we’ll do the timestamp thing…

0:03  Man falls out of sky and crashes into lake. This is probably symbolic of Rick Perry’s chances of becoming President.

0:08  One of the band members is being attacked by a laser-wielding robot in the distance.

0:17  Enthusiastic fan is missing part of her top, doesn’t care.

0:19  Nearby restaurant is totally empty. Making mental note to avoid.

0:24  Startling appearance of Capri pants.

0:27  Robot still pissed.

0:31  Cubbie drives getaway car after incident at convenience store.

0:36  Band members not sure if this is the right bus stop.

0:44  Cubbie very pleased with his choice of black shirt.

0:45  Something about a snapping turtle.

0:50  Capri redux.

0:56  Mark violates sea creature, feels no remorse.

0:58  Tennis shoe given walk-on part, ends up in credits.

1:06  Cubbie performs magic trick with vague purpose.

1:12  Confusion over where the camera might actually be.

1:16  Abandoned latte weeps pitifully.

1:28  Overdue for potty break.

1:34  Still looking for that camera.

1:38  Gratuitous shot of water.

1:44  Crowd scene involving darkness and possible sweating.

1:47  Possible blurry image of Elvis, fueling rumors once again.

1:52  Lone member of audience is still very dedicated.

2:01  Possible fornication with keyboard. Discuss.

2:09  Overuse of moisturizer.

2:19  New dance craze sweeps nation, dubbed “Bow-legged Bebop”.

2:22  Nun escapes from monastery, becomes street walker.

2:29  Robot is still way back there, proof of issue with motor skills. Danger element diminishes.

2:36  Cool shades accent cultivation of mustache.

2:39  Lost episode of… Lost.

2:40  Desperate resistance fighters attack enemy with flattened bombs.

2:48  Band member locates missing jockstrap from eighth grade, celebrates.

2:53  Another politician stumbles during Republican debate.

3:03  Whistling makes your head heavy.

3:07  Dreams of becoming a star on Broadway briefly resurface, alcohol most likely the culprit.

3:09  Recovered jockstrap proves to be a bit binding.

3:18  Creative attempt to put on shoes receives low performance numbers from judges.

3:22  Tree.

3:28  Over-exuberant smile hides dark secret about stolen French fries.

3:31  For medicinal purposes, of course.

3:37  It is apparently very important that somebody get something done right now.

3:45  Crowd mistakenly thinks they are in Pamplona, waits for signal to start running.

3:51  Signal is given.

4:01  This is why you don’t ride around in open convertibles, people. Bugs.

4:10  Whoops, guess that robot finally made it here. Pain ensues.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thompson Square - “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”

  We start out with Keifer and Shawna strolling around some Charleston-like city, when they suddenly decide it would be a lot of fun to stand in front of somebody’s house, blocking the garden gate while they start warbling the song. This little bit of civil disobedience is intercut with shots of another shiny, happy couple doing summer things like stare at the ocean while slowly getting hot for one another.

  Keifer and Shawna finally walk away from the stranger’s house (possibly due to a court order, but this is not explained), and they now proceed to wander neighborhoods and admire the lovely old homes. (But really, the main attraction here is Shawna’s multi-colored hair, piled on her head in a modified bouffant that could provide shelter for a family of four.) We also get more shots of the increasingly-lusty other couple, but we’re already starting to not care about them since they aren’t really doing anything interesting.

  Next up, we’re in one of those old houses. Or maybe it’s a church, who knows, some place that I sure couldn’t afford on my salary. Keifer is busy making sure that we can see his cute little hat, while Shawna is alternately snooping around in the garden and standing on this balcony thing so the sunlight can come in the window just right and make her hair sparkle even more. (She could probably even help planes land by this point.)

  I guess they get kicked out of that place as well, because we’re suddenly at a merry-go-round somewhere at night. (Nothing says “relationship” like riding fake horses in an endless circle, right?) There’s yet another couple falling in love, canoodling over the horses’ heads, but we don’t really know them and basically don’t care.

  Brief shot of a pretty lighthouse, and then we’re at the beach at sunset, with Shawna totally not looking out of place in her frilly goth-girl outfit. (Keifer still loves his little hat, in case you were keeping track.) They sing for a while, which apparently terrifies some of the other beach-goers because we get shots of random people running away on the sand. (Or maybe running is now a sign of appreciation at impromptu concerts these days, haven’t been to one in a while.)

  Then we have a nice montage, showing all the beautiful people and places that we’ve already seen, followed by Shawna and Keifer at the top of the lighthouse. (Maybe the light burned out and somebody asked Shawna to use her hair to signal ships at sea?) Another montage kicks off, this one involving more beach scenes, with more people that we don’t know splashing in the water and obviously not having to work for a living like the rest of us.

  We start to close things out with Shawna and Keifer on the beach at night, still singing the song so I’m sure they’re really tired by now. We quickly run through all the couples we’ve met, all of them smooching away, so we now have an official answer to the question in the song title. Final scene is of Shawna and Kiefer back on top of the lighthouse, lips locked while the cameraman does some fancy work with his lens.

  Far out at sea, a ship blows its horn, thanking Shawna for lighting the way home….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

JoJo - “Disaster”

  We start out with JoJo leaning against a nondescript wall, with an expression that either indicates quiet reflection or the possibility that she might be about to do something really rude and most likely criminal. Then we cut to her with the band, and JoJo is doing something with her hair that apparently makes her sing better, and she approaches the microphone.

  Then we start to jump around, with JoJo and a possible boyfriend having a very good time on a couch, probably because her fingernails have been painted a rather exciting shade of green. Next we hop over to a motorcycle shop, where JoJo and friend show us that there are indeed many different ways to ride a bike. Throughout it all we keep going back to JoJo leaning against that wall, so she must really like that wall a lot.

  Uh oh, we’re back in the motorcycle place, and apparently boyfriend has just done or said something unsatisfactory, because JoJo is marching away from him with a look that he probably won’t be getting a Christmas card this year. In typical male fashion, the guy and his buddies jump on their bikes and ride away instead of staying put and trying to figure out how they might be able to mature a little bit.

  But I guess the relationship isn’t completely over, because now we have JoJo and GuyGuy in an apartment, with J doing something with a guitar while G seems to be yelling about something else. JoJo decides to just put on her headphones, so maybe nobody is willing to make this thing work out, which of course irritates GuyGuy and he decides to destroy some glassware. I’m thinking if it’s this bad when you’re young and pretty, what are you going to do when you both get old and wrinkly?

  GuyGuy stomps off, leaving JoJo to take off her headphones and look really disappointed about life, but at least she’s getting some great material for her next album. But I guess this isn’t enough compensation, since JoJo decides to follow GuyGuy out of their building and continue the heated discussion in public. GuyGuy does not seem to be pleased about having an entourage right at this moment.

  Cut to JoJo and that wall, where she’s become really invested in the song, using aggressive hand gestures and making faces that you normally see during childbirth. Then we zip back to the bickering couple, with GuyGuy stomping off again and JoJo clutching at her face and looking distraught, despite the really cute Daisy Duke outfit that she is wearing.

  More shots of JoJo and her impressive hair singing with the band. She sure seems to be smiling a lot even though she’s supposedly emotionally wrecked, so I guess singing really does make you feel a little better about bad choices in your life. She bellows some really strong notes for a while, then we start getting glimpses of her somewhere else, walking around with what might be a jean jacket.

  She eventually walks up to GuyGuy and hands him the jacket. As he takes it, we notice that his arm is bandaged, but nobody explains to us if JoJo managed to beat the hell out of him at some point or if he just misunderstood how hot an exhaust pipe can really get. Then she either whispers in or tongues his ear, then she turns and walks away. Judging by the expression on GuyGuy’s face, he doesn’t seem to know what she did, either.

  More of JoJo and her beloved wall.

  We wind it up with JoJo continuing to walk away, so it really must be a long way to the door out of this place, more of JoJo and the band helping make music heal a world troubled by breakups and long lines at Starbucks, and flashbacks to all the domestic violence scenes that would normally lead to police intervention, but in the magical world of music videos, you just pick up a microphone and everything is instantly better…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Adele - “Someone Like You”

  We start out with the camera rolling backwards on a sidewalk in what is most likely Paris, with the lovely River Seine on the right. It’s all black-and-white and artsy, as the intro piano-work is playing, so you know we aren’t going to have any line dances in this one. Eventually we catch up with Adele, her long hair blowing in the sad breeze, her eyes cast downward because people have made her unhappy once again and she needs to sing about it.

  So she does, breaking into the haunting vocals as she strolls along. (Vocals which, funning aside for the moment, get me every time.) Adele keeps glancing off to the side, and it’s not clear if she’s looking at the director or if she’s just trying to keep from falling in the river. The camera pulls back some more, so we can see that someone has picked out a very interesting outfit for Adele, brooding but smart. There are zippers in odd places, and I find this very fetching.

  Adele and her outfit walk for a very long time, with the river quietly accompanying her and absolutely no other people in sight, so there must have been a wine and cheese festival in Bordeaux this same weekend. Then again, Adele is notoriously afraid of performing live, so she may have asked the mayor to lock everyone in their houses until she got to the end of the song. There are amazing things you can arrange when you have money.

  The camera zooms back in when Adele is belting the chorus, so we can see in her eyes that she’s still not happy with whoever done her wrong, despite warbling lyrics about how she’s moved on and we’re all good friends now. I’m thinking you probably don’t want to get on Adele’s bad side, especially if she’s had a shot or two of tequila. Then the moment passes and the camera starts spinning around to show that Adele has managed to wander into a nice square where you can see lots of local landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and little bistros where people would be sipping café au lait if anybody was actually in town.

  The camera finds Adele again as she’s marching away from us across a bridge that is probably older than most countries. She might be upset with us for getting all touristy and distracted, but she doesn’t explain anything and just makes us walk behind her for a while. (There aren’t any zippers on the back of her outfit, so I’m a little disappointed, but the angle does kind of remind me of Wynona Judd, only without the extra relative that doesn’t sing as well.)

  Adele pauses in the middle of the bridge to review some boats on the river, managing to continue singing without moving her lips, so she has even more talent than we suspected. She does this for a bit, then she and her lips start moving again along the bridge. The camera’s in front of her once more, and Adele gives us some more of those piercing glances to remind us that she hasn’t completely forgiven us for doing whatever we did to make her write a song about it and move to Paris.

  This is apparently a very long bridge, because girl trudges along for a couple of hours, all the time bellowing about heartbreak and redemption and not getting hit by the tiny little cars that would normally be zipping over this bridge if that cheese festival hadn’t been happening. At one point, the camera starts to drift away again, but Adele forces it back on her windswept tragedy and paleness.

  Then we switch to a close-up of Adele’s eyes, with this image overlaid on more scenes of the famous landmarks. (This is probably the part of the video intended to satisfy the European audiences, because Americans are uncomfortable with symbolism and the lack of explosions in their entertainment.) This is followed by Adele staring blankly in one direction while a man walks away behind her. Wait, who is he? Is he the one that made her cry?

  Guess we won’t find out. The camera does another arty 360-degree pan of our unclear and murky surroundings (Are we in a restaurant? Is that a wine bottle? Why would someone leave food in the window? How much are we supposed to tip?) until we get back to the mysterious walking-away man. Then we spin again, in case we missed something on the first tour.

  The camera finally comes to rest on Adele once more, with her still blankly staring and her departed lover still departing. Maybe it’s time for that shot of tequila…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mat Kearney - “Closer To Love”

  We start out with Mat sitting in what might be his house, watching a clock on the wall and wearing his trademark hat and tie that oddly remind me of that one guy in Flashdance who had to move away from Jennifer Beals and her warehouse apartment. Right at 3 o’clock, Mat picks up an outdated but trendy-again red phone, punches in a number, gets some woman’s answering machine, and then proceeds to leave this entire song as a message.

  I know, right? Way cool. My friends have never done that for me. They now officially suck.

  Anyway, Mat’s singing, and we start getting shots of this woman wearing a sweater and looking kind of blue about something as she wanders around somewhere. It might be the woman who really should answer her phone more often, but we don’t know. Then we get scenes of the other band members answering their own phones and starting to play their instruments. Again with the cool, and yet another confirmation that my own life is pretty drab and boring.

  We check in on Wandering Woman, and she’s now getting in an old-school car, where she proceeds to sit behind the wheel and cry. Did she forget how these things work? Poor thing. Maybe she’s just not good with technology. Oh wait, she finally gets the car going and drives down the road, still crying, so perhaps she should speak with a pharmacist about a nice regimen of pills.

  Now we have a montage of the Tear-Drenched Woman tooling around in her boat car, mixed with scenes of the band doing their nifty musical conference call and Mat warbling into the phone. (We’re already starting to run out of interesting angles to show Mat doing this, so hopefully they’ll jazz it up here in a bit.) Sad Woman just keeps driving, at one point apparently barreling over some train tracks without bothering to look, so she’s probably not going to win any safety awards.

  This montage goes on for a while, which is fine, because the song is quite lovely, with the vocals alone helping us get past things like the lack of special effects and an actual plotline. Eventually the Reckless Woman and her block-long car pull up at some house, and we’ll assume that it’s hers since she has keys that magically open the front door. Inside, it’s dark and gloomy, which is the first thing we need to fix if she’s ever going to be happy again and stop wearing oversized sweaters that are unattractive and fashion-repellant.

  Oh look, she just hit a button on her ancient answering machine, and she starts smiling, because at least she has musical friends even if they won’t come over and sing to her in person. She and her unavoidable sweater sit down and listen for a bit, which cues another montage of the band members doing the home-school jam session, then we cut to Mat jumping in his own car, which is also from back in the day, so either the people in this town love them some vintage or they are really, really poor.

  Mat and his hat drive for a while, passing some telephone poles that look suspiciously familiar, as Sweater Woman rests her head on the table while still listening to her message, so she might have some vitamin deficiencies that need attention. Mat pulls up outside a house and then just stares at the front door. It might be Anemic Woman’s dwelling, but nobody bothers to clarify anything, in that murky way that music videos have of skipping over things like continuity and plot resolution.

  Then everybody hangs up all their phones and the video ends. No word on the fate of the sweater.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lifehouse - “All In”

  Okay, folks, this is basically concert footage with no story, so we’ll have to do the time-stamp thing where I totally make things up. Here we go…

0:02  Apparently there’s a hyperactive but very rhythmic woodpecker loose in the building.

0:07  The drummer gets electrocuted. Guess they better hire that woodpecker.

0:10  Apparently there’s only one porta-potty for miles around.

0:20  Impromptu Beatles tribute.

0:29  Jesus descends from heaven to play guitar. That was sweet of Him.

0:39  Band member is very uncertain about things like video cameras and hairbrushes.

0:43  Lead singer Jason confuses headphones with binoculars.

0:48  Group hug to celebrate the arrival of clean underwear.

0:54  Handy list of code phrases for sexual acts, to be handed out to approved groupies.

1:02  Brief glimpse of Child of the Corn in audience. (Run!)

1:09  Jason doesn’t want us to say anything about the mishap with the vodka.

1:15  Jason tackles much larger band member. Assuming that somebody ate the last bit of something when it wasn’t theirs to eat.

1:22  Spotlights search for Waldo. Find marijuana smoke instead.

1:36  Jason risks life by touching people who may not be sanitary.

1:41  Super ugly couch scares all.

1:51  Teenyboppers fondle a passing Jason, reach pinnacle of their otherwise unimportant lives. Joblessness in future.

1:55  What’s up with the walking stick?

2:02  Jason forgets where the stage is. (Pssst. Head toward the light. No, really.)

2:18 Very odd dance routine that might be part of a tribal sacrifice.

2:23  Unidentified person with massive amounts of air is very proud of himself, wears t-shirt proclaiming own greatness.

2:42  Flannel never dies.

2:47  Jesus identifies gummy bear that has sinned greatly.

2:59  Jason struts down music-fashion runway in Milan.

3:08  Jesus turns water into guitar.

3:17  Jason kills creepy bug with karate move.

3:20  Something electrical explodes. No one cares.

3:29  Groupies audition large mouths.

3:31  Jason spies truth about band member’s manhood.

3:36  Another odd dance move, this one celebrating truckers and the rigs they drive.

3:40  17 roadies cannot figure out how to close purple curtain.

3:42  Band member points out Amelia Earhart in audience.

4:01  Entire audience loses natural skin tone after eating suspect nachos.

4:04  Band gets word that Barry Manilow is in da house, ends set and rushes backstage for festivities and more dancing.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

John Mayer - “Waiting On The World To Change”

  We start out with random shots of some city, possibly NYC, with images of buildings and skylines. There’s not a lot of people around, which means that Glenn Beck must be in town, but this is not confirmed. Cut to John walking along the river, heading toward what could be the Brooklyn Bridge or possibly Aretha Franklin’s next hairdo. He doesn’t look very happy, but then this song isn’t exactly about brown paper packages tied up in string.

  We begin seeing some folks messing around in what might be an artist’s studio, sketching out draft versions of something and flipping through picture books for inspiration. Some of these books look very, very angry. I’m going to assume that there won’t be any rainbows and unicorns in the final art project. Just a guess.

  John keeps walking, because that’s just something you do in New York. (That, and pay too much for everything.) Cut back to the artist colony or whatever, and some of the folks seem to be prepping gas masks for use, which seems a little odd, even for people with the variety of tattoos that some of them have. But most of them seem content with just the sketching and the wearing of unique, confrontational clothing. (What is that one man wearing on his head? I guess we don’t have stores like that where I live.)

  Things become a little clearer when the guys start gathering up spray paint cans. Ah, so we’re about to do some serious tagging, are we? I thought people did that out of boredom and/or drunkenness. I didn’t realize you had to make plans and study books and type up an itinerary. And have John Mayer narrate your story while wearing a hoodie and walking glumly next to a dirty river. Seems like a lot of work to me.

  The guys finally head outside and split into a few groups, carrying their gas masks and paint cans, an image that will make innocent bystanders feel completely comfortable, right? Some of the guys are climbing over walls and such, but I don’t know if they are actually sneaking around the city or just goofing off in somebody’s backyard.

  It takes a while for everyone to get to their destinations, since they first have to do important things like stop for coffee and pose with tourists while wearing the gas masks. (The tourists, like most tourists, are really happy to be having their picture taken even though they have no idea what’s going on. This is how the “American Idol” auditions were born.) Eventually, everyone gets to their locales and out come the spray cans.

  It’s actually quite interesting to see how the images take shape, in an “oh, so that’s how they make the overcrowded graffiti I can see while riding the subway” kind of way. Of course, it helps that these guys are obviously actual artists, and not just degenerates unprofessionally spraying lame sentiments such as “Thump Daddy” or “Azz Master” or “U A Bitch!”.

  John’s still walking along that damn river, probably wisely avoiding any legal issues that might arise from questionably-attired men spraying things like guns and exploding worlds on the side of a delicatessen. Good move, John, it’s hard to accept a Grammy from your prison cell.

  So far, they’ve only let us see bits and pieces of the whole images, mixed in with odd-angle shots of cans shaking, arms spraying and defiant clothing, so there’s a bit of excitement about what the final products will look like. At the same time, this is the part of the song where John tells us about 147 times that he’s waiting on that world change mess. Got it, John, me too. Now, can we look at the pictures?

  Nope, not yet, we’ve got to review some scenes of people sitting around all disaffected but hopeful, gazing at the camera with wistful longing for a better place and time. These people must work at the same place that I do.

  And, finally, there we go with the big reveal. The artwork really pops, and although there may have been a bit of camera trickery, the placement of the pieces is really impressive. I’m not a fan of defacing public property, but these things look pretty cool, even more so considering they had to sneak around while they were doing this. Then the song ends and we get a disclaimer that “All murals were produced on private property by commissioned artists.”

  Well, hell, that sort of sucked the fun out of it. John, dude, a bit on the wimp-out side, eh? Where’s your rebel spirit? Then again, you’ve dated Jennifer Love Hewitt, so that pretty much trumps anything I might have to say. Rock on with your law-abiding self.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Timbaland, One Republic - “Apologize”

We start out with a shot of Timbaland sitting at a mixing board in a recording studio, his hand splayed out over the buttons to remind everyone that he has complete control of everything, then we cut to somebody’s anonymous hands playing a piano. (They’re wearing fingerless gloves, so you know they have issues.) Then the camera rolls around a bit, introducing the rest of the band’s feet. (Is the camera person really short?)

We finally get to see some actual faces, first with Timbaland apparently conducting a gospel choir that we can’t see, and then lead singer Ryan Tedder, sitting down and making anguished faces. (I guess it hurts for him to sing.) We study his facial anxiety for a bit, the we check in on some of the other band members, who are basically doing nothing right now and waiting on the more exciting part of the song. (The drummer looks especially peeved, gripping his silent drumsticks like he’s got something lodged somewhere.)

Suddenly, there’s a startling image of a woman’s eyes filling the screen, followed by another startling image of a man who doesn’t own a brush. (Quick jump back to the studio, where the rest of the band is finally getting to play.) Then we’re with the couple again, and the man is approaching the woman as they are attending what might be a prom, a reunion, or an event at a really bad dating service. (Think cheesy decorations and people pretending to be happy when they’re not.)

Speaking of dissatisfaction, the woman is staring at the man with exactly that, although we don’t know why. (I’m guessing the hair.) But before we’re allowed to raise our hands and ask questions, we cut back to the studio where we learn that… the band is still playing and Timbaland is still in control of the entire music scene. I think we’ve got this part down, folks. No need to come back here.

We drop in on the prom again, where Hairy is suddenly smooching on some woman that we don’t know about, in that really dramatic, swoopy way that people kiss when they want other people to know that they are kissing. The first girl watches this with the same dissatisfied air, so she just might be one of those people who can never be happy. (She’s holding a cocktail, so it can’t be all bad, honey.) Another brief snippet of the band, and now Hairy is staring at a blank spot on the floor while some Meatloaf-dude is laughing off to the side.

What the hell? Oh, never mind, I’m not that invested.

And we’re with the band again, where Ryan is still scrunching his face to get those words out. (Might want to see someone about that condition, guy.) The camera pans to the other band members, but no one is doing anything very interesting, so we shuffle off to the prom again. Sadly, Hairy is just standing there and possibly doing deep-breathing exercises. Let’s pick things up, people. We need an explosion or something.

We don’t immediately get one. Instead, we spend some more time in the Jesus and Apostles Recording Studio, where we learn that Ryan might actually be giving birth as he belts out the higher notes of the song. Brief shot of Meatloaf-Guy drunkenly hugging Hairy, so who knows how that’s going to turn out. This is followed shortly by one of the guitar players so bored out of his skull that he’s staring at the ceiling.

Did they just not have a lot of film for this shoot?

Oh, now we’ve got something going on at the prom. It seems that all of the people except Hairy are now frozen in place. I’m fairly certain they’re not playing Simon Says, but I’m not ruling it out. Hairy wanders around the stiff people for a bit, probably wondering if there’s memo he didn’t get. Lo and behold, he finds Unhappy Girl lip-locking with another human statue. I’m guessing she’s moved on from Hairy. Well, she was trying to move on before somebody threw a circuit breaker up in this grill.

Now we have a montage of the band playing and Hairy looking really sad, complete with arm flourishes from Timbaland. Hairy stumbles around until he sees a “Happy New Year!” sign, which somehow signals everybody to unfreeze and continue with the drinking and hooking-up. We end with a clock ticking to zero, Hairy not really learning anything because he still hasn’t brushed his hair, and Ryan gives birth to a final high note before we fade to black.

No final word on Meatloaf. Maybe we’ll learn what happened when he releases his next album, Brat Out of Hell III: I’d Do Anything For Love. Period.

Click Here to Watch This Video on YouTube.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Michael Franti and Spearhead - “Say Hey (I Love You)”

Note: We’ll have to do the timestamp thing with this one. We’re in a quaint little village somewhere, a place where everyone seems to be very happy and they all have a terrific sense of rhythm…

0:03 A bunch of colorful fruits fly past one side of the camera, perhaps a tribute to an after-hours party at a gay club.

0:06 Michael first appears, barefoot and straddling a horse-drawn wagon, letting us know that he’s down-to-earth and folksy. He also lets us know that he’s very popular by waving to various people who may or may not know who he actually is.

0:10 First appearance of a gaggle of dancing street-women who become progressively more aggressive as the song bops along.

0:17 Michael starts singing and lets us know a few more things about himself, such as a fondness for arm-waving and an inability to remain still.

0:24 Some random man either greets us with a tropical hand gesture or flips us off in a show of gang-based dominance. Not clear.

0:25 A bored circus acrobat.

0:28 Random woman is startled to find a urine specimen on her window sill and wonders who might have left it there.

0:34 Affectionate lesbians followed by a set of young girls running away from doing something they probably weren’t supposed to be doing.

0:37 Pack of shirtless boys jumps off a roof because there’s nothing good on TV.

0:44 Michael practices posing for a toothpaste commercial.

0:48 Geeky boy and girl run away from the camera, making them the only two on the island who don’t want to participate in spontaneous street dancing.

0:56 Confused but happy woman is not aware that she has apparently lost her blouse at some point.

1:03 Second in a series of startling close-ups of Michael’s feet. Not really seeing the need for this mess, but nobody asked me.

1:10 Fool playing with a snake, like this is advisable in any way.

1:15 Even grandma has the music in her. Yay!

1:25 Michael struts through someone’s hanging laundry, just because it’s there, then we cut to a probably-drunk man who clearly wins the award for questionable facial hair.

1:36 The wild-abandon street dancers kick it up another notch, clapping and swiveling and shimmying. The only thing that can really explain this is tequila.

1:48 Starting to get annoyed by the boys in that drum corps. Yes, they have great rhythmic skills, but I can only watch someone beat something with a stick for so long before I start to get a little paranoid.

1:58 Boys are still jumping off that roof. You’d think by now that someone would have told them that this is not one of their better game-play ideas. Or maybe this is local population control. Who knows.

2:06 Something shocking is happening in the booty of that woman’s dress. I hope she’s okay.

2:12 Lots more street dancers, all of them having attended the school of “use your breasts whenever possible”.

2:22 Another example of the mysterious booty invasion.

2:27 Did the Supremes get back together?

2:44 Barber trims boys hair while dancing and barely able to hold onto the clippers. Avoid this salon if at all possible.

2:52 The cast of “Stomp” makes a cameo appearance.

2:56 Unexplained martial arts sequence. With old people.

3:05 Montage of people kissing, some of them clearly not wanting to do so but the pay must have been good, and other people saying “I love you” to the camera, which is a bit forward, since we barely know each other, but as long as they still have some of that tequila around, it’s all good.

3:39 The video winds down with Michael in the middle of yet another street crowd, bouncing with far more energy than should naturally occur in the human body. But everybody seems to be happy, and you know the wrap party must have been a hoot…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

U2 - “Mysterious Ways”

Okay, somebody, somewhere took a whole bunch of drugs and slapped this puppy together. That can be the only explanation, and it forces me to do the time-stamp thing and not tell an actual story. Here we go…

0:02 First indication that we’re on a head trip, with shimmery campfire images of the band members waiting for the S’mores to be done.

0:11 Three women are stunned by what they have just seen.

0:15 First appearance of energetic belly dancer. Get used to her, that tramp is all over this thing.

0:21 Panoramic view of old buildings that might be important in some way, I just don’t know what that might be. Somebody’s doing laundry, that’s the only definite.

0:25 Bono gets artsy with an image of the moon. The moon does not seem pleased.

0:30 Brief confirmation of drug usage. I knew it.

0:35 Blurred people and a porta-potty. Something like that.

0:41 I think this is Bono, with an amazing amount of hair and a flamboyant shirt, but he won’t stay still long enough to make sure, insisting on doing an interpretative dance about bull-fighting and tequila.

0:49 Belly dancer girl, jackin’ those hips like there’s a prize.

1:00 Possibly The Edge and Larry, or maybe Yoko Ono and Troy Aikman, being stalked by someone with a kaleidoscope.

1:06 Trick photography allows Bono to clone himself, a life-long dream.

1:16 More interesting cinematography, with Bono relaxing on a rooftop and street-market patrons wondering why crazy foreigners have to take pictures of everything.

1:22 A possible prison break, details unclear.

1:28 Bono is very sad about the political climate in Wisconsin.

1:33 Larry really, really needs some sexual release.

1:43 Who invited the Republicans?

1:57 Interesting use of split-screen. We learn nothing, but it’s neat.

2:03 Belly dancer girl, reminding us that she’s the real star of this show and won’t stop dancing until we admit it.

2:13 Bono’s hair has apparently been nailed to a pretty floor.

2:27 Return to campfire. S’mores still not done.

2:40 The Edge experiences unfortunate loss of his head.

2:45 More split-screen crap, starting to get annoying.

2:52 Possible appearance by the Grim Reaper, wearing a non-regulation outfit.

3:05 Red-shirted Bono, who has been doing that odd dance the whole time, ups the ante by unbuttoning said shirt to a provocative level. Unclear what he hopes to achieve by doing this.

3:07 Damn Republicans are multiplying.

3:16 Escapee breaks back into prison, not emotionally satisfied by outside world.

3:20 Earthquake or really drunk camera man? You decide.

3:30 Bono hits the most interpretive part of his interpretive dance, kicking it up a notch and channeling very angry spirits with severe issues. Whatever has possession of him is apparently very important, and we spend the rest of the video watching Bono transform into everything from a clumsy snake-handler to a deranged Aztec priestess to what might possibly be a suppository. Video ends. Head-scratching does not…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Usher - “Burn”

We start out with some artsy shots of Usher’s face, because he is cute and we really shouldn’t forget that, then we cut to him sitting on what might be a confessional chair as he does the spoken-word intro to the song, in a seductive voice that makes us already forgive him for whatever he done did. Apparently he really misses somebody, and then we get a shot of a woman in shadows, with the camera purposely panning to her cleavage so we can fully understand why he misses her. She sheds a tear to show her pain.

Then the camera pulls back from the confessional chair, purposely letting us see Usher’s crotch, so even though these people might be regretful and sad, they’re still horny. (Or at least the cameraman is.) Next we have Usher wandering around his fancy crib and staring out the window, wearing sunglasses because it apparently didn’t occur to him that he should just close the blinds and the sun wouldn’t be so bright. He’s wearing a jacket with a different woman’s image on the back, so he must miss a lot of people.

He sings for a bit, either looking at the plush swimming pool in the backyard or his own reflection in the window glass, not clear. Suddenly we see a woman wandering around the pool (possibly the same woman who cried at the beginning of the video, maybe not), wearing that surely-uncomfortable combo of a skimpy bathing suit and high heels, a fashion choice that I really don’t get. She wanders around for a bit, making sure we can see that her bathing suit has been made out of the least amount of material possible to get past the censors.

Then she dives into the pool, which mystically causes the surface of the water to burst into flames. I’m thinking this can’t be a good development, but maybe they do things differently in California. While Flipperina frolics underwater, Usher continues to sing and not race to her rescue, so even though he might miss her, he’s not all that torn up about it.

Next up we have Usher rolling around in bed with another supermodel, maybe the same one, then he’s fully dressed and sitting on the edge of the bed while a woman sits in the background, wearing an oversized man’s shirt and looking sad that she doesn’t get to jump into something that’s on fire like her little runway friend got to do. Shirt Girl suddenly tries to hug Usher, but he’s not really impressed with that, probably because he’s trying to sing the song, and he shoves her away so she can go back to being sad on the other side of the bed.

Now we have a montage of various women making out with Usher, walking away from him, and wearing as little clothing as possible. Then Usher leaps off his well-used bed just as it bursts into flames, which is a wise move, making us wonder just what Usher might be eating that is causing all of these things to spontaneously combust. But before we can figure that out and advise on a better diet, we cut to a really expensive sports car tooling around some neighborhood.

Whoops, I guess we weren’t done with showing Usher making out with a string of lovely ladies, so we do some more of that, then we’re back with the fancy car. As Usher and his ballcap drive it around, we notice that one of the supermodels keeps appearing and disappearing from the passenger seat. (A seat that I fully expect to burst into flames, since that seems to be the theme of our little story.)

But no, the seat is safe for now, and instead we cut to the confessional room, where a giant picture of the supermodel starts burning instead. Usher is there, so we can no longer blame anyone else but him for the raging fires that are probably going to jack with somebody’s insurance premiums. Usher must be getting used to flames around him all the time, since he doesn’t run out of the room, singing more of the song and doing some nifty dance steps while the wall melts behind him.

And we’re back in the car, with the main supermodel suddenly appearing in the middle of the road and rudely causing Usher to have to slam on the brakes. (We get a brief glimpse of his angry face just before he does so, so they must have a love/hate thing going on.) Of course, when Usher and his blindingly-white tennis shoes hop out of the car, the woman has pulled a Hogwarts and disappeared again, or maybe she’s just turned sideways and the camera can’t see her because she’s so thin.

Anyway, rather than go look for her, Usher decides that the middle of the street is the perfect place to practice some more dance moves, so he does so. The special message in his choreography must have something to do with dandruff, because he keeps brushing off the shoulder of his jacket. But we are distracted from his footwork when the nearby trees start bursting into flames.

I really think it’s time that someone speak with Usher about controlling his special abilities. Maybe he should go to that nice X-Men school where the trainees learn things like discipline and only killing bad people. But before he goes anywhere, Usher insists on more choreography, this time telling the story of what can happen when you wear baggy jeans at really inappropriate times, with a subtext of how touching every part of your body numerous times can be really fun.

Eventually the song winds down, with a last image of the burning portrait, and then we end with Usher back in his turnstile bedroom, all alone and looking sad that nobody has bothered to make the bed…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Savage Garden - “Truly Madly Deeply”

Note: Not a whole lot happening with this one, but it takes place in Paris, so at least we have pretty things to look at during the slow bits. Here we go…

We start out with brief shots of a fancy statue, lead singer Darren, some woman hopping off a train and running away like she’s done something naughty, and an impatient man checking his watch while looking darkly handsome. Then we’re back to Darren walking down a street and bursting into song, because that’s something that just happens in Paris, it can’t be helped.

While Darren warbles, we get more shots of Running Woman and Impatient Man, and it becomes clear that he’s waiting for her to get her ass to wherever he is. Apparently Running Woman (let’s call her Claire) is not the best at directions or remaining focused, because she just keeps stampeding around and looking frazzled. Impatient Man (let’s call him Biff) not only doesn’t like to be kept waiting, he also doesn’t care for nearby couples at cafes who perform public displays of affection, because he keeps glaring at them.

Darren just keeps walking and singing while pretty leaves fall from the trees and old buildings get older.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is basically the whole video. Claire runs and runs and runs and Biff waits and waits and waits. This is the part where you forget about the boring couple and just start looking at all the pretty sights of Paris. Conveniently, Claire manages to run past quite a few of the more popular destinations, so we have a nice mini-tour without having to sit on a crowded bus where other people smell bad and keep blocking your view out the window.

Oh, and Darren is also serving as Julie the Cruise Director, wandering by some famous places as well. (If he would just stand still for a minute, surely Claire will come running along and he can give her some directions, or at least hand her a bottle of water for the next leg of the marathon.)

Eventually, Biff gets fed up and leaves the café, which is not a good move. Claire obviously has issues finding a stationary target, so she’s really going to fall apart finding a moving one. Biff climbs some pretty stairs that look ominously like those mean steps in The Exorcist where people died, so who knows where this is going. If a priest walks up, we’re in trouble.

Claire runs. Darren sings. Biff makes it harder for Claire to find him. The citizens of Paris ignore all of this, because tourists are constantly doing stupid things in their town and they’re over it.

Claire finally stops to ask for directions, something I would have done three days ago, but Claire is young and pretty and logic isn’t important to her yet. Then she goes running up those Exorcist stairs, so perhaps she’s getting warmer, managing to at least get in the right part of town.

Oh, maybe those stairs proved to be a breaking point for Claire, because she stops halfway up them and just sits, letting the camera twirl around her, capturing her messy but cute hairdo. While she catches her breath, we get another montage of Darren marching along in his couture and Biff not staying in one place, making things harder for Claire and the attention span of the viewing audience.

At one point, Claire climbs up the hill in Montmartre so we can get some nice views of the city and she can plot her next move in the quest for Waldo. Darren, apparently thirsty, goes into a Bohemian little bistro where the rest of his band is conveniently playing, allowing him to continue with the singing. And who knows what Biff is doing, we stopped caring.

Claire comes down off the hill, pausing to stare at the famous carousel, an apt symbol of her going in circles and not getting anything done while music plays. Then she heads off to wander through more of the city, not running now, because that was clearly getting her nowhere. (Darren keeps singing in the bistro, not bothering to order anything, so you know the staff hated him for taking up one of their limited tables and jacking with their tips.)

Finally, after glumly strolling past tons of historic places where Biff isn’t, Claire turns a corner and there’s her man, slumped up against an ancient wall, looking like a strung-out junkie with disappointment issues, probably not the vision the producers were going for, but these things happen with poor set-design planning. They happily embrace one another while Darren hits some especially high notes in the song.

We end the video with Clair and Biff meandering through the few parts of the city that we haven’t already visited, Darren either leaving or getting kicked out of the bistro, and the people of Paris quietly waiting for another city to become more popular so they can finally eat their croissants in peace….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Foo Fighters - “Learn To Fly”

Note: Dave Grohl and the rest of the band play multiple characters, as well as themselves, throughout the video…

We start out on a basically-empty airplane, with Jack Black and Kyle Glass as maintenance people who are doing who knows what in the food-service area of the plane. Apparently they are up to no good, because they slightly freak out when one of the flight attendants (Dave Grohl, swishing away) arrives, and they scurry about so that Jack can hide a small bag of something in the coffee machine. The flighty flight attendant doesn’t notice a thing, other than the fact that there are men around he can overly-touch for no apparent reason.

The song kicks off as we cut to the cockpit, where Dave and the gang are playing pilots, and cracking up about something in that “wow, these people are kind of nerdy” way. (Geeky men in a cockpit is just one of those things you don’t try to understand.) Then the passengers start arriving and the special effects folks go to town, working their magic so that Dave can play about 10 different personalities, some of them a little extreme. Let’s just say that plus-size people are not going to appreciate part of this.

We spend some time with the passengers getting all settled, and Dave does his best bit as a girl with braces who has a crush on… Dave. Happily for all, they are playing some Foo Fighters concert footage for all the actors to peruse, which is a good thing, because they’re going to be here all day so the video crew can capture all the different angles they need to make the split-screen Daves work in the video. Ain’t nobody gettin’ out of here anytime soon, so get comfortable and find something to read during the slow bits.

Okay, maybe Dave’s best bit, after all, is the fey flight attendant, because he’s having far too much fun doing the instructional “there are exits to the front, middle and back” routine. (Loved the hands-on-hips move, and the mess with the inflatable life preserver.) The plane takes off as we watch a clueless person not notice the bag of “world domination erotic sleeping powder” in the filter as he kicks off the coffee machine. One would normally wonder how you could not realize that the filter was already full, but we’ll blame it on the altitude and the free-flowing vodka at the craft services table.

Montage of the band playing on the plane monitors so we don’t forget that they have an album out. Get yours now! (And take the risk of this being the only song you like on the entire album, that eternal pitfall with music purchases. It happens, move on with your life.)

Cut to Teen-Girl Dave and her pigtails asking Dave for his autograph, which he happily provides while s/he strokes her hair and has a subtle orgasm. Teen-Girl then heads to the cockpit, where she flirts with the folks in there as well, so she might be something of a slut, despite the child-like pink ribbons she’s sporting. We watch as the flight crew schleps around the tainted coffee, which the passengers greedily suck down because there’s nothing else to do when crammed together in a giant tube.

Short bit where Flight-Attendant-Man Dave wanders into the cockpit with the love-potion coffee, and Captain Dave flirts with F.A.M Dave while the co-pilot fiddles with stick-shifts and such. It’s like soft porn on Castro Street, and everyone seems to be having a really swell time.

Back out in the plane proper, folks are getting a bit randy. (Well, the folks who drank the coffee are. The folks who didn’t are staring at the others and wondering if they’re on the right flight.) Meanwhile, Captain Dave and his Co-Tripper are a little messed up, and think it would be just keen to start rocking the plane from side to side. So all hell breaks loose, as passengers both horny and questioning are tossed across the aisles and things get spilled. It’s like Congress is in session.

Flight-Attendant Dave has a dramatic flame-out moment in the middle of the plane before he drops to the floor and throws his legs over his head. (Seriously, and I’m not even going to go there.) Real Dave and his buddies have had enough of the unexplained horniness and poor navigation, so they dash up to the cockpit to knock some heads together, where they find the crew all slumbering, courtesy of the aphrodisiac sleeping powder, and not actually flying the plane. Uh oh.

So, naturally, Dave and the gang are forced to “learn to fly” the plane, which they manage to do after only briefly glancing at a brochure they find lying nearby. They sweat and flip switches for a bit, but eventually we’re back on the ground and everybody lives to attend the Foo Fighters concert later that night.

We end with F.B.I. Dave arresting Jack and Kyle for Illicit Tampering With Heated Beverages While Wearing Ugly Jumpsuits, or some such, and they get hauled away while the original dorky pilots give them a thumbs up from the cockpit, and we get further confirmation that Dave Grohl has very interesting teeth. (Somewhere off-camera we can hear the Airplane movie producers saying “hey, this all looks really familiar…”)

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Coldplay - “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall”

We start out with the sun rising over a city skyline, then we drop down near a brick building where someone has drawn that same scene on the wall. Then the drawing comes to life, with colors oozing out, dripping down, and traveling across the ground to a pillar, where we find lead singer Chris leaning against it and belting the song. That was kind of cool, I’m good with things so far.

The colors turn into letters on the walls and floor, which spell out the lyrics in that weird stop-motion way they had in old Sinbad movies where people killed giant, mean animals, which is probably not where the producers meant for me to go. The time-lapse thing also makes Chris look like he’s having a small but continuous seizure, another concept that probably wasn’t in the script vision. It’s very, very busy.

This goes on for a while, and probably took about three years to shoot, with Chris wandering all over the place and trying to remember exactly where he was standing as they stop and add another letter to a wall or pillar. It’s very bright and colorful, in a primary-school manner that was probably designed by little Apple. (Well, I’m assuming that Apple is still little. Just how long has it been since Gwyneth gave birth to produce?)

No surprise, this keeps going on for a while, with aggressive colors and letters invading the entire old building. They finally bring out the rest of the band members, which does add an element of newness, but we’re still basically seeing the same thing with the stop-motion, some unseen artist running out to add another splash of yellow, then the cameras starting up again with people an inch or so out of place, just enough to make you wonder if the oysters you had for lunch were a little off.

Just as I’m starting to think that I’m really not psychologically prepared for all this constant jerkiness, Chris turns and dashes into an open doorway, which magically leads to what might be a nightclub. It’s hard to tell, because now the annoyance factor has turned to somebody screwing around with flashing blacklights, but at least we now have something of a proper stage, with the rest of the band banging away.

We also have day-glo paint. Everywhere. An explosion of symbols and such all over the walls and whatever else they could reach with a paintbrush. Which makes the person flipping the black-lights on and off even more worthy of a harsh prison sentence, since your mind slightly fries every time the lights flash on. But Chris doesn’t seem to mind.

In fact, he seems to be energized by the new set, bopping and bouncing while he continues to wail. How nice for him. Then he gets tired of that, and we’re back outside for some more stop-motion mess, this time making Chris travel all over the grounds without actually moving his feet. Based on the smirky grin on his face, I’m assuming this was his favorite part of the production.

Then we’re back in the day-glo disco, probably because they hired the black-light switch-flipper for the whole day and they might as well get their money’s worth. Chris bounces some more, the band keeps things percussive and upbeat, and the cameraman shows us 512 different angles of the same stage.

Back outside again, with the whole band this time, and more splatters and dribbles of paint. We also have the exciting introduction of stop-motion paint being thrown on the side of the building, all four or five stories of it. (I’m guessing this structure has been earmarked for demolition. Otherwise, somebody has some serious explaining to do.)

And that’s about it. We now have a long montage of all the previous scenes, with the day-glo and the lettering and the mind-of-it’s-own paint which has now taken on a slightly-demonic cachet and could possibly star in a slasher movie. (Rainbows of Death!) We wind down with the band members slowly disappearing from the jam session, until we just have the drummer, appropriate for how the song ends. Then he abruptly vanishes as well.

Please exit the ride on your left side. Thank you.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rihanna, Avril Lavigne - “Cheers (Drink To That)”

Note: This is apparently Rihanna’s “personal cut” of the video, with random snippets of concert scenes, bits of what might be vacation footage, shots of people in serious need of rehab, and anything else she could find where she and her friends look cute. So we’ll do the time-stamp thing…

0:03 Over-eager and possibly drunken fans chanting Rihanna’s name because someone has turned a camera on them and people act a fool when that happens.

0:10 Rihanna does her own makeup? Who knew? (And why?)

0:13 Fireworks in the sky. Or an angel having an orgasm. You decide.

0:20 Rihanna driving a car somewhere. (That girl has some serious amounts of billowing hair, how can she see where she’s going?)

0:32 First of an amazing number of crotch and booty shots.

0:35 A scantily-clad Rihanna appeals to a higher power to help her get through yet another concert.

0:40 Rihanna apparently doesn’t understand that Whitney Houston already did the “ginormous bow in hair” thing back in the day, and we didn’t care for it then, either.

0:47 Rihanna shares her tongue with the world. Thank you.

0:55 Rihanna wears sunglasses bigger than her head.

0:58 Rihanna drinks a shot of something while on stage. We’ll assume it’s not water.

1:04 Avril Lavigne drinks something as well, and wants more.

1:08 Avril happily allows herself to be shoved into a swimming pool whilst riding a skateboard. These things can happen when you’re raised in Canada.

1:18 That’s one serious room-service spread. Holler.

1:29 Something unseemly is happening in a parking lot, no faces shown for legal reasons.

1:39 Is Rush Limbaugh off his meds again?

1:58 More angels having orgasms.

2:13 Repeat of Avril, the skateboard, the swimming pool, and wetness.

2:15 Rihanna sports hairdo bigger than Jupiter.

2:19 Correction. This hairdo is bigger than Jupiter. Was there a competition of some kind?

2:24 Rihanna samples island-grown produce. I’m sure it’s not the first time.

2:30 Rihanna is very proud of her nether region.

2:36 Rihanna attempts to outdo Liberace. Hits fail blog. But shows us her fanny as compensation.

2:44 People walking around backstage. Not exactly the most inspiring footage ever shot.

2:46 Rihanna and friends crawling under table. No explanation given.

3:07 I’m guessing there was an incident in Las Vegas. One of those things that’s supposed to stay there and never be talked about again.

3:25 Rihanna has far too much fun waving a flag.

3:39 Rihanna performs CPR on a conch shell. Conch shell proposes marriage.

3:49 Something to do with confetti and surprise attacks.

4:00 Rihanna welcomes the rest of her people to this planet, points out location of shopping malls.

4:14 More with the Vegas outfits. Clearly there’s a secret club that I don’t know about.

4:25 Startling mix of hand shadow and crotch placement, as Rihanna dismounts from balance beam and receives perfect 10.

4:30 Poor decision to allow drunken people to drive watercraft.

4:30 Cocktailed Rihanna and her hair holler something unintelligible, video ends. Presumably, Avril is still being shoved in that swimming pool somewhere. Guess she's still pining for that Sk8er Boi…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Temper Trap - “Sweet Disposition”

We start out with someone throwing a drum over the side of a building, so we might be dealing with some anger management issues. Cue some guy staring at something that just got broken, then we have lead singer Dougy breaking into the song while he and his band are gathered in a warehouse and somebody else throws a drumstick through the air in slow-motion. No idea.

Then we have a whole cavalcade of drumsticks flying. (Or maybe they’re chopsticks, which would totally change the meaning of the video, yes?) Quick shot of some person hiding behind a drum cymbal, possibly very shy or maybe just avoiding the stick projectiles, followed by shots of blank, white walls. I think I may have missed a memo somewhere.

We move on to an extended sequence where one of the band members is putting his guitar into a giant homemade slingshot, because this happens all the time when bands are unsupervised in warehouses, and we spend the next several minutes checking in on this naughty guitar as it slowly hurtles toward whatever. (Maybe the actual script for this video?)

Meanwhile, Dougy keeps singing and the rest of the band keeps playing, as drumsticks and guitars are airborne around them. Oh wait, we’ve also got some drums that look like stools joining the air-show, so this is turning into a really dangerous warehouse. Especially when the guitar finally slams into a mirror, sending shards of glass in all directions. Why do these people hate their instruments so much?

I guess they’re really proud of the guitar-mirror thing, because we get to see it happen about 20 more times so we can confirm that, yep, they done smashed a mirror with a guitar. Then we get some more flying chopsticks and people hiding behind cymbals (or symbols, which would totally change the meaning of the video, yes?).

For our next celebration of musical destruction, we have Dougy setting one of those stool drums on fire, again with the slo-mo. We watch the match slowly drop and the flames engulf the instrument, as Dougy stares with slightly-disturbing intensity and people presumably run get a bag of marshmallows. (Luckily, they won’t have to look for sticks, there’s plenty of those already lying around on the floor.)

Cut to that person hiding behind the cymbal, which turns out to be a good defensive move on his part as he gets pelted with some of those drumsticks. (Although that flimsy cymbal isn’t going to help much if the one dude reloads the guitar-slingshot, hope Cymbal Guy has a Plan B.) I guess somebody really doesn’t care for Cymbal Guy, because they throw a lot of sticks at him. Maybe it’s his odd ponytail, which I really don’t care for, either.

Then we’re back with that drum somebody threw off the side of the building when we first started. Turns out that drum is still attached to the rest of the drum set, and we watch as drums get yanked out from under the drummer, who continues to play despite his equipment disappearing. This is probably a political statement in some way. Or people were just bored.

We roll toward the end of the song with re-visits to all the mystifying vandalism and apparent emotional dissatisfaction. None of this stops Dougy from wailing away, of course, proving that you can overcome any odds, including self-destructive behavior and unexplained music videos. Final shot is of the rest of the drum set vanishing over the side of the building.

Hope the marshmallows were good…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Goo Goo Dolls - “Iris”

We start out with the lead singer up in some tower, rolling around in a chair so he can spy on folks and buildings with old-timey telescopes. (Already with the creepy, yes?) Cut to the band playing a gig in the middle of a traffic tunnel. (This is a very popular thing to do, based on how often it happens in music videos. I personally don’t get it, but I’m sure it’s enjoyable if you like that sort of thing.)

Back to the tower, where John the Possibly Crazy Scientist is still fiddling with his telescopes and peering downwards at who knows what. (He actually seems to be spending far more time rolling around in his little chair than actually peering into eyeholes, so he might not quite understand how this spying thing works.)

Both of the Johns start singing, which entertains us for a little bit, but this is the really slow part of the song so we hope things pick up shortly. Surely this isn’t how the entire video is going to go, with Tower Man twiddling and the band just standing there and blocking traffic. We need a meteor or zombies or a dramatic disregard for fashion. There’s going to be more to the story, right?

Well, maybe not. I mean, we do get to see a little more of the tower room, enough to realize that I really wouldn’t want to live there, not really fond of the décor. And the camera angle in the traffic tunnel widens a bit so that we can see actual cars driving through, slowly, as the occupants try to figure out why the hell there’s a band performing on the median. But the basic action is still the same: peering and playing.

Oh wait, maybe we’re finally getting something here. The scientist opens a door or some such, and leans over the side of the building, gazing downward. Is he planning to jump? That would be understandable, if his only other option is to go back inside with those damn telescopes. But no, he heads back into his Victorian laboratory, jacks around with an odd metal globe, and then snatches up some binoculars and begins to study something else he shouldn’t be looking at.

Then he’s back outside, back inside, back outside, rinse and repeat, all the while screwing with the telescopes and walking in a manner that allows his silk bathrobe to twirl prettily but still retain a bit of manly flair. He also leans against the window glass a few times, for variety, but this does not excite me in any way.

And the band? Still playing. In that tunnel. Not doing anything else.

Sigh. Come on guys, give me something to work with, here.

Hold up, new scene. Some folks are standing on the sidewalk of a street, looking up, even though the one lady should actually be looking in a mirror and realizing she needs to change her horrid outfit. Are they watching the indecisive scientist make up his mind about getting airborne? Maybe. But it’s raining where they’re standing, and the sun was shining back up in the Peeping Tom Penthouse. Was the film editor drunk, or is the tower so high that it’s in a different weather pattern?

The wet and ugly people go away for a while, so we can watch more of the band playing in the tunnel. They’re actually moving around a little bit now, trying to generate some excitement, but it’s far too little, too late. I am SO not clapping when they are done. And please don’t come back out for an encore, or I might have to join the scientist on his wishy-washy ledge. I can certainly help him come to a final decision.

Speaking of The Guy Who Can’t Make Up His Mind, we cut back to him as he’s sitting in his vintage office chair in the middle of the room, leaning his head back and spinning around while the camera also spins around, blurring things. This might be a tribute to the movie Vertigo. This might be drugs. No one is explaining anything.

Then the professional Looky Loo starts rolling all over the room in his chair, going faster and faster as the music amps up. Maybe he got a note from one of the producers that we have GOT to pick things up or we’re going to lose the Tokyo fans, because they like action and artful death. Then he goes back out on the ledge, and pauses. Really? Just flip a coin dude.

Cut to ugly, wet couple on the sidewalk, still looking up. I guess they don’t have real jobs like the rest of us. Maybe they used to be air traffic controllers.

And we’re back to a slow part of the song, which doesn’t bode well for Tokyo. The band members stand around while someone else apparently plays this bit, and we get wistful slo-mo images of the chair wheels turning in the tower. It’s like somebody tried filming a Sylvia Plath poem, but then went to get a burger and just left the camera running.

Whew, the music started jamming again just before it was time for Ophelia to float by in a river, and folks get lively once more. Of course, they’re still doing the same boring things they were previously, but at least they are moving. Suddenly, we get a brief glimpse of lead singer John marching rather quickly down the tunnel, away from the band. (Is he quitting? I would have at this point. Actually, I wouldn’t have been in the tunnel to begin with so I guess my opinion doesn’t matter.)

Nope, must have been a pee break, because John’s soon back with the band. (Or maybe he ran into his publicist at a hot dog stand and harsh words sent him scurrying back to play nice.) They jam for a bit more as the video winds down, then John takes off again as the song and the images start to fade.

Last shot is of the antique chair in the tower room, and it’s empty. Oh? Did the oddly-dressed man actually go through with it? Hmm. Maybe those air traffic controllers can catch him. That one girl looked pretty sturdy…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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