Sunday, January 30, 2011

Faith Hill - “Breathe”

  We start out with some nice nature shots of the Serengeti Desert, or some place where things seem to be a bit dusty and the Earth and sky have a lovely sepia tone with neutral colors that a savvy realtor would suggest you use on the walls of your dining room to get a better return on your investment. Then Faith proves that she is an eternal spirit of some kind by rising out of a picturesque lake and waving her hands about like one of the lesser deities in a Hindu poem.

  Next we have Faith wearing what I think they call a “sheath dress”, which means that she’s basically wrapped her ass in a silk sheet and then turned to the camera. She’s doing some interesting hand gestures to imply that she has achieved self-acceptance and a love of windswept places where she is the only person on the horizon.

  Oh wait, now we’re seeing Faith in some bed, with the silk theme continuing in the form of bed sheets that she’s wallering around in as presumably someone somewhere else in the house is making her coffee. As the camera caresses her toned body on this bed, we learn that Faith has enough hair that set designers can spread it out all over the pillow like something that might be mistaken for a Venus Flytrap in darker lighting. This is the first point where I realize that Faith really doesn’t like to look directly at the camera when she’s singing. What’s up with that?

  Now we’ve got Faith back in the desert, and she’s swaddled in a gauzy red contraption like ancient Druids might have asked her to wear during an important ceremony involving sheep. Oh wait, maybe we weren’t supposed to see that yet, because we quickly cut to Faith doing some type of hand yoga. I think maybe Faith is more invested in this hand activity than we are. And then we’re back in the silk-sheeted bed, and it might just be me, but I’m thinking Faith is a wee bit more horny than anyone planned for on this shoot.

  Quick shot of Sheath-Dress Faith, and then we’re back to the Horny Bed with Faith almost showing us France. More Sheath-Dress, and now we can see that the back of this couture is weirdly designed and yet still sensual, and it’s fairly clear that Faith liberated her bra at some point. And more of Faith in that bed, where it appears to be very difficult for her to keep her legs still. I guess the designer sheets do much more for her than the average naked woman on a video shoot.

  And we’ve got Sheath-Dress Faith doing more yoga out in the desert, assuming a difficult pose that I can only describe as Twirling Dog Discovers Tail. Suddenly, it gets very dramatic in that desert, with Faith raising her arms to welcome interplanetary spacecraft as they invade the planet. Perhaps Faith left out a few details in her official biography.

  We get more shots of Sheath Faith strutting about, letting us know that she practiced walking around in this dress a lot. Brief bit of Faith playing with her hair, then we’re back in the bed where Faith is on the verge of personal satisfaction, and more images of Gauzy Faith tromping through more of the desert.

  Now Bed Faith is sitting up, and you know there were personal stylists tripping over each other to make sure we don’t see the naughty bits. Faith doesn’t care, tugging on the sheets in a teasing way, and flopping around in a manner to indicate somebody hasn’t been giving Momma enough attention.

  Back to the desert so one of the Faiths can dance in the middle of a crop circle, another facial shot of Faith, and then Bed Faith is thrusting her breasts in the air in a moment of absolute silken bliss. (Did they really show this thing on Country Music television? Because this girl has needs.)

  Now we start seriously jump-cutting around among the various Faiths, with the central theme of this segment being that Faith really doesn’t know what to do with those breasts of hers. She tries dancing, and more yoga, and some business where she clutches at her hair whilst on that sex bed, but nothing is bringing her any true satisfaction. Poor thing.

  And it’s starting to get late, as the sun sets on the two Faiths that like prancing around in the desert, and we have a new Faith that is wearing what might be a wedding dress. Faith really seems to like this new outfit, twirling and waving her arms like there’s a prize if she can convince Air Force One to land nearby. But then Faith changes her mind about assisting landing aircraft, and she starts pawing at her hair like she has so many itches that she doesn’t know where to begin scratching.

  We get some more close-ups of Faith, and she’s still doing that annoying thing where she looks away from the camera, possibly making sure that Tim McGraw isn’t eyeing the Craft Services girl. She seems kind of mad during this bit, so I’m going to guess that she spied Tim asking for way more sushi than he really needs.

  We wind it up with Wedding Dress Faith doing something that requires her to squat in the desert while the sun sets, another close-up of Faith Who Doesn’t Like To Look At The Camera, and a final ballet of Faith hand movements indicating that the interplanetary spacecraft should return to orbit. Because the human race is not ready for forced domination by a woman with unsatisfied bedroom needs…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sick Puppies - “Maybe”

  We start off at some decrepit gas station / roadside diner in the middle of nowhere, with a guy sitting on the porch and looking sad, so I guess the patty melt isn’t any good. Some pretty girls drive up in a car, which jump starts the song. (Things like that probably happen a lot when you’re pretty and have automotive access.) The sad guy just looks at them, so either he doesn’t work there or he doesn’t understand his job.

  Cut to the band playing at a deserted intersection, still in the middle of nowhere. I wouldn’t really advise selecting the point where two highways cross as a musical venue, but nobody has been run over yet so I guess it’s okay. And even if somebody does get flattened, it won’t be the first time a headline has been run saying “Band Members Killed Doing Something Questionable In The Wrong Place”.

  Cut to inside the diner, where some waitress is carrying food out of the kitchen, then we head back to the sad guy out front (let’s call him Wilfred) working on the Pretty Girls ride, with the hood up and the girls squirming and smiling in the car because that man over there has a video camera. Zip over to the waitress (we’ll dub her Parsley), who walks up to a couple at a table, and she manages to spill food on the patron with the bigger breasts.

  The manager rushes out and starts berating Parsley, even though I’m thinking the people at the table should be chided for their pathetic outfits. (Parsley was just trying to cover up the atrocious attire!). Sadly, no one understands the inner beauty of Parsley, and they all keep yelling at her.

  Now we're back outside, with Wilfred giving the Pretty Girls directions to… who knows, a Pretty Girl convention where they can make fun of the less genetically-gifted. We also see Parsley getting fed up and apparently quitting her job, tossing her apron at the jerk manager and presumably not winning Employee of the Month and the special parking place.

  More of the band playing at that intersection. A tiny part of me would like to watch a semi suddenly roar into view. Don’t want anybody to get hurt, of course, but it would be fun to watch them scream and run, and see who bothers to save the band equipment from danger and who doesn’t, because that’s the true test of a devoted band member.

  Now we have Wilfred staring into his bedroom mirror and looking Emo. I’m distracted by the odd white spots all over said mirror, and I guess Wilfred is as well, because he starts packing his things and prepping to move to a place where you can see yourself better in the mirror. Meanwhile, Parsley is in her own kitchen, which is really unattractive and cramped, so she also grabs a suitcase and proceeds to throw her couture into the battered case, inspired by the dream of an apartment where she can have a bagel without sitting near an ugly refrigerator.

  Mixed shots of Wilfred and Parsley both strutting along with their satchels and packing their cars for the Big Move. Then they’re both on the highway and we have some nice travel scenes, with Wilfred wearing his undershirt so we can see that he has muscles, and Parsley wearing her lips so we can see that she would be a good friend to have if you need to actually seal an envelope with a kiss.

  Oh, look, poor Parsely seems to be lost, so she spreads her map out on the hood of her car. (Because that thing is not going to be hot after driving through the desert for a couple of days.) And the tragedies continue, with Wilfred’s car doing something that requires him to get agitated and lift the hood, and then clench his head in dissatisfaction so we can see that he has odd armpit hair that seems to have been trimmed. (Is this something new that I don’t know about?)

  Well, yay, Parsley seems to be feeling a little better about things, because now she’s standing on the shore of what might be a lake and spreading her arms wide while appearing appreciative and happy. (We’ll toss aside the bit about how those deeply-wedged shorts of hers can’t be all that comfortable.) And it seems that Wilfred got his car running again, so we’re all getting back to the happy place.

  Both of them are heading into Los Angeles, naturally, because that’s where your dreams instantly become true as long as you’re pretty and sleep with the right people enough. Wilfred is so thrilled to be here that he starts singing in a park, causing people to hurl coins into his guitar case, even though the people doing the hurling look like they really ought to save those coins so they can pay for a shower.

  In a fun little twist, we see Wilfred and Parsley walking past one another at a Venice Beach intersection without realizing that they are apparently meant to live happily ever after and raise maladjusted kids who don’t understand socially-accepted norms of behavior. This is followed by scenes with both of them getting jobs at trendy shops on the beachfront, because it wouldn’t be as glamorous if they had to work at a sewage treatment plant like real people.

  As the band still rocks out at that dusty intersection in the desert which apparently no one ever uses, we end the festivities with Wilfred and Parsley managing to run into each other on a sunlit boardwalk. They both grin sheepishly at each other in that way supermodels have of pretending to be interested in each other, and then the music fades as seagulls cry and Parsley allows the dying sunlight to caress her amazingly supple and moist lips…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nickelback - “Far Away”

  We start off at a nice little suburban house, where a cute guy is making a video of his girl wallering around in the bed in a possibly post-coital afterglow. She pretends as if she doesn’t really care for him doing that, but she looks like a supermodel so you know she’s lying and loves the attention. Then he hops in bed with her to read the newspaper, all cozy and full of undying love for each other since their combined genes will produce amazingly-stunning children.

  Then the phone rings, and the guy (let’s make this easier and give him a name, like Chisel) answers, apparently getting the news that he has to go to work. The girl, we’ll call her Bree, gets a little pouty about their interrupted interlude. But Chisel knows how to work this scene, giving her a smooch so that her instantly-raging libido convinces her that she can happily lay on her ass in the bed until he gets back for round two. Chisel grabs his things and races off to make the bacon. Wait, is he carrying a firefighter’s jacket?

  Yep, he’s wearing one as he hops in his buddy’s truck and they drive off to a staging area where lots of firefighters are dashing about and strapping things on. We even have helicopters buzzing about, so this looks pretty serious. Chisel and his buddy, Pec, slap on their hats and race to do their thing. We have a sense of foreboding that something is going to go terribly wrong, and it probably will, because that’s what makes a good story, right?

  Meanwhile, back at the house, Bree gets bored and finally turns on the TV. Oh my, seems we have a massive forest fire causing the soap operas to be pre-empted. Damn. Then Bree manages to remember that her lover happens to be a firefighter, and he just ran out the door and all, and… maybe she should pay attention to what’s going on and not check out what’s playing on Lifetime?

  Cut to a helicopter flying over an area filled with smoke. (Are we at the Republican National Convention?) No, wait, it’s a forest, and it’s definitely on fire. The chopper lands, and Chisel and Pec hop out to receive their instructions from somebody probably named Gunner or Brick. Once informed, they grab hoses and dash off to a section of the fire that is naturally dangerous and rife with the opportunity for somebody to instantly become a giant S’more.

  While working on their hefty hoses, Chisel and Pec are suddenly surrounded by Mr. Heat Miser and his entire family. Chis and Pec need to get out of there, pronto. They start to follow other escaping co-workers, but Pec does something that leads to him lying face down and not doing any running. Chisel doesn’t think twice about racing back into the bad place to rescue his now-unconscious buddy.

  Chisel carries Pec out of danger, then tries to signal a nearby helicopter on the ground that we have an issue. Instead, the helicopter flies away (Break time? You know how those unions are.) and then a giant flaming tree falls on Chisel. Well, hell. You try to save somebody’s life and an angry tree attacks you. It’s just not right.

  Back at the ranch-style house, Bree gets a phone call that things are grim. She has something of an emotional breakdown, perfectly understandable, but I don’t get why we don’t see any actual tears or runny makeup. Maybe she’s not a method actress. Perhaps somebody should have handed her some chopped onion before they yelled “Action”.

  A truck pulls up outside the house, so non-crying Bree races out to get the scoop. Somebody jumps out, but it’s not Chisel. Somebody else appears. Still not Chisel. Then some woman we don’t know. (Who the hell are all these people?) Then, glory day, Chisel gets out and only has a tiny little band-aid for his troubles. Hurray! Bree runs down the driveway, launches herself through the air, and manages to wrap her legs around Chisel’s waist in a jubilant but still slightly sexual manner. They kiss lovingly, and then presumably go back in the house to resume the production of beautiful children for years to come…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Third Eye Blind - “Semi-Charmed Life”

  We start off, briefly, in outer space, then we zoom all the way down to an American flag on somebody’s motorcycle jacket sleeve. It was probably important to somebody that we start out that way, but I didn’t learn anything from it. Then we have lots of people riding motorcycles down part of a road where “STOP” is clearly painted on the pavement. I’m guessing these people are not interested in being told what to do.

  Then we’re traveling in a car with what might be the band members and a dog, but no one is wearing a name tag so it could be anybody. They seem to be going somewhere industrial, but it’s not really clear because the video producers thought it would be fun to shoot things with a shaky camera. At some point the lead singer, Stephen, must have fallen out of the car because he’s suddenly walking down the street all by himself.

  So he starts singing the song and almost immediately runs into the side of a building. It doesn’t look like that was planned, but Stephen is a trooper and keeps going. Meanwhile, those people on the motorcycles are zipping all over town, and they’re already starting to get a little annoying. They need to get wherever they’re going and stay there. This is followed by a few shots of some geeky guy that most likely has dating issues.

  Then we’re back in the car for a little bit, still driving toward who knows, and then cut to a venue where the band is playing. They seem very happy to be doing so, which is nice, and their happiness probably has something to do with the fact the Jesus is one of the guitar players. Nothing puts a smile on your face like Divinity in a jam session.

  Everybody bops for a little bit, then we’ve got more of those damn motorcycles racing about. I’m not claiming to be a skilled motorcyclist, but I’m not sure these folks need to be in control of moving vehicles. We seem to be having difficulty with things like staying on the road and not running over people.

  Cut to Stephen outside some produce market or some such, with lots of people pretending to not look at the camera as they mill about, waiting for something to happen. This batch of people doesn’t appear to be very happy, so they might be waiting for trials to start where they’ve been accused of involvement in unsavory activities. Stephen doesn’t care and just keeps singing. Then he starts walking down the street and interrupts some kissing lesbians. But instead of yelling at him, they yell at each other, so I don’t think that relationship is going anywhere.

  And once more with the jam session at the unknown venue, where Jesus is just alright with them, then we have Stephen hopping excitedly down a sidewalk. Then he’s suddenly running very fast, so he must have done something very bad and has decided that he doesn’t want to be associated with the mischief. He runs for a very long time, to the point where we really don’t care what he did, we just want him to settle down.

  Oh look, he’s stopped running and is just sitting on the sidewalk, then he suddenly gets very hyper and snarls at us. Then he does some more of that aimless bouncing around. (Does this burst of energy have anything to do with the “crystal meth” phrase that the censors distorted in the radio single? Just wondering.) Speaking of the radio version, this video apparently isn’t, because now Stephen is bellowing some lyrics that I’ve never heard before. So either Stephen is just making crap up on the fly or this is another example of the world not being what we think it is.

  Okay, we’re finally back in familiar territory with words that I know, and here come those motorcycles again. (God!) Some of them even start driving around in a large circle, as if they know I’m having an issue with them and they are pushing it as far as they can. It looks like Stephen is standing in the middle of the circle, so we might actually be witnessing a cult celebration of some kind. As if to confirm this, a woman with really odd sunglasses briefly flashes on screen.

  Now we have the motorcycle people just sitting around on their colorful rigs and comparing leather accessories. Then they all jump back on their scooters and start with the crazy-ass driving again. Cut to the band at that venue, where it appears that the folks in the very small audience have been hitting the eggnog a little too hard. Lots of pointless, uncontrolled dancing, some twirling, and stumbling, unisex-attired people are banging into each other and clutching at their heads. (Good thing Jesus is on hand in case something really bad happens that requires an impromptu confession.)

  And that’s how we wind down, with shiny, happy people expressing rhythmic joy as the band finishes the song. Final scene is of a woman with cropped hair watching a moon landing on TV and appearing stunned that the flag being planted is the same as on that biker jacket that started this whole thing. She must not get out much…

Note: Original video is no longer available in a decent version on YouTube. Apparently somebody didn't play nice somewhere along the line and now we have legal issues...

R.E.M. - “Losing My Religion”

  Editor’s Note:  I can remember watching this video when it came out 20 (OMG!) years ago, and being completely mesmerized by the stunning imagery. It still remains one of my favorites, despite having watched roughly 4 billion videos for this blog. I was a little leery about messing with this icon and making fun, but I quickly got over it. (Mea culpa, Michael Stipe.) Because of the structure and lack of story, we’ll be doing the time-stamp thing this time around…

0:02  Michael and Mike are very poor and have no furniture.

0:09  Mike is already bored and walks away.

0:13  Bill and Peter are very concerned about the sudden appearance of Godzilla.

0:18  Some bitch done spilled the milk.

0:20  The band is confused about how to sit for a family portrait.

0:22  Peter deals with someone having run his guitar through the dryer. Bill has been placed in timeout under the window. I hope someone has warned him about falling milk.

0:24  Michael does not appear impressed with having suddenly grown wings. Somewhere, in the distance,  Bette Midler is revising one of her songs to include the lyrics “Look, if you don’t want to be my wind, then just leave. I got my own money.”

0:28  Mike has decided to sit on a booster seat to avoid any further surges of milk.

0:32  Bill is massaging Michael’s shoulders in the hopes that his arms will untwist.

0:37  Bill welcomes the crowd to the Annual Beaver Falls Revival.

0:43  Michael has a pebble in his shoe.

0:52  Michael doesn’t have any friends and must play leapfrog by himself.

0:55  Who taped that thing on the wall? Helen Keller?

1:04  Dennis Rodman, minus the basketball or Madonna.

1:09  Calvin Klein’s new hatwear line based on swarthy men who fondle cargo.

1:10  First appearance of creepy boy-girl with bondage issues.

1:20  Is anybody ever going to clean up that milk?

1:23  Flamboyant drag queens startled by police raid.

1:27  Michael is despondent over non-working antique fan.

1:37  Shirtless man wins gold medal for best use of pearls in a sexual way.

1:40  Michael demonstrates the improper way to do the breaststroke.

1:42  Sad girl is dismayed by inappropriately-placed flower.

1:48  Servant folk don’t notice that someone is running away with their last chicken.

1:51  Questionable usage of livestock and a pair of tights.

1:53  Dennis Rodman again, sad that his hair has now been every known color, and there’s really no use for him any more.

1:57  Michael demonstrates the best way to slice zucchini. (Milk still not cleaned up.)

2:01  First appearance of Stumpy, the Wonder Log.

2:04  Unsettling instance of looking for love in all the wrong places.

2:12  Mail’s here!

2:17  Disembodied hand reaches for Rip Van Winkle and Liberace.

2:29  Due to Republican healthcare budget cuts, all appendectomies must now be performed without surgical implements by sadistic men wearing turbans.

2:31  Hawaiian princess has secret lust for Stumpy.

2:35  Michael is shot by Valerie Solanas, who is still pissed about that Andy Warhol thing.

2:38  Michael introduces new dance craze, The Flailing Amish Boy.

2:41  Mike is not necessarily impressed.

2:44  Betsy Ross sees the face of Jesus in a dusty damask drape, while the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse debate wardrobe options.

2:48  Another Andy Warhol reference.

3:00  Peter is trying to impart the sad news that Orange Crush is no longer being sold in Athens, but Michael is too busy dancing to listen.

3:04  Welder is working on a chastity belt for Paris Hilton.

3:13  Statue of Liberty makes a cameo.

3:18  Another appearance by Creepy Boy-Girl, this one involving amber waves of grain and really bad posture.

3:29  Apparently somebody didn’t pay the light bill at the Welder’s Union. But the work must go on. If Paris Hilton reproduces, the end is nigh.

3:37  Otherwise attractive woman makes fatal mistake of matching color of eye-shadow to Easter Bonnet.

3:42  Focus issue, or proof that Michael Stipe is a celestial being here to save the planet? You decide.

3:56  What’s up with that eyebrow job?

4:05  Creepy Boy-Girl really needs to give it a rest.

4:24  Publicity still for the latest Bollywood Movie, “Rampage of the Karaoke Trannies”.

4:29  Communist propaganda entitled “You Are the Workers Beneath My Wings”.

4:32  Poster for the new BBC Series “I Told You Pilgrims You Shouldn’t Have Gotten on the Boat. See What Happened?”

4:40  Michael is asked to leave the band after an unfortunate dairy reaction in a public setting.

4:46  Fin.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

One Republic - “All The Right Moves”

  We start off in a fancy, old-timey ballroom where lots of guests are standing around in pretty clothes, wearing those little masks that indicate this is one of those kind of shindigs. I really don’t care for those little masks. Some people have an issue with clowns or spiders. Me? I’m unnerved by putting something on your face that jacks with your perception of reality, but not really. Nope, don’t care for that.

  Anyway, the band is led into the room by a little urchin wearing a top hat. He takes them through the crowd of guests, who are all just standing there and staring. (With those masks. See, isn’t it creepy?) The band finally makes it to the stage, gets set up, and then is introduced to the crowd by the little urchin, who then jumps off the stage and runs back to the Charles Dickens story that he escaped from.

  The band starts playing, and immediately some of the guests start doing one of those snooty ballroom dances where you parade around in a stately manner and can’t possibly be having a good time.

  This goes on for a bit, and we also see that the little urchin is wandering through the crowd, holding his hat out and apparently begging for pennies. I personally wouldn’t care for this to be happening at one of my own social events, but people don’t seem to be bothered and are tossing coins at the little brat. Maybe he’s one of those mysterious children where nobody knows who the Baby Daddy is and they all feel sorry for him.

  Meanwhile, the dancers are finally getting a little more loose and less stiff, starting to bust a few energetic moves despite wearing more clothes than are really necessary. (Maybe somebody broke into the absinthe and started passing the bottle around.) One girl is twirling so excitedly that I fully expect her to take flight and start offering shuttle service to Miami. Meanwhile, the band is perking up a bit as well, with lead singer Teddy starting to hop around and treat his antique microphone like it’s Jennifer Lopez trying to dance her way out of a cage.

  Oh, and just to keep tabs on the irritating but soon-to-be financially solvent urchin, he’s really cleaning up with that hat of his.

  Just as I’m starting to relax and really groove to the tune, we start getting close-ups of those damn masks again, and suddenly I’m reaching for the Cymbalta. Why do they keep doing that? I know they’re wearing them. Got it. Now quit showing them to me. I’m due for a refill on my prescription, and can only take so much.

   There’s a sequence where Teddy sings “the sun is shining” and he points to a lamp. Not sure what’s up with that bit. Did he miss a few critical days of school? Or is he one of those people that can’t really go outside, like John Travolta played in “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble” when he fell in love with Glynnis O’Connor at a time when straight hair on girls with odd names was really hot?

  Well, now we’re seeing that the urchin is swiping watches and such from the pockets of unsuspecting party guests. I knew that little bastard was up to no good. Never trust small children in hats. It can only lead to devastation and ruin. Write that down.

  Suddenly, Teddy stops singing and runs over to a piano to start playing a pretty melody. (What? They haven’t made enough money to afford a piano player? That’s terrible.) He does this for a while, then he starts to sing along with his finger work, which causes all of the dancers to stop in mid-waltz and look eerie with their frozen faces. I don’t know why they’re doing that, but somebody needs to make them stop. (And why is Teddy shoving his face so close to his hand while it’s on the piano keys? Did everybody in this room suddenly lose their minds?)

  Okay, good, Teddy’s done with the piano and just starts wailing again. And now the dancers are doing something new that is vaguely military and precision-like, and far more interesting than that Amadeus crap they were doing before. This jump starts a very lively segment which actually leads us to the close of the video, with everybody having a grand old time doing something modern, despite the fact that they will later get home and realize that Grandpa Ferdinand’s heirloom watch has gone astray. And that the woman they brought home is actually Tim Curry.

  As the song winds down, we see that the little hellion was actually collecting money for one of the creepiest masked dancers. And they prance out the door to go terrorize folks at another barn dance. That’s just not right. The money should actually go to One Republic, since they were providing the entertainment, and they obviously have some budgeting issues if they can’t pay for a full-time piano player. Then again, based on Teddy having that small orgasm while playing said piano, maybe we shouldn’t take that away from him…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Kelly Clarkson - “Breakaway”

We start out with a family driving in a station wagon, with the focus on a young girl who is clearly not impressed with the rest of her family. She tries to just enjoy herself by shoving her head out the window and pretending that she’s not related to anybody, but soon enough the other three family members are acting like fools, yelling and smacking at each other. So Little Kelly just tolerates it and prays. And wears an unattractive ball cap.

Suddenly we’re with Big Kelly, all grown up, and she’s in the back of a limo, wearing a fancy outfit and sporting expensive jewelry along with designer shades and a tri-color hairdo. No explanation about how she got from ball cap to Gucci, but we’ll assume that the experience was quite pleasing and somehow enhanced her breasts.

Kelly arrives wherever, and she hops out of the car and we’re at the premiere of Princess Diaries 2. Really? I had no idea this song was in that movie, never having seen it, but apparently this video is a promo of Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews learning to love each other. Hopefully they won’t push the publicity angle too far. We’ll see.

Kelly takes up a position on the red carpet just in front of several advertisements for the movie, so it looks like this is going to be more about the movie than hoped. Kelly appears to be loving the spotlight, posing for all the photographers and exuding star quality out of every pore. There’s some little PR person trying to direct Kelly on what to do, but she’s got it, wowing the crowd. In fact, Little Miss PR tries to get Kelly to settle down at one point, but Kelly and her couture dress with the poofy thing on the back milk it for all it’s worth.

Eventually we see Kelly in the movie audience, watching Anne and her co-stars make nice and say funny, scripted things. This goes on for a bit, but eventually we cut to Little Kelly on the roof of her house, trying to escape her nasty family by achieving elevation. Little Kelly sits on a peaked corner of the roof and dreams of better things. According to the lyrics, this involves travel by “jet plane”, a phrase that hasn’t been used since the 60’s, so Little Kelly must listen to the oldies station on the radio.

Back to Big Kelly, who is now on one of those jet planes, and apparently experiencing some turbulence. (Which she also experienced on the ground with her whacked family, yes?) To calm her nerves in First Class, she watches more of Princess Diaries 2 on a convenient laptop that somebody has provided. Though she might find the flick soothing, she still has to hold her beverage to keep it from spilling, which is more than a star should have to put up with. Poor thing. Will the pain never end?

And we’re back in the audience for the premiere, with Kelly not exactly looking enraptured with Anne and Julie doing whatever on the screen. Suddenly, one of the ushers is shining a flashlight on where Kelly is sitting, but we’re surprised to learn that the usher is now Kelly, and the Kelly that we thought was Kelly is now a man. (What? Does Kelly need to have a private conversation with Chaz Bono??)

Cut to the concession stand in the theater, where Usher Kelly is performing the song for her co-workers using the flashlight. The co-workers just grin and bear it, indicating that Usher Kelly often bursts into song while proffering vats of buttered popcorn. One of the co-workers even joins Kelly in a duet. Based on his unfortunate hairstyle choice, this is probably the highlight of his unsatisfying life.

And now we transition to Kelly singing for real at some place where the chandeliers are way too low to pass fire-code regulations. Everyone seems to be enjoying her performance, and her hair looks fab, but they jack up this bit with still more footage from that blasted movie. Kelly’s a trooper, continuing to bellow despite the obvious shilling, and I appreciate the inclusion of a chain-link fence as a set prop to indicate she came from a small town. Kudos.

But then she starts waving her hand in the air, and the whole audience does the same thing. I’m not a fan of this activity. It never really bothered me, until I started watching American Idol and noticed that any time ANYBODY sang a song that was remotely slow, the audience would do the hand-waving thing, even if the song sucked and was nothing that you would want to emotionalize via hand gestures. I understand that most of that show’s live audience is limited in their growth and development (seriously, you’re going to drag in a handmade poster with a stupid saying that you think is deep and poetic?), but still. They killed the love of hand-waving for me.

Anyway, nobody listens to me, so the rest of the video is of various people doing the hand-waving bit, including some folks that we’ve never seen before, so I’m guessing there was some inattention during the editing process. At the very end, we have Little Kelly praying to God at the side of her bed, pleading for a better life where she doesn’t have bickering relatives, questionable attire, and ugly furniture. And P.S. Please smite the people who wave their hands for pointless reasons. Love, Little Kelly.
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Danny Gokey - “My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me”

  We start out with Danny trotting into an empty warehouse and sitting down in a single chair to sing his song. I’m not sure where everybody else is, but we’ll let that go for now. Oh look, Danny’s singing directly to the camera, tight shot, so either he really loves us or just wants us to see his cool glasses. The camera keeps pulling back in a long shot, as if the cameraman is also wondering what happened to the audience. Poor Danny. He lonely.

  Now we have a flashback to some child’s birthday party back in the day. Danny appears to be one of those cute little urchins with a bowl cut, but he has that slightly over-invested look about him that means he’ll either turn out to be President of the United States or a serial killer. Cut back to present-day Danny, standing in front of some ginormous windows and looking away from us. This is kind of rude. We’re the only folks who showed up, so you’d think he’d pay a little more attention to details like eye contact and free alcoholic beverages.

  Then we start jumping around to various scenes, with most of them having been set up just so someone can write pithy slogans to make us feel better about life. That’s sweet and all, and the words are very inspirational, but we haven’t gotten a good look at the rest of Danny’s outfit, and I’d like to get back to that. Besides, you can only take so much "Up with People!" cheerleader banners before you have to resort to recreational drugs as an escape mechanism.

  Okay, Danny is finally facing us, yay, but he’s insisting on waving his hands around. Does he need to go to the bathroom? Is there a small plane trying to land in this warehouse? What gives? Wait, now we’re getting shots of a giant curtain at one end of the warehouse. Oh? What’s behind there? I hope it’s a present for us. Like some gift cards or an SUV. Because we’ve been a really good audience, and some form of compensation would be appreciated.

  Danny also likes to touch his chest a lot. Maybe he has some really nice pecs, I don’t know, not having been asked to personally review them, but maybe he shouldn’t do that so much. Cut to Danny walking down a rain-slick street for no apparent reason. (Is he looking for the rest of the audience? A nice sushi bar?) Then the screen is suddenly filled with a cowboy jumping over some lethal-looking fireworks without losing his hat, which is a pleasing talent to have, but this imagery startles me much more than I think anyone intended. Don’t come flying at me without warning, especially if a tight shot of a crotch is involved.

  There goes Danny with the hands again. Is he Italian? And now he’s back in front of the big curtain again, taunting me with the delicious possibilities that lie on the other side. Somebody has scribbled “Love Is…” on the curtain in an effort to distract us, but I don’t care what love is. I care about what’s behind door number 3. Especially if it’s for me.

  More shots of Danny wandering aimlessly around the streets, and some grainy footage of him doing something near a white-brick wall. I suppose these things might be more fascinating when accompanied by adult beverages or some type of nudity, but when it’s just Danny and some rain, the experience doesn’t have quite the luster that was intended. But that warehouse would make a great loft for me, just as long as Danny doesn’t think he can come over any time he wants to sing when there’s nothing on TV.

  Now it’s night time, and Danny has been let loose on the city again. He’s still marching around and singing, and, of course, we have more slogans to think about during the less interesting parts of the song. We keep jumping from busy streets to an empty field where Danny is standing (with people still not showing up, which is sad), but at least Danny seems to be having a good time, and that’s all that really matters. (Well, that and food. Food is important. Eat some now!)

  And we wind the song down with Danny in that empty field, wailing away the final words and spreading his arms to show that he loves the entire world. Then he turns and gives us a slightly-smirky look. Aww, he cute.

  But where the hell is my present?

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Plain White T’s - “Hey There Delilah”

  Okay, folks, this one’s a toughie, because of the way the video was put together and the limited images that you can see. But hey, let’s give it a run and see what happens…

  Right away they start off with this multi-screen effect, showing different things going on all at one time. This is fun to watch at first, because it’s busy and interesting, but you soon realize that there’s no actual story, just some themed imagery. There are basically just two things going on: Tom is sitting in an apartment playing his guitar, and Delilah is running around in another city in search of the rest of her skirt.

  Since playing a guitar while sitting in a chair is all that Tom does, we can basically wrap up his story thread right here. He sits, plays, and sings. The end. Besides, although the song is pretty and everything, you can only get so much video footage out of somebody fingering their instrument. Things are a little slow, especially since the song is borderline emo and that’s a dangerous line to walk. You need some pep for a great video.

  And that’s where Delilah comes in. This girl is busy, rarely staying still for longer than 1.3 seconds. She would never be happy in a quiet, acoustic apartment where not much is happening. This is probably why she chose to stay on the other side of the country until Tom gets it together. That “going to school” business is just a sham. Delilah’s a party girl. And this is her story.

  Delilah starts off by wearing leg warmers with high heels, so you know she’s on the quirky side. She appears to be waiting for a subway, but she might just be there for the excellent selection in the vending machines. She also wears lipstick that accents the puffy trim on her hood, so she’s stylish as well.

  Now she’s running up some stairs to another subway station. I don’t know if she realized she was at the wrong one, or if we were watching Tom’s fingers when she caught the first connection. Anyway, she steps out on this new platform, and this is where her skirt really makes its debut. Or perhaps I should say “lack of skirt”. I mean, it’s not super tawdry, like someone would barely wear in a Whitesnake video, but still, ain’t much there.

  I guess the train is running late, because Delilah first appears restless, then starts walking around the platform, going faster and faster as if there are growing bladder issues or she’s fresh from a wax job. Next thing we know, she’s walking along a street, letting us see she owns one of those purses with the really short straps. (I’ve never understood those things, the way your purse is jammed into your armpit. Aside from potential moisture stains on expensive leather, how is that comfortable?) Delilah doesn’t care, and she and her restrictive purse continue waltzing up the street.

  She crosses at an intersection, allowing her hood to flop down so we can get a gander at her ponytail, letting us know that she’s very sensible and doesn’t waste money and effort on hair products. Good for her. Then she gets to the other side of the street and pops the hood back on. She must be walking past the Vogue building and isn’t feeling quite as liberated about her coiffure.

  Okay, Delilah has magically transitioned to some place where there’s lots of graffiti on the walls. There seems to be a mirror in all that mess, because Dee is staring into it and applying some cosmetics. This might be her own bathroom, and it looks this way because she ran out of Post-It notes, but I’m going to venture it’s a public restroom in one of those trendy places where you can substitute tofu for anything on the menu. Even the tofu.

  It takes Delilah quite a while to apply her makeup, with the end result making her look a little garish, so either she’s got an important meeting with a client who happens to be a pimp, or she’s a wee bit self-centered. After all, she’s supposed to be saving herself for the man across the country who is writing a hit song about her. She really shouldn’t be spending this much time dressing up the goods for people other than him. But I’ve been out of the dating scene for a while. Maybe “relationship” these days means “I’ll sleep with you when you’re in town”.

  Um, she’s still putting on that makeup. Geez.

  Okay, now we’re back at the subway. Is this girl ever going to get where she needs to go? Poor thing. Oh look, she’s actually getting on one of the cars, so at least she’s made progress. Wait, now she’s back on the street, in a provocative pose concerning that questionable miniskirt. Then she’s back at a subway station with her leg warmers. Delilah, honey, stay in one place long enough for me to finish a paragraph.

  Dee’s on the move again, back on a street, looking as if she’s contemplating taking a cab. I would strongly suggest that, Delilah. It’s becoming very clear that the workings of the subway system might be just a tad out of your grasp. Get into one of those nice, warm cars and let someone else figure out your destination. And remember to cross your legs.

  Nope, she passes up the taxi and decides to run across some streets without looking either way. Then she’s walking on another street looking sad. This might be because the hot dog vendor behind her is out of sauerkraut. Then she’s walking by some benches, but doesn’t stop to rest, even though it’s obvious by now that she’s never going to get where she’s going.

  Back at Tom’s, he finally ends the song and just stares at the floor, contemplating. Yeah, I hear ya, Tom. We just watched the video, too. Are you sure that Delilah’s really the one? Because there are lots of other girls out there with three syllables in their name, so it wouldn’t be too hard to re-record the song….

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Kelly Clarkson - “Already Gone”

We start off with the camera zooming in through Patti LaBelle’s hair, then we see Kelly in Full Glamour mode, with her hair coiffed like Veronica Lake and sporting some slinky couture. Then we have some shots of Kelly’s pad, and apparently the girl has got a few bucks. I guess that singing career has been alright for her.

Next we have Kelly sprawled on a fancy sofa in another outfit, wearing a necklace that could probably fund the government for a few months if people would just get their priorities in order. She sings for a bit, then I guess she’s done with her nap, and she quickly changes back into the “standing up” outfit we first saw her in. Whoops, now she’s back on the couch. Girl just needs to pick a spot and a dress and just finish the song, yes?

Nope, she’s still undecided on her look, choosing now to wear a long black formal and a ponytail. She might have a headache, because she keeps touching her forehead, but I’m sure she’s got people who can take care of that. Ponytail Kelly starts to walk around her spacious apartment, carrying a single flower to indicate her sadness and dating status, and singing the lyrics to various objects in her home, like some abandoned slippers on the grand staircase and a string of pearls that appear to be hanging from a bidet.

This Kelly gets to sing longer than the other two, so she might have finally made her decision on what to wear to that ceremony later tonight where she has to pick up another award and try once again not to trash American Idol. And even though this Kelly walks around for miles, we don’t seem to be repeating rooms, so that must be one big-ass apartment. No wonder she finds it necessary to yell parts of the song. The people in the cheap rooms deserve to hear her as well.

Brief interlude with close-ups of more jewelry adorning various Kelly body parts.

Kelly starts singing again, but she’s not walking around as much, so we might have ended the home tour. She gazes dolefully at the camera, then we see that she might be distraught over the fact that someone spilled champagne on a pretty piece of furniture and didn’t bother to wipe it up. (Did Randy Jackson drop by earlier?) But Kelly’s not sad enough to put down that damn flower and reach for a rag, so I guess it’s all good.

Now Kelly is in a large room where orchestral instruments can play themselves. This is a little disconcerting, seeing violin bows floating magically in the air, but Kelly must be used to it because she hangs around in here for a while. In fact, she heads to a clearing in the middle of the instruments, where she can stand and do her trademark hand movements while singing more of the song. The instruments must enjoy her company, because they get louder.

Kelly gets tired again and decides to sit on the floor and lean against the piano. This might not be the most comfortable position, but it does allow Kelly’s hair to reach the keyboard and keep the melody going, so that part is interesting. (A few of the bass violins seem to be a little jealous of Kelly’s seating choice, so they quickly tidy up their woodworks and try to look like comfortable and relaxing rest stops.)

Kelly’s hair finally finishes its solo, so she heads back to that couch and the bronze dress with the budget-fixing necklace. She wallers and sings for a bit, then we check up on the other Kelly’s. Ponytail still considers that flower to be her best friend, and Veronica Lake appears to be witnessing for Jesus while speaking in tongues. Since everybody is at least busy doing something besides entertaining us, we‘ve probably overstayed our welcome, and we can quietly let ourselves out of the house while the song winds down…

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Green Day - “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”

We start out with the band in some hoopty of a car, which has just broken down on a lonely stretch of highway that looks like it might be in West Texas or Santa Monica. Instead of doing something simple like call their management people for some assistance, they decide to hoof it down the road and see what happens. (These were probably the same thoughts had by people who eventually knocked on Jeffrey Dahmer’s door.)

Anyway, walk they do, just as the music conveniently starts. It soon becomes clear that they aren’t really on location, instead utilizing film played on the wall behind them, so this is going to be more about symbolism than realism, which could also apply to Billie Joe’s overdependence on excessive eyeliner. Anyway, Billie Joe kicks off the singing and assumes a passive-aggressive stance by folding his arms as he stomps along.

Wherever we’re pretending that we are, it’s not a happy place. Derelict homes and abandoned cars abound. (One woman is standing by a mailbox like it’s the only thing she’s got left in the world, which is sad and someone should help her, but the boys are on a schedule and keep moving.) There’s lots of dust and litter blowing around in the air, although some of the jetsam is actually caused by the grainy stock of the film they are using. I would not be surprised if Toto sailed past clutching a chew toy.

The other two guys in the band, Mike and Tre, don’t have anything to do other than walk alongside Billie Joe while he emotes about abandonment and improper use of cell phones. At first the two of them are fine actors, really looking like they are walking down a dusty street. But you can tell they get bored with this after a while, since you can only walk so many different ways. By the end of it, both of them are clearly waiting for Billie Joe to shut the hell up.

A related side note: Billie Joe keeps hollering that “I walk alone”, but dude, Mike and Tre are right there, so it’s kind of rude to diss them like that. (In fact, there’s a brief shot of Mike giving Tre a friendly hug, so you know they had each other’s back while Billie Joe was making such a fuss about nobody else being there.)

So they all keep walking down that road that is really a stage, and we are treated to more destitute imagery and props. We have rusting gas pumps, cracked oil barrels, falling-down shacks, a vulture or two, and David Hasselhoff. It’s interesting from a “wow, I better hang on to my job” perspective, but after a while, there’s only so much despair and dust you can watch scroll by without getting a little restless.

Eventually, somebody recognizes the quality control aspect, and we cut to the band performing. Granted, they’ve set up in yet another shack on the soundstage, but at least it’s something new. And some clever little fellow has strung up some Christmas lights, making things rather festive despite the blowing debris getting lodged in cracks of various kinds. They jam for a bit, and then we go back outside.

And we’re on another street, but at least we’re in a city of some kind. The quality of life hasn’t really improved, because no one is wearing couture and these people must not have jobs if they can stand around idly and stare at the camera. (There’s one guy that’s ultra creepy, looking like he just wandered off the set of “Zombies For Breakfast, Part II: The Revenge of the Kardashians”.)

Back to the shack so the band can rock some more, and they do so with gusto. (Why does Mike stand like that when he’s really strumming away at his guitar? It certainly doesn’t look very comfortable, and you’d think there would be numbness and endurance issues. And why does Billie Joe look at the ceiling so much? What’s going on up there?)

And that’s pretty much how it goes for a while. Shots of the band banging, and then shots of poor people not having anything. It does eventually become nightfall out on those streets, which is a little more soothing, since people don’t look as dirty and unkempt in the dark. And at least the cars seem to be working on this latest street, which is definitely an improvement. But it still looks like Times Square before Mickey Mouse’s daddy took over.

Just before we end, the band goes into an extended little jam that is WAY longer than the radio single, which gives all of them ample opportunity to rock out with their bad selves and make that exciting music that causes old people to wince and offer a beseeching prayer to anybody up there that’s listening. Then the band finishes and they leave the stage to go wash the fake dust off and look for tacos…

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Carrie Underwood - “Before He Cheats”

  We start off right away seeing the Carrie-inflicted damage to that “4-wheel drive”, with paint being keyed and headlights being smashed. No messing around here. This is intercut with Carrie on stage somewhere, she and her billowing hair preparing to sing the song. We get a quick image via a side-view mirror of Carrie carrying a baseball bat and sporting a jeans and leather outfit that is smokin’, so I’m already loving this video.

  Carrie starts singing, and it’s clear that we’ve got some wind fans kicked into overdrive. Although the golden tresses look fab in this manufactured atmospheric disturbance, I’m concerned that Carrie might be blown off the stage and slammed into one of the roadie wagons. She only weighs about 3 pounds, so it could really happen, and some people won’t be happy about that.

  Cut to shots of The Man Who Done Her Wrong smooching on the floozy who started all this mess, and although we can’t really see her face with his tongue in the way, she bears a striking resemblance to Kellie Pickler. I don’t know if this was intentional, or just one of those random things that happen in country music videos when the wrong people have access to beer and casting decisions.

  Now we have Carrie wearing designer shades and a black leather jacket (have I mentioned smokin’ hot?), walking out of a parking garage with that infamous bat. She’s apparently marching toward Dumbass and Slutgirl, but before she gets there we cut back to Carrie on that stage kicking into overdrive with her revenge lyrics, followed by more images of vehicular manslaughter. Then we see Leather-Jacket Carrie toss the bat into a gutter, indicating that she don’t need no weapon to deal with that Cheatin’ Loser she lookin’ for.

  Carrie is sashaying down some street where there are lots of clubs and women who haven’t seen their natural hair color since Reagan was in office. At first, Carrie is bothered by this crush of unknown people with pointless lives, but eventually she gets a little aggressive and starts shoving people out of the way. (Don’t mess with me, people. I had to deal with Simon Cowell AND Randy Jackson with his dogg thing. Get bent.)

  More shots of Bad Boy and Bad Girl sucking face, as well as some nice neon signs for the local bars. Carrie’s still searching for the inevitable confrontation, so she has to throw a few more people out of the way. She’s about to stumble across them, but first we have to cut back to Carrie on stage, so she can belt some more of the song. We also seem to be having some sparks flying from somewhere. Not sure what that’s all about.

  Oh good, we finally get to Carrie encountering Nasty Boy and Trampy Girl. She takes his car keys and dumps them into his drink, then marches away in a sexy but defiant manner. It’s very triumphant. But then things get a little weird.

  All the sudden, Carrie is walking down the middle of a vacant downtown street. Sparks are flying off the surrounding buildings, and Carrie is doing some kind of shimmy waltz while a severe wind blows her hair back. Next thing you know, glass windows are exploding and shards are flying everywhere. It’s like Halle Berry got really pissed in one of the “X-Men” movies. Carrie is even making a snarling face, which is something that I would recommend that she never do again.

  The song winds down with Carrie still in the middle of that street, the wind whip-tailing her hair and the ginormous earrings that some stylist picked out, unaware that Carrie was about to be subjected to a scene you would normally only see on the Nature Channel, on a show called “Heaving Winds of Death” or “Calamity on the Prairie”. But Carrie doesn’t care. She wiggles her hips in total domination, satisfied that she’s destroyed the most important thing in her ex-boyfriend’s life, and then does a dramatic profile shot that would make Jennifer Lopez proud…

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The All-American Rejects - “Move Along”

  We start out with the lead singer, Tyson, fully-clothed and falling backwards off a diving board into a swimming pool. The assumption is going to  be that he’s had a very bad day. Or maybe he just misunderstood some directional advice. These things happen when you don’t pay attention in class, boys and girls.

  But before Tyson splashes down, we cut to him standing in an office, facing the camera while possibly being berated by the man behind him. Something about declining sales. We really don’t care. Then Tyson is dressed as a doctor, still facing the camera, followed by a shot of a medical bracelet on an arm with the name “Kim” written in strange lettering. No idea what’s going on, but I’m not caring for the intense look on Tyson’s face. It’s a bit manic and creepy.

  Now Tyson’s at the dinner table, eating something that is unidentifiable but very colorful. We’re looking at him through a big-ass wineglass that’s in the way. (The potential for alcohol has been the most promising thing in this video so far.) Brief shot of a ring on a finger, then some girl is clutching Tyson’s shoulder and staring at him as if he’s just said something that will soon lead to an altercation. At this point, nobody in this video is very happy. Or making any sense.

  Back to the dining table, where Tyson finally starts belting out the song. He seems to be singing to or about someone that is not sitting in the chair across from him. Back to the office, where that dude is still yelling, another ring shot, more of the displeased girl on Tyson’s shoulder (she walks away this time, so he’s really done it now), and another gander at Tyson in the doctor outfit and the mysterious “Kim” who may or may not be breathing.

  Then all the sudden, BAM, we start getting hundreds of rapid-fire shots of Tyson wearing different couture, but his somewhat-fierce face stays in the same place, with the same expression, in every shot. It’s very intense. And still with the creepy. These flickering images go on for long enough that you’re just on the verge of losing your place in the space-time continuum, and then it stops. We get about three seconds to breathe, and then here we go again. If this keeps up I might need physical therapy and some nice sedatives.

  And we stop again, long enough for Dining-Table Tyson to use some menacingly-sharp cutlery to attack whatever that is on his plate. Shot of a headless doctor patting at his heart, followed by a small girl looking tragic and forlorn while her mother apparently spies something across the room that is more interesting than her daughter’s grief. More whizzing around with the frenetic costume changes and that intense expression that Tyson insists on maintaining.

  We stop at a football game, with Tyson in uniform, and we learn that handsome, blond men are the enemy, and that they are beating us really bad in the football game. Cut to a car smashed into a light pole, and a disgruntled police officer writing a ticket, because apparently you’re not supposed to use public utility devices to stop your car. Wait, is Tyson now in jail? If so, why does it look like there’s an infertility clinic behind him? Doesn’t matter, the costume changes are ramping up again, and I have to say that Tyson must have a very extensive wardrobe. At least in the shirt department. No word on trousers and such.

  The wild ride slows down again, and we see somebody smashing a car window with a crow bar, and then a close-up of somebody who is either guilty of the automotive violence or has just heard some startling test results. We jump around some more, and then somebody else is taking off his hat to show us that perhaps his hair stylist is not the best in the world. (The people behind him seem to be drinking moonshine out of jugs, causing them to put on silly headgear and think it looks cool.)

  And more jump cutting. Some tough guy punches at the camera, Tyson changes his clothes 47 more times, Tyson fiddles with a water hose as a euphemism for whatever you would like to imagine, and a quick shot of Tyson lying on the ground with a broken flower pot near his head. Things finally slow down, and we see Tyson on the diving board again, slowly falling away from us. (They even throw in an aerial shot so we can confirm that, yep, bitch is fallin’ into the water.)

  Cut to a side view that shows hundreds of hands rising out of the now-empty pool to catch Tyson. (This is by far the coolest part of the video. Just sayin.) Tyson is so appreciative of the mass suicide-intervention that he decides to perform an impromptu concert at the bottom of the pool. He sits down at a handy piano so he can sing the slow part of the song along with all his new friends. As has been deemed necessary by some higher power, all his fans slowly wave their hands in the air in a moving tribute to group yoga and inner peace.

  Then we’re back to the loud part of the song, and Tyson runs to his mike stand and starts to wail again, with that intensity thing. In fact, the entire band is going after their roles with a vehemence that gives one pause. Why are these people so dramatic with their musicality? Do they need to change their diet?

  The band plays for a while, with the circling audience doing that bounce-dance thing that has been popular for a while but is still mystifying when it comes to the enjoyability factor. Why can’t they just stand there and wave an old-school lighter? Then we’re back to the rapid-fire wardrobe changes, and I’m too tired to even keep up now. Suffice it to say that Tyson spends a lot of money on t-shirts with slogans.

  As the song winds down, we pull away from the pool, watch a few more flickering outfits, learn that girlfriend is back in town because she gets to sing a few lines and I’m thankful that she didn’t bring any extra clothes with her, there’s a shout-out to the other band members, and we end with Tyson smirking at us whilst wearing a final t-shirt with the Madonna on it. The religious figure, not the one who pissed off Pepsi but still went on to dominate the entertainment world…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Maroon 5 - “Wake Up Call”

  We start out with Adam and some woman with far too much makeup sitting in a car somewhere. Her fake eyelashes alone are so startling that it’s hard to follow the dialogue, but the main gist is that Makeup lied to Adam a bunch of times about something. When Makeup tries to explain, Adam interrupts by saying “it was probably my fault anyway”.

  Dude, lying aside, do you even know what this woman looks like in real life? I haven’t seen that much pancake since I ordered the Fresh N Fruity at IHOP.

  Cut to the band performing in a water runoff channel, possibly because the acoustics are just right. While Adam sings, the opening credits for this mini-film start flashing. Quick shot of Makeup practicing for a Victoria’s Secret gig in some hallway, then we have a gander at some obvious hookers standing near a building. Some person that we can’t see uses binoculars to focus on the hooker booties. That’s nice.

  Next we have Adam and Makeup bumping uglies during apparently happier, non-lying times, then shots of the band, shots of another hooker, and shots of somebody with a trench coat running through water. (Who knows.) Suddenly, we see Makeup in bed with another man (the horror!) and Adam kicks the door in to catch them in the act. (He couldn’t just turn the knob?) There’s a confrontational scuffle, leading to Adam pulling out a gun and shooting Makeup’s new friend. Okay, then.

  Now we’re on a roof with one of the other band members, James, and absolutely nothing happens before we cut back to Adam’s apartment where he’s dragging New Stud down the same hallway where Makeup was practicing just a few moments earlier. Then, out of nowhere, we see a stripper swinging on a pole. Seriously. Back to that roof, where some woman who never met a bottle of peroxide that she didn’t like exchanges carry-on luggage with James.

  Shots of somebody running across another roof. No idea. And now it starts to really get crazy. Quick shot of supermodels bound-up on a boat, some other people tied up in the back of some vehicle, an extremely breasty woman doing something with a flag, somebody slamming a tailgate shut, Adam turning over a dining table while Makeup wears panties, another shot of the boat supermodels touching each other seductively, and yet another hooker smashing a bottle over someone’s head.

  Still with me? There’s more.

  More of the woman who loves her some stripper pole, suspicious people meeting in an alley, Adam and Makeup running down another alley, Adam shoving Stud Boy into a body bag (who keeps that kind of thing around the house?), one of the band members being chased by Cujo, Adam smashing a bathroom mirror with a baseball bat (because that accomplishes a lot), and multiple people getting their mug shots taken. Is there anybody nice in this video?

  Cut to Adam and Makeup on some building, bridge, something high, throwing Stud Boy over the side while a security camera catches everything. Back to the parked car where this whole mess started, with Adam and Makeup still talking. We see that somebody (probably Adam, because he just has that sneaky look, but maybe not) is recording their conversation. Then I guess he and Makeup make up, because they get out of the car and hold hands while walking away. And the car blows up behind them.

  What in gay hell?

  We see that the breasty woman still has her flag, there’s a helicopter flying around where the boys are performing, Adam is driving another car really fast, the lesbian subplot on that boat is still developing, we still have random hookers, some of whom are fondling somebody in a dark bar, disembodied lips flashing across the screen, somebody checking their watch, people still tied up in the back of a car, and more mug shots. I don’t know who’s guilty of what any more, and I’m starting to not care. Perhaps another beer will help the situation.

  And the video winds down with more flashing images. Police women with cleavage bouncing their way down yet another alley, people on rooftops, the lesbian cruise, airplanes, Adam being captured and interrogated by Playboy Bunnies, fingerprinting, that stripper who won’t stop twirling, something burning, the cast of “Burlesque” making a cameo, slobbering dogs, and the band still performing in that place where John Travolta raced for pink slips back in the day.

  Final shot is of Adam in jail. Based on his friends and the cavalcade of women marching around with lethal weapons on their chests, this is probably the safest place for him to be…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Adam Lambert - “For Your Entertainment”

  We start off with a quick shot of some boring traffic driving through an intersection, then the camera pans downward, taking us underground to some fancy place where Adam and the Lambertinis are doing their thing. First off, Adam and his mystical walking stick are marching down a gloomy hallway in slo-mo, with extras from “Buffy” walking behind him. They all sashay through a curtain into a club, with Adam waving that damn stick around.

  While he belts out the song, we get glimpses of other people at the club, and the general theme is sophisticated trashiness. People are caressing wooden furniture whilst undulating their hips to indicate unsatisfied desire. (One unfortunate woman appears to have a raven chewing on her skull, so I would assume her hookup opportunities are limited. Poor thing. Guess she picked the wrong hair gel.)

  Adam immediately takes center stage, with his leather jacket and his hair jacked to Jesus, and proceeds to own the room through sheer will. He’s a little too dependent on jabbing about with that walking stick, but that’s much better than grabbing his crotch rap-style, so we’ll give him that. We also seem to have lots of trampy girls lying on the floor, because legs swathed in fishnet stockings are being thrust in the air at random.

  It soon becomes clear that this club is really not about dancing, based on the numerous shots of couples of all types thrusting tongues at each other. I’m fairly certain that no one is actually listening to the music, so I’m not sure why Adam is even here, but we’ll run with it for now. At the very least, we can pick up some tips on how to advertise your availability in dim lighting.

  Okay, now Adam is sitting on a throne of some kind, and they’ve messed with his eyes (at least I think they have) so that he appears to be slightly demonic. I hadn’t really noticed before, but Adam sure has a very busy tongue. That thing is flopping all over the place. Is that why he can hit the high notes? Because he’s not getting enough oxygen and the falsetto is really a cry for help?

  Anyway, back to the club proper, where people are pawing one another like there’s a prize if you touch enough nipples. Then the throne again, where Adam has managed to find a green snake that he is screwing around with, letting it roam about his body. (What the hell?) Then back out to the dance floor, where Adam has decided that it’s very important that he and some scantily-clad vixens do a line dance. Adam has yet another jacket with spiky things on the shoulders, so it’s very clear that he’s in charge and the strumpets better dance their asses off.

  This bit goes on for a while, with both men and women clawing each other to touch Adam in some way. (Perhaps they want to do some snake-handling of their own?) There’s one segment where all the dancers are bent over and pawing at the ground like horses. I have no idea what it means, but it’s cute.

  Now Adam is wandering through a tropical jungle. (I guess they don’t spare any expenses on d├ęcor in the L.A. clubs.) Anonymous hands are reaching out from the foliage to express their physical love for Adam. I hadn’t realized until now that Adam simply taking a stroll can cause so many people to reach instant orgasm. Maybe it’s that walking stick?

  More diddling with the green snake on the throne.

  And more of the jungle, with a jarring preponderance of females latching on to Adam and praying for a pre-nup. Not sure what that’s all about, since we all know by now that Adam’s Garden of Eden involves Adam and Yves, not Adam and Eve, but nobody asked me to storyboard this thing. Then again, “Will and Grace” might have been a hit, but if you startle too many of the red-state people there might be some difficult questions in the morning.

  Back to the dance floor again, with Adam and his stick directing the dancers to shimmy and thrust like their lives depended on it. We also have shots of some stud being blindfolded with black lace, presumably in preparation for impending sexual hijinks. I’ve never understood this blindfold thing when it comes to bumping uglies. Why would you NOT want to see what’s coming at you in the bedroom? Or on the dance floor. Or at IHOP at three in the morning...

  Anyway, we roll into a montage of Adam playing Julie the cruise ship director on the dance floor, more of Adam doing some bungle in the jungle, and Adam still jacking around with that snake on his throne. Thrown into the mix are glimpses of very happy people wearing skimpy attire and sending out signals that they will sleep with anyone as long as there’s no drama or cab fare.

  Oh, and we have a dramatic bit where somebody finally takes the blindfold of the stud, which causes Adam to sing the highest notes that he possibly can and the dancers to start misplacing most of their wardrobe. This leads to scenes with everybody in the club waving their hands over their heads while Adam over-dramatizes on the stage. Meanwhile, some skank with a severe hairdo wanders around behind wailing Adam and does nothing worthwhile.

  We wind down with everyone in the club achieving some type of sexual-release milestone, apparently pushed to this destination by the fact that Adam is wearing black fingernail polish and has pointy things on his couture. The camera then pans back above ground, where bereft people are still driving about, completely unaware that sexual nirvana is just a few feet below them….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Pink - “F**kin’ Perfect”

Okay, Pink has done it again, crafting a song and video that is powerful and carries a message that I don’t dare get snarky with or I won’t be able to live with myself. This makes Pink the first artist to get two “No Snark” awards from BDFH. So let’s put aside the humor and giggles, and just watch the video. And yes, this is the uncensored version, so don’t blast it if Granny is in the house…

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pet Shop Boys - “West End Girls”

  I have no idea what is going on in this video, but we’ll give it a run.

  We start out with somebody walking past a store where small children seem to be trapped behind glass. You’d think this would be an unsavory experience, but they look like they're smiling, so who knows. Then the camera starts whizzing all over the place, jumping from one thing to another, and it’s very unclear what we’re seeing. (Was that Brad Pitt eating a corndog?) People are walking around in tight jeans and we have an abundance of neon signs. And somebody who might be Martina Navratilova appears to be very invested in whipping her hair around like there's a prize if you annoy the most people.

  The frenzied imagery finally stops and we see Neil Tennant sashaying along some street, apparently having just had his hair fluffed and/or having just purchased a trench coat that makes him look even skinnier that he already is. There are some other people with him, but I don’t know if they are part of the band, members of a security detail, or people who just like walking along a street on an overcast day.

  Close-up of Neil’s face. He’s looking very serious. But the British always look serious, so we aren’t really learning anything.

  Oh, now Neil is standing in front of a pink steel door, belting out the first part of the song. There’s another guy standing beside him, but he doesn’t look really pleased to be here, and his image is kind of faded. And why is Neil doing that thing with his left pinky?

  Brief glimpse of somebody’s nose. Beats me.

  Back to the pink wall, where Unknown has moved behind Neil, and Neil continues to sing in a manner that draws attention to his interesting hairdo. And the growing realization that perhaps Neil might not have an actual jaw. Unknown Man glances off to the left, desperately searching for cue cards that might let him know what is going on and what he needs to do next. (Wait, is Unknown actually Chris Lowe? Maybe. We’ll just keep calling him Unknown for now, because that’s artsy and stuff.)

  Now Neil and Unknown Chris are standing near some odd stairs. Then they’re walking on some elevated crosswalks, and descending some other odd stairs. (Are they trying to find the subway?) Shots of crowds of people heading various places, and then a shot of Neil with an exclamation point over his left shoulder. What does that mean? Are those rude little Germans bombing London again?

  The punctuation symbol goes away, replaced by Unknown Possibly Chris. Neil bellows some more, and Chris continues to be uninterested in anything that might be happening. Now the boys are walking past a bookstore, then they’re in a mall trying to avoid being run down by the camera, then a double-decker bus whizzes by because you haven’t really seen London until you’ve managed to not get run down by one of those, and then we’re apparently on a helicopter tour of famous London images.

  Back to the… I don’t know, place where Neil and Chris are walking around and pretending that there’s not a camera tracking them. Chris actually shows some signs of life by performing a quick dance step. Or he might have tripped over something. Not sure.

  Now they’re walking along the Thames River (I’m assuming) and it’s still overcast, so I’m not sure that London gets a lot of sunshine, so this is probably not a place that Katrina and the Waves should visit. Shot of the river water, then a nice composed shot of the guys with the Tower of London or maybe Margaret Thatcher’s house in the background. (Chris is still not interested. That dude is basically over everything.)

  More shots of various random people, including a woman with earrings that could double as anchors for a cruise ship. We also learn that people like to eat while walking. And gamble. Or at least do something with machines that appear to be gambling devices. Maybe they’re just inspecting them to make sure the bells and whistles are pleasing.

  Oh wait, now we have lots of those tiny European cars racing past what might be a government building, or a hotel, or a royal residence with crappy security. This doesn’t escalate into a riot or an embassy bombing, so I don’t know why this footage is included.

  And there’s Neil again, singing some more with that exclamation point and some neon pink lettering that experience tells me has something to do with questionable venues where small women walk on your back for money. (I really don’t think Neil would be interested in such places, so the mystery deepens. Chris is nowhere to be found at this point, so perhaps he’s much more receptive to the back-walking.)

  Dramatic image of Neil glancing off to his right. But nothing happens. So he sings another line of the song and then glances again. Still nothing. Dude, is somebody missing a cue or do you have an attention deficit issue?

  We end with the camera traveling along a street and showing lots of people waiting in lines to get into places that are apparently popular. But we don’t know these places and we don’t know these people, so the emotional investment just isn’t there. We fade to black as Neil whispers the final lines of the song.

  But seriously. Where the hell are the West End Girls? Did I miss them?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

The Fray - “Over My Head (Cable Car)”

We start out at some really fancy prep school, with little boys wearing jackets and ties (because that’s natural), sitting in a classroom and looking bored. Then a bell rings, which is apparently the “Pledge of Allegiance” bell, because they all hop out of their seats and place their hands over their hearts. But instead of a rousing bit of patriotism, we focus on one boy who is instead singing the opening lines of the song. (Based on his facial expressions, he really likes saying the word “everyone”.) And hey, he looks a little bit like a mini-version of the lead singer, Isaac. How cute.

Cut to Isaac, all growed up and sitting at a piano. He’s also singing the words to the song, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise, he being the lead singer and all. (I’m not sure if he still enjoys saying “everyone” because they cut away before he gets to it, which is a little disappointing and sad. Will we ever know?) Then the camera jumps around as people are either setting up for a concert or preparing to carry out an execution using an electric chair. Quick close-up of Isaac’s face indicating that he’s not real sure, either.

Back to the prep school, where Mini-Isaac is still wailing away at the song instead of swearing dedication to his national flag. Then we have shots of the band performing and everyone is really getting into it, followed by a scene in another classroom. The kids here seem to be a bit older, but they must not be very smart because the teacher had to write the lyrics to the song on the chalkboard. Then the kids all leave because they can’t be expected to learn more than two lines of the song in a single sitting.

Now Mini-Isaac is walking down a school hallway, still singing, and someone has helpfully written the lyrics in giant letters on the lockers. (We also get jump cuts between Mini-Isaac and Maxi-Isaac, lots of them, just in case you hadn’t noticed that, you know, it’s the same damn person.) Then we have a nice bridge where everybody is banging away on their instruments and nobody has to sing.

Next up is Mini-Isaac peeking into what might be a lunchroom, where four guys are sitting around a table while one of them is pouring an excessive amount of salt on his food. (He’s going to regret that in a few years.) Suddenly, all four of them turn to glare at Mini-Isaac, causing him to wet himself slightly and then run away. Salt Guy goes back to playing with his condiments.

More shots of the band playing. In case you didn’t previously know that Isaac can play the piano, you will now, because the producers insist on showing us his hands tickling the ivories about 400 times.

Speaking of, now we’re back at the school, in a big room where they might be holding auditions for something, or maybe it’s a bomb shelter and there’s been an issue. Anyway, we have a piano front and center, and Little Isaac comes scampering in with a sheet of music and prepares to play. He is joined by one of his buddies and they both seem very excited about making music together. Oh wait, two other guys join them, which instantly makes them a real band, because that’s all you need to start one these days, four people and at least one musical instrument.

But instead of getting to the playing, the four boys crack each other up and giggle at cartoon figures someone has scribbled on the music. Kids these days. They have such short attention spans. The camera pulls back to show that none of the other kids are really doing anything important, either, so maybe this is one of those “progressive” schools where they throw all the students into a big room, let them do whatever and call it “creative freedom”, then charge the parents 50-grand a semester.

Now we’re in another classroom, where the kids appear to be taking a test. (Although, because it’s a fancy prep school, the youngsters might just be working on their parents’ income tax returns. Those forms are much more critical when you actually have money.) Anyway, Diminutive Isaac apparently didn’t bother to study, and he’s trying to cheat off his neighbors, but both of them are the goody-goody type that get pinched faces and hunch over their paper if you even glance their way.

Cut to Mini-Isaac walking down a school staircase all by himself. We don’t know if he’s been caught cheating and has been kicked out, or just has no idea where his next classroom might be. Next thing you know, Mini has turned into Maxi, and the big version is now sitting on those stairs, singing, and showing us that he has some amazingly-long legs. Then the producers jump cut between the two, with Big Daddy wailing and Little Bit walking out a door.

Which apparently leads to an auditorium, where Bit wanders down the aisle to stand in front of the empty stage. Mini-Isaac starts singing the song, and imagines himself in a packed audience, watching his bigger version and his buddies rock the house with their world-dominating killer single, with everyone in the crowd on the verge of orgasm.

The music fades as Little Bit bops his head to this very excellent dream where he is worshiped just because he’s in a band. And people with a salt fixation can never make fun of him again….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Bonnie Raitt - “Something To Talk About”

  Okay, folks, this another one of those videos where there’s no real story line, just images of people doing things while Bonnie strokes her instrument. So we’ll have to do the time-stamp thing.

0:01  Somebody’s wet head is getting caressed while he is apparently in a swimming pool or a really big bathtub.

0:05  Short photographer guy is taking pictures of something.

0:11  Very happy couple is frolicking on the beach, with one person riding on the shoulders of the other, and lots of hand-waving as the sun sets.

0:14  Older couple dancing somewhere. They both seem very invested in retaining what little hair they have left on their heads. And they both seem to be in pain of some kind.

0:17  Strange woman with sunglasses and a balloon hat does something possibly sexual with her tongue.

0:24  Bonnie finally appears. She seems to be playing a gig where they used Granny Mae’s shower curtain as a backdrop. And Bonnie is sporting the requisite torn jeans to show that she’s hip and earthy, and doesn’t mind sudden gusts of wind in places that you normally wouldn’t expect such.

0:29  Old couple still dancing. Well, maybe. They don’t seem to be moving at this point.

0:35  Another couple standing near a tree, with the woman so excited to be wearing odd thigh-high boots that she wraps them around her partner’s waist. He certainly doesn’t seem to mind.

0:39  Strange Balloon Hat woman is still very happy.

0:41  Carly Simon on a good day?

0:42  Old couple again, with the woman allowing the man to touch her in a non-1950’s way. She shows her appreciation by pointing her leg to the ceiling.

0:52  Some woman trying to smoke a ballpoint pen. While wearing a hat made out of a leftover piece of a Prince costume, circa the “Paisley Park” period.

0:54  Van Halen?

1:02  Snoop Dogg?

1:04  Somebody’s hand fondling a hairy chest. So far, this is the most exciting part of the video for me. Call me shallow.

1:11  Belinda Carlisle on the beach, after she escaped from The Go-Go’s.

1:20  Old couple again.

1:24  Tammy Wynette on a really bad day. Dancing with someone who left some of his teeth on the bathroom sink.

1:34  Breasty woman is tossed into a swimming pool.

1:36  Wait, did they parole Charles Manson?

1:49  Woman flips hair with amazing agility.

2:01  Is that Joey Ramone playing drums? Did I miss a memo?

2:11  Is Bonnie wearing a garter belt as a bra?

2:18  Limber Girl with thigh-high boots straddles her partner’s waist once again. Doesn’t she have any other skill?

2:21  Old couple again.

2:31  Tight shot of a trollop’s crotch. I guess they were trying to hit all the demographics here.

2:38  Carlos Santana?

2:42  Woman in ugly-print dress is twirled about.

2:54  Dancing woman proves that green is not necessarily a flattering dress color.

3:03  Thigh-High Boot Woman is apparently having sex in a position that no one has ever tried before.

3:11  Tammy Wynette, still having that bad day.

3:15  Who are these people?

3:16  Gratuitous soft-porn shot of free-spirited girl excited by the rising tide.

3:19  Poorly-raised child exhibiting signs of neediness and eventual incarceration.

3:23  There’s that Balloon Hat Chick again, still overly-thrilled about life in general.

3:32  Old couple again. Fade to black. Residents of Shady Pines Retirement Facility return to their lock-up cells and are refused nightly pudding cup for having run amuck after too much fiber in the evening meal…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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