Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Porcelain Black, Lil Wayne - “This Is What Rock N Roll Looks Like”

  Note: Explicit version. Not that you should be surprised since Lil Wayne is up in the grill. And in return, I get a bit saucy myself…

  We start out with a young Porcelain, her hair already doing the split personality thing, innocently walking along outside her school and fiddling with some trashed-up Barbie dolls. Up march three uppity tween girls who tease and torment poor Porcelain, until a miniature Lil Wayne, dreds a-flopping, runs up and scares off the little Sarah Palins.

  Cut to 9 years later, and things have changed slightly. Here comes growed-up Porcelain and her posse sashaying onto campus in their slut-girl outfits, attitudes flying and middle fingers flipping. As the stunned Good Girls look on in horror, causing them to drop their Pottery Barn brochures and all, Porcelain and crew tromp along in High Spectacle mode, knocking people over and getting tangled in one another’s body jewelry.

  Porc and the Gang then head to the library (how in the hell did they know where that was?) and immediately proceed to trash the place while doing line dances and touching themselves suggestively. While that mess is going on, we start getting glimpses of our alternate story line, the one where Porcelain is squeezed into a tight leather outfit that matches her hair. There’s some type of throne chair as a set piece, but we’ll learn more about that later.

  Back at the library, the Posse keeps doing their lusty line dances while Porcelain strikes poses to ensure we understand that she has a vagina. Oh, and breasts. Don’t forget those. She sure doesn’t. Zip over to the Throne Room, where Porcelain does the first of a series of moves to show that she really, really loves that chair.

  The rampage in the library continues, with Porcelain twirling her puffy blue boa jacket over her head and punching at the camera. Eventually she comes across more of the Good Girls, trying to do some studying or maybe figuring out what to do with all of Daddy’s money. Porc and the Gang immediately start throwing things all over the place and shoving their hoo-hoo’s in everybody’s faces. Which is such a thoughtful thing to do, yes?

  Meanwhile, Throne-Loving Porcelain is doing things with her tongue, bucking about on Corinthian leather, and showing us all the different ways that her legs can do the splits. I stopped counting at four, when she basically opened a beer bottle without using her hands.

  Once the library has been destroyed, both physically and emotionally, Porc and the Gang head to the cafeteria, where we basically have a repeat of the previous shock and awe. The only thing that’s really different is that Porcelain has stopped off at her locker so she can change into another outfit. Why she bothered, I don’t know, because everything she wears leaves little to the imagination, so what’s the point?

  The gang stomps around some more, knocking lunch trays out of people’s hands and continuing with their obnoxiousness, terrorizing folks who just want to eat their fruit cup and get back to actually learning something that will help them get a good job later in life. I’m assuming that advancement in life is a concept that Porcelain has never really considered.

  Apparently not satisfied with the mayhem and destruction so far, Porc and The Gang then waltz their nasty asses to the gym, where a pep rally is taking place. Porc and her fellow JD’s knock some cheerleaders aside and then proceed with another line dance that involves inexplicable anger and the need to thrust personal body parts toward one and all.

  Have I mentioned that Porcelain is really proud of the fact that she has a vagina? Just checking.

  In another example of why this country has serious issues, everybody in the bleachers leaps to their feet in a frenzy of adoration for the Skanky Ho’s and their inability to function in society in a respectful manner. Really? The mind boggles.

  Just when I think we’ve reached the bottom of the barrel, here comes Lil Wayne, strutting into the gym and proving me wrong. Once more, the crowd goes wild for another “musician” whose central claim to fame is that he can fondle his crotch to the beat of a song.

  Pause the video at 2:56. What woman on this planet would seriously want some of that?

  The insanity continues, with Lil Wayne rapping about how girls just can’t wait to service his hardware, while Porcelain does everything she can to get impregnated by Lil Wayne while flipping her hair around and doing squat thrusts. We pan to the audience, where even the parents are applauding the smack talk and the thong abrasions.

  Cut back to Throne-Loving Porcelain, as she invents new ways to straddle furniture in the most trashy way possible. (Porcelain to her future love child: “Yes, sweetie, your daddy was a mahogany arm rest. I thought you should know before people started to talk.”) Then we’re back in the gym, where there’s so much pelvic gyration that you fully expect the Earth to get knocked out of its axis.

  And this goes on for a while, with Lil Wayne being very proud of his penis, Porcelain being very proud of her cooter, the groupie backup dancers being very proud that they have a job no matter what it is, and the parents, coaches and schoolteachers being very proud of a pep rally that has turned into a Festival of Sex and Boasting. Oh, and Porcelain continues to personally lubricate every inch of that throne.

  There’s a bit where Throne-Loving Porcelain actually smears her gothic lipstick all over her face. I think this is the only real moment in the video. Just sayin.

  The madness eventually stops when Porcelain throws her microphone on the floor and the song ends.

  News flash to Porcelain: This is NOT what Rock N Roll looks like. This is what out-of-control narcissism looks like. That’s probably a word you need to look up in the dictionary. Too bad you and your vagina destroyed the library…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull - “On The Floor”

  We start off in what looks like an alley, with a fancy car driving along (It’s a BMW, in case you didn’t notice the prominent product placement as the camera lingers lovingly on the hood emblem) while steam billows and music softly plays. We see Jennifer (or at least her body double) getting out of this car, wearing a black hoodie and her hair perfectly fabulous despite the billowing steam that would destroy lesser women who aren’t millionaires. There’s also a guy in the car, but he doesn’t get out, so we’ll have to assume that he’s not important.

  Jennifer saunters over to another location in the alley, where the odd purple light makes her look even prettier, and she opens a small gift box from “Swarovski”. (That means some serious bling, people.) Jenn pulls out something that might be an earring or some belly-piercing d├ęcor or a fancy IUD. It doesn’t matter what it is, somebody spent some cash. You have to respect gifts from a store where people with low credit ratings would be shot on sight.

  I guess it’s an earring, since Jennifer shoves this thing through her earlobe. (Or maybe she just doesn’t understand what an IUD is. She’s a very busy girl and doesn’t have time for research.) Then we cut to… I don’t know what this place is. Presumably it’s somewhere nearby, since we get a quick glimpse of Jennifer, even though she’s wearing a different outfit and sitting in a pose that speaks of royalty and not having to pay taxes.

  Suddenly, in another part of this place that seems to have an overabundance of chandeliers, we see Pitbull giving a shout-out to J-Lo while minions fawn around him. Back to Jennifer in yet another outfit, one that requires her to look effortlessly beautiful while fans blow her hair about. Quick shot of an unnamed mime, with some background detail letting us know that this is either a nightclub or the Paris Opera.

  Jennifer again, first doing something standing near a wall with an odd ballet bar, then another taste of her in that regal outfit which now requires her to sprawl on a fancy French couch. Brief shot of Pit, then more Jennifer, with her fiddling with what might be a hair-based cupcake on her head. And then, BAM, we’re off and running with the jump-cutting. I’ll just have to report what I can catch as things whiz by.

  For starters, Pitbull still hasn’t figured out that he’s not as attractive as he firmly believes that he is. He’s still doing that trademark snarl thing where he sings out of the side of his mouth, not understanding that he looks like a Chihuahua with development issues. We also have some asexual sprite running around with face glitter, and Jennifer doing something that requires her to grasp her head and dance in front of that wall in a glittery outfit so tight that we can see pelvic bone. (Honey, EAT something.)

  Pitbull raps something about backing it up “like a Tonka truck” (he’s so considerate), and then Jennifer does just that, booty-waving with a frenzy at the ballet bar while wearing sparkly high heels. We also get shots of Queen Jennifer and her cupcake on the fancy couch, and then we’re back to Ballet Jennifer and her hair, gyrating and twirling like she is personally responsible for creating enough energy to supply all of North America.

  More jump-cutting, where we realize that Queen Jennifer is possibly being eaten alive by a gold metallic plant, and shots of the dance floor (where did THAT come from) with people so moved by the participation of Jennifer and Bull that they have to do a Line Dance of Worship. Ballet Jennifer does something with her finger and Queen Jennifer does something with her arm. (I believe the entire script of the video is encapsulated in the previous sentence. Just guessing.)

  This goes on for a while, with more of the same quick shots of Jennifer and Pitbull, people achieving orgasm on the dance floor, and nobody ugly permitted on the set. We do have a few new developments, like Queen Jennifer finding a cane under her throne and waving it about, and Pitbull finally coming up with a new signature gesture, this one involving him doing something vaguely Italian with his hand.

  The music suddenly slows down for a bit, but all this really means is that the jump-cutting slows down as well, so that we get to really study the fine artistic subtleties of drunken people losing their inhibitions on the dance floor while a new Jennifer makes an appearance on that same floor, with her carloads of hair and mystifying lack of clothing inciting the extras to shimmy and shake with renewed fervor and disregard for personal responsibility.

  The Newest Jennifer apparently has an incredible ability to get everyone in the club involved in her personal need to express an enjoyment of life via exuberant hand gestures that just might raise The Dead. On the flip side, Queenly Jennifer and Kingly Pitbull gaze disparagingly on Aerobics Jennifer with a certain amount of disdain mixed with slight jealousy that a common citizen who came through the front door of this club has actually gotten the party started.

  More shots of chandeliers. Not sure what’s up with that, but I’m assuming that proper lighting is very important to these people.

  And we continue with more of the same. Common People Jennifer has the crowd going wild, while Queen Jenn and King Pit continue to wrinkle their noses, while simultaneously harboring deep desires to be loved by one and all without having to sweat or pay the salaries of people who shouldn’t be voting anyway.

  Seriously, this theme goes on for a VERY long time. Fly Girl Jennifer gets the street cred, while the Club Royalty finally realizes that maybe they ain’t all that and should start doing the right thing. (A concept that never occurs to the Republican Party. Imagine that.) We do get a brief interlude where Ballet Jennifer (whose party affiliation is not clear) does some nice slo-mo movements while fireflies or nuclear particles drift about around her.

  But really, this is all about The People’s Jennifer, especially when she does a segment where she twirls energetically without actually revealing anything like Miss Jackson If You’re Nasty did. For whatever stupid reason, the producers let Pitbull rap some more, but really, I think we all understand at this point that Pitbull is just in it for the skanky ho’s and the continued disillusionment that he actually has anything to contribute.

  We still jump-cut around for a bit, but it’s no longer important. Dance Floor Jennifer is going to win this thing, hands down, and it’s only a matter of time (seconds?) before the commoners revolt and rip the silly cupcake off Queen Jennifer’s head. As for Pitbull, well, it really wouldn’t be polite of me to bring up his fate in mixed company….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube….

Far East Movement, Snoop Dogg - “If I Was You (OMG)”

  Naturally, since this is Far East Movement, we start out in a nightclub somewhere, with the guys hanging out at a table while pretty girls saunter by and give them a gander. (None of these girls actually stop and chat, so that’s a bummer, but we’ll just assume that eventually the ladies will be unable to stop from throwing themselves and their panties at the guys. Because this is a F.E.M. video, and there’s a law about how this must happen at some point.)

  Snoop Dogg makes his appearance, which triggers a nearby woman with long hair to start flipping that hair around while simultaneously shoving her booty in multiple directions at once. Snoop has seen plenty of this action before, so he’s not really impressed and just keeps singing. The F.E.M. guys join him on stage so that everybody can wear sunglasses and stand in a line.

  This lineup causes some woman to jump on the bar and pretend that she’s a panther in need of a good spanking. Panther Woman crawls along the top of the bar until she gets to Snoop, then she decides that it’s very important that she use her breasts to signal incoming aircraft. Snoop thinks this is a mighty fine decision, especially when Panther Woman flops one of her legs on his shoulder and gives herself a pedicure, allowing Snoop to inspect the goods in a very up-close and personal manner.

  Cut to one of the Far East guys at a table with two lovely ladies, neither of whom seem to be wearing their own hair. He’s trying really hard to be street, but all I can say is that if you’re unable to pour champagne into a glass without spilling it all over hell, you can’t be all that. The girls don’t seem to care, probably because they still get paid whether fluids get to their destination or not.

  This same guy then decides that he wants to be a bartender AND a singer, because multi-tasking is really hip these days. While he pursues his two careers, random women are shown waving their breasts in appreciation. Cut back to Panther Woman, who shows us that she can lift one of her legs over her head without falling off the bar or blocking Snoop’s view of her treasure chest.

  Now we have the F.E.M. guys strolling through some unspecified part of the bar, ogling all the girls like they just got their food stamps and they want some free cheese. Then we’re suddenly in another part of the bar where a giant cage has been set up so that women who normally need support bras can do things without wearing one. This mainly involves an odd form of wrestling that makes things jiggle.

  This leads to some frenzied jump-cutting, with scenes involving some trollop staggering into a bathroom, the lead Far East guy staggering out of that same bathroom with two tramps on his arms (Really? You pick up women in there?), more shots of the dramatic borderline-lesbian wrestling where Snoop appears to be a judge of some kind (no surprise), and the Far East guys bellowing things like “check it out” and “ram your caboose on me”. This is a really class act.

  Shout out to the women being objectified and belittled in this video: You CAN overcome low self-esteem issues. You can start by actually putting some real clothes on and not thrusting your body parts at anybody with a pulse. Let me send you a brochure.

  Sadly, nobody in this video is listening to me. So we have to plow through more of the same mess. We have energetic women doing everything they can to thrust their breasts at the camera repeatedly, athletic women body-slamming each other in that giant cage (symbolic, much?) and Snoop and the F.E.M. dudes strutting about with amazing over-confidence just because they can stand up when they pee.

  We finally get away from the cage match long enough for one of the Far East guys to escort a transvestite into a place that has tiled walls, where he is apparently able to bring his partner to orgasm just by rapping about giving up “all my loot”. That’s nice. Meanwhile, the rest of the Far East guys are doing something in a booth that is also occupied by a woman wearing 3-D glasses, cheap pantyhose, and a stupid hair bun.

  Remind me to NOT check out this club if I ever travel to… wherever these people are. I really don’t think I’d be comfortable in a place that caters to misogynistic cavemen and their barely-clad, hormone-dripping lady friends that think nothing of humping a bar stool until it breaks off at the base.

  And what’s up with that quick shot of all those guys lined up along the tiled wall where we just watched people having rap sex? They seem to be very happy to be touching each others’ shoulders. Just sayin.

  Another quick shot, this one involving Snoop spanking the Panther Woman’s butt. Based on her lackadaisical reaction, this must happen a lot, like when she’s getting her tires changed or standing in line at the DMV.

  We wind down with more of the same. Floozies doing gymnastics to prove they can be taken advantage of in multiple positions, the Far East guys still assuming that simply wearing sunglasses and shaving your head will make every female on the planet desperately want you (hey, it apparently works for Pitbull), and World Wrestling Federation rejects getting a second chance in life by appearing in a slut bar where nobody cares what you look like as long as a random breast pops free at regular intervals.

  Somebody out there has totally used up their 15 minutes of fame…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube…

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Melanie Fiona - “Gone And Never Coming Back”

  Um, it appears that Miss Melanie is one very angry woman. But you can certainly decide for yourself…

  We start out with a tight shot on Melanie’s face. She’s very pretty, and she’s singing calmly at this point, so we can’t help but like her and hope she has a very fulfilling life. Then we get the first sign that things may not be as happy as they seem, when the image of some dude’s lips suddenly intrude from the right and then vanish. What the hell? Are we dealing with demon lips AGAIN? This happens far too often for my comfort.

  Melanie continues to sing gently, so I guess, at least at this point, she’s not bothered by spectral orifice visions. Then all the sudden we ramp things up, with a flurry of jump shots involving creepy snow-globes, falling pages of music, and Melanie wearing another dress and banging on a piano that must have come over with the Mayflower. Melanie also amps it up with her vocals and the tempo of the song, because once a snow-globe appears, it’s ON, people.

  Shot of a lit cigarette falling and hitting the floor. Is she trying to quit? Are we out of ashtrays? Are people just clumsy? Melanie doesn’t answer any of these questions, instead choosing to start really bellowing the song like her thong just irritated a tender spot. Somebody else throws a rose on the floor, so I’m starting to think that we have some rude-ass people up in this video.

  Shot of a wine glass. This calms me somewhat.

  Then we have Melanie back at the old piano, pounding on the keys, then we cut to some creepy black women wearing disturbing, abbreviated white lipstick. I don’t like these women at all. If I woke up on a random Tuesday night and noticed something like that coming at me in the dark, there would be issues. The kind where I scream and hope that Jesus still loves me.

  Shot of pills on the floor. I think I fully understand why those might be necessary, because the Lipstick Zombie Women have broken out of their holding cell and they are none too happy.

  A few more jump shots, then we focus on Melanie doing a diva stance whilst wearing odd pants that can’t possibly be comfortable. She doesn’t care, because she’s also wearing a really cool necklace that makes up for things like pants that aggravate your nether region. In fact, she’s so comfortable in this scene that she stays there for a really long time, despite the fact that she seems unable to move her legs.

  Shot of a turntable. No idea.

  Then we have yet another clumsy person throwing bullets on the floor, which causes two female twins with bouffant hair to touch themselves, and somebody else (might be Melanie, she’s not showing her face) to use a big-ass piece of chalk to write on the floors and walls of wherever she is, a place that causes her hair to be really frizzy.

  More shots of those pills on the floor, moving on their own (that’s comforting) and the appearance of some odd purple paint that likes to pour itself on things like music sheets and last year’s tax return. Back to Chalk Graffiti Melanie, as she gets really worked up about something while wearing an outfit that can only be described as “somebody wasted a lot of money on fashion school”.

  It grieves me to inform you that the rose previously thrown on the floor has expired, disintegrating amid a slight burst of steam. Hopefully this is a symbol of what should happen to anyone who ever willingly joined the Tea Party.

  Well, dang, the snow-globe also met an untimely end, with water and bits of stuff splashing about. Melanie must really hate working with props. If we’re lucky, she’ll also send the Lipstick Zombie Women back to hell, because I would enjoy my life much more knowing that people who can’t properly apply makeup have been given a permanent timeout.

  Who the hell is that Kabuki chick that just popped up? I’m not even going there.

  We jump cut around for a while, revisiting many of the scenes while scribbled words like “Fear” and “Pain” flash across the screen, along with a disembodied mouth trying to escape from pantyhose. I’m thinking that Melanie is just a tiny bit bitter about her past relationships.

  And we have even more jump cuts, with more appearances from the Zombie Women, Melanie still unable to move her legs while wearing the weird pants, and a disturbing scene where Melanie might just be trying to shove the fringe on her shirt into a naughty place that it shouldn’t go. Honey, you need to watch some reruns of the “Golden Girls” or something, because you’re in a really dark place.

  And we’re back to Melanie in the paralyzing pants, where we have an extended scene with her doing some very nice diva movements with her hands and her hair is being blown about in a manner that is reminiscent of Leonardo DiCaprio standing on the bow of that ship that didn’t have the decency of finishing its maiden voyage.

  The odd purple paint makes another series of cameos, now apparently intent on destroying piano keyboards and light bulbs. But Melanie’s a trooper, and keeps banging on that piano and wearing her uncomfortable pants long enough to finish out her song about people who done her wrong and didn’t even bother to pay for dinner.

  We wind things down with more questionable images, such as empty picture frames bursting into flames and the startling realization that a piano bench has become lodged up in the dress that Melanie wears while playing that ancient piano. But it’s all good. Melanie wraps it up with some quiet warbling and key stroking, working her way back to her quiet place where Zombies fear to tread, content in her knowledge that if anybody else tries to make her life miserable, she’s got a pair of pants she can slip on them that will keep them from being able to move….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Black Eyed Peas - “Just Can’t Get Enough”

  The video actually starts out with a message to the people of Japan, expressing love and support. Very nice. I would be an ass if I dared to even touch that in a snarky way.

But I WILL be touching a lot of other things. And here we go.

  We start off with Fergie wearing the most clothes that I’ve ever seen her in, so I almost didn’t recognize her without an exposed belly button for me to make the connection. She’s perched on what might be an ottoman, with one leg sticking out from under her in a somewhat startling manner, and she’s gazing out a high-rise window at some pretty buildings and brightly-lit signs advertising the beverages and clothing you MUST have in order to be popular and hip.

  Next we’re actually out on the streets, driving about and looking upwards at some modern architecture that doesn’t have any graffiti, so you know this isn’t Detroit. Back to Fergie, who is now warbling on top of a piano (does she just not care to sit on a regular chair like everybody else?), with her pretty little toes lined up in front of her so that she can stare at them in appreciation for their fineness before she glances out the window again and tosses the musical baton to

  He first appears in a red automobile, then we see him tromping through an airport, wearing some of Dr. Dre’s headphones (because how would society survive without product placement?) He catches a glimpse of Fergie wearing some designer shades, and this magically transports him back to that car again. Someone decides that we need a tight shot of’s goatee-thing, so we do that for a bit, then we cut to two Wonder Twins bartender girls who have fluorescent algae in their hair. (Note to self: Your hair must light up or you are nobody.) rides around for a while in that car, which is most likely a taxi, but could be the Tokyo version of a limo. (Am I the only one who noticed that the color of the car changed from red to orange? It’s not important, but come on. Continuity, people! If you don’t pay attention to detail, then Republicans gets elected and poor folks get screwed.) At one point, touches the side of his head like he has a migraine. I’m really hoping this is not the result of wearing Dre’s headphones, because I’ve been eyeballing them for a while and would really be disappointed to find out that they make my brain hurt.)

  Hold up, what was that quick jump-cut scene that just whizzed by? It looked like some fishnet-hosed women were playing Thelma and Louise on a bunk bed. In a nightclub. And there are feathers. Then it was gone. Maybe I should just put down this beer until the song is over...

  Back to Fergie in her high-rise penthouse, tracing something on the window with her finger and still not wearing any pants. She must have been signaling to the production crew that she’s not ready for another extended scene, because we cut back to in an elevator, apparently headed to another nightclub where darkly-lit women are doing something that might be a spin class. Then is back in the taxi real fast, so that nightclub apparently did not prove pleasing. Or maybe they were out of Shiner Bock.

  (Side Note to the programmers who developed Microsoft Word: Would you fix things so the software will quit automatically capitalizing the middle “I” in It is incredibly annoying having to go back and retype that every time. God.)

  More of Fergie. She’s still trapped in her penthouse, gazing out at the pretty city that she can’t visit until she covers up her hootchie better. Then she’s suddenly in a bed, looking despondent while embracing a pillow and still not wearing anything below her waist. What kind of upbringing did she have that she doesn’t understand that you have to dress BOTH halves of your body. I’m guessing she’s not Amish. And doesn’t mind if things are drafty.

  Brief collage of various people about town. Some of them are The Peas, and some are not. No explanation is given for what might be going on here.

  Cut to Taboo, strutting down some street with an attitude, then he’s on an escalator that has more bling than I would care to see on something that is transporting me between different levels. Then he’s… well, a lot of places. Perhaps there’s not actually a story here. Just production assistants making stuff up so they can go home for the day and watch “Cow and Chicken”.

  Taboo sings for a very long time, which we don’t normally see. Did he have issues at the last contract negotiations?

  Oh wait, Fergie has finally been released from her Princess Penthouse and is headed out on the streets. (I’m so happy for her to have this opportunity. Being a Sequestered Diva is only fun until there’s nothing on TV and the take-out gets stale.) She makes her way to some place where the other Peas have gathered and lots of people we don’t know are taking pictures with wireless phones while wearing the latest fashion trend that doesn’t make any sense.

  (Side note, Part II: Dear people who insist on taking pictures at concerts. Can you just enjoy the music? If you and your annoying strobe light need to be validated by sending text messages right now, then you have some serious issues. Please go sit somewhere else. Now.)

  Brief shot of Fergie wearing an outfit with a tail. No idea.

  Things take an abrupt turn as we suddenly have trapped in a video game where the object has something to do with wearing odd headgear and making cryptic hand signals. really seems to be enjoying this bit, so I’ll let him run with it, but I’m concerned that a giant Pac-Man speaking Japanese will come along and chomp on’s ass. And that’s probably not good for anyone involved.

  Whatever is going on, this development allows to show up and rock along with his bandmates, so I guess it’s all good. does a bit of rapping while we see images of city streets along with some actor (Toshiro Mifune? Howard Keel? Rush Limbaugh coming out of the womb?) in sliced-up movie posters. also sings for a very long time, so I’m thinking that last contract-negotiation session got a bit heated, with people throwing out lines like “Just because SHE don’t wear panties don’t make her the STAR!” Or something like that.

  Brief interlude with more jump shots, some of them involving cheerleaders with an attitude and random billboards expressing concerns about my possible erectile dysfunction. Or something that isn’t really working in my life. Not sure.

  We wind things down with more of the band bouncing around in that video game thing, then a final comment urging us to donate to the Red Cross and help Japan.

  And you really should do that, if you can afford it, right?


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gavin DeGraw - “I Don’t Want To Be”

We start out in some nightclub with the camera zooming around showing us that most of the people up in this place are frozen in position and not really doing anything. At first, I think this might be some type of political commentary about Congress, but I’m probably reading more into it that I really should. So I decide to withhold judgment while the camera swirls about among the actors as they refrain from movement, wearing high-end couture that I couldn't afford even if I sold off some of my less-popular relatives.

Oh wait, some of the people actually do have a pulse, and these people are all grouped around Gavin and his band. I guess he’s exuding some type of energy to keep them alive, which I suppose is a nice thing for him to do. But he’s wearing one of those stupid knit hats that are all the rage for no apparent reason, the kind that mash your hair down and make it look like you have a diaphragm on your head. How did this trend start? Did some over-exuberant frat-boy suddenly announce "I bet I can wear some offensive headgear and still get laid", and the rest of the straight-male population misunderstood the concept and signed up?

Anyway, Gavin and his band play for a bit, and I’ll try to refrain from any comments about the size of his teeth. (Wait, did I just mess up?) The camera goes back to panning around the rest of the club where Gavin isn’t, and the people are still frozen. We zoom in on one particular girl, focus lovingly on her for a second, then cut back to Gavin and his couture-challenged buddies as they bang on their guitars and try to act all street.

We get another shot of this particular girl, so it appears that she must be important in some way and we‘ll probably keep visiting her, so we need to give her a name. Let’s go with Priscilla, a moniker that’s slightly pretentious because there’s something about her hairstyle that says she could be really high-maintenance. Oh, wait, Priscilla just blinked, making her a non-frozen person. Has she been awakened from her slumber by the vocal stylings of Gavin? So many questions, so little time left in the video.

Back to Gavin for confirmation that he’s still singing, which we pretty much assume since his voice is all over the soundtrack, then back to Priscilla. Yep, she’s fully alive now, and glancing around at the other mannequins in the room like somebody trapped in a “Twilight Zone” episode and realizing that things are not all they are supposed to be.

Um, my bad, I just twisted some of Gavin’s lyrics to fit my own needs. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll contact me if this displeases one of his lawyers. While Gavin and friends continue to warble and strut around with their guitars, Priscilla starts wandering through the club and looking at all the mannequin people like she finds them distasteful. (Sweetie, two seconds ago you were one of them, don’t be so judgmental.)

Priscilla makes her way to two female frozen people who were apparently applying makeup when the awful thing happened that made them frozen. Instead of trying to help them in any way, which is what a good citizen should do even if you don’t agree with their political or social choices, Priscilla snatches up one girl’s lip-liner pencil and proceeds to write “Imposter” on the stiff girl’s forehead. I guess there are some unresolved issues that we don’t know about.

Back to Gavin and his gang playing in that one room where only groupies are allowed to be mobile. (Well, except for Priscilla, who has apparently earned a very special hall pass.) Then we cut to what appears to be a game of poker, where I don’t think anyone can win, because, well, they can’t actually move and collect their winnings. This is followed by shots of somebody tromping up some stairs.

This somebody turns out to be Priscilla, who saunters around the upper level of the club, and seems to be mystified by all the frozen people. (But the people on the lower level didn’t make her pause and wonder? Is she just not paying attention?) And then things get a little twisted. As Gavin continues singing downstairs and rips off his jacket in an odd tribute to… who knows what, Priscilla approaches one of the frozen frat boys in a sultry manner.

Cut back to Gavin, who is now playing a piano, even though we can’t hear any of this on the soundtrack. (Okay, maybe his efforts are audible to classically-trained people, but all I’m hearing are guitars and the swiveling hips of groupies.) Cut to Priscilla trying to kiss the frozen frat boy. Really? Is the dating scene THAT bad these days?

When the frozen frat boy doesn’t respond to Priscilla’s tainted-love maneuvers (big surprise) she decides to head back downstairs where there’s a least one room where people have an actual pulse. On her way there, Priscilla first steals a scarf off another frozen chickie (I’m thinking Priscilla didn’t really have a lot of moral training), fluffs her hair in a handy nearby mirror, also steals the frozen chickie’s hat, but then throws it on the ground in a snit of dissatisfaction. Priscilla is just rude, there’s no other way to paint this.

And now we have more of Gavin and the Gang jamming out. (He’s quit pretending to play that piano that doesn’t actually seem to work, so I’m thankful for that.) Gavin warbles for a while, then we see a set of doors thrown open as Priscilla tromps in the room wearing a scarf that is not hers and the remnants of some lip gloss from the frat boy that just wasn’t into her.

The video ends with Priscilla making goo-goo eyes at Gavin while marching toward him, and Gavin returns a lusty gaze full of desire and yearning.

But dude, her first choice was somebody who couldn’t even move. Are you really going to be happy in this relationship?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube…

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Green Day - “Wake Me Up When September Ends”

  We start off in a field somewhere, with Jamie Bell and Evan Rachel Wood (woo hoo, real stars!) smooching and promising undying love to one another, in the way that young people do when everything is super important right now because they haven't lived long enough to learn that life is much more complicated than videos on MTV. It’s really sweet and all, but it goes on forever, like a Lifetime movie about infidelity or women who drink because their husbands didn’t notice their latest haircut.

  The music finally starts, and we get a close-up of one of Billy Joe’s eyes, complete with his trademark mascara. The camera pans down to his mouth as he sings, and I start to get uncomfortable that this might be one of those introspective videos where nothing gets resolved and people make bad fashion choices. Luckily, we soon cut to Jamie and Evan playing piggyback, napping in that field, and walking around a skateboard park where people like to take their shirts off and you can buy chili dogs. This looks much more promising.

  Okay, maybe not. Now we have scenes of the duo chasing each other through what we’ll assume is their house, making out on an ugly couch, playing video games, and making out some more while laundry doesn’t get done and bills probably don‘t get paid. Maybe this IS a Lifetime movie after all. Is this really a Green Day video?

  Then the happy times come to a screeching halt as Evan races out of the house and slaps Jamie, babbling something about “tell me you didn’t do it”. About 400 times, to the point that we don’t care WHAT he did, we just want her to shut up. Whatever he done did, they scream at each other for a while in a nice display of method acting and spittle projectiles. These people have some issues.

  Cut to the band performing on top of giant rolls of toilet paper while bright lights flash. We see more images of Evan looking tragic on the ugly couch, followed by Jamie on a bus going to… ah, a boot camp. She got all THAT bent out of shape because he enlisted? How is she going to handle it when something more serious happens, like pregnancy or a really bad rash? Maybe she should speak to a counselor.

  Nope, she sits on that damn couch and fiddles with a ring. Class, engagement or secret decoder, we don’t know, but it’s a ring. Quick shot of Billie Joe’s mouth, then we’re back to Jamie at boot camp, dealing with the impending loss of his hair and yokels with more first names than Billie Joe. Next thing you know, Jamie’s fighting in some foreign country. We know this because we get a quick shot of a sad woman wearing a burka and looking irritated because the bombings have jacked up the TV signal and she’s going to  miss “Big Brother - Islamabad”.

  We watch a medley of the band on that toilet paper, Jamie marching around with a gun but not really doing anything with it, fires burning, more toilet paper domination, Rachel still crying but at least she put that damn ring down, explosions, toilet paper, and, uh oh, military people flying through the air in a manner indicating it was not a choice they voluntarily made.

  Rachel cries some more.

  Jamie gets into a skirmish of some kind and has to run a lot. Rachel washes her face and then has to study it in the mirror a lot. Billy Joe plays his guitar and wears eyeliner a lot. Then we get a glimpse of one of the soldiers going down and the stage lights dim on the toilet paper stage. We just switched from Lifetime to Nightline.

  Cue Rachel sitting on some rundown bleachers somewhere, while we have voiceovers from happier times in that meadow when things were much simpler and Rachel hadn’t ruined her makeup with the incessant crying.

  And it ends, right there, without anyone knowing what exactly happened, just like Presidential elections in Florida and any speech given by Sarah Palin…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Jack Johnson - “Upside Down”

Note: This song appeared on the soundtrack for “George of the Jungle” (well, the one with Brendan Fraser, anyway), which partially explains the events in the video, but at the same time makes things a little disturbing.

We start off on a pleasant tropical island, where Jack is clamoring around on a rocky overlook, lugging his guitar and not wearing any shoes despite the clamoring. We get a brief glimpse of the animated monkey, George, trying to appear cute but we know he’s up to no good. Next thing you know, Jack slips on a banana peel that George left behind (yep, they went there), and he falls into the ocean with his guitar. Moral so far: Don’t trust monkeys.

Underwater, Jack rescues his guitar, natch, and then scrutinizes his now-liquid surroundings. We get another glimpse of animated George, also in the water, which can’t be good. In any case, Jack starts singing the song underwater, which is everyone’s first instinct when on the verge of drowning. He sings for quite a while, so my guess is that this is a magical lagoon where things like breathing and oxygen are not really important.

As Jack sings, animated George swims past and starts on a new quest, one that involves irritating some hippos that are just trying to take a nice nap on the ocean floor. It seems that Papa Rhino has worked too hard in his life to put up with a rambunctious cartoon simian, so he uses his hefty snout to toss George on shore. This triggers a sequence where Jack is strolling along the Yellow Dirt Road, strumming his guitar and admiring fake flowers and butterflies. (And Jack is still not wearing any shoes. Was there a life-changing incident in his youth that involved footwear?)

Jack eventually makes it to a giant tree where there is a handy pup tent nearby, so I guess Jack decides to live there, staking his claim by sitting on part of the tree and brandishing his guitar in a land-claim manner. Of course, cartoon George shows up within seconds, because he can’t stay out of other people’s business and there’s nothing on TV.

The next sequence probably caused the Boy Scouts of America some concern, as we watch Scout Master Jack strum his guitar and encourage little George to throw his hands in the air and dance around while not wearing any pants. Luckily, other cartoon forest creatures show up to stop this potentially litigious situation, distracting Jack with their cuteness and ability to do a spontaneous line dance.

George, not wanting to lose the spotlight, hangs upside down (get it) from the tree, waving his hands about and generally being annoying in an abusive manner. The other animals sit at Jack’s feet and encourage him to continue with the concert and the disregard for shoes. At one point, George prances up and tries to poke his finger in the hole of Jack’s guitar. Make of that what you will.

Well, it seems that Jack plays well into the night, until it’s just him and George sitting on top of a tree. (I’m sure the rest of the animals were called away by a casting agent, who was searching for the next “why is this here” animal to show up on that island on “Lost”.) George stupidly decides to put some fireflies in his mouth. I did some dumb-ass things as a kid, but it never occurred to me to put things with blinking butts in my pie-hole.

  Eventually, Jack finishes up with the song, so that he and George can gaze at each other lovingly, and then peer up at the nighttime sky, with the stars shining brightly in a newly discovered constellation known as “PETA would like to talk to Jack. Now.”

The final scene has Jack back in the ocean, breaking the surface with his guitar and gazing about. Was it just a dream? Did he really visit an underwater land with butterflies, affectionate monkeys, and overly-happy livestock who know dance routines? Does he miss George already?…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube…

Linkin Park - “Waiting For The End”

  Okay, then. This trippy little video is really just images of the band members performing that have been tweaked and distorted, so I’ll do my best to get a story out of it…

  We start off with unrelated objects like cow skulls and Barney transforming into each other while the music gears up. This bit reminds me of an old-school video game for some reason, the stand-alone kind that you could walk up to. I’m sure it was not the intention, but I suddenly feel like I’m 15 again, camped out at the local convenience store, jacked up on sugary beverages and cramming endless quarters into the slot and fingering a worn-out joystick.

  Anyway, the modulating objects eventually transition into the band members, and people start singing and playing their instruments, even though we are still treated to fleeting images of deer antlers and bagels. Somebody decides to rotate the images, causing things like stretched-out arms and guitars to whip across the screen, making all the stoned viewers scream and jump backwards, because that’s always fun to do.

  Somebody else has decided to superimpose images of constellations on the band members, or maybe it’s acupuncture focal points, not really sure. In any case, this inspires the band members to jump around even more, and have their heads turn into skulls at random moments. (These guys sure like them some bones of dead things. I wonder what school they went to?)

  Now we get to the quieter part of the song, where it’s just that one guy (and sometimes his skull) singing, and this triggers images of giant, whirring gears, armless torsos, and what might be a vagina with teeth. Then everybody decides that they want to fly, and they try to do so, bending over and holding their arms out. Nobody actually makes it off the ground, so that’s a little sad, but at least they gave it a shot, can’t blame them and their drugs for trying.

  Wait, who is that headless woman, and why is she carrying a baseball bat? Oh, I think that might be her head a few scenes later. I wonder if she gets two paychecks for playing two different characters, or if it’s technically considered the same performance?

  Next up is a bit where folks like to hold up their hands in front of them, as if not responsible for anything they might have done, while they rotate and don’t open their eyes. (Are we suddenly at a Republican strategy meeting?) And then one of the guys explodes, causing more stoner screaming, and somebody else fiddles with a giant bread knife while possibly wearing a black hood and doing ballet.

  Right at the two-minute mark we have a guest appearance by Hannibal Lecter. That was sure nice of him.

  We go through some business with butterflies and thumbprints, more of the bread knife, a clown, people who melt, and a guy who can spit lightning out of his mouth, which is pointless but really exciting. Not to be outdone, another guy decides to grow 6 arms and 6 legs, upping the ante, and causing some concern among the lesser-skilled members of the band, because now they won’t need as many people and there might be a force reduction.

  More attempts at flying, somebody being squirted out of a soft-serve ice cream machine, and another guy doing a tribute to the “Titanic” by wearing a small iceberg on the side of his head. Then we actually calm down with the imagery for a little bit, as we get back to the group chorus part of the song. Sure, there’s still an occasional odd thing floating by (was that Tipper Gore eating a peanut?), but it’s much more relaxing than that middle section when we kicked into hyper-drive.

  Aw, hell, some fool started banging away on his guitar, which jump starts the weirdness again. We don’t really see anything new, with more of the same melting and mutating and bizarre appearances of fruit, but it’s very busy as we group-rap toward the end of the song. Finally, that one guy belts out the last line, and the video-game screen goes blank.

  I guess I have to put another quarter in….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Josh Kelley - “Georgia Clay”

  We start off with Josh strolling through one of those half-moon-shaped buildings that look sort of industrial but mostly cheap and style-devoid. We can see rigs and tractors of various kinds lining the sides of the building, but we seem to have an awful lot of wasted space in the middle. Oh wait, now I get it. The cleared area has been created so that Josh can mosey in wearing his cowboy boots and we have plenty of clearance to confirm that, yep, Josh be wearin’ some boots.

  He’s also wearing a fairly tight t-shirt, which I’m sure is critical to the story. Josh wanders over to something under a dusty tarp, and he yanks this tarp off in slo-mo so that the most common denominator in the country world is slowly revealed: a pickup truck. This experience is so moving that it causes Josh to grab a guitar from who knows where and start crooning and stroking. We get some artistic jump-shots of Josh still wearing the t-shirt and the truck still being revealed. (Dang, that’s one big-ass truck. Hoo boy.)

  Flash back to Josh supposedly driving that truck when he was 17, tooling along some country road that is actually pavement, so I’m not sure where all the dust is coming from. (Close-up of Current Josh’s boots. Thank you for that. I was worried that he might have somehow lost them during the epic struggle with the tarp, which is still going on and we’re starting to get a little bit annoyed with that.)

  Another shot of Josh (or maybe some stand-in) kicking one of the tires of the truck. I have never understood this thing with the tire-kicking. What are we supposed to learn when doing such a thing? Are you checking to make sure the tires can stand up to the pressure? I would think the mere fact that said tires are holding up a two-ton pickup is all the evidence you need. If the tires are still doing their duty with all THAT weight, your lame-ass big toe isn’t going to change things much.

  Anyway, back to current Josh banging on his guitar and vocalizing. (Come to think of it, we never actually saw 17-year-old Josh. Just who the hell was driving that truck? Is this something we need to report to Adam Walsh?) I guess current Josh heard me, because we then see him climbing into the truck and diddling with the rearview mirror, intent on proving that he did SO drive this truck back in the day. There’s a necklace hanging from this mirror, which is apparently the same one (courtesy of another flashback) that was worn by unseen 17-Josh’s girlfriend during a time when he couldn’t legally drink alcohol.

  Okay, current Josh also heard my quip about alcohol, because he launches into the part of the song where one of his high school buddy’s having a fake ID made Josh a celebrity. Really? Josh was famous for this? Why wasn’t the buddy famous? It was his ID. High school kids are SO unfocused. Especially when dust and pickup trucks are involved.

  To confirm the questionable mentality of youngsters with too much time on their hands, we have several shots of teenagers running across a parking lot with what appears to be a keg of beer. See what I mean? They don’t understand anything. You do NOT shake up a keg like that. Somebody could lose an eye when they finally tap it.

  Back to Current Josh in the UFO hangar where somebody has decided to store tractors, fertilizer and access to sound recording equipment. Josh likes this place, because he’s really smiling a lot and kicking at the ground with his cowboy boots in a burst of enthusiasm. Cut over to another flashback, where 17-Josh and his little friends are all jumping into a muddy river, because that’s a totally safe thing to do in a southern state where many politicians believe that “toxic pollution of the environment” is something Obama dreamed up while attending grade school in that Muslim military camp where everyone is pretending to be Hawaiian.

  Oh, look at that. 17-Josh’s girlfriend decides that it’s really important that she wave her questionable high heels in the air before plunging her recently puberty-achieved body into that muddy water. Poor thing is going to learn some hard lessons later in life. Like don’t ever wear those ugly shoes again.

  Okay, now Current Josh is in a field somewhere, so I guess the aliens came back to town, reclaiming their storage facility and throwing Josh out the back door. He doesn’t mind the new location, once again kicking at the dusty clay and wearing faded jeans that favorably package his nether region. (I’m not quite as supportive of that shirt he’s wearing, but we’ll let it go.)

  And now we have somebody driving that dang truck down a real country road, where there’s actual dirt and muddy bits and everything. The person at the wheel has been instructed to drive really slow, so that the mud and water splatters almost look pretty in the sunshine. Almost. It’s still mostly a crappy road that probably goes nowhere.

  Now it’s nighttime, and Current Josh is still wearing that shirt I don’t care for, but some production assistant has helpfully lit a campfire, and we all know that things look better by firelight, especially if Jack Daniels has been introduced at some point. Josh is really invested in playing his guitar during this bit, but I’m more invested in noticing that some fool has parked the signature pickup about two inches from the suddenly-raging campfire and that things could blow at any second.

  Josh doesn’t care, because he’s cool that way, and he continues to energetically strum while we get some more flashbacks of country folk enjoying the finer things in life like floating in dirty rivers and the potential for unsupervised teenage sex.

  Another shot of whoever it is driving in slo-mo down that muddy road, followed by a shot of Lindsay Lohan hanging her head out of a pickup window. Okay, maybe it’s not Lindsay, because she’s not holding a beer bottle, waving a prescription for controlled substances, or spinning the wheel on her sexuality. Whoever this girl is, she doesn’t mind driving through a shower of mud. Or Georgia.

  And we wind the song down with more flashbacks, with most everyone very pleased with their lot in life, even if mud gets in crevices it shouldn’t. Final image is of Current Josh finishing out the song on his guitar, and then, you guessed it, kicking at that famous Georgia clay so that dust billows about and probably acts as an incinerate for the out-of-control, sparks-flying campfire that is greedily working its way toward the pickup and its tasty gas tank. If I’m not mistaken, one of the leading flames reaches out and kicks at the tires…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Justin Bieber, Rascal Flatts - “That Should Be Me”

  Note: Justin Bieber and Rascal Flatts? Are we serious with this?

  We start off with Rascal Flatts pulling up outside what we’ll have to assume is a recording studio. Personal assistants are dashing about to make sure things don’t happen to make their bosses pissy, and we have a few quick scenes of The Flatts being summoned into the inner chamber where Justin is pretending to play a keyboard even though you know he really isn’t.

  I feel compelled to report that Justin’s hairdo is even more lesbian-affirming than ever. Really not understanding the statement he’s trying to make here.

  Anyway, Justin and The Flatts all high-five one another and bro-hug, acting like they are the best of friends and would easily take a grenade for one another. Then somebody hands Justin a guitar, and he starts pawing at the instrument and warbling in that nymphet way that he has. The Flatts get seated around him, pulling out their own instruments as people hop on stools. The Flatts lead singer (with his made-up name of Gary LeVox) looks especially uncomfortable being seated next to jail bait, especially bait of the same sex.

  But everyone’s a trooper, because there are bills to be paid, and they laugh it up while they… I don’t know what they are doing. Clearly the song has already been written, because we’re making the video at this point, but folks are acting like they are making the song up on the spot. Fine. Do what you must.

  Justin strums for a bit, then we get to the part where Rascal Flatts was apparently hired to provide input, but this basically consists of the gang harping “That should be ME!” at the same time that Justin does. Hmm. Could Justin really not sing this part with enough conviction by himself?

  Oh, wait, I lied a little bit. Gary Le Fake Name suddenly starts doing some improv. He’s still singing the same lines as Justin, but he does so just a bit after Justin does. This totally changes the song, right?

  One of the Personal Assistants comes wandering in, and gets all the guys to stop diddling around and follow her to another part of the studio. I guess it’s a really long journey, so they have Gary do some sidebar scenes with him singing all by himself and doing some hand movements that won’t disturb his gel-slicked hairdo. This lasts roughly 15 seconds before Justin barges in to wherever Gary is doing the extra material, and Justin jumps in on the warbling to remind us that this is HIS song. (His hair doesn’t move either, so I’m finally understanding what these two people might have in common.)

  Cut back to a scene with more Personal Assistants (how many PA’s do these people need?) grooming the guys for something important that must be coming up. (A meeting with the IRS?) Then, bam, we have Justin and The Flatts trying to look swellegant while standing around a piano and bellowing the song. I’m not really sure why they had to move to another location in the building to do this, but I’m not a music producer, which explains why the people on “American Idol” haven’t called me yet, even though they should. If Paula Abdul can do it for 8 seasons…

  Anyway, the guys keep doing whatever in front of the camera, with Gary upstaging Justin but I’m not sure that anyone realizes this. Oh wait, maybe somebody did, because we soon switch to Justin by himself in this new room with annoying spotlights lining the back wall. This lasts for only a few seconds, probably because someone other than me also noticed that Justin is wearing dog-tags. Like HE’S served in the military. We quickly cut back to the big group where we at least have people old enough to join the army.

  The main group warbles for a while, with some accent work being done by the piano player who is apparently passing a kidney stone during all of this. Then Gary hits a really high note while twirling like a windmill. I’m going to guess this is the climax of the song, but I’m often incredibly wrong when trying to determine the value of musically-unrelated people performing duets together.

  We now watch several jump cuts of everybody feeling the music in them after Gary held that dog-whistle high-note for such a long time. (Justin actually drops to his knees in another solo shot, but he might just be excited about getting to talk to Ryan Seacrest later that afternoon.)

  Then, for no explainable reason, we have everybody back in that other room where everybody first got together and pretended that they had something in common. Then we’re back in the big room with the cameras, then we have Justin by himself, then we have… I’m thinking none of this is really important at this point. I’ll just wait for something new to develop.

  But it doesn’t. We’re still jump-cutting around, with everybody more happy to be here than they should be, and Justin constantly on the verge of receiving a toaster oven from Melissa Etheridge. (Notice the way he walks. Would a straight woman do that?)

  At one point, Justin rips off his jacket and throws it on the floor in a moment of overwhelming emotional something or other. This changes nothing.

  Justin also does something involving hand puppets toward the very end of the song. I’m not even going to go there.

  Finally, things wind down with more shots of everybody pretending to have the best time of their lives, complete with dentist-assisted bright smiles, back-slapping and an astounding lack of conviction on anyone’s part. Then Justin exits stage right, leaving behind the jacket that he now apparently hates because it smells like shame…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Maroon 5 - “Won’t Go Home Without You”

  We start out with lead singer Adam and presumably his date having a nice time sitting in a restaurant, despite the fact that everything is in black and white and you can’t hear what they might be saying since the soundtrack hasn’t started yet. (Did somebody forget to do something?) By the way, so you won’t waste time trying to figure out why the girl looks familiar, she played Alex on “Lost”, the daughter of Crazy Ben who went sort of crazy herself, but then redeemed herself just before getting killed. (Which, come to think of it, happened to a lot of people on that show. Do NOT book a flight on Oceanic Airlines.)

  Anyway, we flip through some scenes, and it seems that Adam and Alex eventually have something of a tiff, and he stomps off, leaving Alex and her overly-large necklace to deal with the check. Cut to Adam with the rest of the band, performing the song in one of those nondescript rooms with ugly carpeting, a setting that lots of bands tend to enjoy for unknown reasons. While his mates move about freely, Adam seems obsessed with sitting in a wooden chair and gripping it very tightly so we can see his arm veins.

  Nothing really major happens for a bit here, as the camera jumps around the room so we can see what folks are up to. The drummer drums, the guitar players play guitar, and we keep getting very tight close-ups of Adam’s face so that we can make a detailed analysis of his facial-pore situation and recommend a few astringents. (Say, is that Gregg Allman playing one of the guitars? He’s looking really good for his age.)

  Um, this goes on for a while. They try some interesting camera angles and such, but really, it’s just a band making music. (And really, the one guy banging out that same note on the piano? Why do we need to see him doing that so many times? I get it. It’s the same note. Thank you.) The director also provides us with more snippets of Adam and Alex and their black-and-white domestic meltdown, but again, nothing new other than confirmation that Alex has amazing cheekbones.)

  Oh wait, something’s up as Adam finally gets out of that chair, dashes out of the room, and suddenly appears… in an alley walking by a dumpster. Okay, not a destination I would choose, but at least we have movement. Adam struts along for a bit, warbling, and eventually encounters a group of boys riding skateboards and squirting water at one another. I really don’t get the appeal of this activity, but they seem to be having a nice time and Adam doesn’t make them stop, even when they get him wet.

  A bit later, Adam is walking in a parking lot where some obvious hookers are trying to ply their trade. One enthusiastic and chesty member of the Third Wives’ Club tries to get Adam’s attention by yanking on him, but he’s busy with another chorus of the song and he leaves Jezebel behind so she can learn some hard lessons about rejection and bad wardrobe choices. Adam turns a corner, and this is where we go off the rails.

  Adam trips over some break-dancer and his cardboard, causing the small but entranced audience to shove Adam around like a pinball. This leads to Adam being forced to pose for photos with tourists and Professor Dumbledore and possibly Marilyn Monroe. Then some chippie in a ballroom gown throws herself at Adam and they spin around a bit, causing a rabid and aggressive clown to shove his face at the camera. We end this madness with a Chinese Dragon trying to swallow Adam’s head.


  Cut to Adam, having escaped the traveling circus, taking a break in front of a store window display where a male deer is offended by a pile of plastic bags containing blue gel. (There’s also some scrawny trees. I don’t think they were part of whatever crime might have happened, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Charlie Brown and Linus showed up with some Christmas decorations.) Adam sings for a while, perched in front of the display, so we’ll assume that he feels comfortable around disgruntled wildlife.

  Then Adam gets a second wind, and off he goes, running back to the restaurant where Alex should be if she hasn’t time-skipped her way to another part of the island. Adam throws open some really nice Art Deco doors, and starts rudely marching past the restaurant staff, cruelly knocking aside some waitress and her stock of dinner rolls.

  Well, there are certain ways one should act in public, and this isn’t one of them, so some burly guys grab Adam and start dragging him away. (Wait. Burly guys on the wait staff? This clearly can’t be New York City. Maybe Idaho?) The tough dudes throw Adam into the alley. He promptly doubles back and runs in another door, one that is apparently unguarded by bitter bouncers who failed entrance exams at the Police Academy.

  Adam sashays through the restaurant until he makes it back to the table where Alex should still be seated, and she is, only with a new companion who hasn’t shaved but obviously has Alex’s lust-o-meter hitting the higher numbers, both of them gazing at one another with a passion that no one understands but will probably make a nice Top 40 hit. Dejected, Adam turns and wanders off to see if the restaurant does carry-out.

  Dude. You battled a Chinese Dragon and insistent hookers, but you’re going to let a little cologne model stop you from claiming Ben’s daughter? Weak.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood - “Relax”

  Note: I can still remember being a college student in Tulsa, OK, when this came out. We whooped wildly about the fun of it all, and then some official fool figured out that they might be singing about, you know, THAT, and the song immediately disappeared from all radio stations for a bit. (Gotta love the Bible Belt. You can marry your cousin or wear a white hood on your head, but you don’t dare sing a song about delaying orgasm.) Anyway, here we go…

  We start out with lead singer Holly Johnson messing around with actual “laser beams” that he bellows about in the song, and then we cut to the band’s name flashing in neon lights in what could easily pass as a sleazy nightclub. (Note, Part 2: This might be the only remnant of the original video version, which took place in a gay S&M bar, and was considered too controversial for release. Duh. It was 1984, when husbands still believed that their wives were virgins when they got married.)

  Next up is the band performing in what could be a warehouse, an unused clothes-storage closet for Cher, or perhaps a holding cell for people who can’t stay still. I don’t really understand why Holly is wearing that jacket, all zipped up like he can’t get warm, but it might be a “Members Only” product, which was all the rage at the time, and he wants to make sure we can see it. He’s also wearing white gloves, which I don’t understand either, but I’m not British.

  The rest of the band is bopping around with an energy that might be chemically-based. Not judging, just reporting.

  Holly waves his hands around for a while, possibly reenacting classic Greek Drama or the best way to test cantaloupes for freshness. He’s also wearing sunglasses inside, which probably means something, but we’ll figure that out later. Another band member, Paul, is just dancing around and occasionally singing one word of the song. I think I would like to have his job, where you only need to learn 5 or so words, and you can get your aerobics in while still getting paid the same amount of money as people who actually do something important.

  Close-up on Holly’s sunglasses, in case we missed them in the opening shots. We’ll have to assume that this is some form of product placement, or that Holly is making a political statement about the blindness of Margaret Thatcher. Your call.

  Holly also likes to shove his hands in the pockets of his jacket, when he’s not making grand flourishes like Queen Elizabeth allowing peasants to look in her direction. (Perhaps that’s where he keeps his poppers?) And I’m totally distracted by the guitar player who is whacking his hand on his instrument like he hates it with extreme malevolence. What is that all about?

  Close-up on one of Holly’s gloved hands. Okay, I get it. Either he didn’t get a manicure or he has that skin disease that Michael Jackson was always whining about. Let’s look at something else, shall we?

  Great, I guess somebody was listening, because now we have Holly playing with those laser beams. He’s very confident of himself, that Holly, strutting about like something got lodged in a very satisfactory place and he’s ready to sign blank checks. The director also diddles with the laser beams on the other band members, but they seem more invested in, well, playing music. Except for Paul. Paul likes diddling. Heyyy.

  More of Holly and his “Members Only” jacket. Something that requires him to continue strutting, and point with his gloved fingers. Perhaps if I had been in Cher’s closet as well I might have more fully understood the symbolism. But I wasn’t invited. That Oklahoma stigma stays with you for a very long time.

  Scenes with the laser beams splashing on guitars while they are being played. I’m not really invested in this part. I understand that guitars have to be played, I just don’t really need to see it. Especially if the guitar players aren’t cute.

  The lasers really get crazy at this point, with everybody shoving instruments and appendages into the beams so that we get a lot of distortion. Then I notice that Holly has done something rude with his jacket pockets that are causing them to look like really sagging breasts. Seriously? Dude, that is not attractive in any way. And you don’t even actually have breasts. I’m so confused.

  “I don’t really do much” Paul breaks into the shenanigans for a bit, with him and his untied bow tie trying to take over, but Holly ain’t havin’ none of that, making bunny-paw motions with his gloved hands and eventually out-queening all comers. (I feel it my duty to mention drug-usage again at this point. I have no formal confirmation of this, but let’s be real.)

  Back to Holly jacking with the lasers and not attending to his poofy pockets. This leads to the part where he does the…. WHUH… bit of the song, indicating either the release of millions of swimmers or a medical condition requiring attention. I guess Holly is up for a repeat performance, because he continues with more laser foreplay while a slightly-embarrassed drummer is forced to make a cameo.

  The song ends with Holly still trying to impress us with his gloves and manic need to direct traffic, the shy drummer suddenly wailing away on his skins, and the complete absence of Paul, so we’ll just have to assume that someone in craft services caught his eye and a man-tango is now taking place in an alley, with cats howling and startled passers-by hearing gurgling noises and wondering who in the hell is having plumbing issues at this time of night.

  Look, I didn’t start this. I’m just finishing it. Peace.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sinead O’Connor - “Nothing Compares 2 U”

  Note: Later controversy aside, this song was huge back in the day. And it was written by Prince (note the “2 U” business, a signature way of expressing himself that Prince used to let us know that he was NOT grammar’s bitch), setting up a very interesting smash-up of wildly-different talent. Let’s revisit. And in a tribute to Sinead’s political activism, let’s just say that I get a wee bit harsh with the religious symbolism…

  We start off on some wooded country lane, with a long-shot of some priest scurrying to hide questionable material that he might have hidden under the cot in his monastery cell. We get a few brief shots of some nice architectural details, accented by water and birds and the absence of filthy humans mucking things up, then Sinead makes her physical debut.

  And what an entrance. We weren’t sure what to make of the severe look, with the tightly-shorn hair, the pale face set off by the all-black outfit, and those eyes, challenging in their emotion, but we were captivated. You couldn’t help but listen to what she had to say, if only to find out why she shaved her head.

  She croons for a bit, accented by images fading in and out. We see some statues, the older kind with actual people and not the modern kind where you are left to puzzle about the significance of a giant frying pan painted blue. Then we’re back to Sinead, with her elfish anger and fondness for looking away from the camera.

  She sings for a while.

  We get a break from the intensity of Sinead’s emotion with a brief shot of a barren forest, probably symbolic of the lack of hit singles that Sinead would have after this moment. There’s also something to do with dead leaves falling to the ground, probably symbolic of people not buying her album after the infamous “Saturday Night Live” appearance where she ripped up the photo of the Pope.

  She sings for another while.

  A long while.

  (Why is she so angry? Is her turtleneck too tight?)

  Okay, more imagery, with battered leaves lying on the cold ground. Would this be a shout-out to the untold numbers of children molested by priests who should have been reassigned, or convicted, but were allowed to keep practicing because the Catholic Church has a thing for denial and suppression? Just wondering. We also have a shot with another priest trudging along, probably racing to a confessional booth where he can learn new and interesting things for those lonely Saturday nights.

  More statues of folks who actually have genitalia. I know, I know, such things get certain people up in arms, making them want to cut arts funding and pretend that half of the population doesn’t have a penis. But really, if that’s the most abominable thing in the world to you, you must not get out much.

  Brief shot of the priest walking down a very wide flight of stone stairs. You know damn well he wanted to do a number from “Auntie Mame”, but had to refrain from doing so since somebody might spy how easily his legs could go over his head.

  Back to Sinead, with her intensity. She’s still emoting quite fiercely, to the point of actual tears streaming down her cheeks. Somebody did this girl WAY wrong. (Or maybe there was some Mountain Cedar that blew in with the latest weather change.) Still and all, you don’t get that kind of musical conviction out of the current crop of female rappers whose talent is mostly silicon-based.

  Another statue, this one of a woman holding her head and looking dissatisfied. Perhaps this was a harbinger of Sinead’s eventual decision to become a priest herself. Okay, not a priest, but an official religious person of some kind that had some type of clerical authority. Of course, this happened in Scotland or some such, so who knows what it really meant.

  And another shot of the priest, still trying to hide things, like reality and personal responsibility.

  To close things out, we have a shot of Sinead looking off to one side, all angelic with shining eyes. We hold this pose for a very long time, letting us remember what it was like before she opened her mouth and actually spoke her mind. Thou shalt not buck the system, or the hypocrites will smite you, pointing fingers whilst locking their own closet doors.

  But I’m not bitter…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Lifehouse - “Broken”

  We start off with the band sitting in a car, with the lead singer already warbling and the rest of the band not doing much of value. The car doesn’t seem to be moving, but it appears that lots of other people are on foot, streaming past the car and headed in the other direction. Clearly, something is not right, above and beyond a certain band member’s refusal to brush his hair.

  The camera finally moves around so that we can see the car is in the middle of a long tunnel. We can also see that something is just a bit odd about the lines of people walking around the car. We can’t quite put our finger on it, other than no one seems to be very happy, so we might be at a really big office party where attendance was mandatory and the people you already didn’t like have had too much eggnog.

  The lead singer finally hops out of the car, intent on either determining the source of the crowd dissatisfaction or running somewhere to pick up his Chinese takeout while double-parked, not sure. Once he stands up, we can see that the entire tunnel is filled with these shuffling folk, and I get a flashback to the original “Dawn of the Dead” movie. You know, the gory one in the mall where bad things happen to people who shop at JC Penney. This doesn’t look good.

  No matter, these people are rock stars and they’ve faced much worse. The rest of the guys jump out as well and start trucking along behind the lead singer. The camera lingers on the singer’s face, so we can study the complex emotions he’s apparently feeling as well as learn that he likes his hair with frosted tips. (Now is not the time to point out that he might need a touch up. They seem to be rather occupied at the moment.)

  The next several minutes are pretty much the same thing, with the band working its way upstream in the crowd and nobody smiling. (I guess it never occurs to these guys that there might be a REASON why everyone is headed the other way. Me, I’ve seen too many horror movies, and I would already be running in the opposite direction, knocking down senior citizens in my panicked need to escape the vague monster who is eating people.)

  At one point, the lead singer bumps into one of the strange people, and causes him to spill the contents of his briefcase. But instead of politely stopping to help with fluttering paper retrieval, the lead singer just keeps marching along, so he must be from Jersey. The lead singer bumps into several other people on his journey, but most of them don’t seem to notice. What is wrong with these people? Just shuffle, shuffle, look depressed. I don’t want to live wherever this is.

  In the most horrifying moment of the entire video, a small girl drops her teddy bear and her wicked mommy won’t let her pick it up, forcing the little girl to leave her furry friend behind, with lots of rude people stomping on its head. That poor girl will be in therapy for years, eventually turning to drugs and breaking into the zoo late at night, wandering around and endlessly searching for long-lost “Bucky” in the bear cages.

  Years later, the band finally makes it to the end of the tunnel, and we see that there has been a nasty car accident. While rescue people dash about and do their thing, the lead singer spies a woman standing near him, who is looking into one of the wrecked cars and seeing herself in the crumpled driver’s seat, dead. Then he sees another guy also looking at his own dead self.

  Well then, this is one happy, festive video, eh?

  The lead singer finally clues in, and dashes over to the worst of the cars, wrenching the door open so he can look inside. Yep, he sees himself taking more than just a nap. The lead singer turns and runs back into the tunnel, fighting through the trudging Dawn of the Dead people and scrambling to get to his car. When he does, he sees himself and the rest of the band still in the car. Lead singer guy starts banging on the windows to get their attention, but there must be a good song on the radio and they completely ignore him.

  Then the lead singer is startled out of his daydream by a police officer banging on the same window, motioning that he can go ahead and pull forward. Nobody’s really dead, nothing to see here, move along.



Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Willow Smith - “21st Century Girl”

  We start off in some desert-like area that could be anywhere, from the African plains to Dallas on a really dry day to that place where U2 did the photo shoot for the “Joshua Tree” album cover. Some older woman comes tromping along in a billowing black outfit, navigating about the sand until she spies what looks like a pelvic bone just lying there in the dusty nothingness. Most of us would steer clear, because who wants anything to do with dead body parts, but the woman drops to her knees and snatches up the whatever thing with cackling enthusiasm. (These things happen when you don’t get out much.)

  Granny then proceeds to do something ceremonial with her find, muttering incantations and burying little tidbits in the sand, objects she just happened to have in her mysterious satchel that grannies always have because they remember the Great Depression and never throw anything away. Then we learn that Granny has some pretty awesome superpowers, because she waves her hands just right to make the sand shimmy and suck up her offerings. I’m thinking I don’t ever want to get on this woman’s bad side. Just sayin.

  So the ceremony continues for a bit, then we see the sand re-open and a pretty floral scarf gets belched out of the ground, making it very clear that this is not your average safari. Granny mutters further voodoo somethings and the scarf appears to be taking human form. (This is the point where I would run screaming to the nearest bar and order everything on the top shelf.) Granny whispers something into the Scarf Being’s ear, which causes Willow to wake up and look around sleepily like a cat who is really not impressed with having her nap time interrupted by pointless humans.

  Granny mysteriously disappears, which allows Willow to take center stage and grab a handful of sand. Said sand begins to percolate in her palm, another indication that decent people should be running for the border. But Willow thinks the odd sand behavior is pretty hip, especially when a butterfly bursts out of the sand and her latest single kicks off on the soundtrack.

  Then Willow, because she’s all about the drama, rips off her scarf outfit and starts strutting around in a quirky-cool getup that is reminiscent of, well, nothing we’ve ever seen. She tromps around for a bit, belting out the song, until she gets to a special place where she can reach into the sand and pull out a guitar. (What is going ON in this desert? Why are people burying so much crap?)

  Willow decides it’s time for a track meet, so she and a bunch of wolves race along the sand to get in a good cardio workout. Then, for whatever reason, the wolves turn into a bunch of Willow’s gal-pals, all of them sporting creative outfits that indicate some people have WAY too much time on their hands. (Seriously, did they cut up a bunch of clothes and then run through a wind tunnel with glue on their skin?)

  Short bit where Willow channels Rihanna, Kesha, and anybody else who thinks couture trumps everything else. Then Willow’s little friends (why is that one girl wearing balloons on her head?) also start digging in the sand and pulling up very interesting artifacts that have nothing to do with reality in the desert. Skateboards, bicycles, parking meters, David Hasselhoff’s career. (Okay, fudged a bit on that last one.)

  Then things go a little crazy. Now people are pulling really BIG things out of the sand, like cars and buildings. I guess it didn’t occur to any of these charming but too-exuberant urchins that you’re really screwing with the time-space continuum if a 9-year-old can casually drag the Statue of Liberty out of the ground. (And really, why would they want to? Is this a skill that they learned from watching “High School Musical 17: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Glee?”)

  Anyway, the youngsters keep pulling on chains and such, managing to erect a city of skyscrapers in the land where Simba once ruled and Jane Goodall made a lot of people uncomfortable with comparing chimpanzees to humans. Willow struts about with her friends, happy to be involved with municipal redistricting. Then Willow gets bored and changes outfits.

  This prompts some street scenes with Willow and her posse dancing about in what should be a really busy intersection, but all the traffic has been conveniently re-routed so musical expression can take place. Willow and friends do a lot of energetic dance moves, which is all very uplifting, but I’m more concerned with the slogan on Willow’s t-shirt that I can’t really read because she won’t stay still. “Boys Need”… something. Well, yes, boys need a lot of things, but I can’t understand your particular concern if you keep pirouetting about like your sugar intake is out of control.

  These youngsters dance for a really long time. I haven’t had that much energy since Jimmy Carter was President.

  Eventually, Willow’s peeps hoist her on their shoulders, and there’s an all-out celebration of the freedom that comes from, well, having parents that have the financial resources to protect you from reality. (Sorry, tried to steer clear of that issue, but I slammed into it.) To balance things out, Willow then introduces a cute little toddler and whispers something into her ear. Said toddler then produces a butterfly from the sand in her hand, and then chases after it. And that is a mighty fine way to end things…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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