Friday, April 29, 2011

The Cranberries - “Dreams”

We start off with somebody throwing a bunch of fake frogs into some water, followed by some loose pearls. Right away I’m thinking, okay, this is the song where they do that banshee wailing at the end. Who knows what they’re going to do in the video. Then we have an image of the lead singer, Dolores, appear in the water, with her looking deathly and pale and upside down. Yep, things could get very weird.

Quick shot of Dolores, right-side up and looking confused, then another ghostly image of Dolores possibly drowning in someone’s laundry water. (That stuff in the background? I think they’re socks. Or jock straps. Something that we really don’t need to be seeing right now.) Then we slowly fade to the real Dolores again, and she starts to sing.

And she does this for a very long time, just standing there in her pixie haircut and excessive earrings. Sure, we get a few shots of the other band members, but none of them are all that interesting and we keep going back to Dolores and her penchant for singing with her eyes closed. (Is she dreaming now? Why won’t she look at us? Is this just something Irish that I don’t understand?)

While Dolores continues to warble and let eerie green light wash over her screen, the camera person gets bored and we start seeing snippets of other crap going on. (Did somebody just throw a ukulele across the room? And is that a car muffler?) At one point, we close in on the drummer, and I must say that he looks a little intense and scary, as in “do not let yourself be left alone with this guy”. It’s not clear what his issue might be, but he’s not in a happy place.

Okay, now we’re changing things up a bit. The camera is overhead, and we’re looking down on the various band members as they lean their heads back and do some form of yoga while random images flow along under their feet. It doesn’t look relaxing at all, but everybody must be having a good time or you’d think they would stop.

Cut to Dolores in another location, this one involving a room where there may or may not be walls made of ice. Dolores looks especially sad during this bit, probably because she’s cold, and she just stands there morosely while the camera weaves in and out of the frozen architecture. (During this mess, we get a random shot of Psycho Drummer Boy doing something with a window treatment. I’m going to guess it’s not something pleasant or sane.)

At this point there’s a long sequence of unrelated shots. In technical terms, this is known as “making up crap to fill out the video”. This is the same term that Republicans use when designing political ads.

Now we’re back to Dolores in the room with the green light. She’s actually smiling now, so something quite pleasing must have happened while we were visiting with the Dolores in the other room that’s a giant freezer. She’s still mostly singing with her eyes closed, but there’s some nice color in her cheeks now and she’s swaying a little bit. I’m guessing she had sex. Good for her. (As long as it wasn’t the drummer.)

Once again, this sequence goes on forever, with Dolores crooning amid random shots of the rest of the band looking slightly gothic while fans blow hair around. (And really, would it kill somebody to turn some lights on around here? No wonder everyone is so depressed.)

While satiated Dolores continues singing, we start getting superimposed, ghostly images of the band members in that stance they like with their heads thrown back, exposing their necks. (What gives with that? Are these people waiting around for vampires? If a bloodsucker did show up, he wouldn’t be able to find them in all this moody darkness. If you want to be eaten, you should properly display yourself in a pleasing manner. I’m thinking candles and violins, not darkness and floating frogs.)

And we wind things down with another odd image of Dolores, possibly lying on her back, while more cryptic images swirl and sway around her. It’s very possible that she’s slipped into a coma, because she doesn’t move. At all. Then some fool throws more junk in that water, leading to the final bit with a new Dolores (or somebody) doing what might be an Irish jig and the original Delores having an orgasm back in the green room.

Okay, then. I finally understand the wailing at the end of the song…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nicki Minaj, Drake - “Moment 4 Life”

Note: This is the “MTV Version”, which I’m going to assume also means the “not so naughty version”, since there are a few bits where some special language is bleeped out. But I really don’t know. What the hell is an MTV version? I thought they stopped showing actual videos on that channel years ago. Anyway…

We start out with Nicki wearing an odd Princess/Tinkerbell outfit, waving about a magic wand that might also be a taser, because there’s some serious magnetic something going on with the end of it. Princess Nicki shoots a wad of firepower at a fancy makeup table, where another Nicki is dressed up as Cleopatra, and causes a glass slipper to appear among the bottles of foundation and glue. Personally, I’m not fond of sparkly footwear suddenly appearing up in my grill.

But Cleopatra Nicki is fine with it, clutching the shoe to her bosom, and then launching into a tribute rap about how she is some intergalactic being sent here to save the planet from something or other. She shoves the shoe on her blue-nylon foot and waits for redemption. This doesn’t immediately happen, so Cleo Nicki raps for a while about her empire and the injustice of having to pay taxes on her record sales.

At one point, Nicki warbles “I sprinkle holy water, upon the vampire.” Who the hell is that? Has she been watching too much Fox News?

Cleo Nicki tries to explain more about her trials and tribulations, but this mostly consists of her comparing herself to Goliath, Donald Trump and Jesus. I don’t learn a whole lot during this bit, and I instead concentrate on trying to figure out which of her many well-documented personalities currently has the steering wheel, because they clearly aren’t using the same GPS as anyone else.

Cleo Nicki finally gets bored at the makeup table, and decides to waltz around her little palace, with the train on her dress long enough that you fully expect the British Royal Family to show up wearing those incredibly ugly hats that they manage to find somewhere. Nicki even gives a “shout out to her haters, sorry that you couldn’t phase me.” Um, okay. Maybe if you took that stick of delusional grandeur out yo butt I just might be able to do the phase thing. Sayin.

And right about now we start seeing our first shots of Drake. He’s wandering around the palace being all cool and stuff, talking on his cell phone and clutching a glass of boom juice. He pauses for a moment on a convenient balcony to watch Nicki do some of her trademark robotic moves, wherein she seems to be demanding that Nordic gods come satisfy her in every way.

And this apparently signals the arrival of a new Nicki, this one with cotton candy hair and an apparent need to showcase her breasts in a dramatic way. She’s standing in some hallway at the palace, which is apparently one of the minor hallways because nobody else is around. Candy Nicki doesn’t care, because she’s there, and the party will always be started no matter where she is.

Now we have a montage of Cleo Nicki and Candy Nicki, both of them flirting with the camera in a manner that causes Drake to realize that his life will never be complete unless he sleeps with at least one of Nicki’s personalities. We get a few shots of him prowling around both Nicki’s and getting heated, but since it’s just not cool for him to be tied to any one woman, he decides to start his own rap.

And he raps for a very long time. There’s some shout-outs to record executives and other rappers, because that’s very important for us to hear in a song, right? And some other mess about the fact that, basically, the world is a better place because he is the new king of the universe. (He even sits in a throne chair, in case we didn’t get his self-love message.) Oh, and there’s a big-ass table loaded down with chocolate-covered nibbles. Because if your narcissism gets to be too much, you can always win the people back with free candy.

Did I mention that he raps for a very long time? Seriously. We get some additional detail that “me and Nicki are gettin’ married today”. Really? Is there a church that can hold both of your posses AND your egos? Drake throws out a line about “everybody dies, but not everybody lives”, with Nicki nodding her head fervently like Moses wrote that down on a stone tablet and a gospel choir confirmed it.

This triggers more shots of Candy Nicki in that hallway where everyone else fears to tread because her couture might cut them. Then we have Drake and Cleo Nicki in front of a fireplace, so we can understand that their loins are on fire for each other. They move in for a kiss, but it doesn’t actually happen, so I’m guessing that somebody has a “no tongue” rider in their contract.

Sudden shot of Tinkerbell Nicki flying around the grounds of the palace. She waves her power wand, showering pink sparks everywhere, which signals the start of some jump-cutting in the video. Candy Nicki is still waving her arms in that desolate hallway. Lots of folks are attending some type of praise ceremony under a handy rotunda. And Drake and Nicki are about to get married.


Seems so. While they stand at what might be an altar, fireworks fill the sky and both of them sing about what it means to be hitched to someone who has created an entirely fake personality in order to become a pop star. Apparently Nicki is unable to express her thoughts just by herself, so she enlists the aid of Candy Nicki, Tinkerbell Nicki, Cleo Nicki and a janitor to tell her life-affirming tale of how she only became alive once she entered a recording studio and somebody plugged her in.

It’s very touching.

Once the vows are done, and they once again almost-kiss instead of really doing it (damn those restrictive contracts!) we get more jump-cuts of all the Nicki’s celebrating her world dominance along with Drake’s firm conviction that by simply not shaving he becomes the most irresistible man on the planet. We close with the tossing of a bouquet, more fireworks, and a pre-nup agreement spelling out that neither of them is allowed to have extra-marital sex, unless it will lead to increased record sales or a Grammy.

I think they’ll be very happy together. You?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Muse - “Uprising”

We start off in what looks like a decaying city where someone has just lit a fuse that happens to be running down the middle of a street, so right away you know we’re not going to a happy place with this one. The fuse burns past a few buildings, and you start to wonder why things look a little weird. Then we see a possible hooker standing next to a fire hydrant, and she’s a toy doll. Great. We’re trapped in the miniaturized, twisted art project of a dark soul with pyromaniac tendencies. Let the sun shine in.

Then we spy the band performing in the bed of a pickup that is slowly rolling through the gothic urbanity, with everybody wearing black so we don’t jack with the theme. They rock for a bit while we get more shots of this nasty place where plastic dolls are wearing trashy outfits and drinking beer around burning trashcans. Cut back to a close-up of the lead singer, Matt Bellamy, and in this shot he looks exactly like that one doctor (Cooper or some such) on Nurse Jackie, so I’m going to have focus issues from here on.

More shots of that long-ass fuse working its way to whatever. Based on the way that they don’t make any of the dolls pretend to be running, we’ll have to assume that the citizens are all bitter, tired people who’d rather just let the city burn and pick up the insurance check later.

Oh look, the band has apparently stopped for a picnic or something, because they’re sitting in a field while Matt croons the song. Zip over to a man doll sneaking up to a mobile home and taking pictures of whatever is going on inside. Based on the tawdry setup, I’m going to assume they aren’t baking cookies in there. Maybe muffins. Not cookies. Cut to the image of a huge bulldozer plowing up part of the neighborhood. What? You get you some slap and tickle in this town and they start tearing down buildings? No wonder people are leaving.

Next up we have the band inside… I don’t know what that is. The fuselage of a plane that crash landed because the negativity in this city is such a sucking force? While Matt wails, we get the first images of something furry possibly clamoring out of the ground. No real detail yet, but anything that unburies itself is probably not our friend. The long-ass fuse seems to be speeding up a bit, but we still don’t know the destination.

Wait, that might be a lie. It seems to be headed toward the mobile home. Just what are they doing in there? Jeez.

Cut to stacks of TV’s in the front window of an appliance store. The units are all showing images of teddy bears. Hmmm. Only one channel? Do these people not get satellite? Yet another reason to pack your bags and dig out the money you hid under the mattress.

Then we have the band walking by this store, and one of the members must not care for stuffed animals, because he uses his guitar to smash the window. I’m thinking anger management issues, yes? And a lack of concern for musical instruments. And probably a lack of female companions that stick around longer than a few hours. Just guessing.

The band sings a bit more on that truck.

Then more light-heartedness ensues as we watch a mob of blue-collar dolls burning a pile of teddy bears. (Why are these people so violent about children’s toys? Seriously.) Uh oh. Somebody didn’t really plan this very well, because the heat from the teddy torching is causing some of the doll lynch mob to melt. Whoopsie.

And those furry things clawing out of the ground? They’re teddy bears. Giant teddy bears who are really pissed off, flashing their fangs and waving their little arms in defiance. (Wait. When did teddy bears start having fangs? Did I miss a memo?) The band keeps playing and singing, instead of running like hell, so I guess they ain’t scared of no bears. Then again, the band is in a truck, so they can haul ass at a moment’s notice, with the assumption that a fossil-fueled vehicle can outrace mean things from a creepy toy chest.

Oh, maybe not. Did I mention that these vampire bears were big? Like, taller-than-buildings big. We might have an issue. Especially since some of the rampaging bears are doing things like ripping apart bridges and subway systems. I’m thinking they’re not here for tea and cucumber sandwiches.

As the video winds down, the army of jacked-up toys continues with their vision of urban redevelopment, and the band continues to emote very demonstratively from the back of that pickup. Then the truck apparently makes it past the city limits, and one of the super-sized bears falls down, his sugar-rush depleted.

Hmm. So what’s the message here? Muse has to leave town or our toys will kill us? We have to pick one or the other? Sigh. It’s just like that Sophie’s Choice movie…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Maroon 5 - “Harder To Breathe”

We start out with some rapid-fire video gimmickry where the band and all their instruments appear in this really dark room with no windows. They jump right into the song with great intensity, which is nice when compared to “event” videos with other artists where we spend 8 minutes with boring cinematography before anybody sings a single word. On the down side, the jump-cutting is already on my nerves and we’re only 10 seconds into the video. Fasten your seatbelts.

Okay, I’m guessing the frenetic overload of images in this dank cavern is meant to convey an air of claustrophobia, an artistic head-nod to the “harder to breathe” theme of the song title. But really, it’s a bit much. And why is lead singer Adam intent on doing that jerky thing with his leg? Did he not pee before they started the shoot?

But I guess nobody has any interest in my concerns, and we rampage forward with no scene lasting longer than one second. We finally slow down, and get to peruse more video tricks with the individual band members popping up on screen in mid-strumming of whatever instrument they are playing, then disappearing just as quickly. Interestingly enough, Adam is the only one who gets any substantial screen time. Is he planning to go solo?

Speaking of Adam, again, what’s up with your mouth attacking that microphone like you haven’t had a decent chili dog since the tour stop in Chicago? Settle down, buddy. It’s all good.

Then we have a sequence where it seems that at least 12 different members of the band are playing a guitar. Surely this isn’t the case. Then again, I’m not in a band, so maybe that’s the trend these days. And I suppose it’s very morale-building for one to see himself with something large jutting out of his crotch area, so maybe this bit is about group therapy.

Quick image of lots of candles appearing and then disappearing from a table. For some reason, this part unsettles me more than anything we’ve seen so far. No idea why. Maybe it’s the fact that we really need some light in this closed-in room. Is that too much to hope for?

I guess so, because it seems to be getting even darker in here. (The “harder to breathe” theme again, with people crammed together and forced to make music in the tiniest, dimmest space possible?) Of course, Adam doesn’t seem to have any issues with this arrangement, because the tight cropping means that the cameras are right there in his face as his exquisitely-chiseled jaw continues to make dominant love to the randy microphone.

Speaking of Adam, we now see him wandering down an unexplained hallway, where the pictures on the side walls keep appearing and disappearing, and the end of the hallway is a solid wall. Adam and the guitar that he is carelessly dragging behind him are not appreciative that there is no way out of this traffic route, so Adam starts singing to the wall. Not sure what he hopes to accomplish with that, but I’m thinking a fire axe or some well-placed explosives might prove more satisfying.

This stand-off goes on for longer than necessary, then Adam heads back into the cramped quarters where the rest of the band is playing. Oh wait, we seem to have a few more lights on back in this hood and we can see a little better. (Note to self: When unsatisfied with the wattage in a rudely restrictive room, try warbling some lyrics at an otherwise unresponsive wall. Redemption could be forthcoming.)

The improved visibility in the main performance area inspires the remaining band members to go at their instruments like they’ve had a bad rash since last Tuesday and are ready for the itch to be gone. And that’s basically how we wind down the video, with the A.D.D.-camera whirling about madly while the guys pogo and boing with almost orgasmic release. (Adam does a catch-and-release thing with his microphone that is actually quite interesting, but probably won’t look all that great on a job application.)

Then the music abruptly stops and everybody piles out of the room. I’m guessing the Chinese takeout is here…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ne-Yo - “Closer”

  We start off with Ne-Yo on some soundstage, pushing along his motorcycle. (Why he’s doing this, I have no idea, because you know he has people who can push things for him.) Cut to Ne-Yo on another soundstage, and this one is apparently having electrical problems because the lights keep flashing on and off in an annoying way. This is kind of sad, because Ne-Yo appears to be wearing a sharp suit that we should probably study more closely, because we all know that the right outfit can make or break a song.

  Then Ne-Yo lets out a little yelp that magically makes the flashing stop. (Note to self: If you want to make irritating lights stop flickering, squeeze out a Michael Jackson tribute noise.) We cut back to Motorcycle Ne-Yo, who is being visited by a woman wearing incredibly tight panty shorts, and she seems very invested in touching Ne-Yo and his throbbing machine. He doesn’t seem to mind, especially when she does some really hookerish moves involving her fanny, letting him know that she’s ready for a test drive and comes with both an automatic and a stick-shift transmission.

  Meanwhile, the Sharp-Dressed Ne-Yo is still singing, and a new Sweater-Wearing Ne-Yo is using his feet to torment a microphone stand while he also appears to be looking around at people that aren’t really there. (Side Note: It seems that somebody tried to add lyrics to the screen for the hearing-impaired, which is nice, but they didn’t really finish the job and we only get words here and there, usually right on a beat or when Panty-Shorts Woman discovers another direction to point her breasts.)

  Okay, now all of the Ne-Yo’s are doing some smooth dance moves, and this sequence results in some backup dancers suddenly appearing out of nowhere, because that’s another rule about music videos: random dancers must rush in and do a line dance during critical moments in the video when you can’t think of anything more interesting to do. (Oh, and look, Panty-Shorts Woman was able to correctly clap her hands to one of the beats, so she does have some marketable skills after all.)

  Eventually another woman runs on one of the sets and instantly stretches her hand toward Sharp-Dressed Ne-Yo’s crotch, so I guess after Panty-Shorts Woman’s surprise career-advancement in the last paragraph, word has gotten out that if you do the right things with your hands while standing near Ne-Yo, you might get hired for another shoot.

  At 1:41, two women wearing outfits that Jennifer Beals might wear on The L Word do some synchronized gymnastics where they roll on their heads and show us their muscle tone. It looks very interesting, and very painful.

  At 1:46, Crotch-Grabbing Woman suddenly seems to be passing out from food poisoning and slumping to the floor. Ne-Yo just stares at her, because really, does the skank think she can just sashay up in here and deviate from the script? Girl, please.

  And now the Jennifer Beals dancers are multiplying, because there are more of them wallering around on the floor while Sharp-Dressed Ne-Yo tries his best to dance without kicking them in the head, which is a difficult task since the Jennifers are flopping all over the place like somebody should really call in a priest for an exorcism.

  Lots more dancing by the various Ne-Yo’s. That man has entirely too much energy. And then we have even more Jennifer Beals dancers flooding one of the stages, so I’m starting to get a little bit concerned. Has this suddenly become a casting call for Flashdance II: Still Got That Feeling?

  Oh wait, we’ll probably be alright. Sweater-Wearing Ne-Yo is back, and he has those mad skillz where he can control the microphone stand with his feet. He can use that as a weapon in case those identically-dressed women go on a rampage. (Kill the Jennifers! Kill them!) Unless he gets distracted by Panty-Shorts Woman or Crotch-Grabbing Woman, both of whom have a tendency to hog the spotlight and make you forget about dance troupes that want you dead.

  But everyone remains relatively friendly, with very little bloodshed, and we roll into another run with lots of people dancing, letting the music take them to heights of athleticism and eroticism. The highlight of this bit is when Sharp-Dressed Ne-Yo plays a modified form of hopscotch where he leaps over some of the Jennifers while they sprawl on the stage in a pinwheel shape. (Why do these girls like lying on the floor so much?)

  Next up we have Ne-Yo messing around with some Slutty Cocktail Waitress who really, really likes his tie. But she doesn’t last very long (I guess Ne-Yo didn’t like what was on her menu) and we jump back to more of the Jennifers waving their legs in the air and doing push-ups in an odd fashion.

  Check it, now some of the people are wearing white pants instead of the black ones that were handed out by wardrobe at the beginning of this video, and this totally changes everything that we are seeing. And it looks like the producers took my advice on crowd control, because now we’re down to only two Jennifers, and both of them seem to be behaving themselves. And they even have batons that they can twirl. See, folks? Change is good.

  Sadly, everybody must be getting tired, because the video starts to wind down. A little more dancing, a few more women pawing on Ne-Yo, a startling scene with the Jennifers possibly ripping Ne-Yo to shreds in a rousing tribute to Dawn of the Dance Floor of the Dead, and a fond look back at all of Ne-Yo’s outfits so we can update our fashion spreadsheets.

  Final shot is off Ne-Yo beckoning to us and then walking off into a screen filled with static. If you listen really closely, you can hear Panty-Shorts Woman finally getting a test drive. But only in the European release of the video…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sara Evans - “Born To Fly”

We start off in the yard of a house, with a pig-tailed and barefoot Sara screwing around on top of a wood fence while various family members and/or homeless people pretend to be doing things behind her. Then we switch to another Sara, much less countrified and sporting a tiny little miniskirt that accents her legs as well as apparently contains a microphone in the zipper so she can start warbling the song.

Well, Fence-Walkin’ Sara can’t be outdone, so she joins in with the lyric, bellowing while continuing her gymnastics routine on the fence. Sadly, she must not be a very good multi-tasker, because she soon tumbles off said fence and into the convenient arms of an inbred cousin wearing a hat. And what does that fool girl do? Hops right back on the fence like she don’t have a lick of sense.

Meanwhile, three guys probably named Bubba, Zeke and The Other Bubba are messin’ with the wheel on some old-timey car that ain’t never gonna run again, so I’m not sure what the point is with that. And it seems that Momma might be tryin’ to do the wash on the stoop of the house, but this is proving kinda tough to do, since she ain’t got no soap, water or even some dirty clothes. Poor thing. Maybe she should go rest a bit and try again later.

A couple of other Saras start popping up, wearing cute little outfits and facial expressions. Oh, and messing with their hair. It seems Sara really likes to run her hands through her own coif while wiggling her hips or just standing in the yard, taking her turn on Tumbleweed Watch. She also plays nice with a doggie that looks just like the one in that movie about the tornado, the stupid road that winds around itself, pushy people on brooms, flying monkeys, and singing.

Speaking of The Wizard of Oz, there goes the mean old lady on her ugly bike, haughtily bouncing her way down the dirt road toward the clusters of hillbillies doing pointless things. The Saras don’t care. They just keep warbling and wearing adorable outfits. Then, dad blast it, the old lady marches into the yard demanding that Toto be returned to the slave basket on her bike. No one pays any attention to her at all. (This probably explains how she became the mean old lady.)

Then we have Sara’s parents recreating the famous painting where the country couple stand next to a pitchfork and look stern. No explanation is given for this, so we’ll just assume that people got bored and somebody found some old farming equipment in the prop room. Mayhem ensued.

There’s an odd scene where the Bubbas seem to be having a heated discussion about Fence-Walkin’ Sara, standing around her in a group, arguing and gesturing like they’re trying to figure out how much they can get for her at the cattle auction down to Yucklehead Junction. Sara don’t pay them no mind, smiling away while she continues to sings\. When you can successfully pull off wearing pigtails at her age, life is pretty sweet and the potential to be auctioned off isn’t something you should trouble yourself about.

Mean old lady still wants somebody to listen to her concerns, with her latest issue apparently involving a parking ticket, but the clan ain’t up to it. Next thing you know, Old Crabby done snatched up Toto and is making snarling faces like a bad drag queen that really needs to practice more. I guess them folks should have paid more attention to the bitch with the bike, ‘cause now they got a reduction in inventory.

I guess the horror and pain of this abduction causes one of the Saras to run into the house and throw herself down on an ugly green couch, where she starts writhing in remorse and devastation. I’m assuming the grieving process in this part of the country also involves lying on your back and thrusting your breasts skyward, because we see some of that.

Now we really start jumping around, with lots of images of the cousin-brothers and uncle-daddies doing some kind of mime routines out there in that dirt yard. This, of course, does not distract Green-Couch Sara, as she remains fully invested in finishing up her aerobics session while sprawled across furniture. She’s a very focused woman, she is.

At 2:29 we get another shot of Crabby Old Meanie, with her shoving a finger at us like an angry, cross-dressing proctologist. No sign of Toto, so there’s no telling what’s happened to him. I’d strongly advise against accepting any covered dishes from this woman after the next town funeral.

Next thing you know, here comes a twister headed toward the farm. As is typical around these parts, folks start pointing at it and running out in the yard for a better gander, instead of high-tailing it to the cellar. (Probably because it always smells like feet down there, and who wants to mess with that?)

Green-Couch Sara stays right where she’s at, because girl got a song to finish and at least 7 more ways she can sprawl on the upholstery. We get a cheesy shot of the house being sucked up by the twister, then we’re back inside as Sara calmly continues her performance whilst relatives and livestock zip by the convenient picture window over her left shoulder.

And we wind things down by jump-cutting around to check on the other Saras, including a new one that managed to find a skimpy black top that looks just right when deadly winds are blowing debris and tractors through the air. I’m happy to report that even though Green-Couch Sara rudely took off for parts unknown and left most of her family and her other personalities behind, everyone seems to have survived without too much trauma.

Now, if they would just quit running around like idiots, maybe they can get back out in the fields and bring the harvest in before Sara blows back into town and parks that house in the wrong spot…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Adele - “Rolling In The Deep”

We start off with Adele sitting in a chair, in what might be a hotel conference room, as long as that hotel is somewhere vaguely European. It seems we have some remodeling going on in this hotel, since some of the furniture is covered in plastic and such, but nobody is standing around explaining anything, so who knows. What we DO know is that Adele is sporting a hair bun that could easily take over the planet. This makes me a little tense.

We start getting jump shots of a Ninja Woman in another room where there seems to be mounds of snow on the floor. It’s not clear if this is an artsy statement about local weather conditions or an advertisement about the availability of inhalant drugs in this community. Cut to a shot involving thousands of water glasses covering the floor of an otherwise nondescript lobby in said hotel. This makes me think that lazy waiters have not adequately attended to parched customers in the hotel restaurant, and it saddens me.

Then we have a drummer, banging on his instruments while shoved under an obscure staircase. Has he been bad? Is he in timeout? Or does he just not understand that this is probably not an appropriate place to beat on things?

More shots of the brimming water glasses. This is potentially important, I’m just not sure why.

At 35 seconds into the fun, we have a tribute to R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” video, with crinkled paper taped to a wall. This is very cool, if they planned it. Not so much if they didn’t. And why is Adele unable to get up from her chair?

Oh look, that Ninja Woman has had enough of the snow, and she starts to… I’m not sure what she’s doing. I don’t know if that’s a leaf blower or a walking cane, but she’s using it in a violent manner on the pretty snowflakes. I think there might be some issues that we don’t comprehend, and probably shouldn’t question. Just let the woman work it out.

Meanwhile, Adele’s hair bun continues to dominate the world.

Okay, we start getting glimpses of some shattered crockery piled up on the floor. It’s never a good sign when you encounter mounds of violated dinnerware, but let’s see where this goes. Well, it seems that somebody is at the top of a staircase and hurling cups and saucers at a convenient screen thing, which is resulting in the pottery mess on the floor. Since we can’t see the person destroying things while trying to remain hidden and escape blame, I’m going to guess this person is Sarah Palin.

Jump shots of culinary destruction, Adele still captive in her chair, twirling Ninja Woman with the attitude, and that drummer who really doesn’t understand that he’s probably not in the right spot.

Oh, and more shots of the glasses. The creepy water glasses all lined up and staring at us with their uniformity and rabbit-like population explosion. And not a single one of them has a lemon wedge. I really don’t care for those things. Just say no.

This goes on for a while. Hair bun, plate-smashing, Ninja ballet and confused drummer. Again, I’m sure it all means something, I just didn’t take the right classes in college.

Finally, something new, with the camera zooming in on what might be a model of the New York City skyline, arranged on a fancy table in a room with discarded deer antlers piled on the left side. Before we have enough time to study the model and figure out where the best subway entrances might be, we have to go back and check up on Bun, Ninja, Drummer, and Glasses. They all seem to still be invested in their original assignments, so we don’t learn anything new.

Brief shot of some ceiling medallions involving man-horses shooting arrows at unseen targets. I’m going to guess that this symbolizes record producers. Or maybe Adele just has a fondness for beastly men with archery skills. Who knows.

Suddenly, back at the NYC Skyline Table, somebody sets off what might be sparklers on the ceiling, and flaming bits of some such shower down on the buildings. That’s nice. Like the people of New York appreciate reminders that crap can fall from the sky and force them to make updates in their daily planners. Oh, and it gets better. While Bun, Ninja, Drummer and Crockery continue to cavort, some of the model buildings actually catch on fire and melt. Insensitivity, much?

Then again, I wasn’t asked to participate in the planning sessions for this video, probably because I drink too much and they knew I would take too long to answer my emails. So it’s entirely possible that I’ve missed the boat here, with Adele and her producers focused on a vision that has nothing to do with terrorists and disruption of wireless service, and more to do with an embittered woman getting her musical revenge whilst trapped in a hotel where thirsty people are not satisfied.

Final shot is of Adele and her belligerent hair sitting in silence, staring at the floor. Probably wondering just how the hell they are going to pay yet another hotel bill where some fool thought it would be fun to throw plates down a staircase…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Plain White T’s - “Rhythm Of Love”

Okay, all you really need to know about this video is that there’s some mess happening during daylight hours, and more mess happening during nighttime hours, with both messes involving a beach somewhere. The same shenanigans are taking place regardless of the time of day, with the only difference being that hopefully somebody passed out some high-SPF sunscreen during the bits where the sun is shining. Got it? Here we go…

We start off with some helpful, unseen person pulling a red curtain back, which reveals the start of what might be a marathon on the beach, with rambunctious females waving sparklers as they race across the sand. Then we have a drunken woman doing windmill motions, followed by a profile shot of the lead singer waiting for the actual singing part of the song to start.

Cut to the lead singer on another part of the beach, crouching in the sand with one of the guitar players who doesn’t understand that neckerchiefs really aren’t all that popular anymore. The lead singer lead sings for a while, then he stands up and marches away from the guitar player, leaving him to fiddle with strings and still not understand fashion. Lead singer takes off his jacket and throws it on the sand, letting us know that he’s a pig and isn’t really all that interested in protecting the environment. We might have to hate him for this indiscretion, but we’ll see what happens.

Lead singer wails for quite a while as he walks, until he eventually wanders off camera, leaving us with the image of a couple sucking face in front of a car. Apparently the necking couple is very inspiring, because we see other couples running to each other and shoving tongues into orifices. Then we have a nice montage of the band performing at some cheap-ass bandstand on the beach, mixed with other frisky couples abandoning caution and leaping into the backseats of cars they normally couldn’t afford if Daddy didn’t have that nice job selling things people don‘t really need.

There’s more of that business with females waving sparklers (still waiting for an explanation of the symbolism of randy females waving heated prongs that spark) along with close-ups of the other band members. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to learn, but I do have to give props to the one guy trying to look like a Russian sailor escorting crates of vodka on the high seas. You really don’t see much of that anymore.

Then we have a sequence where I believe that hormone-raging teens are shaking up beer cans and making them spew on fancy cars. Again, not sure what the point is, but I don’t have to fret about it too long, because we cut to more of the band performing on the beach. For whatever reason, the drummer is banging his skins while seated in front of a fake window with billowing curtains. Does he have dreams of being in a store display?

Doesn’t matter, because we have a sudden invasion of rude teenagers running through the set, wearing skimpy attire and headed toward the ocean water. I guess they’re not really interested in a live performance by a band named after cheap clothing. One of the girls is waving a blanket over her head, so I’m starting to wonder if the call sheet for this shoot asked for actresses who can “run and twirl things”. Or maybe Blanket Girl is just a super tramp that has no shame in advertising her needs for horizontal attention.

Now we have a long sequence where the lead singer is marching along the sand, warbling, while the high-sugar-intake teens are hurling water balloons at one another with a frenzy that can only be described as “we observed the patients exhibiting extraordinarily high levels of dissatisfaction with the fruit cup served at lunch”. I’m expecting Nurse Ratchett to show up at any moment and demand a lockdown at the asylum.

Brief shot of an overly-chipper female allowing her hands to be used as the launch point for another possible sailor who is really invested in doing a back-flip. I hope they enjoyed themselves.

And another brief shot of a woman with questionable makeup and attire doing the dogpaddle on the back of a straining male who probably didn’t understand what he was signing up for when he showed up on the set.

The band performs again while more happy females frolic about with those damn sparklers. I’m not sure why they keep doing this, but I do know that if I acted that crazy-ass with a sparkler when I was a young little cultural critic, my daddy would have backhanded me in a manner that would permanently stop all skipping and waving. I guess things are different these days.

We get another shot of that marathon race that started things off in the video. I don’t understand why the males are not allowed to run as well. Maybe it was a union issue, and I have to support that, because so many short-sighted people these days seem intent on destroying the unions in this country, which completely sucks ass. (Yes, I just got political. Blame it on the sparklers.)

Now we have some business where two of the band members feel it is very important that they perform this part of the song, the bit that involves sounds instead of words, while clutching at one another in manner that suggests there may be more to their relationship than initially reported. Just guessing.

More skanks run by with sparklers. I’m really done with that angle.

Lead singer again, doing another one of his now-trademark marches along the beach, while fog drifts by and interestingly-arranged spotlights let us all know that his hair color is not natural. He utters the line about “we make love so fine”, and the camera swivels to show a huge posse of the sparkler girls standing en masse. Really? You made love to all of them? Short attention span?

We may never know the real story there, because random people start dancing and pretending that there has been no alcohol consumption, or inadvertent fathering of future tax deductions. Lots of these folks seem to have an affinity for hats that seem out of place, yet another trend that must be researched before we can fully understand the implications.

And that’s how we wind things down, with perky people shimmying on the sand, overcome in a rapturous manner by the musical stylings of the Plain White T’s. (One woman is so enamored of the musicality that she enlists the aid of a nearby friend so she can be thrust in the air while spreading her legs far and wide. I didn’t know one of the Kardashians was part of this shoot. Who would have expected that?)

Eventually the lead singer heads down the beach, alone, probably seeking a place where he won’t step on a smoldering length of molten heat. Well, at least not the metal kind…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube…

Friday, April 15, 2011

Kelly Rowland, Lil Wayne - “Motivation”

Note: Explicit lyrics and heavy petting. Just sayin.

We start out in what looks like a really big warehouse, but it might just be the place where Lil Wayne likes to keep his bling. The camera is rolling along, and we catch glimpses of people peering out at us from the odd scaffolding that is everywhere. It’s possible that we’re about to get jumped, so you might want to finish your next turn in “Words with Friends” before something happens and you lose points.

Oh wait, it looks like Kelly is standing just up ahead in the gloomy light, tapping her heel and waiting for us to get our asses up there and pay attention to her. We get closer to her, and then I realize that there’s a hell of a lot more people up in this grill than I first thought. And I guess the AC isn’t working, because they’re all covered in sweat, despite the fact that none of them are really wearing anything.

Kelly just happens to find some bored homies that like to dance, so she gets their attention with her interesting outfit, which combines part of a trench-coat with a startling thong that has it’s own life-support system. Kelly doesn’t waste any time running up to one of them and yanking on his crotch like she’s trying to start a lawnmower, so I guess the girl has some urgent needs.

Cut to Kelly in another room, with her wearing what might be tattered streams of toilet paper, as she sashays about, inspecting all the chiseled bodies on display and tries to decide what she’d like for dinner. Then we jump back to Odd-Thong Kelly and her bevy of line dancers, as they hop about and perform moves that involve trying to keep their pants on as well as not be blinded by the amazing techno-purple lipstick that Kelly has managed to find somewhere.

We check back in with Meat-Market Kelly, and she still hasn’t made a selection, wandering along and perusing the various couples and singles as everybody has a really swell time touching one another and dripping sweat. At one point, Kelly is so inspired by all the options that she can’t help but jump on top of a convenient crate and start waving her legs in the air like she’s trying to power a nearby city.

Brief glimpse of Lil Wayne. I sure hope he’s not going to wear the same outfits as Kelly. I’m really not ready for that.

Odd-Thong Kelly and Her Boys are still dancing away, with the guys really invested in thrusting their pelvises hard enough so that Kelly’s trench coat flies out of the way in the turbulence and we can see that she’s not really concerned about covering up the naughty bits. Good for her. Things need to breathe, right?

Back to Kelly on that crate, where she apparently brings herself to orgasm just by repeating the word “motivation” and listening to the sounds of Lil Wayne starting to rap on the soundtrack. I really don’t think I could achieve the same satisfying achievement with those two stimuli, but I don’t make records, so I probably don’t know all the rules.

Anyway, Lil Wayne is now front and center, leaning against yet another wall in this maze of a place, rapping about how he can do things to Kelly that will rock her world so bad she ain’t never gonna get out the bed again. He’s so overcome with his awesome sexual powers that he’s apparently unable to stand up, slumped against that wall the whole time.

And while I’m sure that Kelly appreciates his lusty sentiments, we can see in jump cuts that she’s fairly occupied with her own pursuits, like rubbing her hoo-hoo on a folding chair and teaching her backup dancers to fetch on command. Lil Wayne keeps trying, though, moving to another room and rapping some more without leaning against a wall, which totally changes the meaning of the lyrics, right? He gonna make Kelly explode in a shower of sparks.

Which is probably true. Because he’s got enough metal accessories on his body that he’s a walking (humping?) lightning rod. That whole building is gonna go up if a storm roles in.

Meanwhile, Odd-Thong Kelly now has her backup boys in troop formation, so she can intimately inspect their firearms. Then we zip back to the meat-market room, just to make sure all those folks in there are still sweating and having soft-porn sex. Yes, they are. Check. So Kelly hops back up on that crate, ready for the really dramatic part of the video, where she plans to have a double-orgasm. With a cherry on top. Oh wait, she probably lost that garnish a long time ago.

And now we’re jumping all over the place. The Kelly Platoon is still frolicking about, with the squadron of supposedly non-gay men on the verge of bursting into show tunes as they high kick. Crate Kelly is performing sensual moves to confirm that she’s been properly shaved in all the right places. And everybody in the entire building is touching somebody, somewhere, regardless of gender or income. Except for Lil Wayne. He’s nowhere to be found at this point. He must have gotten a call that his shipment of custom lugnut-piercings just arrived.

The touching continues for quite some time. These people really, really love each other. How sweet. Too bad they don’t know each other’s names.

Must admit, that hip-thrusting line-dance business that starts about 3:22 into the video? Totally hawt. I could be somebody’s daddy with that mess. Word.

Shortly after, Kelly’s cooter has a featured walk-on where a whole bunch of people want to check her for ticks while she sprawls out and rides the wave of bodies. This is followed by Kelly playing squat-tag with her platoon, with the boys doing very interesting things to the beat of the song. She even issues a command that they need to crab-walk backwards into a wall. And they do. I guess life really does get better when you win a couple of Grammy awards. Might want to check into that.

The song winds down back in that main room with all of the tri-sexual people finishing up their various exploits and getting ready for a nice mass nap. Crate Kelly, her face aglow with post-coital satisfaction and a hint of wanting more, leans forward and warbles the final words of the song as various fluids began to dry-out around her…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube…

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Britney Spears - “Till The World Ends”

We start with words splashing across the screen that it’s “December 21st, 2012”, while ominous clouds of something fill the sky. Great. I guess Britney has spoken with her personal prophetess and we’re all going to kick the bucket in a few months, which sucks tremendously, because I’m fairly certain that I won’t have all my Facebook games to the top level by then, and all my work will have been pointless. But hey, maybe Brit’s got some special ideas on how to live our remaining time in a fun way. Let’s check it.

Okay, first we get a shot of Britney’s high-fashion legs walking in a tunnel, so apparently we should spend some time walking around in couture in closed-in spaces. She’s got some of her posse with her, and they meet up with some other folks in wherever this dank place is. Everyone seems to be on the sweaty side, not sure what’s up with that, but all the folks still look sexy because it’s a Britney Spears video and it’s a requirement that all participants be young and hot.

We eventually get a full shot of Britney, and she’s once again trussed up in something black with metal studs, her hair looking slightly naughty and dirty. She sings roughly 7 words and then the camera pans away from her, so I’m not sure that the cameraman really understands what his focus should be. Anyway, the camera goes above ground, where we see some guy diddling with a manhole cover, trying to get it open. Two wandering, leather-clad skanks see him doing this, and rush over to help out. Must be something special in that there manhole.

Back to Britney, as she warbles the song and wanders around this industrial complex, where we seem to have a tremendous amount of people wearing the least amount of clothing possible. (To make sure we understand the clothing minimalism, the camera is basically rammed up the behinds of several thin actresses.) Most of these people are not really doing anything, so Britney decides it’s time for a dance off.

Instantly, a clearing appears in the sea of sweating bodies, and Britney is joined by several lovely lasses who also enjoy wearing thongs. While they gyrate and thrust their arms in the air, we get jump shots of the probably-poisonous clouds still billowing outside, along with buildings possibly crumbling, just in case you forgot for a second that, you know, everybody’s going to die. We also get shots of other well-gelled people slipping into that manhole, so apparently Britney’s Boiler Room is the place to be.

Britney, always a professional, works the crowd by wandering around and letting people see her underwear. She’s briefly distracted by some dude looking really skinny and not right (think Christian Bale in that movie where he lost all the weight and went crazy, not a good look). Then Britney is magically back on the dance floor without her home girls, so I guess she fired them. We get side shots of lots of people feeling very amorous and rubbing themselves on one another. (Yet another requirement of a Britney Spears’ video. There’s a handbook, you know.)

Oh wait, now the home girls are back, and they are doing a dance with Brit that looks like they’ve all managed to sit on a cattle prod at the same time, jerking and shimmying. This somehow ramps up the audience and everybody gets even more naughty with as many neighbors as they can reach. Or maybe it’s the images of possible meteors or some such starting to slam into nearby buildings. Something’s got these people sexed up.

And there are more people on the dance floor, so I guess not everybody found a hookup or three in the audience. We also get some side shots where Britney appears to be dancing in front of a screen made out of all her gold records, then we head back to the main room where people are thisclose to having all-out sex to the beat of the music and the wailing on the track and the possible aphrodisiacal appeal of the planet being destroyed.

Now Britney is somewhere else in her underworld, leaning against a concrete pillar (is she tired?) while three male models gaze at her adoringly and sweat. She must really like this part of the set a lot, because she actually remains relatively still for at least two seconds. Then she’s back to gallivanting all over the place, with her posse now composed of males whose only goal in life is to touch Britney’s body and clothing, as if trying to figure out what she would look like if she ever wore a complete outfit.

Then we cut to… maybe a bomb shelter? Some cement room where lots of people have been crammed. While a production assistant screws with flipping a red light on and off, Britney and her cellar buddies do that synchronized thing where everybody hunches their shoulders to the beat. And still manage to have anonymous sex with strangers without losing that beat.

Okay, back to the main room for another line dance, this one with Britney and her stable of athletic, multi-racial studs. Not to be outdone, the girl posse and some of their friends undulate offstage with a tenacity that you usually only see in churches where people handle snakes and wear bad polyester clothing. We get to the point where you can’t tell who is doing what to whom, but they all seem to be having a swell time, so I guess it’s all good. Until somebody ends up pregnant. Then there will be a lot of finger-pointing and unanswered phone calls.

This raucous free-love choreography goes on for quite some time, with basically everybody getting a chance to ride all the rides in the amusement park. Yay.

Suddenly, just as Britney wails the line about “see the sunlight, we ain’t stoppin’”, we start seeing images of that sunlight breaking through the nasty clouds and such. (How cinematically convenient!) Now, I think these people are supposed to be pleased about the sunlight, but you really wouldn’t know it based on their reactions. Instead, most of them are reacting to the rays like it’s “True Blood” and Simple Sookie done screwed up and ripped some tinfoil off Bill’s parlor window.

Then I guess some assistant director stepped in and told the cast “look, dripping sex-bots, you are HAPPY that the sun is shining on you. This is NOT last-call at the after-hours bar and you have to go have sex somewhere else. The planet has been saved, and that’s a good thing.” With this bit of advice, we start to see most of the crowd untangle themselves from their random partners and look toward the sun with an attitude that might be feasibly approaching glee.

And the party gets started again, with everybody thrusting body parts about in rapture, especially when the sprinkler system kicks in and they all get drenched. (Don’t really get why the sprinklers didn’t work when the sun wasn’t shining, but hey, to each his own.) And that’s how we wind things down, with the boys and the girls and their minimal amounts of leather and morals all gyrating madly to the song, thrilled that the “everybody is going to die” business no longer applies due to the grace of Britney warbling a dance tune and doing pelvic thrusts.

Speaking of, Britney appears in the final scene, literally popping up by shoving her head out of that manhole and gazing about with wonder at the new world. Something tells me this might happen every day with her. Just guessing…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Matchbox Twenty - “3AM”

We start out on some urban street late at night, where we apparently have some road construction going on while Rob Thomas moseys down a sidewalk, looking sad and despondent. (And he also looks to be about 12 years old. Has it been that long since this video came out? Geez.) I guess Rob didn’t hear my question, since he just keeps walking and looking tragically unsatisfied.

Cut to a lobby or some such where they have lots of payphones. (Which means that this must be an antique store, right?) Anyway, Rob’s there, and he’s still not happy about whatever. He does a few dramatic poses, then quickly gets bored with that and finally decides to actually start singing the song, which is a good idea, this being a music video and all.

Then we start getting some photo stills rolling across the screen, the product of someone trying to be artistic with a limited budget, and one of the first shots involves Rob peering out of some stark shadows. This is not a good image for him. He looks exactly like he’s about to murder an entire church choir with a pogo stick, and then do something unseemly with their undergarments. Perhaps Rob should get a different stylist for the next video, yes?

Back to Rob in the middle of all those seedy payphones and, based on the way he’s wandering about and doesn’t seem to know where the camera is, he’s probably drunk. Not that it matters, because some of the other folks using or standing near the payphones are having a lot more difficult time with life. (Just what is that one guy with the odd hair doing in that phone booth? Is he even breathing?)

More shots of shuffling people milling about who either don’t have a quarter or just don’t have anywhere else to go. (“I’m bored and broke. Let’s go watch people talk to other people that we can’t see and everybody is depressed. Yay!”) Rob is very invested in continuing to stroll about in this place while repeatedly doing something insistent with his left hand.

Cut to a sidewalk somewhere, with Rob sitting on the curb and pouting, right next to a pile of perfectly good ice cubes that some fool has thrown on the pavement. (Was somebody hearing voices from the freezer?) As a dude with a cowboy hat walks behind him, we get more artsy stills of Rob and Cowboy looking bereft and underappreciated. We’re just a monotone narrator away from a documentary about poverty and neglect in the inner city.

And then we have another area with phone booths, but this place seems to be a little spiffier, possibly a fancy hotel or maybe a mental hospital with phones that don’t actually work but the patients don’t know that, keeping them occupied while the staff watches Ellen DeGeneres in the break room.

Before we can learn any more detail, we have Rob standing outside an all-night drugstore, peering into one of the front windows and watching a blonde woman shop. (This is really kind of creepy, Rob. Why are you doing this? And you DO realize that everyone can see you, right, with your face pressed up against the glass? Bad stalker!)

We go back to the artsy stills, with shots of a very bored checkout girl hating her job, the Blonde trying to decide which box of powder will best soothe moist areas, and Rob on the verge of mass homicide. The Blonde finally pays for her selections, and then she and her bra-less nipples leave the store. Rob just stands there and watches her go, with an expression on his face that doesn’t look very healthy.

We have some live-action filler shots of Rob singing all alone, Rob kicking at that pile of ice (Seriously, what has that ice done to anybody? Leave it alone!), and Rob doing an interpretive dance next to one of those helicopter rides for kiddies where you put a quarter in, it bumps up and down three times, and then it’s done, leaving the kid to howl in anguish for another quarter while you question the dark side of procreation.

More artsy shots, and I think these snaps are of the other band members. I’m only guessing, because I don’t know any of them personally, we don’t hang, and it really doesn’t matter in the end. There’s just some pictures of people caught at odd moments mixed in with images of trashcans and fruit.

Now Rob is back on the street again, walking in the middle of it because that’s completely safe to do in a city where everyone appears to have emotional issues. A car pulls up with two people inside, stopping right at Rob’s feet. While the woman stays in the car and acts simultaneously sultry and offended by something, the shirtless man gets out of the car and approaches Rob so we can better see his tattoos and smooth skin. Just as I’m thinking of the many thousands of gay-porn films with scenes that start like this, we cut away. Dang.

Shot of Rob and the ice, both of them melting.

Back to the middle of the street, where it turns out that all the shirtless man wanted was to bum a cigarette. Really? He’s jones-ing for some nicotine, so he’s going to drive around in a car and wait until the lead singer of a rock band steps into his flight pattern? Why didn’t he just go to that store where The Blonde and her nipples shop? They both seem to be open all night.

Anyway, it’s the really dramatic part of the song, so we cut to the band performing in yet another lobby with payphones while it rains outside. (Just like the song!) Rob is very fond of this scene, jumping about energetically and not seeming to mind that the camera person cannot keep the camera still, making the images jump and flicker like those horrid 8-millimeter vacation films your grandpa would force you to watch as a youngster when all you wanted to do was go play outside and learn new cuss words.

And that’s how we wind down the song, with the band jamming and the rain falling. Sure, we have a few more artsy photos, but we’ve learned to not trust them very much and can just let them go. The final shot is of Rob back in that first lobby, doing some kind of shuffle-step tribute to Fred Astaire while dirty people breathe on receivers and continue to not be concerned with fashion or personal hygiene. How nice. And I hope The Blonde got things dried up. I’ve been really worried about her…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

finger eleven - “Paralyzer”

Hmmm. Okay, this video basically involves two separate stories. The first is a tidy little tale wherein members of the band perform the song while on the roof of a very tall building. Not much drama or plot, just some jamming whilst the Eleven Fingers bang on their instruments and sport clothing that is appropriate for slightly angry musicians given permission to make music at high altitudes. A bit pedestrian, but nicely done and no one gets hurt.

The other story? Well, it has something to do with a horde of mimes wearing designer business attire as they try to infect an unnamed city without getting arrested. This has much more promise, so we’ll ignore the Fingers on the Roof and focus on the exploits of the Office Workers From Hell as they work their dirty magic and run amuck, intent on an evil uprising that may or may not have anything to do with reality. You decide.

The first mime we see is a man with probable Asian features walking alone on some road that might be Wall Street. He looks very innocent, but don’t let this fool you. The Mime Man’s strolling is interrupted by that other story with the band rocking on the roof. Mime Man gives them a look like the sushi is not up to par, then he continues walking to wherever it is that smartly-dressed mimes go.

We next see the Mime Man, or at least the lower half of him, doing a little slide-step action as he crosses a street. (This smells of Broadway, so maybe these mime beings were hatched during a matinee performance of “A Chorus Line”.) Then Mime Man does some lazy pop-and-lock action, so it’s possible their origination was somewhere Off Broadway. (You get into some of those smaller theaters away from The Great White Way and anything goes.)

Mime Man then meets up with some of the other pod people, and they do some artsy aerobic stretches in front of a window. Mime Man at first pretends that he doesn’t really know who these other people are, but then he glances across the street and sees a Mime Woman that wants nothing more than to dance with him, and he changes his tune. He saunters across the street and dramatically touches Mime Woman’s back, which causes other pod people to spring forth out of nowhere and wave their hands about. I’m thinking I’m not really fond of this development.

This suddenly-large family of mimes starts cavorting around the street, doing a lot of hand gestures that just might be signaling the mother ship. I do have to say that it’s very emotional, in an “I really don’t care” sort of way, especially the one woman who seems to be reenacting key scenes from Sophie’s Choice. I also like how the whole group manages to do things to the beat, a skill that escapes many modern bands because they are used to Auto-Tune doing everything for them.

Brief scene where rude people yank apart Mime Man and Mime Woman, with both of them reaching beseechingly toward one another as they are forced to take separate cars to the next scene.

Mime Man, because he’s a trooper (and possibly not really all that invested in Mime Woman, because their relationship only lasted about 17 seconds) keeps strutting down whatever street this is. Oh wait, we have another shot of Mime Woman, and she’s strutting as well, sans captors, so maybe she got away from the rude mimes and is determined to rekindle her brief love affair with Mime Man. Or she might just be late for an appointment with the gynecologist. (How does a mime deal with such an exam? Do they just pretend that the stirrups are there?)

Anyway, the now-twirling (for no explained reason) Mime Man and Mime Woman are marching toward one another. During this trek, the Mime Woman pauses in her marching to walk into the middle of the street and give birth to several fully-grown mimes who then proceed to dance and frolic about. (A bit odd, but I’m all for saving money on child care, so skipping the developmental phase is quite appealing.)

Side note: Can you imagine, as a dancing actor, having this on your resume? “I was the fourth dancer shot out of the Mime Woman’s womb and directly into adulthood. Click here for video footage and references.”

This overwhelming display of fast-track maternity captures the attention of Mime Man, who starts to high-kick his way toward suddenly-spotted Mime Woman, only to be instantly surrounded by a gang of her offspring. For some reason, they are holding him back from being reunited and feeling so good. Perhaps they’ve checked his credit history and realize his child support checks will not be as forthcoming as they should be.

But love, or at least infatuation, triumphs over all, and Mime Man finally breaks free from his ungrateful children and clenches Mime Woman, triggering the start of a hair-whipping pas de deux wherein hair products are put to the ultimate wind-fan test. I’m happy to report that, between the two of them, they come up with enough frenetic hand gestures that their love is safe, at least until the next episode of “Survivor”.

In a celebration of them finding each other after mere minutes apart, they start pro-creating again, with mimes flying out of somebody’s orifice. The quickly-escalating amount of family members is still able to do that super cool business with everybody bopping their heads at exactly the same time, but I’m really concerned about this huge leap in population. I’m thinking we need to put a cork in somebody’s delivery chute.

My hesitations are ignored, as the mime count triples and quadruples, until the street becomes a sea of mimes, an endless outpouring of offspring, a situation that will seem familiar to many worn-out social workers who are fed up with their irresponsible and fertile clients, and they just want to slap them.  (Stop making babies! Read a book instead!) The video comes to an abrupt end with Mime Man and Mime Woman rising above their thousands of children and gazing lovingly into one another’s eyes.

But I can’t take my eyes off those children. This is TOO much like the early scenes of lumbering zombies in Day of the Dead, just before people realized that they might have to kill their way out of a shopping mall…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Katy Perry, Kanye West - “E.T.”

We start out with old-timey music playing while the camera pans over piles of rubble. It’s not clear what we’re looking at, but some of the tidbits of this and that sure do look like bones, so this might not be the happiest video ever. Is this the fallout from a war of some kind, like the Republicans trying to do everything they can to prevent universal health care and, oops, they went too far?

The camera focuses on a robot on the ground, sporting what might be a tiny coal furnace in his chest. That seems odd, so we zoom in for a closer peek, but we don’t really learn anything because suddenly we’re in outer space, with a pod-ship flying toward us. (Hey, is that Sigourney Weaver waving at us from the window, wearing tiny panties and clutching a cat?) Next thing you know, Kanye is onscreen, rapping away, so the plot’s a little hard to follow here.

While Kanye floats around in some anti-gravity chamber, he babbles about his sexual prowess and how having bang-bang with him will blow your mind. That’s nice. Thanks for offering, but I believe I’ll pass. Then the pod-ship flies away from us, and I can’t say that I shed a tear that Kanye had to go somewhere else for a while.

We start hearing Katy’s vocals while we watch some billowing thing floating around in the night sky. (Or maybe it’s not night and the sun is dead. Wouldn’t surprise me, this hasn’t been a real uplifting video so far.) The billowing thing undulates for a while, and we get the sense that there is some kind of being in all the billowing fabric. Maybe a drag queen with a little bit too much dependence on chiffon?

Eventually we see that, yep, there’s somebody in there, but it’s an alien, sort of like the “E.T.” that we know and love from the movie, but WAY stretched out and not accompanied by Drew Barrymore in pigtails. While this guy continues to billow in the sky and Katy wails about “different DNA”, we get quick images of scientific-looking things and possibly an egg being fertilized.

Oh wait, here comes somebody else doing gymnastics in the sky whilst wearing an outfit with far too much flapping material. We have more quick images of various things, none of them very pleasant until a shot involving some guy’s naked chest. We could certainly study that for a while, but I guess we don’t have time. Okay, the new sky floater is apparently Katy, wearing wicked-ass makeup, a blouse made out of plastic tubing, and a severely-rigid hairstyle that makes me want to organize my CD’s.

This Katy floats around for quite a while, probably because she refused to get strapped into THAT mess again and they better get some serious footage while they had the chance. We see another series of nature shots that are somehow uncomfortable, then Katy does a wardrobe change into something that involves a lot of white material and a new hairdo that could easily grate cheese. I guess there’s some structural issues with this new outfit, because she seems to be having trouble getting the top half of her body in a comfortable position.

More nature shots, and we move from uncomfortable to downright vicious, with animals killing each other and such. Nice. Not really caring for that business. But Cheese-Grater Katy doesn’t care, continuing to do a bad version of The Robot while whizzing through the air. Oh wait, she’s not whizzing anymore and seems to be falling down to… well, I don’t know if it’s supposed to be Earth. We’ll just call it “ground” for now.

It seems that Katy changed her clothes once again while re-entering the atmosphere, and now she’s all dusty gothic, with the train on her skirt long enough sleep 60 dinner guests and another new hairdo that makes me think “Jennifer Lopez in ‘The Cell’” for some reason. Oh look, Katy has landed near that robot thing, and she runs over to investigate if that really is a coal-burner in his chest.

She takes a few seconds to sing a touching part of the song, then she wipes some radiation fallout off the helmet of the robot, and we see that inside the helmet is the video image of a head. Seeing this, Katy then crams her hand into the coal-burner thing on his chest. (Not really sure that would be my first plan of action, but we’ll assume that Katy has read a manual somewhere that says “when encountering video heads, shove your hand into places that look hot”.)

And this fire-touching leads to Kanye returning to the anti-gravity chamber for another round of rapping. (And the connection would be?) At first, Kanye is using one hand to grip his crotch so hard that you really expect toothpaste to shoot out of his head. (Kanye, HOW old are you again?) While Kanye continues to love himself down, we see the robot get to its feet, along with shots of violent sex among animals.

The randy footage gets Katy’s hormones a-jumpin’, and she smooches the robot on his glassy helmet. This apparently causes a brief nuclear explosion, so I’m not sure that was the best move. But it also causes the robot to turn into a slightly-androgynous male who likes to shove his chest forward so Katy can lean toward his nipples and we get a close-up of her fabulous makeup.

It seems that Katy might have some failing eyesight (honey, maybe you shouldn’t be floating around in space so much) so she reaches for some spectacles lying conveniently nearby. While Kanye appears to be sucked away to another galaxy by some vengeful gravitational force (yay!), Katy slaps on the glasses, then pulls off her outfit so we can see she has gazelle legs and a puffy tail. Didn’t see THAT coming.

We wind things down with Katy holding hands with her new lover, and the camera slowly pulls backwards as she and her surprisingly butt-baring beau stand and watch yet another nuclear explosion occur in the distance. Then they take a few steps toward their future together as a non-traditional couple. I’m guessing the marriage won’t take place in Texas…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Evanescence - “My Immortal”

We start off with somebody wearing those ballet wrap things on their feet whilst sticking a toe in some water, along with some guy sitting on a piano bench and being really sad that he can’t figure out where the rest of the piano is. Oh, look, now we see that it must have been lead singer Amy’s feet, because there she is sprawled out on something, with her other body parts partially swathed in those bandages.

Amy starts singing, and she must be really tired, because at first she doesn’t even bother to sit up. But after another shot of the sad piano man, she seems to perk up a bit. Cut back to the Piano Man, and now he’s wandering around one of those vaguely-European cities, then he’s once more at the piano, triggering a shot of Amy, tired again and resting on what looks like scaffolding. (Is she in the construction business when she’s not on tour?)

Now we have Amy in a vaguely-European courtyard, wearing a Flower Child outfit, complete with festive junk in her hair. Then she’s flat-out on that scaffolding again, briefly on her feet in the courtyard, then on her back once more, this time on top of a small vaguely-European car. Is she really that worn out? What are they doing to this girl that she has to take all these naps?

And we go on like this for a while, with Amy draped across a variety of things, like warehouses and school buses. (Piano Man, in case you were wondering, is still sitting at that piano and looking unhappy.) Amy does gather enough strength to actually sing while sitting up, at least for a bit, in this nice tree that somebody found. Then she’s back on the roof of that tiny car, doing something with her hands. (Is she signaling for the nurse to bring more medication?)

Oh, look, Piano Man is up and moving about as well, wandering through the vaguely-European streets while vaguely-European children kick a soccer ball around and destroy thousand-year-old statues with one kick. Piano Man seems to be enjoying the architecture, then he scurries off to go do something else that we don’t know about. (Making sure that there are enough places for Amy to lie down on the next leg of the tour?)

More shots of Lounging Amy and her perfectly arranged layers of hair. Then she’s on the car again, in the tree again, on top of a mailbox, on a wall, and on a fence railing. (Does Amy just not understand what furniture is? People need to explain things to her.)

It looks like Amy’s favorite location is the top of that warehouse, because she’s now spending a lot of time there, especially during the really dramatic part of the song when the rock music kicks in and Amy wails like she’s just seen the face of Celine Dion on a tortilla.

This shouting from the rooftops inspires Piano Man as well, as he suddenly starts pounding on the piano while some of his buddies in another room do the hair-metal part. (One of the guitar players even does that long-jump thing while shredding his axe, going for some authenticity, despite the fact that no one but guitar players thinks doing so is any fun.)

Wow, I forgot how long this rock part of the song goes on. Anyway, they finally finish with that mess. And of course, Amy is tired again. She’s sprawled out on something or other, still very invested in sluggishly waving her arms about and wondering why they keep making her wear ballet-flavored bondage gear.

We wind things down with repeat scenes of all the vaguely-European buildings and people and ancient fountains where Amy likes to stick her nasty feet. (People drink out of that, honey. It’s not your personal litter box.) Amy also makes her way back up in that tree, where she cries, probably because she’s too tired to climb back down. As expected, the final shot is of Amy on top of that warehouse, with night falling in the distance over the vaguely-European village as she drifts into another nap and dreams of new places to lay down…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Florence + The Machine - “Dog Days Are Over”

  Okay, Florence has lots of different personalities in this video, so I’ll do my best to introduce you to all the various shades of whimsy, because I’m sure they’re all special in their own way, and they certainly want your attention. But some of them kind of scare me with their intensity, so I’m not guaranteeing anything…

  We start off with the camera zooming in on our first contestant, one I’ll call Fluctuating Emotions Flo. At first she’s just sprawled quietly in an odd position on the floor, head hanging, not really bothering anybody. But that only lasts about two seconds, because she suddenly pops her head up, shows us her startling hairdo, and starts warbling the song. Of course, you probably won’t notice right away that she’s singing, because you’ll be too busy looking around for a stick to beat that hair with in case it attacks you.

  Quick shot of Dancing Nymph Flo, cavorting about with some smoke, then we’re back to Fluctuating Flo making hand gestures that might mean we’re supposed to get our own lunch from the sideboard. Next up is Woolly Mammoth Flo, wearing animal skins that twirl prettily and accent the black half-mask she is wearing. Woolly Flo has her arms raised. I’m assuming that a nearby police officer has asked her to do this.

  Back to Fluctuating Flo and her creepy ballet shoes, beckoning for us to come closer. I have no intention of doing that. Another shot of Woolly Flo, with her arms still raised, praising Jesus or whatever she’s doing, then we’re visiting Fluctuating Flo once more, who manages to somehow give birth to two blue-skinned women with beehive hairdos. Her children then began to accompany her singing by performing some 60’s shimmy doo-wop moves.

  Another glimpse of Nymph Flo, then Fluc Flo is back, first hand-gesturing that she may have swallowed a rotten cherry, and then doing artsy poses with her blue but well-coiffed offspring. Then the children sort of appear and disappear as Fluctuating Flo uses her hands and billowing dress to apparently tell the sad tale of two rag dolls that were arrested for shocking indiscretions at a Maypole Festival.

  Whoa, another Flo shoves her aggressively-painted face into the camera and then disappears. We’ll call her Angry Kabuki Flo, in case she shows up again and you need a reference point. Then we have the Blue-Period children dancing while hooded figures play harps. (I’m going to guess that this is a political statement, but don’t quote me on that.) Nymph Flo pirouettes for a bit, then, yep, Angry Kabuki Flo is back for another brief appearance before dashing off to wherever people go when they need to rest their heads after wearing too much makeup.

  Just as the tempo of the music gets rather frisky, we see yet another Flo leaping into the air whilst wearing a kimono, with her airborne body book-ended by two odd men beating on tribal drums and stomping their feet in an overly-dramatic way. Kimono Flo must really like the rhythm, because she appears to be experiencing some very nice tremors racing through her body, and possibly even a full-blown orgasm. (Note to Self: Find out where she got those drums.)

  Things start really jumping about at this point, and I get the feeling that Angry Kabuki Flo and Kimono Flo might be the same personality. It’s just very difficult to keep the branches of the family tree organized when everyone’s running around all wild-eyed and clearly not following a script of any kind. (Unless that script said “act like you’ve just eaten some really bad Chinese takeout that leads to a fever dream where you can’t find the loo”.)

  Meanwhile the Blue Twins still look very happy to be here and their delicate hairdos have managed to survive everything that’s been thrown at them so far. Oh, and there’s Woolly Flo again, and she seems fine as well, doing an interpretive dance about the joys of unclogged plumbing. I was a little worried about that one, since we hadn’t seen her in a while, but it’s all good.

  We now have a new non-Flo character, in the form of a boy-child who can’t find his shirt but did find some cymbals that he can bang together for us. Behind him, we see the Blue Girls, one of them sporting an expression along the lines of “yes, I had sex and produced a child in between scenes. My bad.” Gee, these people around here can reproduce with an amazing alacrity and creative color design.

  Well, I guess that banging about of metal has had a calming effect on the Flo’s, at least temporarily. Most of them quit with the exuberance, and we have Fluctuating Flo singing softly and sweetly while her big-haired and big-eyelashed daughters look on approvingly from both sides. (Why am I suddenly wondering where my Wynona Judd CD’s might be?) The Blue Girls even do a gentle line dance behind Naomi Judd for a bit, which is really touching, since she has that hepatitis thing and all.

  Then it’s just Fluctuating Flo, presumably beseeching us to join her in the horseshoe toss at the church picnic, followed by Flo and the Young Uns participating in a pageant about sunrises and squid casserole. Next thing you know, we’re on a really big set where Kimono Flo has been joined by lots of musicians, including the unsettling monk harpists, the squatting drum bangers, some other matching sets of instrumentalists, and a gospel choir that was probably just passing through on their way to the Disciples of Hasty Pudding Blues Fest up in Nottingham.

  And this is when everybody just loses their mind, in a joyous tribute to the human spirit and the freedom to do whatever strikes you as interesting but you can still get paid for it. The Flo’s let loose with some amazing vocals while performing enough dramatic poses that you can be assured various chiropractors were called the next morning. The Blue Girls continue with their Ricki Lake Clambake, and the musicians are jamming like they were all cleared on the paternity tests. Oh, and there’s hair. Lots and lots of unruly, mind-of-its-own, hair.

  (Naturally, another child is produced during the festivities, this one a young lass with forehead symbolism and the yearning to beat on things while not smiling.)

  Then we have Woolly Flo (maybe?) running along in slo-mo whilst waving a blue flag. At first it’s not clear why she would be moved to do this, but it does seem to cause some general unrest with the partygoers. We suddenly have folks being distraught and running for their lives. (Even the Blue Girls try to hit the road, but they’re a bit slower, having to deal with wind buffeting their Memorial Hairdos.)

  Then people just start exploding. Yes, solidity into confetti, just like that. Perhaps they should have read the fine print on their contracts.

  It appears that Kimono Flo might be the culprit, since she seems to be in the vicinity every time there’s a reduction in work force Oh wait, that’s a lie. Wooly Flo dispatches one of the drummers (or at least a guy, I don‘t know who he was, we were never properly introduced), and then one of the Blue Girls (with the hair lingering just a bit longer than the body, nice artistic touch).

  And that’s how we end things, with the Flo’s killing off all the celebrants and seriously shortening their Christmas Card list. (Perhaps it only occurred to me, but how is Florence going to go on tour if she just killed off her entire band? This is quite a tragedy.) But the Flo’s don’t care. They have each other, they have magical powers, and they have their hair. Nothing else matters…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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