Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bryan Adams - “Summer of ‘69”

We start out with a flashback of Bryan busting out the backdoor of a trashy trailer, lugging his guitar and shoving beer cans down his shirt, so we know this is probably not going to be Shakespeare. Cut to the rest of the band playing in a little abandoned warehouse, where most of the roof is missing and the camera is being shoved into the startling crotch of one of the guitar players. Nope, not Shakespeare.

Bryan comes running up to the group, and they start banging on their instruments and swigging beer, two things that just naturally go together. As Bryan hollers the lyrics, we watch the mess about “Jody getting married” and “knowing they’d never get far“, then the crappy building collapses and smashes one of the guitars. It’s kind of tragic, but we didn’t really know the guitar all that well, so it’s all good.

Cut to the present day, where Bryan is swinging in a hammock and apparently singing his issues to a geeky psychologist, who is scribbling madly in his little notebook but seems much more invested in gazing at Bryan’s conveniently “right there” crotch. This is only interesting for a few seconds, so I’m pleased when the hammock snaps, throwing Bryan’s ass to the ground and allowing us to move on.

And we’re back in the day with the black-and-white footage, at a drive-in movie theater, where Bryan slacks off on his job of painting the white screen, falls asleep, and is still on a scaffold when the movie starts. (I think this part is supposed to be funny, but we don’t quite get there. Sadly, this turns into a central theme for the rest of the video.) Some girl races up to drag him off the scaffold, a heroic action which inspires both of them to run off into a field and gaze at one an other with lust and admiration.

But the romance is short-lived, because we go back to color film as Bryan abruptly turns and walks away from her, leaving the poor girl standing there frozen and unsatisfied, then Bryan hops over a wall and we’re black-and-white again. Bryan and his delinquent buddies break into a grocery warehouse and start a food fight. (This was before cable TV, so there wasn’t anything else to do.) They hurl fruits and vegetables at one another with an aggressiveness that indicates somebody didn’t get spanked enough as a child.

A cop car pulls up, so Bryan and the boys hightail it, knocking over bushels of apples and oranges to block the path behind them. This sets up another supposed-to-be-funny bit, with the cops stomping on things and taking exaggerated tumbles, but all it really did for me was instill a craving for fruit salad. I guess you had to be there.

Color film again, with Bryan first stomping down some street, and then running back to that original crappy warehouse, which has somehow been resurrected despite probable court orders against doing so. The band gang is all there, and they rip into the song with swagger while the camera once again manages to find lots of crotch shots. (What is up with that angle, Director Person? What is happening in your life that you need to do this?)

The band plays for quite a while, with everybody grinning madly, a sure sign that there’s an empty bottle of tequila rolling around somewhere. (Or the super-tight jeans might be causing a tingling sensation, who knows.) The drummer seems especially happy to be here, pounding on the drums with a manic glee that would give most people pause. (But don’t they remember what happened the last time they got rowdy up in this grill. Damn place fell down.)

But I guess we’ll never learn if the building stays up this time, because the camera pulls away from the barn and we’re suddenly in a passing car, with Bryan’s brief former lover watching the band and smirking naughtily. Then we see she’s with some dude, and he wants to know why she’s staring all horny-eyed at the guys. She says it’s nobody, he doesn’t believe her, he slams on the brakes. And the video abruptly ends.

What the hell? Is this why some people don’t like Canadians?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Train - “Drops Of Jupiter”

We start out with Pat just sitting on a stage, surrounded by sound equipment and a lack of anybody else. Then he and his boots get up and walk to the microphone stand and begin to wail. The camera pulls back from the stage, and we can see that we are in an older building of some kind, and that other members of the band are standing off to the side. I’m no music producer, but I think they’re standing in the wrong place.

Pat doesn’t seem to care, especially when the camera zooms in on him so he can make grimacing faces, widen his eyes, and let us review his slightly-bohemian couture. A few of the band members finally join him, and it’s becoming clear that this video is just going to be their performance, nothing fancy. Luckily, this song is from back in the day, before Pat adopted that annoying bed-head hairstyle, so at least we’ll be able to look at him without the constant urge to hand him a brush.

A group of ladies arrive and start setting up the tiny orchestra that plays on the song. I’m thinking someone should have told them to wear matching outfits, because their clashing styles makes me not want to be supportive. Pat distracts us from this fashion foul by touching the side of his face and smiling at how good it feels to do that.

The rest of the band arrives, and Pat sings his praises to Heaven. Or at least the attic. He doesn’t get any celestial confirmation, so he gives up on that angle and goes back to mugging for the camera. He discovers that if you stretch out the microphone stand way longer than necessary, and then lean it over so you can still sing, it sets up some really interesting cinematography. We spend far longer than we really should studying this development.

Then some other folks arrive, a couple with initially unspecified duties. The woman is sporting one of those irritating backpacks shaped like stuffed animals, so we already don’t like her no matter what her purpose in life might be. These two sit on the floor and start watching the band. Are they the audience? Is that it?

Oh, guess not. Other people start wandering in and plopping their butts on the ground, a wide variety of people, proving that everybody loves Train or that the concert tickets were completely free. To show his appreciation, Pat does a bit where he poses like an airplane. Everyone smiles and nods in approval, so they must be serving cocktails in the lobby.

We focus on Pat singing for a while, and it’s clear that he really, really likes to wave his arms and hands about while telling his story. This is probably why the rest of the band doesn’t stand anywhere near him. It’s too dangerous. The audience continues to fill up, and I’m happy to report that some bright staffer has finally located some chairs for the folks to sit on so that everybody doesn’t have to waller around on the floor. Unless that’s just your thing.

Next up is an extended bit where Pat does his interpretation of a revivalist preacher discovering that his underwear drawer is empty, and therefore The Rapture is just around the corner and it‘s time to board the Jesus Plane. Or it’s time to milk the cows. Something. I really don’t know what that was all about. Happily, he soon stops doing that arms-wide-open thing and just sings for a while.

But even simple singing can be an eye-opening experience around Pat. At one point he throws open his mouth so wide that if we just added water we’d have a five-person hot tub. You don’t want to get near that, it’s too risky. Please remain seated until the pilot turns off the seatbelt sign.

Happily, the threat of death by gaping mouth is minimal, as the song and Pat are winding down. The camera hops around to show us that the band is having a swell time, the audience never wants to leave, and the only thing that could make everybody happier is that the waitress shows up with another round of drinks.

Quick bit with the camera focused on Pat’s face, with him sporting one of his trademark “is that sultry, or is that demonic” expressions that people from San Francisco tend to have. (Maybe it’s the weather up there?) Fade to black…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Daughtry - “No Surprise”

We start out in some industrial area, with the band kicking off the song while standing next to a giant manufacturing something or other. (I didn’t realize that industrial areas came with their own live entertainment these days, but times change.) While Chris is doing that yodeling thing that starts the song, a beat-up truck drives into the area, and out hops a guy with a piece of paper. Maybe he’s taking a survey on better ways to start off a video?

Nope, seems he’s here looking for a job, but the little foreman guy doesn’t have any openings. So sorry. Cut to Chris driving through the area in an open convertible, for no apparent reason other than to show off his new shades. The sunglasses are nice and all, but dude, this other guy just got his dream of employment crushed. Chill. Chris turns the car and drives on down the road. Applicant Guy also drives away, allowing the band to play for an audience of absolutely nobody.

Cut to Chris tooling around in his car (do people in music videos ever NOT drive a convertible?). He conveniently passes a diner that just happens to be our next set piece, so that was very helpful of him. We go inside the diner, where we watch as some Waitress Lady is having a nice chat with a cute guy. A bit later, Waitress Lady is just trying to serve a drink, when some rude person bumps her and Lady dumps the drink on another patron who turns out to be very unsupportive about getting wet.

Manager Guy comes rushing up, because he finally has something to do, and of course he promptly yells at and then fires Lady, because if he didn’t do that we wouldn’t have a story for our video. Lady stomps out of the store and hurls her apron to the ground, because that always accomplishes a lot, and then she goes off to wherever fired people go in the middle of the day.

We visit with the band for a little bit, since this is really their song and all, then we’re back with the beat-up truck pulling up to a house. Our non-hired friend from the beginning of the video gets out, waves at some bro living next door, then goes inside to give the unemployment report to his girlfriend, who just happens to be the recently-liberated Lady from the Diner. To make things even more fun, they then stare at overdue bills and low bank-account balances.

Since this is supposed to be reenactment of real-life domesticity, they get into a huge fight and wave their arms around and holler things we can’t hear because Chris won’t shut up for half a second. Whatever words are exchanged, we can assume that nobody will be getting any dinner or sex that evening.

Cut to the next morning, with the couple snoozing in bed, so either they made up or they have very short attention spans. The dude slips out of bed and goes off to do who knows what, then Lady awakes, quickly counts on her fingers and realizes that somebody is missing from the bed, and she goes running off as well. I guess Dude was nowhere to be found in the house, since we then see Lady rushing out the front door, furtively glancing around for her man while still managing to look cute in her cut-off shorts and modified flannel top.

We watch as she runs all over town, looking hither and yon for Dude, but he’s taking this hiding business very seriously and remains unseen. Lady tries real hard, even doing this very cinematic thing in the middle of a parking lot, where she and her hair are captured in a nice 360-degree spin of the camera. But she finds nada. (Well, she does bump into a really cute guy along the way, but she isn’t thinking clearly enough to get his number in case she needs a Plan B in her life.)

Lady finally arrives at that dusty manufacturing place, where nobody seems to be working but the band is still playing an apparent marathon set, then she decides to climb a nearby hill of dirt, because that seems reasonable when you can’t find your boyfriend. Once at the top, she gets tired and decides to lean against the side of an enormous rock that is completely out of place but seems sturdy enough. As the camera pulls back, we see Dude leaning against the other side of the rock, both of them looking distraught and unsatisfied.

The video ends with Chris doing the final bit of yodeling on the song, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Julie Andrews made a sudden cameo, offering everybody a job on the set of her new movie, Princess Diaries 3: Shrek Meets Mary Poppins, but this doesn’t immediately happen. The camera lingers for a bit, helping us understand that being pretty doesn’t mean you can get or keep a job, but you still might get a chance to be in a music video, then we fade to black…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Colbie Caillat - “Realize”

We start out with Colbie standing and singing in front of a wall where someone has slapped up one of those “giant pictures as wallpaper” things. This shot is of a nice forest somewhere, but I’m really not sure why we’re looking at this. Could they not afford to do any location shooting? Is Colbie scared of nature? Is there a law against filming real trees now? So many questions.

Then we cut to Colbie wandering around a house, somewhere in the actual woods that we just saw in the wallpaper, so I really don’t know what that first bit was all about. Colbie plops down at a desk and starts to both sing the song and write a letter, proving that she can multi-task and still look cute. She’s even using one of those fancy fountain pens that most people can’t use without getting the ink everywhere, so she’s got mad skills. She’s probably even writing in ancient Greek just to make us feel even less competent.

(Side note: Throughout the video, we keep getting shots of Colbie standing in front of the giant wallpaper and singing. Since they don’t bother to explain to us why she’s doing so, I’ll just ignore that whole mess. Just assume that every 20 seconds or so she’s vocalizing in the weird room for no reason.)

Colbie then decides to talk a walk, making sure to put on a cute little hat before she leaves the house in case she meets someone who wants to compliment her choices in life. She’s still singing, which is probably unsettling to nearby wildlife, but this is probably not important in the long run. Colbie comes across a sporty convertible that just happens to be parked on a dirt road, and she hops inside, because her hat will look even cuter if her hair is blowing around while she drives.

Colbie maneuvers the car along one of those curving, wooded highways that only happen in New England or some such, with the trees happily changing their leaf-colors to accent Colbie’s wardrobe. Then we cut to some guy wandering around in his city apartment, looking cute but slightly sad about something. Like Colbie, he apparently hasn’t heard of email either, and he sits down to write a letter as well. (His pen doesn’t seem to be as fancy, but he makes up for it with his carefully manicured five-o’clock shadow and good bone structure.)

Then the guy (let’s call him Brett) finishes his letter and also goes for a walk. Wherever these people live, it’s apparently very important that you get some fresh air after composing hand-written mail. Brett totters along a busy street, keeping the camera on his good side, until he locates a truck parked at the curb. He hops in and drives off, so we’ll assume that it either belongs to him or the people in this city are much more laid-back about sharing their possessions with one another than most places.

Brett drives through the city streets, which have been conveniently cleared of annoying things like pedestrians and other cars and the need to heed stoplights. After a bit, we see him leaving the city and driving along a rural road that looks shockingly familiar for some reason. (Hey, is this the street where lots of people got killed in Halloween 17: More Death and Pre-Marital Sex?)

Back to Colbie and her cute car, now driving along the streets of the city that Brett just left, then we see Colbie getting out of her car in front of his apartment building while he gets out of his in front of her rustic house in the woods, so we’ll have to assume that these two are clearly not using their communication skills effectively. We watch Colbie and her fashionable boots trot up to his door, and Brett and his insistence on jutting his jaw walk up to her portal. (All of this is interspersed with shots of Colbie playing her guitar like a Joan Baez tribute to sunshine and recreational pills.)

They both take deep breaths and knock on the respective doors. Both doors are not opened by the absent occupants. Then they both take out their letters and shove them under the doors. (Apparently these people don’t know about mailboxes and are possible victims of home-schooling.) After another Joan Baez montage, we watch Colbie jump back in her sporty car and head for the hills. Brett decides to just slump against Colbie’s door and take a nap, so he probably needs a little more purpose and direction in his life.

We wind the video down with, naturally, Colbie arriving home to find the long, tall package on her doorstep. She and her hat grin sheepishly, Brett and his facial scruff grin sheepishly, and we fade to black. And once again, I’m asking myself at the end of yet another music video: “Why can’t these people just pick up the phone?” Seriously.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood - “Remind Me”

Okay, then. Apparently the script for this video simply said: “Two people walk toward each other while they sing. Fade to black.” Because that’s all that happens in this thing. Seriously. But I’ll give it a try…

We start out with a long shot of Brad walking along in one of those wide-open, really-flat, desert places where you normally see people trying to break the sound barrier while driving a car and such. (Hopefully, those people won’t be here on this particular day, or Brad could have a surprise issue.) The camera zooms in so we can see he’s wearing his trademark worn-out jeans and carrying his guitar, so he probably didn’t have to take any acting classes for this part of the video.

Then the camera zooms way back out, not sure why, maybe so we can confirm that, yep, he’s out in the middle of nowhere. Cut to just the lower half of a woman walking along in the same dried-out place, wearing a billowing dress and strappy shoes with odd metal bits. We’re pretty sure it’s Carrie, because she sings on this song and all, but for some reason the director wants her to be a mystery woman for now. Fine. I’ll play along. Who could it be?

Zip back over to Brad as he starts the vocals of the song, still walking. We’ve all seen people walk before, so the camera tries out various angles to make it seem more exciting, but really, he’s just walking. We also get quick shots of the Mystery Half-Woman still walking as well, with her dress continuing to billow in the really strong wind. Half-Woman may have thought the dress was really cute when she put it on, but you know she’s hating that damn wind right about now.

Brad sings a little more, then it’s time for Carrie’s part, and we finally get a full shot of her. She’s just walking along, of course, but at least we can see her face as she grits her teeth and struggles against the wind. On the upside, at least she’s getting a free sand facial, and those things can get really expensive in the finer salons.

Carrie also sings for a bit, messing with her hair in what she hopes looks like a sultry manner, but you know she’s just trying to keep it out of her face, cursing the idiot that came up with the idea of this nature trek video. So now we start bouncing back and forth between the two as they sing their parts. And walk. Every once in a while we get a long shot so we can check the progress of their eventual meeting in the desert, but other than that, it’s just the walking.

This goes on for a very long time.

We do learn that Brad is from the minimalist school of acting, just singing and walking with his hands at his sides, no real facial expressions whatsoever. Carrie, on the other hand, clearly went to a different school, waving her hands all over the place and scrunching up her face to show the emotional pain of the song. She’s also walking in a strange way, sort of criss-crossing her feet with every step. But that part may not have anything to do with acting, and might just be an issue from having ridden too many horses in Oklahoma.

We do finally get to a part where Brad plays his electric guitar (despite the lack of things like an outlet to actually plug the thing into), which is not exactly earth-shattering, but at least it’s something different. Carrie compensates for not having an instrument by touching her face in an anguished way and running her fingers through her hair in a sexy but parched manner.

Finally, after decades, they meet in the middle. But instead of dancing or slapping each other or doing anything exciting and fun, they just stand there and keep singing. Granted, we’re now in close-up and can better study Brad’s semi-scowl and Carrie’s irritatingly flawless skin, but you’d think there would have been a better payout after all that walking. Oh well.

So they just sing, with Brad also playing his guitar while continuing to not show any emotion, and Carrie is waving her hands like she’s directing traffic yet managing to keep her golden locks relatively in place despite wind blowing strongly enough that you fully expect that mean woman on the bicycle from The Wizard of Oz to go flying by.

We get to the end of the song, with both of them done wailing about their heartache and Carrie succeeding in not letting the wind expose her womanly bits, although it gets dangerously close a few times. Then they go walking off into the sunset together.

And I would imagine that Carrie marched right back to her trailer, called up her manager, and demanded that a “no more wind” clause be added to her contract…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Gwen Stefani, Akon - “The Sweet Escape”

We start out with images of Gwen and her high-glam hairdo apparently being held in a prison of some kind. At least I think it’s a prison. We have bars and cells and tacky striped uniforms, but everything seems to be made out of gold, and there are Gucci “G’s” all over the place. (I guess Tom Ford gave his approval, or at least donated a few of his personal accessories.) Oh, and Gwen’s two backup-singer girls are in a cell as well, so whatever bad thing they did, they did it as an ensemble cast.

Anyway, the camera continues to jump around, showing us all the bling as well as Gwen assuming bored poses and pouting a lot. We finally get to the singing, and unfortunately it kicks in with those Akon “woo-hoo’s” (I am NOT a fan, let’s just say that), which nearly derails the video for me. Luckily, Gwen chooses this moment to do one of her trademark “throw my hands in the air because I really enjoy having breasts” dance routines, winning me back with her form-fitting perkiness.

Then we get a montage of images proving that Gwen can basically wear anything and drape herself across all furniture and still look chic and really cool, and we have to do this for quite a bit because somebody sure found a lot of gold-themed outfits for her to wear. Eventually Akon shuts up and Gwen gets down to the actual singing business. While she warbles and struts in her couture, we start getting glimpses of the backup girls doing odd things and having far more fun doing so than anyone initially intended.

At one point, Gwen gets our attention (like she has to really try, but anyway) by sitting on a gold mat in a mirrored room and kicking her striped legs with enough frenzy that she could power a small city. Then she leads the backup girls in a rousing sing-along in the glitzy cafeteria, complete with synchronized hand-movements and utensil choreography. Girl sure knows how to keep herself occupied in this high-end slammer.

We also have a parade of Gucci products being thrust randomly at the camera, so I’m assuming the original video came packaged with a pricey catalog, probably signed by Tom himself or at least containing a shiny golden strand of Gwen’s Blade Runner bouffant. And if any of the props on the set had room for the “G” symbol, the production staff stamped one on there.

Like often happens in prisons, Gwen manages to steal the key to her cell from a blinged-out dog that happens by, and she proceeds to make her escape. But first we have to cut away to Akon (ugh) singing part of the chorus, as well as the trio of girls flitting about and finishing up all the different dance routines they’ve started, because they practiced really, really hard and ain’t nobody going nowhere until they’re done. Then we finally see the trio running down the cellblock aisle in a dash for freedom and rooms with actual windows.

Two hours later (says so right in the video, not making it up) we cut to another room somewhere, still Gucci-styled but containing a different Gwen, this one with a startling amount of severely-braided hair. She’s sitting on some couch thing and making hand gestures to indicate that she is so done with sitting on the couch thing and waiting for people to pay attention to her. Then she whips an important piece of hardware out of her hair, causing most of it to unfurl in a handy rope, which she then tosses out the window, a window that is apparently very high up in the Gucci World Headquarters building or some such.

The backup girls then proceed to use Gwen’s block-long hair to scale the side of the building while wearing cute climbing gear and performing yet another series of coordinated dance moves. Apparently those two must not weigh very much, because the strain on Gwen’s hair certainly doesn’t stop her from belting out the song and showing us her arched eyebrows.

Eventually the Mt. Everest-ettes make it in the window, where they proceed to grant Gwen’s apparent wish to cut off her ladder-hair, a move that I would personally question, because you never know when they might need to scale another building. Anyway, snip they do, and then the three of them race to Gwen’s bedroom, where they immediately launch into another dance routine, with Gwen wallering around on the actual bed while the twins take chairs on either side so they can accent Gwen’s fabulousness with dramatic handiwork of their own.

We roll into another montage, consisting of Braided Gwen striking poses with a slight Grecian flavor, T-Shirt Gwen hopping around wherever she’s at like she’s seen far too many episodes of Charlie’s Angels, and that damn Akon squealing like a stuck pig. Then we’re back in Gwen’s bedroom, where they quit dancing long enough to enact an actual escape plan, which consists of simply putting a designer scarf over Gwen’s head. (Um, yeah, she looks totally different. Uh huh.)

Next thing we know, Gwen and the twins are racing out the door of a Gucci convenience store (presumably offering the lower-end of the merchandising spectrum), clattering across a trashy parking lot while Gwen clutches a golden latte, and then Gwen hops into the passenger side of a golden SUV while the twins wave sadly and wonder how their dance routines will look with only two people.

The SUV heads out, and of course it’s being driven by Akon, because that’s the one person that I don’t want to see driving it. They motor along while Gwen sings and makes roller coaster moves with the wind rushing past her window, because that’s really important and exactly what I would take the time to do if I was a fugitive.

Then, whoopsie, a police car (driven by the twins, naturally, this time in uniform drag and pretending to be other characters) spots them and lights flash for Akon to pull over. Instead, he just starts singing, which only infuriates the officers (perfectly understandable), and they get a bit riled up, waving their arms and being very demonstrative about the “stop driving” angle. Gwen seems to think this is all very funny, but we can probably blame this on her light-headedness from having a ladder cut off her noggin. Oh, and the latte. Sugar can make you do wrong things.

The video ends back at the boutique penitentiary, with Gwen sporting her original hairstyle and the twins still doing dance routines. It’s not clear if they’ve been sentenced to another term for that naughty escape mess, or if they’ve been here all along and it was just a dream. In any case, the final shot is of Gwen sitting on her bed, bored and sighing. Because once you’ve had your prison cell decorated by a high-end designer, there’s really nothing much more you can hope for in life…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Whitesnake - “Here I Go Again”

There’s not a whole lot going on in this video, just the band playing on an empty stage and Tawny Kitaen having sex with luxury cars, so we’ll have to do the time-stamp thing…

0:01 Tawny and her flimsy, billowy white dress is introduced. She immediately proceeds to do entry-level gymnastics on the hoods of two cars.

0:08 The band does synchronized hand movements right on cue, so they were probably very popular at pep rallies in high school.

0:13 First appearance of lead singer David Coverdale’s hair. It’s a breath-taking moment.

0:19 Encore performance by The Hair.

0:28 Possible recreation of the final spaceship scene in E.T.

0:34 Tawny looks off into the distance, perhaps hearing a phone ring and hoping it’s her agent with a better offer.

0:49 Tawny prepares for a quick nap on a car hood.

0:54 Tawny compares headlights with the car.

0:59 Tawny might be confused about where to sit in a vehicle, but she can do the splits with a vengeance. Hey, gurl, hey.

1:08 Why does David keep shaking the microphone like it’s done a very bad thing?

1:11 Tawny invents a variation of yoga that replaces the mat with two car hoods. Toyoga?

1:18 Tawny decides there’s too much hair with both her and David in a speeding car, so she tries to escape out the passenger window.

1:20 First incident of David holding his microphone stand upside down and shoving it in the air. Turns out he really likes to do this. A lot.

1:25 The assumption would be that all the band members use the same hair stylist. Which is probably the lion groomer at the local zoo.

1:34 Tawny is straddling both David and the back of his car seat. She just loves everybody.

1:37 Tawny shoves her tongue in David’s ear, probably a reward for properly using his turn signals.

1:43 Tawny high-kicks for Jesus.

1:52 Tawny’s climbing out the car window again. Does she ever just sit still and read a book?

1:59 Does that one guitar player have any other expressions? I mean, so sorry that you apparently have a kidney stone, but could you suck it up for the camera?

2:02 Tawny magically uses her hoo-hoo to keep from falling out the car window.

2:10 Microphone stand is in the air again.

2:15 And again.

2:24 Where is all that smoke coming from?

2:27 Tawny has amazingly talented hair. (It’s bigger than that building behind her!)

2:37 Whoopsie, Tawny miscalculates and almost slides off the front of the car. Luckily, that special hoo-hoo of hers gets snagged on the hood ornament, and she’s good.

2:48 Did someone just shoot one of the guitar players. Rude!

2:55 Tawny shoves her entire head into David’s mouth.

3:02 That position can not possibly be comfortable.

3:10 Yet another guitar player (how many of those damn things do they need?) has an issue with his super-tight leather pants making him unable to stand on his own. He keeps playing, though, so he’s a trooper.

3:16 Oh my God, is that Jimmy Hoffa sneaking around on an upper level of the stage?

3:26 Tawny knows the words to the song, too. See, just because you’re beautiful and sexually-limber doesn’t mean you don’t have other skills.

3:29 Stand. In the air.

3:40 Tawny does a nice twirl while apparently getting a full-body x-ray.

3:51 Is that France up in there?

4:06 Tawny is startled by the sudden appearance of her missing panties.

4:16 One of the 147 guitar players licks his instrument. This is a relationship that he probably doesn’t talk about at family reunions.

4:24 Tawny pulls David into the backseat. I’m sure it’s just to form a prayer circle.

4:29 Crotch thrust and fade to black.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Taylor Swift - “Back To December”

We start with some guy trudging out of the woods in some small town. He’s bundled up and there’s snow on the ground, so we’ll have to assume it’s December, just like the title. He looks kind of sad, but that might be because the director decided to shoot somewhere cold instead of the Bahamas where all the cool rappers make videos. Cut to Taylor, wearing shabby chic clothing in what might be her house, also looking sad, so I’m guessing we won’t be seeing any dance routines any time soon.

Taylor warbles for a bit, glancing around her house like she’s really sad about her decorating choices, then we cut back to the guy (let’s call him Joe Dean, just because) walking along a street, still with the sadness. Back to Taylor, sitting on her bed and still sad. Back to Joe Dean, with a close-up of his eyes, still sad. Back to Taylor… well, at this point it’s very clear that neither of them are very happy or have bothered to wash their hair lately.

Now Joe Dean is sitting in the bleachers at a football field. We should probably tell him that there’s not an actual game going on, but he’s hunched over like he ate some bad nachos from the concession stand and he probably needs some alone time. Oh look, Taylor is hunched over in her bedroom as well. This must be one of those towns where you really shouldn’t eat anything.

Then Joe Dean is on the move again, trudging along in the snow in that meandering way that misunderstood boys have, then he’s back in the bleachers, trying to get warm. (At this point we have to assume that the local school system is not really preparing its students well, if they don’t understand about going inside when its cold.) Then he hops up and heads across an empty baseball field, where there still aren’t any games being played. I’m afraid life is going to be very difficult and confusing for Joe Dean.

Meanwhile, Taylor is still shuffling about her house, singing and all, but never putting on some shoes or finding a better sweater to wear. She decides to take a bath, but this doesn’t really help much, probably because she forgets to take off her support garments before doing so. Then it starts to snow inside her house. This is the part where I would start to question the wisdom of remaining in that house, but Taylor doesn’t seem to mind the snowfall and keeps singing.

Joe Dean is walking around in the snow again, but I’m starting to not care about his activities, since he’s not managed to go anywhere interesting. At least Taylor has more things to do, like staring out windows and bathing, even if the weather is jacked up in her house. As if to prove her versatility, Taylor picks up a tablet and starts scribbling something. Joe Dean keeps just walking. To nowhere. See? Who would you pick to follow? That’s what I thought.

I think the camera man agrees with us, because we spend a long series of shots with just Taylor, as she wanders around her house, fiddling with water glasses and ignoring the indoor snowstorm. (The snow is piling up on things like furniture and fireplace mantles, so it’s kind of hard for folks to ignore, but Taylor is a professional, having been on the CMA’s a hundred times and all.)

There’s a bit where she sinks lower in her bathtub, probably not a good sign, but she seems to be staring at a snow-dusted stuffed bunny nearby, so we know she’ll probably be just fine since bunnies like to save people and be cute. Then we see Taylor back on her bed, scribbling on her pad and wearing that oversized sweater from The Gap (available in a rainbow of colors!) so the bunny apparently did it’s job and Taylor will be able to release more singles.

Joe Dean, of course, is still just walking around and looking displeased with everything.

Long montage of Taylor getting a little angsty about her sweater sleeves being too long (honey, just roll them up, I think the snow everywhere is a bigger issue), then she seems to have an issue with being able to keep the sweater on one of her shoulders. Perhaps Taylor should just find another sweater, ya think?

Joe Dean, walking.

Taylor, posing in various positions in her house, not walking, still troubled.

Brief shot of Joe Dean with his head stuck to a telephone pole. (No idea.)

Finally, after managing to look anguished in every room of her house, Taylor pauses on her staircase long enough to shove her apparently-finished letter into a leather jacket that just happens to be lying on a nearby step. Cut to Joe Dean in a car (where the hell did that come from?), where he gazes at an unrelated jacket, then he hops out and starts walking somewhere again. I really don’t understand this boy.

Taylor sings for a bit, still not properly attired, then we see Joe Dean back in those bleachers. He suddenly pulls out Taylor’s note from one of his coat pockets. He seems to be surprised at finding it (despite having had his hands in his coat pockets throughout most of the video), and even more surprised by what the letter says. Then he jumps up and starts walking somewhere again. Fade to black.

Do the people in this town just not have phones? Sure would save on the aimless wandering and extended time spent wearing sweaters that don’t fit. Just sayin.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pitbull, Marc Anthony - “Rain Over Me”

We start out with aerial shots of some desert, with a nice sports car racing along in the blowing sand and dust. We don’t know where the car is headed, but since it’s the desert, it’s most likely not anywhere fun and I’m already losing interest. Cut to a woman staring out a window, her lips all pouty and freshly-painted. Then we suddenly have Marc sitting on a green couch and bellowing the words with an intensity that usually indicates someone needs gallbladder surgery.

Wait, why is Marc starting off Pitbull’s song? Is this going to be another example where the featured artist actually does all the work, and the “main artist” basically sits around in a chair, drinking beer and hollering “that’s right, uh huh” after every chorus? Hmm. We’ll see.

Wait, there’s Pitbull, standing all alone in a patch of cracked ground. He’s got his arms out like he’s ready to meet Jesus, but before we can see if that really happens, we’re back with that car racing to nowhere, then with Marc on that couch, bouncing around and sucking back what I would hope is a nice glass of gin. Meanwhile, Pouty-Lip girl is still standing at the window, apparently unimpressed that Marc can sing and drink at the same time.

Cut to a woman in the desert wearing a pointless dress that is sheer enough we can check on the outcome of her latest waxing. She’s walking away from a perfectly good bottle of vodka sitting on the sand, so you know her priorities are messed up. Before we can ask her what her problem is, we start doing this split-screen thing with Marc and Pitbull. Marc is still sitting on that couch (did they not have a very big budget for this shoot?) and Pitbull is still tromping around in the desert all alone, wearing a suit and his trademark attitude that Jesus should be coming to meet him.

Now there’s another girl, or maybe one of the same ones, it’s really unclear, is fiddling with some sunglasses and appearing to wantonly need something. We don’t have time to get her story, either, before we’re back with Pitbull and his arid hand gestures. Gauzy dress woman comes waltzing up to him, because strangers appearing out of nowhere happens all the time in the desert.

Well, maybe they’re not strangers after all, since Pitbull starts fondling her like he desperately needs to set the oven to 350 degrees. (We get some jump shots of just Pitbull, smirking and very proud of the fact that he just touched some breasts.) Then he’s groping her some more, pretending like it’s a sexy dance, and she’s accepting the groping and smiling to indicate her readiness for plunder, pretending like she doesn’t mind that she now has sand everywhere sand shouldn’t be.

Back to Marc and Pouty for a bit, just so we can be assured they are still drinking and sweating, then we spend some time with a woman who feels its perfectly normal to let a snake crawl all over her body. (I guess she went to a different kind of school than I did.) Then we get to a bit where Pit and Marc are singing together in the desert while the sun lowers behind them. Well, somebody’s singing, let’s put it that way. The other one feels that all he really needs to do is wear sunglasses and the world will love him.

Eventually we have Pitbull encountering another woman wearing a billowing dress who wants nothing more than to have Pitbull touch her inappropriately, followed by some girl swimming underwater. It turns out she’s only doing this so she can break the surface of the water and make herself look just like the promo shots for Wild Things back in the day. (Except that she’s clearly not Denise Richards and probably won’t be marrying Charlie Sheen.)

This doesn’t stop the woman from staring wetly at us forever, waving one of her arms about in a manner that she apparently thinks is sexy, but actually makes her look like Helen Keller on a bender.

Somebody crosses their legs just right, and suddenly we’re someplace very dark, with an interesting image of rain-drenched Marc and/or Pitbull playing on a screen while yet another female gyrates in front of it, doing an interpretive dance of the Stock Market on a very busy day. Just to make sure we don’t forget that all women can’t help but want these two men, we have jump shots of Wet Girl being joined in the pool by other girls who just want to stretch and paw at themselves in a frenzy of passion. (Or maybe it’s the chlorine fumes.)

Then we have a montage of Pitbull and Woman Number…. I don’t know, 84 or something, dancing together in the desert and having the best time despite the heat and the scorpions and the lack of anything moist for miles. Whoops, I guess Pitbull loses interest in her, because now he’s running his hands over another woman (wow, I never noticed that he has really small fingers) while she squirms seductively and he smiles at his own prowess.

This kicks off a veritable parade of women flouncing and bouncing in various scenes, with the central theme being “just dance around like you gotta have you some Pitbull even though you understand that he must be with hundreds of different women every night, never remembers any names, and sure as hell won‘t be signing anything”. Or something like that.

And finally we roll into a mix of everything we’ve seen so far, with revisits to Pitbull speaking the language of thrusting hips with a cavalcade of revolving beauties, Pitbull and Marc doing the “Couple’s Dance at Sunset” thing with both men believing that raising both hands and pointing your index fingers in different directions is very important, and then everybody, including a dance troupe that just happened to drive by, gathers in a part of the desert where it actually rains, and they all do a line dance about the joys of getting wet while wearing black.

Final shot is of Pitbull being lead to a helicopter, which then takes off across the sky. Did the Singing Police finally catch up with him?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sugar Ray - “Every Morning”

We start out with two guys dressed in clown-felon outfits doing some type of break-dancing routine on top of an ugly yellow car. They seem really invested in their activities, but since I’ve never seen such a thing before I don’t know if they’re really good or if they suck. I do know that I don’t want to see any more of that mess. Gave it a try, gotta run.

Luckily, the music of the song soon starts up, and we ditch the bouncing jail-people to go watch lots of high-school folks dressed in that 80’s style where the whole point seemed to be about outrage of some kind. (Super-pointy hair, razor-blade earrings, tattoos of goats, that sort of thing.) Everyone seems to be headed into a building which could be anything from a skating rink to a bowling alley to a local branch of the state mental institution. It’s a brick building, that’s all that is certain.

Before we can properly figure things out, here comes Mark McGrath, riding a motorcycle and sporting a mullet that is apparently taking its own steroids. Because he’s really cool, Mark just drives right into the lobby of the building, which causes the females to become horny and the males to either high-five or secretly want him. There are just a lot of things about this video that aren’t really clear, but we’ll be polite about it for now.

To make matters even more mystifying, we start seeing Mark and the band playing on a gaudy stage where gold draperies and balloons are involved. Right away we learn that Mark feels his performance requires considerable waving of his arms and rhythmic hand gestures, which is a little annoying, but he does have the best hair so far in the video, so there is that.

Cut back to mullet Mark, who shoves aside some youngsters so he can take over a pinball machine and basically have sex with it while he plays. The little boys, of course, are totally enraptured with Mark’s prowess and can’t wait until they are old enough to reach the coin slot. I guess one of the pinballs hits a special dinger thing, because we suddenly start seeing jump cuts of an odd little man doing roller-dancing all by himself in the middle of the wooden skating rink. This is probably not good.

Then we get to watch a long row of women who should have graduated from high school years ago but didn’t, as they watch Mark singing, fully intent on having his baby during intermission. (There’s also some mess with a poor girl having to deal with serious braces headgear, that horrible, painful contraption that youngsters today have no knowledge of, and can therefore sleep at night.)

Then some fool lights up the “All Skate!” sign, and everybody immediately thunders out onto the floor. Right away, we have two of those show-off couples performing intense twirling moves where the woman is airborne and the man is earning flamboyance badges that will help his later career on Broadway. (The rest of the skaters just seem to be standing around and waiting until the next time they can feather their hair, so I’m not sure they really understand the concept of skating.)

Doesn’t matter, because we cut to two girls wearing Catholic school-uniform skirts and “accidentally” unbuttoned white shirts. (Just to help us understand that they are most likely total sluts.) But before we can watch them trollop about, we have some jump cuts of large afros, Mark performing more singing stances that he’s been practicing far too much, and more people confused about what to do at a skating rink.

Then we have a long montage of the people who do know how to skate, but this is counter-balanced by other people being total victims of the fashion rages back in that day. We thought we were beyond cool then, but viewing all that mess now confirms that we clearly lost our minds as a people, and there have been repercussions to this day.

Anyway, the Slut Twins put the moves on one of the band members who is playing a pizza boy, a disappointing sequence that helps us realize why the concept of “editing” had to be invented. Then we’re back to another long montage of people pretending to skate even though they don’t know how, people pretending like their outfits haven’t been outlawed in several progressive states, and the band pretending like they aren’t seriously mugging for the cameras.

Speaking of cameras, someone decides it would be really special to set one of them on the ground and let people skate, dance or hump their way toward the lens. (Mark seems to be the most excited about that last part, thrusting his crotch with practiced and eye-opening abandon right in Mr. DeMille’s face.) There’s a side-story about two mean roller derby girls having a misunderstanding of some kind, but they aren’t thrusting anything so it’s not quite as fun.

The music suddenly stops, which results in everybody standing around because no one knows what to do if there isn’t a soundtrack accompanying them. This goes on for a bit, then Mark bangs out of the backdoor of the rink, strumming a red-white-and-blue guitar and picking up the song. He sings for a while, strolling amongst some street people playing dice. This turns out to be no fun at all, so we quickly cut back to the conga line of pelvises and blue eye-shadow.

And that’s where we basically stay through the end of the video, with everybody shoving everything they can at the camera, laughing and whooping it up and continuing to wear offensive couture. Then Mullet Mark hops on his bike and heads out, which apparently signals the end of the party, since people start leaving and making up stories to tell their parents about why they smell like tequila and old bleach.

Ah, memories. But I never had a mullet. It’s very important that people understand that about me. ;)

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Band Perry - “If I Die Young”

We start out with a close-up of lead singer Kimberly, as she and her golden locks launch into the song. (Not certain what that thing is in her hair, but I’m sure it’s important to her.) Quick shot of Kimberly floating in a worn-out canoe thing on a river, possibly deceased or just very tired, then back to the band. Now we can see her brothers, Neil and Reid, playing in the background. They also look tragic, so this is probably not the happiest of videos out there.

Cut to Neil and Reid playing their instruments in a nicely-restored house, the kind where you don’t dare touch anything or you’ll get your ass whupped, then we’re outside with Kimberly leading the way while the brothers carry that little boat. The house behind them is gorgeous, so I can’t imagine why they’d want to leave it, but they do. They march for a bit, then we have another snap of Kimberly in the boat. Singing and alive this time, so that’s good.

Short scene with a woman abusing a rose, so there must have been an incident with a thorn in her past, then back to the trio tramping along with the boat, and more of the band playing in that house. Back to the river, where the brothers load Kimberly into the boat and set her adrift. (Brothers always gang up on the sister.) Then we have a montage of Kimberly in the boat, clutching a book of poems by Tenneyson and pretending like her head isn’t uncomfortable, even though it’s jammed against the seat of the boat. But her dress is pretty.

More of the band playing, with the boys still refusing to smile or get haircuts. Then we might be having an actual happy moment, with Kimberly smiling and running along while a cute guy chases her. She’s not trying real hard, so you know she wants to get caught. Brief interlude with the band, then we see Kim and Beau gazing at one another with affection, deliciously naughty thoughts most likely filling their heads, then she’s back in the damn boat again, floating and lifeless.

Okay, people, we get it. Life can be super short. So let’s spend more time on the happy moments and less time floating down a river. Just sayin. Oh wait, maybe Kimberly heard me, because she suddenly pops to an upright position in the boat, like maybe a frog done hopped in her bloomers. Then we have quick shots of Beau and the rose-hating woman looking startled. Maybe it’s just me, but they seem a little upset that Kimberly might be alive after all. These people are just too damn gloomy.

Montage of the book floating in the water, separate images of Beau and Rose in a green room, reaching for something (the craft services table?) , floating flowers, and the brothers running through some field, possibly heading back to the river where they were mean to their sister, making her go sailing when she didn’t want to. What are they going to discover?

We’ll have to find out a bit later, since we cut to all the band members singing and playing back in that house, where somebody likes a really vibrant color scheme. (And insists on putting an odd grey square in front of some of the windows. Does this mean something? Are there wicked things outside the windows that we shouldn’t see? Southern people have too many secrets.)

Oh, look, there’s Kimberly and her brothers trudging across the lawn of the house, while Rose is standing at the door and smiling. Rose rushes out to greet them, along with Beau, who comes running from wherever it is that Beaus go when no one is requiring any chasing. Everybody is now very happy that she didn’t die.

Then why the hell did they put her in the boat to begin with? Is this what happens when people eat grits all the time? There’s a mandatory airing-out period?

We may never know. The song winds down with a few more random shots, then we close with a final image of one of Tenneyson’s poems, “The Lady of Shalott”. Really? If memory serves, I think I tried reading that once, some enforced-learning experiment in junior high, and it involved some mess with a woman being cursed and wallering around in a boat until she expired, unsatisfied and most likely damp.

I’m thinking Kimberly should just stay out of the library. You?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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