Friday, September 30, 2011

Usher - “Burn”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Savage Garden - “Truly Madly Deeply”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Foo Fighters - “Learn To Fly”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Coldplay - “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

0:55 Rihanna wears sunglasses bigger than her head.

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

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

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

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

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

1:39 Is Rush Limbaugh off his meds again?

1:58 More angels having orgasms.

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

2:15 Rihanna sports hairdo bigger than Jupiter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Temper Trap - “Sweet Disposition”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope the marshmallows were good…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Goo Goo Dolls - “Iris”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera - “Moves Like Jagger”

We start out with black and white shots of what looks like the outside of one of those old-timey theaters, the really fancy kind with great architectural detail and the cache of famous stars and glamour and illicit gin sucked out of flasks in the 1920’s. Then we go inside, backstage, and a title card informs us that it’s “Los Angeles, June 2011”. Okay. We see shots of production people running around and doing the frantic things that they do before a show when everybody is really bitchy and in a hurry and unfortunate things are said to one another.

We start realizing that some of the things we’re seeing are off-kilter, like they were filmed at a time way before 2011 arrived and the Republicans started their latest round of crap. People seem to be preparing to audition for something, some mess that involves 60’s clothing, but the out-of-time thing is still going on, and suddenly a very young Mick Jagger is being interviewed in old newsreel footage, talking about how he’s not sure if the Rolling Stones will make it in the music business.

What the hell? Then we start realizing that a lot of these auditioning people either look like Mick Jagger or are wearing skimpy clothing with slogan tributes to him, and BAM, the craziness starts. The music kicks in and people are strutting around on the stage in Crazy 60’s London outfits while clips of the real Mick sporadically pop up and quickly disappear. Mixed in with all of this is Adam Levine, full of swagger attitude and not wearing a shirt.

He can do that any time he wants. More, please.

So now we have bits of shirtless Adam singing while the other folks are running around all crazy-eyed and hip-thrusting. We run the gamut of Mick impersonators: male, female, undetermined, black, white, Benneton, super sexy, super ugly, you name it. There’s even one free-spirited woman who is barely able to contain her breasts while wearing nothing but a shaggy vest. I’m assuming she’ll get the part, just not the part she was auditioning for.

And really, that’s your whole plot right there. Random folks are doing all things Mick, dancing and jumping and confirming that recreational drug use is alive and well, Adam inserts his half-naked self wherever he feels moved to do so, and the real Mick cameos in old clips from time to time. This goes on for most of the video, causing us to transition from “hey, isn’t that cute?” to “okay, I think I’ve seen enough anorexic people with rhythm”.

Thankfully, Adam rarely puts his shirt back on, so at least we have that image to help us pass the time. But the creepy woman with “Mick Jagger” written on her eyelids and the apparent need for some un-endowed men to wear panties onstage is a bit much. And don’t even get me started on the weird, possible Michael Jackson tribute by one of those underwear people. There are times when you just have to say no. And mean it.

Right as I really think that I can’t take anymore, Christina finally shows up, weaving her vocals into the song and sporting an outfit that involves Joan Crawford tributes and an amazing amount of blonde hair. And enough mascara to keep L’Oreal in business for the next decade. She and her hat step up to an old-timey microphone and start wailing away.

Sadly, although I’m sure she means well, I’ll have to agree with the folks who think her bit just really doesn’t fit with the rest of the song. She’s cute and all, and she has pipes that Adam can only dream about, but this is an ixnay. Then again, that’s the same case with 97% of songs with “featured artists” out there, resulting in a jarring part of the song that doesn’t work, so you can’t really blame her. But girl can wear some vintage clothing, let me tell ya.

Anyway, the song and Mick-wannabees plow onward, with Christina quickly shoved to the background so she can quietly coo and shimmy. Somebody decides it’s really important that they start releasing confetti and balloons over the stage, so we do that, although all it really means is more mess for the staff to clean up when these people finally shut up and go home. Christina seems to like the added flair, though, so it’s all good in the end.

Speaking of the end, we finally do reach that point despite my fears that it might never happen. As all the Mick pretenders gather up their Swinging London accessories and head for the door, we get a last interview with the young Mick, wherein he hopes that his band can last another year or so.

Obviously they did. Probably because they never put out a video like this one…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

3 Doors Down - “Kryptonite”

Okay, not really sure what they were trying to say with this video, what with all the running about and the startling images of elderly folks doing things they probably shouldn‘t, but I’ll take a stab at it…

We start out in a crappy apartment somewhere, zooming in on an older man wearing nothing but underwear and fiddling with a live bird. (His underwear is the size of a barn, so I’m sure the bird had to be sedated by his trainer.) There’s a program playing on the beat-up TV, an old black-and-white show where an actor is wearing tinfoil and tights to sexually-confuse the youngsters.

Cut to the band, with them artfully arranged on the rusty metal supports of one of those giant signs on top of old buildings. I think this is supposed to be cool, but the way some of them are clutching the metal in fear of tumbling over the side of the building, the coolness factor dims a bit. While lead singer Brad starts doing his thing, we cut back to Grandpa and the bird, with Gramps really in need of a hairbrush (and some clothes, don’t forget that bit).

Gramps lets the bird go out the window, then he studies things around his room, so we can learn two things. One, he just might have once been the superhero in that old TV show, but he’s fallen on hard times since. And two, those hard times include a super-nasty apartment with bugs running about, old plates of food sitting around long enough that they probably have pet names, and still no clothing. This is not The Ritz.

The band finally climbs down off that stupid sign, and they go start singing in a bar, which is what they should have done to begin with instead of trying to prove some mystical point on the giant jungle gym. Meanwhile, nosey Gramps hears a sleazy couple having a fight in the apartment hallway. He and his underwear race to check it out, only to be rebuffed by Pimp Daddy for invading his personal domestic-violence space. Gramps scurries back in his apartment faster than most of the roaches.

Shots of the band playing, so we don’t forget about them, then we’re back to Gramps as he opens a drawer and pulls out a superhero costume. Well, then, guess he was somethin’ somethin’ back in the day. And judging by the sparkly light coming off the outfit, helping us see just how dirty the apartment really is, the batteries are still working on the costume even after all these years. Gramps proceeds to put on the outfit, with the camera thankfully cutting away before we see something wrinkled that might scar us for life.

Next thing you know, we’re in some alley, where Gramps is racing along (well, racing for him) in his pointy-hatted green get-up, either off to save the day or help Dorothy find the Emerald City. He catches up to the still-fighting Sleazy Couple and tags along behind them intent on… well, it’s not really clear.

And I guess we won’t find out his intentions just yet, because he’s suddenly confronted by a gang of punk people who don’t understand that it’s no longer 1985. Gramps tries to assume a non-threatened stance, but before he can remember exactly how to do that, the Sid and Nancy cast members jump him. The camera cuts away to the band, because it’s apparently okay to watch Grandpa parade around in his skivvies but we don’t dare watch physical elder abuse, right?

Back to the alley, where the Sleazy Couple are still not being very cordial to one another, and Gramps is climbing to his feet and adjusting his pointy hat. Then he hightails it (okay, walks a little bit fast) after the couple, still intent on using his super-powers to right wrongs, although at this point I’m suspecting that the only power he wields might be flatulence. I’m sure we’ll find out.

Checking in on the band, we can see that the bar they are playing in is filled with other senior citizens, also wearing chintzy superhero costumes and apparently liquored up on something stronger than prune juice. These folks seem very excited about watching the band play, even though most of them have kidney stones older than the guys on stage.

Out on the street, some mean guy that probably watches too much WWF is picking on Gramps, grabbing at his hat and such and impeding on his slow-paced but gallant effort to save the slutty girl from the greasy man. Back in the bar, one of the ancient waitresses is wandering around with kryptonite on her serving platter (just like the song title!) while the various patrons frolic and drink and wonder what happened to their walkers. And their money.

Extended bit where one of the grizzled superheroes gets right in Brad’s face while he’s singing, with the sparkly-painted superhero vibrating and acting crazy-eyed while Brad just keeps singing like it happens every day. (No idea what this is all about or what it accomplished.) Then the camera starts jumping around the bar, showing that the geezers have really got their drink on, running and dancing and riding mechanical bulls, with all of them looking extremely creepy and improperly-medicated. (The image of the Thor guy on the bull? That’ll keep you up at night.)

As we wind things down, we see Gramps climb onto the roof of the bar (because using the front door would be too simple, yes?) and peering into the skylight. He spies Sleazy Guy taking a break from beating on Sleazy Girl, so Gramps uses this opportunity to crash through the skylight and slam the nasty dude into the floor. The band finishes its set as Gramps raises his thumb in victory, still astraddle the unconscious Sleazy and still very confused about proper attire and reality.

Wow. I seriously need to start being nicer to my younger relatives so I don’t end up like this. Sayin…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...