Saturday, October 29, 2011

Timbaland, One Republic - “Apologize”

We start out with a shot of Timbaland sitting at a mixing board in a recording studio, his hand splayed out over the buttons to remind everyone that he has complete control of everything, then we cut to somebody’s anonymous hands playing a piano. (They’re wearing fingerless gloves, so you know they have issues.) Then the camera rolls around a bit, introducing the rest of the band’s feet. (Is the camera person really short?)

We finally get to see some actual faces, first with Timbaland apparently conducting a gospel choir that we can’t see, and then lead singer Ryan Tedder, sitting down and making anguished faces. (I guess it hurts for him to sing.) We study his facial anxiety for a bit, the we check in on some of the other band members, who are basically doing nothing right now and waiting on the more exciting part of the song. (The drummer looks especially peeved, gripping his silent drumsticks like he’s got something lodged somewhere.)

Suddenly, there’s a startling image of a woman’s eyes filling the screen, followed by another startling image of a man who doesn’t own a brush. (Quick jump back to the studio, where the rest of the band is finally getting to play.) Then we’re with the couple again, and the man is approaching the woman as they are attending what might be a prom, a reunion, or an event at a really bad dating service. (Think cheesy decorations and people pretending to be happy when they’re not.)

Speaking of dissatisfaction, the woman is staring at the man with exactly that, although we don’t know why. (I’m guessing the hair.) But before we’re allowed to raise our hands and ask questions, we cut back to the studio where we learn that… the band is still playing and Timbaland is still in control of the entire music scene. I think we’ve got this part down, folks. No need to come back here.

We drop in on the prom again, where Hairy is suddenly smooching on some woman that we don’t know about, in that really dramatic, swoopy way that people kiss when they want other people to know that they are kissing. The first girl watches this with the same dissatisfied air, so she just might be one of those people who can never be happy. (She’s holding a cocktail, so it can’t be all bad, honey.) Another brief snippet of the band, and now Hairy is staring at a blank spot on the floor while some Meatloaf-dude is laughing off to the side.

What the hell? Oh, never mind, I’m not that invested.

And we’re with the band again, where Ryan is still scrunching his face to get those words out. (Might want to see someone about that condition, guy.) The camera pans to the other band members, but no one is doing anything very interesting, so we shuffle off to the prom again. Sadly, Hairy is just standing there and possibly doing deep-breathing exercises. Let’s pick things up, people. We need an explosion or something.

We don’t immediately get one. Instead, we spend some more time in the Jesus and Apostles Recording Studio, where we learn that Ryan might actually be giving birth as he belts out the higher notes of the song. Brief shot of Meatloaf-Guy drunkenly hugging Hairy, so who knows how that’s going to turn out. This is followed shortly by one of the guitar players so bored out of his skull that he’s staring at the ceiling.

Did they just not have a lot of film for this shoot?

Oh, now we’ve got something going on at the prom. It seems that all of the people except Hairy are now frozen in place. I’m fairly certain they’re not playing Simon Says, but I’m not ruling it out. Hairy wanders around the stiff people for a bit, probably wondering if there’s memo he didn’t get. Lo and behold, he finds Unhappy Girl lip-locking with another human statue. I’m guessing she’s moved on from Hairy. Well, she was trying to move on before somebody threw a circuit breaker up in this grill.

Now we have a montage of the band playing and Hairy looking really sad, complete with arm flourishes from Timbaland. Hairy stumbles around until he sees a “Happy New Year!” sign, which somehow signals everybody to unfreeze and continue with the drinking and hooking-up. We end with a clock ticking to zero, Hairy not really learning anything because he still hasn’t brushed his hair, and Ryan gives birth to a final high note before we fade to black.

No final word on Meatloaf. Maybe we’ll learn what happened when he releases his next album, Brat Out of Hell III: I’d Do Anything For Love. Period.

Click Here to Watch This Video on YouTube.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Michael Franti and Spearhead - “Say Hey (I Love You)”

Note: We’ll have to do the timestamp thing with this one. We’re in a quaint little village somewhere, a place where everyone seems to be very happy and they all have a terrific sense of rhythm…

0:03 A bunch of colorful fruits fly past one side of the camera, perhaps a tribute to an after-hours party at a gay club.

0:06 Michael first appears, barefoot and straddling a horse-drawn wagon, letting us know that he’s down-to-earth and folksy. He also lets us know that he’s very popular by waving to various people who may or may not know who he actually is.

0:10 First appearance of a gaggle of dancing street-women who become progressively more aggressive as the song bops along.

0:17 Michael starts singing and lets us know a few more things about himself, such as a fondness for arm-waving and an inability to remain still.

0:24 Some random man either greets us with a tropical hand gesture or flips us off in a show of gang-based dominance. Not clear.

0:25 A bored circus acrobat.

0:28 Random woman is startled to find a urine specimen on her window sill and wonders who might have left it there.

0:34 Affectionate lesbians followed by a set of young girls running away from doing something they probably weren’t supposed to be doing.

0:37 Pack of shirtless boys jumps off a roof because there’s nothing good on TV.

0:44 Michael practices posing for a toothpaste commercial.

0:48 Geeky boy and girl run away from the camera, making them the only two on the island who don’t want to participate in spontaneous street dancing.

0:56 Confused but happy woman is not aware that she has apparently lost her blouse at some point.

1:03 Second in a series of startling close-ups of Michael’s feet. Not really seeing the need for this mess, but nobody asked me.

1:10 Fool playing with a snake, like this is advisable in any way.

1:15 Even grandma has the music in her. Yay!

1:25 Michael struts through someone’s hanging laundry, just because it’s there, then we cut to a probably-drunk man who clearly wins the award for questionable facial hair.

1:36 The wild-abandon street dancers kick it up another notch, clapping and swiveling and shimmying. The only thing that can really explain this is tequila.

1:48 Starting to get annoyed by the boys in that drum corps. Yes, they have great rhythmic skills, but I can only watch someone beat something with a stick for so long before I start to get a little paranoid.

1:58 Boys are still jumping off that roof. You’d think by now that someone would have told them that this is not one of their better game-play ideas. Or maybe this is local population control. Who knows.

2:06 Something shocking is happening in the booty of that woman’s dress. I hope she’s okay.

2:12 Lots more street dancers, all of them having attended the school of “use your breasts whenever possible”.

2:22 Another example of the mysterious booty invasion.

2:27 Did the Supremes get back together?

2:44 Barber trims boys hair while dancing and barely able to hold onto the clippers. Avoid this salon if at all possible.

2:52 The cast of “Stomp” makes a cameo appearance.

2:56 Unexplained martial arts sequence. With old people.

3:05 Montage of people kissing, some of them clearly not wanting to do so but the pay must have been good, and other people saying “I love you” to the camera, which is a bit forward, since we barely know each other, but as long as they still have some of that tequila around, it’s all good.

3:39 The video winds down with Michael in the middle of yet another street crowd, bouncing with far more energy than should naturally occur in the human body. But everybody seems to be happy, and you know the wrap party must have been a hoot…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

U2 - “Mysterious Ways”

Okay, somebody, somewhere took a whole bunch of drugs and slapped this puppy together. That can be the only explanation, and it forces me to do the time-stamp thing and not tell an actual story. Here we go…

0:02 First indication that we’re on a head trip, with shimmery campfire images of the band members waiting for the S’mores to be done.

0:11 Three women are stunned by what they have just seen.

0:15 First appearance of energetic belly dancer. Get used to her, that tramp is all over this thing.

0:21 Panoramic view of old buildings that might be important in some way, I just don’t know what that might be. Somebody’s doing laundry, that’s the only definite.

0:25 Bono gets artsy with an image of the moon. The moon does not seem pleased.

0:30 Brief confirmation of drug usage. I knew it.

0:35 Blurred people and a porta-potty. Something like that.

0:41 I think this is Bono, with an amazing amount of hair and a flamboyant shirt, but he won’t stay still long enough to make sure, insisting on doing an interpretative dance about bull-fighting and tequila.

0:49 Belly dancer girl, jackin’ those hips like there’s a prize.

1:00 Possibly The Edge and Larry, or maybe Yoko Ono and Troy Aikman, being stalked by someone with a kaleidoscope.

1:06 Trick photography allows Bono to clone himself, a life-long dream.

1:16 More interesting cinematography, with Bono relaxing on a rooftop and street-market patrons wondering why crazy foreigners have to take pictures of everything.

1:22 A possible prison break, details unclear.

1:28 Bono is very sad about the political climate in Wisconsin.

1:33 Larry really, really needs some sexual release.

1:43 Who invited the Republicans?

1:57 Interesting use of split-screen. We learn nothing, but it’s neat.

2:03 Belly dancer girl, reminding us that she’s the real star of this show and won’t stop dancing until we admit it.

2:13 Bono’s hair has apparently been nailed to a pretty floor.

2:27 Return to campfire. S’mores still not done.

2:40 The Edge experiences unfortunate loss of his head.

2:45 More split-screen crap, starting to get annoying.

2:52 Possible appearance by the Grim Reaper, wearing a non-regulation outfit.

3:05 Red-shirted Bono, who has been doing that odd dance the whole time, ups the ante by unbuttoning said shirt to a provocative level. Unclear what he hopes to achieve by doing this.

3:07 Damn Republicans are multiplying.

3:16 Escapee breaks back into prison, not emotionally satisfied by outside world.

3:20 Earthquake or really drunk camera man? You decide.

3:30 Bono hits the most interpretive part of his interpretive dance, kicking it up a notch and channeling very angry spirits with severe issues. Whatever has possession of him is apparently very important, and we spend the rest of the video watching Bono transform into everything from a clumsy snake-handler to a deranged Aztec priestess to what might possibly be a suppository. Video ends. Head-scratching does not…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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