Friday, December 30, 2011

Rihanna, Calvin Harris - “We Found Love”

  Wow, this one’s a wee bit depressing.

  But anyway, we start out with Rihanna doing a voice-over while we see images of her, random buildings, and she and Calvin sitting in a bathtub, drinking beer and hating each other. She’s rambling on about how sometimes it takes a while to figure out that a relationship might not be healthy, but I’m thinking “honey, if your man makes you let your hair get that trashy, it can’t be good”.

  We get more shots of Rihanna and Calvin in a self-destructive spiral of drugs and hot-but-meaningless sex in random locations, so we know where this is going, we just have a song to get through before we reach that point. Of course, none of this stops Rihanna from wearing skimpy outfits and parading around in a manner that highlights her booty.

  The actual song starts with an exciting lightening storm and Rihanna holed up in some place where the decorating theme involves Christmas lights and the inability to wear pants or a bra. She’s a little blue, and she wants to sing about how she got that way. But before we can provide any comfort, the rest of the video is off and running.

  First we have some mess with Rihanna and Calvin riding on a bicycle and waving about a road flare, more mess with Rihanna running through a wheat-field without her top, and she and Calvin having sex in any location where they can get some traction. She might be troubled about the worthiness of the relationship, but she horny. They drink beer, light fireworks, ride skateboards, and fornicate. Everywhere.

  Next up we have Rihanna and Calvin in a fast-food restaurant, where they find it necessary to take drugs and dance on the tables, much to the chagrin of people who actually have to eat there without the promise of energetic and inappropriate sex. This transitions into a rave scene where the duo apparently can’t shove pills down their throats fast enough. This might explain why some folks question the bottom-line value of a rave. Just sayin.

  Quick re-visit of that place where Rihanna is bellowing the song while Christmas lights blink in non-judgment, then we cut to Rihanna and Calvin basically stealing everything they can from a local convenience store, including a shopping cart which Calvin then uses to transport his jacked-up partner through the streets of the city. They apparently and eventually make their way to a casino that doesn’t mind if the patrons physically violate slot machines when they don’t win.

  Cut to a montage of Rihanna and Calvin not understanding social etiquette, Rihanna and Calvin unable to properly drive a car, and Rihanna and Calvin having huge arguments that result in Rihanna storming away from the improperly-driven car whilst wearing an outfit that no one in their right mind would purchase. (Did somebody design that after watching old reruns of The Mickey Mouse Club? And not the one with Christina, Justin and Britney?)

  But no worries, the bickering duo are soon reunited over a six-pack joint that they happily share, leading to shot-gunning and more bouts of animal sex. Sadly, Rihanna eventually gets to the point where she has a wee bit of a drug reaction outside a sleazy bar, and the authorities have to step in and explain that drug ingestion is not a part of the Food Pyramid.

  Unfortunately, Rihanna doesn’t pay any attention, so we’re back to the cycle of co-dependent pharmaceutical abuse that really doesn’t look good on a resume. But Rihanna must have taken some notes somewhere along the line, because she finally gets fed up, throws up in a really graphic manner that would make George Lucas proud, and stomps into the Christmas-light trashy apartment to pack her things for good. But not before she has a final scene in the apartment where she throws her legs wide open for the world to see, so somebody might need some additional therapy.

  But leave she finally does, and all self-power to her. Which leads to just one question. What the hell does Calvin Harris have to do with this song? It was all your singing, girl. Did I miss a memo?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

David Guetta, Usher - “Without You”

  We start out with a shot of our planet rotating complacently, then we focus on Brazil, where it is apparently 6:07am according to a handy title card that pops up. (Why anyone would be up at that unnatural hour, I don’t know, but something must be going on.) We have lots of happy people on a beach, or so it seems, and everybody is waving their hands in the air to the song, so maybe they’ve been up all night at a rave or some such and they’re just waiting for the drugs to wear off.

  Cut to South Africa (9:07pm), with other happy people, but before I can figure out where they are or what they’re doing, Usher suddenly appears on screen. He’s on a beach as well, but it looks suspiciously photo-shopped, so somebody might be lying to us. No matter, he kicks in with the vocals and some arm choreography. His vocals rawk in this song. The choreography, not so much.

  Quick shot of David Guetta taking the stage somewhere, his trademark locks blowing in the artificial breeze of a nightclub. Zip over to Thailand, where it’s 4:07am. (Which also sounds suspicious, since it’s supposedly only two hours later in Brazil. Who’s making the facts up here? Must be a Republican.) This is confirmed when we get a shot of the United States, where it’s 2:07pm, totally ignoring reality, another Republican trait.

  More shots of Usher, thankfully toning down the arm movements for a bit, and a few snippets of David, doing some product placement with a pair of snazzy red headphones. David fiddles with a soundboard, amping the song, and the various crowds around the world get their groove on in a multi-cultural tribute to the joys of a synthesizer.

  Sadly, Usher gets invested in the arm choreography again, but this is balanced by the song kicking into the driving beat that apparently makes everybody on the planet jump up and down. Sadly, part two, this jumping causes seismic faults to split open across the same planet, with parking lots buckling and walls crumbling. In the real world, this would be an issue. In a music video, apparently not.

  As the thumping beat continues and tectonic plates shift, Usher pauses on his fake beach so we can fully study his new hairdo. It’s fetching and all, but it’s not really why we paid the cover charge. So he resorts to more of that arm-flapping business, throwing in some subtle dance moves and some extra falsetto.

  Cut to a couple of blonde girls, sitting on yet another beach and reading on their electronic tablets (because everyone takes those to the beach, right?) that the continents seem to be shifting. Oh? This is something that we didn’t plan for. Are we sure this is covered in the budget?

  As we get more images of those continents going AWOL, Usher keeps wailing away and the rude planet-changers keep bouncing around on the beaches. In fact, they seem to be inspired by the fact that alcohol-fueled rhythmic expression can alter history, so they ramp up the shimmying and shaking. It also seems that applying day-glo face paint makes things even better. You should probably write that down.

  There’s a brief montage of David fiddling with more knobs, then we’re back to the National Geographic footage of dance-inspired global realignment. It seems that all of the continents are heading toward each other and closing the ocean gaps, which is really going to piss off the cruise-line people. But the dancing people don’t care, as long as the music continues and they get to keep wearing glow-in-the-dark headbands.

  The continents finally meet-cute, and all of the various beach-partiers go running toward one another in a universal symbol of togetherness, totally thrilled that they can now increase their Facebook friend total. Everyone seems to get along swimmingly, even though they don’t speak the same languages and a ton of folks just had the market-value on their formerly beach-front properties just hit the toilet.

  We wind things down with everybody partying like it’s 1999 and Prince is still relevant. People are still jumping up and down, which they should probably stop doing or there might be another global shift, but who’s counting. Usher comes out to close the show, although he’s technically not really there, inspiring all the jumping people, including David, to make a heart-shape with their hands. We love everybody. Awwww.

  But somebody still has to pay the bar tab. Just sayin.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Marc Anthony - “I Need To Know”

  We start out with what might be Enya playing a violin (apparently she showed up at the wrong recording studio), then we have a bit with Marc and what we’ll assume is Baby Girl talking and flirting in some place where the electricity isn’t working (well, at least not the kind that powers the lights), and finally we’re on a stage while Marc starts performing the song. We’ll be here a bit, so you can get comfortable.

  Because it’s very important to the story, we get close-up shots of Marc’s backup dancers, a bevy of lovelies wearing what can only be described as feline-inspired minimalist couture. (They even appear to have tails, so apparently somebody finds that sexy.) We get random shots of people gyrating in the audience, with belly buttons here and arched backs there. But we’re really supposed to be paying attention to Baby Girl, who likes to wave her hands in the air to a different song.

  As mentioned, this section goes on for a bit, so the Cat Girls do their best to keep us entertained, performing some low-challenge choreography that basically consists of them taking two tiny steps and then assuming another sultry pose. (Oh, and they like to touch Marc, a lot, constantly racing up to caress one of his body parts and then dashing back to the chorus line.)

  Baby Girl, for her part, continues to dance to that other song, but at least she appears to be having a good time, so we’ll just let her keep doing that. Based on the way the rest of the audience keeps writhing about and pawing at each other, I’m guessing we’re not at a Christian fundamentalist board meeting. Then again, maybe we are, I don’t really keep tabs on what those people might be up to these days.

  Oh wait, now we’re some place that might be an apartment, where Marc is standing near a window, wailing away, while Baby Girl is wallering around on a bed. The sheets must feel really good to her, because she’s inspired to touch herself and make pouty faces. Then she parades around in the sheet for a little bit, so she might have misplaced her clothing. Sadly, she can’t ask Marc for some tips on where her panties might be, because he won’t quit singing the song long enough for her to get a word in.

  Then we’re back at the concert for more of that business, what with the Cat Girls parading around in their catnip outfits, Marc crooning seductively into a microphone while still managing to allow his shirt to flap open so we can see his flat belly, and Baby Girl doing the lambada with lots of men in the audience who are not Marc, so she might be a little bit of a tramp.

  Back to the apartment. Marc is still invested in singing the song and not paying attention to Baby Girl, so she starts to look a little blue, wondering if maybe she shouldn’t have changed her Facebook status to “in a relationship”. But before she can attend a couple’s therapy session, we cut to a murky stairwell somewhere, with Baby Girl and… I’m not sure who he is, might be Marc, might not. They are too busy canoodling with each other for me to get a real good look.

  Then we have another extended concert sequence, but we already know what’s happening over here, and it’s more of the same, what with the Cat Girls and the overheated audience. They throw in some snippets of other things that we’ve already seen as well, like Marc singing to the window instead of his maybe girlfriend, and Baby Girl pretending that having sex on a staircase is not uncomfortable at all.

  We wind things down with Baby Girl climbing up what might be a fire escape or just a really interesting entrance to a nightclub in a place where it rains a lot. Marc is nearby, still singing and not helping Baby Girl climb like a real gentleman would do. He’s making hand gestures like his heart is broken over Baby Girl leaving him all alone, but she’s looking at him like, dude, what are you talking about? Quit singing and get your ass up the stairs.

  But he doesn’t, choosing instead to stand there in the rain because the really dramatic finale of the song is coming up, and he knows that he looks good all wet and yearning. Baby Girl just sighs and goes inside to see if there’s anything decent on TV.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers - “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”

  Note: Okay, folks, we’ve got another video that’s basically a live performance, so we’ll have to do the timestamp thing…

0:03  Overhead shot of the band setting up on top of a short building, with a crowd of people on the street below placing bets on who is going to fall off first.

0:06  Title card informs us that we’re in “Venice Beach, California”. Which means that there’s probably not a sober person in a 10-mile radius.

0:08  Anthony first performs the odd, twirling dance that will become his signature move for the rest of the video.

0:12  Not to be outdone, Flea breaks out his own dance, some kind of tribute to a chicken.

0:13  Another title card: “July 20, 2011”. Because if we didn’t know the exact date when this was filmed, we would be unable to fully enjoy the video, right?

0:18  Title card: “6:33p”. Okay, folks, I think we’re getting a little too detailed with the intel here, let’s move on.

0:23  Anthony finally starts singing, wearing a hat that says “OFF!”, and doing something interpretive with one hand. (Is he signaling that now is the time to bring out the giant banana?)

0:31  Two men are shown watching the performance while wearing matching outfits and holding parrots. No idea.

0:36  Incredibly stupid woman has chosen to sit on top of a high chain-link fence. One tiny gust of wind and home girl gonna bust her head.

0:42  Debut of the cowbell, the real reason we all came to the show.

0:46  Long-shot of one of the streets leading to the building, confirming that most people are not even paying attention. This is what happens when you let people stay out in the sun too long.

0:57  Flea impresses us with ability to play his instrument while walking backwards.

1:06  Flea attempts to swallow the cameraman, just to see if he can.

1:10  Random shot of two guys running through the crowd. We’ll assume that Justin Bieber has been spotted and an escape plan has been initiated.

1:11  There’s a look that will never make it to a Milan runway.

1:19  More random running. Changing possible cause to reactionary burritos purchased at questionable taco hut.

1:25  Man apparently has small tree growing out of his back, does not seem to be complaining.

1:29  Another woman scales the fence and bobs breasts to the beat. This is probably the most attention she will ever get for the rest of her life, hope she enjoyed it.

1:33  Drunk people on tiny balcony.

1:45  Anthony does extended version of his arm-waving dance, apparently really enjoying how his suit jacket is flapping in the wind. It’s the small things, people, it really is.

2:00  Possible body being thrown into ocean, shot too brief to fully confirm.

2:02  Proud woman displays tongue-piercing, people around her couldn’t care less.

2:09  Lost cast member of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert spotted on nearby roof.

2:11  Flea decides to sit on the very edge of the roof, over-enthusiastic crowd immediately forms mosh pit, clearly not understanding things like gravity and long-distance-falling can kill you.

2:20  Shot of young girl having no clue what is going on, but deciding to dance about it anyway.

2:40  Anthony performs dancing leap apparently learned whilst watching The Nutcracker as a child.

2:59  Flea is suddenly very tired, and decides to play his instrument and take a short nap at the same time.

3:03  Shot of happy women who obviously took advantage of happy-hour prices.

3:09  Anthony also sits on edge of building, but he has smartly chosen a spot that has a supporting ledge below it. (Hey, if the lead singer bites it, people gotta find a new gig, sayin.)

3:11  Man dressed as devil and carrying large cross dances on tennis court. (Is he a Republican running for office?)

3:17  More happy hour participants are very excited about waving their hands in the air.

3:20  It’s not only white men that can’t dance. Exhibit A.

3:35  Hey, is that Michael Moore on the far left, finding something on the floor that he can blame on corrupt government officials?

3:52  Flea, still trying to win the dance-off against Anthony, performs new minimalist choreography that involves only moving one shoulder.

3:55 More stupid people, this time in bleachers trying to do the wave with only two participants. They will go home dateless.

4:04  Flea is now humping the sky. Folks on adjoining roof appear to be both mortified and turned-on. Possible offering of flying panties, but it may have just been a passing seagull.

4:08  Cowbell returns, people offer praise to higher beings.

4:16  Overly-muscled man dances with cowboy hat, apparently does not own mirror.

4:22  As the song winds down, Anthony launches into final bid for dancing supremacy, with interesting, slow-paced duck walk across the roof, followed by more twirling. He is determined to win this thing, and goes on for quite some time.

4:42  Flea concedes defeat, secretly plots to be victorious on the next rooftop.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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