Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ellie Goulding - “Lights”

  We start off with some random lights twinkling somewhere, then we start getting some blurry images of what might be artsy images of someone taking a shower and really enjoying the wetness. Then somebody finally finds the focus knob on the camera and Ellie snaps into view, standing on a stage, holding a tambourine, and shaking her hips like an overworked combine. Girl definitely had some coffee this morning.

  Next we have a close-up of Ellie (think “Kesha without the grunge patina”) as she and her gloved hands start singing the song, with a convenient wind-machine blowing her golden locks around in case you just want to watch that instead of actually listen to the lyrics or anything. Ellie is still insistent on thrusting those hips, although not quite as fiercely, so she might have some issues that we can explore later. She also likes turning her head to the side and jutting her chin like she just had a chaste orgasm. (Maybe it’s all that wind.)

  And she sure loves her tambourine, shaking and waving it with enough exuberance that small children could easily burst into tears. Ellie’s one busy little dynamo, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she surpasses solar power as a viable option for renewable energy for the planet. Somebody ratchets up that wind machine to keep pace with Ellie, and there’s so much turbulence in the air that somebody should probably issue a hurricane warning.

  Then we cut to the first scenes of what might be a rave party, but the bouncer at the door must be really strict since Ellie seems to be the only one there. Whatever this place is, it’s apparently very important that Ellie stand perfectly still in a dramatic pose while odd digital graphics that are clearly drug-inspired swirl around her. Then we have some mess where Ellie appears to be trapped in a circle of red laser beams, where the only way to escape is by dancing and waving your arms.

  Meanwhile, we keep checking in on the original Ellie, who continues to dance on that one stage with the wind machine and the fetish tambourine. While we were gone, she apparently learned some new choreography, some moves that require her to do everything she can to make her hair flip around with even more firepower. To make sure that we see her new mad skillz, the director repeats the shots where she appears the most twirly.

  And with that, ladies and gentlemen, you have the basic rundown of the rest of the video: Ellie on the main stage where she is singing and playing a hand-held instrument that you can’t actually hear in the song, and Ellie playing “statues” at the members-only rave party where somebody’s graphics program exploded all over the dance floor. In both locations, Ellie is very proud of the fact that she has a pelvis.

  Oh wait, I just lied. Here comes a third Ellie, this one wearing a severely-modified tuxedo and banging on a set of drums as if she’s calling out to her ancestors to resurrect themselves and come help her out with some pressing issue. (Maybe the ghost of Great Granny Goulding can help Ellie settle down a little.) Whatever she’s doing, it’s still very important that she whip her hair around like an organic weapon.

  Then the montage kicks back in and we’re jumping all over the place, with the various Ellies doing whatever they need to do to get to the end of the video. Sadly, Rave Ellie is still all alone at her little flashing disco, so at one point she decides to clone herself so the hyperactive graphics will look even more mystifying and cool. Oh, and there’s a bit where one of the Ellies tries to do a backbend but apparently gets confused.

  After a while, all this mess, though colorful, gets to be a bit boring, so somebody hands another Ellie a torch thingy so she can swing it around and act like she’s on Survivor. But just like everything else, Ellie goes at with an eye-opening amount of gusto and twirls that torch with such determination that the entire soundstage is going to burn down if somebody doesn’t hand the girl some tranquilizers. That version of Ellie soon disappears from the montage, probably for insurance reasons.

  So that leaves us with just the three (or maybe it’s four?) Ellies as they cavort about in a frenzy of musicality and fashion. We don’t see much new, and I’m sad to report that the ghost spirits never show up despite the dedicated drum-pounding. But at least Ellie looks cute the entire time and never once does she smudge her lipstick despite the extreme athleticism and romping about.

  We eventually start to wind the whirlwind images down, but not before Torch Ellie escapes from her temporary holding cell in the Ladies’ Room and lurches back in front of the camera right when we were supposed to be focusing on some pretty lights for the final fade. Instead, we appear to have a small explosion as Survivor Ellie presumably electrocutes something and the screen goes blank.

  Hmmm. Hope everybody was okay….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Justin Bieber - “Boyfriend”

  We start out with images of a young woman wearing vicious-looking rings on her hand that could probably slice you open, followed by some mess about metal gears that are turning, melting icicles, and close-ups of Justin’s face. Sadly, and maybe it’s just the lighting, but he appears to be wearing a nice shade of pink lipstick. Justin, or somebody, really needs to be making smarter choices when it comes to image design.

  Justin starts the rapping part of the song, with his face shoved against the side of Death-Ring Girl. It’s actually a little creepy, but she seems fine with it and even starts writhing a bit to indicate that she really enjoys people vocalizing in her hair. Meanwhile, we’re also getting jump shots of wet stereo speakers, Justin doing some carefully staged choreography with his hands, and some confirmation that Justin has finally moved on from that questionable haircut.

  Next we have two young lasses sitting in a fancy sports car that they clearly would have no idea how to drive, both of them gazing at Justin performing on a wireless phone, their faces aglow with the fires of his sexual prowess. As they study his moves with sun-drenched lust and Justin moves into the falsetto part of the song, the video suddenly goes black and the music cuts off.

  Um, what?

  Then we fire things back up again with a giant title credit for Justin, in case you forgot who you were watching during that odd two-second break, followed by the song title and an announcement that the festivities have been directed by “X”. Maybe there really is a director out there that goes by this moniker, but my immediate suspicion is that somebody didn’t want their actual name on this thing. Uh oh.

  Now we have Justin and some other folks parking their sports cars in some place where people go to hang out when there’s nothing on TV. The guys are all wearing leather jackets and attitudes, and the girls are all barely wearing anything. We get jump shots of various youngsters as they lounge in and around the fancy cars, with the guys striking poses and the girls pushing out their glossy lips to let us all know how extremely heated they happen to be.

  Suddenly, in a strongly ill-advised decision, we see Justin and several of the partiers breaking out in a spontaneous but carefully-planned dance, where he doesn’t seem to know quite what to do. Even the anonymous director realizes that maybe the world isn’t ready for that just yet, and we soon cut away to more moist lips, people riding skateboards in a violent manner, and Justin safely tucked back in that car where he doesn’t have to move his feet.

  He stays there and sings for a while, as several nearby nymphets gaze at him with voracious intensity. Eventually one of the young ladies, probably nominated because she’s wearing the skimpiest pair of cut-offs, sashays up to Justin and they immediately being pawing on one another. To make sure that we understand exactly where this might be going, we get shots of Justin revving his engine and doing donuts in the parking lot.

  I guess everyone else is really happy that the two of them will eventually be mating, because the dancing starts up again, with various folks strutting around and executing street-based moves with lots of swagger and little basis on the actual rhythm of the song. Oh, and everyone manages to remain incredibly horny, because it says so in the “script” and they all want to get paid at the end of the day.

  Some new girl drives up and gets out of her car and, based on the condition of her torn clothing, she may have just returned from fighting a really-irritated grizzly bear. She must not have suffered too greatly, because she immediately tries to dominate the dancing activities. It’s not clear if she’s also vying for Justin’s attention of if she’s just one of those girls who can’t stand it when people aren’t watching her move.

  At some point somebody must have handed Justin a guitar, because he’s suddenly playing one in some of the shots. In other scenes, he’s nuzzling Cut-Off Chick’s neck and encouraging her to use her booty in an aggressive manner. She’s more than happy to oblige for a while, then she can’t resist the lure of the dance floor and pulls Justin out into the middle of that mess for some line dancing.

  And apparently somebody sent the right memos to the right people, because now we can see that Justin has a bit more polish to his steps. In fact, Cut-Off Girl gets twirled out of camera range for a while so we can focus on Justin gettin’ down with his bad self. (There are a few random shots of some new girl sitting in a car off to one side, really using her acting skills to appear both trampy and stoned at the same time. It’s not clear why it’s important that we see her, other than to make us wonder how she got in the car with all that mess of hair she’s got.)

  And that basically wraps it up for the plot points of the video. People continue to dance, Justin continues to strum, Cut-Off Girl continues to lustily gloat that she done bagged the big prize at this here impromptu dance-off, and much of the gathered crowd manages to break into little sidebar couples, where they gaze yearningly at one another and lightly sweat.

  Speaking of the dancing, that part does get a bit more physical, as folks ramp it up and really start aiming for the crazy-eyed moves. This acceleration in activity is probably due to the fact that the sun is going down and a lot of these kiddos probably have curfews, so they better hurry up and get to the good stuff before Momma comes out on the front porch and hollers for them to get their asses inside.

  This last bit of dance fever has more of the synchronized dancing where everyone magically knows all of the choreography, probably because Justin is wearing really fancy shoes that the camera makes sure to advertise so you can order some after the video ends. And the video finally does, with a last lingering shot of Justin clutching both his guitar and the girl while they sit on the trunk of a vintage car that real people can’t actually afford…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Maroon 5, Wiz Khalifa - “Payphone”

  We start out with Adam in one of those big-ass concrete gulley things, possibly the same one where Danny made Sandy tingle with his driving skills in that movie where everybody sang and wore poodle skirts, not clear. He’s a little banged up, and we can’t help but notice that a car is on fire right behind him. Obviously something did not go quite right with his day, but we really don’t care yet because we’re distracted by Adam looking mighty fine in his tank top and soot-coated skin.

  He fiddles with his wireless phone for a bit, but I guess there’s a signal issue because Adam chunks the phone at the burning vehicle and wanders off to a payphone in a nearby booth, which is a tricky thing to do because there are only about three of those left on the planet. He shoves some coins in the unit and dials a number.

  Cut to what might be a bank somewhere, where Adam is sitting at a desk and looking bored. (His outfit this time is a business suit and some killer eyeglasses, for those keeping score.) He continues to be bored for a bit, and then we hear the song start up in the background, which signals the video editor to jump us back to the phone booth so we can watch that version of Adam sing the song instead of putting out the fire that is still burning.

  Then we’re back at the bank, where a pretty woman is marching along and trying to act like she’s a professional woman in a business suit even though she’s probably a supermodel and is wearing more clothes than she’s accustomed to doing. Next thing you know, some rude little bank robbers come running into the place and interrupting everyone’s financial activities. These guys are serious about their mission and make this clear by shooting guns and making people lay on the floor even though they’re wearing couture.

  The robbers dash about collecting money that does not belong to them and other bank-heist stuff, while Adam cowers under a desk. Then he notices that the Supermodel Business Woman (let’s call her Bianca just to make things easier) is also cowering at an adjacent desk, and he decides that maybe being a superhero would not only be fun but might convince her to go out on a date with him. So he motions for her to take off her shoes, which she immediately does without asking why, so she might be a little bit trampy.

  Adam then grabs the gun of a conveniently nearby robber who is distracted by doing something stupid with a duffel bag. Adam fires off a shot or two, which is kind of pointless since there are about 400 bank robbers, then he grabs Bianca’s grateful hand and they run through a hail of bullets and out the door, hardly getting a scratch because a director never kills off his top-billed actors in the first part of the movie unless that director is Alfred Hitchcock or Brian DePalma.

  Once outside, Adam throws down the gun as he and Bianca hightail it to somewhere that is presumably less noisy, but a policeman sees the gun-flinging and assumes that Adam alone is responsible for all the gunfire that is destroying the building. So the officer and his buddy hoof it after the sprinting couple, instead of checking on the other folks who are still screaming in the bank.

  Adam and Bianca manage to lose the cops rather quickly (those donuts take their toll after a while), and then they mystifyingly decide to run to a hotel where Wiz Khalifa just happens to be getting out of a fancy car. Adam convinces shoeless Bianca to pose seductively behind another car, and then he runs to jump in Wiz’s ride, flooring the gas and racing down the street, leaving the little car valet guy scratching his head and wondering what happened to his tip.

  So now we have the beginning of a nice car chase, with Adam zipping down streets and crossing bridges with the po-po on his tail. Within seconds they have completely left the city and are roaring down some country highway, with the pursuing squad cars having magically multiplied from one to six. Oh, and we also have four police helicopters joining the fun. Apparently they just happened to be flying in the neighborhood and wondered what all the fuss was about.

  The chase goes on for quite a bit, which allows us to get lots of dramatic shots of Adam shifting gears sexily, even though he’s been driving in a straight line for long enough that surely he’s already in top gear. While that business is playing out, we cut to Wiz rapping and profaning while standing near a burning barrel or some such. It’s not clear where he’s at, but it must be a place that doesn’t have automatic sprinklers.

  As words whiz out of Wiz’s mouth, we check the status of the car chase. Uh oh, it seems that Adam is still in checkered-flag position, but then he discovers a pack of pesky squad cars coming from the opposite direction. And to make the situation even more grim, one of the officers pulls out a big-ass gun and starts shooting holes in the expensive Wiz-mobile. Adam needs to go to Plan B, stat!

  So he does, doing some nifty things like slamming on the brakes mixed with more sexy gear-shifting, with the end result being that some of the dual-approach police cars slam into each other and become airborne balls of fire. (It’s very clear that the majority of the budget for this video came into play right here.) Naturally, Adam survives the hailstorm of auto parts and flaming landscaping, driving off into the sunset and leaving the burning bushes behind.

  Cut to Adam, apparently some time later, driving the bullet-riddled Wiz-mobile up to that place under the bridge where we first met him. (He slowly rolls past some unknown lumberjack guy that is just standing there and watching him. No idea what that’s all about. We’ll just assume that they might be in L.A., where lots of lumberjack guys stand around and watch things that are none of their business.)

  Adam calmly gets out of the car and whips off his shirt for no apparent reason, not even bothering to flinch when the car explodes right behind him. He assumes a brief studly pose, letting us see that his packaging is still in order so the upcoming concert tour is probably not in jeopardy, and then he wanders over to that payphone where everything started. He makes the phone call that we’ve already seen him make, and we’ll just assume that he’s calling Barefoot Bianca to apologize for abandoning her shoe-less ass to go play Speed Racer at a really inappropriate time…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube. (Explicit version, by the way.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

David Guetta, Nicki Minaj - “Turn Me On”

  We start out in a creepy laboratory that appears to be in the dungeon of one of those old-timey castles where the peasants are warned to never go near, but they do anyway. Some man is doing something near a really hot furnace, then he shuffles over and starts jacking with this metal contraption that is laid out on a table. Of course, we’re already wondering what in the hell this mess has to do with modern dance music and multiple-personality vocalists, but we’re polite little video viewers and we keep watching.

  We’re guessing the man must be some type of scientist, from back in the day when “science” meant “things you did in a darkened dungeon that were probably illegal and could get you burned at the stake”. Suddenly, one end of this metal thing turns into white lips and starts singing the song as the camera pulls back and we realize the metal in this section has been shaped into something that looks like a human head.

  The creepy factor just hit the ceiling, right? It gets even higher.

  As the camera spins around and gives us artsy shots of the goings on, we watch the man continue tinkering and adjusting, transforming the rest of the metal frame into the rest of a human body. The song continues while the weird white stuff forming the lips starts spreading out and filling in the skull and then the body, all mannequin-like. Then, as a pretty fire burns in a nearby fireplace, the mannequin gets a nice campfire singe and turns into a lovely shade of brown, presumably to match the skin tone of our featured songstress, Miss Nicki. How sweet.

  We get a full-body shot of Plastic Nicki, and I guess it’s not important for her to bother covering up her naughty bits because they aren’t actually real, but she’s a true fashionista so she hops off the table and runs to a convenient makeshift dressing room where she slips into something more comfortable, an ensemble that indicates what Jack the Ripper might have looked like if he had been a drag queen. Then Nicki scampers out of the dungeon without even bothering to thank the man who created her, because kids these days are really rude and unappreciative.

  Nicki wanders into some Ye Olde London cobbled street intersection, where we see some other mannequin people standing around and glaring at her. They still have the really-fake plastic look that Nicki doesn’t have after she changed outfits, so they’re probably mad that she’s prettier and they didn’t get to spend more time in the Easy-Bake oven.

  Nicki doesn’t care, because this is her song and all, so she struts down the street and bellows the vocals, trying to be all sultry in a Victorian Mad Hatter way. She passes by lots and lots of the Plastic People, so it appears that Dungeon Doctor has been really busy with his experiments. (People had a lot more time on their hands before satellite TV was invented.)

  Then we get some from-behind shots of somebody walking along and dragging an axe behind them. This is probably not a good sign, unless you happen to have some trees that need chopping. Some of the other Plastics grab a few torches and suddenly Nicki has a posse following her that is not the kind she would have ordered from the Pop Star Accessories catalog.

  Nicki doesn’t have time to care about that just yet, because we’re at the chorus again and she needs to focus on her craft right at the moment. She belts out the exciting part of the song while trotting down another cobblestone street, a street where people who don’t want to be hacked to death probably shouldn’t go. She’s a brave girl, that Nicki.

  Cut to the pissed-off Plastic People as they angrily bang on a wooden door, demanding entrance. Inside, we see the Creator Man working on another of his inventions while surrounded by even more mannequins. (These giant dolls are actually very pretty, so Nicki isn’t the only one who got the full spa treatment.)

  Suddenly, things become even more confusing as the dolls seem to turn on the doll-maker and either threaten him or yearn to have sex with him, not clear. One of them fiddles with something on the Maker’s back, and then peels off his skin to reveal that the good doctor is a Metal Man as well. He grins as he surveys the bevy of lusty automatons around him.

  Quick shot of Nicki still wandering the streets. Maybe she’s looking for the craft services table. Another quick shot of the horny people in the dungeon preparing for either an orgy or High Mass.

  Back to Nicki, who is now somewhere that happens to be a gathering place for lots of male dolls. (At least I think they’re male, based on their muscular chests. But their crotches, which the cameraman gleefully shows us, do not actually include genitalia. Do these dolls represent the advertisers who still won’t boycott Rush Limbaugh’s show?) I guess Nicki realizes she won’t get any satisfaction up in this grill, so she races outside and jumps on the back of a horse. A girl has her needs, right?

  Nicki rides the horse through town while once again hollering the chorus of the song, her lovely pink hair blowing in the wind. The last shot is of a trio of more Plastic People (the unbaked kind) racing around a corner in slow-motion as they chase-

  And the video ends.

  What the hell?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Fray - “Heartbeat”

  We start out with a few folks standing on what looks like a really cold beach, with the icy waves rolling in and the sun nowhere in sight. That doesn’t seem like a really happy beginning to a video, so luckily we switch to the band traveling along in a car. Everyone seems to be drunk, laughing and carrying on, so I’m definitely voting for Opening B, because you can basically deal with anything when there are adult beverages.

  The car pulls up into a parking area, with everyone piling out and lugging musical equipment down to the beach we thought we had escaped just a few seconds ago. Cut to a couple of women riding in the back of a truck. They’re trying to look pretty and everything, artfully draped in Native American blankets, but you can tell they are not impressed with the cold wind blowing their hair around. I’m guessing they really didn’t know what they were getting into when they answered the casting call.

  Back to the beach, where people are still lugging equipment and walking really far, so I’m guessing they messed up and didn’t pick the closest parking lot. A few of the fools decide it would be way fun to run splash in the cold water a little bit, even though you can practically see icebergs floating around. (That one guy looks like he instantly became sterile the very second the frigid water hit him.)

  More people show up at the beach, including the Poncho Twins, and everybody goes racing to wherever the band is heading. People are dragging coolers and sleeping bags, so this might be an Occupy movement of some kind, although the political injustices they are fighting are not really clear. (Every citizen should have their own beach? Rich people have too much sand in their cracks?)

  Suddenly, it’s night time, with the band performing on the beach near a really aggressive bonfire. Everyone looks very happy, so they probably did jello shots at some point. As the loving crowd sits around the band in a nature-loving circle, the camera focuses in on lead singer Isaac as he sings the lyrics and makes strained faces as he tries to get the words out. (Or maybe he’s just standing too close to that fire.) We also get some shots of the rest of the band, but they don’t look as strained and are not quite as interesting.)

  At 1:10 in the video, on the left, we are presented with the perfect example of a drunken frat boy thinking that the song and the band and the beach are all about him, doing a wobbly fist pump and nearly falling into the fire. A few of the people around him look more than happy to give him an extra push, should he need it.

  Now we’re in a slow part of the song, so we have a montage of the band members softly playing their instruments, the beautiful but deadly bonfire burning, and various people sitting around making life-long bonds that hopefully will be remembered in the morning. The editor also inserts some footage of people who seem to be in another place entirely, and it’s not clear if this was done just to help set the mood or if the drinking continued when they got back to the editing room.

  Isaac starts getting serious with the singing again, and we have another montage of people on the beach riding piggy-back, because what’s more fun than carrying someone on your back as you stagger through shifting sands, and shots of a girl with a now-questionable reputation being helped out from underneath a pier. Then it’s time for the chorus again, and all thoughts of sluts in dark places are forgotten as people run back to the circle and join hands.

  And that’s pretty much it, as the band continues to play, Isaac continues to emote rather strongly, and the sandy beach folk sing along, make out, avoid the death fire, and drink. There’s also some folks who attempt to dance, but attempt is the operative word here, as it looks more like they might be having mutual reactions to the broccoli casserole they had for lunch.

  Oh great, some fool has whipped out a box of sparklers, which is a completely safe thing to do, hand burning metal wands to drunk people and let them wave them through the air. Everyone has a great time with this bit, naturally, laughing and frolicking, because alcohol desensitizes you to the fact that your hair and clothing might be going up in flames. Oh well, we’ll just assume that somebody up in that mess has insurance.

  The madness continues with some of the party revelers taking off some of their clothes (not all of their clothes, of course, because it’s really cold and some of the guys want to avoid evidence of shrinkage issues) and racing into the icy water like there’s a prize at the bottom of the cereal box. This goes on for a bit, with half-frozen beautiful people getting each other all wet and showing off the fact that they clearly don’t have a single ounce of body fat.

  We finally wind it down, with the band finishing up the song, Isaac and his microphone posing dramatically near the fire that no one seems to be monitoring, and shiny, happy, wet people sitting around in a post-coital glow. As the camera pulls back, we see that one couple is standing far away from the death fire, wearing warm and comfortable clothing, and not drinking anything. These are the people you need to ride home with. Once you find your underwear…

Click Here to View this Video on YouTube.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Afrojack, Nayer - “Give Me Everything”

  Note: Absolutely no storyline with this one (except some subtle mess about how you need really expensive electronic equipment if you want to successfully stalk someone) so we’ll have to do the time-stamp thing. And here we go…

0:01  Pitbull and companion are sitting on a couch that they probably stole from a Lady Gaga video.

0:05  Close-up of Pitbull so we can study his latest choice of designer shades.

0:07  Shot of Ne-Yo and companion in an elevator larger than most NYC apartments.

0:10  A supermodel joins Ne-Yo and friend, showing off her legs that are apparently longer than Ne-Yo is tall.

0:13  Pitbull does his impersonation of a revivalist preacher.

0:17  Shot of some nice urban lofts that nobody watching this video can afford.

0:20  Ne-Yo’s friend seems to have gotten her blinged-out hand caught in her hair. Ne-Yo keeps singing because they’re on a tight schedule.

0:27  Pitbull does some product placement for Voli vodka. His companion does some product placement for not really doing anything important in a music video.

0:32  Nayer comes strutting along in an outfit that clearly shows she’s a cheerleader for an intergalactic sports team.

0:35  Pitbull makes his trademark sneer that he is the hottest thing on this and several other planets.

0:40  Some woman with perfectly-applied lipstick is watching things play out on a network of security cameras. She probably has trust issues, but we’ll worry about that later.

0:46  Pitbull and Nayer start doing a dance that prominently displays her rocket-ship breasts and his interesting choice of choreography.

0:50  Ne-Yo’s friend still has her hand tangled. But she’s smiling, so she might have a slight bondage fetish.

0:53  Security Girl is watching a monitor where Pitbull looks amazingly like Max Headroom from back in the day.

0:57  Some happy, anonymous people appear to be heading up some fancy stairs toward a bordello on an upper floor.

1:00  Pitbull auditions for one of the “Men In Black” sequels.

1:10  Very brief appearance by Rae Dawn Chong.

1:17  Shot of party reveler being eaten alive by her own hair while her drunken friends just stand there and watch.

1:27  Pitbull and… one of the 4,000 women in this video… standing on a staircase and either discussing world politics or about to have sex.

1:33  Security Girl is unhappy about the politics of dancing on the stairs.

1:39  Ne-Yo on yet another staircase, singing. No sign of his little friends from the ginormous elevator. Maybe they went off to make their own video.

1:47  Security Girl fiddling with more of her cryptic devices. Starting to not care for her. She needs to get up and do a line dance or something.

1:54  Nayer, her tightly-bound twins, and some more bottles of the Voli vodka that apparently paid for this video shoot.

2:01  Pitbull appears to be playing “rock, paper, scissors” with himself.

2:08  Afrojack finally makes his first appearance, so he must have been late that day.

2:13  Pitbull and Ne-Yo appear to be the only males on a dance floor packed with women. Are they at a really progressive convent?

2:17 Female Extra #2,652 and her jacked-up hair does some product placement with a Kodak camera.

2:23  Confused dancer thinks she’s in Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” video.

2:27  Another dancer gets her arm caught between her legs.

2:35  Afrojack helpfully points the way to the bathrooms.

2:45  A UFO lands in the background. People keep dancing.

3:03  Pitbull is back to doing that revivalist preacher thing.

3:15  Security Girl is still watching. Completely over her. Even her lipstick looks bored.

3:19  Both Ne-Yo and Pitbull are stunned by the acting ability of Nayer’s bongos.

3:24  Nayer in a Pit-Yo sandwich. Hold the mayo.

3:29  Security Girl (I think, hard to tell when she’s not fondling a video camera) marches up to Pitbull and tries to strangle him with his expensive tie.

3:35  When Pitbull survives, she decides to just dance around and have sex with him instead.

3:47  Where are Ne-Yo’s hands and why is he smiling like that?

3:52  Requisite shot with everybody waving their hands in the air. The UFO is still in the background, people still don’t care.

3:59  Creepy shot of Victorian stairwell that makes me think of Mia Farrow giving birth to the spawn of Satan. This is probably not what the producers intended.

4:04  Several jump shots of Pitbull taking off his glasses and looking very stern. Are we about to get in trouble for not taking out the trash? (Oh wait, the trash is still dancing behind him, so that can’t be it.)

4:12  The music has gotten very mellow and suddenly Pitbull is standing outside, possibly on a roof of some kind, watching the sun either rise or set. (I’m sure the sun will do whatever he pays it to do.)

4:21  We’re in a long shot, and the camera pulls back to let us see a giant billboard featuring Pitbull in a Kodak advertisement. Pitbull might be guilty of a lot of things, but subtlety isn’t one of them. Fade to black.

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - “PonPonPon”

  Note: The first time I watched this thing it scared the hell out of me, seriously. There’s so much going on that they probably need to invent a new line of tranquilizers. But hey, I love a challenge, so let’s see if we can get through this one. Here goes…

  We start out with Kyary on a brightly-colored, toy-filled stage, wearing (among other things) a pair of skorts (maybe) with giant eyeballs. She’s striking some kind of pose that indicates either she really needs an unseen teacher to let her go to the bathroom or there was some type of trauma-inducing incident when she tried out for the pep squad. She holds this pose for long enough that we begin to wonder if she may have passed on.

  Then we get a close-up of somebody’s ear, where we are presented with the startling image of a blinged-out something (microphone stand? Boy George’s walking stick?) growing out of the anonymous ear. Cut to the next shot, with Kyary snatching this long thing out of the air and then beginning to sing into one end of the happy stick. I guess she’s used to receiving her audio equipment from unnatural places. I’m certainly not.

  As Kyary and her amazing outfit cutely warble the opening of the song, we start cutting to tight shots of all the various pieces of rainbow clutter piled all over the stage. (I don’t know why she needs all this stuff around her, but we all have our own personal issues and we really shouldn’t judge. Not at this point, anyway.) Off to one side is a little window where we can see some not-so-cute things flashing by, like human brains and chemical meltdowns. We should probably stay away from that little Drive-Thru of Death.

  We also get a quick shot of a giant box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, which will prove to be the only stable and comforting thing about this entire video. You might want to GPS the location of that giant box on your smart phone, because it will soon  be the only safe place to run when things get out of control.

  Still singing, Kyary performs some intense choreography which basically consists of her tapping one foot or another, waving her hands about like there was something unsettling in her oatmeal this morning, swinging the magic stick like a possible weapon, and making sure we can see her enormous pink plastic boots, which probably weigh more than she does.

  Then we get to the chorus. Oh dear God, the chorus.

  Kyary has changed into an outfit and makeup ensemble that is vaguely Geisha-like, with some mystifying fruit on her head, but her wardrobe is not the important thing at the moment. Instead, we can’t help but focus on the images of a woman that looks like Tyler Perry as Medea on Mescaline dancing in the background behind Kyary. She’s wearing some pink mess of a dress, sporting a white wig, and shimmying like somebody splashed rat poison on her panty shield. It’s mesmerizing. You. Can. Not. Look. Away.

  So, I don’t. Not for a long time, with whole chunks of the video flying by where I barely even glance at Kyary, despite her very energetic attempts to capture my attention with her perky pirouetting and apparent telepathic command of day-glo crap that is flying through the air. It’s just me focused on Medea, stuck in a twisted temporary relationship that is so wrong I don’t wanna be right.

  Eventually I remember that Kyary is actually the star of the video, so I check out what she’s doing, which is basically the same routine. She’s alternating her outfits between the original “cheerleader as bizarre pre-schooler” and the “radiation skin-tone” woman who has an affinity for produce on her head. (There’s also something about a pogo stick and psychedelic skulls, but I’ll let somebody else explain that angle.)

  When we get to the part where radioactive Kyary has a flock of black birds flying out of her mouth, it’s fairly clear that there is no way I can keep up with everything that is going on in this video, so I can only hit the highlights or this review is going to be 417 pages. (I’m already exhausted and I’m only a minute and half into the video.)

  Let’s see. We are treated to giant scissors that probably want to kill someone, bees making honey, a surprising moment when Kyary bends over and lets loose with some cartoon flatulence (really?), a cheese-head routine, a bit where Kyary pretends to be a heavy-metal guitar player for no apparent reason, rude graffiti whooshing toward the camera in a violent manner, something about a unicorn with co-dependency issues, and Kyary’s inability to stop bouncing all over the stage like something got shoved where it shouldn’t have.

  Oh, and Madea is all over the place. Obviously the film editor realized he had a breakout hit with that train wreck and he’s prominently shoving Medea at us with a determination that is borderline psychotic. My initial jaw-dropping fixation with her begins turning into a fear-based realization that I may never sleep again. At one point there are roughly twenty images of Medea onscreen, doing everything from line-dancing on a peppermint sun to roping a couple of wild hogs.

  Then we get to the hand-clapping routine. Oh dear God, the hand-clapping routine.

  This mess involves Kyary and Medea as pep captains, rhythmically slapping their palms together as slices of bread rain down on the various planets where these surreal people live. They are very excited about getting to do so, I’ll give them that, but I have no idea what this means. Especially when eyeballs start appearing on the bread slices, eyeballs which then break free and twirl about the stage as well as tumble out of Kyary’s mouth.

  What the hell is happening in Japan these days? Did I miss a memo?

  Next we have something to do with brightly-striped tanks driving over everything, Kyary’s head turning into a pulsating glob of pink clay that has more mouths than anything should, a drunken shark, a possible tribute to Carmen Miranda, Medea dancing on the ceiling with more enthusiasm than Lionel Richie ever had, some kinky stuff with donuts, and Kyary riding her disco stick to the probable point of rapture.

  But we’re not done. Nope, we also get a carousel from hell, another round with skulls, this time featuring laser beams of death destroying the universe, the violation of a purple teddy bear that was innocently trying to watch Big Bang Theory on pay-per-view, Kyary sporting a fake mustache and then eating it along with an apple, more psychedelia that might have something to do with celestial orgasms, and Kyary insisting on trying to create a signature dance that is simply not going to sweep the country unless marijuana becomes legal.

  Thankfully, we finally begin to wrap things up, with just a few final attempts to rupture our brain stem. By this point, Medea has been relegated to a supporting role in that Drive-Thru of Death window, probably after Kyary pointed out a clause in her contract about artistic control and cuteness dominance. But we still get to see some angry fish, more donuts, more conjugal visits with the disco-stick-slash-stick-pony, a quick bit that might be featuring Kyary as Sarah Palin imitating the Russians she can see from her house, and a giant pig that is not impressed with all the excitement and bouncing.

  The final shot has Kyary winking at us, fully aware that it doesn’t matter what we think of her. She has 25 million hits on YouTube. Do you?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kanye West - “Stronger”

  We start out with a solar flare that completely destroys the universe. Oh wait, maybe not. We cut to the inside of some very intense, futuristic medical establishment where we have lots of interesting-looking machines and flashing lights. Some folks who normally race motorcycles have been hired to punch a lot of buttons and wear their helmets so we can’t see their faces.

  We then get rapid-fire jump shots of urban street scenes and some nice graffiti title cards to let us know we’re somewhere in Japan, or at least trapped in an anime-inspired film about Japan. But the main story is back in that creepy medical building where somebody appears to be baking inside a giant burrito maker.

  The microwave dings, and Kanye comes rolling out of one of the E-Z Bake oven, lying on a hospital gurney or maybe a high-end coffee table. He has electrodes and such attached to his body, so they might be testing him to see how many more hit singles he can produce. The helmet heads continue to run scans of Kanye using giant white Cheerios while the Daft-Punk sampling music continues in the background.

  Cut to Kanye somewhere else, wearing those now-famous glasses that look like window blinds. He’s standing against a shadowy wall, being all street, while we get quick glimpses of a supermodel looking sultry and sporting an asymmetrical hairdo while neon glows behind her. Kanye likes to do dance moves that involve shoving his hands in his pockets, in case you need to take notes about that sort of thing.

  Next we have some military people looking bored, a couple of folks who seem to be angry with those military people, more of Kanye on that coffee table, more of Kanye breaking it down for us in that alley, and shots of overcrowded city streets where no one seems to be happy. All of this is accompanied by the flashing Japanese words which probably explain exactly what is going on. Or maybe not. They might just be there for style and atmosphere.

  Suddenly, we have a motorcycle gang racing along through the middle of town. We have no idea who invited them, what it’s all about, or why it’s so important that they get somewhere fast, but the brake lights (the few times that they use them) look pretty and blurry as they race past designer boutiques and startled woman lugging groceries that are probably far more healthy than anything an American would eat.

  Kanye appears as a third version of himself, this one having something to do with wearing a hoodie while he’s bathed in golden light and standing in front of a bank vault door or at least something that’s metal and round. He seems to be upset. Are they not letting him get to one of his safety deposit boxes? Doesn’t he have his own bank at this point?

  Next up is the supermodel again as she walks along inside some giant tube, pausing to do a few hip thrusts here and there to show that she’s multi-talented. Then she does something in front of a glass wall of neon tubes that magically allows her to clone herself and get sexy with her own image. Then Kanye comes along and nuzzles her neck from behind. She obviously has a far more exciting life than we do.

  Now we have another supermodel (or at least another outfit) standing in the middle of a busy intersection and glaring at us. I’m not aware of what we might have done, but she clearly didn’t like it. Cut to one of the Kanye characters in a place with lots of pipes that don’t really seem to have a purpose, followed by Coffee Table Kanye still being digitally poked and prodded by the bike racing duo with the identity issues.

  Next up is a nurse walking down a hospital corridor and dragging along one of those odd machines with the clear enema bag hanging from a pole. As she nears one of the patient rooms, we cut inside to see Kanye (Number five? Not sure.) writhing about on his bed like something wasn’t right with that Mexican platter he ordered. Nurse Lady opens the door, takes a gander inside, then runs screaming back down the hallway. (Honey, you’re supposed to make the patients feel better, not worse.)

  Hysterica apparently alerts the authorities, because we suddenly have a whole pack of armored people stomping down the hallway, closing in on a slightly-sweaty Kanye who appears to be swathed in toilet paper. (No idea.) It seems that Kanye does not appreciate being confronted by strangers with guns, so he sends a mind beam their way that makes them fly into the air and presumably die. Kanye don’t play.

  Cut back to those bored military people, who seem to be a bit more invested in the goings on now that there have been explosions and stuff. But they still don’t seem to be doing anything worthwhile, so I’m really not sure why they’re on the payroll.

  Now we have a montage of the Kanye personalities, with Sunglasses Kanye repeatedly advising that it’s “not like I never told ya”. (I guess I missed a memo because I don’t remember him ever telling me anything. We don’t talk as much as we used to.) Anyway, Kanye gets over it and moves on to the rest of the song, while images of the Supermodel Lady are splashed on the wall behind him. (I may be mistaken, but she appears to be grooming his back with her tongue, in what might be one of those naughty wildlife games you read about on the Internet.)

  Brief break in the lyrics so Kanye can perform some more choreography and repeatedly touch his nifty sunglasses to ensure that we see them. Then he’s back to singing while we get another montage, this one involving more of that eerie medical equipment, followed by shots of Supermodel Lady walking back down the strange tube, heading away from the place where she made love to herself in the mirror.

  Oh wait, maybe she wasn’t done with the cloning business after all, because she’s back in front of the glass and now there are three of her, each of them straddling furniture and shimmying with burning heat and passion. But before any of them can reach an orgasm, we start getting shots of somebody spelling out something with a fancy gun that shoots neon paint. (Possibly a citation from the Health Department?) Then Kanye comes out to nuzzle Super Lady again and the video abruptly-

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.


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