Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Afrojack, Shermanology – “Can’t Stop Me”

  We start out with the camera whirling around the outside of some really deluxe house that I could never afford even if I sold off all of my relatives, and then we zoom inside where Afrojack is sitting on top of a low bookcase. (Is it no longer cool to have actual chairs in your crib?) Cut to Dorothy as she primps in front of a mirror, then we have all of the guys going through their wardrobes and picking out slick things to wear while they hump the air. (Apparently Dutch people get horny quite easily. Good to know.)

  We roll into a montage of people continuing to prepare for some type of festive event, with Dorothy brushing her hair, the Sherman boys fingering fine couture, and Afrojack alternately throwing a stuffed animal into the air and then making out with it. (Seriously, the Dutch are a lusty bunch.) There’s also some mess about the really fancy cars parked around the house, Dorothy enjoying people taking pictures of her with their phones, and everybody crammed around a tiny breakfast table as if it’s the only place to eat in this cavernous dwelling. Apparently you enjoy your food better if you can barely move.

  Then we start getting shots of limo drivers (or possibly thieves) lugging baggage out to cars, so I guess we’re going somewhere even though I don’t understand why they would want to do so. (If I lived up in that very fine house, I would never leave. Or get dressed.) Anyway, we make our way across town to a… recording studio? Why would you need luggage for that? There must be some serious costume changes involved with making a record these days. No wonder CD’s are so expensive.

  So we get to watch the gang record a song, which, based on the documentary footage, requires that people chase each other around the studio with an odd little stick thing, possibly a microphone. (Are they trying to record body noises for the remix track?) Dorothy shows off her cheerleading skills, Afrojack likes to do things with his hands, and the Sherman guys seem to find everything incredibly funny. (Perhaps recreational drugs are not as tightly controlled in the Netherlands. Might need to check into that.)

  Then we pile back in the fancy cars and head out to do some clothes-shopping, because there just weren’t enough things to wear in the 74 pieces of luggage they’re already dragging around. They invade several boutiques, Dorothy seems to have a fetish for slogan buttons,  and Afrojack has a small orgasm whilst trying on a jacket. Properly stocked, the gang heads to an airport so they can board the “Afrojet”, one of those private planes that are entirely too small for my sense of security. I don’t like tiny planes, even if they serve designer vodka and there are attendants who will rub things for you.

  After some shots of happy people being airborne without the presence of screaming children being ignored by their parents, we land somewhere that might be Italy. (There’s some guy wearing an “Italia” t-shirt. Of course, he could just be lost.) The gang piles into another fleet of limos and off we go to a fancy casino hotel where it appears that Afrojack might be performing shortly. (Or maybe he just pays people to put up signs about him in the lobbies of buildings he might enter. Who knows.)

  Okay, I guess they will be putting on a show of some kind, since they all pile into what might be an area where sweaty people could eventually be dancing while electronics blare. They run through a sound check which just happens to coincide with the noises we’re hearing in the song, a nifty bit of editing that makes everyone seem very talented. Done with that, the gang heads out into the streets once again, where they engage in some potentially-obnoxious activities like doing a line dance on the sidewalk and joining in a sing-along with somebody who is playing an accordion. (Yes, apparently they still make those things. Write it down, you never know when someone might need this information.)

  There’s a second round of line-dancing (actually, these folks are pretty good, yet another nail in the coffin of worthlessness that is my life) and another sing-along, this time where they appear to be using a non-burning trashcan as a stand-in campfire. It’s important to note that at no time does anyone try to disrupt their revelry or even glance at them with more than a second thought. If you tried doing these spontaneous and fun things in the States, the Republicans would pass some type of law against it. And then raise your taxes while swearing that they won’t.

  The imagery and the song suddenly stop for an artsy pause. (Or a moment of reflection on the time before the Republican Party went completely insane.)

  Then we start up again, presumably later that night, with the gang in full swing doing their DJ’ing and singing. Of course, everyone on the stage looks fabulous and everyone in the bouncing audience looks appropriately lubricated. (There are lots of glowsticks being waved in the air.) Dorothy and her aggressive jewelry confidently get the crowd to pump their fists, and Afrojack gets them to bounce in unison, or at least not hurt each other as they pogo about. Everyone seems to be having a great time, and no one is worried about unimportant things like paying bills or getting old.

  Some clever person decides it’s time to get out some champagne, and that sends the crowd into even more of a frenzy, especially when another clever person drops confetti on the undulating bodies. (It’s really not a party until some trees have died just so you can watch pretty things floating in the air.) The alcohol and bits of color gives everyone more than enough energy to have one of those fascinating evenings that no one will really remember in the morning. We close things out with Afrojack leading the crowd in what might be some spontaneous hand aerobics and then lunging into the masses so they can love on him while Dorothy’s power vocals echo throughout the building...

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Phillip Phillips – “Home”

  We start out staring through a rain-drenched bus window at a rain-drenched landscape, so right away we now that this song is either about emotional devastation or Seattle. Cut to Phillip, not rain-drenched at the moment, as he strums his guitar and launches into the song. He doesn’t seem to be very happy, refusing to look at the camera or brush his hair. Then again, I didn’t watch him on American Idol and maybe this is how he always looks. In any case, he’s not smiling, probably because everything around him is so wet.

  Oh look, now we’re somewhere else where it’s not raining, still traveling along in the tour bus and staring at a forest where we have really big trees and no visible signs of obnoxious people. (I make a mental note to move there as soon as this song is over.) Then we’re back with Phillip inside the bus, with him still strumming and not looking or brushing. There appear to be other people around him, discreetly doing things that do not involve a guitar or bothering Phillip in any way. This is a very quiet tour bus, not at all like I would have imagined, filled with noise and activity and hookers on flying trapezes. Perhaps I’ve been watching the wrong movies.

  Things pick up a bit as the peppier part of the song kicks in, with the camera starting to jump around. We get a nice tribute to that Talking Heads video with the dashed line in the middle of the road, then someone (possibly Phillip, not clear) shoves his hand out the window so he can mess with the wind and do that roller coaster thing you did as a kid until your parents yelled at you to shut the window before your arm snapped off and the guitar lessons suddenly proved pointless.

  This travelling on the bus thing goes on for a while, with lots of shots involving Phillip stroking his instrument, writing a song or possibly doing homework at some table, the bus driver chewing on a toothpick with a determination that is quite startling, rusty diner signs flashing by, more places where it rains, and a complete lack of the nearly-naked women that one typically finds in music videos. (Was there a recall of some kind? A health issue?)

  Then we apparently stop the bus somewhere, a place where they let Phillip out of his cage so he can stretch his legs and maybe sniff a fire hydrant or two. He wanders the sidewalks for a bit, possibly looking for that street with no name, then they make him get back on the bus because we have things to do and revenue to produce so we can make the payments on the tour bus.

  We eventually get to a concert venue of some kind, with Phillip and some official-looking woman wandering around backstage and then riding in an elevator. Phillip finally smiles, so I’m guessing he prefers being onstage rather than making art films about the loneliness and wetness of travel. The arena is packed with thousands of those people who whoop and holler because they aren’t let out of the house often enough. Which is fine by Phillip, as he launches into his set and tries not to look at the three judges with their Coke tumblers who will grade his performance when he’s done.

  Back to the bus so Phillip can nod his head as he sings the fun chorus of the song and do some more of his algebra homework. (He crosses out a lot of his answers, so math may not be his specialty.) Then we’ve got more scenery to watch outside the bus, like more trees and diners and this one odd man who glares back like we were the ones who caused him to mysteriously lose his shirt at some point during the day. We stop for coffee and eggs at one of those diners, which has apparently been cleared of the common people so Phillip can concentrate on looking moody for the camera.

  Then we’re off again, with more pretty images that would make a fine travel brochure, followed by additional concert footage where it’s refreshing to see that Phillip is still at that “I just want to sing songs for my fans” stage of his career and not the “my stage shows have to be so busy and explosive that we have to put a seizure warning on the tickets”. Oh, and we also stop at some guitar shop that gets Phillip so excited that he has to hoist things in the air and do what might be a jig of triumph on the sidewalk outside.

  And that’s about it, really. We spend the rest of our time alternating between the concert shots (fans going rabid with excitement and possible intimate satisfaction of some kind) and Phillip doing things he does when not in the same room with thousands of people who have paid good money to possibly touch his shoe during a brief security lapse. Interestingly enough, almost all of these scenes involve guitars in some way. Apparently Phillip really, really likes playing one. Which is also refreshing, in this modern music scene where most “singers” have never actually seen a musical instrument.

  Oh, and they also let Phillip run around in nature a couple more times, usually in very small towns where the few citizens have not quite figured out that newfangled “TV” thing and have no idea who Phillip is. (It’s so much easier to do crowd control when there’s no crowd to control.) But Phillip does manage to give a small concert anyway, in a tiny little place where two of the patrons have to leave just so Phillip can get his guitar in the door.

  The final stretch of the video, where Phillip and the backup singers are happily doing that “oh-oh-oh” chorus with the nice marching-band percussion, is just a series of rapid-fire images. The tour bus that apparently never stops moving, the concert snippets with frenzied fans contemplating the launching of panties, a late-night acoustic jam-fest that may have involved alcohol, more small towns where everyone knows exactly whom you’ve slept with, and the long and winding road.

  We fade out with Phillip gazing out the tour bus window as another rainstorm rumbles over the mountain tops. Poor Phillip. Maybe he should talk to his handlers about booking a tour that doesn’t involve constant wetness and things that drip…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mary J. Blige – “Be Without You”

  We start out with some aerial shots of some city at night, probably New York City, since nothing important ever really happens anywhere else. Then we cut to Mary in her fine-ass apartment, wearing a very flattering sweatpants ensemble as she walks to one of the designer windows in her living room. She leans her head against the glass and seems a little sad, probably still a little upset over the cancellation of “All My Children”.

  Then suddenly she’s in what we’ll assume is one of her many bathrooms, and this one has a fancy medicine cabinet that you can open up and look stunning while singing a song. So she starts to do that, because you shouldn’t let such opportunities pass you by. We get a quick shot of the Chrysler Building, in case you’ve forgotten that we’re in NYC, and then we have Mary on one of her many beds, typing out the lyrics of the song on one of her many laptops, the glow from the screen accenting her poufy hairdo that only certain women can pull off with any sort of style.

  We start getting flashbacks of Mary and what we’ll assume is one of her many boyfriends having some type of disagreement. (The boyfriend is played by Terence Howard, but to make things easier we’ll just call him Chuck.) It’s not clear what they’re fighting about (is it ever clear what couples are really fighting about?) but it’s bad enough that Chuck grabs his designer jacket and stomps out the door. We head back to the soundstage bathroom so Mary can break it down for us.

  It seems that Mary and Chuck’s relationship started out fine back in the day. But then it was the next morning and things started to unravel. What went wrong? Well, Mary sings about it for a while in the top-shelf bathroom, and then she sings about it in one of her many living rooms, in front of what might be the largest fireplace known to mankind. She’s really upset and can’t sleep in one of her many beds because her man isn’t there with her. She keeps checking her phone to see if he’s called, which he hasn’t, but you’d think she already knew he hadn’t since she keeps checking the damn thing every two seconds.

  Mary heads back to the designer window to sing an important part of the song where she needs to use her hands a lot to make sure we understand that it’s an important part. Then she cries a little bit, in an upscale way where she still looks very chic and stylish despite the tears. The liquid on her face triggers a flashback to another time that she cried, in a different apartment that isn’t nearly so Upper West Side. She’s lying on a fairly boring couch, looking a little blue and despondent despite sporting another hairstyle that could win awards if we had time for that.

  Chuck comes in from wherever Chuck goes when it’s not his part of the video, and he sits beside reclining Mary so he can gently wipe away the single tear that is artfully perched in the corner of Mary’s eye. He tenderly kisses that same spot and they gaze at one another with a warmth and devotion that normally only happens on the Hallmark channel. Then we start flashing-forward to Mary in her newer apartment because it’s another important part of the song that requires hand-waving, and this time she throws in some “the words right are so painful that I have to close my eyes and brace my body against a designer window until I can control my emotions again”.

  Oh, it’s time for another flashback and another hairdo, and for this scene we have a dinner party where Mary and Chuck and two hundred of their closest friends are seated around a dining table the size of Newark. Everyone seems to be having a swell time, so we’ll assume that Mary (or at least one of her many assistants) made the right menu choices. She and Chuck spend a lot of time gazing at one another with adoration and a possible side-dish of lusty thoughts. The guests continue to drink their wine and chuckle at one another, but really it’s all about Mary and Chuck maintaining eye contact across the mammoth table.

  Now we zip to another flashback, one that involves a fancy car that Chuck has to assist Mary out of, probably because she’s wearing a sparkly dress with a short enough hem that she needs special handling or we might get a glimpse of personal business. They stroll up a red carpet while cameras flash, apparently heading into a glitzy ceremony of some kind. (Is this where Mary will finally pick up that award for her hair?)

  Meanwhile, present-day Mary is still in her deluxe apartment in the sky, doing the “hands up” part of the song, and doing it in lots of her many different rooms, especially a new one that we haven’t seen where there are enough candles burning to make zoning-compliance people a little nervous. (Girl, don’t be whipping that hair around that room too much, there could be an issue.) Then the hands are down, and we have modern Mary sitting on that one ugly couch that I thought was from back in the day, but maybe this is just one big-ass apartment that has several different time zones.

  Eventually we work our way back to seeing that argument again between Mary and Chuck, with what looks like some really harsh words and a general dissatisfaction with one another. He actually gets a little bit physical with her (which for me would mean instant walking papers for Chuck, but I haven’t had a relationship with him so I really shouldn’t say). We watch him storm out the door again while Mary looks tragic in one of her many outfits.

  Now we roll into the part of the song where Mary is holding those powerful notes for a really long time, so we have to have another montage of Mary in all of her rooms as she holds them. Since it takes Mary a little bit to get all these vocals out, the producers throw in a few extra things for us to look at like Mary holding her head in emotional pain and two sad-looking candles that seem to be burning down to nothing. (Apparently somebody paid attention in film school on the day they studied “symbolism”.) We wind down this montage with flashbacks of all the flashbacks and hairstyles, followed by a closing performance in the designer bathroom.

  We close things out with Mary opening her front door, probably expecting to see the delivery guy with Chinese food but instead finding Chuck with his key in the lock. He just looks at her with a sexy smirk, which is apparently all it takes for them to get back together, and he walks up to her and they embrace. The video ends with them clutching one another, and pondering which of the many rooms in the massive apartment they are going to sleep in tonight. Maybe one that they haven’t even seen yet? I’m sure there are a few of those…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Mavericks – “Dance the Night Away”

  We start off by staring at four security monitors stacked in what looks like a really crappy office somewhere. The monitors seem to be showing empty grocery store aisles, but they could just as easily be showing deserted high-school hallways two minutes after the final bell has rang. Cut to one of those aisles (yep, we’re in a grocery store) where some employee is unenthusiastically shoving along a broom, looking like he’d rather be anywhere else in the entire world. This is how I feel when I’m performing my own work duties, so we instantly become best friends forever, at least virtually.

  Back to the crappy office, where a security guard is napping and not realizing that we appear to have four people staring directly at the four security cameras. This is a somewhat creepy image that makes me think of people screaming and running from other people waving bloody implements. Then we cut to a stocker who is fiddling with some produce that doesn’t really look like it needs to be fiddled with. He looks as bored as his little co-worker with the broom. This is clearly not a very soul-enriching place to work.

  Then the music starts on the soundtrack (almost forgot we were actually watching a music video and not an art film about boredom and psychological damage) and we have a really tight close-up of somebody playing a guitar, followed by another gander at the security monitors that helps us realize the four creepy people staring back are not waving death machetes but are instead playing instruments.  This reassures me somewhat, but I’m never fully satisfied in life, so we’ll see how it goes.

  Quick shot of three brightly-dressed women prancing through the dairy aisle. They also appear to be doing something with instruments, but you don’t really notice because their clothes are so vibrant and the one woman’s afro is so big that it might throw the moon out of alignment. We get glimpses of the other “real” band members mucking about in the aisles, but they are nowhere near as interesting as the tres amigas and their fruit-flavored ensemble. (Although the one guy pushing his drums in a shopping cart does get a few bonus points for effort.)

  The security guard finally realizes something is amiss (the booze must be wearing off) and he decides to investigate. This will probably take him a while (he’s the old and creaky version of a security guard, the kind where you wonder what people were thinking when they hired him, because he sure ain’t gonna catch nothin’ that runs), so we zip around the store to see what folks are up to now that impromptu entertainment has arrived.

  Broom Boy is now dancing with his previously-hated stick-mate, and they seem to be having a swell time. Produce Boy has picked up a buddy and both of them are happily piling up the fruit as fast as they can. (Yes, you can interpret that last line in a number of ways.) And the trio of women (they need a name, let’s call them the Chaquita Cha-Cha’s) are blowing away on their horns with an intensity that might need to be pharmaceutically regulated at some point.

  Oh, and the band members continue to wander about as well, playing their instruments and/or singing, whatever they are contractually obliged to do. But they just can’t compete with the Cha-Cha’s, nor with the other crazy folks that suddenly come running out of wherever they were hiding when this place used to be boring and dull and didn’t have a floor show. We’re going to see a lot of them as the video progresses, so let’s do a meet and greet, shall we?

  One older woman (who might be a man, and somewhat looks like Phyllis Diller if someone threw her in a washing machine and then picked the wrong cycle) is jitter-bugging about in a startling floral-print dress that looks like it was made from the material on abandoned couches that you see on street corners in the wrong parts of town. She has the kind of look where you know better than to engage her in actual conversation or you will never escape, so if you turn into an aisle and happen to see her, you quickly pretend that you’ve forgotten something on the previous aisle and then you flee the store.

  We have Tumbelina, who insists on doing backflips in the frozen-foods section. She goes by so fast that I don’t really have time to carefully analyze her outfit (it’s just a blur that seems vaguely circus-based) so we’ll just have to assume she’s wearing something stretchy and leave it at that. We also have someone who looks like they would probably greatly enjoy break-dancing if that was still popular and the aisles were wide enough. He likes to shove his face at the camera so we can better review his facial jewelry and extraordinary amounts of hair.

  We check back in on the security guard, who is once again planted in front of his monitors and not really doing anything effective. (See, I told you he didn’t look like the type who could run and make people stop doing things that they shouldn’t.) But he’s probably safer in his little wood-paneled half-office, where he’s less likely to get smashed by the drum-cart or felled by Tumbelina. We can bring him a snack later.

  Oh, we have some new arrivals, in the form of an older couple who may have missed a few vitamin regimens over the past few decades or so. He’s dressed like a Navy admiral or maybe a cruise-ship captain, something with a military theme, and she’s dressed like Nancy Reagan if Nancy Reagan didn’t have people who dressed her. They have a Charlie McCarthy-type ventriloquist doll in the rug-rat seat of their shopping cart, so I know that I will never be friends with them. (Those things scare me. I can sleep peacefully in a haunted house or zip-line in Jamaica but I do not want to be anywhere near a wooden doll with a floppy jaw. Ugh.)

  Side note: The band members are still playing as they stand in or wander about various locations in the store, but they just don’t have the attention-getting qualities of the crazed customers as they pinball about and fail to think in complete sentences. Except for the drummer guy. He does seem to have a bit of flair as well as a fondness for bottles of peroxide.

  Speaking of hair coloring, there’s an additional customer who is furtively snatching things from the shelves in a manner that hints at past criminal activity. I can’t quite put my finger on what avenue of illegality he might have stumbled down (possibly something to do with narcotics or livestock) but I certainly wouldn’t put it past him to do something unsavory with my Granny Smith apples if I happen to leave them unattended.

  Meanwhile, the security guard is now fiddling with the settings on his ancient monitors, like the “brightness” knob being off-kilter a bit might cause the sudden appearance of musical troubadours in retail establishments. Poor guy. Not only is his tool not the sharpest, it’s nowhere even near the shed.

  Then the guard surprises me by lumbering to his feet and chasing after one of the evil-doers, which moves him up a wee notch in the rankings of people who might actually have a purpose in life. But then we see that he’s trying to capture Tumbelina, and his merit scores plummet again. She’s not even making any noise like the rest of the people. Granted, she is repeatedly doing something with her body that Jesus wouldn’t recommend, but she’s so light on her feet that you don’t really notice her unless she happens to land on you.

  But at least the security guard has now introduced the last new element in our story, by initiating a feeble and ill-fated chase sequence. From this point forward, it’s really all much of the same.  Whoops, I may have just lied, because now we have someone dressed like Carmen Miranda sashaying past the carrot display. (That always happens to me. I think the show is over and here comes another drag queen, tardy but fabulous.)

  Oh, and there’s the guy in a purple silk blouse who likes to stand near the bacon and do those spinning high-jumps where he has one leg sticking straight out in front of him. I’m also a huge fan of bacon, but I don’t recall ever having gotten athletic about it. It just goes to show that there many different ways to say “I love you”, and sometimes they include precision choreography.

  We also have a younger couple dancing near the butter, churning up a nice two-step. Well, I think it’s the two-step. And I think it’s a couple. It’s very hard for me to focus because I’m trying to figure out if the guy has a ponytail or just an odd accessory on his cowboy hat. Nothing against ponytails, mind you. Sometimes they can be quite fetching, and they can come in really handy when you’re little and your annoying sister refuses to get off the Big Wheel so you can ride it for a while.

  Seriously, though, I do believe that the last pair of floppy shoes has stepped out of the clown car. Now it’s just a cavalcade of cameos as our new friends cavort among the baked goods and frozen yogurt. The born-again stock boys are still happily arranging the tangerines. The Chiquita’s and their flashy wind section have traversed every aisle. Thurston and Lovey Howell are doing some type of waltz near the cleaning supplies, either inspired by a display of fluffy cotton mops that remind Thurston of a younger Lovey or they have been overcome by the fumes from a spilled bottle of ammonia.

  I’m not really sure what happened to Tumbelina. There may have been an unfortunate encounter with a surprise wall or a poorly-covered mineshaft. Phyllis Diller is still there, alternately doing unexplained leg kicks and coming at the camera like a hummingbird on steroids. (She’s now lugging around a cake carrier, because at her age you never know when someone might pass on and you need to get a covered dish to somebody’s house, pronto.) And Carmen Miranda is accounted for as well, with that tropical salad bar piled on her head, a mess that could shift dangerously at any moment and Carmen could end up ass over designer heels on the floor. (Clean up on aisle 5!)

  Twirling purple-shirt guy continues to rhapsodize about bacon by using his feet, the two-stepping couple manages to continue dominating their sector of the mart despite a brief attempt by another couple with lesser billing but more vibrant hair to steal the show, the security guard just keeps running because he doesn’t know any better, and there’s a small bit where a woman who might possibly be Sandra Bernhard’s younger sister pauses to glare at the camera as if totally appalled that the stock-boys behind her are doing a line dance. (If this causes her concern, she clearly should stay away from any gay-pride parades or venues where people might be singing next to asparagus.)

  We wind things down with a rapid-fire montage of all the colorful characters, letting us know that everyone essentially survived the spontaneous musicality (well, except for Tumbelina, she might be appearing on the back of a milk carton the next time you have brunch), and only limited amounts of therapy may be necessary…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Owl City, Carly Rae Jepsen – “Good Time”

  We start out with Carly Rae leaning on the front of one of those really tiny “economical” cars which means the damn thing is not much bigger than a breadbox with wheels. (This will probably play well in crowded European cities, where everything is tiny and everyone drinks too much coffee.) She’s looking slightly bored, so it’s good that suddenly some of her female friends come running up from somewhere, acting all excited and wearing youthful fashion elements that I don’t really understand. (WHY do you need to wear knee-high yellow rubber boots in the city? Are you expecting to deal with plumbing issues in the near future? Are you even trained for that?)

  Anyway, they all hop in the miniscule motoring device, looking incredibly cute in the way that fresh-faced people in their early twenties look before they have to deal with credit card payments and actually going to work every day, and Carly maneuvers the car out into the street and down the road. Interestingly enough, there’s another car leaving from somewhere else at the same time, this one a classy vintage car that I certainly couldn’t afford in my early twenties, so I’m thinking a trust fund must be involved in some way.

  This vintage car contains what I presume to be the members of Owl City. I’m not really sure, since I haven’t met them and they refuse to follow me on Twitter. The guy driving the car does seem to be the same one who had the crazy-ass bedroom in the “Fireflies” video, so I think it’s all good. He starts belting out the song, which further confirms him as someone of importance, or at least someone who is both musical and can operate a stick shift. They drive along in the countryside, with the other occupants obeying commands like “hands up in the air” and “be sure to smile for the camera like this is the best time you will ever have in your life”.

  We briefly check back in with Carly and Plumber Girls, and they seem fine, with Carly warming up her vocals with a few runs, do we head back to the vintage car, where lead singer Adam is continuing to warble and the passenger to his right is very happy about her modified fishing hat. Since none of this is really important in the overall scheme of things, we roll into a montage of the two cars traveling the highways of America, because freedom’s just another word for being able to drive away from some mess you might have created in the place you just left.

  Eventually we pull up to… I’m not sure what it is. Based on my youth in Oklahoma, the place appears to be some type of rustic camp with crude cabins and a severe lack of five-star amenities. The occupants pile out of the two cars and don’t seem to be the least bit disturbed that a concierge is not standing nearby. In fact, Carly finally launches into some actually vocals, instead of the cooing she has done on the soundtrack up to this point. Everybody hugs each other and no one seems to have a tragic story to tell about an unexpected pregnancy or a sudden devaluation of their stock portfolios.

  While the song leaps into the happy-ass chorus, Carly manages to find a frozen-drink dispenser hanging out of one of the cabins. There are no visible labels indicating alcohol content, but with the way everybody races to get them some slushy goodness, I’m guessing that spontaneous clothing-removal and blackout periods are in the near future. But as we all know, as long as you keep singing while obtaining refreshments, nothing seriously bad can happen.

  Then everybody is stomping away down some forest trail, with lots of people carrying things that they didn’t put a lot of thought into before shoving said mess into a designer overnight bag. (What do you need a Frisbee for? There are trees everywhere. That bitch is not going more than a few feet and there is going to be disappointment.) No matter, folks are still very happy (thank you, mystical frozen-drink contraption) and they march along, paying absolutely no attention to all those low-budget slasher movies where people who go camping in an unprepared manner  soon get attacked by angry masked-men with Mommy issues.

  There’s a brief bit where Carly seems to be singing to a small branch that she managed to find somewhere along the way. It’s really sweet, but you can’t help but wonder why she feels the need to impress campfire kindling. But her little girlfriends don’t care, trudging along and nodding their heads like her Twig Whispering is a fine thing, indeed.

  Cut to Adam, because it’s his part of the song to sing, and although I’m sure he has something really important to share, we can’t really concentrate on him because suddenly some nymph goes running by waving a protest sign in the shape of a butterfly. What the hell? (The nymph is also sporting one of those beaded headbands that instantly disqualify you from being taken seriously in any way, so girl has some really serious issues.) Then Nymphie runs off into the forest, presumably to practice magic spells or rethink her wardrobe.

  Then we get a nice collage of completely unrelated events, like some girls discovering a lake and deciding that they can’t live unless they rip off their clothes, join hands, and then go racing into the water like they haven’t seen a million horror movies strongly advising against such activity. There’s also something about making jewelry out of flowers, Carly happily twirling around in what might be a batch of mist or the results of a biochemical mishap, and Adam wandering down a special path that might have inspired a bit of horniness, based on the brief shot of nipple poppage.

  Next thing you know, it’s night time, which means that everybody has to set up tents and wonder about the various sleeping arrangements that might ensue, depending on energy levels and the continued availability of slushy drinks that make you happy to have a body. (Interestingly enough, there are still people splashing around in the moon-drenched lake despite our warnings, so we’ll just have to quit worrying about them and let them deal with possible serial killers in a wetsuit.)

  Oh wait, we just jumped back to daylight hours for another round of Carly and Adam romping through the woodlands and looking cute, so there might have been some misunderstanding in the editing room. No matter, with a song this perky, things like continuity and storyline are really not all that important. Then we’re back to the nighttime campfire, where a low-key rave is going on, an event that has inspired Adam to change into a shirt that reminds me of Soviet military for some reason, and inspires everyone else to try and raise the roof with their hands even though there isn’t one.

  As everyone bounces and sings and tries to avoid falling into the fire pit, we wrap things up with another montage of just how happy people can be in the great outdoors when there is perky music and an endless supply of people with perfectly-straight teeth and designer clothing. (Somebody apparently passed out some animal masks at some point, but based on the way that people are wearing them on top of their heads instead of on their faces indicates that the mask idea was only fun for about two seconds, then it became necessary to breathe and stuff.)

  The final shots are of Carly and Adam looking tired but happy as they revel in the joys of writing songs that allow you to invite hundreds of your friends on camping trips, jump up and down repeatedly near an open fire, wear whimsical clothing and footwear that really won’t be of much use if you truly had to survive in the wild, and gorge yourself on roasted marshmallows because you’re still young and you can eat anything without any biological impact. Life is good, yes?

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