Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mariah Carey – “Always Be My Baby”

  We start out with Mariah riding on a tire swing near a river or a lake, whooshing back and forth from the bank to the more serious depths of the water while moonlight caresses both her body and her cute little country-girl outfit. She’s acting like she’s having the best time out here on her own and wanting nothing more than to straddle a giant piece of rubber, but you know full well there’s an army of stylists just out of view, ready to rush in and comfort her with beauty products the very second that the director hollers “Cut!”

  We zoom in for some close-ups of Mariah’s face, just so we can make sure it’s really her braving the wilderness as well as admire her latest hairstyle. She seems to be a little pensive about something, and we’re probably supposed to wonder what she might be thinking about, but all I’m really thinking about is the size of that ring on her finger. Girl, why you gonna wear that while you’re airborne over some pond? That ring could end up in the belly of a catfish and eventually on the dinner table of someone named Bubba.

  Quick shot of what appears to be a young boy sitting on a bed in one of those cabins they have at those camps where distracted parents send their kids for the summer. He doesn’t introduce himself so it’s not immediately clear what his purpose might be.

  Back to Mariah, who is now really invested in giving that tire swing a workout. She’s basically laid full out on the tire, using both her pointed toes and her hair to get some serious swinging going on. (That sound you hear is the gasp of one of her personal assistants who will probably lose her job if Mariah’s hair actually touches the filthy country water.)

  This is followed by another shot of the boy in the cabin, or maybe it’s another boy, because his shirt looks a little different. It’s hard to tell what’s going on with the cabin boys, since it’s very dark, just like it always is in slasher movies when bit-players are getting killed before the lead actor figures out what’s going on and tries to save the head cheerleader because she has second-billing and that’s what he’s supposed to do.

  More of Mariah and her pointy toes swinging, mixed with tight shots of her head posing seductively next to one of the ropes. She even reaches down at one point and runs her hand through the water, causing the panic-stricken personal assistant to dial 9-1-1 and request a Hazmat Unit. But Mariah just smiles and carries on with the back and forth, so I guess she’ll be just fine after having poked a manicured nail into water that wasn’t double-filtered by her staff in Italy.

  Cabins again, and it appears that we are seeing two different  people, a boy and a girl, both of them tossing restlessly in their separate cabins, unable to sleep because of unmet needs. (This sequence is mixed with more shots of Mariah and her ring endlessly swaying to and fro as she waits for someone to hand her the latest Hot 100 list from Billboard.) The boy (we’ll call him Bucky) puts on a cute little hat, which we’ll assume gives him superpowers of some kind, and he hops out a window of his cabin.

  We get a shot of the girl (we’ll call her Bambi) as she sits there in her non-feminine soccer shirt and waits for her life to get better. This happens roughly three seconds later, when Bucky appears at her window, helping her leap to freedom, and they both scamper off to do whatever it is that unsupervised children do at camps late at night when all the counselors are busy playing slap and tickle in the woods.

  Mariah chooses this moment in the plot to reposition herself in front of a nice campfire. I guess she’s standing too close to the flames, because the heat forces her to unbutton her blouse to a risky degree, meaning she really shouldn’t do any jumping jacks at the moment or someone will get a black eye. Happily, Mariah’s hotness does not stop the fleeing children from achieving their goal of running through the night forest with complete abandon.

  Bucky and Bambi run past another location where some adults (are these the counselors that aren’t paying attention to the kids?) are sitting around another campfire and smiling in a way that might indicate alcohol-consumption. B and B don’t want any part of that, so they keep running, because when you’re young and haven’t been beaten down by a meaningless job for thirty years, you still have lots of energy.

  This kicks off a montage, with Mariah and her easy-access shirt harmonizing together at the one campfire, the adults getting festive and possibly intimate at the other campfire, and Bucky and Bambi running hither and yon as they work the sugar snacks out of their system. (Side note: Mariah really likes to raise her hands over her head. Was she one of those over-eager people who loved answering questions from the teacher in junior high?)

  Eventually, Bed and Breakfast make their way to the shore of whatever body of water caused the nearby Camp Abandon-Kids-for-the-Summer to be built. (Presumably it’s the same water where Mariah was previously swinging in her own personal cove, but who knows. Mariah might be in another state and they just left things up to the video editor.) Bucky and Bambi appear to be very excited about arriving at their destination, but first we cut back to Mariah for a while, so she can do more things with that tire swing.

  Brief shot of the moon for no apparent reason. Are werewolves about to be involved in some way?

  Oh wait, now Bucky and Bambi have found their own tire swings, and they attack these conveniently side-by-side swings with a vengeance, more of that youthful exuberance that comes from not having to pay monthly bills for eternity. Cut to Mariah on her own swing, with her standing up on the tire and wailing some especially-high notes that may or may not have something to do with the way she is clenching one of the swing ropes between her legs as she whizzes past us in a frenzied manner.

  More shots of the adults (supposedly) at that one campfire where nothing is really happening other than an overall sense that an orgy is not out of the question. People seem to be bouncing to some music that we can’t hear, that’s about the only certainty. Otherwise, this could be a gathering of Jesuit Priests and their confused groupies or a meeting of Naturist Streetwalkers and their favorite customers. It’s completely up in the air.

  And Mariah’s not explaining anything, because she’s back on that swing, currently focused on dipping various body parts in the swamp and achieving maximum velocity so that her pimped-out rubber ride can do a 360 around the old oak tree that just wishes all these people would go away and quit tying things to its limbs.

  Okay, new development, as both Bucky and Bambi leap from their swings and plunge into the fetid water that is so troubling Mariah’s Personal Assistant #423, who will most likely be replaced within minutes of this video ending. As Mariah continues to whiz through the air like a Grammy-winning piñata on overdrive, B and B swim toward one another underwater and share a kiss while bubbles and bubbling hormones float around them.

  Meanwhile, I still have no idea about the purpose of the people at the second campfire. Are they from Child Protective Services, conducting an investigation? Are they Mariah’s team of lawyers? Are they waiting for raves to become popular in this part of the country?  Is there a sale at Macy’s and they really, really want to be first in line?

  Mariah just smiles and swings. You’ll have to wait for her next album to get the 4-1-1…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube…

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Madonna – “Borderline”

  We start out with Madonna and a gang of friends all gathered round one of those areas where folks used to do spontaneous break-dancing back in the day, mainly because the Internet really hadn’t caught on just yet and people were bored. There’s a small child doing a backbend whilst Madonna, wearing trash-girl couture that was so popular back then, does some odd dance steps and then touches his hiney. In modern times, that would constitute child abuse and Madonna would get thrown in the Big House, but such overkill political correctness won’t happen for another twenty years or so.

  Then we have a montage of street-dance sequences, where Madonna gets to show off the fact that she can throw her leg over her head, and we get introduced to her lover, a man-boy wearing tighter pants than she is. Everyone seems to be having a very good time, or at least as much fun as you can have when people are spinning around on their backs with their legs in the air, when some snooty photographer guy comes waltzing up and crashes the party without an invite.

  Normally, this would require that one of the gang members get an attitude and pull a knife, but this isn’t reality, so the street folks just keep spinning and dancing unprofessionally while the photographer (let’s call him Hank) hands his business card to Madonna. We don’t know why Hank would single out Madonna, when most of the other folks are spinning and spreading their legs with much more gusto, so Hank must have a special fondness for the bandana thingy that Madonna has artfully woven through her hairdo that is bigger than Detroit.

  Well, Man-Boy doesn’t care for small pieces of cardboard being handed to his lady-friend, and he makes a small scene that implies we don’t need no paparazzi up in here. (Apparently he doesn’t know Madonna very well, since she’s dreamed of paparazzi since the doctor slapped her newborn ass at the age of 10 seconds.) Madonna gives him a look (and a shove) that makes it clear that she and her bandana are going to do whatever it takes to not have to dance on this street corner any more.

  Cut to Madonna hopping into Hank’s fancy car (while Man-Boy glares from what looks like a balcony in Barcelona, so there might have been some editing issues), and the next thing we know Madonna is wearing an outfit with extreme ruffles and screwing around with a giant ball while Hank takes pictures. (There’s also some business with Madonna wearing a leather jacket accented by a hairstyle jacked to Jesus, but it’s not clear if Hank is also recording that Madonna or if it’s just her auditioning for a Broadway revival of West Side Story.)

  Next up are some shots of Madonna and Man-Boy on a rooftop somewhere. They seem to be very much in love, or at least horny, and they proceed to admire each other’s wardrobe and then make out. Zip back to Hank’s photography studio/penthouse, where now we have Madonna traipsing around in another leather outfit amongst some fake Greek columns and a giant statue of a naked man. Hank seems to be encouraging her to twirl as much as possible, when he really should be advising her to brush her hair at least once a week if she wants to be taken seriously.

  Then we have a montage of Madonna in another frilly outfit that no serious person would ever wear unless under court order as she and Hank review the photos he has taken and they both guzzle margaritas. Apparently Madonna is quite pleased with Hank’s work, because she lustfully kisses him on the lips and they presumably proceed to have questionable sex while the giant naked statue reviews the proceedings.

  Cut to a phone booth, with Madonna back in her street gear, a colorful ensemble with a Keith Haring theme and more hair that has not received proper attention. She’s hanging up on someone, but we don’t learn who it is because we have to see another round of Madonna dancing back at the studio. This turns into an extended scene where Madonna uses all of her acting skills to show that she can wear an outer garment that is clearly too big for her and maneuver her way through the Greek columns without mishap or any damage to the artwork.

  Now we have Madonna (back in the Keith Haring outfit) standing on a street corner and chatting with several of her girlfriends, all of them sporting hairstyles courtesy of the Helen Keller Salon in SoHo. Man-Boy shows up and pouts whilst leaning against a lamppost and smoking a cigarette, because his part in the script wasn’t clearly defined and he’s winging it.

  Madonna finally wanders over and tries to make nice, but her efforts are thwarted by Man-Boy doing something with an unexplained pool stick and his obvious dissatisfaction with her sluttiness (people talk, you know he’s got the 4-1-1 on her banging Hank and his foo-foo photography accessories) and the fact that her hair is bigger than his. He stomps away and heads back into a building, leaving Madonna to fret and kick the innocent lamppost, like it had anything to do with her bedding choices.

  We go inside the building, where Man-Boy is playing pool (somewhat explaining the stick in the previous scene but not the manner in which he was fondling it), which is something some guys naturally do when their Former Squeeze is on the brink of international superstardom. Madonna appears in the doorway and tries to interest Man-Boy in her womanliness, or at least her more expensive couture, but he ignores her and keeps shoving balls into pockets. Madonna turns and struts away, apparently deciding that this is a part of her life that won’t make it into her autobiography anyway, so what’s the point?

  Back to Hank’s studio, where Hank is smirking and Madonna is twirling, not showing any signs of guilt about working her way up the corporate ladder. Cut to Many-Boy walking up to a newsstand, surprising all of us that he reads, and seeing Madonna on the cover of “Gloss” magazine. He snatches up the magazine and proceeds to another Barcelona balcony so he can pout some more and have flashbacks of those special fifteen minutes that he and Madonna had on that random rooftop.

  Studio once again, where Hank is trying to convince Madonna that she needs to wear an especially unattractive floppy hat for their next photo session. She doesn’t seem to care for it, but Hank gets her on his artistic-vision side by handing her a can of spray paint and letting her draw hearts on his fake marble wall. This appeals to she street side of Madonna, so she proceeds with the graffiti despite the stupid hat whilst Hank points and shoots.

  Madonna, who firmly believes in excess, gets carried away and accidentally spray-paints Hank’s fancy car during the ecstatic exuberance of getting to deface property that does not belong to her. Hanks gets all pissy with Madonna, despite the obvious stupidity of Hank parking his car in the middle of a photo shoot, and there is an altercation, one that presumably does not lead to wanton sex.

  Cut to Madonna waltzing down a darkened street, headed toward the pool hall where Man-Boy is still shoving a stick at balls and making it clear that he doesn’t have a real life or he wouldn’t still be there. First, Madonna greets her gal pals standing outside, because you always have to give props to your sisters or you get kicked out of the gang and you can’t have that kind of mess showing up in your autobiography, then she heads inside for the showdown with Stunted-Growth-Boy.

  Madonna and the Pink Ladies sashay their way past Man-Boy, who apparently hasn’t moved from his position on the table since Oklahoma became a state, and then Madonna tries to appear disinterested as she peruses the selections on the jukebox. (After all, Joan Jett advised us years ago that we should put another dime in the jukebox, baby, and peer pressure is really hard to shake off despite counseling and distance from your formative years.)

  Man-Boy rushes up to Madonna before she can insert anything into a slot, and they embrace each other fervently like Madonna didn’t offer her wares to the first guy who had more than just liability insurance on his car. To confirm their back-togetherness, we cut to Man-Boy showing Madonna just exactly how his pool stick should be handled to achieve the most satisfaction. We finish out with another shot of Madonna singing the final notes of the song and wearing that ill-advised floppy hat with the most annoying bow known to mankind…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Imagine Dragons – “It’s Time”

  We start off with a close-up of somebody’s chest. This torso is fully-covered in drab clothing that is vaguely grunge-esque, which means that we don’t get to review sun-dappled, chiseled pecs and that most of the teeny-bopper girls in the audience have already turned the channel back to another rerun of one of the “Twilight” movies. This immediately makes me happy because I might just get to watch a music video that isn’t based on who can dance in a nightclub whilst wearing the least amount of clothing or self-worth.

  (Side note: We have some percussion-type activity on the song, with clapping and such, which for some reason makes me think of Toni Basil’s Mickey from back in the day. I would imagine that I am not supposed to go there, but I’m just trying to report things honestly from the field, unlike any of the anchors on Fox News, ever.)

  The camera finally pulls back enough so we can get some facial-recognition shots, in case there is a crime that we feel compelled to report later, and we learn that the whole band is trudging along in Goth sportswear and looking very sad. Their unhappiness might have something to do with the fact that they appear to be promenading in a land where there is no sun and everything looks very barren, much like Michele Bachmann’s bedroom.

  To confirm the wasteland theme, we get a long shot of the band still trudging, with what looks like some Roman ruins or perhaps Donald Trump’s morality off to one side. (Oh wait, maybe that ruin thing is part of a bridge, so I’ll take Donald off the table. He’s never built anything that served any real purpose, especially not something that would help the common people get to where they need to go.)

  The guys are walking really slowly, so I’m not sure what’s up with that, but if it was my choice I’d be skedaddling across this stretch of ugly to some place a bit more festive. We get a shot of the ground, to show that it’s all parched and cracked (think Ann Coulter’s soul) and confirming that the guys did not check the right boxes when planning this vacation.

  Another close-up shot of the band members’ faces, confirming that there was a booking issue.

  Then we get to study the skies, where we have ominous black clouds that would make Lord Voldemort feel at home, then we cut to lead singer Dan in a place that is clearly not on your bucket list of concert venues. He doesn’t seem to mind, especially since he’s wearing a clever necklace that both looks ruggedly masculine and can also double as a protective device to banish warlocks who have become evil from studying posts on the wrong websites.

  Another long shot of the band lethargically making their way across an arid nothingness that looks somewhat like parts of Texas in August. (If you squint your eyes just right, you can see Rick Perry getting hairstyling tips from Satan.) Next up, we have the band encountering some black flags that have been shoved in the ground for no apparent reason. The “no apparent reason” part would have me high-tailing past these questionable flags, just because you really shouldn’t jack around with things you don’t understand, but the band continues to plod along like they’ve got a juicy record contract where they don’t have to put out another album for two more years.

  Brief shot of some more sand-blasted ruins. (Mitt Romney’s current status in the Republican Party?)

  Then we have Dan again, (at least I think so, hard to tell when you’re looking at a man’s butt as he shuffles toward some type of destruction in the distance) walking away from us. But then his buddies show up a bit behind him, and the whole gang is together as they help us understand the plot of the story not at all. Walking is involved, that’s about all I’ve got in my notes. Oh, and a scribble about never visiting whatever this planet might be, even if I get double the miles on my credit card.

  We cut to another scene where the band is still half-heartedly plotzing along, although the members seem to have spread out some. (Did they have another argument about the best use of discretionary funds when it comes to alcohol? Personal hygiene issue?) Whatever, they are making their way past what looks like a slave-ship that has run aground in the middle of the desert. (Symbolic of the eventual end of the Tea Party?)

  After a bit, the band makes its way to what might be considered a forest in this crappy place that does not inspire folk songs about the joy of living. (The trees look rather haggard and sinister, much like many of my elementary-school teachers who still believed that the best way to mold a student’s mind was to scare the hell out of him.) What treasures will they find in this grove designed by Rush Limbaugh’s pharmacist?

  Well, Dan finds a box. This box contains an object which glows without any obvious power source. The radiant egg looks very pretty in Dan’s hand, but my personal opinion is that you shouldn’t put your paws on something that kindles its own flame or that you find on a planet that does not appear in current science books, regardless of whether or not the Texas School Board has edited them to remove any references that are not a plank in the Republican Party platform. Just say no, to quote a certain Republican who only was one because she looked good in red dresses.

  Anyhow, the glowing egg convinces the band members to start digging holes in the sandy ground, because that’s just what you do when you find things in boxes that do not belong to you. (Brief cutaway wherein singer Dan does a solo bit while lightning flashes and clouds roil menacingly, further convincing us that this is clearly not a stop we should choose whilst on the subway.) Then we have an image of the egg being dropped in a hole that apparently leads all the way to China, so somebody around here is very skilled at offshore drilling.

  Quick scene where Dan turns toward us with a very anguished expression. No idea what might have caused this facial chaos, but I warned him that he shouldn’t touch mystical eggs that are obviously doused in radioactive sauce. Did he not learn anything from watching Silkwood?

  Okay, now the guys decide it’s time to pick up the pace, as we have a shot of them running like hell away from the Death Forest where evil chickens squirt out deviled eggs. (Although the chickens do get bonus points for packaging them in hand-carved wooden boxes instead of those cheap cardboard things that the rest of us have to deal with as we check for breakage.) The guys run for a long time, which is a nice way to build up the drama without the added expense of bringing in bit players who can wring their hands and stare at the Devil Forest with method-acting fear.

  Then things go boom. We see Dan flying through the air, with explosions happening behind him in a nifty use of someone’s computer graphics program. (He survives and scurries off to one side so he can finish the song, because it would be pointless if he didn’t get to use all the lyrics in the song.) There are mushroom projectiles blowing out of the ground, heading toward the ugly sky that no one should have on their itinerary, with other band members being artfully but unwillingly hurled toward the stars that only Carl Sagan can see in this backwater galaxy.

  Eventually, the mushrooming explosion-tentacles reach the clouds, and they break through the ominous overcast and manage to let a little bit of sunlight (or whatever assists this planet with photosynthesis and keeps things alive) come filtering downward. And the dark clouds of Not-Good begin to recede.

  Symbolic of the yearned-for moment when the political process in our country is based on facts and not endangered by right-wing, jacked-up white supremacy and greed? Or just Imagine Dragons simply hoping for the time when everyone gets to go on a nice picnic on a sunny day and not have to worry about the effects of eggs that others have laid?  You decide.

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Kesha - "C'Mon"

  We start out at looking at the sign for some run-down diner where botulism is probably on the menu, then we cut to Kesha sashaying in the back door of the questionable establishment. She’s wearing pigtails and Daisy-Duke shorts, so we know she’s up to no good. (She’s also going to town on a lollipop in a manner that suggests she could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch, but this should surprise absolutely no one.) The swinging door into the restaurant proper bangs open, and a greasy man with bad facial hair hollers “You’re late again!”

  What, is he her gynecologist?

  Kesha doesn’t care about things being late, so she pushes her way past him, mercilessly destroying the lollipop with her tongue, then she bends provocatively over the counter to fiddle with something. Greasy Man walks behind her and slaps the proffered fanny as he heads toward the rest of his miserable life, and Kesha has the nerve to make an unappreciative face about the contact. (Honey, don’t put it in the window if you don’t plan to sell it, sayin.)

  Then a customer, one of those old geezers that are dissatisfied with everything, starts bellowing about how hard it is to get some coffee around here. We really don’t care, especially since he has hair that makes him look like Marlon Brando in Last Tango in Paris when he did sexual things with butter and we probably shouldn’t be friends with him. But geezer’s ranting pushes Kesha over some kind of tipping point (like the groping didn’t?) and she plops her lolly into Marlon’s coffee cup and announces “I quit”.

  This causes some woman that we haven’t seen before to turn and look at Kesha in horror. (She should probably be giving that same look to the stylist who did her hair and makeup.) Greasy Man babbles about the technicalities of not being able to quit when you’ve been fired, but Kesha continues not to care as she and her pigtails march out the front door. Once outside, Kesha realizes that she doesn’t have any other goals in life now that she’s quit, so she sits on a convenient bench to wait for Luke and Bo Duke to drive up and whisk her away.

  This doesn’t happen. Instead, there’s an odd thunderclap in the sky, and a strange green vehicle barrels up the street and stops in front of her. There are cat ears on top of this odd van, and this is all the incentive that Kesha needs to run hop in the car, despite the fact that the door unleashes a bolt of electricity as she clamors inside. (In my own life, I tend to avoid vehicles that bite back, but I’m not a recording artist and I’ve had different life experiences.)

  As Kesha gets settled in the passenger seat, we realize two things: One, “Dream Maker” is emblazoned on the side of the van (another sign that you shouldn’t actually get in to the van) and two, the vehicle is being driven by a giant cat. To up the weirdness factor, the cat then picks up an 8-track tape with a kitty on the cover and shoves it into the player. This starts the actual song, and I’m reminded that we’re watching a music video and not an intervention on an episode of  “Celebrities Who Indulge In Excess and Let Cameras Roll While They’re Doing So”.

  Suddenly, Kesha’s outfit has been magically changed to something along the lines of a hippie chick from the late 60’s, complete with headband. Kesha loves her new threads, so she kisses the giant pussy in appreciation while colorful animation plays outside the front window of the car, trippy rainbows and such that indicate someone has consulted with a down-low pharmacist. Then the van peels out and we are treated to the sight of a giant cat tail sticking out between the exhaust pipes.

  Quick shot of Kesha and her new outfit doing something on a bed, then we have more giant stuffed animals acting all ghetto and shifty in what might be a park. Before we can ask any questions about that, Kesha starts singing the lyrics from her new address on the bed. Then she hops up from said bed so we can see that her new costume is even more startling than we first imagined (does Dorothy know that her ruby slippers have been stolen?), and her new abode looks like something Ike Turner would rent in 1972.

  Oh look, at least the new pad has a nice heart-shaped bathtub, which Kesha promptly jumps into so that she can make love to herself and the bubbles. The wetness kicks off a montage of Kesha flopping around on the bed, the stuffed animals running wild and acting all street, Kesha doing some choreography that took 3 seconds to map out, and something about an abundance of fringe.

  Then the stuffed animals arrive at Kesha’s new digs, and we have some reciprocal fondling, as it appears that Kesha just loves it when furry creatures want to party. (You probably shouldn’t let your children watch this part, or they may lay awake at night, looking over at their own pile of stuffed animals in fear.) Kesha and all the animals dance the night away, except during the bits when Kesha pauses to show us that she’s wearing more jewelry on one of her hands than the population of Newark.

  The shindig goes on for a while, with more of the same sexualizing of children’s toys, until Kesha and her personal zoo hop in the van and head to a cheap-ass grocery store in the bad part of town. (Not that we ever left it.) They head inside, fur and all, which unnerves the guy manning the place, a dude who looks like one of those hateful Phys Ed coaches from back in the day who would make you play dodge-ball just so you could get your ass kicked and feel demoralized.

  But instead of calling for backup, the Coach Cashier just watches as Kesha and her Saturday Morning Cartoon gang run through the store and tear the hell out of things. They trash this and break that and apparently have random sex in the chip aisle, which we don’t really need to discuss further or I might go blind. There’s even a bit where Kesha straddles a giant toothbrush, and while I appreciate the fact that Kesha realizes her squeeze box could use a good scrubbing, we don’t really need to see that.

  We wrap this segment up with Kesha performing some type of voodoo that turns the Coach into a kitty, which she then picks up and fondles in an intimate manner while her boyz and girlz continue destroying the rest of the store. Then they all do a victory dance celebrating their ability to not contribute to society in any way.

  Cut to Kesha somewhere else, wearing a helmet and riding a fancy motorcycle (with the “BMW” logo prominently displayed, because you really aren’t a pop star until you advertise products in your videos). Whilst riding the throbbing machine, Kesha sings some more and fondles herself and warbles about “I just wanna live right now” and appears to have multiple orgasms, everything but actually pay attention to where she’s driving and not injure the people who are innocently heading to the store that she just trashed and all the munchies have been ruined.

  Eventually, Kesha rejoins her Playtoy Posse and they make their way to the skanky restaurant where Kesha was formerly employed. (Is she unhappy about not getting to finish that lollipop?) Once there, some of the animals do gymnastics routines while Kesha perches on the counter and actually hits an amazingly good high note in the song.

  This sound kicks off the final montage of the video, with more of Kesha making a man out of the mattress in her Ike Turner dwelling, more of Kesha riding the motorbike that apparently comes with an especially satisfying stick shift, more of the (still creepy) stuffed animals partying like there was vodka in their distemper shots, more of the startling blond hair that may or may not be Kesha’s own, and more of Kesha wearing so much jewelry that I’m really not sure how she can lift her hand and signal the waiter that she needs another Wild Kingdom Martini.

  We end with Kesha taking a playful bite out of the shag-rug-enhanced side of the hot tub in her Love Shack, and then smiling and giggling about what she’s accomplished. I think that explains it all right there…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Jessie J, B.o.B – “Price Tag”

  We start out with a teddy bear sitting all alone on an empty stage. One of his eyes is missing and one of his arms is lying to the side, which is not a good development, so there must have been a rumble over a honey pot or something. The camera zooms in so we can see how sad it really is, then the camera pulls back out and we have a petite, sad little girl sitting next to what we now realize is a giant bear. Where did the girl come from? Why is everyone unhappy? Is this going to be another horror movie about demonic children who do horrible things because they didn’t get the right attention at the right time?

  I guess not, because the music starts and the little girl runs behind the giant bear and comes out on the other side as the full-grown Jessie. (I guess the bear has a magic portal back there. Who knew?) We cut to somewhere else where Jessie, now wearing an all-black outfit, proceeds to give a short presentation on the Home Shopping Network involving dolls. These things look a bit voodoo in nature, so there might be something Jessie should probably share about an incident in New Orleans.

  I guess the dolls sell out really quickly, because we cut back to original Jessie, with an outfit that clearly lets you know where her breasts are located. She’s sitting in between the bear’s legs, because that’s not provocative at all, and sings a bit. The bear continues to look sad, so this bit of business might not be on his bucket list.

  Then we have the first of several montages, this one involving Bear Jessie giving a concert from the bear’s crotch and Black Jessie running about and waving props that indicate key words in the songs. (It does appear that Black Jessie may not be aware that pants actually came with her outfit, but her golden shoes and designer nail polish more than make up for this oversight.) There’s a brief bit where we see three men just standing there without any obvious purpose. (Maybe they’re from Child Protective Services, inquiring about what happened to the little girl in the opening scene?)

  Oh wait, Jessie managed to slip into yet another outfit while we were checking out the Three Strange Men, and this one is also black, so we might have to come up with different names for our Jessie Girls. In the meantime, we keep getting shots of Original Black Jessie standing near a road sign and trying to determine the way to San Jose.  New Black Jessie doesn’t know the answer, so she just boogies a bit in her snug outfit until we think of a better question. After all, if you dance and smile enough, you’ll forget that your teddy bear doesn’t have an arm.

  Whoops, we’ve got a new Jessie, this one mucking about under a tree that grows money, so apparently such a thing really does exist, the rest of us just haven’t found the right travel agent. Windfall Jessie is very perky, bopping about and quite satisfied, which I guess we all would be if we could just walk out into the backyard and pluck the rent payment off a branch. (And Windfall Jessie is actually wearing pants, so things are really working out for her.)

  And we have another montage, with visits to all of the Jessie Girls that we know and love. Windfall Jessie gets the most exposure during this time, but that’s just how things roll when you have lots of extra cash. Just ask any of the Kardashians. And Jessie’s highly-lacquered fingernails get second billing, because we get to see a lot of those things as well. But with that much nail polish being waved around, you need to be careful about accidental chipping, because a chunk of that flying through the air could take an eye out. (Hey, is that what happened to the bear? Poor guy.)

  Okay, new Jessie, this one in the form of a ballerina in a music box. Jessie’s gone blond for this bit, but you don’t really notice at first because her tutu has enough material to completely wrap a school bus. But she certainly has the part down, looking quite elegant as she twirls around and pretends that there’s not a metal rod running from her hiney down into the gears of the music box. (She probably had to take special classes for realism on that angle.)

  We have a quick segment, during the part where one of the Jessies is singing about music back in the day when we didn’t have “video ho’s” and such, where Jessie and a couple of her trashier friends demonstrate how nasty those Nickis and Fergies of today look. But during the midst of her political statement, when Jessie grabs her crotch as a demonstration? It’s pretty hot, and probably helps explain why this video has 250 million hits on YouTube. It’s a fine line to walk, eh Jessie? But hey, you’ve got the pipes, and that impression lasts way longer than a g-string imprint.

  Next up we have Marionette Jessie, with her and two of her friends attached to strings that manipulate their moves, followed by scenes where Marionette Jessie is forced to ride a tricycle that is too small for her. (I can’t speak for Jessie on the political undertones of that, but I’ll just take it to be a slam at the record executives with their heads up their collective magic portals.)

  And we have another montage (well, really, videos these days are basically one huge montage), this one featuring the marionettes, both of the Black Jessies, Tricycle Jessie, nail polish, the kitchen sink, and the introduction of B.o.B, reminding us that this is one of those “featuring” songs where artists who have never even spoken to one another before now decide they can’t live unless they do a duet. (With “duet” usually meaning two separate personalities and styles are slammed together in a song, and the artists never actually see each other during production. More marionette strings.)

  Anyway, B.o.B struts on the minimalist stage, performing next to one of those old-school cars that looks like it’s been rode hard and put up wet. (I have no idea what kind of car, I’m not one of those people who can see something coming down the highway and yell out the make, model and year and then have a small orgasm. It’s a car, beat-up. End of my knowledge base.)

  B.o.B has something to say about six-strings and half-stacks and garages and an upcoming trip to Mars.
Not really sure about all that, but then he gets to a nice bit about doing the music for the love of it and not the bling and suddenly I’ve got my lighter in the air. (Which impressed nobody else in the house and I quickly put it down, but still.) Then he goes into a sequence where he dances next to giant-size replicas of those little plastic army guys we played with as a kid until we lost all of them in the seat cushions on the couch.

  Cue a fancy, big-ass dollhouse, which opens up to reveal Jessie squished inside of it, still not wearing pants. (What has she got against those things?) There’s very little room for her to move, but Jessie is a trooper and manages to pull off some nice dance moves even though she can only squirm about one inch in any direction.

  And this kicks off the final montage, with B.o.B initially dancing with Jessie for a while (proving that they actually met), but then he walks away and returns to his record label. But the rest of the Jessies are still with us, along with some new friends like (maybe) Jessie with some kind of diamond-encrusted lipstick and one of the sidekick marionettes who clearly needs some frizz-control products for her hair. Everyone seems very happy that we’ve dispensed with the softball criticisms of the music industry and now we can all relax.

  Big Jessie gets to dance with Little Jessie from the first scene (proving she’s just fine, so those Child Protective Services people can stick it). Bear Jessie gets to sit in a giant chair and show us some serious red strappy pumps on her feet, the marionettes have a much better attitude, and Money-Tree Jessie gets to lay on the floor and look at one of her legs that has been disassociated from her body. (Okay, that last bit returns us to horror-movie territory, and I don’t want to spoil the mood by asking questions about it, so let’s just look the other way and keep dancing. Even if Money-Tree can’t do that anymore.)

  Oh wait, I lied, Money can still get her groove on, in another scene where she’s back by the tree and tearing up the currency fruit, because she don’t need no bling when she can just sing. The CPS guys are doing a line dance, Tricycle Jessie has upped her status to moto-cross clearance and is whizzing about, and even B.o.B shows up here and there for this closing number, proving that some people really do mean it when they say they want to work together. (Unlike the Republicans in the House of Representatives.)

  The song rolls to an end with all of the Jessie Girls and their friends doing the “aaahhhhh” final bit of the lyrics, which is actually quite nice as a song closer and a video wind-down, and then Squished Jessie smiles at us as she pulls the front of her dollhouse closed…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Flock of Seagulls – “I Ran (So Far Away)”

  And here we go back to the early 80’s, when an amazing number of English new-wave bands consisted of very pale people wearing alarming makeup and hair that had been styled with a pitchfork. Ah, memories…

  We start out with the drummer kicking things off, wearing an outfit indicating he just left his day job, one where he is a chef in a trendy restaurant that will close within two months. Cut to lead singer Mike with his alarming, upswept hairdo that has more volume than some of the smaller countries in Europe, back to the drummer, and finally to the two guitar players standing in the middle of what we quickly learn is a rotating stage. The fact that the stage is constantly moving might explain some of the wackiness to follow, but I think drugs are still the underlying axis of evil here.

  The one blond guitar player looks like he could have been in the Wang Chung band if only he had listed the right things on his resume, and the brunette player made a seriously bad decision with his eyewear. Even at the time, when all of us cool-kid wannabees were wearing outrageous things because we were desperate for attention and we were drunk, I was still stunned by seeing the enormous pink sunglasses on this guy. Perhaps Nancy Reagan was watching this video when she came up with the “Just Say No” slogan.

  The stage continues to spin for a bit, making sure that we’ve been properly introduced to all the band members, and someone not making sure to place the surrounding disco mirrors so that we wouldn’t see the camera every time we twirled past it. Of course, this was the early days of MTV, when everything was experimental, and that experiment did not include black people or their music.

  Oh wait, now we have the first shot of singer Mike standing in front of several mirrors that replicate him and his hair in interesting ways. Initially this is very exciting, and we all applauded appropriately back in the day. But eventually we will lurch into overkill with the reflections, and you will want to destroy the mirrors with the will of your mind.

  Brief shot of Mike looking down at his keyboard like he has no idea what it is, even though he’s supposed to be playing the thing. (Dude, you’ve really got to learn to take your drugs in the right order, this was basic 80’s party etiquette.) Cut to Mike back with the multiple mirrors, and we get our first shot of multiple drag queens. Okay, there are only two of them, and they are supposed to represent the “girl like you” that Mike never thought he would meet. But the mirrors? They jack things up.

  At first, the girls and their trash-bag outfits don’t want anything to do with Mike, and they march away in formation. But they do pause to look back at us during the “hypnotize” bit of the lyrics, so we can see laser beams shooting out of their eyes. For me, this bit of unpleasantness would be a date-ender, but I suppose I can appreciate the laser beams since they will one day allow you to have your gall bladder removed without invasive surgery.

  More extended shots of the band spinning on the revolving stage (I can still see the camera, folks) and another close-up of the pink sunglasses that only Yoko Ono or the French edition of Vogue would promote. Then we cut to Mike and one of the Drag Girls trying to overpower his makeup with hers in front of the mirrors. Mike staggers around for a little bit and tries to weakly paw at one of the mirrors like it’s an exit door while singing “couldn’t get away”. We get another close-up of one of the Drag Girls, with her brick-size eye-shadow letting us know that she means business.

  More pink sunglasses.

  Longish scene with Mike playing the keyboards and looking absolutely terrified of us. Or the fact that if he moves around too much the shellac on his hair might break. But he’s a trooper, and he keeps singing, wailing the words about the “aurora borealis” coming into view, and then he looks up. Like he can see the sky while in a mirror warehouse. Quick shot of one of the Drag Girls, her expression indicating that she has more important clients to dominate later and we need to get this thing moving.

  Quick shot of both Drag Girls marching at us in formation, and I don’t think they want anyone to be happy.

  More shots of Mike and both girls in front of those mirrors, with him still trying to escape without any real dedication to the effort. (They’re only cheap-ass mirrors, man, just knock one of them over.) Thankfully, we cut to the Drummer Chef doing one of his solos, and there’s nothing like insistent percussion to take your mind off of things. As the music gets more lively and guitar-based, instead of makeup-based, we get to see pink flames burning at the bottom of the screen. Right under the guitar player with the wretched pink glasses. Symbolism, much?

  Brief shot of the Drag Girls indicating that they don’t appreciate the sudden prominence of the guitars or the low-budget special effects. This inspires them to march toward the camera in defiance of all things not about them.

  Back to the rotating stage, because such a thing probably cost a lot of money when Margaret Thatcher and her intimidating hair were in power, and they might as well get their money’s worth with the shoot. Mike is still playing the keyboards in a passive-aggressive manner, we can still see the camera, and the guitar players have not moved from the middle of the spinning wheel, afraid that if they do so they will be hurled closer to the Trash-Bag Tarts who learned makeup application from a brick-layer with a trowel.

  Another long scene with Mike (who may also know the brick-layer) and his vibrant red shirt and power hair riding the carousel. He does seem to be a bit more confident now, so he might have gotten his sea legs, but he still keeps closing his eyes more often than he should and his movements are very jerky. (People should only look like this when they are on the witness stand about a questionable homicide, not when they are making a music video.) Oh wait, he seems to have picked up an extra dance move, where he makes his hand look like a claw and attacks the keyboard like an outtake from Nosferatu.

  And we’re back to the Hall of Mirrors, with Mike submissively not really trying to escape from the Max Factor Twins. (This is getting a little old. Somebody just needs to become somebody else’s bitch so we can be done with this part.) Oh great, now the other members of the band have joined them, with all four guys unable to overpower two women wearing so much makeup that they can barely hold their heads up. (And still, no one thinks about just knocking over a mirror and heading to a pub for a pint or two.)

  We finally head into the last bit of the song, with another appearance of the low-tech pink flames (hey, maybe that’s the stage name for the Drag Girls!) because the guitars start wailing again. Brief shot of Mike and his keyboard being over it all, another visit with the Chef Drummer who really just wants to get back in the kitchen and baste something, and another helping of the pink sunglasses to keep us awake at night.

  Final shot is of Mike and his hair glaring at the camera.  He’s either really tired of spinning in a circle for hours, or he’s upset about the upcoming lawsuit where a judge will have to decide if he or Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins owns the rights to their shared hairstyle…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Poison – “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”

  Okay, folks, except for a little intro bit where people appear to be dissatisfied after a sexual encounter, this is mostly snippets of concert footage with no real story. So we’ll have to do the timestamp bit. Here we go…

0:04  Random shot of an alarm clock from 1938.

0:07  Gratuitous shot of Bret Michael’s nipples. (They later file a class action lawsuit for their share of the profits made from this video.)

0:15  Awkward shot of Bret’s armpit. (Checking that off the bucket list.)

0:19  Unflattering shot of Bret’s bed partner, with an expression that she is clearly unhappy about something. (Probably the sports bra that she unwisely chose to wear during the presumed sexual encounter.)

0:24  Who has more hair in this scene? Press “A” for Bret and “B” for unnamed nymphet.

0:32  Bret’s crotch, because a house is not a home until you’ve seen something like that.

0:37  A band member that is only staying awake to finish his cigarette.

0:42  Kesha?

0:46  Shot of nymphet’s butt. Why does she insist on wearing clothing that cannot possibly be comfortable? Those panties have got to be from the Spanish Inquisition.

0:53  Brett playing his guitar all alone on a stage that appears to be littered with empty condom packets. (Seriously, what else could those things be?)

0:59  Somebody wearing a hat but no shirt throws a green towel in anger. The towel will later seek therapy.

1:04  That’s a seriously big mouth right there, sure is.

1:13  I believe two members of the band are playing hopscotch together. Not sure.

1:18  Somebody has the Heimlich Maneuver performed on them, possibly against their will.

1:25  How can one person’s hair contain that much sweat? That could be another possible source of renewable energy.

1:32  A proposed new Muppet that was abandoned during the design phase.

1:40  The couture in this scene did not receive a stamp of approval from Vogue.

1:49  Random butt crack, plumber not involved.

1:50  A young George Michael  on the left, bad hairdo in the middle, and steroid abuser on the right.

2:10  Somebody driving really fast on a rain-drenched highway. Nothing bad can happen here.

2:16  More nipples.

2:19  Nifty bit where band members toss guitars across the stage. Just like a high school drill team, only completely not.

2:24  And another crotch shot, this one involving festive leather pants and a special camera lens that makes things seem enormously big.

2:29  Bret apparently hates chalkboards, and shows his displeasure by dousing it with the remnants of his cocktail. The chalkboard later sues for damages, and somebody ends up having to sell a house to settle the lawsuit.

2:25  Band member is beating the hell out of the stage with his guitar. People paid good money in the 80’s to see such a thing happen. Reagan was President. You do the math.

2:41  Daryl Hannah after a really bad bender.

2:46  More sweat cascading off the drummer guy. Shouldn’t he speak to a doctor about that?

2:53  Foot injury of some kind. But adult beverages are on hand. It’s all good.

3:16  Daryl Hannah breeds with rejected Muppet character, creating Exhibit A. Authorities study this for decades.

3:28  The one guy is still beating the hell out of that guitar. This does not appear to be a healthy relationship. Later, Dr. Phil will speak with the guitar and tell it to man up.

3:43  Flowers shoved in a plastic gallon of water, an open beer, a hair dryer, a guitar pick, a tiny towel that couldn’t dry anything, somebody’s belt, a can of Cheez Whiz, a musical instrument with startling pink accents, and what might be either a water fountain or an awkward bidet. I have no idea what this scene is trying to accomplish.

3:54  No one should ever wish for their hair to behave in this manner. For any reason. It cannot be justified.

3:59  Wait, did Poison perform on Broadway at some point? What’s up with that group bow?

4:04  Stripper pole on the stage. Need I say any more?

4:14  Star-spangled spandex. (Did I mention it was the 80’s?)

4:26  Debbie Harry on a bender, smoking a cigarette while Ross from “Friends” bandages her finger and wears an odd hat.

4:36  Bret leaves the stage, and begins prepping for his season on Celebrity Apprentice twenty years later. Where his hair will once again have to compete for best volume, this time with Donald Trump…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Smash Mouth – “All Star”

  Okay, we start out with the stars of that Mystery Men movie from back in the day holding some type of audition for a new superhero. This opening bit may or may not be from the actual movie. (I’ve never actually seen the thing, because it features a certain actor that is just not my favorite. His name rhymes with Gwen Filler, for those keeping score.) Anyway, we have this audition thing, and a string of superhero wannabes are proving that they don’t get out of the house all that much and they are obviously reading the wrong comic books. It’s sad, and there’s clearly not enough alcohol being served.

  Suddenly, lead singer Steve comes trouncing along, picks up the pathetic person auditioning before him, and hurls said loser into a nearby county. The Mystery Men judging team mugs for the camera and nods approvingly, so apparently Steve has been hired, probably based on his shot-putting skills and the ability to pull off the narrowest beard known to mankind. The song proper kicks off, and we cut to Steve feeling very festive and singing the song whilst walking down a long street that is probably the entrance to Ben Stiller’s trailer on the set.

  Steve comes across a couple of youngsters, the girl dressed as a referee and the boy wearing a leather jacket with fringe, indicating that they have been home-schooled. The boy disdainfully gives Steve that “shape of an L on her forehead” hand-signal, as if anybody sporting Village People couture has the right to pull a Helen Keller smack-down on somebody else. Steve doesn’t care and just keeps marching on, because the little urchin doesn’t even have facial hair, let alone facial hair that has been sculpted with minimalism and style.

  Steve suddenly jumps on the roof of a swanky stretch-limo, and proceeds to do some type of jig. (This is what I always want to do when encountering vehicles that are too long to parallel park.) Meanwhile, the rest of the band is performing in the nearby yard of a house, so the neighborhood association hasn’t done due diligence when it comes to zoning laws.

  Steve’s transcendent dancing is interrupted by two screaming women who have been transported in from Jersey, with their hairstyles and questionable clothing choices intact. They seem to be hollering something about their house being on fire, and that their beloved pooch, probably named Tony Soprano, is trapped in an upper room of the Bonfire Abode. (The one girl refuses to let go of her oversize martini, despite the trauma, so we’d probably be best friends in other circumstances.)

  Steve races through the house and the flames, still wearing his sunglasses and not getting the least bit singed by the inferno, and delivers four-legged Tony to the big-haired women. They each have small orgasms of appreciation, but then they quickly get over Steve because he hasn’t killed anybody for mafia reasons yet and any further relationship simply couldn’t work out.

  No matter, Steve wanders out into the street again, where he finds two not-natural redheads posing near and on a souped-up something-mobile. Their movements indicate that they are either doing a dance or need to get sprayed for crabs. This is apparently all the invitation that Steve needs, so he hops in the driver’s seat of the sex-cycle and away they go, with Red and Red II pawing on Steve and straddling everything they can.

  Before Steve and Hormone I and Hormone II get to wherever, we cut to the band playing in an underground parking lot, because all the cool kids are doing that these days, mixed in with snippets of some folks hopping into that stretch-limo that previously served as a dance floor. Oh wait, some other people are piling into a vintage car featuring a blue-and-white theme (don’t ask me for further details, I can only confirm that it has tires, not a car geek), and both vehicles packed with strangers go racing… somewhere. There’s a brief car chase of some kind, with the vintage car featuring William H. Macy looking anguished like he did in Fargo. Does this mean there’s a wood chipper coming up?

  We now have an official montage, involving the band playing in that parking lot, the car chase with the ugly limo and the Mystery Mobile driven by William, and shots of Steve still tooling along in that wide-ass futuristic motorcycle that has enough room for the Red Twins to spread their legs as wide as they need to spread them. (Wait, do their outfits have cherries on them? That’s a lawsuit right there, with false advertising and such.)

  Out of nowhere, we have a big car crash sequence, where the Mystery Mobile slams into an ancient mobile home that some fool has left in the middle of a tunnel on I-95. There are fiery explosions and stuff, but the more interesting result of this mishap is that it triggers a man in an old-school red sweat suit to start doing the robot. Or maybe he’s popping and locking. I can’t get past the glare of his outfit to focus on whatever he might be trying to accomplish.

  Jump to another scene where some of the Smash Mouth people (not Steve) are sitting in the stretch limo (oh, that’s who was in there) and minding their own business, when suddenly the Mystery Mobile pulls up alongside. This doesn’t look good, especially if you haven’t had time to hide the weed under the seat. (Hold up, didn’t the Mystery Mobile explode just a bit ago, when it slammed into the white trash mobile home with parking violations?  I guess it doesn’t matter, we lost our grasp on reality when Steve danced on top of a fancy car and the owner didn’t come after him with a lug wrench.)

  I guess the Mystery Men don’t know how to remain calm and have a polite conversation to discuss issues, because they all jump out of the Mobile and start terrorizing the limo with bowling balls and bad costume decisions. They scream and holler a bit, then they hop back in their hoopty and take off, without proving anything. Steve drives up in his awesome blossom tricycle (hey, why are the Not-Cherry Girls standing on the other side of the limo, like they just sashayed back from a mani-pedi?), and the Smash Mouth folks run to the Blossom Bike and away they go, leaving Cherries and Jubilee to find their own way home.

  Next we have the Blossom Bike rolling up to a school bus on its side in the middle of a street, with what might be a blow-up doll trapped under the side of the heavy vehicle. (There are two cheerleaders standing slightly off to the side, waving their pom poms and cheering on whatever is about to happen. I’m guessing they were home-schooled as well, because the proper reaction would be to assist the injured and not screech lame-ass cheers about athletic victory.)

  But instead of immediately rescuing Blow-Up Girl, we pause for a bit so Steve and the other Mouths can sing and play. (After all, this is a music video, and people in peril can hang on just a bit whilst you market your skills.) Then Steve finally gets around to marching over and lifting the school bus off the ground all by himself. (The Romanian judge immediately signals the Olympic judging committee that steroids are involved and Steve should not win the gold medal. But that happens all the time with bitter representatives from former-Communist countries, so we shouldn’t care.)

  Blow-Up Girl turns out to be more than just something you fill with air and then violate, because she is able to rise from the pavement on her own, wearing a sash that says “Miss All Star” and waving at her fans, without nary a scratch. (Perhaps it was the layer of protective silicon that saved her.) To celebrate the fact that another supermodel has survived unscathed, the remaining cheerleaders who were hiding in the now-upright bus all lean out the windows and lead the crowd in a festive cheer. It’s almost Hallmark-worthy.

  Zip over to the band now performing in some place where they have lots of trophies (for the minimalist beard?) and plenty of room for the band members to leap about like the enchilada plate was quite spicy, indeed. Since the wearisome task of trying to keep an actual plot alive is no longer upon them, they really cut loose. Which means that they get to knock over things and generally behave in a manner that would have normally gotten them a back-handed slap from their mothers.

  As the song ends, the camera pulls back, letting us know that they were apparently performing in the garage of a modest house. (Really? A garage that big simply doesn’t happen unless you sign your checks Donald “Asshat” Trump.) The final shot is of the Mystery Men standing in the driveway and clapping. Well, we only see the backs of these people. They could be anybody. But as long as the Blow-Up Doll survived her wretched, mascara-smearing imprisonment, I think I can sleep peacefully tonight…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Blink-182 – “All The Small Things”

  We start out with the Blinkers apparently having just stepped off a private jet. They’re all wearing completely white outfits, so either they’re practicing to be orderlies or they’ve just returned from Fantasy Island. Then we suddenly cut to a crowd of fans somewhere, with Mark (I think) dancing around in his underwear whilst wearing an odd hat. This is a possible sign of the Apocalypse, so we should all pack a bag and prepare to run like hell, just in case.

  Then the rest of the band shows up, and now we have Tom acting all ghetto-fabulous while the other guys pretend that they’re his backup singers only without coordinated moves or hairstyles. Zip over to Tom wearing what might be a bustier made out of Minnie Mouse’s ears, winking at us because the outfit makes him feel unbelievably sexy. (There are some other people behind him wearing matching camouflage pants and trying to dance, but you really don’t care what they’re doing since we can’t get past the bustier.)

  We get to see the band actually perform for roughly two seconds, then we’re flying all over the place again, with more of the ghetto fab, the rodent undergarments, the underwear, and hundreds of screaming women who are either terrified or incredibly horny. (There’s also some mess with the three guys wearing candy-colored silk shirts and sporting blacked-out teeth, making them look like hillbillies that got hit by an exploding Oompa Loompa.)

  And the uncertainty continues, with more of Tom leading his camouflage dance troupe where no one is really paying attention to him, the guys getting all boy-band on a beach with matching black t-shirts and crashing waves, the underwear that remains startling with each new shot, Mark getting jealous and wanting his own bustier, something about an airplane hangar and a possible jet-fuel spill that makes people assume a squatting position, and the women who are screaming in either agony or ecstasy.

  (I look down and realize that we’re only one minute into the video. If we keep this pace up, my fingers are gonna snap right off of this keyboard. These guys need to settle down and let the backup dancers do something for a while. Then I look back at the video and realize that during my one-second distraction I’ve probably missed 47 jump shots and at least one round of Mark making his wondernuts bounce in his panties.)

  Cut to Tom jacking around with one of those coin-operated telescopes, through which he is watching Mark being attacked on the beach by a dog, with the dog trying to rip Mark’s pants off. (Probably so Fido can take them to the other Mark in the scene where he doesn’t have any.) Next we have Tom on that same beach (that set is getting a workout), flopped on his belly and warbling to us. This scene prepares us in no way at all for the next one, where one of the guys is dressed as a girl, standing on a rock and clutching one of those giant rubber balls that were a hoot when you were little until someone hit you in the face with it and then all the neighbor kids had to go home while Mommy wiped your tears and drank vodka out of a paper cup.

  Man-Girl suddenly starts racing down the beach with her ball in a gratuitous scene where s/he shows lots of butt crack and flopping pigtails. I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, but I suddenly want to watch Chariots of Fire and the third season of  The L Word.

  Next we have Tom starting to get slightly amorous with that telescope, so he apparently has a fetish about things that magnify, more dancing around in the jet-fuel spill like nothing bad can happen doing that, and the guys running naked down the worn-out beach that is probably ready for all these people to stop tromping around like idiots and just go home. There’s also a bit where Mark spends some quality time with some lovely ladies that are pouring hot wax on him. (Now that’s a Scentsy part that I would attend, mmm hmm.)

  Back to Tom, who is now openly frenching the turn-knob on the telescope, so don’t be surprised if little baby telescopes show up on the tour bus in nine months.  Then they finally let Travis have some serious screen time, and he spends it by running down that tired beach with a busty woman who apparently wants nothing more than to be hurled to the ground so she and Travis can roll around like an enchilada on crack. This romantic montage is mixed in with more shots of the colorful hillbillies, Mark taking an erotic shower while fully-dressed (now he’s going to put his clothes on?), and Tom and Mark sniffing each other’s flowers.

  All of this is upstaged by the image of Tom sitting on a man-throne and lustily unrolling the toilet paper. With a vanity wind-machine blowing, no less. And a pirate shirt. (I’m sure they had a reason for going there, they just didn’t leave any notes behind when they did.)

  Anyway, we’re rolling into the final chorus of the song, so we wrap things up by revisiting all of the special places we’ve been, so you can choose your favorites and possibly act them out at your next party. Jet fuel, ghetto glam, underwear, screaming fans who show their adulation by exposing themselves and/or making marriage proposals, and Travis’ little girlfriend from the beach waving a sign announcing her pregnancy, so he apparently has some very quick and efficient sperm.

  And then the boys wave goodbye and hop back on their plane, as unsatisfied women wail and a grown man wearing a giant banana cries. It’s very sad….

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Lumineers – “Ho Hey”

  We start out by reviewing a framed photograph and some nice homespun artwork on a wall, helping establish the fact that we’re about to review the work of a folk rock band and not the latest bragfest from a rapper who can’t rhyme unless a nearly-nude woman is hanging on each arm, both of them begging for his physical attentions. Then the camera turns and we follow a string of old-timey lights down a darkened hallway, so we’re either about to meet the pleasant folk singers or we’re about to be attacked by a masked serial killer with questionable fixation issues.

  We make it to the end of the hallway without any bloodshed, and here comes lead singer Wesley walking out of a side room (hey, what was happening in there?), strumming his guitar and wearing a festive hat. He doesn’t immediately face us, so we might have done something wrong with our arrival (were we supposed to bring a covered dish?), but he appears to get over it and turns in our direction. Then he walks right past us and keeps singing to someone that we can’t see.

  Hmm. I guess we should have read up on proper Lumineer etiquette, because we’re obviously doing something wrong. Maybe there’s a brochure on a table somewhere?

 Wesley strolls back down the long hallway, pausing in front of an open door along the way. We can’t really see much of what’s in the room, but it seems to be filled with the kind of junk people should just throw away but there’s always something interesting on TV and it never happens. I’m not really sure what we’re supposed to be learning here, but we’ve already pissed Wesley off so I make sure to gaze at the broken and dusty whatever with considerable awe and respect.

  Then we’re suddenly in another part of this building, which could be anything from an abandoned school to an Amish recording studio to that creepy Overlook Hotel where Jack Nicholson went cray-cray and became best friends with an axe. Wesley and Jeremiah suddenly make a grand entrance from behind a poorly-designed red curtain. (Did Helen Keller hang that thing?) They are quickly joined by Neyla, and the three of them trot down another hallway, very happy to be singing and walking through an odd structure, wearing simple clothing devoid of bling.

  As they shuffle along, they start doing these little synchronized dips at key moments in the song, usually during a “ho” or a “hey”.  Then they kick in with some nifty footwork, indicating that there is actually a line dance that goes with this little ditty, which means that I have missed yet another cultural development and I should be woefully ashamed.

  Oh wait, I think somebody just stomped on a light bulb, which seems rather violent for a song about devotional love and abbreviated yodeling. I start to ask Neyla about this, but she chooses that moment to ignore me and turn back toward the main hallway, where we can see lots of people dressed just like Wesley and Jeremiah, hats included, running past. (Some of the runners have breasts, so they’re not exactly like Wes and Jerry, unless there are a few critical details that have been left out of the band biographies.)

  Neyla runs to join them, so we do as well, because we sure as hell don’t know where the exits are in this place. We end up in a large room where the band is suddenly giving an impromptu concert for all the folks who took the time to dress alike. Whoops, we’re back to just the three band members two-stepping down that one hall, then the big room again, then the hall once more, with the clones joining the band and creating a capacity issue. Back to just the three, with Jeremiah rudely knocking over a cupcake piñata with his tambourine.

  I officially don’t know what’s going on here. Is there a part coming up where Rachel Maddow walks in and helps me understand things? I’m starting to feel like Shelley Duvall not understanding that Jack Nicholson doesn’t understand that the hotel is haunted and some serious not-good is about to happen.

  And we’re back in the big room, where someone has quickly accessorized the goings-on with more strings of lights and roses that appear to be hanging from the ceiling. This makes everyone very happy and they all throw their matching hats in the hair while an unseen member of the cast sets of a confetti machine, which results in thousands of pieces of colorful paper filling the air. (Think of the trees, people! Surely it’s not good to destroy an ancient forest just so you can pretend you’re at a victory parade.)

  But no one is interested in my concerns, because I’m the fool that didn’t bring a covered dish or at least a decent bottle of dandelion wine. (There’s even one girl, that sort of looks like Angelina Jolie but without the lips or the product or the career, who flips me the finger. Or she might have been just pointing at the cash bar and asking me to grab her another apple martini. I really couldn’t tell because of all the dead trees in the air.)

  We roll into the final bit of the song, where the ho’s and the hey’s become super important, and the whole crowd is in a joyous rapture at getting to yell out those bits. So they stomp and clap and holler, as Wesley and Jeremiah smile and enjoy the love while the song ends.

  Wait a minute, where’s Neyla? Is she out in one of the hallways, holding hands with her twin sister and waiting for Danny to ride by on a Big Wheel?

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Kelly Clarkson – “Catch My Breath”

  Note: On the surface, this appears to be just a video of Kelly standing on a stage and reacting to some occasional fancy special effects around her as she sings. On a deeper level, Kelly is actually doing an interpretive dance on what it’s like to grow up in a small town in Texas. (She may not realize that’s what it is, so we’ll just have to tell her about it later.) And here we go…

  We start out with Kelly standing a bit away from us, a lone, solitary figure. This is a representation of how many small Texas towns have populations that are so tiny that the figures are almost negative and the Census Bureau doesn’t even bother stopping by. When there are only 7 people in town, everybody knows your business and you can’t belch without everybody knowing about it in 3 seconds.

  Then we have some images of water, another sign of things that are different in small towns. When you don’t have any citizens, you can’t collect any taxes to pay for adequate water-treatment facilities. You have to wait for it to rain before you can get a glass of water. It’s very sad. No wonder Kelly starting writing songs about a better life.

  We zoom in on Kelly, and she’s wearing a dress that is very flattering but also could have doubled as a costume that a galactic empress might have worn in an old Star Trek episode. (She clearly wouldn’t have been able to purchase this at the local clothing emporium (which also doubles as a feed store), so she must have a cousin or something that lives in a bigger city and secretly sends her couture in the mail.)

  Then Kelly starts singing, and she’s waving her arms with the initial segment of her interpretive dance, the part of the story that details what it’s like having the same teacher for more than one year whilst attaining a public education. (There’s only so much you can do when there are only 3 teachers in the entire school system, and one of them has to take extended leaves to bring in the crops during harvest season.)

  We get a glimpse of some rather evocative rings on Kelly’s fingers (more down-low gifts from that cousin?) and another shot of water, then we see several different angles of Kelly’s now-blond tresses. (All good Texas women go blond at some point, it’s a tradition that dates back to the discovery of the first peroxide well in Beaumont.)

  The first round of the chorus kicks in, and now Kelly is getting very dramatic, waving her hands and flipping her hair with intensity. This is probably the part about running from escaped cattle, because this happens all the time in farm-based communities. You’re innocently practicing your talent routine for the Armadillo Princess Beauty Pageant, and next thing you know there’s a herd of Angus taking over the Dairy Queen.

  Oh wait, now there’s some graphic imagery of what might be roses turning into very bitter hornets. I’m not really sure about that bit of psychology, but when I turn to Kelly for some intel, she’s busy dancing under some pink storm clouds. Ah, so now we’re telling the story of the weather in Texas, a thing that boggles the mind. One minute it’s 112 degrees and the highways are buckling, then the next minute a cold front has frozen the cows’ tongues to their salt lick. (This is probably why they sound so angry when they moo.)

  Whoops, now the clouds are gone, and Kelly is really waving her arms and subtly thrusting her hips. This might be the part where Kelly is discussing sexual relationships in the Lone Star state. (Bottom line: Everybody claims that they aren’t getting any but everyone is.) To simulate the climaxes that no one talks about, they shove a wind machine at Kelly so that her hair flies straight upward in a symbolic orgasm.

  We now have what looks like water droplets flying through the night sky. Although you might think that Kelly is referencing water supplies again, she’s actually bravely bringing up another taboo subject: The fact that alien beings have somehow gotten past the Texas Rangers and infiltrated the state. I don’t know why Texans don’t like to talk about it, but it’s obvious that UFO’s can be the only explanation for the people you meet in certain West Texas towns.

  Kelly loses me for a bit during a montage of her standing in water and getting her dress wet mixed with more of that wind machine, but then we roll into a segment where purple and gold fire is taking over the screen. This is clearly a reference to the significance of high-school football in a state where scoring touchdowns trumps all. It’s more important than home mortgages, happy marriages, and having the biggest barbecue grill. (Although that last bit runs a close second.)

  We get a few shots of Kelly wearing what might be a jacket made out of Yeti fur, and I’m just going to have to let that one go. I have no idea.

  Okay, Kelly has just changed her arm choreography, which means we’re on another chapter of her interpretive dance, and I believe this one concerns the political divide in the state. Despite the other 49 states gazing upon Texas with either horror or adulation (depending on the blueness or redness of the client base in those states), Texas is not a locked-in Fox News outpost. Change is on the horizon, and I believe Bob Dylan wrote a song about it, he just didn’t know it at the time.

  Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, this is about Kelly dancing the story of her upbringing, not mine. We check back in with her, and at the moment she’s doing some more things with the Yeti jacket and trying to keep the wind-machine hair out of her face so she can sing the song. Then we suddenly roll into more scenes of the odd water droplets in the night sky and Kelly wearing an outfit that creates a star image above her breasts. Kelly really enjoys those droplets, and she even lets one fly out of her mouth.

  Hold up. Is Kelly actually from a distant planet? Holy cow that would put a spin on things. I’m going to ignore this development for now, because it would totally change the meaning of all of her songs and I don’t think the world is ready for that. (Although I believe it’s a fair assessment to consider that Simon Cowell is not from Earth, instead being born in an alternate universe where harsh criticism of fledgling singers is considered admirable, and that maybe Kelly winning the first American Idol was an interplanetary conspiracy. OMG!)

  Perhaps I should put down this wine. I might be hearing voices that are not real.

  Back to Kelly, who is still jacking around with the water bubbles and wearing the inexplicable Yeti jacket, and then we have a scene where pretty fire clouds take over the top of the screen. This is probably symbolic of how this state can dry out to the point where simply blinking your eyelid can create enough friction to burn down 74 counties. This place gets parched. Of course, this doesn’t stop the idiots in their mammoth but pointless Chevy trucks from hurling a cigarette out the window.

  Luckily, Kelly’s hair does not burst into flames, despite the angry clouds, which allows her to move into the final segment of her interpretive dance. Or maybe not. The billowing fire now moves to the ground, jeopardizing the long-ass skirt of Kelly’s sexy but still-discreet dress. She immediately launches into some defensive karate moves that she probably learned at the Dairy Queen after random steers thundered into the place looking for something sweet (yes, that image can mean a lot of things). 

  After several tense moments  where it appears that her personal freedoms and choices might be at risk of being burned away (sounds like the 2012 presidential election when some people actually thought Romney might win), Kelly triumphs over the rude burning clouds, her color-treated hair intact and lovely.

  We end the video with another water image, and then Kelly and her currently-golden locks glare directly at the camera and let us know that there is simply no stopping the girl from Burleson, Texas. (Take that, Clive Davis.) And then we fade to black.

  Off screen, a galactic spaceship, headed by the real Captain Kirk and not the endless wannabees that followed, arrives to whisk Kelly away, with a brief stop in London to snag Simon…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.


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