Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kelis – “Milkshake”

  We start out on urban street somewhere, with some construction guy’s ass on prominent display, so I’m already thinking that I clicked on the wrong button somewhere. Then the cameraman manages to find Kelis, and here she comes strutting along with her long legs and an impressive hairdo that could probably orbit the sun if things work out just right. At first she’s walking kind of slow, in that “I know I look cute but I really don’t have a destination” kind of way, but then she spies a diner called Tasty’s Yard, and suddenly she’s running up to the entrance like they’re offering a free bikini wax with complimentary champagne.

  Once inside, she bursts into song, so she already feels a very special connection to this place. (Don’t miss the cowhide cowbell hanging on the door, announcing arrivals. It’s a fine piece of prop-work and I hope somebody got an award for that.) The diner is a bit cramped, with booths on one side and tables-at-a-counter on the other, but judging by the high-volume occupancy, they must be serving some tasty meat that will satisfy you in every way, and Kelis and her hair made a wise choice in selecting this establishment.

  I guess Kelis is a very confident young gal, because she walks right up to the counter, briefly humps it, and then spies a triple-layer milkshake which she simply must have . She plucks the cherry off of the concoction, and then she does things to it with her mouth that one can normally only see in movies that you order at cheap motels where they don’t ask questions. (One of the diners, a matronly mother with control issues, covers the eyes of her son so he can’t see any more of the cherry plucking, so she’s probably one of those who deny that sex actually happens despite having squirted out a kid of her own.)

  Kelis, because she likes attention, then takes the cherry and expertly hurls it across the diner so that it lands in the milkshake of a startled man at one of the tables, right next to his own cherry. He looks at her for an explanation. She and her hair say nothing, but the nice gold pendant on her neck lights up briefly, right on the beat. (Did Kelis just receive an email from her home planet?) I guess we’ll never know, because Kelis decides to ignore the man she bumped cherries with and starts using her pinky finger to seductively toy with the whip cream on her shake and resumes her intimate relationship with the counter.

  While Kelis and her painted-on jeans undulate, we get shots of one of the short-order cooks becoming aroused and banging on the “order up!” bell they have in places like this where they don’t take reservations and there are no refunds. The cook shoves a hot plate onto the pickup counter, and then wipes something sticky and red off his shirt while he smirks. This action can be interpreted in a number of ways, but before we can fully discuss the implications we cut to the waitresses in the diner who have suddenly decided to sit on the counter stools and do a line dance involving breasts and tongues.

  The girls seem to be quite proud of their choreography, appearing to have worked very hard on the exact moments when they should thrust their appropriate body parts, but we’re distracted by their tiny aprons, which seem to be made out of pages from those order pads that waitresses use when they really don’t care what you want and just scribble whatever. Kelis takes one look at that mess and knows she can do better, so she takes off her jacket so we can see that her blouse is made of something even tinier than the aprons.

  Very quick scene where one of the waitresses does a twirl routine in front of some milk bottles. No explanation is given, we really don’t care, and the actress involved is now selling used cars in Poughkeepsie.

  Back to Kelis, who is now emoting more of the lyrics and apparently unable to keep from juggling her jugs like a woodpecker on crack. (We get a reaction shot from a couple of diners, where the female is not impressed that her husband is watching the juggling. Well honey, if you don’t like the wandering eye of your man, maybe you better come up with a cheerleading routine for your boudoir and quit whining about whether or not the damn trash gets to the curb on time. Sayin.)

  Then Kelis becomes invested in a particular male patron who insists on wearing his ball cap backwards, a couture choice that should immediately mark the dude as someone incapable of fidelity and amicable divorce proceedings. But Kelis doesn’t care, and she finds a place at the end of the counter that doesn’t have spilled coffee and pie crumbs all over it, and she proceeds to flop on her back and do naughty aerobics that one will never see on Sesame Street.

  Meanwhile, we start getting shots of random guys from the neighborhood racing to the diner in order to review Miss Kelis and her cherry-plucking ways.  (Not sure how the word got out so quickly. Maybe she has a GPS transponder in her hoo-hoo, and the signal is strengthened whenever she’s near fried foods and dairy beverages.) Whatever sent out the bat signal, the boys are definitely in the yard now, even lining up at the windows to peek inside and dream about pouring some sugar on she.

  Kelis decides to sit at one of the booths and finish the milkshake that her tongue only partially violated back in the day, and she and her hair go at it with a gusto. She energetically sucks at the straw while a busload of boys enter The Yard and look around for Kelis. She identifies herself and her needs by doing more interesting things with her barely-clad chest and gripping things around her to keep her libido from imploding.

  Out of nowhere, Kelis decides that she really needs to head into the tiny kitchen and assist one of the chefs with his dough-making responsibilities. (He’s really not the cutest thing on the menu, but odd things can spark your interest when the smell of yeast is in the air.) Kelis fiddles around with a few of the props, then opens one of the ovens that can apparently only be opened if you bend over and show  buttcrack. Then she hauls some baked bread out of the oven and shoves it at Not-Hot and immediately loses interest in him, heading back out into the diner proper, which takes about two steps.

  Kelis and the waitresses decide to do another line dance, this one involving a lot of hair-touching and more of the bending over for no apparent reason. (Someone has turned the lights down really low for this part, apparently trying to set the mood, although I really don’t know what that mood would be, never having been in a diner where the chicken-fried steak got my hormones racing.) We zip outside to see that now we have droves of dudes rolling up on motorcycles, coming to check out the word on the street about some diner where something unclear is happening with milkshakes and cherries and a blue plate special.

  Whilst the other waitresses continue to cavort erotically with serving trays and attention-deprived men pile through the door, Kelis is suddenly transported to another locale where she has been forced to wear an outfit that is missing some major structural components as she writhes about on a dimly-lit platform of some kind. (Okay, maybe “forced” isn’t the right word. She clearly seems to be quite happy with her new minimalist couture and the opportunity to test exactly what she can do before things start to pop free and endanger nearby citizens.)

  Oh wait, we’re back in the diner, where one of the waitresses is doing a suggestive dance that seems to be based on the “Pin the tail on the donkey” challenge of childhood days. But the cheering men around her are obviously a bit more educated than young boys who have yet to figure out how to unlock the parental control on their cable TV provider. In fact, the “donkey dance” has inspired folks in the now-crowded diner to start a dance line similar to that on “Soul Train”, only with more explicitness as men and women hooker-strut their way down the aisle like there’s a prize if you totally lose your mind and act like a sex-crazed Chihuahua.

  Okay, it looks like Kelis is back from that special room where she had burning needs and golden-hued lighting, and she’s once again on the diner counter, causing the milkshake machine to reach critical mass and start spewing sugary goodness in an alarming manner. Cut back to the dance line where booties and buddies are pushin’ it real good, then zip over to Kelis, who has managed to find her original outfit somewhere, with her gyrating whilst everyone raises a milkshake glass to her overpowering ability to eroticize a patty melt.

  Then that milkshake machine finally goes cray-cray, with the icy milk dousing all the humpsters and humperinas, a development that would normally stop the show, what with all the ruined couture and the way it makes your shoes stick to the floor. But this ain’t your grandpa’s sense of reality, and everybody basically doesn’t care and continues to dance and exchange phone numbers while the waitresses continue to not wear panties.

  We end the video with Kelis back in the mysterious golden room, with her and her hair and her patchwork outfit sucking down a final milkshake. Then she smiles seductively and heads out the door to find another Dairy Queen that hasn’t been sexually liberated…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Beyonce, Jay-Z – “Crazy In Love”

  We start out in a car, barreling down the street in some unnamed city. (Judging by the lack of any pedestrians on the sides of this somewhat squalid thoroughfare, it must be an Amish community of some kind, and there’s a barn-raising going on.) Jay-Z appears to be in the back of the car, or at least the inside of something, and he’s letting us know that things are super crazy right now. (Like the fact that the cameraman has basically shoved the lens into Jay-Z’s mouth and nobody is safe from his teeth until that stops happening.)

  Suddenly, the speeding car comes across a woman who has chosen to stand in the middle of the road, as if that’s a completely safe and natural thing to do. We nearly run over this woman, but then the car realizes that it’s Beyonce who has chosen to play chicken, and the car slams to a halt, because it doesn’t have an insurance policy that covers celebrity mishaps in Amish towns. Beyonce marches right up to the camera and asks us if we’re ready.

  Well, I’m not sure, Miss B. Will there be a test when we’re done? Is pain involved?

  Obviously, Beyonce doesn’t really need our permission, so she and her incredibly-tight shorts begin sashaying along the street, doing just the right moves to make her hair flip about lusciously in the wind. (The cameraman conveniently provides us a rearview shot to let us know that the rear is something to view.) Meanwhile, Jazy-Z is still hollering in the back of the car, or the sensory-deprivation tank, wherever he is, assuring us that history is in the making and doing something with his hands.

  This is apparently a signal for Beyonce to strut up the ramp to a loading dock, where she commences to do an interesting squat and then launch into her first part of the song. I guess she really, really likes wooden platforms, because she becomes very heated and starts wallering all over the dock. She does an interpretive, lusty dance that seems to be telling the story of what can happen if you straddle a washing machine right when it becomes unbalanced during the spin cycle.

  Beyonce does some spinning of her own on the woodwork, doing things with her fetching legs that make it very clear that she has a staff of personal trainers and/or some amazing genes in her bloodline. (There’s a short montage where B strikes various poses against a chain-link fence, a segment that doesn’t quite fit in with her aerobics on the dock, but I’m sure she had her reasons for this bit.) Beyonce finally ends her relationship with the platform after several more energetic moves, and does so without losing her impressive red high-heels, a magical bit of footwear artistry that brings a tear to the eyes of drag queens who happen to be watching.

  We zip to a new location, one that might be on the top of a building and appears to feature a small landing pad where rich people would park their personal helicopters when they want to impress people with their bank accounts. But Donald Trump will have to find somewhere else to land, because Beyonce is currently dancing around on the pad, sporting an outfit that might have been fashioned out of an army tent and a hairdo that resembles what Tina Turner would have looked like in 1984 if Tina hadn’t been so invested in using enough extra-firm hairspray that she created her own ozone hole. (What’s aerosol got to do with it?)

  Beyonce shimmies on the rooftop for a while, doing some cover-girl poses and coordinating her movements with the strobe-lights that have been strategically placed around her. But before we can get the full story of what this actually means, we cut to Beyonce and some of her Girl Posse strutting somewhere else. We’re possibly in an alley, or maybe the storage facility where Beyonce keeps her awards. In any case, the girls feel it’s very important that they show us what their rhythmic fannies can do when the music is just right, and so they do. The booty-shaking is accented by couture with a theme of “possible baseball tribute with a sprinkle of New Jersey Party Girl”.

  Someone apparently spent some time on the choreography with this section, because all of the girls have intricate things to do, although many of the moves consist of thrusting themselves up against a concrete wall and then breathing heavily. There’s also some random gum-chewing, reinforcing the Jersey flavor. (Is that Snooki in the background, getting drunk and continuing to make bad decisions?)

  Next we have Beyonce somewhere else, but the locale is not really clear because it’s very dark. (Did the lighting technician go on a union-ordered break?) She might be in the backseat of Jay-Z’s ride, just a guess, and she’s very emotional about something, as indicated by the way she keeps raising her arms over her head in personal anguish. Then we get a shot of someone flicking open a lighter, and then this shadowy person throws the lighter into the night where it lands on a street that has been rudely drizzled with gasoline.

  Are we suddenly watching an episode of The Sopranos?

  Cue up the gasoline igniting and the flames racing toward a car that explodes, as (presumably, based on attire) Jay-Z stands there and watches all this happen without calling 9-1-1. We get a quick montage of Beyonce struggling in the back of a car, but, interestingly enough, there are no flames in her scenes even though we have aggressive burning in the exterior shots of the unfortunate car. Bad editing? Beyonce is inflammable? Drug usage on the set? Not clear.

  Whoops, now Jay-Z is doing his rapping bit while standing near the burning car. And here comes Beyonce, wearing an interesting boa, another set of high heels, and little else. (I guess the heat from the burning vehicle is a little intense, so we can forgive her for not dressing properly.) This kicks off an extended scene where Jay-Z is rapping a lot of information that might prove useful if we paid attention, but we’re distracted by Beyonce trouncing around, hormones racing, and doing everything she can to show Jay-Z what an E-ticket ride at Disneyland can mean if you’re consenting adults. She horny.

  Hours later, after Beyonce has professionally air-humped every corner of the set, and Jay-Z has finally completed his long-ass rap about the joys of something or other, we see Beyonce (new outfit, new heels) walk up to a fire hydrant in the dark of the night and kick at the poor thing with her apparently steel-toed footwear. The hydrant starts gushing like Old Faithful, and Beyonce proceeds to bathe herself in the spray, luxuriating in the power of the forceful spurting.

  I guess the wetness does nothing to dampen Beyonce’s libido, because she then launches into another erotic interpretive dance, this one involving choreography that includes self-fondling of her booty, hair whipping that draws a line in the sand with Willow Smith, and at least 74 orgasms. By the time she’s done, the water smokes a cigarette and smiles with satisfaction. Call me?

  And we’re off again to another location, with Beyonce apparently shoving her breasts at a giant turbine fan thing, the blades whizzing dangerously while she undulates. (Really, honey? Is the itch that bad?) Happily, Beyonce finally turns away from the Danger Fan and we can see that everything is right as rain, no slicing and dicing. Now we can focus on her latest outfit, an obviously unfinished mini-dress where the upper section is barely held together by some baling wire and a prayer.

  Beyonce is quickly joined by the surviving remnants of her Girl Posse, all of them decked out in equally-flimsy sherbet-hued ensembles. It’s clearly time for another line dance, and they go at it with gusto. This round of expressionistic cha-cha involves booty-shaking that has been ramped up to a degree that an employee at the local seismographic substation had to pick up the “red phone”, conveying the news to his superior that an earthquake had just hit the Eastern seaboard.

  Luckily for us and the planet, it’s just an exuberant display of unbridled lust, nothing that truly requires a FEMA alert, and we close out the video with Beyonce and the other 30 flavors at Baskin Robbins innocently proffering their tasty goodness to anyone who wants a sample.

  And as we all know, now, it turns out the Jay-Z’s spoon was just the right fit for Beyonce’s ice cream. Mmm hmm.

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Moving Pictures – “What About Me”

  We start with the camera panning along outside of the infamous corner shop, with bits of advertising posters and such whipping by, like a smiling, 1940’s urchin urging us to drink our milk or we’ll become a Communist. The camera catches up with a little boy and his old-school suspenders as he goes in the front door, past another poster with another Stepford child proclaiming that milk is better than crack. What is up with these people and dairy products?

  Once inside, the boy briefly gazes around in wonder at all the amazing things that are available for purchase (because everything is amazing when you’re ten years old, even air), then heads right to the little candy section, because there’s no point in living if you can’t have candy. Conveniently, the lead singer is right there next to the jars of sugary sensations, so he’s able to launch into the first bit of the song without being too intrusive. (Well, as unobtrusive as one can be when one starts bellowing lyrics in the middle of a quaint little shop for no apparent reason. Maybe this happens all the time in Australia, not sure.)

  Our Little Buddy tries to get the attention of the young woman at the checkout counter, but she’s much more invested in reading the personal ads in a newspaper and making sure she holds her head just right so her hair looks pretty for the camera that she’s not supposed to notice. Little Buddy just looks around the store and waits, mainly because the lead singer is hollering an important part of the song, and even little boys who want to stick something in their mouths know it’s a bit cheeky to get all insistent when it’s time for the chorus.

  This goes on for a while, with the camera basically ignoring Little Squat and Big Hair so we can get a nice close-up of the lead singer being devastated by the social carnage he has just witnessed, what with candy not being immediately available for those in need. (Big Hair does her best to remain in the shot, jostling around and waving the pretend newspaper that she normally doesn’t read unless unwanted customers arrive or a film company knocks on the door.)

  Brief shot of the candy jar, looking sad and unopened.

  Back to the lead singer, because he and his now-vintage V-neck shirt are not done yet. While he’s still warbling, the camera finally pulls back (oh, so the cameraman does realize there are other people in the store), and over his shoulder we can see that Big Hair has finally given in to peer pressure (we all eventually do) and is assisting the youngster, hoisting the jar and pouring out a measure of candy with the finesse of someone who has learned a technical trade roughly 20 seconds before the director yelled “Action!”.

  Whoops, it’s time for the chorus again, so Big Hair spends an inordinate amount of time screwing around with the packet of candy because she can’t do anything dramatic like fully satisfy the boy’s desires until the song is a little quieter. So she fiddles while Little Buddy burns until the lead singer and his apparently captivating eyes release the camera from his mental grasp.

  Then we’re suddenly outside the shop on the sidewalk, with a woman (or maybe a drag queen, let’s be equality-friendly here) tosses some coins into the open music case of a man playing an instrument, creating notes that sound exactly like the music in the actual song right about this point, so some artsy person must have been involved with the script for the video, a rarity even in those days. We spend more time with the street-corner musician than is really necessary (he’s blowing on something in his mouth, end of acting range) but it’s a nice break from the claustrophobic shop where people are singing really loud and staff people are petulant about having to work for a living.

  Okay, now we’re outside of a much larger building, with the lead singer walking alongside it and letting the wind caress his hair just right. He starts passing a long line of people leaning against said building, although it’s not clear why they are doing so. (Are they really tired? Are they waiting for candy, too?) One of them is not wearing any pants, so we’ve got a whole other video right there if the crew can stick around after this shoot is done.

  Just as the lead singer hits another dramatic part of his story and he strolls past a couple of women in the line who seem to be enjoying the afterglow of mutual frisky business, the camera pulls up and back so we can realize these folks are queued at the “Employment Centre”. Oh. Well, that changes things a bit. (I was expecting a dance club or a methadone clinic.) It also makes me a little sad that we don’t have live entertainment at unemployment offices here in the States. That would be so much more relaxing than the sounds of drive-by shootings, heated discussions over proper baby-daddy identifications, and weave-pulling.

  And we’re back outside the little shop, so the lead singer can warble about “standing on the corner” while he’s doing just that, more pleasant artiness, and then the camera pulls back with a flourish (the cameraman is definitely getting better as we go along, no longer setting the lens on the lead singer and then taking a coffee break). Now we have the whole band on that corner, with the massive drums taking up the most real estate, which is appropriate, since this is the part of the song where the booming percussion takes over and the lead singer does some more powerhouse vocals while raising his fists defiantly in the air.

  We get a close-up of the drummer, letting us know that he’s actually making that rhythmic noise, unlike most bands these days where somebody just pushes a button and a computer program does the actual “musicianship” part. But we can only watch the drummer for a short bit, because then we switch angles so the lead singer is in front of the pesky drums who are threatening to steal the show. (This is probably in the contract: “The talent must not be overshadowed by the equipment,  the cute children, or the happy lesbians.”)

  Lead singer launches into the thrilling part of the vocals where his voice gets even raspier and he makes strained faces so we can understand that this bit is some real singing, and not the spoken-word crap spouted by the Fifty Dents, Spit Bulls, and Nicki Massages of today. As the lead continues with the intensity of his devotion, we have a nice montage of the other folks in the band, people who actually participate in the making of music and don’t just wear cute outfits and pose for magazine covers.

  For the final stretch of the song, we first head back inside the corner shop, where Big Hair is doing something with the ancient cash register. (Probably trying to figure out how it works.) Then we cut to Little Bit still standing there without his candy. (Wait, we saw Big Hair wrapping it up, did she not give it to him? She’s being rude AND stealing from the company? She is so not getting the special parking place this month.) Then we wrap it up back outside, with the lead singer finishing the story and then bowing his head.

  In the murky background behind him, we can see the now-quiet drums waiting patiently. They know that sooner or later the lead singer is going to call in sick, and when that happens, they are going to storm the stage and take over the world. Because they had the beat way before the Go-Go’s claimed they did….

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland – “4 Minutes”

  We start out with Timbaland on a stage somewhere, standing in front of a giant clock display. The clock is supposedly showing us the four minutes that we’ve got left to save the world from… well, it’s never made clear, but it actually appears to be showing us four hours. Unless we’re counting the milliseconds? Why would we count those? Those things only matter in Tom Cruise movies where he has to push an important button right now or Manhattan will be turned into a decaying wasteland, just like the Republican National Convention.

  Odd clock aside, Timbaland is currently invested in making some interesting noises that go along with the ominous opening notes of the song. But more importantly, we get our first images of this creepy triangle-based mass that appears to be eating parts of the set around him. Timbaland doesn’t seem to care, since he’s got the music in him and that’s all that’s important, but we get a close-up of a dusty speaker component that is trembling in fear because he’s further down on the cast list and will probably be the first casualty. (Maybe he should have had a better agent.)

  Brief montage of some gears spinning and cocktails on the verge of being spilled. No idea.

  First image of Madonna, wearing some form-fitting night-night clothes and facing away from us. (I guess we should have purchased the higher-priced concert tickets if we wanted to see more.) Then Justin debuts, again not facing us, wearing basically the same outfit that he has worn since moving on from the Mickey Mouse Club. Interspersed with all the introductions are shots of Timbaland still enjoying the noises that his mouth can make, then we cut to a fancy car rolling towards somewhere.

  Oh look, the car is being pushed by Madonna, now wearing a black outfit that involves parachute pants and a matching puffy blouse that practically scream “1984”. But we can forgive the debatable fashion choice, because you really shouldn’t question couture decisions made by a woman who has thighs capable of repositioning vehicles. (I guess it really does pay off to have a personal trainer who will holler in German and force you to do enough leg lifts that you could raise the Titanic.)

  Okay, I guess Madonna loses interest in impressing us with the number of squat thrusts that she’s apparently done in her day, so she sexily slides off the front of the car onto… a dinner table where a random and sad-looking family is eating leftovers. The family pays no attention to what is actually happening in the real world (do they watch Fox News?), slurping their soup and ignoring the woman on their table who already has more secrets in her parachute pants than they will ever have in their lives.

  Meanwhile, we keep getting quick glimpses of the Triangle Monster munching on everything in its path and not caring what it swallows. I could make a Rush Limbaugh reference, but that would be too easy.

  Madonna marches away from that set where all the lonely people are, and launches into her part of the song. This requires her to wander through a loft apartment where a young couple is preparing for a bath and kissing one another. (No idea, part two.) Cut to Justin in the same apartment, singing to himself in a dirty mirror and admiring his nifty neck-scarf that one would normally wear in an artsy movie where British people talk about nothing and wait for redemption that never comes.

  Cut back to the kissing couple who apparently don’t mind having international superstars show up at unexpected times, and we can see that part of their flesh is missing as they smooch, showing bone and such. This is possibly the least erotic thing I have ever seen, and I’ve been to some very questionable websites. Then we’re back with Madonna somewhere else in the apartment. (Is she in the couple’s bedroom? Not clear, but it’s definitely not a place where she or her staff would ever sleep.)

  Madonna rips off her puffy parachute jacket (my prayers worked!) and possibly straddles the bed, but then we cut to the kissing couple again and they are missing more flesh, so we are now basically watching two of those life-size dissected-body models from high-school biology class sucking face.  With tongues involved. Ugh. This is a world I would not want to save, I don’t care how many minutes we have.

  Then Madonna and Justin meet up and hover around the bed where the Skeletors are procreating, and just as quickly hop out some convenient windows that are nearby. Outside, they find a bunch of cars parked in a haphazard manner, with two guys wearing red plastic doing street moves on top of one of them. This is an additional sign of the apocalypse, so our stars should just keep running, but they don’t. Justin has to get something important out of the trunk of the car where the jacked-up Oompa Loompas are gyrating. (Is it his recording contract? Yeah, probably should grab that.)

  Madonna, on an agenda of her own, as she always is, decides that she needs to jump in and out of some of the cars in a sexy but unclear manner. Not to be outdone, Justin decides to run across the top of the cars using the same mysterious motivation. They manage to meet up in the front seat of one of the cars, where Madonna briefly flirts with Justin, whispering in his ear and either hinting at a future hook-up  or promising that she will one day make a movie that doesn’t require serious editing before it can be released.

  The frolicking with the cars continues for some time, with both of them proving athletic prowess and the ability to strike poses right on the beat, but without anyone explaining the critical bit about what needs to be done to save the world or at least make the two dudes stop dancing on the one car. Those guys really need to find a better purpose in life, because they are just a few online votes away from surpassing The Skeletors as Most Invaluable Players.

  Hold up, now Madonna and Justin have made their way (via modern technology) to a supermarket of some kind. We have an extended scene with the two of them alternately flirting with or threatening the various products lining the shelves of the aisles, nuzzling up to the granola and slapping the canned tuna. They eventually reach the front of the store, where each of them jumps on a conveyor belt at the checkout counters so they can dance while essentially running on a treadmill. (Is it always about physical competitions with Madonna? Honey, can’t you prove your supremacy with a non-strenuous card game or maybe a nice round of Jeopardy?)

  Happily, they both give up with whatever they were trying to accomplish in the checkout lanes at Wal-Mart, and they both suddenly appear on that stage with the clock that I don’t understand. (Timbaland is gone, so he’s probably off at yet another awards show.) Madonna is back in her naughty night-night ensemble, and Justin is back in the outfit that he’s never changed since Mickey.) They are both breaking out some serious dance moves here, but it seems a bit odd that they are rarely in the same shot. Do I smell a contractual clause of some kind? (“I want 36 flavors of vodka in my dressing room, 24 varieties of massage therapists, and only 12 moments when I am in the same room as my co-star.”)

  We have some quick scenes here and there of someone wearing aggressive high-heels and stomping around an office environment. We’ll just assume it’s not Justin. Not that there’s anything wrong with that if it’s really him.

  Wait, now Madonna has just stormed into a public bathroom. She’s back in part of her black outfit, so I’m not sure where this fits in the space-time continuum. And now she’s looking in the mirror and Justin is staring back at her. They do some mess where it appears that they exchange clothing but they really don’t, with each of them throwing the unwanted garments off toward the less-popular toilet stalls. Then they tromp out of the restroom without even bothering to leave a tip for the attendant who is probably hiding in a corner, weeping and wishing that s/he had paid attention to their mother  when she proclaimed “do your homework or you’ll have to listen to people pee for the rest of your life.”

  Okay, NOW we have Madonna and Justin on the same stage at the same time, and they seem to be involved in yet another dance-off. Justin is very good with his street poses and arm-flipping, but he’s up against Madonna, who was already artfully thrusting her crotch when Justin was still trying to figure out which end of his baby bottle offered the most promise. Still, they’re both very energetic  and each manages to hold their own, despite Justin’s insistence that he keep wearing that scarf from the British play where nothing actually happens.

  As we roll to a close, Madge and Just-In start ripping parts of their couture off of each other. In most diva camps, this would result in a drive-by shooting, but they both handle the ripping and flinging in a professional manner. Then Timbaland arrives back from his awards show just long enough to holla “breakdown” on the soundtrack, which sends M and J into overdrive.  They amp up the dance moves, trying once again to prove who has the most flexible whatever while Timbaland makes noises off to the side.  The “oh yeah, we almost forgot about that” Triangle Monster arrives onset and starts chewing the scenery, as well as our illustrious co-stars, causing flesh to disappear without leaving a forwarding address.

  Our last image is of Justin, with an exposed rib cage, leaning in to kiss Madonna, who has an exposed jaw. Just like Romeo and Juliet. Only completely not…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Taylor Swift – “I Knew You Were Trouble”

  We start things off with Taylor passed out on the ground somewhere, at sunrise, with what looks like a violated roll of toilet paper near her head, so things already look very exciting. Taylor awakens from her impromptu slumber and we learn a couple of things: one, she’s been napping among the debris from a probable outdoor concert,  and two, she kind of looks like Gwyneth Paltrow when she was going through that “there’s no such thing as too much mascara” phase.

  As Taylor arises from her near-death experience and shakes he her head so we can better study her Avril Lavigne tribute-hairdo, she starts getting flashbacks to the evil concert where people apparently left her behind as a parting gift for the cleaning staff. We don’t learn much from the jump-cut footage (it’s night, and happy people are bouncing to a beat) so Taylor decides she would understand things better if she stood up. So she does, in a slow, tortured way, because Taylor is an artist and realizes that things are more emotional if you do them slowly.

  Speaking of artistry, Taylor has decided to do a nice voice-over before we rush into the actual song, some spoken-word poetry about the end of a relationship, poorly-considered choices, how blame should be shared because that makes better song lyrics, and the benefits of having extremely straight hair. While she does this, we get more flashes from her past, a “kaleidoscope of memories”, about meeting her latest beau and the various points at which she should have just changed the channel or read a book instead.

  Apparently she met this man (we’ll call him Dex) while she and several girls were standing around in some dive of a place where people work on cars with questionable ownership papers. (Red flag number one, right?) Taylor lets us know that Dex had bad mojo from the first glimpse she had of him impersonating one of Johnny Depp’s movie roles, but that she just couldn’t help herself once he glanced her way. (Red flag number two: Just because someone looks at you doesn’t mean that you should sleep with him. He might just be needing directions to his parole officer’s house.)

  Taylor continues with her voice-over for quite some time (something else that Gwyneth Paltrow thinks there can’t be too much of, especially in her movies), letting us know that Dex really won her heart, she just didn’t know about some of the unsavory side effects of that victory. (This is accompanied by images of Dex standing up in a car when he should be driving it, recreating adrenaline-fueled moments from the Rocky movies while Taylor looks on, both terrified and horny.)

  Then we have a questionable bit where Taylor blames the devil for arranging that she should manage to hook up with a naughty-boy angel. I’m no religious expert, but I seriously doubt that Beelzebub had anything to do with you playing fast and furious with Johnny Depp’s stand-in. Hormones and self-validation and the never-can-rule-out possibility of daddy issues? We can leave those on the blame checklist, but I think we can let Satan have a timeout on this one. He’s got bigger fish to fry, like making sure that Republicans keep inexplicably winning elections.

  Anyway, the song proper finally kicks in around the two-minute mark, and we’re back to images of Taylor and Dex having a real festive time playing around on train tracks (red flag three), eating lunch at places where apparently something on the menu makes them scream with laughter and annoy everyone around them, more of Dex holding the car steering wheel with his knees while Taylor both gasps and tingles in her special places, some kissing, some sharing of hats, and romantic moments on the iron balconies of unnamed apartments in the meat-packing district.

  Meanwhile, Morning-After Taylor is still wandering around the deserted concert venue, tripping over empty energy-drink cans and glow sticks and interestingly warbling the bit about “you found me” even though no one has or she still wouldn’t be there. Then we’re back to the couple in the few hours that they were happy together, with more bar-hopping, kissing while standing on diner tables, and some presumed sex in a seedy room where simply walking by the bed can result in an STD.

  Oh, and we also have a separate montage of Taylor and her hair fretting about whether or not she’s doing the right thing, as they both stare into dirty mirrors and lean against dirty walls. She’s sensing “trouble, trouble, trouble” but it’s not clear if she’s referring to Johnny Dex, the fact that everywhere her beau takes her needs a good scrubbing, the fact that Dex would prefer to play his guitar despite her doing the splits in the air above the bed where he is laying and ignoring her (flag four), or the voice mail from her accountant questioning certain expenses at a tattoo parlor.

  Then the couple is headed into a nightclub, and we know there’s going to be a misunderstanding because Taylor has brushed her hair and Dex hasn’t. Sure enough, while an unnamed band performs a song that is not on the soundtrack, Dex appears to get extremely violent with his dancing. I don’t believe anyone actually gets hurt, but couture has been damaged, and that’s even worse.

  Another bit with Taylor and her hair singing to the dirty mirror, and then she and Dex are back in that seedy room where sex is no longer on the table, with both of them glaring at each other in that way of couples being mad but no one is saying anything so they get even madder. Taylor shows her dissatisfaction by curling up in a chair, looking despondent,  and Dex shows his by taking off his shirt and flexing his pecs, looking pleased with his musculature but not much else.

  Next up is another bar (Surprise! Flag five.), with Taylor and Dex wandering in, and everything is beautiful for roughly five seconds. Then Dex starts messing with some guys playing pool, guys you don’t want to mess with because both of them are bigger than apartments in New York City. Taylor tries to get him to knock it off, because she’s still got a few more rounds of the chorus to sing, but he doesn’t listen, and there’s an altercation involving shoving, messed-up hair, unhappiness, spilled beer, and a startling glimpse of Dex being bent over the pool table in an entry-level position. Oh?

  But we don’t go there, instead we cut to Morning-After Taylor as she sings back at the abandoned concert where no one has bothered to check on her. I guess this stretch of the song is really powerful for her, because she’s flopping around on the ground and rending her hair. But she does get points for her ability to go from lying flat-out in the dirt to kneeling on her knees without using her hands.  That girl has done some serious work with her inner core, kudos to her trainer, even if it does look kind of Lazarus-like. (“Behold, she has arisen from the rave grave!”)

  Then we have more bits with Sad-Mirror Taylor, questioning her family values, followed by another visit with Morning-After Taylor, as she emotes in the Woodstock Ruins. By the way, was the big target-symbol on her t-shirt intentional (Needy person right here. Apply within.) or just one of those music-video wardrobe choices that we never understand?

  I guess it doesn’t matter, because we cut to the concert that we’ll presume took place the night before Taylor awoke to toilet paper as her only companionship. Everyone’s having a swell time, because that’s the only time you can have when strobe-lights are involved and no one can actually see what you look like until it’s too late. During this surely drug-free experience, we have another montage of various people hooking up with people they perhaps shouldn’t pursue, but we really can’t tell who anybody is. Oh wait, yes we suddenly can tell, thanks to the light from either an exploding amp or the flare set off by someone who stupidly ordered the nachos and is trying to warn others. Dex’s tongue appears to be doing a geological study of a woman’s face, someone who clearly isn’t Taylor.

  Uh oh.

  Taylor takes one look (okay, a very long look, to heighten the dramatic effect) at that mess and then runs off to sing to the dirty mirror again. Dex doesn’t run anywhere, content with where his tongue currently is and where it soon might be.

  Then Taylor rushes out of the tawdry restroom and collapses on the ground, because you aren’t feeling any real pain unless you are inspired to drop to the earth like Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Windbag. We get a final montage of all the trouble in Taylor’s life (well, the main trouble, anyway), including a quick bit where we see Dex seeing that Taylor is face-down in the mosh pit, but he just grins and heads off to suck face with the next woman who might write a hit song about him. And pay his bills.

  Final shot is of Morning-After Taylor ripping off the necklace that Dex presumably gave her during those thirty seconds when they were actually in love, and then she hurls the tainted jewelry to the ground, next to the ghost of Scarlet O’Hara, a burnt-out glow stick, and some tossed-aside bean dip that no one should ever eat.

  White flag. Number one.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sleigh Bells – “Rill Rill”

  We start out with a moving overhead shot of some rather worn-out power lines on poles, the old-school kind where you could die if you get anywhere near them. Then the traveling camera lowers and we are treated to a vista of dried-out sand and half-fried plants, so we must be somewhere unpleasant like a desert or the gene pool at a Tea Party rally.

  The camera pulls back a tad bit so we can see that there is a car barreling along. The driver’s window is down, despite the supposed desert heat which can make you sterile if you aren’t careful, so either the car is a piece of crap without AC or the occupants don’t understand how to keep cool and were clearly not the Valedictorians at their high school that they never finished. But the driver is sporting some interesting armbands, so it’s all good in the end.

  We’ll assume that the driver is lead singer Alexis, since she appears to be singing and has some sense of rhythm, based on the way she uses her accessory-clad arm to make those rollercoaster motions that one does when sticking their arm out the window. (It’s probably not a good idea to thrust body parts even closer to those old-school high-voltage lines, one short burst of sparks and you can never do the rollercoaster again, but she’s a free spirit and she has to entertain herself somehow since they can’t possibly get radio reception out here in Dried Crack, Arizona, or wherever they are.

  The cameraman switches angles, which is nice of him, so we can get a frontal shot of Alexis as she launches into that mystical part of the song where she sings numbers instead of traditional pop song words about unrequited love or babies getting back. Then we get a shot from behind as the car races toward another part of the land that is just as dried-out and pointless as the view for the last several hundred miles, allowing me to throw out another Tea Party reference and thus officially make my political-statement quota for this blog post. Thank you, Alexis and your finely tattooed arm and driving skills.

  And I guess I should also thank her passenger, a guy who has been nodding in and out on the far side of the car like someone waiting for a Kardashian to have an actual purpose in life. Home Boy, who is probably guitarist Derek but he doesn’t offer up any identification, reaches a point in his semi-narcolepsy where slumps over onto Alexis. First of all, this is rude, because you really shouldn’t try to sleep on people operating motor vehicles. Second, his intrusion is interfering with Alexis’ intricate hand choreography and we can’t have that. So Alexis, being a take-charge kind of gal, knocks his ass back to the other side of the car.

  The cameraman also switches car-sides, as Derek flops our way, and we can see that the side of his head is all bloody, as in “violence has recently taken place that surprised at least one person”. Well, then. This leads to many questions on our part, but before we can tap on Alexis’ shoulder and present our queries, she reaches over, opens Derek’s door, and shoves him on his way to meet Jesus or at least a startled armadillo looking for an unclaimed lottery ticket alongside the dusty road.

  Derek flops and rolls asunder, and Alexis niftily closes his door without any dramatic swerving and continues on her way to Blasted Snatch, Arizona. Oh wait, she also throws a guitar out her window as well. Does this mean she’s leaving the band and going solo? One would think there would be less violent ways to resolve contractual disputes, but I’m not a singer in a rock-n-roll band, nor do I have meaningful tattoos on my extremities, so my reference points are a wee bit off.

  In any case, we do a nice dissolve with the current scene and soon find ourselves in what might be Satan’s locker room. We have stacked lockers on both sides of the shot, something that we recognize and find comfort in, but there’s an odd, red glow coming from the shower area. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Beelzebub is in da house, but I can assure you I’d think twice before rinsing off my sweatiness in facilities that scream Rosemary’s Baby.

  Well, I guess it doesn’t matter, because we switch to Alexis sitting in a classroom, possibly a lab room, based on the abundance of weird wall charts and things floating in jars that were always accessories in your high-school science teacher’s digs. (Creepy things that made you wonder about your teacher’s sex life, but you didn’t want to take the thought-process too far.) It seems that Alexis is all alone and most of the lights are off, so she might be in some sort of detention that included sensory deprivation. But this doesn’t bother Alexis, and she keeps scribbling out her homework or the plans for her next body-dumping in arid climates.

  Brief shot of a mural depicting high-school sports. At first, things seem happy and innocently-athletic on the surface, but if you study it closely, it looks like the baseball player wants to use his, um, wood on the football player, who has just punched the lesbian basketball player, who has just killed a cheerleader by illegally dribbling her ball. Perhaps I read too much into things. I seem to recall a comment just like that on one of my own high-school report cards.

  Another brief shot, this time of another locker. I’m really thinking we shouldn’t open it.

  And we don’t, not yet, heading back to Alexis in her sci-fi detention as she fiddles with her statistical reports and a menacing dissecting tool. Then we’re back to that locker, which pops open to reveal a disturbing collection of items that Marie Leveau might have used to put some voodoo badness on somebody in New Orleans that she didn’t care for back in the day. It’s pretty clear that this is a high school that I would not want to attend, not without a court order.

  And I also don’t want to use the phones in wherever they are, because the dated “slimline phone” (remember those, from back in the day when a swarthy phone man had to hardwire your line into the wall while you stood nearby and had lusty thoughts?) now appearing on screen is oozing something bloodlike from the receiver. I don’t want to be associated with a phone like that. Where is the “opt out” button on the webpage?

  Another visit with Alexis doing inexplicable things with a pencil in her detention cell, then we have some mess with a milkshake that you really don’t want to order from the menu. It appears to be alive, and not in a good mood, with aggressive overflowing and such. Cut back to Alexis, who doesn’t say a word about the milkshake, because that’s not what brings boys to her yard.

  What does bring the boys appears to be the way that Alexis can walk down her driveway and manage to look both sultry and dangerous, which is what we see in the next scene, where Alexis is hooking up with some guy in a hoodie sporting death-loving slogans. He’s standing next to what might be the car from our earlier adventures in the desert, and the guy might be Derek, but I’m not swearing to anything because I’m scared of Alexis and whatever powers she might have learned in the questionable science lab. Derek (or some random dude) tosses her the keys so she can drive, which means that Derek hasn’t been taking the right kind of notes at critical moments.

  We zip over to Alexis and her sunglasses in a room somewhere, with both of them doing the mystical number-speak again. She’s holding some white roses, but we don’t believe her for a second. (The camera pulls back briefly to let us see that she’s recording this bit in what might be an abandoned school cafeteria, after the incident with the tainted pot roast led to a startling number of dropouts and a rezoning decision by the school board.) We go back to a closeup of Alexis, where she continues singing and does something with a raven that stupidly landed on her arm.

  Quick shot of a group of balloons that were probably inflated by the breath of people who are dead now, another shot of the dripping phone, more of Alexis making strange poses, another shot of Marie Leveau’s locker, a shot of all the balloons exploding because they don’t know what’s going on and can’t take it anymore, and the image of Alexis with a switchblade whilst singing “cut him in the bathroom”.

  Where the hell did these people go to school? Sopranos Memorial High School? Our Lady of Perpetual Godfather Wannabees?

  And we’re back to the desert highway, probably not Ventura Highway, because I don’t remember people dying in that song. Alexis is still racing along, intent on eventually cashing the government checks of the fool she killed and tossed. But, lo and behold, the fool has not actually perished, because we get a shot of him crawling along the roadside toward his battered guitar. Really? You’re one tooth away from biting the Big One, and you’re going to claw toward a guitar instead of, I don’t know, a healthcare facility? No wonder somebody sliced and diced your ass in a public restroom.

  Then again, this is Arizona, where the current governor is insane and thinks that all non-white people should be deported unless they agree to work for nothing in the Maybelline mines, hacking away and collecting the 50 pounds of makeup she needs to slather on her embittered face every day. (Gotta hide those horns somehow, right?) With her heartless budget-cutting, there’s probably not anywhere that a person in real need can crawl for so much as a band-aid.

  Back to regular programming, Alexis suddenly slams on the brakes of her getaway car, and pauses to reflect on something dangling from the rearview mirror. It’s either two of her children or she and Derek when they were youngsters and didn’t have issues that needed to be resolved with pre-meditated stabbing. She whips the car around and heads back.

  Where she eventually comes across Derek, still crawling. She looks at him, he looks at her, then she floors it and heads to Disney. Video ends.

  What the hell?

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Friday, February 8, 2013, Britney Spears – “Scream & Shout”

  Okay, folks, this one is crammed full of fun images as well as Britney singing in an odd British accent for no apparent reason and name-checking herself as “Britney, bitch!” as often as she possibly can. But there’s absolutely no story line, so we’ll have to do the time-stamp thing. And here we go…

0:01 appears first (because it’s his song, natch), wearing a ball cap that appears to be eating his head. I personally don’t care for couture with teeth, but to each his own.

0:02  Britney debuts her new hairdo, something that probably required 46 stylists and a temporary disruption in the gravitational pull of the planet.

0:05  Somebody is playing with the special effects button on their video editor, so we have an army of will.iams and Britneys lining up to kick our ass if we don’t like their song.

0:10 does a product demo for a new computer line with a giant touch-screen that involves butterfly icons and the international warning symbol for “don’t go in this room, bad things have happened”.

0:15  Another lineup of Britneys, showing that she hasn’t eaten a solid meal since 2004.

0:19  Britney is demonstrating a new sign language that was developed just to go along with her aggressive hair.

0:25  Side view of the hair, in case you need to print out a copy of it for your next visit to Fantastic Sam’s. I’m sure they’ll be able to recreate it, no problem.

0:29  Britney shows us the proper way to serve dinner in a fancy restaurant, one that employs waitresses who have previously appeared as villains in James Bond movies.

0:31  We get quick images of people we don’t know, warming up to do something. I smell an upcoming line dance, you?

0:34  Britney is trying to determine the correct setting for her Sleep Number bed.

0:38, running through an abandoned set from The Matrix.

0:42  Oh look, Britney has joined him on that set, wearing an abandoned ice-skating outfit with tufts of poofy black fur that accent her womanly wi-fi hot spots.

0:48 shows us his special hand jewelry that spells out the title of the song. That’s some serious bling right there. And heavy. How you gonna raise the roof if you can’t lift your arms?

0:53  Random product placement featuring a bright yellow camera  that has a keyboard and some pre-loaded video content apparently showing using an ATM at 3 in the morning.

0:57  And there’s a group shot of those random dancer people. Whoops, they disappeared. I guess they haven’t practiced enough yet. I’m sure we’ll see them in a bit.

1:06  An odd machine that appears to be an electronic tablet attached to an old-fashioned typewriter from the days when “Model T” meant those new-fangled automobiles and not a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

1:10 or Spike Lee? You decide.

1:14  And here we finally go with the line dancers. They seem to be very insistent about something, I’m just not sure what it is yet.

1:25  Why does that one dancer have a golden Dixie cup on her head? That can’t be very comfortable.

1:27  A human and a robot join hands in solidarity. Or lust. Stay tuned.

1:29  First shot of wearing a “King” crown in a room with more lights and mirrors than Imelda Marcos had shoes.

1:37  Shot of one of those machines that can create full-dimensional images out of nothing, with this example being a human head. Is this how music producers plan to create pop starts of the future? Is this how Republicans are already producing candidates?

1:41  A champagne bottle that is also a rocket-launcher. I think.

1:49  What has that backup dancer been straddling that would make him walk like that?

1:58  A female Creature from the Black Lagoon uses an ax to smash a golden disco ball. This could mean a number of things, but I think all of the explanations would somehow include Lady Gaga in the police lineup.

2:05  We start getting scenes from a nightclub where everyone is angry and no one is wearing their own hair.

2:09  More product placement, this time a camera with a plaid design and nice gold accents. That’s a link that I might actually click on.

2:14  More of the angry nightclub, which actually reminds me of the opening scenes of The Hunger. Sadly, most of the people involved with this video weren’t even born when that movie came out. Let’s have a moment of silence for my decaying body and mind.

2:19  More line dancing. Maybe it’s just me, but you would think people would look a little happier when thrusting their hips in synchronization while music plays. What kind of school did these people go to?

2:25  Several members of the nightclub crowd suddenly realize that they have all dated the same guy.

2:33 channeling Wesley Snipes from Blade. At least the first movie. They got a little bit cray-cray after that.

2:50 looks terrified at the possibility that Britney and her circus outfit might not be wearing any panties. This is my own interpretation. Discuss amongst yourselves.

2:56  Another example of the “Britney, bitch!” shout-out, this time with two of the backup dancers spray-painting the phrase on a wall in case any of the viewers are hearing-impaired. How thoughtful.

3:10  An image of what appears to be one of Dr. Dre’s “Beats” boomboxes belching smoke. Is somebody dissing somebody? Or is this a tribute to the people of Colorado who can now legally purchase weed at their local electronics outlet? (Hey, it cuts down on pollution if you don’t have to make two stops on the way home from work, sayin.)

3:24 doing something on the hood of one of those fancy cars where the doors open up instead of sideways. Personally, I’ve never cared for those things. Mainly because I’m the fool who would forget about the door direction and give myself a concussion just trying to get into the damn car.

3:35 is still invested in wearing a crown and singing in that one room that looks like Grand Central Station on crack.

3:36  More cameras.

3:41  More shots of the mistreatment of golden disco balls.

3:42  A futuristic hunting lodge where the trophies on the wall are the participants in this video. Didn’t see that coming, and don’t know where it’s going.

3:53  Britney and her bubble butt perched atop a giant spinning marshmallow. Or something like that.

3:55  Britney and her circus outfit manage to levitate burning golden disco balls. Now that I have written the oddest line ever on my blog, I can probably retire.

3:57  Maybe not. One of the burning balls just ate’s head.

4:10  Britney demonstrates where the emergency exits are located on the plane.

4:13  Britney poses on her hands and knees. Her hair does not.

4:19  A backup dancer sporting startling crotch-d├ęcor invites us to join him and his drugs on the dance floor.

4:27 uses a strange device to shoot cobwebs into the air that ensnare lifeless people around him. Where do you get one of those things? I could sure use one at work.

4:41  End trans.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj – “Beauty And A Beat”

  We start off with a somber disclaimer that some fool stole some personal video footage of Justin and uploaded it to the Internet, and we’re about to see some of that. I instinctively think “sex tape”, because all savvy pop stars have one of those on backup just in case the record sales drop, but I quickly realize that I don’t want to see Justin or Nicki naked. (He’s far too young to know what he’s doing and she’s already shown us all her intimate merchandise, since she rarely wears much more than some nice jewelry and yet another colorful wig.)

  But the footage turns out to be a random mess of people going cray-cray when they realize a camera is pointing in their direction (just like the trashy folks the news media always manage to find wandering around a murder scene, those bad-teeth people with jacked-up hair hollering “I was just tryin’ to buy me some drugs and there was a drive-by and somebody dead now. I found me some Jesus after that, sure did.”

  We get to see Justin playing ping-pong (or “table tennis” for the annoying politically-correct people in the audience), Justin mugging for the camera, Justin acting like a scratch-DJ in what looks like the basement of a serial killer, Justin mugging for the camera, a very odd scene with people we don’t know throwing food at one another and clearly not having any real goals in life, and Justin mugging for two cameras. At the end of all this, we really haven’t learned much, other than the fact that the person who supposedly stole this footage might not understand the difference between “interesting” and “you will not get any hits on your renegade blog site if you keep posting crap like this”.

  Then the actual song finally starts, and we are treated to a lineup of people who are very enthusiastic about standing next to a short fence whilst wearing bathing attire. Nicki comes on the soundtrack, where she name-checks herself and Justin a few times, then babbles something about money as the jittery camera tries to figure out what person, place or thing it should focus on. The camera finally settles on Justin, which is a good choice considering his people are paying the bills, and he shows us that he can sing and walk backwards at the same time. To show their appreciation for his skill, a throng of scantily-clad females are dancing around him and pretending to be at the peak of their hormonal cycle.

  Eventually, Justin back-walks his way to a nifty little bridge that spans one of the many pools at what appears to be an aquatic nightclub. (This explains the bathing attire, but not much else.) The camera pans to the left, where we get to watch several lovely lasses do some synchronized swimming, proving that Justin has an artistic side. Then we’re back with Justin, as he continues singing while more lasses circle him and just bounce up and down, an activity that passes for “dancing” these days, because people are too busy texting to actually learn any real moves.

  Then we zip over to… I’m not sure. Perhaps this is a training camp for budding Cirque du Soleil performers, but this camp is definitely fodder for some type of “before they were stars” episode on a cable TV channel. These folks are trying really hard, I’ll give them that, and there’s even some minimalist attempts at erotic pole-dancing and two very-dedicated girls who are twirling in mid-air, but I’m thinking their report cards are not going to be very good, even if they are written in French.

  Back to Justin in another part of the water park, one that seems to be owned by the male species, with lots of guys doing strenuous gymnastics, backflips and such, that would probably get a cap in your ass if you pulled that crap in Compton. Then we zip over to a very shallow pool where Justin has decided that this part of the song can only be properly praised with a line dance. He has a mixed crowd for his backup dancers, so he gets points for equal opportunity, but he might have to lose a point for his refusal to do the same dance moves that everybody else is doing. (Look, if people behind you are doing triple backflips, you need to do more than snap your fingers , just sayin’.)

  Now Justin is underwater, warbling to the camera, surrounded by more cheerleaders who have been bussed in from a local pep rally. Then they all break the surface so that four of the more coordinated cheerleaders can join hands and swim around him in a circle, which is rather festive, until Justin isn’t paying attention and backs up into one of the dolphin girls and causes her to break the circle of life. (I’m sure someone from her Union will be speaking to one of Justin’s people.) But for now, everyone is still friends, and the girls throw their legs in the air in a salute to Justin and all things a bit water-logged.

  Whoops, now we’re back underwater, where some unseen people have left behind their cell phones, strategically placed on a convenient ledge so the camera can swim along and focus on them individually. They are all playing videos of Justin, naturally, because it just wouldn’t seem right if they were featuring Dolly Parton or documentaries about poverty and bad choices. Then we head back to the surface again, so Justin can do some more back-walking along a runway over one of the bigger pools, an aggressive maneuver that causes some of the male gymnasts to backflip into the water out of partial fear and partial desire to do something flamboyant and get asked to appear in the sequel.

  Lo and behold, we have a nice surprise at the end of this runway, in the form of Nicki Minaj, who is posing in a nice flamingo-ballerina ensemble. She starts doing her usual sing-rap business, while a bevy of swimmers do something staged in the water behind her. Nicki is sporting what appears to be those pink Sno Ball snack cakes attached to her breasts, just in case we weren’t aware that she had a bosom. Justin rushes up to join her, because what young man doesn’t enjoy eating junk food?

  Nicki raps a bit, with some racy lyrics that surprise absolutely no one. Justin suddenly steps out of view, possibly to accept another lifetime achievement award, leaving Nicki to do some choreography that involves touching her hair and waving her hands like somebody forgot to monitor her sugar intake. Then Justin steps back in and pseudo-humps Nicki from behind while she purrs “yeah” repeatedly.


  Now we’re back to that shallow pool with the line dancers, where Justin isn’t doing a whole lot other than hold the camera while the posse behind him is doing calisthenics that would kill most people who don’t have a personal trainer. (There’s one red-headed girl who is so invested in her dance moves that I’m actually a little bit scared of her and what she could probably accomplish with the right weaponry.)

  Oh wait, now Justin is actually doing the same moves. (Perhaps he got my memo?) This is satisfying for about three seconds, and then he resorts to just splashing the camera with chlorinated water. Even the producers are concerned that this might be a little weak, so we cut to more of that supposed “stolen personal footage” that kicked off this festival. It’s more of the same “this is fun but I’m not sure why we’re seeing this” business and, based on what appears to be the alcohol-fueled content of the goings-on, I’m guessing the “thief” must be one of the bartenders. Or the desperate producers.

  Cut to Justin hurtling down one of those giant tube slides, with him giving a thumbs-up and holding the camera, proving that he really can play more than one musical instrument. He splashes into the pool at the bottom, and everyone for miles around erupts into a cheering mass of celebration that he has survived, well, something that everyone else at a water park has survived. I guess it’s more impressive to ride something that gives you a wet wedgie if you have 4 bazillion hits on the Internet.

  Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj’s colorful breasts are available in a snack-vending machine near you. Just insert your coins and press D-2. Don’t expect any change, she doesn’t have time for that…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Adam Lambert – “Better Than I Know Myself”

  We start off with a rapid-fire montage of images that don’t seem related but hopefully will be so after Mr. Lambert entertains us with his story: the skull of what could be a bull or possibly a Republican, a fuzzy shot of what might be the ghosts of former Ku Klux Klan members wearing shiny spirit robes, a contraption on a wall that might be sexual in nature, another skull, a bottle of some kind of hooch and a few fancy oxygen tanks. Perhaps there was a frat party in a nursing home that got out of hand, who knows.

  We finally get a shot of Adam as he starts to sing, and it’s nice to know that he still has a fondness for interesting leather jackets, this one sporting an interplanetary theme. He’s in an odd room (more skulls) featuring a special blue light which nicely accents the fact that he’s wearing far less makeup than usual. (Except for the eyes. The eyes have always got to pop or you really aren’t doing things right.) He seems to be very unhappy about something, perhaps the fact that there’s only the one bottle of booze left and we’ve still got the whole video to get through.

  Then we get another montage of Adam posing in various parts of the room, which could be in the apartment of someone who collects instruments of torture. (There’s a menacing pointy thing next to the couch that easily could have been used with great fanfare during the Spanish Inquisition.) Adam spends some time looking in a mirror, throwing books across the room (Does he hate libraries? Was there an incident?), making snarling faces while waving his arms, and being angry. Mostly being angry. Someone has obviously done something they shouldn’t have at some point. (Did he get shorted on egg rolls by the delivery guy? Hate that.)

  Oh wait, now we’ve jumped to another living room, where the light is more natural and the furnishings less capable of hurting you. Adam is wearing a nice cardigan that would make Mr. Rogers so happy that he’d sing a duet with that creepy cat-puppet friend he had. This Adam seems to be in a much better mood, probably because his set design isn’t based on a theme of death, loss and unsatisfactory food delivery. He’s smiling and scribbling something on a tablet, so he might be working on his memoirs of what really happens while waiting offstage with Ryan Seacrest.

  The chorus kicks in again, and Smiling Adam jumps to his feet and shows us that he can still perform quality dance moves without the aid of high-drama couture and boots with heels bigger than your head. Then we have scenes with Adam doing yoga (It’s nice that he’s centered and all, but what’s up with the odd air tanks behind him? Is that a California thing? Designer air?) and Adam flopping around on the couch and enjoying a good book, probably one about magical unicorns who sing show tunes while fighting discrimination in small towns.

  We get to a point where Smiling Adam is staring out the window, as if waiting for someone (dude, I hope you didn’t order the Chinese, word on the street is that somebody up in that grill has sticky fingers), then he hits one of the high notes in the song, which causes him to turn around and see his evil twin staring back at him. Apparently both of his personalities got a group rate at the same complex, one where people really do live in glass houses. (Another California thing, natch.)

  This causes Smiling Adam to rush to his couch for comfort, and Angry Adam to rush to his bottle for comfort and a little bit of spillage, proving that Adam can’t always successfully get things in his mouth. And then we engage in some sort of sing-off, with Smiling Adam and his chamomile tea trading lines with Angry Adam and his toxic tonic. It seems that Smiling Adam isn’t good with confrontation, simply sitting on his couch and shaking his head like a Baptist virgin, but Angry Adam is all about the raging gestures, including splashing his booze on the wall between him and Adam II. (Fool. Why you wasting the hooch? You’re gonna be licking that up off the floor later.)

  The passive-aggressiveness continues for a while, with Angry Adam tearing things up in his half of the cell while Yoga Adam calmly alphabetizes his book collection and makes his bed, pretending that Lindsay Lohan isn’t having another meltdown on the other side of the once-arty but now bad-idea glass wall. Of course, Granola Adam’s non-reaction only further incenses Bad Seed Adam, just like what happens with any family. (Even if all the family members are only in your head.)

  Then Greenpeace Adam picks up something (apple? potato? diaphragm?), bounces it in his hand, and then does something so that the object ends up in Quentin Tarantino Adam’s hands. (This part is a little unclear, just like the reason why anyone would care whether or not a Kardashian gets married.) Anyway, now Bad Apple Adam has a round thing in his hands which he proceeds to crush so that something blood-like spills out while he glares sideways at the camera, an evil look that probably made fellow contestants quiver in their sparkly shoes on American Idol, though not as scary as the looks Simon Cowell would give Paula Abdul when one of her personalities dared to disagree with him.

  Both of the Adams then hit a few high notes in unison, because despite their differences they still share the same vocal range. Then PollyAdam retires to his neatly-made bed and  Sort-of-looks-like-Elvis-in-this-shot Adam retires to one of the uncomfortable pieces of furniture in his Depression Chamber. They both sing about darkness, while Elvis Adam runs his fingers through the flame of a lighter, indicating that he may have done something recently that requires him to alter his fingerprints. Or he’s just really cold, what with that chilly blue light and all.

  Cut to a bit later, where Perky Adam is proffering a chess board at Pyro Adam. I guess Pyro isn’t interested in board games, because he instead sets an overturned chair on fire, as one naturally does when the entertainment options are not to one’s liking. As the flames rise higher and Perky presses his hands against the glass wall in concern, Pyro first raises his arms in victory and then decides to run to a mirror and smear his eyeliner all over his face, so he might have a bit of a manic-depressive issue.

  Suddenly, Happy Adam appears to be choking over on his side of things, and we get a shot of him gasping and looking at an “Oxygen Level” monitor on the wall. (We all have those, right?) The numbers are quickly heading toward zero, a development that probably isn’t good, but I haven’t seen the script. As Happy collapses to the floor, he has to waller around a bit because it’s time for both Adams to sing an important part of the song, and we can’t let asphyxiation break our focus.

  Eventually, Jacked-Up Makeup Adam realizes that his brother-sister is flatlining on the other side of the wall, and he should do something heroic now if he wants to be in the sequel. (No explanation is given as to why the oxygen is just fine in his room, even though that’s where the fire is. And just who is controlling the oxygen supply? RCA Records?) Anyway, Jacked Adam manages to kick a hole in the glass wall with his bad-boy boot (they just don’t build houses like they used to, eh?) and he reaches through to touch Mr. Rogers on the shoulder.

  Fade to white screen.

  Then we’re somewhere else, with Adam walking down the sidewalk toward us outside a complex that has been police-taped off. We zoom in for a close-up, and just as the video fades for a final time, we realize that his eyes are two different colors…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.


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