Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Mynabirds - "Body Of Work"

  We start out with a woman sprawled across a bed in some forest, her hair dangling off the side of the mattress in a forlorn manner, but before we can ask her if she needs any assistance, we quickly cut to somebody doing something with drumsticks, and then to a woman fiddling around with lots of square mirrors suspended from trees. We’re only 8 seconds into the video and I have no idea what’s going on, but at least we’re not in a dance club so this video is already better than 97% of the videos out there.

  More anonymous drumming, some schizophrenic imagery of what I’m starting to think might be the lead singer (or maybe just someone who has questionable access to video-editing equipment), and a barefoot woman running away from what little plot there is. Back to the bed, where the previously very-tired woman has swallowed some type of stimulant and is belting out the lyrics of the song.  This is followed by some more shots of bare feet, this time re-enacting the Lucy Ricardo grape-stomping scene of yore, only there’s no grapes or Lucy or rustic Italian-peasant attire. Just feet and mud. This is one of those things that seems like a good idea at the time, but then somebody has to hose you down when you’re done.

  A woman that we haven’t met before briefly struts past the camera and then disappears, which is kind of rude, but she may have urgent things to take care of somewhere that doesn’t involve a forest.  Another lady is trying to take our picture, but she’s using one of those old-school cameras the size of Buick and we don’t have time for that, cutting back to the woman on the bed. Bed-woman seems to have a lot of issues, but I guess we’ll have to get back to that later, because the woman who disappeared suddenly re-appears, smiling invitingly at us, so her agent must have told her to get her ass back on the set and make nice with people.

  More drumming and more hanging mirrors that don’t seem to have a purpose, then we get a long shot of Bed-Woman and we immediately understand one of her issues. The bed is floating several feet above the forest floor, which is kind of festive if you’ve taken the right pharmaceuticals, but rather annoying if you’re just trying to catch some shut eye before the concert later tonight. No wonder Bed-Woman is pounding on the mattress with her aggressive-looking drumsticks. She needs a ladder, stat.

  Oh wait, maybe she’s not that upset about the altitude, because she’s smiling a lot and flopping around on the bed with enthusiasm and gazing at herself in yet another mirror. (Apparently mynabirds like reflections, write that down.) And the next scene shows that they also like to hold up and look through decaying windows whilst a strange man squats behind them and hugs them around the ass. (No idea, but they both seem to be having a good time, especially the Ass-Man.) Then we have a nice montage of random eyeballs, the woman with the camera, Bed-Woman banging her sticks together, someone who may or may not have just sat on a very stimulating pinecone (look at that expression on her face, that surely means sexual release, right?), and some disembodied hands clapping.

  Did I mention pharmaceuticals?

  The montage continues, with several barefoot women and some dorkily-dressed men frolicking about in a handy stream, the Pinecone Woman eating leaves off an odd branch (I get hungry after nature sex as well), the Bed-Woman temporarily out of the bed and wearing a nice frock while she holds up lit sparklers, and a group of three new women (just how many Mynabirds are there?) doing a line dance that involves dramatic poses and thigh-slapping.

  We check in on Bed-Woman, now properly back in her bed, and she’s still doing the same thing, using sticks and a floating bed and even more mirrors to tell the story of something unsatisfactory that happened in the Ozark Mountains. Cut to a woman who may have fallen and can’t get up, a brief shot of clouds, another group of women who seem very invested in jumping, more random trees, Bed-Woman using a telescope to see if anyone is paying attention to her drama on the daybed, more trees, more mirrors, and the never-ending usage of drumsticks.

  Montage #37: A trio of colorfully-dressed women sneakily creep down an embankment toward that stream where people were previously dancing, looking like piñatas up to no good, more mirrors, more exuberant jumping, a shot of what might be Lisa Kudrow wondering when she will ever score another part like “Phoebe”, clouds, the piñata people launching three paper boats on the stream (is this a tribute to Columbus?), a woman spewing glitter dust out of her mouth (pharmaceuticals!), and a woman sitting in a jacked-up tree and gazing into yet another mirror with the passion of Maya Angelou writing a poem about the mystical inner-strength of women who sit in jacked-up trees.

  Uh oh, Bed-Woman is out of the bed again, waving those lit sparklers around in a dangerous manner. We should probably tell someone, I’m just not sure who that would be.

  Then we have a nice bit where the line-dancers are back, doing something interpretive with their hands and hips. Wait a minute, one of the dancers from the original scene is missing. Is this like Dreamgirls? (“And I’m telling you, I’m not leaving this forest!” Then whoops, she gone.) Brief bit with a woman who might have starred in The Ring standing near two trees, followed by another brief bit with a solo dancer who might not be listening to the same song that we are, and finally a man apparently freaking out and waving his arms about. (What, is this too much estrogen for you? Are you in the Republican party?)

  Oh wait, Freak-Out Man was apparently the introductory dancer to a sequence where everyone appears to have at least minimally lost their minds, gyrating and flailing like they really mean business. (Mixed in with this are shots of Bed-Woman still pounding and what might be summer-camp photos from a camp that never really existed.) This culminates in a big-ass dance off where lots of people are jumping around in a field that was apparently adjacent to a Janis Joplin concert in 1969.

  Another shot of clouds rolling across the sky, reminding us that Mother Nature loves us all even if we do extraordinarily unusual things at times, then we cut to one of the Mynas sitting amongst some foliage and whipping her hair around with enough frenzy to power Newark for the next three months.  (That girl is going to need some pain-killers at the wrap party, for sure.)

  More sparklers.

  More jumping.

  And we roll into the final montage with Bed-Woman properly ensconced back in her Levitating Slumber Slab of Freedom, more mirrors, some mess with people running along and waving homemade flags, Jacked-Up Tree Woman looking at us like we just said something insipid during the Summer Solstice passion play, something about a half-door that leads to a pond that might have algae-buildup issues, and another review of the Janis Jumpers as they whirl around like the Von Trapp family just ate mushrooms on an Austrian mountaintop.

  We close it out with all of the Mynas and their Myna-friends standing in formation and wistfully gazing up at the sun. The sun gazes wistfully back at them, but doesn’t say anything. Because it can’t. The Mynas wait. The sun waits. Then somebody hollers “Cut!” and everybody runs to pack their bags for The Burning Man festival…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Family of the Year – “St. Croix”

  We start off with a loving shot of some vixen’s rear as she high-tails it away from us and joins a bunch of her pals on a beach. (Was it something we said?) All of her little friends are sporting bathing couture from the 1960’s, and there are several surfboards around, shoved in the sand in that startlingly-phallic manner than shoved surfboards have. While credits splash on the screen, some of the folks are dancing about and performing those self-satisfied moves that have little to do with the actual rhythm of the song and more to do with the possible appearance of a rash in an uncomfortable location.

  We also get our first shot of a woman in a pink bathing suit with an excess of fringe, wiggling her hips with a frenzy. She may look innocent at the moment (although a bit over-accessorized), but we will soon start to fear her a little bit since she makes a number of increasingly-aggressive appearances as the video progresses. She clearly has a dark agenda of some kind, and no one is safe from her and her lethally-whipping fringe.

  Cut to the band members standing in a line in front of an old-timey car. They are wearing matching striped shirts, which is initially cute and wholesomely-nostalgic, but something about their body language gives off a slight “Children of the Corn” vibe, a foreboding that will grow along with our unease about Fringed Frieda and her pelvic gyrations. Oh, and one of those surfboards has joined the lineup, but since he doesn’t appear to know any of the lyrics or dance moves, his musical career might be a little shorter than the other four.

  And we’re back to Frieda (see, I told you, she eventually ends up everywhere, like bad shag carpeting), who does a hip solo, then we visit with her other little friends on the beach, with everyone trying to do white-people dances and appear festive. There’s also some mess with a hula hoop, but the person trying to do the hooping obviously watched the wrong instructional video, because that hoop is not doing what it should. But everyone is smiling and having a swell time, so the skill-set of some of the participants is really less important than, say, the complete lack of same-sex couples doing The Frug.

  Back to the foursome in front of the Ford, or whatever kind of car that is. They are very happy to finally be singing the lyrics of the song, after that extended intro where they didn’t get to do much other than stand there and be pretty. The camera pans down the line, so we can fully appreciate their individual happiness and very-fine dental work. (Why is that one guy playing a guitar the size of a sugar packet? Maybe I should save that for the Q&A session at the end of the video.)

  Oh wait, we’re suddenly getting some more title credits. I’m not sure why we need a second round, but maybe we’ll learn something. It seems that this video is starring Family of the Year, news that comes as a total shock, this being a Family of the Year video and all. Then we get some snippet cameos from the band members, with each of them waving about a prop with borderline manic glee, followed by a Brady Bunch-style intro to a gaggle of people known as “The Gang”. It’s not clear who these people are, but most of them are clutching vessels of fruity alcohol, so I’m sure we’ll get along just fine.

  There’s a quick series of vignettes, with the Pinstripe Quartet performing on a deck, some of the guys being very friendly with surfboards, the perusal of trashy pulp novels, and some business concerning a sandcastle with self-esteem issues. Then we’re back to more credits, because somebody up in this grill really has a fondness for fonts. We are introduced to three of the band members (at least I think they’re in the band, we really have a lot of people running around) who will be playing characters with odd names that usually only happen in the south of France or on California communes in 1967.

  We head back to the quartet on that deck thing, a gig that they must greatly enjoy because we spend a considerable amount of time there. Christina, the lone female in the otherwise testosterone-heavy lineup, appears to be very invested in doing an interpretive dance about an escaped convict not knowing which way to run.

  Then we kick off our little mini-story, one that initially involves “Lou Simpatico”, a mustached man who is selling a love-potion concoction at a little hut. As he stands there and makes us think of someone involved in cheap pornographic films (sorry, it’s that mustache), our other two featured starlets, “Rita Haricot Vers” and “Vince Schoenhauser”, come running up from wherever they were standing before the director hollered “Action!”. They each snatch a drink from Porno Lou, and then turn to gaze upon one another whilst they guzzle.

  This leads to a gauzy dream sequence where our two chemically-altered lovers make goo-goo eyes and smile dreamily, followed by the four band members also chugging the chupacabra juice. This makes the libation an official trending topic, and suddenly everyone on the entire set is racing to get them a glassful. Two seconds later, the inevitable dance-off begins, with people pumping their hands in the air and doing squat thrusts. The celebration is capped off by the band members trying out for the local cheerleading squad that doesn’t really exist.

  Now that hormone levels have been maximized, we proceed to a montage of several couples sucking face with a fierce determination. First we have the couples perched atop an odd fence, because nothing is more erotic than wooden supports poking at your butt, then we have the couples strewn about a pile of seaside rocks, like a bunch of seals at the height of mating season. We cap this section off with Vince and Rita, post-coupling, racing into the ocean waters to wash away their sins.

  Quick image of the band members running along the beach carrying a surfboard over their heads, then we cut to the members riding said board in a lovely tribute to the art of obvious trick photography, complete with mismatched film stock and over-acting. There’s also some mess with what appears to be a three-way taking place between a discreet set of surfboards, but we are only allowed to see body parts that are uninteresting, which lowers the titillation factor.

  The final part of this epic love story involves a voyeuristic lifeguard using binoculars to spy on Vince and Rita as they do that “beast with two backs” thing, wallering around on the sand. Well, apparently the lifeguard is a Republican, because he can’t stand it when other people are happy, so he blows on a whistle to make them stop. But instead of seeing a reaction shot from Vince and Rita as they pull away from each other with an audible pop, we cut to a fisherman snagging a bikini top with his pole. (Which sounds rather eye-opening, but isn’t quite what you think.)

  There’s some minimal choreography involving beach balls and a Busby Berkley tribute, and suddenly Fringed Frieda is back on the scene, standing front and center and ready to lacerate us with her dangly mini-whips. Luckily, the band members dance their way in between us and Certain Death, creating a life-saving barrier so that our last image on Earth isn’t a human weed whacker from hell.

  To celebrate the fact that everyone survived the video with only a bit of sunburn and some possible surprise pregnancies, we close things out with folks sitting around a charming bonfire as the day fades, people reflect, and libidos recharge. Then we roll into the closing credits, with more images of beautiful people being far more happy than reality and non-alcoholic beverages would normally allow…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Countess LuAnn – “Money Can’t Buy You Class”

  Note:  This mess is absolutely terrible. Which means I’m completely excited and can’t wait to get started. (That noise you hear is me popping another beer as I stretch my fingers…)

  We start off with several model-type men marching into what looks like a crusty barracks from some old-school military movie where lots of things blew up and there was no real plot, so at least the producers are being honest with us from the get go. The guys line up along one wall, looking like they already regret having answered the casting call. Then we cut to LuAnn wearing a fancy bustier in a room with horrid wallpaper, while the title of the song magically appears just beneath her hydraulically-trussed cleavage. She’s going to sing about class whilst shoving her breasts at us?

  This train hasn’t even left the station and it’s already off the rails.

  LuAnn, somehow managing to put some actual clothes on at some point, sashays her way to the barracks, where she proceeds to inspect the troops. (This inspection is mixed with more shots of LuAnn still in that bustier, attempting to look sultry, but it really appears that she might have a gastric disorder.) Inspector LuAnn finds a billfold on one of the guys, and she hurls it to the ground with the acting skill of a pet rock. At the same time, LuAnn’s vocals start on the soundtrack, and it’s obvious within half a second that somebody hit the start button on the Auto-Tune.

  Inspector LuAnn then moves on to the next guy, and she finds a stack of cash in one of his pockets (held together with a rubber band, because that’s how everybody carries their money around, right?). She promptly tosses this aside as well, letting us know that she has no use for currency. (Obviously not, since she clearly didn’t spend any on singing lessons.) Then LuAnn decides on a victim, and drags one of the guys out of the lineup, heading to parts unknown. (The other three guys breathe a sigh of relief, because there’s just something not quite right about LuAnn and her mystical sense of self-importance.)

  Oh look, LuAnn has schlepped the Chosen One up to her tawdry boudoir with the crushed velvet wallpaper. (She’s made him change into a shirt that coordinates with said paper, the one hint at actual design sense that we’ve seen so far.) Then she forces him to tighten the back of her bustier even more whilst she clutches her globes of self-esteem, a startling display of self-love that we haven’t seen since the last time Donald Trump said something stupid on TV. (Which was probably two hours ago.) And based on the way her little man-servant is instantly familiar with the mechanisms of a bustier, he clearly knows a show tune or two and this relationship simply can’t work out.

  We then have a montage of LuAnn in various poses in the boudoir, with “Not Gonna Happen” Guy shoved to the side while LuAnn takes matters into her own hands, touching herself provocatively and looking about as erotic as an armadillo in heat. Then LuAnn launches into a “spoken word” bit that never should have happened in a civilized society, with her babbling about the proper way to treat a lady. What lady that might be, we don’t know, because she surely doesn’t mean the one we can see now, wearing the last bit of sheet-metal from the crash of the Hindenburg while the uninterested male model pretends to know where a woman likes to be touched.

  LuAnn actually pauses in mid-rap to apply lipstick in what she presumes to be a sexual manner (because that’s classy) as the model gazes in adoration, which really means “studying her makeup tips because he might need them for the drag show on Saturday night”. And did I mention that LuAnn’s speaking voice is really deep? Deeper than mine, and I sound like I have gravel in my throat. She must have boulders. I officially start looking for a cleverly-disguised adam’s apple.

  Okay, we’ve just changed locales (sort of, because we keep going back to the Bustier Room repeatedly, as LuAnn apparently feels most comfortable in the Hindenburg getup). She’s in some room where another one of the guys from the barracks lineup is texting on his phone. This is apparently a no-no in Lu-Lu land, because she snatches the phone away from him and then slams his head into a cocktail table. (Honey, really? You couldn’t just say “I don’t really care for that”? Were you raised by she-wolves?) Texting Guy, realizing that her biceps are bigger than his, doesn’t put up much of a fuss.

  Brief montage of LuAnn cavorting some more in the boudoir, then we head to a nightclub, with LuAnn now sporting an outfit presumably made out of a pink Slip-n-Slide from the 70’s. (I didn’t know those things even came in that color back in the day, but they must have.) She’s managed to gather up all the guys from the barracks lineup, and they have apparently been instructed to “gaze upon LuAnn with complete infatuation, no matter what her hick ass does”, because they do. One guy even whips out a camera to record the moment, because he can’t live, if living means he doesn’t have pictures of spoiled heiresses who don’t know how to dress themselves.

  The cameraman manages to pull his camera away from LuAnn for a brief bit, giving us shots of the other attendees at this questionable nightclub, all of them gazing at LuAnn with a wonder greater than the biggest orgasm ever. Clearly, these people are drunk or very-highly paid.

  Then we hit a bit where LuAnn confirms that she has lost touch with reality and should be confined to a sanitarium where there are no sharp implements and an abundance of medication. She actually walks up to two patrons, snatches their beers away, and shoves glasses of champagne at them. This is just not right in any way imaginable. Don’t mess with my beer, I don’t care how tight your bustier might be.

  But do the patrons complain? Nope. Instead, everyone, especially the males, continue to gaze upon LuAnn like they haven’t seen anything that good since Grandma baked one of her apple pies with the secret ingredient. (Which might have been Prozac.) This encourages LuAnn (who obviously doesn’t need approval) to then school another one of the guys in the proper way to use silverware. Or eat soup. Something that involves a big white bowl on a table and some utensils. The guy looks just as confused as we are. LuAnn, now wearing a black ensemble that came out of nowhere, doesn’t care.

  More shots of LuAnn straddling a barstool whilst no-shame paid extras struggle to get in the same shot with her and pretend that the words spit from her mouth have any type of significance whatsoever.

  Even more shots of LuAnn in the Bustier Room. (Did it never occur to anybody to walk up to LuAnn and say “you know what, I think we’ve seen enough of your breasts”. Could you maybe put those things away for, I don’t know, two seconds?)

  Then we roll into a bit where Lu-Lu is screwing around with one of the guy’s ties, adjusting it a bit, like she has any qualifications when it comes to fashion. (Rule Number One: Just because you can afford to buy it doesn’t mean you should wear it.) But I guess she’s not really all that invested in the tie, because the pointless scene is quickly abandoned and we head back to the bar proper, where LuAnn is under the impression that if she just does enough arm choreography we’ll forget that there’s really no reason for her to have a recording contract of any kind.

  Then we’re suddenly somewhere that has a giant bed, one that allows LuAnn to wear yet another outfit, this one made out of old-school circuit boards from the first computer ever invented. All of the guys from the original barracks lineup are on hand, sprawled on the bed in what is supposed to be a sensual manner, but actually looks like there has been a drive-by shooting of some kind.

  I feel especially bad for the one guy who agreed to have his head placed near LuAnn’s cooter. He looks absolutely terrified, even more so because LuAnn has one of her industrial hands latched onto his head, keeping him firmly in place. If he doesn’t sue his agent for abusive behavior, then he’s a fool.

  But I guess they spent a lot of money on this sequence, because we stay here for a while. (There are some brief glimpses of LuAnn in the other settings, but they’re really not necessary. She has breasts. We get it.) For a scene that’s presumably supposed to be erotic, those guys lounging on the bed couldn’t be more disinterested. (I haven’t seen that much boredom since Ann Coulter tried to share another one of her vapid opinions.) These guys are clearly not hot for teacher.

  That doesn’t stop LuAnn, however. She loves herself so much that she simply can’t fathom the possibility that anyone with a pulse wouldn’t instantly worship her on sight. To prove this, we now have a montage of various menfolk being allowed to touch LuAnn for a second or two, because she’s all about letting the little people have a moment of glory. (The men all respond to this opportunity with professional adoration and feigned lust, but I’m assuming that once the director hollered “Cut!” they all raced to a decontamination chamber, screaming.)

  We wind up the video with LuAnn doing another spoken-word bit where she babbles once again about the class that she doesn’t have, including a bit where she grunts out a fake laugh that is the most emotionless sound ever heard on the planet. This is followed up by a quick re-visit to the Shawshank bed where terrified men have been chained to the mattress and forced to appear aroused, and a final run through the crappy nightclub where you don’t dare order a beer or Countess AutoTune will snatch it out of your hands.

  We close with LuAnn (well, the computer, actually) bellowing “Money Can’t Buy You Class” while visibly restraining herself from kissing her own ass.

  No, honey. It can’t. Thank you for proving that…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Love and Rockets - "So Alive"

  We start out with a shadowy image of what we’ll soon learn is a disembodied pair of legs that will quickly take over the video with a vengeance, then we cut to lead singer Daniel’s gloved hands caressing a microphone stand in a very intimate manner. (It’s not my place to judge, and they do make a cute couple.) Then we have a nice profile silhouette of Daniel, as he and his electrified hair prepare to sing about being alive and apparently having access to extensive amounts of styling products.

  First though, we have to go through a bit where they establish another theme of the video, this one involving making it look like things are under water. This is probably highly symbolic in some way, or maybe it’s just a nice feature for those partaking in recreational drugs. Then we finally get to the business part of things, with Daniel launching into the vocals while the shadow legs do some random choreography on the wall behind him, some footwork that could be the Texas Two-Step or could might be someone receiving the Heimlich maneuver.

  This leads to a shot where we have multiple sets of the legs wearing glamour heels and marching in a single line toward… I don’t know, it’s never made clear, but it must be an important place because the legs spend the entire video trying to get there. Happily, the legs are now the real thing and not just shadowy billows. Sadly, the legs are still missing the upper halves of their bodies. (Or the cameraman is really, really short.) It’s a little creepy, with the subtle hint that someone may have done something unsavory with a chainsaw, but they are very nice legs, in that super-thin supermodel style of legs, and you can certainly understand why someone might write a pop song about them.

  Next up, we start our third theme of the video, wherein the various band members wear moody sunglasses whilst various lights are splashed across their stoic, “bored with all this” faces.  It’s also about this time that Daniel starts one of his signature moves, where he raises his eyes to the Lord, or at least a ceiling fan, apparently overcome by the passion of the lyrics. We seem to spend most of these moments focusing on his right eye, so the director must feel that that one has better stage presence. Or that eye has a better agent who managed to get the eye better billing in the credits.

  As we approach the one-minute mark, Daniel suddenly gets a headache that causes him to briefly transform into David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust fetish. It’s a very special moment.

  Then it’s time for more shadow play, as Daniel uses his hands and his hair to create images that spell out the migratory pattern of some interestingly-shaped birds. This goes on for a while, so the birds are apparently flying to someplace important. (Maybe they are meeting the torso-less legs for cocktails in SoHo?) This is followed by a quick montage of some of the light-dappled band members, reminding us that none of them are the least bit invested in cracking a smile.

  Eventually we get around to the image of just one supermodel leg swinging in the wind, which could mean anything. But before we can ask any questions, we kick off another montage, this one involving some video editor splashing stars all over the screen, some very grainy footage of possible pornography, and more close-ups of Daniel’s right eye as it gazes worshipfully at the ceiling fan. The ceiling fan doesn’t immediately answer Daniel’s prayers because, well, it’s a ceiling fan.

  Then the marching line of legs is back, but this time the sets of legs have stopped walking and they seem to be milling around in confusion. (This is probably the point where the sets are all wondering, “hey, where’s the rest of our bodies?”) While the legs compare notes, the camera runs through all of the band members again, letting us see that they are still very moody and insisting on not looking at us, because that’s how you’re supposed to act in an artsy, semi-Goth band where people wear stark clothing and quote poetry about death.

  Another brief shot of Daniel singing, without all the hand choreography, and then the legs are on the march again. This appearance of the stilettos is apparently slightly different, although they look the same to me, because it triggers Daniel (I think) to grab one of the other band members so they can do a mystifying modified waltz, with twirling and everything. (I have no idea.) Then we’re back to Daniel’s eye and its skyward focus, along with Daniel’s hair and its skyward focus. (Seriously, there’s enough volume with that mess that small children could hide for days.)

  Of course, the legs are soon back, because they’ve obviously become the stars of the show and the band members have become their bitch, forced to merely provide background music while the legs get all the fan mail. This time around, the legs are doing more of that milling about, probably because they don’t have eyes and therefore can’t see where the camera might be. But they still look quite fetching with their “oh so long”-ness and the complete lack of any body fat, so it doesn’t really matter where they pretend to look.

  And that’s about it, folks. There’s the better part of a minute left in the video, but we’ve rolled into that non-lyrical part of the song where some invisible backup singers do the “doot doot” thing while the musicians somberly play their instruments and think bleak thoughts. We get a final, extended montage of all that we’ve seen before (legs, hair, stars, legs, non-smiling, legs, more stars, hair, gloved hands, single-eye praying, legs) and then we fade to black. Which, naturally, is exactly where gothic people like things to fade to…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Three Dog Night – “Eli’s Coming”

  Note: This is a performance clip from a TV special, something I normally don’t mess with, but after watching it I knew I wouldn’t feel good in the morning if I let this one go. It’s from 1972, and that alone should explain everything that’s about to happen. Here we go…

  We start out with a blurry image of what might be the drummer, followed by blurry images of anonymous hands playing a piano and tuning a guitar. Are we standing in line at a methadone clinic? (To be fair, the blurriness is probably the degraded quality of the film and not the result of some artistic director proclaiming “we must open with blurriness!” and then taking a defiant drag on a clove cigarette.) Then we get a shot of one of those Troll dolls (you know, those old-school asexually naked things with fuzzy hair) stuck on the end of a guitar, and I start to get nervous.

  Then we pan over to the person holding that guitar, and I’m not trying to pass any judgment, but based on the facial reactions, he’s clearly stoned out of his mind, or at least has severe focus issues. But it’s all good, because we soon cut to somebody singing the opening bit of the song, and you forget all about drug usage because this singer’s hair is quite stunning. I’m not sure what he was going for with that look, but I hope he found it. Then we zip over to another singer, I have no idea how many of them we might meet, and this one is wearing an even more expressive hairdo, one that Cher would later use during that part of her career when she wore a thong whilst straddling a big gun on a battleship.

  Okay, we’ve got another vocalist, this one upping the hair challenge by sporting a mustache that could rake the leaves off your front lawn. Oddly enough, he can’t help but giggle during his lyric delivery, which I take as another sign of recreational inhalants, but many of the women in the audience take as a cue to start screaming in worship. Since I was only 7 at the time of this video, I’ll just assume there were things going on that I was clueless about as I played with my G.I. Joe and watched Saturday morning cartoons.

  Mustache Man starts playing with the crowd, throwing in some “wooh!” noises, encouraging folks to scream some more so that it drowns out the song, which is kind of sad because he really has quite a nice voice. (But I think he knows that.) He throws in a cryptic Tiny Tim bit of flourish, then he passes the vocal torch to yet another singer, this one wearing a startling mini-vest thing that looks like something you would put on your Streetwalker Barbie Doll and not on your G.I. Joe. (Unless Joe was raised in Venice Beach.)

  This vest causes the music to really ramp up, and we cut to the audience to see how they are enjoying things so far. I would say that they mightily approve, especially the one woman who appears to have just had a spontaneous orgasm. We head back to the stage, where all 140 lead singers are posing in a head-to-toe camera angle, letting us know that the Theme of the Day is overly-tight slacks that highlight your crotch. Just to make sure we understand this theme, the Cher-Hair Guy grabs the waistband of his pants and pulls them even higher, helpfully letting the world know that he hangs to the left.

  We get some more audience reaction shots, and I do believe that this has now become some type of religious ceremony, with folks raising their hands to Jesus, or at least signaling to the traveling beer vendor that they are a bit parched. Brief re-visit to the stage, then we’re back in the audience, where everyone has been inspired to rhythmically clap with a frenzy that would cause psychologists to widen their eyes in alarm.

  Stage again, where the camera appears to be zooming in toward the Mini-Vest Guy, a development that forces me to take another swig of vodka as reinforcement against what might happen. Mini-Vest proceeds to wiggle his hips in a manner that I would think is ill-advised, but based on the audience reaction, there was apparently nothing sexier in 1972 than somebody shifting from foot to foot like they have seriously got to pee. (This also might explain how Nixon managed to get re-elected in 1972. He always looked like he had bladder issues.)

  Then some of the 280 lead singers start raising their hands in the air, officially transitioning us from a mere concert into a frenzied praise celebration. (I guess everybody is quite happy about those tight pants.) The Cher-Hair Guy is the most invested in this bit, flailing his arms like there were some vicious jalapenos in the bean dip, and causing Mini-Vest Guy to glance at him like “does it always have to be about you? Didn’t we discuss this on the bus coming here? And stop pulling on your pants, we get it, you have a penis.” Or something like that. I wasn’t there and nobody forwarded the meeting minutes.

  Another quick shot of the audience, reminding us that none of the women in 1972 yet had access to the hair-styling products that would later allow Farrah Fawcett to dominate the planet, and then we focus back on Mini-Vest. He’s now whipping one arm downward like he’s in the final stretch of the Kentucky Derby. (This doesn’t appeal to me in the least, probably because I already had no intention of sleeping with someone who considers vests an aphrodisiac, but judging by the euphoric reaction of the women (and a few of the men) in the audience, they are clearly prepared to be ridden across the finish line. I guess you had to be there.

  And I guess the cameraman relishes the fact that the audience is on the verge of massive sexual satisfaction, because he happily records more shots of people clapping and waving their hands as they approach the Big O, or find salvation in the Lord, or both, whatever it is that they are doing that resulted in the creation of disco music a few short years later. No wonder plaid polyester suits became all the rage about this time. If a man in a mini-vest can help you find your g-spot, anything can happen.

  And that’s how we wind down the video, with the 360 lead singers doing their thing, an apparently mesmerizing bit that totally enraptured thousands of people before cable TV was invented and allowed people to find peace and sexual redemption without leaving their homes. There’s a final shot of the audience members thrusting their hands in the air in a manner that would later become required movements by people attending mega-churches where nobody knows your name, and then we close out with Mini-Vest on the stage warbling the last bits of the song.

  Then the 480 lead singers leave the stage and search the phonebook for chiropractors who can help their testicles re-descend after being confined in restrictive pants at the prayer circle…

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