“It’s broke and shattered, to a million and one…”
Yeah, I’m gonna be completely honest here. There was absolutely no shitting way that I ever thought that She & Him – the musical project for M. Ward and perennial manic-pixie-dream-girl Zooey Deschanel – would ever appear on this blog in a positive light. I mean, they’re just so fucking twee and cutesy and blergh. I’ve gone off Deschanel something chronic lately – probably something to do with her awful New Girl show, which just got less and less funny as it got queasier and queasier. Not to mention all those Frankie girls spinning around the streets in their floral dresses, Instagramming their 35-dollar breakfasts and playing San Cisco on their iPod; all the while idolising their dearest Zooey.
So, with all of that in mind, how exactly in all of fuck did I end up grinning like an idiot at this video, the first in support of their imaginatively-titled third album, Volume 3? I’m personally blaming my enjoyment of I Could’ve Been Your Girl
on two things. The first is the goddamn colour and choreography. I mean, you guys remember how much I gushed over the Cameo Lover video, right? This is exactly like that. Zooey is wearing a bright pink dress with baby blue frill and bright yellow shoes. I queered up the second I saw her in it. As for the dancing, it’s just remarkably camp and wonderful and sweet. I’m not supposed to be feeling this way, dammit!
And the second thing? Well, call me crazy, but I genuinely think that Zooey is taking the absolute piss out of herself and the whole MPDG movement. Look at the haphazard way she tries to spin her umbrella, or the fumbling of the beachball, or how awkward she is with the wooden duck. These might just be attempts to humanise her, but I’m seeing something else. I’m seeing Deschanel attempting to break the fourth wall to show anyone that will give her a chance that she’s more than aware she’s a stereotype. It’s as if she’s saying “Yeah, I know I’m a bit ridiculous. And so are all the people trying to be like me.” I dunno, should I let sleeping dogs lie on this one? I really like Ward’s guitar, Zooey’s not the worst singer, and this video cracked a grin out of me. Maybe I’ll listen to Volume 3… Jesus, what is happening to me?
“I know you like my bumper, don’t be ashamed…”
Okay, before you ask, the answer is no. I literally could not find a better photo of Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull together than this one. I don’t know what that says about either of us, really. Anyway, let’s get on to the matter at hand. Remember the last time we covered a video by these two, and I mentioned that J-Lo was – for lack of a better term – pretty much too old for this shit? Yeah, that was two fucking years ago. Jennifer Lopez is 43. She’s somebody’s mother. She is not Madonna. There is absolutely no reason why she should be parading about like a woman half her age. This isn’t some women-in-their-place bullshit, either; I’m genuinely just amazed that J-Lo still feels a need to do this.
The video for Live It Up tries to make J-Lo seem as young and hip with the kids as ever. She has a cool phone! She gets texts from Pitbull! The text message includes a hashtag! That’s what the kids are using at the moment, aren’t they? Hashtags? Pound signs? That’s #cool, right? Oh, and then we cut to Pitbull – only 32, but looking far older – partying on the beach! There’s ladies! Pitbull loves the ladies, right? Wait… did he just say “YOLO” in his rap? AHAHAHA. They’re so down with the kids. The kids will love it. #yolo, you guys! We then head off to Jenny literally jumping through hoops to keep the kids entertained. This is… well, it’s excruciating, really. Anything with Pitbull is. But it’s made all the worse by Lopez not being able to let go. Come on, now. This is beyond a joke. I couldn’t even laugh at how bad this was. I was too busy cringing. You’ll do the same. MR. WORLDWIDE! HASHTAG! YOLO! LOL!
“You carry protection, but your heart will go on like Celine Deon…”
Another insight into my childhood comes with this turn-of-the-century banger from one of the most wondrous of one-hit-wonder groups, Bomfunk MCs. Freestyler was at the top of the charts in – according to Wikipedia – Sweden, Germany, Australia, Norway, New Zealand, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy. That’s a worldwide fucking hit, people. Nought to be sneezed at. Even with this in mind, I can’t help but feel it wouldn’t have quite gotten there were it not for this absolute smash of a music video. Often imitated, never duplicated.
If you were engaged with music on any level in 1999, I don’t have to run through the finer details of the clip. For those of you out of the loop, though, it’s set in a Helsinki train station and follows the adventures of a precocious 15 year old that just happens to have a magical remote given to him. This can only go well, right? The clip feels, at times, like a complete time capsule – I mean, look at the fashion! The dancing! The glasses! The hair! Sure, it was all in Finland; but these people were certainly not uncool looking in 1999. In fact, they’d have looked pretty boss, all things considered.
The video is also a commentary on abuse of power, believe it or not. If you can see that through all the choreography, you’re far more observant than I was when I first saw the video all those years ago. I just wanted to be that badass little kid. Fuck, even in 2013, I still kinda want to be that kid; and he’s probably pushing 30 now. Anyway, reminisce with me – or, better yet, experience for the first time.
“I know that feelin’, brah, coz I been there, too…”
Earlier today, we showed you the new video from The Lonely Island. It was hilarious. Intentionally hilarious. Right now, we’re going to share the new video from Western Sydney’s Kerser. It’s also hilarious, but not in the way TLI do it. You may be blissfully unaware of who this guy is and what he does, so allow us to bring you up to speed. Kerser is a rapper of sorts. He released a song – a real song – called Kerser is the Sickest. He did this to his face. His fans are lads and criminals – and that’s not just an assumption. His debut album, The Nebulizer, is the most stolen album from JB Hi-Fi; so much so that you can now only buy it over the counter. Along with 360, I put the blame squarely on people like Kerser for giving Australian hip-hop a bad name.
On this track, Kerser attempts to have his own Sing for the Moment on a D&M ballad. Naturally, it has to be raining in the video, so you can’t see Kerser crying over how deep it is. Sure, it’s just a guy with a hose, probably giving Kers a nice case of pneumonia, but doesn’t it look so EMOTIONAL? A bunch of footage from meet-and-greets show what kind of swamp-rats and bush-pigs follow this guy around, while the slow-mo “serious” shots are just too funny for words. Did I mention that he says “vice and versa” instead of “vice [vy-seh] versa” in the chorus, too? Probably dropped out in year 10 to smoke cones under the bridge and save up his dole cheques to buy a bum bag. Who needs to learn Latin? Latin’s for faggots!
There is one thing we can agree on: The lyric “Don’t look up to me/I’m fucked in the head.” The comments are filled with misguided, hateful little kids talking about how Kerser has saved their life. If you’re 16 and your boyfriend is in jail, your life wasn’t worth saving. Fuck this noise. Kerser and his fans will continue to be the lowest common denominator in Australian hip-hop. Am I allowed to say that? Of course! They don’t even know what common denominators are.
“I got that wife pussy, I got that pussy on lock…”
Back so soon? Yep! Another Wack Wednesday has been and gone, and we have another brand new video from The Lonely Island crew to get us in the mood for their third studio album, The Wack Album. So, we’ve already had a play on an overused phrase; as well as some brilliant contrasts between vacation hedonism and GLBT rights. Where do we go from here?
Pretty simple, folks. The time for kiddie games is over! We’re dealing with adults here! Ones that can afford to give their babies things to poop in! Adults that are married! Adults that have life insurance and a grave plot! This is some grown-ass man shit! It’s fitting, then, that the guys have made a video dedicated entirely to this remarkable premise. It’s a real breakthrough for TLI, and I have a feeling that you guys will have a great appreciation for it.
This video recently kicked me square in the nostalgia. If you follow this blog with any degree of consistency, you’ll know that the majority of my nostalgic videos come from either the late 90s or the mid 2000s, as they were both incredibly formative times for my taste in music. This video comes directly out of the former, at a time where I was obsessed with the pop charts and Saturday morning television. Saturday morning meant rage, of course; but, for a period, it also meant FlyTV – and I will high-five each and every person that can remember that show on the ABC. One of the videos that came up most frequently on that show was a clip from British production duo the Propellerheads, who scored a major hit around 1997 with their Dame Shirley Bassey collaboration, History Repeating.
While Crash! obviously didn’t have the same kind of star power – it was, after all, merely a horn- driven instrumental in the shadow of History Repeating - it certainly made up for it in terms of its remarkable video. It’s breakfast time in this house, which is occupied solely by the Propellerheads themselves and an Elvis impersonator. While one heads off, the King and the Propellerhead have themselves a remarkable start to the day. I always knew that my Saturday would kick arse if I saw this hilarious and impeccably-choreographed video; and rediscovering this clip over the weekend truly felt amazing. Maybe more than it should. I dunno. I don’t even care, dude! Long live the king!
“Dear Lord, when I get to Heaven, please let me bring my man…”
Hi, guys! So, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Which would you like first? The good news? Okay, that works for me. Well, the good news is that The Great Gatsby is out in the world, and friend-of-the-blog Brendan Maclean stars in it. So go and check that out, even if you’re not a Baz Luhrman guy. I mean, I’m sure as shit not. But I’d do anything for our B-Mac. I hope you do the same. The bad news, then? Oh. That. Well, someone in some department somewhere at some stage of proceedings thought it would be a good idea to get Lana Del fucking Ray to do something for the soundtrack.
Now, given that it’s no longer 2012, I had foolishly figured that just enough time had passed for us to realise and appreciate that getting Lana Del Ray to do anything at any time for anyone is a bad idea. Don’t believe me? Oh, go ahead; go watch the video for Blue Jeans again. Or worse, the video for Ride. Thank fuck we never got around to that one on the blog. I would have necked myself before I even got to 100 words. Anyway, let’s take a look at Young and Beautiful, the typically overwrought and sappy new song that they’ve thrown on the Gatsby soundtrack. The video consists of an Instagram filter, some footage of an orchestra – and, of course, our dear sweet Lizzie herself. She looks as bored and dissatisfied as she sounds – and, subsequently, how you’ll look once you’re done watching this video. There’s no plot, only attempts at spectacle. Look how pretty everything is? Christ on a bike. Bring me a bucket, won’t you Lizzie? I’m done here.
“Through this hell, we found our heaven…”
Here’s one of the better Aussie clips I’ve seen recently, courtesy of Sydney duo The Presets. These guys have made some absolute winners in the past – my personal favourite being 2007′s iconic My People clip – so it’s great to see them back in action in promotion of their third studio album, Pacifica. The record was one of my favourite LPs of 2012, but I can’t say I was all too excited about any of the videos the band have released from it, which is a shame. That was, of course, until now.
Inventively enough, for a song called Fall, the band decided to do a video of skydiving. Both Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes, wearing creepy plastic masks of their own faces, simply dive out of the plane and let the wind take them where it may. Literally, that’s the entire video. And yet, you never get a sense of ‘that’s IT?’ dissatisfaction. There doesn’t need to be anything more to this video. It works so remarkably on its own. The cinematography is to die for, the location is perfect and the boys handle such an intense experience so cleverly and uniquely. I guess, sometimes, less really is more. Bliss.
“Talk too motherfucking much, I got my drink, I got my music…”
What a relief that the undisputed star of hip-hop in 2012 is keeping up his productivity into 2013. The last thing I would ever want for Kendrick Lamar is for him to simply become a flash in the pan. After all, if it wasn’t for The Idler Wheel by Fiona Apple, there is no doubt in my mind that good kid, m.A.A.d city would have been the album of the year. This track in particular was one of my favourites, so I was quite keen to see how it would be portrayed from a music video perspective – and, I’m happy to say, K Dot has done me proud. Well proud!
As I had suspected when daydreaming about the clip, the video begins in the surrounds of a church. “I am a sinner, who’s probably gonna sin again…,” you know how it is. The jumpy editing and the stark contrasts that come in the following scenes make this a bit of a shock to watch the first time around. With repeated listens, however, comes the concept. Somewhere between love and fear, life and death, laughter and sadness, there’s the video. I get that some people really aren’t going to dig on this, and might find it to have mixed messages or contradictory. For what it’s worth though, I find that those people were missing Kendrick’s message from the beginning. This is great. DTM.
“Not quite dying, my body left to rot in a hollow tree…”
Oh yeah, fuck, that’s what I was forgetting to tell you guys. David Bowie isn’t dead. He’s alive. He has a new album. Perhaps you’re familiar with the product? It’s called The Next Day and it’s been one of the best albums of the year so far. There’s been a couple of – shall we say – interesting videos released in promotion of the LP. There was the slightly creepy Where Are We Now, in which the Thin White Duke’s face is plastered over toys; as well as The Stars (Are Out Tonight), in which Tilda Swinton – shock and surprise – does something weird and does her best Bowie. So, what have we got on our hands for the album’s title track? Actually… it’s a completely new matter entirely.
Friends, this is the best Bowie video since his Trent Reznor collaboration, I’m Afraid of Americans, back in the late 90s. It’s at once horrifying, engrossing and arresting; a series of outright disturbing events that fly by so quickly that the song itself isn’t even played in full. There is sacrilege, blasphemy, idol worship and a fuck-tonne of blood. Needless to say, it’s an intense experience. No surprise it was pulled off YouTube for a bit there. I guess that they thought at the age of 66, Bowie wouldn’t be up for anything all that shocking to the system. HA! Wrong answer, dudes. What an absolute treat – especially the Gary Oldman appearance, in which he loses his freakin’ MIND. Classic Oldman. Oh yeah, by the way, if you’re easily offended… first of all, what on earth are you doing reading this blog? Secondly, don’t watch this. The last thing Bowie needs is your pointless anger. Hail hail!