“Cut off the bottoms of my feet, make me walk on salt…”
He’s almost here! Next week, Jack White is coming to Australia for the first time as a solo artist, headlining the first night of Splendour in the Grass and peddling the wares of his excellent new album, Blunderbuss. We already featured the VHS madness of Sixteen Saltines not too long ago, but Jackie boy has decided to follow that up with a complete 180. Instead of trashy, cheap destruction, he’s collaborated with hip-hop video legend Hype Williams for what is unquestionably his slickest video to date. This was always going to be an odd-couple pairing, and as soon as I heard about it I was certain that there was a 50/50 chance of it being brilliant or a complete disaster. I can now happily report that this was a winning combination. No, it’s got nothing to do with you, Charlie Sheen. Go away. It’s not 2011 anymore.
Essentially, what Hype has gone for here is “make JW look even more like a badass motherfucker than he already is.” But how do we do that, Hype? “I’m glad you asked, David! How about a high-speed car chase, a guitar solo in a prison cell and some major sideboob from a tattooed inmate chick?” Well, shit, imaginary Hype Williams. I am sold as fuck right now. Shut up and take my money! Oh, wait, you already have piles of it on which you sleep with many lovely ladies? Touche. What was I saying? Oh! Yes! This video, man. Holy shit is it cool. But how do you make it cooler? How about a cameo from someone who is just as much of a BAMF as Jack? I won’t say who, but let’s say this vulturous queen knows quite a bit about kicking arse and taking names. Eat it up, kids; it’s good for you.
“Garbage in, garbage out, she’s getting what she wants…”
Holy word. Now we’re talking business. Rarely has the term “first the worst, second the best” been more applicable than with the two solo videos of the honourable Jack White III that have been released this year. The first, Love Interruption, although a nice enough little ditty, had a boring as hell video that was a plain baby-blue performance. Here, on White’s Sixteen Saltines, shit has gotten well and truly real. A collaboration with director AG Rojas, White has truly brought the crazy – it’s potentially the best video he’s been a part of since The White Stripes‘ twisted clip for The Denial Twist back in 2005.
What can you say about this flash of madness? Jack is arguably the least important player here – he starts off being tied up in a room and ends up being blown up in a car. The in-between involves complete disarray and chaos as a gang of hostile youths take over – trashing warehouses, asphyxiating themselves, sleeping in coffins, getting tattooed. You name it, they’ve probably done it in the course of less than three minutes. It’s insane. Judging from the YouTube comments, this video is reaching a whole new generation of kids who don’t get Jack White – and that excites me a lot more than you’d think. Roll on, Blunderbuss!
“Fire in the disco! Fire in the disco! Fire in the Taco Bell!”
I’m a man who loves my novelty rock. From the epic first Tenacious D album all the way up to recent blog-featured fellas The Beards, I’ve got no qualms with a band that can make me laugh and make me dance. Such is the case of Electric Six, the Detroit natives best known for two smashing comedy-rock hits back in 2003. Of course, there’s Gay Bar – the snarling bit of homoerotic power-pop with the Abe Lincoln strippers in its video – but for today’s edition I’ve decided to take the other option.
Gay Bar may be a fantastic tune, but in terms of their videos I’m always going to side with Danger! High Voltage. Why, you ask? Have you seen the thing recently? No, seriously, have you? I know it’s been awhile, so let me jog your memory. There is some very creepy dancing, some dead animals, a makeout scene to end all other makeout scenes… oh, and glowing genitals. Glowing. Genitals. If your video doesn’t have glowing genitals, don’t bother sending it to me, kay?
In other interesting news, I just found out that these guys are not only still together and touring, but they have released an album every year since 2006. How’s that for consistency? Maybe I should see if I can get them as My Favourite Video bloggers… watch this space!
“Livin’ in a guesthouse, room is hot as Hell…”
As a certified friend of the blog, it’s an absolute honour to welcome back to our screens the divine miss Lanie Lane! It’s been an absolute cracker of a year for this brilliantly talented young lady. She started off playing the Big Day Out, then she got to tour the states, then she got to tour with Clare Bowditch AND record a song with her, then she got signed to Ivy League records, then she recorded her debut album, To the Horses…and if THAT wasn’t enough, she’s now recorded a 7-inch with none other than Mr. Jack White! I’m exhausted just writing about that, so imagine how she feels!
Anyhoo, she’s quickly put together this gorgeous looking clip with a very simple structure, simultaneously going between her performing in a tiny room and her strolling the streets, before heading into a powder room and dolling herself up. It works perfectly for the song, which is considerably rockier territory than what we’ve come to expect from Lanie. That’s definitely a good thing, mind – this looks absolutely great, and it’s pretty safe to say it’s only a matter of time before she’s exploded in this – or some other – country! God bless this brilliant woman. Get dancing.
This is Takin’ 5, in which Y,WGAV! takes a category, runs with it, and compiles the top 5 videos relating back to that category. Simple enough? Thought so.
Let’s kick off with today’s category. We’re looking at cameos – they happen all the time in movies, where you swear you can see a familiar face. Happens all the time in music videos, too; as you will soon find out with this top five.
5. Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
Cameo: Chevy Chase
The comedic actor was part of the reason this solo number from one half of Simon & Garfunkel was such a hit. As Chase and Simon sit together in what appears to be a waiting room, Chase delivers a highly animated lip-sync interpretation of the lyrics as the man who actually sang the song twiddles his thumbs and offers half-hearted backing vocals during the chorus. Hilarious and timeless in its humour, this is easily one of the more unforgettable things either one has done.
4. The White Stripes – I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
Cameo: Kate Moss
She might have wasted a year or three on smack with Pete Doherty, but Moss’ sexiness was at its most insurmountable peak at the time of filming this. Gorgeous in its black and white cinematography and perfectly choreographed to fit Jack’s twangy guitar and bluesy howls, this was a part of the trifecta of video clip smashes from the band’s Elephant record that also included Seven Nation Army and The Hardest Button To Button. Gotta love those Whites.
3. P. Diddy – Bad Boy for Life
Cameos: Ben Stiller, Dave Navarro, Travis Barker, Ma$e, Crazy Town and most of the artists on Bad Boy Records at the time
Diddy’s recent comedic turn in the hilarious Get Him to The Greek shouldn’t be a revelation to those in the know – for the tough guy persona he is known all too well for, he sure does have a sense of humour about him. Look no further than this ridiculously catchy cut from 2001’s The Saga Continues…, in which the Bad Boy family move into an upper-class suburban neighbourhood andvwreck total havoc. While Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and blink-182 drummer Travis Barker jam in Diddy’s garage, the man himself is up on the roof of his new house, driving golfballs into the window of his neighbour – who just so happens to be comedian Ben Stiller. There’s a lot to see and do on this video, so there’s not much left to say except to enjoy it. We can’t be stopped now!
2. Fatboy Slim feat. Bootsy Collins – Weapon of Choice
Cameo: Christopher Walken
Perhaps the defining “cameo” video of the early 2000s and arguably the best-known video of Norman Cook’s career. It was this video and this video alone that saved Fatboy’s second album, Halfway Between The Gutter and The Stars, from being a total commercial bomb. There is nothing more to the video than the fact that you get to see Christopher Walken, one of the greatest film actors and general badasses of our time, dancing joyously around an expensive-looking hotel and, in one very special moment of the video, flies through the air. I repeat: Christopher Walken flies through the fucking air. Oh my God. An absolute joy, this is a triumph of music video making. Hell, it’s videos like this that made me want to start a blog like this to begin with.
1. Johnny Cash – God’s Gonna Cut You Down
Cameos: Too many to mention!
With the first posthumous addition to the Johnny Cash discography, director Peter Kaye decided to send off Cash with a star-studded, black-and-white tribute. Although a word isn’t spoken, the expressions on the faces of everyone from Kanye West to Johnny Depp says it all – we are all sinners, we are all human and we are all equal. It’s a grim video, and it needs to be watched several times away from the “hey, I know that person” vibe. Even so, it’s a fitting homage to one of the darkest and most important songwriters of all time.