Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Deconstructing Some Terrible Music Videos

If you're like me, you tend to use YouTube for most of your music needs. (If you're not like me, you should be; I'm a pretty cool guy.) And over the course of your building of many playlists, some for music that makes you sad, some of your favorite songs by Haddaway, some entirely comprised of Space Jam remixes, you'll come across the original music videos for a lot of songs.

I know music videos are sort of a thing that died about the same time as Kurt Cobain, but for some reason they're still made. Where the hell do these air? It's not like MTV airs them. Or MTV2. Is there an MTV3? If there is, it sure as hell doesn't air music videos, either.

I Hate Everything: we take the easy jokes.

YouTube, that's where. The record label's official channel is always full of 720p music videos with bookends just long enough to prevent you from just ripping the song from the video using a file converter. And I don't know if I'm only noticing it now, or if this is a recent thing, but some music videos are really, really stupid.

David Gray - Please Forgive Me

Okay, so this is sort of an older song. 1998 counts as old, it's been sixteen years. Maybe this isn't as stupid as it could be.

Or maybe it can be, in the artiest possible direction. David Gray deserves a reward for crafting what is, quite possibly, the most pretentious music video using only his hotel room and a camcorder. Impressive! The late 90s were a magical time. Let's run down a list of stages this video takes:

The Candle represents how fleeting life is. It also represents Dave getting a fine for lighting the Candle in a nonsmoking room so god damn he's going to use the footage of it even if it's always out of focus.

David's Leering Face is there because David made the song and it's very deep, you guys.

The Piano represents nothing. It is a piano.

The Lamp represents the promises of an eternal life, as a steadier light source than the Candle. However, it is always shown to be far away from the Candle. Immortality is so close, and yet so far, but can be achieved through faith everlasting in technology. If that lazy fucking Candle would just build some robolegs it could get to the damn Lamp by itself.

The Record Player spins in circles forever, as are we, doomed to ponder the mysteries of life in a universe unfit for our thoughts.

The Sofa is there to give David something to sit on. It's very comfortable. He can admire his nice Candle from there.

The Faucet represents the problems and obstacles we face in life that we can do nothing about but accept, much like this eternally leaky Faucet, which will never stop dripping, even though you're sure you tightened the handle as far as it would go. Fucking Faucet.

David's Guitar is there to play the same set of three notes whenever he wants you to know it's the chorus, which is otherwise identical to the rest of the song.

Whew, that's deep stuff. I don't know if I can actually say anything else about it. The rest is up to you. We must all make our own journeys.

Watch out though, because Dave might try to eat you.

Galneryus - 絆

 Galneryus is a Japanese power metal band consisting of Shigeru Miyamoto going through a scene stage backed up by a collection of genderfluid crash test dummies just masculine enough to be confusing. Their song 絆 is about a fat man and Travis Touchdown fighting. The lyrics are entirely in Japanese, except for the lines "give me your life" and "but I keep the faith of your life." I have no idea what any of these things have to do with each other, and I refuse to translate the rest of the song because it will ruin the wonder and mystery.

So, 絆. Whatever it's about, our protagonist is a fat man that perpetually looks slightly dazed who got beaten up and now lives in an alley.

We'll call him Takeshi. 

Takeshi deeply misses his best bro and his girlfriend, as Shigeru Miyamoto presumably explains while making wide gestures with his arm. But as it turns out, his best bro is Travis Touchdown from before, and he's...holding the girlfriend hostage? And also looks like a Japanese parody of an American parody of Yakuza? What there's no question of is, in this universe, instead of being the star of a video game series by Suda51, Travis is a total douche.

Perhaps these things aren't so different? Nah, I kid. No More Heroes was pretty cool.

In order to show off how big of a douche he is, Travis orders some thugs to go beat up Takeshi, because apparently people who live in alleys perpetually lit by a fluorescent bulb don't have it bad enough. Takeshi isn't in the mood for any of this, so he points dramatically and beats the shit out of them both in literally about three seconds. He questions the thugs on the location of Travis and Girlfriend, and one of them morosely points, as if indicating an unsightly spot on a wall. Takeshi gets up and walks off to confront his destiny. I know this must be his destiny because as he gets up and looks around without much interest, the fucking stars align.

Ours is the drill that will pierce the - no.

Well, okay. The Big Dipper isn't very impressive. He couldn't even get the whole of Ursa Major. But it's good enough for Takeshi, who admires the view for a little bit before shuffling off to confront Travis in an abandoned fight scene factory. Girlfriend pleads Travis not to fight Takeshi because holy damn he's hardcore, but Travis performs some Vulcan mind melding and she falls to the floor. Travis looks surprised that it worked.

"Shit, oops."

Takeshi puts on an expression like a morose zoo gorilla and launches into battle against Travis, who almost has Takeshi down, but the guitar solo was always on Takeshi's side. They both attempt to go Super Sayan, but Travis appears to have a heart attack and falls over. Just as Takeshi is about to deliver a killing blow, Girlfriend rushes over to stop him and...performs a reverse Vulcan mind meld on Travis? There's some thumb-forehead rubbing, and Travis wakes up with a smug ass look on his face. He's helped up, makes up with Takeshi as Girlfriend looks on approvingly, the stars once more align over Takeshi...

You know what? Fine. If I say this is rad as hell, will you stop doing this shot?

...and all three presumably go out for ice cream or something, because then the video ends with a dramatic shot of Shiggy and the Unisex Mannequins.

Footnote: I call "Shiggy and the Unisex Mannequins" as a name for my J-pop/funk band.

The Black Satans - The Satanic Darkness

You know what? No. This video is fucking awesome. Everything the Black Satans do is as rad as all hell, and if we as a culture can't appreciate the artistic value of lesbians in leather hot pants kissing at the feet of a scrawny Norwegian man in Kiss facepaint as a pantsless individual admires the beauty of the wilderness in the background, this is not a culture I want to associate with.

And that's to say nothing of the tiny drumset. Keep on rocking, Black Satans. You're beautiful.

SunStroke Project - Sax You Up

SunStroke Project is a name you might recognize, because their saxophonist is otherwise known as Epic Sax Guy. And let me tell you, their Eurovision performance wasn't a fluke. We could power cities if only we had a way to harness Sergey Stepanov's extremely energetic hip gyrations. He fucking loves playing saxophone for the sort of band that sounds exactly how you expect a Moldovan pop group with a full-time violinist and saxophonist would, and even when he's not playing sax, he's just so excited he just has to get down in the most glorious way possible.

Mere images could never do this beautiful man justice.

Though Sergey and his silly Bono glasses are the obvious focal point of this video, everyone is here to groove up a storm in the most uncomfortably energetic way possible. Except, oddly enough, the man in a band t-shirt with white hair and an electric violin. He just sort of mopes around the stage until the chorus hits and he remembers he has a contract.

But just as Anton Ragoza gets his groove back, he has to check himself before he wrecks...gets wrecked...he...look, at that point Sergey starts to play the saxophone. Very...overtly.

That sax is going to need a cigarette after Sergey's done with it.

If you thought Epic Sax Guy was the funniest thing ever done with a saxophone, then you need to treat yourself to literally any live SunStroke Project video. Sergey is a fucking machine with that instrument. He shows no mercy, and if you thought their performance of Run Away was extreme, your mind will be blown by Sax You Up. 

I'm not going to lie, I only added this because I wanted to talk about Sergey Stepanov and his boundless enthusiasm for saxophones. I think he deserves a statue, even if it would just look like Guy Fieri stole Bono's sunglasses at a jazz concert.

That'd be pretty cool to see too, actually.

1 comment:

  1. Holy shit a new post! Agree bro music videos suck these days