April 15, 2010

We Are Living In A Video World

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Here at 76 Trombones, we love music (Hey! No kidding!). We also love TV. It is our most treasured method of procrastination. So, in the immortal words of the fairy godmother, put ’em together and what have you got? Bibbity bobbity boo. Or music videos. One or the other. For your viewing pleasure, and in case you don’t enjoying spending time outside in beautiful weather, I have put together a list of some of my most favoritest music videos for you and our YouTube-able generation. Sound like fun? Good. Can you hear me now? Good. Now, to disclaim, I am far from a music video connoisseur. It is not actually a pastime I spend much time on — somehow, MTV eluded me, and in fact continues to elude me. Jersey Shore? Seriously? In any case, the fact that I enjoy the following videos clearly means something since I only really watch the awesome ones. Or is that backwards? I’m clearly overthinking this. Let’s talk about the videos.When you’re talking about epic music videos, you have to include at least one truly epic band. My of-the-moment choice: Broken Social Scene. The video? “Cause=Time.” This video is weird, weird with a capital W. And with a splash of social commentary. (Appropriate, given their name). In my — confused — opinion the video expresses distaste for the empty and cavalier attitude with which “causes” are adopted in our modern day and age. But it could be about eggs benedict for all I know. It’s weird, remember. And profoundly creepy in an I-can’t-look-away kind of a way.  I also, don’t shun me, enjoy Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” video. Yes, the song is not exactly a feminist anthem I know, but forgive me my weakness, it’s catchy. And it’s sexy. I might even go as far as damn sexy. Boys, or just anyone who thinks Beyonce’s FINE (hands where I can see ’em people), check out zero minutes and 57 seconds into the video. Then take a cold shower or two, eh?In an entirely different vein, the OK Go RGM (Rube Goldberg Machine) version of “This Too Shall Pass,” is the awesomest science-center machine music video ever. There’s dominos, flying people, busted-up pianos and TVs, teddy bears and band members in primary-colored paintball suits. It’s so cool. And I say this fully aware that OK Go are known for their crazy music videos. This one’s the coolest. Watch it.By far the longest video I’m going to make you sit through is “The Tain” by The Decemberists. The Tain is a concept album, made entirely of one epically epic 20-minute song, and one epically epic 20-minute video. The video is exactly what you would expect of The Decemberists: violence, pirates, kings, maidens, etc. But, it’s all in shadow puppets who wage brutal war for the fair lady’s heart, or something like that. It’s legitimately artistic, in an indie kind of way — something you could see playing on a projector screen while a skinny kid with dreads and emo glasses recites spoken word in a grungy coffee house. Two of the videos I’ve picked out for you feature celebrities. One, in fact, not only features a celebrity but makes him the only living character in the entire video as he “walks with rhythm” through an empty high-end hotel in a suit pulled up a little too high on his waist. It’s Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice,” with Christopher Walken. Yes, Christopher Walken dances his way through the video, without once changing his facial expression, and, though the end gets a little cheesy and over-the-top, it’s still one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while. The other is Kanye’s alternative version of “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” with comedian Zach Galifinakis. Also, SO FUNNY. Zach low-rides his way across a field in a tractor while a bunch of girls in Dorothy we’re-not-in-Kansas-anymore dresses clog away in the background. “Na, na, na, wait til I get my money right …”Last and perhaps least is true classic, old-school music video. Devo’s “Whip It,” weird in an entirely different way from Broken Social Scene. As far as I can tell, there’s no point to the supremely kitschy weirdness of this music video, it’s just bizarre for the sake of being bizarre. Worse than Kafka in that way. Take the title literally, because there is a whip, and a (kind of) naked woman, and a small man in black spandex and a red cone hat wielding it. There are also, for apparently no reason, cowgirls and boys, an Asian woman with a gun and tongue-in-cheek (I hope!) corny speech bubbles. Ridiculous. So watch the videos, kiddos, and/or enjoy the weather — I’ll see you in two weeks for my last column ever. OMG.

Original Author: Julia Woodward