Tag Archives: music videos

What YMCA by the Village People can teach us

This is a classic song from the late ’70s, and it’s worth talking about for a few reasons.

First, the People of the Village prove that band members don’t need to dress the same, seeing how every other rock and punk band tries to stand out by putting on matching (a) black leather jackets and black guyliner, (b) spandex with long, permed blond locks, possibly paying homage to Heather Locklear or (c) ironic suits and ties worn with red Converse sneakers.

You don’t need to memorize the band members in the Village People because their outfits give you a handy shorthand. Plus it’s more interesting. Even KISS understands this and varied the crazy costumes and makeup enough so fans could dress as their favorite instead of throwing on a generic leather jacket and some mascara to be “you know, somebody from the Flaming Squirrels, maybe the  drummer.”

Variety is good, even when it comes to the hairstyles of boy bands, which should be banned by the Music Police.

Second, this song proves the power of third-party validation. That’s a fancy way of saying, “Hey, it’s great that every singer, actor and C-list celebrity talks smack about how great they are, yet their ethos is crazy weak when they do so, seeing how we look sideways at their sincerity and self-interest. What’s far more believable, and effective, is to praise somebody — or something — that doesn’t share your first and last name.”

Instead of singing a song where the Village People brag about how many boats they own, and how their singing is so great that we know there’s life on Mars because there are 17 different Village People superfan clubs in the southern hemisphere of that planet alone, they spend an entire song bragging on this unlikely place: your humble, local Y.

And they make it fun, and memorable. This video gave birth to a little YMCA dance of forming the letters people around the world know.

Well done, People of the Village.

Related posts: Music Video Monday’s Greatest Hits

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist and scribbler of speeches. Wrote a thriller (FREEDOM, ALASKA) that won some award. Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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Billy Squire wrecks his career with ROCK ME TONITE

If you don’t remember Billy the Squire, probably because you weren’t born yet, he was kind of a big deal for a while. A rising star.

Then this video came out and smooshed him faster than you can say Milli Vanilli.

And yes, he started out by getting creative with the spelling of “tonight,” because that’s the revolutionary rebelliousness of a true rock star, though he didn’t go as far as Prince, who uses an entirely different alphabet.

Let’s ask ourselves, for the sake of history: Why was this music video so deadly?

It’s not the music. This isn’t some 11-minute long art film with a soundtrack that some rock star thought would be a killer idea. And yeah, that happens. Somebody gets famous and they think every idea that pops into their head is brilliant.

Close your eyes and listen to the song. It’s not terrible. A decent rocker with nothing to really complain about.

The lyrics aren’t inspired, but they aren’t completely insipid, either. Let’s go with banal.

Here’s the problem: people didn’t have their eyes closed. If this song simply hit the radio, Billy might have kept on rising up and making scads of money.

The visuals are simply awful.

Billy oozes uncool out of every pore. If there’s matter and anti-matter, there’s cool and uncool. Billy does not come off as cool in this video. He doesn’t seem like a cocky, confident rock star. It feels like he’s trying too hard, and failing.

There aren’t that many rock stars who look good dancing. The smart ones keep it low key. Billy Idol doesn’t dance — he pouts and pumps his fist. Bruce Springsteen never really dances. Bono, Sting, even Mick Jagger doesn’t really dance. He does a funky chicken and that’s about it.

Billy the Squire kept trying aerobic instructor moves, which did not look good on film.

When his band finally showed up, I kept swearing they cloned Billy, or shot multiple takes with him playing all the instruments. Every band member but one dude had the same outfit and over-permed hair. IT WAS CONFUSING, and not in a good way.

So all in all, this is an epic train wreck of a video.

Also: Bonus points to whoever digs up what happens to Billy Squire.

Related posts: Music Video Monday’s Greatest Hits

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller (FREEDOM, ALASKA) that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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I LIKE THE WAY YOU WORK IT is epic, brilliant and classic

Have you ever heard a song on the radio and flipped out?

I don’t mean “Yeah, they were playing Swedish death metal on 107.7 and it created a Hulk-like rage in me, so I rammed my Ford Ranger into an abandoned warehouse and took a sledgehammer to all that rusty sheet metal until the cops hauled me off and put me in the drunk tank next to this dude who keeps telling me how drinking Nyquil is way better than downing Mad Dog.”

What I’m talking about is the radio comes on, and instead of madly flipping stations to find somebody playing a song that’s not by (a) Miley “Train Wreck” Cyrus, (b) a folksy rock band trying to copy Mumford and Sons or (c) Mumford and Sons, you get (d) a song so complete and perfect that you want the DJ to go nuts, lock himself in the studio and endlessly loop the thing until they meet his ransom demands for a box of Crispy Cremes, a better headset and coffee that doesn’t double as engine degreaser.

I LIKE THE WAY YOU WORK IT was that song for me this week.

Heard it on the radio. Immediately fired up the Series of Tubes and found the video. Played it. Played it again with the sound cranked up to 11. I’m playing it again RIGHT NOW.

Here’s the video, which new artists should slow down and dissect like Jon Gruden freeze-framing a fade route.

Why is this so great? Not just the excellent song. The video makes it better, sexy without crossing the line to vulgar, cool without trying to hard and funny with the little doll versions of the artists playing piano and singing.

Also, the cinematography is top-notch, whereas most music videos look like they grabbed the nearest roadie who looked semi-sober, handed him an iPhone and said, “Hit record while we prance around and lip synch.”

Related posts: Music Video Monday’s Greatest Hits

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller (FREEDOM, ALASKA) that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

Google+

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THE FOX by Ylvis is pure nutty goodness

When is something so bad that it circles back to good?

Well, here’s one example: THE FOX by Norwegian duo Ylvis.

The melody sounds like late ’80s emo from Savage Garden, with lyrics set down after hanging around a room full of five-year-olds who’ve had too many juice boxes.

For true music video fans, the actual lyrics are below.

THE FOX by Ylvis

Dog goes woof
Cat goes meow
Bird goes tweet
and mouse goes squeek

Cow goes moo
Frog goes croak
and the elephant goes toot

Ducks say quack
and fish go blub
and the seal goes ow ow ow

But theres one sound
That no one knows
What does the fox say?

Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!
Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!
Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!
What the fox say?

Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!
Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!
Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!
What the fox say?

Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho!
Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho!
Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho!
What the fox say?

Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!
Tchoff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!
Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!
What the fox say?

Big blue eyes
Pointy nose
Chasing mice
and digging holes

Tiny paws
Up the hill
Suddenly youre standing still

Your fur is red
So beautiful
Like an angel in disguise

But if you meet
a friendly horse
Will you communicate by
mo-o-o-o-orse?
mo-o-o-o-orse?
mo-o-o-o-orse?

How will you speak to that
ho-o-o-o-orse?
ho-o-o-o-orse?
ho-o-o-o-orse?
What does the fox say?

Jacha-chacha-chacha-chow!
Chacha-chacha-chacha-chow!
Chacha-chacha-chacha-chow!
What the fox say?

Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow!
Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow!
Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow!
What the fox say?

A-hee-ahee ha-hee!
A-hee-ahee ha-hee!
A-hee-ahee ha-hee!
What the fox say?

A-oo-oo-oo-ooo!
Woo-oo-oo-ooo!
What does the fox say?

The secret of the fox
Ancient mystery
Somewhere deep in the woods
I know youre hiding
What is your sound?
Will we ever know?
Will always be a mystery
What do you say?

You’re my guardian angel
Hiding in the woods
What is your sound?

(Fox Sings)
Wa-wa-way-do Wub-wid-bid-dum-way-do Wa-wa-way-do

Will we ever know?

(Fox Sings)
Bay-budabud-dum-bam

I want to

(Fox sings)
Mama-dum-day-do

I want to
I want to know!

(Fox sings)
Abay-ba-da bum-bum bay-do

 

Related posts: Music Video Monday’s Greatest Hits

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller (FREEDOM, ALASKA) that won some award (PNWA 2013).

Google+

 

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Four crazy music videos by William Shatner

Captain Kirk sings. A lot.

At least the original does. It’s not clear of Chris Pine likes to pick up the microphone, but William Shatner DOES NOT HESITATE, not even for a nanosecond, and the results are often epic.

Shatner singing ROCKET MAN in 1978

Shatner doing BOHEMIAM RHAPSODY

Shatner singing MY WAY to George Lucas with stormtrooperbackup dancers

Shatner killing SEEKING MAJOR TOM

Related posts
Leonard Nimoy’s insane music video: The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins
Old Spock vs. New Spock
Seven movie clichés that must be NUKED FROM ORBIT
Why new STAR WARS movies by Disney are an achy breaky big mistakey
Hollywood: Sidekicks do NOT need their own stupid sidekicks

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

3 Comments

Filed under 2 Music Video Monday, The Big Screen

Skid Row, classic hair band from the ’80s

The ’80s were a bizarre mix of ’70s hair and ’50s politics.

HOWEVER: The decade that gave us George Bush the First, Ollie North and  Dan Quayle also gave us the most epic Hair Bands of all time, with grown men growing their hair insanely long, dying it blonde, teasing it up to defy gravity, putting on mascara and squeezing into spandex pants, because hey, that proves how tough and edgy you are.

One of the lesser-known Hair Bands is the irrepressible Skid Row, which had a lead singer with (a) the required feathered blond hair, (b) a raspy rock voice and (c) the best rockstar name ever: Sebastian Bach.

Here are two of Skid Row’s greatest hits. Did they have more than two decent songs? I have no idea. But I actually like these heavy metal ballads. Sebastian the Bach even tries to tell stories with the lyrics, which is a vast improvement upon the usual Justin Bieber / Britney Spears bubblegum pop lyrics along the lines of “Baby baby uh-huh-UH!” — and yes, somebody songwriter got paid to write that.

18 AND LIFE

I REMEMBER YOU

Related posts: Music Video Monday’s Greatest Hits

Insane music video + lyrics – EXCELLENT HORSE-LIKE LADY

The Red Pen of Doom shoots up Train’s DRIVE BY

ICE, ICE BABY as interpreted by the Red Pen of Doom

Music Video Deathmatch: Lady Gaga vs Justin Bieber

SUGAR WE’RE GOING DOWN by Fall Out Boy

ELECTRIC AVENUE, as interpreted by the Red Pen of Doom

Music Video Monday: Florence + The Machine

THE KILL by 30 Seconds to Mars

TAKE ON ME by A-Ha

ENTER THE NINJA by Die Antwoord

COUNTDOWN by Beyonce and some genius student in a snuggie

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

1 Comment

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GOTYE played by robots or whatever

This is shockingly well done and fully geektastic.

Related:

SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW by Gotye

ICE, ICE BABY as interpreted by the Red Pen of Doom

The Red Pen of Doom shoots up Train’s DRIVE BY

Music Video Deathmatch: Lady Gaga vs Justin Bieber

ELECTRIC AVENUE, as interpreted by the Red Pen of Doom

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

4 Comments

Filed under 2 Music Video Monday

WILD HORSES by The Sundays

The Sundays are one of those sleeper bands, the kind who don’t have one or two big hits buried in a sea of mediocre songs, but smack that musical fastball into the outfield EVERY FLIPPING TIME.

Here they’re doing a cover of some song by Mick the Jagger or whoever. I’ve learned that Jagger and the Stones that Roll are four guys from Britain who, despite being older than Yoda, still run around the world, holding rock concerts and such where they actually play their own instruments and sing, the fuddy duddies, rather than lip-sync to backing tracks recorded in the studio and auto-tuned so horrifically that T-Pain vows to never again have his voice digitally altered one tiny itty bit.

Also: the lead singer of The Sundays has the voice of an angel and the face of a supermodel.  That never hurts.

Related: Music Video Monday’s greatest hits

Insane music video + lyrics – EXCELLENT HORSE-LIKE LADY

The Red Pen of Doom shoots up Train’s DRIVE BY

ICE, ICE BABY as interpreted by the Red Pen of Doom

Music Video Deathmatch: Lady Gaga vs Justin Bieber

SUGAR WE’RE GOING DOWN by Fall Out Boy

ELECTRIC AVENUE, as interpreted by the Red Pen of Doom

Music Video Monday: Florence + The Machine

THE KILL by 30 Seconds to Mars

TAKE ON ME by A-Ha

ENTER THE NINJA by Die Antwoord

COUNTDOWN by Beyonce and some genius student in a snuggie

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

4 Comments

Filed under 2 Music Video Monday

HO HEY by The Lumineers

This is a simple little song with a simple little video that still manages to ROCK THE HOUSE.

Also, I don’t really hear much of a difference between the Ho! and the Hey! parts, but hey, that’s artistic license and such.

Also-also: There’s something of a trend of Mumford and Son types, musicians wearing suspenders while playing folksy rock that involves (a) a banjo, (b) a bass and (c) harmonicas or whatever.

This is a good thing, though it will certainly snowball into some kind of trend where record executives start signing up folks bands with accordians instead of amplifiers faster than an aspiring writer can tell you about their YA series that is NOT inspired — they swear — by Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, because they have a school of witches, not wizards, and the zombies show up on page 392.

Also-cubed: As for the controversy over whether The Lumineers (original band name: The Night Lights) are singing “You’re my sweetheart” or “You’re my sweet home” — the answer is, “sweet heart.”

Here’s the video. Watch it. DO IT NOW, because YouTube / the Google needs your clicks and money or whatever before their stock starts doing the Facebook nosedive.

For word nerds around the world, the lyrics:

(Ho!) I’ve been trying to do it right
(Hey!) I’ve been living a lonely life
(Ho!) I’ve been sleeping here instead
(Hey!)I’ve been sleeping in my bed,
(Ho!) sleeping in my bed (Hey!)
(Ho!)

(Ho!) So show me family
(Hey!) Or the blood that I would bleed
(Ho!) I don’t know where I belong
(Hey!) I don’t know where I went wrong
(Ho!) But I can write a song
(Hey!)

I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweet

(Ho!)
(Hey!)
(Ho!)
(Hey!)

(Ho!) I don’t think you’re right for him
(Hey!) Leave the world it might have been
(Ho!) Took a bus to china town
(Hey!) I’ll be standing on canal
(Ho!) And bowery (hey!)
(Ho!) She’d be standing next to me (hey!)

I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweetheart

And love, we need it now
Let’s hope for some
Cause oh, we’re bleeding out

I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweetheart

(Hey!)
(Ho!)
(Hey!)

Related: Music Video Monday’s greatest hits

Insane music video + lyrics – EXCELLENT HORSE-LIKE LADY

The Red Pen of Doom shoots up Train’s DRIVE BY

ICE, ICE BABY as interpreted by the Red Pen of Doom

Music Video Deathmatch: Lady Gaga vs Justin Bieber

SUGAR WE’RE GOING DOWN by Fall Out Boy

ELECTRIC AVENUE, as interpreted by the Red Pen of Doom

Music Video Monday: Florence + The Machine

THE KILL by 30 Seconds to Mars

TAKE ON ME by A-Ha

ENTER THE NINJA by Die Antwoord

COUNTDOWN by Beyonce and some genius student in a snuggie

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

Leave a comment

Filed under 2 Music Video Monday

Journalists just wanna have fun

As a reformed journalist, I can tell you secret things.

Number One: Coffee.

If you want to make a reporter smile, or an editor not growl at you, feed them industrial amounts of coffee.

Number Two: Stress requires unstressing.

Journalists do a stressful job for tiny amounts of monies, and they’re under the Most Insane Deadline Pressure Known to Man, which makes them look for ways to unwind.

Here are my favorite journalists finding ways to unstress.

First we’ve got Bob Herzog.

Bob’s a TV reporter from Local 12 in Cincinatti who took the thankless job of “Traffic Reporter, A Job We Sometimes Have Interns Do” and turned it onto a “Dancing King of the Glowing Tube.”

Then we’ve got WGN anchors Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange, who look quite Serious and Somber while delivering the news.

Once they hit the commercial break, they transform into silly nutballs and do a special shebang, which they’ve honed over the years to take up exactly two minutes.

Also, just because I can, the original Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindi the Lauper.

The Killers once covered Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj covered it EVEN BETTER.

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

3 Comments

Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Old Media, which is still Big and Strong, The Glowing Tube