Billy Squire wrecks his career with ROCK ME TONITE

music video meme sound of music

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.

MISSING YOU by John Waite teaches us all about subtext

music video meme sound of music

Here’s a classic song with a video that proves singers should sing, and actors should act.

What’s not to love here?

John Waite‘s hair is pure ’80s gold, with feathery blow-dry action in the front and a sneaky pseudo-mullet in the back. It’s a Don Johnson-punk mullet. Plus he rocks the standard One Dangly Earring look that every lead singer was required to have for about two years.

HOWEVER: What’s most interesting to me is how the lyrics clash with the video.

The lyrics avoid being “on the nose,” which is Hollywood screenwriter slang for people saying, or singing, exactly what they mean. Nobody in real life does that. It’s not realistic, not good for a story and not fun for the audience.

People avoid coming out and saying directly what they truly feel.

A hero doesn’t say, “Hey, I’m really scared, and I don’t want to die, so maybe you could drop that gun and let me handcuff you, seeing how I don’t want to get shot or get stuck with piles of paperwork if I shoot you first.” He says, “Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?”

A villain doesn’t say, “Being locked up in this dark basement next to low-level lunatics is beyond boring, and I would rather stick needles in my eye than communicate with these beasts, but pretty young FBI agents are something I never get to see, so I hope you stick around and talk to me for hours, Special Agent.” He says, “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

So while the acting and the visuals in the video are completely on the nose, with zero ambiguity or subtlety, the lyrics are great and full of subtext.

John Waite misses his girlfriend / lover / wife, but he doesn’t say, “Hey baby, I miss you a lot, and I’m a wreck, and I wish you’d come back.”

He sings, “I ain’t missing you” and follows that up with “I ain’t missing you at all” and seven other variations of the same thing.

But we know he’s lying.

And that’s what makes this song a classic.

NOVEMBER RAIN rocks out for an epic nine minutes

music video meme sound of music

These days, Axl Rose is just another rock star who fell off the top. He’s trying to claw his way back up, and yes, taking 5.923 billion years to produce your big solo album, which lands with a thud, isn’t the way to do it.

So I say this not as a fan of Axl Rose, but as a hard-core skeptic: NOVEMBER RAIN is a masterpiece.

No question. Start to finish, it’s brilliant.

Everything comes together: the orchestra, Axl on the piano, Slash wailing on his axe, the drums, it’s all clear as a bell rather than the mush you get with some bands today that’s less Wall of Sound and more I Can’t Tell Which Instruments Are Playing.

Each major instrument gets left to do their part, even the piccolo-whatever, which fits in perfectly.

And yes, this video clocks in at 9-plus minutes but you don’t care, because it is telling a story that fits the music.

Well shot. Well produced. Perfectly put-together. Axl, I salute you and hope you put this on an endless loop in your mansion for six straight days until you get inspired to try something as ambitious, and good, as this.

SAFETY DANCE by Men Without Hats is insanely classic

music video meme sound of music

This has every element you could possibly want from an ’80s music video:

(1) a thumping synth beat,

(2) a lead singer with a vague accent (Montreal!) who looks like Adam Ant’s less insane cousin,

(3) some kind of ren-fair Hobbity goodness instead of the usual music video of the band preening while they lip-synch and pretend to play instruments,

(4) the best band name I’ve heard in forever, PLUS

(5) as a special bonus packed chock full of irony, nobody, not even the friends of the lead singer who professes his love for dancing, can dance a lick.

I won’t include all the lyrics, because they’re not that complicated or subtle. There’s nothing to interpret here.

HOWEVER: It’s worth dissecting the four lines everybody knows.

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
‘Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance
Well they’re no friends of mine

Those lines are so easy to remember because they’re well-built, structurally. The first two lines start the same — “We can” — and have seven syllables exactly. The singer isn’t talking about himself, but “we,” and he gets the audience involved more by making you think of “your friends.”

All the ideas come together. You’ve got three lines of setup for the payoff in the fourth line. It’s short, it’s simple and instead of using rhymes (none of these lines rhyme), the singer links the lines together using concepts and repetition. A nice little interweaving that pays off.

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

music video meme sound of music

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.”

THE FOX by Ylvis is pure nutty goodness

music video meme sound of music

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

 

A random duet turns out to be awesomesauce

music video meme sound of music

Kristin Chenoweth likes to do something few performers dare: grab somebody random from the audience and perform a duet.

This can be funny, or so bad it’s good, like karaoke writ large with a big pop star and an audience of 20,000 instead of 14 guys at the Elks Lodge.

In this case, Chenoweth got a shock when Sarah Horn answered the call to “who knows the words to For Good from Glinda?”

CLARITY by Zedd is ambitious and good

music video meme sound of music

Music videos are common, and have been done so many time, it’s hard to do anything truly different or interesting.

The Beastie Boys played cheesy cops with giant mustaches in SABOTAGE, which is classic. But 99 percent of other music videos are rock stars preening, divas dancing, boy bands prancing or soulful singers looking all pouty and depressed with their guitar.

CLARITY by Zedd has guts and ambition. They shot footage other than the lead singer wailing and the guitarist thrashing. The film looks interesting, like it could be part of a movie — I wanted to see more of what they did out in the desert and the streets.

Well done, German euro-rockers.

Another musical invasion from the UK: Jessie Ware’s WILDEST MOMENTS

music video meme sound of music

So this Jessie Ware, if you haven’t heard of her, is talented and different and old school mates with some singer named Adele and some other singer named Florence, as in Florence and the Machine.

If you like music, and music videos, you’ll like what she does here.

Many, many rock and pop stars tend to make videos that all look the same, and I mean that both ways: every video they make looks like (a) every other video they’ve ever made and (b) every other video made by similar artists. This has been true since Hair Bands put on their first pair of spandex pants in 1982 and will be true forever.

Jessie the Ware tries something different every time, and here she tries something simple and stark and interesting: just her, a plain background and a swiveling chair.

I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.

Walk Off the Earth blows up GRENADE by Bruno Mars

music video meme sound of music

So I’ve found this genius band from the big honking nation known as Canada — which has provinces where you could fit Texas and Alaska inside and still have room for most European counties — and while WOTE is getting radio airplay know for Red Hands, they’ve done a zillion covers. Here’s the thing: those covers are often better than the originals.

Related: RED HANDS by Walk Off the Earth is music video goodness

Here’s one member of WOTE doing Bruno Mars, all by his lonesome. And he’s just messing around with a loop machine in his guest bedroom or whatever. Brilliant.

The original by Bruno the Mars:

Related posts: Music Video Monday’s Greatest Hits

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.
Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

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

Music video madness: HURRICANE by MS MR

music video meme sound of music

Most of the time, it takes a bit for a song to grow on you. Listen to it once on the radio and yeah, that’s alright. Second time, it’s good. Third time, you’re into it.

I liked this song — and this video — instantly. First time. And I have nothing to really dissect or pick on, which is nice.

Well done, MS MR.

Lyrics:

Didn’t know what this would be
But I knew I didn’t see
What you thought
You saw in me

I jumped the gun
So sure you’d split and run
Ready for the worst
Before the damage was done

The storm never came
Or it never was
Didn’t know getting lost in the blue
It meant I wound up losing you

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind
So dark and foul I can’t disguise
Can’t disguise
Nights like this
I become afraid
Of the darkness in my heart
Hurricane

What’s wrong with me
Why not understand and see
I never saw
What you saw in me

Keep my eyes open
My lips sealed
My heart closed
And my ears peeled

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind
So dark and foul I can’t disguise
Can’t disguise
Nights like this I become afraid
Of the darkness in my heart
Hurricane

Make ash and leave the dust behind
Lady diamond in the sky
Wild light
Glowing bright
To guide me
When I fall
I fall on tragedy

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind
So dark and foul I can’t disguise
Can’t disguise
Nights like this I become afraid
Of the darkness in my heart
Hurricane

DON’T YOU WANT ME by The Human League

This is one of the first music videos to feature some sort of story.

You know, a plot instead of (a) the lead singer emoting into the microphone while (b) the rest of the band pretends to play their instruments for the 45th time until (c) the director finally calls it good.

Because this is a piece of epic music history, 12 years from now, somebody will write their doctoral thesis on it. If you are that person, please research whether the female lead’s hairdo was an accidental homage to Princess Diana or totally on purpose. Kthxbai.

ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN by Elle Goulding is completely bonkers

I have heard this song on the radios, and over the Series of Tubes through some kind of Pandora magic, though Pandora is missing her Box for some reason.

HOWEVER: The point is, this song by Elle the Goulding is interesting plus the video is craaazy.

Which is good.

Because the last thing the world needs is another boring music video where (a) the band rocks out on stage while playing their guitars and such, because that has NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE, or (b) the singer pretends to sing while doing a choreographed dance number with 592 backup dancers and 17 costume changes.

I give Elle the Goulding bonus points for trying something different.

Simple and impressive: The Finnish Whistler

Now, I enjoy dissecting the lyrics of insane music videos, such as ICE, ICE BABY — but once and a great while, there’s a music video that comes out of nowhere, like a burly mountain man stomping through town with a giant axe on his shoulder and a hankering for Insane Amounts of Flapjacks — and this is one such video that surprised and amused me.

Also, it has no lyrics to dissect at all, unless I speak bird. Which I don’t. If you can translate, go for it.

Also-also: This would be a perfect song for some kind of spaghetti Western starring Clint Eastwood, though I mean the younger version of about 30 years ago, before he starting picking fights with empty chairs.

HO HEY by The Lumineers

music video meme sound of music

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!)

TAKE A WALK by Passion Pit

music video meme sound of music

A band I’ve never heard of with an interesting song and great camera work.

Not too shabby, Passion Pit — not to shabby at all.

For all you word nerds, here are the lyrics:

All these kind of places
Make it seems like it’s been ages
Tomorrow some new building will scrape the sky
I love this country dearly
I can feel the ladder clearly
But I never thought I’d be alone to try

Once I was outside Penn station
Selling red and white carnations
We were still alone
My wife and I
Before we marry, save my money
Brought my dear wife over
Now I work to bring family state side

But off the boat they stayed a while and
Scattered across the coast
Once a year I’ll see them for a week or so at most
I took a walk

Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
Take a walk, oh-oh-oh
Take a walk, oh-oh-oh
I took a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk

Practice isn’t perfect
But the market cuts the loss
I remind myself that times could be much worse
My wife won’t ask me questions
There’s not so much to ask
And she’ll never flaunt around an empty purse

Once my mother-in-law came
Just to stay a couple nights
And decided she would stay the rest of her life
I watch my little children
Play some board game in the kitchen
And I sit and pray they never feel my strife

But then my partner called to say the pension funds were gone
He made some bad investments
Now the accounts are overdrawn

I took a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
Take a walk, oh-oh-oh
Take a walk, 0h-oh-oh
I took a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk

Honey it’s your son I think I borrowed just too much
We had taxes we had bills
We had a lifestyle to front
And tonight I swear I’ll come home
And we’ll make love like we’re young
And tomorrow you’ll cook dinner
For the neighbors and their kids
We could rip apart those socialists
and all their damn taxes
You’ll see I am no criminal
I’m down on both bad knees
I’m just too much a coward
to admit when I’m in need

I took a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
Take a walk, oh-oh-oh
Take a walk, 0h-oh-oh
I take a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
I took a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
I took a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk

TOO CLOSE by Alex Clare

music video meme sound of music

Bad fight choreography, great song.

Maybe, just maybe, somebody saw FROM YESTERDAY by 30 Seconds to Mars and said hey, we can’t afford to fly a crew to China and hire 500 extras to make a mini-movie masterpiece. But we do know two dudes who just started taking kendo.

Lyrics for TOO CLOSE:

You know I’m not one to break promises
I don’t want to hurt you but I need to breathe
At the end of it all you’re still my best friend
But there’s something inside that I need to release

Which way is right, which way is wrong
How do I say that I need to move on?
You know we have is separate way

And it feels like I am just too close to love you
There’s nothing I can really say
I can’t lie no more, I can’t hide no more
Got to be true to myself

And it feels like I am just too close to love you so I’ll be on my way

You gave me more that I can return
Yet there’s so much that you deserve
Nothing to say, nothing to do
I’ve nothing to give
I must leave without you
You know we have to separate

And it feels like I am just too close to love you
There’s nothing I can really say
I can’t lie no more, I can’t hide no more
Got to be true to myself

And it feels like I am just too close to love you so I’ll be on my way
So I’ll be on my way
And it feels like I am just too close to love you
There’s nothing that I can really say
I can’t lie no more, I can’t hide no more
Got to be true to myself

And it feels like I am just too close to love you so I’ll be on my way
So I’ll be on my way, so I’ll be on my way

Music Video Monday: GANGNAM STYLE by Psy

music video meme sound of music

So, I usually find great music videos and go at them with a literary scalpel, like a first-year biology student going after his first frog — or I take insane music videos and make fun of them.

Each method is equally rewarding.

HOWEVER: Sometimes, a random music video pops up that is not one of the pure forms. It’s not insane, insipid or inscrutable. Nor is it beautiful in the standard way.

Every once and a while, something pops up that is both insane AND great.

Like this piece from South Korea, which also proves the point that attitude trumps all. The singer isn’t conventionally good looking. He’s short and out of shape. But oh, he’s got swagger, and it makes him far more charming than a boy-band member with perfect abs who tries very, very hard not to get a hair out of place while he croons.

Typically, I interpret the lyrics of videos. Not this time. Just watch and enjoy.

A new contender for Worst Music Video of All Time

Sometimes, a book / music video / B-movie about swamp monsters can be so Bad, and so low-budget, that it circles back to Good.

This is not one of those times.

Watch this music video, and think about it. Then let’s talk, because this video raises all kinds of Serious Philosophical Questions.

Question No. 1: Is this woman a one-hit wonder, or are there more gems out there, waiting to be discovered?

Lisa Gail has a website and some kind of album, or at least seven songs you can listen to and buy with REAL MONIES, if your monies are able to travel over the Series of Tubes.

Question No. 2: Is it possible to watch this entire thing, start to finish?

Though it was a challenge, and I cannot recommend it if you have heart problems, I did it.

Question No. 3: Sound on or sound off?

Sound on.

Question No. 4: Has any mortal listened to Lisa Gail’s other songs, to determine they, also, have a 2nd degree black belt in awesomesauce?

I, personally, as in me, have not subjected my ears to her other snippets of song-like substances.  If you do so, please give us the word in the comment section. That would be a public service.

Question No. 5: How in God’s green earth did she get all those men in cowboy boots?

This is the biggie, for me, right up there with “What existed before the Big Bang?” and “How can we truly know wrong from right without reading 4,923 pages of nonsense from Immanuel Kant about the categorical imperative?” and “If Snooki actually reproduces, will that cause the galaxy to implode?”

Sure, I could see any random singer being able to lasso her boyfriend / husband / son / neighbor kid into putting on Wranglers, cowboy boots and a ten-gallon hat. However, these men are not all related to her, or married to her. It would be a stretch to call them professionals, but they aren’t a random group of people she was cooking grits for one morning.

There are three possibilities: (1) Lisa Gail is famous and successful down in Texas, and these men are volunteer fans, just like 30 Seconds to Mars has rabid fans who guest star in videos and such, (2) Lisa Gail spent a bunch of her own monies to hire the cutest local “models” and “dancers” she could possibly find or (3) these were the manliest men in the feed store on Sunday afternoon and she somehow has blackmail photos on all of them.

Question No. 6: Does she have the self-awareness to understand the irony of her lyrics?

There’s nothing wrong with being a singer, actor, author, director, politician, professor or TV anchor who isn’t some kind of supermodel. I actually prefer people with some character, and talent, rather than pure eye candy, because the eye candy types expect to skate by with no talent at all, and that gets boring real quick.

HOWEVER: If you are a singer making music videos, it’s one thing to be young and hot while you sing this sort of thing. It’s another thing to be older and hot and sing this sort of thing. You can even be uglier than a three-horned toad lizard, as in Lyle Lovett, but if you’ve got talent and charm, hey, it’ll work for you. You can have a long career and perhaps even get hitched to Julia flipping Roberts, at least for a weekend or three.

This is a polite way of saying, “Honey, if I was your man — and I definitely would not be, not if you were a billionaire who didn’t mind if I had six supermodel mistresses on the side — it’d be hard for me to look at YOU for three seconds.”

Also, the real Three Second Rule that every person knows is this: “Anything you drop on the floor for less than three seconds is still sanitary and kosher and fine.” After three seconds, you slip it to the dog. Except I would not slip this video to my dog, as the Hound of the Baskervilles has better taste.

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

If you like music — and who doesn’t? — you have to love music videos. ICE, ICE BABY is a classic that deserves a closer look.

You’d think there’d be a market for music videos, some kind of channel on the Glowing Tube where you played music vids — which the artists produce and hand to you, for free, just to get the publicity — while you charge GEICO and Miller Lite many, many dollars to run ads in between Lady Gaga and AC/DC classics.

I mean, the Glowing Tube only has 45,982 cable channels right now. There’s a market for this stuff, right? The last thing we need is more reality shows.

HOWEVER: let’s get on with dissecting ICE, ICE BABY by Vanilla Ice.

Here’s the video. Watch it.

He can dance, can’t he?

Now, let’s find our red pen and interpret the lyrics.

ICE, ICE BABY

Yo, VIP, let’s kick it!

(Hello, my listeners of high status. Should we start?)

Ice ice baby, ice ice baby

(The first part of my  nickname is relevant, sweet-hearted stranger. My real name is not necessary information, although repetition may boost both my name recognition and my record sales.)

All right stop, collaborate and listen

(Halt whatever you’re doing and do your job, which is paying attention to me.)

Ice is back with my brand new invention

(I don’t want you to think that I’m a one-hit wonder. Think this song is good? I have many, many other creative rhymes and melodies that spring forth from my brain all the time.)

Something grabs a hold of me tightly

(When I get inspired by an idea, it consumes me.)

Then I flow that a harpoon daily and nightly

(After an idea for lyrics come to me, I practice 25 hours a day, just like Ahab and the whale or whatever.)

Will it ever stop? Yo, I don’t know

(Will I ever cease to be a creative and successful rapper, with loads of cash and girlfriends, and instead retire from the spotlight to Florida, where I remodel McMansions in hopes of turning a quick profit? That hypothetical situation is too ridiculous to even consider.)

Turn off the lights and I’ll glow

(I’m such a star, I create my own light)

To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal

(My singing and rhymes are so out of the ordinary, you should compare me to the barbarians who sacked Rome)

Light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle

(I can bring excitement to a stage while beating up other men who don’t have my talents, although this may be a metaphor, or a simile, or some other literary term that I can’t be bothered to pinpoint)

Dance, bum rush the speaker that booms

(My fans should gyrate with excitement and gather around the large black boxes that amplify my rhymes and backup band)

I’m killin’ your brain like a poisonous mushroom

(Though my songs are not literally poisonous, they do possess powerful addictive and paralyzing properties)

Deadly, when I play a dope melody, anything less that the best is a felony

(Like I said, potentially fatal poisonous mushrooms that should send me to prison)

Love it or leave it, you better gain way

(It’s advisable to retreat from my path, because I am so talented, tough and unstoppable)

You better hit bull’s eye, the kid don’t play

(If you try to stop me, it should be a fatal blow or shot, because my tolerance for non-fatal blows and bullets is quite low)

Chorus:

If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it

(Nothing is beyond my grasp)

Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it

(This is a recurrent portion of my song that I stole from rock stars in the 1970s, and I want you to pay attention to how I’ve incorporated it into my rhymes)

Ice ice baby Vanilla
Ice ice baby Vanilla
Ice ice baby Vanilla
Ice ice baby Vanilla

Now that the party is jumping, with the bass kicked in, the Vegas are pumpin’

(The lowest registers of my song motivate people to dance)

Quick to the point, to the point no faking

(My lyrics go straight to the heart of the matter, as there’s no point in misdirection)

I’m cooking MC’s like a pound of bacon

(I beat competing lyricists so quickly and thoroughly, it’s as if they are healthy measure of pork bellies, fried on a skillet)

Burning them if they’re not quick and nimble

(Other rappers lose to me unless they possess exceptional speed and wits)

I go crazy when I hear a cymbal, and a hi hat with a souped up tempo

(The metal instruments of percussionists motivate me to dance and rhyme)

I’m on a roll and it’s time to go solo

(Though I don’t apparently have a band, my success is such that I should sing on my own)

Rollin in my 5.0, with my ragtop down so my hair can blow

(When I drive, I remove the top to my vehicle so the air currents can touch my blond locks)

The girlies on standby, waving just to say hi

(Women who see me try to get my attention because they would like to bear my children)

Did you stop? No, I just drove by, kept on pursuing to the next stop

(However, I don’t stop my vehicle, because such things are not unusual for me)

I busted a left and I’m heading to the next block

(So I will seek better opportunities in a different part of the city)

That block was dead, yo so I continued to A1A Beachfront Ave

(A square section of the city was not entertaining, so I went to where the ocean meets the land)

Girls were hot wearing less than bikinis, rock man lovers driving Lamborghini

(The women near the ocean  were more attractive and wore fewer clothes, while successful men drove expensive Italian vehicles) 

Jealous ’cause I’m out getting mine, Shay with a gauge and Vanilla with a Nine

(Other men of jealous of my prowess with women, so when I travel, my friend carries a shotgun and I bring a nine-millimeter pistol)

Ready for the chumps on the wall, the chumps are acting ill because they’re so full of eight balls

(Young males leaning against structures are dangerous, as they are intoxicated by a mixture of cocaine and heroin)

Gunshots ranged out like a bell, I grabbed my nine, all I heard were shells

(When young males used their weapons, I fired mine and listened to the casings hit the asphalt) 

Fallin’ on the concrete real fast, jumped in my car, slammed on the gas

(Many bullets were expended, so I re-entered my vehicle and put my foot on the accelerator rather roughly) 

Bumper to bumper the avenue’s packed, I’m tryin’ to get away before the jackers jack

(Though traffic was impossibly bad, I attempted to escape car hijackers before they could get to me and my expensive vehicle)

Police on the scene, you know what I mean, they passed me up, confronted all the dope fiends

(The authorities ignored me and instead confronted the young, intoxicated hooligans)

(Chorus)

Take heed, ’cause I’m a lyrical poet, Miami’s on the scene just in case you didn’t know it

(Pay attention to my rhymes and remember that the city of Miami, Florida is also a worthy center for musicians)

My town, that created all the bass sound, Enough to shake and kick holes in the ground

(Miami is well-known for music with low tones of such power that they make the ground and create cavities in the earth)

‘Cause my style’s like a chemical spill, Feasible rhymes that you can vision and feel

(The way I sing is as powerful as a toxic leak, and my words make you see and feel the things that I speak of)

Conducted and formed, this is a hell of a concept, We make it hype and you want to step with this

(Also, you will want to happily gyrate to the rhythm)

Shay plays on the fade, slice it like a ninja, Cut like a razor blade so fast, other DJ’s say, “damn”

(My partner also assists by appropriating pieces of music from other artists, and this causes intense jealousy)

If my rhyme was a drug, I’d sell it by the gram, Keep my composure when it’s time to get loose

(My songs are as addictive as the illegal narcotics sold on the street using a basic unit of weight from the metric system)

Magnetized by the mic while I kick my juice

(You will be hypnotized by the words amplified by an electric device that I sing into while performing a synchronized dance that will later be appropriated by the Back Street Boys) 

(Chorus)

Yo man, let’s get out of here

(Friend, we should depart and end this song)

Word to your mother

(Please tell your maternal parent that I send my greetings and wish her well)

Ice ice baby
Too cold
Ice ice baby 
Too cold too cold 
Ice ice baby 
Too cold
Ice ice baby 
Too cold too cold