Monday, May 30, 2011
Editor’s Note: Not a whole lot happens in this video, but that’s why I’m here, to help you through the rough spots. And, go!
We start out in a really white room, with the band members wearing white as well. There seems to be a classical motif to the design of the room, but that might just be a flashback from me watching too much HGTV. They play for a bit, so we can get used to them in this sterile setting. In the psychological field, this is known as “conditioning”. In the music video field, this is known as “we really weren’t sure how to start the video”.
The lead singer starts in with the lyrics, and we immediately cut to a couple strolling along in some place that we don’t know. (There are payphones on the wall, so at least they have communication with the outside world, should it be necessary.) Oh wait, there’s another couple somewhere else, with the guy riding a skateboard, so you know the woman is bored out of her skull with the childish actions of her beau. (Why is it SO hard for women to find men who have left the playground behind? Seriously.)
Back to the lead singer, who breaks into the chorus, causing his guitar to change from white to something a bit more colorful. Oh? This red color then bleeds down onto the lead singer. The other band members don’t seem to think this is odd, so I’ll let it go for now, but on a personal level, I don’t want music that changes my personal color palette. It’s just a thing with me.
Whoops, now the red color is seeping onto the drummer as well, so I’m starting to really not like this evil invasion of a primary color. First, it’s just rude, and second, I don’t care for the Republican symbolism. But I guess it’s not all about me, and I should just shut up and keep watching.
Well, maybe I can’t. Now the red color is on the guitar player. This is clearly an invasion of some kind, and people need to be notified of the emergency condition. (Would YOU think kindly of me if I noticed that people were being transformed against their will and I didn’t alert the authorities? I think not.) Trouble is, who do you call in a situation like this?
Now the red color is climbing the walls, so all hell must be breaking loose. (It’s just like the mid-term elections! Save us all!) But there is at least one calming factor, in that the band members are not bothered in the least, so I’ll try once again to remain calm and just try to absorb the artistic vision of the director for this video. (Which is apparently Sarah Palin.)
Cut to some people frolicking on a beach, which seems much less lethal and destructive, so let’s see what those folks are up to. Well, before we can learn anything, we cut to another couple walking on a bridge. Then back to the beach couple, with the woman drawing a heart around her man as he lies in the sand. Um, love will build a bridge? Who knows.
We revisit the previously-white room with the band, where the red has taken over the ceiling and part of two walls. This can’t be good. I’m assuming that the band will be killed fairly soon, so I hope they said loving things to their partners before they left for the video shoot this morning. The band still seems to be happy, so I guess as long as you have music, you can face any obstacles. That’s a nice message. They’ll still probably be killed, but it’s nice.
The lead singer kicks some device on the floor that accelerates the vengeful red color, and now most of the room is awash with the blood of manic perpetrators. This is intermixed with shots of the beach couple on the verge of having sex. I should probably warn them that doing so will result in sand getting in crevices that they didn’t know they had, but I’m more concerned with the fate of the band, so I’ll let it go.
Quick shot of happy people riding bicycles and waving their hands in the air. Typical. Folks are being slaughtered in other parts of the world, but jaded people don’t care and choose to pursue recreational activities.
Back to the band, where the red paint has just about achieved dominance over the room. The band is still playing, unaware of their dooms, although the lead singer is scrunching his face up like he knows something is wrong, or maybe he just wore that one risky pair of underwear that can ride up at the wrong moment. Then the stupid guitar player actually helps the red paint finish up it’s transformation of the room. Well, fine, then. I can’t save you people if you’re going to willingly consort with the enemy. You’re on your own, and I’m just going to blog.
Zip over to another scene, where it appears that a soldier is returning from deployment to be with his family. And I will not say a word against this. Wish it could happen for everybody that has been called to serve in military conflicts that are not based in truth. (Liberal? Perhaps. Reality? Most definitely.) The couple smooches, and all is good.
Quick shots of the skateboard couple (I think) at a tattoo parlor, fully in love and tonguing each other while they wait for their skin to be pierced. Not sure what we’re saying here, but let’s call it freedom of choice and be happy about that.
We wind things down with the band performing in the totally red room, the beach couple not caring about where the sand might get, the bridge couple happy that they crossed the bridge, and the skateboard couple deciding that if one of them wants to risk his life while riding a skinny something on wheels, well, that’s just fine. Everybody loves everybody, and all is good.
But seriously. If that red crap starts appearing on my walls, there’s gonna be a fight. Sayin.
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
Okay, folks, this video is one of the rare few that I don’t dare get snarky about, because of the plotline. It’s a moving little story that happens to compliment the song, rather than something contrived that really has nothing to do with the lyrics. This is only the second time that I’ve had to hold my sarcasm tongue, and if this combination of story and song doesn’t tug at your heart, you might be a little cold inside. Just push play…
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
We start out with a family driving in a station wagon, with the focus on a young girl who is clearly not impressed with the rest of her family. She tries to just enjoy herself by shoving her head out the window and pretending that she’s not related to anybody, but soon enough the other three family members are acting like fools, yelling and smacking at each other. So Little Kelly just tolerates it and prays. And wears an unattractive ball cap.
Suddenly we’re with Big Kelly, all grown up, and she’s in the back of a limo, wearing a fancy outfit and sporting expensive jewelry along with designer shades and a tri-color hairdo. No explanation about how she got from ball cap to Gucci, but we’ll assume that the experience was quite pleasing and somehow enhanced her breasts.
Kelly arrives wherever, and she hops out of the car and we’re at the premiere of Princess Diaries 2. Really? I had no idea this song was in that movie, never having seen it, but apparently this video is a promo of Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews learning to love each other. Hopefully they won’t push the publicity angle too far. We’ll see.
Kelly takes up a position on the red carpet just in front of several advertisements for the movie, so it looks like this is going to be more about the movie than hoped. Kelly appears to be loving the spotlight, posing for all the photographers and exuding star quality out of every pore. There’s some little PR person trying to direct Kelly on what to do, but she’s got it, wowing the crowd. In fact, Little Miss PR tries to get Kelly to settle down at one point, but Kelly and her couture dress with the poofy thing on the back milk it for all it’s worth.
Eventually we see Kelly in the movie audience, watching Anne and her co-stars make nice and say funny, scripted things. This goes on for a bit, but eventually we cut to Little Kelly on the roof of her house, trying to escape her nasty family by achieving elevation. Little Kelly sits on a peaked corner of the roof and dreams of better things. According to the lyrics, this involves travel by “jet plane”, a phrase that hasn’t been used since the 60’s, so Little Kelly must listen to the oldies station on the radio.
Back to Big Kelly, who is now on one of those jet planes, and apparently experiencing some turbulence. (Which she also experienced on the ground with her whacked family, yes?) To calm her nerves in First Class, she watches more of Princess Diaries 2 on a convenient laptop that somebody has provided. Though she might find the flick soothing, she still has to hold her beverage to keep it from spilling, which is more than a star should have to put up with. Poor thing. Will the pain never end?
And we’re back in the audience for the premiere, with Kelly not exactly looking enraptured with Anne and Julie doing whatever on the screen. Suddenly, one of the ushers is shining a flashlight on where Kelly is sitting, but we’re surprised to learn that the usher is now Kelly, and the Kelly that we thought was Kelly is now a man. (What? Does Kelly need to have a private conversation with Chaz Bono??)
Cut to the concession stand in the theater, where Usher Kelly is performing the song for her co-workers using the flashlight. The co-workers just grin and bear it, indicating that Usher Kelly often bursts into song while proffering vats of buttered popcorn. One of the co-workers even joins Kelly in a duet. Based on his unfortunate hairstyle choice, this is probably the highlight of his unsatisfying life.
And now we transition to Kelly singing for real at some place where the chandeliers are way too low to pass fire-code regulations. Everyone seems to be enjoying her performance, and her hair looks fab, but they jack up this bit with still more footage from that blasted movie. Kelly’s a trooper, continuing to bellow despite the obvious shilling, and I appreciate the inclusion of a chain-link fence as a set prop to indicate she came from a small town. Kudos.
But then she starts waving her hand in the air, and the whole audience does the same thing. I’m not a fan of this activity. It never really bothered me, until I started watching American Idol and noticed that any time ANYBODY sang a song that was remotely slow, the audience would do the hand-waving thing, even if the song sucked and was nothing that you would want to emotionalize via hand gestures. I understand that most of that show’s live audience is limited in their growth and development (seriously, you’re going to drag in a handmade poster with a stupid saying that you think is deep and poetic?), but still. They killed the love of hand-waving for me.
Anyway, nobody listens to me, so the rest of the video is of various people doing the hand-waving bit, including some folks that we’ve never seen before, so I’m guessing there was some inattention during the editing process. At the very end, we have Little Kelly praying to God at the side of her bed, pleading for a better life where she doesn’t have bickering relatives, questionable attire, and ugly furniture. And P.S. Please smite the people who wave their hands for pointless reasons. Love, Little Kelly.
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Okay, then. This trippy little video is really just images of the band members performing that have been tweaked and distorted, so I’ll do my best to get a story out of it…
We start off with unrelated objects like cow skulls and Barney transforming into each other while the music gears up. This bit reminds me of an old-school video game for some reason, the stand-alone kind that you could walk up to. I’m sure it was not the intention, but I suddenly feel like I’m 15 again, camped out at the local convenience store, jacked up on sugary beverages and cramming endless quarters into the slot and fingering a worn-out joystick.
Anyway, the modulating objects eventually transition into the band members, and people start singing and playing their instruments, even though we are still treated to fleeting images of deer antlers and bagels. Somebody decides to rotate the images, causing things like stretched-out arms and guitars to whip across the screen, making all the stoned viewers scream and jump backwards, because that’s always fun to do.
Somebody else has decided to superimpose images of constellations on the band members, or maybe it’s acupuncture focal points, not really sure. In any case, this inspires the band members to jump around even more, and have their heads turn into skulls at random moments. (These guys sure like them some bones of dead things. I wonder what school they went to?)
Now we get to the quieter part of the song, where it’s just that one guy (and sometimes his skull) singing, and this triggers images of giant, whirring gears, armless torsos, and what might be a vagina with teeth. Then everybody decides that they want to fly, and they try to do so, bending over and holding their arms out. Nobody actually makes it off the ground, so that’s a little sad, but at least they gave it a shot, can’t blame them and their drugs for trying.
Wait, who is that headless woman, and why is she carrying a baseball bat? Oh, I think that might be her head a few scenes later. I wonder if she gets two paychecks for playing two different characters, or if it’s technically considered the same performance?
Next up is a bit where folks like to hold up their hands in front of them, as if not responsible for anything they might have done, while they rotate and don’t open their eyes. (Are we suddenly at a Republican strategy meeting?) And then one of the guys explodes, causing more stoner screaming, and somebody else fiddles with a giant bread knife while possibly wearing a black hood and doing ballet.
Right at the two-minute mark we have a guest appearance by Hannibal Lecter. That was sure nice of him.
We go through some business with butterflies and thumbprints, more of the bread knife, a clown, people who melt, and a guy who can spit lightning out of his mouth, which is pointless but really exciting. Not to be outdone, another guy decides to grow 6 arms and 6 legs, upping the ante, and causing some concern among the lesser-skilled members of the band, because now they won’t need as many people and there might be a force reduction.
More attempts at flying, somebody being squirted out of a soft-serve ice cream machine, and another guy doing a tribute to the “Titanic” by wearing a small iceberg on the side of his head. Then we actually calm down with the imagery for a little bit, as we get back to the group chorus part of the song. Sure, there’s still an occasional odd thing floating by (was that Tipper Gore eating a peanut?), but it’s much more relaxing than that middle section when we kicked into hyper-drive.
Aw, hell, some fool started banging away on his guitar, which jump starts the weirdness again. We don’t really see anything new, with more of the same melting and mutating and bizarre appearances of fruit, but it’s very busy as we group-rap toward the end of the song. Finally, that one guy belts out the last line, and the video-game screen goes blank.
I guess I have to put another quarter in….
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
We start off with the band sitting in a car, with the lead singer already warbling and the rest of the band not doing much of value. The car doesn’t seem to be moving, but it appears that lots of other people are on foot, streaming past the car and headed in the other direction. Clearly, something is not right, above and beyond a certain band member’s refusal to brush his hair.
The camera finally moves around so that we can see the car is in the middle of a long tunnel. We can also see that something is just a bit odd about the lines of people walking around the car. We can’t quite put our finger on it, other than no one seems to be very happy, so we might be at a really big office party where attendance was mandatory and the people you already didn’t like have had too much eggnog.
The lead singer finally hops out of the car, intent on either determining the source of the crowd dissatisfaction or running somewhere to pick up his Chinese takeout while double-parked, not sure. Once he stands up, we can see that the entire tunnel is filled with these shuffling folk, and I get a flashback to the original “Dawn of the Dead” movie. You know, the gory one in the mall where bad things happen to people who shop at JC Penney. This doesn’t look good.
No matter, these people are rock stars and they’ve faced much worse. The rest of the guys jump out as well and start trucking along behind the lead singer. The camera lingers on the singer’s face, so we can study the complex emotions he’s apparently feeling as well as learn that he likes his hair with frosted tips. (Now is not the time to point out that he might need a touch up. They seem to be rather occupied at the moment.)
The next several minutes are pretty much the same thing, with the band working its way upstream in the crowd and nobody smiling. (I guess it never occurs to these guys that there might be a REASON why everyone is headed the other way. Me, I’ve seen too many horror movies, and I would already be running the other way, knocking down senior citizens in my panicked need to escape the vague monster who is eating people.)
At one point, the lead singer bumps into one of the strange people, and causes him to spill the contents of his briefcase. But instead of politely stopping to help with fluttering paper retrieval, the lead singer just keeps marching along, so he must be from Jersey. The lead singer bumps into several other people on his journey, but most of them don’t seem to notice. What is wrong with these people? Just shuffle, shuffle, look depressed. I don’t want to live wherever this is.
In the most horrifying moment of the entire video, a small girl drops her teddy bear and her wicked mommy won’t let her pick it up, forcing the little girl to leave her furry friend behind, with lots of rude people stomping on its head. That poor girl will be in therapy for years, eventually turning to drugs and breaking into the zoo late at night, wandering around and endlessly searching for long-lost “Bucky” in the bear cages.
Years later, the band finally makes it to the end of the tunnel, and we see that there has been a nasty car accident. While rescue people dash about and do their thing, the lead singer spies a woman standing near him, who is looking into one of the wrecked cars and seeing herself in the crumpled driver’s seat, dead. Then he sees another guy also looking at his own dead self.
Well then, this is one happy, festive video, eh?
The lead singer finally clues in, and dashes over to the worst of the cars, wrenching the door open so he can look inside. Yep, he sees himself taking more than just a nap. The lead singer turns and runs back into the tunnel, fighting through the trudging Dawn of the Dead people and scrambling to get to his car. When he does, he sees himself and the rest of the band still in the car. Lead singer guy starts banging on the windows to get their attention, but there must be a good song on the radio and they completely ignore him.
Then the lead singer is startled out of his daydream by a police officer banging on the same window, motioning that he can go ahead and pull forward. Nobody’s really dead, nothing to see here, move along.
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
Note: Explicit lyrics and heavy petting. Just sayin.
We start out in what looks like a really big warehouse, but it might just be the place where Lil Wayne likes to keep his bling. The camera is rolling along, and we catch glimpses of people peering out at us from the odd scaffolding that is everywhere. It’s possible that we’re about to get jumped, so you might want to finish your next turn in “Words with Friends” before something happens and you lose points.
Oh wait, it looks like Kelly is standing just up ahead in the gloomy light, tapping her heel and waiting for us to get our asses up there and pay attention to her. We get closer to her, and then I realize that there’s a hell of a lot more people up in this grill than I first thought. And I guess the AC isn’t working, because they’re all covered in sweat, despite the fact that none of them are really wearing anything.
Kelly just happens to find some bored homies that like to dance, so she gets their attention with her interesting outfit, which combines part of a trench-coat with a startling thong that has it’s own life-support system. Kelly doesn’t waste any time running up to one of them and yanking on his crotch like she’s trying to start a lawnmower, so I guess the girl has some urgent needs.
Cut to Kelly in another room, with her wearing what might be tattered streams of toilet paper, as she sashays about, inspecting all the chiseled bodies on display and tries to decide what she’d like for dinner. Then we jump back to Odd-Thong Kelly and her bevy of line dancers, as they hop about and perform moves that involve trying to keep their pants on as well as not be blinded by the amazing techno-purple lipstick that Kelly has managed to find somewhere.
We check back in with Meat-Market Kelly, and she still hasn’t made a selection, wandering along and perusing the various couples and singles as everybody has a really swell time touching one another and dripping sweat. At one point, Kelly is so inspired by all the options that she can’t help but jump on top of a convenient crate and start waving her legs in the air like she’s trying to power a nearby city.
Brief glimpse of Lil Wayne. I sure hope he’s not going to wear the same outfits as Kelly. I’m really not ready for that.
Odd-Thong Kelly and Her Boys are still dancing away, with the guys really invested in thrusting their pelvises hard enough so that Kelly’s trench coat flies out of the way in the turbulence and we can see that she’s not really concerned about covering up the naughty bits. Good for her. Things need to breathe, right?
Back to Kelly on that crate, where she apparently brings herself to orgasm just by repeating the word “motivation” and listening to the sounds of Lil Wayne starting to rap on the soundtrack. I really don’t think I could achieve the same satisfying achievement with those two stimuli, but I don’t make records, so I probably don’t know all the rules.
Anyway, Lil Wayne is now front and center, leaning against yet another wall in this maze of a place, rapping about how he can do things to Kelly that will rock her world so bad she ain’t never gonna get out the bed again. He’s so overcome with his awesome sexual powers that he’s apparently unable to stand up, slumped against that wall the whole time.
And while I’m sure that Kelly appreciates his lusty sentiments, we can see in jump cuts that she’s fairly occupied with her own pursuits, like rubbing her hoo-hoo on a folding chair and teaching her backup dancers to fetch on command. Lil Wayne keeps trying, though, moving to another room and rapping some more without leaning against a wall, which totally changes the meaning of the lyrics, right? He gonna make Kelly explode in a shower of sparks.
Which is probably true. Because he’s got enough metal accessories on his body that he’s a walking (humping?) lightning rod. That whole building is gonna go up if a storm roles in.
Meanwhile, Odd-Thong Kelly now has her backup boys in troop formation, so she can intimately inspect their firearms. Then we zip back to the meat-market room, just to make sure all those folks in there are still sweating and having soft-porn sex. Yes, they are. Check. So Kelly hops back up on that crate, ready for the really dramatic part of the video, where she plans to have a double-orgasm. With a cherry on top. Oh wait, she probably lost that garnish a long time ago.
And now we’re jumping all over the place. The Kelly Platoon is still frolicking about, with the squadron of supposedly non-gay men on the verge of bursting into show tunes as they high kick. Crate Kelly is performing sensual moves to confirm that she’s been properly shaved in all the right places. And everybody in the entire building is touching somebody, somewhere, regardless of gender or income. Except for Lil Wayne. He’s nowhere to be found at this point. He must have gotten a call that his shipment of custom lugnut-piercings just arrived.
The touching continues for quite some time. These people really, really love each other. How sweet. Too bad they don’t know each other’s names.
Must admit, that hip-thrusting line-dance business that starts about 3:22 into the video? Totally hawt. I could be somebody’s daddy with that mess. Word.
Shortly after, Kelly’s cooter has a featured walk-on where a whole bunch of people want to check her for ticks while she sprawls out and rides the wave of bodies. This is followed by Kelly playing squat-tag with her platoon, with the boys doing very interesting things to the beat of the song. She even issues a command that they need to crab-walk backwards into a wall. And they do. I guess life really does get better when you win a couple of Grammy awards. Might want to check into that.
The song winds down back in that main room with all of the tri-sexual people finishing up their various exploits and getting ready for a nice mass nap. Crate Kelly, her face aglow with post-coital satisfaction and a hint of wanting more, leans forward and warbles the final words of the song as various fluids began to dry-out around her…
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube…
Thursday, May 26, 2011
We start off with the camera zooming in through Patti LaBelle’s hair, then we see Kelly in Full Glamour mode, with her hair coiffed like Veronica Lake and sporting some slinky couture. Then we have some shots of Kelly’s pad, and apparently the girl has got a few bucks. I guess that singing career has been alright for her.
Next we have Kelly sprawled on a fancy sofa in another outfit, wearing a necklace that could probably fund the government for a few months if people would just get their priorities in order. She sings for a bit, then I guess she’s done with her nap, and she quickly changes back into the “standing up” outfit we first saw her in. Whoops, now she’s back on the couch. Girl just needs to pick a spot and a dress and just finish the song, yes?
Nope, she’s still undecided on her look, choosing now to wear a long black formal and a ponytail. She might have a headache, because she keeps touching her forehead, but I’m sure she’s got people who can take care of that. Ponytail Kelly starts to walk around her spacious apartment, carrying a single flower to indicate her sadness, and singing the lyrics to various objects, like some abandoned slippers on the grand staircase and a string of pearls that might be hanging from a bidet.
This Kelly gets to sing longer than the other two, so she might have finally made her decision on what to wear to that ceremony later tonight where she has to pick up another award and try once again not to trash American Idol. And even though this Kelly walks around for miles, we don’t seem to be repeating rooms, so that must be one big-ass apartment. No wonder she finds it necessary to yell parts of the song. The people in the cheap rooms deserve to hear her as well.
Brief interlude with close-ups of more jewelry adorning various Kelly body parts.
Kelly starts singing again, but she’s not walking around as much, so we might have ended the home tour. She gazes dolefully at the camera, then we see that she might be distraught over the fact that someone spilled champagne on a pretty piece of furniture and didn’t bother to wipe it up. (Did Randy Jackson drop by earlier?) But Kelly’s not sad enough to put down that damn flower and reach for a rag, so I guess it’s all good.
Now Kelly is in a large room where orchestral instruments can play themselves. This is a little disconcerting, seeing violin bows floating magically in the air, but Kelly must be used to it because she hangs around in here for a while. In fact, she heads to a clearing in the middle of the instruments, where she can stand and do her trademark hand movements while singing more of the song. The instruments must enjoy her company, because they get louder.
Kelly gets tired again and decides to sit on the floor and lean against the piano. This might not be the most comfortable position, but it does allow Kelly’s hair to reach the keyboard and keep the melody going, so that part is interesting. (A few of the bass violins seem to be a little jealous of Kelly’s seating choice, so they quickly tidy up their woodworks and try to look like comfortable and relaxing rest stops.)
Kelly’s hair finally finishes its solo, so she heads back to that couch and the bronze dress with the budget-fixing necklace. She wallers and sings for a bit, then we check up on the other Kelly’s. Ponytail still considers that flower to be her best friend, and Veronica Lake appears to be witnessing for Jesus while speaking in tongues. Since everybody is at least busy doing something besides entertaining us, we‘ve probably overstayed our welcome, and we can quietly let ourselves out of the house while the song winds down…
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
We start out with images of someone possibly being electrocuted as they stand on a giant Oreo cookie. (Well, I guess that’s one diet that might actually work. You get near a snack, you get zapped.) Then the lights go up a bit and we can see that Flo Rida is actually standing on a giant turntable that slowly spins him right round as he sings. Got it. We have a concept album here.
We get some pretty, digitized images on a giant screen behind Flo (the planet, nature scenes, somebody’s butt) as he warbles, then some girl comes marching in, singing the female part of the song that I guess I didn’t notice was even there until she showed up with her attitude. She joins Flo Rida on the turntable, and then immediately assumes a dominant stance and glares at us. We’ve only known her for five seconds and I’m already done with her.
Flo Rida launches into his rap, with the images still flashing behind him and Attitude Girl whipping her hair around like all of this was really her idea. Flo Rida does his best to just ignore her, but she’s all up in his grill with her flapping arms, grabbing at her face like she just found out she’s got crabs again. (Somebody needs to put that turntable on 78rpm and catapult her ass off the set.)
This goes on for quite some time, with only the pretty pictures in the background changing. Finally, Flo Rida changes to a red shirt, which magically causes Attitude Girl to disappear for a while. (I hope he never takes that shirt off.) We get a very brief shot of what might be an orgy taking place on the turntable. It’s gone before I can raise my hand and ask any questions.
Aw, hell, it’s the female part of the song again, and her comes Miss Fancy Pants once more. She hasn’t settled down a bit, doing something with her head that would make Linda Blair proud. To make it worse, she’s also appearing on the screen behind the spinning couple, and I start fearing for my life. This song has totally changed for me at this point.
Another quick shot of the orgy.
So we go like this for a while, with Rida riding the record, and Happiness Crusher Girl jetting in and out every time she thinks of another angry dance move to do. Then a new girl appears, with really long hair and less-threatening choreography, but then she disappears and Angry Annie is back. (She is NOT gonna let some second-rate tramp steal the spotlight!) Then other girls appear, briefly, only to be scared off by Whirling Wanda and her Arms of Death.
We start some mess with Flo and the various girls jacking around with a smart phone, taking pictures of things we really can’t see, so I’m not sure what the point might be with that angle. (A double-shot of the orgy surfaces during this bit, probably to keep our attention in case we aren’t interested in watching other people text.) Then the female part of the song comes back, and I leave the room to get another beer while Cranky Crotch returns to the Oreo and starts wailing and flailing. Over her.
When I return, we’re seeing jump shots of various goings on, most of them involving Flo Rida and unknown people dancing and waving beverages in the air. (And, of course, everyone is really pretty, which is SO not reality, so these must be really special nightclubs and random parking lots.) I’m mostly intrigued with the sequences involving people strutting around in front of designer cars. Everyone in those shots looks very happy and non-threatened. Can we watch the rest of that video?
Nope, we head back to the cookie. Flo Rida rapping. Queen Bee killing her drones. Orgy.
Oh wait, Flo Rida just took off his shirt while on the cookie, and that totally changes everything. But only for two seconds. Then we’re back to Fully-Dressed Flo, with Succubus Sally banging her crotch against him while doing a backbend. She’s very limber, that Sally. But still angry.
And that’s pretty much how we wrap things up. Various women trying and failing to knock Nasty Nancy out of the ring. Flo Rida patiently putting up with all of them because he’s completely used to women fighting for the chance to stand near him. And tantalizing, too-short shots of that damn orgy mess on the spinning record.
Final shot is of Flo Rida clutching Harridan Hannah to his side, raising his other fist triumphantly. I guess she won after all. Bitch. But I’m not bitter…
Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.
We start out with mini-interviews with various happily-coupled people, as they sit on a couch and chatter about how they met and what life has been like since then. It’s very sweet and touching. Unless you’re currently not in a relationship. Then it’s a wee bit irritating, especially when they won’t quite smiling. And they’re all straight. Where are the Rainbow People? Isn’t this band from San Francisco? Anyway…
We get to the video proper, and we’re in a diner somewhere. We get atmospheric shots of coffee brewing and orders on the wheel for the short-order cook. Then we hop over to the band performing on a subdued set with no accessories or props. And these are our two story lines. People ordering greasy things they shouldn’t eat and acoustic musicians apparently on a budget. And go.
Pat starts singing the song (which really is beautiful, not taking away from that) while a waitress is tidying up the counter after heathen diners have left a mess. She also has to deal with a coffee cup that some fool has apparently thrown on the floor as they left, having been raised in a barn or at least a house where crockery is not respected. She’s only dabbing daintily at the spilled coffee instead of quickly wiping the whole mess up, so she’s got some focus issues.
Then we spy Pat sitting in one of the booths and wearing an odd hat, pretending to read a paper but really watching Blondie as she screws around with the spilled caffeine. This allows us to get a close-up shot of Blondie, and of course she’s stunning in a wholesome sunshine way. She glances up at Pat, he smiles, she smiles, and you know that they instantly want each other more than anything in the entire world. Except possibly cheaper unlimited rates on their calling plans.
But, dang it, they can’t consummate their passion just yet. It seems that some other patron’s damn pancakes are ready, and Blondie (let’s call her Rebecca, as in the one with the farm, shall we?) has to scurry off because the now-hated cook is banging on his stupid little bell. Rebecca sighs, Pat sighs, and we cut back to the plain studio where Pat is singing while that Howie Mandel look-alike plays guitar beside him.
Diner again, with Rebecca doling out plates of food to a happy couple in another booth. (Side note: Some of the folks from the intro are playing couples in the diner as well. Awww.) She smiles at them brightly, pretending to care, then she glances over at Pat’s booth, to see how her future husband is doing.
And he’s gone. How sad. Rebecca crumbles emotionally, then turns to wander off somewhere and be devastated.
Back to the studio, where Pat and Howie look tragically stricken over the harsh severing of the budding relationship.
Diner once more, with Becky trying really hard to keep herself together as she waits on other people ordering pointless food in a world that is dark and unsatisfying, with lovers being ripped apart in cruel and painful ways. She pours coffee and snatches up tips, but her heart is broken forever, and the nunnery may be her only option.
The various couples in the booths don’t care if Rebecca has been crushed by the gods. They’re hungry and they want the blue plate special. That’s all that’s important. The couples clasp hands and smile at one another. A lot. Which only sends daggers of pain into Becky’s trembling, stomped-upon heart. These couples should not be surprised if a bit of arsenic mysteriously makes its way into their Denver omelets.
More studio time with Pat and friends. (Just curious. What happened to Pat’s waist? It’s a straight line from ear to foot. Hate him a little bit.)
At the diner, Rebecca apparently can’t concentrate on slinging hash, so she rips off her cute little waitress apron and throws it down, then marches out of the diner. Once outside, she glances hither and yon for any sign of Pat, her AWOL lover. Sadly, her yearning eyes find no purchase, and the dawn is bleak. (Yes, I just went Shakespeare on your ass. It felt right.) Becky, fighting tears, heads back inside.
Where she decides to just sit at one of the booths and sigh discontentedly. She stares at her cup of coffee and tries to process the fact that her life must surely be over because the man she knew for fifteen whole minutes is now gone from her life, and there’s no point in going on. Then her saddened eyes glance over at the sacred booth where Pat’s butt was planted before he destroyed her emotionally. She spies his funky hat on one of the seats, apparently tossed aside just like she has been. Oh?
She rushes to fondle the one remaining symbol of her errant lover, touching the brim with a yearning that far surpasses any other yearning ever felt on this planet. Lo and behold, altar-dumping Pat comes back in to the diner right at that moment. Their eyes meet, smiles are exchanged, and the video fades.
There’s still hope, folks. You can meet the man of your dreams while serving biscuits and gravy. Just make sure he understands that you want him desperately before you leave the check at his table…
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Side Note 1: There’s a disclaimer with the video that we also have vocals from Fergie, Charlie Wilson, John Legend, Tony Williams, Alicia Keys, La Roux, The Dream, Ryan Leslie, Alvin Fields and Ken Lewis. Seriously? Did they record this song at a Grammy after-party? Anyway…
Side Note 2: You might not want to watch this is you have any type of seizure tendencies. There’s some irritating strobe-light business going on…
We start out looking at a letter board with lots of names and numbers. We have no idea what this thing really is. It could be an apartment directory or some weird stock exchange. Who knows. Cut to a little girl opening a door, and we immediately feel sorry for her, because some wicked parent or guardian has forced her to wear a scarf around her neck that is bigger than she is. But the little girl is a trooper, so she and her neckwear and backpack head out into the snowy streets of some city.
The little cherub wanders around for a while, probably because she can’t see where she’s going and is just walking until she slams into something, then she’ll adjust her plan. Then we start seeing images of what might be an apartment complex, or perhaps a mental institution for people traumatized by things around their neck. Back to the little girl, still trudging along and trying to breathe, It’s dark now, so this poor thing has been marching for a while. I hope she has some snacks in that backpack.
And here we go with the really busy part of the video. Words are flashing and zooming all over the screen in a variety of colors and fonts. It’s interesting for about three seconds, and then you’re over it. Apparently somebody doesn’t understand this, and it goes on FOREVER. Rihanna’s voice shows up during this bit, and she has quite a bit to say, so I’m already thinking this is one of those “featuring” songs where the guests do all the work while the supposed main singer plays Scrabble.
Two hours later, the words finally quit flashing, and we see Kanye make his debut, first on top of a police car (no idea), followed by him holding his head, and then some shots where he might have been involved in some domestic violence. It seems that somebody was doing something they shouldn’t have, and people got slapped, and then somebody else went to jail. Not really sure.
Back to the squad car, where Kanye is busting some moves on the roof, or at least doing something with his hands that might possibly be coordinated with the beat of the song. Even though there are several police cars in this odd alley, we don’t see any officers, so who knows what happened to them. (Did Dunkin Donuts just open?)
Oh my, Rihanna just made her onscreen debut, and the poor thing is wearing what looks like a horse’s bridle on her headlights, and that’s ALL she’s wearing. She’s trying to be sexy and seductive, but she has to restrain her movements or we’re going to see nipple, and we know how that turned out for Janet Jackson. Back to Kanye thrusting his arms around some more while he straddles the lightbar on top of the police car. He’s really insistent about something, but I’m just waiting for him to slip and fall, because that’s how I roll.
More Rihanna, with her nipple-limited dance moves (she basically waves one hand over her head while swaying back and forth approximately 2 millimeters). Then she throws caution to the wind and gives us a side view, making it clear that there’s really no reason for her to be wearing anything at all at this point. At least the security-screening people at the airports will appreciate her getup, because it’s obvious that she’s not hiding anything anywhere.
Now Kanye is in some room where it’s necessary for different-colored lights to flash all over his body while he performs a dance that I can only describe as “Cave Man Looks For Bush To Pee Behind”. Then we get a close-up of his face, so we can see his designer shades and jingling bling, because you’re really not a pop star unless you have such. He also insists on looking at the ground instead of at us, and this is very annoying.
More shots of the little girl. She’s still out on the streets, her head balanced on the killer scarf, and she’s looking around in all directions. (Is she trying to find the rest of Rihanna’s outfit?) Zip back to the alley with the police cars, so Kanye can do some more mystifying moves while law-enforcement personnel remain AWOL.
Next we have a close-up on Rihanna‘s face, and she really is pretty, so I really don’t get the need for her to choose couture that lets us check the status of her latest Brazilian wax. Well, shoot, we go back to the full figure shot, and you can tell that Rihanna is a bit over the harness thing, because she does the same few simple moves, and then turns her spotlights toward Tokyo.
Oh look, now it’s time for Kid Cudi in his red leather jacket. It looks like somebody forgot to explain some fundamental rules to him, because he faces away from the camera the whole time. (Has he done something lately where he’s concerned that people might recognize his face?) Whatever his reason for doing that, it doesn’t stop him from waving his arms all over the place and jiggling like he really needs to find a bathroom, stat.
And we’re back to Kanye on the police car. It’s obvious to me that we’ve milked this setting for all it’s worth, but nobody asked me to direct the video. To make it even more annoying, Kanye is just standing there, trying to look all street while trumpets blare on the soundtrack. (Does he think he’s in “Rocky XXII: Sylvester Stallone Done Spent All His Money And Needs To Fight Somebody Else”?)
Kanye poses for a very long time. We even get a close-up of his shoes. None of this is necessary in any way and my attention is waning. I start hoping that Taylor Swift will walk around the corner and set Kanye off, because at least that would be interesting.
Aw hell, now we cut to more of the blazing and jittery words flashing across the screen. I was over it the first time, and now we’ve got an encore. During this mess, the director of the video (Hype Williams, like that’s a real name) keeps splashing his name like he’s really proud of this part. He shouldn’t be. This segment goes on forever as well, with all the people supposedly singing on the song getting a shout out, along with the food service people, somebody’s dog, and a list of good criminal lawyers.
And we end with a series of colors jittering on the screen. That’s one way to finish things up. But I’m more concerned about the little girl. Did she ever get that damn scarf off her neck?
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
We start off in a field somewhere, with Jamie Bell and Evan Rachel Wood (woo hoo, real stars!) smooching and promising undying love to one another. It’s really sweet and all, but it goes on forever like a Lifetime movie about infidelity or women who drink because their husband didn’t notice their latest haircut.
The music finally starts, and we get a close-up of one of Billy Joe’s eyes, complete with his trademark mascara. The camera pans down to his mouth as he sings, and I start to get uncomfortable that this might be one of those introspective videos where nothing gets resolved and people make bad fashion choices. Luckily, we soon cut to Jamie and Evan playing piggyback, napping in that field, and walking around a skateboard park where people like to take their shirts off and you can buy chili dogs. This looks much more promising.
Okay, maybe not. Now we have scenes of the duo chasing each other through what we’ll assume is their house, making out on an ugly couch, playing video games, and making out some more while laundry doesn’t get done and bills probably don‘t get paid. Maybe this IS a Lifetime movie after all. Is this really a Green Day video?
Then the happy times come to a screeching halt as Evan races out of the house and slaps Jamie, babbling something about “tell me you didn’t do it”. About 400 times, to the point that we don’t care WHAT he did, we just want her to shut up. Whatever he done did, they scream at each other for a while in a nice display of method acting and spittle projectiles. These people have some issues.
Cut to the band performing on top of giant rolls of toilet paper while bright lights flash. We see more images of Evan looking tragic on the ugly couch, followed by Jamie on a bus going to… ah, a boot camp. She got all THAT bent out of shape because he enlisted? How is she going to handle it when something more serious happens, like pregnancy or a really bad rash? Maybe she should speak to a counselor.
Nope, she sits on that damn couch and fiddles with a ring. Class, engagement or secret decoder, we don’t know, but it’s a ring. Quick shot of Billie Joe’s mouth, then we’re back to Jamie at boot camp, dealing with the impending loss of his hair and yokels with more first names than Billie Joe. Next thing you know, Jamie’s fighting in some foreign country. We know this because we get a quick shot of a sad woman wearing a burka and looking irritated because the bombings have jacked up the TV signal and she’s going to miss “Big Brother - Islamabad”.
We watch a medley of the band on that toilet paper, Jamie marching around with a gun but not really doing anything with it, fires burning, more toilet paper domination, Rachel still crying but at least she put that damn ring down, explosions, toilet paper, and, uh oh, military people flying through the air in a manner indicating it was not a choice they voluntarily made.
Rachel cries some more.
Jamie gets into a skirmish of some kind and has to run a lot. Rachel washes her face and then has to study it in the mirror a lot. Billy Joe plays his guitar and wears eyeliner a lot. Then we get a glimpse of one of the soldiers going down and the stage lights dim on the toilet paper stage. We just switched from Lifetime to Nightline.
Cue Rachel sitting on some rundown bleachers somewhere, while we have voiceovers from happier times in that meadow when things were much simpler and Rachel hadn’t ruined her makeup with the incessant crying.
And it ends, right there, without anyone knowing what exactly happened, just like Presidential elections in Florida and any speech given by Sarah Palin…
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
Editor’s Note: One of the most soul-damaging things I deal with as a music video reviewer is seeing the phrase “featuring Lil Wayne” in the title of a clip I’m about to watch. I have no idea why this little man is even remotely popular, and it sucks the life out of me to see his name. But since this is really Jennifer’s video, and I love me some J-Lo, I’ll try to be strong…
We start off with some dude running out of the ocean at night, heading up the beach. Jennifer and her pretty necklace spy him doing so, and she seems quite pleased with what she sees, even though she’s wearing sunglasses at night and probably can’t see a damn thing. (It’s all in the acting, right?) Since the guy seems to be taking a little while to get to her, Jenn fiddles around with a can of soda and makes sure that her glistening skin is being captured correctly by the cameraman.
Finally, Stud Boy makes it to the chair where Jennifer is lounging, and he’s definitely worth the wait, with pectorals bulging and a chiseled jaw that could jackhammer concrete. But instead of them falling into a passionate mashup of beautiful people, Jennifer looks the other way as if she doesn’t really care for what’s on the menu.
Cut to a shot of some Mayan temple out in the jungle, with overhead clouds moving faster than they should, and everything’s in black-and-white, so this is probably the artsy part of the video. Cut again to Jennifer wearing a metallic outfit and assuming poses that would look really appropriate in a Karate Kid movie. Then we’re flying over the ocean and looking at more old buildings where people don’t live anymore.
Then we start jumping all over the place. Brief shot of Jennifer wearing a headdress for no apparent reason, then she’s splashing about in the waves while wearing that metallic thing. (Shouldn’t she be worried about rust and such?) Stud Boy shows up, and it seems that he might be clutching Jennifer to his side, but since the camera is mostly focused on his beard stubble, he could be clutching anybody. More shots of Jennifer strutting around at the Mayan temples and showing us that she has a billowy dress that matches the headdress that doesn’t make any sense. Good for her.
The jump-cutting settles down for a little bit as we see J-Lo reclining on the beach, using Stud Boy as her air mattress. Then we have a long series of shots where Jennifer and Stud Boy are making it very clear that things between them are wet and sweaty, and that Jennifer feels it is very important that she grab one of his pecs every two seconds. Or maybe she’s just trying to push them out of the way so the camera can see her pouty lips.
Another long bit where Jennifer runs through the crashing waves while still wearing that metallic mini-dress, shaking her hips like a jellyfish just stung her in a personal place. Luckily, Stud Boy and his chest is there to save the day, so J-Lo makes sure to show her appreciation by rubbing against whatever body part he manages to offer.
Now we’re inside one of the Mayan temples, and Jennifer staggers out of some side room where they apparently have some really strong blow-dryers, because her hair is now jacked to Jesus and she’s squinting her eyes like her retinas have been burned off. No matter, J-Lo is a trooper, and she continues to wail the song even though she can’t see where she’s going and keeps getting her mammoth hair stuck on the stone walls.
Next up is Jennifer traipsing around outside the temple, gettin’ down with the stone steps and trying to keep that hair from upstaging her. Then she’s back inside, then she’s back on the beach, then she’s on the side of the temple again, posing like an African Princess even though the genealogy doesn’t really add up, then she’s back inside, and outside, and… how does Marc Anthony keep up with her? Geez.
The jump-cutting continues, with Jennifer appearing all over the place in her interesting couture. The theme for this segment seems to be that J-Lo likes nothing more than to use her hands to accentuate her breasts and her flawless face. That’s fine. Hey, if you got it and can market it, knock yourself out. Just be careful with that hair. I’m thinking that’s a fire hazard, so she probably needs to stay away from open flame.
To allay our fears about spontaneous hairdo combustion, Jennifer jumps into the ocean and gets herself all wet. In more ways than one.
Then we have Jennifer lounging on top of a stone wall, sporting another metal outfit, this one composed of what looks like pieces that someone stole from a science geek’s Erector Set. (Smart move on J-Lo’s part, reaching out to the nerds on their own terms.) Sadly, Jennifer is unable to move while wearing this obviously weighty gear, so she lets her lips do all the acting.
We change things up a bit by heading back into the temple, where Jennifer and two of her closest backup dancers have decided to do some Mayan choreography. Drums are involved, along with the ability to gyrate your crotch in a manner that would normally result in a pineapple smoothie being handed to a customer.
Then we’re back out on the beach, with Jennifer and Stud Boy enjoying the crashing waves and the fact that they both have nipples. This triggers a revisit to all of the outfits that Jennifer has worn up to this point, including the Science Project contraption where Jennifer can’t get off that one wall but she still looks pretty. We wrap it up with J-Lo performing a really bouncy dance on the beach, and then doing some serious lip-lock action with the man who raced out of the ocean at the exact moment that she needed some pectoral muscles that could save her from evil blow-dryers in a Mayan temple.
That final sound you hear is Marc Anthony calling his personal trainer…
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube…
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Well, now. This is one cheery-ass video.
We start out with James apparently facing out to sea while snow is falling and the water looks gray and foreboding. His back is to us, and he’s wearing a jacket with the hood pulled over his head. Absolutely nothing else is going on.
James finally turns to face us, and then walks toward the camera until his face is right there. The snow continues to fall and he continues to sing. After a bit, he pulls his hood off so we can see that his hair is all wet, so either he either sweats a lot or he’s been out here messing around in the snow for quite some time. In either case, there’s still not a whole lot happening.
As he breaks into the chorus, with that almost alarming falsetto that makes me think of unsavory things being done to a man’s private bits, James unzips the jacket and takes it off. Then he takes the first of two shirts off, and pauses. Well, at least we have a small amount of dramatic tension. Will he take the next shirt off? Will he?
No, instead he looks up at the sky, and the camera follows. We see a few lonely birds circling in the whiteness, then the camera pulls back down as James is taking off the second and final shirt. I feel a bit cheated. There’s so little happening, that it’s not right to pan away if James is actually doing something.
Now the camera is pulling back, so we can confirm that James is indeed shirtless, because I’m sure there are quality-control people that need to confirm the shirts have been removed per the script. James sits down and takes off his shoes. He’s not wearing socks, even though he’s in the middle of a small blizzard. I’m going to take this as a sign of possible mental instability.
Then James begins taking things out of his pants pockets, lining them up with his shoes in front of him, and I start to get an inkling of where this is going. (Really, producers? You want to go there?) James also takes a ring off one of his fingers (but does not, interestingly enough, remove the Madonna-tribute rubber bracelets on his other wrist). The camera zooms in so we can review the line of treasures. Yep, pocket things: watch, money clip, matchbook, guitar pick, and… some other something. (We all have one of those.)
The camera pans up so we can see there is now only one bird in the sky. (Can you blame the others that left? There’s got to be something more intriguing further down the coastline.)
Camera comes back down, and we’re further away from James than we were. He stands sideways as the camera zooms toward him, then he begins running away.
Then James leaps as we learn that he was actually on a high cliff, and falls a long way down to the sea. As the final line of “I will never be with you” is sung, James disappears beneath the water.
Great. Can’t be with the one you love? Find a cold cliff with inclement weather, partially strip, arrange your personal inventory in a nice line, then make sure you will never be with that one you love by taking yourself out of the picture.
Don’t believe it, kids. This is NOT the answer. Just say no.
And stay away from high places where it snows. Nothing good can come of that.
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Note: This song appeared on the soundtrack for “George of the Jungle” (well, the one with Brendan Fraser, anyway), which partially explains the events in the video, but at the same time makes things a little disturbing…
We start off on a pleasant tropical island, where Jack is clamoring around on a rocky overlook, lugging his guitar and not wearing any shoes despite the clamoring. We get a brief glimpse of the animated monkey, George, trying to appear cute but we know he’s up to no good. Next thing you know, Jack slips on a banana peel that George left behind (yep, they went there), and he falls into the ocean with his guitar. Moral so far: Don’t trust monkeys.
Underwater, Jack rescues his guitar, natch, and then scrutinizes his now-liquid surroundings. We get another glimpse of animated George, also in the water, which can’t be good. In any case, Jack starts singing the song underwater, which is everyone’s first instinct when on the verge of drowning. He sings for quite a while, so my guess is that this is a magical lagoon where things like breathing and oxygen are not really important.
As Jack sings, animated George swims past and starts on a new quest, one that involves irritating some hippos that are just trying to take a nice nap on the ocean floor. It seems that Papa Rhino has worked too hard in his life to put up with a rambunctious cartoon simian, so he uses his hefty snout to toss George on shore. This triggers a sequence where Jack is strolling along the Yellow Dirt Road, strumming his guitar and admiring fake flowers and butterflies. (And Jack is still not wearing any shoes. Was there a life-changing incident in his youth that involved footwear?)
Jack eventually makes it to a giant tree where there is a handy pup tent nearby, so I guess Jack decides to live there, staking his claim by sitting on part of the tree and brandishing his guitar in a land-claim manner. Of course, cartoon George shows up within seconds, because he can’t stay out of other people’s business and there’s nothing on TV.
The next sequence probably caused the Boy Scouts of America some concern, as we watch Scout Master Jack strum his guitar and encourage little George to throw his hands in the air and dance around while not wearing any pants. Luckily, other cartoon forest creatures show up to stop this potentially litigious situation, distracting Jack with their cuteness and ability to do a spontaneous line dance.
George, not wanting to lose the spotlight, hangs upside down (get it) from the tree, waving his hands about and generally being annoying in an abusive manner. The other animals sit at Jack’s feet and encourage him to continue with the concert and the disregard for shoes. At one point, George prances up and tries to poke his finger in the hole of Jack’s guitar. Make of that what you will.
Well, it seems that Jack plays well into the night, until it’s just him and George sitting on top of a tree. (I’m sure the rest of the animals were called away by a casting agent, who was searching for the next “why is this here” animal to show up on that island on “Lost”.) George stupidly decides to put some fireflies in his mouth. I did some dumb-ass things as a kid, but it never occurred to me to put things with blinking butts in my pie-hole.
Eventually, Jack finishes up with the song, so that he and George can gaze at each other lovingly, and then peer up at the nighttime sky, with the stars shining brightly in a newly discovered constellation known as “PETA would like to talk to Jack. Now.”
The final scene has Jack back in the ocean, breaking the surface with his guitar and gazing about. Was it just a dream? Did he really visit an underwater land with butterflies, affectionate monkeys, and overly-happy livestock who know dance routines? Does he miss George already?…
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube…
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Note: This is the explicit version. I used the radio-friendly alternate title for the song since more people actually know it by that name. But really, the graphic language is what makes this video so funny…
We start out in front of a 50’s-style diner with a trio of female backup singers standing out front, wearing matching green dresses and performing synchronized hand movements that you normally only see in a swimming competition. Then they start grinning and sashaying toward the entrance to the diner, enticing us with sexy come-hither gestures, which is really impressive considering they can barely move in their skin-tight outfits.
Cut to the interior, where little Cee Lo has arrived with his parents, and he starts belting out the song. Momma is clearly not impressed with his choice of lyrics, but everybody else in the diner is bopping and shimmying to the music, smiles everywhere. The camera focuses on one jubilant little girl, waving her hands to the beat. Then words flash across the screen that she’s “The Heartbreaker”. Uh oh. Wait. She’s only 10 years old. How bad can she be?
Well, we soon learn, but first we have to watch the backup singers do more hand-choreography while their asses are plunked on the diner counter. Little Cee Lo is studying Little Heartbreaker from across the room. She seems to be receptive to his glances, so he hops up and does a cute little routine with the backup dancers where he explains that he can’t afford fancy cars but he has tons of love to share.
Little Heartbreaker, upon learning the financial details, decides that she wants nothing to do with poor dancing boys and shoves her nose in the air, then turns her attention to another little boy who has the dough for some serious wheels. As the superficial lovebirds flounce out of the diner, Cee Lo and the color-coordinated backup girls flip them off musically.
Interlude with present-day Cee Lo singing to all the haters about what they can physically do to themselves.
Cut to “The High School Years”, with teenage Cee Lo now working at the diner, and apparently given full license to burst into song whenever he wants. Of course, everybody in the diner is having the best time of their lives listening to him, swaying to the beat and grinning from ear to ear. Oh look, there’s Little Miss Heartbreaker at one of the tables, all growed up with a fetching over-sized bow in her hair.
Teenage Cee Lo snatches up a handy bouquet of flowers that just happened to be lying in the order-up window, and he races to present them to Little Miss, apparently forgetting that she only likes boys who can afford their toys. First, though, Cee Lo has to dance his way down the counter, which turns out to be a bad move, because some little geeky boy with morality issues sneakily knocks over a basket of fries, right in the path of strutting and harmonizing Cee Lo.
Well, Cee Lo goes down and the flowers go up, landing in the lap of a nerdy little girl who instantly misconstrues intentions and she races to paw lovingly on her new boyfriend, Cee Lo. He is less than impressed with this development.
Another interlude with present-day Cee Lo, as he sings adult language and adds aggressive hand gestures to his delivery.
Now it’s “The College Years”, with Cee Lo still in that diner and wearing a horrid plaid jacket. It seems that he might be tutoring another young lady, but we’re quickly distracted by the backup girls insisting on performing another routine along that counter, this one involving the waving of money and the wearing of headbands.
Despite the fact that his companion is quite lovely, Cee Lo is still focused on The Heartbreaker, who is also in the diner. (Do these people never go anywhere else?) He motions over a waitress, and instructs her to deliver a hotdog to Heartbreak, complete with a heart on the plate, squirted out of a ketchup dispenser. (Really? THAT’S going to win her over? Maybe Ice Girl made the right decision back in the day.)
Anyway, all logic is tossed to the wind, and compliant waitress delivers the goods to Heartbreaker. She is less than enthused, snatching up her basket of french fries, marching over to Cee Lo, and plopping the whole mess on his pretty white shirt, ketchup everywhere. Then she haughtily marches back into the No-Cee-Lo Zone surrounding her table.
Cee Lo proceeds to have something of a breakdown, one that involves him hollering “WHY” repeatedly while he twirls around as various cartoon images fill the screen. (I know, I don’t get what that part was all about.) But apparently the twirling helped Cee Lo come to his senses, as we now cut to years later, and a title card appears announcing that Cee Lo is now “The Lady Killer”. Based on the imagery, we’ll have to assume that medication was involved in some way.
Fancy Duds Cee-Lo pulls up in front of a snazzy nightclub, in a fancy car that comes equipped with those backup singers in the rear seat. (They are still doing coordinated hand waves whilst wearing matching, fluffy outfits, so at least some things remain steady in life.) We see that Mean-Ass Heartbreaker Girl has been reduced to a custodial occupation, mopping the dance floor and looking tragically forlorn. (We won’t get into why she’s mopping while people are still dancing, it’s a minor detail, just go with it.)
We wind things down with Cee Lo belting out the last bit of the song to Karma-Is-A-Bitch Heartbreaker Girl, then he and the Synchronized Sisters motor out of the parking lot. They’re probably headed back to the diner. Because nobody ever seems to really leave that place…
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Hi! I just have a few questions…
1. The memos that I didn’t get.
I’ve checked all of the settings for all of my email accounts, even the secret one on testosteronedrippingmales.com. I don’t have anyone blocked, so I’m a little confused. What’s going on with this rapture business? Why have only certain people been made aware of this event, usually poorly-dressed beings with hygiene and social issues? Please advise.
2. The travel restrictions.
How many carry-ons are we allowed? And can we bring pets? Because I’m not really sure that I want to go anywhere without them. I mean, I’m fairly certain that they are innocent and untainted by the sins of mankind. Well, except for the one cat, who insists on shredding my legs as some type of feline sport. There’s certainly some work of the Devil going on there. I’ll just put some extra food in his automatic feeder.
3. The accommodations.
I’m sure that you’ve probably worked this out, being all-knowing and stuff, but I am a little concerned about my future digs. Is there enough space for all my worldly goods? Because, as I’m sure you’re aware, I’m a blogger. This means I need lots of electronic equipment surrounding me as I comment on the society that I don’t actually participate in. I’m assuming that you still want me to carry on with this profession, although at a slightly higher elevation.
4. The couture.
I’ve reviewed the brochure, and I feel it my duty to point out that I don’t look particularly fetching in outfits fashioned out of bed sheets, all toga-style and such. This might seem a bit superficial, but since you’ve graced me with gayness, it’s only natural that I seek clothing more befitting of a style-conscious cloud dweller. I thought you‘d understand. And you do realize that we don’t wear white after Labor Day, yes? Please have your staff send a revised brochure for the rainbow people.
5. The bit about the repetition.
I realize that you are very busy, what with trying to keep the terrorists and the Republicans in line, but I do have a slight quibble to air. Could you maybe talk to some of your flock and explain to them that just because they are confused and troubled in their own lives, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the Complete and Total End of the World is Nigh? Perhaps I’m being a bit forward, but really, do we actually need this Fox-News-inspired fire drill every other week?
6. Those lingering, outstanding credit card bills.
Do we still have to pay them once we’ve been transported? Does Heaven accept certified mail, wherein gloomy lawyers make accusations and insist on payment? I have tremendous, untested credit limits that anxiously await your response.
7. The social nuances.
Will I still be able to follow my life-long, self-imposed guidelines of not talking to idiots and inbreds? I know that you love everyone, but I have not yet reached that level of forgiveness and enlightenment. Will the stupid people live in their own special quarters? This is something I must know before I sign any waivers or agreements.
8. The animal sacrifice thing.
We’ve moved beyond that, right?
9. The full extent of Gabriel blowing his trumpet.
I’m hoping you’re just parsing the people, not the planet. Because the beautiful bits of nature are not responsible for the disastrous actions of vicious, short-sighted, soul-rotted people who just want to make a buck. Let the majestic mountains remain grand and let the tiny flowers spring forth in the smallest cracks. Please and thank you.
10. The do-over option.
Would you mind terribly if I stayed behind this time? Not that I don’t want to be there, but the part of me that is actually gracious and hope-filled and truly concerned about decency… that part of me wants to stay and see who you have not chosen. I want to approach them on the deserted streets, Rapture ended, and slap their smug faces for trying to beat me down with their twisted interpretations of scripture, their blasphemization of what was truly intended.
I know this is small of me. I am small. But I’m trying to learn. I’ll catch up with you on the next go-around. Thanks for the invite. Peace.
We start out with the band in some hoopty of a car, which has just broken down on a lonely stretch of highway that looks like it might be West Texas or Santa Monica. Instead of doing something simple like call their management people for some assistance, they decide to hoof it down the road and see what happens. (These were probably the same thoughts had by people who eventually knocked on Jeffrey Dahmer’s door.)
Anyway, walk they do, just as the music conveniently starts. It soon becomes clear that they aren’t really on location, instead utilizing film played on the wall behind them, so this is going to be more about symbolism than realism, which could also apply to Billie Joe’s overdependence on excessive eyeliner. Anyway, Billie Joe kicks off the singing and assumes a passive-aggressive stance by folding his arms as he stomps along.
Wherever we’re pretending that we are, it’s not a happy place. Derelict homes and abandoned cars abound. (One woman is standing by a mailbox like it’s the only thing she’s got left in the world, which is sad and someone should help her, but the boys are on a schedule and keep moving.) There’s lots of dust and litter blowing around in the air, although some of the jetsam is actually caused by the grainy stock of the film they are using. I would not be surprised if Toto sailed past clutching a chew toy.
The other two guys in the band, Mike and Tre, don’t have anything to do other than walk alongside Billie Joe while he emotes about abandonment and improper use of cell phones. At first the two of them are fine actors, really looking like they are walking down a dusty street. But you can tell they get bored with this after a while, since you can only walk so many different ways. By the end of it, both of them are clearly waiting for Billie Joe to shut the hell up.
A related side note: Billie Joe keeps hollering that “I walk alone”, but dude, Mike and Tre are right there, so it’s kind of rude to diss them like that. (In fact, there’s a brief shot of Mike giving Tre a friendly hug, so you know they had each other’s back while Billie Joe was making such a fuss about nobody else being there.)
So they all keep walking down that road that is really a stage, and we are treated to more destitute imagery and props. We have rusting gas pumps, cracked oil barrels, falling-down shacks, a vulture or two, and David Hasselhoff. It’s interesting from a “wow, I better hang on to my job” perspective, but after a while, there’s only so much despair and dust you can watch scroll by without getting a little restless.
Eventually, somebody recognizes the quality control aspect, and we cut to the band performing. Granted, they’ve set up in yet another shack on the soundstage, but at least it’s something new. And some clever little fellow has strung up some Christmas lights, making things rather festive despite the blowing debris getting lodged in cracks of various kinds. They jam for a bit, and then we go back outside.
And we’re on another street, but at least we’re in a city of some kind. The quality of life hasn’t really improved, because no one is wearing couture and these people must not have jobs if they can stand around idly and stare at the camera. (There’s one guy that’s ultra creepy, looking like he just wandered off the set of “Zombies For Breakfast, Part II: The Revenge of the Kardashians”.)
Back to the shack so the band can rock some more, and they do so with gusto. (Why does Mike stand like that when he’s really strumming away at his guitar? It certainly doesn’t look very comfortable, and you’d think there would be numbness and endurance issues. And why does Billie Joe look at the ceiling so much? What’s going on up there?)
And that’s pretty much how it goes for a while. Shots of the band banging, and then shots of poor people not having anything. It does eventually become nightfall out on those streets, which is a little more soothing, since people don’t look as dirty and unkempt in the dark. And at least the cars seem to be working on this latest street, which is definitely an improvement. But it still looks like Times Square before Mickey Mouse’s daddy took over.
Just before we end, the band goes into an extended little jam that is WAY longer than the radio single, which gives all of them ample opportunity to rock out with their bad selves and make that exciting music that causes old people to wince and offer a beseeching prayer to anybody up there that’s listening. Then the band finishes and they leave the stage to go wash the fake dust off and look for tacos…
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
We start out in some nightclub with the camera zooming around showing us that most of the people up in this place are frozen in position and not really doing anything. At first, I think this might be some type of political commentary about Congress, but I’m probably reading more into it that I really should. So I decide to withhold judgment while the camera swirls about among the actors as they refrain from movement.
Oh wait, some of the people actually do have a pulse, and these people are all grouped around Gavin and his band. I guess he’s exuding some type of energy to keep them alive, which I suppose is a nice thing for him to do. But he’s wearing one of those stupid knit hats that are all the rage for no apparent reason, the kind that mash your hair down and make it look like you have a diaphragm on your head. Nice.
Anyway, Gavin and his band play for a bit, and I’ll try to refrain from any comments about the size of his teeth. (Wait, did I just mess up?) The camera goes back to panning around the rest of the club where Gavin isn’t, and the people are still frozen. We zoom in on one particular girl, focus lovingly on her for a second, then cut back to Gavin and his couture-challenged buddies as they bang on their guitars and try to act all street.
We get another shot of this particular girl, so it appears that she must be important in some way and we‘ll probably keep visiting her, so we need to give her a name. Let’s go with Priscilla, a moniker that’s slightly pretentious because there’s something about her hairstyle that says she could be really high-maintenance. Oh, wait, Priscilla just blinked, making her a non-frozen person. Has she been awakened from her slumber by the vocal stylings of Gavin? So many questions, so little time left in the video.
Back to Gavin for confirmation that he’s still singing, which we pretty much assume since his voice is all over the soundtrack, then back to Priscilla. Yep, she’s fully alive now, and glancing around at the other mannequins in the room like somebody trapped in a “Twilight Zone” episode and realizing that things are not all they are supposed to be.
Um, my bad, I just twisted some of Gavin’s lyrics to fit my own needs. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll contact me if this displeases one of his lawyers. While Gavin and friends continue to warble and strut around with their guitars, Priscilla starts wandering through the club and looking at all the mannequin people like she finds them distasteful. (Sweetie, two seconds ago you were one of them, don’t be so judgmental.)
Priscilla makes her way to two female frozen people who were apparently applying makeup when the awful thing happened that made them frozen. Instead of trying to help them in any way, which is what a good citizen should do even if you don’t agree with their political or social choices, Priscilla snatches up one girl’s lip-liner pencil and proceeds to write “Imposter” on the stiff girl’s forehead. I guess there are some unresolved issues that we don’t know about.
Back to Gavin and his gang playing in that one room where only groupies are allowed to be mobile. (Well, except for Priscilla, who has apparently earned a very special hall pass.) Then we cut to what appears to be a game of poker, where I don’t think anyone can win, because, well, they can’t actually move and collect their winnings. This is followed by shots of somebody tromping up some stairs.
This somebody turns out to be Priscilla, who saunters around the upper level of the club, and seems to be mystified by all the frozen people. (But the people on the lower level didn’t make her pause and wonder? Is she just not paying attention?) And then things get a little twisted. As Gavin continues singing downstairs and rips off his jacket in an odd tribute to… who knows what, Priscilla approaches one of the frozen frat boys in a sultry manner.
Cut back to Gavin, who is now playing a piano, even though we can’t hear any of this on the soundtrack. (Okay, maybe his efforts are audible to classically-trained people, but all I’m hearing are guitars and the swiveling hips of groupies.) Cut to Priscilla trying to kiss the frozen frat boy. Really? Is the dating scene THAT bad these days?
When the frozen frat boy doesn’t respond to Priscilla’s tainted-love maneuvers (big surprise) she decides to head back downstairs where there’s a least one room where people have an actual pulse. On her way there, Priscilla first steals a scarf off another frozen chickie (I’m thinking Priscilla didn’t really have a lot of moral training), fluffs her hair in a handy nearby mirror, also steals the frozen chickie’s hat, but then throws it on the ground in a snit of dissatisfaction. Priscilla is just rude, there’s no other way to paint this.
And now we have more of Gavin and the Gang jamming out. (He’s quit pretending to play that piano that doesn’t actually seem to work, so I’m thankful for that.) Gavin warbles for a while, then we see a set of doors thrown open as Priscilla tromps in the room wearing a scarf that is not hers and the remnants of some lip gloss from the frat boy that just wasn’t into her.
The video ends with Priscilla making goo-goo eyes at Gavin while marching toward him, and Gavin returns a lusty gaze full of desire and yearning.
But dude, her first choice was somebody who couldn’t even move. Are you really going to be happy in this relationship?
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube…
Friday, May 20, 2011
We start out with Lauryn Hill watching a movie in some theater. We can’t really tell what’s happening on the screen, but whatever is going on it inspires Lauryn to sing the lyrics of the song whilst shoving popcorn in her mouth and sporting a creative hairstyle. The clips on the screen look kind of tragic and sad, but Lauryn keeps grinning, so I guess it’s all good. Who knows.
Cut to outside the theater, where the marquee is proclaiming that the feature is “The Score - Starring the Fugees”. Oh? They made a movie? Didn’t know that. Based on the confused expressions of the people standing in line to get into the theater, they didn’t know it either, but this doesn’t stop them from wanting to get in. An SUV pulls up, and the members of the band pile out and run inside the theater, while they sing a part of the song that I’ve never heard before, so this must be the Director’s Cut of the video. These things happen.
Back inside the theater, the Fugees get all settled in with their snacks and ghetto fab outfits. Then we’re seeing more of that movie that I really don’t understand. This part is in slow-mo, giving me ample time to figure out a plot, but I really don’t make it there. Lauryn is singing again, which would irritate me if I was in the audience, but I’m not so we’ll let it go. Girl still has the munchies, cramming that popcorn in her mouth like there’s a buttery prize at the bottom of her bucket.
Now we’re out in the lobby, where people are looking swank and greeting one another. It appears that this movie is really important to these people, but we still don’t know what it’s about. Then we get a wide shot of the balcony where the Fugees and all their friends are sitting, and it’s immediately clear that none of these folks know any white people. There also appears to be a giant dildo sitting in one of the seats. Totally confused.
Cut to another part of the lobby, where Wyclef Jean is just trying to talk on a payphone while several tartlets flirt with him whilst sitting on a couch for no apparent reason. One girl in a too-tight orange blouse seems to be winning this race, licking her lips and shoving her chest forward. She suddenly gets up and strolls out of the little seating area. Wyclef can’t help but follow her to some staircase, where an intrusive camera angle makes it clear that Orange Blouse Girl isn’t wearing any panties under her slacks.
Meanwhile, back in that non-white balcony, Lauryn is still belting out the song while Wyclef insists on counting something with his fingers. I guess you had to be there. All of these people seem to be far more happy than one should be while attending a movie that no one knows anything about.
Orange Blouse leads Wycelf into the men’s bathroom, where one bystander is so excited about the fact that Orange has breasts that he nearly wets himself, while another bystander, standing at a urinal no less, doesn’t even bother to let go of his johnson during this whole scene. Orange Blouse leads Wyclef into one of the stalls and slams the door.
Back to that damn balcony, where Lauryn has decided to start throwing popcorn at people and Wyclef seems to have a Baby Ruth lodged in his throat. Then Lauryn plays with her hair for a little bit, and we see more scenes of that movie that doesn’t make any sense. Wyclef manages to spit out the candy bar long enough to start with that insipid counting business again. He’s really proud of himself for doing this. Lauryn laughs like he’s the most amusing thing ever, but really, I’m done with Count Chocula. We’re not in on your joke, Wyclef. Stop it.
Suddenly, the whole audience is really invested in the movie, where some guy with a hoodie over his head is about to do something. Another guy on the screen falls to the ground, and we don’t know if he’s been shot or if he’s really drunk. Then Lauryn helpfully points out that the movie just got stuck and the film melted in two. Naturally, this leads to a riot in the audience where people start banging around on one another, with more popcorn flying through the air and expensive hairstyles getting flattened.
These folks really need to chill out. Why you gotta get all gangsta? You’re just watching a movie, people. I don’t think anybody’s civil rights have been violated.
This goes on for a while, with people body-surfing and scores being settled. Lauryn is supposed to be acting all outraged by this, but she’s actually laughing her ass off and having a great time, so we’ll assume that she’s drunk. Which is fine. There’s an extended sequence where one of the gangstas proves that he’s not all that by running to hide in the women’s bathroom. He tough.
Then we have a nice artsy bit where some of the gang members run behind the movie screen, and then burst through it in some pretty black-and-white cinematography. This also doesn’t resolve anything, but it does prove that somebody went to film school. The impromptu riot finally settles down, with Lauryn once again laughing and having a good time with her popcorn. I never knew she was such a happy girl.
The video winds down with a cute little character update for the band members. Praz becomes president of Sony, Lauryn gets married and has 13 kids (I guess her uterus fell out after that point), and Wyclef becomes a minister. Uh huh. Fade to black.
I just have one lingering question. Why would you let anyone strum your face with his fingers? Seriously.
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.
We start out at some really fancy prep school, with little boys wearing jackets and ties (because that’s natural), sitting in a classroom and looking bored. Then a bell rings, which is apparently the “Pledge of Allegiance” bell, because they all hop out of their seats and place their hands over their hearts. But instead of a rousing bit of patriotism, we focus on one boy who is instead singing the opening lines of the song. (Based on his facial expressions, he really likes saying the word “everyone”.) And hey, he looks a little bit like a mini-version of the lead singer, Isaac. How cute.
Cut to Isaac, all growed up and sitting at a piano. He’s also singing the words to the song, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise, he being the lead singer and all. (I’m not sure if he still enjoys saying “everyone” because they cut away before he gets to it, which is a little disappointing and sad. Will we ever know?) Then the camera jumps around as people are either setting up for a concert or preparing to carry out an execution using an electric chair. Quick close-up of Isaac’s face indicating that he’s not real sure, either.
Back to the prep school, where Mini-Isaac is still wailing away at the song instead of swearing dedication to his national flag. Then we have shots of the band performing and everyone is really getting into it, followed by a scene in another classroom. The kids here seem to be a bit older, but they must not be very smart because the teacher had to write the lyrics to the song on the chalkboard. Then the kids all leave because they can’t be expected to learn more than two lines of the song in a single sitting.
Now Mini-Isaac is walking down a school hallway, still singing, and someone has helpfully written the lyrics in giant letters on the lockers. (We also get jump cuts between Mini-Isaac and Maxi-Isaac, lots of them, just in case you hadn’t noticed that, you know, it’s the same damn person.) Then we have a nice bridge where everybody is banging away on their instruments and nobody has to sing.
Next up is Mini-Isaac peeking into what might be a lunchroom, where four guys are sitting around a table while one of them is pouring an excessive amount of salt on his food. (He’s going to regret that in a few years.) Suddenly, all four of them turn to glare at Mini-Isaac, causing him to wet himself slightly and then run away. Salt Guy goes back to playing with his condiments.
More shots of the band playing. In case you didn’t previously know that Isaac can play the piano, you will now, because the producers insist on showing us his hands tickling the ivories about 400 times.
Speaking of, now we’re back at the school, in a big room where they might be holding auditions for something, or maybe it’s a bomb shelter and there’s been an issue. Anyway, we have a piano front and center, and Little Isaac comes scampering in with a sheet of music and prepares to play. He is joined by one of his buddies and they both seem very excited about making music together. Oh wait, two other guys join them, which instantly makes them a real band, because that’s all you need to start one these days, four people and at least one musical instrument.
But instead of getting to the playing, the four boys crack each other up and giggle at cartoon figures someone has scribbled on the music. Kids these days. They have such short attention spans. The camera pulls back to show that none of the other kids are really doing anything important, either, so maybe this is one of those “progressive” schools where they throw all the students into a big room, let them do whatever and call it “creative freedom”, then charge the parents 50-grand a semester.
Now we’re in another classroom, where the kids appear to be taking a test. (Although, because it’s a fancy prep school, the youngsters might just be working on their parents’ income tax returns. Those forms are much more critical when you actually have money.) Anyway, Diminutive Isaac apparently didn’t bother to study, and he’s trying to cheat off his neighbors, but both of them are the goody-goody type that get pinched faces and hunch over their paper if you even glance their way.
Cut to Mini-Isaac walking down a school staircase all by himself. We don’t know if he’s been caught cheating and has been kicked out, or just has no idea where his next classroom might be. Next thing you know, Mini has turned into Maxi, and the big version is now sitting on those stairs, singing, and showing us that he has some amazingly-long legs. Then the producers jump cut between the two, with Big Daddy wailing and Little Bit walking out a door.
Which apparently leads to an auditorium, where Bit wanders down the aisle to stand in front of the empty stage. Mini-Isaac starts singing the song, and imagines himself in a packed audience, watching his bigger version and his buddies rock the house with their world-dominating killer single, with everyone in the crowd on the verge of orgasm.
The music fades as Little Bit bops his head to this very excellent dream where he is worshiped just because he’s in a band. And people with a salt fixation can never make fun of him again….
Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.