Dig Those Groovy Tunes!

the only sound that's left after the ambulances go

Video[s] of the Week[s that have passed since the last Video of the Week]: “Paparazzi” and “Telephone” by Lady Gaga April 4, 2010

Filed under: Lady Gaga,Video of the Week — yourbirdcansing88 @ 11:36 PM
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As the school year rapidly winds down, I’ve been plagued with various obligations – reading assignments, course selection, housing stuff, etc. – that have caused me to once again neglect my blogging for weeks at a time.  I’m sorry.  To make it up to you, I present you with not one, but two epic music videos by Lady Gaga:  “Paparazzi” and “Telephone.”

            The reason I chose these two videos in particular is that they both follow a narrative – complete with non-musical expositions, conclusions, and even an interruption or two in the middle of each.  Not only that, but video for “Telephone” could easily be seen as a sequel to “Paparazzi”, picking up where the latter left off.  The “Paparazzi” video tells a glamorously dark tale of revenge and betrayal for the sake of fame, acted out by two people who will literally commit murder in order to remain in the spotlight.   “Telephone” begins with Gaga’s resulting prison sentence, but, with the help of Beyoncé “Honey B” Knowles, the video soon turns into a Tarantino-esque action/road flick involving even more murder than the previous video.  The video for “Telephone” should also be noted for the fact that it contains quite possibly the biggest homoerotic undercurrent in a superstar collaboration video since a certain mid-1980s video for a cover of a certain Martha & the Vandellas song…

            Since I have no idea of the age range of my readers (‘cept you, Mom), nor their personal values, I’m going to put a disclaimer right here:  these two videos are quite violent and disturbing (some of the violence is done in a somewhat comedic way, which to some may make it even more disturbing).  They also contain harsh language, many brief but unsettling shots of corpses (including one, in the “Telephone” video, of a dead doggy), and mild sexual content (of both the heterosexual and lesbian variety).  But if these kind of things don’t bother you enough to deter you from watching two excellent music videos by the reigning queen of popular music, please enjoy.

P.S.  I would like to take this moment to mention that my roommate has recently joined the blog-o-sphere and has already written some pretty rockin’ posts on pop culture so far.  And being the supportive roomie that I am (alright, now I just sound arrogant.  Good God, I’ve become everything I’ve ever hated!), I suggest you check it out here:  http://venuspanic.blogspot.com/


Video of the Week: “Blow Away” by George Harrison March 2, 2010

I know it’s kind of late for this (both for Video of the Week and the special occasion it’s commemorating), but I suppose it’s better late than never.  I chose this particular video since my favorite rock musician of all time, George Harrison, would have turned 67 on February 24th (or 25th, depending on whose book you read.  He was born right around midnight, hense the inconsistency in the dates).  And though the great Mr. Harrison has made a plethora of awesome videos, I picked this one in particular because, for one thing, “Blow Away” is one of his more obscure songs, as well as being an all-around feel-good song and video.  The visual effects of the video are fairly simple, but practically guaranteed to put a smile on your face.  The song’s message — which, now that I think of it, is pretty much the same as that of “Here Comes the Sun”, also written by Harrison — is something I can personally relate to, as about this time last year (around the same time I started this blog, now that I think of it), I was going through a deep emotional trough of my own, but have since been able to pull myself out of it and become a much happier person.  But whether you’ve been through emotional turmoil yourself or have gone through life with little more than everyday annoyances to trouble you, I’m sure George Harrison — with the help of his friends the giant plastic chick, the big ceramic duck, and the massive bobblehead bulldog — will make you smile with “Blow Away”.

On a related note, I was very pleased to find that one of the feminist blogs I subscribe to, The Curvature, put up a post commemorating George Harrison’s birthday.  You can read it here:  http://thecurvature.com/2010/02/27/top-5-george-harrison-vocals/.


Video of the Week: “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” by Cocktail Slippers February 14, 2010

I’m not, by any stretch of the imagination, a fan of Valentine’s Day.  The candy’s pretty good, but I was never comfortable with the sappiness of the holiday or the idea that expensive jewelry is supposed to be a symbol of one’s love (when in actuality it’s just a boast of one’s status.  “Look, Lovey, I bought you some shiney rocks!  Don’t you love how rich I am?!”).  But enough of my radical views.  A couple weeks ago, I discovered something Valentine’s Day related that doesn’t totally suck:  “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” by Cocktail Slippers, a pop-rock quintet from Norway.  The song is pretty awesome on its own, but the video, which features the five girls dressed as 1920s gangsters (no doubt a reference to the song’s title — otherwise, the song has seemingly no connection to the 1929 incident that may have been the basis for “The Night Chicago Died”) is just as awesome.  And whether you celebrate St. Valentine’s Day or not, I hope you enjoy this video for what it is:  a rockin’ video for a rockin’ song.

P.S.  I will try to post more often from now on, but since school comes first, I can’t promise anything.

P.P.S.  I love you.  You you you…


Video of the Week: “Fireflies” by Owl City January 4, 2010

Filed under: Owl City,Video of the Week — yourbirdcansing88 @ 11:40 PM
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Remember all the cool toys you had when you were a kid?  If you were born at any time in the eighties, you may see a few of these toys in this video from the one-man musical project Owl City, a.k.a. Adam Young.  Not only does Young’s bedroom in this video house an impressive collection of retro toys, but they all come to life and seem to dance along with the music he plays on his keyboard.  This whimsical video may evoke warm memories of one’s childhood.  As for me, it kind of reminds me of a scene from Pod People — only with better effects, less annoying music, and no obnoxious European kid named Tommy or freakish puppety alien named Trumpy.

Click here for the video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr9EKJatJvA


Video of…er…Several Weeks: “Waiting on a Friend” by The Rolling Stones November 22, 2009

Filed under: The Rolling Stones,Video of the Week — yourbirdcansing88 @ 1:47 AM
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Hello, loyal readers, if there are any of you left (well, besides you, Mom) — or rather, if there were any to begin with (again, besides you, Mom).  I honestly didn’t intend to leave you guys waiting so long for my next post, but there’s this little thing called college that really sucks up all your spare time.  I guess I’ll have to save that Halloween videos list I was planning for next year (*sob*).  Anyway, the semester’s winding down right now, so hopefully I’ll be able to come on a little more frequently than before.  So without any further ado, I’ve decided to include a very appropriate (by appropriate I mean it has the word “waiting” in the title, as I know at least one of you has been waiting for months for a new post…you know who you are…*cough* Mom *cough*) video for this week (or, rather, for the past three months):  a video from the Stones’ cheese-tacular ’80s period, exhibiting the band’s relationship as THE ultimate bromance.  They’re so close, that they don’t even have the heart to tell each other that men their age really should not be dressed the way they are (except, of course, for Charlie, who will always be the classiest-dressed man in rock).

Here’s the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8MhpofxMgk&feature=related


Video of the Week: “Sleepwalker” by The Wallflowers July 12, 2009

It’s not easy being a celebrity.  It’s even harder to be a celebrity when a great deal of people know you less for your talent and more for your last name.  So, who would be the poster child for overlooked talent brought on by being spawned by a living legend?  Quite possibly, The Wallflowers’ lead singer Jakob Dylan, son of…c’mon, do I really have to say it?  In spite of his reluctance to be compared to his father, Jakob does undeniably share some important traits with his father.  For one thing, he’s got the same wide-set, beautifully melancholy, “bluer than robin’s eggs” (according to Joan Baez) eyes and curly brown hair.  He also has a strong affinity for hats and extraordinary skill as a lyricist.  In addition, so like his father, Jakob is a very private person and doesn’t give many interviews.  And can you blame him?  The only thing more annoying than being expected to answer stupid questions about Bob Dylan when you’re Bob Dylan is being expected to answer stupid questions about Bob Dylan when you’re Jakob Dylan.


So what does this all have to do with “Sleepwalker”?  Plenty.  The video, directed by Mark Romanek portrays Jakob Dylan as a man uncomfortable with his status as an idol.  Bob Dylan, too, faced this same problem, although at least he didn’t have the added burden of being related to someone famous.  The video also depicts Jakob Dylan’s ability to make fun of himself and his celebrity status, helping him to overcome the embarrassment of being marketed as a commercial product.  At least that’s what I get from it, anyway.  I could be totally wrong.  Anyway, the video is also visually intriguing, containing many striking and unusual images, such as the young Dylan being wrapped in a flowing American flag, a gaggle of young women in brightly colored clothes gawking out a shop window at an indifferent Jakob, and (my personal favorite) the singer wearing a headset that’s plugged into…a dead fish?  What does it all mean?  Beats me.  But it sure makes for a cool video.


Watch the video for “Sleepwalker” here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jw7YfLSgfM0


Video of the Week: “Bad” by Michael Jackson July 4, 2009

I’m starting this new thing on my blog called “Video of the Week”.  I originally wanted to do a “Top 20 Coolest Music Videos Ever” post, but this idea proved too complicated when I realized:

1.  There are just way too many cool music videos out there to narrow them down to just 20.  And then there’s the ordeal of putting them in order.  Oh, the horror!

2.  New cool videos come out all the time, and every week or so I come across a handful of awesome videos on YouTube or Fuse or whatever that I was never aware of, meaning the list would soon become outdated.

3.  There’s also a question of whether a video qualifies as “cool” just because I find it enjoyable.  One of my favorite videos ever is Mick Jagger and David Bowie’s cover of “Dancing in the Street”, but I hesitate to refer to two badly dressed, middle-aged (albeit talented, iconic, and in most other situations, cool as anything) Brits dancing cheesily around what looks like an abandoned warehouse as “cool”.  Amusing, yes.  Legendary, maybe.  But “cool” just doesn’t seem to be the right word for it.


So I’ve decided instead to feature a post every week on a video that I’ve been digging lately or that has some significance relating to the time of year (i.e., around Christmas, I might feature the video for “Father Christmas” by The Kinks.  That’s a big “might,” so don’t hold me to it.  I don’t want any die-hard Kinks fans complaining that they didn’t get their “Father Christmas” this year when Christmas rolls around). These videos can be brand new, or older than “Bohemian Rhapsody” (and you kids thought that was the first music video, didn’t you?  Clearly you’ve never seen the video for “Subterranean Homesick Blues”), they could be totally cliché music videos that just about everyone and their grandmother has seen (i.e. “Oops, I Did it Again” by Britney Spears.  Though that’s a bad example, because I’m pretty sure I’ll never wind up using that one for “Video of the Week.”  And anyway, I know for a fact that my grandmother has never seen it.  Then again, I doubt she’s ever seen any music videos), or some totally obscure music video that may or may not have a cult following consisting entirely of me and a handful of college friends (i.e. “Tape Song” by The Kills — which I will almost certainly be featuring as “Video of the Week” at some point).


So now, without further ado, I have chosen, as my first ever video of the week, “Bad” by Michael Jackson.  I don’t think I really need to explain the reasoning behind this one.  Well, maybe just a little, for those of you who are wondering why I chose this instead of “Thriller” or “Scream” or “Billie Jean” or whatever your favorite Jacko video may be.  I chose this one because…well…none of the other ones were directed by Martin Scorsese, hmm, were they?  And that, my friends, is enough for me.  Besides, I find that “Scream” made a terrific error in not including color, and let’s just say I might be saving “Thriller” for a more…fitting occasion, if you catch my drift (*cough* the time of year when you dress up like someone else and ask virtual strangers for candy and watch loads of Tim Burton movies *cough*).  Besides, “Bad” has one of the funniest — and quite possibly the most vaguely disturbing — Weird Al parodies ever, with “Fat”.  So enjoy the following videos (hey, it was a real pain in the neck to find “Bad” in full on YouTube, so you’ll just have to deal with it being split into two parts), forgive me for my sudden crankiness (it’s late at night, after all, and I’ve also gone days without watching The Mighty Boosh for the sake of my own sanity and am now suffering from serious Boosh withdrawal), and remember that even though the King of Pop is no longer with us, his influence is immortal.

Part 1:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7n8LHOgg0U

Part 2:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b34OpbG7Res&feature=related


And if any of you need some comic relief, I’ve also included a link to Weird Al’s parody: