Dig Those Groovy Tunes!

the only sound that's left after the ambulances go

Video of the Week: “Holiday” by Vampire Weekend June 23, 2010

Well, summer’s finally officially here (though I’ve been home on summer break for over a month, but that’s a college thing).  And there’s nothing like Vampire Weekend to get one in the summer spirit, so I thought I’d celebrate the season with the band’s latest video, the incredibly summer-tastic “Holiday”.  It’s a feel-good, silly video featuring the band cruising in a convertible, crashing pool parties, frolicking on the beach, spraying grafitti, eating some scrumtious-looking dessert, getting into brawls with surfer dudes, and involving themselves in various other shenanigans.  Oh, yeah, did I mention they’re doing all this while inexplicably dressed like extras from Amadeus?  Hey, don’t question it, just enjoy it.  Because I’m warning you, I plan to spend the rest of the week on this blog ranting.  More on that later, though.

 

Video of the Week: “Bad Boyfriend” by Pansy Division June 5, 2010

If you’ve been following my blog (don’t blame ya if you haven’t), you may have gathered from previous Videos of the Week that I have a weakness for the following:

  1. Ridiculously simplistic and/or low-budget videos (although the occasional cinematic masterpiece-type vid is nice, too).
  2. Lesser-known videos and/or bands.
  3. Children’s toys.

In keeping with these trends, I give you “Bad Boyfriend” by California queercore band Pansy Division.  The video seems to have been filmed on a budget of no more than $2 (though I doubt if it even cost that much) and stars an adorable but angsty polar bear plushie (and one that seems to have been through the wear and tear that tells of a long lifetime of love from its owner.  This goes for all the polar bear’s friends as well).  My personal favorite part of the video is the guitar solo, a close second being the trumpets coming in  at the end.  And by the way, I’m almost certain I own, or at least used to own, a dolphin just like the one used in this video.  Enjoy.

 

Video of the Week: “Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Bob Dylan May 24, 2010

It’s been months, I know, but I want to let you all know that school’s out for the summer (but has not been blown to pieces) and my blog is back with a vengeance (not really sure what that’s supposed to mean; just wanted to say it).  Anyway, in celebration of the return of this blog, the return of “Video of the Week” (which will hopefully be posted once a week from now on, as its title would suggest), and the 69th birthday of Robert Allen Freakin’ Zimmerman (a.k.a. Bob Dylan), I now present to you what I believe to be (someone please correct me if I’m wrong) the very first music video ever made, Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, which was filmed way back in 1965 and was featured as a prologue of sorts to the documentary Don’t Look Back, which followed Dylan on his 1965 tour of the UK, not too long before he “sold out” at the Newport folk festival.  The documentary was not released until 1967, I believe, so I’m not totally sure that this may have been the first music video ever seen (though I do believe it was used to promote the film.  In fact I think the trailer might have consisted entirely of this video), but I do think it was the first one ever made.  Of course, since this was eons before the music video was considered an art form in and of itself, the video has a simple concept, yet still manages to be both clever and visually interesting.  So without further ado, here it is, the first music video ever made that I’m currently aware of.  Enjoy.

And for your further enjoyment, here are a couple of videos which pay tribute to “Subterranean Homesick Blues”:

 

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