Saturday, June 24, 2006

Classic Video - Souls of Mischief: "93 'til Infinity"

It's funny, but hip-hop videos have dramatically changed in the last fifteen years. Now it's all about bling and Cristal - but then there are videos like these ones from back in the day (and like the "Scenario" video as well) that were just about the music. Can you imagine a hip-hop video these days where the group isn't on a fancy soundstage? Where instead, they were walking through the Humboldt forests and beaches? I can't see it.

It doesn't hurt that the song itself is fantastic, and one of the best hip-hop tracks from the 90s, but the video is such a throwback to the days when seemingly every hip-hop video wasn't the same. By the way, if anyone has a full version of the video for "Sometimes I Rhyme Quick" by Nice & Smooth, drop me a line. It's one of my favorite songs ever, and you can only find a clip of it on youtube.

Video: "93 'til Infinity" - Souls of Mischief [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Allan Smithee}

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Pipettes: "Pull Shapes"

Awesome. Anytime a band decides to market themselves with a video based on the Russ Meyer-directed "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls", I've got an extra bit of love for them. And this video, a shot-for-shot remake of a scene from the film, just screams fun to me. I'm absolutely in love with the girls in the band (the one in the glasses, hoo-fah!), and the song is just a summer song beyond words.

The ultra-campy video mixed with the retro sound.... just fantastic.

Video: "Pull Shapes" - The Pipettes [iPod Compatible]
{Director: ???}

Monday, June 19, 2006

Lily Allen: "Smile"

Lily Allen is the New Hot Thing™ in music, with everyone from Scott Stereogum to every damn kid on MySpace showing their love for the wee British budding star. Her Sophie Muller-directed video for "Smile" is everything that a good video for a relatively unknown artist should have - it makes her looks charismatic, interesting, and dynamic. The video features her getting revenge on a boy who hass broken her heart (and for the life of me, I don't understand why someone would WANT to break her heart, she's so damned cute) through a variety of method. Anyhow, it's super-fun and by late-August you'll be sick of the song.

Video: "Smile" - Lily Allen [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Sophie Muller}

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Classic Video - A Tribe Called Quest: "Scenario"

The Tribe's seminal track "Scenario" was accompanied by a video that was, for all intents and purposes, a visionary video that forsaw the how computers were going to change music videos and, really, our lives. Change your hair - change your skin color - change anything - a computer can do it! (Okay, maybe not. Heh.) I think part of the fun of this video is that it's so simple: they take advantage of, really, 'primitive' computer technology to do some things that hadn't really been seen in a video before (and are now seen pretty regularly).

It's still a really cool video, all these years. And it's the Tribe. AND, it was directed by Jim Swaffield, who also directed a little music video called "Trapped In The Closet" by R. Kelly. Which may just have been the craziest music video ever. Like, ever.

Video: "Scenario" - A Tribe Called Quest [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Jim Swaffield}

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Camera Obscura: "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken"

And we're back. I'll be doing my best to keep this place up to date, y'hurd.

And what a video this is. The Glasgow-based Camera Obscura comes back with the bubbly "Lloyd, I'm Read To Be Heartbroken". The video, though, is tremendous - it's a throwback to the 1950s, with a simple theme and setup - two dancers through a series of brightly-colored (you might even say technicolored) sets, as we see them knock off a couple of classic films, like "Singing in the Rain". It's all done rather beautifully, down to the use of patterns in the background to the fake plastic grass that's seen everywhere (and cotton candy at one point!).

I think part of the reason I like this video is because it's so simple and it IS such a throwback. I imagine it didn't cost an arm and a leg like so many videos do, and it contrasts a rather sad song with such a gloriously poppy video.

Video: "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken" - Camera Obscura [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Domingo Gonzalez}

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Snow Patrol: "Chasing Cars"

Boy, Gary Lightbody really wants to be Chris Martin. More and more, it's becoming apparent. This video is very... Coldplay - tight shots of the singer and such. I'm not really all that impressed with this video, as it seems kind of simple. There's such a slow build through the video, there isn't much of a payoff. I know it sounds odd to compare it, but... okay. Do you remember the video for "Faint" by Linkin Park? Ignore the song - the video pacing by Romanek is fantastic. You spent 2 minutes watching only the shadows of the band and the last minute with them in your face - there's a payoff. This one.... I don't get the payoff. Maybe I'm missing something. But it's a bit frustrating that a band who had two truly great videos for tracks off their last album ("Run", "Chocolate") has had two clunkers for this album.

I don't have the answer about why a band with as many good songs has had so many misfires for videos, but it's got to be someone at their label is picking the wrong directors. I know it sounds trite, but why they haven't paid for the Gondry/Romanek/Jonze crowd yet is a bit disappointing to me. Also, Gary, cut your hair. Hugs and handpounds, buddy, but cut it.

Video: "Chasing Cars" - Snow Patrol [iPod Compatible]
{Director: ???}

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sorry 'bout the break in action....

I've been on vacation in Cape Cod for a few days now, so I've been a bit... away from music videos. On the other hand, I've got my mum really into Lily Allen and The Pipettes over the last few days, which is pretty cool.