Monthly Archives: September, 2010

Old Favourites: The Streets – “Blinded By The Lights”

“Maybe I shouldn’t have done the second one…”

More from my teenage years! This time it’s from Mike Skinner, better known to you as The Streets. My obsession with the man and his music began with his music videos, fittingly enough. He picked three songs to film videos for from his second record, the other landmark concept album of 2004, A Grand Don’t Come For Free.  There was Fit But You Know It – a brilliant moving-photo montage of a geezer holiday – as well as Dry Your Eyes, which mostly consisted of Mike sitting around in a pub, playing pool, feeling sorry for himself and hugging his dog. Not exactly riveting, that one. And then, we got to single number three, which subsequently made for a very different situation.

If you’re familiar with the album concept, you’ll recall that this is the segment in which Mike waits on his girlfriend, Simone, and his best friend, Dan, to turn up to a club. They don’t show for hours, so Mike goes on a bender. The video details this in very graphic, starkly powerful imagery that documents Mike slowly losing it, ending in a very graphic finale of blood and comedowns. These are the consequences of Mike’s mistakes, and it makes for one of the most powerful pieces of video I have ever seen. The cinematography is very raw and very real, and the final shot of Mike – semi-conscious, beaten up, lifeless – is utterly heartbreaking. The best video The Streets ever made, and definitely a must-watch if we’re talking videos from the 2000s.

Watch This Now: The Chemical Brothers – “Another World”

“Another world will surround me, another world will forgive…”

Last week, I blogged about OKGO and how manic it was that I’d never blogged about them before. I now turn my own ignorance and idiocy to why the hell I’d not said anything about The Chemical Brothers leading up to now. I can’t say I’ve always been a massive fan of their music, but I’m in all honesty yet to see a video of theirs that hasn’t totally blown my mind. The latest, Another World, does nothing to change this.

The Brothers have done a really cool thing for their new record, Further. What they’ve done is put together videos – or “visualisations” – of each track on the record. This being the “single,” it’s been released and shortened. For your enjoyment, however, I’ve embedded the full version of the song, so you can embrace the trippiness. Remember when you first got the new Windows Media Player and you went through all the trippy visualisations that would go along with the music? Well, imagine that but if their creators ate acid for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Oh, and if the visualisations made up a fucking PERSON. Make sure you’re clean and sober before you watch this – it’ll fuck you up something chronic.

Old Favourites: Bright Eyes – “Four Winds”

“There’s people always dying, trying to keep them alive…”

I’m soon to exit my teenage years, so this week is going to have a lot of old favourites that were formative to these years. Amongst the artists and videos that were incredibly important to me was the work of Conor Oberst – best known to most as Bright Eyes. He’s always had a way with self-deprecation, but maybe it shines through the most from the video for Four Winds, the first single from the last Bright Eyes record, 2007’s Casadaga.

In the video, Oberst and his band perform at a country town hall. After awhile, it becomes increasingly clear that the group is not welcome, and a riot ensues. Conor is portrayed as the ultimate victim, a wallowing misery and filled with spite and regret. Even though the song is a Bible-bashing alt-country number, I empathised with that feeling of martyrdom and being despised. Yes, I am a whingy bitch – well, at least, I was. It’s bold in its imagery, in stark black and white with the anger of the audience mixed into the original recording. An outstanding video – one that I’ll probably always remember.

Takin’ 5: Special Edition – The Biggest Douche In The Universe

Ladies and gents, I know I’ve been pretty slack with this segment, but I’ve decided to bring it back with a vengeance. Welcome to a very special edition of Takin’ 5, where today, we get a little bit of insight into an artist whose idiocy, sexism and delusions of grandeur are like no other. This man has plagued charts consistently for the past two years, and we only buy into it further by sending his hits to the top of the charts. He is evil incarnate. But who is he?

He’s Flo Rida, that’s who.

We’re now going to look at his five worst videos, from worst to worstest (yes, that IS a word, shut up!). Some of them have up to seventy million views. Can you IMAGINE seventy million people thinking that this music is a good idea? Sadly, I can. It’s embarrasing. Here we go…

5. Elevator (feat. Timbaland)
What’s that? You already figured out what was going to be in this video? Well, fuck me, you’re a genius! How did you figure that one out? It wouldn’t have anything to do with the title, would it? Mmm, thought so. Anyway, here’s our hero surrounding himself with chicks, while Timbaland gets in on the action. Yep, even though he’s married with kids, Timba just can’t help himself when it comes to hanging out with a douchebag, slutty women and insanely lame euphemisms about ‘coming up’ and ‘going down’ and what have you. Typical.

4. Sugar (feat. Wynter Gordon)
Interestingly, this is one of the few videos of Flo’s that hasn’t reach over a million views. Perhaps it’s because we don’t want to hear or see a manscaped knuckle-dragger hitting on bikini-clad doctors or hanging out on the beach while Eiffel 65 plays in the background? You be the judge.

3. Club Can’t Handle Me (feat. David Guetta)
Further proof that there is not an original bone in Flo Rida’s musical body, here he is ripping off Kings of Leon‘s Use Somebody with David Guetta doing what he normally does in videos – high-five people, dance akwardly and press a few buttons on his deck. Meanwhile, footage from some stupid dance movie (IN 3D!!!!!!one!!!!) is interspersed, which makes for my least favourite kind of video – the soundtrack video. Especially when your movie is some Step Up bullshit.

2. Low (feat. T-Pain)
The evil that started it all, here’s T-Pain doing his generic “hey I wrote a chorus give me money” schtick. Meanwhile, Flo hits up a club and shows off his muscles, shitty tattoos and gross beard. To think that THIS is what made the man a star is downright sickening. The amazing thing is, however, that against all odds, this isn’t Flo’s worst video.

1. Right Round (feat. Ke$ha)
There it is, people. The ultimate display of the douchebag in full action. A summer anthem about headjobs while Dead or Alive get ripped off (again, the originality thing) and Ke$ha slowly spreads her STDs throughout the song. Yes, you can now catch STDs via music – ths is living proof. Anyways, the video is a headache, on account of the continuous spinning and the rage-induced headache you’ll get when you come to realise how deeply in love Flo is with himself. It’s fucking ridiculous, man. I can’t even talk about it anymore.

Make of all of this what you will. Easy target? Probably, but you tend to become one when you end up being everything that’s wrong with music.

Watch This Now: Cee-Lo Green – “Fuck You”

Rarely has the category “Watch This Now” been more fitting. If you haven’t yet experienced what is destined to be the song of the year, then right here and right now is the time to do so. And while you’re at it, you’ll also get to experience a super-cute video detailing a life-long heartbreak, from a grade school kid to the “lady killer” (which also happens to be the title of the new record.) His evolution is played out fabulously, all located in the same diner and accentuated by three gorgeous backing singers. It’s an absolute multicolour feast – delightfully naughty and downright brilliant. Go go go go go go go.

My Favourite Video: Dan Mangan

Dan Mangan
is a Canadian singer-songwriter.
His second album, Nice, Nice, Very Nice has seen international release this year.
His favourite video is Bedlam by Veda Hille.

Firstly, I love this song. So subtle – the vocal call and answer. Both Nick Krgovich (guest singer) and Veda have such unique and emotive voices.. The video seems perfect to fit the song vibe wise. It’s abstract, but poignant. Simple, but beautiful. So tasteful – I love the mix of live motion with induced camera/animated effects. It also focuses on crows – of which there is a massive population in Vancouver, my (and Veda’s) hometown. A stunning piece of work!

Old Favourites: Roots Manuva – “Witness (1 Hope)”

“Taskmaster, burst the bionic zit-splitter. Breakneck speed, we drown ten pints of bitter…”

Roots Manuva is another great hip-hop artist I discovered through late nights of rage watching. I’m not entirely sure what track it was that helped me to find him, but I love Roots because of his ridiculous, abstract flows and his early contributions to the grime sound. I also love him for this video, which stands as one of my all-time favourite vids, genre regardless.

In the Witness (1 Hope) video (perhaps you know the catchphrase “witness the fitness”?), Roots plays an athete deep in training for a big event. That big event later turns out to be an athletics carnival at his old primary school. It’s all shot on handheld cameras, to make it look like it actually happened – and this just makes it even more hilarious, if that was humanly possible to begin with. What else can I say, really – check it out!

Old Favourites: Soulwax – “E Talking”

“It’s not you, it’s the E talking, I’m not sure which part I’m playing…”

Since Soulwax – and their alias, 2manyDJs – will be once again returning to our shores next week for the Parklife festival, I decided to throw up a tribute to the guys with one of my favourite videos from my teenage years. I’ve never been much into heavy dance music, but this video actually helped me fall in love with it for awhile – the song itself is a banger, but amazingly is not the focal point of the experience.

What you get from watching this video is a dark, brutally honest look into clubbing life. To counteract this, however, we get a colourful A to Z of club drugs – as well as their effects – flying past. What’s not to love? It’s hilarious, it’s incredibly well put together and there’s a fist-pumping tune beneath it all. Righteous.

Watch This Now: OKGO – “White Knuckles”

“Round all the pieces up, but they just don’t fit the same…”

Amazingly, this is actually the first time OKGO have ever featured on Y,WGAV! Crazy, right? I mean, these fucking guys – if you’ve seen any of their videos, you’d know how ridiculously talented and downright awesome their videos. From treadmills to moving wallpaper and back, it’s pretty hard to fault the band’s full-on audio-visual entertainment value. This continues with White Knuckles, the fourth single from the band’s awesome album Of the Colour of the Blue Sky.

You’ve seen “OKGO, WITH TREADMILLS.” Now, it’s time to experience “OKGO, WITH FRIENDS.” Those friends are show dogs – no shit, show dogs. Plenty of them, too. It’s amazing choreographed and insanely cute and funny. Dammit, OKGO, you’ve done it again!

Watch This Now: Mark Ronson and the Business Intl. – The Bike Song (feat. Kyle Falconer and Spank Rock)

“Gonna ride my bike until I get home…”

Bloody Mark Ronson. Honestly, how cool can one dude be? From his brilliant covers album to his defining role in the sound of Amy Winehouse, Ronson has been a staple of pop over the last few years, bringing the funk, the horns and the general stench of awesome. Lately, in the lead up to his new album Record Collection, he’s also been bringing the awesome videos. The first was Bang Bang Bang, which has the double whammy of being both one of the best songs of the year and one of the best videos – I mean, come on! Flying saucers! Kids dancing! Q-Tip! How could you go wrong?

The video for new single The Bike Song literally picks up where the last one left off. Ronson, staring on some kind of weird Japanese TV show in which the host speaks French, leaves the studio and activates this amazing custom bike with a giant speaker where the carry-basket usually is. The adventure unfolds from there, as the vocal reigns are taken by Kyle Falconer, best known as the dude with the almost incomprehensible Scottish accent who sings in The View – no, not the Whoopi Goldberg yak-yak-yak show, we’re talking Same Jeans and shit like that. Anyway, don’t want to give too much away, enjoy!

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