Tag Archives: GLBT

Watch This Now: Panic! At the Disco – “Girls/Girls/Boys”

“But if you change your mind, you know where to find me…”

I’ve officially been caught out. Every bit of detail about a music video’s plot, special effects, audience engagement, cinematography, choreography etc. etc. etc. can officially be disregarded. Why? Because I have a new favourite video of the year, and it’s for Girls/Girls/Boys; the third single from Panic! At the Disco‘s outstanding new album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! 

So what was it about this video that astounded, arrested and captivated me? Was it the fast-pacing and cultural highjacking, a la my #1 video of 2010, Telephone? How about the striking contrasts and raw emotions, a la my #1 video of 2011, Somebody That I Used to Know? Maybe some deep, shocking moments and devastating plotline, ala my #1 video of 2012, Hey Jane?

Nah. Brendon Urie‘s abs.

Yep, this is a purely indulgent eye-candy fest as P!ATD’s fearless leader does a shot-for-shot remake of D’Angelo‘s classic slow-jam video for Untitled (How Does it Feel). Sexy times clearly call for sexy measures – and things get pretty sexy here, people. Watch out for those lower torso shots, the hair flick and those eyes. If Brendon wasn’t one of your major crushes circa 2005/6, then he’s sure as shit going to make up for lost time here. Let’s call it a guilty pleasure. Guilty as sin.

Watch This Now: Silversun Pickups – “Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)”

“I’ll show you my private things, like my scrapbook of fantasies…”

One of the greatest experiences of my life was mid-November last year, in which I ended up going to a major international artist’s show every single day of the week. This included a two-day trip to Adelaide, where I saw today’s topic Silversun Pickups along with The Dandy Warhols. Not only had they been one of the most important bands of my life for the past five or so years, they had also just released one of my favourite records of the year in Neck of the Woods. It was surreal, both being in a completely foreign city and seeing (then later meeting) one of most-loved bands.

We’re now coming up to 15 months give-or-take since the album’s release; and although they have a slew of festival appearances still to come in 2013, the promotional trail for Neck of the Woods is coming to a close. It’s with this that we get the video for the album’s forth and final single – and what a way to go out. For many people, their first exposure to SSPU comes via the inimitable Lazy Eye single – more specifically, the song’s video; which focused in on awkward attempt at young love. Several years on, the clip for Dots and Dashes takes a similar approach.

Removing the band from proceedings entirely, the video follows a young, innocent girl who chances upon a rebellious soul on a bike. They like what they see in one another, and spend their day breaking into houses, jumping on beds and seemingly falling for one another. It’s gorgeously shot – I love the filters used, as well as the intimate close-ups that draw you into their seemingly-wordless relationship. The editing is also spectacularly done, to the degree where I was genuinely left wondering as to whether the whole thing was in the running girl’s head the entire time. It’s difficult to make something like this work over a five-minute music video, but Dots and Dashes is an exhilarating experience. Give it a try.

Watch This Now: The Tongue – “Australian Dreaming”

“A work day that finishes at half past four, laws against Nickelback strictly enforced…”

We love our Australian hip-hop here at Y,WGAV! – plenty of it got featured throughout 2012, including BriggsHilltop Hoods and Urthboy. For every backwash-guzzler like Kerser, you’ll find five brilliant MCs doing creative, forward-thinking things. It’s a great balance, and sadly one that’s too often overlooked as the minorities ruin it for the majorities. It’s with this that I’d like to introduce you to The Tongue. He may not be a superstar of the scene just yet, but he puts out consistently good records and bold, challenging songs to mix in with the bangers. Hell, he put out a song decrying homophobia – Never Scared – before Macklemore hit #1 with Same Love. That’s something in itself.

So, what brings us to talk about The Tongue today? I’m glad you asked – in my head, you asked, at least. Tonguey here has just released a video for the second single from his third studio album, Surrender to Victory. It’s entitled Australian Dreaming and I like it. No, as in, I really, really like it. I don’t want to cause any alarm here, but this may well be the best Australian hip-hop video since The Herd‘s definitive 77%. What makes it such an excellent video? Again, I’m glad you asked – you’re asking a stack of great questions today, aren’t you!

Australian Dreaming is a confronting, brutally honest and exceptionally brave video. It depicts Tongue as the everyman – not to mention the everywoman. That’s right: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m 99% certain this is the first Aus hip-hop video to involve cross-dressing, and not as a mockery or as an insult. This really took me aback at first – naturally, doing the same for a few conservative YouTube commenters. Once I understood what he was trying to do, however, it really stuck with me. Every character here, regardless of how society perceives them, is only human at their core. They have the same struggles, the same issues and the same conflicts with identity. Even so, there’s a brighter future for all of them – we just have to allow it to happen. We have to be a part of the solution. Thank you, Xannon. You’ve created something really, really special here.

Watch This Now: The Lonely Island – “Spring Break Anthem”

“Let’s get fucked up, then find Mr. Right and get monogamous…”

About damn time! Given their previous track record of releasing a record every other year, it’s new album season for The Lonely Island. We were teased earlier in the year with The Wack Album‘s lead single, YOLO (You Oughta Look Out), which featured hook man Adam Levine and the badass Kendrick Lamar. Unfortunately, Y,WGAV! missed out on that one – didn’t see it until it was too late! A real shame, given these guys are no strangers to this part of the internet. Still, no use worrying about that – we’ve got bigger issues at hand!

What issues, I hear you cry from the far reaches of wherever the fuck you’re reading this from? Two big ones, actually: Marriage equality and getting absolutely smashed on spring break. I think you’ll appreciate that both have been intensely discussed and debated recently, and there is certainly a world of controversy surrounding them. Through releasing Spring Break Anthem, TLI want to make sure we’re on board in support of both – and they make very convincing arguments. Hell, I was sold the second I realised that Andy Samberg had ditched Joanna Newsom in favour of getting hitched to Zach Galafianikis, who introduces the clip with a Between Two Ferns interview starring James Franco; who also finds himself getting married in the proceedings. God bless America!

Watch This If You Dare: Semi Precious Weapons – “Aviation High”

“When I see myself reflect on you, I know what I was meant to do…”

Would anyone be so kind as to tell me exactly what the fuck happened to Semi Precious Weapons? Before we go any further, you need to know three separate things. The first, of course, is who the hell Semi Precious Weapons are. They are – or at least were – a glam-rock band from the States, specialising in big, dumb riffs and bi-curious lyrics that resulted in two patchy but overall quite fun albums, We Love You and You Love You. Secondly, you should know that I’ve liked these guys from the very second I saw them, opening for Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball tour a few years back. Yes, they were ridiculous, but they played the part well and they had great fun with it. Thirdly: I try not to let personality or ego get in the way of a good song or a good album. Arseholes have made good music for ages, and that’s not going to change.

You got all that? Okay, great. Let’s go. This is a fucking awful song and a fucking awful video. I hated both with a vengeance. Any degree of liveliness or character has been thrown out of the window with this dull, thudding, greyscale piece of slow-jam glitter turd. They haven’t even progressed or developed their sound in this attempt to ditch their guitars for synths – there is no way a band played on this. We’re back to SPW being the vehicle for Justin Tranter, the band’s frontperson and figurehead – literally, there is a photo shoot of the band where the other three members are wearing masks of Justin’s face. Creepy.

The video, set mostly out in the desert, sees the SPW crew rock up and build a house out of essentially nothing. It’s based around aren’t-we-clever preening and sunset shots, and it’s basically the visual equivalent of ipecac. It really is a lot to stomach – especially as you struggle to figure out exactly what they’re going for here. Is it literally an expression of their delusions of grandeur – wanting a big-city life but living in the slums? Are they attempting to connect with “lesser” beings? I just… I dunno, dude. It’s going to take an absolute shitting miracle for their upcoming third album to not be the worst thing ever if this is what we have to go by.

Old Favourites: Garbage – “Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)”

“You made the whole world want to dance, you bought yourself a second chance…”

Well, tonight’s the night. After fifteen years of being a fan, I’m finally going to see Garbage live. At a fucking casino of all places. Weird? Unbelievably. Still, it’s happening, so I may as well deal with it on my own terms. In the mean time, I’d thought I’d do some recollection regarding this here band. I’ve been on board since their 1998 album Version 2.0, when I was simply a young pop afficionado paying close attention to the charts. They’ve obviously come to mean a lot more to me than other chart-busters of the time – anyone remember K-Ci and JoJo? What about B*Witched? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Anyway, I think – at least, from a video perspective – that this one here was my most vivid memory of Garbage growing up. I’d have been eleven or maybe twelve at the time of its release, and I can still remember every last part. The invisible band, jamming out on keyboards and guitars. Shirley Manson, as alluring as ever, even when there is literally none of her there. The gender-bending strip tease towards the end has always stuck with me, even if I am admittedly just a sucker for toilet gags. Sure, it’s all a bit naff now. But I’ll be damned if this wasn’t just the perfect lure into the beautifulgarbage record – especially at my tender age. Now, let’s see if they can still rip it live. Report to follow!

Top 30 Videos of 2012: The Top 10!


Friends, Romans, countrymen – lend me your eyes!

Twenty excellent videos over four weeks has brought us to this very moment, where we take a look at the ten absolute best videos of 2012. From dentist appointments across the pond to love in a Korean elevator and back, it’s been a remarkably varied and endlessly fascinating year for music videos. Here’s hoping 2013 can hold a candle! For now, though, here are THE TOP TEN VIDEOS OF 2012 ACCORDING TO YES, WE’VE GOT A VIDEO!


10. Milhouse – Cereal
Directed by Tim Harris

As you’ve probably seen on this blog over the past two and a half years, a great music video has no set format. A million dollar budget doesn’t guarantee excellence, neither does a shoe-string budget. Sometimes, however, all you need is a single camera and a crazy idea. Such is the case with Sydney band Milhouse. Earlier in the year, they had the chance to work with a team at NIDA on a video after winning  a Triple J Unearthed competition. As fun as that clip was, however, what they followed it up with would far surpass any NIDA chin-stroking. The premise: See how much cereal bass player Dave Drayton could work his way through in the 2.5 minute run-time of his band’s imaginatively-titled Cereal. Is it stupid? Magnificently stupid. Stupid like a fox. That’s more or less the entire point. It’s a fantastically endearing attempt to take a joke and run with it.

Read my original post on Cereal here.

9. Tellison – Freud Links the Teeth and the Heart
Directed by Tim Peck

This came out of nowhere – I genuinely can’t remember exactly how it ended up on my screen. Nevertheless, I’m so very glad that it did – Freud Links the Teeth… ended up becoming one of my most-watched and most-beloved videos of the year. Here, the band take what would normally be a boring and dreary place – in this case, the dentist’s office – and turn it into a place where anything could happen. Flourishes of romance and flirting, a horrific twist in the dentist’s chair and even a bit of a sing-along with the four patients in the waiting room, who have all conveniently brought along their instruments of choice. It’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s a little bit mental. Really, it’s one hell of a way to make a lasting impression.

Read my original post on Freud Links the Teeth and the Heart here.

8. Justin Bieber feat. Big Sean – As Long as You Love Me
Directed by Anthony Mandler

If you saw the brilliant Ask a Network Executive parody last year, sketch comic Brian Firenzi played Michael Destiny, the Head of Programming at MTV. As much as I laughed at this sharply-acted sketch, I wanted to argue the point made that popular videos are more worthless now than ever before. You could indeed argue in the affirmative of that statement, using everyone from Flo Rida to Reece Mastin as examples. That said, I’m disagreeing – and I’m using this video as my leading most recent example. Has the Biebs been guilty of shitty, product-placement-driven videos in the past? As sin. But Christ, he was FIFTEEN. I’d have done anything Usher told me to do at fifteen – fuck, I probably still would. Regardless, this video was a game-changer. With director Anthony Mandler and Reservoir Dogs‘ own Michael Madsen in tow, Bieber delivered a Michael Jackson-esque high-concept pop clip. It’s confronting, impeccably choreographed and just a bit edgier and darker than anything Biebs had done prior. Really, the only reason you haven’t given it a chance yet is because your friends think Bieber is “lame” or “gay” or whatever the equivalent is with your age group. Fuck them.

Read my original post on As Long as You Love Me here.

7. M.I.A. – Bad Girls
Directed by Romain Gavras

2005: A young, fresh and stunningly beautiful face drops (seemingly literally) from the sky and welcomes us to the jungle with the dazzling, bold video for Sunshowaz. 2007: The aforementioned face has become M.I.A., international breakthrough artist who appears on Letterman and gets the Beastie Boys to cameo in her New York-shot video for smash hit Paper Planes. 2010: M.I.A. releases her clip for Born Free, a nine-minute clip depicting genocide and war that has gone on to become one of the most talked-about music videos of the past 15 years. It’s no stretch to say that M.I.A. has built a legacy on her clips – so, in 2012, with all but a single to her name, she knew she had to make her only video of the year count. Reinlisting Born Free director Romain Gravas, known for aggressive and intense clips, was the wise first step. The next was taking Bad Girls to Morocco – specifically, the city of Ourarzazate. The rest essentially played itself out – jaw-dropping car stunts, a knowing mockery of big-budget Western hip-hop clips and a message of endearment, empowerment and liberation. “Bad girls do it well?” Too right.

Read my original post on Bad Girls here.

6. St. Vincent – Cheerleader
Directed by Hiro Murai

Last year, I made great note of the contrast between the opening and closing shots of my number 2 video of the year, Children Collide‘s Loveless. I can draw a similar parallel here, in which Cheerleader begins with Annie Clark – aka St. Vincent – laying on the floor, oblivious to what surrounds are. It ends with Clark yet again on the floor – this time, however, in literal ruins; and all too aware of where she is. Cheerleader is a video that astounded and baffled me on my first few viewings – hell, I pretty much openly admitted to having no idea exactly what the whole thing was about. On reflection, I’ve come to terms with what I see in Cheerleader – this is a video that takes an idea about feminine perception and artistic ideals and makes it gargantuan, ugly and disastrous. It’s a mirror-turn on pretension and objectification. This is what so many women go through each and every day – at least from a metaphorical or internal perspective. Really, Cheerleader says so much without really saying anything at all.

Read my original post on Cheerleader here.

5. The Shins – Simple Song
Directed by DANIELS

From fancy ice-skating to origami cows, The Shins have always delivered videos that delve into the fantastical and the strangely delightful. It was fitting, then, that they delivered what is quite possibly their best video ever at what was quite possibly the most crucial time to have one – at a stage of re-introduction. This video came five years after the band’s last album, Wincing the Night Away. In that time, the band had relocated and changed practically its entire line-up save for bandleader James Mercer. Essentially, this would serve as an introduction to a new generation – yes, you’d be damn surprised how much can change in five years – as well as a reminder for fans who may have forgotten about them. In both regards, this video delivered in spectacular fashion – the new band members play estranged siblings, brought back to their old family house by their deceased dad, played by Mercer. Imagine The Royal Tenenbaums with its cast halved and sped up to 3.5 minutes, adding in some slapstick for extra measure, and you’re halfway to capturing the bittersweet magic of this clip. From the switching between VHS footage and present day to the wrecking crew finale, there is just so much to take in, adore and enjoy here. If anything, it’s a great reminder that the family that fights together, stays together.

Read my original post on Simple Song here.

4. Grimes – Oblivion
Directed by Emily Kai Bock

Just to give you some sort of idea on the power of this video – the director, Emily Kai Bock, actually pulled out of studying a degree in film in order to keep up with the demand of work she got in the wake of this clip’s release. Millions of views and countless accolades later, it’s easy to note Oblivion as one of the defining moments of music videos, pop music, indie crossover… whatever timeline you’re looking down, Oblivion is there. This collaboration between Bock and lispy Canadian darling Clare Boucher was born out of a mere exercise in visual contrast. What happens when you take Boucher – petite, fairy-like, wide-eyed, innocent, sweetly dancing and miming to her own song playing on a portable CD player of all things – and place it in the fiercely masculine world of live sports? The reactions run from pure confusion of some gridiron players to an overly enthusiastic bro dancing away and making up his own words to lip-sync along to. There’s a later scene where a dozen shirtless dudes start slam-dancing behind her, while she’s dressed like a character out of The Crucible and, just like clear influence Robyn, dancing on her own. Is it meant to highlight just what dropkicks men can be when surrounded by beer and sport? Is it meant to show that these type of events aren’t just for beer-soaked cock-rockers anymore? Sure, Oblivion raises more questions than answers them – but the fact that they’re even being raised in the first place is proof alone that this was must-watch music television. Hell, it still is, regardless of your play count.

Read my original post on Oblivion here.

3. Lambchop – Gone Tomorrow
Directed by Zack Spiger

Let’s get this one out of the way. Is Gone Tomorrow so high because of my love of pro wrestling? In a way, yes. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Gone Tomorrow is a celebration of the everyman that isn’t like every man. For every guy that works just as hard at what they do than their friends and neighbours and gets a quarter of the credit. Obviously you don’t have to be a pro wrestler to have an occupation that’s somewhat out of the ordinary – but it certainly makes for great aesthetics in this clip. We’re not talking WWE levels of pro wrestling, either – this is bingo hall stuff, the overlooked and under-appreciated indie circuit. From the moment Kurt Wagner picks up a giant wrestler in his car to the second their match ends, you know that there’s going to be no moment of glory. There’s no Mickey Rourke tale of overcoming adversity. To these guys, it’s just another day on the job. Wagner is just an observer here, intrigued by his surrounds. It’s played out with no judgement – and, in a way, that’s what makes Gone Tomorrow so stirringly beautiful.

Read my original post on Gone Tomorrow here.

2. PSY – Gangnam Style
Directed by Lee Bo Young

Few things have gone so remarkably quickly from “OMG, have you SEEN this?” to “OMG, why won’t this go away?” than Gangnam Style. We went from making the guy a cult hero to public enemy number one within the course of roughly half a year. Pop culture? POP CULTURE? Gangnam Style fucking WAS pop culture in 2012 – and, yes, we know how edgy you are for thinking that this video is – quote – “gay” – unquote. But we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to discuss the remarkably odd and strangely inspiring tale of PSY, the mid-30s Korean pop star who became 2012’s least likely pop sensation roughly half-a-dozen albums into his career. Despite notable success in his homeland, it never crossed over with a western audience. This can be said for most of the K-pop world, save for a few YouTube hits that have bedazzled and befuddled countless English speakers for their brightly-coloured sugar rushes and plotless oddities. Perhaps what worked for Gangnam Style was the fact that it was in on the joke. Many of the K-pop videos of the past few years have felt like you’re laughing at them – with Gangnam Style, we were quite clearly laughing with the guy as he poked fun at the rich lifestyle in Seoul. Audiences of all ages found themselves with a different favourite part – whether it was the arse screaming, the elevator dance or the world-famous invisible horse. To this day, I’m fascinated by the series of events that lead to this becoming literally the most viewed video in the history of the internet – take that, Evolution of Dance! You don’t need to click above and watch it again, but take a moment to think about the weight of this statement: Gangnam Style has changed the way we think about pop videos, hit singles, technology and the power of “viral” internet trends. Not bad for a song with literally three words of English in it.

1. Spiritualized – Hey Jane
Directed by AG Rojas

There’s a very, very distinct difference that needs to be made here. Hey Jane is, far and away, the single best music video of 2012. It is, however, by no means my most-watched video of the year. Hell, I’ve probably watched it less than some of the videos that didn’t even make the cut for my top 30. Even with some of those views, I haven’t been able to make it through the entire thing. So, how does a video like this end up at the top of the list? It’s very, very simple: Hey Jane is the single most powerful piece of film I saw in all of last year. It’s gritty, it’s uncomfortable, it’s raw, it’s a complete punch in the guts at times. This isn’t a smile-along, happy-ending video. This is a portrayal of a rough-trot life that is all too familiar and, for many, will hit achingly close to home. It’s as much about parenthood and protection as it is GLBT rights. It deals with the joy of family – however much it deviates from the nuclear format – as much as it sheds life on the truly dark and seedy underbelly of strip club lifestyles. It takes on violence, influencing youth, city living, escaping hardship and finding out what means the most to you in this life. It’s a truly unforgiving audio-visual experience, but one that will leave your reaping its rewards for a damn long time yet.

Read my original post on Hey Jane here.


There you go, guys! Sorry about the delays but I really hope you enjoy these videos as much as I enjoyed writing about them!

The other 20 videos can be found here, here, here and, of course, here!

We’re back to all-new videos next week, so I’ll see you then!

Watch This Now: Pet Shop Boys – “Winner”

“I’ve been a loser, paid my dues, I fought my way up from the ground…”

Although not as high-profile as they used to be, it’s heartening to know that the Pet Shop Boys are still around and releasing new material with at least some level of consistency. Elysium, their eleventh album and first in three years, is set for release this September and the duo have just dropped the first single from it. The song is nice enough, with some of Neil Tennant‘s typically laconic vocal delivery and some pretty arrangements. It’s the video, however, that manages to send this one into an entirely new stratosphere. This is unquestionably their best video since 2006’s brilliant collaboration with Matt Lucas and David Walliams, I’m with Stupid.

Set in a roller derby in the UK, the video focuses specifically on a team known as the London Rollergirls. After introducing some of the key players, we’re introduced to their newest recruit, Dirty Diana. DD is slightly different to the rest of her teammates, in that she was not born a woman and is still going through the gender reassignment phase. Rather than feel alienated within the group, however, she comes to thrive. It’s what she is passionate about and it’s where she feels welcome. I can’t quite detail how many times this video made me smile so much that my face hurt. It’s sweet and inspirational – and, at a time when Olympic fever is set to take over, it takes a lot for those words to mean something, as opposed to just being tacked on phrases. I fucking adore this video. I may, in fact, have a new front-runner for VOTY. We’ll see, but for now I can’t emphasise just how much I loved this clip. Those Boys have still got the magic.

Old Favourites: George Michael – “Outside”

“I never really said it before, there’s nothing here but flesh and bone …”

Here’s an interesting one from my childhood. Most of my Old Favourites are either from 1998 or 2004 for whatever reason, and today we’re going to take a look at the former – a landmark video clip for me that I didn’t fully appreciate until later on in life. You see, whether he wanted to be or not, George Michael was my first foray into the world of GLBT culture. I wasn’t even born when Wake Me Up Before You Go was a hit, and missed out on both Faith and Freedom. So, this was it – but what a time to be introduced to George Michael!

Just six months before this song/video came out, George had been found with a dude in a public toilet. You know how that story goes, I’m sure. This video, in response to that saga in his life that lead to his coming out, would satirise the entire thing. Well, I suppose if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? This was way too camp and cheesy for my liking at the time, so the whole thing – the porn parody, the uniform choreography, the various queer PDAs – went over my head at the time. Revisting it later on, though, it made so much more sense. Now, as a bisexual guy myself, I trace my first real exposure to gay culture back to this video. Did George Michael send me queer? Who knows? Who cares! It’s lunchtime – let’s go outside!

Watch This Now: Spiritualized – “Hey Jane”

“That clock going 110, I never said I’ll get you back again…”

Normally, when a video like this comes out, you can’t stop me raving about its wonders, its artistic beauty, its fragility, its resonating power. This is a video that has left me feeling like I’ve been savagely hit in the guts. I’m shaken and pale, and it’s been hours since I watched it. In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure I can bring myself to watch it again any time soon. All I can say is that this is a really important video – it’s absolutely remarkable. I’m going to shut up and let Hey Jane speak for itself. At this point in time, this is all I can do.

I might come back to this, I might not. Just watch. Not at work, though. Not suitable.

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