“We all self conscious, I’m just the first to admit it…”
Last week marked ten years since Kanye West released his debut album, The College Dropout. It’s an album that remains one of my all-time favourite records, one that I continually revisit and sporadically obsess over. Although it wasn’t my first Kanye album – that honour went to the following year’s Late Registration – this record remains my pick of the litter. With this milestone – as well as the exciting news that Yeezy will be back here in May – I thought I’d look at one of my favourite Kanye videos from this era.
Yes, the imagery of Jesus Walks and the blunt-hammer satire of The New Workout Plan are fantastic in their own right. I could have easily written about either of them – but there’s something about the video for All Falls Down that I have always been drawn to. The point-of-view camera work is exceptional, as is the audio tweaking depending on where exactly Kanye finds himself. Even though they don’t really speak in the video, the relationship seems to explain itself between Kanye and the woman he’s dropping at the airport. On top of that, Kanye putting himself through the airport scanner remains one of my favourite moments in 2000s music videos. It’s a very clever and very striking video, one that hits the emotional nerves of the song. It’s a perfect complement – and a relatively simple clip that contrasts with the grandeur that comes with Yeezy these days. Not that I have a problem with that, of course. It’s just that sometimes I like to kick it old school. Maybe you will, too.
Rhys Muldoon is an Australian actor and entertainer.
He is best known for his time on Play School,
The Secret Life of Us and Lockie Leonard.
His first music video, I’m Not Singing, came in at number 20 on
Y,WGAV’s Top 30 Videos of 2011.
He has picked four of his favourite music videos: No Money Down by Lou Reed, Can’t Tell Me Nothing by Kanye West, Ride by The Vines and More News From Nowhere by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
This is the first video that came to mind, when asked about favourites. It’s simple, brutal, effective and funny. I can just just picture the pitch to Lou: “You don’t even have to be in it AND you destroy yourself.” It is a zen masterpiece on what it is to be in public. Don’t stop watching til the end. Poetry.
I was tempted to put in Praise You by Fatboy Slim, but we KNOW that clip is genius. This one is up there, too. It UTTERLY dominates the song, which I couldn’t care less about. Kudos to whoever let this through – if that’s Kanye, so be it. I’m also a long time Bonnie “Prince” Billy fan, so…
There is a moment in this video that makes me cry it’s so beautiful. It’s the moment where it’s just the drummers. It builds and then they start smashing that snare drum as one. I’ve seen this clip so many times and that moment never fails to bring a tear of pure joy. The idea for the clip is so simple and so profound (and profoundly clever). The band all look like they’re not getting on (which I love in a clip); and all of those bands and musicians around them, who are working HARD, who’ve made an EFFORT, not just in their dress but in their performance… It just makes me love music and humans so much.
Just beautiful. Nick tends to have great clips, this is a favourite. It has many great narratives. Worthy of multiple views.
He is also set to star in The Sapphires alongside Chris O’Dowd, Deborah Mailman and Judith Lucy this September.
Follow Rhys on Twitter: @rhysam.
“Jesus was a carpenter, Yeezy laid beats…”
Happy Thursday, boys and girls! Can you believe we’re nearly over for yet another week? Absolute insanity! It’s been an incredible comeback run – and it’s about to get all the sweeter. A huge video from hip-hop conglomerate The Throne – better known as Jay-Z and Kanye West – dropped just yesterday and it’s already destined to be one of the most talked-about videos to involve either’s music – and let’s not forget the controversy surrounding Yeezy’s Flashing Lights and See You In My Nightmares clips.
It also could not come as a greater contrast to their previous clip – while Otis was a fun-loving ego trip where a literally not a second went by when the twosome weren’t on-screen, No Church in the Wild features neither of them at any stage. Rather, the video focuses on rewriting a page in the history books, with a clan of black people oppressing their white slaves. It’s often quite confronting in its imagery – I certainly wouldn’t take my chances trying to load the clip at your workplace, for instance – but in a manner that more or less means that you can’t look away. It’s also beautifully shot, with much of the lighting coming from fire-lit torches, bringing that very dark vibe throughout the whole thing. It’s a pretty full-on experience, but that’s essentially why this is the video you should be watching and talking about with your friends right now. I can’t wait to see if or when shit hits the fan on this one.
“There’s a fire going out, there’s really nothing to the south…”
We’re a day late here at Y,WGAV!, on account of a massive weekend of live music. Be gentle and forgiving – and let’s get straight into it. First up, we’ve got a great new clip from Justin Vernon – better known to the world around him as Bon Iver. He’s back from exile and hanging out with Kanye West to deliver his gorgeously haunting sophomore, Bon Iver, Bon Iver (yes, that is the title) – and this is our first taste of the album from a visual perspective.
There are a lot of conflicted themes and strange visual metaphors woven throughout this video, and I’m aware it’s going to be pretty open to interpretation for a lot of people. Whatever your feelings on its message, it’s hard to deny the beauty of the video – it flows smoothly and is gorgeously shot through a series of very different locations. It’s an outstanding visual companion to the song, which itself gets more and more serene every time I hear it. This is a strange video, certainly, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. I see a story of complicated love that is striving to something greater, but is held back by circumstance of the world around them. What do you see?
“Love, I don’t get enough of it, all I see is these vampires and bloodsuckers…”
Well, here we are. It’s taken six months, bannings and a general humdrum of controversy, but it’s finally here. Kanye West, along with his counterparts Rick Ross, Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj, have unleashed the Monster video. So, after all that talk of how great it was going to be (classic Yeezy), has it lived up to the standard? Sweet Jesus above, yes. Classic Yeezy, right?
The warning should definitely be out there that this video is not for the faint at heart. It features some horrific and downright disturbing imagery at times, and will seperate the squirmers from the pack almost immediately. That said, it came together brilliantly. Kayne’s zombie escapade, Jigga looking stylish as ever, Rick Ross doing not much at all apart from puffing on a cigar in slow motion and the divine Miss Minaj getting all vampiric on her own Barbie ass. Just like her to steal the show, right?
This will probably get a lot more talk coming towards it, but let me just say that I couldn’t be happier with the end result. There are some really great ideas coming through the mainstream of American hip-hop and it’s quite stunning to see them visualised. I’m interested to see where this goes, but for now I’ll just kick back and enjoy the severed heads a little more…that’s not wrong of me, surely?
“Could you be the Devil? Could you be an angel?”
Katy Perry is just getting a ridiculous kind of big this year. The media drool over every move her and Russell Brand make, she released a killer sophomore album last year which produced not one, but two of my favourite videos of 2010, and now she’s on some next level shit with the one and only Kanye West. Admittedly, E.T. wasn’t my next choice for single from Teenage – I would have probably gone either T.G.I.F. or Circle the Drain. Thankfully, the track has been kicked up a notch with some great remixing, new beats and the robo-rap genius of Yeezy.
As for the video, I believe the phrase “holy shit” was invented specifically for moments like these. Katy’s a freaking alien, ‘Ye is floating in some kind of space dimension and there’s a tonne of crazy sci-fi shenanigans for all. This is easily the most ambitious video Katy has put her name to, and it’s one that is sure to divide fans. For my two cents, however, I really love this video. It’s a bold expression to put forth – especially when she’s in a position to be easily able to play it safe. Interested to know what you think…
“Her mother, brother, grandmother hate me – in that order…”
Big weekend in music – Radiohead dropped their new record (more on them tomorrow), I saw Tunng live (more on them later today) and Kanye finally dropped the first proper video for a My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy track that wasn’t a thirty-five minute short film or a two-minute teaser. Even now, I can’t help but feel like this is also a teaser for something much bigger. For now, though, it’s another treat for the senses.
Once again, we’ve got Hype Williams on board – the dude is the King Midas of hip-hop videos, and I’ll be doing a feature on him in a few weeks to prove it. Anyway, this video has plenty to keep you watching – the adventures of an adorable little girl through a black and white city, Yeezy spitting on top of a police car, Rihanna showing what is described in the YouTube comments as some serious sideboob action – yep, this one’s got it all. It’s all a bit confusing at first, but on the other hand it’s also kind of epic. See what you think, and be sure to leave a comment on what you thought of it!
“I guess every superhero needs his theme music…”
Kanye West is back. And how! After storming Facebook to perform brand new tracks acapella and releasing one of the best singles of the year thus far in “Power”, it seemed only natural he add to that with a mindfuck of a music video to go with it. Or, to mind fuck you even further, is it REALLY a music video? “IT’S NOT A VIDEO”, Yeezy warned via his super awesome new Twitter account. “IT’S A PAINTING.”
Is he right? Yeah, sorta. But it’s a moving painting. It stretches out to quite literally godly proportions, and you notice different things with every viewing. The major problem, however, lies in the fact that nearly all of the song itself has been edited out – the video goes for less than two minutes! I’m not sure if this means it’s just a trailer for something bigger and better, or perhaps he’s done the same shock-cut thing he did for his astounding Flashing Lights video a few years back. Whatever it is, it’s provocative and it’s fucking huge. Like you’d expect any different from Kanye, right?
“This heartbreak is giving me closure…”
Okay, I couldn’t help myself. You’re getting yourself a double dose of Tamara Jaber-related atrocity, following my blog of her work with Scandal’Us – this meat is considerably fresher, but tastes just as awful. Meet Scarlett Belle, a duo formed by Jaber and former Idol contestant Reigan Derry (or Derpy as I’ve taken to calling her). Just when we thought we were safe from the ex-Mrs. Sandilands, this shit goes and happens. For fuck’s sake!
This time around, not only is the music terrible, but it’s borderline-plagiaristic, too. Oh, who the fuck am I kidding – IT IS PLAGIARISM. Both Jessica Mauboy and Keri Hilson should contact the lawyers – the former for the vocal stylings and melodies from a string of her best-known singles, the latter for the beat of the song which directly rips off her hit Knock You Down with Kanye West and Ne-Yo. I know it sounds like every time one of these blogs comes up I hate everything involving Australian pop music, but it’s fucking bullshit like this that gives me reason to.
Onto the video, and things aren’t much better. Occasionally, they’re actually worse – Jaber and Derpy spend most of their time fluttering about a variety of poorly-shot and artificial-looking locations, with Jaber especially continuing her own personal fixation on her tits in a variety of skimpy retro-fuck clothing items. What’s the go here – have they both left the same dude to be with one another? Is this some kind of T.a.T.u.-esque publicity stunt? Also, watch near the very very end of this video (like 3:30/3:35) for a bizarre “subtle” advertising plug for something called a Mino HD. Anyone?
In the end, it appears the only people thinking that they’re hot shit are the two girls themselves. And, Derpy, what the fuck? Weren’t you the one who sang Karnivool on Idol? That was awesome! Why in God’s name would you even consider wasting your time here? Ian Kenny should fart in your mouth and shit all over your bedroom walls.
In conclusion, Libya is a land of contrast. And though I’m not normally one for censorship, someone needs to stop Tamara Jaber from ever making any kind of music or music video ever, ever again. Need moar proof? Of course you fucking do – next week I’m going for the triple threat with Tamara’s Ooh Ahh video. My hatred will boil over and melt everything it touches. You WILL want to be around to see it.
This is Takin’ 5, in which Y,WGAV! takes a category, runs with it, and compiles the top 5 videos relating back to that category. Simple enough? Thought so.
Let’s kick off with today’s category. We’re looking at cameos – they happen all the time in movies, where you swear you can see a familiar face. Happens all the time in music videos, too; as you will soon find out with this top five.
5. Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
Cameo: Chevy Chase
The comedic actor was part of the reason this solo number from one half of Simon & Garfunkel was such a hit. As Chase and Simon sit together in what appears to be a waiting room, Chase delivers a highly animated lip-sync interpretation of the lyrics as the man who actually sang the song twiddles his thumbs and offers half-hearted backing vocals during the chorus. Hilarious and timeless in its humour, this is easily one of the more unforgettable things either one has done.
4. The White Stripes – I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
Cameo: Kate Moss
She might have wasted a year or three on smack with Pete Doherty, but Moss’ sexiness was at its most insurmountable peak at the time of filming this. Gorgeous in its black and white cinematography and perfectly choreographed to fit Jack’s twangy guitar and bluesy howls, this was a part of the trifecta of video clip smashes from the band’s Elephant record that also included Seven Nation Army and The Hardest Button To Button. Gotta love those Whites.
3. P. Diddy – Bad Boy for Life
Cameos: Ben Stiller, Dave Navarro, Travis Barker, Ma$e, Crazy Town and most of the artists on Bad Boy Records at the time
Diddy’s recent comedic turn in the hilarious Get Him to The Greek shouldn’t be a revelation to those in the know – for the tough guy persona he is known all too well for, he sure does have a sense of humour about him. Look no further than this ridiculously catchy cut from 2001’s The Saga Continues…, in which the Bad Boy family move into an upper-class suburban neighbourhood andvwreck total havoc. While Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and blink-182 drummer Travis Barker jam in Diddy’s garage, the man himself is up on the roof of his new house, driving golfballs into the window of his neighbour – who just so happens to be comedian Ben Stiller. There’s a lot to see and do on this video, so there’s not much left to say except to enjoy it. We can’t be stopped now!
2. Fatboy Slim feat. Bootsy Collins – Weapon of Choice
Cameo: Christopher Walken
Perhaps the defining “cameo” video of the early 2000s and arguably the best-known video of Norman Cook’s career. It was this video and this video alone that saved Fatboy’s second album, Halfway Between The Gutter and The Stars, from being a total commercial bomb. There is nothing more to the video than the fact that you get to see Christopher Walken, one of the greatest film actors and general badasses of our time, dancing joyously around an expensive-looking hotel and, in one very special moment of the video, flies through the air. I repeat: Christopher Walken flies through the fucking air. Oh my God. An absolute joy, this is a triumph of music video making. Hell, it’s videos like this that made me want to start a blog like this to begin with.
1. Johnny Cash – God’s Gonna Cut You Down
Cameos: Too many to mention!
With the first posthumous addition to the Johnny Cash discography, director Peter Kaye decided to send off Cash with a star-studded, black-and-white tribute. Although a word isn’t spoken, the expressions on the faces of everyone from Kanye West to Johnny Depp says it all – we are all sinners, we are all human and we are all equal. It’s a grim video, and it needs to be watched several times away from the “hey, I know that person” vibe. Even so, it’s a fitting homage to one of the darkest and most important songwriters of all time.