The Youth of Today…

20 Jul

Who: Foster the People

What: Helena Beat

Produced by: Ace Norton for Partizan

Label: Star Time/ Columbia Records

Modern childhood is rubbish. At least according to those adults fortunate enough to grow up in a time when it was considered acceptable to play in the street without the need for electronic chips and twenty-four hour surveillance. You can’t even read the Daily Mail any more without finding out how young people are simultaneously  sat in bedrooms glued to their television screens, and rampaging through the local suburb giving a drug-induced middle finger to the establishment.

Ace Norton, music video-director extraordinaire, clearly decided that these kids were getting a short shrift. In his video for  Foster the People’s second single, “Helena Beat”, he goes out of his way to show just how intelligent and adaptable they really are.  Just look at their innovative use of sporting equipment! And how they use body art to express themselves! They must be pretty darned clever if they managed to come up with that age-defying mask-machine all by themselves, that’s for sure. It positively restores your faith in the education system, that society has produced children so capable of looking after themselves at such a young age!

Well, that may not quite have been the point, but I always like to be optimistic.

The song itself is in the same vein as MGMT or Empire of the Sun, the vocals virtually identical in style and pitch, and the electronics suitably scuzzy without losing the sun-dappled sound that makes bands like this so popular. The video is fairly entertaining, even if the post-apocalyptic setting has been somewhat overused over the past few months. Following their debut set at Glastonbury this summer, these guys are set to make a big impression over the next few months.  Hopefully not the same kind of impressions the jolly little children make in their music video. With hockey sticks. On people’s skulls.

Watch it here:

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X marks the spot…

31 May

Who: Take That

What: “Love Love”

Produced by: Alexandliane

Label: Polydor

I have to admit, I don’t exactly have a great deal of criticisms to make of this video. Mostly because a good half of it is footage from the next X-Men movie which, geek as I am, I can’t wait to go see.

However, the song itself somewhat surprised me. When I saw that Take That were going to be on the X-Men: First Class soundtrack, I was a bit taken aback; I didn’t really see how the band that produced Robbie Williams could realistically be expected to create a song suitably epic for a film that, let’s face it, is going to be a serious Oscar contender for 2012.

Instead of the mushy ballad I expected to hear, I found myself listening to what sounded like a mixture of Eurovision techno and 8Os vocals. Of course my love of all things film is equalled only by my love of the 8Os, and my love of Eurovision, so of course I can’t find a bad word to say about the music either; it may be cheesy, but I can certainly find room for it on my cheeseboard.

Touché, Take That, touché…

Watch it here:

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The World’s Oldest Profession

30 May

Who: City and Colour

What: “Fragile Bird”

Produced by: Michael Maxxis

Label: Vagrant Records

I’ve always thought that, if there was one thing that music videos needed, it was more scantily-clad,  glamorous-looking prostitutes rolling around in dark and run-down bedrooms. Luckily, City and Colour have answered my prayers.

In an interview with Spin Magazine, Dallas Green revealed that “The ‘Fragile Bird’ video is supposed to emulate an emotionally tormented woman as she flashes back through her past,” (read the post here). I don’t know how many “emotionally tormented” women he’s paid a visit to recently, but I must have missed the memo where stripping down to your garter and writhing on a bed was suggested as a treatment.

Aside from the bizarre premise, this video is actually quite interesting. The editing is meticulous (kudos Editor Dave De Carlo), conveying a sense of disorientation for the girls-gone-wild sections of the video, without losing focus on Green as the performer. The cold blue tone of the film in his sections provide a nice contrast to the sepia tones in hers, and the age effects don’t feel forced. Plus the song is pretty damn good.

Watch it here:

NB. I promise I will try harder to find videos that don’t have naked women in them from now on. I’m already looking like a perv…

Matilda just got X-Rated…

29 May

Who: The Vaccines

What: “All In White”

Produced by: Canada/ Partizan

Label: Columbia Records.

“So guys, what do we want to put in this music video?”



[awkward silence]

“Maybe if we have time at the end…”

This is how I imagine the conversation must have gone that produced this video. It’s a bizarre mash-up of conspiracy theories, soft-porn and burning s**t (any fledgling super-villain’s wet dream, I’m sure.) It features a dry-ice machine that Bonnie Tyler herself would be proud of, and telekinetic special effects the likes of which haven’t been seen since Roald Dahl’s Matilda showed us the damage one little stick of chalk can do.

Clearly everyone involved is a serious revolutionary, burning arm chairs with abandon and throwing pies in faces like they actually want to do some damage.

While I can’t deny the fact that I like The Vaccines, and I like this song, the video nonetheless leaves me with nothing but the urge to go make some smores with Cadbury’s chocolate. Well, we all revolt in our own way.

Watch the video here: