Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Music Video Revival!

Hey Everyone!
So I'm sure a lot of you are under the impression that the music video is a dying work of art. At times, yes I would have to agree. A lot of them have gotten short, pointless and annoyingly overplayed. Combine that with cinematography skills and low production values comparable to that of the amateur youtube videos and you have a recipe for disaster. However, I also have to admit that some artists have avoided this fall and revived the music video. They've taken the old MJ model for Thriller and turned songs into epic 10-15 minute short films that require a lot of production work, or have tried something vastly different and unique to bring their songs to life. Here are a few in particular that I think are well done.

1) 30 Seconds To Mars... 
Maybe its lead vocalist Jared Leto's actor side shining through, or maybe its just pure ambition, whatever it is, this band has made fantastic video after fantastic video. Particularly the videos for The Kill (a nod to the classic horror film The Shining) and From Yesterday. The latest, Kings & Queens, was actually the inspiration for the blog. Take away the performance shots and you really would be left wondering... is this a trailer for a Hollywood film?

2) Fight Like Apes...
This video for Tie Me Up With Jackets, is phenomenal. A friend of mine, Andrew, brought this to my attention and I was astonished by the overall effort made to create this piece. Clearly, this group did not take the easy way out. They have a creative and innovative video, somewhat reminiscent of the classic Take On Me by A-ha.

3) Green Day...
For their last couple albums, Green Day has taken the path of the rock opera and their videos communicate this same idea. The videos for Jesus of Suburbia and Wake Me Up When September Ends are prime examples of the revival of the music video. Mini films in themselves, they involve actors, plot lines and movie style effects. I also recommend the new videos for 21st Century Breakdown (which takes the cover art theme of graffiti and seamlessly blends it into real life images) and  East Jesus No Where (which brings new life to the live video with the snapshot effect, highlighting moments of the performance). 

4) The White Stripes...
Now, cant say I am the biggest fan (get a bass player please) but I do listen to their music and I enjoy it. What I like even more? Their music videos! From the early (but absolutely brilliant) Fell In Love With A Girl, to the innovative Hardest Button To Button and the interesting Denial Twist, its undeniable that this duo has mastered the art of the music video. 

5) Ok Go...
Though there aren't many examples to play off, this band has always been one for clever and unique with their videos. Who doesn't remember the treadmill classic of Here It Goes Again? That video was amazing even though it was cheap to make. They borrowed some treadmills and lip-synched to their own track. But its incredibly memorable. The same can be said for their video for A Million Ways in which they perform a dance routine in their backyard. They're taking the old school classic pop video model of a dance routine to a new level and its great. 

6) Weezer...
From the start of their career to the more recent (and questionable) videos, they're still kind of funny. Each one has a clever plot fitting of the time period and featuring some kind of pun or gag. Keep Fishin' features the muppets, Island In The Sun features playful animals that work alongside that light summery song, Buddy Holly has brilliant yet purposely cheesy effects that make you feel like Happy Days is just around the corner, and of course... Pork and Beans was probably one of the best videos ever made for youtube fans of our generation. 

Each of these artists have a number of videos that go to prove the art of the music video is still very much alive. You just have to know where to look! Have you seen any bands with great videos lately? Share them with me, I'd love to see what you come up with because I know there are a lot out there :)

Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Bad Romance by Lady Gaga... Ok, ok yes, it IS a Lady Gaga video. But hear me out... this video is pretty weird... aka I like it. Weird is good in my books and if this is the new version of a pop princess video, then I'm ALL for it. Sure, she's half naked, I think we all kind of expected that, but looking beyond that, its just plain WEIRD. Plastic suits, flaming bras and diamond studded platforms... how can you say thats not a little interesting? Haha.


  1. Yeah the majority of them out there aren't that great. Most bands just show up for the day, have it sent of and get it quick so they can have it as their next hit!

    Got a few more for you too!

    The Most Serene Republic

    Mother Mother

    Just to name a few!

  2. Thanks for the added suggestions, Andrew!