State of the art. Ah yes, why go purchase an actual instrument when you’ve got a computer? No wait, no. Not just any computer, a Cotillion D575. Why try to be artistic when you’ve got a simple computer to shizzle the dizzle for ya? And how much art is really art, anyway? If art is mere self-expression, we’re actually all artists, right? These amazing simulations end up sounding even better than the real thing! Yup. Just pick them beats, carefully selected for you by a team of high-end musically attuned developers, and you’ve got yourself the right material to end up famous. Go forth and imitate, by use of a computer. Who needs artists when you’ve got computers? Take the 1970 Cotillion. That thing is a Bomb. One could conquer the universe with that thing. Brainstorm humans, colonise Mars, take over planet. Try doing that with just a plain old guitar. No, no. In today’s music playground, samples are where you wanna be. Whether it be a sample of Gotye, or one of Frances Yip. Because there are really just two kind of musicians: the ones who staple samples one on top of the other (imitation), and the ones who actually use different samples to create a whole new art form (originality). But creating new patterns or playing with conventions is never as easy as it sounds, is it? Before you know it you’ve got exactly that: entertainment exploitation, from the comfort of your home or really just from your very own comfort zone. Invite the neighbours around. And just stay at home. Glad to see Gotye’s the latter though. Enjoy the state of the art.
Director of MV: Gotye
The music scene has got me down, cause I don’t want to be a clown. Ah yes, modern alternative music struggles: how to fit in, without having to behave clownish? One trick: use one great line of seemingly little substance and repeat it over and over again on a beat that somehow just sticks. Add an animated psychedelic music video to it and you’re all set: let’s do some traditional controlled get-the-viewer-to-question-its-surroundings thinking. Because the cool thing about our minds is that they excel at tricking us. You know, like the way your brain is wired to identify patterns of human or animal life in everyday objects. At least, that’s what Daniel Dennett says in his research into the human perception of things (Consciousness Explained).¹ All those times people claimed to have seen the face of the prophet, or worse, the boogie monster under their bed?! Surprise! It’s their brain playing tricks on them. Our eyes and minds are designed to recognise forms of life all around us. And this video so accurately portrays that simple fact. Do watch it. Hell, you don’t even need any liquid for this. You’ll be amazed at the patterns your brain walks into. It’ll keep doing that, 24/7. Until we die of our own self-destructiveness of course. But let’s worry about that later.
Director of MV: Anthony F. Schepperd
¹ Daniel Dennett, Consciousness Explained (Chapter 1 on hallucinations); Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (page 100-105).
Question: if I died in my apartment like a rat in a cage, would the neighbours smell the corpse before the cat ate my face? Ah yes, the wanderer in the rat race. How it blinds us from real emotion, the Other and, well, basically anything that’s real outside of our own peculiar mindset. Because the human race is tricky that way. We first and foremost have an intrinsic inborn need to be entertained, 24/7. But don’t go too far into the entertainment deal; before you know it, you’re stuck in this carefully imposed already laid-out-for-you, and not so very entertaining, life scheme, with loads of small talk and social imagery in between. It’s like today’s popular music, but a bit more mainstream. It’s a theatre of jumping jellyfish. Or, to put it more eloquently and Shakespearian: “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players”. Or, to put it more crudely and Donnie Darkonian: “We are losing these kids to apathy”. Cause what is radio music if not a reflection of today’s overly globalised society? Remember what the wise man said: There ain’t a lesson we can learn from the ostensibly lost. You gotta make a choice. Either stay in the spotlights and without soul or step out of it and feel whole. After all, aren’t we all just a bunch of weirdos on a quest to belong? On a quest to self-express “the real deal”, however weird you may find it to be. Party over here, I’ll be over there. Because on this particular stage, I’d rather be humanely Weird and Real, than plastically wrapped up just for You, pretending Life is “no big deal”.
Director of MV: Rob Shaw (Bent Image Lab)
“Warning: the following content is graphic in nature (…). Viewer discretion is advised.” This kind of comment really makes you wonder why they never put such a warning on, eh, I dunno, almost any kind of mainstream pop music video out there. Take, for example, that one vid in which that stripped down pop star lets herself go all-in in front of the camera guy, staging some scene of everyday life at the local supermarket (if your brain is now frantically considering which video I might be referring to, well then, point made). But what is “graphic” really in this case? The violence, or the female body? She don’t believe in shooting stars. Of course not. Who would. In today’s patriarchy. But she believe in shoes and cars. Of course. Who wouldn’t. In today’s consumerism society. That’s right. Let that sink in (patriarchy + consumerism = ?). Take a woman. Any woman really. Bombard that beautiful brain with perfect degenerating body pictures of the imperfect body her brain lives in. Brainstorm it with highusd products made in China. Mix it up a bit. Rolls out: material girl with an insecurity level from here ’til Tokio. So yeah, when you finally get the guy, you know what you wanna do with it. Bury it. Stripped-down obviously. How else to get across the point? – ‘Like my body, do you? Well, I got a present for you’: a small lesson I’m teaching you with a tiny “graphical” component to it. So yeah. Use those eyes. Use those eyes like you’ve never used ’em before! Then, let me blind you. Bury you (muhahahhahhah!); so that I, too, can reclaim what is rightfully mine. Flashing – lights. Talk about a fairytale gone wrong.
Director of MV: Kanye West & Spike Jonze
Need some Rembrandt-like photoshopping techniques? You might wanna contact the creator of this vid. It seems he’s tried a modern take on the Cast Away-movie. Maybe I would let go ashore. Though it is unlikely that one can awaken from a state of unconsciousness with a burning torch in one’s hand, we won’t talk details here. See, this is one of the many reasons why underground music blogs are called for. Awesome song, awesome vid, yet never to be heard of on the radio. Those channels that show music videos all day long? Nothin’. I mean, how fucked up is today’s music industry, really? Cause of course, things such as Nicky Minaj are much more qualified to be shown on public television. And why would you show a music vid that kinda hints at the whole refugee-thingy to the European public? My lips are torn. Torn of asking for help, that’s for sure. One would indeed be crazy to go about that. The whole I’ve-got-to-take-one-hell-of-a-dangerous-boat-trip-etcetera-just-to-save-my-life-in-order-to-arrive-in-a-country-of-spoiled-brats-who-try-to-ignore-I-exist-thingy isn’t exactly popular in Europe. But hey, this chord is worn out. Let’s ignore the fact that the boat is probably fueled by oil taken from this man’s country. Let’s not wonder whether things would’ve been different had he been a child. No, let’s not go that far. Leaving people out to die cause there’s no extra room on the boat? Yes, one would indeed be crazy to show that to the general public.
Director of MV: Filip Sterckx
Pick a stunning landscape and build your video around it. And, oh, pick something that suits your song. In this case: a The Martian-like landscape (for those who haven’t seen the film, go see it). I’ll keep you waiting-ing, waiting-ing for me. Sounds very The Martian-like to me! Look at that, even the song itself relates back to the film. Talk about intertextuality… Awesome vid. And come on, who doesn’t like to look at a person of which we’re not really sure whether they’re male or female? Of course, you gotta delete some non-Mars-like elements, such as the element of water. Maybe not that The Martian-like… Perhaps more Icelandic. Anywho … the landscape thingy, if done properly, ought to work. What’s nice too is that this video plays with a colour range of white and black, but it’s not white and black at all. It’s just some cold colours mixed up with a hint of Mars-like orange. This video literally screams “let’s go and mix up Mars and Iceland!”. Let’s take our worries to a place away from today’s cold music industry and think on ‘em a little bit. Let’s wear black all day and walk around in deserted landscapes. Yes, let’s do that. Sounds like something the Vok would do. Come to think of it, I’ve gotta plan my next trip to Iceland.
Director of MV: Glashier