Friday, October 28, 2005

I'm telling you though...British TV is NOT for the prudish

When we were living in London and I was waiting for Mr. Blogger to come home at 5:00AM (from his SECOND job), I would watch music videos 'cause there was nothing else on. For those of you who have never been to the UK, there are an insane amount of video channels...practically one for every genre. I would flip around like a crazy person, just to have something to do. Yes, I suppose sleeping was an option, but nah.

But in the end, I was quite up on my British popular music, even though if I saw one more Sugababes or Girls Aloud video...I was gonna hurt somebody. And Europe being the non-nipple-obsessed continent that it is, showed stuff UNCENSORED. N.E.R.D.'s "Lapdance" actually scared me.

In case you hadn't noticed though, here in the US, MTV (Music TELEVISION) and VH1 (VIDEO Hits One) never actually play videos. Between airings of Laguna Beach and/or The Surreal Life, who has time for such nonsense. But as any good insomniac will tell you, check them out in the wee, wee, wee hours. THAT'S when they show 'em.

I have a long history with music video obsession, being a proper kid of the 80's. I was so excited when we got cable, and therefore MTV, that I would sit transfixed for HOURS. I even wrote a thesis paper on The Role of Women as Victims in Music Videos (let's just say...not much has changed there).

I even interned at a video show called "Goodnight L.A." which aired every Friday night on Los Angeles' ABC station. I have some tapes of the times I, or even my voice, was on camera. That was one of the most fun times of my life. I especially enjoyed the time we were brainstorming a year-end Top Videos of 1984 show and I DEMANDED that Duran Duran's 'Save A Prayer' be on the list. This was how we decided actual chart toppers or anything there...just what BROOKE WANTED.

(One day we'll talk about my all-encompassing obsession with Duran Duran and the fact that my future husband would turn out TO HAVE GROWN UP ON THE SAME STREET AS SIMON LE BON. I mean really...M-I-L will attest. I am consistently amazed at how meant-to-be Mr. Blogger and I are.)

So I decided to veg out in front of the big screen this morning and give you my report for the clips I saw between 5:45-7:45AM. Unfortunately, I didn't think to actually blog about this until about 10 videos in, so some of this is on memory. Some, I actually was the uber-geek with a pad of paper as I watched. I swapped back and forth between the channels, so as to avoid commercials, but note HOW MANY TIMES some of these played.

And I'll link to the ones I can find so you may play and enjoy (or the case may be) in the comfort of your own home. Most of them are Artist links on, just click on the video you want to see. (And be patient...some of them take a minute to start playing after the ad.) Hey, never say my blog isn't interactive!

1. Kelly Clarkson - Because of You (on THREE times between the two channels in TWO hours)

I like Kelly. She seems a reasonably down-to-earth gal and has done very well with her 2002 American Idol crown. Her music isn't necessarily my cup o'tea, but I can appreciate that she does have talent. And "Since U Been Gone" was my "I Want it That Way"-type guilty pleasure of the year (rock it Kell!).

But I hadn't seen this one before and NO ONE PREPARED ME. Oh, the bawling! Let's switch the channel 'cause I can't take it...IT'S ON THE OTHER CHANNEL TOO!

Do NOT watch if depressed or in the throes of any kind of daddy-used-to-hurt-my-mommy-drama.

2. Madonna - Hung Up

Oh Madge. Yes, yes, you have the rockin' bod of a woman half your age (and may I add, a video that lovingly soft-focuses on your taut bee-hind). And I understand that you're trying to get back to your dance club roots. But I don't care that you even resorted to sampling ABBA just doesn't quite work. The song is boring and the video sure ain't your best.

And I feel like you're so tightly wound that I fear and/or pity Guy Ritchie.

3. The All American Rejects - Dirty Little Secret

Every time I see this, I find myself trying to hurry up and read the "secret card" before they're off to the next one. That's the problem with a gimmicky video. It's memorable, yes, but you really don't pay any attention to the SONG (an exception to this rule - Fall Out Boy and the crazy Deer Kid, but catchy and Jimmy Eat World-like song "Sugar We're Goin Down").

Although all in all, it's fun to read all the secrets at least. But I may have lost some faith in my fellow man.

4. Pharrell feat. Gwen Stefani - Can I Have it Like That

You really needed Gwen to come in...just to say "You've got it like that" over and over? Yes, SAY, not even SING. Whatever.

5. Black Eyed Peas - My Humps

I'm sorry, did you say something? I was too busy LAUGHING SO HARD "Cause of my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump. My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely lady lumps". WHO WRITES THAT?

At least Fergie looks better. There are times when she is just freakin' fugly.

6. Destiny's Child - Stand Up For Love: 2005 World Children's Day Anthem (on twice)

Ladies. I understand that this was for a good cause and all. And outside of the part where you look like you're all standing on a giant cardboard applicator tampon, you are quite lovely.

But I keep expecting to hear the words, "I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way...". Leave this crap to Whitney. Now get back to being Bootylicious.

7. Avenged Sevenfold - Bat Country (for someone so obscure, surprisingly on twice)

Vegas in Hell (that may be redundant) with a kind of kitchen-sink approach here. Or a "let's throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks" one. And they stole the whole bug eyed, freakishly distorted faces idea from Black Hole Sun.

I like the verses, and even the wacky bridge, but not the chorus. It's as if they got tired of writing in minor keys and switched over to major.

Side note...MB walked in at this point and said, "There sure are a lot of tattoos in this band".

8. Mariah Carey - Shake it Off

Mariah sure does enjoy her body...and would like to share it with the world!

I still remember the first time I heard Vision of Love and I was STUNNED at how amazing this new girl's voice was.

You have THAT Mimi. You don't need to be parading around in a the street. But I did like that in said scene, the little chubby African-American girl on the payphone was having such a good time upstaging you.

9. Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To

Now we're talking! Adorable Scots crashing the pretentious art gallery party in matching ever-so-fetching satin jackets...WITH a jammin alterna-disco beat? This girl could not ask for more. Lucky're so lucky...

10. Common - Testify

Very high concept. Very high drama. And lots of actual actors with a SURPRISE ending.

Amazingly, I like it! But don't ask me anything about the song. I was too busy watching the movie.

11. Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends

The one that makes Kona Girl cry. I've seen it a hundred times so it doesn't have the resonance it once did, but that being said, it's a perfect blend of song and concept.

And Evan Rachel Wood gets to emote almost as much as she did in Thirteen.

12. Lil' Kim - Lighters Up

Now THIS is one I would have liked to have seen while in the UK. There's so much editing that it resembles a cell phone connection with a bad signal. Words just drop off and it's up to you to decipher it.

And somehow I DON'T think she was really saying "Shut up chick" at the beginning.

But I like the reggae beat and I feel for her 'cause she just went to prison. Note all the cameos from celebrity friends who also must have felt bad.

13. Nickelback - Photograph (on THREE times)

When I first went to London, "How You Remind Me" was on every radio station ALL THE TIME (well, that and "Hot in Herre"). MB loved it and loved to sing to it, so I beared up, but I didn't like it.

I had to eventually admit one thing though; it was damn catchy. And, try as they might, no one can replicate Chad Kroeger's voice to do any other version justice (see: reason for Constantine's early shock ouster from AI).

I feel the same way about Photograph (both the song and the video). It's OK, but it doesn't thrill me. And if MB wants to sing along, I'll join in as usual.

Holy moly, I'm exhausted. Tomorrow we review Great Authors of the Twentieth Century, you know, to cleanse the palate. And to welcome back my "couldn't-understand-and-therefore-took-off-after-My-Humps" poor, poor mother.


Anonymous M-I-L said...

Er ... yeah! Your poor M-I-L's eyes were getting kinda glazed, too!

Ah, but Duran Duran! Yes! We can talk about them!

What a nice boy Simon le Bon was! Well, he took after his dad, who was a lovely man. (Of course his mum was a very nice woman too, but she had left and gone to live in the US when I knew them. Although she did come back to visit when Amber was born.)

Want any Duranie autographs, Christmas Cards, signed records, books, videos, baby clothes, we've got 'em all here!

Oh, and Simon's younger brother David Le Bon, whose business was called Drum Auto, re-sprayed my previous car.

It was a really crap job! >>;-)

12:02 PM  
Blogger emily said...

dude, you're a freak. or as max would put it, simply "FREAK!"

Personally, I thought all the videos moved to MTV2 which if that's truly the case (not that I would know because only my better half watches videos) then you can't claim that you stayed up all last night just to entertain us today. Or "for the sake of the art" which is what you'll probably try to claim next.

WE WON'T JUDGE YOU FOR SLEEPING AT NIGHT LIKE A NORMAL PERSON... although I did enjoy my MTV recap. Now I can relate to the kids for the next week... or at least the wife.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you know me so well and anticipated my zoning out, I'm going to add to thoughts about the "Sweet Sixteen" of yesterday.

I don't know if any of your group even noticed that you were a mini United Nations ethnicly and religiously. That, in a neighborhood known for its WASPishness and social aloofness (at least that's how outsiders viewed us). Wow! Hats off again/still, girls!!!

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, just read my published comment and since one of your things is English, let me correct my speling: ethnically.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous KG said...

i LOVED the mtv recap.... thanx for that fun... altho' u need some sleep, girl!

and yes, even tho' i kinda hate green day cuz they are such unpatriotic limousine liberals (a la george clooney and sean penn... would you ever seen any of them trading places for 24 hours and living the lives of our boys over there in the sandbox? never! and you never will!), that song, wake me up when september ends, DOES make me cry, and it always will....

XOXO and much love to you and MB

4:23 PM  
Blogger kiwi said...

I knew music would be a good topic for you to write about. I was cracking up as read your video brief because I think the same thing about a lot of these videos. And that Bat country video totally ripped off Soundgarden. The Nerve!

11:04 PM  
Blogger Shrinking Violet said...

Awwww...Duran Duran....I remember them!! I also LOVED Men at Work. Those were the days.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Rock said...

Brooke - you rock. Great post - great site. Nice to have some left coast representation.

I think I'm one of the few males who will admit to being a Duran Duran freak - "The Reflex"? C'mon. And my fave "New Day on Monday" - whatever the heck that means.

I am much older than I look but when I can remember I do watch the VH1 Top 20 on Saturday mornings (thats where the videos are) and hanging with the homies.

I still remember coming home from college one night and my roommate showing me this new phonomenon called MTV - we watched it for the first time that night until 3:30 AM.

1:45 PM  

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