Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday Way Back Video

My kid left the TV on MTV when he went to school this morning.

I haven't watched MTV or VH1 or CMC in years. Partly because I don't much care for the music nowadays (yes, that officially makes me old. Up yours, thank you very much for reminding me) and mostly because the last couple of times I've seen MTV it was like a car crash inside a pinball machine filmed by a hyperactive 6-year old Kevin Smith on speed. And somebody has set the intelligence level to somewhere between Paris Hilton and George W. Bush, the stupid liked to suck all the oxygen out of the room.

So, I haven't seen MTV in a while. Like years. Maybe a lot of years. OK, maybe it was the mid-90's the last time I watched MTV on any kind of regular basis.

I realized something this morning as I stood there looking at some kid in pants ten times too big for him howling like a cat entangled in a lawnmower. OK, two things: 1) I'm old. Got it. and 2) music videos in the shiny 21st Century purely suck big sucking wads of suckitude.

What the hell happened? I mean I knew things were going to shit, music video wise in the 90's, but did Phil Collins use up all the clever ideas? Did that weird slutty chick from the Divinyls give all the creative people terminal herpes? Did Pauly Shore breed and his dullwitted offspring take over the music video industry? Did video really kill the radio star? What the hell happened?

Back in 70's I think we only had like three music videos, and two of those were by Men At Work (the other one was A Flock of Seagulls, times were lean back there in proto-MTV land). But the 80's? Whoa, now that was the decade of the music video. Hell, even really shitty songs, and believe me there were some really shitty songs during the Reagan Years, had creative videos.

Also, all black singers in the 80's looked like Billy Dee Williams. And all beach bars were the canteen from Star Wars. Trust me on this, I was there. And just in case you young punks can't figure it out, cheap computerized scene fades were cutting edge shit back then, I think it was a spin off of Star Wars technology.

Also, the elf chick creeps me out.

(Note: for an authentic 1980's experience, watch in full screen mode. In full screen, the crappy low resolution YouTube video is a perfect match for a blurry big screen 3-color projection tv (caution, do not watch 80's porn in full screen, you'll hurt yourself, just sayin')


  1. I never got to watch MTV. Cable didn't run out to my parents house, and when it finally did, my parents refused to pay for it, so we had, like five and a half channels.

    So I've never gotten the appeal of MTV.

  2. Is it wrong that I actually owned that album?

  3. Yes, Janiece, very very wrong.

    But it does explain a few things...

  4. Shut up, Warrant.

    I have very eclectic taste in music.

    Lots of R&B, plus a wide variety of other stuff.

  5. And Billy Ocean. I'll bet you run the elliptical to Caribbean Queen, don't you? Don't you?

  6. I think Caribbean Queen would be to slow for running on an elliptical or whatever.

    I'm fond of Wake Up for exercise myself.

  7. I watch TiVo while I'm on the elliptical, and I listen to books when I walk the dog.

    Tunes are for when I'm working...

  8. You're not only old, you're senile, Jim: Men At Work and Flock Of Seagulls both released their first albums in 1981.

    And yes, I'm senile enough I had to look it up.

  9. (If you want '70s videos, I'm trying to remember when Rod Stewart did that godawful video where he's rolling around on the furs. I want to say it's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" (no), which Wikipedia says was '78, but I can't find the video and I don't remember for sure if that was the song. Which may be a mercy-killing on the part of my brain, and not senility. Because, seriously, that's pretty much the nadir of Stewart's career, which started so promisingly with The Faces and Every Picture Tells A Story and, and, and, well, led to "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" (still no, sorry, no matter how many times you ask, Rod), which is really just a fucking awful song.)

  10. You actually found MTV showing videos? Wow, that's a flashback moment. Mainly I find MTV and VH1 running crappy so-called reality shows.

    We got MTV up in the U.P. around 1985-86. Just about right. Excluding disco, the best music was from the 70s, but the addition of creative videos made a lot of the 80s music entertaining. If not confusing sometimes.

    Take On Me -- Ah Ha
    Land of Confusion -- Genesis
    Money for Nothing -- Dire Straits
    I'm Walking on Sunshine -- Katrina and the Waves
    Father Figure -- George Michael (hey, the model was CUTE and the editing was great)


    Dr. Phil

  11. A friend of mine posted this video link in May 2008. It is charming. And probably NSFW.

    Dr. Phil

  12. You have some strange friends, Dr Phil.

    Oh, wait....

  13. I love music videos but the problem isn't that this decade has no creative music videos. There are some great and creative music videos still being done. The problem is that: 1) MTV doesn't play the innovative music videos because they would rather show reality TV, and 2)Most popular music acts (most notably the urban/hip hop artists) are creatively bankrupt in music videos because their purpose is to show the "bling" lifestyle, not to showcase or give meaning to the music. There's very little variety in random hip hop artists opening a new bottle of Krug.

    There are some great innovative music videos out there though. Coldplay's "The Scientist", Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice" with a dancing Christopher Walken! Even Beyonce's "Single Ladies", check out the art direction and how creatively the camera pans around with the changing light sources. Ok, maybe I've revealed too much. Anyway, the all those videos are on Youtube to see. It's the much better way to be exposed to music and new inspiration. Alright, this is way too long a post. I'm stopping now.



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