Music Video Saturday Vol. 2 [music]

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I started a weekly column where I highlight a music video that I vividly remember or just recently discovered. Last week I tackled the weirdness that is Bjork as directed by the great Spike Jonze. This time we are going way back in time to the first memory of a music video I ever had. I was 7 years old and my sister (a music freak) was staying with us briefly, staying up all night watching MTV. I was familiar with The Cars since my dad played their debut record constantly. They had just released a new album called Heartbeat City which he purchased on cassette. I can’t recall which video came out first “Magic” or the one that has stuck with me to this day featured below. “You Might Think” is one of my favorite songs of theirs, which is featured on a less than stellar outing from the band despite hit singles like “Drive.” Suffice to say, the record as a whole doesn’t hold up as strongly as their debut, but this landmark video (at least in mind) is still well worth a look. Yes it’s uber-80s in terms of content and effects, but it’s goofy and groundbreaking for its time. The reason I chose it for the simple fact that Ric Ocasek as a fly haunted my dreams just as much as Freddy Krueger did at the time. I had nightmares of being stalked by fly-Ocasek and watching it now, I can’t help but laugh at the fact that seeing that animated fly actually scared me as a kid. What memories of music videos do you recall from your childhood that made an indelible impression — good or bad? Here’s the very first for me, and I’m not ashamed to say that I still like this song despite what the video did to me as a kid. Stay tuned next week for an “I Love The 90s” edition of Music Video Saturday!

I Want My Music Video Please! [music]

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It should come as no surprise that my three favorite music video directors are Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, and Mark Romanek. A lot of accomplished filmmakers started out making short films, collaborating with musicians back when there was one cable channel that focused solely on the music video art form. For me, music and film are the two things I love the most when it comes to expressing a vision. So I consider the music video to be the best of both worlds. My earliest memories outside of sitting through Spielberg and Zemeckis films in the theater with my dad, often involved staying up late to watch 120 Minutes, Alternative Nation, Headbanger’s Ball, and any MTV program dedicated to binging on videos. So I decided to explore this further by presenting a weekly find, either one I’ve never seen before, or a blast from the past that I think deserves another look. You will definitely find selections from the three names mentioned above including a list of my all-time favorite videos mid-year. For now, let’s talk about the brilliance of Spike Jonze as an inventive visual stylist whom I first adored when his breakthrough Weezer video won accolades back in the mid-90s. I know he still actively makes short films, and of course I consider HER to be one of the best films of the decade so far. I used to be a huge Bjork fan but as of late I haven’t been as crazy about her output, particularly the songs on this record. But I will admit to finding “Triumph Of The Heart” to be an interesting song to say the least, featuring beatbox vocal contributions from Mike Patton of Faith No More. And besides music and movies, I also love cats. Finding this Spike Jonze gem was a welcome start to my weekend, and hope that you feel the same. I wouldn’t necessarily put it up there as one of Jonze’s best, but it’s certainly worth a look for its sheer weirdness.

Musical Top Ten for 2013

artwork manipulation courtesy of Spin.

Of course we’re all about the movies around here. But we also have day jobs (some of us). And we also have to get to the theater in a car or bus with stereo/iPod jamming; which means the amount of actual minutes consuming music vastly outweighs our movie watching. So throughout the year we take note of what sounds get us from place to place, help us get through the daily grind and just generally enhance our well-being. In the past year, this is the aural landscape that we traveled through most frequently and at our happiest. Welcome to the RowThree Musical “Best Of” lists for 2013.

Scott Olson
Bob Turnbull
Andrew James
David Brook
Ryan McNeil

 
By all means, drop some of your favorites in the comments section below.
Welcome to 2014!

Would you like to know more…?

Musical Top Ten for 2012

It’s not strictly the silver cinema for the RowThree staff. We do have some other interests as well. And since it’s that time of year, nothing easier than throwing together a quick top ten of quite possibly our second favorite art form around here: tunage. Adele might be artist of the year, but apparently the third row doesn’t see this. It seems Jack White might hold that prestigious honor with five mentions out of seven in the lists below; including two number one slots.

Outside of Mr. White, there are a couple of duplicate mentions below but for the most part it’s clear music distribution continues to outwit even some of the most die hard of music buffs as it’s virtually impossible to follow every single artist and new release out there. From local bar bands to stadium mega-rockers, it’s easy to find anything in any of the cracks the internet has to offer.

Here are the lists from some of the staff at RowThree. How about you? What have you got for us to listen to in 2013?

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Talk TV and MUSIC in the Third Row

TALK MUSIC

               

TALK TV

We’ve tried every way we can think of for a place in which people can talk about TV shows, music and even books or sports within the confines of RowThree. We had a separate blog with guest writers for a time. It died a slow and horrible death. Then we tried a little chat bar at the bottom of the page and everyone seemed confused and no one was ever on at the same time. Within about a week we realized that wasn’t working at all and had to remove it. So then we just went with something as simple as an occasional post on a random topic that we felt was warranted. This is fine but we still found that random post comment sections were still getting “hijacked” with comments on the Olympics or comic books or concert venues. Hey, we love the enthusiasm, but we want someplace for you guys to be able to do this that doesn’t require you to guess where to post your thoughts or just pick a random spot to do so.

Why don’t you just implement a forum?, you might ask. Well long story short, we just don’t want to.

But we think (and hope) that we have finally found the solution to our MorePop struggle. We’re introducing “Outside the Realm.” These are posts having to do with Music and Television that are fairly specific. You can browse a list of posts until you find the topic you want to talk about and leave your thoughts in the comment section and hopefully get a conversation started. Outside of the realm can be found by clicking either of the two links at the very top of your screen marked “Music” and “Television.” Once there, this will make a lot more sense.

Here’s why we like this idea and hope it will succeed:
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David Lynch’s Crazy Clown Time Video is as Weird as You’d Expect

Anyone who knows anything about the world of David Lynch – his movies, paintings and music – will find it absolutely no surprise that the video for the titular track from his first solo album Crazy Clown Time is strange. Basically consisting of people acting out exactly what’s in the lyrics – including pouring beer, a woman taking her top off and a man setting his mohawk on fire. Yeah, it’s as strange (and awesome!) as it sounds.

An exercise of being straightforward with your music? Or just weird for weird’s sake?

I’ve been a big fan of David Lynch for a number of years now (he might be my favourite director at this point in time) and while, admittedly, that fandom might have clouded my judgement of his musical talents, I still found Crazy Clown Time an oddly addictive album. The title track isn’t anywhere near my favourite from the album (that would be Good Day Today) but it’s hypnotic in a very Mulholland Drive/Inland Empire-esque way.

Dive down the Rabbit hole by watching the video below:

MorePop Friday: Skydive Naked from an Aeroplane…

…Or a lady with a body from outer space. Mere child’s play to what The Crüe has in store for us this Sunday.

The internet these last few days has been abuzz with Super Bowl commercials. I don’t even need to watch the game this year. Usually I watch to see some of these fun ads and eat mini-wieners. These days I’ll just eat the mini-wieners as I’ve already seem all the good ones.

So in am effort to be more of a sheep than I already am and conform even further, how can I not post my favorite pre-Super Bowl ad right here on our movie site?

Now you might be thinking, “This is Andrew so he’s totally going to post the dogs barking out The Imperial March.” But you’d be wrong. And of course Old Spice has been a champ for the last couple of years. But remember, I’m a child of the 80s who dreamed of being a rock star. So ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, welcome to the carnival that is Mötley Crüe (and bronco rhinos, flaming face kicks, giant sandwiches and lumberjacks)…

 

MorePop: Samantha Morton Directs “The Kills”

So I’ve become a pretty big fan of “The Kills” as of recent. Especially after seeing them live last fall. Also, I’m kind of a Samantha Morton fan. And looky here… the two have collaborated; with Morton directing “The Kills” latest video for The Last Goodbye. I can’t believe this band has been around for ten years already, but damn if they’re not still going strong. This video is a little bit different direction than their usual fare.

“The Last Goodbye” offsets the hard-edged sound Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince are known for with haunting vocals and a nostalgic piano loop. “I wanted to make it completely different from anything we’d normally do,” explains Hince. “I used an octagon keyboard from the 60s which takes flexi-discs with real bands playing and mixes them together.” For the video — an experience Hince and Mosshart usually find unfulfilling and frustrating — the duo enlisted the talents of Morton, who made her directorial feature debut this year with The Unloved. Shot in monochrome on crisp, silvery 35mm, the video reflects the beautiful simplicity of the track, with an old-school photo booth providing an intimate backdrop for Mosshart’s intense and heart-warming opening performance followed by a series of touching to-camera poses reflecting the musicians’ longstanding, spirited friendship. “Life goes on,” says Mosshart of the touching ballad. “It starts off being the end of the world but then ends up alright.”