Video Rewind 09.12.2014

Hoodie Allen “Dumb For You”

Hoodie Allen is back to his basics. He’s got another album People Keep Talking due out on October 14th. His single “Dumb For You” gives us a sample of what the album will sound like. Lyrically the song goes back to a familiar topic for Hoodie. He’s dealing with a bad relationship, but this time Hoodie’s done with all the drama. He’s ready to move on. The video for the song also shows us the dangers of hitchhiking. It starts with Hoodie getting out of a car that his girlfriend is driving. The rest of it is spent with him getting rides from one person or another. The first car to pick him up has a couple arguing in it. You never want to be the third person in a car with a couple that is fighting. He jumps out and finds himself picked up by a single man who starts getting handsy with Hoodie. Another action exit from a moving vehicle. The third ride is a pickup truck where Hoodie sits in the bed. He uncovers a dead dog back there, so he makes another stunt-like exit. Eventually a vehicle with women stops, but only long enough for him to approach the car and then hit the gas a bit. They toy with him, and he almost makes it in when he jumps up onto the car. In the end, they drive off and he’s laughing. Fnally, his girl returns and tries to convince him to get back in the car. He shakes her off, and flips her the bird before the video ends. Look, we’ve all been in bad relationships. Some of us will probably find more bad relationships. The point is to know when to get out. For Hoodie, this road trip was it. At least in the video.

Plague Vendor “Breakdance On Broken Glass”

Dove Men’s body wash has a commercial where a bunch of men in white button up shirts, ties, and instruments enter a little wash area that resembles a car wash dirty, and exit not only clean but dry as well. Plague Vendor’s video for “Breakdance On Broken Glass” is the antithesis of that. First off, these are not your nice guys in button ups and brass instruments. They’re probably not the manly man demographic that Dove Men’s body wash is going for. What they are is going from clean to dirty through a car wash in reverse. That’s right, we first see them soaking wet, because that’s what real car washes do. As they walk backwards through the car wash we see them endure the high powered blow dryer, the deluge of water, the soapy foam saved for making your vehicle’s exterior shine, and the massive tentacle-like scrubbers. It is at this point that I am thrilled to see that the lead singer has not suffocated. He pulls his shirt up through his leather jacket and covers his face. All I could think was that he was attempting to water board himself. They make it to the start of the car wash as they had left it, safe and intact, with that foreboding look on their faces as though they are here to menace. They’re also dirty, because they are clearly about to enter the carwash to wash away the evidence of whatever wrongdoing they have done. Or maybe they just don’t want to pay for a motel to take a hot shower. More power to them either way.

Sinkane “How We Be”

One of the purposes of music is to have a medium to dance to. There was a time where dance was a part of everyday life. Now it’s mostly reserved for the dance clubs where it can be argued there is little dancing, just a bunch of people rubbing up against other people. I’m aware that there still are people out there who dance, maybe not professionally, but for whom dancing is an important part of their lives. Whether it is a woman going up onto a building roof on her own, or making her way out to a park to dance, or it be a group of young men finding an empty basketball court to break dance on, or a group of who come together as a dance group, it’s not something everyone does anymore. When I think of my friends, I do have to say it would be awkward for us to even consider coming together to just dance, even if there are no women around. Maybe that has something to do with our lack of skillful dancing, at least for me it is. My friends may just find it emasculating to gather in a group and dance. To me, that’s silly. Dancing is an expression of emotion that requires the entire body. While athletes can have exquisite control of their bodies, their movements in their sport don’t typically run the gamut of emotions. Dancing allows for that. The video for Sinkane’s “How We Be” features several young men and women dancing. Some in groups. Some alone. All out in various places of the city. Perhaps that’s another advantage of dancing, you can do it anywhere, and have anything become your stage. In that way, what music becomes in terms of playing skill or vocal skill, dancing is the ability to convert your body into a visual work of moving art.

Scars on 45 “Crazy For You”

Being alone can get tough. Often the thing that leaves you feeling alone is the loss of a previous relationship. Other times it’s just struggling to deal with life when it’s not going your way. You can be left a shell of your former self incapable of handling simple tasks. For me, that can come in the form of not being able to sleep. I know, it’s so easy that babies can do it, but sometimes I get so worked up I can’t figure it out. When times like these occur for a person, it’s always nice to have support around you, but the deciding factor on if you change is you yourself. You have the capabilities to do it, you just have to find the strength and manner by which to get to that part of yourself. The video for “Crazy For You” by Scars On 45 is a good visual depiction of this. We start with a man sitting on his couch in his t-shirt and underwear. His hands dangle down and look as though he doesn’t know how to manage them. He tears his shirt open, then we see a disturbing image of something pushing up through his abdomen and eventually out. It’s another him. This new version is just the old version, capable of being happy, and functioning like a healthy human being. He teaches the broken self to eat, get dressed, not worry about his penis, and to get out into the world and meet someone. This is a sped up process as we see both men just going to a woman’s house. He’s having dinner, the broken self that is. Struggling to use the utensils, he shoves the spaghetti into his mouth with his hands. The woman finds this funny and endearing. She really likes him. So, when they wind up on the couch kissing, the healthy version of the man is peering in. The woman leaves for a moment, so healthy version and broken version swap places with the latter being shoved into the closet. Turns out, there’s a version of the woman in here as well. And so, sometimes you just need to fake being ok long enough to get there, because eventually you can find someone who understands you.

The Hot Sardines “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen”

In their latest video for “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” The Hot Sardines take the New York subway for a trip into the past. They convert it into a performance center where by they play their early 1900’s style of music, jazzy, fresh, and no electricity. There are horns, a clarinet, drums, and a piano. About the only thing that needs electricity is the microphone. The style of clothing and dance, I’m not going to lie, there is a part of me that wishes it were still like this. Only, I’d have no problem with women wearing pants, as the lead singer does. The song is colorful which matches up with the video nicely. The clothing is sharp and lively, the columns of the subway and even the trains themselves come off with fantastic color. The overall look is compelling as a reminder that going to club wasn’t always about listening to DJ blare music in a mostly dark room with lazer lights going shooting all over the place. And the attire was sexy while not showing more than needs to be seen to get the imagination going. After all, you should always leave them wanting more.