The Menzingers “I Don’t Wanna Be an Asshole Anymore”
In the video for their latest singled “I Don’t Wanna Be an Asshole Anymore, off of Rented World, The Menzingers give us an alternate take on Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th fame. In the video Jason is just a guy who wants to improve himself and get the girl. As he stares into the mirror and looks at himself, he realizes he doesn’t want to be an asshole. Not anymore. He starts working out to get in better shape. He gets a job where he can use his machete skills without killing anyone. He starts to think positively, no longer writing “kill” on his dry erase board, but rather writing inspirational words about himself. He reads books on how to get the girl. He even takes lessons from popular culture and reenacts that famous scene from Say Anything where John Cusack holds a boombox above his head blaring music. We finally see Jason turn into a pretty great guy, and feel better about himself for doing so. It’s unfortunate he gets hit by a truck.
Beyonce “Pretty Hurts”
With a new, self titled album that is called “The Visual Album”, Beyonce has released a video for “Pretty Hurts”. In the video, Beyonce plays a beauty pageant contestant, Miss 3rd Ward. The video demonstrates all the work that goes into winning one of these pageants, as indicated by all the trophies Miss 3rd Ward has. It shows the working out, the vaseline to whiten the teeth, the throwing up, the primping, spray tanning, etc. Yet, Miss 3rd Ward isn’t happy. There are moments when she’s on the verge of tears. At other moments she just doesn’t look happy. She gets treated as though she’s fat, or not perfect enough by people working behind the scenes of the pageant. She even gets shunned by the other contestants. Yet, it becomes clear that she wants none of this when pageant MC Harvey Keitel asks her what her aspiration is. After some thought, Miss 3rd Ward answers “to be happy”. The lyrics go on to state that the surgery needs to occur in the soul. In this day and age where photoshopping for magazine covers and spreads is a thing of the news, it puts the focus on the wrong things. Even Beyonce has been criticized for photographs that were “unflattering”. That’s ridiculous. There is a pretty strong consensus that she is a beautiful woman. But that’s the sad thing about our world, it wants to take away anything that you have.
The Knocks “Dreaming”
The Knocks latest single off of Comfortable is “Dreaming”. The video plays like a video game. It is supposed to follow a romance story, and uses footage of Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko in the background. It starts as a Dance Dance Revolution type game before going into something like Guitar Hero. The next level brings back DDR before putting out couple on a bike and going gold ring crazy like Sonic the Hedgehog. There are a lot of hearts, so it’s safe to say that the game is won, and they are in love.
Lily Allen “Sheezus”
Lily Allen continues to release new music from her forthcoming album Sheezus. Her latest is the titular track from the album. For the video we get a lot of Lily. She’s washed in different colors of red, green, purple. There are animated lines, dots, and other accessories of that type. Her eyes a dark yellow save for the pupil and iris which are all black. Some have taken this song to be a dis of all the other artists she mentions in the chorus. I don’t believe that it is. I think she’s simply stating the fact that each of these women want to be on top in the industry. They will not back down. Lily doesn’t want to either. In fact, she’ll gladly take the crown and be the next one to get criticized and attacked for whatever reason the media decides. I think what she says about each performer isn’t necessarily her own words but reiterations of what the media has said about her fellow singers. No matter who you are, people will try to take you down off your pedestal, the same one that they put you on. That’s why the video is centered around her. She’s ready, able, and willing to go toe to toe with anyone who wants to come at her. She’s more fired up if you try to go after her children.
St. Paul and the Broken Bones “Call Me”
A look at St. Paul and the Broken Bones frontman Paul Janeway probably doesn’t prepare you for the sound of his voice. Certainly, I’m not going to compare him to a legend like James Brown, but I can argue that he belongs in that vicinity. The acts debut album Half the City is out now. Their latest single is “Call Me”. The video features a couch that is actually in two separate places at once. On the left of the screen is Janeway and the band in a 70’s era apartment. They’re mostly hanging around and playing cards, but not Janeway. No, he starts off by sitting on the couch before getting up and belting a tune about how he needs to hear his girl’s voice, if she’d only pick up the phone. He’s got some smooth dance moves as well. On the right, we see a woman in a pink dress in her pink apartment with a woman’s 70’s era touch. She’s up and dancing, and having a good time throughout the song. At the end, she approaches the left side of the screen, but rather than crossing over the dividing line, she disappears behind it. She’s not answering the phone, and she’s not running to her man’s arms. Welcome to the world St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Can’t wait to hear and see more from you.