Museum of Morgan – I Can Dream About You

Navigating The Music Video Landscape
Video: “I Can Dream About You”
Artist: Dan Hartman
Year: 1984

 

 Remember music videos? A now long lost art form thanks to MTV2 programming such as “Jersey Shore,” “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom.” Now – we slink away into the internet searching for our fix. On YouTube lies all of the nostalgia that comes with lip syncing and staring directly into the camera (or away for dramatic effect.) I just so happen to love the bad ones.

Now let’s clear the air right off the bat. I LOVE this song. It’s great. It’s the kinda song that I normally kill a bottle or three of sake to while belting it out in private room korean Karaoke. Such a fantastic tune deserves a fantastic music video right? Huh? WRONG. [Read more...]

Gladstone’s Great Things That Suck – REM

So the other day REM announced they were calling it quits, and I know that like many of you my first thought was “wait, they’re still a band?”  Well, apparently they were and in light of their announcement, I e-mailed the girl who broke up with me twenty years ago to let her know we were through. 

Why am I being so mean?  After all, there was a time when REM were hailed as an important band.  But that time was known as the 80s.  The decade that brought you other bad ideas like acid rain, deficit spending, and the snap bracelet.  The truth is that REM amounts to little more than a breath of non-processed fresh air during a decade of uninspired house music and hair metal. 

Look, no one is more surprised by how little I care about REM’s demise than I am. After all, there was a time when I was a fairly large REM fan. I still think 1986’s Life Rich Pageant is one of the greatest pop rock albums of all time.  That’s right. Of all time. So why all the hate

Because REM is one of the shockingly laziest bands of all time. They reached a point that many other great band reach where they had the power to progress as musicians and make their own rules, and they used that power to become increasingly safe and boring.

Compare them to U2.  Both bands require songwriting in the collective sense because unlike the Beatles or the Who or even a band like Bon Jovi no one in the group is an accomplished enough songwriter on their own.  And much like U2, REM featured guitarists who were not technically virtuosos, but who had developed unique sounds. 

But unlike U2 they did not try to grow as artists.  They did not experiment with changes in sound or style or songwriting. A few years after the Joshua Tree, U2 did Achtung Baby and Zooropa.   A few years after Out of Time, REM wrote Everybody Hurts – a song so cliché and absurd that the first time I heard it, I laughed out loud, thinking the boys were parodying saccharine boring G/C/D cheeseball inspirational music. I was wrong. So very very wrong.

The songwriting stalled and Stipe decided to use less and less of his vocal range on every single album.  Their instrumentation remained unchanged as did their songwriting. Zero musical growth rate, which I guess is OK if you’re the Ramones, but they weren’t.  They were just four guys from Georgia who had a neat sound reminiscent of the Byrds who polished their product to perfection in 1986 and then repeated it until everyone including themselves apparently lost interest.

 

gladstone

Gladstone

Gladstone is a columnist for Cracked.com, the creator and star of the Hate By Numbers video series, and the author of the forthcoming novel Notes from the Internet Apocalypse. Most of his stuff can be found on his site.

 

Museum of Morgan – Said I Loved You But I Lied

Navigating The Music Video Landscape
Video: “Said I Loved You But I Lied”
Artist: Michael Bolton
Year: 1993
 

Remember music videos? A now long lost art form thanks to MTV2 programming such as “Jersey Shore,” “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom.” Now – we slink away into the internet searching for our fix. On YouTube lies all of the nostalgia that comes with lip syncing and staring directly into the camera (or away for dramatic effect.) I just so happen to love the bad ones. 

Far before you hipsters thought he was cool because he crested the high seas with The Lonely Island on the track “Jack Sparrow” … Michael Bolton was the stuff of adult contemporary mom dreams. Armed with enough squinting to merit a contact lense prescription, hair cascading from his scalp like a hunky hero from a romance novel and a wardrobe provided exclusively from the Natural Wonder store at a mall circa 1994, this video provides a perfect example of why the midlife ladies used to swoon.

michael-bolton-liedI have to be honest, I had no idea that Michael Bolton cared so much about nature. The video is set across the glorious landscape of Phoenix, Arizona. On first glimpse you may have thought that the video was an early inspiration for the Disney classic “The Lion King.” There are several points here where Sultry Voice McGee sings directly into a circling helicopter shot. A shot that almost screams “Circle Of Life.” But the landscape alone doesn’t even scratch the surface on the natural beauty the video expresses. It’s littered with shots of clouds passing by (I believe to show us this is a dream.) There are horses, hawks and semi naked women galore. And my oh my the fire … there is fuck tons of unnecessary fire. I often say to myself when watching this video. “Be careful horses! Watch out for that fire!”

Our crooner broodingly wanders through this setting recalling the memory of a long lost love. Much of that memory is her, a beautiful model, making out with him while splayed across the boulders of the Arizona desert wearing nothing but a silk sheet. Any shot of her is purely in black and white, to represent that she is his past. A memory never to be forgotten. He moves along, like a ghost, remembering this beautiful woman. And as he does he tricks us with the lyrics. [Read more...]

Keith Apicary + Katy Perry = DANCE PARTY

 

KeithApicaryNathanBarnatt

Keith Apicary

Nathan Barnatt of Keith Apicary, Trale Lewous and general viral video and YouTube famousness is holding a campaign to get his dancing ass in a Katy Perry video. Comedy Rants is dedicated to covering the most significant matters of our time, and we endorse this campaign. You can join the Keith Apicary + Katy Perry = DANCE PARTY movement simply by tweeting this:

@NathanBarnatt applying to dance in a @KatyPerry video. Here is his application http://bit.ly/nhDeQa and http://bit.ly/ek6x83

We asked Nathan to share some insights about why he wants to be in a Katy Perry video -

Although this is stupid and won’t work I thought I’d try to get Katy Perry to do a music video with me doing my thing. Whatever that is. Flopping around I guess. Katy Perry’s songs are crazy dancey and the videos are usually pretty fun. I did my last one for Yelle and the band loved it now it’s the official video for that song. Yelle was on tour with Katy this summer. So maybe I should have Yelle drop Katy a note in the hall or something. I’ve wanted to do my style of a dance video for her songs before. I feel like she might appreciate the humor and style of them. Unless she isn’t into dumb morons. Who knows. – Nathan Barnatt