Sunday, July 11, 2010

B.B. from The A

Artist: Big Boi
Song: “Shutterbugg”
Rating: B

Outkast was, in my belief, the best hip-hop group of the last decade. Andre 3000 and Big Boi were the perfect duo, the pop and the bass. They played pop, but their roots were in the rhyme.

All good things must come to an end, but I was pretty excited when it became clear that Big Boi was prepping a solo debut. Now that it's out, I'm sad to report that it's merely decent. I've always been a fan of the heavy rhythm of Big Boi's voice, but I suppose it wore on me ten tracks in. Blame it on the short-attention span, but I'm in need of someone new.

“Shutterbugg” is similarly good, but not great. It ties together the hip-hop video staples (curvy and pretty young things, the posse shot) with sharp, creative visuals: a puppet band, a flipbook head and the biggest red cup pyramid anyone's ever seen.

Oh, and a little product placement at the very beginning. That seems unprecedented to me. Has it always that obvious?

Friday, July 9, 2010


Artist: The Chap
Song: "Even Your Friend"
Rating: B

Here's a video for the young at heart. Remember those triple flap books, where one could mix and match various eyes, noses and mouths?

Even at age seven, I recognized these books to be nothing more than a cheap thrill. Time hasn't made them anymore appealing, even with a decent soundtrack and a few amusing match-ups (my favorite is "surprised glasses" meets "chimpanzee grin.")

Fun, this video is not, but it is "cute." Am I really using that word?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Scary Noises

Artist: HEALTH
Song: "We Are Water"
Rating: A

I really like Los Angeles' HEALTH. I really like director Eric Wareheim, the TV comic also of the City of Angels who doubles as visionary music director. Doubt it? Click here, here and here. Then try the video above.

Wareheim's videos usually have a lot in common in with his TV show, "Tim and Eric, Awesome Show Great Job!" There's the peculiar pacing, cast with slightly-beneath-average looks and bright colors galore. "We Are Water" doesn't differ (except in terms of palette) but this is the first to ambiguously toggle between funny and disturbing, another important characteristic of his TV show.

I can't bring myself to laugh at the makeup-smeared "damsel"-in-distress flee from her tighty-whitey assailant. At least, not at first blow. It's only funny from a post-viewing perspective, long after one's initial nervous smiles have faded. If you do find this video funny at any given time, congrats; you're likely living in the more bizarre side of life. This is a weirdo litmus test.

The technical aspects are impressive in their own right - degraded colors, excellent cinematography (the superb second-to-last shot will be the most unsettling thing you see in music videos this year.) The creeping motion of the video aligns perfectly with the fast paced track.

I can't say this will be the weirdest thing you see this year, but it'll definitely make "Best Of" lists all across the blogosphere.