I take a look at some sick music videos and talk about them. What more do you want from life?
In this new segment, I’m going to pick a couple of my favourite music videos out and talk about them. Sometimes music videos can be just as important as the song itself, adding a further element of meaning to the song and sometimes the song works even better with the video. Case in point Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”. This is actually a great place to start this segment, as this video encapsulates the whole song being made better by a music video idea. It’s a great song, but even better with the music video. By this point though, I’m sure everyone has seen it and understands its meaning. Taking aim at aim at America’s treatment of Black people and the violent contradictions that come with it. The song centre’s on race and gun violence. It’s truly a masterpiece of filming with it feeling like one long tracking shot, coupled with Glovers provoking choreography which contradicts with the depictions of extreme violence. It oozes meaning. Check it out via the link because VEVO are bastards and won’t let me embed videos. WATCH HERE if for some reason you haven’t already.
Now, onto the main videos I wanted to discuss. One of my favourite music videos is Father John Misty’s “Total Entertainment Forever” from the album “Pure Comedy”. This is one of the stranger music videos, but it’s absolutely packed with meaning. The song is about humanity’s never ending conquest to be entertained and the lengths some go to entertain themselves. The George Washington character represents modern America or modern, western society really. A country/civilisation past its prime requiring external means to “get off”. The song makes reference to corporate America or corporate society in general, this is heavily hinted at by the Ronald McDonald figure in the video. Kurt Cobain arguably represents the modern obsession with celebrities, treating them as almost Jesus like figures. Despite being dead for over 20 years corporate America/society is still beating Kurt for every penny they can make out of him, take the Urban Outfitters “Kurt’s Note” t-shirt for example. Not only this, he is also represented to be a martyr of some sort, being crucified, along with John from Garfield and Bill Clinton who represent other facets of American society. While the video isn’t overtly graphic it has some quite strong depiction of violence, it signifies how Humans are longing for more extreme, more violent ways to keep entertained until our brain becomes frazzled and desensitised. Check it our below:
Another very thought provoking music video stems from the minds of Radiohead. “Burn the Witch” from the 2016 album “A Moon Shaped Pool”. This video is stylised as a cutesy cartoon in a similar vein to classic Postman Pat, this in itself is a great throwback to classic UK 70s cartoons. For something that starts off so cutesy, it takes a very dark turn. The song and the video counterpart is very politically driven, it’s essentially about the rise in right-wing politics and the witch hunt to blame people for all of the worlds problems. Essentially people of the muslim faith being the ‘witches’ and the far right being the ‘hunters’, what the video does is display the “project fear” that’s being drummed up by politicians and right-wing press such as The Daily Mail and the Sun. The video shows some of the townspeople “burning the witch”, all of this is going on whilst others such as the town inspector and the nature around are blissfully unaware of the goings on until they see it with their own eyes and by then its too late. Truly powerful and eery stuff. Check it out below:
I’ll probably try and make this a weekly thing on a Monday moving forward and I probably won’t keep up with. I make no promises. Cheers.