Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Excitement Mismatch with Jet and The Vines

You know how it's funny when little kids and grannies swear? Or when there is a cute gerbil that is actually the vice president in charge of acquisitions at Citibank? Something about the difference between the appearance of the speaker and the content of what they are saying makes us laugh. Unless you want us to laugh at you, though, I don't recommend the same technique in a music video.

Take these two videos (please?):

Both of these videos are in the format called live without an audience. I don't know who came up with that name, but I first read it in something by Chuck Klosterman. I imagine he didn't come up with the name, though, so I'll go ahead and attribute it to Oscar Wilde. This is a great way to make a video because you can get nice close-ups of each member of the band and work out some wicked choreography, using as many takes as you need to get everything perfect. These videos do not take advantage of these qualities. Instead they are just terrible, boring videos.

"Get Free" is a moderate rocker that would match well with a video of good looking young men cavorting around a mall meeting young women with prime-time-friendly loose morals. The Vines, though, think "Get Free" is heavier than a suitcase filled with lead bricks. Maybe they were going for that in the studio, but once you are making the video you just need to match the sound you recorded.

Here is the lead singer rocking out like a white Ozzy Osbourne. Totally inappropriate for the song.

From what I can tell, the only thing heavy about the song is that the singer has a bit of edge in his voice. Well, so does Rod Stewart and I don't think the video for "Maggie May" has a group of teenagers throwing Molotov cocktails directly into cops' open mouths.

The Jet video has just the opposite problem. This song is a real rocker that made me want to behave in a decidedly disobedient fashion upon hearing it. That is until I saw the video. Then I realized that Jet's vision for the song was a group of hipsters doing their best statue impressions.

Having removed any possibly distracting motion, they realized that viewers might become fixated by color. So they quickly switched to black and white.

I can't stress enough that the band literally just stands there motionless for the entire song. They move their hands and one of them moves his mouth some of the time, but otherwise they don't do anything. This is a rock song! Did they consider... rocking out?!? Just a suggestion.

Seeing this video completely ruined the song for me. When I heard it on the radio I imagined some crusty dudes totally going crazy on a tiny stage. At some point one of the band members maybe was jumping into the audience and I think the bass drum exploded. Here they are, though, very spread out to dilute any sort of combined effect they might have accidentally had. Not moving. NOT MOVING!

Man, I'm too sad to conclude. Just don't do this to me.


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