Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday Nonrandom 25 29+: Back to the Eighties

by Tom Bozzo

It's widely agreed that the eighties music video link site is an upper-tier timesuck. Well, I'm here to tell y'all that that ain't half of it.

What that site represents is someone spending a lot of time trolling YouTube for eighties music videos. The immediate implication — combined with the old saying that Everyone's a Critic, and the newer one that cheap blog hosting makes Everyone a Vanity Publisher — is that you can waste far more time correcting the omissions of whomever is behind that site. Perhaps this is my sneaky way of sneaking Civilization IV into the house as a time-saver.

For instance, a mystery is why — links being essentially free and all — there's only one video linked per artist. Some of them, as I sometimes tell the radio when the eighties retro station is on, had more than one hit or other work meriting anachronistic revival.

(Note, any significant amount of time spent trolling YouTube will make you wish for a charity that delivers high-quality and relatively foolproof video codecs to the masses. This assumes, of course, that YouTube's 'substantial noninfringing uses' pass muster with the Kopyright Kops.)

So, test your tolerance with YouTube's pathetic search function and...

...stop wondering why someone would immortalize Duran Duran with "Wild Boys."
Duran Duran, "Hungry Like The Wolf" "Planet Earth" something about the broken link for the Jesus and Mary Chain's "April Skies." Well, that one turns out not to be available from a cursory search. But try out:
The Jesus and Mary Chain, "Just Like Honey" "Never Understand" "Happy When It Rains" "Sometimes Always"

...see music video imagery that would scandalize these prudish Zilches, produced on behalf of our theoretically profit-seeking mass media.
Devo, "Whip It" (with energy domes!) "That's Good"

...don't wonder why the second version of the New Order "Blue Monday" video was chosen, and not the quaint first one.
New Order, "Blue Monday" (Original video, from the "Factory Shorts" collection. Note: Zaxxon as CGI animation!). For good measure, "Bizarre Love Triangle" "Regret"

...present the Who'da Thunk He'd Become a Space Entrepreneur award (see the cameo appearance):
XTC, "Generals and Majors"

...correct the criminal omission of the Kiwi indies:
The Chills, "I Love My Leather Jacket" The Bats, "Made Up In Blue" more upbeat and/or rocking alternative tracks:
The Church, "The Unguarded Moment" "Tantalized" The Wedding Present, "Kennedy" Julian Cope, "World Shut Your Mouth" Wire, "Ahead" The House of Love, "I Don't Know Why I Love You" The Stone Roses, "She Bangs The Drums" The Cars, "Shake It Up" Echo & The Bunnymen, "Lips Like Sugar"

...bolster the collection of videos from the "shoegazing" movement:
The Boo Radleys, "Lazy Day" Pale Saints, "Blue Flower" Lush, "Hypocrite" Ultra Vivid Scene, "The Mercy Seat" Adorable, "Sunshine Smile" Catherine Wheel, "I Want To Touch You"

OK, a few of these are from the early nineties. Sue me.

Don't forget that videos are advertisements, and some bands (and labels) just give them away! See The Bangles, Cocteau Twins, 4AD Records.
I should probably wait for Bryan (or Dr. Smith, as he may now be called), but I note that for a Bozzo Random ##, this one is surprisingly recognizable (at least by group).

If I were given the task of immortalizing Duran Duran, and really hated the band, I would have picked "Wild Boys" and linked to the article in The Economist (back when it was a good magazine) discussing how tame they really are.
I guess Bryan has been relieved of his duties on behalf of the VRWC since earning his PhD.

I'd have to agree on "Wild Boys," though the site's selections are so omnivorous that it's hard to detect any systematic pattern of band-dissing.
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