Welcome back to The Last VJ, music fans. This week I introduce you to one of the best video front man performers I have ever seen, as well as take you through some truly Academy Award-worthy work. There's pretty girls, animated horror, and some good old sad-bastard music at the end. Let's roll those vids.
Archie Powell and the Exports, "Holes" I rarely bother with performance-heavy videos, even when they're set in places as awesome as an old arcade, because I consider it a very lazy form of video art. That said, director Bryan Racine uses the Emporium Arcade Bar in Chicago to its fullest potential, but that's still not what netted the video a slot in the roundup this week.
In my mind there has only been one man who has ever truly mastered the art of aping the act of singing in front of a camera so well that he could be as compelling doing so as he was live. That man was David Lee Roth. Archie Powell is the second person to activate that perfect level of hammy awareness and utter sincerity to the source material. It's an amazing, addictive performance.
Blue Foundation, "Describe" Directors Cecile Evert and Simon Lundsgaard have taken Blue Foundation's soft electronica ode to love and made something damn near Oscar-worthy around it. "Describe" follows a couple played by Louise Rode and Martin Nielsen as they live and love ordinary lives. That description pales in comparison to the unique and powerful chemistry that exists onscreen during the video, nor dies it adequately convey the beauty with which it is shot. All I can really say is see for yourself, and wonder how a video could be so great.
REWIND: Last Week's Music Video Roundup
Megan Bonnell, "Stars" Weird person wandering aimlessly in search of meaning is a music video staple that can be either gripping or pointless depending on the artistry of the performer and the skill of the director. Bonnell manages to achieves the former thanks to the space-eyed wanderlust that gives her an alien feel. The best sort of video in this style is the one that has you filling in a story as it progresses, and the doomed starchild that I was imagining was good stuff indeed.
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Middle Class Rut, "Pick Up Your Head" We've had a string of really great low-fi animated music videos in the Last VJ these past weeks, and the latest from directors Steven Mertens and Chris Tucci are definitely tops. Sure, they adhere a little too literally to the lyrics of "Pick Up Your Head", but the song itself is so damned catchy on its own that you hardly mind the predictability of it. A lot of music videos try and bring back the glory of Liquid Television, but "Pick Up Your Head" is one of the very, very few that accomplishes it.
Bart Davenport, "Dust in the Circuits" I included our last video this week simply because it reminds me of how much I miss The Smithereens when they would bust out the sad-bastard music. Davenport and a girl played by Nedelle Torrisi dance through a part that feels like a scene cut from Less Than Zero, ultimately going their separate ways in lonely chagrin. It's maudlin silliness, but it's definitely great maudlin silliness.
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