25 November 2007

The Music Video Era!

It's officially dead. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. 

Over this wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, Rachel and I waxed nostalgic about music videos and wondered if bands still make them. Remember when Michael Jackson or Madonna videos were premiered on ABC or NBC news? Or M.J.'s fantastic "Remember the Time" video starring Eddie Murphy, Iman, and a hoard of people in some crazy version of egyptian clothes dancing around like they were trying to raise King Tut? M.J. had it right, his videos were events! I worry about the people who've never seen the full "Thriler" video and the making of it. Today in the car some local radio station announced that it played "The best songs of the Video Music Era," as if the  time of music videos is long gone.

I can't remember the last time I saw a legitimate music video on MTV or Vh1. Maybe that's because I don't watch those channels, but I think what made me stop watching in the first place was the replacement of music videos with awful reality shows. And who can blame them? Who needs an artistic, well-directed 3-minute visualization of your favorite song when you can watch a woman poop on the floor of a mansion? (So I caught that episode of Flavor of Love).

That reminds me, is TRL still on? Or Vh1's Top-20 countdown? Are those the last remnants of the music video, or are they gone as well? I'm afraid those wonderful wonderful videos have been replaced by Beyonce's shitty DirectTV jingle, complete with dancing choreographed by the cartoon cat from Paula Abdul's "Opposites Attract" video. Except that cat could dance.

I miss music videos. I don't really want to see Fergie "dancing" to her "music." But I guess that raises the question of the status of music now, which I won't talk about because I don't feel like my head should explode at the end of a nice holiday weekend. I miss Busta Rhymes' crazy costumes and yelling "Wooooohaaaaaa!" And A-Ha's journey into combining animation and video in "Take On Me." The Smashing Pumpkins once redid the classic "Rocket to the Moon" with their "Tonight" video. More recently, Incubus's lead singer followed A-Ha's lead by animating himself  in "Drive" or whatever that song was called.

Maybe there are still music videos around and I'm getting old.