Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The VH1 Mega Hits Experience

So here's the setup: this is one of those all video channels that you may or may not have on your digital cable. It started out as an adult top 40 video channel, which means you might have had Dave Matthews Band followed by Eminem. Then one day, I noticed a LOT of alternative videos. So they've kept the Mega Hits moniker, while playing all alternative, from mainstream to not-so-mainstream. My guess for the lack of a name change: hey, we've got the bumpers already made, why spend money on a new logo? Anyways, for a writing exercise, I decided to watch an hour and do color commentary on the videos. So join me, as we watch VH1 Mega Hits.

Jet "Cold Hard..."
For some reason, the graphic does not mention the whole title of the song, which is "Cold Hard Bitch." Yet they say it in the song, not edited. Go fig. Someone must like these guys, every video they've had brought a hefty production budget with it. In the end, it's still Aussie rock and bad teeth. Speaking of bad teeth, what happened to the Darkness?

Low Millions "Eleanor"
I actually stumbled across this CD at B&N the other day. Not bad, but nothing earth-shattering. This vid consists of PARTYTIME with the band obviously used to random people stopping by their loft while they play the latest single of their new CD. For some reason, everyone has their Polaroid taken with Eleanor written in magic marker as an ID. Oh, I've looked up again, every random person is a hot chick. This happens all the time when bands practice, I'm sure. For the record, I prefer the track "Statue" from these guys' CD, Ex-Girlfriends.

RHCP "Under the Bridge"
All we need is Kennedy VJing, and I'd be back watching Alternative Nation in my teens. Classic video, as Anthony walks the streets, and we all remember what Flea looked like with hair. Of course, everyone remembers Kiedis doing the running man with his manly locks flowing in the wind. Hey, for a second, we had a LSU color scheme going with the lights! C'mon, c'mon, where's the running man....cheap special effects sequence with a car chase or something, AND THERE'S THE RUNNING MAN! I think the only point was to show him without a shirt. Honest.

Rage Against The Machine "Renegades of Funk"
One of favs from Rage, because it just rocks. Not a shock here the video is a political statement, because Rage was a political statement, in case that wasn't beaten into your head in EVERY song. Video kinda goes like a credit sequence with the best theme song ever, as you never see the band at all. You do see a recreation of the album's cover and lots of stock footage.

Promo for Strange Love: Brigette's a man, baby. Points for using Stellastar's My Coco as bed music for the promo.

Beck "E-Pro"
Now here's a fun video. Lots of special effects, using what looks like 80's vector video game graphics on speed. Moves like a cartoon, and I'd like to see this technique used for something on Adult Swim, rather than have time taken away from my life by more than two seconds of Tom Goes To The Mayor. Beck's head is in a washing machine, which now goes on to eat pizza in a lake, and then gets shot out of a cannon. Song's good. Ok, Beck's head is back on his head, and he's getting chased by..something, and escapes by running on musical notes. Heh, the notes run out when the song ends.

Bush "Everything Zen"
Ok, I've definitely noticed something from the videos from the Alternative Nation days. Must be blurry. Must be jumpy. Must have lots of smoke and bad lighting. May or may not have one thing to do with the song. (Example: STP's "Sex Type Thing".) Then again, a lot of these songs had great hooks, but not much meaning, which may have left the videos open to artisic interpretation. In Bush's case, this led to at least two videos which looked almost exactly the same, this one and "Little Things". Having one band member shirtless also apparently was peachy keen back then. Oh, the focus was completely optional too.

Velvet Revolver "Slither"
Speaking of STP, out comes Scott Weiland, with a band I'm amazed he hasn't tanked yet by some sort of illegal use of illegal substance. And man, does he look...aged. He's needs a good ham sammich too. Here's another underground party video, except this one you get to by apparently entering through a cave because you have to wear the splunking hat. Someone get Scott a belt, that's too much skin showing. Oh, yeah, I guess I have to mention Slash and that other guy from G'N'R are in this band, because they need money too. Slash still looks EXACTLY the same. I mean, I think he and Dick Clark both have access to the same never-aging elixir. And there's Scott doing the Jesus pose!

Promo: Surreal Life promo. X-Pac and Chyna NOT on PPV! Don't miss it because I will!

Jimmy Eat World "Pain"
Why are the kids from the Royal Tennebaums here? And why does this song not even hold a candle to the second single "Work"? Anyways, the guys are either playing outside, or it's a garage with a horrible mold problem. Our protagonist in this mini-epic we call a music video apparently feels that doing something akin to Jackass stunts will help him forget about his lady love, and I still can't figure out why there's a Tennebaum cameo, if that's what the kids are supposed to be. And in the end, the girl comes back, and we find out it WAS a garage after all with lots of grass.

The Breeders "Cannonball"
God, the Deal's were HOT in this video. Always thought that, always will. This is just a fun video, where you know the director was just, "Hell with it, let's wing it. Roll a ball down a street, stick your head in this water, and we'll roll some film of ya'll playing the song, put it together, then break for cold ones. ROLL!" Damn, this song still makes your foot tap along to it. If this were the IMDB, we'd have entries for seeing the crew in the mirrors, but since it's not, we won't. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to enjoy the rest of this reggae song. Back for the next video.

Phantom Planet "California"
Hey look the guy from Rushmore! He's not in the band anymore! And that's about the extent of my Phantom Planet knowledge. This here's your "band on the road on tour" formula video. SEE Phantom Planet play Wack-A-Mole! FEEL a band member putting on his pants! KNOW that another member reads books! WONDER why they feel the need to throw themselves across the stage in reckless abandon! SMELL a bathroom! (Well, not really.) And then Rushmore guy brushes his teeth and then washes his mouth out with whiskey. Might try that tomorrow instead of ACT flouride.

Promo: Stop AIDS, or a kid will have his ballons popped by a Pee-Wee Herman wannabe.

U2 "All Because of You"
This is almost like a sequel to that one video where they had to play on top of a building because of a near riot. No, I don't remember the song. Anyways, lots of adoring fans as the gentlemen play on the back of a truck. Can't tell if anyone listening to their special edition U2 iPod at the same time, tho. Man, some of these fans are responding like Michael Jackson fans, and that alwa...and it's EXACTLY at this point I realize I forgot to watch David Letterman tonight because Kathleen Edwards was on, and now I'm slightly annoyed. That girl needs to come down my way to play a show, I've only seen her live once, and that was on a multi bill in Philly. Oh look, video's over. On to....

Muse "Hysteria"
Hey, I interviewed these guys once when I worked in College Radio ages ago. Don't even remember what we talked about. Here's a another effects laden video, with lots o' lavish backdrops. Band keeps it simple by just playing the instruments, most of the action comes from the craziness around them. Always fun to just watch a band play. No need to put them in wacky situations, unless it's the Beastie Boys. If I bothered to look, I'm sure the imagery in the video matching Muse's latest CD release, therefore triggering a reaction to make it stand out as you cruise the racks at __________________ (insert your fav record store here).

Nickelback "Someday"
For some reason, I always change the first line of this song do "Why the hell I'd wind up with tits?" Then I can never think of anything else that fits. This one's easy: It's the nickel version of Ghost. He's dead, doesn't know it, why's she cryin', WHY WON'T SHE LISTEN TO ME I'M YELLING AND CAUSING A SCENE, whoops, massive wreck involving girl and truck, girl's spirit walks out, the two walk away, happily roaming the earth apparently in some sort of purgatory, forever denied the sweet nectar that flows from the angels' chalices. That, or there is no heaven. I'm not really sure that's the point of the video though. Oh, and the band plays in some vacant office space, because studio time is expensive.

Unwritten Law "Save Me"
Here's a video that uses the almighty power of computer animation. And for some reason, they used computers that apparently are from the Sega Saturn era, because it's rough, it's blocky, and the computer models have barely more detail than Interstate '76 (there's a dated reference). Video doesn't really help an average song. But we DO have Heaven in this video, apparently to soothe the theological turmoil set upon me by the last video.

And that's an hour of my life watching VH1 Mega Hits and having randomness spill out of my head. Fun though, have to do this again sometime.


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