Music Video of the Day: Your Love by The Outfield (1986, dir. John Jopson)


I must admit that at times I do pick out music videos or films to write about simply because I know that they will get hits. Despite that, I do tend to gravitate to things that at least other people aren’t talking about, but watch en masse. Today isn’t one of those days. This happens to be one of my favorite songs, that once again, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s soundtrack introduced me to.

The first and most obvious thing is the lead singer is a little person. At a time when they were either Ewoks, Leprechauns, Trolls, and/or Sorcerers on the big screen, we had Tony Lewis belting out songs like Your Love on MTV being broadcast into people’s homes. That’s something a lot of people who are anti-music video forget. These short films brought so much culture to people that they would have been ignorant of were it not for their existence.

Now, to be fair, we also had Phil Fondacaro in Troll (1986) delivering a surprisingly good performance when he was not in costume. But we aren’t here to talk Harry Potter today.

Aside from the size of the lead singer, and them playing that up, I like that this video has four layers of capturing reality built into it. The first is the plan vanilla flavored “have the band stand on a stage and play”. It’s been done to death, and would be repeated in one form or another again and again for decades without any foreseeable end.

The second is when we step behind the scenes of that video and see the camera, crane, and crew shooting that plain vanilla flavored video. We saw that in something like I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock Of Seagulls as well. It’s the self-reflexive version of what we are looking at.

The third is that throughout this video there is a painting motif to the whole thing. This appears in the backgrounds. Sometimes paint literally is put across the frame. Then there is the girl who is presumedly painting a portrait of Tony as he sings. This is when the video has now stepped from the fantasy of the performance to the reality of the shooting of the video to the fantasy of representing something as a painting.

Then the video goes for one more when it returns the video back to reality once again by pulling the camera out to the street threw the previous layers to show the girl leaving the studio with the painting. It’s a very drab and boring shot to end on with some blue paint that runs down the frame till it cuts to black.

I love that none of these four different places are cleanly segmented from each other. An example is when we see the guitarist leave the stage to go over and look in on the girl doing the painting.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I doubt it. One, it is an 1980s video when they really seemed to get creative. Also, this is one of those videos where we know more than just the director. According to IMVDb, Glenn Lazzaro edited the video. He’s worked on his fair share of music videos and other films. Karen Bellone produced the video and seems to have done that for several music videos. Likely both Lazzaro and Bellone have directed or worked on more music videos that are just not properly documented.

I haven’t really strongly mentioned it before, but IMDb really does want submissions of music videos. These are highly undocumented short films that could keep me going till the day I died, and I still would barely get out of the 1980s. Even with Internet Music Video Database and mvdbase, this stuff is still full of holes, and belongs in the central repository that is IMDb.

That said, Mvdbase turns up a bunch more videos for all three of the people I mentioned. I had completely forgotten about that database and will be going back to clean up some of my previous entries. So, submit!

Song of the Day: Kyrie (by Mr. Mister)


Kyrie

There was one band during the 80’s that everyone seemed to dismiss, yet their album were selling out. It was almost as if no one wanted to admit that they enjoyed listening to this band. The band I’m talking about is Mr. Mister. Yes, even the name sounds like something that we might consider today as being too hipsterish. A name made to sound to be oh so clever.

Yet, Mr. Mister had two hit albums that many bands of this era couldn’t admit to having. The 1980’s was an era of great music, but it was also one where way too many were also quite disposable. People nowadays complain about how music has no soul and that it was all corporate driven. Well, this era has nothing on the Reagan-era of the music industry.

Mr. Mister would pump out two hit albums before breaking up in the late 80’s with most of the band members joining up with different Christian rock and music groups down the years.

One Mr. Mister song that was catchy and remained so would be their hit single “Kyrie”.

To a teenager of the time the song was memorable and easy to sing along to. It’s later on as teens became adults that we’ve come to realize that the song itself was a Christian liturgy prayer and the whole song was just a prayer backed by pop rock melodies. It’s no wonder that the band’s member would find their second wind in the music business as part of Christian rock groups.

Kyrie

Kýrie, eléison
Kýrie, eléison
Kýrie

The wind blows hard against this mountainside
Across the sea into my soul
It reaches into where I cannot hide
Setting my feet upon the road

My heart is old, it holds my memories
My body burns a gem-like flame
Somewhere between the soul and soft machine
Is where I find myself again

Kýrie, eléison
Down the road that I must travel
Kýrie, eléison
Through the darkness of the night

Kýrie, eléison
Where I’m going, will you follow?
Kýrie, eléison
On a highway in the light

When I was young, I thought of growing old
Of what my life would mean to me
Would I have followed down my chosen road
Or only wished what I could be

Kýrie, eléison
Down the road that I must travel
Kýrie, eléison
Through the darkness of the night

Kýrie, eléison
Where I’m going, will you follow?
Kýrie, eléison
On a highway in the light

Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh

Kýrie, eléison
Down the road that I must travel
Kýrie, eléison
Through the darkness of the night

Kýrie, eléison
Where I’m going, will you follow?
Kýrie, eléison
On a highway in the light

Kýrie, eléison
Down the road that I must travel (will you follow?)
Kýrie, eléison
Through the darkness of the night

Kýrie, eléison
Where I’m going, will you follow? (will you follow)
Kýrie, eléison
On a highway in the light

Kýrie, eléison
Down the road that I must travel (yeah)
Kýrie, eléison
Through the darkness of the night

Kýrie, eléison
Where I’m going, will you follow? (will you follow?)
Kýrie, eléison
On a highway in the light

Kýrie, eléison
Down the road that I must travel (will you follow?)
Kýrie, eléison
Through the darkness of the night

Kýrie, eléison
Where I’m going, will you follow? (will you follow)

 

Song of the Day: 1980’s Edition

  1. Everybody Wants To Rule The World (by Tears for Fears)
  2. Hazy Shade of Winter (by The Bangles)
  3. Never (by Heart)

Marvel’s SDCC Netflix lineup – Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders


Marvel is already making big waves on the first day of the San Diego Comic Con. Building on the successes of Daredevil and Jessica Jones, the company revealed some new series in their current deal with Netflix.

New York has yet another hero as Luke Cage gets a show of his own. Introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe by way of Jessica Jones, Cage (Mike Coulter) appears to be up against quite a bit, though from the trailer, it’s nothing a car door can’t handle. It also looks like Mahershala Ali (House of Cards) is on board, possibly as a villain.

Though I only know of him through the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, long time Marvel fans will be pleased to see Iron Fist in the line up. Having finished his run in Game of Thrones, actor Finn Jones has moved on to play Danny Rand, a man who discovers the power of Kung Fu and awesome Chi control. Marvel historians will also note that Iron Fist and Luke Cage have often worked together, which brings us to the biggest news of the day.

Marvel’s The Defenders brings together Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Daredevil (who will undoubtedly have Season 3 on the way) in their own team up. I’m curious to see how this turns out, and how much of their combined tale filters into their individual stories (or vice versa). It feels similar to the Avengers, though on a smaller scale.

Day 2 of the San Diego Comic Con continues today. As new information pours in, we’ll be sure to share. Enjoy.

 

 

Music Video of the Day: I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls (1982, dir. Tony van den Ende)


I did a second video by prolific music video director Steve Barron yesterday. Today I thought I would do one by a different prolific director of music videos that we haven’t hit yet. The song I Ran of course is about as well known as You Spin Me Round (Like A Record). There’s no need to discuss that here. Especially not when there is a fascinating music video to focus on.

There are four parts to this video for me:

1. The video was intended as a homage to the album cover for Robert Fripp and Brian Eno’s album (No Pussyfooting).

Frippenopussyfooting

2. The cameras are clearly visible in the mirrors. They aren’t in the original album cover, so I’m assuming they either were rushed, or they did it on purpose. I’m going with it being done on purpose. Just like a music video that deliberately doesn’t have the band members lip sync, this is an interesting way for the video to be self-reflexive. In this case, you are literally seeing the video you are watching being made right before your eyes. Or, to look at it in another way, you are seeing the band unable to escape the camera as a tie-in with the theme of the song.

3. Probably the best known experimental film that director Chantal Akerman made was La Chambre (1972). It was mostly comprised of a series of 360 degree pans showing us the interior of a room along with Akerman herself on a bed. One of the two parts of this video takes that idea of using those 360 degree pans, but instead attaches the group to the pan, so that once again, they can’t escape the camera. I have to wonder if he was thinking of her film considering she was Belgian and he is at least ethnically Dutch/Flemish.

4. While people remember the 360 sequences the best, there are the hallway portions as well. Those play into the theme of the song in that the band can’t escape the ladies, but also because of the way those ladies move. It’s almost as if they are high fashion zombies. Zombies being the monster that will inevitably catch up to you no matter how far, or how long you run.

It’s music videos like this that I love to look at because it’s obvious that a fair amount of thought went into crafting them.