Music Video of the Day: What You Need by INXS (1985, directed by Richard Lowenstein and Lynn-Maree Milburn)


Today is Australia Day and today’s music video of the day comes from one of the biggest Australian bands of the last century, INXS.

What You Need was the leadoff track from their 1985 album, Listen Like Thieves.  It was the first single off the album in Australia and New Zealand while, in the US, it was released after This Time.  It also went on to become the band’s first top ten hit in the United States.  That shouldn’t be a surprise as the song was recorded after the album’s producer expressed concern that Listen Like Thieves was good but didn’t have a “hit.”  The band wrote and recorded the song in one day.

The song’s popularity was undoubtedly helped by this music video, which came out at a time when rotoscope was still a fairly exotic animation technique.  The video was named Best Video at the 1985 Countdown and Music Video Awards.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Casino Queen by Jackie Lynn (2020, dir by Haley Fohr and Krzys Piotrowski)


One minute, you’re running through the desert.

The next minute, you’re winning everyone’s money.

Such is life, when you’re a Casino Queen.

Actually, I don’t know if that interpretation is correct or not.  This seems to be a video that’s open to multiple interpretations.  I guess a lot of how you react to it will depend on how you feel about casinos in general.  I find casinos to be depressing places, where people inevitably gamble away their futures while the local Elvis impersonator begs someone to drop a quarter in his guitar case.  Other people tend to see casinos as being a place where anyone can strike it big, if they just have the right combination of luck and skill.  I’m not sure if this video depicts someone getting lucky or cheating.  Maybe it’s a little of both.

Myself, I’ve never been much of a gambler.  For instance, I would never be able to do well at poker because I would constantly be asking the person sitting next to me if I had a good hand or not.  Blackjack is a lot more easier to play since all you have to do is just try not to go over 21.  Actually, if I ever did go on a gambling spree, I’d probably just hit the slot machines.  Or maybe the roulette wheel.

To be honest, whenever I hear the word “casino,” I think about Robert De Niro critiquing the blueberry muffins in the Martin Scorsese film of the same name.  The Ace Rothstein Dancers were my favorite part of that movie and I think they would appreciate this song because you can dance to it.

This video has a 70s-version-of-the-future feel to it, which I like.  If Logan’s Run had taken place in a casino, it probably would have looked a lot like Casino Queen.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Sure Shot by The Beastie Boys (1994, directed by Spike Jonze)


First things first, Lisa has asked me to apologize to everyone.  She’s currently under the weather and has been ordered to get a lot of rest, which is why she didn’t post anything yesterday.  She will be back and regularly posting soon.

As for today’s music video of the day, what can you say about Sure Shot and the Beastie Boys?  This is the song and the video that I think made everyone want to be the fourth beastie boy.  If I remember correctly, it came out directly after Sabotage and it provides quite a contrast to that earlier video.  Interestingly enough, both videos were directed by Spike Jonze.

This is the rare rap song to feature a flute.  The flute was sampled from the 1970 song, Howling For Judy, by Jeremy Steig.  Steig, who has released twenty albums, has said that he made more money off the royalties to that sample than he has from all of his previous work.

Enjoy!

Music Video Of The Day: Negasonic Teenage Warhead by Monster Magnet (1995, directed by Gore Verbinski)


The year was 1995 and, in the opinion of many, American rock had gone from being about celebrating having a good time to whining about everything.  Among those who felt that way was David Wyndorf, the lead vocalist of Monster Magnet.  Negasonic Teenage Warhead was Wyndorf’s answer to Nirvana and all of the grunge bands that Wyndorf felt had made rock “whiny.”

The song’s lyrics not only attacked negative rock stars but it also satirized the purposefully obscure lyrics of many grunge groups.  The song even ends with a chorus of “yeahs,” which is about as obvious a dig at Nirvana as you could hope to find.  What’s interesting is that Wyndorf’s lyrics remind me of some of the songs that Bush would eventually release.  The only difference in David Wyndorf was being satirical whereas Bush actually expected you to take their act seriously.

Saw your face last night on the tube
Strong fine snake in a sucker’s vacuum
15 clicks and it’s time to say bye
15 trips and a love that won’t die

Me and myself killed a world today
Me and myself got a world to save
Broadcast dead revolution don’t pay
Strapped up freaks on the Lazarus plane

I can tell just by the climate, and I can tell just by the style
I was born and raised on Venus and I may be here a while
Cause every supersonic jerk off who plugs into the game
Is just like every subatomic genius who just invented pain

I will deny you
I will deny you baby
I will deny you
I will deny you baby
I will deny you
I will deny you baby
I will deny you
I will deny you baby
Yeah yeah, yeah, wow

Oh baby, I’m lazy
Oh baby, introduce me to God
Oh baby, I’m lady
Oh baby, set a place for the dog, for the dog

Yeah, Oh

Shut me off ’cause I go crazy with this planet in my hands
Shut me off ’cause I go crazy with this planet in my hands
Shut me off ’cause I go crazy with this planet in my hands
Shut me off ’cause I go crazy with this planet in my hands

I can tell just by the climate, and I can tell just by the style
I was born and raised on Venus and I may be here a while
Cause every supersonic jerk off who plugs into the game
Is just like every subatomic genius who just invented pain

I will deny you
I will deny you baby
I will deny you
I will deny you baby
I will deny you
I will deny you baby
I will deny you
I will deny you baby

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, wow
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

The video was directed by a very familiar name.  Today, Gore Verbinski is probably best known for directing the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, The Ring, and Rango.  Like many feature directors, he got his start doing music videos.  The music video for Negasonic Teenage Warhead finds each member of Monster Magnet on their very own asteroid.  Eventually, in a scene that reminds me of something from Heavy Metal, they all end up in a car, driving through space.

Among this song’s fans was Grant Morrison who has admitted that, when he needed a name for the newest member of the X-Men, he borrowed this song’s title.

Enjoy!

Music Video Of The Day: The Lady Don’t Mind by Talking Heads (1986, directed by Jim Jarmusch)


Today is Jim Jarmusch’s birthday.  Jarmusch, who is one of the godfathers of American independent film, is 67 years old.

As a director, Jarmusch frequently casts musicians in his films.  From John Lurie, who appeared in Jarmuch’s first films (Permanent Vacation, Stranger Than Paradise) to the members of the Wu-Tang Clan and Tom Waits, Jarmusch has always shown an appreciation for musicians as actors.  It’s not surprising that, along with feature films, Jarmusch has also directed his share of music videos.  Jarmusch has done videos for everyone from Neil Young to Tom Waits but, according to his entry at the imdb, his first music video was for Talking Heads’s The Lady Don’t Mind.

The Lady Don’t Mind was the first single from Talking Heads’s sixth studio album, the best-selling Little Creatures.  This video came out two years after Jarmusch’s second film, Stranger Than Paradise.

Enjoy and happy birthday, Jim Jarmusch!

Music Video Of The Day: Psych Ward by Okay Kaya (2020, dir by Kaya Wilkins & Adinah Dancyger)


When I first watched this video, it took me a while to figure what it was reminding me of.  I finally realized that the film was making me think of an 80s zombie film called The Dead Pit, in which an amnesia victim finds herself locked up in a mental hospital that is so overrun by zombies.

Visually, the video really does have a retro feel to it.  With the grainy cinematography and the relatively small group of patients, it’s easy to imagine that this video could be an old Italian or French horror film from the early 80s.  One could easily imagine bits and pieces of the video appearing in one of Lucio Fulci’s post-Zombi, pre-Manhattan Baby films or perhaps one of the films that Jean Rollin did around the time that he directed The Night of the Hunted.  For a while there, psych wards were a very popular film setting.  I imagine that had something to do with the success of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

Enjoy!