Thursday, April 28, 2016

Favorite Music Videos: Part 2

Click here for Part 1, which also serves as a little introduction to this series and gives y'all a heads up on what kind of videos I like best.


"Stellar Tombs" - Draconian 
"Stellar Tombs" is still a pretty fresh single as this video was only released at the end of last January. This song, this video, can only be described as an epic. Everything about it. And it's so open-ended, so while I think I understand it, it's all a matter of interpretation. Creation imagery (the science kind), hunting imagery, and war imagery are all utilized respectively in the beginning, middle, and end, signifying a tumultuous or abrupt beginning, a search, and perhaps a final battle. Lead vocalist Heike Langhans is the one being searched for/hunted, that much is obvious, and altogether this video seems to represent a problematic relationship... Maybe even a problematic search for truth as well, or an example of natural selection - who knows? One day I might write a big post analyzing all this and put my literary theory skills to use. But the imagery is just gorgeous - if you skip everything else because this isn't your genre, look at 3:47. And that ending, when Heike runs away, breaks free... Gives me chills and damn near makes me cry every time. This video means so much to me personally, AND it's well-executed. Glorious.

"Oblivion" - Grimes
Grimes' single "Oblivion" is delightful, strange, and once one understands the overall meaning, a haunting testimony of what it's like to live in fear after surviving assault, as Grimes mentioned in an interview with Spin. Yet, the music itself almost sounds... happyish despite being kind of dark? So, naturally, the video would end up being something totally different from anything we typically encounter, and it actually looks like it was really fun to make. Grimes dances around and sings in a lot of stereotypical 'masculine' settings (a football game, some sort of dirtbike thing I don't understand) and plays on some of the sexist imagery we see on TV. Instead of a guy being in a locker room with a bunch of half-naked girls (ahem, I'm looking at you, cologne and men's hygiene advertisers), Grimes (fully-clothed) is hanging out with some half-naked guys. They even have a pillow fight. While Grimes could have made a video that deals more directly with women being sexually assaulted, she flipped the masculine hegemony upside down to make us pay more attention.

"Lithium" - Evanescence
Evanescence has made quite a few gorgeous music videos over the years, but none as beautiful as "Lithium," which is also one of their most gorgeous and emotional songs - and considering how many tear-jerking ballads Evanescence has, that's saying something. The band plays in a pretty snowy location (although sometimes petal-sized pieces of black soot falls on them, contrasting with the world of whiteness) as Amy wanders around forests and swims in chilly waters. She needs to 'let go' of past sadness and leave baggage behind; a relatable theme packed in an accessible metaphor.

"The Sound of Silence" - Disturbed 
Disturbed really impressed fans and non-fans alike with their perfect (yes, I dare use that word) cover of the Simon and Garfunkle classic "The Sound of Silence." (If I found this on time last year it would've been somewhere in the top five of my singles countdown.) This video had so much potential for cheesiness (and anyone who's seen Disturbed's video for "The Vengeful One" knows that a cheesy Disturbed video is not impossible), but I think this was handled very well. Some people write music, some people play music. But they have to meet one another and be willing to work together in order to make music happen... A nice metaphor for the lyrics. The people we need to hear are often unheard. "The Sound of Silence" is a truly epic cover that is well-represented in video form.

"The Mute" - Radical Face
Radical Face proves time and time again that you don't need to have loads of money/funding to make great music, and "The Mute" proves that you also don't need to have an enormous budget to make a music video. He made it with the help of friends and family, and frankly, it's better than most videos. A child who doesn't speak with words and dresses unusually finds refuge in the world of imagination... But that world might be more real than everyone else believed. It's a wonderful concept and the simplicity of the video matches this indie song perfectly.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Blogging for SIX Years and Ramblings About Music, TV, and Miss Peregrine

This blog turned six years old today... I feel really old. I say that every year, but seriously: Time goes by so damn quickly!

Sorry the posts have been coming really slowly lately - I'm afraid it might take a little while before things really pick up again. University + an assortment of major personal problems = no time for bloggie. I haven't given up though, and I'm still always thinking about stuff I could post, but those ideas are stored for a less hectic day.

After all, so many exciting things are happening. In the indie music world, we got new albums from Daughter and Radical Face (I've only listened to portions so far), and later on we'll be getting new metal albums from Lacuna Coil and Epica - I'm really excited about those. The new Lacuna Coil album is going to be called Delirium, and I have a feeling it'll resonate with me considering the craziness of my life this year and the hints the band has given about the overall direction and concept.

In terms of television, the only show I have been able to keep up with, Mob Wives, came to an end. Everyone's favorite star from the show, Angela "Big Ang" Raiola, passed away after battling cancer, and that broke my heart. She was so sweet and full of energy - I cried when I heard the news.

Now I somehow got sucked into Family Therapy with Dr. Jen... how the hell did I jump onto the reality TV bandwagon?

Also... have y'all seen the trailer for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children? It seems like the rest of the Internet is pretty happy with it, so I imagine I might annoy some people, but... I'm not digging this at all. Like, nothing I enjoyed about the book in terms of feel/atmosphere looks like it'll be present. I think I might skip out on this one.

Well, that was nice catching up, but I'm going to do more homework now.