Random YouTube K-Hole: Aughty by Nature

Random YouTube K-Hole: Aughty by Nature

To me, 2001 feels like yesterday, not a space odyssey. If nothing else makes you feel old today, check out these younguns and their music video homages. So nice of them to respect their elders! And to think millennials get so much flak.

Lost in Japan – Shawn Mendes feat. Zedd

Confession: I barely remember Lost in Translation. This is a solid effort, but will Shawn Mendes’ fanbase even get the reference? It’s likely they’ll think it’s just him having fun doing Japanese karaoke, even with that total giveaway of a title. Hell, it took me about a minute into the vid to realize what I was seeing, but I’m like, old, so what do I know?

Fancy – Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX

Unlike Shawn Mendes’ ode to Sofia Coppola, Iggy’s oeuvre is pretty clear from the get-go. It technically shouldn’t be included in this post because the movie came out in 1995, but whatever with a capital W and if you don’t get it, you’re Clueless. That’s all I got.

Thank U, Next – Ariana Grande

It’s a video homage en Grande! Not one, not two, not three, but four movies get referenced, in a very legally-bringing -it -on-the-mean-girls-going-on-30 kind of way. While I don’t usually go for Ariana’s 24/7 sex kitten schtick (still don’t) this video is worth watching, if only for the part where Kris Jenner gets all meta as an overly excited stage mom. Bonus points for getting some of the actual stars to cameo, plus a little more for the sheer shade of leaving Lindsay Lohan completely out of it.

Random YouTube K-Hole: Tears for Fears

Random YouTube K-Hole: Tears for Fears

I’d been waiting for the official video of Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty before posting this particular k-hole about songs that deal with a specific kind of emotional catharsis. But before getting to the country queen’s latest oeuvre, I’m getting in a time machine and going all the way back to the past when Aerosmith and Alicia Silverstone ruled the video airwaves…

Aerosmith, Crying

I don’t know what you’re all going on about us being oppressed, female power was just as alive in 1993 as it is today. Alicia Silverstone and her healthy blonde mane acts out after seeing a very young, very attractive, Stephen Dorff inhabiting his standard persona of douchebag-you’d-still-bone cheating on her in a movie theatre. Proving to him and everyone else, including the guy who attempts to steal her backpack (look, Josh Holloway!), that she’s not going to take any shit unless it’s on her terms, this was the first of Alicia’s video collaborations with Aerosmith. She would go on to star in Amazing, and Crazy, to similarly enthusiastic acclaim. With a killer video and sweet vocals, Cryin’ is the Teenage Dream video of the 90’s, before Katy Perry (intentionally? unintentionally?) got her revisionist mitts all over the disaffected teenager storyline.

Justin Timberlake, Cry Me A River

Way before he became the Man of the Woods, Justin Timberlake was living out a revenge fantasy featuring Britney Spears a blonde who famously breaks his heart. He denied the song was about Britney of course, but we all knew he was lying, Liza Minelli! For a brief moment in the early aughts, those two turned a number of pre- and post-pubescent teenagers into a screaming Tyra Banks meme. (We were all rooting for you in matching denim, damnit!). With the help of Timbaland, Mr. Timberlake breaks into a not-so-mysterious blonde’s home like a crazed stalker, tap dances all over her furniture, has sex with a stranger in her bedroom and spies on her while she’s in the shower. Rude! Also, creepy. This video would’ve aged pretty well if it wasn’t for that bulky-ass cam-corder, reminding us all of the lengths we used to go to just to record things for posterity.

Ariana Grande, No Tears Left to Cry

Known more for her vocal chops than eye-catchingly original music videos, Ariana Grande doesn’t do anything to upset that particular status quo in this, her latest video for No Tears Left to Cry. The concept is pretty much blonde Inception on the discarded set of Marvel’s Dr. Strange and it’s a complete disconnect from the song, but who needs concepts and connectivity when you have a new hair colour? It could be the bleach, it could be having a perpetual ponytail, whatever the cause, Miss Grande’s state of mind is up, down, and all around. A bit of a surprise banger, No Tears Left to Cry  is probably going to go on heavy rotation from here to eternity. And by eternity, I mean for the rest of the summer. She’s here, it’s queer, get used to it.

Carrie Underwood, Cry Pretty

And finally, the blonde that kickstarted today’s quintet. Round of applause for Miss Underwood (no relation to Frank) who is back with another country ballad about falling apart, wasting mascara into the process. I’m not sure what she meant by saying her face got all fucked up and she doesn’t look the same; I only hope she’s not suffering from some extreme form of body/face dysmorphia, because girl is still looking good. I know some people who are so gay they practically sweat glitter, but Carrie Underwood is going the extra mile by actually crying glitter tears while singing Cry Pretty. A bit on the nose, but way to commit to a concept!

Random YouTube K-hole: Cathode Ray of Light

Random YouTube K-hole: Cathode Ray of Light

I used to have a rule about liking a particular single: I had to like the music video. It was essential, and a huge influence on whether or not I enjoyed the track. But that rule went out the window with the advent of Spotify. In this, the era of the playlist, music videos seemed like an afterthought. It also felt for a minute like the music video as an art form was no longer really being celebrated, the way it was when MTV put the music in television, so for the past few years, I’d given up checking out music videos.

But like the nineties, music videos are back and having a moment. Lady Gaga, Beyonce and yes, Kanye West, ensured the form was still to an extent, kept interesting and hopefully we’re beginning to surface from a morass of boats, hoes, stripper poles and cash raining down from the heavens. And just like the nineties, CRT televisions are having a moment. With the following music videos, I explore the answer to the question, “where do cathode ray televisions go to die?” (The answer: music videos of early 2018.)

Hey, at least we’re recycling.

Justin Timberlake, Supplies

Not my favourite cut off of Justin Timberlake’s largely panned Man of the Woods album, the single may not be a standout, but its accompanying music video is a smorgasbord of visual stimuli. Illuminati! White gators! Flashlights! Watching the collapse of a way of life just doesn’t feel the same unless it’s viewed on a wall of old school television sets, does it?

Cardi B feat. 21 Savage, Bartier Cardi

For what it’s worth, Cardi B’s Bartier Cardi only gets a mention because its current. And features a video wall. I can’t get with this single at all. Cardi is fun but so far the only rap she’s done that I really liked was her turn in Migos’ Motorsport. I would just as happily use Celine Dion’s Because You Loved Me for video wall purposes, but it’s not in keeping with our theme, and lordy I don’t want to admit how old I really am. Even if I just did.

The Weeknd, Call Out My Name

The music video that jumpstarted this particular k-hole, word on the street is Call Out My Name is about Selena Gomez. Whomever it may be about, I’m loving this single, and the fantasy of the accompanying lyric video. You can watch a world burn through the eyes of cathode ray televisions and you can also watch a heart break. Somehow this with a wall of flatscreens would be like being at Best Buy. At any rate, this video fully belongs in The Weeknd’s wheelhouse – it’s dark, moody and ever so slightly sad. It’s fitting that his latest album is called My Dear Melancholy.

Flashback Finesse

The year is off to a good start if this is what we have to greet it. Bruno Mars reworks Finesse – the original being a fave off of his album 24K Magic, which as a whole sounds like it was triple dipped in the goodness that was 90’s RnB – into the perfect nostalgic trip back in time. He throws in a little Cardi B in this outing, even managing to make her make a little more sense than usual (what, exactly, is Bodak Yellow? I feel so old). Giving her her props for making that sassy mid-90’s look pop. Everything about this video is perfect, from the music, to the choreography and the outfits. Doesn’t everyone look cute, happy and innocent?

Random YouTube K-hole: Halloween Edition

Random YouTube K-hole: Halloween Edition

It’s Halloween, and you know what that means. Everyone’s going to be running around in skimpy costumes pretending they’re not dying from exposure because it’s Canada and the temperature just hit the ultra low Cs. Sexy witch for the win! Yay!

There’s no shortage of macabre music videos that will leave you twisted for days – all the gore and cockroaches you could want! But I’m a pop tart and will forever be one, and suddenly posting something from Nine Inch Nails doesn’t quite feel authentic. Ha! Authentic. Like anyone would know. Or care. But anyway.

I wanted to revisit videos that are perfect for Halloween – whether or not they were intended to be – but are still sweet enough to avoid mental anguish. Without further ado, here are three of them (plus an extra one thrown in at the end because I’m nice like that!).

Daft Punk, Around the World

A Halloween party for people on a modest budget and a lot of imagination. It’s got everything. Mummies. Skeletons. Robot people. Synchronized swimmers. Tiny baby heads. All on a constant repeat. It’s hypnotic, weird and could potentially cause nightmares, but that backdrop of lights playing an otherworldly game of Connect Four is fun enough to stop just short of really messing with your head.

Ylvis, The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)

Let’s all dress up as animal mascots and have some bubbly! The closest I’ll ever come to an acid trip, this is what happens if the Hieros Gamos scene from Eyes Wide Shut is re-enacted somewhere in the Scandinavian woods. By hipster furries. On shrooms.

Backstreet Boys, Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)

You didn’t think I’d let this post go without dropping the world’s biggest boyband and a literal monster mash of a video, did you? Backstreet’s Back, and they’ve got it all – werewolves, mummies, vampires, Jekyll & Hyde and even the Phantom of the Opera. Probably the closest in spirit to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, this is a Halloween Dance Dance Revolution.

And finally (more like inevitably)…

Michael Jackson, Thriller

The granddaddy of all music videos and the one that jumpstarted the MTV revolution. Wacko Jacko’s oeuvre wins Best Costume, Best Makeup, Best SFX, Best Zombie Dance Moves, Best in Effort, Best Everything, godamnit because just look at this classic. He even got Vincent Price to voiceover. There’s not a single Halloweenish video ever made that’s ever topped this one, before or since. Bad with a capital B, the song itself matches the video, making it the rightful ruler of the Halloween video empire.

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Random YouTube K-Hole: Dance Like No One is Watching

I like Charlie Puth. He’s a more palatable version of the Bieber kind. He’s cute, writes good, catchy hooks and sings like an angel. I could, however, do without the perennially wet lips, the poufy hair and the hopelessly derivative music videos. Like this.

Which is a knock off, designer imposter perfume, basic bitch version of this.

To be fair, it’s virtually impossible to outshine a tap dancing Christopher Walken. If you’re going to let go and get spastic all by your lonesome, you’re going to have to let it all out without an ounce of inhibition or a hint of self-awareness. Like Lorde, in pretty much all of her videos.

Random YouTube K-Hole: Suite Dreams (Are Made of These)

The official video for my favourite slow jam of the year is out! Versace on the Floor features mood lighting, a crystal grand piano and Zendaya writhing around in primo Versayce. Not what I had in mind as a video concept (mine involved twirling around in a gigantic empty ballroom, chandelier ablaze like an adult version of the Beauty and the Beast scene except she loses the clothing), but eh. It’ll do.

I have to ask. What is the use of paying top dollar for a pricey condo unit if the walls are so thin, the concept of privacy remains a concept?

This at least made sense. It’s clearly a crappy apartment building, if it can’t keep out the rain.

Truth be told, I don’t know my neighbours. Not very well, anyway. I’ve lived in my building for five years, and I only give my neighbours nicknames – the elderly black couple to our right, the girl with the golden retriever two doors down, the new Filipino neighbours with a WiFi connection named “Balay,” and the family with kids who live beside the possibly gay neighbour who, according to Le Hubs, plays Miley Cyrus and has very noisy sex just across the hall.

I suppose it’s a good thing I have pretty busted hearing, because ignorance is sometimes bliss. And I wouldn’t be walking around passive-aggressively catfighting with my neighbours.