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Music Under the Radar: Videos

Stephanie DePrez | Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Situation: Music hunters seek, read, blog and cull music from radio, print and, most often, the interwebs. Music gatherers collect mix CDs, free digital downloads, and whatever their friends happen to be listening to. If you are a gatherer, this space is for you. If you are a hunter, e-mail me your latest find, and I promise you’ll find it written up here. (Seriously. E-mail. Even if you’re not a student.)

Today we deal in the newest medium — specifically, the video. It is the grand culmination of sound and image that has enticed us since the late 1920’s. The “music video” has come a long way from its early days as the driving force behind MTV (oh where, oh where did our MTV go?). But alas, now we are inundated with teenage mothers and the … uh … other Situation. Now, music videos live on the internet, heavily promoted behind every Vevo video you watch or streaming politely to 200 viewers on a MySpace page. But no matter your budget, or your fame, or even your musical talent, you can mash video and song to create your own aesthetic experience. Here are some particularly clever ones.

Jessica Lea Mayfield, “Kiss Me Again”

This is the epitome of lo-fi brilliance. Take your average female, add a nose ring, guitar, formal dress and … see-through white board, and you get the main ingredients for this YouTube gem. With I-couldn’t-care-less vocals and a penchant for split-screen, this video makes setting up a camera and letting it roll seem like easy business. But it is perhaps the do-it-yourself simplicity of this video that makes it so appealing and so mysterious to watch.

3OH!3, “Double Vision”

From the people who warned you not to “trust a ho” comes one of the most inventive videos I’ve seen this year. Instead of flashing colors and booties in your face, this whole video is done in one take. With people lying on their backs looking up at a camera from a bird’s eye view, they imitate a computer screen. As the screen “scrolls up” (and the camera moves down) the performers move into different positions to imitate watching a concert video online (meta to the max), playing a computer game and even a re-creation of the viral Daft Punk video of two girls with the words painted on their bodies.

Kylie Minogue, “Come Into My World”

For another exercise in videos done in one take (or built to look thus) is this trick video directed by Michel Gondry. Kylie walks around town with a shopping bag, seemingly in circles. Except, each time she circles through, everything around her multiplies (including the Kylies singing the song). It is so seamless that you won’t be able to resist watching the “making of” video behind it.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer. Contact Stephanie DePrez at [email protected]