Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Friday, 15 October 2010

Cars (2nd pitch exercise)

Following up on our efforts with The Doors' "People Are Strange" today we used Gary Numan's classic "Cars" as stimulus ... with some genuinely impressive ideas emerging!
We didn't get time with 13D to look at the actual video; this is embedded below, followed by the lyrics, then a summary of some (don't have enough time to type in all!) of the ideas that emerged, some examples of cover versions and some links for further reading. It was generally felt (and I certainly agreed) by 13B that their ideas would work much better than the actual video - remember though that this was 1979, some years before the success of MTV made shooting a music video almost an automatic choice for any singles release. The generally basic look reflects the artist's techno-driven style and the technological limitations for videos shot and edited on low budgets (an Indie label released this song).

POST OUTLINE: After the video; the lyrics; snapshots of your ideas (+ some of mine), examples of covers (remember, you could always look to commission your own!); some useful links for further reading on this track.


*** LYRICS ***

Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It's the only way to live
In cars

Here in my car
I can only receive
I can listen to you
It keeps me stable for days
In cars

Here in my car
Where the image breaks down
Will you visit me please?
If I open my door
In cars

Here in my car
I know I've started to think
About leaving tonight
Although nothing seems right
In cars

*** Released : August 1979 ***


There are many, many covers of this - just a few examples below. Numan himself notes:
This song has found new life and given Numan a great deal of exposure to another generation through covers by Fear Factory (with Numan singing on the track and appearing in the video), Nine Inch Nails, Dave Clarke, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, The Judybats, and Tia. Says Numan: "It's been a most amazing thing, really, to keep hearing about the people that are doing cover versions. I was trolling around the other day for something totally unrelated and I came across a Youtube of Courtney Love's band, Hole, doing 'Cars.' I just thought, 'Yeah.' And there's a lot of that. It's very cool, and I don't take it for granted at all. I'm so totally blown away with a big grin on my face every time I hear that someone's done something like that. So it's not as if I'm kind of arrogantly expecting it. Quite the opposite." [Source]

Numan covers it himself in this ad:

Daft Punk

Synthpro - better audio quality at Myspace

Fear Factory

With Nine Inch Nails

Technologic [a cute little pussycat DJ!]

Blue Man Group

Main Wiki on Gary Numan
Wiki on the song
Covering Cars with actual cars []
Again on this ad [technorati]
Bass tabs for the song guide to and analysis of the song/lyrics
RollingStone interview about Cars etc
Guide to playing on synth
Gary Hunter cover

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