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

Saturday, 29 October 2011

M.LANG INDIE: Jesus + Mary Chain

A band notorious for its fraternal flare-ups (the brothers in the band were reknowned for fighting on stage), but also an obstinate attitude towards pop (they were seen as noise-smiths rather than tune-smiths) the Jesus and Mary Chain naturally didn't produce straightforward commercial videos.

Here's examples from classic J+MC tracks which exuded Indie attitude, by which I mean...
  • low-key, naturalistic lighting (practical as much as aesthetic: low budget!)
  • some strange, elliptical framing
  • whip pans that lead to ... nothing!
  • distorted footage
  • performance which is so wan, exuding such froideur, its the antithesis of the exciting, energising rock performance we're so used to seeing
  • the lipsynching in particular is reluctantly done, but shots of drumming and guitar playing also slowed down to be out of synch with the music
  • just like Iron Maiden on the German Top of the Pops back in the 80s (when the band swapped intruments repeatedly, making a mockery of the miming) these vids stand as an uneasy compromise: marketing and commercial returns seem like a dirty word to Indie bands and fans BUT the band's record co needs the vids to sell records and the band to raise their profile + build their fanbase
  • this reluctant, contrary attitude is also where the Pixies' Velouria single-shot vid arose from
  • neither are so surreal as to be not be recognisable as m.vids tho: we see many of the standard signifiers of performance (some focus on singer, MS/MCUs of playing instruments, reasonable pace of editing), its just that the delivery is alien to the hyped up norm
J+MC vids on YouTube.





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