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

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Jarring juxtapositions: twerking in Mastodon vid

This curious countertyping helped Mastodon gain publicity
There can be considerable shock or at least novelty value still in incorporating elements from a contrasting genre; in this example the prog-metal band Mastodon. In their video for The Motherload they incorporate ... twerking!

So, we get some fairly standard, though well-executed (nicely lit, and some effective focus pull), sepia-coloured footage of vaguely demonic figures ... counterpointed with a range of very modern dancers twerking, often in slo-mo and fairly uncomfortable close-up. The point (the 'reading') is debatable, and may simply come down to the shock value, or may be a critique of what the likes of Sinead O'Connor has attacked as exemplifying male industry control over female artists, with Lily Allen's attempted critique itself attacked for allegedly racist undertones.

(skip to the end to view the actual video)

Either way, it was notable enough to be framed as a story in Loudwire which I noticed and read - don't think I'd ever previously chosen to view a Mastodon vid!

I've picked up on this previously - Rammstein being an act that have taken this path; see this post.
Women depicted in a fairly typical goth/doom fashion...
Incorporating twerking dancers into performance footage; exploitative, sexist imagery was common in 80s 'hair metal' vids (eg Motley Crue's Girls, Girls, Girls, which was set in a strip club), but more associated today with so-called 'R&B' videos
Not exactly titillating?! Is the band's use of twerking dancers a social critique of sexist representations within pop, or merely an attempt to disguise plain old fashioned sexism
Here's the actual video:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please ensure your comment is appropriate for publishing; all comments are vetted before publication