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

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

CONVENTIONS Links - points - playlist: videos I've blogged on

NB: Some highly controversial videos are listed, including 'explicit' versions; some descriptions also contain some strong language.

See this post for some quick links on useful videos to consider.

As I've discussed analysed a great many videos, the list below is partial. The initial order reflects the order from the video below, with the 1st 20 selected to highlight some of the very, very many themes when considering not just conventions of but also reception for music videos. Most can be found in a playlist too - a great way to expose yourself to a wider range of videos than you are likely to be familiar with!!!

More details after the list, but the 20 videos featured in the video (several times more in the playlist) are:

  1. Morbid Angel - Existo Vulgore (2012) 
  2. Sepultura - Ratamahatta (1996) 
  3. PIXIES - Velouria (1990) 
  4. Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares to You (1990) 
  5. Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball (Terry Richardson, 2013)
  6. Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball (ChatRoulette, 2013)
  7. Baauer - Harlem Shake (2012) [this is a '10 best of' montage
  8. Depeche Mode - It's No Good (Anton Corbijn, 1997)
  9. Weezer - Buddy Holly (Spike Jonze, 1994)
  10. Guns n'Roses - November Rain (1992)
  11. Bjork - Crystalline (Anton Corbijn, 2013)
  12. Sepultura - Refuse, Resist (1994)
  13. Megadeth - Wake Up Dead (1986)
  14. Pixies - Bagboy (Lamar + Nik, 2013) 
  15. Daft Punk - Da Funk (Spike Jonze, 1995)
  16. Rihanna - Pour It Up (Vincent Haycock, 2013) (EXPLICIT tag)
  17. Fragma - You Are Alive (2001)
  18. Guns n'Roses - Welcome to the Jungle (1987)
  19. Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines (Diane Martel, 2013) [parody]
  20. Lily Allen - Hard Out Here (Christopher Sweeney, 2013) 

Morbid Angel - Existo Vulgore (2012) [post]
You do need to know the conventions ... but there is much more scope to challenge them than with, say, film, as videos like this, and the following Sepultura example, demonstrate. Rammstein and Rage Against the Machine have also produced examples I've blogged on, bringing Snow White and the Beach Boys into the extreme metal genre.

Sepultura - Ratamahatta (1996) [animated] [post]
A great example of turning conventions and expectations on their heads, this is an animated video by the Brazilian hardcore thrashers! You should also take from this that inspiration can come from anywhere, including music genres (and other media, as with Morbid Angel) you may not be a fan of! [Wiki]

Here's a bonus, highly countertypical further example: old-school (these guys were well established pioneers when I was still at school!) death metallers Obituary, who for their latest single have turned to Flash-animation and a Scooby-Doo style cartoon ... be advised though: it is, nonetheless, gory. You can read about it and watch it here.

PIXIES - Velouria (1990) (one-take video) See Wiki and my posts on this.

O'Connor/Cyrus' feminist/post-feminist clash became a major national news story, here on the BBC.

Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares to You (1990) 
The song and video that made this fiery feminist into a global icon; O'Connor was thinking of her recently deceased mother when shooting this (almost) one-take video. [Wiki]

Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball (Terry Richardson, 2013)
[explicit] [chatroulette 138m views] [parody 72m views]
The very obvious influence or intertextuality ended up sparking a flame war with Sinead O'Connor, and this is a good way to get your head round the difference between a feminist stance (O'Connor: male bosses and directors exploiting Cyrus for the male gaze and the profit this generates) and a post-feminist take (Cyrus: I'm a self-assured young female comfortable in expressing my sexuality, and in control of my own image, which I see as being a positive role model).

The clip features close-up footage of Cyrus emotionally singing to the camera against a white backdrop, having been inspired by the music video for "Nothing Compares 2 U" by SinĂ©ad O'Connor.[37]With 19.3 million views in the first twenty-four hours of its release, the clip held the record for having the most views in that time-frame across Vevo platforms.[46] The first-day viewing record was surpassed by the video for "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj in August 2014, which received 19.6 million views upon its premiere.[47] After reaching 100 million views in six days, "Wrecking Ball" also set the record for being the fastest music video to attain a Vevo certification. In doing so, Cyrus beat the previous record of thirty-seven days, established by her music video for previous single "We Can't Stop".[48] The video has now received over 770 million views on YouTube and is the sixteenth most viewed video on the site.[49] A director's cut of the music video was released on September 24, which features only the close-up footage of Cyrus singing against the white backdrop. [Wiki]
Madonna remains THE reference point for female artists. This writer is firm: Miley is no male gaze passive victim.
Cyrus has become a figure of fascination not just for the gossip/celeb mags, music mags and tabloids, but also the 'highbrow' quality press. Her status can be summed up by the fact that she has at times had the most-watched channel on YouTube. The following links are all from just one, The Guardian, which has a dedicated Miley hub where you can browse the lengthy archive of Miley-related articles; I've picked out just a few:
Collaboration with Aussie psychedelic veterans Flaming Lips expresses her arty side [NB: features some nudity]; a second view;
Cyrus' VMA twerking with Thicke leads to pressure group calling for pledge to ban any such content in future;
Feminist columnist Zoe Williams considers Gaga's banned video an ad for rape, and points up Cyrus has worked with the same director - Terry Richardson;
As ever nothing new - Madonna Studies was a degree programme decades ago - the news that Cyrus is to be subject of a new degree course;
Touchy subject [NB: explicit sexual references, including in quote below], this article analyses how the likes of Cyrus have moved female self-pleasure on from simple male gaze/gratification territory:
In a 2011 interview with CNN, Kathleen Hanna, feminist leader of Bikini Kill and now the Julie Ruin, questioned the purpose of Katy Perry's sexual presentation on Perry's 2008 debut single I Kissed a Girl. "The whole thing is like, 'I kissed a girl so my boyfriend could masturbate about it later,' said Hanna. "It's disgusting. It's exactly every male fantasy of fake lesbian porn." [Guardian]
I've been reading the Madonna biography by Lucy O'Brien (it has its critics!); Madonna is quoted explaining that the key to the outrageous sexual aspects of her work was to reclaim control over the narrative of sexuality for women; to undermine the agency of male perception by refusing to bow to expected norms. If you're serious about getting to grips with the debate over female performers' sexual representations, you really do need to have some grasp of what Madonna did and why!

Gaylene Gould compares Luren Hill, who quit the music business as she claimed that she couldn't evade the manipulation of male bosses and didn't want this filtered, damaging message impacting on her young female fanbase, with Cyrus' proclamations of being feminist:
while Cyrus was proclaiming, "I feel like I'm one of the biggest feminists in the world because I tell women to not be scared of anything", Hill, this year, faced the very real fear of working out a three-month prison sentence
Cyrus, and the broader issue of whether such explicit expressions of sexuality can be feminist (and whether 'post-feminism' is actually a form of feminism or not), sharply divides opinion; this interactive Guardian infographic provides quotes from each celeb pictured, with Perry's highlighted here as an example:
Guardian interactive infographic.
There are many opinion pieces on Cyrus, and the issues of representation and female image she raises: 80s icon Annie Lennox (who caused shock and uproar with her skinhead and male clothing) hates to see such 'pornographic' videos; here a panel reflects on the O'Connor/Cyrus spat; the Guardian actually ran an editorial on the issue; two more writers respectively take up the positions that she is 'exploited' or 'empowered'; Charlotte Church (whose treatment at the hands of tabloids and leering DJs like Chris Moyles when still a young teen I've blogged on in the MediaReg blog) condemns the exploitation of young female performers in very strong terms;
These articles are great for getting deeper into audience, comparing how different age ranges of female audiences view Cyrus: teens; young women Cyrus' age [18-24]; this opinion piece argues that teens and tweens are not so impressed with Cyrus; Daisy Buchanan argues we need more icons like the 'riot grrrls' Bikini Kill.

Baauer - Harlem Shake (2012) [this is a '10 best of' montage] [post]
Like Gingham Style, an example of a track that made most money from all the UGC versions; every time someone bothered to hit 'dislike' on YouTube, that was another hit they got paid for; all those UGC versions are bringing cash for the original recording (same with re-recordings).

Depeche Mode - It's No Good (Anton Corbijn, 1997) [post]
I'll never stop recommending their videos for ideas and plain and simple inspiration; with Anton Corbijn at the helm, the variety of their videos is staggering and this is a brilliant example of postmodernism, and the playful deconstruction of image, also seen in later videos where the Mode appear as shopfront dummies, with Martin Gore in a wedding dress. Brilliant stuff - the compilation DVD has some great extras. [Nothing much in the Wiki]

In some posts I go into considerable detail; when I do, I seek to identify themes and provide sub-headings...

Weezer - Buddy Holly (Spike Jonze, 1994) [post]
Austerlitz' discussion of this is worth reading too. Another great example of postmodernism, with the tie-in to other commercial products a key part of its success. Clearly aimed at a youth (15-24) audience, the considerably older references intertextualised help boost its appeal beyond the primary audience.
The music video for "Buddy Holly" was directed by Spike Jonze and filmed at Charlie Chaplin Studios in Hollywood over the course of one full day of shooting.The video portrayed Weezer performing at the original Arnold's Drive-In diner from the popular '70s television show Happy Days. The video combined contemporary footage of the band with clips from the show. Happy Days cast member Al Molinaro made a cameo appearance in the video. Al plugs his hometown, KenoshaWisconsin, in the introduction. In the climax,the video's stylist Casey Storm body doubled and this allowed Fonzie to dance to the band's performance. The video also features brief cameos by some members of the band as dancers at Arnold's. Initially, actor Anson Williams, who played Potsie on Happy Days, objected to footage of him appearing in the video, but relented after a letter from David Geffen, founder of Geffen Records.[5]The video was met with great popularity and heavy rotation on MTV.[6] The innovative video scored four awards at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards, including prizes for Breakthrough Videoand Best Alternative Video.[7]The Microsoft Windows 95 release included a number of "Fun Stuff" items on the CD, including the Buddy Holly video, resulting in a sudden skyrocket in the popularity of the video and song that won Weezer a place in MTV Music Video Awards history.[8]The music video appears at the Museum of Modern Art's music exhibit. [Wiki]

Guns n'Roses - November Rain (1992) [post]
One of the most expensive videos ever made (still!), this was tentpole-level promo-making, with helicopter shots to add impact to the guitar solo! The intertextualising with a work of fiction and two other GnR vids is noteworthy; videos linking to each other is not uncommon, and whichever artist you're exploring, is something to look out for ... and perhaps plan to incorporate yourself.
The music videos for "November Rain," "Don't Cry" and "Estranged" form an unofficial trilogy of sorts. While never specifically confirmed by the band, Rose and Del James have made statements supporting this idea.[13][14] The similarity in production, style and plots can be considered evidence of this intent.
As stated at the end of the video, "November Rain" is based on the short story "Without You" by Del James, available in his 1995 book The Language of Fear. The story concerns a rock star grieving over the death of his on-and-off-again girlfriend, who had committed suicide (inspired by Rose's troubled relationship with Erin Everly). [Wiki]
Guns n'Roses - Don't Cry (1991)
Guns n'Roses - Estranged ()

Bjork - Crystalline (2013, Anton Corbijn; from Biophilia app)
Interactive or not, TV/YouTube can't cope with such interactive concepts, and main videos were released. In my view Corbijn is the greatest music video director of all time (known for his work with the likes of U2, Joy Division and Depeche Mode), a photographer who gradually moved into cinematography (his debut feature film, Control, is simply a thing of beauty).
Bjork - Crystalline (Biophilia live, 2015) [unofficial upload; Biophilia was an app!!!]
Bjork has released some classic, highly influential videos, working with many top directors: Human Behaviour (Michel Gondry), All is Full of Love (Chris Cunningham, who has worked with Warp acts, notably Aphex Twin) and It's Oh So Quiet (Spike Jonze), but pioneered with releasing an album as an app with remixable music and visuals, moving away from the static, defined 'text' and smashing through (converging) the audience/producer barrier.

If you're discussing technology in the context of music video, this (and the others noted in the blog post) are very useful to consider.

Videos such as this are arguably just as important as the official, artful commercial videos. I know I've been encouraged to spend a fair amount of cash to see Depeche Mode after looking up some videos of their world tour!

Every song on Biophilia has an app for iPhone or iPad. The main app was released on July 19, 2011, coinciding with the release of "Cosmogony", and it integrates all the songs' apps.
The app for "Crystalline" is a video game that uses the iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad's tilt feature to move a crystal through various underground tunnels. By collecting different crystals from the walls of the tunnel, new tunnels are unlocked, each one playing a different section of the song. Green tunnels play sections from the first verse, pink tunnels play sections from the second one, orange tunnels play sections from the third verse, red tunnels play the chorus and blue tunnels play the coda. [Wiki]

Sepultura - Refuse, Resist (1994) [post]
What makes this video interesting is the use of fans and archive news footage. The way the two are edited, a clear link is being made between footage of rioters (a positive in the context of the music, the lyrics and the band's history, with their links to social protest in their home country, Brazil. Megadeth's Peace Sells... set a benchmark for politically influenced video a decade before, but this really ratchets it up.

The use of editing to signify such abstract ideas is a strong demonstration of how creating 'meaning' should not be seen as restricted to conventional 'narrative'; could this be considered meta-narrative?

The fast-paced intercutting between fans, performance footage and news footage establishes a sense of credibility, a band still in touch with their modest roots despite their global reputation and status, and not just a relationship, in a very approving way, between fans and social protestors, but between both and the band itself. The 'mode of address' here is established not just through the conventional close-ups, but that cross-cutting to create an equivalence, and framing that often includes the audience within performance shots, the gritty nature of the news footage also matched by the relatively lo-res performance footage to boost the verisimilitude.

Megadeth - Wake Up Dead (1986)
Classic example of representing the audience within the video; see also AC/DC's Thunderstruck, in which scores of fans had their heads shaved for the video shoot; the Pixies' Bagboy is a more subtle take on this. Note the subtleties involved; a metal audience moshing is fairly positive to those familiar with the sub-culture (think Hebdige, perhaps Bourdieu even [cultural capital]), but that sense of fans causing the singer claustrophobia is also there to be read.
See also:
Megadeth - In My Darkest Hour (1986) 
Fairly classic performance video; Motley Crue's Wild Child another, or, for the fan involvement (an unknown Courtney Cox was brought up on stage), Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA.
Megadeth - Peace Sells (Robert Longo, 1986)
Not the most fulsome Wiki, but a useful description - note yet again the depiction of fans within the video, and the self-referential intertextuality - the reading of which would only be available to fans (thus providing cultural capital):
A music video was produced for the song, which features a teenage boy, wearing a Slayer T-shirt, watching a montage of live Megadeth performances and war footage on his living room television set. The boy's father, states "What is this garbage you're watching? I want to watch the news!," and changes the television channel to a news station using the remote control. His son, replying with "This is the news!," changes it back to the Megadeth performance using the TV set's channel knob. This part of the video was parodied by comedian Brian Posehn in his Metal by Numbers video. The beginning of the video also showed the explosion of the original low-cost skull used on the cover of the previous album, Killing is My Business... and Business is Good!. [Wiki]
Several fairly common conventions (that this iconic video helped to establish!) then:
  • featuring, representing the fans in the video (see also Twisted Sister's We're Not Gonna Take It, Suicidal Tendencies' Possessed to Skate and ... Michael Jackson's Black and White). Megadeth would do this in spectacular style in their next album's In My Darkest Hour, with the band in a steel-mesh cage with fans pushing in from outside
  • diegetic break-ins to the track. Daft Punk's Around the World is another classic example of this
  • extreme fast-paced editing (in this case for a montage)
  • very basic, but low-angled CUs on the singer help emphasise his rage

Pixies - Bagboy (Lamar + Nik, 2013) [post]
One of my favourite all-time videos (and I've written a very detailed analysis of it - check out the Pixies tag for multiple posts!), what makes this most interesting is seeing a veteran band putting up a teen (a real outsider) as a representation of Pixies fans in their comeback video; the use of colour and supremely skilful use of a real video cliche, use of slo-mo, is quite spectacular ... and I've just learned whilst looking for the link that there's second video for the same song:
"We didn't set out to have two music videos for 'Bagboy,' but once we saw both of these, we knew we didn't want to use just one," singer Black Francis tells Rolling Stone. "They're so good, so creative, and each in its own way, and both made by up-and-coming filmmakers." [Rolling Stone

There are few more fascinating bands for videos: they did a one-shot video as a form of protest which became iconic, and another which deconstructs the conventions of performance videos through awkward framing, providing the opposite of the star focus (heads, faces generally cut off!) Goodwin and Dyer would certainly be expecting to see!
PIXIES - Velouria (1990) (one-take video) See Wiki and my posts on this.

    Daft Punk - Da Funk (Spike Jonze, 1995) [post]
    A classic example of using diegetic sound creatively.
    The track's music video was directed by Spike Jonze and entitled Big City Nights. It focuses on the character Charles (Tony Maxwell), an anthropomorphic dog in a leg cast with a crutch wearing urban clothing. Charles, who has lived in New York City for only one month, is shown walking around with a boombox blasting "Da Funk" at a high volume. [Wiki]

    Rihanna - Pour It Up (Vincent Haycock, 2013) (EXPLICIT tag) [post]
    Whilst I've name-checked 'the' director above, he actually withdrew from this. As with the Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball video (and spat with Sinead O'Connor) we can see here a good illustration of the very different takes of a feminist (this video is straightforwardly exploitative and sexist, very direct objectifying male gaze) and a post-feminist (Rihanna's take, in common with so many female performers: this is simply the expression of a sexually confident female, not created for a male audience, but to express her own sense of self and to set a strong, self-assured example for young females [putting words into her mouth, obviously!]).
    The official music video for "Pour It Up" was filmed in May 2013.[31] In September 2013, the director Vincent Haycock, tweeted that he was no longer involved with the project due to "creative differences", Rihanna later replied to him by stating: "Just take your name off the check while u at it! Whatever your issue is leave my fans out of it". That same month, Rihanna posted new behind the scenes pictures from the shoot and stated that the video would be released in October 2013.[32] The video was released on her official YouTube channel October 2, 2013, but became unlisted 30 minutes after release.[33] It was later uploaded on Rihanna's official VEVO account.
    Rolling Stone said the video which is not of "high art certainly matches the lavish strip-club exploits referenced in the song."[34] HitFix gave the video a D grade, "it' s a dimly lit video equivalent of a Playboy photo spread that is meant to serve the very same purpose for the boys and men who view it. And we're all supposed to scrape and bow and talk about how 'artfully' it's shot and pretend that it’s so very empowering for her to show off her body this way."[35] [Wiki]

    Fragma - You Are Alive (2001) [post]
    A good example of male gaze; there isn't a lot going on; a fairly lazy use of a developing world setting as 'exotic' is joined by a focus on a female performer's body, with some imagery which a basic psychoanalytical approach would judge as sexual.

    Guns n'Roses - Welcome to the Jungle (1987) [post]
    The theme of looking is evident here; Axl Rose, in something that became a running theme for GnR vids, looks through a shop window at himself on TV. The opening diegetic scene is a classic example of media language that reflects the male gaze critique: lingering pans over a woman's body, but there's apparently no need to bother with showing her face! Where iTunes and Spotify or YouTube exclusives are now common, it was MTV that got the exclusive on this one, and the video quickly broke the band, with requests ensuring it swiftly went into major rotation.
    Geffen Records was having a hard time selling the video to MTV. David Geffen made a deal with the network, and the video was aired only one time around 5:00AM on a Sunday morning.[11] As soon as the video was aired, the networks received numerous calls from people wanting to see the video again.
    In spite of the early morning airtime, the song's music video caught viewers' attention and quickly became MTV's most requested video. The video in question begins with a shot of Axl Rose disembarking a bus in Los Angeles and a drug dealer (portrayed by Izzy) is seen trying to sell his merchandise while Rose rejects it. As Rose stops to watch a television through a store window, clips of the band playing live can be seen and Slash can also be seen briefly, sitting against the store's wall and drinking from a clear glass bottle in a brown paper bag. By the end of the video Rose has transformed into a city punk, wearing the appropriate clothing, after going through a process similar to the Ludovico technique.
    During an interview with Rolling Stone magazine about the music video, Guns N' Roses' manager at the time, Alan Niven, said that he "came up with the idea of stealing from three movies: Midnight CowboyThe Man Who Fell to Earth and A Clockwork Orange."[12] [Wiki]

    Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines (Diane Martel, 2013) [parody] [post]
    Possibly the most controversial song ever made? A long list of student unions have banned its playing, for example. The controversy clearly worked; when he released his second album it disappeared without trace, having no equivalent of this. There were two versions, 'unrated' and 'clean', something we routinely see with CDs (as the likes of Walmart won't sell any with the Parental Advisory sticker).
    The music video, directed by Diane Martel, was released on March 20, 2013.[10] The video features Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell casually standing in front of light-pink backdrop as they flirt with models (Emily RatajkowskiElle Evans and Jessi M'Bengue) who pose and dance. At various points, the hashtag "#THICKE" flashes, whilst towards the end, "ROBIN THICKE HAS A BIG DICK" is spelled out in silver balloons. In the unrated version of the video, the models wear nothing but skin-colored G-strings. In the edited version, they are scantily clad and the hashtag "#BLURREDLINES" is seen at various points. This is the second time that director Diane Martel and Pharrell join together for a music video project involving two differently rated versions. The 2001 video for the N.E.R.D single "Lapdance" also featured models in two variant editions, one of which, like "Blurred Lines", is a topless version.[11][12] The video was filmed at Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake.
    After being on the site for just under one week, the unrated version of the video was removed from YouTube on March 30, 2013, citing violations of the site's terms of service that restricts the uploading of videos containing nudity, particularly if used in a sexual context.[13] However it was later restored on July 12, 2013.[14] The unrated video remains available on Vevo, while the edited version is available on both Vevo and YouTube.[15][16][17] The unrated version of "Blurred Lines" generated more than 1 million views in the days following its release on Vevo.[13] As of March 2014, the unrated version of "Blurred Lines" is available on YouTube.[18]
    Asked about the racy content of the video, Thicke responded: "We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, 'We're the perfect guys to make fun of this.' People say, 'Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?' I'm like, 'Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I've never gotten to do that before. I've always respected women.' "[7] During an interview with Oprah Winfrey for Oprah's Next Chapter, Thicke clarified his comment, describing it as a "bad joke" and noting that the published GQ interview did not mention that he was doing an impersonation of Will Ferrell's Ron Burgundy character while making the remark thus not providing the sarcastic/joking context.[19] [Wiki]

    Lily Allen - Hard Out Here (Christopher Sweeney, 2013) [post]
    The video was 'unlocked' via fan interaction ... was meant as a feminist riposte to misogynistic media coverage ... and sparked a controversy over use of black dancers for twerking.
    The music video was directed by Christopher Sweeney.[18] The music video for the song was premiered on Allen's website on 12 November 2013, with fans being able to unlock it by answering questions. Allen asked for fans to give feedback with the hashtag #HOH. ... The video was accompanied by a parental advisory explicit sign for sexually explicit content. [19] On 26 November, Allen released a video featuring behind the scenes footage from the "Hard out Here" video of her learning to twerk and talking to the backing dancers.[13]
    The video received positive feedback on Twitter from celebrities AdeleEllie GouldingTinie TempahRebecca FergusonProfessor Green,[21] Foxes,[22] Caitlin MoranLena Dunham,[23] Lauren LaverneExamplePiers MorganKeshaJake ShearsCharli XCXMark Ronson,[24] and Pink. It amassed 2.2 million views within two days of being uploaded.[25]
    The video's use of black backing dancers was criticised on the grounds of racism. Allen responded to this with a long message called "Privilege, Superiority and Misconceptions", in which she refused to apologise, "because I think that would imply that I'm guilty of something". She said that "If I could dance like the ladies can, it would have been my arse on your screens; I actually rehearsed for two weeks trying to perfect my twerk, but failed miserably. If I was a little braver, I would have been wearing a bikini too, but I do not and I have chronic cellulite, which nobody wants to see."[26] Jameela Jamil defended the video, saying that those who have discounted the white dancers in the video are "almost racist" themselves, saying, "It's just a bunch of women from all backgrounds dancing provocatively as they have for years" and opining that the "parody" video makes "the obvious point that women are exploited in music videos."[27] [Wiki]


    In the web 2.0 (3.0 now?) era, you have extraordinary resources at hand to aid you not just in your research into conventions, but also your search for ideas and inspirations!!!!
    • Most videos are of course available on YouTube
    • Many which aren't can be found on alternatives such as Vimeo
    • Don't discount DVDs, a technology which Apple has decided is soooo noughties but which comes with the benefits of no ads, no need for broadband, viewable through larger screens, convenient to watch in a leisurable context, often come with great extras that teach you a lot about how videos work and are created...
    • There are collections of a single act's work; directors; record labels; genres; eras. If ever flagging on the idea of music video I'll throw on the Depeche Mode collection, which is primarily Anton Corbin's work, and get freshly inspired all over again
    • Back to YouTube - look out for playlists which gather a useful range of videos, perhaps including some/many you wouldn't have heard of...
    • ...and, as I have here, create your own!!!! The playlist tool (just click 'Add To' underneath a video) is extremely useful, a form of bookmarking; you can create as many as you like ... its your channel!!
    • Posting a question on fan sites/hashtags, including using social media such as Twitter and Instagram, can furnish very useful details and ideas from passionate fans - and being able to evidence building an online following is a very useful achievement looking beyond school
    • There are many sites which are dedicated to lists, and you can find great resources such as this metalhead user's (cheers Harakant!) RateYourMusic list of Sepultura videos, all conveniently embedded and ready to play
    • you of course have past students' blogs too, content on Slideshare, and much more
    • Lets not forget books and journals ... I can't recommend Austerlitz's history of the music video enough; you will (probably) be unfamiliar with most of the examples, underlining its usefulness! Your range of reference points can be greatly expanded through such work, and your ability to intertextualise with older videos (that might help boost your older secondary audience appeal, plus, as several audience theorists argue, providing a puzzle [identify the reference] is a draw for many; Pierre Bourdieu might argue that you offer cultural capital to those who can recognise your full range of intertextualised reference points!)

    T-Funk featuring Katie Underground - Be Together (2006) [post]

    2 Brothers on the 4th Floor - Come Take My Hand (1996) [post]
    1996 happy hardcore (Wiki).

    Nine Inch Nails - Come Back Haunted (David Lynch, 2007) [post]
    If you haven't heard of the director, he's a famed film and TV director, legendary for his unique (auteur) style through such films as Blue Velvet  and TV shows such as Twin Peaks - you will be hearing his name; he has signed on for a new series of that show, decades after it finished, and journalists who grew up with this are going to be writing many articles about him and it...
    The video is also notable for featuring an epilepsy warning, a very real issue with music video.
    The music video was released on June 28, 2013, with an epileptic seizure warning.[11][12] It was directed by David Lynch, with whom Reznor collaborated on Lost Highway.[13] The video runs for 4:17.[14] Photographs taken by Nine Inch Nails collaborator Rob Sheridan during the shooting in Los Angeles were also released on June 27, 2013.[11] [Wiki]
    Katy Perry - Roar (Grady Hall, 2013) [allegations of plagiarism] [post]
    Perry faced accusations of plagiarism over this track.
    More notably, Microsoft used product placement within this to lead the campaign for their Nokia Lumia 1020 (Windows) phone (Forbes). Read Anita Elberse's Blockbusters for a great account of how both Lady Gaga and Jay Z integrated tie-ins and product placement to album marketing campaigns, two great examples of web 2.0 campaigns high on interactivity but also demonstrating just how important distribution is.
    The video was described by some as 'camp', but others accused it of featuring animal cruelty, leading Perry to release a letter from an animal welfare group stating it wasn't.
    A 21-second teaser of the video had previously been uploaded on August 25, 2013.[90] Nokia posted a two-minute behind the scenes video on September 4, 2013.[91] On November 14, 2013, an extended 17-minute behind-the-scenes video was uploaded to Perry's official VEVO account.[92] [Wiki]

    Snoop Lion - Smoke the Weed feat. Collie Buddz (a film, an app, a documentary OST; 2013) [post] [Wiki]

    Evanescence - What You Want (Meiert Avis, 2011) [post]
    A heavy metal band with a female singer that proclaim their Christianity, an unusual mix, but the objectifying seems to be fairly conventional, reinforced through the strong focus on the glamorous singer. A major act, no surprise to see to an exclusive release window for a major online distributor/retailer:
    A twenty-two second teaser of the video was released on September 9, 2011. The video for the song officially premiered online on September 13, 2011[60] and it was made available for digital download on the iTunes Store the same day. [Wiki]

    Daft Punk - Technologic (2005) [self-directed] [post]
    These guys are responsible for some iconic videos, and inspired a past IGS production, Around the World - the original of which is a classic example of bringing diegetic sound in. The band hide their identities behind helmets, and their videos mix a certain postmodern playfulness with occasional darker tones.
    The music video for "Technologic" is the third directed by Daft Punk, following "Fresh" and "Robot Rock". ... The Robot cost roughly 4 million dollars to create. [Wiki]

    Depeche Mode - Martyr (Robert Chandler, 2006) [post]
    Depeche Mode's videos, on the whole, are spectacular works of art, and successfully brand them as artist/outsiders despite their huge mainstream commercial success. Director Anton Corbijn is behind much of their best visual work, including the video pieces used within live concerts, and their videos frequently embrace expressly postmodern approaches, and more cinematic styles such as French New Wave and German Expressionism!
    A video was being directed by Andreas Nilsson, who was reportedly hired because Dave Gahan was impressed by his video for The Knife's "Silent Shout".[5] The video was made in Gothenburg, Sweden, and members of the group do not appear in it.[6] The band subsequently rejected this video, which was replaced with a video montage released on 8 October 2006 and directed by Robert Chandler, in which Dave Gahan seemingly sings the song, this being achieved by the succession of short clips of Depeche Mode's videos in which Dave either says the words featured in the lyrics of "Martyr", or he lip-syncs the lyrics, meaning that his lips move in a similar fashion of that when the words in the lyrics are being said. [Wiki]

    Green Day - American Idiot (2004, Samuel Bayer) [post]
    A simple enough video, but one that helped make this band into global superstars, its edginess causing controversy in a very divided USA as a presidential election loomed. [Wiki]

    Nirvana - Heart Shaped Box [post]
    Another video by the great music video auteur Anton Corbijn, stepping in for regular Nirvana video director Kevin Kerlslake who was unavailable. [Wiki]

    1D - Best Song Ever (Ben Winston, 2013) [post]
    Broke the 24-hour Vevo viewing record (12.3m views), later taken by Wrecking Ball (19.3m!). 'Comedian' James Corden wrote the script for what is a filmic video, featuring the band being pushed by management, marketing men and dance choreographers to be a stereotyped, rather ridiculous boy band ... before they rebel (in a fashion that steals from the Beatles' cheeky chappy template!). I've seen this approach more often in metal videos (Bon Jovi's In and Out Of Love starts with their 'manager' intoning, in a diegetic intro, "you've got 24 hours to hit the town boys!") [Wiki]

    New Order - True Faith (Phillipe Decoufle, 1987) [post]
    When Frith argues there are three music video formats: performance, narrative and concept, the difference between the last can be hard to grasp; a concept video will still have some narrative, but its lack of linkage to the lyrics sets it out, as is the case here:
    The release of "True Faith" was accompanied by a surreal music video directed and choreographed by Philippe DecouflĂ© and produced by Michael H. Shamberg.[2][3][4] In it, bizarrely costumed dancers leap about, fight and slap each other in time to the music; while a girl in dark green makeup emerges from an upside-down boxer's speed bag and signs the lyrics. [Wiki]

    Iron Maiden - Can I Play With Madness (1988) [post]
    An iconic hit, providing rare chart success for a heavy metal act, the video is especially notable for the way the band appear, through a TV set as part of the mise-en-scene; as Goodwin points out, acts looking at themselves is a common feature of videos.
    In the video, Chapman plays an irritable art instructor who criticises a young student for including Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie in his sketch of the abbey ruins. The teacher then falls down a hole in the ground, discovers an underground vault and finally encounters an animated version of Eddie, who leers at him from inside a refrigerator. The band appears on a TV screen showing footage from "The Number of the Beast" video and the Live After Death concert film. [Wiki]

    Madonna - Papa Don't Preach (James Foley, 1985) [post]
    Gaga has done nothing that Madonna didn't do first, and this was Madonna at her controversial best; a song about teen pregnancy, with the teen making her own decisions. As ever the range of intertextuality was rich and deliberate, and a factor in ensuring that Madonna's fanbase went far beyond the core tween/teen pop record buying base, with references that went decades back. Foley would also direct Live to Tell.

    For the music video, Madonna sported a complete image makeover. She changed the heavy jewelry and make-up, and adopted the gamine look, which is notably applied to describe the style and appearance that Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn used during the 1950s.[39][40] In the video Madonna played a tomboy, dressed in jeans, a black leather jacket, and a slogan T-shirt with the caption "Italians do it better". The video alternated between tomboy shots and those of a sexier Madonna with a more toned and muscular body, cropped platinum blonde hair, and figure-revealing clothing, consisting of a 1960s-style black bustier top and capri pants.

    Georges-Claude Guilbert, author of Madonna as Postmodern Myth, compared her look in the video as a "combination of Marilyn MonroeJean Seberg and Kim Novak." He added that it was hard for him to believe that "[Madonna] did not know that she was going to cause a huge controversy with the video.... With such a song and video, she was throwing in America's face the image of a country ravaged by the abortion debate, which is far from being resolved."[46] [Wiki]

    Madonna - Like a Virgin  (Mary Lambert, 1984) [post]
    Possibly the most-discussed video of all time, this saw Madonna with her trademark mix of sexual and religious imagery, with the sexuality using both elements of the binary of virgin and experienced provocateur. You could draw some comparisons with Britney Spears Ooops ... I Did It Again for the interplay between signifiers of innocence and knowing sexuality (as Britney sings, "I'm not that innocent"), and for the crossover impact with an adult audience (and the media attention to boot!). Madonna truly has set the template for female performers. The Wiki contains considerable detail on the imagery and references, and quotes several academic studies.

    [UGC] 5ive - Keep on Movin' (1999) [official; UGC satire] [post]
    The official video is unremarkable, ripping off many similar videos that take the idea of 'travelling' through floors (Megadeth did this a lot better!). The spoof video is a good deconstruction of boyband conventions; parodies tend to be useful means of researching conventions as they are intended to 'expose' them and gently mock/ridicule them. [Wiki has very little]

    Dread Zeppelin - Heartbreaker (at the end of Lonely Street) (1990) [post]
    Reggae, Elvis, metal and milk carts - if you need some inspiration for the will to be weird, this multiply-hybrid bunch, featuring Tortelvis, are worth a look.
    [Apparently too small for anything bar a general Wiki]

    Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up (1987) [post]
    Nothing remarkable about the video, but the song did give birth to Rickrolling... [Wiki]

    Stan Bush - Dare [post]

    Black Sabbath - God is Dead [post]

    Timo Maas - Pictures [post]

    Lady Gaga - Bad Romance [post]

    Example - [post]

    Bad Riddim - [post]

    Nicole Scherzinger - [post]

    Butcher Babies - [post]

    Chris Cunningham - [post]

    Joy Division - [post]

    Doors - People Are Strange [post]

    Amy Winehouse [post]

    Beavis and Butthead - [post]

    Andy Rehfeldt - [post]

    Kutiman - [post]

    Beatallica - [post]

    Jane's Addiction - Underground [post]

    Jim Morrison - [post]

    Rammstein - Sonne [post]

    Suicide Silence - You Only Live Once [post]

    Atomic Tom - Don't You Want Me [post]

    Vixens - [post]

    Christian Aguilera - Can't Hold Us Down [post]

    Spice Girls - Wannabe [post]

    Katie Perry - California Gurls [post]

    Rihanna - Umbrella [post]

    Pixies - [post]

    U2 - [post]

    The Streets - [post]

    Jesus and Mary Chain - Just Like Honey [post]

    Jesus and Mary Chain - April Skies [post]

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