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Videowatch: May


This month: live footage, artsyfartsyness, stop motion and J-pop.


Apparently the video for the latest single offering off CMX’s straightforward rocker Iäti was originally supposed to be the video for a Magenta Skycode track but then something went wonky with that, and CMX salvaged the already-finished video from never being used. Surprisingly, with what it being originally created for something completely different, it goes rather excellently with the song, having a lot of imagery that could be easily interpreted to go with the lyrics. It generally works rather well and is one of the hits in CMX’s very hit-and-miss video catalogue.

“Auringon kultainen kaupunki” sounded like a weird single choice when I first heard about it but re-evaluating that, it actually seems like a rather excellent track for springtime radios. Effortlessly catchy as well.


If there’s one really annoying thing in the digital age, it’s  the death of a single as we know it. These days with the ability to launch a mp3 into the ether whenever you want, the line between an official single release and downloadable goodie are blurring in an insane way. And I’ve genuinely no idea if “Home Is a Fire” is actually a single from the new Death Cab album or if it just has a video for the fun of it. It obviously doesn’t make the least bit difference to the video, or this post, but I’m genuinely curious if this is something they’re going to use to promote the album because if so, good lord that’s one hell of a bizarre single choice. “Home Is a Fire” is a good song but it’s very obviously an album opener and not a stand-alone track. It’s all tension and build, with no release or climax afterwards – that comes in the following track. If it is a single, it’s hell of a bizarre choice.

It’s much easier to moan about INTERNET KILLING SINGLES and all that instead of talking about the video because it’s a fairly dull one. The idea is nice – showing song lyrics through stencilwork etc in a big city – but the execution is dry and fairly uninteresting. It’s ok to look at but it doesn’t really support the song nor does the song really support it.

I’ll be rambling about the new Death Cab in detail at some point in the nearby future.


(or click here if the stupidarse wonky-embed doesn’t work)

I’m going to take this opportunity to talk a bit about Astronautti, the second album by Pariisin Kevät from which this song is taken. PK was a bit of a surprise attack for me, coming across him/them in a rather accidental way and soon finding myself completely enamoured by their debut. There was a sort of mad genius kind of thing going on in it, from the whimsical and sometimes downright crazy but absolutely marvellous music to the intriguing lyrics that mashed together fantastic observations, witty ways of saying things, knowing naïvete and a dash of nuttiness. The debut, Meteoriitti, is an album full of life and colour and it’s wonderful. In that light, the second album at first sounded like a bit of a disappointing return: what was so wonderful and fresh on the debut wasn’t so fresh the second time around, and it didn’t really distance itself from the debut enough to avoid direct comparisons to it: like a sequel that was a bit unsure if it really needed to be there. But time gives us a chance for hindsight and listening to it now, it’s definitely a worthy follow-up even if clearly in the second place. The music and lyrics tone down the whimsicality (though they aren’t extinguished altogether) and the music has a firmer grip on itself: where the debut sounded like wonderful chaos at times, the sophomore has a clearer vision of what it’s trying to achieve. It’s definitely a good album and Pariisin Kevät is becoming one of those acts to genuinely look for.

The video for “Imatrankoski” is a live footage one, which tends to be the most boring type of music video. It has the added perk of being somewhat more significant in PK’s case because the one-man project didn’t actually tour until the second album, so this video gets the chance to show the world some excerpts of their live antics. And despite being usually a bit of a boresville, there are some good live footage videos and the Imatrankoski one makes me think that if I ever got the chance to see the group live, I might find myself having quite a splendid time. So I spose it succeeds.


Perfume! My J-Pop love affair, who are now permanently on my radar because of their fantastic video catalogue (featuring tons and tons and tons of awesome synchronised dancing choreography) and their album (yes, really) which is easily one of The Very Best Pop Albums of the last decade thanks to its cavalcades of insanely awesome production and excellent songs. And here they are again, with their double A-side single of which I’ll only be showing the other one just because.

The sad thing about Laser Beam is that the video is unfinished. There is a fairly good reason for that: that earthquake thingy that happened around the Japan area a while back. The video was only half-finished when the chaos hit the country, and in the aftermath it was decided to just use what they managed to film and not continue from where they left off. The reason is perfectly understandable, but it sadly leaves us with a half-finished video and an abridged version of the song. The song sounds great and the short version makes you want to hear the full thing and the video has some of their dancing stuff (though sadly not all that much) so it’s not a total loss. It’s not one of their best things admittedly but oh my do I want to hear that new album.


At first the idea of getting a video for each song from the new R.E.M. album sounded pretty great. Then the videos started coming and with each zero-budget zero-idea SO ARTISTIC video that popped up, the more the excitement shriveled. And now we’re here. With Discoverer. LOOKIT THEM PRETTY LIGHTS.

Good lordy I love you Michael Stipe and I think you’re one of the best music-related people around but I will never, ever understand your forays into visual arts.

Song still kicks ass, mind you.


The second live footage video of the month turns out to be rather good as well! What are the odds? You can easily make live footage video enjoyable with some great camera work and editing, and it’s here where the World Around You video excels. The camerawork suits the joyous, energetic tone of the song perfectly and it’s just fun to watch a bunch of guys bouncing around the stage covered in instruments.


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