25 July, 2008

Mondo Video: Music Videos That I Don't Hate

I have a complicated relationship with music videos. I remember seeing the video for Brandy and Monica's song "The Boy is Mine" when I was 11 years old or so, and thinking, "That's what I have to look forward to as a young woman--being in constant competition with other young women for boyfriends and the like? Ewww."

I saw the video for Garbage's "Push It" soon after, and found that I could relate to that video much more. The song was weird, the woman singing it was both in control and viciously beautiful (on her own terms, too!), and the video was completely bizarre. I found myself wishing that I could inhabit such an odd environment, one that did not seem available to the majority of women in music videos; often, the women in videos were reduced to sex toys for the male performers, or worse, singing almost exclusively about about their sexual capabilities. There were (and still are) obvious exceptions to this, but at that time, sex (or the appearance of it) sold. In many regards, sex still sells. (Try uttering that phrase three times fast.) For a more academic/media studies-esque view on this topic, check out Sut Jhally's excellent Dreamworlds 3: Desire, Sex and Power in Music Video.

If you'll allow me to indulge my nostalgic tendencies for a bit, here is Garbage's "Push It":

From around the same time period (late 1990s), here is Tori Amos's "Talula":

And another Tori video, this time for "Raspberry Swirl." It's sort of like the Garbage video in that it involves a weird alternate universe:

Tom Waits's "God's Away on Business." I might be an atheist, but damn do I love this song and its accompanying video (dig those ostriches!):

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' "Do You Love Me," which does some interesting things with gender (lots of drag queens):

And, to end, Alanis Morissette's latest video ("Underneath"). It is a bit cheesy, but I do like the special effects:

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